Saturday, November 29, 2008

Today's Happenings

Playdate with my old roomie Mel and her daughter Brynne, who were in town from Dallas. I got to see that Jackson has grown in the area of sharing since our mutual meltdown back in September. Yeah!

Lunch and Christmas shopping with my mom. Pregnant Girl and Menopause Mama did very well at the mall. Only one trip to the ladies room, no hot flashes, and enough patience to deal with the crowds. Note: when eating at Schlotzsky's, ask them to send the whole sandwich through the oven twice. It makes it even better!

Post-shopping hot tea and chocolate cake at mom's house. We compared Jackson and Baby Girl's 3D ultrasound pics. Also, my mom's border collie, Star, has suddenly realized I'm pregnant and she wants to snuggle the belly. I find this sweet, weird, and hilarious.

Fun night out with Curtis and Jackson at none other than CHUCK E. CHEESE! Jackson had a victory today! PTL!

Hubs finished our Christmas lights and they look amazing. Jackson is mesmerized by them. I think the goal of Christmas lights is to be one of those houses that, when families drive by, the little kids point out the window and say, "Ooh, I like that one!" Maybe when our kids are older I'll want something sophisticated, but for now we highly value the colorful and slightly tacky.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Hangover

No stitches for the Mister! Thank You, Lord! He barely missed getting a staple in his head. He was very, very brave the whole time and acted like such a big boy. Thank you, thank you, thank you for praying for us!

Every time I go to Walmart, I envision a stampede through the aisles. The unthinkable has happened. What has America come to?

We've had a very eventful 24 hours since my last post. We joined my dad's family for Thanksgiving lunch at 3 and then my mom made round two for us at about 8:30 last night. It was all soooo good! We had four pies at my grandparents' house for dessert - chocolate, coconut, buttermilk, and berry. Mom brought two of them, one of which we later discovered had been passed off as homemade but was definitely from the freezer aisle. She didn't actually claim to have homemade it, but she didn't offer up the info either! We will overlook it though because she is so cute and sweet and she made a ton of food yesterday, including a chocolate sheet cake.

I'd like to thank my dad for the biggest laugh of the day, which came when he was telling us about the time he and mom went to an "ice skating game." Um, that would be hockey!

Last night was a short one. Baby Girl woke me up at 4 am when she decided to completely change positions in my tummy. I don't know what was going on in there! It was like a 180 degree shift. In fact, when I finally got up, my stomach was in the oddest shape I've ever seen. It was like her feet were sticking straight out by my belly button. I've felt a little weird today but have been keeping an eye on it. It's probably everything I ate yesterday as much as anything.

Curtis and I both braved Black Friday. He woke up at 4:15(!) and hit up Walmart, Lowe's and Gander Mountain. He came home in time for me to leave at 7:30 and make it to Baby's First Furniture for their early bird sale at 8. There was a line at the door but it wasn't crazy or anything. Mom met me there later and counseled me on the decisions I was making. I ended up getting a very beautiful and girly white crib for the baby as well as a pink minky dot glider and ottoman. I'm so excited! The glider is much more comfortable than Jackson's. I don't know when it will all arrive, but it will be here before she is. Hopefully. Once I got home I ordered the new crib bedding. It is definitely a load off my chest to have those things done. Now I've got to get Jackson's room under way and we're all set.

After the furniture shopping, mom and I braved the outer circle of hades, also known as Toys R Us. That was indeed a madhouse. We got some things for the Mister for Christmas that he will like.

While I was gone, Jackson had a little accident. He fell out of his bounce house and hurt the back of his head. We have an appointment with his doctor at 4 to see if he needs stitches. (Here I go, Kiki!) Bless his heart. I really hope he doesn't have to have them. So if you think of us at 4, please say a prayer for our little man to be really brave and cooperative. Hopefully it will not be a dramatic appointment and there will be no need for a lengthy follow up post later!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Jackson's List

Jackson just told me "I love candy, Mommy." This was after getting a peppermint crunch junior mint for going on the potty and then me sharing a very small bite of a butterscotch haystack with him. This was one of the first times he's ever told me he loves something. I should be embarrassed that he said this to me at 9:30 in the morning, but it's Thanksgiving so I will pardon myself.

This morning I made him come sit with me at the table where I do my quiet time so we could talk about Thanksgiving. (I won't lie - he totally didn't want to.) I asked him what he wants to give thanks to God for and here is his list.

Jackson is thankful for:
cars! (x5)
and grapes

And also, apparently, candy.

Right now we're watching the Thanksgiving Parade on TV and waiting for 3:00 to roll around so we can get to feasting with our family!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pre-Turkey Day

Today, to celebrate entering my 29th week of pregnancy, I bought a ginormous jar of Rolaids. One hundred berry-flavored Rolaids. Just in time for Turkey Day.

Today was awesome. Because of all the awesomeness I'm super tired and my pelvic girdle feels like it's 80 years old, but it was worth it.

