Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Load Off....

Some winter weather hit us this week. Fortunately, the worst of it missed us and we were never without electricity like so many of our close neighbors! It was a beautiful sight looking out our windows! I didn't get to enjoy a snow day at home because I work at a place that NEVER closes....not even for Christmas!! Thank goodness.

Thursday night was our annual Cross County Chamber of Commerce Banquet. It was a huge event to be involved in planning, but it went off without a hitch. As outgoing President, I had to do most of the introductions and speaking and let me tell you, there is nothing like standing up in front of 247 people and trying to sound sane! Overall, I think the whole banquet went really well and I was feeling about fifty pounds lighter when I woke up Friday morning! It was a happy moment to pass the gavel to the next leader. However, I have to admit, I enjoyed my time as Chamber president and was honored to serve! My favorite part of the night are the awards and I wanted to list the very deserving winners so I can always remember:
Civic group of the year: CherryFest

Farm family of the year- Matthew's Farms....sweet potatoes, that is!

Business of the Year- Hays Food Town.....Yay Hays!

Volunteer of the Year- Ms. Bertha Tuggle Hiserodt- for her famous Eldridge Court decorations!

Citizen of the Year- Bridgette Hart for her leadership role in the Downtown Revitalization efforts and her work with the Cross County Historical Society

My plaque....

John took this picture of me smiling BIG after it was over! He said the sweetest things to me when I came to sit down. I won't post it because I might blush, but thank you, John, for being my biggest supporter in everything that I do!

This was Julia's first experience with popcorn. She LOVED it and was holding the bowl so tight that her little fists were white! Excuse my very ugly pajamas!

Don't even think about taking this away! I finally had to step in when she started eating the unpopped kernels!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

One Small Step for Man and a Giant Step for Mankind

Julia decided that she wanted to walk today! John and I have been setting goals for her to start Christmas, by New Years..... They all came and went! In my mind, I felt like she was still a ways away so I set Valentine's Day as my new date. This afternoon, she took one step while getting out of her car. John and I both saw it and I decided to put her in front on me and ask her to walk to Daddy. She took about one step and then just lunged into his arms. After cheers that resembled those at an NFL game, she decided that part was really fun and wanted to try again. She ended wanting to walk back and forth between us for a while and took three steps one time! I am so glad that John and I got to experience this milestone together! I had instant tears in my was such a proud moment.

Later, my family came over to visit and this was the only picture I got of Julia in the freestanding mode!

This is Julia after her first stint with blackberries! She has learned to finger paint with any food on her high chair tray that is colorful and in liquid form and the blackberry juice worked beautifully. She has created some pretty amazing masterpieces already!

This little rocking chair was one that my Papaw bought me when I was little. 34 years later, another baby girl is loving it! This was what I looked into the living room and saw while I was cooking breakfast this morning. She even had her book and was reading it while sitting in her rocking chair.

This little duck is her new bedtime buddy. She kisses him with loud "mmmmmm whaaaas" as soon as she wakes up and sees him. Even though he's just a Halloween costume, he sure is sweet.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Country Tis of Thee

Today, Barack Obama was inaugurated as President of the United States. There were five times (I think I heard right) the number of people today in Washington DC as there were four years ago when President Bush was inaugurated. President Obama gave the best political speech that I have ever heard. Thank goodness for empty patient rooms at the hospital with TV's! I have to admit, I teared up more than once as I sat in that patient room with a diverse group of my co-workers listening to his powerful words. It was a proud moment for all of us in that room and I won't soon forget it.
Tonight, our TV has been glued to the festivities....that is after our very loud and very tiring game of hide and seek with Julia. I have never heard her belly laugh like I did tonight! John put her on his shoulders and I hid behind the corners in the house and yelled peek a boo when they came by. I thought Julia was going to fall off of his shoulders from laughing so hard!
Here's Julia's commentary on today's inauguration....
"Hey, isn't that Jon Bon Jovi????? TURN IT UP!"

Momma, what was Aretha thinking when she put that funny hat on? It cracks me up!"

"Enough of this! Where's ELMO?"

Easter Cookies and Indian Cuisine....

Julia and I had dinner with the Jacksons and Kings Saturday night while John had some music-playing obligations. Neall and Becca whipped up some DELICIOUS Indian food that I am now obsessed with mastering at my own house! It is so much fun for me to watch Julia play and interact with other kids. She did a pretty good job and I have to believe that being at the sitters just a few hours a week has been a great help with her socialization skills. I remember when she was a tiny baby and would not let ANYONE other than John or I hold her. Now, she plays pretty independently and let Becca hold her for a while and sing to her. Julia loves a song and smiles big at the end of every song that you sing. Her favorite is row row row your boat. She requests it by saying "Row, Row" even when she is so sleepy that she can hardly keep her eyes open. We just sing it over and over again!
Julia and I baked our first batch of homemade cookies Saturday afternoon to take the Jacksons. We couldn't think of a more appropriate dessert than Easter-ish sugar cookies to go the with Indian cuisine. No, maybe yogurt raisins would have been more appropriate. Nonetheless, Julia and I had a great time in the kitchen whipping these up and it made for a great Saturday afternoon activity. And, she learned a new word.....COOKIE!

Here are the kids eating their dinner of chicken nuggets, spaghetti squash, pears, and ketchup. Caroline daintily ate her ketchup with a spoon while Julia helped herself to one of Caroline's chicken nuggets. Julia had never been offered any ketchup and she came up with a pretty creative use for it....finger painting! That's my girl.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Days With Daddy

John's break from college has been long and welcomed for all of us. Julia has had a month long break from the sitters, John from school, and me from worrying about her while she is at the sitters! He made the Dean's list last semester and got a letter from the VP and had his name in the paper. Now this is a day I never dreamed that I would husband's name in the paper for an above average GPA. Life is weird, but good! Starting Thursday, we will be back in the grind. John will be officially starting his sophomore year of college and will be attending classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays with no night classes this time.

