Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ho Ho Ho

At Sassy's house after having pictures made for Christmas cards

Sassy got them matching Christmas nightgowns--they are so cute!

I just had to post this video. Mamie says "ho ho ho" and I think it's adorable. I've had a hard time getting it on video, and this is not the best example, but oh well! She'll even say it sometimes when she sees Santa in a book--so cute! Please excuse my hideous voice. If I could take it out, believe me, I would.

Did you know that Santa Claus is watching you all the time? When we went to the mall to have the girls' picture made with Santa a couple of weeks ago, Lilly had a life-changing experience. She has been known to be less than kind to her little sister and loved to hit her and push her over. I always told her, "Santa's watching you," and it worked somewhat, but what happened at Cool Springs mall has forever changed her little life. First let me start by saying that Lilly was SO excited to go see Santa she could hardly stand it. First, I gave him her Christmas list, and then he talked to her and she sat in his lap. The conversation went something like this:

Santa: Have you been a good little girl this year?

Lilly: Yes

Santa: Are you SURE?

Lilly: (looking a little worried now) Yes?

Santa: Well, last week when I peeked in on you, you were hitting on your little sister, and that's not very nice. Big sisters are supposed to take care of their little sisters and be sweet to them--not hit them or be mean to them.

Lilly: looks like she might cry for a minute--I feel terrible and chime in that she's really a pretty good girl.

At this point Santa gives her a big hug and kiss on the head and asks her all about what she wants for Christmas, to which she responds "princess stuff" and then she sat in his lap as happy as she could be, but also in AWE of this super power that Santa seems to have. You could just see her thinking, "How did he know that?" She has talked about it and talked about it, telling everyone that Santa sees her all the time and that she has to be nice. She hasn't hit Mamie once, and has been so sweet to her it's unbelieveable. I wonder how Santa knew?

Christmas Chaos

Do you think she likes it?

Checking out the kids' table

You want us to be still while you take a picture? Yeah. OK. Sure.

Here are just a few pictures of our family Christmas on my mom's side. My uncle has 13 YOUNG great-grandchildren, plus the two of mine, making a grand total of 15 kids. It is crazy! Not everyone could be there (my cousin Eric's wife just had the 13th!), but almost everyone was. It was actually a few weekends ago, and the weather was beautiful. We tried (in vain) to get a picture of all the kids. It was basically pointless. Some of them kept running out of the picture, and half of them were crying, but at least we have proof that we tried! It's so cute to watch them all play together and they all get along so well --most of the time! They all got to open gifts from my aunt and uncle, which are their great-grandparents. Lilly got a Sleeping Beauty doll that sings. She was so excited and has slept with it every single night. She loves "sleeptin booty."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Debbie Downer

Those of you who know me well know I am a complete freak about things like MSG & other chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics in food, artificial sweeteners, plastics, Teflon, pesticides, lead paint on toys, etc. Well, now I am going to be scared of cosmetics. Jon came home today telling me about an article on MS NBC about Minnesota banning mascara and other cosmetics containing mercury. It turns out, most mascaras and eyeliners contain it. Anyway, I found a website that will let you search cosmetics by name and find out how they score and how safe they are. You can even search baby products such as diaper creams and baby washes/shampoos. It was very interesting. So interesting, in fact, that I have wasted my night (that desperately needed to be productive) sitting in front of the computer typing in every single one of my cosmetics, moisturizers, shampoos, conditioners, and baby products. I was amazed at some of the things I thought would be so harmless that were ranked really poorly--Neutrogena moisturizer, Huggies Baby Wash--it's crazy! Also, when I was doing another search about products containing mercury, these common household products came up. I was surprised by how many I have used. There are truly hundreds of them, but these few really surprised me and I thought I should share them.

Ajax powder
Comet powder
Soft Scrub
Dove soap (bars)--can you believe that one?
Ivory dishwashing liquid
Joy dishwashing liquid
Most soft dishwasher detergents
nasal sprays (afrin, etc.)
BLEACHED FLOUR--how scary is that!?

here's the link to the cosmetics database
Sorry to be such a downer at Christmas! I promise to have a happier post next time!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

sweet mamie

A couple of weeks ago Brooke took Mamie's 9 month pictures and pictures for our Christmas card. I don't have the link yet to share them all, but I just had to post this one. I know I'm slightly biased, but I think she's pretty darn cute. I love her little teeth showing--I can't ever seem to catch them in a picture. Brooke is fabulous--if anyone needs a photographer, she's great! I've been using her since Lilly was born, and people always comment on the pictures she's done when they come over to our house.

Monday, November 26, 2007

the blankie-otomy

Today I performed surgery on a blanket. Something had to be done. If you have seen Lilly's blanket face-to-face, you will understand completely. I don't know why my daughter chose to become completely obsessed with a hand-knit Amy Coe blanket that I registered for at Target, but she did. Once I realized she was hopelessly attached to it I tried in vain to find a back-up. Of course they had just discontinued it at Target, and I was never able to find another on ebay, so it is truly irreplaceable. She never took a pacifier--just her pink blanket. She has been sucking on it to fall asleep since I can remember and has only had to take a nap one time without it in almost three years (it was a HORRIBLE experience). She crams as much of it as she possibly can into her mouth and sucks on it. Yes, it is completely disgusting, but she loves it. I have to go into her room as soon as she falls asleep and pull it all out of her mouth so she won't choke to death while she sleeps. There is only one side she likes to suck on, and it is brown. Not brown-ish, but brown. It looks like it is harboring some type of horrible disease and like it has never been washed although I wash it faithfully almost every single day. I also feel the need to tell anyone that may see Lilly's blanket that I do wash it and it really IS clean, despite the way it looks. When people have to touch it, they usually pick it up with two fingers like they are going to catch something from it. That being said, all the washing and love are about to make her blankie meet its end. It had a huge unraveling run going through it that was about to split it in two. So after much trimming and zig-zagging on the sewing machine, we now have two blankies that look a little bit less pitiful. Lilly was actually so excited--I couldn't believe it.
Hooray! Now I have TWO blankies!

I love to cram my blanket in my mouth. It is soooo good!

The blanket--pre-operation

Some of what I trimmed off during the blanket "surgery"

The new and improved "two blankies" (it's all relative--I know they still look pretty pitiful)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

happy thanksgiving!

Lilly and Mamie with their great-grandmother (Granny)

The girls with their great-grandaddy
(Ladies--you can learn an important lesson from this picture and avoid wearing your bright blue Little Mermaid panties with your cream-colored tights!)

Aunt Kristin helping Lilly make hand turkeys for EVERYONE

Lilly and daddy

We spent Thanksgiving day at Jon's grandparents' house. There's always tons of great food and plenty of people for Lilly to show off for. I'm so thankful Lilly and Mamie have great-grandparents--I never knew any of mine. When we got there today I was afraid Lilly was going to have a total meltdown because her second cousins, Noah and Loren, who she LOVES weren't there this year. Jon and I had no idea they weren't coming, so we had talked it up the whole way there, telling her she was going to get to play with Noah and Loren. I won't make that mistake again--no talk of cousins until there is visual confirmation! She got over it pretty quickly and had PLENTY of attention from everyone else to take her mind off of it. Some of Jon's cousins and all of his brothers and sisters were there except for Zach and Kim who were in Huntsville with his family this year. Next year Lilly and Mamie will have a new little BOY cousin to play with!! Zach and Kim found out they're expecting a little boy in April. Lilly is so excited. When I ask her what is in Kim's tummy she says, "a tousin!" We're so excited to have a new addition to the family! We all have so much to be thankful for. I hope everyone had a happy holiday!

Monday, November 19, 2007

mamie sister's 9 month visit to the doctor

Mamie had her 9 month check-up a few days ago. Everything was great--she weighs 19.8! Lilly only weighed 17 pounds at 9 months. Mamie's in the 50th% for weight, and the 75th% for height and head size. As usual, since her 2 week appointment, the doctor commented on her "superhuman" strength. She is like a little ball of muscle--dressing her or changing her diaper is a completely exhausting battle. She's cruising everywhere and pushing her little walking toys all over the house. She's also started climbing stairs this week. I had no idea she could do it until I turned around from the computer and there she was, playing with toys on the floor in the playroom upstairs. She is always so happy and content and lets Lilly do almost anything to her without making a peep. She'll get even one day--I have a feeling she'll be able to defend herself just fine when she gets a little bit bigger. I just can't believe she's already nine months! It seems to fly by even faster with the second one. I love you sweet little Mamie sister!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

oh where, oh where has octo-ber gone?

I have been so busy lately I haven't had time to post anything, so I played catch up tonight and posted 4 times. I can't believe it's November already! Courtney called me a slacker--so here you go! Plenty to read and plenty of pictures!

Trick or Treat!

Lilly and Mamie were a princess and an octopus for Halloween. Obviously, there was no real theme here--just pink. Lilly was so excited this year and it was so much fun to see her really get into Halloween and trick-or-treating. She got to wear her costume to mother's day out at our church on Tuesday. I have never seen her so proud or excited. Mamie is probably still wondering why I dressed her in a costume with extra arms and legs and we knocked on everyone's door. Jon unfortunately had to work until 9:30 and I had both girls and the 94,000 trick-or-treaters that knocked on our door by myself. We have run out of candy every year we have lived in this house. Our neighborhood really gets into Halloween and it seems like every kid (and adult) in Lebanon comes here to trick-or-treat. Does anyone else have adult trick-or-treaters? I find this very strange and just can't fathom knocking on someone's door in my jeans and t-shirt and asking another adult to drop candy into my plastic grocery bag. Oh well. I finally turned the lights out after I ran out of candy and put Scole (the killer dog) on the front porch to scare everyone away. It worked.

Posing after a hard night of trick-or-treating. Our Jack-O-Lantern was a tribute to Mamie and her 2 teeth!


Princess Lilly

riding in the wagon to trick-or-treat
I am so glad we had such beautiful warm weather!

Lilly carving her "Mamie" pumpkin with daddy

I just had to post this picture--I couldn't believe Mamie actually kept this hat on! I loved it and you can see her 2 little teeth.

Happy Birthday Jon!

Jon's birthday (the big three-one) was Monday, and me, Lilly, and Mamie came from Huntsville to meet Jon's family for his birthday dinner at PF Chang's. Everyone was able to be there except for his sister Kim and her husband Zach, who are expecting a baby in April! Lilly is so excited about her new "tousin." I can't wait to have a new baby in the family! Anyway, we had a great time. Lilly and Mamie are so blessed to have such great aunts & uncles and grandparents.

Sorry I cut your faces off Jeff and Kellye--I couldn't see what I was taking!

Mamie laughing at her daddy

Lilly and "Sassy" (Jon's mom)

Me (with my new brown hair) and Kristin

Mamie and her uncle Branson (Kristin's husband) with uncle Jeff in the background

an overdue visit to CJ & Pop's

We left Will's party last Saturday and headed straight for Huntsville to visit my mom and dad for a few days. They were dying to see the girls and we had a great time. Lilly is crazy about her CJ and Pop!

After church on Sunday

My mom and I went shopping and came home to find Mamie passed out on Pop's lap. So cute!

It is becoming IMPOSSIBLE to get a picture of both of them--Lilly always has to do something silly or look the other way!

Lilliy posing on the porch

Pop getting Mamie out of the bath

Mamie showing off her newest trick for CJ & Pop--walking around behind her little push-toy

Happy Birthday Punkin' Head!

Last weekend we got to go to Walden Farm for Will's first birthday party. It was beautiful weather and so much fun! It was great getting to catch up with Courtney and Casey and all of Courtney's family. Will was the cutest birthday boy and Courtney had a pumpkin patch party that would have made Martha Stewart proud. Casey and Henley came in from Memphis and stayed with us Friday night, which made is even more fun. Lilly is still talking about Casey and sweet little baby Henley. I miss seeing my friends from college--I'm ready for us to all live in the same town!

Me & Mamie, Lilly, Will, Courtney, Casey & Henley

The birthday boy with his mommy and daddy and adorable cake

Lilly, Will & his MiMi (Michael's mom), and Abby on the hayride

Mamie loved the hayride--she squealed the whole time

Sweet little buddies--Mamie and Henley hangin' out at the party

Sunday, October 21, 2007

the "everyday tiara," a birthday party, and mamie's new tricks

Well, I guess we bought the Halloween costume a bit too early. Lilly has been wearing her tiara or "clown" as she calls it, everywhere. She also wants to try on her princess costume every day--but we are getting a lot of mileage out of, "If you want to be a Princess, you have to act like a princess and share, etc." She wants to wear her "clown" to school, church, the store, basically anywhere we go. I do draw the line somewhere, but she has worn it out in public a few times. We haven't had much to post about lately. Mamie is so busy and is growing so fast. She is eight months old now and is into everything. She is the happiest baby! Those of you who knew Lilly as a baby know how surprising it is for me to have a baby who laughs and smiles all the time. She's drinking out of a sippy cup, eating table food, and pulling up and cruising all over the place. Here are a few pictures from the last couple of weeks.

Lilly holding her tiara on the way home from Target. She was SO proud she wouldn't let go of it for anything.

A typical night at our house. PJ's with a tiara, necklace, bracelet, HUGE ring, heels, and two anklets.

Doesn't everyone wear their tiara to the grocery store?
Needless to say, we got to talk to LOTS of old ladies while we were there.

Lilly feeding a goat at Livi's birthday party

Cal, Lilly, and Livi--Happy Birthday Livi!

Too bad they won't smile for a picture!

Mamie with her sippy cup

Mamie and Scole--he's the best dog in the world!

Mamie learning to ride on Lilly's old riding toy.

Mamie cruising and laughing

Sunday, October 14, 2007

My Man

Well, I got tagged. I'm sure it will thrill Jon to know that I am writing things about him for others to read. (I'm not sure how sarcasm comes through on the computer, but that was meant to be sarcastic.) I love you grumpy Jon!

1. Who is your man? Jonathan Neal
2. How long have you been together? almost 9 years
3. How long dated? about 4 years--minus an 8 month breakup (he actually broke up with me by quoting Merle Haggard--it's hilarious now, but I SURE hated him at the time!)
4. How old is your man? 30--for a few more days!
5. Who eats more? Jon--unless it's from krispy kreme and then there's no competing with me
6. Who said "I love you" first? Jon
7. Who is taller? Jon--only if I'm in flat shoes
8. Who sings better? I don't think either one of us are going to be contestants on American Idol any time soon, but I would have to say Jon
9. Who is smarter? It definitely depends on the subject
10. Whose temper is worse? Sadly, mine. He usually laughs at me and tries to get me to get over it. But, if he does get angry...he gets pretty angry.
11. Who does the laundry? Let me answer this by saying Jon once asked me "which one is the dryer?" when I asked him to get something out of it.
12. Who takes out the garbage? Jon (I could write a pretty good story here involving a shattered oven door and a flying trashcan.) He LOVES it when I overfill the trashcan.
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Me--by the door so I can jump out of bed all night long for babies (and I can see the TV better from that side :)
14. Who pays the bills? Jon--thank goodness! I did it for the first 3 years and it is not one of my strengths--he's great at it (accountant).
15. Who is better with the computer? Jon
16. Who mows the lawn? Jon--he takes great pride in his grass!
17. Who cooks dinner? We both do--Jon is great about cooking dinner if I'm running late (and he buys the groceries! I'm one lucky lady!)
18. Who drives when you are together? Jon, unless it's at night and then I drive because he'll fall asleep.
19. Who pays when you go out? Jon
20. Who is most stubborn? We both are, but I would have to say Jon is worse.
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? neither one of us--we usually just move on!
22. Whose parents do you see the most? Jon's--they live in Brentwood
23. Who kissed who first? Jon--FINALLY after standing in our (me, casey, & courtney) dining room and talking about NOTHING for 3 and a half hours until about 2 in the morning after going out one night. The last thing I remember saying was something stupid and meaningless about siberian lame.
24. Who asked who out? Jon--we were good friends first, and he called and asked me if I wanted to go on a date. I was SO excited. He took me to the Ryman to Bluegrass night for our 1st date.
25. Who proposed? Jon-- He came early to pick me up for a date and I was still getting ready. He had already talked to my parents that day and I had no idea. He got down on his knee--it was so sweet.
26. Who is more sensitive? definently me--I can cry over almost anything.
27. Who has more friends? Probably me--all the phone calls at our house are for me.
28. Who has more siblings? Jon--he has 2 sisters and a brother--I have one sister
29. Who wears the pants in the family? We both do, but they are pants that I washed and dried and folded and put away :)

I tag Courtney, Casey, and Ada.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Callin' Ducks

About a month ago Mamie found Jon's duck calls and started playing with them. The first time she ever picked them up, she started blowing into them and laughing hysterically when they made noise. She doesn't seem to think it's quite as funny anymore--I guess she's gotten used to the sound they make, but she still loves to "call ducks." I should have gotten video of it sooner, but I think it's still pretty cute.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Studio 330 & Little Big Town

Some of you know that Ashley's mom, Kathy, and I have a little decorating business started--the "Decorating Chicks." Anyway, we had a really fun job a couple of weeks ago at CMT. They needed some HUGE curtain panels for the set of a show on CMT called Studio 330. Kathy did a fabulous job making the three 12-foot long panels pictured in the background above. We got to deliver and help install them. They really looked beautiful--it was amazing what a transformation they made. It was so much fun and we got to see so much neat "behind the scenes" stuff. The lady that hired us produces the show and begged us to come the following day to watch them shoot Little Big Town but I didn't think they would appreciate Lilly and Mamie coming along, so I had to pass. I was sad--I actually LOVE Little Big Town, but it's probably best--I would have probably said something stupid or done something embarrassing and replayed it in my head for the next ten years. I think we may get to go to the CMT awards and a few free shows. It was worth it to me just to get inside and see what it was like! I'm easily impressed!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

For my 5 year anniversary, could I have some antibiotics, please?

Here we are at Sperry's in Cool Springs with CJ and Pop (and yes, Mamie DOES have a face)

Well, this past Friday was our 5 year anniversary. It's been a wonderful five years! Jon and I had celebrated it early at Marlin's when we were in Destin, but my mom and dad (CJ and Pop) came up to see Lilly and Mamie this weekend and took us all to Sperry's to celebrate again. One of the hostesses there used to work for Jon at the store, so we always get the private room with the big flatscreen (I'll be so sad if she ever leaves). Anyway, I also "celebrated" with two weeks of doctors and sickness! Mamie had a mystery fever of 102 with NO symptoms almost all week last week. We finally spent almost 3 hours at the doctor's office on Thursday afternoon trying to figure out what it was. Her doctor thought she may have a UTI and wanted to get a urine sample. They put a little sticky bag on her underneath her diaper and I nursed her, thinking we'd have a sample in no time. Wrong. We waited 30 minutes and then I gave her a bottle of formula. Still no tee-tee. The nurses came in to talk to me about a catheter. I really wanted to save that as an absolute last resort. They brought me a bottle of pedialyte to try. Mamie drank 5 ounces of that, but STILL no pee. At this point, they were almost convinced she had a UTI because she seemed to be holding her urine. So after waiting well over an hour and filling her as full of liquid as I could get her, I finally agreed to do the catheter. It was the most pitiful thing I have ever had to see her go through. And, after all that waiting and all that trauma, her culture (thankfully) was perfectly fine. No UTI. I just have a strong-willed little girl who didn't want to go in a funny feeling diaper. She's been fine ever since--I have no idea what was causing her fever. Then I came down with the most horrifying case of strep throat I have ever had in my life. My throat started swelling up on Wednesday, but it didn't hurt and I felt great. I thought I was fine. Then, it hit me on Saturday while my parents were here (sorry mom and dad) and I ran 102+ fever from Saturday until Tuesday. I still thought I would be ok on Saturday. My throat was so huge I could hardly swallow, but I was still bound and determined to go to Sperry's and couldn't wait for some of their peppermint ice cream. Good thing I got that meal in, because I ate nothing but jello for the next couple of days! After a shot in the butt and a couple of antibiotics, I am finally almost feeling back to normal. Please know that I am NOT writing this to get any sympathy--when there are couples like the Farley's going through what they are going through, it makes everything else that we whine and complain about seem so insignificant. I just honestly thought it was comical that Jon (and my poor parents) had to spend our anniversary with me--in glasses and no make-up, greasy-haired, in mismatched pajamas, with pus dripping off of my tonsils like stalactites (the doctor's phrase), and oh yes, now my tongue is green and furry from all the antibiotics!

Here are a few pictures from the previous week--before all the "fun"!

Mamie loving the swing at the park.

Sweet feet

Lilly sliding

This was the cutest thing, but not the best picture--I was driving the girls around my cousins' farm, and Mamie had been sitting on my lap. She pulled up to look out the window and realized she could see herself in the mirror. She was leaning way out and laughing at herself--it was so cute!