We met our friends, the Habermehls, for lunch at Chili's. They live in the Big D, so we don't get to see them very much. That was so much fun. Then we all went to Target for a few minutes. I bought The Blessed Rolaids and some little cellophane bags to wrap some potty prizes in for Jackson (like Matchbox cars and mini-containers of play doh). He will be earning these after a whole day of good pottying. I also bought some Peppermint Crunch Junior Mints for the immediate prize. Holy cow, they are good!

Curtis and I wanted to buy an Advent box and they had a ton to choose from. We settled on one that looks like a choo choo train. Jackson is going to LOVE it. Then we went to the Christmas decorations aisle and my husband entered into euphoria. He told me in a childlike way that he really wanted to buy some of that old school tinsel for our tree. So after 6 years of tightly controlling what our tree looks like, I let go. We got us some tinsel. My husband has never loved me more. From that point forward, every time I said I thought something was cute, he said, "Babe, get whatever you want." Those are some dangerous words to speak to a woman in Target. I almost got a new package of ornaments, but I felt like I was taking advantage of my husband's euphoria. What if he hated me in the morning? I refrained and instead took joy in my beloved's happiness.

After I raided the dollar aisle for stocking stuffers and such, we headed home. Jackson took a nap and Curt ran some errands. I wrapped Jackson's potty prizes. Then I made a quick batch of butterscotch haystacks. So yummy.

At about 5 p.m. the Altics came over to have dinner with us. Curt brought home some Italian food. We ate at our dining room table for only the second time since we've had it. I know, it's so sad. I had the table set beautifully, but then Curt put black trash bags underneath Jackson and Jayk's chairs to protect my precious rug. Can you say tacky? We pull out all the stops for our friends! (When I was cleaning up, there was actually a ton of food on Jackson's trash bag. None whatsoever on Jayk's.) I seriously just need to spill something red on the rug and get over it. But look how pretty it is.

We had the best time with our friends and the boys did well together. Baby Judah, who is not even two weeks old, is so precious. When I was holding him, Baby Girl (I almost just slipped on the name) started kicking all around. She was saying hi to her friend! Curtis thought this was a sign that she's going to give him heck one day, but I think she was just being friendly. Curtis held the baby after me and I will say that it was sweet to see my man with a newborn again. I can't wait. Then Jackson got a turn! Oh my word, I was nervous. He could not have been more proud and happy to hold the baby. He was smiling from ear to ear. I tried to use tonight to convey to him the reality that his baby sister, who lives in mommy's tummy, is not going to be in there forever.

Kay and Jerrell and the boys (plural!) left at 7 so they could go to bed early. (We're taking notes.) When we walked them to their car, we saw that our neighbors were outside with their girls, putting up their Christmas lights. So for the next hour we hung out in the yard with them. It was such a fun and unexpected blessing.

We just had the best day. I will lay my sleepy head on my pillow with a smile on my face tonight. Especially since I have my Rolaids.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I hate playgrounds. And it turns out that Pregnant Girl should stop visiting them while she's hormonally fragile and emboldened. Otherwise I might bite some kid's head off, curse his blind and deaf mother under my breath, and cry all the way home.

Shame on me for leaving up that post for so long!

Choo Choo Soul is on TV right now. I'll always believe in my heart that Genevieve was my son's first crush. Besides maybe Miss Lori at First Irving, who captivated Jackson with her beautiful, long hair. He appreciates good hair. It comforts me when I think that he will one day choose a wife with good hair genes and ensure that generations of future Jones women will be follicularly blessed.

Okay, so we are starting over (again) with potty training this week. Isn't that just fabulous? While we waited for Jackson to get Number Two down, he lost Number One. He just has too much to do to be bothered to sit there. So we are back in potty training bootcamp. Thank God my husband is home all week. The worst part for me is the nekkedness. I can only take so much. We have been telling Jackson for weeks that if he will poop on the potty we'll take him to Chuck E. Cheese. He gets so excited but it produces no fruit whatsoever. It's so tragic. When a Chuck E. Cheese commercial comes on TV he even says "I poo poo on the potty and go to Chuck E. Cheese!" Bless his heart. We are just dying to take him. I pray every day that today will be the day. Maybe we'll think of another reason why he can go.

The past two days have been much better discipline-wise. Saturday was just a very, very off day. We figured out that Jackson's time outs needed to increase by several minutes and I think that is going to be helpful.

In other random news, our dog is obsessed with me. Help me, Lord. He follows me around and stares at me like I'm about to give him the meaning of life. Maybe I'll invite him close and whisper "meaty bones" in his ear. Besides the fact that he stinks to high heaven (thank you pregnant nostrils) and I don't want him anywhere near me, I have been especially annoyed with him lately. He's totally two-faced. When we're looking, he seems to be the perfect, well-behaved dog. But when we go to bed or leave the house, he climbs up on the couch and leaves pieces of dried grass and loads of long, white hair on the red cushions. What is more, he's been helping himself to whatever treats he can find on the counter. He got some pizza a couple nights ago. You'd think I would learn, but it's so not like him that I can't bring myself to believe he's really going to do it. And yet he does. Again and again. We're on to you, Beckham Jones! Come to think of it, he started this behavior when I began buying him diet food. Hmmmm.

