Kitties are Cute

Hmm... I think it's time to talk about something besides Lila... How about kitties? I think Cordy fell off the bed this morning. She was laying near the edge, grooming herself when I looked at her. I closed my eyes (this was before i got up) and the next thing I knew, I heard and felt her leave the bed and hit the floor rather ungracefully. This was followed, a second later, by a very irritated-sounding, "Tschew!" [that's a kitty sneeze, for those who don't know]

I love our kitties and how different they are. For example, if Charlie had fallen off the edge of the bed, (a) I would not have been surprised, and (b) he would have acted like he did it on purpose. He is not the most graceful cat, thanks to his large size and nerve damage. So it is not uncommon to see him do things like attempt to jump onto a windowsill and miss. It's quite funny, but he handles the embarrassment like he does everything else - he pretends he did it on purpose and then ignores us until we stop laughing and go away.

Cordelia, on the other hand, has a very high opinion of herself. (what cat doesn't, right?) She is far more graceful than Charlie and when she does do ungainly things, like fall off the bed, she gets very embarrassed and defensive. How, you may ask, can you tell if a cat is feeling defensive? Well, that's a silly question and I'm going to assume that you are a dog person and ignore you. [interesting. charlie and i seem to have a lot in common.]


P.S. - For those of you (grandmothers) who only read this blog to get updates on Lila, I am including a photo. This was taken last night as she lounged on the couch with her milk and watched her daily video. Yes, she is licking the phone.



What is it about toddlers that as soon as they are old enough to say the word 'baby' they become obsessed with them? It's like suddenly babies are the coolest things in the world and they have no idea that they are still babies themselves. For example, Lila was totally in love with Olivia while we were there for Christmas. Olivia is only six months younger than Lila, but apparently that's enough to qualify her as a baby.

Now, two months ago, when we were all at Grammie and Papa Joe's house, the two girls had no interest in each other. If anything, they were suspicious of one another. There is a very funny photo from that weekend where they are in the same chair and you can tell they are sizing each other up. Anyway, that was two months ago.

This time, Lila wanted Olivia in her sights at all times. As soon as she'd wake up from a nap, the first word out of her mouth would be, "Baby?" She hugged and kissed Olivia and even gave her a bite of food one time. That's not to say that she was totally without jealousy. You should have seen her when Olivia tried to touch one of her Christmas presents. Lila threw her arm out to push Olivia away and said, "OUT!"


Lila's Crash Bang Christmas

My poor child has gotten hurt so many times in the past week! The photo that you see here is her with a fat lip. That was from falling and busting her lip on one of Olivia's walking toys - twice! Her lip bled both times and it was very sad! She was sick and very puny all day yesterday and this morning. She felt better by this afternoon, but went back to injuring herself.

This evening, she and I were playing on my bed and she decided to get down. She knows how to get down by herself, but it's a long way to the floor. Usually she'll ask for "Down" and/or we'll help her on her way. This time, I wasn't paying attention and she decided to get off the bed herself. I turned and glanced at her just in time to see her disappear off the side of the bed. I don't think it really hurt, but it was a bumpy and altogether ungraceful exit.

The saddest, and yet funniest, thing that happened to her today took place at Rooms-To-Go (where we were shopping for new sofas). She and I were sitting on this big round chair that spins - very cool! We cuddled up and Doug spun us around several times. I got tired of it and staggered off to sit on another sofa, but Lila stayed behind. Doug reached over to spin her again and noticed too late that she was sitting a bit close to the edge. She lost her balance and got spun right off the edge of the chair and into the floor... in front of half a dozen employees. Thankfully, she landed on her back and not her head. It was funny and sad and embarassing all at the same time.


Christmas was wonderful, but between all that excitement and the fact that I've been ill, in one way or another, since Saturday morning, I just don't feel like putting forth the effort to type up a real post. So you'll have to settle for another cute photo of my child until I feel like being sociable again. :)


Tell me all your thoughts on God...

I got to spend some splendiferous time with God a couple of days ago and I just re-read what I wrote in my journal that morning. (it was an especially focused and relaxed time of meditation because i was at a coffee shop and not distracted by thoughts of when lila might wake up from her nap.) Anyway, I thought I'd share. The Bible passage that I read was Romans 8:18-27.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

Here's what I wrote in my journal (i'm not saying it's amazing or well-written, but i thought others might be interested in my flow of thought):

We do so many things to try and ease our pain. So many things, but rarely the thing that we should do -- turn to God. Such broken creatures filled with such glory! But so often we don't see it, even within ourselves. On earth, we are born, we create new life, we die, and so life goes on. In heaven, will we reproduce? will there be kittens? :o) There will no longer be decay - in people or the rest of creation. Will things still break?

"The creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth" - what does that mean? Does the earth feel? Why does God allow so much pain, even among his faithful followers? Does the pain make us better able to see the beauty? Are we subjected to suffering that we might learn what hope is? If we were already in possession of all the joy we are promised, then what would we hope for? - "who hopes for what he already has?" I would rush us all toward glory, but that is not God's will. Will our appreciation of glory be equal to our hope for it on this side of death?

I love this image - that "the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Sometimes the pain in my heart is beyond my words or understanding, but it is never beyond God's understanding. Praise God that his Spirit intercedes for us, in accordance with God's will! May God's will be done and not my own.


The photo of Lila is not really related, but who am I to pass by an opportunity to show off my sweet girl? After all, she is one of the beautiful things in this world!

Christmas is upon us!

This might well be the last chance I have to post for several days, so I shall say, "Merry Christmas!" If you are thinking of going to a Christmas Eve service, but haven't decided where, I recommend Gateway. It's true that I'm a bit biased, but I know the service is going to be wonderful! Just check out the 'Gateway Church' link on the left for service times and directions.

This photo was taken during a service last week. The stage design folks always do a great job, but they've outdone themselves this time! It's not a great picture, but it's the best one we got. Check out the blue carpet and the funky Christmas tree shapes. It has a very strong Dr. Suess vibe to it. Anyway, very cool and I think you should check it out - for the atmosphere, the music, and what is sure to be a great Christmas message. :)

Lila is walking around today looking like a large bumblebee. She's wearing a yellow dress and her black and white striped leggings. Just the fact that she's walking makes everything she does seem extra cute!


Walk like a . . . big girl!

Lila has finally decided to walk. We've known for some time that she was capable, just not willing. Well, last night she turned on the juice. She went from refusing to take more than a few steps to walking around from room to room with ease. She is so proud of herself and it's very cute. Ol' Mommy has experienced one or two twinges of sadness as she watches her little one leave the last traces of infancy behind. [sigh]


Bobby and Elizabeth are a father and daughter who live next door to us. Elizabeth (who just turned 12) loves Lila and comes over to play with her at least once per week. This works out very well for me because she usually comes over just in time to distract Lila while I cook dinner. In fact, this is our arrangement: she distracts Lila, we feed her. Occasionally, we make something that she just doesn't like, but she's always a good sport and tries it.

