Sunday, January 31, 2010

While you were snowed in...

...we played outside too! Unfortunately, we didn't have 8 inches of snow. We did, however, have warmer temps.

We've played with play-doh. I like play-doh so much better when it's used outside!

We are still waving at the school buses as they drive by. (BTW, I had to look up the plural of school bus; I typed it up a few ways, and nothing looked right!)

The girls enjoy riding up and down the driveway. Matt or I stand guard towards the road, and they can ride/push toys back and forth all afternoon.

Today, was significantly colder. We still played outside some. Check out Audrey's outfit!

Julia gets a kick out of going 'off-road.' Ahhh, the things that please a 3 year old.

I added more pictures to Facebook tonight. HERE is the link. I THINK that this allows non-facebookers to see, but (as a warning) the last time I told someone to try the picture public access link - I was blamed for tricking them into becoming a Facebooker!

Since most of my blog readers are in the ice/snow covered state of TN - Happy Thawing!

Julia's dresses

Julia is no longer easy going when it comes to her outfits. Instead of willingly wearing whatever is put in front of her... she actually has (and voices) an opinion. I realize that having her voice her opinion on something as trivial as clothes is perfectly fine. I just wish she would want to wear something other than this to church...

The teddy bear dress is cute enough, but seriously... every Sunday this is the one she wants.

This is the dress that's my favorite. I got it a year ago (end of season sale!) for her to wear around Christmas, but she never wanted to. The only time she wore is it was during a photo shoot gone bad. Matt never saw her in it, but I can assure you she looked gorgeous! Even with the furry cuffs I think she could still pull it off during winter. Green velvet = gorgeous!

Julia also has a black skirt that can be worn with a few different shirts in her closet. A few examples are...

2 dresses that Julia has previously worn alot, but has to be talked into wearing now are...

Here's another Christmas dress that she never wore. Audrey had one that matched - usually matching with her sister is a surefire way to get Julia to wear something.

Since Valentine's Day is only 2 weeks away, I pulled this one out. Matt groaned as soon as he saw it, so there was no hope Julia would wear it!

This is what was finally agreed upon. A little casual for me, but that's ok. The dress is way too short to be worn in public by itself, so we added some black leggings. We also vamped up her look with pretty red "Happy Valentine's Day" ribbons (again, sales from a year ago) and she asked me to put her hair in PIGTAILS!!!! I wish I'd taken a picture of her this morning, but I didn't and the pigtails came out already.

Finally, a picture taken right as we started our bedtime reading last night...

blogging for Aunt Amy...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Matt's so wonderful!

Matt's sister AMY is apparently pretty bored stuck at home in the snowstorm, b/c she asked me to make sure and post this weekend! My guess is that this isn't quite the post she was hoping for!!!

After seeing a few friends' blog posts and facebook status updates, I decided that I need to do a better job of publicly affirming all the wonderful things about Matt. Here we go with a too short list...

* Matt makes sure to turn on my side of the electric blanket when he gets in the bedroom before me at night.
* He supports me choosing to stay home with the girls while they are still young. This really could have been a point of contention since staying at home was not my original intention. Hmm, that last sentence kind of rhymed...
* He's ALWAYS been the one better able to get Audrey back to sleep if she happens to wake during the night... Ok, not always (since he couldn't nurse her) but ever since her midnight feedings ended, he's been the one with the better track record of putting the babe to sleep.
* Matt's fabulous at dancing with our daughters. Julia prefers to dance to Dora the Explorer songs. Audrey likes Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana.
* Even though I know he hated too, he very kindly shared a frozen pizza with me today.
* Matt likes doing the dishes after dinner. HA! Ok- saying he LIKES to do dishes is a stretch, but he does often CHOOSE to do the dishes while I bathe the girls. In his words, he "would prefer to give the dishes a bath than the kids." Bathtime is too loud for him. This makes me happy b/c I would much prefer to wash the girls than wash the dishes.
* He enjoys spending time with our children individually. A few weeks ago, when I was at home with a sick Audrey, he took Julia to church and then they had a lunch date at Olive Garden. Julia felt like such a big girl going out to eat with just Daddy.
* He's funny, almost always able to make me laugh. Quick wit.
* He's fabulous at any kind of trivia game.
* He comes from a fabulous family (Shout out Danny, Jimmie Kay, and Amy!!)
* He often comes across as being rather unemotional... and while this can be frustrating at times, it actually works perfectly to offset my overly emotional self!
* He knows me well enough to be able recognize when my overly emotional self is fixing to render me useless.
* He's extra patient at bedtime with Julia as she requests "more praying please."
* Although I cook most of the time, Matt does enjoy cooking for the family often. He makes chili, chicken quesadillas, baked ravioli, cheesecake, spaghetti, and of course he mans the grill during the summer. He's also the go-to Pancake chef in our house! I was reading this aloud, and Julia just said that he's also a really good "pizza cooker." Of course, these first class pizza making skills consist of opening the freezer, opening a box, and finally opening the oven...
* He sacrificed the TV the other night for 2.5 hours so that I could watch "The Notebook."

again... this list is too short.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Food Wars

A college friend of mine, Christy - a.k.a. Mommybrain, wrote a blog post this week titled "The Spaghetti Wars." This post was about the rarely discussed newlywed issue of "Whose recipe are we going to use?" Christy and her husband had a different opinion about how spaghetti should be made. While Matt and I really never differed on spaghetti, we did differ on how to make scrambled eggs.

I was brought up to make scrambled eggs the 'normal' way. They end up looking somewhat like this:

Matt, however, preferred his scrambled eggs be made more like an open-faced cheese omelet. Our rule pretty much became, "the cook chooses how to make the eggs," and since I was usually the cook - eggs were made MY WAY!

Then along came Julia. As Julia got older, I realized that Matt's open faced cheese omelet would be easier finger food for little toddler hands. It's been 3 years now, and our family's scrambled eggs are still actually open-faced cheese omelets. I guess he wound up winning our "Scrambled Eggs War."

What recipes have you and your spouse/family had to compromise on?? I'm seriously interested! Click on the word "comments" below and let me know!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This-n-That Thursday

* Last week, I wrote a post that just had some random thoughts and information on it. I enjoyed the spontaneity of the post, and I've decided to do it weekly. Instead of calling it "This, that, and the other" I'm calling it This-n-That Thursday, and publishing the post on... yeah - that's right Thursdays! Don't you love alliteration? Aren't all the "Th's" in the title pretty?

* Audrey's disgusting. No less than 3 times this past week, she's come to me with her hand out saying "Ewwww. Ewwww." She NEEDS to keep her hands out of her dirty, nasty, diaper.

* Consequently (in reference to the Audrey comment) Julia has written the lyrics to a new song. She took the American Idol song "Pants on the Ground" and made new lyrics: "Hands in your pants, hands in your pants, looking so silly with your hands in your pants" Then she busts out with some nonmusical rants about poo-poo and stinkiness and potties. It's both funny and gross.

* I decided to get much more strict reguarding Audrey's pacifier usage. "You only need B at night-night time." and "B's go in the bed!" are now said countless times a day. Since then, Audrey has decided that every hour or so she needs to go lay down on her bed for a few minutes for what I've dubbed her "B break." It's like an addict who needs a fix. She just lies there for 5 minutes or so, B in mouth (and in hands) and will eventually get up and leave them behind.

* I stayed up until 4:15 Tuesday night/Wednesday morning - I don't know why, I just wasn't tired. Shockingly, I wasn't all that tired Wednesday either.

