Thursday, December 30, 2010


Just returned home from a trip that spanned 8 days. We drove home from St. Louis today in our quickest time since have two children...13.5 hours. I am so, so incredibly tired but, I refuse to still have "submit completed dissertation to the thesis office" on my to-do list when I ring in the new year. Since that new year will be here in just 25.5 hours, I must work...when I would so much rather sleep!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm so sorry, baby...

I smashed Jayla's fingers in a classroom door today when I was picking her up from school. It was really bad. I haven't seen her cry that hard in a very, very long time! I couldn't look at it because it really was that bad. Some of the teachers at her school helped us out with some ice and compression to stop the bleeding. I just hung in the background trying not to get emotional about it.

Because she is my child, on the way to the car, Jayla asked, "How am I going to eat with a hurt finger?". Those comments always make me love her more.

Anyway, I was trying to encourage her to move her fingers as I was getting the girls settled in the car. She kept telling me that she couldn't. I couldn't get her to distinguish between "can't" and "don't want to try".

So, because I was already incapable of even looking at the gruesome injury, I headed straight to a friend's house, which was about 30 seconds from the school. Luckily, they immediately took charge of the situation (because I was useless). They managed to calm down a hysterical Jayla, examine her injury to assess the damage, ice her down, and wrap the finger up after finally determining that it wasn't emergency room-worthy.

An hour later and Jayla is knocked out on the couch with her wrapped finger in a bag of ice. She's been a trooper considering the circumstances. But, she always has been...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This morning I was informed that it's okay to show a little skin. In fact, girls don't need to wear a shirt under their real shirt; only boys do that.

Thanks Jayla! Where would I be without you?! Probably wearing a tank top under a shirt that otherwise shows entirely too much cleavage for me to be appropriately dressed for my work environment. Silly me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Zoologist

So, every afternoon when I pick Jayla up from school I have to check her folder for her daily work. The folder is generally full of paperwork and projects and I often wonder how in the world they get that much stuff done in a day.

Well, on Friday when I went to pick her up, I went to check her folder and there was a note: "Don't forget the crabs". The...huh? "The crabs, mama, we have to take them home". I glance over to the chart that shows the student roles for the week and, sure enough, Jayla was the zoologist last week. I had no idea that meant that I would house two hermit crabs for the weekend. I'm still a little confused as to how I got suckered into this.

But, I will say that Jayla and her daddy seemed to be creating father-daughter memories this weekend as they fed the crabs and sprayed water to create humidity in their cage. I have yet to even look at the things but, I'm assuming we didn't kill them. I was really nervous about being the first parents to not bring the crabs back on Monday morning.

Monday, June 14, 2010

He DOES care about the small things...

So, the girls and I are attending Vacation Bible School at our church this week. Today was the first day.

Tamyra spent a nice chunk of the three hours screaming her head off in the nursery because the nursery volunteers dared to sit other babies beside her at the table to eat.

And Jayla made me so proud with her answer to the question "What do you pray to God about?". Her answer: "a pretty pink bow with sparkles on it".

It's going to be a fun week...

Monday, June 07, 2010

Mississippi Report

Well, I just got off the phone with Jayla for the third night in a row. She is having a BLAST at my parents house. She tells the stories of her day with such enthusiasm in this grown-up voice that I never hear when she is talking to me in person. She doesn't sound like she's spent the bulk of the day whining and complaining the way that she does at home. Instead, she sounds refreshed, rejuvenated, and obedient. This trip is turning out to be a really good experience for her.

Yesterday it was a ride on the carousel and a couple of pushes in the park. Today it was the zoo with her first cousin, a ride on the train, and some bike riding with another cousin. And tomorrow it's a trip to the waterpark with Grandma and Papa. With every report that she gives me, she's more and more excited; and today I got to hear "I love you and I miss you", unprompted. Maybe this trip is turning out to be a really good experience for me too.

Monday, May 24, 2010

...and she's off...

Jayla started walking 8 days before her first birthday. I remember at her first birthday party she was a fairly competent walker, even in her new Air Jordan's that her Tee Tee bought for her.

Tamyra, on the other hand, has never seemed particularly interested in being mobile in any sense of the word. She wasn't even a fan of crawling until probably 11 months or so, even though she had the ability to do it well before that. As for walking, she's not been the least bit interested in it (or maybe mama doesn't give her many opportunities to try it because that would mean that she's growing up and since she only weighs 18 pounds, mama just likes to carry her around!).

At her first birthday party, walking was not even on the horizon. She just wasn't interested. At 12.5 months old she started thinking about it and I got some cute video of her taking a few steps and then dropping down to crawl to her destination. Since then, she'll walk but, only holding someone's hand.

And then this past Saturday at exactly 13 months old, she got up and walked by herself and hasn't sat down since then. It was the most amazing transformation from Friday to Saturday. All of a sudden she had the confidence to keep putting one foot in front of the other and lo, she is a new woman! She walks around the house...she walks outside to play with her sister...she wants to walk in Wal-mart when mama is trying to get in and out of the store in less than 30 minutes...and the list goes on (though mama still has a terrible, terrible habit of wanting to carry her everywhere).

And so my baby is notably less of a baby. The next thing you know, she'll be wanting to face forward in the car or something. My only solace is that she is still the size of a 9-month old and sometimes she'll still cuddle with me...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summer Plans

The summer is quickly approaching. I've spent a considerable amount of the past couple of weeks trying to plan for the summer. This will be the first summer ever that Jayla will not be in school. Jayla has been in school full-time since she was 16 weeks old. I'll also have Tamyra full-time this summer. So, I'll be all stay-at-home mom-ish, I guess. When I told Jayla that she'd be home with me this summer, she broke down in tears and said, "NOOOOO!!! I don't want to stay with you. It'll be BORING!" (I wish I were kidding). Hence, my planning mania...

Our June is mostly filled up. Jayla's spending a week with my parents...all by herself! She is so excited about it. I'm maybe just a wee bit excited too. It'll be our longest time apart and only the second time that she's been outside of the immediate care of her parent but, I'm excited for her to spend time on the same farm that I spent my summers on when I was growing up. When she returns we've got a week of Vacation Bible School at our church, followed by 2 weeks of daily swimming classes and a possible trip to Atlanta for a family reunion. Then, it's July!

I'm not sure what we'll fill July with yet, but something tells me that it won't really be a problem. Both girls are already enrolled in gymnastics classes once a week for the duration of the summer. Plus, there's the playgroup that Tamyra and I currently meet with each week, multiple splash pads that we want to hit up, a museum membership to take advantage of...and POOF, there goes the summer!

Jayla will likely return to school at the beginning of August just to get her back into the groove before Kindergarten starts. Tamyra will probably hang around the house until the week that I go back to school at the end of August. I'm really looking forward to spending plenty of time with my girls, though. After all, what doesn't kill me will only make me stronger, right? Please just nod.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day 2010

Last year at Mother's Day, I had a brand new baby and was pretty unsure about the whole 'mother of two' thing. We were adjusting to being a family of four and were teetering between "oh, wow...this baby sleeps all the time and is so, so easy" and "oh my goodness, this baby has turned our lives upside down".

We took the baby out to lunch that day. She was asleep when we got there. Once she woke up, the lunch deteriorated quickly as it became one of those deals where one parent holds the baby to let the other parent eat and then switch. Tamyra never was a very good restaurant baby before she could partake in the activities at hand. In contrast, Jayla was an excellent restaurant baby from the beginning. So, this was a new experience for us.

I distinctly remember being mortified by the pictures that I took with my girls that day. I was only 2 weeks postpartum and still weighing a good 50 pounds more than I was used to. But, I took plenty of pictures of me and my girls because I really was pretty excited to be able to hold two girls and call them mine.

This year, I took several pictures with them again. I am still holding on to about 20 extra pounds but, whatever. This year I'll post the pictures.

We went to church this morning. I had my girls to myself because daddy was ushering. I enjoyed the time with them. After lunch, Jayla and I grabbed some McDonald's on the way home and Daddy and Tamyra had lunch from home. Tamyra and i slept most of the afternoon while Daddy and Jayla did something (watched tv? played the Wii?).

For dinner, we had Ragin Cajun. I have a knack for picking restaurants on Mother's Day that have essentially no wait (remember Buffalo Wild Wings?). And it was yummy...crawfish tails and crawfish etouffee for me! That was it. My fifth mother's day. A low-key day but, always nice to focus on my family and my role as a mother.

