Thursday, November 30, 2006

Adios, tweezers!

I hired a professional eyebrow tamer today. My brows have given me grief for years and finally today I got up the nerve to have them waxed. I wish I had inherited my mother's nice brows. But God saw fit to give me my dad's. They're neither symmetrical nor submissive. I'd heard horror stories about people getting burned by the hot wax and scabbing over. That fear has kept me from something I now know is going to bless my life forever. What was my final motivation? Curt bent my tweezers and they no longer grasp accurately. Here's a confession. They're really nice tweezers from Sephora that my sister spent a pretty penny on before I stole them several years ago. I admit it. I flat-out stole them. Sorry, Noogie. That's probably when she clued in to the wonders of wax. Since I didn't have time to go to a nice Sephora-worthy mall and replace them today, I decided to take the plunge at this place in our local (very mediocre) mall. It wasn't that bad during the process. The warm wax actually felt really nice before it was ripped from my skin. It was afterward when I was walking through Old Navy that my skin started burning and becoming bright red. It was rather humiliating, but since I had gone to all the trouble to leave the house, I didn't want to give up yet.

I was supposed to head to church after the mall, but I simply couldn't face everyone with such obvious I've-just-been-waxed red stripes. Thankfully, Jackson started screaming the minute we got in the car and did not stop for a long time. He missed his afternoon nap (because he just learned to stand in his crib and that's WAY more exciting than sleep) and was in a spectacularly frightful mood. I thought I'd spare the nursery workers and just stay home. So instead of going to church I watched America's Next Top Model and One Tree Hill, which I never get to see. What sacrifices I make to be a minister's wife!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tid-bits from today

Today was very full. Here are a few interesting moments:
-I had leftover steak from Pappas Bros. Steakhouse for lunch. It was very good even microwaved. Props to Curtis for taking me on the nicest date ever.
-When I made my afternoon cup of tea I accidentally used some very, very spoiled milk rather than the nice fresh milk. Now you know just a smidgen about how disgusting my fridge is. Some people have skeletons in their closets. I have spoiled food in my fridge. Thankfully, when I stirred up the tea I noticed the small particles of nasty floating around and realized my mistake.
-I had to wrestle Jackson several times when he attempted to crawl away from me while I changed his diaper. It's very tricky keeping poop off household surfaces when a dirty hiney is bobbing through the air.
-We had a 40 degree change in temperature today as an "arctic winter storm" blew through Texas. You know how people can feel weather changes in formerly broken bones? I think I've been feeling this in my tonsils. Is that possible? It's been in the '80s the last couple of days and it's supposed to snow tomorrow! Curt may get the day off, which would be very exciting.
-Jackson was sitting in his high chair eating some snacks when I noticed it was taking him an unusually long time to chew his food. After he gagged a couple of times I decided to fish it out. This is a skill I perfected when Beckham was a puppy and would literally consume anything in sight. I found a chewed up leaf in my son's mouth. Nice.

Busy Little Boy

Mommy found me standing up in my bed at the end of my nap.
I finally figured out how! Then I realized how fun it is to gnaw on the crib.

I made a lot of waves in my bath today.

Mommy gave me a mohawk.

I love being Jackson!

(A split second later)

It was my goal to explore the whole house today. I came pretty close.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Some afternoon entertainment

Amber posted this on her blog and I thought I'd pass it on since it's so stinking hilarious. Luckily, Jackson is a pretty great eater at this point. The only thing he won't tolerate is yogurt and I think it's because it's too cold. He would really like to eat paper, but I'm trying real hard to curb that.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Jackson and his cousin Gavin


Finally. We finally pulled into the driveway tonight after our 7-turned-9-hour drive home from Missouri. Curt, Jackson, Beckham, and I all had needs and all at different times, so it just took us a while to get home. When we passed the Frito Lay plant in our hometown, the end of the holiday hit me. Back to the Giant Fry Daddy smell. The end of a holiday stinks.

This was our first time to celebrate Thanksgiving with Curt's family. Jackson was at the perfect age for all the extended family to see him. He was in a great mood most of the time thanks to everyone's patience with his need for naps. He really is a different baby when he's well rested. He's doing a lot of fun things right now like bearcrawling and experimenting with pulling up. He may get the hang of it this week. He will crawl over to something and sort of kneel at it. The absolute cutest thing he does is strum his lips with his fingers. Today he spent about an hour smiling at himself in the little mirror that faces his carseat. He was so delighted to have his own company! This is really random, but his feet are big enough now that they actually stink like big boy feet. Jackson and I got really tickled about that today.

Finally. The Aggies finally beat Texas. The last time we won this game was in 1999. To give some perspective, I was a sophomore in college that year and had not even met Curt. Last summer I completely swore off watching or caring about sports. Why? In one year the Houston Astros got swept in the World Series and the Dallas Mavericks lost the NBA Championships. How many games did I watch and become emotionally involved in, only to experience complete and utter disappointment? Why should I subject myself to this over something as trivial as a sport when real life has enough disappointments of its own? Never again. On Friday Curt turned on the A&M game at the end of the 3rd quarter. Half of me wanted to watch and the other half didn't want to care. This annual game has always been special to me because it was at the Thanksgiving Day A&M/t.u. game in 1991 that I fell in love with the school and became an Aggie in my heart. Thank you Uncle Mike. To watch and see us lose is painful, but not to watch is also painful. But praise Jesus, the Aggies were victorious. The War Hymn played in the background of the post game interviews and I sang and whooped and swayed by myself in my in-laws' living room. It was marvelous. Thank you, Aggies, for making all of us proud.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

This year I'm thankful for...
-The good health of Curt, Jackson, and I and all of our immediate family members.
-A husband who works hard and is good at what he does. Who loves and serves God and his family. Who is adventurous and courageous.
-A cute and cozy house to live in. To no longer be renting. To have considerate neighbors.
-Compassionate, trustworthy, wise, and encouraging girlfriends who laugh and cry with me.
-A fulfilling job that allows me to stay home with my baby.
-Jackson's playgroup. This year would not have been nearly as fun without them.
-A season of peace and spiritual prosperity for my family.
-Getting to see my parents about every two weeks this year.
-The love and kindness of God.
-A million answered prayers like my mom's cancer tests coming back negative last March, my mother-in-law's cancer test coming back negative today, Jackson being born completely healthy, financial provision, wisdom for choices we've had to make, overcoming all the problems I had breastfeeding, Curt's old 4runner continuing to run, Curt nursing our front yard back to health when we couldn't afford new sod, getting to see some dear friends become expectant moms, the Saturday service coming to fruition.

Have a beautiful week and don't forget to count your blessings!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What they don’t tell you about pregnancy

1)If you get sun on your face during or after pregnancy you could get horrible dark spots that take a long time to fade. Mine are just now fading. Sunscreen and hats, ladies.

2)Your feet may get bigger. At this point, I'm not sure if my feet are bigger or if I just need a bigger size in the pointy-toe styles.

3)Toward the end, when nature calls every 20-30 minutes during the day and at least 5 times in the night, you will feel the need to go again while exiting the ladies room.

4)Your hair - the glorious hair that had stopped its natural shedding cycle for 9 months - will fall out a few months after delivery. And then it will grow back and spike along your part. If you’re like me, you will also have a layer of baby bangs. Have you ever seen a little girl who has cut her bangs all the way to the scalp after it’s grown back a bit? Same concept.
(Breaking News - Check out TomKat's wedding photos at Katie has baby-bangs! Baby-bangers of the world, unite!)

5)In the middle of a conversation your thought will be sucked away by an unseen force and never return. This is still happening to me several times a day.

6)Your cat may become obsessed with you and your sense of smell may cause you to gag when your dog is near.

7)A pregnant belly is like a heater.

8)It will seem like everyone around you is losing weight.

Did I leave any out? Feel free to do your own version if applicable. I had some pictures of my face and hair for proof of items 1 and 4, but they were just too unfortunate to share.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The ever-popular "baby in a leaf pile" pose

Check out this huge lizard that I caught in my house today. It's definitely a trophy lizard - one for the record books. It's a good thing Curt spotted it before Bill did. He's sent many lizards to meet their maker.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

No dignity for a woman

Jackson and I spent this week in Houston. Travis Cottrell was singing at our LPM event on Tuesday night and I was bound and determined not to miss it. It was definitely worth the drive. Poor Jacks has a cold, so poor me hasn't slept in 3 nights. The first night, after having been up with him every hour, I thought it was because his grandma's-house-pack-n-play was too small. He seemed very uncomfortable and I kept having to move him out of the corners. So my mom went out and bought him a real crib and set it up herself. She's every woman. It was tragic the following morning when I had to break the news that it didn't help one bit. Dern. It was the cold all along. But I think we will be very glad through the next few years to have a full size crib there. This afternoon we headed back home. Mom hooked me up to a hot tea IV so I would stay awake. It really did work. I look pretty rough after three days of no sleep. It makes me thankful that I'm 9 months in (as of tomorrow) to motherhood and not in the throes of newborn nighttime parenting.

When we pulled up in the driveway tonight our house was completely lit up with Christmas lights. I had two thoughts: Wow, that looks amazing! and Why on earth do we have Christmas lights up a week before Thanksgiving? I mean, we joked (we were joking, right?) about going all Clark Griswald this year to make up for last year's lack of decor. (We were moving.) But, literally, no one in the neighborhood has lights up yet. Then, after I thoroughly gushed over the incredible way my husband had lined the complicated roofline and curvy walkways with beautiful lights, he explained that we wouldn't light it until after Thanksgiving. But when the clock strikes 12 on November 24th, he's flipping the switch! Really, he just wanted to get it done so that when we return from our travels it will already be taken care of.

Okay, if you're squeamish, easily embarrassed, or a man, please stop reading now. No, really, stop now. The following discussion involves the word "placenta." That's your final warning. Last night I went out with some of my best girlfriends in the world. Two of them were able to come from Houston and see me and Jackson when he was born. At one point during dinner they made a remark about having seen a friend's placenta while visiting her in the hospital. After I enthusiastically expressed my horror, they informed me that it was ME! I said, "No way, y'all didn't come until I was moved out of my delivery room! Right? Tell me I'm right!" Wrong. Then a very vague and fuzzy memory began to surface. I don't remember most of that day because of how tired I was from being up all night and having taken an Ambien (do yourself a favor and refuse this when it's offered) during labor. I'm completely embarrassed and feeling sorry for myself about this. I told them that, truly, the hardest thing about childbirth was having to get over my modesty. There is no dignity for a woman. I have many other examples of how this is true, but that could be its own post. Look for it. And also, did you know that some people are really into placentas? Apparently you can plant it under a tree like nature's own miracle grow in honor of your offspring or do artwork with it. Yes, artwork. There's more, but I won't go there. You're saying, "Now she decides not to go there!" I will add that these two friends - Christine and Michelle - still love me after seeing my placenta. So they are friends for life. In fact, Christine inadvertently saw Michelle's placenta too. As she said, she's two for three. Kay, you're next.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

We are Family

I have two songs in my head right now - “We are Family” and that old song we sing on Sunday nights at church that says “I’m so glad to be a part of the family of God.” Nice mix. I’m a minister’s wife, which means a lot of my life has to do with church. Hopefully, my whole life is devoted to a relationship with Jesus, but a large part of it is lived out through being a part of a local church. Curt and I have no blood relatives in this city. But we do have family here. A big, sometimes dysfunctional like any other, wonderful church family. Here’s a slice of church life, family life, from the last week.

