Friday, December 05, 2008

What's been keeping me busy?

While I have yet to find a new job, a freelance project has been taking an inordinate amount of my time lately. Inordinate because of the amount of time I've had to put in for the amount of money that will be returned. Granted, I think if I took another of these projects I would do much better timewise, but its getting harder and harder to work with Ella...and I'm burned out I think. So other than the freelance job, I've actually procrastinated on doing anything about my job situation this week. Instead, I've done laundry:

Induced smiles:
And made an iPod cake for a church member's 13th birthday. I forgot to take pictures until we'd already taped it into the box and the client was here picking it up, so this is all I have for now. I think it turned out great though. What do you think?

Hubband is currently at a choir rehearsal with the church choir. Their Christmas program is next SAbbath, so these last few rehearsals are quite important. Last night, I put up the Christmas tree here at home, and Hubband got the decorations and ornaments down for me this evening. I'm trying to find the energy to go decorate it. Someone wanna shoot some coffee my way or something?

Oh, wait, someone did! THANK YOU, Queenie, for the pumpkin spice and beautiful mug and book of insights for moms. JUST what I needed this week and I'm off to snuggle into a chair, look at my undecorated tree, and read with my pretty mug steaming beside me.

Happy Sabbath everyone!

Monday, December 01, 2008

For Your Enjoyment

I'm too tired to say much, but thought a toothy grin might enchant ya'll into thinking I'd actually been verbose. Did it work?

There are a few more on Picasa in a folder called Month 9...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The latest victim of the economy...

As of today, I have joined the ranks of the unemployed. Due to downturns in the economy, my position was eliminated. Thankfully, I have a freelance project in progress and was granted a severance package that will help tide us over at least until I can find something a little more permanent/lucrative. Please keep us in your prayers! And if you have any freelance needs for an editor/writer, please keep me in mind!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Getting Tips on How to Talk to the Big Man

My friends and I took our Moms to the Holiday Open House in Hernando. I got to sit down and have a chat with Mrs. Claus and Puppy Claus about what to do when I meet the Big Guy in Red next month. I think I've got a good handle on it.
Reece wasn't sure he liked being away from his Mama.

Annah didn't want to sit still.

But we all finally agreed, just so the adult types would stop pestering us.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

What She Learned Next...

Clapping of hands! And I don't just mean all you folks out there in the blogosphere to reward her accomplishment because that IS her accomplishment. She sort of unconsciously clapped Weds night when she saw her bottle and blankie at bedtime, but by Thursday it was full-blown "Holy-cow-look-what-I-can-do-and-it-makes-NOISE" clapping. Today we were listening to Glenn Miller and she started clapping in time to Chattanooga Choo Choo. That's Grandpa's girl, eh? Either that, or she is just following in the footsteps of her mother, who had a crush on Tex Beneke at around age 5. I must admit though, by the time I was 6 he had been replaced by Davy Crockett. I mean, who can resist the King of the Wild Frontier?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I love to sit and watch Ella as she plays. It is so easy to see the wonder at new things and the amazing learning capacity she has. We often marvel that just a few short months ago she couldn't even lift her head. Now she is on the verge of walking, she "talks" and plays, and amuses herself for long periods of time. She currently is sitting on her play mat pulling toys carefully out of the toy box when she wants them. A few minutes ago, she reached in, dug around, found a book, pulled it out and sat back to look at it. She adores magazines and newspapers, plays her LeapFrog drum, tries to stand up on her own without something to pull up on, and carefully sorts her coasters. I can't wait to see what she learns next...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Beyond Tired

Teething, stuffed up nose, and exciting happenings have led to a tired baby. Tired baby? Means beyond tired parents. >yawn< It's been a busy and hectic week so far, too, which probably hasn't helped. Last night was the culmination of the week (I know, I know, it was only Tuesday) when we had the Praise Team for this Sabbath over to practice. Hubband forgot to tell me about it until around 130 pm but we were able to pull together the house and he watched the baby while I roasted some sweet potatoes, mixed up some cajun mayo, and did a quick parmesan and fresh rosemary breading and pan fry on some chicken. While the gang was singing after dinner I threw together some cinnamon chip cookies and cleaned the kitchen. Not too bad an effort, I felt, with only 4 hours notice! Stacy ran a few errands with me and helped get things prepped, which also was a big help.

Today is another long day at work with Andrew gone to class for the bulk of the day. I'm praying for nap. Lots and lots of nap.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Four Years (minus a few hours....)

At approximately 4:20 pm this afternoon Hubband and I will officially have been husband and wife for 4 years. As I type this, our daughter is racing around in her "car" and shrieking at the dog. Right there is a lot to show for our 4 years! I think back to the first time I met him, dressed in our 90's grunge finery, me barefoot, he with bright green contact with waist-length blond hair, he with a short skater cut. That night, I told my roommate he was the kind of guy I would marry one day.

In the 13 years that I've known him he has been my confidant, friend, lover, shoulder to cry on, and comic relief. We have laughed long, cried hard, loved intensely. Thank you for the wonderful years, my Love. I look forward to all of the years and experiences yet to come.

Happy Anniversary!

(Do you think he knew what he was getting into when he proposed?)

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Weekend Video of Nothing Much

Just to make ya'll smile. Cheerios, funny faces, and then it is bath time...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Stress, a Leaky Roof, and the Gnat Frat Party at Our House,

I've made it a point over the years that I have been cataloging our daily (ok, so lately more like monthly) lives to not speak overmuch about work. Partly because how many of you REALLY care about my work life, and partly in an effort not get dooced. Im breaking my silence because right now our stresses over my work ARE our life, mostly. My company (name withheld to protect the innocent, namely, ME) creates a product that has recently sort of been made obsolete by new guidelines distributed by an industry group (not official, legal, etc, just a group of industry leaders trying to lead the industry). In discussions with various folks it has been revealed that there may be lay offs (sorry to be so vague folks, see above re: doocing). This morning that "maybe" became a "trying to avoid" which says to me "imminent". I have no idea if I would be one of those laid off (although there really are only 3 of us who are potentials), what if any kind of severance package I would receive, etc., but the fact that we live off of my income is making me quite quite worried about the whole thing. Please pray for us?

In other news, we came home from running errands in a downpour last night and found that the downpour was in the kitchen, too. Apparently one of the branches that fell during the wind storms over the last couple of months has gouged a hole in the shingles and/or leaf buildup has wedged them. We can't tell until it stops raining enough for Hubband to get up on the roof without worrying about sliding off in the mud. For the moment, there is a bucket in the attic that is collecting drips and a section of drywall in the kitchen ceiling that needs to be replaced.

Further kitchen news that just made my day... apparently there was a gnat frat party last night. They seem to have gotten drunk on the red wine in my red wine vinegar (who knows HOW they got in the bottle) and then drowned in the vinegar while they were unconcious. So far, the gnat police haven't charged me with anything (willful distribution of red wine vinegar to buggy minors?)--I'll keep you posted.

And now, the queen of the 40 minute nap has struck again and I need to go and get her majesty out of jail. Farewell.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Retrospective Tuesday

This last week we had an opportunity, thanks to Krissa (who got free tickets for us) and Stacy and Brian (who babysat for us) to go on our 2nd post-baby, baby-free outing. Krissa's radio station had some extra comp seats to the opening night of Avenue Q at the Orpheum here in Memphis and the 3 of us went. It was a blast! I wasn't sure what to expect, as my only exposure to the show had been through an Ace of Cakes episode where Duff and the gang made a replica of the stage in cake. I was pleasantly surprised not just at the show for entertainment quality, but of the number of messages that were presented and concepts put "out there" to get the audience thinking. We laughed pretty darn hard during the show, but I think we laughed even harder in the car on the way home. Krissa felt pretty good about the fact that she got me laughing so hard I snorted, and Hubband was on a rare roll of teasing me with full support from the peanut gallery.

Friday, October 03, 2008

And then there were TWO....

Teeth, that is. What did you THINK I meant?

Our girl was really grumpy this morning, and her left bottom tooth has popped through so I wasn't sure what the attitude was for until she hollered at me while I was changing her diaper and I noticed that instead of ONE white peak, there were TWO. Above photo was snapped when we were trying to convince her that food was not what was causing her mouth to hurt. You can see both little "toofs" front and center! Go on, look hard. I promise that's what they are....I've been bitten by them in many different places!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We have TOOTH!

That same tooth that we all saw looming under her gums around 4 months ago has finally made its appearance! Well, mostly. She chomped on my finger this am and nearly cut me... Still not terribly easy to SEE the little sucker, but you sure can feel that sharp edge! Photographic evidence to follow as soon as possible. I must run now, she's crawled into a corner and gotten herself stuck...


Here is that photographic evidence... at least, as much evidence as she will allow. The bottom middle tooth on the left is the one that is in, you can see it there just peeking out between her tongue and gums.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ella's 7th Month

The Vocabulary of a New Parent

In the midst of an email exchange with my lovely mother-in-law I realized that the vocabulary of a new parent does not necessarily include new words and phrases, but that the MEANING of those words and phrases changes drastically.

For example:
sleeping in
  • To a nonparent, this implies continous sleep from the time one enters bed until a time to be determined solely by the body and brain as they figure out they are rested and/or hungry the following day.
  • To a new parent, this is any time past 5 am that the baby allows you to sleep, regardless of how many times you have woken up already in the night; the secondary definition also includes the opportunity to go back to bed at any time before 9 am and obtain at least 1 hour of sleep.
cleaning house
  • To a nonparent this is the simple task of dusting, vacuuming, and picking up ones abode
  • To the new parent this is a herculean task that requires teamwork and several consecutive days, at least if both are working. In our case, we pick up 2x a week, vacuum and dust on Friday, alternate the cleaning of bathrooms, etc. and the house is never entirely CLEAN AND NEAT from top to bottom on a single day. We manage to stave of the onslaught of dirt and destruction, but I'd hate for a white glove inspection...
going out
  • To a nonparent this implies a date or otherwise interesting outing away from home and the rigors of one's job for a purely entertaining reason.
  • To a new parent this is any time that one actually exits the premises of the house. For example, yesterday I went out and bought diapers. It was exciting. Today? I shall "go out" and get the mail.
  • To a nonparent this is when you feel mildly sleepy and/or have overdone things a little at work and play
  • To a new parent the former is a standard state of being and "tired" actually implies something akin to sleepwalking where "tired" reaches out and slaps you in the face repeatedly merely to keep you from walking into walls.
  • To a nonparent this is when it has rained outside, or one has freshly exited the shower or pool
  • To a new parent this is a state of being that travels from the baby's own person (diaper/drool/spit) to oneself (pee, drool, spitup)
I'm sure others will occur to me shortly, but I am tired as I was unable to sleep in this morning, El is wet, and we really should clean the house before going out....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


(this is the chairs before cleansing)

Im very impressed with myself today. I've been surfing craigslist for months looking for specific things; sometimes I find them, sometimes I dont. This week I came across several promising ads for bar stools, which we've been needing. We had lots of mismatched and uncomfortable chairs, but nothing that was... RIGHT. I finally made an offer on two wood counter height barstools that said they needed recovering. I picked them up last night and they were a bit scratched looking and the fabric looked stained. Got them home and Hubband washed the seats and Pledged the wood and they are in PERFECT condition. These things were just FILTHY. Our sink was literally brown with dirt. Now? I have two beautiful barstools and I only paid 15 dollars each. Woot!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Becca!

Another shot of our new girl in the family. ;-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bell Bottom Trousers?


Is she destined to wear the "Coat of Navy Blue"?
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rebecca Lillian

Our newest niece joined the family at 12:35 pm today, weighing in at 7 lbs 2 oz. She and DangerElf are both doing good. Welcome to the family, Rebecca!!

Monday, September 08, 2008


I think the body gets used to lack of sleep in a way that when you do actually achieve rest it has no idea what to do with itself and tries to shut down. BabyBee has been waking up several times each night again of late and I prepared for it last night by turning out my light by 10 pm. She woke briefly at 5 or so, whimpered and fussed for about 15 minutes and then just as we were getting up to get her she fell asleep again... until 6. I had a 7 hour stretch, straight. So the only way I can explain how dreadfully tired and sleepy I am is that my body is confused by all the sleep and has decided that it needs more. To fake it out even more, I think I will drink 2 cups of coffee instead of just one. Or maybe I'll do it just because I love coffee...

Friday, September 05, 2008


It really is amazing the things we take for granted in each other, and how quickly our views may be forced to change. In the last 6 months and 1 week, we have gone from being the frightened parents of a newborn to being parents of a little girl. From talking to each other about the baby, to talking to HER...and she responds.

If she is in her walker and you say "Come with me, Eleanor", she will trot along happily behind you to wherever you're going. I've found that if I tell her what I'm doing once or twice, she recognizes the action later. For example, I make coffee every morning, and the grinder used to scare her a little. I started telling her that I was making the coffee and the grinder would start before pushing the button, and now, as long as I tell her? She's fine. She'll even trot over to the coffee maker in her walker and wait for me in the morning as she knows that's my first destination.

I know to anyone who isn't a first time parent, these musings are probably a bit "old hat", but it just is so awesome to me to see my little girl understanding, and even trying to communicate back. Last Sabbath, as I was changing her diaper, she put her hand on my arm, waited until I looked at her, and said "Mama"; she then patted my arm twice and went back to chewing her duck.

And now to brag, because that whole stream of consciousness thing above was not bragging...really! But this morning, when she heard a toy squeak like her ducky? She said "BUCKY" and when Hubband tried to put her down after a diaper change without some liquid refreshment, she said "MAMA!"...and when she sees Priscilla? "UPPAH"

We joke that we're going to be like the mom in that cell phone commercial who has the chatterbox daughter and finally at 12 gives the kid a cell phone in self defense...except that I can't imagine ever not being interested in what she has to say. I can't imagine not wanting to hear about her views of life and the world. I may get tired of the WAY she says it, or if she says the same thing 20 times in a row, but I doubt it. Talking and communicating is such an amazing thing, after all (don't you like how I went from commentary to bragging and back to commentary so neatly? It wasn't planned, I promise). And could a writer and editor ever REALLY be tired of words? Especially those spoken by a miracle.

Bedtime Giggles

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mini Reunion

A few weeks ago, Facebook spit out a plethora of my old high school buddies and instructed to "ADD NOW!", so I did. I always do what I'm told (Hubband read that statement and fell to the floor with laughter, holding his sides, and shrieking). One of those buddies was Tammy, and it turned out that she and her husband were on their way to Denmark--not to visit, but to live! Her folks live only a few hours from us, so on their drive from California to Tennessee, they stopped off for the weekend. It was a lot of fun to catch up, and with Krissa here in town, we had a mini reunion of sorts. Good food, laughter, and baby drool. Can't beat that when you've not seen someone for 13 years!


Do you think we've changed at all?
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Sweet Potato Pie

This one is for you, C-Mom!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

All Girls Love Weddings

These are the only shots we really got before our camera died at Ronnie and Jessica's wedding. I'm hoping to steal some off Dalena and Stacy, as we got some cute ones with Ella and Annah together. El loved the wedding though! Even with no naps really all day long, she lasted until after the cake was cut at the reception before melting into a pile of unhappiness. She was in bed for the night at 530!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


It was very nice while we were traveling for Ella to meet many of her relatives who had not been able in this economic climate to see her live and in person.

These included:
Grace, Uncle Steven, Jaime, Jackson, Jacob, Uncle Jason, Uncle Peter, "Grandma and Grandpa" Sikora, Uncle Bob, Alyssa, Austin, Sarah, Travis, "GG" (her great-grandmother), Great-Grandpa, Grandpa Tony, and Grandma Lori.

Here are a few of those introductions in pictorial format. Enjoy!

(the firstborn!)