August 31, 2011

Momma's Dream- Dance Class!

This little girl lived one of her Momma's dreams from about 3 years ago when I knew I was having a girl- she wore a delicate pink leotard, tutu, tights and ballet slippers for her first dance class.
When I put her tights on her, she kept rubbing her legs. The whole ensemble... you could tell she felt pretty. She just lit up with excitement. I had hoped that would carry her into a new experience and she'd blend right into her first dance class. Not so much!
I have been assured her behavior was normal and I don't need to reevaluate our participation. She was unsure of herself and her place in the class. She was sad faced and biting on her hand most of the time, a nervous habit she has. When she saw me in the window watching, she would smile and blow me kisses. They did a little tap, a little ballet, and a little gymnastics.
She didn't really do any of it. She sat in the Assistant Teacher's lap for most of class. But, when I asked her about it, she was excited, said she danced and she wants to go back. I can be shy in big groups and often seek out my close friends while hesitating to meet new people. Marcus doesn't like change and prefers consistency. I think she has a little of those traits and we are continually working to lovingly push her into new situations to keep her growing.

I'm certain she'll do better next week and likely be comfortable by week 3. I'll keep you posted!

August 30, 2011

Oh Happy Day

I had step 2 of my root canal at 8 AM this morning. While I was there, Marcus and Abby played at McDonald's and bought me flowers. I was a little freaked out- we don't have spare money for flowers until I saw that he got them 1/2 off. I love my $7.50 flowers even more!
We ran to Hobby Lobby before lunch to get a baby shower gift and then had lunch with our friends Joey and Owen. I used to work with their Mom Judy and our kids had never met. Abby wasn't nervous around new friends and was super talkative. But, she was scared to death of the CFA playground? She doesn't like big groups of fast kids on playgrounds. I'm sure she'll grow out of it, but currently it seems to really frighten her. Judy offered the kids a Starburst if they'd take a photo and Abby talked about that piece of candy all afternoon!
A couple of months ago, I bought the Mom Agenda that I had seen online and recommended by bloggers. I'll be honest- I hate it. The columns are too narrow and there are too many sections that don't make sense for me. PLus, it isn't spiral bound and starts the week with Monday. Overall, I hated it and the thought of using it for 15 more months.
Today, my new Erin Condren planner arrived and I am overjoyed with planning excitement. I ordered it 3 weeks ago- she became very popular really quickly with a groupon type deal and several bloggers expressing their love for her. I totally see why! Mine arrived today and I just love it!
It is sprial bound, really colorful, personalized and she included a cute little round paperclip for the current week. The color pattern is beautiful and so much fun!

Erin also included sweet goodies- gift tags and shipping labels with our name on them! Plus, she sent me $25 off, $10 off and 2 10% off coupons.
If you are shopping for a planner, check this one out!

I was so glad Abby took a long nap so that I could get my new planner all filled out. I'm a dork, I know. Marcus told me. ;)

Abby Said What: Poop and My Finger

Marcus and I died laughing on the way to dinner Friday night.
From the backseat, Abby says, "Daddy, do you need to go poop?"
Marcus nicely replies, "no baby I don't need to go poop"

Abby then says, "but Daddy, I smell you."

For the record, it was a skunky smell outside the car, but I love that she assumed it was him!

She also has gotten into the habit of pointing to things that she wants us to see; however, she hasn't quite figured out how that works because she is always telling us, "look what is on the end of my finger" instead of "look at that dog across the street I am pointing at". You end up looking at her finger and trying to decide what she is pointing at. Silly girl!

August 28, 2011

Learn About Jesus

This Sunday was promotion Sunday at church and Abby moved out of the nursery and into the 2 year olds class. You move into your class for the school year once you are 2 and Abby wasn't 2 on September 1 of last year. She is in a new hallway and her new class has lessons each week, projects, and a fun soft play area to run around in!

We always tell her we are going to our classroom to learn about Jesus and this week we told her she got a new big kid room where she can learn about Jesus, too!
Her favorite teachers from the old class promoted with her, so she was excited and went right into her new room. With many of the same friends and teachers, it was an easy transition. I can't wait to hear what she learns and see her artwork each week. The volunteer during the second hour told us she was so talkative and funny. Glad to know she wasn't shy in her new setting!

I pray she learns about who Jesus is and how many He loves her each week.

Celebration Dinner

We had a celebration dinner Friday night, after my last day of work in the office. It was surreal to change my voicemail, shut my office door, and drive away at 4:55 Friday. I was so excited to pick up Abby. I have never seen her in such a good mood!
I feel like she knows so much more than we think. When I told her it was her last day, she said, "No school. No church. No Starbucks. I get Mommy all day." I love her honesty- we'll just have to work on the church part. ha!
She also told her friend Eva's Mom at storytime on Saturday when asked about staying home with Mommy, "Yes and I love it". Amazing.

We had a fun celebration dinner with a strawberry mojito, hummus, pizza, and ice cream for dessert. Every celebration needs ice cream to be legit!

August 27, 2011

First of Many Playdates

We spent Tuesday and Thursday afternoon with our little friend Kiersten (one year older than Abby) and Kaylinn (just turned 2). Their Mom, Tabriah, is a childhood friend of mine and my freshman college roommate. They recently built a new home about 10 minutes away and we discovered this week that our girls play well together.
We played at their house on Tuesday and in the back yard where we made an impromptu waterpark with all of their fun toys.
Thursday, we played at the neighborhood pool. Both times, Abby throw a big fit when it was time to leave.

Thanks girls for having us over- we'll host and share all our toys (hopefully as well as you did) real soon!

August 26, 2011

My Last Day

Today is my last day in the office, possbily for the rest of my life. I thought I'd do a little list of things I will miss and things I won't miss.

Working part time from home, I will most certainly miss:
  • Work Clothes. I love a good pair of black pants, a fun top, and black heels. I'll have to save those clothes for church and a nice date night.
  • Lunch Hours. I could run 4 errands and grab lunch on my lunch hour. I'll miss the productivity that comes from being alone. I'll also miss long lunches with old friends or Marcus at sit-down restaurants that don't serve kids meals or have a playground. I am hoping to fit these in while Abby is at MDO (Mother's Day Out) every now and then.
  • Sick Days. Yea, I haven't seen those covered in my new benefits package. I'm guessing they look like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse marathons on the couch.
  • Uninterrupted Time. I spent a lot of time quietly at my desk at work. I got my job done and had time to look at Facebook, the news, blogs, etc. I might sit down for 5 minutes in a row at my new desk when Abby isn't napping or at MDO.
  • My Paycheck. Marcus and I have been fortunate to have made a nice living and I've enjoyed buying what I want just about anytime I've wanted it. We've always had a loose budget until now. Getting paid every single Friday plus a bonus check each month is a thing of the past. We have to stretch our money and be smart with the extras.
But, I also know the rewards in my new job aren't measured in the same way and they will come through smiles, hugs, warm meals, and relaxing weekends for all of us. I won't miss:
  • Limited Time with Abby. In total, during the week, I was with Abby for about 3 hours per day. That is enough time to parent the basics- potty, dinner, bath, bed, but left little time for playing, projects or character building. It was really left up to her teachers at school and that has never sat well with us.
  • Weekends spent on the move. With such limited time during the week, I spent most Saturdays at the grocery store and most Sundays in the laundry room. I love the idea that after going out of town for the weekend, we can recover on Monday, not the next 3 nights after work.
  • The Unsettling Feeling of Trying to Do it all. I'm tired of being Mom, Wife, Employee, Boss, etc. I want my work to be reflected in my home, my marriage, and my child. I want to have the energy each day to invest in the people I most love and not prioritize the people who pay me above the people who love and need me.
  • Getting Up and Ready. I love that Abby and I can watch a little TV in the morning, snuggle until 9, eat breakfast in our jammies, and stay that way if we want to. I wake up early easily, but really prefer a few hours to fully wake up before I have to shower and get dressed.
I truly believe that in life you have time or money. Finding the right balance of the two can lead to a happy life. When one gets out of wack, life is out of wack. I know the Lord has prepared this path for me- I will learn to live with less money and will make the most of my new found time. I used to think my friends were crazy for driving across town to save $2. I get it now- I'll go on an adventure with Abby to save $2.

Satan has really attacked us this past month- in the area we most fear with this change- finances. We've replaced 4 tires, have 2 more to replace, spent close to $1000 on our AC unit, and I have an awful dental treatment plan that needs funding. While it is stressful I also know that this is God's will and that is why Satan is unhappy with me. He lost a playmate.

I expect good days and bad days. Temper tantrums and snuggle sessions. After 2 years of praying and 5 1/2 months of knowing today is the day, I am grateful, elated, and blessed beyond measure. Thank you for praying for this day with me!

August 25, 2011

Knee Update

If you hadn't read the knee post from earlier this week, go here.

For those who called, texted, facebooked, etc.... Abby is walking again today. When given the choice of medicine, no story time and no swimming this morning or try walking, we were suddenly able to walk.

I truly think she hurt her knee yesterday morning and then the fear of the pain was worse than the pain. Wednesday was hard- we had a 35 pound baby that needed to be carried everywhere or crawl. Try taking a toddler that won't stand to the potty.... every 2 hours. I have a much greater respect for parents of adult children that need extra care. I was worn out. Probably didn't help that I had a root canal yesterday. Fun times in our house.

Anyway, this morning we walked carefully while always holding my hand and by this afternoon we were running, jumping and hopping all around. Thank goodness- I really didn't want to call in sick on my last day in the office or my "retirement" lunch with some of my favorite girls.

Toodles!

Birthday Girl

video

Somebody has a birthday today! Abby sings them a little song... click play to find out who she is singing to!



August 24, 2011

I Can't Walk

Today has been an interesting day... I was supposed to work today. Friday is my last day, but ended up home with Abby and at the pediatrician this morning.

While I was in the shower and getting ready for work, Marcus and Abby watched Mickey Mouse clubhouse. When it was over and Abby was dressed, she got off the bed and couldn't put any pressure on her right leg. We thought she had tweaked it a little and rubbed her knee all over, made her bend and straighten her leg, point and flex her toes, etc. Nothing hurt her... then she went to stand again and fell to the ground and complained. After an ice pack and trying to figure out what was wrong for 30 minutes, we called the doctor and had an 8:15 appointment.
They did the same things we had done- it only hurts when she bears weight on it. So, Abby is on Motrin 3x per day, taking it easy, and if she can't walk on Friday morning, they will do blood work to test for an infection and x-rays to look for a fracture of some kind.

We have no idea if she hurt it in the night, getting dressed this morning or possibly when Marcus moved her across the bed. She never complained until she stood up to walk.

Please pray she is 100% better when she wakes up in the morning and no additional tests are needed.

August 23, 2011

Fun Times

Marcus and I were both out of town this past weekend, so on Thursday I met my Mom and family to drop Abby Lu off for the weekend. Since her birthday is coming soon, we celebrated with a yummy lunch at Fork & Spoon and presents. I went practical and bought her some of these.
Abby loves staying with my Mom and my sister. She was at my sister's house and my Mom was there visiting. It was heaven for Abby to have everyone at once!
After dropping her off, I went to the outlet malls and shopped around for an hour all alone. It was nice! I bought Abby a few winter shirts and then bought myself a pair of shoes for the winter. I can't wait to wear them! Finally, I ended my afternoon with a pedicure!
Marcus and I took advantage of the time alone and went downtown to dinner! I have wanted to try Lambert's since I smelled it (upscale BBQ) before the Capitol 10K last year! I never remember it when we are deciding where to eat. It was YUMMY!
We had deviled eggs appetizer, shared a brisket plate and added fried okra and mac & cheese, and then shared the fried peach pie with brown butter ice cream for dessert. It was all so good!

More on our weekend adventures to come- for me, it was by far, the wildest weekend of my life and surprisingly a lot of fun!

August 17, 2011

My New Boss

I spent Tuesday with my new boss. I think she likes this new arrangement. She is seriously such a good and easy kid with us. It is a whole 'nother story at school right now. I don't know if she dislikes school, it is too chaotic, she is easy for us because we give in too much.... I can't figure it out. We get bad reports at school 4 of 5 days. It is things like didn't listen, wouldn't clean up, threw a fit, or didn't nap and woke up other kids. On top of that, she is having accidents and biting herself- they say for attention. I just don't know- I think it is stress.
After working out Tuesday morning, we had an early lunch at Taco Cabana. She wanted a cheese quesadilla for lunch. I was happy to go to TC- their brisket tacos are wonderful and relatively low in calories.
While she napped, I ran around like a crazy woman! I washed sheets, cleaned up, boiled chicken for dinner, and did some work. I can be really efficient when time is short!

After nap and a little TV time, we went to the new nearby pool we discovered. Veterans Memorial Park is amazing- I wish we had swam there earlier this summer!
They have the cutest little toddler slides and Abby can climb up the stairs to get on them by herself and then slide solo. The landing area is soft and less than knee deep. It was perfect for single-parent chaperoning. We loved it!
Tomorrow Abby is going to see my Mom and sister and her cousins. She has talked about it all week and I know she is going to be so excited!

August 15, 2011

Blog Brain Dump

I rarely do a blog brain dump, but since I was bad and only took one pictures this weekend, I'll give you a whole lot of nothing this morning!

  • We discovered a new city pool on Sunday afternoon 45 minutes before it closed. We'll back be soon, like tomorrow. Local friends, check out Veterans Park off New Hope, west of Bagdad. It had so many fun areas for kids Abby's age. We loved it!
  • Abby might be a fabric collector like my Mom. We went into JoAnn fabrics after lunch on Sunday and she didn't want to leave. She would discuss what prints she saw, the colors, and especially like the more formal shiny fabrics. Oh my!
  • Since joining the YMCA 2 weeks ago , I have worked out 3-4 times each week. I learned on Sunday afternoon that I am not lifting my legs enough and the pain in my ankle area is the muscles burning because they are working to lift my legs. I felt like I was galloping when I corrected that, but had no pain and did the fastest 2 miles I've done in years. Yea me!
  • I am going out of town this weekend for a bachelorette party and while Abby was napping I tried on a few outfits to decide what to pack. When Abby awoke, I was in a long dress. Abby said, "Momma, you got a new dress. I like it. You look pretty." Did God actually give me a 2 year old that speaks my love language?
  • Speaking of this weekend, Abby is staying at Tonda's house (my sister) with my Mom and sister, etc. and she talks about it nonstop. I love that I can leave my child with family and she gets a fun weekend, too!
  • Abby starts her Mother's Day Out program in September. I bought the school supplies on the list this weekend. She is going to have so much fun- modeling clay, playdough, markers, paint, construction paper, etc. I'm excited to see her artwork and to hear her learn Christian songs. She sings ALL.THE.TIME.
  • I have 5 days left in the office. Today, I am coding the bill from our program at the end of the July. The total bill could pay off my home. Always puts it in perspective. Yikes!
  • I need to get my head into the NFL season. I draft in 2 weeks and I have no clue who plays for whom or who got fat during the strike. I could learn more watching football tonight, but then there is Bachelor Pad. Oh how I love a good reality drama!
Have a great day!

August 14, 2011

Our Week

I was home with Abby on Tuesday and Thursday this week. Tuesday morning we watched Mickey Mouse in bed and the decided we wanted to swing in the backyard. Since it was before 9 AM, it was cool and nice to just be outdoors. Working full time, we haven't been able to be in the backyard in months due to the weather!

We worked on our puzzles while we ate breakfast. Abby has gotten really good about knowing her letters and placing them in the right slot. She can get about 40% of them without help. We learned on Tuesday that the letter M and the letter W look very similar. She likes to take her fish puzzle and mix up the colors- she calls them "silly fish".
I had a meeting for my real estate job and Abby was wonderful. She played with her iPhone for an hour and only bothered us once. I am grateful she behaved and I was able to have a real meeting without lots of distractions. After my meeting, we had lunch at Chick-fil-A. I have found that the chicken salad sandwich with fruit doesn't give me a headache.
We had also spent a good deal of time at home just playing! Abby loves her little kitchen from Christmas in 2009. On Tuesday afternoon, it served as a changing table for Foofa. She had an accident ;) Abby is still doing well with her big girl bed- she doesn't get out even though she is physically able to crawl up and down.
Thursday morning I took her to her first movie- Winnie the Pooh. She did amazing, likely due to the "small" bag of popcorn! She sat in her chair or my lap the entire 69 minute movie. We have talked about Pooh a lot over the past few days.
I am so grateful my career has led to this. I don't think I would have appreciated my time with Abby if I had started as a SAHM. I would have always wondered where my career would have gone or how she would have turned out with 5 years of daycare. I also know that had I gotten pregnant the first month or even first year, we wouldn't be where we are right now. I would not have the professional experience to be able to stay home or the financial ability to do it. I hope I can remember this time fondly, a time when the Lord knew best and provided beyond what I could have hoped or imagined.

August 12, 2011

Winston and Finley

We spent last Sunday afternoon at the pool with our friends Katy, Ike and Nicole. They both have dogs and with Abby's obsession with puppies, we spent a little time after swimming seeing Winston and Finley.
Abby would throw the hockey puck and Finley would catch it and bring it back.
She laughed with pure joy playing with Finley.

Winston was a little more calm, just chewing on his squeaky toy on the couch. He was wearing a t-shirt- funny!
Nice to not own a puppy and just visit :)

August 11, 2011

Abby Said What: Mud

We had chalupas for dinner the other night, something we don't make often.

I was asking Abby what each of the items were on the chalupa based upon their color:

What is yellow?
Abby replied "the chip"
What is green?
Abby- lettuce
What is orange?
Abby- cheese

I then asked her what the brown food was (refried beans). She looked at me with all the seriousness and confidence in the world and said, "mud."

August 09, 2011

Newest Obsession- Toothpicks

We have found a little parenting trick- Abby will eat anything if we let her eat it off a toothpick!
We discovered this at Newk's when it helped her eat our grapes. They had placed toothpicks on both Marcus' and my sandwich to keep them together.
Eating 5 peas at a time on a toothpick or poking things on both ends is the most fun!
Of course, we also love poking lots of things at once!

August 08, 2011

Abby Squared

Saturday afternoon we visited our friend Abby S. for her 3rd birthday party. Abby Lu was having so much fun playing with their names- I'm Abby and she is Abby?

I love Abby S. cheeks! Aren't they the cutest? Her family and ours are in church together. The girls have played in big groups together, but don't know each other well.
Abby loved that cupcakes were part of the party! She calls them birthday cake regardless of the occasion. She licked off a little icing and ate maybe 1/4 of the cupcake.
Skittles from the Curious George pinata was a whole other story- those were downed in seconds.
I was working hard to get a smile out of my pretty girl... when I did, she was moving and we got a blurry picture. But, I still love this serious face.
Happy Birthday Abby S!

August 07, 2011

Tinsel

Abby needed a haircut badly, so I picked her up on Friday a little early from school and we headed to our favorite Pigtails and Crewcuts. She loves playing in the store while we wait our turn!
Someone has fallen in love with Marcus' old iPhone! We try to limit her use to times when we really need her to sit still or be quiet. She did great getting her haircut because she had her Elmo videos and a Dum Dum.
I splurged $3 and added a piece of pink tinsel to her hair! They call it bling and they knot it into her hair just under the part. It is fun- I like it. I'm not sure if Abby has even noticed!
Here is her cute little stacked bob cut. I love that she has a classic little girl cut in the front and something more interesting and unexpected in the back.
I wonder how long I'll have a say in her hairstyle :)

August 05, 2011

Passport Crisis Averted

We are going to Cabo for a week in late September to attend a wedding of two of our friends. We've booked our flights (thank you American Airlines points!) and our hotel. Doesn't it look amazing! The big thing left to do was get our passports. Since I was off today, post conference holiday, and Abby was at school, it was the perfect day to get it done. It took all day and I'm not kidding when I say I thought Cabo might not happen!
Marcus and I said a few bad words to the terrorists today- they made the process hard since we have to protect our country so much.

Weeks ago, I completed and printed out the application online. We had planned to go to the post office with our driver's license and birth certificate. We'd take our official photos there. Easy! Marcus called the post office on Wednesday to make our appointment and they told him they are booked until August 19th. Uh oh! I called a couple of post offices this morning- one is full until October. Yea, that won't work!
Marcus googled around and found Just Passports. They process it all quickly for you, review your paperwork, and walk you through the process for $50. It was our only real option so we moved forward with an appointment with them this afternoon.

In gathering every thing up, we realized that Marcus' birth certificate was nowhere to be found. Ugh! And, the Just Passports location doesn't do photos. So, we both ran to Walgreen's for photos and then Marcus went to the Vital Stats office for a birth certificate.

In the meantime, my laptop wouldn't allow me to complete the Just Passports information in an online PDF, too old of a version. So, I had to jump on another computer, complete it and email it to Marcus to print at work, since our home printer is broken. Annoying! He also had to copy our birth certificates and his license. I took my license to Kinkos to copy since he couldn't take it to work- I was driving around all day!

We got to Just Passports and realized that my birth certificate is no longer valid- the "rules" changed a few months ago. It has worked for 35 years, but not anymore. So, we decided to use my passport from Europe when I was in college as my ID and just do a renewal. Only problem, I didn't have a copy of our marriage license showing my name change. Is this not insane!

Luckily, they found a way around it... my passport with birth name counted as my proof of citizenship and driver's license with my married name counts as my proof of marriage and name change. I thought I was going to scream.

Luckily, it is in the FedEx envelope now and should be completed and back in Austin by the end of the month. Three weeks to spare! Ridiculous!

I highly recommend you get your passports early- the process is complicated. Oh, and take a day off work for sure!

August 04, 2011

First Day at My New Job

Starting this week I work part time and stay home two days per week. Today was my first official day at home with Abby. We had fun, got a lot done, and it was glorious! I have no doubt this will be a hard job- there will be whining, little down time, and temper tantrums thrown by both parties. But, I also know there will be snuggling, baking, so much joy.

We had planned to work out, get a haircut and go to the grocery store. We only made it to the grocery store. Abby just wanted to play- in her room, with her puzzles in the living room, and in my craft room. I never think about how often we are on the go, so we spent all but an hour at home today.
We went to the grocery store this morning. Shopping with her is fun- she makes up songs, says "thank you for buying me ___________" up and down the aisle, and talks to strangers. I loved meal planning for the next two weeks knowing I will have more time to make dinner and include more fresh fruits and veggies.
We came home in time to make lunch which included iced tea! Since I'll be home more and trying to save more money, I bought myself an iced tea maker and a big Tervis Tumbler. I have been drinking tea from home all day. No more Sonic runs for me!
For lunch we had nachos and fresh fruit- I bought cherries for the first time and stained my hands and shirt removing the pits!
After lunch, Abby laid down for a nap. I woke her up after 2.5 hours! She doesn't nap well at school and always naps well at home. Another great reason to stay home! When we were eating I told her we were taking a nap next and she said "at home or at school?" I told her at home, we weren't going to school today and she had the biggest smile on her face!
Notice she is sleeping in her crib without one side. We removed it on Wednesday night knowing we had a 4-day weekend in case it was awful. She hasn't even attempted to get up yet. It can't be that easy... we are just waiting!

After her nap and some good snuggling time, we baked cookies! Abby and I love the Ginger and Clove cookie dough from Immaculate Baking Company. We ate warm cookies and watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse until Marcus came home at 5.
When putting away groceries this morning, I also threw a roast in the crock pot. It was sooo good- recipe coming soon! I love crock pot cooking and hate that I can only do it on Sunday. I'm excited to use it more during the week.
We were done with dinner and dishes by 6 PM and Abby and Marcus spent an hour in the backyard eating popsicles, swinging, and spraying each other with water.
I know not everyday will be this wonderful, but I know that today was and God gave me all the assurance I needed that this is best for my family. I love my new job!

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