Thursday, December 11, 2008

What cha' up to?

That's what a friend of mine always asks me when he calls.

Me, I'm sitting at my desk at home reading blogs (a rare occurrence these days - the sitting while at home part & the personal computer time part) & helping Wesley review his spelling words. I just finished feeding Ella so she is in my lap taking turns prying open the desk drawer & dragging out some object she shouldn't be playing with (she just started wailing because I took away the screwdriver that she was about to stick in her mouth) & grabbing Wesley's weekly newsletter with his words on it & crumpling it up so she can stick it in her mouth. She LOVES paper & plastic - I think it's the sounds they make. I have to wrestle the now soggy & crumpled paper from her hands each time he needs the next word. He came up with the idea last week that instead of just writing the words as I call them out that he will write sentences with them. My favorite one from last week was, "My sister is pretty." This weeks it's, "My mom is strict." (I had to explain the meaning of strict) Yes, buddy, she is.

Wow, it's been a long time since I p
osted. The very night that I posted last I discovered Ella's first tooth (one of the bottom front ones). She now has the two top front ones as well as both the bottom ones. She crawled for the first time & pulled herself to standing on her own the day before Thanksgiving & has been becoming more & more mischievous ever since :) With your first you are so excited about them getting more & more mobile. I have discovered with the second while you are excited at their accomplishments, it is tempered with the knowledge that there's no going back (& that you haven't yet 'baby-proofed' a single room in your house) - no more plopping them down in the middle of the room with a few toys & looking back to find them in the same spot. So, it's a little sad - she's much more a toddler who wants to get down on the floor than a helpless infant who likes nothing more than cuddling with momma for hours.

So, anyways, that's what I'm up to at the moment.

A little note about Christmas cards - if you usually receive one with our yearly newsletter & a picture, you won't this year. The downturn in the economy can be blamed for that. I have most of my regular card recipients' email addresses & will email it instead. If you're not a regular card recipient & would like to see our family's smiling faces & hear a little about our past year, feel free to leave a comment with your email address & I'll make sure to send it to you as well.

You can see E.G.'s two bottom teeth in this picture from last Saturday
(click on it to see it much larger)
(her daddy is fond of calling her by her initials)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tag Game...

I've been tagged, again. This time by Haley. Here's what I had to do:

Pick the 4th picture folder on your computer.

Pick the 4th picture in that folder.

Explain what the picture is about.

Tag 4 blogging friends to do the same.

Here's my photo:

And, an explanation...

This is a picture I took in April for a scrapbook page that has yet to be created. It will be titled, "Ode to Coffee." Just kidding - or maybe I'm not. The idea was to journal about how I owe pretty much any productivity I had for the first four months of Ella's life to caffeine, because I felt like a walking zombie until she started sleeping through the night (translation - for longer than 3 or 4 hours at a time).

Seriously though - I never liked coffee all that much until I discovered mocha lattes (Yum!) when I was pregnant with Ella & I had to choose between horrendous nausea all day, every day or taking phenagran & having to prop my eyelids open to maintain conciousness. My favorite coffee treat is the mocha java chiller at Sonic (pretty much a coffee milkshake). If they didn't cost so much & I didn't care about the size of my backside, I'd have one every day :)

And, I'm tagging Sunny, April, Laura & Karen - I know most of you don't have time to do this - my feelings won't be hurt if you don't :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This one's for Grandpa G...

From Sunday night...

Wesley can always make Ella laugh easier & louder than either of us can. He entertains her on a regular basis & she LOVES it. This is just a snippet of normal everday life in our home (and a hello to Grandpa G. who lives all the way down on the Mexico border in Texas).

And a few things I don't want to forget about Ella...
-She holds her tongue between her lips all the time (must get a picture of this)
-She stops what she's doing to watch intently when I eat (following the fork with her eyes back & forth from my plate to my mouth)
-Her favorite new toy at the moment is one of her big brother's mini-basketballs (he's not too happy about that - keeps trying to re-claim it)
-Her bottom two teeth are almost poking through (her brother didn't get his first tooth until he was a full 9 mos. old - looks like she's following suit [should that be suite? I don't know])
-She is becoming oh-so-wiggly & is this close *picture my thumb & forefinger just a hair apart* to crawling. Her very protective brother is constantly saying, "She's about to fall off the [insert piece of furniture I've sat her on for a few seconds]." I have to remind him that he's still alive & intact so I might be able to handle it.
-She loves being gently tossed in the air.
-She didn't inherit her mamas genes in some areas, because she is very much a morning baby - generally wakes up smiling & kicks her little legs & giggles on the way to daycare in the mornings.
-She has recently developed separation anxiety (normal for her age) & I usually have to sneak out of daycare quickly so she doesn't realize I'm leaving her. She's fine if she doesn't see me go. I remember bringing Wesley back to daycare at 8 mos. old after being home for the summer where my mom had kept him while I was in school/at work & having to hear him cry as I walked away from him to go to class each day - tears this mama's heart up just remembering it.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Loads of Ella videos...

