Thursday, April 30, 2009

Woe is Me

I don't even know what to say. I want to sit on my couch and stare at the wall. Have you read my sister's post today? Have you been keeping up with any of the other Compassion bloggers? Honestly, I feel embarrassed and sad for myself. I feel nauseous. I feel a little like the Prophet Isaiah when he saw the Lord and was devastated over his impurity.

Woe is me! I am ruined! For I am a woman of materialism and greed, and I live among a people of materialism and greed, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.

And I know that when I see my sister in a couple of weeks, she will not be the same. I don't want to be the same either. God, help me overcome my addiction to this world.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Some Things About Today

1) We had a little playdate at our house. Thank You, Lord. I could not take another day of a bored 3-year-old! Jackson's friend Nathan came over to play while his mommy went to help our co-worker out. Her house flooded during the day of rain, bless her heart. Y'all, the water is so crazy. Our neighborhood is not far from a major creek, so all our water retention spaces and bayous are totally full, if not brimming over. If those weren't there, we'd be dealing with water in our house, too. I drove around last night and there was still tons of water on certain roads. Also, in those pictures of the sky looking orange, what is so weird is that those are clouds all lit up and not just the sky itself. If you look real close you can see where the clouds end. Anyway, Jenn brought us some particularly good Chick-fil-a and we enjoyed it over lots of great girl talk.

2) We have Bible study at church tonight. FYI, I convinced Curt to make a podcast of his Wednesday night lessons. If you're interested, here's the link.

3) I ordered this shirt

this family tree kit

and one of these fun capes

from my friend Beth's etsy store: Love, September. I'm so excited! Beth has a son and a daughter, so naturally she has really fun things for girls and boys.

She also makes quilts from your kids' baby clothes. (Hint, hint. Our 7th anniversary is coming up, Curtis Jones!)

4) My sis has three posts up at the LPM blog about her Compassion trip to Calcutta. Check out the latest one here. And you can "meet" the Jones family's newest Compassion child here. We thank You for this honor, Jesus!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wild Night

Right after I published that post last night, we got word that our area had a tornado warning. Needless to say, I did not go to the gym. There are only two inside rooms in our house to shelter in - one is a tiny bathroom and one is a coat closet. So I started clearing things out of the tiny bathroom to make room for the four of us. I looked at Beckham and thought, "Sorry, buddy."

No tornadoes ended up touching down that I know of. Thank God! We did get between 8 and 9 inches of rain overnight. (It is still raining!) And the thunder and lightning were pretty intense. There is lots of flooding around town. Schools have been cancelled. LPM delayed opening today and I'm not sure if it will open or not. Another round of this is supposedly coming this afternoon. Craziness!

Spring in Texas is never boring. My parents are at the ranch and two nights ago they slept with flashlights and were prepared to get in their storm shelter at any moment. I can't even imagine going in that thing at night. Is it better to be killed by a tornado or a rattlesnake? Anyone know? *Shudder*

I'm a little bummed because I was planning on a trip to the Galleria to make some returns today. But now Jackson doesn't get to go to school and I certainly don't want to drive my kids around in this weather. The good news is, I was supposed to have my annual exam this morning and it had to be rescheduled. Oh dern!

Have I mentioned that Beckham is worse than me about storms? The pacing - there is just no end to the pacing and the clicking of his claws on the floor. At one point he jumped into our bed and it took all my strength to push him off. Then Curt locked him in the tiny bathroom, thinking he might chill out if he couldn't see the lightning. He just barked. When I woke up this morning, Curt was on the couch and Beckham was anchored to the coffee table by his leash. Bless his heart. I seriously might ask the vet for some tranquilizers for him.

Last night as I was putting Jackson to bed, I looked out his window and saw that the whole west side of the sky looked like this.

Is that weird or what? The east side, on the other side of that tree, was dark.

Here's Jackson wondering why I'm taking pictures out his window.

And here's my baby girl on her 12 week birthday. She's having her morning nap in her swing.