After church. Pay no attention to my bra escaping my clothes!

After dinner. Outside of Ragin Cajun. Before the picture where the homeless man walked up behind me, put his hands on my shoulders, and smiled for a picture. And my husband took the picture! Only Jayla felt the need to NOT change out of her church clothes all day.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Not easily impressed

Last weekend my husband bought a used copy of MarioKart and two steering wheels for our Wii system. He has proceeded to go from sucking to "usually winning" in the past 5 days.

Tonight, I was trying to get dinner on the table so that I could sneak out to the gym while they ate it. My husband was keeping the girls occupied by letting them watch him play MarioKart. At the end of a particular run, he got super excited about something, "...look what daddy did, Jayla!". Her priceless reply: "Ummm...that's not really impressive, Daddy." Perfect English. Perfectly straight expression on her face. No less.

I couldn't deny that she's mine even if I wanted to (I've just learned to keep those things in my head instead of saying them aloud). Also, she cracks me up.

Friday, April 30, 2010


So, Jayla got written up at school yesterday. Ummmm...yes, she is only 4 years old and in Pre-K...why do you ask? But, seriously, the teacher filled out a form yesterday and checked the boxes indicating that Jayla was: "disruptive at naptime" and "would not follow directions". At the bottom of the form, she wrote: "We know that Jayla is starting to outgrow her naps. Can you please talk to her about staying quiet on her mat? Also, when school bell rang to end our naptime, Jayla said, 'Finally, the bell rings'."

What's funny is the teaching assistant predicted that I would laugh at what Jayla said. And I did. Then I talked to her about staying quiet at naptime, just as I was asked to do. Then I took her and Tamyra to swing at the park on the way home.

Fast-forward to home: Jayla says in her daddy's presence, "Mama, you forgot to show him my bad note." I went and got the note and handed it over to him. First, he had lengthy words with me about taking her to the park when she had gotten in trouble at school. I chose not to mention that the note did not say "and please don't take Jayla to the park on the way home from school today". I had spoken with her, which I felt was enough.

He, on the other hand, decided that she could not have dessert after dinner (her beloved apple ritual) and she could not watch PowerPuff Girls (for whatever reason, that's what she likes to wind down to before bed). And she took her punishment and only broke down about 4 times throughout the night. Each time, we took the chance to remind her of why she was unable to do those things last night and she would reiterate to us why the punishment had been served and what she was going to do to avoid it in the future, which is the same thing that I would've done even without the other punishments.

So, this is just another illustration of how different our parenting styles are. I think because I never responded very well to punishment and such, I forget that some kids do respond to it. And because my husband responded very well to punishment as a kid, he doesn't really see how I could let things go without some kind of "major" consequence. I guess eventually we'll figure out which kind of kid Jayla is. Hopefully, she's more like him...that would make the teenage years infinitely more bearable than if she's like me!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


...and so my second baby is a year old now. I'm not sure how we got here. Or what I was doing during that year...I certainly wasn't blogging!

Tamyra is not quite walking yet. She prefers to just hold on to us and drag us around the room, and down the sidewalk, and up the stairs, and around Wal-mart, etc. She still gets regular comments from strangers about her hair and cheeks. Both of which are certainly her defining physical features. She has a hilarious sense of humor and hates medical professionals, which probably stems from her recent battles with RSV and pneumonia (on two separate occassions). By far, her favorite foods are strawberries, graham crackers, chicken tenders, and green peas. Despite what we think is a healthy appetite, she is still just 18 pounds (15th percentile) and 28 inches (30th percentile) long. It's in such contrast to Jayla's massive size that it's comical. She's very attached to her mama and her daddy will do in a pinch. All other adults, beware. She's developing a temper and can easily convince Jayla to back down when they're struggling over the same toy. She certainly knows what she wants and isn't afraid to go after it. She's finally started sleeping through the night in the last month. It involved mama staying in bed for three nights while she learned to put herself back to sleep. Clearly, she was ready for that, though, because she took to it like a champ. And that is Tamyra at one, in a nutshell...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Can Take a Hint...

...and if you're wondering, the sad person at the bottom is me. The happy one is her.