Sunday, January 25, 2009

thirty four months

Dear Julianna,

Today you are thirty four months old. You have become a VERY independent little girl. I just took you upstairs and put you down for a nap and had to read one of the gazillion princess stories we read every day. Of course, you hugged me quickly and kissed me goodbye and it hadn’t been two minutes before you were crying huge tears for me to come back. When I got to your room I learned that you had gotten frustrated because the little pink and brown swing top that you were wearing had buttons down the back and it was hurting your back when it pressed against the bed. You tried to take it off by yourself but because the buttons were in the back, you couldn’t quite manage. You were crying so hard and I couldn’t imagine what had gone wrong since I never heard you say anything. I found you with the swing top still fully on, but one arm was completely out of your undershirt and one arm was still in its sleeve. This is a classic example of how our days go. You want so badly to be independent and do everything yourself, but it often breaks you down and causes great frustration and crocodile tears because you just can’t quite do it all yourself yet.

We have been lucky this year compared to last with the number of times we have been sick (and yes, I realize that I should knock on wood because the winter isn’t even half over, but I’m counting my blessings so far). We did have one doctor’s office visit recently due to a mishap at home. You see, Daddy kept bugging me to go get your eczema lotion prescription refilled since you face tends to get really dry, rough, and red in the winter time and I just never got around to it. One night after bath he decided to slather on some Avon lotion to try and keep your face moisturized and clear. He put you to bed and the next morning you woke up with a face so red it almost resembled second degree sunburn. Your entire face looked so painful. We gave you Benedryl and called the doctor who, after a million and one questions, basically told us that there was nothing we could really do about it besides the Benedryl and to only bring you in if it got worse by the end of the day or if you started having trouble breathing.

Well, it certainly didn’t clear up at all that day so the next morning when you woke up with puffy eyes and swollen cheeks I took you in. They said pretty much the same thing - that nothing would really help it but time. They offered to give you steroids but said that it really wasn’t necessary since you weren’t running a fever and didn’t seem to be in pain because of it. You were itching some, but luckily within the next two or three days it cleared up a lot. I hope that that will be the only trip we need to take to the pediatrician this winter!

Your vocabulary never ceases to amaze me. You went to the children’s theater one day this month to see “Max and Ruby” with Nanna and Pap. There was a big blue tarantula in the story and you’ve been talking about tarantulas ever since. You can memorize words to songs in a heartbeat and nightly you sing my favorite Christmas carol at bedtime with Daddy (O Come Let Us Adore Him, which you call Come Praise the Lord instead). You sing so loud I can hear you all the way downstairs and it just makes my heart smile.

Jules, you have such an imagination. This morning when you saw that there was “a seven on the clock.” You called to us and got out of bed and came in our room. You had your hands out like you were carrying something although there was nothing in your arms to be seen, at least not by adults. You told us that you were carrying Rudolph and that he was sick and needed to go to the hospital. You checked on him periodically and fortunately he ended up being "sine" (“fine”) but it was so precious to see you caring for him and the other reindeers that were in your room. You can be very nurturing and tenderhearted sometimes. One day you’re going to make an excellent big sister. That is, of course, if you can learn to stop bossing people around.

Let’s see…. What else? Oh.

We’ve been done with Pull-ups since well before Christmas and although you’ve been fully daytime potty trained for a year now, you still have trouble at night. I just really didn’t want to have to buy another pack of Pull-ups so I never did and now you sleep without them. You did fine for the first month or so and now you have been wetting the bed quite a bit at night. So maybe you aren’t quite ready for that yet, but we’ll make a few adjustments (like no drink after dinner, etc) and see how it goes for a while. On the other hand, it sure has been nice having you get up and go to the bathroom all by yourself this month (see above paragraph regarding your independence). Now if we can just keep you from getting a UTI from wiping incorrectly then we’re doing alright.

I can tell that your naps have gotten shorter. We’re lucky if we get more than an hour and a half nap these days and you’re also going to be later at night (not falling asleep until about 9:30). As you’ll learn when you have your own kids, that sleep time is so precious to mommy and it’s one of the hardest things about you growing up so fast. I dread the day when you stop napping altogether.

