Monday, December 28, 2009

Santa's Here

Our Christmas was magical this year! Here's my favorite part, a video of Livy sharing her excitement about Christmas Day with me when she heard a clatter outside. She was so overcome with emotion, she almost cried. When I watched this clip of her, I teared up. I'm incredibly blessed to have such a sweet family and that her Daddy, er- I mean Santa, would make this such a special memory for her.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm BACK!!!

Phew! My first semester, I mean trimester, symptoms totally seeped into my second! I've been tired and GRUMPY. I kept hearing this mean and naggy wife, momma, and teacher that I don't like at all but just couldn't seem to do anything about it. I was in a fog and felt worthless.

BUT, the past few days, I feel like the old me again. I'm not a zombie. I'm nice to my family. And at school today, I just wanted to pinch my students' cheeks and tell them I love them. (Before, I just wanted to pinch them.) While I'm not energetic, I feel like I can finally muster up enough strength to clean this dumpy home of ours.

This pregnancy and baby are SUCH a blessing, no matter how I feel at times. Thanks to God for carrying my family and I through the tougher times, and much praise for the happy and easier times, too!


(First glimpse of baby and that beautiful BEATING heart.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A peek into my world


One of my student's pictures...her mom's caption said, "Tigger would prefer that we don't return."

This sweet student of mine described herself as "Bossy, loud, and dramatic." She may or may not have left the classroom to follow me to the bathroom one day, I can't rightly say. However, she is the most lovable girl I've ever met. She pretty much decides she loves and adores you upon first meeting and is affectionate, friendly, social, and tender-hearted. I won't lie, though, this darling makes me sigh and laugh quite frequently. 'Wouldn't have my classroom any other way but all in all, it's the most exhausting group I've ever taught.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mild Update



Nothing wild going on here... Just trying to keep up with a fast-paced life, enjoy all the blessings that come with it, and stay awake and non-grumpy though pregnancy hormones kinda defeat that endeavor at times. A few updates on our little (but growing bigger) family:

~Our little Bun in the oven is 16 weeks along! This pregnancy has been WAY easier than Livy's in many ways. I've not been as sick to my stomach, as sad or weepy, or even as busy. (With the first one, I taught and worked about 20 hrs/wk at an hourly child care center.) However, I have had a tough time not worrying about the health/wellness of this babe, and it's very different being pregnant when you already have a child. Forget about the catnaps after work or relaxing in the evenings. You don't feel well and are overcome by fatigue...suck it up and make dinner, Momma! Thankfully, I have a sweet husband and daddy for my little girl that has made up for my deficiencies.


~Halloween brings about so many fun events for a preschooler. Our little Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader (Guess who pick out that one!) trick-or-treated at the high school, paraded at her school, attended a library event, went to a Boo Bash in the park, and hung out with little buddies at a huge church festival. Luckily, we didn't even end up with that much candy afterward.





~We made it to the circus with Aunt Becky and cousins Alan, Jessie, and Jackson last month. Aaron and Becky each took Livy on an elephant ride. She was very tired during the show but was super excited to ride the elephants. The cutest part was watching Olivia love on Jackson and seeing how enthralled Jackson was by the entire show. His bright blues were glued to the performances. Livy fell asleep before we could get out of the parking lot. :-)

~I NEED two things right now in my life: jalapeno peppers (LOTS!) and pickles. Why is that? Surely pickled peppers and cucumbers don't have anything vital to a pregnant woman's body, so why do I crave them?

~Livyisms - "Ban-Bans" are now "Band-Aids." Boo. "Birds" are now "Birgs." Adorable. "Thirsty" is somehow "Grosee." I love it.

A couple weeks ago we were in the car telling each other sweet things. Like "I love you SO much!"..."I love YOU so much, too!"

"You're cute!"..."No, YOU'RE cute!" ...Etc.

I told her, "You're my BEST friend!"..."No, Mommy, Synee is my best fwiend."

Aaron called a bit later and I told him his daughter just broke my heart and explained how. We laughed at how cute it was. A few days later she said, "Momma, you're my BEST friend!" When I told her how much that meant to me she said, "You're heart is not broken anymore?" How sweet it is to be loved and cared for by a three-year old!