Today we're just hanging out around the house. Curt is putting up phase two of our Christmas lights. I'm not sure how many phases are in this year's plan. (We won't actually light them until after Thanksgiving.) We'll wait a little longer on our tree since we'd like it to still be alive by December 25. Our first married Christmas, we had a vaulted ceiling in our apartment that we wanted to take advantage of. We got this enormous, rather expensive, gorgeous tree that took up half of our living room. It was so pretty. I wish I could remember what kind it was. By the time Christmas came, we would sit in our living room at night and hear the tinkle tinkle tinkle of the pine needles falling down. (I don't know if it was the type of tree or if we forgot to water it or what?) When we started taking down the ornaments, literally half the needles fell to the floor. Then when we began to move the tree outside, the rest of the needles fell off. The thing was completely, utterly, totally bare. It was a sight to see. Then I made the huge mistake of attempting to vacuum up many of those pine needles and I ruined my brand new vacuum. Newlyweds, please look to me and learn from my mistake. Especially, Lord help you, if someone blessed you with a purple Dyson.

In the time it took to write this post, Choo Choo Soul turned into something else, which turned into the Dooblebops. I cannot even stand to have that on my TV for one minute. The male characters annoy me to no end. Pregnant Girl must rise up from her blogging and change the channel.

Whether you are working, administering time outs and chicken nuggets, shopping, lunching, schooling, or traveling today, I hope you have a good one.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Day of Defiance

I would like to be blogging about the super fun day I've had with my son while Curt was speaking at a youth retreat. Not so much. It's a good thing I had my quiet time today. Although honestly I can't tell that I did. I'm in a very intense mood and if a smile comes over my face it was put there by force. I just know I would be feeling even worse if I hadn't met with God first thing.

Today has been a major battle of wills between Jackson and me. I should have known what kind of day it was going to be when, during breakfast, I looked over at Jackson in his high chair and saw him squeezing his banana with both hands. He smiled at me so slyly. It wasn't the action as much as the expression on his face that was the indicator of trouble ahead.

Basically, my son woke up with a hard heart and not one consequence he's faced all day has softened it. As soon as the sting of one consequence fades, the spirit of defiance comes right back. I've tried all my tricks and then some. Today nothing is working. He's not learning from any of it.

This has got me thinking about the difference between godly sorrow and worldly sorrow, which Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 7:8-10:
Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

Meanwhile I can't stop looking at the clock, wondering why 7:00 is taking so very long to get here. Today's been a battle, and I feel that I'm winning, but I'd rather not have had to fight it in the first place.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Still Thinking Pink

She's still a girl! Yeah! I would have been so great with having another son, but I'm not sure how I would have done after thinking I was having a girl for two or more months. That might have been a little rough! However, I have been really sentimental about Baby Jackson and lately I've just longed to spend a few minutes with him as a tiny little baby again. Last week I was looking at pictures of a friend's newborn twin boys and got a little emotional about it.

Anyway, the 3D ultrasound was great. The first thing the technician did was verify that she was indeed a girl. There was no doubt whatsoever. PTL. After that, the first clear view we got of Baby Girl's face looked exactly like Jackson did when we had his 3D ultrasound. That was my favorite moment. What a sweet thing to already know that they will at least resemble one another! When Jackson was a baby, people told me all the time that he was too pretty to be a boy. So Baby Girl shouldn't mind looking like her big bro!

Baby's hands were in front of her face (in her mouth, actually) most of the time, so we didn't get too many clear shots of her. Most of them are pretty bizarre looking. (If you've ever seen a 3D ultrasound pic before, you know they can look pretty distorted.) Of course, a mom and grandma can overlook the sonogram distortion, but I will refrain from posting those pictures online. I promise you will get so many pictures of this baby after she's born that you will be begging for mercy!

It was so thrilling to see her little face though. I hope the next 12 weeks pass quickly! I don't know if I can stand it! I should probably call Kay and let her tell me how tired she is with her 6-day-old. That might inspire some patience.

Here are some additional thoughts I'm having that do not fit in this post:
-It was 75 degrees today and I had to turn the AC back on. Pregnant Girl needs some crisp air, y'all! Curt tells me to open the windows but I do not want to let in all the allergens that live in my backyard. It's not so bad when you have to turn on the AC in November, but next month I will not be smiling! (Just found out we're getting a cool front tomorrow. Back to the 50's!)

-I finally got to have a slice of cake at that restaurant I was telling y'all about recently. Holy cow. It was better than it looked.