* I previously mentioned that I've gotten extra serious with the couponing this month. This week I found some "moneymaker" items. What's a moneymaker? An item that you make money on after coupons are used. This week my moneymakers were B6 Vitamins (anyone need these???) and J&J Travel First Aid Kits. I think I could have also had a few medicinal money makers... Aleve, Tylenol,etc. but the girls were getting cranky.

* I headed back into Walmart this morning for the first time in 3 weeks! There were some grocery/home staple items that I haven't been able to get extra cheap @ Publix, and that we needed now! The girls and I sang up and down every aisle. We sang, making up nonsense songs, for all of Walmart to stare/glare/laugh at. I don't care though! Our shopping trip was much more fun this way.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm a dork, I know.

There - I've admitted it. 'Cool' has never been an adjective used to describe me, and my newest interest in children's television programming just throws me even further into the pit of despair... errr, not despair - dorkiness.

I am now a whole hearted fan of "The Fresh Beat Band" on Nick JR.

Since many of you will have NO IDEA what the show is - I'll tell you. It's a musical sitcom. Did you hear me??? A MUSICAL SITCOM! In this show, 4 best friends are attending music school. Every second of these friends lives revolve around musical fun. The songs are so much fun! HERE is a link to a youtube video of their song "Great Day." This song closes each episode, and it's catchy tune stays with me always. Julia, Audrey, and I enjoy singing and dancing along while the 4 "Freshbeats" laugh together, solve problems together, and of course sing, dance, and play instruments together. "The Fresh Beat Band" is 22 minutes of fabulousness !

Any comments you may have about my liking this show are welcome, unless your name is Matt Bowman or Amy Dubose. You 2 will probably do nothing but make fun of me and hold this over my head for the next 5 years.

Monday, January 25, 2010

This post is LONG

Our Sunday, in bullet form...

* The girls and I go to church. Audrey screams upon drop off. Julia sits in timeout in S.S. (I love how Julia is at the age where she tells me these things even if the teacher doesn't!) I feel awkward in the sanctuary sitting by myself. Both girls are happy and playing when I pick them up.

*Once we're home, I check the Weather Channel and confirm that we are in a Tornado Watch. I HATE BAD WEATHER! Even the possibility of it scares me silly. I continue to keep the Weather Channel's radar on all afternoon.

* Matt's flight gets delayed so the girls and I push our departure time for the airport back an hour.

*Matt calls again to say that he has been moved to an earlier flight. The girls and I rush around in order to leave at our original time.

*Once we're on the road, it starts raining heavily. Matt calls to say that his flight has once again been delayed - in fact he's been told there's a chance the flight might not take place at all that night.

*I contemplate turning the car around until we know more, but since we've been on the road 45 minutes - I keep on trucking.

*The sky darkens, and the rain comes down in sheets. I'm having trouble seeing the road, and I get worried about the tornado watch. I HATE BAD WEATHER! Since I naturally assume the worst, I just KNOW that the darkening sky is b/c of a tornado; it couldn't possibly be b/c it's 5:30/6ish and time for the sun to set. I call Danny and Jimmie Kay (Matt's parents) and have them check the radar for me. At this time, I am imagining a tornado dropping out of the sky in front of me. I also imagine me and the girls having to huddle in the nearest ditch clinging to each other for dear life. Imaginings such as this are what I call Daymares. I have them more frequently than I'm comfortable admitting.


*The rain comes down even harder. I am really uncomfortable driving, so I decide to stop at the next place I can find.

*Waffle House.

*I order myself a sausage biscuit ($1) and the girls a double waffle to split ($3.68). The waitress asks if I'd prefer the girls to have the kids waffle since it's cheaper. I ask how big it is (my girls can gobble up breakfast food) and she said it was exactly the same - even the same size as the adults waffle, they just cost $1 each. My total bill comes to $3.21 - this makes me happy.

*While we are eating I receive another phone call from Matt. He's now set to fly out at 8:50 Eastern - and landing in ALT at 10:30. This did not make me happy.

*Also while we are eating, Julia notices the lady that has just walked in and is sitting right next to us. Julia then says with a chuckle, "That lady has a BIG belly." I shhh her. Apparently, Julia thinks that I was unable to hear her b/c she then repeats her comment much louder.

*I realize as the girls finish eating that I'd run out of the house with no baby wipes - and silly me had just served them syrup. We had to the bathroom to wash up where I realize Audrey has another reason for me to greatly regret not having baby wipes.

*Since we now have 4+ hours until Matt's plane lands, and the airport is only 1 hour away. So, we just hang out at Waffle House for awhile. Our table had already been bussed - so we played in the chairs at the 'bar.' This got old for the girls, and before I realized it - Audrey's crawling all over the place... crawling... on the Waffle House floor... on the Waffle House floor on a rainy day. ick -Ick - ICK!

*I finally feel that the other patrons of Lagrange, GA Waffle House have had enough of my squeally little girls, so we leave.

*It's still raining pretty hard, but not as bad as it had been. Then, as we near Atlanta, the construction starts. I believe I've mentioned in this post that I HATE BAD WEATHER, but I'd also like to mention that I also hate driving when there is no shoulder - just a concrete barrier. This REALLY stresses me out. The concrete wall I was THISCLOSE to, combined with the rain, combined with the 18 wheelers passing me on the too close road, combined with the whining/yelling coming from the backseat about what DVD to watch, combined with the tears the girls shed after Julia knocked the DVD player to the floor had me losing it.

*Then I did something I regret now. I yelled at my kids - yelled, yelled at them. Julia was quiet when I finished hollering, but Audrey kept on... every time a sound started to come from her mouth I 'Shhh'd ' her. The silence in the car after my spell was just what I had wanted, but I immediately felt bad. At the next exit I pulled over into a gas station to fix the DVD player and, more importantly, to apologize to my children. I told them that yelling at them like that wasn't nice, and I should NOT have done it. Then, I calmly reminded them that it was raining really hard and Mommy was having a tough time driving - could they please try to be extra good in the car? They were.

* Matt calls and says he's now actually boarding his plane.

*We made it to the airport - I was so thrilled to see a parking garage! I was also pleased to see the garage so well lit and bursting with so much activity! (Dark and alone in a parking garage would have sent me into panic mode AGAIN!)

*We walked in and checked the status of Matt's flight - it hasn't changed - we have 2+ hours to waste.

*We walk around a little. We go to the bathroom (5 times total - I sure wish I'd had those baby wipes!!) We share a Frosty at Wendy's. (How about that - Waffles and a Frosty in 1 night). We walk around a little more. We talk on the phone. We play with a dog that is soon kicked out of the airport. The girls crawl on the floor some more. The girls spin circles and successfully make themselves dizzy. Audrey tries a number of times to run off - she isn't successful in running off, but she is successful in getting a few laughs from people near us.

*Matt's plane is said to have landed.

*We move up to greet the new arrivals. I start talking to this lady, and Julia loudly asks me (in reference to the lady I'm talking to) "Is that a boy or a girl?" and then "Well, she sounds(looks?) like a boy. I don't really remember if she said sounds or looks. I was just trying to get the child to BE QUIET!

*Matt calls 30 minutes later to say he is finally actually IN the airport.

*20 minutes after that, Matt comes walking up. We get his luggage and start driving back home.

*We arrive home at 2 a.m.

That's it - did I type enough detail for you??

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I had to drop Matt off at the airport today. I decided to go into the airport with him to scope out where the girls and I will have to go tomorrow when we pick him up. (We're meeting at baggage claim.) I preferred to figure all this out ahead of time instead of with 2 little girls in tow. I always feel rather vulnerable when I'm by myself with them. Knowing exactly where I was heading would make me feel better.

Below are a few snippets of the conversation I had with myself today. Yes, I talk to myself... doesn't everyone??