~For the past two nights, Livy has stayed dry through the night!!! That's like getting a small raise. The negative side to this is that she wakes up and cries every time she has to "go" during the night, but we can work on breaking her of that after she is in the habit of getting up to go potty. I'm equally proud of her for growing up so nicely and sad because she is growing up so quickly.

~I have quite a doozy of a class this year. Our classroom is filled with cute and sweet third graders, but compared to other third grade classes, this one is filled with more tears, accidents, arguments (with me and each other), medical issues, and Dennis the Menaces than any other. Thankfully, I've pretty much fallen head over heels for all these kiddos, even though they make me tired. Very tired. I just keep telling myself it's better to have this class this year when I can sleep at night than next year when I'll be sleep-deprived. Watch for an upcoming post where I share a sneak peek of my students.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Little Ballerina


Little Livy Lulu has been ecstatic about her dance class, and we finally made it to the first day of "dancin' school." Her excitement waned for a bit as she became overwhelmed at the beginning of class, but it didn't take her long to feel more comfortable, start shaking her hips, and sneak peeks at Mommy and Daddy (who were eagerly watching every move from the window in the door).






Olivia even earned a "too-tat" (purple bear ballerina stamp) on her hand for listening to her teacher at the end of class. Oh, it was all just too cute!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh, yeah.

So, that funny thing I was trying to remember was actually more embarrassing than funny. We were in the grocery store last night and a pregnant lady was about fifteen or twenty feet away from us. Olivia saw her and yelled in an astonished voice, "MOMMA! Her tummy is BIIIIIIGGGGGGG!"

I was shocked but not as shocked as the lady with the baby in her belly. I said something like, "Yes, she has a baby in her tummy, just like 'so-and-so.'" We quickly changed our shopping route to move towards the far corner of the grocery store and I quietly told Livy, "Honey, when we see someone who has a big tummy, we don't talk about it being big."

To which she replied, "BUT MOMMA, it was BIG and BIIGG and BIIIGGG and BIIIIGGG!!!!" We were not yet very far from this poor lady; I'd be shocked if she didn't hear this. I was SOOO embarrassed, but I have to say, it is one of the funniest things she's ever said. Oh, Olivia. My little stinker.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Funnies

New phrase this week (I have NO idea where it came from): Oopsie doodie!

I KNOW there was something else, but I can't remember now. It'll come to me later. She did ask me this afternoon, "Can I hold you UP?" She's realized, "Momma, can I hold you?" is not completely correct and is working on it.

Back to School

Well, today was Miss Olivia's first day back to school this year. Though we LOVED her preschool from last year, we hopped on board when the principal from my district's development center called to see if we wanted a spot that opened up. Evidently, the kids on the waiting list were just a little too old for the twos and threes class. We weighed all the pros and cons and called her back in about two minutes to say YES! So now, my girl will be about five minutes away from me and is going to school were she was as an infant.

She will also be with this little guy and gal:





This summer, she went to the zoo, swam, played, hung out at the library, and fed animals with them, so she is thrilled to already have friends at her new school. When I asked her tonight, "So do you like your NEW school or your OLD school better?" She said she likes the new one. Phew! Makes going to work a lot easier.

Here is Olivia with the same little friend when they were in the infant room...you know, so many years ago:

Hmmmmm, I'm thinking that is one cool paci...

Thanks, Buddy!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Happy Biwfday!

Aaron wanted to take pictures on Olivia's last night of being TWO.

Livy took this one. I don't think she's HALF bad. Get it? HALF? Yeah... never mind.

Boy, I sure love these two.

Is it just me, or is she looking nostalgic?

BIRTHDAY MORNING: Livy saw her decorations, complete with helium balloons, showed us how old she is now, and opened her gifts from us - a cute party dress and an umbrella. (I know, pretty modest presents. We figured she would do ok at the party, and she was REALLY happy with her Tinker 'Blell' umbrella.)




THE PARTY:
I think Great-Granddad got more oohs and aahs than the kids!

This is when Aaron tried to kidnap our little cousin. I think he would be happy to have a Jackson one day. Jackson was actually one of our two favorite baby boy names before we had one in our family. That's probably for the best - Aaron would have wanted to pair it with Andrew.

The next three pictures are obviously out of order, but I'm thinking this could make for a great 3rd grade sequencing lesson.



Aunt Becky made the chocolate princess cake, and Livy is STILL talking about it.









Our little girl is SO blessed to have such a wonderful group of family and friends to care about her. I'm so amazed at this gift of parenthood and with our precious baby, or little lady. It's unbelievable how time flies right by. Weren't we bringing her home from the hospital and losing all our sleep just yesterday?

Now she's old enough to ask why things are as they are (and why again when you give her an explanation, and why once more when you provide the next answer, and the next, and the next...) She's starting tap and ballet in a couple weeks, LOVES to play with friends young and old, tells her daddy how 'hansome' he is and her mommy that she's 'beeootiful.' She uses furniture to climb up on counter tops to reach the M&M stash and claims she has 'nuffing' in her mouth when questioned about it, but her chocolate breath and guilty expression give her away. Her songs about life fill our home and cars with joy (at a very noisy level!), and she pulls us up out of our seats to 'dance wiff me' whenever she hears music, especially the Princess kind!

What joy and responsibility she brings us, and I couldn't imagine a sweeter role in life than being her Mommy.

Love you, big Three Year Old!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Girl

(I was pretty tempted to call this post 'That's what she said,' but I decided against it.)

Here's the lingo at our house. An almost-three-year-old says some pretty cute things.

Chick-a-fla and NickDonald's are her favorite places to play. Well, those and 'The R,' also known as the mall - The Rave is at our mall, so she recognizes the giant R on the building, thus the name.

Buhfly = Butterfly

Sursizing = Exercising

Tootats = Tatoos (She is fascinated by these. The more ink on the guy or gal, the more she wants to noisily point it out!)

Corn Horsey = Unicorn

Big milk - If she's had lots of milk already and wants more, I tell her, "OK, but just a little bit." Now she specifies how much she wants every time. "Momma, can I have BIG milk?"

Often, she will clear her throat very daintily while holding a little closed fist up to her lips. She follows it with a polite little, "Scuse me."

When someone asks if she's about to be three, she adamantly replies, "I'm gonna be two FIRST!"

The other night, I was hoping to tire her out and took her to play at Chick-fil-a (or Chick-a-fla, depending on who you ask). She wanted juice with her meal but it was too late for so much sugar, so I told her she could drink water and have the juice for tomorrow. She was fine with this until it was time to leave. She spent the whole ride home being overcome with woe over the stinkin' juice box. I actually almost caved (but I held strong!) when she pitifully said, "Mommy - sometimes, I just want juice forEVer."

I hope three is just as cute at two! We'll soon find out.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Random Update

People say when it rains, it pours, and it sure feels that way sometimes. But when the storm clears, and life starts to get back to normal, everything sure feels blissful. That's where it feels like we're getting!

Olivia got sick in the middle of April and stayed sick for about two months. She had two positive Strep tests. Ran a fever off and on (got pretty high at times). Went through three rounds of antibiotics. Had four doctor visits. Took WAY more Childrin's Motrin than I feel comfortable giving her, though never more than the box said to. Woke up during the night crying, sometimes hourly, always nightly with fever, sore throat, and (I think) body aches. Thank God for her feeling better for over a week now! She is running around like a mad hooligan, eating like a piggie, and sleeping like a baby. I couldn't be happier!

Our water heater went kaput on us, ruined flooring in two rooms of our house, and brought a mold problem. Lovely thing to happen as one income disappears for the summer and Aaron's new job is just beginning. But now, thanks to my parents and their trusty plumber/handyman/friend, we have hot water available for our every need! Having a water heater that's not 70's brown is just an added bonus! :o)

Losing a job when your company goes bankrupt is a tough obstacle, especially in this economy. Three months w/o a paycheck is rough when the household income was modest to begin with! Aaron is about a month and a half into his new job and absolutely loves it!!! Income is better, more professional environment, competent and caring management, friendly coworkers, and more enjoyable work. I'm proud of my husband for working so hard to find a great job, being a great stay at home dad during that time, and doing so well in school. Only EIGHT more weeks until you're finished with your Bachelor's, Babe. Though there's no doubt in my mind you'll continue your education, now it will be on your own timetable - no more weekly deadlines looming over you!