Friday – We had an event called Friday Night Thrift for our college students. They were to wear something from a thrift store and bring warm clothes to donate. We had a weird feeling at the last minute that no one was coming, so we moved it to our house. I told Curt, “We can fit 15 people in this house.” Curt and I cleaned faster than we ever knew possible. Los Lupes delivered the fajitas for 25 that we had already paid for. We had 14 people there and we feasted on fajitas and leftover candy from Fallapalooza. We played Trivial Pursuit and Silent Football (my husband’s specialty). Here’s the family element…my sweet friend Jennifer - our children’s minister - and her future hubby came over to help make the event not seem like a complete failure. Two other couples were waiting in the wings if we needed them. Your family does what they can to protect each other’s dignity. They grieve with you over your failures and rejoice with you over your victories.

Saturday – We had our Saturday night service that Curt preaches at. Amber – a good friend of ours from when Curt and I were both college interns at HFBC – and her family joined our church this year. Amber has an amazing singing voice. Think Jami Smith. My first memory of her is hearing someone behind me singing and thinking wow. It’s been years since I’ve heard her sing, but this week she joined the praise band on stage. She did a great job and it gave me tremendous joy to see her up there. Amber and Vernon are there every week helping set up and take down everything for the service, welcoming people, making sure Curt meets new guests, and speaking an encouraging word. Their support has been priceless. Family rejoices when they see each other using their spiritual gifts and talents to glorify the Lord.

Sunday – I had my last night of Bible study. While studying the Word, the girls and I had dinner together every week. Soup to be exact, because I love to both cook and eat soup and my husband likes neither. So I needed an outlet. I confess, I didn’t cook every week. We all took turns. Family breaks bread together. Family spurs one another on into deeper relationships with Christ.

Tuesday – We had the privilege of taking dinner to a couple from church who just had a baby. This was us less than 9 short months ago. Young couples signed up to bring us food every other day it went on for a month. We were so spoiled. So it was our turn to bring dinner and that was so fun. Family provides for each other’s needs. They celebrate life’s most sacred moments together.

Wednesday – After fellowship dinner and our youth Bible study, Curt and I went to visit a friend and partner in ministry in the hospital. (She’s going home today.) Like us, this couple has no family in town. We’re family to each other. Jackson will grow up calling them Aunt and Uncle. They’ve loved our kid from the first minute they knew of his existence. They came to the hospital (even though we were asleep, it still counted!) to see him when he was born. We joke about the back room in our house being theirs. We go through the ups and downs of youth ministry together and try to keep each other from pulling our hair out over the crazy things that go along with it. Most importantly, family loves.

All this is to say that I’m thankful that God can raise up family for you out of a group of strangers with only one thing in common – Him. I love my family. Dad is good.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My beautiful Bible study girls on our last night

Liking the view from there

Playing peekaboo with Grandma

Climbing the mountain of laundry I have to fold tonight

Love that little belly

Learning how to crawl

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's Here

Mobility is here. This morning we have legitimate crawling moves over a respectable distance. Jackson's crawling coordination has been developing over the last few days and it's culminated into MY LITTLE BABY GETTING SO BIG. It's been really exciting to watch and I admit that my heart swells with pride seeing him doing it.

He's at a truly delightful stage and I love watching him play, holding him, spooning food into his mouth as fast as humanly possibly, and making him laugh. Since we got our naps down and started a third meal of solids, he seems more content than ever. My mom is coming to town tomorrow and I can't wait for her to see how "growed up" he is since she saw him a few weeks ago. Yesterday Jackson figured out he has hair. Hopefully that will distract him from playing with (yanking) mine. He also learned how to grind his bottom teeth against the top ones that are making their way down. It makes a horrible noise that causes my skin to crawl. Oh, Lord, please make it stop.

