Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The 27th

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 27. I typically get very, very excited about my birthday. If you don't believe me...

  • Exhibit A: Last week I sent a note to my co-workers detailing how I would be out of the office tomorrow due to the fact that my birthday is a holiday.
  • Exhibit B: Last year Lucy asked me if I could remember all of my birthdays. I could remember something about most of them. I have attempted to recreate that here:

1st Birthday, 1980 -
I don’t remember it at all but, I have an invitation to the party that my parents had for me.

2nd Birthday, 1981 -
I don’t remember this one either.

3rd Birthday, 1982 -
I don’t remember it but, I have pictures of the party that was held in my parents’ home. There was a clown that everyone except me seemed to be afraid of.

4th Birthday, 1983 -
I don’t remember this one either but, I have pictures of me and my pre-school friends at McDonald’s.

5th Birthday, 1984 -
I don’t remember this one either.

6th Birthday, 1985 -
It was a Saturday. I got up that morning and was standing in the kitchen. My dad then walked up from the basement with a 14 inch television with a remote control! I laid in bed the rest of the day, watching cartoons. I kept that television until I moved out of my parents’ house. I have no idea where it is now.

7th – 9th Birthdays, 1986-1988 -
No recollection. But, I’m sure they all involved going to Chi-Chi’s in Fayetteville. “Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to our guest, ole’! Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Chi-chi’s wishes you the best, ole’!”

10th Birthday, 1989 -
It was a Thursday. This was a big deal. I got to have a sleepover and invite 10 girls. The sleepover was almost cancelled because a huge ice storm came through. We were out of school the day of the sleepover (24th) but, my mom decided not to cancel it. Everyone still showed up and it was a blast. I have silly videotape from this one. We spent a lot of time playing with the video camera that night.

11th Birthday, 1990 -
It was a Friday. All I remember about this one is that I was in the 5th grade and my class was being housed at a middle school (which I started attending the next year) because the elementary school was getting air conditioning installed. I was so scared of the big 6th-8th graders. I was also disappointed that I didn’t get a birthday announcement over the intercom like they did at my elementary school.

12th Birthday, 1991 -
It was a Saturday. This was a good one. My family and I spent the weekend at Myrtle Beach. We did a lot of shopping and ate a lot of good Calabash Seafood.

13th Birthday, 1992 -
It was a Sunday. We went to church that morning and they sang happy birthday to me during the service. After church, we went to Chi-Chi’s and the mall. I got a pair of sneakers.

14th Birthday, 1993 -
It was a Tuesday. This year my mom gave me a balloon tree (yes, a tree made out of helium balloons). It also had 50 dollars stuck in it. The tree sat on my dresser for like 5 more years – the balloons never deflated. I guess my parents threw it out when they packed up my NC bedroom to move to MS.

15th Birthday, 1994 -
It was a Wednesday. It rained that day. I, of course, managed to leave my keys at home so had to sit outside after I got home from school. I had a surprise dinner at Fong’s – the Chinese restaurants that my family went to every Thursday night. My friends, family, and boyfriend were all there. I ate a pound of Skittles that night. It was a BLAST.

16th Birthday, 1995 -
It was a Thursday. My dad picked me up from school early to go get my driver’s license. (I think that was a valid reason to get signed out of school early – everyone did it!). I had a birthday party that night. It was a beautiful, warm day so the party was in my backyard. There were lots of friends there. We cooked out around the pool and video taped a lot of the party. My boyfriend had to work (although his best friend who worked with him had asked for the night off to come to my party – but, that’s a different story) and didn’t show up until much later.

17th Birthday, 1996 -
It was a Friday. I was away at school (about 2 hours from home). My new friends at school gave me cards but, it wasn’t the same as being with my “home friends”. So my dad came and picked me up that afternoon. Once I got home, my mom had arranged for a few of my friends to be there while I opened gifts. Then, we went to a basketball game at my high school at home. A bunch of us came back to my house and hung out after the game. It just felt good to be around my friends from home.

18th Birthday, 1997 -
It was a Sunday. I was at home that weekend. So, I had to be driven back to school that day. That caused me to be somewhat depressed for a big part of that day. I hated going back to school! On the way back, my family and I stopped at a Japanese Steak House and had dinner. Once I got back, my school friends had gifts and balloons waiting on me so, it made me feel a lot better about having to be back at school again.

19th Birthday, 1998 -
It was a Monday. I had a Cal 3 test. My car had broken down so, my parents had come to see me at school (college this time) the day before. I had dance practice that night.

20th Birthday, 1999 -
It was a Tuesday. I had a Physics test. That night, my friend and I went to Chapel Hill to BW3’s (as we usually did on Tuesday nights). We met up there with a few other friends. We ended up spending the night in Durham with some other friends. We had to get up early the next morning to get back to Raleigh for class. It was a long, fun night.

21st Birthday, 2000 -
It was a Wednesday. My sorority had a program to host that night and then we all went out to Applebee’s together. My husband (fiancĂ© at the time) sent me a stereo system that it took about 4 guys to carry up to my dorm room. That weekend my husband and I went to Atlanta. We stayed with my cousin and spent the whole weekend watching movies, bowling, and going out to eat.

22nd Birthday, 2001 -
It was a Thursday. I drove down to Greenville after class to spend the weekend with my husband (still fiancĂ© for just a few more months). He had made me dinner for the first – and only – time ever. It was some type of lemon-something crusted chicken and baked potatoes. He was so proud of the fact that he had made the bread crumbs for the chicken. The next day we went down to Atlanta again and did some touristy stuff. I remember going to some museum and seeing an IMAX movie.

23rd Birthday, 2002 -
It was a Saturday. Friday night had been a blast. Some friends (another husband/wife couple) had come into town because her birthday was on the 22nd. So, we all went to the Houston Rodeo on Friday night to see Mary J. Blige and Brian McKnight. We ended up staying out all night – including a 4am meal at Denny’s. On Saturday, the four of us did a little shopping and then went down to Kemah Boardwalk. We ate and rode around on the silly little train. I got a yummy cake that year.

24th Birthday, 2003 -
It was a Sunday. We had been in Austin the entire weekend for my sister-in-law’s martial arts competition. That Saturday night, I brought my birthday in on 6th Street. On Sunday we headed back to Houston and hung out in the museum district. That evening we ate at a Mexican restaurant near the house.

25th Birthday, 2004 -
It was a Monday. The first time I had ever had to be at work on my birthday. Also my first birthday at my current place of employment. The night before, we had gone to a Houston Rockets game that went into triple overtime. We left the game during the first overtime since the game hadn’t started until 8pm as it was. We had time to grab some Sonic and get home to watch the conclusion of the game. On Monday at work, my new co-workers took me out to lunch. After work, a friend surprised me by bringing over a cake that she had made for my birthday. Then my husband and I went down to Kemah for dinner. Then he surprised me with a nice spa gift certificate. He actually blindfolded me and drove me to the spa to give me the gift.

26th Birthday, 2005 -
It was a Wednesday. I had a prenatal doctor’s appointment. I was about 11 weeks pregnant and it was the first time that I got to hear Jayla’s heartbeat. My husband and I then had lunch together at Schlotzsky*s. Then I had to hurry back to work for a presentation that I was scheduled to give. That evening we had dinner at Outback and went to see Hitch at the movies. On Friday night, I got a surprise birthday party.

27th Birthday, 2006 -
It is tomorrow. We are taking off work. We are dropping Jayla off in the morning. Beyond that, I have no idea what our day will bring.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Like Mother, Like Daughter

I took off work yesterday. Jayla had her 6-month check-up so, I could have only worked a 1/2 day anyway. Her check-up went very well. She weighed in at 15 pounds, 11 ounces and measured about 26 inches. Both of these measurements were in the 50th percentile. At her 4-month check-up she was also 50th percentile for both measurements. So, yesterday, upon finding out that her size is still exactly in the middle for children her age, I told her, "Jayla, you are exactly average!". The child burst into tears!! I am not even making this up. She made me apologize for calling her average. While I was apologizing, I realized how bad it sounded to call my child average and I realized that I would hate it (probably burst into tears too) if someone called me average. I solemnly vow to never call my child average again - I must always remember that she is nothing short of exceptional...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day

The last time that my husband and I went to dinner together, alone, was 8 days after Jayla was born. September 1, 2005 - it was our 4-year wedding anniversary. It wasn't particularly enjoyable as we had just spent 10 hours at the hospital that day, visiting her in the NICU. So, clearly, we are overdue for a meal together, alone. As we do not have a babysitter lined up for tonight nor dinner reservations for anywhere, I decided that a lunch date could be in order and then we'd be free to spend Valentine's evening with our sweet baby girl (and our long-term house guest). I sent him this in an email yesterday:

My darling husband,
You are my perfect mate.
So let's seal this v-day
With a lunch time date.

He liked the idea but, isn't sure if he can get out of an all-day meeting long enough to meet me somewhere for lunch. So, I'm still waiting for a firm answer...

On Sunday, we opened Jayla's Valentine's Day gifts from my mom. I thought it was a little over the top to send a 5.5-month-old a card but, I'll just save it until she's old enough to actually read it! My mom also bought her some tummy time soft books. They're kinda like mats that you roll out and it gives them something to look at while on their tummies. We tried it - Jayla is not easily fooled into tummy time. She liked the book so, she grabbed it, and rolled over so that she was viewing the book on her back while holding it in the air. So, not the intended outcome but, at least she liked them.