Monday, April 27, 2009

That Cheap Couch

My sister is on my mind and heart non-stop. I'm nearly obsessed. The first thing I did this morning was check my email and the LPM blog for any communication. There wasn't anything yet. Then someone sent us a link to the Compassion Bloggers' Flickr page. I went on there immediately and was so excited when I found a picture of my beautiful sis. She's alive! Well, of course she was, but I'm dramatic like that. I also cried just seeing her face. My big sis instincts are on overdrive.

A few minutes later a post appeared on the other blog and I had an email from her. Yeah! Among other things, her email said, "Compassion is AMAZING. Like seriously." I called my mom asap to read her the post. She's at the ranch and has no Internet connection. Then I texted my bro-in-law to let him know to look on the blog. He wrote me back and said he was crying at work. We are all still here, but our hearts are there with her and with those children.

So naturally I've been thinking about our Compassion kid in Honduras. I'm terrible at snail mail, but I decided to see if I could figure out how to email him through their web site. It worked and it was so easy! Yeah! When I logged in, I found all sorts of info about him, including his family's monthly income. I told it to Curt and he did the math. He said, "In one year they make what it cost us to buy that couch you're sitting on." The sad thing is, when I think about this couch, I think of how glad I am that we bought the cheap one because it's been bathed in apple juice and spit up.

Now I'm off to the gym. Incidentally, at $30/month, the gym membership that makes me feel a smidge better about my body costs the same as it does to provide life-changing educational, medical, spiritual, and financial support to our Compassion kid.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Boring Recap of an Unboring Weekend

It's five o'clock and I'm in the post-nap fog. I have a caffeine headache because I never had my tea this morning, but to have it now would mean I would go to bed very late. But you know what? It sounds really good, so I'm gonna have to make some.

Hold on a sec.

Okay, I'm back. In those six minutes I also cleaned the kitchen - score!

Mom and I are officially obsessed with Melissa. Every time we talk, she's the main topic of conversation. We know that she and the team of Compassion Bloggers made it to Kolkata. I can't even imagine how tired they are. I'm really looking forward to reading her first post.

Here's what we did this weekend. On Friday we got to have dinner with Rusty and Emily from our Sunday school class. Rusty grilled steaks for us and they were amazing. They have an 20-month-old boy who is incredibly darling and makes me miss Baby Jackson in his footie pajamas. Emily speaks Spanish with their son and it's so charming.

Speaking of Baby Jackson, my friend Amber was in town last week and we got to see her and her boys. Her oldest, Titus, used to refer to our son as Baby Jackson. He could not wrap his sweet head around the fact that 3-year-old Jackson was the same as Baby Jackson. He said, "Mama, that is not Baby Jackson." So funny. Upon their first meeting, he was quite taken with Annabeth and told his mommy he wanted to pray for her. How sweet is that? Jayk Altic also prays for her. If we had betrothals in our culture I would be so happy.

(Headache's already gone. Thank you, PG Tips.)

Saturday morning we went to a birthday party in a park. It was a great time. The birthday girl's family brought a little potty to the pavilion, which was an awesome idea and also so funny. Partying with preschoolers is a totally different ballgame.

Annabeth and I spent the rest of the day with my mom. We got some summer clothes for Jackson and had a snack at Einstein Bros. Bagels. Then we hung out with dad until it was time for me to go home.

That evening I came across a ragdoll cat that was the spitting image of the one I grew up with. I had Grayson from before Kindergarten until age 21. She was some kind of old when she passed. She was really ornery but so beautiful and with fur as soft as a rabbit's. For some reason I've really been longing to have another cat, but I realized I just want her back. So it was nice to pet that little ragdoll cat and remember what Grayson was like. Don't be fooled because in the great Moore tradition of ridiculous nicknames, we never called that cat Grayson. She was known as Sthune. I won't even try to explain that one.

This morning we went to church. I thought we were going to be so late that I suggested we just go have breakfast and then go to the service. Somehow we made it happen though and we made it to Sunday school before the teaching started. I sent a bottle with Annabeth and got to enjoy church without interruption. On the way home we were too tired to deal with going out to lunch, so we just ordered a pizza. Then I took my nap while my very generous husband stayed up with our two sleepless children. Of all days! Annabeth is seriously resisting the Sandman today. Except for two 10 minute segments of sleep, she has been awake since noon. It is now 8:22 (this post has taken me forever to write). Good grief, little woman! Give it up!

Y'all, I just had to ask my husband to please turn off Phineas and Ferb. Jackson is not awake. Why does my man like cartoons? There are MANY worse things to watch, but I need a break from cartoon music. I should not have to listen to that stuff after the sun goes down. For reals!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Your Art is the Best Art of All the Art

Yesterday I was sitting on the couch in my living room and I knew my son had something odd going on in the breakfast area. I couldn't see it, but I just knew.

Mommy, I made a picture!

I get up from the couch to see what he's so excited about.

Jackson is hopping up and down in an expression of glee and merriment.

I see that he has used his spit like finger paint and made a lovely little design on our glass kitchen table.

Jackson stood before his masterpiece and presented it to me with outstretched arms.

Mommy! I made this picture for YOU!

Saliva art: what I get for not letting my kid use markers.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Getting Ready for Summer

Deep breath in...deep breath's Friday.

I have lots of thoughts this morning.

First of all, I know I've said this before, but I hate anonymous comments. I disabled them on my blog many months ago and it's been great. People are much less careful with their words when their name is not attached. My feeling is, if I have to look at your butt, do me the courtesy of showing your face.

Second, I'm not cut out for nursing in public. The nursing room at church is as public as I get, and even then I feel awkward. I use my nursing cover, but I'm not very graceful at getting the baby latched on underneath it and then she's waving her arms about and making the fabric billow. I probably end up doing the very thing I'm trying to avoid by using it. I wish I could care less.

Third, I bought Jackson some boxer briefs and they're impossibly cute. Does anyone else find it humorous that you can buy underwear at the grocery store? 'Cause I sure did buy them at HEB.

Here are some pictures of Jackson getting blessed with ice cream after he was so good at school and took a marathon nap there for his teachers. In fact, he did it twice this week. That was a first! Good job, buddy!

Here's Annabeth after we did a little shopping to get her ready for the summer. Summer's already here, by the way. We've been in the 90's this week. Baby girl needed some shades!

Behold, the first bathing suit I ever bought for my daughter. I remember Melissa and I going round and round with our mom over bathing suits from a young age. Remember those suits that were like two pieces but they were connected? Despite our begging and pleading, Mom never let us wear those. Looking back, they were u-g-l-y you-ain't-got-no-alibi. In a few years Annabeth and I will have our own drama, I'm sure.

Bathing suit + hat.

Bathing suit + hat + shades.

Here she is trying on one of her cute new bows. I love this expression. That day I had been really tempted to buy some new bows at Gymboree, but I resisted. When Curt got home he had a fun package for us with several new ones in it. Yeah!

I'm anticipating a great summer. The absence of morning sickness alone practically guarantees it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Weekend Pictures

I forgot my camera during our road trip last weekend, but my friends had mercy on my pitiful self and shared their pictures. Here you go!

Clara and Annabeth.

Where are their bows?

Heath and Annabeth.

Me, Janelle, and Sunni.

The big kids playing at Ella's house. Jackson loved that pink race track because it had a conveyor belt for the cars. It was really neat and I would buy one if I found it in blue! Ella, I'm so proud of you for liking cars.

The girls were coloring so nicely. My child does not color nicely with markers. Ink ends up all over him. If I were a more patient mother I would not care. Help me, Lord.

Ava ended up with brown ink covering a large portion of her body. We aren't sure who the artist was, but I have a theory.

Here they are playing with Ava's floam. Thanks to Jackson, Ava's floam has now been combined into one lovely non-color.

Here they are watching Monsters Inc.

Jackson had no idea how lucky he was.

He kept saying, "My girls!" which is how he also refers to the girls who live next door to us.

Curt's going to have to break the news to him that girls-plural will turn into girl-singular one day.


Blowing out the candles. I don't know if it was all the preschooler spit or what, but that cake was really good!

Here the girls are having a tea party. Jackson pretends to make tea during his bathtime, too. I swear I didn't teach him that. He just sees me doing it twice a day, every day! Thankfully, he uses a plastic cup from a local restaurant rather than a pink plastic tea set.

Sunday lunch at Spring Creek Barbecue.

Big kids.

Little kids - Jordan, Nathan, and Annabeth.

Here is Jaylee's crawfish cake. Is that not awesome?

This is Jaylee in her Halloween costume last October. This is seriously one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my whole life. They used this picture for the birthday party invitations.

This is me and Annabeth, Jennifer and Jaylee, and Sabrina and Emerson. These are my BFF's from high school. We've shared a lot together through the years - and now we share being moms of girls! We had to get a pic. What fun.

Thanks to all 5 of you who shared your pictures and made this post possible. Peace out.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teaming Up with My Sis

Several months ago I got an email from Shaun Groves regarding a Compassion blogger trip to Kolkata (Calcutta), India. In case you've never heard of anything like this, Compassion takes bloggers to see their project sites in various countries so that they can help get sponsors for those children. Curt and I have been sponsoring a Compassion kid in Honduras since we were newlyweds, so I was really blessed and excited to have been contacted about a blogger trip. But there's the little matter of a certain newborn by the name of Annabeth Ellen Jones. Right now it's just not my season for mission trips. I'm sitting the bench, riding the pine, sidelined - whatever you want to call it. I do miss going, but I know that time will come again before long. It's simply not possible when I have a newborn nursling.

Anyway, I was bummed to have to say no and wishing I could help in some way. Then my sister Melissa came to mind. Hmmmm. Maybe she could go. But I kept my thoughts to myself. A few days later, my mom and Melissa randomly met Shaun at Travis' concert in Woodstock, GA. God was laying some puzzle pieces down and the picture started coming together. To make a long story short, Shaun asked my sister to go on the trip and she said yes. God's hand in this was unmistakable. It was super exciting to see it play out.

Melissa is going to be blogging about her Compassion trip to Kolkata here on Baby Bangs as well as on the LPM blog. I am so thrilled to get to partner with her in this way. My sister and I are as different as night and day, but we have the same blood running through our veins and the same desire to serve God with our lives. It's really special to get to work for Him together in as many ways as we do.

Y'all will love hearing from Melissa. There's just no one on the planet like her. She's brilliant, loves the Lord, hilarious, and speaks her mind. Please pray that God will use my sister, the gifts He's given her, and the platform she has to help release children from poverty and bring great praise and glory to His name.

She will post here soon, but in the meantime you can check out some of her personal prayer requests for the trip over at the LPM blog.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Home Away from Home-Coming

The Jones family has been moving at breakneck speed for the past few days. It was a really fun weekend. I'm super sleepy today but it was well worth it.

On Friday morning I had MOPS. We had a speaker named Kelli Gourley who teaches parenting courses and is a parenting coach. She was amazing and I learned so much in that hour. After MOPS, the kids and I had a fun lunch at McDonald's with a new friend named Heather and her sweet girls. We got home just in time to take shelter from the fierce storms that were passing through the area. Jackson went down for a nap and I kept an eye on the sky. I brought a mattress into one of our bathrooms in case a tornado came through. Thankfully, we didn't ever have to deal with that. Later that night, after most of the storms had passed, I headed out to another part of town to meet Marla Taviano and her family. They were visiting Houston as part of their 52 Zoos tour. What a sweet family! I wish we could have gone to the zoo with them the next day. They were staying at Kelli's house and I loved getting to meet her too. I have met so many wonderful people through this crazy blog world!

On Saturday morning we woke up before dawn to get ready for our road trip to Dallas/Fort Worth. I was so proud of us because we were on the road at 7 stinking 30! The weather was still nasty but the Lord protected us. Somewhere between our house and College Station, I'm pretty sure we saw a funnel cloud that had formed sideways underneath a cloud in front of us. I have a huge phobia of tornadoes and I immediately felt like I was going to be sick. I put my head in my hands and just started begging God not to let it drop down. It didn't, which is a very good thing because we were in the middle of nowhere and there was no shelter in sight.

Once we arrived in DFW, we met Sunni's family over at Janelle's house. This was Annabeth's first introduction to the whole crew. You can imagine how fun it was for me. It was also our first chance to meet Sunni's new baby, Clara. She is a DOLL! The girls quickly split off from the boys so we could do what we do best, which is talk and eat. We took the babies and they slept the whole 2.5 hours while we sat at a Mexican restaurant. The boys took the big kids and did the same thing over pizza. And by "the same thing" I mean there was grunting and eating.

