Thursday, May 29, 2008

About K.P.

Since so many of you can identify with my funky skin troubles, I'll share a few more details about my K.P. experience. K.P. stands for keratosis pilaris. I have had it my entire life, but I don't remember being bothered by it until junior high. I played volleyball and my sweaty knee pads made my already unlovely skin even more unsightly. There was a mean girl on our team and she loved to point it out and say "Ewwww!" Thankfully she moved away and I never had to see her face again after junior high.

I went to the dermatologist at that time but nothing really worked for me. This may have been due to my lack of consistency, but mostly I think it's because K.P. is extremely hard to deal with. The doctor swabbed my arms and legs with lactic acid and within an hour my skin was peeling like crazy. That was nuts. I was told to only bathe once a day (to avoid over-drying my skin) and that I had to use plain old Lubriderm lotion. I needed to steer clear of all the fragrant Bath and Body Works stuff my friends were using. Freesia? Flowering Herbs, anyone? These were forbidden fruits!

Discouraged that nothing seemed to work, I just sucked it up for years until last year when a dermatologist gave me some good solutions. My K.P. had gotten really out of control by this time. I started using the treatments and was amazed by the smoothness of my skin. I had never seen it that way before and I loved it! I felt okay about wearing sleeveless shirts and shorts. Glytone and another product I used before that (can't remember the name) worked well, but after a while my skin got used to it and it wasn't as effective. I think you have to stop treatment for a while and then resume again. It's like a cycle. I made my Glytone treatments coincide with my Cancun vacation last summer and my sister's wedding in February. It's most effective in the beginning.

Even though my K.P. doesn't really make me self-conscious anymore, having it treated is really nice. It surprises me how much I actually think about it when I realize I'm NOT thinking about it. So, if you have teenagers with bad K.P., I think it would be worth it to take them to the doctor or order some Glytone Body (also called the KP Kit) and see what happens. Maybe you can give them some clear skin goals like for summer camp or prom or your family's spring break beach vacation. I hope that helps answer some questions. The good thing about K.P. and any other skin problems is that it gives you compassion for others with appearance issues that can't be helped. That is one thing I wouldn't mind passing to my kids, even though it kills me to see it on my baby's sweet legs and arms.

Tomorrow is my office day and I can't believe I'm still awake! I need to go fall in the heavenly bed now. By the way, we are going on vacation tomorrow. If we come to mind, please pray for safe travel and a fun time with Jackson. This trip was planned with him in mind and I hope it is a success. See you in a few days!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Dilemma #1:
One of two beauty dilemmas. I have this weird skin thing called K.P. My skin doesn't exfoliate as it should and I have these little bumps on my arms and legs. It's something I inherited from my dad and that I unfortunately passed on to my son. About a year ago I started using lotion with glycolic acid and it makes my bumps clear up. (Check it out here.) Woo hoo! The trade off is that it doesn't smell good and it stings. Have you ever shaved your legs and gone to the beach? That's what it feels like when I put it on my legs after I shave. Oh, and I shave every day. My skin's already bumpy and I can't stand for it to be stubbly too! Gross! I have been using Jergerns Natural Glow lotion and I love it. While it doesn't smell good, it does take the edge off my whiteness. The dilemma is that it allows my bumps to come back. So I throw in a K.P. lotion treatment every few days, but it exfoliates my natural glow! Dern! What a dilemma!

Dilemma #2:
I complained about this last year and here it is again. Basically, during the summer I have to slather my face with sunscreen to protect against further skin damage and awful sun spots that were bestowed upon me during my pregnancy with Jackson. The dilemma is, it gives me acne. Gross! Do I want acne or wrinkles and sun spots? Neither! What a dilemma!

Dilemma #3:
Every time I take Jackson to the park, some kid has brought an awesome toy that Jackson wants to play with. While this kid is off doing his own thing, my child has spotted the nerf football or dump truck laying on the ground and he wants desperately to play with it. I don't want to let him play with it because it's not ours, but he's in a downward spiral over the dumb toy. Hello! We have toys at home! Look at that awesome slide! So that makes me want to bring our own toys for the park, but then I'd be tempting someone else's kid. Stink! What a dilemma!

Dilemma #4:
I can't remember what it was, so here's a picture of Mister-My-Mister.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial Day '08

Jackson, lucky little man that he is, got to be spoiled by Curt's mom and dad - Nana and Pappaw - last weekend. They flew down on Thursday evening and stayed with us until Sunday afternoon. It was our first time to host them since we moved and I can't tell you how many times I thanked God for our new house. It's like night and day from our last house when it comes to having company.

On Friday we took Jackson to the Children's Museum. He was cracking us up because he was going from station to station in an absolute frenzy. He wasn't at anything longer than 10 seconds. I loved that there was hardly anything in that place that he could get into trouble with. We barely had to tell him no at all! When we were done, we took him over to the train at Hermann Park. It was hotter than love (thanks for that expression, Erin) but my child was in hog heaven. I noticed that the park has several fountains and even a spray park to play in, so I think we will go back there before too long. For lunch we went to Ruggles Cafe and enjoyed some great desserts - the strawberry bomb and German chocolate cake. Curt's cousin and his wife, Andy and Mindy, had their first baby that day - little mister Eli Andrew Ward. He is absolutely beautiful and I actually kissed the picture of his face on my computer screen. Welcome to the world, Eli! Cozy and I had a lot of fun talking about labor and texting and calling Aunt Belinda, cousin Erin, and sister Lindsay for updates all day.

On Saturday Steve and Curt worked on my car for a long time. It's having some issues as it nears 100,000 miles. I made my mom's spaghetti and meatballs for lunch, put Jackson down for a nap, and then took Cozy to Town and Country to visit Pottery Barn. I wanted to buy several things but we are hoping to visit the PB Outlet in San Marcos soon, so I thought it would be better to wait. Afterward we drove out to the new Houston Premium Outlet Mall. They have some great stores, but with the heat and the crowds I'm not sure I'll ever go back. Definitely not on a weekend. Maybe on a rainy day, as weird as that sounds. There were long lines at every register, even at the food court at 3:00. Yuck! For dinner we partook of Spring Creek BBQ, which has the world's best fried okra. Get yourself some. After everyone was in bed, Curt and I slipped away to see Prince Caspian.

On Sunday morning we skipped church (which I felt bad about later when I realized that we'd be gone next weekend too) and enjoyed a lazy morning at the house. We had an early lunch at P.F. Chang's. I would never think to take Jackson to a place like that, but it wasn't very crowded and he was mesmerized by the statues inside. He was nearly perfect. Then Curt had to take his parents to the airport and Jackson cried when they pulled out of the driveway. We were so sad to see them go!

That night we tried to visit the drive-in movie theater out in Waller, but we got there too late and it was sold out. We tried not to be totally bummed but we were. It would have been so fun! I guess to get in you have to get there super early, but that wouldn't really work for us with Jackson. My mom was sweet enough to let us bring him over to her house and put him to bed while Curt and I went to see Indiana Jones. It was good but kind of bizarre. I am not seeing any more action movies until Curt sees about five dramas or romantic comedies with me. Maybe even a foreign film. He owes me.

For Memorial Day, we hung around the house and were lazy. We decided to get together with the Sanders family later that afternoon. I had to run to HEB to get some food for grilling and the ingredients for Sunni's 7 layer dip. Let me just tell you, that place was the third level of Hades. I almost left my basket in the aisle and ran out screaming and drooling. Steam was coming out of my ears, mouth, and nose and my head nearly exploded.

We went to Jonathan and Michelle's at around 4 p.m. Jackson and Keegan played in the kiddie pool and then Jackson got in the sandbox. He was wet and sandy and so happy. We all sat in chairs around the little pool and visited while they played. We actually finished conversations, which y'all know is a miracle when there are kids present. Christine made it over in time for dinner and then dessert in the playroom. She is officially Jackson's new BFF. Jackson was all like, "Mommy who?" Christine is the baby and toddler whisperer. We hated to leave that night because we were all having so much fun, but everyone either had to get up early for work or for tending babies in the morning. By the way, I loved getting to fly an American flag from our front porch this year. There were about four of them on our street.