It's really very cute. One time, Elizabeth said, "I wish Lila were my sister." Ack! How sweet is that?!? Lila is starting to get pretty fond of Elizabeth too. The last time she came over, Lila got excited and started clapping as soon as she heard Elizabeth's voice. Yesterday evening, she was over again and I let her use Doug's computer to get onto her MySpace page. (we can discuss at another time why myspace annoys me.) Lila wanted to get up in her lap and then stayed there, staring at the computer very seriously (see photo), for about 20 minutes! I couldn't believe it.

On another note, I'm not sure whether I'm excited or in denial that Christmas is five days away. Someday I'm going to refuse to be stressed about the holiday. I'll just refuse to do it. I mean, really, what does it accomplish? If I feel overwhelmed by all that needs to be done, then I should get up and do one thing. Don't try to do it all or to be perfect - just make one little dent in the to-do list and things will be better than they were before. I actually did pretty well this year until I missed my goal and then it all went out the window. Alas...


Trail of Lights, Location: Hell

Doug, Lila, and I went to the Trail of Lights last night. I think I aged about 7 years on the way there. We left the house around 5:55 p.m. We did not get to the park until 7:05 p.m. During the intervening 70 minutes, we sat in endless traffic and listened to Lila cry. And cry. And cry. She cried for about 55 of the minutes that we were in the car - seriously. And I seriously wanted to cry too!

Once we got there, thankfully, all three of us quickly improved in spirit and had a good time. Lila was tired from all that crying and because it was nearly her bedtime, but she loved looking at all the people and the lights. We didn't get home until 8:45 and she bypassed the bath and went straight to bed. Sadly, we forgot to take the camera with us, so I have no photos. The one posted here is Lila showing a little attitude while playing in the car.

A highlight of our time at the Trail of Lights was when we were handed a tract by a very cheerful lady from some unknown church. Once we got somewhere with enough light, I read it and... well, let me just type some of it here for you.

He's making a list, he's checking it twice... he's gonna find out who's naughty or nice! If Santa used the Ten Commandments for his standard, how would you do? Let's find out... Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen anything? (No matter the value.) Ever used God's name in vain? Ever looked with lust? Jesus said, 'Whosoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.'

If you are guilty of these things that makes you a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer-at-heart. Many people don't know that God will use the Ten Commandments to judge the world. Forget about Santa, 'naughty' and 'nice'... how will you do on Judgement Day? If you are found guilty, that means an eternity in Hell...

This was followed by some decent explanation of the gospel of Jesus. I doubt many people made it that far though because the beginning was so awful. Where do they come up with these things?!?


Over It

Sorry for the past few days' silence. I've been sick. Yucky! I guess Lila brought home a stomach virus of some kind because Doug and I were both having stomach issues on Wednesday night. I actually ended up vomiting, which never happens! Thankfully, Doug was feeling better by morning, but I was not. I never threw up again, but I continued to be... unwell.

My wonderful husband was kind enough to stay home and take care of Lila yesterday so that I could lay in bed and sleep for an obsenely long time. I'm still a bit queasy today, but feeling much much better. All of this nausea has brought to mind how awful I felt during the first few months of my pregnancy with Lila. Thanks to this, I have entirely recovered from my odd desire to be pregnant again. I never thought I'd be grateful for a stomach virus!

Lila has been very volatile for the past few days -- launching into a screaming fit whenever the least thing does not go her way, which is often -- but does not seem to be sick, thankfully. I'm glad she hasn't thrown up or anything, but how is it fair that she picks up a bug and Doug and I are the ones to get sick?!? (i suppose one of us could have been the germ magnets, but we are a family of strong immune systems, so who knows - we chose to blame it on group child care.)


I've had all I can stands and I can't stands no more!

Lila is not exactly gentle with the kitties most of the time. She can be, when she chooses. It's very cute to see her rubbing her hand back and forth across all that fluff while the feline recipient looks extremely nervous and tries not to move. But it's much more common to see her crawl up to one of them and start whacking away.

We've been telling her since she was old enough to reach for a cat that she needs to use gentle touches. We've shown her how and taken her away from them when she's not gentle. And we've also been telling her that if she keeps being rough with the kitties, one of them is going to get angry and scratch her.

Well, it finally happened. Charlie was already feeling victimized because I took him to the vet yesterday and this afternoon Lila started in on him again. I guess he had taken all the abuse he could stand and he finally popped her on the head and hissed at her. There are some pink scratches, but I think it scared her more than it hurt. And, while I'm not excited about this, I figure it will do a much better job of teaching her to be gentle than all of my words have done.


If I haven't already mentioned it, I got a new pair of glasses recently. I'd been wearing contacts for years and I was tired of them. They made my eyes feel tired and I'm too lazy to take them out every night and put them back in every morning, so I was just wearing them for days at a time. I decided to get glasses and to go for a fun pair. I wasn't interested in having them blend into my face - it's not like people are going to overlook them anyway. So here are some mediocre shots of my fun new glasses. :)

I went to a late late movie again last night, trying to recapture the fun I had when I did that last month. I went with the same approach of getting a ticket to whichever movie had the latest showing at the theater near our house. Unfortunately, I chose a lame movie. I watched 'Turistas' and I give it about a 3 out of 10. It wasn't as bad as I thought it might be, but it certainly wasn't good either. In fact, I'd say it's not even worth a rental -- unless you have a coupon and are into movies with no point.

Oh well, not knowing what I was getting into was part of the adventure. That's why I did it that way! Maybe next time I'll find another winner, like 'Stranger Than Fiction'. If you haven't seen that one yet, I really recommend it!


Lonely Womb

I have several friends who are currently pregnant and I've been reading the blog of another pregnant couple whom I don't actually know. I loaded up my maternity clothes to loan to one of my friends and this has somehow triggered another round of delusional nostalgia. That is to say, I'm suddenly having fond memories of being pregnant and wishing I were so again. What the heck?!? How twisted is that?!?

For those who don't know or don't remember: I did not like being pregnant. In fact, I don't think it would be much of a stretch to say that I hated it. The only thing I liked was feeling the baby move. And, of course, the fact that Lila was the result. But every other part of it sucked! I was emotional (even more so than usual), uncomfortable, I couldn't sleep, and I had to pee all the time!

For some reason, however, I'm being flodded with memories of gazing lovingly at my growing belly, seeing that new little person on the ultrasound for the first time, and all the attention I got. I find this extremely disturbing. I'm not sure I really did gaze lovingly at my growing belly - I think my brain made that part up!

I do remember the day I got out a mirror so that I could get a good look at the stretch marks on the lower half of my abdomen (which i hadn't been able to see in months). Doug, upon hearing my cry of horror, came into the room and was greeted with, "Why didn't anyone tell me?!?" He, very wisely, took the mirror away from me and told me not to do that again.

Anyway, I would like to offer a most humble apology to those of you lovely ladies who shared such glowing memories of your past pregnancies with me while I was carrying Lila. I'm sorry that I thought you were mentally unstable and secretly cursed you for trying to brainwash me into believing that I was not being punished by God.



