September 30, 2008

Battle Royale- Jenks' Style

Last night was a late night in the Jenk's house. Monday Night football was a big deal because Marcus and I were playing each other in our fantasy football league.

Going into the night there was less than a point difference between us and we both had players on the field. I had threatened all day to fly up to Pittsburgh to take care of business, aka make sure his running back "broke a leg"!

It turns out that although my trip was cancelled, someone else got to him and Marcus' running back only played the first half before a shoulder injury. Now, he is out for the rest of the season- brutal!

The night ended with OT well after 11:00 our time and Marcus won. It was my first loss of the season and I wish it had come to anyone but him! With 4 weeks under us, I am 3-1 and in first place. Marcus is also 3-1 and in 4th place. The places are determined by points when records are tied.

Next week, football starts at 7 AM when I am watching it in my hotel room in Kauai. Marcus has an early morning bicycle ride planned, so I'll be cheering on my team, while eating breakfast! Crazy!

September 29, 2008

Week 28: Cole Slaw Anyone?

Today, Abby Lu is 28 weeks old and we are in our 3rd trimester. I hear the third is more like the first than the second. I understand this means my body will go through major adjustments leading to tiredness, nausea, and other lovely side effects. I'll take it knowing how close we are getting.

Our dear sweet daughter is a gymnast and you can watch her kicks from the outside of my belly. She flips, kicks and punches on a regular basis. I can have the laptop on me and when she kicks, it moves. Strong little cabbage!

We made great progress this week on the maternity leave and child care front. I have answers from my employer on my leave- all of which are favorable. We chose an interim child care provider since we are on the wait list at our preferred school. The new provider will be when she is 3-6 months old and is less than 2 miles from both Marcus and my jobs. It will make the transition much easier and allow me to feed during lunch if I desire. We also began looking at our health insurance, life insurance and pre-tax child care options. So much to consider with a little one. Only 12 weeks to go- my oh my!

from Baby Center:
By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. She's also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

Kyleigh's 7th Birthday

Friday night we drove to Southpark Meadows to meet my family and celebrate Kyleigh's 7th birthday. Everyone played on the big playground until it was time for dinner.

The shopping center is HUGE and all of the restaurants back onto a playground area, water fountains for the kids, and even a small outdoor concert setting. Very neat design!

After playing outdoors, we ate dinner at Jason's Deli and enjoyed free ice cream cones. The sugar high made Kyleigh and Cohen a little goofy. Kyleigh was able to set the cone on her nose.

Cohen on the other hand showed us how the ice cream makes his eyes really big! Goofy kids!

September 26, 2008

Yearbook Your Spouse

As much as I like to poke fun at myself, poking fun at Marcus is even more fun.

1956- isn't he handsome.... wait, how did he get my big ears?

1964- Marcus idolizes Buddy Holly

1974- because I have always wondered what Marcus Lamont Jenkins would look like!

1990- I kid you not, they stole this picture from Marcus' real 1990 Merkel High School yearbook. He had this exact permed mullet and wore the classic scratchy print sweater. I about peed myself when this picture came up!

1996- Marcus and I were dating at this time; however, he didn't have this much hair by 1996.

Yearbook Yourself

My friend Billye sent me a website where you can yearbook yourself- making photos of your face with hairstyles from the past. I didn't realize how much I look like my mother.

1962- always making sure to be a good girl and show no skin, including my neck.

1972- obviously I had met my friend Alison at this point, because she taught me how to rat my hair the highest!

1984- I was playing Whitney Houston while getting ready on picture morning to get my perm on!

1994- this is actually the year I graduated from high school and while I had the perm and the brush back and hairspray bangs, my hair has never been this long.

If you go out to the site and play, be sure to send me proof :)

Our Little Centerfold :)

Look at this- is it not the cutest!

My girlfriend Andrea's daughter Abbie gave this to Abby Lu last night at book club. It is a rhinestone onesie declaring our daughter Miss December. I love it and only wished I had opened it in front of Andrea so that she could have seen my laugh.

I can't wait to see her in it!

New Cowboys Stadium

Yesterday, I drove to Arlington to visit the site where my 2009 annual meeting will be held. While there, we met with the staff selling the private space at the new Cowboys Stadium set to open next season.

Jerry Jones has spared no expense- his stadium will be bigger and better than anyone else. The HD TV hanging from the rafters in the middle of the field, will run from the 20 yard line to the 20 yard line (that is 60 yards, 180 feet long) and will be the largest in the world. It cost $35 million alone! Holy Moly!

We are booking a private suite with tours of the stadium for our event. It should be a fun experience to see the locker room and touch the field just 3 weeks before the official inaugural season opens. I wish my job was always this cool!

September 23, 2008

Snow Cone Saga

I would like my employer to offer me the hours of a snow cone vendor. Seriously, how do they make any money? Joe Mama snow cones which I loved and were near my office, are closed because summer is over. Hot weather is not over. My craving is not over.
The Leander vendor we found is closed on weekends and although says they are open until 8 PM, randomly leave when they decide they are done for the day.
Bahama Bucks, the Lubbock vendor, is looking for land in NW Austin. Yes, I called the corporate office. If they'll just keep regular hours year round, they'll make good money.
So, I need to convince Marcus to buy us a snow cone machine. I recognize they will not be as good- the ice will likely be crunchy, but I'll take it. My other options are 7-11 and Sonic and they just don't do the trick.
Marcus has already searched out a snow cone vendor in Hawaii. We will rent a car and drive there, but I hear the rainbow poured over macadamia nut ice cream is the best. That will officially be the most expensive snow cone ever.
Flight to Hawaii: $3000
Rental Car w/gas: $100
Making your Pregnant wife happy with a snow cone: Priceless

September 22, 2008

Week 27: Our Cauliflower

We have just over 3 months left until Abby Lu arrives. This past week has brought lots of kicks. I can have a bottled water or the laptop on my belly and when she kicks, it moves. That is a good sign that her movements are getting stronger. I also experienced my first sign of swelling over the weekend. My ankles were pretty puffy when I got off the plane on Saturday. I don't think I drank enough water and didn't walk enough while in the air. I slept on the plane, which was good, but likely caused the swelling. It is all gone now- thank goodness.

Tonight Marcus and I met with a pediatric group our friends and doctor recommended and we chose our pediatrician. They will be able to meet Abby Lu on her birthday at the hospital and have an office in Cedar Park, near our home. We were sold when one of the physicians told us she "didn't have any children and was waiting on God to bless her family." We said that line so many times! We also were able to sign up for our breastfeeding classes within the practice. So much to learn in 13 weeks.

from Baby Center:

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

Diaper Bags

I admit it- I love to monogram and one of the reasons I wanted to know our baby's gender was to pick a name and monogram it on everything. It starts with the diaper bags!

Here is my diaper bag. I bought it on clearance more than 5 years ago. I loved the fun colors and the ability for it to be for a boy or girl. Now, I just have to wait 3 months to use it!

This is Mr. Jenk's bag and was an early baby present that arrived on our doorstep from Abby Lu's grandmother, Carol. We decided the neon orange and bold block letters kept it masculine enough for her daddy to carry.

I will say now, on the record, if we have a boy, we are in big trouble! Adam? Aaron? Aiden? hehe!

September 20, 2008

Abby Lu's Room.... major steps!

Abby Lu and I are the luckiest girls in the world. Not only did Marcus pick me up at the airport this afternoon (I've been in San Diego all week), but he greeted me with sweet tea and flowers. Before going home, since we were in South Austin, he let us stop and visit USA Baby. I wanted clothing size dividers and we somehow found a few more items- a swaddle blanket that makes her a lady bug, colored letters to spell her name and Metallica songs redone as lullabies. Then, after stopping for a snow cone, we went home.

When we arrived, Marcus told me he had a surprise for me and made me enter the front door. Look at what I found! We had discussed him painting the room while I was away, but he went much further than that! Marcus picked up our new chair and put it together! It is soft like a teddy bear and the prettiest shade of butter yellow. It reclines, swivels, and rocks.

Plus, he assembled our crib, dresser and changing table. The room looks like a baby room and not the storage space it was becoming. I am so very blessed to have an active, interested, and excited husband and father-to-be. We couldn't ask for more!

Our next step is to decide where furniture should be and then schedule Cheri for the painting of the clouds and flowers. Later next month, my Mom and I are making the curtains and adding some fun pom pom trim to the bed skirt and lamp shade. Plus, I want to paint the knobs on the dresser and hang the bookcase (sitting to the left of the window in the above picture). I have waited so long to design her nursery and I love seeing it come together! I hope she loves it too!

September 15, 2008


The ticker on the right says that I have less than 100 days to go before my due date. Wow, time is flying by!

Week 26: A Cute Cuke!

At 26 weeks, Abby Lu is the length of an English hothouse cucumber. When my friend Meg was pregnant with her daughter Allison (who was born in March), she posted her baby's size each week and I remember this week in her journey. For one, it made me laugh as I had not heard of this special cucumber and was sure my HEB was short changing my salad potential. For two, I so wanted my own little cucumber. This week I feel very blessed to share my cucumber with my blog friends.

The road trip to and from Lubbock was definetely more difficult on my body that usual. It is about 6.5 hours each way and my tailbone told me all about it. I am comfortable for about an hour and then need to move around to relieve the achiness I feel. This is completely normal and based upon the stretching of muscles in the area and the center of gravity shifting as my belly comes out more. I will likely aggravate my tail bone again this week as I fly to San Diego on Wednesday. This is my last work-related trip on a plane until later next year, so I am excited to have it behind me.

Abby is kicking most of the day now and I have been able to feel it on the inside and see it on the outside recently. I think being short waisted will keep her active as she searches for some room to grow. Marcus can feel her kick almost daily.

from Baby Center:
The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. She may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other. She's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of her lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when she's born and takes that first gulp of air. And she's continuing to put on baby fat. She now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel.

Got our Guns Up!

This weekend Marcus and I made the long trip to Lubbock to see our #10 ranked Red Raiders play SMU. We bought tickets back in July before we knew the madness the RR fans would be with this exciting season!

Of course, we stopped by to see the first house we purchased just before we were married. It was still standing and looked good. If only our mortgage could be that small again :)

A trip to Lubbock is not complete without shopping and eating at all of our favorite places. We hit up the wonderful little TTU shops on Saturday afternoon and recharged with snow cones from the best snow cone stand in all the land. If only Bahama Bucks would come to Austin! I had a Red Raider- cinnamon, cherry and orange. Yummy!

Our shopping was quite humorous as we were buying for 5 kids! We had wish lists from our friends The Gumpls and The Butlers.

Of course, Abby Lu needed a onesie for the bowl game this year, hair bow and t-shirt for football season next year, a bib, and a sippy cup. Marcus wanted a new hat, dress shirt and office gear to annoy the Longhorns and Aggies. I needed some Tech serving dishes.

After shopping, we met up with our friends Katy and Chad and their son William who has mastered the art of the "guns up".... that is, if you can catch him!

Marcus and I try to see Tech play every year, but it is normally at a hostile location- UT, Baylor, or A&M. Being "home" felt wonderful. I don't think we have seen a game in Lubbock since college. We are accustomed to being the only people cheering when Crabtree scores and hearing the other band play during breaks. For once, we were yelling, singing, and booing with the people around us.

The fans were crazy. It was a sell out crowd in the newly expanded stadium! Tailgating was in full force and the hype before the game was even better and bigger than we had remembered. We won the game 43-7 which included 5 interceptions. I can assure you we have never seen the Tech defense do that!

I do believe our daughter enjoyed the game as well. She was kicking and flipping all game long which is unusual for that time of day. I'm guessing she heard the 55,000 people yelling and the row of tubas.

Big thanks to Carol and Katy and Chad for letting us stay with you! We had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed visiting with you.

September 11, 2008

Our Generation's Day

Our parents can tell you where they were when they heard JFK had been shot. Our grandparents can tell you where they were when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Our generation can tell you where they were when 9/11 became infamous.

I was on southbound Mopac on the Town Lake bridge on my way to work at TAFP. I was wearing black capri pants and a denim button down shirt. JB and Sandy gave me the news.

Seven years later, we know so much and yet so little about that day. I was not an active Christian at the time and thought a lot that day about God. My sister was due to give birth to Kyleigh within weeks and I remember thinking, "what a crummy world for a sweet baby to come into!"

Today, my faith gives me a much different perspective on 9/11. He always has the answers and can turn everything into good. We are more prepared as a nation, more patriotic, more supportive of our troops, and hopefully, more loving of Him and each other. I also believe that this is not a crummy world for a baby to be born into. It is our responsibility to make the world a better place because of our presence and to equip our children to go to a place and time that we will not go with that same mission.

Abby's New Blanket

Look at this sweet blanket that our friend Leigh handmade for Abby Lu. It arrived in the mail all the way from Virginia today.

I can't wait to wrap her up in this or let her play on the floor on her soft blanket. It even matches her nursery and will look wonderful hanging on the back of the recliner in her room.

We are so grateful to have so many talented and loving friends who are blessing our daughter with such thoughtful gifts before she even arrives.

Thank you Leigh!

September 10, 2008

Let the Painting Begin!

Tonight while I was busy making baby thank you notes, Marcus pulled out the paint brush and got started on the blue trim for Abby Lu's room. It was exciting to see the color go on the walls. It will be completed over the next two weeks.

Here is a close up of the soft sky blue we have chosen. Any bets on how long before my dear sweet daughter will tell me "blue is for boys, I want a pink room!"

Fat Cash

Yesterday at work I saw the largest check I have ever seen in my life!
My department is responsible for getting pharmaceutical grants to help fund programs my members need more education on. Most checks are $10,000 or under, but we struck it big with this project. It is a national initiative that will feature diabetes education at live meetings, on the web and even on satellite radio. Pretty cool!

September 08, 2008

Week 25: Lovely Little Rutabaga

Rather than share a picture of a rutabaga (what is that anyway?), I thought I'd share a photo of my belly from this morning.

We saw the doctor this morning and all news was good news. I have gained 9 pounds, reported no swelling and lots of baby movement, and we heard a strong heartbeat. I was given the famous orange soda to take before my next appointment on October 1st when I will be tested for gestational diabetes, given a Rhogram shot, and a flu shot!

We also stopped by the pediatrician's office two different friends have recommended and will attend a meet and greet to see if we like the practice.

This weekend, Marcus also did nursery prep. He hung the new ceiling fan in her room and primed the walls to prepare for paint when I am out of town next weekend. I also met the fabulous painter from our church who will be doing the clouds and flowers and gave her paint samples and a piece of our bedding. I can't wait for this phase to be done so we can organize her room. It is currently boxes of furniture, tubs of the most precious clothes given to us and the other items donated by our most generous friends and family. Seeing it all together will be wonderful!

from Baby Center:
Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.

September 04, 2008

Almost as Good as Christmas

Today/ This weekend is my favorite "holiday" behind Christmas.... it is the beginning of football season. And, everyone, exclaimed, "Yippee!" It is crazy to think that at the end of the season, which goes by so fast, Abby Lu will be here. Her first Super Bowl is this season! She is ready with Broncos gear from our trip to Denver last month.

Those of you who don't know, I am a professional football junkie! I play Fantasy Football, Pro Pick Em, and Survivor Football online. I research players and teams and will be happy to talk football with anyone and everyone. It comes from my Dad and pre-dates Marcus who has fast become a fan with me.

I cheer for Denver, Chicago and Brian Griese. I watch football all day on Sunday. I pay $250 for Sunday Ticket to see all games and don't complain. I often bake some dessert while the game is on to remind myself I am female. I sit on the couch for hours. I do not sleep. I follow my Fantasy team online with stat tracker. I smack talk. I have waited many months for this day to come. I am ready.

So Long Old Friend

One of my oldest posessions has officially died. My little white alarm clock is 14 years old and will be laid to rest tonight.

It was a high school graduation gift from Jacque. It has lived in 2 dorm rooms, 6 apartments, and now 3 houses. Residing in San Angelo, Lubbock, Austin and Leander, he has been a trusty friend getting me through classes, finals, those long college naps, my first day of work, early morning flights and much more.

September 03, 2008

Happy Birthday Kristi

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Kristi
Happy Birthday to you

I hope you have a wonderful day with Ben, Landry and Bella!