Most nights I'm awakened once in the very early morning hours to tend to Jackson. I've observed that a lot goes on in the night while we're asleep. For example, a car was parked with its lights on in front of out driveway a few nights ago at 3 a.m. So for the next week I'm going to record nocturnal activities in and around the house. Last night my cat woke me up to play at 5 a.m. (seriously?) and after locking him in the back room I slipped back in bed in time for Jackson to start crying. After feeding him I again slipped back into bed only to hear one of our cell phones dying somewhere. It was emitting the digital dying rabbit sound and in my dark house I had no idea where it was. Finally I jumped out of bed, desperate to put it out of its misery, just in time to hear it give up the ghost.

This is what happens when mom goes to dinner with her friends.

Only a baby could fall asleep like this. (I really want to tuck in that tag.)

Loving my biter biscuit.

Where'd it go?

Maybe looking a little like my mom when she was a baby.(?)

Crawling to my greatest prize - the remote control.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Doogie's Disclosure

First Dr. O'Malley, now Doogie Howser, M.D.

This is more than I can take. My inner pre-adolescent is heartbroken. Did Wanda know all along?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The trouble with tea

The trouble with tea is that it's hot. And it splashes. Today the playgroup went to the home of Beth Nolen, a lactation consultant who kindly leads a free support group for new moms. Beth is wonderful and if you live in DFW and are in need of breastfeeding support, you should definitely get in touch with her. Beth lived in Northeast England 20 years ago and when she offered hot tea today, I took her up on the offer. I knew she probably had a good selection of tea. So I got my big ole mug of Earl Grey and sat down in her living room next to Jackson. The tea was in my right hand and Jackson was about a foot or two away from me on my left side. I thought nothing of it. And then. Those terrible words. He fell backward into his mama - the one whose most vital responsibility is to protect and nurture him - and had the horrible shock of hot tea splashing on his face and head. I could have died. He cried in a way I had never heard before. It was so sad. Beth calmed us both and wiped him with a cold wash cloth. He bounced back quickly and will probably never remember. But I will ALWAYS remember spilling hot tea on my child's head.

On a lighter note, Jackson's top two front teeth are breaking through. I may eat my words, but it's not as bad as when the bottom ones were coming in. This is causing a new fascination with tags. But of course his new toy with colorful tags all over it doesn't do it for him. He also crawled two steps (do you call it "steps"?) three different times today. He was trying really hard to get my hairbrush. Right this moment he's in the high chair eating a biter biscuit. I haven't tasted one yet, but they must be incredibly good because I've never witnessed so much laughter and squealing over a food product. Not even at the fair when I ate the corn dog of my life. Jackson's enthusiasm might have had something to do with the ability to both eat it and bang it loudly against the tray.

What a Weirdo

I’ve been tagged by Margo to do a “9 Weird Things Meme.” And because I love her blog so much, I will oblige. Maybe, like me, you don’t know what meme means. Shameful! Here’s the definition for those of us who are simpletons:

meme n.
A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.

Here we go…
1) I have a terrible, unreasonable fear of tornadoes. When driving through open country, I often pass time looking for places I could hide if a tornado suddenly came upon me. And wind gives me a stomach ache.

2) I eat my Chick-fil-a sandwich with the cole slaw on it. It’s not very ladylike and the juice always streams down my arm, but I can’t eat it any other way.

3) I really, really do not like handling raw meat. I try to get Curt to do it, but then I have vain imaginations that he got meat juice somewhere in the kitchen that I didn’t think to clean.

4) One of my core values is symmetry.

5) I didn’t get past the feeling of embarrassment from carrying a purse until after I graduated from college.

6) Jackson’s diaper was the first one I ever changed.

7) I wore my hair in a ponytail every day of my life from 1990-1994.

8) When Curt gets behind the wheel I morph into a driver’s ed. instructor.

9) I don’t think I’ve ever lost at Scattergories.

Make my day and list some of your own in a comment. You know you like talking about yourself as much as I do. If you have a blog, you’ve got to do all 9! That means you - Alicia, Stephanie R., Sherry, Janelle, Christi, Amber, Kat, Mel, and Stephanie V.