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Monday, November 30, 2009

Girlie-Girl or Tomboy?

I'm not sure yet if Julia will be a girlie-girl or a tomboy. On one hand, she's very into the girlie, and can be a drama queen at times (like when she falls to the floor when something doesn't go her way).

Dressing Up:

Taking care of baby (not sure if you can tell, but she's giving the baby milk from her sippy cup):

But, on the other hand, she's not afraid to get rough and tumble with the boys. She is "miss independent" and takes care of herself. She's constantly falling down and bumping some body part, but she usually jumps right back up, without even a cry.

Wrestling with her brother:

With this combination of girlie and tough, I think she'll likely end up like Mary Poppins: "Practically perfect in every way." She already is in my eyes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


This weekend I saw how easy it was to get out of the habit of daily posting, and I missed two days. Oh well--onward and upward!

Part of the reason I missed posting was that we were briefly out of town for Thanksgiving. We went down to LA (lower Alabama) to see my grandparents et al from my mom's side of the family. We left Thursday morning and came back on Friday, so it was a quick trip, but well worth it. I treasure the time I get to spend with my grandparents, especially. Aside from Julia screaming for two hours straight on the ride down there, the kids were great. Two of my cousins have children about the same age, so we had six kids that were five and under (one five, two threes, one two, and two ones--it was crazy!)...and Julia was the only girl! Will had a blast playing with his cousins and seemed to take to them right away. We had been talking up the trip, so I guess he felt comfortable. On Friday, when I told Will that we were heading to the park with his cousins, Will replied excitedly, "I know them now!"

Julia definitely held her own and was possibly the busiest of the bunch. She didn't stop moving the whole day--I think my grandparents were worn out just from watching her. She's a little human tornado and is at a difficult age--someone has to basically follow her around at all times since she's mobile, but doesn't fully understand what's okay and what's not (or she understands, but chooses to ignore it).

Overall, we had a great time, but I was glad to be home on Friday and have the weekend here. I'll post some pictures when I get them uploaded. I hope everyone else had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


A top ten list of the things I'm thankful for:
10) Diet Dr. Pepper--I can't imagine my life without it.
9) Good white wine. Or red, in a pinch. Or really, anything with alcohol.
8) Super monkey and giraffe and bunny and all of the other creatures who keep my children company at night and help them sleep (sort of).
7) The portable DVD player. Maybe this should be #1, given the drive today.
6) A sleepy "Good night, see you in the morning bright. I love you." from my favorite boy.
5) Wittiness in general, but especially from a three-year-old.
4) Kisses from my husband, particularly when they are waking me up after he's dealt with the children and let me sleep in.
3) The times--once in a while--when my children play nicely with each other.
2) Baby laughs.
1) The hugs, smiles, and joy that I get from my family everyday.

In all seriousness, I am constantly overwhelmed with gratitude for the many, many blessings that I have in my life. I couldn't have imagined such a wonderful family: a fabulous husband and two beautiful, smart, healthy, happy children. I thank God every day--not just on this day of Thanksgiving--for all that He has given me and my family. On a basic level, I am thankful that we have plenty of food, clothes, and heat--things we take for granted. I can't imagine being a mother and not being able to provide for your children's basic needs. I'm thankful for our health and that our biggest worries health-wise are throw-up bugs and ear infections. I am thankful, especially this year, that Zach and I have good jobs that we enjoy and benefits to help provide for things we need. I'm thankful for our new house and our new neighborhood and for the new friendships that we are developing. I'm thankful for old friends who knew me way back when and STILL love me! I'm thankful for family--both near and far--and for the love and support that they constantly provide.

I'm thankful. And, I'm happy. I hope everyone has a wonderful day of giving thanks, many things to be thankful for, and lots of delicious food to enjoy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Will-isms: Thanksgiving Edition

Since it is almost Thanksgiving, I thought I would share Will's thoughts on what he is thankful for. I asked him this the other day while we were driving, and this is what I got:

"Trees! I am thankful for trees. (This was just because that's what he saw when he looked out the window.) And GOD!"

"That's good! Anything else?"

"Yes, I am thankful for you. And for my teachers. (Oh yes, I am VERY thankful for your teachers.) And for cousin Laura."