This picture is a good example of what "Daddy Days" look like. I came home for lunch one day last week and John and Julia had been to Wal Mart. Julia was very happy to have gotten a new Cinderella cell phone and did not seem to mind at at all that her clothes did not match!

Old toys are still the best toys! These are some blocks that I had in 1974 and tonight, Julia learned how to stack blocks using them!

OH MY! Julia got her first Fed Ex package from Miss Emmy Ruth this week. It was a Julia size Elmo! I have never heard the squeals of delight from this little Missy like I heard when she pulled this big red guy out of the package! Now most everywhere we go Julia is squished because Elmo has to come the stroller, in the car, and in the bed. Thank you Emmy Ruth for sending me my new BFF!

We had a good and quiet weekend. I did not even get out of my pajamas all day today! That means lots of play time with Julia! She is so much fun these days and is learning to assert herself in lots of ways...including a loud scream when things don't go exactly her way. Her newest word is "Scuse you" which she says every time it is appropriate and "Thank you" at least 30 times a day when you hand her anything. Her schedule is to wake up around 9 and eat a pretty big breakfast. John usually cooks her an egg, a waffle and sometimes even a piece of sausage. Her favorite part of her meals these days is the meat. She takes one long nap (a little over 2 hours) around noon and then wakes up and has lunch after her nap. We play hard all afternoon and eat dinner way too late... around 7. Then, its to the tub which she loves! They only way that I can convince her that it is time to get out of the tub is to ask her if she wants to brush her teeth. That kid toothpaste must taste really good because she can't wait to get her little hands on that toothbrush! We play some more and then read lots of books. She is usually in bed between 9:30 and 10. We surrendered our night bottle on New Year's Eve and now she doesn't have one at all! It was pretty painless and she just likes to have a drink of milk out of her sippy cup before bed. We sing songs and rock and she goes right to sleep when I lay her down. She is our little angel!

I am preparing myself for my first overnight trip that is coming up in February. I have to go to Albuquerque NM for 3 nights early in the month for a required work trip. I was nauseous while booking my flight and am NOT looking forward to being away. I know they will make it just fine without me, even though John will have some long intense days with no break! (Julia is a blast, but also a lot of work!) My first night away will be mine and Julia's 1st night since she was born almost 400 days ago that someone else other than me will have put her to sleep at night! Wow....I probably need to get a life!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Eating My Words....

I swore that my child would NEVER wear one of those stupid character shirts...and those shoes with the characters on them are just over the top. Until......

we spotted the little BeBa (Elmo) gem at Target! Yep, I am eating my words. Again.

This is a picture of what happens when you leave a 13 month old alone with the freezer. Usually she just pulls everything out, but this time she decided to take a bite of this ice cream sandwich that was in the bottom shelf....paper and all.

We took a family weekend retreat to Memphis this weekend. We all need a change of environment every now and then so we Pricelined a room in Germantown. I have never had a bad experience with Priceline and naming my own price. This little Residence Inn was no exception! We loved getting away, shopping and eating dinner. Julia is such a trooper and is just plain happy to be with her Mom and Dad at this point which we are taking full advantage of! Aunt Jane sent Julia this neat beaded purse that a friend of hers made by hand. Julia cannot stop touching all of the sparkly beads and likes to point and "count" each one.

A sidenote to myself and all of you mommas out there.....if you ever need 45 minutes of quiet time to get something to Sonic and buy a large cup of ice. A Route 44 might just get you an hour!

Julia's newest trick....."Where's Julia's belly button?"

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Curls, MadLibs, Birthdays and a New Year

We celebrated the New Year big this year. Julia and I were snoozing away and John says he made it until midnight while he was downstairs playing his guitar. Julia and I baked John a strawberry cake for his birthday. He was very kind in saying it was "too sweet" when what he really meant to say was it was practically inedible. Oh well, he knows that it is the thought that counts. Today, we hung around the house and took down the Christmas decorations. Julia was very sad to see some of her new friends, like the singing Santa and Rudolph, being packed away.

Julia is becoming quite the communicator these days. Her vocabulary amazes us everyday. It seems like she is packing in the new words by the hour. I think it would be safe to say that she knows 40 words! The funniest thing that she is doing these days is "reading" a book. She gets somewhere by herself and turns the pages. She talks in Chinese and her voice tone even changes as she talks. She clicks her mouth when she turns each page. It is too funny and John and I can't figure who she learned the clicking trick from, but we both read to her constantly and are so proud that she seems to have picked up "reading" so early in her life!

Some curls seem to have appeared lately! The are more obvious on humid days, but definitely there. Julia's hair is getting longer and thicker everyday!

One of her favorite things to do is to help us unload the dishwasher. She hands us each utensil separately and we have to say "thank you" after she hands us each one. It does take some time and patience, but it's worth our while!
Julia telling the Christmas tree good bye.

"If we can't leave the whole tree up, can we just leave the fallen needles? They are lots of fun to play in!"

"I can even scoot around in them!"
Our day ended in the hot tub where Julia fell fast asleep in my arms. She was so relaxed! We are looking forward to a great Happy New Year and Happy Birthday John!
Oh yeah....about the Mad Libs. Are we the only family that has ever heard of them? It is a dorky word game that you can buy where you have to come up with words and then transpose them into a story. John and I laughed until we cried playing Mad Libs over the past few days. We must be really hurting for adult entertainment! And, I finished the "Guernsey", it was on my top twenty all time favorites list! Picked up "Three Cups of Tea" to start on soon.