-Jackson is no longer calling himself Tachi. In fact, he says his full name sometimes! Of course, now I miss Tachi.

-Curtis and I both have next Monday through Friday off work. And we aren't going anywhere. I'm not sure we'll even know what to do with ourselves. We need to buy Jackson some new furniture, that's for sure!

-I got out my Snoogle pillow a month ago but at that point it didn't really help me sleep any better. This week I tried again and it has been bliss.

Finally, here are some pics from today.

The belly (and the B's of Doom) at 28 weeks. I think I've gained most of my weight in my FACE! Bleh! I'm trying to take my thoughts captive about this, y'all. It's not forever. It's not forever. It's not forever.

This special moment was brought to you by Bibby and her Visa.

After the ultrasound, we went to Starbucks and enjoyed looking at our pictures and talking about the baby over hot drinks. So fun! Then we joined the LPM girls (and Curtis) for lunch at Sweet Tomatoes. What a great day! Thank you so much, Mom! We've made so many fun memories over these babies, haven't we?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Before I Go to Bible Study

Hey peeps! I should be getting ready for Bible study right now, but Pregnant Girl has been running around all day and needs to lay sideways on the couch for a minute. Um, should it be this hard to breathe already? You might be interested to know that Baby Girl has begun daily attempts to escape through my belly button. Curt and I were laughing so hard at her last night while she was flouncing around in there like a fish.

Mom is taking me to get a 3D ultrasound on Thursday. I am so pumped! After that, assuming Baby is still a girl, I'm going to order the bedding. Mom and I did this with Jackson too and had the best time. I can hardly wait. Curtis thinks 3D ultrasounds are disturbing, so he won't be going. What can I say?

For everyone following Lori's/The Bargain Shopper Lady's quest to win The Mother of All Gift Cards ($6,000 to Walmart!), your support had her video ranked number 2 at the end of the last round. That is awesome! Now the slate is wiped clean for the final round and we need to vote again. Here's how:

To vote go here. Search for Bargain Shopper Lady. Click on the video. Give her video a Thumbs Up. If the Thumb turns green, then you voted! (If you do have a YouTube account please make sure you are logged in! If you don’t that’s okay.) Please vote only once per person as stated in the rules. Thank you!

Lori is having a Home Depot giveaway tomorrow to show her thanks, so be sure to drop by her site then!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Praise God and Pass the Velveeta

Truly, the way to my man's heart is through Velveeta. I was making cheesy chicken spaghetti tonight when he got home from work. He walked in the door, found out what was on the menu, blessed me for cooking, and made a beeline for our room. At first I was a little annoyed when he didn't come out after 5, 10, 15 minutes. But then I discovered the reason. He was cleaning our room and our closet. THE MAN ORGANIZED OUR CLOSET. Even my side. Wow. God bless Curtis Jones. Now, if I could just figure out how to boil chicken breasts without turning them into rubber. I guess it's all good as long as I'm using Velveeta.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Welcome, Baby Judah!

It's been a great few days, but BY FAR the most exciting thing that's happened all week is that Kay and Jerrell had their baby! Yeah! Welcome to the world little Judah!

Kay and I had always wanted to be pregnant together, and by that I mean for the last few years. (Neither one of us really had a maternal bone in our body prior to that.) When we were in England, I saw an M&M's commercial where two pregnant girls were sitting on a couch next to each other and they were letting their babies kick M&M's off their tummies. I thought that was so cute and I just knew that would be me and Kay one day. The Lord did not have that for us the first time around (plus, we didn't even live in the same city). But Jayk and Jackson are only 10 months apart and that's nothing at this point. Those two are really starting to love each other, which is so much fun. Jackson talks about Jayk all the time, constantly wanting to go to church and see him.

Soon after we moved back to Houston in March, Kay and Jayk came over for our first little playdate at my house. That was when she told me the exciting news that she was expecting. What joy! Of course, I wasn't pregnant yet but hoped to be within a few months. The Lord was so sweet to let us have our little dream. We've enjoyed getting to share this season together. There was a lot of praying and encouraging each other through morning sickness - first Kay, then me. I give her lots of credit for getting me through those 16 weeks without losing my ever loving mind, simply because she took Zofran first and found out that it worked. And she may have seen me through some otherwise bleak days when Costco didn't get me my generic meds on time! There was lots of snack sharing in Sunday school, lots of "Girl, you look so good! No way, your hiney totally looks small!", lots of fanning ourselves with the announcement sheets when there was no air circulating in the room. There might have even been some spousal support going on between our husbands. Pregnancy can be hard on men too. Bless their hearts. (But bless our hearts more.)

We knew for the past couple weeks that Baby Judah would be making his debut any day. Plans were made but always with the knowledge that a tiny little guy could change things up. There was church last Sunday with the missionary lunch afterward, bunco on Monday, fellowship dinner at church on Wednesday, girls night out on Thursday to the Grand Luxe. Then yesterday we even ran into the Altics and Bridgwaters at the Galleria. Kay was not feeling well and thought it could be the day. Jerrell had everything packed in the car in case they had to go straight to the hospital. I really didn't think I'd see her again until that baby boy was in her arms! Sure enough, several hours later they were on their way to the hospital. Judah was born last night at 10:51.

We got to drop by the hospital this evening and meet that precious little one. He is as beautiful as his big brother and definitely has his own look. His mommy was beautiful and radiant and joyful. His daddy was proud and happy and beaming. And now they are four. What a special time in life to be having these kinds of moments. And to share them with people you love so much.

Needless to say, now I have baby fever something fierce! I wish our little girl could join us right away and be here in time for Christmas. But it is going to be a great holiday season in our new home and with our nearly-three-year-old. We will savor it as it flies by. February 12 is less than three months away. Baby Girl will be here before we know it! And then I'll get to spend my Sunday school hour with Kay in the nursing moms room. I can't wait!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tables in My House: A Pictorial Essay

Listed in order of importance to my son. Maybe you can guess why.

My desk (which is really cute when it's not a mess, but you can't see that here).

Coffee table

Ikea kids mini-picnic table

Kitchen table

Dining room table

The cute red one. (The only table, besides the butcher block table in the kitchen, that he finds impractical.)

Let's just say he spends more time under these than in the restroom. Doing his bidness. And, yes, he gets stuck repeatedly under the mini-picnic table.

The Mother of All Gift Cards

My friend Lori, aka The Bargain Shopper Lady, has entered a video contest to win her family free groceries for a year (a $6,000 Walmart gift card). She's every woman! Walmart judges which videos will be finalists based on the number of unique views each video gets. So help a sister out and watch her Money Saving Tip: Where to Find Coupons video! I promise you'll learn something in the process. Lori is a faithful, resourceful, Christ-following wife and mom. Knowing her for the past couple of years and following her blog, I have seen the Lord do some cool stuff for her family. I think it would be so awesome if they won this! God has increased Lori's platform to teach women how to bargain shop (even getting featured on a major market news segment recently) and she is always intentional about sharing Christ. That's why she is awesome! Go get your crazy huge gift card, sister!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Appointment Report

The appointment went well. My OB is in a practice with three other doctors and they have just opened up a new office a few miles from my house. Yeah! I was literally my doctor's first patient in the new space. So we took a picture and everything. Isn't that funny? I was the only one in the waiting room. At the main office there are never less than 20 people in there. It was awesome. The office is so new that they didn't even have a doppler yet, so I had a very quick ultrasound to see Baby's heartbeat. The doctor and nurses weren't even sure how to use the machine, so that was pretty funny. (They have an ultrasound tech at the main office.) I am having some pain in my pelvic girdle (say that outloud - it's fun) that makes it hard to roll over in bed, to get up from sitting down, or to balance on one foot and try to get dressed. So I got that checked out. There's really nothing that can be done, but one of my BFF's is a physical therapist and she told me some things I can do to help it. I told my doc that constantly having this pain makes me worry about dilating prematurely, so he checked me out and eased my mind. Everything is fine. PTL!

I drank the flat Orange Slice and got my blood test, but I won't know anything until they call me. Thanks for praying for my test!

I have not had cake yet, but we did go out for BBQ last night and the three of us shared some peach cobbler with Blue Bell ice cream. Yum, yum, yum! I could have eaten one by myself but the scale I got on was not as friendly as the one I had last time.

Okay, Pregnant Girl is going to take a nap now. Hasta luego.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Would Like a Piece of Cake

My appointment is in 45 minutes. Can I just tell you that I am dying for a big piece of cake right now? Like, a BIG piece of cake. I've had to eat since my appointment is so late in the day, but I haven't let myself have anything sweet. Except a sip of Curt's Dr. Pepper. And if that does me in then I don't know what to say. I even made scrambled eggs for breakfast instead of the usual toast and jelly. Jackson kept saying, "Big eggs, Mommy!" which meant he wanted me to watch him eat a really big bite of eggs.

I have a new restaurant obsession but it's so sad because I can't share it with you. I think it would give away my neighborhood if I haven't already done that inadvertently. It is so good though! I took Curt there for lunch today and won him over. They have slices of cake for dessert, which is why I am now being mentally tortured by thoughts of baked goods.

Bunco last night was great. We were really hoping to be wild enough to send Kay into labor, but not so wild as to give NancyMon any heart troubles. For one round Kay and I were partners but the two preggies together did not do so hot. Dumb and Dumber couldn't keep track of their sixes. Also, I won the boobie prize. (All the losers qualify for the boobie prize roll-off.) I thought it was very fitting and that I above all people in attendance deserved it.

That's all for now. I need to be alone with my thoughts (i.e. obsess about whether I'm about to get scolded for weight gain or congratulated for my self-control. We'll see.) Take care, peeps.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Most Romantic Date Night Ever

Jones family happenings for the weekend of November 8-9:

-On Friday night, Curtis and I had an incredibly romantic date night. Are you jealous? We went to a seminar for young married couples at our church on planning your will and incapacity documents. Like I said - incredibly romantic. The church provided child care and dinner for us, so that was nice. The seminar was super helpful even though it was a little depressing to have to think about such things.

-On Saturday afternoon I went with my mom, our co-worker Sabrina and her two daughters to the Junior League Christmas Market in The Woodlands. We had so much fun. Jackson got a new nap mat for MDO, compliments of Bibby. He never actually sleeps during his MDO naptime, but maybe this will do the trick. I'm sure his teachers would be thrilled.

-On Saturday night we got to have dinner at Mika and Nicole Self's house. They have a son and a daughter exactly three years apart, so we got to take a peek at what's in our future! We also had hummus for the first time, which makes me feel very cultured. Nicole, we enjoyed being with y'all so much!

-Curtis was our substitute teacher in Sunday school. He did a great job and was very attractive. The worship service was AMAZING. We had our full choir and orchestra, plus Travis singing! I seriously would have paid to come to that. Afterward we were invited by the missions department to have lunch with 100+ missionaries who are going to be appointed this week. It was so much fun getting to meet them. Angela, it made us miss you a ton!

Well, I have to leave for bunco in about 30 minutes, so I guess I should get off the computer. Lots of laughs are in store, I'm sure. I hope everyone files their nails before they come.

Oh, one more thing. I have an OB appointment tomorrow and I will have my glucose test. (Everyone has it at this stage to make sure they don't have gestational diabetes.) Please pray that I pass it without any problem so I don't have to do the three hour test. Thanks, y'all!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Precious

When you attend Texas A&M University, there's this tiny little thing (obsession) called The Aggie Ring. When you've got about 90 hours under your belt (around the end of your junior year or beginning of your senior year), you qualify to receive this lovely gold ring. On Ring Day, you go down to the Association of Former Students building with your friends and maybe even your family and stand in line to receive your ring. You take a ton of pictures and feel lots of pride over your achievement. We had class rings in high school but I don't remember many people really caring about that. At A&M it is completely different. This is like the pinnacle of the Aggie experience. People wear their rings long past graduation. Like, until they die. The excitement of receiving this ring is probably only two notches below getting your engagement ring.

One of the main purposes of the ring is to be easily identified by other Aggies. The Aggie Network is a powerful thing. Basically, Aggies love to show favor to other Aggies. You just never know who you might meet because of your ring or what doors might be opened for you. Maybe the job of your dreams or a free vacation to some Old Ag's time share in Hawaii.

The night or weekend after you receive the coveted ring, you have your "ring dunking." Traditionally, you drop your ring in a pitcher of beer and then guzzle the whole thing down without stopping. Then you catch the thing in your teeth and take a picture. And then you puke. Or maybe you go to Swenson's with your friends and dunk it in a humongous thing of ice cream. (If you have lactose issues you get your own special hangover! Fun times!)

The whole point of my explanation of the Aggie Ring is this - I lost mine three years ago. I am not a huge fan of wearing jewelry. When I come home from doing something awesome and fabulous with my day, one of the first things I do is take my rings off. I don't know why. When I lost my ring I was three years past graduation and had become a bit of a two-percenter. I mostly wore my ring when I would be around other Aggies. I was also great with child, so my hands were more swollen than usual, making ring-wearing less than comfortable.

We moved from our little townhouse to our first home in December of 2005. I was 8 months pregnant. I remember putting my Aggie ring and a bunch of other jewelry in a little pouch and then packing it in a suitcase with some non-maternity clothes. Being pregnant and then having a post-partum figure for the next 9 months, I never unpacked that suitcase. It would be a while before I could wear those things. Then I forgot which suitcase it was. I knew my ring was up in our insanely packed attic somewhere, but I had no idea where it could be. I looked so many times. When we moved to Houston and unpacked a second time with no trace of the ring, I gave up hope.

I thought about buying a new one, but it would be really expensive and in that case I might rather have something pretty from Tiffany's. (Hisssssss...) Kidding! The Association of Former Students pays for half of the cost of your first ring, but if you are unlucky enough to have to replace it, you pay in full. Which is a lot. Plus, I figured I'd find it the next day after getting a new one.

Since we moved back home, it's been so sad not having my ring. There are SO MANY Aggies here and it gives you a common ground with people you don't know. Like at our LPM Bible study or at church. I'm not a naturally outgoing person, so it's nice to have something to chat about with someone new. (Some of y'all have encountered my awkwardness lately when you've been gracious enough to introduce yourselves to me. I'm sorry! I wish I were sanguine but the Lord didn't make me that way!)