Let me explain why this photo is amusing. Charlie was laying on the couch, innocently napping his life away. Cordy was wandering around the house, desperate for some attention. Since I did not give her what she wanted, she decided to make Charlie pay attention to her. Usually, when she gets in his face, he'll start grooming her and this is what she was hoping for.

This time, however, she jumped up onto the couch and got in his face and he ignored her. Since he wouldn't pay attention to her, she decided to snuggle up to him and run him out of his spot - another one of her famous techniques. She knows that he will quickly get hot and leave if she snuggles up to him. So, this time she snuggled and all he did was bury his face in her side and keep sleeping.

What you see in this picture is Charlie, still sleeping, and Cordelia pouting. Just another person in this house who does not understand her or give her the respect she deserves. [sigh]


O Jesus, I Have Promised

We sang this hymn at BSF this morning and it really touched me. I'm not a big fan of most hymns, but there are a few that are dear to my heart and every once in a while I hear a new one that I like. Anyway, here are the lyrics, along with a gratuitous photo of my adorable child...

O Jesus, I Have Promised
by John E. Bode

O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end
Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my Guide

O let me feel Thee near me! The world is ever near
I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear
My foes are ever near me, around me and within
But Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin

O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory there shall Thy servant be
And Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end
O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend

There are a couple of things bits that really resonate with me. In the second verse, it says,
My foes are ever near me, around me and within
But Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin

Have you ever felt that way? That your foes are not only near you, but within you? I am my own foe at times. But Jesus can draw even nearer to us than the foe that lies within. It makes my heart swell to think that Jesus is that close to me, shielding my soul.

From the third verse:
And Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end
O give me grace to follow, my Master and my Friend

It is only by God's grace that I am able to follow Jesus. I make the choice, but God gives me the strength. And what a relief that is! We're studying Romans this year, in BSF, and it's all about Grace. I never realized before what an infinitely complex and yet utterly simple concept it is. I learn something new every week!


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We've been slowly decorating around here and things are starting to look quite festive. Doug fluffed up our tree and put the lights on it. It currently only has two ornaments, but that's because we're just doing a bit at a time. It will be overflowing with Snoopies by the time we're done with it. I put up one of our nativity sets last night (one that was put together by doug's grandfather).

And, for the first time, we're putting lights up outside! Doug and Lila went out to by outdoor lights on Sunday and ended up at Ikea. However, after that detour, they did get some lights and those are slowly being put up as well. What you see in this picture is Lila testing the new lights by decorating herself with them. And those are some fantastically cute leggings from Cradle Couture that she's wearing. She totally digs the lights ("Ligh'! Ligh'! Ligh'!") and so far we have some on the front and back porches. I'm not sure what Doug plans on doing with the rest of them.

My goal is to get the rest of the decorations put in their places by Wendesday evening because we're having a Small Group Christmas Party here that evening. :)


Cradle Couture

Doug, Lila, and I took a day trip to San Antonio on Saturday to visit my cousin Meredith's new baby boutique! It's called Cradle Couture and the website is http://www.cradlecouture.com if you're interested in checking it out. I just heard from Meredith and she said the website would be up and running in time for Christmas orders. She has the coolest (and cutest) things there! Everything you see on Lila in this photos (except for the ponytail holders) came from Cradle Couture. Isn't it just painfully cute?!?

I was so stressed out that morning and kept getting irritated with Doug and Lila over the stupidest things! During the drive, Doug and I got to talk about it for a while and I realized that I've just been overwhelmed lately. I have been trying to do too much during the day and when I added Christmas preparations on top of my normal responsibilities, it was too much! I was beginning to feel like I only did things because I "had" to and I was starting to rebel and take it out on everyone else.

Just realizing what was bothering me really helped! I made it a point for the rest of the weekend to do only things that I wanted to do. I still got things done though because I'd taken the pressure off of myself to do it all at once. I got our Christmas newsletters folded, stuffed, and stamped. I got a bit of cleaning done, and I helped Doug with a little Christmas decorating. Of course, I also spent some time watching 'America's Next Top Model' on TV, but overall I'm feeling much more motivated to DO MY JOB! :)


Breakfast at Tiffany's

I watched 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' for the first time last night. It's a movie that I'd always wanted to see, but never got around to it. I run across it on TV now and then, but always in the middle. Anyway, I have now watched it and I really liked it! It's mostly a sad movie, but it ends the way I wanted it to. Once it was over, I commented to Doug that it was made back when movies ended the way they were supposed to! :o)~

I've not seen a lot of Audrey Hepburn movies (actually, the only other movie i've ever seen her in was 'my fair lady'), but I can see why people love her. She did have great style - although I'm not sure how much of it was her and how much was the wardrobe person! At any rate, she carried the style well. I think I saw in the opening credits that the movie was based on a book. If so, I'd like to read it...

Clearly there's not much going on around here (finally). After an insane several days, today has been very quiet. All I really want to do is sit around in my pajamas and watch TV, but that's not possible with a little one to keep up with.


Do me a favor...

In the past two weeks, the following things have happened to friends of mine:

One couple had to be induced two months early and their baby girl was born weighing only 3.5 lbs. She is doing alright, but will be in the hospital at least through the end of the year.

Another found out that they are likely going to lose the child that they are currently expecting. They already had heart surgery done on the baby in utero and it was not successful.

And then there is the tragedy that I mentioned a couple of days ago with the friends who lost their oldest son in a car accident. We are going to the funeral tomorrow.

So do me a favor. If you have a child in the house, get up now and go hug them... :)


If any of you are interested in keeping up with Mason Hagen's recovery so that you can pray for him more specifically, you can get information here: http://hagenupdates.blogspot.com/

It is updated at least once daily.


A Hug from God

Think of your four favorite hugs. Are they from a grandparent? A parent? Your spouse? Your child? Now think about what it is that you love about these hugs. When you are in their arms, do you feel accepted? Loved? Beautiful? Complete?

In any relationship, there is a touch of bittersweetness because none of us are perfect. During one of those wonderful hugs, there are always voices whispering in your head. "I should call her more often." "I wish he would call ME sometimes." "If only I could take back that hurtful thing I said." "Why does she have to grow up?" Even if we aren't consiously aware of the voices, they are there.

Now take those four favorite hugs that I asked you to think of before and I want you to imagine straining out all of the bittersweet parts. Strain each one until what is left is beautiful and flawless. Now take those four purified hugs and add them together into one pure hug that encompasses all of your favorite things. Take that one pure hug, multiply it by 1000 and add the power of the universe to it.

This is what I imagine a hug from my Lord to be like. I think it will feel sweet, safe, passionate, and singularly our own. It will be beyond description and once we find ourselves in his arms, we will never leave them. Praise God!

On Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006, Marshall Arnold Hagen died in a car accident at the age of 20. Right now, Marshall is in the arms of our Father, experiencing this boundless love. I can be certain of this because his hope, like mine, is in Christ. And that is a hope that does not disappoint.

Marshall's brother, Mason Hagen, was also in the accident and is currently in the hospital with severe burns. Please pray for his quick healing and that skin grafts will not be necessary. Please pray that he would be able to leave the hospital, at least temporarily, to attend his brother's funeral. Please pray that Mason would heal emotionally as well and would find freedom from the guilt he feels. And please pray for the entire Hagen family -- Mark, Kristen, Hannah, Heidi, and Madison -- to be filled with God's love and comfort as they grieve the loss of Marshall and pray for the healing of Mason.

I didn't know Marshall as well as I do some other members of his family, but his death makes me angry. It is unfair and just doesn't make sense. I hope that you feel the same way because I think that is the response that God wants from us. We were not created to live in this world full of pain and it should not be okay with us when something like this happens.

I'm not saying we should let this anger stand between us and God. That is certainly not what He wants. This anger should propel us toward God. Go to Him and tell Him how you feel. Rant and cry and shout if you need to. God wants every part of your heart! If you will come to him with your pain, He will use you to help this world.

God speaks differently to every person and the things he says will be different for every person. But his purpose for us all is the same. He wants us to come to Him, broken and powerless, and let his love and power fill us until it overflows into the lives of those around us. That is the only way we can really make a difference and it is a privilege that I hope I never forget the honor of!


This photo cracks me up. "Well Ma'am, I took a look at your engine. I can fix the problem, but it's gonna cost ya'..." The picture was taken in our garage yesterday, while Lila was busily following her Daddy around, investigating things, and getting her pretty white dress as dirty as she possibly could.

Things are super busy around here and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I usually look forward to Thanksgiving - there have even been years when I looked forward to it even more than Christmas. This year is different for some reason. I don't feel like going to Dallas and doing the normal Thanksgiving thing. Maybe it's a desire for us to start our own family traditions...?

In keeping with the spirit of the first Thanksgiving, I'd like to prepare a meal and then share it with another family who can't afford their own. Those who have plenty, sharing with those who have not. Anyway, we are going to Dallas and I'm sure it will be fun. We will get our Famiy Fix, and, more importantly, my family will get their Lila Fix. I am SO looking forward to the stuffing... :)


I really don't have much to talk about today. I had an allergy test done this morning and I ended up being there for four hours! I will talk about it tomorrow maybe - I just don't feel like typing it out right now. I will, however, give you a list of the top 7 things in the environment that I'm allergic to, in order of severity.

1. Rye Grass
2. Timothy Grass
3. Johnson Grass
4. Bahia Grass
5. Bermuda Grass
6. Ragweed
7. Marsh Elder


Chipmunks in my Head

Have you ever listened to an entire album of Chipmunk music? No? Have you ever stood next to power tools (with no earplugs) for an hour? Okay, well that's close. Lila and I go to the library every Monday and we check out a couple of books and a new children's music CD every week. This week it's "The Best of the Chipmunks - 35 Years". Basically, it's the Chipmunks (and their girlfriends) singing popular songs.

The first song or two was entertaining. And then it started to wiggle inside my head like some kind of burrowing worm. By the end of the CD, I felt like I was going to burst into either maniacal laughter or uncontrollable weeping. If you'd like a small taste of insanity, just listen to the Chipmunks' recording of 'Achy Breaky Heart'. Seriously.

Now for some exciting news - LILA HAS TAKEN HER FIRST STEPS!!! For a week or two now, she's been able to stand up on her own, but she won't do it for more than a few seconds. Yesterday, I decided to actively try to get her to take a few steps. I stood her up against the wall, scooted back a bit, and then started calling her toward me. She's been doing a great job! She can consistently take one or two steps and two different times she managed to take about five steps! Hooray for the Bean!


Random Stuff

I'm trying to get Lila to go down for a nap right now, but she's not having it. I guess there's been too much excitement this morning. From the sounds of things, she's currently trying to bend the bars apart on her crib so that she can get out! I'm hearing lots of grunting and monkey noises.

The photo that I've posted here is a few weeks old, but I think it's cute. This is Lila and Cousin Olivia sharing a bath. [Photo removed to keep it out of the hands of perverts.] That was the first time that Lila had anyone other than Mommy or Daddy in the bath with her and she really wasn't sure what to think. Especially when Olivia started playing with Lila's bath toys. It never got violent, but they did keep snatching this cup away from each other. Add to that the three or four people in the room with cameras and the fact that Lila was up past her bedtime -- she just didn't know what to think about the whole experience.

I had an eye exam yesterday and found out that my vision has corrected itself over the past couple of years! It is probably a combination of not straining my eyes with proofing work anymore and the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Either way, I ordered glasses that I'll only need to use for seeing details at a distance (e.g., when driving at night or watching a movie). The doctor said that the vision in each eye individually is 20/25 now and it's 20/20 when using both eyes. I just need correction for a slight astigmatism (sp?)! Woohoo! So maybe Lila is not the only good thing that came out of being pregnant...


Party Weekend

This is the second week in a row that I've gone through most of Monday thinking that it was actually Tuesday. Most people are acutely aware of Mondays, as they are immediately following the weekend and are generally not looked forward to. I, apparently, have no concept of time. I mean, if I stop to think about it, I KNOW that it's Monday. But, at the same time, I keep thinking that Monday was yesterday.

Well, despite my obvious mental issues, we had a wonderful weekend. I already filled you in on my Friday night adventures and I'm still riding high off the fun I had. We had a nice Saturday as well. There was normal activity in the morning - lawn mowing, hair dying, napping, etc. After lunch we went out and did all of Lila's Christmas shopping together. Since she is so young, we took her with us to test her interests.

On Saturday evening, we got to go to a Fantastic Fiesta! Our neighbor, Ophelia, has a gorgeous house. It's a beautiful Mexican hacienda, plopped into the middle of our neighborhood. She has parties there periodically that always sound fun. This weekend, our prayers (for the opportunity to shamelessly drool over her house) were answered when she threw herself a big birthday party and invited us!

There was a Mariachi band, lots of delicious food, lots of alcohol, and lots of fun. The party started at 4 p.m. and we had to leave at 7:30 to get Lila to bed. At 10:45, we could still hear the music playing! The inside of Ophelia's house, as well as her backyard, were even more amazing than the outside! She has an outdoor kitchen in the backyard where she cooked her delicious food... oh, I can't even describe how awesome this house is! I wish I could have taken pictures without being completely tasteless! :o)~



Last night, I had a lovely night out that has me walking around this morning with a serene smile on my face. It started out as a normal Friday evening, with Doug, Lila and I having dinner at Chuy's. (oh chuy's! how i love you!) We ate, we came home, and we started Lila's bedtime routine. After my part was done -- that would be the nursing -- I left!

I met my wonderful friend Ellen for a little dessert and coffee at La Madeleine. She has a baby boy who is three-and-a-half weeks old, so he had to come with her. But she left her daughter at home with Daddy as well, and we had a blissfully interruption- and drama-free evening. We drank coffee, ate soup and muffins, and talked talked talked. We reveled in not having to worry about naptimes or mealtimes or temper tantrums. Ahh...

When Ellen finally needed to take the baby home at around 10:15, I didn't feel like going home myself. I was having fun and wasn't feeling tired, but I knew that I would end up just going to bed if I went home. So, I called home to get the okay to stay out a bit longer. Doug said that was fine with him, but he'd probably be asleep when I got home. OK! He also advised me to stay away from "loose men". I told him I'd try.

I knew the bookstores would still be open, but didn't really feel like doing that since I'd already had some coffee and wasn't in the mood for reading. So I drove to the movie theater that is just behind La Mad. Unfortunately, I was about 10 minutes to late for the latest shows. Not intending to give up so easily, I drove to another theater nearby. They still had shows available!

There was one movie left that didn't start for ten minutes (a 10:40 show), so I bought a ticket. I had no idea what the movie was, but it was rated PG-13, so I figured it couldn't be too bad. Once I got inside, I called Doug again to let him know what I was doing and to ask him to look the movie up on IMDB (www.imdb.com) to see what it's about.

Turns out it was a movie that I wanted to see anyway, I just didn't recognize the name! It was 'Stranger Than Fiction' and it was great! I won't go into plot because I don't want to give anything away, but I really enjoyed it. It was quite funny, but there was more to it than I expected. I figured I'd get ten minutes into the movie and start dozing off, but I never felt tired! I recommend this one - at least for a rental.

I finally made it home around 1 a.m. and I was starving by this time. So, I ate my leftovers from Chuy's while playing Internet Backgammon. I went to sleep around 1:30 with a smile on my face and it's still there. It's amazing what a night out, free from responsibilities, can do for you! [sigh] Now I must go and smear toxic chemicals on my scalp...


Moving to the Caves

Lila has discovered the joy of exploring caves! The first one she found was the laundry hamper. She's been opening the doors and pulling out the dirty clothes for ages, but she actually climbed into the cabinet for the first time last week. She stayed in there and played very quietly for about 15 minutes. In fact, she was playing so quietly that I went to check on her a couple of times to make sure that nothing was wrong!

This week, it was her cabinet in the kitchen. That is the only one that is not baby-proofed and it's where all of our storage containers stay, plus a small pot, wooden spoon, and a couple of toys. She opens it up and plays with the things inside all the time, but a couple of days ago she pulled EVERYTHING out of it and climbed in. Then she wanted us to shut the doors! So we'd shut them (not all the way) and she'd wait a few seconds and then fling them open with a loud, "Ba!" Way too cute!

Apparently, this is a family trait. As a small child, Doug would play and sleep in his closet (with a piece of bread). Either she got it from him or she's been spending too much time with the cats!


Your daughter's a Limey Food Flinger, Mother! What will the Bridge Club think?

Lila has started to feed herself and it is a fabulously messy affair. She's been able to eat finger foods (bread, little bits of chicken, etc.) for quite a while now. The new skill is using a spoon! We cover as much of her body as possible with a bib -- and after the first time I got a spoonful of food in my lap, I started wearing an apron -- put the food in front of her and let her go to town. She's really surprisingly good at getting the food into her mouth, but about half of it also ends up on her face, chest, the tray/table, the floor, and me.

I sit in front of her with another spoon and help out. I scrape up what's on her chin and chest and put it back into the food container. I also give her bites in between her own bites because sometimes even she gets frustrated with how long it takes her to eat. Don't get me wrong - I don't rush her. And if she decides she doesn't want what I'm offering her, that's fine! I have discovered, however, that when she is distracted by feeding herself, I can slip in bites of food that she doesn't normally want to eat and she hardly notices. That's one point for Mommy!

Now if I could just get past my aversion to getting food on my hands...


Barking Mad

Lila has started barking and it's really very cute! It's the only animal sound she can make so far, but she does it well. If you ask her what sound a dog makes, she will (if she's in the mood) say, "woof woof". Mostly though, she barks at dogs. If we are outside and she hears one barking, then she barks too. It's so funny! Sometimes she does it just for fun. Yesterday, we were getting out of the car and she just said, "Dog. Woof woof."

Now before I make my next statement, I want to give a disclaimer: I recognize that I have been genetically blessed to be able to stay thin with little effort. I am very grateful for that and will not complain. That being said, I am very disturbed because...

My butt moved! I don't know when it happened, but I noticed it this morning. My booty has definitely traveled south. Maybe that's why I've had a much easier time finding pants that fit lately. I certainly don't mind that aspect of things. But I really feel that, if some part of your body is planning to move, it should give some sort of notice!



Whew! I finally got the photos from Halloween uploaded!

First, we have our Little Chicken with her Daddy and her candy bucket, ready to go! Actually, she was annoyed by the costume and totally did not get what we were doing. Thankfully, she quickly caught on to the fun and forgot all about the costume!

We brought along the stroller so that one of us wouldn't have to be carrying her the whole time. As you can see, Lila had other plans. Seems a bit counter-productive, doesn't it?

Lila got LOADS of candy, which Doug and I will be eating the great majority of. Initially, all she knew was that people were giving her shiny, crinkly things that were fun to play with. We'd go to a door, someone would come and hold out a basket of candy, and Lila would reach out (lightning-fast) and snatch a piece of candy!

Once we got home, we decided to give let her have her first ever Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. She didn't quite know what to do with it at first, but she figured it out pretty quickly. The candy is now hidden on top of the refrigerator, so that she will hopefully forget about it!

Very cute story: At one of the houses, the lady who answered gave Lila some candy. We chatted for a minute and then the lady held the basket out for Lila to take another piece. Instead, she put a bag of M&M's she'd gotten at another house into the lady's candy basket. How sweet of her to share... :)



Sorry guys, I've been trying to upload some Halloween photos since last night. The website seems to be having some problems, but I'll keep trying. :)


Weekend in Houston

We had a great time in Houston this weekend and I wish it could have lasted a bit longer. Keith, Megan, Hope, and Olivia were there as well, so it was a full house. We all got there in time for dinner on Friday night and had a big, loud meal together. After dinner, we had a naked photo shoot with the two little cousins and then we all crashed.

Saturday was full too. There was a little errand-running in the morning and then a leisurely lunch. After that, we all went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Tour. They had an actual parade balloon (Henrietta the Hippo) that the kids could practice piloting (it took 15 people to keep her under control), a goofy show to teach the kids how the balloons are made, and lots of confetti and people and "stuff".

That evening, we went out to eat in celebration of Keith's birthday (and our anniversary). Lila put on QUITE the show over dinner. She even ended up on the table, in nothing but her diaper, socks, and necklace, after she spilled milk all over herself. She also ate 5 breadsticks! She was so tired by the time that we got her home that she was delirious!

On Sunday, we all went to church and after the regular service, there was a special service for Baby Dedications/Baptisms. Keith and Megan dedicated Olivia at this service and then we all (including megan's parents) went back to the Peeler house for some homemade Shelby BBQ. Keith and his gang left in a whirlwind around 2:30 and, after a long nap, we left around 5:30. Fun times. Very tired!


Naked Baby, On the Run

One of Lila's new favorite games is to run (i.e., crawl swiftly) through the house, completely nude, before bathtime. This started last week when I was having to do bathtime by myself because Doug was out of town. I got her naked too soon, before the bath was ready, so I let her run around that way while I finished. Then, when I went to get her, I pretended to chase her down and catch her.

