Monday, November 29, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

thirteen months

Dear Joshua,

I don't know how it happened, but yesterday you turned thirteen months old.  The theme for this last month has been climbing.  You have learned to love to climb.  You climb on and off of chairs.  You climb on and off of our laps when we sit in the floor.  You climb on and off of the hearth.  At preschool they say you climb on and off of the little picnic table and stand on top before they tell you to get down.  We've even seen you climb on and off of our coffee table a time or two.  You're so proud of your accomplishments and I suppose I am too.

I also don't know how it happened that you decided you really don't want to eat anymore.  I'm not sure why.  It's sort of like you just realized that you don't have to eat what we offer.  You have gotten to where you just skip some meals all together.  You purse your lips and shake your head no.  You furiously sign "milk" and "please" until we reluctantly hand you your cup.  It's frustrating, but I'm not worried.  They still call you Butterball at school.

You can sign milk, more, please, bath, night-night, and stars.  You will blow kisses and catch kisses.  You will wave and say "bye bye" and you still carry around that darn spoon.

You've taken an interest in animal sounds lately.  You point at an elephant in a book (a book! you'll finally look at a book!) and then you'll throw your arm up like a trunk and make a pitiful little elephant noise.  You can make the Woof! sound for dog, the Ow! sound for cat, the Brrrrrr! sound for elephant, and snort like a pig (although that one's not usually intentional). 

We think you sometimes call your blanket your BaBa but we're not really sure.  When you get tired you will walk around the house until you find something with a similar texture to your blanket and you will lay down on the floor face first rubbing your nose on the blanket.

You fall all the time because you're always up on something you're not supposed to be on.  Or you're sitting in the little chair backwards and you can't get your leg out of the back.  You throw things behind the couch.  You cry when I don't let you pet the dog in the driveway.  You say, "Mamamamamamama" as you follow me around the kitchen.  You beg to be held almost all the time.  You cry when we put you down.  Occasionally you will get distracted by what Julianna is doing and you will toddle off following her whereever she goes, but mostly you just want me and you let us know it.

You've been fussy and clingy.  Stubborn.  Difficult.

And loving.  Always loving.  I would never expect you to not be.

We adore you, Joshua.  No more ear infections though.  Okay, Buddy?


Monday, November 22, 2010

contest winner

Of all of the entries to my little contest, Renee got the most answers correct.  Renee, I'll be sending you a $20 credit to Groupon and two boxes of handmade Christmas cards.  Congratulations!

In case anyone else was wondering, here are the answers to the questions:

  1. What did my kids wear for their first Halloween costumes? Julianna was a ladybug/NC State cheerleader and Joshua was a peapod.
  2. What are our pets names? my cat is named Simon and my dog is named (Twi)light
  3. Give one date that I participated in any running event. There are many correct answers to this one.
  4. What did we do for my aunt and my dad’s birthday this past summer that required a purchase from Lowe’s Home Improvement?  We made a giant banana split in a gutter.
  5. Name one of the recipes that I posted for Recipe Wednesday.  Again, many answers to this one.
  6. In what month of what year did I have a miscarriage?  Summer of 2008
  7. What is “Dorky Chickenbutt”?  My nickname.
  8. At what restaurant can you get a really, really large banana split?  The BBQ Center in Lexington, NC serves the biggest banana splits I've ever seen in a restaurant.
  9. Have you clicked my BlogHer ads before? The correct answer, of course, would have to be YES!
  10. What did Jules do with her dance outfit on the first afternoon she had dance lessons?  She wore her tutu around her neck.  Silly girl.

Thanks for playing, everyone!  Renee, I hope you enjoy your cards and Groupon bucks!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My babies


Tonight is the last night to enter the contest celebrating my little blog's 5 year birthday. Two card sets and a $20 credit to Groupon is up for grabs.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I don't know how I pulled it out, but Go Huge Bellys!!!