In an effort to make myself feel better for neglecting our blog, here are a few videos from the past few months...

Me tickling her. She wouldn't laugh for me like she usually does.

Aug. 23rd

Ella 'talking' to her favorite toy - Bessie, the cow, hangs over her changing table.

Sept. 4th

Eating green beans for the first time (which you can see she likes)

Sept. 4th

Eating applesauce tonight for about the 20th time (which you can see she dislikes)

This is the reaction we used to get when we tried to feed her anything remotely sweet (applesauce, peaches, sweet potatoes...) She has started accepting peaches mixed in her cereal, but as you can see she acts like you have placed some awful, foul substance in her mouth instead of yummy applesauce. She will NOT close her mouth with it in there either. She'll stick her tongue out until it finally slides out of her mouth, or she has started spitting it out by blowing raspberries. This is a little foreign to me since Wesley gobbled up pretty much anything you put in his mouth at that age, but it's pretty funny to see her doing it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I've been tagged...

My friend, Laura, tagged me, so now I have to post 6 facts about myself, then tag 6 other people.

Here's my six:

1) If I eat ice cream too fast it makes me cough (still one of my very favorite foods).

2) I was the first person in my fourth grade class to learn the multiplication tables.

3) I make the best 'shark fin pie' - according to my hubby.

4) My middle name (Rose) is after my dad's name (Ross).

5) I love the smell of fresh, clean laundry straight from the dryer but hate putting it away.

6) I kill plants - the only plant that has survived in my house for more than a few weeks is one little flowering plant that Wesley gave me in a hand-painted flower pot for Mother's Day (from daycare) 3 or 4 years ago (outside plants are okay as long as they can rough it on their own).

So here are the rules if I tag you...
1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random facts about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up. I am tagging...

Sunny, Haley, April, hmmm, I'll have to come back & add three more later, I'm drawing a blank on friends that blog...

Monday, October 06, 2008

All things boy...

You know you have a boy when you look in his backpack & find a couple rocks he has brought home to add to his collection. Or, when he sticks his head out his bedroom door to show you his two rubber snakes (when he's supposed to be in bed asleep). Or, when you get two (yes, two) calls within one month from the school nurse saying he has hit his head on the playground, but "don't worry, he's fine. We put some ice on it. He didn't even cry." Oh, I could keep going... But, I love 'the boy' (as Anthony & I affectionately refer to him) & wouldn't trade all his boyness for anything in this world.

He's not too fond of having his photo taken by the mamarazzi (me) these days, but here's a few from last week...

Friday, September 05, 2008

Time lapse...

I love time lapse photos (a pic taken of the same person in the same place over a period of time - or something like that). Ella recently outgrew her infant car seat because she surpassed the weight limit for it (20 lbs). I was so sad about it because that thing is really handy. It's so much harder to go grocery shopping, eat out, etc. because she's not yet steady enough sitting up on her own for the restaurant highchairs/buggy seats.

Anyways, here are a couple pics of her in the beloved seat. One from the day we brought her home & one from the last time she rode in it (about a month ago).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Half-Birthday to E!

Today is Ella's half-birthday. These first six months have FLOWN by. I'm already sad that her first birthday is so close. Sometimes I wish life had a pause button.

To celebrate this momentous occasion :) here are some pics showing how far she's come...

In the NICU on the day she was born (I only have one picture of her not in the NICU with all those tubes & wires from the day she was born & it would probably gross too many people out, so I won't post it)

Still in the hospital a couple days later...

Today (with a lot less hair)...

And a couple from yesterday just cause she's so cute. :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Videos of Ella...finally

We have a video camera, but for the life of us cannot figure out how to upload videos to post on here (it's a digital one - doesn't have a USB cable & our Mac won't accept the small DVD's it records on), but I now have a phone with video capabilities. So, I'll just have to settle for the lesser quality videos so Ella's Grandpa G (A's dad) can see her antics.

This is her FAVORITE thing to do after her bath...chew on her toes. As soon as her diaper comes off, the toes go in the mouth. Wesley cracks up every time she does it. I told him her feet were MUCH cleaner than his are so it's okay for her to chew on hers :)

And, here's one of her playing with her rattle. She's just figured out how to work the rattles. It's so cute when she does it because she blinks her eyes everytime it makes noise & bops herself in the head constantly. She's in her stroller in the video (was going to post pics of why, but blogger isn't letting me upload them - will have to try again another day).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Four & Five Month Pictures...

Man, I have really not been good about posting here. Sorry bout' that.

Here are Ella's 'rug' pictures (and some others from those shoots) from the last couple months...

Four months

And, Five months (this past Saturday)

"Is that ol' Daddy tickling you?"

And, my favorite, "Momma, it is SO not cool to show a girl's booty on the internet."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Two & Three Month Pics...

A little behind on posting her monthly photos, but here you go...

Two Months...

Three Months...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Roll Call...

Saw this on someone else's blog & thought, "I really need to do that on ours."

I would really like to know who all reads our blog. I know who some of you are because you leave comments every now and then, but I'm wondering just how many 'readers' we actually have.

So, please leave your name and where you're from in the comments. If you don't feel comfortable leaving your name, at least put where you live (no need to be real specific - you can just put the state you live in if you want).

Look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Must be something in the water...

I keep a list of links to friends' blogs (mostly college friends, so I can keep up with what's happening in their lives) that I don't necessarily get to check every day. I've been pretty bad about checking some of them since lil' Miss Ella came along. So, today I thought I would get all caught up on the happenins' that I've missed out on. I check a couple and find out my neighbor from when Wesley was born is expecting her fourth (Yay for her!), check a few more and find out a friend from the BSU at UT Martin (or BCM for the younger folks) & his wife are expecting their third & FOURTH (double Yay for them!), then check a few more & find out a college friend that I've known since going to church together back in high school & his wife are expecting their first (Yay for them, too!).

It's a little overwhelming, I tell you. Of course, my brother & his wife are also expecting. I'm thinking I really need to master the art of knitting so I can get to work on some lil' pink & blue booties (I started trying to learn when I was pregnant with Ella, but gave up because I couldn't figure it out from the written instructions - I'm much more of a visual learner - guess I'll have to find someone who can teach me).

Almost forgot to add a picture...

This is at our friends' house after Wesley played in the mud with their
kids (I don't think he's ever been that dirty before :) - don't know if you
can tell from the picture, but his shorts were completely caked with mud)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Funny conversation...

Read this on Tara Whitney's blog & laughed out loud. Anyone who is married will certainly identify with this.

Edited to add: forgot to add a picture - can't have a blog post without a picture :)

My mom was holding Ella & talking to her. Her eyes have gotten stronger since this picture was taken, because I think this is the last time I saw her go cross-eyed trying to look at someone/something.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Our lil' family

found this little doo-dad from someone else's blog - you can create a family 'sticker' - thought it was cute, so I had to have one for myself...

Pyzam Family Sticker Toy
Create your own family sticker graphic at

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Lil' Slugger...

Wesley hit his first home run a week or so ago. I think he might have gotten a 'home run' in t-ball, but I don't think it really counts unless you're hitting a moving ball. He was bursting with pride because all the parents were hollering for him when he was running the bases & a bunch of them said something after the game. Of course, Anthony & I have worked it into the conversation with practically everyone we've talked to over the past week.

Here's a shot of right after he hit it...

As he's rounding third...

and one of him playing center field...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice...

My brother & sister-in-law (Eric & Tiffany) had their ultrasound today to find out what they're having. My mom just called to tell me that it's a GIRL! She's due at the end of October, which means Ella will have two cousins within a year of her age (one on both sides of the family). Poor Wesley doesn't have any cousins on mine or Anthony's side of the family within three years of him since he was the first grandchild & only has one on his dad's side within two years of him. Lucky for Ella, she'll always have someone to play with at family gatherings & I'll have someone to pass down all the pretty little outfits that she outgrows way too fast (she just turned 3 months old and is already out-growing some of her 3-6 months clothes).

So, congratulations, Eric & Tiffany. Can't wait to spoil her!

And, what's a post without a picture...

Ella & her daddy - watching Wesley's baseball game last week

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A great big brother...

Wesley has impressed me with how he has moved easily into the role of big brother. He really loves Ella - as evidenced by:

  • He hates to hear her fuss or cry & will make sure Anthony or I do something to make her happy when she starts - I think this is partly because he doesn't like the sound of her cry since he covers his ears when she really gets upset.

  • He's interested in her daily routine - "Is it time for her to eat?" "Is it time for her bath?" "Are you changing her diaper?"
  • He likes playing with her & her toys - or maybe he just likes playing with her toys : )
  • His car seat is in the back seat with hers & he'll move her sunshade on her car seat to make sure the sun isn't in her face (without me even asking him to) & he'll put her pacifier back in her mouth when she spits it out.
  • He gets her things when he's gone to his dad's - he got her some baby sunglasses with a strap that holds them on (she did not care for those much when I put them on) & asked his granny (Jody's mom) to make her a baby blanket when she was making one for Jody's brother & sister-in-law.
  • He asks to hold her (usually when we're visiting people & someone other than me or Anthony is holding her).
  • When he gets to daycare in the afternoons he goes to her room to "check" on her (which I think is oh so sweet).
  • He has dealt with not being the center of attention like he used to be fairly well and he seems to have matured since she was born.
  • And, he gives her kisses & hugs before he goes to bed at night.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

By popular demand...

Our first family photo as a quartet (from this past Sunday) (click on it to see full-size)...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Our kitty doesn't know he's a cat...

Top five characteristics of Ace's that indicate he's confused about his species:

1. He growls when he hears someone come to the door.

2. He sits in chairs like a human, not curled up like a normal cat. (see picture below)

3. He likes for us to play fetch with him with his toys (which consist of rubber bands or those rubber bracelets like the yellow "Live Strong" ones). He will usually bring it back to us each time so we'll throw it again. (I really need to get a picture of him doing this - only have it on video & am clueless as to how to post video on here)

4. He gets lonely & whines if our other cat goes outside & he's left inside, which is not a normal cat trait (she likes to escape when the door is open, but he is afraid of the outside).

5. He prefers the water out of the faucets in the kitchen & bathroom rather than from their water bowl (even though they get clean water each day).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Adventures in Sports Related Injuries...

Wesley moved up from t-ball this year to the 7-8 yr. old machine pitch league. The machine they use is different from the ones you typically see in batting cages & doesn't have a motor or need electricity. It will throw strikes as well as balls so they have to learn to judge where the ball is going. Wesley has been adjusting from hitting a ball off the tee to hitting a moving ball pretty well. That is, until a few weeks ago (the day my mother-in-law passed away to be precise) at one of his practices. My mom was watching him for us & had taken him to his practice. I had just gotten home & was about to step in the shower & then take a nap, because I had been up since about 5 am with no shower. I had gotten my clean clothes together & was on my way to the bathroom & the phone rang. It was our friend Chris (who has a son on Wesley's team & was the one who graciously let Wesley stay with them the week that we were at the hospital 24/7 with Anthony's mom). He said, "Hey. I know you're having a rough day, but I've got some more bad news." I was thinking, "Oh, no. I'm not sure how much more I can take." Me: "What is it?" Chris: "Wesley got hit in the nose with the baseball & we think he may have broken it. Your mom is going to take him to the ER." So, I gathered Ella up & raced back out the door (sans makeup & still not having taken a shower).

When I got to the ER a few minutes after them Wesley was still pretty tore up (I've heard having a broken nose is one of the most painful bones to break). They had filled a plastic (lunchlady) glove with ice at the ballpark & put it on his nose & paper towels to soak up the blood. He moved the ice bag so I could see & I couldn't keep myself from gasping in shock. It looked really bad (it was already starting to swell up) & just continued to get worse over the next few hours. We didn't have to spend more than an hour or two in the ER. They did x-rays that confirmed that it was broken, gave us a perscription for tylenol with codeine and told us to keep icing it every hour or two for the next 24 hours then follow up with his pediatrician the next day (this happened on a Sunday). At first he was crying pretty hard, but by the time they did the x-rays and we sat waiting for the doctor to come in he had calmed down & it wasn't hurting much unless he touched it. Then he started asking all about what they would do, if he would need a cast (on his nose, mind you), etc. He was pretty dissapointed that he wouldn't get a cast if it indeed was broken (I remember it being pretty special to have a cast for everyone to sign when I was a kid, so I understood). After he found out he wouldn't get one he said, "Well, I wish I had broken my arm instead so I could have a cast."

When I asked him later what had happened he said, "The ball went all crazy & hit me in the nose."

And, what's a post without pictures...

From the side...
These are about 24 hours later (his dad drove up the night it happened & took Wesley home with him so he could take care of him because he knew we had a lot to deal with at the time). According to Jody, this was much better than the way he looked Sunday night.

From the front...

This one was 5 days after it happened - he still had just a little swelling & the black eyes were turning yellow.
And for reference, this is what he normally looks like...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

On a brighter note...

I felt bad burdening you with that last post, so I thought I would put up something a little happier. Ella started smiling over a month ago, but until last night I wasn't able to get a picture of her while she was smiling. EVERY time she would start smiling & I would ask Anthony to go get the camera, by the time he got it she would stop. We would try & try to get her to smile again, but she wouldn't do it. It got pretty funny after a while. I had to get Wesley to run & get the camera last night & take a picture really quickly - it's not the best picture, but we finally caught it on film (or disc as it may be).

thank you

Thank you for any thoughts and prayers you have sent our way.

Anthony's mom passed away a few days after my last post, on Sunday, May 4th and her memorial service was a week ago yesterday.

People keep asking how I'm doing, how Anthony is doing, how Randall (A's step-dad) is doing. All I can tell them is we're making it. I think for Randall his loss is very real since he has to go home to an empty house every night, but for the rest of us, it hasn't quite sunk in & sort of hits us in waves. The other day I was in the drive thru at McDonald's and the thought of chicken tenders almost made me burst into tears (she worked at Tyson - which is the supplier for all of McDonald's chicken items). Or, when they play the song on the radio that the preacher read at her memorial service (usually on my way to work) & I have to fight back the tears so I can see the road. I've never lost anyone so close to me. Right now I feel sort of numb, like I've got to keep fighting back the emotion or it will overtake me. I think we're all using the same strategy of trying to keep ourselves busy.

You know how when you or someone you know is expecting a child & even though you see her belly growing & you look at ultrasound pictures (and as a mom you dream about your child), it just isn't real until you see the baby for the first time, hold her in your arms, hear her little noises & smell that sweet new baby smell. Well, this is sort of the opposite. One day you're cooking dinner & running around your house trying to straighten up before your in-laws get there & life is very real & a little tedious. You're chatting with your mother-in-law while she holds her granddaughter (but you don't realize it's the last time she'll ever hold her). Then, just two weeks later you wake up to the news that she has passed on. And you feel like you're reaching out into an empty space trying to find her again, trying to recount & store up every memory you have of her, afraid you'll lose them, afraid you'll lose her. And you begin to realize how precious time is, how you took her for granted a little bit and how much you long for your children to have her in their lives. And it's all so very unreal.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

in case you were wondering...

where we've been & why we haven't posted...
besides the normal busyness of having an infant, returning to work, baseball season starting, etc. Anthony's mother, Shanda, has been fighting cancer for about six years now & her body is tired of fighting. She has been going downhill very fast over the last few weeks & we've been spending as much time as we can with her. We (her immediate family) have all been at the hospital since Monday evening when her doctor said he thought she only had about 24 hours to live. She's been hanging on. Needless to say, your prayers would be appreciated right now as the family prepares to let her go & for her to be as comfortable as possible at this time.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

One month pics...

I'm going to try really hard to take pictures of Ella each month to document her growth. It's something I wish I would have done with Wesley. I've seen lots of ideas of how to do this, but the two I like best are photographing her on a rug & with the same stuffed animal each month. So, here are her one month photos from a couple weeks ago...

My sister had her R & R leave from her tour of duty in Iraq recently & was home for 18 days. She & my mom came down & spent a couple days with us. It was so good to see my sister, to be able to hug her & know that for the next few days she wouldn't be in harms way (at least not anymore than what is normal). She met Ella. Here's a picture of her making faces at Ella (she'll probably kill me for posting this picture, but I don't care. I think it's cute) & one of her & my mom talking to Ella & Ella just looking at them like she totally understands what they're saying.