Friday, February 27, 2009

15 months!

“In bathrooms, boardrooms, buses, bagel shops, and everywhere else, we all need to imagine a little girl following us around, repeating everything we say and everything we do. Think about all the things you want for yourself and your daughters, granddaughters, and girls everywhere- and teach them by living it yourself."

Nell Merlino, In Stepping Out of Line: Lessons for Women Who Want It Their Way in Life, in Love, and at Work (Broadway)

Just thought I would share a quote that I found in this month's O magazine! I really thought long and hard about it because Julia is really starting to be a little sponge and she mimics whatever we do. John and I say regularly how we need to be really careful about everything we say and do around Julia because it will come back to haunt us! This quote was a good reminder to pretend that she is beside me ALL the time and to only say and do the things that I would want her to see!

Some updates, mainly for my sake:

- Julia gets what she needs by pointing her little hand in the direction of what she wants and shaking her wrist (like waving bye-bye) and saying, "This." My cell phone and camera are each called, "Those," and a few other things are called "These," but mainly, its "This!"
-She STILL chooses not to walk as her main mode of transportation. She is a very fast crawler and it seems to work just fine for her. She CAN walk and is doing a little more every day.
- I would say that she knows about 75 words and even some phrases. She says, "Home, Sweet, Home" when we pull in the driveway because I say it EVERY time. She said, "There you go" today when I asked her to hand me a book. Her most used word, "Daddy." Least used word, "Momma."

- She really loves animals, both live ones and the ones in books. Some she knows and calls by name, others she calls by what sound they make. Example, a donkey is a donkey, but a horse is a neigh! Other animals she can recognize and say are chicken, donkey, monkey, meow, dog-woof woof (all one word), an elephant she identifies by a loud obnoxious blowing sound that her Dad taught her, goose, kk (duck) and she calls a lion a meow. Is it weird that she knows a donkey, but not a cow or a pig????
- We log a lot of hours reading books. She requests her favorites by name. One is called Princess Baby which she endearingly calls, "Baby." Another of her favorite books is called Ten Little Fairies. Another favorite is Pooh's nursery rhyme book. It has all the old timey nursery rhymes in it and its really long. She will sit still through the entire book! She likes 2 Bendon Bear books because they have pictures of real animals. She also likes picture books and has learned a lot of new words by looking at the pictures and us naming things.

- Our night time routine is to read 3 or 4 books and then I sing her 2 or 3 songs. She always requests "Row, Row" by name and I end every night by singing row row row your boat over and over again. All of this takes place in her rocking chair in her room.....a great investment because it is so comfy and we have literally spent hundreds of hours rocking in that chair! When she gets sleepy, she has a velour yellow and white blanket that is her favorite to cuddle with. I had really tried for her favorite to be a tiny square taggy, but she prefers this much larger blanket. She sucks her two fingers on her left hand and holds a corner of the blanket to her mouth. Another thing she does when gets sleepy is that she feels her eyelashes! Just another little quirky Julia-ism!
- She is not eating as much as she once did. I think she still eats relatively healthy, but she doesn't seem to love vegetables as much as she once did. I am not a strict about not giving her ANY sugar like I once was, but she doesn't seem to care about it too much when I do give it to her. Last night, I gave her a bite of chocolate cake at the PTA spaghetti supper that we went to and she ate it but didn't really care if she had another bite or not. She loves to drink juice, but I don't give it to her very often because she will fill up on it and skip everything else. She drinks a ton of milk and we are now buying 2 gallons of whole milk at a time for Julia and John.

Spaghetti faced Julia at the PTA spaghetti supper

The best free entertainment around happens at the Methodist Church when the young adult guys (and the occasional girl) play basketball on Thursday nights! We went just to hang out with Sol and Maggie Grace....oh yeah, and to see all of those boys play ball too.

This was probably the most complicated sewing project that I have ever successfully completed. The drapes are 109.5 inches long and are about 132 inches wide (each panel!). I spent a lot of time dreading and thinking about how I would pull this one off. I called Mrs. Linda, married to Mr. Richard, one night in the midst of my dread and discussed it with her. She is brilliant! Without her design help, I would never have known where to start. Many hours after we had our first conversation about these drapes, I finally went to hang them in there final resting place. I have to admit, they look beautiful! RIP drapes!
This is the graph paper illustratation that Mrs. Linda drew and sent me...

Here they are.....hung in a beautiful house for what I hope is AT LEAST ten years!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lovin' Lucinda!

John and I got to go on our first real date in almost 15 months this week! We went to see Lucinda Williams in concert in Memphis with Keelie and JHarmon Smith and we had a great time! Lucinda is now officially at the top of my list of all time favorite singer/songwriters.

Keeli and I at Huey's

AND little miss Julia got to spend the night with her Grandparents for the first time! I think they had a good time and my mom reported that Julia slept fine in her Pack n Play in the living room! She woke up earlier than normal and I am sure that was because she missed her mom and dad so much.... It was strange to wake up in our house and her not be there. Its funny how even though she has only been with us 3 days short of 15 months, we can't remember nor imagine the years that we spent before her. I made John get out of bed and head straight over there to get her so I could give her some kisses before I had to go to work. We missed her, but we know that our night out was good for everybody involved.
Oh...and did I mention how much I LOVE that Lucinda???

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Emmy and Happy Valentine's Day Julia!

Emmy's birthday party was a great way for Julia and I to spend our second Valentine's Day together! Tara went ALL out on her party and we had a blast. Emmy was a beautiful birthday girl and had so many friends and family to celebrate her big day with.

Emmy blowing out her candles on her front porch

Emmy's birthday cake was delicious. Fortunately or unfortunately, however you choose to look at it, Julia dropped our piece in the grass, so I only got to try one bite. I think it was divine intervention because I so did not need to eat that cake!

Julia loved pushing the wagon, but wouldn't get in it and be pushed!

Her favorite toy was the sandbox! She got sand in her clothes, her diaper, and ate 2 or 3 good hand fulls of it.

Guess I will be headed to the store soon to buy Julia one of these little motorized four wheelers. To be honest, I am not certain how she has survived this long without one. She is deprived.

Sol and Julia watching the festivities.

This is Julia at Miss Melinda's Valentine's party. She was giving the stuffed dog a kiss that Miss Melinda gave her. She kisses everything that has a face, except her Momma and Daddy. She kisses animals in books, but especially stuffed animals. She says, MMMMM WAAAA when she kisses them! Julia was everyone's Valentine sweetheart this year! She even got a Valentine surprise book from her Great Aunt Amy and Uncle Jim in California. The book was all about smooches and we have read it many times already. I hope it helps Julia to understand why I feel the need to give her at least 100 kisses a day!
On Valentine's Day, she got at least 125!

Here are all of the kids tha stay at Miss Melinda's. Of course, John and I were the only DORK parents who attended the Valentine's Day party. They had cupcakes (which Julia didn't touch), cookies, and a rice krispy treat (which she ate every bite of!). I am sure that Julia will be subject to many more DORK parent moments in her lifetime!

My Valentine with leftover Valentine chocolate covered pretzels on her mouth. Thank you John for supplying us with the good Valentine junk food!

This is Julia's new favorite game....get Spooky's tail as it hangs down the side of the couch. Poor Spooky!
Julia laughs SO hard when she wags her tail!

Last weekend's sewing project that I have been dreading....and my first upholstery job! It was a piece of foam that I covered in this cute fabric to make a window seat cushion.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home!

So, I am back from New Mexico! I had a huge lump in my throat the whole way from home to the airport. I couldn't even say goodbye to John when he dropped me off at the terminal! I finally swallowed the lump when I got on the plane and guess who we sat by???? None other than CHEECH and CHONG! Yep, fun times. I tried not to be a dork and stare but I did steal this photo of Cheech walking in the airport. Sorry for the blur, but you can make out his bald head! I found out later that they had reunited and had done a gig in Tunica over the weekend!

Janet Perry was a great traveling buddy! We basically stayed SO busy with meetings ALL day and good food, fun and drink at night that all I could do was pass out (no, not from too much wine!) in the bed when the day was over. This was good because I didn't have much time to cry over missing my girl! This is Janet and I at the bottom of a tram that pulled us up a mountain. Thank God it was dark because I would have been sick from the heights if I could have seen!

A beautiful Albuquerque sunset!