I’ve been substitute teaching for the past month and Nanna’s been staying with you each day. I know that she has enjoyed spending so much time with you and I hope that you have too. It was hard for you at first, getting used to me leaving you every day again, but you adjusted quickly and all was well. You are such a sweet daughter and we are very fortunate that you have grandparents who can take care of you at the drop of a hat.

For Christmas you got a “big girl bike” and you’re slowly learning how to ride it with the training wheels. Now you love to go on walks with Light and I and ride your tricycle or bike instead of riding in the stroller. We also got a bike trailer to carry you on adventures this Spring and Summer and I’m so looking forward to going on rides with you at the beach.

One day a few months ago we all went to Lowe's to pick up some stuff for the dog. You happened to see a princess book near the check-out aisle and we had to stop and look at it. Actually, you insisted on carrying the book around the store with you and I briefly considered buying it until I saw that it was $12(!!!). For one stinkin' book! I told you that we couldn't buy it but that we could check out a similar princess book from the library. You nearly had a fit. Well, actually you did have a fit. When I managed to calm you down and convince you to leave it on the shelf, it was only because I mentioned that maybe we could go home and get some money from your piggy bank to buy it with another time.

You were so excited, much more than I ever imagined. I thought you would forget about it by the next morning or even by the time we got home, but you didn't. You talked about that princess book for weeks afterwards. Then Christmas came and you didn't get any princess books for Christmas so a few weeks ago when we happened to have to go back to Lowe's for a few things we went and got that precious (expensive!) princess book with your piggy bank money.

You have treasured that book like no other. There are 12 princess stories in it and we read at least three or four of them daily. One night before dinner you asked me to read another one (after I had just finished Cinderella for the umpteenth time that day) and I told you no, that you would have to wait until after dinner. Well, you swung your hands up on your hips and you said, "Mama! You've got to be kidding me!" Such an adult expression coming from such a little girl, it was all I could do to not laugh in your face!

So your birthday is coming up in two months and while you’ve been telling us all year that you want a doggie on your cake, I think you’ve now changed your tune. Daddy and I took you to Wal-Mart and Harris Teeter not too long ago and let you flip through the cake books. You saw all of the Cinderella cakes and castle cakes and you were sold the instant you saw the pics. I’m pretty sure that you now want to have a cake with “The Prince bowing to Cinderella” on it.

Doodlebug, I cannot believe you will be three. How did that happen?! Try to stop growing up so fast, would you? I love you, baby girl.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

bow chicka bow wow

The hubs and I have a date night planned for next week. Could you all please provide some advice on what we should plan on doing?

can't blog right now

I'm too busy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

what's for dinner?

I have been doing a good job on my meal-planning resolution. I have cooked a lot more and the planning has definitely helped with grocery shopping. Here's what we've had for the last two weeks.

Grilled Chicken Fajitas
with all the fixins
Spanish Rice

dinner at Qdoba
(not planned, but oh-so-yummy)

Green Bean Casserole
Scalloped Potatoes

Chicken Broccoli Rice Bake


Chicken Nuggets
(on a salad for me, raw veggies for the others)

pot-luck dinner with group from church
(I made pigs in a blanket, a veggie tray, and a fruit tray)

Burrito Casserole
Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Quiche Lorraine
Yogurt Parfaits

Grilled Chicken Pasta
with Mushrooms, Squash, and Asparagus


BBQ Chicken Pizza
raw veggies or salad

I checked out several new cookbooks from the libraries this weekend and I also bought the new Hungry Girl book which has a lot of great recipes in it. I am looking forward to trying some of them out.

Do you have any good recipes you'd like to share?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Theology Quiz

These were the results when I took this Theology Quiz. I found it pretty interesting. Click the link to take the quiz yourself. It's kinda lengthy (60ish questions) but I thought it was worth it to see a summation of my worldview.

You Scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan

You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox






Reformed Evangelical




Classical Liberal


Roman Catholic


Modern Liberal


Saturday, January 17, 2009

2009 in numbers

  • Fiber One Bars Eaten: 17

  • Dog-Pee-Puddles Cleaned: 1,766

  • Toys Bought on Target’s 50-75% Off Clearance: 9

  • Days Exercised: 15

  • Degrees Outside This Morning: 9

  • Books Read: 2

  • Times I’ve Cried Over The Biggest Loser: 12

  • French Fries Eaten: 0

  • Soft Drinks Consumed: 0

  • Days Until My Birthday: 45

  • Pants Sizes Lost: 1

  • Princess Stories Read: 24

  • Beers/Glasses of Wine Consumed: 0

  • Pounds Lost: 11

  • Pregnancy Tests Taken: 0 (no need)

  • New Grey Hairs: 19

  • Wii Fitness Age: 51 (down from 79)

  • Teaching Jobs Applied For: 3

  • Times I've Listened to the Beauty & the Beast Soundtrack: 1.4 million

Thursday, January 15, 2009

i still need a job

Along with everyone else in the country, right?

My long-term sub gig ends next week and I will return to keeping the boys part-time, but I know that it will be nice to get that full-time January paycheck from the school system in a couple of weeks. It will pay some bills that we have gotten behind on.

I have been looking, looking, looking for another full-time teaching job. I've actually been looking since last March and I STILL haven't had any luck. Apparently with the poor economy everyone needs a job and there is even a shortage of teaching positions. One job that I've had my eye on for a long while still hasn't been filled and I finally realized that there is probably a hiring freeze at that community college.

Last week I saw a teacher assistant position posted online for an elementary school technology teacher and I jumped on it. I emailed them my application and resume, but it was filled before I could even get to the school to get them a hard copy.

Jonathan's company has had a few rounds of layoffs. Fortunately, he's been spared each time. Unfortunately, those left have had to take pay cuts, his ringing in at 10% plus cuts in benefits. We're trying to find ways to supplement that income now.

I know this is a story you're hearing everywhere these days, but it is really just depressing. I check a variety of schools/school systems' job postings daily. Short of becoming a bus driver or a cafeteria lady, there's not much out there.

A hospital in my area just cut a few jobs as well and it makes you wonder, when health care and education positions are scarce, what can be left?

Somehow we'll make it through just like everyone else, but if you know of a technology teaching position in the triad area please let me know ASAP! Otherwise I might have to learn how to serve chicken nuggets and wear a hair net and I'd really prefer not to have to do that.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

learning from other's life experiences or just being hard-headed and doing it my own way

I was talking with a friend yesterday. A younger friend whom I'd rather not name since I don't know if she reads my blog or not and this is just for the sake of example anyway. We were talking about something that I've had experience with in the past (since I'm several years older than her) and I wanted to give her advice but since it was unsolicited, I refrained.

It just made me think about when I was in her shoes. I heard the same advice that I wanted to give to her from older people many, many times when I was at that place in life. I hated hearing it. I just hated it because at the time I kept thinking, "But that is so HARD. I can do it my way and I'll be fine." Of course, once I got through it and came out on the other side I realized that the experienced people were always right. They knew better. It would have been better to do it their way. At least it would have been easier.

But I remember what it was like to feel that feeling of, "They've got to be wrong. It is so much easier to just do it my way." Or, "It'll be different for me. It was only like that for them because ___________." That makes it hard because they're not open to hearing anymore of the same old advice they're getting from everyone and it also makes it hard to give because you know they don't want to hear it. Unfortunately, having been there you also know how it is and you know that you are right.

So today I am wondering: What is it that I'm doing now that the older people are looking at me, smiling and thinking, "Boy! She'll soon learn. One day she'll see!"? I would like to have a better ear to hear and more determination to listen to the words of the wise and learn from their experiences. What can help me do this?

Or should I not worry about it and just stay hard-headed? It easier to just be stubborn and think my way is best. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

now I'm off to eat zero-point soup

I love new beginnings. I love a reason for a fresh start. I love a second chance and an opportunity to be a better person.

Today is the 12th of January and so far so good. Almost all of my resolutions are going great. Now I may have a different story by the end of this week, but at any rate I've stuck to them all pretty well so far. Let's hope it lasts!

I've lost nine pounds since January 1st. I've never lost this much this fast, but then again I've never had this much to lose either. I'm counting points Weight-Watchers-style, but not actually going to meetings. I've exercised every day of this year except for one. I've finally worked myself up enough to where I can run again. Last night I ran for 25 minutes and while I didn't run the entire time, it was pretty close to the entire time and I felt great afterward.

We went to McDonald's one day last week and I was able to resist the temptation for the fries (another one of my goals). I will admit that I was STARVING that night before bed since I had wasted all of my calories on a hamburger happy meal with apple dippers. I won't be going back there again soon just to save the hassle (or rather, heartache). I do think it was a great learning lesson though. It was good to be able to go and stick to my plan and it was also good to be able to go and see what negative consequences it has (being hungry right after the meal and not feeling satisfied afterwards). So YAY for that one too!

I've obviously been blogging more which I think helps me tremendously with state of mind and I've been reading some every day. I really enjoy both of these so they're not hard to do, but it is hard to make them a priority.

Also, I've been trying to make sure that I meal plan each and every week. This helps me eat healthier and save money on grocery shopping since I end up making less trips to the store and buy ingredients that I can actually make a meal out of. On Saturday I made several meals. That will help out a lot this week and so will the fact that my fridge is stocked up with healthy foods.

What's weird to me is that one of my goals was to not drink soft drinks at all this year. I've done that before so I know I can do it, but over the past two years I've really struggled with cutting them out altogether again. For some reason this year, it's not been that difficult. I haven't had a single drink of soda since New Year's Eve and I haven't really missed it. I just hope it stays that way.

Last year I got pretty slack with taking vitamins. Part of that was because I was off birth control for the entire year so I didn't have that routine established and I would forget to take anything. So far I've taken my vitamin every day this year and I would definitely say that it is a routine already to me again. Easy peasy.

I'm doing great with the scripture memory even though I sort of cheated and started with a verse I already mostly knew. I will start learning a new one on the 15th. I'm excited about this resolution because I can already see how it's impacting my life. I think of the verse I'm working on (Galatians 6:9) several times a day and not just when I'm working on remembering it. I think about it at totally random times when I'm working on other things or exercising or whatever and I can tell that it has had an affect on how I live my life and even on the small daily decisions that I make.

I'm working on finding something to do volunteer-wise but I was hoping for something that Jules could do too. That is proving to be a little more challenging so we shall see.

There are a few other things, but this is a good summary of how I'm doing. If you're still around to read this, I'm surprised. Anyway, thanks for holding me accountable and cheering me on everyone. I really appreciate it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Doodlebug's Latest Solo

The little one is upstairs trying to get settled down after a busy evening. She's been in bed for about 45 minutes and she just burst into spontaneous song. Wanna guess what she's singing? Go ahead. I'll wait...

Here's a hint: you can thank Mamaw for this one.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

this is how she retaliates

Jules is mad at me because I won't let her look at princesses on my computer anymore today. We've only spent probably an hour in total on the Disney website watching videos and looking at various "princesses." I suggested she go play with some of her toys instead and in order to show me how mad she is she told me, "Mama, I want to sell all my toys." Weird how kids' minds work.

so much for that

I bought a "deck" of index cards. It was one of those spiral bound sets that stay together (this was per Beth Moore's recommendation) and I was going to use it for my scripture memory this year. Well, I just walked in the room to find it laying open beside a box of crayons with each and every index card scribbled on. At least now when I go to memorize my scripture verses, I'll do it with Julianna in mind.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

just checking in

I've been substituting at the local elementary school for the past few weeks and I'll tell you quickly that the hardest thing to adjust to has been getting up and getting ready to be somewhere by a certain time. While I would love to have a full-time teaching job again (for the money, not to leave my daughter) that would be the hardest thing for me to get used to again.

I'm up late each night packing a lunch, setting out my clothes, setting out clothes for Julianna, making sure the coffee-maker is ready to go, and of course, trying to make sure my list of New Year's Resolutions has been completed for the day. It's tough, but I'm making it.

Yesterday was a bad day. Several things happened that just bummed me out. I discovered in December that I'm not getting paid for all of the teaching hours I'm putting in until the end of this month which is fine except that I was getting paid every Friday to keep the two little boys I was watching and now this puts a pinch in our bill payment schedule for January. Then blogger was down so I couldn't get on here and that frustrated me.

Also, Jules was begging to go to McDonald's and I was exhausted and tired of fixing dinner so we obliged and I knew I would have the willpower to stick to the diet plan (which I did). Only problem was that made me hungrier than usual last night and after the rotten day I had I wanted to skip exercising and veg on the couch.