As I was celebrate my win last night making the Huge Bellys record this season 9 and 1, I wonder:

Do you participate in fantasy sports?
Yes, my league is serious stuff. We play for money and sometimes have a waiting list to join.
Yes, I play but only for fun.
No, but I'd like to next year.
The only fantasy sport I play is.... well, let's not go there.
I don't play and I don't really give a flip what all the fuss is about. free polls


Please go enter the contest celebrating my little blog's 5 year birthday. Only one person has entered so you have an excellent chance of winning! :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

i am thankful for

There are huge blessings in the fact that I wasn't hired until the day before school started.  For one thing, I was left off all of the rotation schedules like car pick-up duty, bus duty, etc.  Also, it is cold.  And I was left off of the before and after-school duties schedules.  So I don't have to go out in the cold.  Did I mention how lucky I am?

I am also blessed by the fact that even though I was scrambling to find childcare right before school started, I was still able to find someone loving and kind, and familiar with my children to help keep the kids after preschool.  We are fortunate that my mom is able to help some and Julianna's pervious preschool teacher can help as well.

In addition, I am thankful for online TV.  I very, very, very rarely watch television anymore.  I just don't have time no matter how much I want to.  I somehow still manage to keep up with a couple of my favorite shows via the internet when I can take long enough at my lunch break.  We don't have DVR or cable so I am especially thankful for the growing number of shows that replay episodes, making them available online after they air.

I am thankful for our health.  Sure, there has been a lot of sickness in our house lately, but none of it has been life threatening.  My mother-in-law has been declared free of cancer once again.  My husband and myself have stuffy heads and nasty colds but that's nothing compared to the woman I know who is in the hospital dying, leaving behind an eight year old grandson that she is raising.  Julianna is fortunately over her stomach bug and she's not having to go to Camp Brenner every few weeks for chemo treatments like my little friend Vinny.

I look around my house and I see tons and tons of "stuff."  Sometimes that "stuff" is not a good thing.  It is clutter that I am getting sick of having around.  But lately despite the fact that I want to just throw it all away, I am thankful for all that "stuff" because it means that we are blessed.  It means that we don't hurt for anything.  It means that we have what we need.  It means that God has provided.

I listened to a radio broadcast this morning encouraging people to donate to Operation Christmas Child and the woman described this child in Bosnia who lived in a garbage heap.  Over 300 children lived in the dump so that they could eat the discarded food.  The woman was there to deliver shoeboxes to those children and this one girl wouldn't come out because she didn't want the "clean people" to see her.  She was ashamed of her filthiness.  The woman described how foul she smelled and how she was covered in human waste and soil.  The girl kept throwing trash at the woman and the woman decided to throw trash back.  Eventually the girl smiled and came out of hiding.  When the woman presented the child the shoebox, the girl picked up the baby doll inside and hugged it to her chest, trying not to get it dirty.  Then she put on the dollar-store necklace and looked at the woman with questioning eyes.  The woman told the little girl that she was beautiful.  The girl ran over to a broken chair and climbed on top of it.  She began blowing kisses to everyone there.

Today I am thankful for a good life.


Please go enter the contest celebrating my little blog's 5 year birthday.  No one has entered so you have an excellent chance of winning!  :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

what if?

Wouldn't it be funny if they made a sick-care facility that was basically just a big room with blankets, pillows, TV, and tissues that you could send your barfing child to for the day while you worked?  No?  Maybe it's just my twisted sense of humor then.  Everyone there would already be sick so there would be no need to worry about spreading germs.  You could even have parents sign at the door saying that they understand that their child will be exposed to other sick children and the place is not liable for the consequences.  See?  It might work.....  Kinda...?

[I hope you read my sarcasm with that.]

Not funny...?  Well, forgive me then.  I'm a little weary.  Julianna has had some sort of stomach bug where she vomited for almost twelve hours at least once an hour.  We have no idea why.  The pediatrician gave me this detailed list of instructions about what I could/should do for her.  It was exhausting just looking at my notes.

When I took Josh to the grocery store to get Propel and Gatorade, he decided to charm everyone by smiling and waving saying, "Bye Bye" to everyone.  Then he chucked a bottle of vitamin water out of the buggy, ten feet across the aisle until it busted all over the place.

The point of this story: Hopefully tomorrow we can say, "Good-bye for good stomach bug!  Don't let the door kick you in the You Know What on the way out!" 