Today we spent the morning over at Melanie's house (we met in Sunday school) and got to play with her daughters, Avery and Tatum. Aren't those cute names? They are precious little girls. Avery just turned 3 and I kept trying to imagine Ella and Ava being that grown up. Fun times are down the road, ladies!

Last week was very hard and sad for several reasons and I pray that we all have a respite from the tragedy and bad news. I read Psalm 90:14-17 in my quiet time this morning and it really ministered to my bruised heart and weary mind. Check it out.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:14-17

We praise You, Lord, for Your ways are higher than our ways, and Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts. With our limited understanding and our inability to see from eternity's perspective, we put our faith in who You are, not in what You do. Bless our troubled minds with peace this week, even as we intercede for those who are suffering and grieving. Amen.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Highs and Lows

I just sat down to update the bloggy blog and I had to ask Curt what we did this weekend. He didn't answer, but it's coming back to me now.

Friday Lows:
See previous post. I had a deadline for a big work project on Friday and that was the central cause of my and Jackson's frustration with each other. PTL, it is d-o-n-e!

Friday Highs:
We met our friends Tony and Dana and their two-year-old grandson for dinner at Pappasito's. Tony and Dana were youth workers when Curt was on the youth staff at HFBC. They're a lot of fun and are very loving people. After a rough afternoon with Jackson, I was afraid that he would be awful at dinner. But he was great and he enjoyed getting to be around Matthew and his Mimsy and Pappaw. Um, has anyone ever tried the kids chicken tenders there? Holy cow, they are almost as good as the fajitas. The chicken is the same quality. Jackson will be getting those from now on. Yum!

Saturday Highs:
Fresh highlights with Becky at Visible Changes.
Lunch date with the Altics.
Went to Dana's antique store in the Heights.
Curtis let me take a nap.
Made a much needed trip to HEB and then cooked chicken with sherry sauce.

Saturday Lows:
Found out my parents' dog Sunny got really sick while they were out of town. I felt so bad for my mom since she was having to deal with it during her conference. Sunny's okay for now. Bless her sweet, old heart.

Sunday Highs:
Sunday school was awesome. Got to visit with Stephen and Star who were leading worship in the chapel, where our Sunday school class has been assigned to sit during the sanctuary renovations. Got to visit with the Weir/Tate clan. Learned all about the plagues God inflicted on the Egyptians. Pastor Gregg included some sound effects for us, like flies buzzing and boils popping. I am not even lying about that. Met fellow blogger Jen the Newlywed, who is super cute and sweet. Picked up some pants I had altered at Nordstrom. Got James Coney Island to go. Went to a dual confirmation/graduation party for our ministry director's beautiful daughters. Jackson really wanted to get into their cake and open their presents. We didn't get to stay long. Picked out some paint colors for our bedrooms, bathrooms, and my office. Played in the baby pool with Jackson.

Sunday Lows:
I spent an hour and a half baking a Texas sheet cake from scratch for the first time. It tasted like I had baked soil from my backyard and iced it with Beckham's poop. No lie. It might be better in the morning, but I'm not getting my hopes up. When my mom makes this cake it disappears within an hour. We have not touched this one since we carved out the initial two pieces. I know where I went wrong, but I don't want to admit it for fear of ridicule. I guess I will just say that due to the large volume of shoppers at HEB on Saturday, they were out of a certain necessary ingredient and I had to settle for the low fat version. (My mother just gasped and I will get a text from her any minute.)

Another Sunday High:
I am laying in my heavenly bed and I'm about to finish a really great book that I can't wait to tell you about. I didn't get my normal after church nap today, so I will sleep like a baby tonight. Can't wait. I hope your weekend was wonderful, even if you can't remember what you did. Have a great Monday, peeps.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I go crazy...crazy... crazy for you baby.

Help me, Jesus. I'm having one of those days when my toddler is using every ounce of his brain matter to invent new ways to make me pull my hair out. Where is a room with padded walls when I need it? One of us, I don't care who, needs to spend some time in there.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Little Rewards

I have to share some funny and sweet things Jackson did last week. The first one happened on the night my parents babysat while Curt and I went on our date. For Valentine's Day, my mom and dad were sent this singing cat and dog thing.

Jackson is obsessed with it. That night when my mom was putting him to bed, he wanted to listen to it one more time. For the first time ever he tried to sing along. Since he didn't know the words, mom told me he was singing, "Dadda...Mommy...Dadda...Mommy."

Later that week we were back at my parents' house and mom and I were playing with the little man. His back was turned to me and, as I often do, I gave him a play spanking on his little hiney because it was so cute. I promise it didn't hurt him. It was like when you're riding a horse and you give it a pat on the neck. He spun around and made a funny face at me like "Why'd you do that, Mom?" Then he came around behind me and spanked me on the hiney. It was seriously one of the most surprising and hilarious moments of motherhood so far.

The last one happened on Saturday morning. Jackson and I were having breakfast together before I headed off to the mall with my mom and Lis. I have not been pushing him to say "I love you, Mommy" even though I am really looking forward to the day when he says it. I want it to be on his own and not because I made him repeat it back to me. We were doing the whole "How much does Mommy love you? This much? No! THIS much? No! THIS MUCH? Yes!" Then I said, "How much do you love Beckham? Etc. How much do you love Daddy? Etc." He played the little game with me and then I stopped. Then he looked at me and said with lots of enthusiasm, "Mommy!?!?"

"Yes, son?"


Melt my ever lovin' heart, why don't you? Now that'll set you up for a great Mother's Day weekend, won't it?

I have to add one more that I forgot about. We were driving somewhere last week and I was singing loudly to one of the songs on Passion's Hymns CD (which is old but great). The song ended and I kept singing it during the pause before the next song. Suddenly I heard, "Mommy, no!" from the back seat. Jackson apparently couldn't stand the sound of my singing voice when it wasn't covered up by the loud music. That's exactly why I try to seat myself on the end of the front row and in front of the speakers during worship services. No one in front of me, no one to one side of me, and good vibrations covering up my joyful noise! Amen?

*I posted the sopapilla cheesecake recipe on the LPM blog today if anyone wants it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Weekend Recap

Happy Mother's Day everyone! This has been such a good weekend for us and I hope it has been for you, too. I have not updated the blog in a few days because I've been so busy! I have a big work project going on right now, so last week Curt worked at home with Jackson while I went in to the office for two days instead of one. I will probably work in office two days this week, too. On Wednesday my sister flew in and her husband followed her down on Friday. They had not been home together since they got married. I think it was a memorable weekend for them. I kept thinking about how happy Colin's mom must have been to have her married son home for the first time. That will be me in the blink of an eye!

On Friday Jackson and I drove out to the Galleria to shop for Mother's Day and meet NancyMon and CourtneyS at the Nordstrom Cafe for lunch. Nancy wanted to disciple me in the ways of the Nord. If you are a big fan of Nordstrom, you will find a kindred spirit in Nancy. They had great food and I'm looking forward to eating there with the girls again when Jackson starts MDO this summer. We arrived at the mall right after it opened and I have to brag on my son because he was p-e-r-f-e-c-t. Of course, his nap was ruined because he fell asleep on the way home, but it was worth it to have such a peaceful shopping experience.

On Saturday I did a repeat of the Galleria, but this time it was with my mom and sister and without my toddler. Mom was in the mood to spoil her girls, so Melissa and I got to do a little shopping. Isn't that sweet of her to do on her own Mother's Day weekend?

Upon arrival, we all got some tea from Teavana. I am pretty hacked off at that place because the one time my mom and sis decide to forgo their Starbucks and fellowship in my love for tea, they didn't have any milk and they served it lukewarm. Teavana, are you listening to me? Based on well over a year of regularly visiting your store, I think you either need to majorly improve your beverage service or cut it out altogether. I'm kind of embarrassed for you. I'd love to see you do better, and that's all I have to say.