With hubby's help I managed to do it anyway so now I've completed 8 days in a row with some form of exercise every day. I've been reading more, blogging more, exercising more, meal-planning more, eating less junk, taking my daily vitamins, scrapbooking more, memorizing more scripture, and just taking overall better care of myself. I also want to find a place that I can volunteer every once in a while. I've done soup kitchen, Ronald McDonald House meals, Habitat, etc so I'd love to do something new. Any ideas?

How are your resolutions coming? Are you as sick as I am of the people who always say, "Why make a resolution at the beginning of the year? Any day is as good as the first?!" I always wonder what their problem is. If you don't want to make resolutions, don't make them. How does it hurt you if I decide to give myself a new start on January 1st as opposed to any other random day during my life? Why discourage me? Just be happy for me that I'm trying.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bippity Boppity Boo

We're watching Cinderella for like the one hundred and fifty thousandth time and we just got to the part where the Fairy Godmother comes and magically turns Cinderella into a beautiful princess and her animal friends into white horses to pull her carriage. As soon as the music started playing Julianna started running frantically around the living room and Jonathan and I exchanged a look, both of us curious to see what was going on.

She hurriedly grabbed the Halloween card Mamaw sent her and opened it up pretty much right on cue so it would sing the song "Bippity Boppity Boo" along with the television.

Ahhhh my little girl is indeed obsessed.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

whistle while you work

I'm excited because I've decided how I'm going to spend my Christmas money and it's only January 3rd. We went to look at phones last night at the Ver1zon store and when I'm eligible for a phone upgrade at the end of February I've decided I'm going to get a touch-screen phone with internet capabilities. This way I can have Facebo0k wherever I go (ha, ha) and no excuses for not blogging.

I took Jonathan along to help me translate what the salesman said and after the hubs laid out my options for me (in English) I decided to wait the extra couple of months to save an extra $140. I'm still super excited though!

However, I am super-frustrated with the company that I registered my domain through. For some reason, I am having lots of trouble getting this blogspot address to point to my custom domain address. I have talked to three customer service representatives with the domain company and each time they have made some changes and told me that I would have to wait 24 to 48 hours for the change to take affect. How annoying! Especially because every time so far their changes haven't worked. At any rate, I hope I will have back soon.

So what are you all doing today? I am taking down Christmas decorations while my daughter spends some time with Mamaw. Makes it all so much easier, mostly because every time it comes up Julianna insists that we leave the tree up for "five more days." I'm thinking that when she gets home and protests the tree dumped outside on the curb we can just smear some peanut butter and birdseed all over the branches and she'll get over it.

Have you taken your holiday stuff down yet and why are those rubber storage bins so darn expensive?

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I've had a very grumpy afternoon if an afternoon can be called that. It's hard to have a good one anyway when you're fighting off STARVATION. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but after the way I ate through 2008, it seems like 2009 (at least the first part) is going to be a doozie if I'm going to stick to all of these resolutions I set. Plus, my arms are sore from playing Wii.

Julianna has been fighting some sort of cold or something since Monday. She's been ornery, whiny, and downright intolerable. Nothing we say or do can convince her to stop the "ugly cry." No amount of bribery will get her to stop clinging to our legs or demanding to be held or carried. For instance, at Subway today she fell to pieces because we wouldn't let her switch us all to a new table after we had already eaten half of our sandwiches.

I suppose I should have taken her to the doctor yesterday, but she's not had much of a fever (101 was the highest it got and that was only one time, mostly it's been 99ish). She vomited a few times on Monday, but has seemed to be getting better since then even though her appetite hasn't been great. When I did decide it was finally time for a doctor's office visit this morning I called only to realize that they wouldn't be open on New Year's Day.

I keep thinking though, about how last Christmas we spent giving her breathing treatments with the nebulizer in between plenty of trips to the doctor's office and trying to cram in visits with family somewhere in between. Last year this time both her and I had already fought at least half a dozen illnesses and it was just a rough, rough ending to the year. At least 2008 didn't end that way for us too.

So I guess my biggest wish for 2009 is health. Sure there are lots and lots of other things I'm going to set as goals and TRY to do (like stop drinking soft drinks, take my vitamin every day, exercise 30 minutes a day, read more, blog more, clean more, memorize scripture, etc) but the thing I would say that I wish for most for my family is a healthy and happy year. I wish it for you all too.
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