After that, we checked into the Westin. I got a great deal through and was so pleased with myself!

Then we drove to Fort Worth for the the first birthday party of sweet little Jaylee Sheffield. Her mommy and daddy love them some crawfish, so the party was a crawfish boil. It was so fun, y'all! The cake was shaped like a pot of crawfish. It was the cutest, funniest thing I'd ever seen!

Later we went to Sunni's house for a belated birthday party for all the kids and for Janelle, who just turned 30. It was slightly chaotic, but would you expect anything less? We had hamburgers and chocolate birthday cake. Yum. Ella, Ava, and Jackson were so fun to watch. I was amazed by how well they played together. Clara and Annabeth had a little playdate/napdate on a blanket on the floor.

We left at 10 and headed back to the hotel. That night we got a small glimpse of what it's going to be like when we go to Disney World. Um, sleeping in the same room with two children is not restful. Not restful at all. But it's all good. I'd hoped that the dark curtains would give us an extra hour of sleep, but Jackson's body clock was stronger than the darkness. We got room service and, amazingly, an order of French toast, pancakes, a glass of milk, and a cup of tea ended up being as much as we paid for the room. Why? WHY? I will never understand such mysteries.

We got ready to head to the late service at First Irving. I had Annabeth in one of her cutest outfits, all ready to go. I just had to feed her first. As soon as she started eating, her sweet, precious little bowels began to move and I'm sure you know what happened next. The diaper absorbed nothing and poop exploded all over her and all over the pillow I was using instead of my Boppy. Awesome. Sponge bath. Change of clothes. Out the door and almost late after being lazy all morning. I'm sure the housekeeping ladies were thoroughly horrified by the scene in our room. Bless their hearts.

We finally made it to church. It blessed me so much to take Jackson and Annabeth there. We had a blast seeing everyone and introducing them to our girl and showing them our big, handsome three-year-old. Being there was very bittersweet. Instead of soothing the part of my heart that misses it so much, it made me miss it more! A few friends who have also moved away from First Irving just happened to be visiting that morning too. It was like homecoming or something. Angela and Lauren R., it was not the same without seeing your faces!

After church we had lunch with Bryan and Becca and their twin boys, Nathan and Jordan. They were born just 4 days after Annabeth. They are so sweet! I hate that we are not close enough to have playdates with them.

We drove by our old house and it just looks terrible. The house is still cute and my red door looks fab, but the yard obviously gets mowed only when they get a notice from the city. How sad!

Before heading home, we dropped in on the Habermehl family. They have 4 big kids, a trampoline, and plenty of race car toys. Jackson was in heaven. We loved getting to see them and catch up a bit.

We finally got on the road at 5 p.m., only stopping in Waco for a quick dinner at Schlotzky's. For some reason that place also sells Cinnabon rolls and we did not hesitate to get some to go.

We finally pulled in our driveway at about 10:30. We were exhausted but had the best time. An added bonus was just having time to talk to my man with no distractions while the kids were asleep in the car. We've had some of our best conversations on road trips.

I totally forgot my camera and have no pictures to show you unless my friends have mercy and send me some.

This is going to be a super busy work week for me, so I might be scarce. Although every time I say that, I end up posting more than usual. Hasta luego!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An Ode to the Third Month

I loved Jackson's third month. It was an oasis after two months of being more tired than I ever dreamed and having my life change dramatically. Annabeth is now in her third month and I'm finding it just as dreamy. Here's why:

1) So many smiles!

2) She's getting close to doubling her birth weight and she is oh so snuggly.

3) With eight hours of sleep and my hormones evening out, I feel like myself again.

4) I've gotten used to her patterns and I generally know how to soothe her when she fusses.

5) One little round tummy, two squishy cheeks, and the disappearance of newborn chicken legs.

6) She squeaked out a tiny laugh on Monday night. I had her propped up on my legs and we were playing our first game of peekaboo. A few minutes later, I told her I was shielding her from seeing her father cut his toenails in order to protect her innocence. That's when she did her second little laugh.

