Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Why is it snowing in Houston!?!? We've lived here for almost 8 years and this is the first time we've seen it snow here. It did snow on Christmas Eve four years ago but, we were out of town for the holiday. My husband and I have been trying to figure out all night if this is Jayla's first time seeing snow. I think it is. He can't remember and that is why it is important to document things that you may not even think you'll care to remember. So, here's Jayla and her daddy tonight during (what we're calling) her first snow, trying to get a little taste...

And a little bonus footage just because she was hamming it up for the camera tonight:

That's also her daddy's that she's wearing. She looked ridiculous but, her head was warm.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

19 weeks: the verdict

Well, we had our ultrasound on Monday and I've already lost the ultrasound pictures. Yet, I could probably locate Jayla's pictures in about 30 seconds. Anyway, the radiology department at the hospital has been completely remodeled. But, this did not make the operation any quicker. They even had little coaster-shaped pagers like they do at restaurants where as 3.5 years ago, they just yelled my name out into a crowded room of people waiting to get treatments that are far less exciting than merely getting to look at a perfectly healthy fetus.

Anyway, I'm stalling and fat and starting to actually feel pregnant. That last part is a good thing because I'm leaning closer and closer to scheduling the delivery of this baby for exactly 20 weeks from today - April 22, 2009. It really is such the perfect date for our family, if you are a numbers nerd like me. It will mean that all four of us were born in even months (me in February(2), baby in April(4), daddy in June(6), and Jayla in August(8)) and we have consecutive dates (daddy the 21st, baby the 22nd, me the 23rd, and Jayla the 24th). That numerical perfection in itself is enough for me to schedule the repeat c-section today!

Anyway, I'll go ahead and tell you what you came to hear and that is that I will be housing another girl within my body for the next 20 weeks or so. Jayla's response: "I told you so!" (she literally said that as soon as the ultrasound technician told us what we were looking at on that fuzzy screen). Daddy's response: "Well, at least she's a healthy baby..." Personally, I'm pretty excited that Jayla will get the sister that she's been talking about throughout this entire pregnancy. And also praying that maybe Jayla's sister has just a little bit more of Daddy's personality because I do not think this house can hold three females that act like me!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nine years ago today

So, all day I've been trying to figure out why November 25th seemed like it should be familiar to me. I've literally been thinking about it all day. At first I thought about how Jayla is 3.25 years old as of yesterday. And although I now have a secondary question (when did I start forgetting that Jayla is a month older on the 24th of each month?), I knew that wasn't the significance of today. Then I thought about a girl that lived on my hall at the residential high school that I graduated from. Today was her birthday but, that also was not what was supposed to be significant about today.

Then tonight, I was sitting in my next to last Statistics class for the semester (Thank you, God! I am SO OVER this semester!). As I wrote the date at the top of my notes, it hit me: November 25, 1999 - the day my husband and I got engaged! A full nine years has passed since then, which absolutely blows my mind. November 25 was Thanksgiving Day that year and he had come to Mississippi to spend the holiday with my family. I thought that was a little strange since we had only been dating for 7 months but, whatever...I was excited about spending a holiday with a boy that I actually like enough to bring around my family!! While it wasn't a particularly romantic proposal, it was a memorable one as we were surrounded by my grandparents, parents, and sister at the time.

I was just 20 years old when we got engaged. Some people thought I was too young to be engaged because I hadn't finished school yet, hadn't been on my own yet, etc. But, others were entirely estatic for me. I think the folks in the latter group are those who knew that I was engaged to a pretty good guy and were just relieved that I was fortunate enough to be marrying someone that I totally didn't deserve. Regardless as to what camp people were in back then, it seems that most people are now in agreement that we're making this thing work.

Tonight when I got home from school, my house was full - my parents and my in-laws drove into town tonight to spend Thanksgiving with us. This is the second time in 3 months that they've all been here together to celebrate something. It's amazing to think that our extended family unit started with a very simple question asked nine years ago today...

Monday, November 24, 2008

What a difference three weeks makes...

The plan was to try to take one of these every other week but, you know, this is the second child. Also, this is probably the last time that you see that oh-so-flattering tank top.

I had another prenatal appointment last week. As usual, everything was good except my ability to gain weight like I'm in a contest. The ultrasound is scheduled for next Monday morning.

In the meantime, I'll be figuring out where 10 people are going to sleep in my house.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pineapple and Oatmeal Lasagna

On Saturday night, the three of us went to dinner and then ran by the grocery store afterwards. My intent was just to pick up a few things so that I could successfully make a lasagna for dinner on Sunday. With that information, I present to you our grocery receipt:

Two things do not belong on that receipt nor in a lasagna. And to help you out just a little, item #7 is a dozen eggs. If you guessed that the pineapples and the oatmeal do not belong then, you are correct. If you did not guess those two things, then I'm curious about your lasagna recipe.

Jayla managed to slip the pineapples and oatmeal into the hand basket that my husband was carrying around the store...without him noticing! The funny thing is that while I was in the store frantically searching for the ricotta cheese that was not where I thought it should be, I noticed the oatmeal in the basket. The following conversation occurred between me and my husband:

Me: Oh, you're getting some oatmeal?
Him: No, why would I do that? You know I don't eat breakfast.
Me: Oh, well, I guess you can take it to work with you.
Him: [look of bewilderment and confusion]

Now, at this point normal couples would have probably tried to clear up the misunderstanding. But, we are so used to misunderstanding each other that we both just dropped the conversation...and the oatmeal stayed in the basket.

Later, as my husband was putting our merchandise on the conveyer belt in the check-out line, I noticed the pineapples. I didn't say anything this time. I just thought to myself, "hmmm...he's getting all kinds of things for himself". Meanwhile, he did not even notice himself putting the unwanted items on the conveyer belt because he was too busy foiling Jayla's plans to sneak candy items into the basket and/or directly onto the conveyer belt. And as clever as my husband thought he was for putting the candy back, Jayla already had 2 up on him...he never even noticed.

So, when we got home, as he unpacked the groceries:

Him: Why'd you get these pineapples?
Me: I didn't get them. I thought you did.
Me and Him: [small giggles]
Him: Jayla, did you get these pineapples?
Jayla: Yes, I want to drink the juice.
Me: [hysterical laughter!]

I then explained the whole oatmeal conversation to him and it made much more sense that time around. I think we laughed for the next 20 minutes. More than anything my husband was upset that Jayla picked up the plain oatmeal as he explained, "You know what plain means? TASTELESS!" And I officially rolled on the ground, laughing, when he said, "Did we even go down the canned fruit aisle!?!?" Which, no, we didn't. I saw the oatmeal display but, I have no idea where she even found those pineapples.

Now, I'm trying to think of something to do with plain instant oatmeal...because apparently no one in my house actually eats it and I don't dare waste the $1.99!

And also...I am done with "lite" ricotta cheese. Sunday's lasagna was my first time trying it and something got lost in the translation. I'm going back to my tried and true part-skim version.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Update at 16 Weeks

I'm 16 weeks today. The pregnancy is going well. I'm growing. I feel perfectly fine though. The professor that I work for is in awe of my ability to act like the pregnancy is not even there. In reality, it's not that hard to forget about this time around. However, I did manage to remember to actually take a picture last week. So, I'm pretty sure I'm a little bigger than this now but, this was last week's belly (14w5d):

One of my biggest concerns right now that I'm trying to ignore is the childcare situation for the new baby. Quite frankly, on my student "salary", Jayla is taking up all of the tuition money. So, it really isn't realistic to even pretend like I have the $1700/month that I'd need to send the new baby off to someone else like I do with Jayla everyday. And unfortunately, her school does not offer a part time, then do I find part-time care for the baby and have to take them different places in the mornings? Do, I strap the baby on my back and haul it to school with me? That last option is obviously not an option either. I keep telling my husband that it'll all fall in place. I've convinced him. I need to reconvince myself. I've got at least 9 months before I'm thinking I'll want/need childcare anyway.

I have my next doctor's appointment on Tuesday of next week. My doctor will give me the orders for my ultrasound at that time. And then, in the next two weeks or so, maybe we can say this is a boy with certainty...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

She Will Always Be My First

When I posted about my pregnancy last week, I intended to come back within a day or two to post the earliest belly shots that I have (which I think is just one). I was very diligent about documenting my belly growth with Jayla and have been advised by most of my friends and family that I need to do the same thing with this second child. Ummm...I am not getting off to a good start. Instead of belly shots, I bring you more obsession with my first child. Behold, Jayla as Dora the Explorer last Saturday night:

She really wants to be Sleeping Beauty for Halloween but, seeing how she has FOUR Halloween outfits this year, she decided that being Dora for an early Halloween party was acceptable. She's saving her Sleeping Beauty gown for Friday at school.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

13 Weeks

For those of you that don't already know this, it looks like I'm going to have another baby - somewhere around April 29, 2009. And it's a good thing, too, because somebody stole my other baby...

...and left me with some random big girl that thinks it's funny to put a spoon on her head when you ask her to look at the camera for a picture!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Speaking Her Mind

Me: Jayla, you're the best!
Jayla: Mama, I know I'm the best!
Me: [Giggle] Well, don't ever let anyone tell you that you're NOT the best.
Jayla: [In all seriousness] I won't, mama.

And somehow she has managed to channel my grandfather's personality...or at least his loathe for people walking on his grass, which is impossible because he has a fence around every square centimeter of his property but, he likes to warn people about walking on his grass anyway. Twice in the past week, Jayla has done the same thing.

We were getting in the car to take her to school one morning last week and the same cute little old Asian couple that is always walking around the neighborhood was doing just that. They, however, were walking on the opposite side of the street from our house and on the sidewalk. This little factoid did not stop Jayla from running to the end of our driveway, putting on her mean face, and shouting, "Hey! Don't walk on our grass!" at them. And I wish I was kidding. I had to muffle her, pull her back over towards me, and tell her to stop saying that. Her response? "But, mama, these are OUR grasses!"

And then yesterday, we were pulling into our driveway on the way home from church. My husband stopped the car to let a little girl ride her bike past our driveway before he pulled in. Apparently, even though this girl looked like she a good 8 or 9 years old, she hadn't quite mastered the art of riding a bike well. So, in her nervousness, she lost her balance and ended up in our grass. From the backseat, Jayla witnessed it all and I could tell that she was getting fired up. Once we pulled into the driveway and I got Jayla out of the car, as soon as her feet hit the ground, she ran right up into the little girl's face (she was still trying to get her balance on the bike long enough to ride out from the front of our house) and screamed, "Hey! What's the big idea!?!? Get off our grass!" Again, I'm not even kidding. Seriously, if she weren't three years old, I think she would've scared the little girl. We directed her into the house and told her that it wasn't nice to yell at people that you don't know.

And then I told her to give her great-grandfather's personality back to him because our grasses really ain't worth dying over.

Monday, October 13, 2008

One Month Later

A month ago today, my little family and I were in a hotel room in Shreveport, LA flipping between all of the national news stations and The Weather Channel. We watched Hurricane Ike roll through and attentively watched for any reports of what kind of damage had been left behind, especially in our own neighborhood. We had evacuated to Shreveport two days earlier because we knew we wanted to leave if it was coming straight for us (which it did!) and we did not need a repeat of our Hurricane Rita evacuation experience!

We stayed in Shreveport for two more days after the storm and enjoyed the absolutely gorgeous weather. We played outside at the park even.

It’s almost like it was fall or something in Shreveport. Fall is something that just does not exist in Southeast Texas!

I was in absolutely no hurry to come home but, my husband was and so we came home to power poles snapped in half and laying across the road, blocking our normal access to our neighborhood. Once we finally made it to our house, we were relieved to see that we were merely missing a few shingles off of our roof, which thankfully managed not to leak. As we pulled into the driveway, Jayla said, “Look mama! God saved our house!” Indeed, He did.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, we got our power back about a week later but, the damage had been done to my semester. The schoolwork apparently did not stop just because I had no access to the computer or gas to drive to school and the university says that students who were affected by Hurricane Ike could have excused absences from class that week. None of that mattered and I fell behind quite a bit.

Then we went and had to go out of town two weekends in a row. They were awesome trips but, served to stress me out more about the whole schoolwork thing. First, we went to Detroit for the weekend. My grandparents had a party for their 50th wedding anniversary ON their 50th wedding anniversary! So, my whole family made the trip and it was nice to experience a little fall once more.

Then last weekend, we took my dad to San Antonio to celebrate his 60th birthday. It was a lot of fun and he declared it to be the best birthday he’s ever had, which may or may not have offended my mom who took him on a surprise trip to New York City for his 50th birthday.

And so now I think we’re caught up as to why this blog has been so neglected. I guess I’m back now. I know you've missed me terribly!

Monday, September 08, 2008


Tonight marked the return of dance classes...for Jayla, that is. Everyone else started back on August 4. But, seriously? That was way too early for me, especially considering the recital wasn't until June 22. I needed more than just a six week break after all that Jayla put me through during the last dance season. I have a feeling that this year will be much better. Mainly because I'm not the one taking her on Monday least not this semester. Instead, daddy will be taking her to dance class while I'm driving home from College Station. As I drove home tonight, in fact, I was hoping to get a cute picture of her first day in her new dance ensemble. But, daddy had already changed her back into her school uniform by the time I got home. So, it was not to be. Instead, how about some more birthday girl pictures?

I completely forgot to light the candles. So, we all sang Happy Birthday to Jayla then she immediately drew in a deep breath as if to prepare to blow out of her candles. And it's hilarious in the video because she looks at me, looks at the cake, and then looks at me like, "Hey!". It was a good 5-10 seconds before I realized what the problem was. So, then we went the through the same drama as last year of trying to find something with which to light her candles. But, we finally got them lit and Jayla got to hear us all sing Happy Birthday to her again. She was able to blow out her candles the second time around though.

Can I also add that one of Jayla's requirements for her party was that everyone wear a party hat? And can I tell you that every single person at the party had on a ridiculous Power Puff Girls (don't ask!) party hat!?!? Everyone from my almost-60-year-old dad to the 11-month-old baby. It cracked me up! But, she was in heaven and that's what matters.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Seven Years

Back in 2000 when I was trying to pick a wedding date, I remember thinking that Labor Day weekend would be perfect. Since we were getting married in Mississippi, a state where neither of us lived, a holiday weekend would be more likely to bring our friends and family from North Carolina and Mississippi. Plus, wouldn't it be cool to always get a day off around our anniversary! We could go on a trip every year!

And that first anniversary, we did just that. We took a 5-ish day trip to Southern California. The only thing I remember about it was watching the fireworks at Disneyland every night. The second year we were in St. Louis for a friend's wedding. I do remember that we stayed downtown in a hotel instead of at my in-laws' house. It made it seem more like we were on a vacation. And then the third year, we went to San Antonio. That trip was the first time that we ever seriously talked about actually having a real-live child. And by the fourth anniversary, she was with us...that was a bittersweet anniversary as we were able to go to dinner together but, we had an 8-day-old child in the NICU that dominated our thoughts and conversation for the evening. Then the 5th year...St. Louis again and we spent the evening with the friends who share our anniversary. The 6th year we were in Mississippi for my family reunion. And then today...our seventh anniversary.

Today was the first anniversary that we did not spend the entire day together. I was here for the morning but, had to go to school this afternoon/evening. I probably will not remember much about our seventh anniversary. There was just nothing about today that has the potential to stand out in the future. But, nevertheless, it is the only day that will ever mark our 7th year as husband and wife so, I guess it'll be special for that reason. I've often heard that the seventh year is the hardest. So, I guess I'm glad to be over that hump and really, if that's as hard as it gets then we just might make it for the long haul...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Week of School

She rocks the school uniform, no?





Tomorrow (Friday) is free-dress day. I am no longer confident in my ability to pick an outfit for Jayla that is not navy blue and white (See also: her birthday outfit for church on Sunday).

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Three Has Landed

48 minutes ago I sang Happy Birthday to Jayla for the fourth or fifth time this weekend but, this time was a little different since I sang it at the exact time that she was born. She was born at 9:01pm on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 so, I was holding out all day today - still calling her a two-year-old. I put her to bed about 10 minutes ago and said good night to my three-year-old for the first time. Tomorrow is the first day of school and even though she's been in the pre-K classroom since June, tomorrow is a milestone because she will be wearing a school uniform for the first time. This morning she told me, "I'm not a baby anymore, Mama!" I have no idea what prompted that statement but, she's right...

I'll be back soon with pictures from the birthday festivities this weekend!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Night on the Town

About six months ago Jayla started watching the Backyardigans. She slowly but surely fell in love with the show and its characters, especially Uniqua. She now screams that obnoxious teenage girl scream when she sees Uniqua on television.

So, naturally when I saw that their live show was going to be playing in Houston, I bought the tickets without a thought. And last Saturday night, Jayla got to see the Backyardigans in "real life".

She loved it. She stared at the stage the entire night, in disbelief, clearly planning to soak in every detail of the show. During the intermission break, she refused to go to the bathroom for fear that they would start back without her. And I guess it paid off because she somehow managed to memorize the entire dialog of the show and continues to recite it on command 7 days later.

You think she's too young to understand the concept of an "early birthday present"?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Disney Comes to Chick-fil-a

Last week some friends of ours invited us to dinner with them as Cinderella was supposed to be appearing at our local Chick-fil-a. We are always up for some good fellowship with friends, so we went. I totally expected Jayla to not care about Cinderella. I didn't even bring my camera and I take my camera EVERYWHERE! As we were getting out of our car, I rolled my eyes at all the little girls dressed in their Cinderella gowns (including our friends) and the parents snapping pictures of the magical moment of meeting Cinderella.

I walked in, waded through the crowds, and got in line to order my family some chicken. The next thing I know, Jayla is screaming "Cinderella!" and jumping all up in her lap. We had not even told her that Cinderella was supposed to be there so she figured all of this out on her own while I was trying to figure out which side to order with her nuggets. But, as to not appear to be "the worst mother ever", I quickly borrowed my friend's camera and these are the pictures that I snapped:

Jayla LOVED meeting Cinderella. Cinderella was walking around the restaurant as we ate and every single time she passed us, Jayla was all smiles and waves and "Hey, Cinderella!". The irony of the whole situation was that our friends were really excited about their daughter getting to meet Cinderella and here's the picture that they got. Lauren was not a fan!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I think she may be starting to look three

Exhibit A: Jayla at the Houston Comets game tonight...

She looks like a real-live little girl. I have no idea when this happened.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Almost Three

My child will be three years old in a month. I've been thinking about this for the past few days as I'm attempting to plan her birthday party. It is so entirely cliche to talk about how fast it has gone by but, it really really has. I remember telling someone last year about how fast the second year had gone by compared to the first. And oh my goodness, I was so not prepared for how fast this third year would go by even compared to the second. It is unreal.

And I say I can't believe my baby is almost three but, at the same time, she picks out her clothes now. That has been her thing lately - I am not allowed to pick out what she is going to wear nor does she tolerate me helping her to actually put the clothes on her body. She demands the opportunity to do it on her own. The best thing about this? The girl knows how to put together an outfit. I'm really not too worried about what she decides that she wants to wear because it is bound to be something that is relatively cute together.

Even this morning...I was worried about what she might bring out of her room to show me because most of her outfits that were bought together as an outfit and obviously go together are in the dirty clothes hamper. I was relieved to see that she decided on a solid yellow shirt and solid blue bottoms. She's never worn those two pieces together but, neither were they offensive together. So, yes, my child is at school right now wearing the third outfit that she has picked out and dressed herself in this week. I'm thinking that's a very "three" thing to do...sort of like her rite of passage into the club.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Company Picnics: The Next Generation

This past Saturday, my little family and I attended my husband's company picnic. They do it every year but, this year was the best yet. It reminded me so much of when I used to go to my dad's company picnics as a little girl. They were always in September, right after school started back. Their picnics were a big deal because almost everyone I knew in our small town had at least one parent that worked at the same company where my dad worked. So, "everyone" was there. I think they used to call it "Friends and Family Day" or something like that...and it was a blast.

It's still weird to me to think that twenty years have passed since then and now my own child will be gathering the same type of memories as we continue to do things like this year after year. This morning out of the blue she started talking about when we went to the "beach" and I helped her dive under the water and daddy helped her swim. "Yes, baby, I remember that too...and also, it was H&H Ranch in Northeast Houston but, you're quite welcome to call it the beach if you'd like."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

He has know idea that I am posting this

Oh wow - I didn't realize that I haven't posted anything since June! Life for us has been incredibly normal and not terribly busy but far from boring. In other words, it's been very nice around here lately. And since I really don't have anything else to say, I leave you with the most entertaining aspect of our 4th of July holiday.

We went to a "block party" at our church and played BINGO like the old people that we have apparently become. My husband managed to win a round of BINGO after I left him with my card, having deemed it to be a complete loser and incapable of giving me a simple BINGO. Given the opportunity to pick any prize he wanted, he jumped at these sunglasses/straw and procedeed to drink his lemonade through it. As he drank, the liquid circulated through all of the plastic you see on his face. It worked but, he reported a strange plastic-y taste to his drink. But what is really important here is that I laugh every single time I look at him with those ridiculous things on...

Jayla even joined in the fun:

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Tale of Two Weekends

On the very first day of June I declared that I needed the month of June to just be over already! Between working a contract training gig for a week, teaching the two-year-olds at Vacation Bible School for a week, and taking a trip to Mississippi while taking 9 credit hours in summer school, it was a very busy month.

Last weekend had been on our radar screen for 7 months. It was my husband's birthday, Jayla's dance recital, and my family reunion. During those weeks where Jayla wasn't cooperating at dance, I went back and forth about whether or not we should just forget about the recital and go to Mississippi for the reunion instead. Ultimately, we decided to stay here, celebrate my husband's birthday on Saturday, attend Jayla's dance recital on Sunday, and fly to Mississippi early Monday morning to catch my grandmother who had come down from Chicago for the reunion. It all worked out as planned but, it was hectic and I lost another week of productivity because the Internet is just entire too slow to be productive at my parents' house.

My husband seemed to enjoy his birthday even though my creativity yielded him a belt as his only birthday present. We went to IHOP for breakfast because that is what we do for birthdays around here. We spent some time at the Museum of Natural Science where Jayla saw her first 3-D film in the IMAX.

She was too cute. The show was about dinosaurs and she spent 60% of the show with her eyes closed so the dinosaurs wouldn't scare her. She never flinched or made a sound but, almost every time I looked at her, her eyes were closed. We finished the day with dinner at the Downtown Aquarium.

Early Sunday morning Jayla and I had to be at her dress rehearsal (7:45am!!) while my husband picked my mom up from the airport. The recital was later that evening. I am glad that we did the recital because Jayla totally stole the show! She was adorable.

Then we left at 7:00am on Monday morning for a few days in Mississippi where we visited lots of family, including my grandmother, and I started the process of de-stressing from the month.

So, I am here to report that I lived to see the end of June and I'm vowing to spend July relaxing just a little bit more. I've still got school going and I need to spend some time catching up.

For this final weekend in June, my little family sat in the house and did nothing. Well, on Friday night we made our annual trip to Kemah Boardwalk with some friends to see the fireworks. Otherwise we only left the house to go let Jayla play at the park after dinner last night and to church this morning. The busyness of the last month made this weekend of nothing seem so very sweet.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Back where I belong

This morning I woke up and drove the 100 miles to school where I proceeded to spend my entire day in class. It was glorious! It felt so good to be back on campus and back to focusing on my academics.

I have missed it tremendously over the last few weeks. I haven't been on campus in 2 weeks, which is the longest stretch of time since the Christmas break 6 months ago. I realized today how much I need the 4 hours of driving time on a regular basis to give me time to think and just be alone with those thoughts. That driving time is when I de-stress and organize my life. It's when I ponder things that don't matter as well as the major decisions that I am facing in my life. It's when I reminisce and stare blankly into space. Getting that back today has made a world of difference in my general mood.

Sitting in class today, I realized how much I love being in an academic environment. I spent all of last week working a contract gig that required me to deliver training sessions on Office 2007 from 8:30 to 3:30 Monday-Friday. It nearly killed me and I knew it wasn't exactly what I wanted to be doing with my time. But, the contrast of how I felt being back in that corporate environment compared to how I love being in the academic environment was magnified today. I have never been more certain that I am absolutely doing the right thing in my professional life right now.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My plea

I am exhausted. I am entirely too exhausted to even exist today. I can hardly hold my eyes open. I have a headache from trying to hold my eyes open. I have a paper due on Friday. I have not started writing it. I have spent all week teaching a two-year-old class in Vacation Bible School. I need some rest.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I've been called worse

Last night Jayla was playing dress up. At one point she had a blanket wrapped around her and she was walking around the family room curtsying to everything in sight. She kept saying, "You're welcome, your heiness". I finally asked her who "your heiness" was. She replied, "Mama, you're my heiness". Then she turned to her daddy and assured him that he was also her heiness.

Happy Father's Day!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm not sure what to think of this...

Jayla told me today that girls don't play drums, boys do. So, I asked her what girls play. She informed me that girls play other instruments like the harmonica or the piano.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Moving on Up

Jayla and I overslept this morning. I hopped out of the bed right at 7:56 and explained to Jayla that we were running late for her first day in her new classroom. She, of course, didn't care but, I quickly got us dressed and we were out the door about the same time that we usually leave home anyway.

As I pulled into the parking lot at her school, I mentioned again that she was going to the new class and would get to meet her new teacher today. She made a pouty face and said that she didn't want to go. She asked me, "But, what about Mary (her current teacher)?" I told her that we could go talk to Ms. Mary first.

We walked into Ms. Mary's classroom and she met us at the door, took Jayla's backpack, and told me to take Jayla to her new classroom. Jayla played the big girl role and told Ms. Mary bye-bye. As we walked down the hall, she told me that she was a big girl and was ready to go to the new classroom. Meanwhile, I was getting a little choked up. It was weird because I've been thinking that it was time for her to move on for a while now. But, while I was actually taking her down the hall, it was yet another reminder that she is growing up so quickly.

We peeked in the window before we walked into the new classroom and she affirmed that she was ready. As I opened the door, she walked on in and sat on the carpet in the circle that the other children were sitting in. She looked like she had been there her entire life. She sat there intently, waiting to see what was next. I talked to the teacher a little and introduced Jayla to her. As I left, Jayla just smiled at me as if to say, "I'll be just fine, mama."

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need more tissue...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Like Looking in a Mirror

Today was Jayla's end of the school year party at school. It seemed especially fitting since tomorrow is her last day in the toddler room that she has called home for the past 16 months. As usual, I was responsible for bringing one of the entree items for the party. I kind of like bringing hot food for the party because I know I am one of the few parents in the classroom that can do that for our kids. Obviously, most parents who send their toddler to school full-time do so because they work full-time jobs. I am the exception. But, I digress...

This morning, I cut up a couple of frozen pizzas into toddler-sized bites and took it over to the school about 15 minutes before the party was scheduled to start. As I approached the door to Jayla's classroom, I heard one of the teachers yelling her name and then I heard Jayla screaming at the top of her lungs. She was so upset that she didn't even acknowledge my presence. I walked in, she looked directly at me and continued to scream. She was still screaming when I walked out and came back home.

So, why was she screaming and crying while the other 15 kids who are all younger than her peacefully worked on whatever activity they had been assigned to work on at the time? Because Jayla is her mama's child. Jayla gets very frustrated whenever she doesn't do something perfectly on the first try. She was working on a puzzle and had gotten frustrated because one of the pieces did not fit the way she thought it should. And when I say "she gets frustrated", it's really more accurate to say that she gets blazing mad. As I was finding a place to put the pizza down, I heard one of the teachers telling her, "Jayla you got it right. Look, it fits just like this." The next thing I know Jayla was throwing the puzzle pieces across the room. That's when I left.

Jayla has similar episodes at home. But, I try to remain calm (like the teacher did) and I try to encourage her to keep trying. She usually doesn't want to and I don't blame her. I am the exact same way. I basically won't even try anything that I don't think I will excel at it. It's nothing that I'm proud of but, it's something that I seem to have passed on to my child. I don't want her to be like me in that respect. I want her to be able to try new things and work at them even if she isn't perfect the first time. Something tells me that working towards that with her is going to require me to learn a thing or two as well.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Between Semesters

I am glad to have the past two weeks behind me. I was teaching a May-mester class which required me to be up, dressed, and out of the house by 6:00am. This meant that I did not get to see Jayla in the morning and it meant that I was going to bed at the same time that she was. It took away time that I cherish at both the beginning of the day (lounging in bed with Jayla while Daddy gets ready for work) and at the end of the day (sitting in front of the television, surfing the Internet, after Jayla goes to bed). But, it was a valuable experience. It was my first opportunity to teach a graduate class and my first teaching opportunity at a major research intitution. For that, my resume is thankful.

During the weekend between the two weeks of teaching, I made a quick trip to Nashville to visit a friend that I've not seen in almost 5 years. It was a much needed break as I could do no work because I had no access to the Internet. My child and husband seemed to entertain themselves well enough while I was gone and I got to eat some Bojangles. Ya'll know how much that meant to me.

And now, I've got the next two days to catch myself a quick break before my summer class starts on Friday...

Friday, May 23, 2008

...and I just can't hide it!

Either ordering a new laptop after a month of using a broken down one is really, really exciting or I really am the dork that I fear that I am. However, in my brilliance, I waited until the Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend to finally order it...which means it has a projected shipping date of NEVER.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Glimpses of my third Mother's Day (as a mother...)

(I promise that my two-toned arm is not so obvious in person! - However, I suspect the appearance of my arm has something to do with the outdoor 2-year-old birthday party that we went to yesterday...that required me to feed ducks in the park and attempt to function under the blistering sun of 90-degree Houston weather! Ahhh...what I won't do for my child...)

After church, I managed to suggest the perfect restaurant for my mother's day dinner - no waiting for a table and my favorite "bad" foods...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Not exactly what I had planned...

This past week was what I was considering to be my "free week". It was the only week that I could relax a little bit between semesters and maybe focus on some me-type things. I had planned to:

  • Go shopping for some summer attire to combat this 90 degree weather we are already being subjected to
  • Get a pedicure
  • Attend "Muffins with Moms" at Jayla's school
  • Get an estimate on some work that I want done on the house
  • Hit the gym most days of the week
  • Order and install a new screen inverter in my laptop so that maybe, just maybe I can see an image on my laptop screen

Instead, I:

  • Rode 20 hours in the car to and from Nowhere, Arkansas in a span of the 72 hours that comprised Tuesday through Thursday
  • Painted Jayla's toenails in a $45/night motel room while the rest of the family attended Jayla's great-great grandfather's funeral
  • Took an impromptu trip to school to prepare for a class that I am teaching there starting next week
  • Went to the gym once on Monday morning
  • Ordered and installed a new screen inverter in my laptop and still cannot see an image on my laptop screen

Thursday, May 01, 2008

School Update and A Tribute to Bojangles

Lucy (oh, how I miss you!) suggested that I talk about school, so here goes:

This is the last week. On Sunday I had three big things that were staring me in the face that I needed to do this week...a paper that I've supposedly been writing all semester, a statistics exam, and a dreadful group project/paper/presentation thingy.

The paper is done and I turned it in on time on Tuesday. The statistics exam was completed last night. And now it's just that group project thing left to present on Saturday. Please somebody tell my professors that I don't want to work in groups anymore. I don't like them at all...never have.

So, anyway, I've been trying to figure out what to do in the fall concerning my class schedule. And I've figured out that I've gotten spoiled and lazy by only having to drive up to school once a week...and occasionally twice. In the fall I may be looking at 2-3 days per week. I need to suck it up and get over it.

I started emailing professors and collecting syllabi last week to figure out which classes I wanted to take. The one exciting thing about the class that I've probably decided to take that is going to require me to be on campus the extra day each week is that the professor is from North Carolina. He went to UNC but, we decided to squash our apparent differences since we are so far from "home". But, the great thing about him? He likes Bojangles and said that he misses the dirty rice and biscuits. I was completely sold on him from that point, his class I'm not so much sold on because of the drive and the fact that the syllabus clearly lays out that it is way more work involved in that class than I feel like doing.

Speaking of Bojangles - Cecilia, Jayla LOVES wings...LOVES!! AND she had her first Bojangles the last time we were in NC and she ate an entire box of food (strips, fries, and biscuit) by herself! Just another one of those proud parenting child enjoys consuming saturated fats...and twirling around in the family room while wearing pink camo...

This post has been brought to you by randomness.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

She picked the Skittles!

Ya'll - once again, Jayla does not disappoint! She was very well-behaved in dance this week so I told her that we could go to the store and pick out a treat. She could have whatever candy that she wanted.

We went to the CVS down the street and she walked in with her ballerina clothes on saying, "I want some purple." So, she went down the candy aisle looking for purple. First, it was bubble gum. I explained that it was gum so, she put it down. Then she said, "how about this?". It was Skittles! I almost jumped up and down.

