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Friday, January 28, 2011


If you come to our house and happen to need to use the restroom, be sure to lock the door. Julia loves to visit people in the bathroom. I've quickly learned this (the hard way) and have taken to locking the door more often than not. But, Julia really loves visiting people while they're in the bathroom. So, this is what I get while I'm just trying to have two minutes to myself:

(Doorknob jiggles repeatedly.)

Yes Julia, I'll be right out.


Yes, Julia. Just a minute.


Yes, Julia. That's just what I would call this. Complete and utter privacy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Girlie Thursdays

Also known as, reason #4,326,501 why we're screwed:

Julia wanted to play Elmo on my phone, but I told her no. She looked at me as if I had slapped her across the face, and growled back, "Don't. tell. me. no!"

Oh little girl. That's what Mamas are for! And unfortunately for all of us, I think you're going to need to hear 'no' quite often.

And, reason #4,326,502:

Will asked for something in a not-very-nice way. In fact, he pretty much ordered me to get whatever it is he wanted. Since I am always such a buzz-kill, I quickly told him that that was not the way we asked for things around here. Julia heard the conversation and decided to interject.

Julia: We say please, Wuh-wuh. (what she calls Will)
Will: JULIA! You are not the boss of me!
Julia (very calmly): I am. And we say please.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Will-isms

Last week, I spent some time actually making a pretty good meal for dinner. We had chicken Parmesan with Parmesan grits (yes, we like some cheese around these parts) and a salad. It took a little while to prepare, and I was proud of myself that I had made the effort and that it was good. Both of the kids ate it up (a miracle), and everyone seemed to enjoy the meal. To top off a lovely dinner, Zach had gotten some slice-and-bake peanut butter cookies from the store, so while we were finishing eating, he went and put the cookies in the oven, and then delivered them to the table. Remember, these are slice-and-bake, which means they took all of 5 seconds for him to prepare.

Zach brings the cookies to the table, and Will looks up at him admiringly and declares, "Daddy! You are such a chef!"

Really? He gets called a chef for his prepared cookies and the meal I made from scratch doesn't even get a mention? Sounds about right--Mamas never get much credit!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Christmas Memories

That last Christmas post was getting a bit too long, but I did want to share some of my favorite memories from this year's Christmas season:
  • Overheard while the children were playing with their new wooden Nativity set: "NO Julia, you cannot hit me with the baby Jesus!"
  • Julia's reaction as we drove into Mountain Brook village one night and saw all the trees lit up: "Awe-thome!"
  • Julia declaring very loudly (and out of the blue) during the Living Nativity "If I go poop in the potty I get M&Ms!!!" I did tell her that one time a while ago, but I have no idea what prompted this as we're not really working on potty training right now.
  • This:
  • Will's over-the-top joy when he picked out and opened a present on Christmas Eve. He had been asking all season if a particular present was "that car thing like we got Luke A." and indeed it was. I think we could have stopped with that and he would have been happy.
  • Zach's over-the-top joy about the beef tenderloin wrapped in pancetta that we made for Christmas Eve dinner.
  • Will's sweet program at school and how he knew all of the songs.
  • Julia's version of Jingle Bells, which just involved, "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, HEY!" over and over again. Oh, and how she asked me to sing "Manger" each night when I put her to bed.
  • Julia wearing a dress I smocked for her and my dress coat from when I was three when we went to church on Christmas Eve. I tried to get her to wear the little cross necklace my mom gave her when she was born, but she declared "dat tickles!" and wasn't interested.
  • The finding of the magic elf each morning and how the children were so appreciative, and almost always told him 'thank you' for whatever surprise he brought. I especially loved it on the rare days when Julia found the elf before Will and would shout, "DER DA MAGIC ELF!!! DER HE IS! TANK YOU MAGIC ELFFFFF!"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Christmas 2010

December took it out of me. I think most moms struggle with the fact that they're usually the ones doing most, if not all, of the presents, decorating, cooking, wrapping, etc, and this year was no different for me. Holiday madness coupled with the fact that work was insane--and even included a mid-month trip to Fairfax--really made me feel overwhelmed this season. And, I hated that feeling. I hated worrying if we were doing all of the fun things associated with Christmas, or if my stress over "getting everything done" was taking over (it was). I wanted to provide special, fun traditions and memories for our children, but it seemed like I didn't really get to relax and enjoy things with them until Christmas had come and gone.

This year, we didn't go see Santa. (Though, after last year's visit, I'm not sure that we really missed out on that one.) We didn't go to ZooLights. We didn't make it to our friends' ornament swap because Will and I were sick. We didn't go to our neighborhood Christmas party, or really many Christmas parties at all.

So after that Debbie-Downer opener on a Christmas post, let's focus on what we DID do: We DID go to the Advent Workshop at our church to kick off the season (and even let Julia come this year). We DID go Christmas tree shopping with my dad (while my mom was in Chicago visiting my adorable new nephew), and got our tree up and decorated pretty early in the month. We DID enjoy the Christmas program and party at the kids' school. We watched all of the classic Christmas movies on TV, and my mom took Will to see them at the Alabama Theater, as well. We read LOTS of Christmas books and wore our Christmas pajamas. We opened our chocolate Advent calendar each day (a big hit) and did our ornament Advent calendar, as well. We talked about the baby Jesus and went to the live Nativity. We hosted Carol and Bill for several days surrounding the actual holiday. We went to children's church at noon on Christmas Eve. We fixed a delicious beef tenderloin for Christmas Eve dinner. We had our traditional Christmas dinner at Mom's house Christmas Day. We ooohed and ahhhed over lights, even though we never took an official light tour. We made Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve and ate them with icing on Christmas Day. We were astounded by a white Christmas (I don't care if the weathermen didn't officially count it as a white snowed on Christmas Day in Alabama and that's all that matters!) We sat by the fire. We opened too many presents. We counted our blessings.

Will and Julia had a fabulous Christmas present-wise. They each got one BIG gift from Santa: a PowerWheels Ford F150 for Will (just like our neighbor's) and a play kitchen for Julia. Though, Will kept pointing out that they were really going to share these gifts: "The truck is mainly mine and the kitchen is mainly hers, but we both get to play with both of them." I think this stemmed more from his desire to play with her gift than to share his, though he has been great about giving her rides in his truck. Other hit gifts were a baby crib, high chair, and Baby Alive doll for Julia, a stand-up microphone for Will, various guitars for the family, books, art supplies, and lots of stocking stuffers. It was almost too much, but they really have enjoyed playing with the things they got. And, they weren't too manic on the actual day...

All in all, it was a great Christmas, made even better by the fact that we didn't have to go to the doctor on December 23rd as we have for the past two years. Will and I were sick before Christmas, and then mine got worse after Christmas, but for the actual day, we were all pretty good. The weather outside was frightful, but the fire was so we stayed inside and in our pajamas and just lounged and played and all took a nap. Oh, and Zach and I realized that we already had the two best Christmas presents ever: