I went to MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) on Friday and Lila was in Moppets. We both had a great time! The nursery workers just love Lila because she is so easy-going. This was the first week that I didn't go to check on her sometime during the morning (it's a 3 hour thing), but she did fine. I did get big kisses and hugs when I came to pick her up though. Very sweet!

The speaker for last week was a woman named Rachel Norris (i think). She is a potter and she set up her wheel, etc. and gave us a demonstration. First, she demonstrated how to make a pitcher (she made it look so easy!) and led us through all the steps and why you do them. Then she smashed the pitcher and started over, this time drawing a parallel between pottery-making and the Christian life. It was really good!

I think the best reminder for me was that God makes each of us for a specific purpose. I tend to think of it more like this: God made me this way and now he's trying to figure out what to do with me. But that's not true. God made me this way for a specific purpose! Such an encouraging truth to remember! :)


Lila and I went to the UT campus on Thursday to participate in a study at the Children's Research Lab. Lila was really the one who participated - I just brought her there and held her in my lap. They put a hat on her head with a bunch of sensors in it (see photo below). Then they showed her a bunch of pictures of women's faces. They are trying to see what types of faces are most interesting to 6-month-olds or something like that. Anyway, it was fun for both of us!

I'm going to start volunteering in the Gateway Bookstore. Gateway being our church. The bookstore being a store where books are sold. Really, it's not so much a "store" as a section of the coffee shop/hangout area where there are some bookshelves, but you get the idea. Right now we carry about 900 titles (just one or two copies of each), but as the interest grows so will the stock. I'm excited because (1) I like books, (2) I've kind of always wanted to work in a bookstore, (3) I like to serve at the church, and (4) I get a 20% discount on any purchases from the store. I could probably still find the books cheaper on half.com, but I'd rather support the church anyway. My first shift is March 12th. :)


Lila the Little Engineer. She's very busy trying to figure out the stacking cups here. Posted by Picasa

Lila participated in a study at the Children's Research Lab on the UT campus. This is a shot of her with the funny looking cap on her head that read her brain waves or something. Posted by Picasa

This is the funny scruncy face that I mentioned a few days ago. Too cute! :) Posted by Picasa


Lila's 6 Month Stats:

Weight: 17 lbs 0 oz (70th %ile)
Height: 26 in. (55th %ile)
Head Circumference: 43 cm. (70th %ile)
It is time, once again, for me to point out that I have the sweetest baby ever. My beautiful child has started giving spontaneous kisses and hugs. The hugs to several people. The kisses only to me. This makes me feel nice since all previous forms of affection (smiles and reaches) went first to someone else. Sometimes a complete stranger! Just a few minutes ago, I went and got Lila up from a nap. When I picked her up, she grabbed onto me and squeezed and gave me a kiss on the cheek. [sigh]

She has also started making this funny scrunchy face. It's not the same as her big, gorgeous smiles. This is a big wide grin that almost looks like a grimace and she crinkles her nose and squints her eyes at the same time. It's too cute! A day or two ago she even stuck her tongue out while doing it, but that hasn't happened again. After a few tries, I managed to get a photo of the scrunchy face. I'll post it in a few days.

And now I must go feed some cereal to my little chunk... :)


We are in Tex-Mex overload around here! Friday before last, we ate at Chuy's. Saturday before last, we ate at Chuy's (long story). At some point during the last week, I ate my leftovers from Chuy's. This past Thursday, I made enchiladas for dinner. This past Friday, we ate at Antonio's. On Saturday, we cooked fajitas on the grill. Yesterday we had lunch at Z Tejas (sp?). Today we had leftover enchiladas for lunch. We still have leftover enchilada filling and leftover fajitas in the refrigerator! Out of control!!!

Well, my mom and aunt came to town on Friday and stayed through yesterday morning. We had a fun time. There was, of course, much Lila worship going on. They didn't get to town until after she was in bed on Friday, so I showed them the hundreds of photos I have of her to hold them over 'til morning. Nowhere near as good as the real thing, but cute nonetheless! :)

On Saturday, we all went to the Mercy Street Festival at Gateway (sponsored by mix 94.7 and benefiting the capital area food bank, in case you're interested). It was much fun! We tried to get there early enough to see the kids bands (The Biscuit Brothers and Sara Hickman), but Lila decided to take a turbo nap in the morning and by the time she woke up and we had lunch and got to the church, it Sara Hickman was on her last song. Oh well. Lila didn't know the difference anyway. We did get to see Plumb - who was wonderful - and the first few songs of Wideawake's set. It was so nice to hear live music again. It had been quite a while!


Lila's been doing fun things lately! She rolled over from her back to her belly for the first time on Wednesday. And I wasn't even in the room to see it! She's going to be rolling all over the house in no time!

She's also sitting up really well. She can actually be left alone (well, not *alone*, but without constant help) to play for a while now. She still falls over when she's done though so she has to be on a softish surface.

She and I took our first trip to the park yesterday and she really liked that! She got to sit in a big kid swing (see photo below) and there were so many people to look at. She liked watching the big kids run around and play.

I think we are going to sign up for gmail accounts and start receiving our email at those addresses. That is because we are getting sick of RoadRunner service (we lose our connection about 1 million times per day) and may be switching to DSL.


Lila at the park for the first time. She had a blast being in the swing and just watching all the other kids run around! Posted by Picasa

Head to toe sweet potatoes. She is VERY enthusiastic about sweet potatoes, as I'm sure you can tell. Posted by Picasa

Lila in her Valentine dress and the silly hat that goes with it. Actually, it's a cute hat - the silly part is that it's way too big for her head! :) Posted by Picasa


Going back a few days, we had a nice weekend. We decided, for the sake of Lila's bedtime, to leave for Dallas on Saturday morning. Doug can often take a Friday afternoon off if we are going out of town so that we can do our driving in the afternoon, but not this time. So we had dinner out and then a relaxing evening at home on Friday.

Saturday morning we headed for Dallas and got there just after lunch. Olivia is such a tiny, squishy thing! I *know* that Lila was like that once, but I have a hard time believing it. I don't remember much about those first few weeks with her, which is sad - but maybe that's normal? Anyway, holding Olivia is like holding a little bit of fluff. 7 lbs doesn't feel like much when you're used to toting around 16 lbs!

Sunday afternoon we headed back to Austin. I was afraid it would feel like too much driving to go up one day and come back the next, but it wasn't bad. I guess because what happened in between the driving was relaxing. Lila was NOT a happy person on the way home. She slept for the first hour and a half, then we stopped for a feeding and dinner. The second half of the trip involved no sleep, but lots of crying!


[Disclaimer: I do realize that I have an exceptionally easy and happy baby and even her bad days are better than a lot of babies' bad days. However, I'm prone to melodrama.]

Lila and I had a rough day yesterday. My child is *very* social. When we go to visit friends and family, she just eats it up! She'd stay awake and play herself into a frenzy if I didn't intervene and enforce nap times. Whenever we're with family, she gets attention nearly non-stop. Even if no one is holding her at the moment (which is unlikely if we're with grandparents), someone is looking at her and talking to her. And then we come home...

She does not readjust to normal life very easily. For the first day after we come home, she is a pain in the tush! I love her to death, but I was ready to give her away to the first friendly-looking stranger I encountered yesterday! At one point, she wanted me to sit next to her while she played with her toys - I didn't need to play WITH her, but if I tried to walk across the room she became irate.

My other major offense during the day was not maintaining constant eye contact. If I was in the room, but not looking at her, she'd start whining. If I had the audacity to walk out of the room, she's start crying like she'd been abandoned for life. The really frustrating part of things was that she didn't necessarily want to be held either! She wanted attention, but I wasn't cutting it. Basically, she wanted her fan club back. Crazy kid. Sure is a good thing she's cute!


Lila was playing quietly on the bed and staring out the window at the trees moving. I realized she'd gotten VERY quiet so I looked and she'd fallen asleep - too cute! Posted by Picasa

Here is Olivia receiving her first at-home bath and *not* liking it! Those are Lila's fat little legs reflected in the mirror. Posted by Picasa

The two brothers and their two daughters. And all of them still in their pajamas. Posted by Picasa

Look - we have eyeballs in this shot! Can you believe Lila was ever this small?!? Posted by Picasa

"Please! No more photographs!" - Get used to it, Kid... :) Posted by Picasa


The past couple of days have been nice because we haven't had any plans. Lila and I have gotten out and run errands and I've gotten things roughly back in order around here. I've always enjoyed running errands and I still do even though they take 50% longer than they used to (and most of that time is spent just getting out of the house!).

When we were in Houston last weekend, I bought a Valentine dress for Lila. Is it really necessary for her to have a special dress for Valentine's Day? No. But I like an occasional reason to buy her clothes because I've hardly had to buy her anything since she's been born! I'm *not* complaining. I just enjoy fun clothes and I want to dress her in things that I like before she gets old enough to have an opinion!

Since we had this new dress and we were going to be around a bunch of her Grammie's friends at church, she had to wear it (of course)! It's super cute on her, but the sad thing is that on the drive home that day I noticed that the elastic had busted on one of the bloomer legs, which looked ridiculous - besides being a sign of poor quality.

Anyway, the impressive thing is that I took it to the Babies R Us here in Austin on Wednesday - already washed and worn - and they let me exchange it with no hesitation! I got another of the same dress, but I made sure to pull on the elastic several times to test its durability before I left with the it! :o)~


There's a new Peeler in the world! Doug's brother and his wife - Keith and Megan - had their baby girl last night! Her name is Olivia Grace Peeler and she was born at 11:14 p.m. on Tuesday, February 7, 2006. At birth she weighed 7 lbs. 9 oz. and is 20 3/4 inches long. When I talked to Keith last night he said she's alert and healthy, beautiful and screaming. And he sounded *very* happy. Of course! :)

So, a couple of weeks ago, I planned out all our evening meals for the month of February. I'm loving it! Making the grocery list every week is easier because I know specifically what we'll need. So no making it halfway through the week and thinking, "I could make [fill in the blank], if only I'd bought some..." And there's also no standing around at 6 p.m. trying desperately to receive cooking inspiration from the refrigerator and pantry. They have never been good providers of inspiration!

Our house is now mostly back in order. The noisy fans and dehumidifier are gone and we have new padding under half the carpet in Lila's room. Everything is dry and now we just need to figure out what to do next. The claims adjuster came out on Monday and said he's figuring in the cost of replacing the linoleum in the kitchen because it's curling up along the edge where it got wet. I SO don't mind replacing that stuff because I hate it! We were both very glad to hear that we get to keep our pretty green cabinets! :)


For the record, this is totally not the order I posted these photos in. They actually had a flow and made more sense my way. But apparently Blogger had other ideas. :o)~

Her first trip to the zoo! And she got to go in the fun new stroller that lives at Grammie and Papa Joe's. Posted by Picasa

"I love sweet potatoes!" (now we're waiting for the scary orange poop) Posted by Picasa

"Stop being so cute! I think that chick's got a camera!" Posted by Picasa

A kitty's a kitty, no matter how big. It was naptime for most of the cats at the zoo. Posted by Picasa

The people are so much more fun to look at than the animals! We'll have to try again when she's older. Posted by Picasa

Here's Lila, entranced by an elephant. Can't you tell? Posted by Picasa

Look at Lila the big girl! Sitting up and playing with a toy for the first time! :) Posted by Picasa

Yep. The Dog had to come to the zoo with us. Posted by Picasa

Eventually, the excitement was too much for Lila to stand. Good thing we had a stroller! Posted by Picasa
We did go to Houston this weekend after all. Someone came out and set up two big industrial fans and a giant de-humidifier in the kitchen and Lila's room on Friday afternoon. At first, I was hesitant about leaving the house for the weekend with these things running (what if there's a short and the house burns down? what if the cats go nuts?). However, as soon as the guy got the things set up and turned on, we couldn't get out of here fast enough. They are loud and annoying!

The trip went pretty well both ways. Since Lila's a bit older now, she doesn't just sleep the entire way. She'll sleep for about 45 minutes and then wake up and quickly decide that she doesn't want to be trapped back there in the seat anymore. Part of each leg of the trip was spent with one of us in the back seat, entertaining her. She did okay though!

The sad part about our trip out on Friday was that we got about 15 minutes down the road and then I remembered a prescription that I needed to pick up before we left town. So we had to turn around and come back. That added about half an hour to the trip. Oh well, we got there eventually and had a fun weekend! :)


We are supposed to be going to Houston this weekend, but that plan is now on the line. The reason is that half of Lila's bedroom has wet carpet. :oI~

We had a service guy out yesterday to fix our water softener, including the filtering system under the kitchen sink. Well he fixed it all right! Actually, he did do what he was supposed to in order to fix the filter system, but he failed to tighten something properly. Around 10 p.m. we noticed that there was quite a bit of water leaking under the sink.

So, Doug turned off the valve so that it couldn't leak anymore and cleaned up the water that was under there. Or so we thought. At 1:45 a.m., Lila woke up and needed some help going back to sleep. When Doug went into her room, he discovered that the carpet in there was wet. Apparently there had been so much water leaking that it had soaked into the cabinets and baseboards and made its way over to her bedroom. Ack!

Now we're waiting for someone professional to call and tell us the best way to get it dry. We need to do that as soon as possible because we don't want mold growing under our child's bed! The worst-case scenario is that we'll have to get the cabinets replaced because we don't know how much water they soaked up and how damaged they are. *sigh* I LIKE our green cabinets...


Hey, it's February! For some reason, I always like the first day of a new month. I could not care less about the new year, but I like new months... who knows. :o)~ Lila had a really tough time sleeping on Monday night and last night was a bit better, but still rocky. The result is that I am exhausted. If Lila ain't sleepin', ain't nobody sleepin'! It doesn't help that I have Allergy Head. Oh well.

I'm pleased to report that my house is slowly getting cleaned and decluttered and I'm no longer feeling overwhelmed by the tasks. Yesterday I spent some time dusting the living room. I only had to spend a little time doing it, but it makes a big difference. I hate looking around my living room and seeing layers of dust on everything. It's not perfect, but it's better than before!

That's really all I can think of to talk about. I've been up for a couple of hours and am showered, etc. but I still have a fog in my brain. Lila and I are meeting a friend for lunch and hopefully that will help to perk me up. :)