I haven't really had any food wants that I would consider a craving. Sure, I prefer a salad or fruit to french fries, but that is based on being healthy and wanting something cold to beat the heat. However, I can officially say that I have now had my first craving and I owe it all to a cute little girl named Abbie.

While having lunch with my friend Andrea and her daughter last week, Abbie asked if I could go get a sno cone with them in RR. I don't think she really wanted to spend more time with me as much as she wanted a sno cone. I declined and headed back to work, but thought about that sno cone for a couple of days.

Monday night I called the sno cone place in RR to find that it had closed early for Labor Day. I googled sno cone and my city and my zip code and couldn't find anything. I guess the corner stands don't have a website!

Tuesday at lunch I found a stand near my office, but they were not open. It is lunch time and 100 degrees outside- is that not enough? I told Marcus about my dilemma and he told me there was a place at Braker and Jollyville that he had driven past that day which was open. Being the wonderful husband he is, he turned around and got me a large Tiger's Blood sno cone in the middle of the day. It was divine. I plan to have a bright red tongue everyday!

September 02, 2008

Decent father books

So I have been hunting for some time now for a decent book for being a new father. I've read two so far, and they were so bad, I threw them in the trash can. I don't need a whole chapter about "you can still enjoy life now that you are a father." No. I need something like "Here's how to hold your child so the neck doesn't flop around." You know...practical stuff, and dare I say, a book that actually assumes I wanted this child. I swear, every three pages it was about 'father feeling neglected." Ok, this may be real, but I didn't know I was signing up for a self help book here.

I think I got some good ones lined up....I have on the shelf, the first 12 months as a father, and it talks about games to play, what to expect, etc.. I also have one that was loaned to me by a recent father that was prgnancy for the father....his point of view. Could be a good survival book if I get in trouble in the next 4 months.
But right now, I am reading the baby owner's manual. Finally...something for the geek dad to be....with passage like "properly holding your baby unit" and "maintain a constant 68-72 degree environment for your model, or it can begin to emit a warning that it is too cold or hot." There are chapters about "proper care and feeding of your unit" to avoid the warranty being null, and of course, they recommend that if your unit is malfunctioning, make sure and take it to a certified care technician.
The best, is the warning labels on the two exhaust ports. Most models emit exhaust without prior warning.


Zipping Fun

Saturday morning Marcus and I celebrated Tabriah's birthday with a bunch of her friends at Cypress Valley Canopy Tours. Tabriah has wanted to do this for a while and was obviously pretty convincing to get Marcus to fly through the trees on a piece of rope!

Because I am pregnant, I was unable to play along. But, I enjoyed the lakeside picnic area and a good book while the others zipped along the trees.

I am really proud of Marcus' for conquering his fears and zipping. He doesn't like heights much, but he flies in airplanes, has parasailed in South Padre, rode the big ferris wheel in Chicago and rides elevators to keep me company.

Stuff Heard Round the House

Without kids in the house, I don't get to play stuff heard round the house much. But, Cohen gave me a good one this weekend- enjoy!
Auntie- "are you going to be nice to Abby Lu when she comes?"
Cohen- "when will she come?"
Auntie- "around your brithday"
Cohen- "how will she come out of your belly?"
Auntie- "the doctor will get her out"
Cohen- "you have a doctor in your belly, too?"

Pool Time

I don't swim much. I haven't swam (except at Gold's Gym) in a couple of years. It requires a bathing suit and shaving. However, this weekend, I was at the community pool 3 times in 3 days.

I have heard pregnant women like to swim. This one does not. I was sick the moment I took my feet off the bottom of the pool. Luckily, I had Kyleigh and Cohen to hang with in the kiddie pool on Saturday and Sunday and two more little friends on Monday.

It is always fun to see them learning new tricks. I grew up with a swimming pool, so I know all the ways to extend your pool time. Kyleigh learned how to fly off Marcus' shoulders, how to do sit ups in the pool, running under water, 2 front flips, 1 back flip, handstands and the best way to fix your hair underwater. Cohen learned he isn't as tall as he thought. He would get water in his nose and come up and say, "I almost drowned!"


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