The shopping extravaganza produced some some shorts for me, a fun t-shirt, and a cute dress from Zara. It's always fun to wear something new on Mother's Day. I say that like I've had a lot of experience. For lunch we had some sushi and other Asian yumminess at a restaurant called Kona. Then we drove over to Anthropologie because how can we be that close and stroller-less and not? We got some fun things for my grandma and Aunt Johnnie, who we'd celebrate Mother's Day with that night. I got Memaw a cute red apron and Johnnie an "J" paperweight and a monogrammed hankie. I got myself some very, very cheerful placemats for my breakfast table and a half-price pillow for my bed. The cashier couldn't believe it was marked down so low. That's quite an achievement at that store! I felt like a victor.

On Saturday night we had a Mother's Day fiesta at my parents' house with my mom and dad, Melissa and Colin, Memaw and Pappaw, Johnnie and David, and my little trio. We had some very tasty fajitas, homemade guacamole and the best queso I've ever tasted. I brought sopapilla cheesecake with me, which is a First Irving specialty. Many thanks to Janelle for supplying me with the recipe. My sister was very impressed and I tried hard to make her think it had all kinds of gourmet, exotic ingredients instead of just two cans of crescent rolls and plenty of cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Uncle Colin and Aunt Melissa made Jackson's week with a whole new set of cars and trucks. He was over the moon with happiness. He can't stop talking about them. I'm sure he dreamed about them, too.

The party was an absolute blast and it was 100 times better than waiting an hour to be seated at any restaurant in town at noon today. (Remember how we ended up at Wendy's last Father's Day? Never again.)

This morning my boys presented me with two bouquets of flowers, the new Barbara Walters biography, and a beautiful card. My main present was that when we go on our San Antonio vacation, I get to have a massage at the resort spa. I can't wait. Curtis woke up early and made a huge breakfast for me with pancakes, bacon, fruit, croissants, and orange juice. He did SO GOOD! I felt like the most blessed mom on the planet.

Church was excellent. We are loving being in a young marrieds class. We have a great teacher who is not afraid to get up in our bidness and the class really feels like a family. We don't know people very well yet, but they have been extremely warm to us. After class, a bunch of us ran downstairs to get our kids registered for summer Mother's Day Out. Happy Mother's Day to us, indeed! I am confident that Jackson will enjoy that time as much as I will.

After church we headed to my parents' house for leftover fajitas and then went home for naps. It has been the perfect Sunday. We even had low humidity today. Thank You, Lord!

I could never put into words exactly how thankful I am for my own mother. Many people look at her and see a Bible teacher, an author, someone who you might see on TV wearing a cute Jacket and praying in a sweet Southern accent. I love that person very much, but not as much as I love the woman who is my mother. If people stopped reading her books or attending her conferences, if her name became reviled across America, I'm telling you I would still be every bit as proud of my mother as I am today. I'd still want to be just like her. She has heard me say this before, but my sister and I would tell you that as good as she is at teaching and writing, she is even better at being a mom. Mom, you are a phenomenal woman. Thank you for always giving us 100% of yourself. In my journal this morning I thanked God for your wisdom, your love for Him, for what a good wife you are to Dad, for your generosity, your compassion, your ability to filter everything through God's grace and mercy, your intelligence, your patience, and your amazing work ethic. Thank you for loving me and for teaching me how to love my God, my husband, and my child. I'm proud to be your kid.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Nothing Important

Last night I went to my favorite aerobics class at my new gym. The teacher is hands down the best one I've had since England. Why on earth was I surprised when she announced that she's leaving? Nooooooooo! Not again!

This morning I made french toast because Jackson and I are tired of eating Nutrigrain waffles and plain toast with jelly. Jackson loved it and now I want to try making banana-stuffed french toast like they have at The Houstonian, which is something so wonderful that it haunts my dreams even after four years.

This afternoon Jackson ate spaghetti with a fork like a big boy and didn't make too bad of a mess. I ate a lean pocket and it was pretty forgettable. Later I had Doritos.

Right now Jackson is asleep and I need to be showering and getting ready for date night with Hubs. What I really want to do is drink some tea and enjoy the silence.

This evening Curtis is taking me to Anthropologie to return the bedding I ordered. I hope to come across some fun things for some wonderful mothers we will be celebrating the next two weekends.

Tonight we are having dinner at America's by the Galleria. I already know what I'm getting. Without a doubt it will include tres leches.