Oh, third month, how I love you!

Monday, April 13, 2009


We've been calling it "Easters" for weeks. Has anyone seen the movie Nacho Libre? Maybe you know why.

I was just about to type the words "I have approximately one hour left of relative stillness and silence" when the crumbs of the cookie I was eating sent me into a violent and ridiculous cough attack. I expect that my napping son's door will crack open in 10...9...8...7... Well, so far so good!

It's a gorgeous day outside - clear, blue, warm, and windy. We spent the hour and a half before naptime playing in the back yard. Jackson went back and forth between his sand box and the baby pool. It's not really warm enough to swim yet, but he enjoyed stomping around in it and transferring sand and water between the two sources. Plus, my son has always loved cold water. I took some of your advice while we were potty training and rinsed him off in cool water when he had easily avoidable accidents. It failed miserably. He thought the cold water was a reward. Awesome. But we're past that now!

Annabeth and I lounged on some beach towels in the grass. She didn't really appreciate the brightness of "Mr. Sun," so I had to make sure she was lounging in my shadow. Eventually the sun's position cast a three foot shadow along the back of our house and, taking a cue from Beckham, we moved into it. Beckham was absolutely thrilled that we were out there with him.

It was great fun. I brought a book outside to read, but I found that I was highly entertained by my son's play. Two months into age three, Jackson seems to have taken a leap forward in communication, comprehension, and creativity. I was alternately amazed and tickled by the things he came up with to say and do. I really can't explain how thrilling and mind-boggling it is to see your child grow before your very eyes. However, I nearly started crying yesterday when he was doing his egg hunt. I had recently looked at our Easter pictures from last year and I realized how grown up he is in comparison. And I thought he was so big then!

Here he was last year.

It was weird to think that on Easter morning last year, we celebrated in an empty living room because we had just moved in. The house was literally only half full.

Easter this year was great. It started out very early for me, but the plus side was being able to get ready in peace while the rest of my family slept. I turned the radio on to KSBJ and sang in the shower.

Annabeth was adorable in her little dress. I had a huge smile on my face the whole way to church and I had to explain to Curt that I still couldn't believe I was bringing a baby girl in an Easter dress. I never thought I'd get to do that. Jackson was super cute himself and was in a great mood. He loved his Easter basket and all his treats.

I had imagined that we would be walking in and out of church in a downpour, but it was only misty at that point. Thank You, Lord! The service was wonderful. I love getting to hear the orchestra and choir on special days. Pastor Gregg even preached from the section of John 20 that I had just talked about on my blog. Since Annabeth had a little bit of a cold, we kept her in the service with us. She slept or sat quietly the entire time. Someone pinch me.

We had a great lunch at my parents' house afterward. The thunderstorm came right as we arrived. By the time we were eating lunch, it was beautiful and blue. Amazing.

Jackson was hilarious during his egg hunt. Every single time he found an egg, he said, "Wha's in 'ere?" Then he would crack it open and yell, "Can'ies!" Then he stuffed his mouth with the jelly beans, sweet tarts, or gum drops. There was very little saved for later. His surprise and happiness stayed at a level 10 on all 25 eggs. That is, except for the egg that his daddy emptied and filled with something else. It went like this. "Look, Bibby! I found anodder one! Wha's in 'ere?" Opens egg. "Dirt." Last year he probably would have eaten that too. See what a difference three makes?

By the way, Annabeth didn't have any epic spit up incidents, but we narrowly missed a diaper tragedy. Thanks to bloomers who took one for the team, it looks like she'll be able to wear her dress again to her dedication service in May.

I already posted all these pics on the other blog, but I'll put them here too for good measure.

Here we are with Cousin Joe at the firefighter/EMT fundraiser. I was so sick that morning. My face looks 9 months pregnant. That's because all my stinking sinuses were about to explode. Curtis dropped me off at the urgent care clinic right after that.

I'm gonna have to throw away those Cadbury Mini Eggs because Jackson doesn't like them and I like them way too much.

Here's Jackson rolling pieces of Trix cereal down his race car ramp.

This was so funny and so classic Jackson.