That was the beginning of the game. She loves it! She knows it's coming as soon as I start taking her clothes off. She's clamoring to get down on the ground and those little legs are pumping before she even touches the floor. Then it's off to the races! (she really can't move that fast, but don't tell her that!) She runs and I do a little shuffle-run behind her.

"I'm going to get that baby! Oh no, she's getting away! She's just too fast for me! Haha, I've almost got her! Ah, look at that turn - now she's getting away again!" She just laughs and laughs!

Unfortunately, she loves this game so much that she's started crying when we actually put her in the tub. I guess we'll try letting her run naked for a little longer before we put her in the bath. It's just sad to see her go from laughing and having a ball to crying and begging to be let back out of the bathtub.


Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today is our 4th Anniversary - woohoo! :) Doug has not made it home from work yet and I suspect that is because he's buying my gift on the way. My husband, the last-minute shopper!

Lila is celebrating our anniversary by flinging her toys around and generally making the house look like it exploded. As for Doug and I, we don't have any special plans. Doug was out of town last weekend and we will both be out of town this weekend. We usually plan a party to celebrate, but I totally forgot this year. Oh well. People usually can't make it anyway! :o)~

Eek! Lila just found a Cheeto (crunchy, if you're interested) in the study floor! Thankfully, I spotted her and, thankfully again, she decided to show it to me rather than eat it. I mean, she's eaten a Cheeto before (just one - see photo - we'll discuss what's in her hair in this photo another day), but I don't want her eating one that's been in the floor for who-knows-how-long and licked by who-knows-how-many cats. Okay, now she's pulling all the hanging files out of a box. Yes, that's a much better idea. I think I need to go now.


Sooo tired, but feel compelled to post something. Joined another Harry Potter reading group, so have been lost in Harry Potter land. At least no one is sick. Am still playing catch-up from the past few weeks of nuttiness.

Must sleep now.

Well, first, must feed cats. Then must sleep.

Until Lila wakes up and wants milk. We're weaning her off middle-of-night feeding though. That means we take turns, in the wee hours of morning, trying to get her back to sleep. It hasn't been too bad, but maybe that's why I'm so tired...


Name that Movie!

1. "I have met yams with more going on upstairs than these two."

2. "Are you Mrs. Dudley?"
"So far."

3. "You love me and I love you."
"No. You love you. I love Walter."

4. "I like to watch women doing little domestic chores."

5. "Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"

6. "Don't mind her. She's still upset because somebody dropped a house on her sister."

7. "I just made a funny."

8. "Is this supposed to be water?"
"It's wet, ain't it? Drink it!"

9. "Chancho, when you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room... Just for fun."

10. "Please, I beg you! For safety's sake, don't humiliate him!"


Dear Bloggy

Dear Bloggy,

I'm writing today to tell you about an extraordinary person. That person is my husband, Doug Peeler. It's easy for even I to forget how special he is at times, but today I want to share it with the world.

Doug is my favorite person and best friend. I love spending time with him and I miss him when he's not around. He has a wonderful sense of humor and a laugh that could make anyone smile. He's also a great person to have serious conversations with. We can chat about everything from the power of God to problem solving strategies.

Doug is a very compassionate and supportive husband and that has been a huge blessing in my life. He has loved me and held me tight through severe bouts of depression and he has taught me so much about God's love and forgiveness because he, himself, is such a loving and forgiving person.

Doug is an unusually involved and capable father. Our little girl loves him to pieces and it's easy to see why. Since the beginning, he has changed as many diapers and gotten up with her in the night as many times as I have. He plays with her, feeds her, and does her special bedtime routine every night.

I love my husband very much, Bloggy, and I am proud of him. Please print this letter so that other women can know that wonderful men are out there, waiting to be found, and/or to remind them of the things that are special about their own husbands.

Have you hugged a boy today?

Angela P.
Austin, TX


Feeling Feverish

I have got Fall Fever so severely! I love fall. It is easily my favorite time of year because of the cool weather, the family holiday gatherings, the food... I don't know. I can't even quite explain why I love it so much.

Whatever the reason, I get the Fall Fever Bug as soon as October hits. I start wanting to decorate and make crafts and bake things with apples in them. Right now my house is filled with the wonderful scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and vanilla. I put a saucepan of water over low heat with these spices thrown in. I'm not actually cooking anything, but it smells that way!

This is why I love Halloween. I don't care about the day itself - I'm not a big candy fan anyway. But I love the excitement! I love to see the kids dressed up and juiced up on sugar. I love the silly decorations of ghosts and bats and pumpkins. And yes, I do like a good scarey movie now and then. Most of the new ones are just gross, but there are some classics that provide as much (or more) unintentional humor as they do surprise and suspense.

I've actually had a bit of trouble going to sleep for the past couple of nights because what I really wanted to do was get up and clean, of all things! Fall also inspires me to make my home all cozy. In the spring, I start wanting to open windows and let the sunlight stream in on my brightly colored walls. In the fall, I want everything about my house to say "warm" (even when it's not really cold outside)!

I don't really know where I'm going with this post. I just felt like talking about Fall because, in case you hadn't figured it out by now: I LOVE FALL!!!


Mystery Solved

Lila's fever broke Monday morning and by Monday evening she seemed to be feeling quite well again. Yesterday, she was completely symptom free until just before bed. At that time, I noticed a rash on her forehead and scalp and by this morning it had spread to her belly, back, and diaper area. We saw the doctor this morning and she said that it's Roseola, which is not a big deal apparently. That's good to know! :)


The ABCs of our trip to North Carolina

A is for Automobile: When we got to Charlotte, we went to pick up the rental car we had reserved a few days before. We asked (and paid) for a compact car, but when we got to the lot to pick it up, they said, "Sorry, it looks like we're out of compacts - would you like a full size?" Ummm - yeah! So we got to drive around for a week in a pretty, new full-sized car (chevy impala) with automatic everything and seat warmers!

B is for Bedtime: Lila normally does a lot of crying when it comes to sleeping in a strange place. On this trip, she consistently went to sleep (at naptimes and bedtime) without a fuss. We were both completely shocked, but exceedingly grateful!

C is for Carousel: Lila's absolute favorite part of the entire trip was the Shelby Carousel! They have a restored carousel that is 80 or 90 years old and it's just beautiful. We went there three times and rode the carousel a total of eight times and Lila would get SO excited! We have a video of her reaction as we drove up to the place the last time. It's quite funny.

D is for Daddy's Girl: Lila has been in Daddy's Girl Heaven for the past week with Doug at her disposal all the time. She didn't want to be held by anyone except for him most of the time and she must have held her arms out to him and said, "Up, bo!" about 1000 times. There was even one time that I was snuggling with him and she came and pushed me away so that she could give him a hug!!!

E is for Electronics: When we got to the condo in the mountains, one of the first things we did was try to hook up and figure out a new DVD player. Doug (who is an audio engineer, if you will recall) spent 15-20 minutes trying to figure out how to get it to work and finally gave up and handed the remote control to Lila to play with (she'd been begging for it). She had the thing figured out and working within 3 seconds (I am not making that up)!

F is for Fair: While we were in Shelby, we went to the Cleveland County Fair. It is the largest county fair in the state - only the NC State Fair is larger. We rode the Ferris Wheel and ate Fair Food and Lila got to pet a Baby Chicken!

G is for Geese (and Ducks): While we were in the mountains, we went to a little pond that had a bunch of ducks and geese and we nearly froze to death while feeding them. We gave them a few slices of bread and then went to the store for another loaf because it was so much fun! Our favorites were Ugly Guy, Quiet Guy, and Big Whitey.

H is for The Ham Shoppe: This was the name of a sandwich place that we stopped into in a tiny town called Valle Crucis, NC. They had the most wonderful sandwiches - freshly sliced meat, way yummy bread, and the side dishes were good too (baked beans and potato salad)! We also got some of their homemade dark chocolate fudge - so good! - and then... we accidentally left most of it in the refrigerator of the condo when we left! Eek!

I is for Illness: We each took a turn at getting sick during this vacation (i have already posted about lila's problem). I got sick from the Fair Food and that was not a good night for me. Doug had a bit of tummy trouble himself while we were in the mountains - probably from all the unhealthy eating we did while we were gone.

J is for Jelly Beans: While we were at a candy shop, I finally gave in to the urge to buy a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans (because i am a major harry potter nerd). The flavors are: Bacon, Black Pepper, Blueberry, Booger, Buttered Popcorn, Cherry, Cinnamon, Dirt, Earthworm, Earwax, Grape Jelly, Grass, Green Apple, Lemon Drop, Rotten Egg, Sardine, Soap, Toasted Marshmallow, Tutti-Frutti, and Vomit. Doug tasted a Black Pepper and said it was actually pretty good (but spicey) and I've had a Soap, which tastes very oddly just like soap smells!

K is for Kitty: Charlie and Starr (doug's aunt and uncle) have a 13-year-old kitty named Magic who is a little... odd. She apparently hates her own tail and spends a fair amount of time chasing it around and hissing at it. I wish we'd remembered to get THAT on video! She also doesn't like to be petted by strangers, which is very torturous for a kitty lover!

L is for Leaves: The leaves in Shelby really were mostly still green, but in the mountains - beautiful! There was every shade of yellow and orange and red (and green and brown too, of course). The leaves were blowing off the trees and it was the most wonderful thing to drive down these roads through the mountains and see the leaves drifting across in front of us! We took many many photos, none of which really captured how beautiful things were.

M is for Mittens: Before we went to North Carolina, I stocked up on winter clothes for Lila and we all packed coats, but we did not have hats or gloves. After we went to the fair and I had to put socks on Lila's hands to keep them warm, I decided an emergency trip to Walmart was in order and I got her a very cute hat and mittens. She is always cute and she looked especially cute in her winter clothes and she was almost unbearably cute when she was wearing those mittens!

N is for Nascar: No we did not go to a Nascar race while we were in NC, but there was a race in Charlotte the day that we left. And I didn't know it before, but that's a big deal in that area. When we were in the airport, it was pretty easy to spot some of the folks who were flying in for the race...

O is for Outside!: Lila has gotten really good at saying this word and it sounds like this: outseed! She says it many times per day in a squeaky little voice full of excitement and hope. Thankfully for her, we wanted to be outside as much as she did while we were in the mountains!

P is for Peelers: This is who we visited while we were in North Carolina. We stayed with Mamaw and Charlie and Starr Peeler and we got to hang out with (almost) the whole crew for dinner one night. They are a very welcoming family and I had lots of fun!

Q is for Quiet: It was so quiet up in the mountains! If you were on the front porch, there was some road noise, but it couldn't be heard from the back porch. And there were no ringing phones, no people knocking on the front door, no email, no Internet, no messes asking to be picked up - just quiet... (yes, i did start to get a little crazy after a few days)

R is for Ringer: Charlie and Starr have a phone that has some "issues." When someone calls, it starts ringing. And keeps ringing. Even after you answer the phone. Just one, long, continuous ring. We laughed much.

S is for Spud: Lila's second favorite part of the whole vacation was Spud, Charlie and Starr's giant Boston Terrier. Spud is extremely spastic, so when he was in the house, he had to stay in his crate. Lila would sit next to the cage and stick her fingers in and when Spud licked them she thought it was the funniest thing ever!

T is for Tex-Mex: "Chuy's, My Love! Oh, how I missed you! Your queso is so... spicey! And your burritos are so... big!" They do not, as you might have guessed, have TEX-MEX in North Carolina. They do have mexican food, but it's just not the same. And do you know what they call their queso? 'Cheese sauce.'

U is for Unpredictable: Lila never ceases to surprise us with her eating habits. While we were in NC, she decided that she liked tomatoes. Twice, she ate an entire slice of tomato like it was a cookie. Then, the next day, she decided they were evil and wanted nothing to do with them (after we'd bought severely overpriced tomatoes in the mountains)! That is pretty much the way it went with various things the whole time we were gone.

V is for Vacation: This wasn't just a vacation - it was a VACATION! We hung out and relaxed because we had no other choice. It was really wonderful and I was sad to have it end. Coming back home made me very aware of the things in my life that I enjoy (things i couldn't wait to get back to) and the things that I don't so much enjoy (things i was not looking forward to coming home to). Things to think about...

W is for Weather: The weather was just amazing. In Shelby, it was nice and cool during the day and pretty chilly at night. In the mountains, it was chilly during the day and stinking cold at night. I wanted to bring the weather home with me! When we left Shelby on Saturday morning, there was frost on the ground. When we arrived in Austin on Saturday afternoon, it was 80 degrees.

X is for XM: I have decided that I need XM Radio. Before this trip, I thought it was silly and a waste of money and if you don't want to listen to commercials, then just listen to a CD in the car! However, our rental car had XM and I quickly decided that it was my new best friend. I think I know what I'll be requesting for Christmas!

Y is for Yucky: Lila got so nasty dirty during this trip, pretty much daily. Between crawling around in public places and playing outside, all in long sleeves and pants, she was a mess! Seeing how dirty her knees got (let's just not talk about her hands) was almost enough to make me wish she were walking already!

Z is for Zebra: Okay, we did not see any zebras in North Carolina. However, Charlie Peeler calls ball games on Saturdays and we did see him dressed up in his black and white striped shirt. I will forever carry the image in my head of him walking around in the garden, with plants as high as his shoulders, in his uniform. I can't explain to you how funny it looked. I wish I'd taken a picture!

Baby Boy Rees

My dear friend, Ellen Rees, has had her baby! John and Ellen now have a son (and Naomi has a brother) who was born today at around 2:15 p.m. He weighs 7 lbs 15 oz. and is 20.5 inches long. Hooray! :)

As for Lila - she's still puny and spending most of her time sleeping, but her temperature is normal for now. The doctor's office called to say the preliminary results of the urine tests are negative, so she most likely does not have a bladder infection.

More to come...

Mini Update

Hey all! We are back and we had a blast in North Carolina. I'm going to have to wait to post any details or photos though because things are a little crazy around here. Lila is sick with some sort of Mystery Illness and needs lots of attention (she has a fever with no other obvious symptoms besides being extra sleepy and fussy). I'll keep you updated on her health and may be able to post about the trip tonight. :o)


Love that Lila Bean!

Lila is such a Daddy's girl. I mean, it's almost terminal, it's so bad! I have been sick for five days and barely did anything besides lay on the couch and blow my nose. Did Lila seem upset by this lack of attention from Mommy? NO! Daddy was around all day - who needs Mommy?!? I was on the verge of being offended by this, but she's still really sweet to me too, when she decides to notice me.

Yesterday, I came into the living room after a nap and when Lila saw me, she started clapping and grinning. Okay, so maybe she likes me just a little bit too... :o)~

I'm sure the poor child is bored though. We usually go somewhere every day - usually more than one somewhere. And she often gets to play with (or around) other kids. But for the past several days, it's been the Daddy Show (except for the nursery at church). As much as she loves that Daddy person, I think she's jonesing for some action! We went to the gym earlier, which she tolerates, but later we'll go to the library, which she loves! And we might go on a lunch date - just the two of us - for a little added excitement. (i'm actually just as anxious as lila to get out of this house after being cooped up for days!)


Near Death Experience

I was nearly eaten alive this morning by a giant carnivorous spider!

Or something like that.

Okay! So maybe it was entirely my fault that I ended up so close to this spider... but it was, indeed, a giant! And the episode scared me so badly that I'm certain my life span will now be three days shorter! What happened was this:

I saw a cute little green lizard on the back porch and I went outside to try and catch it. I thought it would be fun to let Lila see him up close and then I would, of course, let him go. Well, if you've ever tried to catch a little lizard, then you know it is not an easy task! He kept darting away from me and I kept following until I was hanging over the railing of the deck, with my head in the lantana.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something white. I raised my head a bit and just as it registered that my head was TOUCHING a spider web, I saw, not 4 inches from my face -- I am completely serious about that -- a huge spider! I then did three perfectly rational things.

1. I screamed loud enough for anyone on the block to hear me.
2. I ran back into the house, gasping, "Giant! Spider!" (to which doug replied, "oh yeah! i forgot to tell you!")
3. I started crying! It's not like I thought this spider was going to come and get me, but it scared me so bad that I just couldn't help it! I was gasping for breath and I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my body.

Ugh! Just talking about it is making my chest constrict. [shudder] To prove that this really happened and was not, in fact, a hallucination caused by my sinus infection, I went back outside and took photos, which I am attaching. For a size scale, those are lantana blooms. Huge. Freaking. Spider.

And, in case you are worried, this is not a dangerous spider (unless you are an insect). The first time we saw one, not so close up, we looked them up on the Internet. And now I really must think about something else.


Angela = (allergies + cramps + icky tonsil) 3 days

Lila... finally has another tooth!!!!! The top front left one busted through today. Glory be! In case you aren't aware of the numbers, she got her first two teeth one day apart at 8 mos. of age (in april). It has now taken five more months to get another one! :o)~



The Scary Friend

Poor Lila got mauled by a well-meaning little kid at the library yesterday. When we got to the kids' section of the library, there was a little girl by one of the kiddie sofas, playing with her dolls. As soon as she saw me put Lila down near her, her eyes lit up and she asked, "Can I touch her?" I responded with, "Sure!" I almost wish now that I'd answered differently.

Her name is Hannah and she is five years old. Hannah's handling of Lila was very... enthusiastic. She wanted to walk her around and pick her up and read books to her. Lila was enjoying it part of the time, but I could tell she was also kind of annoyed. Hannah was not good at picking up on Lila's cues about what she did and did not want to do.

It was really kind of cute to watch, but I was very glad when Hannah's mommy came and took her away. Although, I thought we might have to pry her off of Lila with a crowbar because she did not want to leave the baby to go home. Lila even gave her a hug before she left, but Hannah wouldn't let go! Her mother had to say something along the lines of, "I think she's through hugging now." I guess Lila just got a taste of what it would be like if she had an older sibling. :)

Lila's Post

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Lila has entered a new and difficult phase in eating. Just a few weeks ago, I was totally exasperated because she kept throwing her food/bowl/spoon/cup onto the floor. After endless repetitions of, "No no, Lila! That is not appropriate. We do not throw our XXXXX on the floor!", she finally stopped doing it! I was quite pleasantly surprised at how quickly she learned.

Well, now she's doing it again... because she has decided to be very picky about what she'll eat. She did this to us overnight and I totally didn't see it coming! She has gone from devouring anything we put in front of her to refusing to eat most of what we put in front of her. Food is only truly acceptable if it comes from our plates. I understand why she's doing it - she wants to eat what the grownups are eating.

It's still maddening though and even worse is the fact that she is not consistent in her rejection. Yesterday evening, Doug cooked a chicken breast for her and she had a lot of it for dinner. She also had some with lunch today. I, thinking that I had found at least one thing she would consistently eat, gave her some for dinner as well. However, all she did was throw it in the floor and rudely demand that I give her more peaches. Ack!

This is particularly difficult becuase I don't know quite what to do. I can't really punish her. What do you do to keep her from throwing something in the floor? You take it away. But I can't just take all her food away and I am not okay with the idea of only offering her what I know that she will eat (because, if i did that, she would live on nothing but fruit and THAT's not okay because i'm the one who changes her diapers)!

And so I continue to say, "No no, Lila! That is not appropriate. We do not throw our food on the floor." And sometimes, if I can tell that she's getting full, I'll say, "If you throw your food on the floor again, you're going to be all done." And then I follow through. That's not really a consequence though - I think it's more like giving her what she wanted. [sigh] I know that she will get the point eventually. In the meantime, I'm trying to use a stern voice and not an angry voice. And I'm encouraging her whenever she does something appropriate, like hand me the food she does not want or puts her cup on the table rather than throwing it in the floor.

Well, Lila has been watching a Baby Einstein video while I typed this, but I think it's over now. Thank you for letting me unload on you. I think I can go in there and look at my child without developing a twitch now. Plus, Doug's home. And when Daddy is home, Mommy is second rate. Lila only wants to be held by him. Right now, I'm fine with that! :o)~


I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream

How did this happen? My child has become an ice cream maniac! I didn't even want her to know what these sugary junk foods tasted like until she was older, but I made the mistake of giving her one little bite one time...

At home, I don't eat my nightly bowl of ice cream until she's in the bath or in bed, so she doesn't really know that's going on. But for the past few weeks, we've been going to the park a lot (see photo) and there's an Amy's Ice Cream right there next to it. Now, when we walk into Amy's, she knows what's coming.

As soon as she sees the little bowl of ice cream, she starts saying, "Muh! Muh! Muh!" And this girl is serious about it too! She doesn't use Cute Little Baby voice. She uses I Mean Business voice! I'll give her the tiniest of little bites and within seconds she's barking at me again. "Muh!" If I'm too slow, then she'll go and harass Doug for awhile.

[sigh] I brought this upon myself.