After working full-time as a sub last year, I was offered a job teaching third grade (my favorite!) with the wonderful team I spent the last two months of the school year teaching with. I couldn't be happier. I'd be lying if I said it's not hard to be officially going back to work full-time with a precious little girl at home, but I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to stay home with her for more than a year, for Aaron's time to be at home with her, for our summers we'll spend together, and for her excellent preschool. Working as a full time teacher totally beats working as a full time sub, especially on pay day!

Another great thing is that I was able to join a fitness camp offered (for free) at my church. I've done it for two weeks and love it! I have more energy than I've had in the past three years and eight months. For a while, I've wanted to work towards a healthier me, and this is the perfect opportunity. Still all ??? pounds of me are here, but they sure feel great. I love it! Did I say that already?

Aaron is on a similar road to physical fitness. He's about to be playing softball two-three nights per week and is exercising additionally to prepare.

We have so much to be thankful for, now more than ever - a loving family, a precious little girl who's about to turn three, a happy home, our health, our needs being provided for, and a God who loves us and gives us all these things and more.

Since I can't finish a post without a cute Olivia story, here we go:

(Boy, I hope I didn't already type this. I think I'm already getting old. Is it possible to sweat off brain cells?)

One morning last week, Livy Lu did her dramatic sob while Daddy was getting ready for work. When he asked what was wrong, she said, "I don't wanna go to wowk, Daddy. Beeecause I wanna Daddy stay hewe." Five minutes later, she exclaimed, "You'we SO hansome, Daddy!" I had to get the mop out because Aaron turned into a big pile of goo.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Curiosity and Conversations

**Warning. Go on and skip this post. I'm babbling. Using this little blog thing as my journal entry and trying to record a couple cute Livy tidbits. Please don't read on.**

*OK, but don't blame me if you're bored. You can't say I didn't warn ya.*

Little Livy Lulu spends NINE hours at her wonderful preschool center each day. I know she's in great hands, but I feel such a void knowing there is a big aspect of her life I'm not a part of.

I want to know how she interacts with her teachers and friends. How they interact with her. What kind of mood she's in. If she pigs out on the fried foods offered that her mean mommy deprives her of. Does she play nicely with her friends? Does she know the other kids' names and is she building relationships with them? What cute, sweet, and funny moments am I missing out on? Kinda drives me crazy not knowing the details of such a big part of her day. (Actually, it REALLY drives me crazy. I'm just committed to staying upbeat about it all.)

One day, I will HAVE to cut that umbilical cord. But I'm not ready for that yet.

So, I try to get her to fill me in on everything I can.

"Livy, what did you do today?" I ask.

"Play," or "School," she answers. (That is, IF she answers.)

"Did you play with 'Mica?' 'Hannah?' 'Emily?'" Mommy implores.

A very brief, soft, monotone, "Mm."

*Sigh*

But today, I went through my list of questions, and she was in a bit more of a talkative mood. When I asked, "Did you play with 'Gunner?'" she gave me more than a single-syllable response!

"Yeah! He not hit me anynore!!!" She sounded so genuinely excited.

OK, so Gunner hits, I'm guessing. Well, that's fine. It'll help her learn what it feels like when someone hits you. We may refer back to this experience in the future.

I was so happy to get some detail about her day. Though from now on, I'll have a new question on my list..."Did Gunner hit anyone today, Honey?"

Ah, I was able to get some more info about her day. She was happy to tell me about her pirate hat and treasure chest she made. They were adorned with gold coins and precious jewels. She was totally pumped about that.

Then when we went to play at the mall tonight, a little girl came in, and Olivia ran up to her and called her by name. This was a little girl in ANOTHER class at the same preschool. And Livy recognized her AND knew her name AND was excited to run up to her and play with her. So, it looks like she is building friendships with her peers. Phew! Very reassuring.

So that sums up my thoughts on our daily conversations at pick-up time. Now on to the topic of curiosity... (It's a good thing no boys ever read this!)

Olivia the milkaholic has been VERY interested in the process of babies getting milk from their mommies. Probably because we've spent time with precious little friends and cousins, and she's noticed how they take in their milk. When she found out about this new source for milk, she. wanted. on. board. We've had several conversations about how that source is NOT available for her anymore.

Doesn't stop her from trying.

She has stopped me as I've gotten out of the shower a couple times in the past few weeks, and she does not make eye contact as she stares at me. Once she flat out tried to milk me. Whoa, kid. Don't think so.

The other time, she just watched, her wheels obviously turning. "Momma...You have mmmm-ILK?"

"No, Baby. You're not a baby anymore. Now we get your milk from the store. Remember, we get it from cows?"

"Oh." Disappointment fades into a flicker of hope... "You got www-ATER?"

Seriously. What am I, a soda fountain?

Monday, June 1, 2009

All Better Now

Livy is just getting over her second run-in with Strep in the last two months, and while my poor baby was miserable, puny, and needy as a newborn, I'll always treasure these past few days.

My girl is quite independent and, while I wish she didn't feel awful and run a 104 fever, I love how much she wanted to cuddle with her mommy. She even wanted me to smother her, sleep next to her, and told me on Friday when I came home from work, "I'm so glad you're here wis me, Mommy." I will always treasure that sweet little statement of appreciation that was accompanied by a melt-together-kind-of-hug.

Also, here are a few pics from a Mother's Day get-together:


Olivia just HAS to kiss her little cousin, Jackson!


With that face, can you blame her?


A quick cuddle with (Great) Granbetty

Oh, and during bedtime prayers the other night, she wanted to tell God thank you for "all the ABCs." That girl. Makes me laugh and smile all the time.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'd like to thank...

Thank you, Jaime. You made my night. HA!-larious.

http://news.cnnbcvideo.com/?nid=2nP1qbgvEwmGZaSwmO61aDE0NTIyNzYy&referred_by=16899562-sMVhQ.x

Monday, May 11, 2009

Daddy-Daughter Days

With Aaron's return to work today (PHEW!!!), last week marked the end of his stay-at-home-dad time. He couldn't close the doors to this era without a big party, so he took his Olivia to Chuck E. Cheese one day and to the zoo for another. Side note - FW Zoo has half-price Wednesdays, and children two and under are free!

I wanted to update about it earlier, but after looking through the 150+ pictures, I could only narrow my favorites down to about 137. Olivia had so much fun and was showing off all her teeth in most of the pics as she flashed some huge, cheesy grins. Here are a couple favorites:






She's quite a beauty and he's pretty cute, too, if I do say so myself!

A note from Aaron to remember...

Hey Babe,

I just wanted to thank you for all that you did to make sure that Olivia and I had a great last day together. Mother's day is this weekend and you're more concerned about us; what a great Mom you are! Waking up to a nice clean house, and our clothes laid out for us, wow, I feel like I'm at a 5 star hotel! You also got us all packed up so we could leave without worrying about it! You truly are the world's greatest Mom and Wife!

Thanks for the great day!

Olivia and Aaron

P.S. Olivia says thanks for the note and that she wishes you could come with us, in her sweet little voice. She just adores you. We both love you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Love!

I hope your birthday was amazing for you. We love you so much, and Olivia wanted to tell you somepin.

Love,
Olivia and Jenny

video


video

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blubonnet Pics

Because it's so much more fun than tackling this mountain of grading sitting next to me!!!

Here are some pictures of Olivia and her best little buddy Samantha surrounded by bluebonnets. Sam the SnuggleBug wanted to stay cozy with her mommy while Livy ran around like a ragamuffin, so I was able to capture quite a few photos of Olivia. For some reason, they show up faded unless you click on them.

Enjoy!








Saturday, April 18, 2009

They Say it's Your Birthday...

Well, it's my birthday, too, yeah!

'Just wanted to wish two of my dearest friends the very happiest of birthdays this weekend. I love you both, and my life has been so richly blessed because of your presence in it!


Happy Birthday Friend...two days late!
(B-day Girl in the middle just before her wedding)



And Happy Birthday Mom! Thanks for sharing your birthday dinner. My tummy is still full and happy. (This is Charlie helping Mom and Livy plant some flowers. By drinking the water from the watering can.)