Well, drum roll please, Hubs recently saved the day when he pulled out some random suitcases and boxes looking for a bunch of my maternity clothes. When I opened this particular suitcase I got so excited. The clothes were like a time capsule of the year we moved out of the townhouse. I just KNEW my ring was inside! But there was no ring! I was so bummed! A few days later - okay, a week or two later - I went to put the suitcase away and decided to look in the little zipper pockets on the front of my suitcase. There was the pouch! With nothing inside! My heart sank for a second but then I found all of my jewelry in the pocket itself. Yeah, Lord! Whoop! Not only was my Aggie ring inside, but there was also a little gold, diamond, and opal ring that Curt had bought me in India after we had been dating about 6 months. It was so special to me. I even dropped some hints when he went to India this time that I would love to have another opal ring if he saw some. I'm not sure which ring I am happier to have back.

Here's a tiny pic of my friends and me on Ring Day. LOOK AT MY WAIST! Ahem. Sorry for that outburst. I've just missed it.

Everyone reads Melanie's Big Mama blog, right? She makes me laugh every single day. Melanie's an Aggie too. This is my segue into something more meaningful than the Aggie ring. Melanie has been in the Dominican Republic this week with Compassion International. If you haven't been reading her blog, please go over there and check it out. We got a letter from our Compassion kid yesterday and it reminded me that I should post a link on the slim chance that one or two of you don't read her blog. I was actually approached about going on that trip, but this wasn't my year with the baby and all. Curt and I have loved getting to sponsor Marlon Alexander and I hope some of you will get to share that experience too!

Have a great Saturday!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Jacks and Ella

Here are some pictures from when we were in Irving last week. Jackson spent the day with Ella and her grandma. You can see that the Tods picked up right where they left off!

And I am long overdue for some belly shots. (FYI, I totally hate the word "belly.") These were taken a few weeks ago on my birthday. I have grown quite a bit since then.

See, I really am pregnant! I took this specifically for the blog but was embarrassed by my...proportions. I'm a little more balanced now.

Really random pic, but you can see the bump. This was from the tea room where my LPM sisters took me for my birthday lunch. I was opening my presents, hence the pot of fall mums and the two necklaces I have on.

You can get a more current glimpse if you take a peek at Debra's pics from Monday. Baby Girl is growing! We are 26 weeks tomorrow.

Eating Humble Pie

Last night we were watching the news closely to see the results of our friend who was up for election. His name is Roger Bridgwater and last year he was appointed by the governor to be a judge in the criminal court system. I'm sure a lot of my readers in Houston know who he is. He is a fair, righteous, godly man. Roger is like an uncle to my sister and me. His daughter Kay is one of my best friends in the world. Unfortunately, things did not go favorably for the judges in his party last night. Jerrell and I were texting back and forth between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m. last night until the results were sure. The last thing I saw before I shut my eyes: "He lost." Oh man. What a sad, sad outcome. Harris County is missing a huge blessing.

I tossed and turned literally all night long. I longed for some Rolaids but there were none. Maybe I got one hour of sleep? I didn't take a nap yesterday and don't remember having any caffeine, so it had to have been related to all the election drama. This morning my head felt like I had slept on a bale of hay and ragweed next to five shedding cats. My heart and body were just sick. And tired.

Then I went to turn off my porch light and saw that my Roger Bridgwater campaign sign had been removed from my front yard and placed on my front porch. It was not even 7 a.m.! I was furious at my anonymous neighbor for "helping me" put away my sign. Seriously? Like I wouldn't have done it myself? We had two houses on our street leave up their Hilary signs for at least a month after she was no longer a contender. And did anyone do anything about it? No. So I was beyond ticked. And hurt. Then instead of having my quiet time immediately I got online and shared my anger on Facebook. Then I called my mom and whined about the injustice. Then I woke up Curtis, who was still in bed when he had 25 minutes to be at the office, and complained to him too. Well, as it turns out, it was my very own husband who removed my sign when he came home from Bible study last night! So I ate humble pie for breakfast.

Finally, after some tea, toast, Scripture, and crying out to God in repentance and desperation, I felt like I could face this day, even if my heart is still sad. God knew what He was doing last night. He has a (glorious and effective) hope and future for Uncle Roger. What does He require of little ole me today and everyday? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. (Micah 6:8)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day '08

I would like to take a moment and thank the 3,000 people in my precinct who voted early so that I could walk right up and do my thang today without any line. Woo hoo! Give Him some glory! I even got to enjoy an early lunch with a friend. After feeling so much dread about the coming of this day, I am now filled with joy. I felt very empowered as a mother to get to vote on behalf of my son and my daughter. (Thanks for that reminder, Bee!) I even got to speak to a reporter afterward and share why I voted as I did. I didn't recognize the name of the media outlet she worked for, but it was nice to walk away from that polling place knowing that I had a chance to speak. Another great thing is that I got to vote for a wonderful, godly man and dear friend of our family who is running in a local election. What a joy to get to support such a man of integrity who glorifies God every day in the work he does.