So, this past weekend, I pulled out Jayla's two Valentine's Day bibs so that she can wear one of them to day care today. Apparently, her wardrobe manager (aka daddy) didn't remember that today was the day...neither did I - UNTIL, I got to the day care. All the kids had on red and white and Carson's bib said, "Hug Me", while Emma's bib said, "I love you". Jayla has on pink, green, and yellow stripes and a bib that says "I Love My Daddy". Her bib could be special if she didn't have 11 "I Love My Daddy" bibs so, she basically wears one of those everyday. Oh well, surely, I'll just put the Valentine's bib on her tonight for a photo shoot.

Friday, February 10, 2006

What was I thinking?

Last night, my husband had another basketball game. Jayla and I went. Of course, the other wives wanted to hold her and play with her. I warned them that she was sick. My pharmacy tech friend was asking me if I was giving her any medicine. I explained that I hate medicine and never take it. And unfortunately, I have decided that Jayla must hate medicine too and I never give it to her either. Plus, I had given her some medicine when we were out of town over Christmas and she slept NOT A WINK that night. I vowed to never do it again.

But still, when I got home, I was thinking more about the medicine thing. I decided to go ahead and try to give Jayla a small dosage of some infant decongestant. I would feel selfish if I didn't do it. She took it with a smile, then sopped up some oatmeal, and nursed for almost 2 hours (I fell asleep and I'm sure she did too so, it wasn't a solid 2 hours). So, when she went to bed, I figured it'd be all good and I'd see her in the morning. But, Jayla decided that "morning" was 3:30am and we went through a similar scenario as we had 2 months ago when I gave her medicine the last time! Finally, at 5:00am, we shut her in our closet where we couldn't hear her and went back to sleep. I have no idea what she did between 5am and 7am.

Now I'm serious - no more medicine for Jayla...or at least not any infant Robitussin!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


It appears that my sweet Jayla hasn't been feeling well since about Tuesday. She's got a runny nose, a wicked cough, and a very low grade fever. Yesterday at the day care they said she was just staring into space sometimes and sleep the rest of the time. I noticed the same thing yesterday evening. Luckily, my husband told her not to put any toys in her mouth today that have been in another person's mouth - glad we nipped that in the bud!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Day Two

As I was so kind as to actually warm the milk that I mixed with Jayla's cereal last night, she returned the favor by absolutely sopping up every bit of cereal in the bowl. A few times I almost stopped feeding it to her because she was scrunching up her nose at it. Then she did a complete 180 and started opening her mouth very wide every time she saw the spoon coming towards her. I do think that she's got the hang of it. I think I'll stick with rice cereal for another day or two and then move on to oatmeal.

I experienced another very exciting Jayla moment yesterday. Jayla relies on pacifiers to calm her down when she is sleepy. It only works when she is sleepy. She will not take it any other time (and even spits it out as soon as she is sound asleep). So, when she is fighting sleep, she is trying to holler and suck at the same time. It doesn't work so, she ends up losing the pacifier and hollering louder until someone crams it in her mouth and holds it there until she falls asleep. My husband and I have been absolutely living for the day when she has the coordination to just put the thing in her mouth at will instead of needing us to do it every time. Well, I saw her do it TWICE yesterday!! I was SO excited. I gave her the pacifier so that she could relax enough for our after work/school nap on the couch. I watched her take it out of her mouth and place it back in twice...without so much as a wimper in between. I do believe this is going to be huge for our sanity.

In other news: A friend of mine from college is coming to live with us for a while. She is moving here from Atlanta to start a job on Monday. So, she's staying with us until she gets an apartment. I made it clear up front that I cannot guarantee a full night of interrupted sleep every night - she wanted to come anyway...(In Jayla's defense, I will say that she has slept 7-8 hours straight each night for a week now.)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Introducing Rice Cereal

So last night we finally let Jayla eat a little bit of rice cereal from a spoon. We planned to give it to her right after her evening feeding. I'm trying to do this where it will affect my milk supply as little as possible. So, after I fed her, we put her in the high chair and made up just a little bit of cereal with breastmilk for her. She took it VERY well and seemed to really enjoy the whole experience. She only ate a little bit but, everything that I put in her mouth pretty much stayed in her mouth and was ultimately swallowed. The experience was not nearly as messy as I thought it would be. After a few spoonfuls, she lost interest and became completely engrossed in exploring her high chair instead. I count it a success, especially considering that the cereal was mixed with ice cold milk! I promise to remember to warm it up a little tonight. Here she is in her chair and after finishing her meal: