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.