Tomorrow my sister is flying home from Atlanta. Her hubby will join her in Houston this weekend so they can both see their moms. They are going to die over how much Jackson is talking since the last time they saw him.

That is all. I can hear The Mister beginning his wake up process, so I have to pick my indulgence quickly - shower or tea? SHOWER OR TEA? Shower it will be.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Jackson: A Look at Your Life

Dear Jackson,
It's been a while since I've written a letter to you. I'd like to think it's because I've been busy enjoying you! This is what your life is like at 26 months old.

Your favorite things to eat are bananas, apples, and chips. You have just now started including the "ba" in bananas, but not all the time. I think it will be very bittersweet to hear your baby words change into big boy words. When you say "chips" it sounds like "chipths." I love it. Another one of your favorite things is "this" - whatever "this" may be at the moment. You talk about it and point to it a lot. Sometimes in the morning I make us Eggo waffles. I cut yours into strips and give you a tiny cup of syrup to dip them in. You look like such a big boy when you do that. You love apples and would eat them all day long, but you always do one of two things - spit the apple skin out and make a mess with it, or get choked on it and throw up everything you've eaten that day. Sadly, until I get one of those apple peeling contraptions, your apple consumption will be limited. You also like watermelon. I recently gave you a piece that was too big and every time you chomped down on it, pink juice gushed out of your mouth. You were trying so hard to keep it all in and it made mommy laugh. I hope that image stays with me forever.

When you learn a new word, you come up with many, many different ways to apply it to your daily life. "Fall down" and "stuck" have been getting a lot of use lately. One day you looked at some tall trees in our neighbor's yard and said, "Fall down." I don't know if you were scared of the tree falling over or if you imagined yourself climbing the tree and falling out of it. Either way, I'm sure it was my fault. There is so much going on in that little mind of yours. If I could just peek into it, I know I would be amazed! I have taught you the opposite to some of your words, like up and down, off and on. Just now you were asking me for something and I had to tell you no. You pleaded with me, "Yes and no! Yes and no!" Oh my word, child. You are so funny. Sometimes you say "MommyDadda" and that gets us really tickled.

Beckham is relieved that you finally learned to say his name instead of just calling him dog. You have started standing up for yourself whenever he comes near you when you have food in your hand. You're calling him out on his sly ways. He does deserve your kindness though. That poor dog has had to put up with you trying to use him as a step stool to get on the couch as well as your exploration of what happens when you poke his eye. That is a very bad thing to do, son. We don't want him to go the way of Bill, now do we? Right now you are sitting in your high chair eating/crunching up chipths and he is taking a nap underneath you. He is never more than a few steps away.

Some things you do not like include the following: whatever Mommy cooks for dinner, beef, when Mommy and Daddy look at you too much when you're in your car seat, sitting in the stroller (you drag your feet and often stand up and try to walk while attached to it), getting out of a swing, drinking plain water (unless you're with Ava, in which case it is the nectar of the gods), and getting out of the bath.

Thankfully, you are very enthusiastic about life and the list of things you like is much longer. You love to dance, play with cars and trucks, throw and kick balls, ride on your train, swing at the park, play in the sprinkler, look for airplanes in the sky and trains on the tracks, run around outside, throw your toys, scam as much milk and juice as you can from Bibby, pick up rocks, toss the pillows off the couch, jump off the couch, climb all over the coffee table, look for cool stuff in the trash can, draw with crayons and then chew the ends off, play with your food, go up and down the stairs, count to 10, try to sing the alphabet, play with other kids, read books, watch TV, jump in your bed...I could go on and on!

Yesterday morning I woke up very early to start getting ready for church before you were up. Over the baby monitor I heard you stir and whisper your first word of the day - Dadda. I have never heard anything more precious. Daddy was sleeping in his bed, so it wasn't because you had seen him or heard him. He was your first waking thought. That makes my heart melt for both of my guys - my big one and my small one. Your daddy loves you so much. We both think you are incredibly special and we thank God every day that He chose to entrust such a unique spirit to us. We love you, Jackson. You only get more adorable and more fun every single month. I am looking forward to a great summer together!