And with the discovery of Julianna's third loose tooth I've had about all I can take.  We're falling apart over here.  Not figuratively.  Literally.

Monday, November 8, 2010

all I want for Christmas

There has been no greater strain on my relationship with my husband than having the second kid.  You take two full-time jobs, then a little bit of chauffeur, and add in a couple doses of "What's for dinner?", throw in some possible ear infections, a puking four year old, and making several lunches and you've got two exhausted, stressed, I'm too tired tonight, honeys. 

We having trouble getting together a date night because we feel like we rely on the grandparents too much already what with the crazy dentist appointments and getting the kids to school without missing so much work that either one of us loses our job.  Not to mention that if we found a sitter other than family we'd have trouble paying for them since we've spent $200 in unexpected copays for doctors visits in the last few weeks alone and who doesn't want to just spend some quiet time with their kids after being away from them for more than forty hours each week anyway?

So all I want for Christmas is this.  I want a night out with my husband.  I want to be able to go to dinner and just sit.  I want to be able to slowly eat my meal and enjoy it without picking up sippy cups from the floor or cutting chicken into bite-size pieces.  I want to be able to go home and fall into bed at a reasonable hour because I don't have to bathe children, read bedtime stories, pack lunches, pick out clothes, and then pay bills.  I want to be able to sleep all night, without waking up once (at least not unless it's of my own volition, or until I have to pee which is inevitable).  I want to be able to talk to my husband about the crazy things we used to talk about, like you know, us, our day, our problems, and our dreams.  The things we used to talk about before we found it necessary to iron out the game plan for the next day in the only five minutes we have alone together each night.  I want a day when I can concentrate on my relationship with my husband and take a moment to remember why I committed my life to this man.  And I know this is asking a lot, but I want him to want it too.

Then I want a weekend where we're not running around from place to place going to birthday parties, meetings, grocery stores, school functions, etc.  I want a day when I can make my family the priority that it needs to be.  I want a day to go hiking together or a day to lounge around without any other obligations other than to just be. 

The sad thing is that in this season of life, this feels like it's way, way, way too much to ask.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Build a Bear

Quick!  Get to and click on Houston to purchase a $20 voucher to Build-a-bear for only $10!

Even if you don't have kids this will make a great birthday present for someone you know.

This is a referral link.  I will get $10 Groupon credit for each person that signs up using this link.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

really? five years?

I started keeping an online journal of sorts at the end of October 2005. That means that recently I reached five years of blogging.  I've lost a lot of my posts as I changed from various blogging platforms and I've definitely lost a lot of my pictures, but for the most part it's all here.

Thank you for sticking around to read my ramblings. I love having the blog to keep up with my life long after I’ve forgotten, but having you guys around really make the ride worthwhile. I genuinely appreciate you.

To celebrate me having kept up with something for this long, I’ve created a little game for us all to play. Because we like games, right? At least games with prizes.


Post your answers to the following questions in the comments. The person who gets the most questions correct will win all of my leftover Halloween candy. I’m just kidding. I will send the person with the most correct answers two boxes of handmade Christmas cards (leftover from my days of card making) and, because I’m such a huge fan of this site these days, a $20 gift certificate. If two people tie then I will split the prize and send half to each. Not that that many people will participate, but if more people than two should happen to tie, then we’ll have a bonus round to determine the winner.

This giveaway ends on November 18th at midnight, just in time to get your Christmas cards addressed and mailed before December arrives.

  1. What did my kids wear for their first Halloween costumes?
  2. What are our pets names?
  3. Give one date that I participated in any running event.
  4. What did we do for my aunt and my dad’s birthday this past summer that required a purchase from Lowe’s Home Improvement?
  5. Name one of the recipes that I posted for Recipe Wednesday.
  6. In what month of what year did I have a miscarriage?
  7. What is “Dorky Chickenbutt”?
  8. At what restaurant can you get a really, really large banana split?
  9. Have you clicked my BlogHer ads before?
  10. What did Jules do with her dance outfit on the first afternoon she had dance lessons?

*My family is not eligible to win; they may participate, but will not win the prize.