We are so blessed to live in a country where our elected president will be held accountable by voters again in 4 years. We are not at the mercy of a dictator who gets to control everything under the sun and squash his opponents until he dies or gets overthrown. (Thinking of you, Jungle Mom.) Ultimately, our new leader will "reign" for 4-8 years, but our King Jesus will reign forevermore. I am fixing my eyes on Him today, knowing that whether the person I voted for wins or loses, my only True Hope is in Christ. There is no other Rock; I know not one!

Isaiah 44:6-8

"This is what the LORD says—
Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty:
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.

Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
and what is yet to come—
yes, let him foretell what will come.

Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."

Monday, November 03, 2008

Train of Thought

-For moms of little kids, time changes are the devil.
-It feels like bedtime is getting close but it's only 4:15.
-I wonder if I will have enough time to vote between dropping Jackson off at MDO at 9 and picking him up at 2:30. Surely I'll be done by lunch. Please, Lord.
-If I faint from hunger or back pain while waiting in line, will they let Pregnant Girl go up to the front?
-They really should have a separate line for the aged and the pregnant.
-I hope I'm never aged and pregnant.
-Why can't Jackson poop in the potty?
-Jackson's bathroom needs to be treated by HazMat.
-Maybe I'll let him wear his costume to my mom's tonight since she didn't get to see it on Friday.
-Maybe I should have warned Curt's parents that there would be a lot of reproductive parts on display at the museum's BodyWorlds exhibit.
-I can't believe Deanna and Jesse broke up.
-When is The Bachelor gonna give up the ghost?
-Curtis and I need a weekend away but I don't know where we should go.
-I can think of a ton of things to do, but not many that would be fun while pregnant.
-Debra was so cute today taking our LPM staff Christmas pics!
-I'm so glad I only had to drive a few minutes to get there instead of coming in from out of town.
-This is the third out of four years that I will be pregnant in our picture. One year they photoshopped my formerly pregnant self into the picture. I kind of wanted to wear that same sweater today but thought better of it.
-I like my new Gap long and lean maternity jeans but the way they fit on my tummy makes me need to pee.
-My husband is coming home in 39 minutes.

(Doorbell rings)
It was a package from my soul mate Angela Cottrell. What could it be?!?! A sweet, encouraging note, a book about the spiritual meanings of names, a Cars backpack for Jackson with new race cars and Thomas the Train socks, and a princess bag for Baby Girl filled with hair accessories and a pink polka dot blanket. Oh my goodness! And there's some really good candy in there that I'm hoarding for myself! Wow, what a fun surprise today! Angela, you're the best! Thank you!

Thank You, Captain Obvious!

Study Links Sexual Content On TV To Teen Pregnancy

He Loved Himself

*I just put these on the other blog and I'm copying it here. I'll add in some additional commentary in italics for my Baby Bangs readers.

These are not the best pictures, but I thought I'd share some from our church's annual Fall Festival. Jackson wore a Batman costume and HE LOVED HIMSELF. He really had no idea what he was, but he was completely energized by his built-in muscles, cape, and mask.

Right before the fun began. Pretending those clouds are bats in the sky adds a dramatic effect.

Batman flexing his bat muscles. The reason these pics are so delayed is I couldn't figure out how to blur out that license plate number. But Mommy's brain works real spiffy-like when the little one is napping. Thank you Photoshop.

One of the highlights of Batman's night was a baby pool filled with balls. He worked himself into a frenzy. Look at his red face. The other kids in the ball pool fled quickly.

As I ironed my son's costume that evening, I realized I should have dressed as Alfred. But that would have been quite a stretch for Pregnant Girl. Yes, I probably do like to iron more than the average person, but the costume had been crumpled up in a box and was super wrinkly.

Upon seeing the two firetrucks, one with a giant ladder reaching into the sky, I asked Jackson if this was the happiest day of his life. He said yes. My son lives to see fire trucks.

My, how things change! Look at my child's face. Sheer terror. Someone blasted the other fire truck's horn when we were standing right by it. It was L-O-U-D. Bless his heart.

Don't tell Jackson that the Batmobile isn't an inflatable red car. I was so proud of the Mister for keeping his mask on, even if he did have to push it up a bit.

Batman's smooth exit from the Batmobile. I'm sure all the ballerinas were swooning.

What can Batman conquer next? I like the shadow of his profile here.

Here are some pics from Fall Festivals Past, AKA "the years when mommy got to dress Jackson however she wanted." We are currently in the superhero-for-boys/Disney- princess-for-girls years of toddlerhood.

The first year Jackson was a frog. I was a princess. Little girls apparently don't outgrow the princess thing.

Last year Jackson was a golfer. I could have eaten him up with a spoon. Except he was terrible - just absolutely rotten - that night. And that led me to have VERY LOW expectations for this year. But we had lots of fun! Yeah!

Next year I'll have another little one to dress! To start obsessing over in July!