If there had been a movie camera when Julia and I reunited at the airport after 3.5 days and 3 nights, we would have won an Oscar! I couldn't wait to get my hands on her! I just dropped all of my bags and ran like a mad woman in front of all the taxis and cars to get to her! Then, when I got home it was time to make treat bags for Julia's Valentine party at Miss Melinda's! I never thought I would be doing this!

The trip was good for lots of reasons: We had a really good time. I met some great people from all over the United States. I met some government officials who could really help my career in grantwriting! The New Mexico food was great. Janet was so fun and easy to travel with. I had never been to New Mexico before....another state to check off of my list! Even though I felt like I had cut off my right arm when I left Julia and that I couldn't shake the strong feeling of having "forgotten" something the entire time I was gone, it was nice to have a little break from the responsibilities of having this precious little life to care for 24/7! By the way, John and Julia did great! My parents kept her for one day, so he got a little break. She punished me for leaving her by not sharing a Cheerio with me when we got in the car at the airport. She kept handing it to her Daddy! She finally shared something with me a couple of days later....even if it was a yucky carrot!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Leaving My Other Half....

I am headed to Albuquerque tomorrow! This will be my first time to leave my girl in our 14 months together and I am feeling a little weepy. John and I have discussed at great lengths the importance of him being extremely nice to me when I call and giving me LOTS of details about Julia. None of this, she's fine business...I need all the juicy details! After I asked him today for the hundredth time what I would do without my little baby girl, he asked me, "What about me....won't you miss me?" I felt bad and immediately said, YES! Sometimes I forget that he needs assurances too from time to time! The truth is, I absolutely will miss both of them terribly. John will have his hands full with Julia for 4 days and 3 nights. I have no doubt that they will do fine though, Julia still prefers her Dad over me! Enough whining...I will have a good time in New Mexico and will be so incredibly happy to walk off that plane Wednesday evening at 7:32 (but whose counting?) pm and see both of them!

We have had an interesting week. Jon David and Ashley and John and I decided we were going to swap nights with the kids and go see Benjamen Button. Well, here's what living in a small town will get you....they dropped off Caroline and got to the movie and it wouldn't even show because there were only 4 people there. They need a minimum of 5. They even offered to pay for the absent fifth person if they would just show the movie, but they still wouldn't show it! Poor Ashley and JD decided to go home and clean their kitchen instead! Caroline and Julia had a blast playing together and John and I had a really good time watching Julia play and interact with another child! Caroline is a sweetheart and incredibly brilliant. We hope that she comes back to play again soon!

The plan was for John and I to go see the movie the next night and leave Julia at Caroline's house. Unfortunately, Melinda (Julia's sitter) called me at work Thursday and told me that Julia was running a fever of 101.3! I raced to pick her up and she was pretty pitiful! This was our first experience with fever and we both panicked and I am sure overreacted. John even got a lovely speeding ticket as soon as he left EACC in Forrest City. He was on the phone with me and I am sure I sounded way more hysterical than I should of been. Fun times... Julia is still running some temperature and doesn't feel 100%. We are hoping that it is just a virus or teething issues. going to pack.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ugly Christmas Sweaters Rearing Their Ugly Faces.......

I did a sewing project for a friend this past Christmas that consisted of making some old, 80's looking hand decorated Christmas sweatshirts into pillows. These sweatshirts were lovingly created my her mother who is suffering from Alzheimer's and can no longer sew. She couldn't bear to throw them away, but neither could she bear to wear one, so we decided to make them into pillows of all shapes and sizes. I had a blast making these and being creative! Since then, ugly Christmas sweaters have come out from their hiding places and people want them made into pillows. I am starting to think that I could make a career out of recycling these old things! What is it about these hideous things and why can't we just throw these them away when we know that we need to?
Because....this ugly sweater made a pretty cute pillow!
Here's another...
The owner of this ugly sweater was particularly concerned about losing this angel in the "recycling" process that was on the back of the sweater. Never fear, I just cut her out and made her the back of the pillow!

This is Miss Julia showing us tonight that she really can walk even though she hasn't made it her preferred mode of transportation. Crawling is still much easier and faster! She puts her arms in the air and looks like a robot when she walks!

Funny Julia, always keeping us entertained and smiling! She and John agreed that the best part of the Superbowl was the 3D part! Of course, my favorite part was sitting on the couch with Julia!