**Full disclosure: The prizes for this giveaway are 100% from me, to thank you for being my blog friends. The prizes were not donated and this post was not sponsored although that link up there for Groupon is a referral link.  If you click it and purchase a Groupon I get $10 of credit.  And if you haven't signed up for Groupon's daily deals yet, then why not?  It's awesome.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Julianna's tooth finally came out yesterday.  On the playground.  She never found it.

After the visit to the dentist last week they sent us to the pediatrician and we left with no more answers than we came with.  The dentist had said we should possibly see a periodontist and an endocrinologist, but the ped said there was no need to see an endocrinologist because all of her bloodwork from the time she lost a tooth at 3 years old came back normal.  I called a couple of periodontists who basically didn't want to see her because she is a child and children "don't typically have gum disease."

So I went home and I did more googling for premature tooth loss.  Yeah.  Big mistake.

We decided to go to a different dentist this morning to get a second opinion.  It was not a pediatric dentist, but I really felt like she took the time to hear me and give her honest opinion.

She took bite wing x-rays and some other kind of top and bottom x-rays (6 x-rays total) and talked with me at length about what has been going on with Jules' teeth.

She asked a lot of questions about what the pediatric dentist had done last week before the tooth actually came out, etc. She looked at the x-rays with me and compared them with her own son's x-rays when he was 4 years old. Basically, she just said that she thinks Julianna is going to get her permanent teeth early. You could see on the x-rays where they were really close to coming through. Even Jules has 6 year molars that looked like they were close to the top of the gum. She asked Julianna a lot of questions about the pain she had complained about and she seemed to think that he answers were normal.

She said the only thing that she thought about it all that might be of conern was that the two teeth in particular that she lost were not typically the teeth that come out first and she wasn't sure why they did in this case. But from the x-ray it looks as if it was the permanent teeth that made them loose.

The dentist said she would like to check with her friend who was a periodontist and just ask him about it and she'd let us know what she found out in the next day or two, but she didn't expect it to be anything of concern. She said she didn't need to see the bloodwork from the pediatrician for hypophosphatasia since the pediatrician said her levels were within normal range.

One last thing she did say that we should watch for are slight speech developmental issues that might arise due to Julianna having no teeth down there and then bigger permanent teeth so early.

I'll take it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

it's becoming pointless for Jonathan and I to spell out words like CANDY and SEX at our house

Julianna has begun learning to read.  She can read simple words like cat, car, dog, bat, and dad.  I used to think it was from memorizing them, but now I know that she is actually sounding them out.  We've been reading The Magic Tree House books and last night she sounded out "Day of the Dragon King" and "Earthquake in Early Morning."  We finished reading Pippi Longstocking a week ago and I'm not sure what we'll do next.

My cousin has older children and about six months ago she gave us a bunch of their old flash cards.  Well, Julianna absolutely LOVED them.  She would sit in the floor for HOURS and play with these cards.  Eventually she lost interest in them, but she definitely has continued interest in reading.  I try to make a weekly trip to the library but it doesn't always happen.

Of course it helps that we have regular spelling bees.

She has been able to read both upper and lowercase letters for a long, long time and she is showing great effort in sounding words out now.  I love the fact that whenever we read a chapter out of one of her books she begs us to read another right away.  The excitement that she shows couldn't make me a happier mama.

Here's a really old video of her practicing reading.

Untitled from c525600 on Vimeo.

Last night she wrote Joshua's name on his Happy Meal pail for trick-or-treating.  She leaves me notes all the time that have a bunch of letters on them.  She writes the first couple of letters for each word until she can't figure out any more and then she goes to the next word.

She got really sick one night last week (of course, last week because I needed one. more. thing.) and she threw up in the middle of the night.  She thought she had lost her tooth when she was vomiting but fortunately it hadn't fallen out yet.  Anyway, she left me this hilarious note on a post-it on my desk at work the next day when she came to school with me for a teacher work day.  It said, "MRSTUCKER I FT MY T C E L N B I D" which translates to "Mrs. Tucker, I thought my tooth came out last night but it didn't."

That's a post-it note I'll probably keep forever.

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