Skittles have always been my favorite candy to the point that in high school I would just have Skittles and water for dinner. I could destroy an entire pound-bag of Skittles in a day - multiple days out of the week. There was no stopping me.

And now, Jayla just made my entire day by realizing that Skittles are the superior way to consume copious amounts of sugar. She makes me proud...

Monday, April 21, 2008

To Zion

This weekend I was in class all day on Saturday. One of the class activities involved everyone bringing a song to class that they felt relayed some important part of their identity. The idea was that as consultants, we could use the song to help tell a potential client more about who we are.

I decided to use the song "To Zion" by Lauryn Hill. It was one of my favorite songs back when that CD came out during my sophomore year in college (1998). And it seemed just perfect to tell the story of what really shapes the way I view this world. My actions are very much guided by my faith and my family. Here are the lyrics:

Unsure of what the balance held
I touched my belly overwhelmed
By what I had been chosen to perform
But then an angel came one day
Told me to kneel down and pray
For unto me a man child would be born
Woe this crazy circumstance
I knew his life deserved a chance
But everybody told me to be smart
Look at your career they said,
"Lauryn, baby use your head"
But instead I chose to use my heart

Now the joy of my world is in Zion
Now the joy of my world is in Zion

How beautiful if nothing more
Than to wait at Zion's door
I've never been in love like this before
Now let me pray to keep you from
The perils that will surely come
See life for you my prince has just begun
And I thank you for choosing me
To come through unto life to be
A beautiful reflection of his grace
See I know that a gift so great
Is only one God could create
And I'm reminded every time I see your face

That the joy of my world is in Zion
Now the joy of my world is in Zion
Now the joy of my world is in Zion
Now the joy of my world is in Zion

Marching, marching, marching to Zion
Marching, marching
Marching, marching, marching to Zion
Beautiful, beautiful Zion
(repeat to end of song)

We spent an entire 2 hours of our day listening to songs that reflect our classmates' identities on Saturday. It was time well-spent.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Quickie...Then Back to Work

A few weeks ago, I was talking to the Professor that I work for. He likes to analyze me. You know - figure out what makes me tick and how I tick. He's the kind that has every Meyers-Brigg type description memorized but, "I would never put you in a box".

So, anyway, he was telling me about how he thought I was a crammer. I adamantly declared myself to NOT be a crammer. I was one in college but, I have turned over a new leaf and am now a very serious doctoral student with a husband and a 2-year-old, which leaves me ample time to get everything done in a timely manner. And yet, this week, I've done nothing but cram! Somehow I only have two weeks left in the semester and every body wants me to complete stuff all of a sudden. So, that is why you have not heard from me this week and that is why this is the end of this post.

Except, I have to tell you that the past two nights Jayla has slept in a pull-up...something she has not done since late January. But, after about a solid week of bed-wetting, I relented and let her wear the pull-up to bed. I'm not entirely sure whether it is a medical thing (my husband's vote), a behavioral thing, or a lazy thing. I lean towards lazy because if it were behavioral, she could have just kept acting out at dance class. That beats washing her sheets everyday (and I totally, totally don't mean that!).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Beach Party

For the past two days Jayla has been asking me about her beach party. She apparently wants a beach party for her birthday and she already knows her guest list. She wants to wear her "baby suit" (swim suit) and she wants to get in the water and get her hair wet with Dominique, Skyla, and Leah. So, she's basically planned the entire party in her head. There's only two problems: (1) I have to listen to her talk about her party for the next 4.5 months and (2) I have no idea how to throw a beach party.

Monday, April 07, 2008

It's Totally the Thought That Counts

I've been sick for the past two days. I am pretty sure it is all allergy related now that I know that I am prone to allergies. I think walking around outside all day on Saturday didn't help because I did not sleep well at all on Saturday night. I couldn't breathe and just couldn't get comfortable. On Sunday morning I woke up feeling like 2 trucks had run over me during the night.

Jayla came into my bedroom as usual around 7:15am and my husband immediately told her that I did not feel well. I was rather impressed that he picked up on that with all of my tossing and turning and mouth-breathing during the night. So, Jayla strategically asked me which body parts hurt and kissed everything that I told her was hurting me. She even asked me if my eyes were sick, which is basically her way of asking me if I have pink eye. It was cute.

She also apparently prayed for me in the car on the way to church. I stayed home in the bed (and slept until 10:30am - GLORIOUS!!) and she and my husband went to church as usual. He said that he told her that they could pray for me to feel better. He said that just seconds later he heard her mumbling and then she said, "In Jesus' name, Amen." She then explained to him that I was not sick anymore because she had prayed for me. I thought that was the sweetest thing EVER! Granted her prayer for me began with "God is great, God is good, and we thank him for our food..." but, I'm sure He knew where her heart was.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Saturday Attire: Bling Bling Edition

We spent the day outside at the Houston Children's Festival. The sun bouncing off the bling on her back pockets nearly blinded us.