As you can see, we have a wide variety of things to be thankful for in our house. At Will's school, they were writing things that they were thankful for on paper feathers and then sticking the feathers on the "turkey". So, I asked Will what he wanted me to write for his feather. "Vegetables. I am thankful for vegetables." I resisted the urge to shout, "No you're not!" and just wrote it anyway. I think the problem is that Will keeps intermingling the ideas of "being thankful at Thanksgiving" and "what you eat at Thanksgiving"--two things they've been learning about recently at school.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh By Golly

Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas.

It's the best time of the year.

Oh by golly, have a Holly Jolly Christmas this year!

Yes, we already went to see Santa. And yes, the kids had as much fun as it seems from these pictures. We went to 'Sweets with Santa' at the Jr. League Market this past Saturday morning. I thought it would be a good opportunity to get the Santa visit out of the way without having to go to the mall. I'm all about the laziness. Will actually really enjoyed it (though you couldn't tell from his enthusiastic expression during the pictures)--they had crafts, snacks, and a guy playing guitar where you could dance. That's about all he needs for a good time. Julia absolutely HATED it (obviously...I mean, I might as well put things on this blog like, 'The sky is blue.') She's in a phase where she really doesn't want to be held by anyone she doesn't know, much less some old guy with a white beard. Once she figured out what was happening, she really freaked out. But don't worry--I didn't torture her too long. She was on his lap for less than a minute--just long enough for me to get the photos! She was really tired, as well, and took a three-hour nap as soon as we got home. So, she probably would have been unhappy even in the best of circumstances, but Santa really did her in.

Needless to say, we are done with Santa for the year.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Can you hear me now?

Her ears are CLEAR! I'm so excited...we took Julia back to the doctor today for an ear recheck, and after about 8 weeks of a constant ear infection and constant antibiotics, she is finally WELL! I was getting nervous that nothing was working and was already anticipating a visit to the ENT. But, the last round of medicines--Augmenten and a bit of Prednisone--worked! I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled that she is no longer in pain and no longer has to be on medicine.

Of course, now I have nothing to explain why she's still waking so early. Oh wait--maybe it's the teething. Yes, yes...she must be still teething. We'll go with that. I need a reason to believe that maybe, just maybe, one day the early wake up calls will end. You know the line of reasoning: "Once the (teething) (ear infection) (new moon) is over, then she won't wake up as early." Hey...a girl can dream.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Brotherly (and Sisterly) Love

My mom recently told me that one of her clients told her that she could count on one hands the number of times her mother hugged her. I found this so unbelievably sad, and it really stuck with me. Of course, that's probably at least partially why she is now one of my mom's clients.
Fortunately, this is not the case in our house. We are a very affectionate family--always hugging, kissing, saying 'I love you.' I wouldn't have it any other way. And luckily, the children are even affectionate towards each other, at least most of the time. Sometimes Julia will stop what she's doing and run over to Will to give him a hug. Each morning when we drop them off for school and each evening when we pick them up, they give each other a hug, and Will kisses Julia on the top of the head. Their teachers say that if they happen to see each other during the day, they do the same thing. It's the sweetest thing you've ever seen, and it's a surefire way to melt my heart. So, I thought I'd share a few pictures of the lovefest at our house. Note that sometimes the love can get a little aggressive:

Saturday, November 21, 2009


The other morning, I was driving Will to school, and he decided, like he does most mornings, to share his thoughts with me:

"Mama? Today you are driving me and Julia to school. But sometimes, Daddy drives me and Julia to school. And, sometimes Daddy picks me up from school. And sometimes you pick me up from school."


"That's called teamwork, Mama."

Friday, November 20, 2009


In September, we moved to our new house. I know moving is always hard, but it's been particularly difficult with two small, yet very mobile, children. I'm not sure that we'll ever be settled, which really is getting frustrating. But, I just try to remember that all we can do is just keep moving forward and that even getting a little something completed is an accomplishment. And, of course, we feel very fortunate and excited to be in this great house--we are really loving it. Fortunately, we don't plan on moving again for a very, very long time. Here are a few pics of the house:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Summer Firsts

Toward the end of the summer, in addition to turning three, Will had some "firsts" that I kept meaning to post about but of course never did. I'm taking the opportunity to do so now, since I'm committed to posting every day anyway. In July or so...I don't remember the exact date...Will went to his first concert. Unfortunately, it wasn't something super cool like U2, but it also wasn't Miley Cyrus (praise the Lord). No, Will went to see Roger Day at a little concert at the church where he goes to school. If you have kids and don't know about Roger Day, you need to learn about him now. He has some very creative songs (most of which do NOT make me want to pull my eyebrows out like a lot of kids' music does), and he's supremely entertaining, especially in a live performance. As usual, Will was a bit shy at the beginning of the show, but once he got into it, he really GOT INTO IT. Roger gets all of the kids involved--dancing around the room, singing along, playing with parachutes, etc--and Will loved every minute. When the show was over, Roger was signing autographs, and it was so cute to see Will 'star-struck'. Of course, we bought the CD and have been listening to it ever since. Will knows the chorus to many of the songs, but when it gets to the verses, he'll tell me, "I don't know this part. This is the hard part." Will keeps asking when we're going to see the "REAL Roger Day" again (and even better, he pronounces it 'Rah-jure'). Clearly this was a hit, and I hope we can see the REAL Roger Day again soon.

Will's next big "first" didn't seem like it would be nearly as fun, but Will actually loved it: his first trip to the dentist. We went to a children's dentist, and Will thought it was so great that he asked if we could go back the next day. Of course, they try to make it fun--they had cool toys in the waiting room, all first-time patients get to do a hand print, they have TVs on the ceiling that you can watch while you're getting your teeth cleaned, and at the end you get a new toothbrush (which Will loves), a toy, AND a sticker. What could be better?! In reality, the visit wasn't much--the dentist just looked at his teeth and cleaned them while Will was sitting up (he wasn't interested in lying down on the chair). But, they did floss his teeth--and told me we should do the same. Um..we haven't exactly added that to our repertoire just yet. Anyway, I was thrilled that Will had such a positive experience. Hopefully future visits will be as easy!

Towards the end of the summer, Will had another major "first"...his first MOVE! Tomorrow I'll share a couple of pictures of our "new" house, since some people have asked for them.

In so many ways, every day is full of new experiences when you're Will and Julia's ages. For me, it's lots of fun just to be along for the ride. I feel so privileged to guide them as they grow up and navigate years of "firsts". I can only hope I'll steer them the right way.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Will-isms

Sunday was Zach's birthday (Happy Birthday to you, Boo!) and over the weekend, Will had 'helped' Hulie and Bubs buy an electric razor that they were going to give to Zach. Hulie had really emphasized that Will "should not tell Daddy" what they had gotten for his birthday. Well, he listened...sort of. When we sat down to breakfast that morning, Will looks right at Zach and explains, "We have a surprise for you later and it's NOT a razor. You know the one you had at our old house with a button that goes up?'s NOT like that." Good thing he really understands this 'keeping secrets' concept!

One morning, Will and I were lying in his bed playing "I, Spy." Will has just recently learned this game, and although he's still not 100% clear on the rules, he loves to play. When it was his turn, he declares, "I Spy something grey." So, I look around the room and guess various objects, a couple of which weren't even grey ("No Mama, that's brown.") because I really couldn't see many things that were grey in his room. Finally, I told Will, "I give up. What is it?"

"It's your hair, Mama."

Will has gotten really into reading his children's Bible, and that's all we've been reading each night before bed. The other night, he and Zach were reading from the New Testament, when Will looks up at Zach and says, exasperated: "Jesus is in every story!" Clearly he was hoping for some variety.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fourteen(ish) Months!

I missed the thirteen month mark. And, now she's been fourteen months for almost ten days. So, I think it's high time for an update on Julia! First of all, there are no more pink chair photos. I'm so glad I did it through a year old, but now she squirms and tries to dive out of the chair, so we've put an end to that. In fact, it's difficult to get ANY good pictures of her now--she is constantly on the move, so I mostly have pictures of the back of her head.

Julia has grown and changed SO much over the past two months. At about twelve and a half months, she started walking on her own, and hasn't stopped since. She is so independent, and doesn't care what anyone else is doing, except maybe Will. She's become a little speed demon, and she loves to attempt to follow Will around. Unfortunately (for us), she's fearless, so she's constantly trying to climb the stairs or just generally get into whatever she can. The pantry at our new house is her favorite play space--she loves to pick up granola bars out of the basket and put them in random places throughout the house. A fun game of hide and seek for mom and dad.
Julia's learned several new words in the past few months: 'nack' (for snack--really means ANY food item), milk, book, eyes, mouth, more (she can also do the sign), hi, bye-bye, night-night, Mama, Dada. She LOVES books and is always requesting that you read one, even at 4:30 AM when she thinks it's time to wake up for the day. Lately she's really been enjoying books that have some sort of activity--something where you lift the flap or something like Pat the Bunny. She also loves snacks and milk--I guess she's learned the words she really needs! She also knows the word "dog" and if you ask her what a dog says, she says "ooh-OOH, ooh-OOH" and it is too cute. She adores almost all animals, but seems to have a particular love (and absolutely no fear) of dogs. There are two huge (and very sweet) dogs across the street, and Julia constantly wants to go see them. She just walks right up and gives them a hug. In fact, if she sees a dog in a book, she gives the book a hug. She's a very affectionate little person!

One of my favorite things about this phase is the way that children pick up on all sorts of habits--things you don't even know that they're learning. If you give Julia a hairbrush, she tries to brush her hair. If she sees anything that resembles a phone, she picks it up and holds it by her ear, often with no hands--just the way I do it! If you ask her what's in her mouth--a favorite activity these days is picking up miniscule pieces of anything on the ground and putting them in her mouth--she will stick out her tongue and say AHHH.

Julia is such a delight (despite the early wake-up calls), but the one troublesome thing we've been dealing with is her ears. She's had an ear infection for seven weeks straight at this point, and she's on her fourth course of antibiotics in a row. I'm getting concerned as to why this isn't getting resolved and worried that more action is going to be required. But, she always seems so happy, regardless! Each time we go to the doctor for a recheck, I always think it will be resolved, but it never is. We're going back next Monday, so I'm hopeful yet again. She also seems a bit bothered by her teeth (it's always difficult to know what the actual problem is), but now she has at least two of her molars in, and so the teeth seem to be somewhat better. Possibly due to the new teeth, but possibly due to the steroids to try to clear up the ears--Julia has been on an eating BINGE! I was a bit worried for a while because all she would eat was strawberries (literally), but now she seems to eat anything and everything in sight. Tonight she had goldfish, peaches, dried fruit, turkey, a bit of santa fe soup and rice, and then some blueberries to round out the meal! I think this is possibly also a growth spurt, so I'm sure I should be thankful for the eating now, as in a week or two it will dwindle.

I know I'm missing so many things about little Juje, but since I will be posting every day now, I can write them as they come to me. She's such a funny little thing with such a big personality, and we are enjoying watching every minute. I can't WAIT to hear what she has to say as she starts talking doubt she will have an opinion on everything.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I know I've been a bad blogger, but it just seems that life has gotten in the way. That's one thing I often struggle with--whether I should be spending time documenting life, rather than just living it. And lately, we've been doing a lot of living, but not much documenting. But, that's about to change. I'm making a pledge right now that I am going to attempt to blog every day between now and Christmas. I have no doubt that the content will be mediocre, at best, but at least I will have a record of what's been going on. Because, I really do love going back and reading my old entries, particularly now that Julia is the same age as Will was when I was first blogging. So, go ahead and take guesses on how many days I will miss, but I'm going to give it a shot! (And, if you ever read and wanted to comment, that would really give me some motivation!)

ANYWAY...onto my first post in my blogging blast...Halloween 2009! Will was a knight (complete with a black and blue and bloody eye) and Julia was a butterfly. They were too cute! We went over to Norman for trick-or-treating over there (the Petreys were in town and Will couldn't wait to hang out with Coleman), and then came back to our street for a little partying with our neighbors. Will really understood the concept of trick-or-treating this year, and he LOVED all of his candy. Julia kept up for a while, but then was content to sit in the stroller and eat a sucker (and go to bed early when we got home). Here are a few pictures...only two weeks late:

This was as long as she kept the hat on all night.

Vicious Knight

Social Butterfly

Ring Pops