Thursday, December 20, 2012

Gripes, I Have Them

This might be a bit of a "Ba humbug" post but there are a few gripes that I have and I just need to get them off my chest.  So...here we go:

  1. My radio station has switched over to Christmas music for the season.  The first week or so it was great. I  was in the best mood listening to the sounds of Christmas in my car on the way to work everyday.  And then, it got old.  I think I have heard the same Christmas songs sung 5 different ways daily for the past month.  OK...I'm over the Christmas music now.  Which leads me to my next gripe...
  2. Can't they just sing the blasted song?!?  Why must every artist feel the need to "make the song their own?"  It's just wrong.  Don't mess with my Christmas classics.  God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen to a pop beat...no...just no!  Stop the madness now and leave the Carols alone!
  3. Also, I hate that people feel the need to be PC at Christmas.  I get we all have different beliefs and celebrate different ways but I don't understand why "Merry Christmas" became a bad thing to say.  So forgive me but I will say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays" and I will hunt down cards that say that exact thing because that's how I feel.  
  4. I drive the toll road to work daily because it is the fastest and easiest way for me to get to work.  So, yes, getting behind someone at the toll booth who does not have a TxTag but has a Texas car tag really annoys me.  Get outta my way at 8 AM when I'm already late to work (thanks, daycare drop off).  So I was pretty happy to see the signs that the toll booths will no longer be accepting cash starting January 1st.  And then I started to feel bad for the ladies that work the booth I drive through every day.  I hope that TxTag had made other arrangements for them so they aren't out of a job because that would suck.
OK...so that's all I can think of right now.  I had more but I forgot them in the process of actually getting to work.  I really need to start recording my thoughts during my commute because I really do come up with good blog ideas with all that time on my hands to think.  I will leave you on a brighter note though.  This little guy is 17 months old today!  Who told him he could get so big and look like a little person instead of a tiny baby!?!




Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Spirit

Christmas is just over a week away but you wouldn't know it by looking at my house.  The Christmas spirit is definitely lacking here which makes me sad.  There is always a delay on putting up the Christmas tree here because of it's location in the house but this year the toddler in the house has stopped me from putting up any decorations at all.  You see, the only location in my house that is (sort of) available for the Christmas tree is in front of the picture window in my kitchen that faces the street.  There is no other spot that doesn't contain furniture that can't easily be moved and stored in place of the tree for a couple of weeks.  Instead, I have to move the dog's bowls and mat from it's normal spot in front of the window to another less convenient location on the other side of the kitchen.  Plus the tree blocks access to the pantry which makes life all kinds of difficult.

Throw the toddler into the mix and it's just a recipe for disaster.  One of my twitter friends posted about her son who is a month older than Jackson pulling the tree on to himself within days of them putting it up and I decided right then to delay the tree even further.  My current plan is to ask Chris to start getting it out on Thursday since tomorrow is Sean's last day of school.  It will give them something to do during the day and give me less to stress about.  If that doesn't work, then I will be decorating alone while corralling Jackson all weekend.  Also, baby gates will be in place to prevent said toddler from entering and exiting the kitchen for the duration of the Christmas holidays.

I have two Nutcrackers up on the very top of my entertainment center and a a snowman table cloth in the dining room but that is the extent of the decorating that has happened here.  The Nutcrackers only made it out because they were purchased on Black Friday this year and haven't made it to the decoration box(es) yet.  I normally have my Nutcracker collection, my International Santas, and my Nativities covering the living room and dining room at this point with stockings hung on the fireplace.  But little grabby hands who can climb made me re-think that since I would like to keep my decorations in one piece for future use.

I am sure this all sounds very grinch-y but I promise I'm not trying to be.  I have tried to find all the Christmas related activities I can for us to do.  We hit Santa's workshop at my office and the Christmas Stroll in a neighboring town all in one day two weeks ago.  We also checked out the Living Nativity/Life of Christ production at one of the local churches.  Plus we have attended a couple of Christmas parties.  I still have plans for pictures with Santa and going to see Christmas lights this weekend plus a family viewing of Polar Express.  I sure hope that makes up for the lack of festiveness in the house.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

7 Quick Takes

1. I put Jackson in overalls and a turtle neck this morning. If I thought I could get away with it, I would dress him like this every day because he looked so adorable.

2. I laugh every day when I turn onto the street my office is on and see the "End of Sidewalk" sign they never took down after pouring the sidewalk in front of the building across from our's 2 years ago.

3. I smile every time I see the little Christmas tree in my cubicle because its so festive and makes me happy.

4. I'm dreading putting up decorations at my own house because I just know Jackson is going to try to pull everything down.

5.  Why is it still November?  This early Thanksgiving is throwing me off.  I am ready for it to be December so it can completely feel like Christmas.

6.  Now that we know the F1 Race and a UT home game are scheduled for the same weekend next year, we are debating a vacation at that time.  I started researching Disney and now all I want to do is take that trip.  Here's hoping we can save up for it.

7.  I'm almost done with Christmas shopping for the boys.  Only three more gifts left to purchase.  Then to organize and wrap and I will be done.  (Well, except for the extended family.)



Thursday, November 22, 2012

What I am Thankful for

For the last couple of years, there has been a trend on Facebook to post 30 days of thankfulness. I am not one to jump on bandwagons so I normally don't get into this trend.  However, it does make you stop an think a bit about what you would be thankful for if you were to list it out.  So here is my attempt at giving thanks on this Thanksgiving.


  1. Modern Medicine: This was a rough year for my family watching my Mom go through her bout of lymphoma.  Fortunately, we received the news in mid-August that the chemo had worked and Mom's PET scan was clear.  She still isn't up to her fighting weight so to speak but she is recovering and for that I am very thankful.
  2. Modern Technology: I hate living so far away from my family but technology helps cut that distance down.  Facetime allows me to call  my folks so they can watch Jackson grow and YouTube allows me to post videos so they can see all the fun things he does.
  3. My Job: Work often frustrates me and aggreviates me but I really do like the people I work with and believe in what my company does.  I also love that I have earned the respect of my peers and they trust that I am knowledge doing my job.
  4. My Family: My parents have always been there for us whenever we needed anything.  My brothers have always looked out for me.  I miss them all tremendously.
  5. My Boys:  I love my crazy little family of 5 (yes, Maverick is part of the family.)  We aren't perfect.  Things aren't always easy or good or happy but overall, they are what gets me through each day. And I frequently stop and think, "Man, I really do enjoy this life."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Blog, What Blog?

Apparently I forgot I had a blog or something which would explain my month long absence from my little spot on the internet. However, that is not the case and I just simply haven't had time to write nor much to write about. So I am cheating and using this list of questions I found in my Google Docs (or Drive as they now call it) to give me a kick in the pants to start writing again. After all, the holidays are upon us which always makes for good material.


1. Two TV Shows You Watch Every Week?
Only 2? Um...OK, let's see which 2 should I select. How about 2 Broke Girls and How I Met Your Mother? Or would you prefer me to list Hart of Dixie or Grey's Anatomy or Revolution. I could continue. We watch too much TV.
2. Top Three Places On Your Must Visit List?
Is it bad that the 3 places on my list are all places I have been before but love so much I want to go back? That being said my 3 places are New York City, Hawaii, and Disney World.
3. Current Favorite Decorating Color Combo
I don't think I have a favorite decorating color combo. The most recent addition to my house is the master bedroom furnishings and those are black and sage green so I guess I will go with that.
4. Do You Use The Snooze Button On Your Alarm?
Yes, religiously. And the dog knows not to bother me before the second alarm goes off.
5. Oldest, Middle or Youngest?
Youngest and only girl.
6. Do You Collect Anything?
Shot glasses although I haven't bought any new ones in a while since I don't have anywhere to display them.
7. What Is Your Middle Name?
Before marriage: Carol After marriage: Jackson
8. Are You City or Country?
Definitely city.
9. Are You a Tom Boy or Girlie Girl?
A little bit of both. I like to dress up and be girlie but I love college football and can hang with the boys 
10. Are You a Talker or Listener?
Normally a talker once you get to know me
11. Fancy Label For Your Decorating Style?
Traditional Contemporary
12. What Would Your Friends and Family Say Is Your Best Quality?
I don't know...my organizational skills.
13. What Would Your Friends and Family Say Is Your Worst Quality?
Chris hates that I jump topics mid conversation so I guess I'll go with that.
14. What fictional character do you most identify with?
Katherine Ann Watson in Mona Lisa Smile. I loved that movie because it reminded me so much of my years at Judson and how so many of the women there just wanted to become wives and mothers.
15. What have you always wanted to do with your life?
A stay-at-home wife and mom. I honestly never thought I'd have a career.
16. What did you want to “be when you grew up”? 
At my career day in elementary school, I said I wanted to be a dance teacher and that is why I studied business in college. To open my own studio and know how to manage it. Alas, I don't dance anymore.
17. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
I actually always liked being short. It was something that made me stand out from everyone else.
18. How devoted are you to politics? Do you follow politics? 
Not at all. Politics just don't interest me. I realize I should care more but I just don't.
19. How about sports? Do you follow any particular teams or specific sports?
College Football...Alabama to be exact. Roll Tide!  
20. What is one hobby that you have always wanted to take up but haven’t, and why not?
I always wanted to learn to play the piano. When I was young, I didn't have time because of my dance classes. Now, I don't have a piano.
21. What is one of your favorite things to do when you have the time/money/energy?
Spa day! Mani/Pedi, Facial, get my hair and makeup done. Just get pampered. I always feel like a new woman.
22. What is your very favorite recipe or food to make?
I love making spaghetti. It was always one of my favorite meals growing up and it still is today. I follow my mom's recipe and it's just like being at home.
23. What is the most rewarding thing in your life?
As cheesy at this will sound, it is definitely being a mom and having Jackson as my son. I am so amazed by him on a daily basis and so proud that I had something to do with this little creature being here.
24. Where were you and what were you doing ten years ago today?
I would have to guess that I was working at Smith, Dukes, and Buckalew in Mobile at this time 10 years ago. That would be 2002 and it was after I graduated from college but before I got married the first time.
25. What's the first job you ever had?
I was a cashier at Delchamps, a grocery store chain that originated in Mobile but was bought out by Jitney Jungle while I was in college.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Books

Several of my blogging friends post regularly reviews of the books they have read recently.  I wish I could do the same thing but that would be a very short list.  I set a goal for myself at the beginning of the year to read 24 books this year.  I thought this would be an easy goal to accomplish because it was only 2 books a month.  So far, I have read 6 books this year and only because I read 2 books in that glorious 36 hours I was sans baby last month.  Rather than reading 2 books a month, it has been more like a book every 2 months.

Now I love to read but I have a hard time reading more than one book at a time, mostly because I get so absorbed in a book that I don't want to put it down.  I actually had a boyfriend in college get mad at me because we were on a trip and I wouldn't stop reading and pay attention to him.  He wasn't a reader so he didn't understand getting completely lost in the world of a book.  I am thrilled that Chris shares my love for reading because he understands and won't complain about it when I do the same thing.  I'll admit there are some books that it is hard for me to return to reality after reading them because I do get so lost in their world (ie. Harry Potter, Hunger Games).

I enjoy reading so much that I am frustrated by the fact I haven't been able to do a lot of it recently.  Mostly it is taking care of Jackson has taken my focus away from books.  If I tried to sit down with a book while he is playing on the weekends, he would try to take it away from me so I can focus my attention on him.  There is nothing wrong with this.  It just limits my time set aside for reading.  I also used to read a lot before bed.  That isn't an option as much anymore since I go to bed earlier most nights in order to wake up early for work.  So my prime reading time is when I travel which we've discussed doesn't happen very often.  Instead I will start a book, read the first 50 or so pages, and then leave it untouched for months before I give up on it completely.  I tried to start reading The Help three times but I can't seem to devote enough time to in order to get truly sucked in so I can't seem to finish it.  That has been the case with most of my attempts to read this year.  I am hoping as Jackson grows and becomes more independent I will get some of my time back.  Until then, I guess I will just have to settle for reading when I have time alone rather than as a source of relaxation.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jet Setting

I don't travel a lot.  That is something that I dislike about my life.  I really want to have the money and time to travel more but that's not going to happen any time soon.  Most of the traveling I do is to go home for one reason or another (holidays, birthdays, etc...)  I see my friends taking trips all the time and really wonder how they do it but then they don't have to work around crazy work schedules like we do.  Chris and I have a list of places we would like to go and trips we would like to take but those are just daydreaming for us right now.

However, it seems like I have been traveling a lot (well at least for me) recently.  My mom got me a ticket to join my brother at the House that Jerry built in Dallas to watch Alabama and Michigan battle it out in the season opener Cowboys Classic.  So I loaded up Jackson and headed North with Clay, Jenny, and Blake to see the game.  Jenny stayed at the hotel with the boys while we headed to the stadium.  We had standing room only tickets so we couldn't see the field and had to stake out a place to stand so we could watch the game on the massive jumbo tron.  It was a long, tiring night that wasn't helped by having to wait over 2 hours for a taxi after the game but I'm glad I made the trip to see my boys play (and win!). I enjoyed getting out of Austin for a bit even if it was just over 24 hours. And it was nice to see a side of Dallas I haven't seen before.

Last weekend I had to head to Alabama, Birmingham to be exact, for a JCAA board meeting.  I was given the option of skipping the meeting and being updated after the fact but I really felt it was important to be there since I had committed to this role on the board for the next 2 years.  This trip was significant because it was the first time I had been away from Jackson over night.  I almost didn't know how to handle myself not having a stroller and diaper bag in tow and I have now decided that I will never again be able to sleep without the constant static from the baby monitor.  It was only 36 hours but I was ready to see my little man (who was sound asleep in the car) when I got home.

In 3 weeks, I will be heading back to Alabama.  This time to Mobile and then Marion for the formal board meeting.  I will be traveling alone again and will have 3 days of baby free time. I'm kind of excited about this. I get to see my family which I didn't get to do when I was in Alabama the last time. Plus I'm going to see my niece and nephew march with their high school band.  I just hope Jackson and I can both handle that much time away from each other.  There was some crankiness on his part when I was gone the last time so I am worried Chris is going to have his hands full.  Plus I praying my house won't be destroyed when I come home.  Chris isn't really good about picking up after himself or the boys so I am sure I will have a lot of cleaning to do when I get home.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Living in a Pinterest World

I am on Twitter.  I blog. I have a Facebook page.  I live in a world of social media.  So it isn't surprising that I spend my share of time on Pinterest.  I'm not on it every day but I hop on at least once a week and pin ideas for recipes, cleaning tips, activities to do with Jackson, and anything else that tickles my fancy.  Chris just laughs at me when I start a sentence with, "I saw something on Pinterest the other day..."  However, he has been surprised at how well some of the ideas I have come up with from pins I have seen have worked.  There was cleaning the microwave by heating a bowl of vinegar in there.  There were the table decorations for Jackson's birthday party.  Now I am toying around with an idea on how to tackle Christmas presents for the boys and not kill our budget in the process.

However, Pinterest has made me realize just how uncrafty I really am.  I see all these neat things on there that I would love to do and all I can think is that the person who made that has a lot of time on their hands.  Maybe it's not that I am not crafty.  Maybe it's just more that I am a working mom who is exhausted by the time I get home every night and my weekends are spent juggling kids and my husband's crazy work schedule while trying to maintain some sort of decent household.  I'm not saying that I can't do it all.  I'm just saying that it would be difficult.  But still I continue to pin things with the thought that maybe one day I will be able to use all that Dawn dish soap I bought at the case lot sale 4 years ago to mix with vinegar to make the perfect bathtub cleaner. Who knows...I might even venture into making my own laundry detergent one day.  Am I hippie enough for that?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Little Boy, Little Man

Jackson is working on his molars right now and I swear those things are going to be the death of us.  Teething has turned my happy baby into a fussy, clingy mess.  And I'm secretly happy for it.  You see, even though it was exhausting at times, I got my snuggly baby back at least for this weekend.  Now that Jackson is a toddler, he no longer wants to snuggle with me.  Bedtime consists of a sippy cup of milk and then straight to bed where he will either go right to sleep or fuss until he falls asleep.  I try to snuggle a bit and get him to settle down but he has no interest in it and squirms until I put him down or take him to his room.  Sunday morning Jackson fell asleep in my lap and I didn't want to move because I already miss all the times that he fell asleep on me and I just loved holding him.  I look at him now and I see him growing up so fast right before my eyes.  He isn't my tiny baby anymore.  He is curious and into everything.  He's a bit of a dare devil but he's still mommy's little boy when he isn't feeling well. This weekend I really got to see the little boy coming out in my baby.  First it was the mischievous little grin I got when he was trying to pull the toilet paper of the roll in the bathroom.  Then it was watching him stand with one hand on the tub and the other holding his sippy cup while he down a glass of milk.  And then there is this:
Just chillin' out on the couch, watching some Veggie Tales, drinking some milk, and holding Larry.  I was sitting next to him right before I snapped this picture but had to get up to get something from the kitchen.  And when I came back, there he was all grownup sitting by himself not missing me at all.  Who told him it was OK to grow up?!?

Monday, August 20, 2012

13 Months and a Toddler

A couple of months ago (before his birthday), I received an email of baby tips for my toddler and I refused to believe that Jackson could be considered a toddler at that point. He wasn't walking yet. He wasn't a year old yet. In my mind, Jackson was still very much a baby. Chris disagreed with me. I even went to Twitter with the question of how to determine if my baby was in fact a toddler. Most agreed that I was OK to still consider him a baby. (He will always be my baby.)

Well, that is all changed since my two criteria for defining a toddler have now been met. I first started getting reports of steps from daycare about 2 weeks ago. Then I saw 4 steps myself that Saturday morning as J shuffled toward me. He would have gone further but Maverick created a roadblock by laying on the floor in front of the couch where I was sitting. Since then, we have seen a few tentative steps here and there. Not enough to call him a full on walker yet but we know we are just on the edge of chaos. I have also figured out that my child can walk when he really wants to get to something. He showed us that at Snip Its the other day when he toddled over to the table to get the plastic bear he had spied.

As of today, Jackson is 13 months old.  We started the transition from formula to cow's milk after his one year check up.  I am happy to have that chunk of my grocery bill back.  Even with the samples and coupons received through out the year, formula was easily a third of our weekly grocery budget.  We are also down to 3 bottles a day basically with meals.  Fortunately for us, J does not need a bottle to sleep.  He usually fusses a bit when we lay him down but he is normally out in a matter of 5-15 minutes.

My baby is growing up!  He doesn't snuggle with me much anymore which makes me sad.  There are days where I feel like he doesn't need me or want me but then I walk through the door from work each night and he fusses until I greet him.  I will be spending my first night away from him in a few weeks and I'm not looking forward to it even though he will just be home with Chris.  There are just some things I am not ready to let go of yet and trying to keep J tiny as long as possible is one of them.  Truth is I probably need my baby time more than he needs his momma time.

Friday, August 10, 2012

In a Rut

I am in a rut, a wardrobe rut. Every morning I throw on a pair of jeans, a shirt of some sort, shoes that somewhat match, and I head out the door. That is my uniform and there is very little variation to it. My office is casual so this attire is perfectly acceptable there. However, dressing this way makes me feel unprofessional. I also think it makes me appear younger and less experienced than I am which sometimes causes people not to take me seriously.(I once had a co-worker tell me he thought I was 22 which is why he was shocked I had a master's degree. I was 32 at the time.)

So I am trying to figure out a way to get out of my rut. I think that requires a history of my wardrobe post college. My early career (1 year post graduation...we will skip the 2 jobs before this) landed me doing bookkeeping work at a local CPA firm in Mobile. I worked there 4 years before leaving to finish my degree and move to Texas. It should come as no surprise that a CPA firm had a pretty formal dress code. They relaxed it a bit in the summers but I still don't remember ever being able to wear jeans except when we worked weekends during tax season. So dresses, suits, hoses, and heels filled my wardrobe. I loved dressing like a professional. It made me feel like an adult and no longer like a college student. This wardrobe continued over the next couple of years as I continued to work in other CPA firms even after moving to Texas until I decided I needed to make a change because I hated working in CPA firms.

That is when I got into government contracting. I was initially hired to be an assistant to a friend of mine who was writing proposals for the company (I had interviewed for an accounts payable position but was passed over for someone who later became my coworker). Two weeks later the comptroller pulled me into her office and asked me if I'd be interested in the accounts receivable position. A job in my field and higher pay, heck yeah! Now, this company was still a little more on the formal side. They had moved to Texas from the DC area and the DC companies were known to be more put together so to speak. So our CEO was trying to bring the DC atmosphere to Central Texas. I am not sure it worked so well. They moved back to DC a couple of years after I quit (and after the CEO died). It was during my time at this company that things with south in my marriage and I decided I needed a change of scenery.

Enter Austin, Texas. If you have ever been to Austin, you know it is a pretty laid back city and many of the business here carry that attitude over into their atmosphere. So a casual workplace is more the norm. The company I worked for when I first moved to Austin was pretty casual (we could wear shorts). However, the BusOps team, as those of us who weren't engineers were referred to, was expected to dress more professionally. Our CEO expected us to look the part since we were the ones who "ran" the company. Imagine my shock when I left that company and showed up for my first day at my new job in a dress only to be told I was overdressed. Instead of looking professional and trying to make a good first impression, I was just embarrassed. My wardrobe has only gone downhill since then. Throw a pregnancy in then and shifting to my maternity wardrobe and now I just feel like I have lost all sense of style.

I have been enjoying EBJ's posts about her wardrobe. Her "uniform" idea is fantastic and many of the outfits she wears are ones I can see myself in. Now if I can figure out how to make something similar work for me than I would be set. Can I have a wardrobe that consists all of houndstooth and crimson?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Jackson's First Birthday




At 8:10 AM on July 20th, I tweeted, "Y'all, my baby is one today.  I cannot even process this thought!"  Later Chris pointed out that Jackson wasn't officially 1 until 10:33 that evening but still.  Jackson is 1!  He is a toddler, not a baby.  He is standing on his own and trying to walk.  So of course we had to celebrate this occasion, not once but twice.  We were in Alabama on Jackson's actual birthday so we had a party there with some of my family and our close friends. (Remind me to never again plan an out of town birthday party, particularly one that involves assistance from my mom and aunt.)

My great aunt and uncle with my mom and me

Jackson with our neighbor
Jackson and my dad
Jackson with my brother and nephew
The smash cake with Larry and Bob candle


The decorated high chair

Jackson really just wanted the candle
He wasn't so sure about the icing or the cake
 The weekend after Jackson's birthday we were back at our house in Texas hosting our local friends and family to celebrate little man's special day.  I was smart enough to use the same theme so I didn't have to come up with new decorations and buy more stuff.

The food spread
The banner we made
The cake table
Everyone singing Happy Birthday to the Birthday Boy
Chris and Baby J "blowing" out the candle
Cousin Blake enjoying some of J's new toys post party
Jackson probably would have been happy with a box of tissue paper

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sweet Home Alabama

We spent the week of Jackson's birthday in Mobile with my parents.  I wanted to make sure they got to share J's birthday with him and, since my mom really can't go anywhere right now, we decided to bring the party to them.  As with every trip home, a certain amount of nostalgia comes into play.  I miss home.  A part of me will always reside there.  But I'm not sure I want to live there anymore.

Chris and I seriously discussed moving while we were there this time.  I think I feel the need to be home more so now that I have Jackson and I want him to be close to my roots and because of my mom's condition.  I struggle with this because I want to be there but my life is in Austin now.  We would have to start over on everything if we moved back to Mobile.  We would both have to find jobs and a place to live.  We would need a vet and a doctor and schools for the kids.  And we would need to find friends.  I am still in touch with some of the people I hung out with when I lived there but it's not really the same.  Things have changed and life has moved us in different directions.

Plus there is something that just seems backwards, maybe old fashioned about Mobile.  That's part of it's charm but also part of why I'm glad I'm not there anymore.  It all factors into why I decided not to move home when I got divorced 5 years ago.  Little things I didn't notice or let bother me before I moved away are now very obvious since I've had the chance to step away from them.  Living in/near a bigger city has allowed me to see that there is more out there.  And this is all coming from the girl who never wanted to leave her hometown.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not trying to insult Mobile or Alabama.  I still love my town and my state very much.  I'm just not sure they are the right place for me at this point in my life.  I keep thinking that one day it will happen and we will return.  I'm just not sure when that is going to be.

35

I turned 35 on the 11th. That in and of itself may not seem like a big deal. However, 35 has always been a cut off for me. A line in the sand if you will that said my childbearing days were through. My mom had me 2 before she turned 36 and had her tubes tied during the c-section. I'm pretty sure that's where my magic number came from. 35 and it's time to stop.

Chris and I talked about children a lot when we were dating. At first, we were both on the fence. He wasn't sure he wanted more kids and I wasn't sure I wanted any at all. I told him I would know if I was supposed to be a mother if I had a baby before I turned 35. If I wasn't pregnant by then, I wasn't supposed to have kids of my own. Jackson was born 9 days after I turned 34.

All while I was pregnant, we talked about the next baby. I enjoyed being pregnant for the most part so the idea of having another baby wasn't a crazy one. But then the delivery was so rough that I wasn't sure I wanted to go through it all again even knowing I wouldn't be put through the same thing again. There would be no induction. Just straight to a c. So I decided to give myself a year. A year to recover and raise my baby.

Well, that year has come and gone and we are no closer to deciding to have another child. There are so many reasons not to. Money is tight which would make affording another child tough. We don't have enough room in our house for another person and all its stuff. Those are just the practical reasons.

But then there are these other reasons. Do I want to share my love for Jackson with another child? If I had a girl, would I show more affection to her than to my boy? I know that sounds crazy but those are the thoughts I have. I really believe I couldn't love another baby the way I love Jackson. In reality, I know that wouldn't be the case but I struggle with that idea. And never would I want to feel like I was slighting Jackson in any way because we brought another baby into our lives. It would devastate me to think he might feel less loved or like he had to share me.

And then there is the fear. What if I can't get pregnant again or if we struggle unlike the last time we tried? What if something happened to the baby or if something was wrong with it? How would we handle that? As I get older, I know I would face a higher risk of complications. It almost doesn't seem worth putting my body through that.

So it is with a sad and heavy heart I say that we are going to be one and done. No more Short babies. Just the 4 of us and Mav. We haven't taken any permanent measures yet but we will start planning for them soon. I know I am always going to wonder what would have been if we had tried again. But I will have to be satisfied knowing that I have one perfect, happy, healthy baby boy and that is enough to make my life fulfilled.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

7-11

Today is my birthday.  It is also Free Slurpee day.  I joked with Chris that I expected him to deliver a Slurpee to my office since it was my birthday and Free Slurpee day.  And since it's my birthday, I should get what I want, right? He did not agree.  Of course I know the reason why and that's because we tried to get a free Slurpee on my birthday last year.  I'm surprised I haven't told this story on here before.  I even went back to my archives to check so I didn't repeat myself but I guess I was so wrapped up in being pregnant that all other stories went out the window.  So here it goes.

This time last year I was 9 months pregnant, 15 days away from my due date, in the middle of the hottest summer ever in Austin, Texas.  I had not yet diagnosed pre-eclampsia. I was basically miserable.  I told Chris that all I wanted for my birthday was tickets to see the final Harry Potter movie and a free Slurpee on my birthday.  So he picked me up from work that afternoon since he was in training near my office and we drove to the 7-Eleven closest to our house.  Now this is not the nicest 7-Eleven I've ever been in but it's not in the ghetto either so I was surprised at the clientele of the establishment.  I guess it goes back to people going nuts over anything that's free.

We walk in to hear the store's owner tell a customer they no longer had free Slurpees.  Apparently 7-Eleven corporate had sent special cups to the stores to use for the free Slurpees so they were on a first come, first serve basis.  Once those cups were gone, the individual stores could decide if they want to continue to serve the free Slurpee in the regular cups or discontinue the promotion.  This, however, was not advertised by 7-Eleven corporate and there were a lot of angry people who were not able to get their free Slurpees.  Well, this was also the case in our 7-Eleven.  One man actually fixed a Slurpee and walked out the door with it because he was determined he would get his Slurpee for free.

There was one woman however who was furious.  She had arrived at the 7-Eleven with her whole family in tow and she was raising a stink because they weren't giving out free Slurpees anymore.  She was convinced that "only the white people were getting the free drinks."  I guess I should mention that the store owner was Indian so I found this thought amusing.  And then she sees Chris, standing there in his Sheriff uniform.  Her comment went something like this, "OH...I bet the cop gets whatever he wants."  Well, all this is going on while I'm fixing my Dr Pepper Slurpee because I was going to pay the $2.00 for my Slurpee since we were there and I was pregnant and miserable and it was my birthday.  (That ended up being the only thing I had that night because I was too sick to eat by that point.)  Chris tried to tell me to get a larger one since the small Slurpees had been the free ones in the first place.  I didn't want a large one but I understood why when we got outside. 

The crazy woman was still in the parking lot and she was pissed when she saw me with my Slurpee.  She had left before we paid for the drink for me and sandwiches for Chris so she believed I had received one of the elusive free Slurpees.  She started yelling out her car window at us.  Needless to say, we got out of there pretty quick after that.  So when I saw 7-Eleven advertising their Free Slurpee Day this year, I knew there was no way we would try to get a Slurpee today.  Any other day but today.  I should also mention that the Slurpee wasn't even that good.  It was kind of watery and gross I guess because the machines had been over worked that day.  All in all, it just made me sad.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

On a Quest for a Cake Pan

Jackson turns one in 16 days.  I have been in the throws of party planning for a couple of months now.  I rted down one path with the party theme but changed my mind about half way through after seeing how Jackson reacted to the characters on Veggie Tales.  So instead of "The New Sheriff in Town" theme I started out with, we are going for a Veggie Tales theme.  I got lucky because I found a lot of the decorations on the Veggie Tales website and they were on sale at the time.  But I have been struggling with coming up with the perfect cake.  My internet searches uncovered a lot of ugly Veggie Tales cakes.  You would be surprised how bad people can make a cucumber and a tomato look.  And then I found it!  Wilton makes a Larry and Bob cake pan that comes with instructions on how to decorate it.  Perfect!

VeggieTales Cake Pan
Or so you would think.  The pan is discontinued.  So I started a quest to find this cake pan.  I found it on eBay right of the bat but the person started the bidding at $40 with a buy it now of $60.  I don't think so.  Not for a cake pan that originally sold for $10.98.  I kept checking back with eBay every few days and suddenly there were 4 cake pans up for bid in the price range I was willing to pay.  So I started bidding and won one.  The listing said I was supposed to have the pan by June 20th.  Well, the 20th came and went and the seller still hadn't marked the item as shipped even though I pay for my listing as soon as I won it.

So I sent a message to the seller and received no response.  I waited a few days and sent another message.  Still no response.  But the next day I received a Paypal shipping notice.  Great, I thought. I got my message across.  So I waited for the package to show up and kept my eye on the tracking.  I wanted my cake pan. Well, the tracking showed the package had been delivered on Thursday but we didn't have a key in our mailbox for the package box so I could get my cake pan nor had it been left at our house.  (We have community mailboxes that are about the size of a post office box so large packages are left in the big box with a key for the recipient in your small box.)  Friday came and still no package.  So I called the post office, provided the tracking information, and was told they would look into it.

I guess I should mention that during this same time I received the shirt I had ordered from etsy for Jackson to wear for his party.

Monday came and still no package nor were we getting any information from the post office.  So Chris went to the post office on Tuesday and spoke to the supervisor.  They said they would open an investigation into the location of our package.  The interesting thing is that the key had been missing from the package box on our street since Thursday so I just knew our package was in there and the key had been put into the box for the empty house next door.  But the carrier said that the package was for another house not for us.  So I went back to my tracking email to see if I could figure anything else out.  And there up in the right corner of the email in small print was a link to the transaction id.  I clicked it and at that moment realized I had been an idiot.  The tracking information I had was for the shirt not for the cake pan.  

So back to eBay I went to figure out what to do about my missing cake pan that I had pay for 3 weeks ago. I now have a case opened with eBay.  I still want the pan because I really want that to be Jackson's cake but I don't think I'm going to get it.  I'm guessing I will get my money back once the week passes and I don't hear anything from the seller.  I checked the feedback on this particular seller and it turns out that, despite a 100% positive rating, there are several comments about her shipping late and she currently doesn't have any other items listed on the site.  Looks like this is e recurring problem with this particular seller and taught me to read the feedback closer before I purchase from someone.



Friday, June 29, 2012

Anxious Much?

Something happened today that I haven't experienced before: a tearful daycare drop off. Even from his tiny days, Jackson has easily gone to his teacher in the mornings without so much as a whimper. This was so reassuring to me as I struggled with having to put my baby in daycare even though I knew I had no choice but to be a working mom. But things have changed and now we are dealing with separation anxiety full force at the worst possible time.

See, my company decided to try a 4/10 schedule for the summer to allow the employees to have more time with their families. So on top of my 45 minute commute, I am working 10 hour days. The schedule change hasn't been terrible but it means I get home about 30 minutes before Jackson is ready to go to sleep. On the days Chris takes him to daycare, that little time at night is the only time he sees me. I'm not quite sure how that equates to more time with my family.

So Jackson misses me. That is both a good and bad thing. Good because I love that he needs me and wants to spend time with me. Bad because it's hard to get away now without feeling guilty.

This whole thing started with him fussing when I left him in the church nursery a couple of weeks ago. I chalked it up to him not being as familiar with the nursery as he is daycare. But the whole time in service I wanted to go get him. Of course he was fine when we went back to pick him up.

Now it's him tearing up when I leave for work in the mornings or standing in the window at daycare crying as my car pulls out of the driveway. I can barely stand it. Yet there is nothing I can do about it. Daycare is closed all next week for the 4th so he will get a little more Mommy and Daddy time. I hope this helps because my baby is making me sad right now.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

San Antonio in Pictures

I feel like my last post was a little gripe-y so I wanted to share some pictures from San Antonio.  Despite the heat, we had an enjoyable time.  It was nice to get away for a few days and spend some time as a family.
I was so excited to stop at the Buc-ee's in New Braunfels.  I have had a long love for Buc-ee's despite never actually having been to one.  I completely geeked out in the parking lot and was totally amazed with the place. We will definitely be back.
Jackson and me with Buc-ee the Beaver (not a chipmunk).  The sun was really bright where we were standing. And, yes, the gas was $3.09 on Friday and $3.05 on Sunday. Crazy! 
Jackson and me on the Riverboat Cruise.  We could not get this kid to look at the camera all weekend.  
A tired little boy up past his bedtime having dinner at The Rainforest Cafe. 
Our hotel was across the street from the Alamo so of course we were there when it opened on Saturday morning.  Even at 9AM it was still in the 90s. 
Jackson says, "Remember the Alamo!" 
Daddy and J getting ready to go swimming for the first time. 
Jackson and me checking out the phone booths at the Menger Hotel, the sister hotel to the Crockett where we were staying. 
Jackson on the really cool wooden horse in the breakfast room of our hotel.

Monday, June 18, 2012

San Antonio or Why We Don't Travel

We don't travel a lot.  The last time we took a trip that didn't involve visiting my family in Alabama was our trip to Gatlinburg to get married 2 years ago.  Chris's work schedule makes it difficult to take vacations despite having a ton of time off and I'm still recovering from taking time off last year to have a baby.  So we fit in trips when we have the time off without having to take it.  With my company implementing 4 10 hour days for the summer, we decided to take advantage of my 3 day weekends and get out of town for a few days.  Next time I think that is a great idea, someone smack me.

Not that we didn't enjoy our time away but I wouldn't say it was the fun relaxing weekend we had been hoping for.  We decided to go to San Antonio for the weekend since it's an easy hour and a half drive from here.  I booked the room in April since I was able to get a great deal on a place right in the heart of downtown.  We were set to go.  The closer it came time for the trip, the more I began to doubt whether or not we needed to spend the money on the weekend away.  I guess I should have listened to my gut instinct.

We stopped on the way down to San Antonio in Gruene to visit a couple of shops I wanted to see there and to have lunch at The Gristmill.  Our first stop in Gruene should have been an indication of how difficult the trip was going to be.  A big sign on the door of The Grapevine Wine Shop informed us that there were no strollers allowed. So we parked J's stroller in the grass as we were instructed to do and headed in for our wine tasting with baby in tow.  I understood why we had to leave the stroller outside since the shop was small and there is a lot of breakable stuff inside.  It was still frustrating.  One look at the Greune General Store told me it was a "no-go" with the steep steps and narrow aisles.  We left Gruene disappointed that we didn't get to see everything we wanted to because it was just too difficult to try to maneuver J around the shops.  Fortunately our lunch was wonderful and our stop at Buc-ee's made the whole area worth it.

I can honestly say I didn't think a few things through when I started planning this trip for us.  First and foremost, it's hot in San Antonio in June. Yes, I know I live in Texas and it's hot here in Austin too but San Antonio has humidity.  While I grew up with humidity, I haven't lived with it for nearly 7 years so I forget about it. (No, sorry...it is NOT humid in Austin.) So I wasn't prepared for the dripping sweat the second you walk out the door kind of heat we experienced this weekend.  That prevented us from taking part in some of the activities we had planned because I knew I was hot which meant Jackson was miserable strapped into a padded stroller that only soaks in the heat.  Therefore, no trip to the zoo, the one activity I thought my infant (toddler?) might actually enjoy.

Secondly, San Antonio is not very stroller or handicap friendly.  After taking the Riverboat cruise (at 5 PM with a squirmy baby), we decided to head down the Riverwalk to one of the Mexican restaurants we had on our list to check out.  The problem was to get there we had to cross to the other side of the river.  No big deal, right? Wrong.  Many of the footbridges have stairs and accessing places from street level means walking down a narrow flight of stairs as well.  There are elevators but they are few and far between and can be difficult to locate them or don't work. So we decided to use the Ergo after that if we need to get somewhere on the Riverwalk. It wasn't the best solution but it was at least do-able.

Lastly, I severely underestimated how much the total trip would cost us. San Antonio really caters to tourists so the food and activities are priced to suit a tourist town.  I knew how much our hotel would cost  and I estimated food based on what we would normally pay here.  That is where I figured wrong.  Plus the heat eliminated the cost effective activities I had in mind so we had to replace those with activities that cost quite a bit more than what we originally planned.  In the end, I think I would have been happy just hanging out by the pool reading a book.  We probably would have all been less frustrated and more relaxed if we had done that instead of trying to see the sights of San Antonio with a baby in tow.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Frustration

Since birth, Jackson has been a healthy eater.  I have never had problems getting him to take a bottle and he hasn't turned down most of the purees we have tried to feed him.  On the eating front, he has done really well until recently.  He is still eating well as long as we are feeding him the level 2 foods or the basic level 3s.  But if we try to introduce something new, we are meeting with a lot of resistance and issues.  I know a child has to be introduced to a new food numerous times before the accept it but I'm having a hard time figuring out how to proceed from here.

We have reached the point where we need to work on the transition from baby food to table food.  And this is where I am struggling.  I just can't seem to figure out how to make finger foods work.  I don't know what to give him and what little we have tried, has not gone well.  We have been giving him the baby puffs to some success but I know we can't make full meals off of puffs.  We have also tried some of the level 3 meals (the ones with the chunks) with him and I end up wearing more of it than he actually eats.

Truth is, I feel like I'm failing at figuring out how to feed my child right now.  Part of me wonders if Jackson is ready for the transition and part of me wonders if I am being lazy for not trying harder right now.  I'm concerned that I am behind on trying to make this happen even though I know there is no set time schedule for when to do this.  I really just need someone to give me a step-by-step way of handling this so I feel like I have some control over what is going on and I don't continue to feel like I am hurting my child by not giving him what he needs.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Menu Planning

I figured a fitting follow up to my post on grocery shopping would to discuss how I handle menu planning.  I must say this is something I have had a hard time figuring out.  I don't think I ever planned a menu during the entirety of my first marriage.  I would just go to the store and buy things that could make up a meal with no real idea what I was going to make.  And then I would discover that I didn't have all the stuff I needed to make whatever meal I decided on so I would either run to the store again or scrap the meal all together.

Honestly, I have only really heard about menu planning in the last couple of years because several of the bloggers I follow post their menu plans on their blogs.  Seeing these posts got me thinking.  So I decided to try my hand at menu planning.  I don't remember when I started exactly.  Some time before Jackson was born I think.  But I didn't really start being diligent about it till I went back to work from maternity leave.  We needed to watch our budget a little closer and menu planning was a great way to help cut our grocery spending.

At first I would do weekly plans which required a weekly trip to the store and I spend most of my weekend working on my plan, looking at grocery ads, and clipping coupons.  This was super time consuming and I hated going to the store every week.  Some weekends my trip to the store would be the only time I got out of the house and away from the baby all weekend.  It was exhausting.

So I decided to take a stab at another method of menu planning this month.  It has worked pretty well so far although it still needs some tweaking to work perfectly for my family.  What I did was print out a blank calendar and fill in the days of the month.  Then I selected a recipe for every other day of the month.  I alternated crock pot meals and casseroles so we have the dishes available when we needed them.  This plan also allows for a little flexibility.  We can shift recipes around based on our schedule or if we want to go out to eat one night.

I plan to fully implement this method once school starts back in the fall since we won't be cooking for the whole family this summer.  I will be selecting recipes that are easy to feed two during the summer and will start rotating back in our favorite recipes once Sean comes home.  Now I'd love to hear how other people plan their menus to see if there are any other ideas I should try.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Houston, We Have a Problem

When I got divorced 4 1/2 years ago, I was living in Killeen near Fort Hood because that was where my ex had been stationed for the previous 2 years.  I had a house and a job and I could have stayed there if I wanted to.  However, I knew it wasn't the place for me and I began my search to relocate.  A lot of people were surprised that I didn't just pack my bags and head back to Alabama.  Instead, I viewed this as an opportunity to explore a little bit.  I was a 30 year single professional with no commitments to tie me to any one place.  I could spread my wings and fly so to speak.  So I started seeking job opportunities in places I thought it would be fun to live: New York City, Orlando, Dallas, Austin.  I could go anywhere and do anything and I was looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life.

One of the first jobs I applied for was in Austin and was very similar to the job I was working in Killeen.  I figured I could at least leverage the position as a pay increase at my current position that would hold me over until I was ready to make a move at the end of the year.  However, I didn't expect them to make me an offer I couldn't refuse and, the next thing I knew, I was commuting 60 miles from my house in Killeen to my office in Northwest Austin each day.  Six weeks later with a packed moving van, I pulled into my new apartment 10 minutes from my new job.  Life in Austin was starting out great.

The Austin move made a lot of sense for me.  It was close enough that I could still easily monitor my house in Killeen while it was on the market but still far enough away that I wasn't part of the military life anymore.  Also, my brother had moved to Austin with his wife, a native Austinite, earlier in the year after his return from his second tour in Iraq.  In that sense, it was really a no brainer since I had family here and my parents would only have to travel to one place to visit us both.  Now my brother and I both have little boys that are 6 months apart and I was really excited about cousins getting to grow up so close in age and location.  What fun for them!

I got news a couple of weeks ago that my brother accepted a job in Houston and they will be moving some time this summer.  To say I am sad is an understatement.  My brother and I haven't always gotten along the best but it was always nice to know I had someone here if I really needed them.  Houston is close but it isn't as close as they are now so family visits and watching our boys grow up together isn't going to happen like I thought it would.

Their move also has me rethinking our situation.  With Mom's illness, I am really wanting to be closer to home.  I am having a really hard time being away from her right now when I feel like she needs me the most.  I also know I would love having Jackson closer to my parents so he can grow up knowing them.  However, moving isn't in the cards for us with Chris still on probation for patrol.  He would have to completely start over with a new department if we moved and I don't want to ask him to do that.  I guess we will just have to take this an opportunity to find a new place to visit.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Grocery Shopping

Yes, I'm writing a post about grocery shopping.  I've become one of *those* bloggers.  Sorry.  No, I am not going to tell you the right way to do it. I'm just going to talk about how I've been handling it recently and gripe about my frustrations with it.

When I moved into my house, I quickly realized that there were 5 grocery options within a 5 mile radius of my house: 2 HEBs, 1 HEB Plus, 1 Randall's, and a Super Walmart.  Shortly thereafter, a Super Target (not included in that original count of 5) opened up within a reasonable distance.  Why someone needs that many options so close together, I will never know.  But that's what I have to work with.  I will say right that I never go to the 2 regular HEBs or the Super Walmart because they just aren't convenient.  Plus I have a strong dislike for grocery shopping at Walmart.  I have found that they have a heavy stock of one type of product but no variety to brands.  So I am going to focus on the 3 stores I typically frequent.

I initially did most of my shopping at Randall's since it was the closest to my house and on my way home.  However, over time I realized that their selection was lacking and they were typically more expensive.  They do offer good deals on soft drinks every couple of weeks so we still shop there for smaller shopping trips and to get some of their store brands that we really like (ie potato chips and spreadable butter).  They also have a gas station which, up until about 6 months ago, was the only one between my house and the toll road on my way to work.

HEB Plus was my next option because it was the 2nd closest to my house and the prices were typically better than Randall's.  Plus their store brands are by far the best when compared to the name brands.  I think I shop here mostly for the store brands.  So does everyone else.  And that is my main gripe with HEB Plus.  It is always crowded no matter when I go.  Considering that the easiest time for me to shop is on the weekends, I am almost always going to be there with everyone else.  My other frustration with HEB is their policy against new products.  They wait at least a year after a product has been released onto the market before they will carry it in their stores.  This is aggravating when I am looking for a specific new product that I have seen advertised (and probably have a coupon for) and they don't carry which means I have to go somewhere else to locate it.  A friend suggested today that I go to the closest normal HEB to stock up on my store brands and I am seriously considering doing that since I know it's less crowded (and on my way to the Super Target).

That brings me to my new love: Super Target.  I have always been a big Target fan and that love has only increased recently thanks to the introduction of the Target Red Card Debit Card.  This thing is a lifesaver to me.  Five percent off purchases and free shipping on all online purchases and not a credit card!  With a baby at home who is on formula and in diapers, this thing is just a no-brainer.  Anyway I can save money makes sense to me.  Plus I have compared and most of the prices are comparable.  They do tend to be a tad higher on some stuff so my total trip might cost more but the Red Card savings help to offset that.  They also carried the new on the market items I am looking for which saves me a trip to another store.  I think what really sealed the transition from HEB Plus to Super Target for me was the Sunday we went to do our shopping at Super Target after church and it was peaceful and calm and I wasn't stressed out and sweating when I left.  I just can't take the crowd at HEB Plus anymore.  

So there you have it.  My opinion on grocery shopping based on what matters the most to me.  I don't know that there was really a point to this post other than my blog was looking lonely and this has been on my mind.




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Favorite Baby Items

I have been asked by a couple of different people recently for suggestions on baby registries so I decided I would share some of my favorite products for those who are expecting and might want to know.

Ultimate Crib Sheet - A friend suggested this to me when I was pregnant otherwise I never would have tried one and boy am I glad I did.  Having this has made changing Jackson's bed so much easier than having to remove the crib sheet and the mattress pad if we have an accident.

Sleep Sacks - I know most babies like to be swaddled at the early stage but mine did not.  Almost as soon as we came home from the hospital, he wanted his arms free and, luckily, he would sleep that way.  The sleep sacks have been a lifesaver for us when a blanket just wouldn't work anymore since Jackson moved around to much.  I have bought most of the ones we have from Zulily when they have offered them at a discount rate.  The shipping takes forever but the price is usually pretty good.

Space Saver High Chair - I love our space saver high chair. Our house is small which means our dining area is small.  We didn't have a lot of room for a big, bulky high chair.  This chair fits into our normal dining chair so it doesn't take up much extra space and can be used as a booster once Jackson is to that point.  Plus it is less than half what you'd pay for a normal high chair and will last me longer.

Baby Palmolive - This dish soap is formulated specifically for baby bottles, sippy cups, and baby toys.  I believe it came out on the market around the time Jackson was born and it is all we have used to clean his stuff.    I have been having a hard time finding it in stores but you can order it online which we did just this last week since we ran out.

Method Baby Wash - I made the statement recently that I didn't have a favorite baby wash.  That I had just used different things because it was what I had.  I lied.  I have tried Johnson and Johnson's and Aveeno and this is definitely my favorite.  I love the Rice and Mallow scent and I love that the cap can be used to rinse the baby.  We have actually been using the Method baby detergent and dyer sheets and I love those products as well.

Robeez - I love these shoes and ones in similar styles.  They are so easy to get on and off but they stay on J's feet so well.  They are also great for a baby that is learning to walk since they are designed to be close to bare feet.

Of course, I believe we all have our own preferences on baby products based on our individual preferences and the baby's preferences.  We have been lucky that Jackson was an easy baby from the get go. We haven't run into issues with allergies that have prevented us from being able to use whatever we wanted for him.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

9 Months

Jackson turned 9 months old on Friday.  We also had his 9 month checkup that afternoon.  I now understand why everyone kept commenting on how big he was while we were in Alabama.  Little stinker weighed in at 21 lbs 5 oz (78 percentile) and 28 3/4 inches tall (68 percentile).  I guess he is on the big side although he doesn't seem that way to me since I have seen the natural progression of his growth.  I was pretty shocked at how many people said something about him being "a big boy." Someone actually said they thought he was at least a year old.
The last month has brought about a lot of change around our house.  Jackson has mastered both the belly on the floor and belly off the floor crawling.  He prefers belly on the floor because he can move faster and this is his method of traveling when he is trying to run away from us.  The living room has turned into a sort of baby playpen. We block off the hall way with one of the dog gates and use the ottoman to prevent exit into the foyer.  This only works if the chair is pushed against the couch so he can't crawl between and through the end table into the dining room which also gives him access to the kitchen.  I spend a lot of time wrangling the baby.
He also has started pulling up on the furniture and anything else that's available to him.  Just the other day he took a couple of steps while holding on to his walker and let go of the couch for a second to stand on his own before falling to the floor.  I won't be surprised if he is walking in the next month.
Probably my favorite and least favorite change all at the same time is that little man is much more vocal.  I love hearing "Mama" when I walk through the door from work each day and he added "Da" while we were in Alabama.  Taking him away from Chris for a week really did make him miss his daddy and he has been very clingy to him since we got back.  (Yes, he said mama first and he does know who he's referring to although he isn't always consistent with it.) However, he has started screeching.  I can't stand it.  When he doesn't get his way, he just screams and I am trying to figure out a way to break him of this.
I really am loving this age.  I have said that I have loved every stage so far and, while that is true, I think I am having the most fun right now.  He is just so entertaining and I can really see his personality coming out.  Jackson is going to be a trouble maker.  He is so curious and it's fun to watch him explore the world around him.                            

Jackson Does J-Day

I mentioned in an early post that I was going home to attend J-Day at my college since I was being installed as Treasurer of our Alumni Association.  I guess a little background might be helpful here.  My college was a Southern Baptist women's college.  Since we don't have a sports team to have a homecoming for, we have J-Day which is our reunion weekend.  It's a lot of fun to see ladies from the various years gather together to celebrate their school.  Needless to say, Jackson was a hit over the weekend with everyone thinking my sweet boy was the most adorable thing ever.

Jackson sitting on the seal in Jewett Hall.
 
More than once I had to tell Jackson, "Let's not eat the antiques."
All dressed up at the Golden Club Banquet wearing his "My Mama is a Judson Girl" bib. 
 We had to sneak out of the banquet since someone got a little fussy.
 
Mom and Jackson during the Business Meeting. He was so good until he started growling during the installation of officers.
The new JCAA Board Officers for 2012-2014
Someone's patience was about done at this point and we still had another banquet to sit through.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easter

My trip to Alabama kept me from being able to post an update for Jackson's first Easter.  We managed to cram a ton of stuff into the weekend included 2 Easter egg hunts, a birthday party, and a stop by trade days in downtown Round Rock.  Here are a few pictures from the weekend.
Meeting the Easter Bunny for the first time. I don't think he knew what to think. 
"Hunting" for eggs at the baby friendly Easter egg hunt at Baby Earth. 
Plastic eggs are tasty! 
Checking out his Easter basket. 
All dressed up for church.