Allright, $1/hour parking!
Ooh, I hate parking garages.
Did I lock the car door?
Do I have my keys??
It's cold... perhaps I shouldn't have worn flip-flops.
Where do we go now?
There's baggage claim.
A Wendy's right by baggage claim - that's dinner tomorrow night!
Bye Matt! Love you!
Let's see if I can get out of here.
I hate big cities...
...Perhaps teeny-tiny Arkansas town wouldn't be so bad.
Dag-blamed parking garage again.
Clutch purse tightly under left arm.
Get your keys in right hand, arm ready to wail on a 'bad person.'
Walk swiftly and with purpose.
Check behind yourself VAL, see if anyone is following.
Bye - bye parking garage. See you tomorrow.
Am I supposed to go North or South??
Oh, duh, towards Columbus.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Prayer Request

Matt's flying into Arkansas this weekend to preach for a pulpit committee. I don't know what the Lord's plans are reguarding... {inhale} Arkansas... {exhale} - but please keep this specific ministry opportunity AND our whole ministry search in your prayers.

Home Video

Julia wanted to watch a home video this morning so I pulled out the one of Audrey's birth and the weeks following. Oh my goodness. My babies are so big now! Julia's no longer a chubby little toddler. She's grown so much in heighth, and she no longer has perfectly (and naturally) curled hair. Julia's speech is now much easier to understand. Oh, what I would do to hear Julia call her sister "Audra" or request to eat "p'la b'la" again. (BTW - the food request was for Peanut butter.)

And Audrey... I guess I'm a little biased, but she was just such a BEAUTIFUL baby! She's still pretty now of course, but... well... babies just have a special beauty to them... {sigh}... During our viewing of the video, Audrey kept 'ooohing' and laughing at herself -I guess we haven't watched home videos in awhile b/c she obviously didn't remember seeing them before. My girls were (and are) so cute... bless it!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today's my birthday!

In celebration of my BIRTHDAY, I decided to compile a little information...

Since I am the older sibling...
My parents have been parents for 28 years.
My parents have been parents for 336 months.
My parents have been parents for 1,461 weeks.
My parents have been parents for 10,227 days.

I was born on a Thursday. My birthstone is garnet, and my birth flower is a Carnation. The carnation is extra interesting to me because I remember specifically that the color paint I chose for my bedroom when I was 7ish was called Carnation Pink.

January 21 is also the birthday of...
1824 Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
1940 Jack Nicklaus
1957 Geena (Virginia) Davis
1963 Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon

On this day in history... January 21
1793 King Louis XVI was guillotined for treason.
1846 1st edition of Charles Dickens' "Daily News"
1861 Jefferson Davis of Mississippi & 4 other southern senators resign
1903 "Wizard of Oz" premieres in New York City NY
1942 Bronx magistrate rules all pinball machines illegal
1942 Count Basie records "One O'Clock Jump"
1976 The supersonic airliner 'Concorde' began its regular commercial service
1977 President Jimmy Carter pardons almost all Vietnam War draft evaders
1988 US accept immigration of 30,000 US-Vietnamese children
2003 The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Hispanics had surpassed Blacks as the largest minority group.

In 1982 (my birth year)...
•Ronald Reagan was President, George H.W. Bush was Vice President.
•John W. Hinckley, Jr. found not guilty because of insanity in shooting of President Reagan.
•Michael Jackson releases Thriller, which sells more than 25 million copies, becoming the biggest-selling album in history.
•John Belushi dies of a drug overdose at age 33.
•Cats opens on Broadway. Becomes Broadway's longest-running play.
•E.T. – the Extra-Terrestrial was released.
•Grammy Winner - Song of the Year: "Bette Davis Eyes"
•A permanent artificial heart is implanted in a human for first time.
•MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) diagnostic machines are introduced in Britain.
•There were approximately 3.6 million births in the U.S. - celebrities born this year include Jessica Biel, Kelly Clarkson, Anne Hathaway, Andy Roddick, and Prince William.
•Jennifer and Jessica are the #1 and #2 girl names. Valerie is ranked #75. For boys, #1 and #2 names are Michael and Christopher. #75 for boys is Nathaniel.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This, that, and the other...

* The weather this week has been fabulous. After the girls' rest in the early afternoon, we've been heading outside for a few hours to play. The sun has been shining, and the temp. in the mid to high 60's has been PERFECT! We've enjoyed bike riding, scooter riding, outdoor hide-and-seek, games of chase, walking through the 'woods', sidewalk chalk, etc. What I've loved most is the fact that by the time we head inside, the girls are exhausted! After playing outside, they don't have much energy to whine or fight, and bedtime has been gloriously easy!

* During the last couple of weeks, I've gotten extra serious about couponing. Walmart is only for a few essentials I cannot find on sale elsewhere, and has been my friend. Of course, I'm also trying to actually eat stuff out of my pantry rather than hoarding it all for some undetermined time in the future.

* I just received a lecture because I forgot to put Julia's watch on before we went to the library this morning.

* I am really excited that "White Collar" is back with new episodes. I'm also thrilled to be watching new episodes of American Idol and House.

* This morning, I dropped ALOT of stuffed animals off at Goodwill. Kate Gosselin was very correct when she stated that stuffed animals can quickly overtake a house.

* Julia found a NEW Dora the Explorer library book to check out at the library this morning. I promise, I was more excited than she was! Phenix City's library only has a handful of Dora books and we've already memorized them all.

* As of this morning, Audrey has completed her round of antibiotics. THANK GOODNESS! Wrestling her into position, clamping her arms down with my elbows, prying her mouth open with my left hand, and using my right hand to force sticky purple stuff down her throat was getting O.L.D.

* Audrey's 5 days in her toddler bed have been fabulous! She goes down so easily! Well, except for Sunday's nap. I'm convinced, though, that her refusal to stay in bed that day was because she had fallen asleep for 10 minutes on the way home from church.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beautiful January days

Yesterday was gorgeous (and today promises to be the same) so we headed outside for a beautiful and rather warm afternoon. Isn't playdoh so much more fun outside??? There is so much less to clean up!

While the girls played, I decided to deal with a growing situation... baby clothes. I pulled the girls' old baby clothes out of the outdoor storage closet and figured out which Spring/Summer items I could try to resell. I realize that all of this should have been done by now. Audrey is going on 2, but I wasn't ready 1.5 years ago. Truthfully, if I wasn't hoping to move soon I'm not sure I would be ready now! However, a month ago I pulled some of my favorite baby clothes out to (hopefully) have a baby memory quilt made so sorting through the extra wasn't too emotional.

Until I got to the dresses

Baby girl dresses

ADORABLE baby girl dresses

for example...

Let's hear it for initials! These were the girls' first matching dresses. The only thing I dislike about these is that Julia's cannot be passed down to Audrey... but, come on, so cute!

Then, I took a few deep sighs over wedding attire. Here are the dresses Audrey wore to her Poppa's, her Uncle Andy's, and her Aunt Amy's weddings.

First Easter dresses... Julia's is on the left, Audrey's on the right.

...and my favorites in the 18 months size...

Then, I found baby baby - NEWBORN dresses {sigh}

Finally, I saw this... not a dress, but definitely an outfit that BOTH girls wore often and that I have many memories and pictures of...
my favorite swimsuit.

I probably would have pulled out some of these dresses to go in my baby memory quilt, but it just seemed a travesty to cut them up. Another baby girl needs to wear these! I've already informed Matt that while I'm willing to pass these along to another family, he's the one that's going to have to make the exchange. I really don't want to have to hand them over myself... too many memories.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

things that annoy me...

*pour spilling on the compuper (bye adults... them chilrens our steal learning) - homofones our not two hard. If won more teacher tipes YOUR instead off YOU'RE eye mite go C.R.A.Z.Y.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(BTW - I realize computer typing is much less formal and that occasional spelling mistakes are going to happen... but the people who regularly mistake to, too, and two cause me to lecture in the direction of my computer.)

*playdoh on a newly cleaned kitchen floor
*a TV on during a family meal
*rude posts on facebook that then disappear after 24 hours
*burning food (is the problem my cookie sheets, my oven, or me???)
*never ending football talk
*being asked to dish out a snack 5 minutes after a meal
*whiny children
*whiny adults
*too few registers open at walmart
*having to repeat myself more than 2 times...
*having to repeat myself more than 2 times...
*having to repeat myself more than 2 times...
*being trapped in a church pew b/c people on both ends will not leave
*unsolicited advice from uninformed relatives
*unsolicited advice from uninformed strangers
*wrestling Audrey to the ground in order to force antibiotic down her throat
*3 year old backtalk
*Matt playing ALL games TO WIN instead of trying to teach Julia - ex.UNO!

I'll stop here, but this list is not complete! HAHA!

Things that make me happy!

my family
old/familiar CD's of which I know every lyric
socializing on facebook
walking into the sanctuary of my home church
a big, family breakfast
warm, sunny days
chubby toddler cheeks
giving "holdings" to a preschooler
new episodes of favorite TV shows - White Collar, House, and American Idol
visits from my parents and in-laws
new library books
time alone to read new library books
finding a clean kitchen (or any room not cleaned by me!)
reading blog posts by old friends
little girl giggles
losing a few lb's
a new puzzle book
electric blankets
By One get One deals combined with double coupons at the grocery
comfortable jeans
black high heels
hearing julia say and sing prayers
hearing audrey sing along with julia's prayers
feelings of peace about our near future
my jeep
emails from friends and family
playing board games with adults
singing made up songs
singing real songs
a massage
getting for real dressed (makeup, hair, the whole bit)
making Matt laugh
shopping all day and only using gift cards
pictures of my babies
having pretty fingernails
hearing a favorite song on the radio

I'll stop there. This list is in no way complete!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Cakewrecks is a website that I check out every once in awhile. I found this post hilarious.

My baby's not a baby :(

At some point in December, we decided to do away with the tray that goes with the high chair. Now, Audrey just gets pushed right up to the table.

She has also learned that milk is more fun to drink out of a cereal bowl than a cup. Of course, the extra sugar in the cereal milk might have something to do with it.

This morning, the rails on the crib came down.

Audrey was also given a pillow to sleep on. A PILLOW!!!!
I cried. Seriously.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Some toys should disappear

Below is a list of 5 toys currently in my home that I would prefer disappear from my home.

Polly Pockets: Tiny little pieces that get everywhere... Audrey is actually the one that likes these toys the most, and unfortunately she's also the one that makes the biggest mess.

Chutes and Ladders: I don't remember having this game when I was young, so I got it for Julia for Easter last year. Mistake! First of all, the game is boring. Second of all, the board is rather confusing for a young child to navigate. Matt might not admit it, but even he has trouble! :)

Hannah Montana Sticker Maker: The sticker maker pictured is of Dora and officially we have the Hannah Montana one. I'd also like to be sure and say (before Aunt Amy gets offended)that Julia loves this! I, however, do not. Mostly my dislike comes from the fact that it feels as if it's more of a chore for ME. Most of the cutting and gluing all rests in my hands because of the small size of the pictures. Both my girls wind up enjoying the stickers once they're made. Even once the 'sticky' is gone, they still hoard them.

Candyland: Classic right? It's a game of chance so Julia has just as good a chance to win as I do. Simple rules, usually a quick game... but still this game isn't for me. The reason I groan whenever this game is pulled out is because Julia doesn't play Candyland to win. She plays hoping to draw as many 'pink' cards as she possibly can. (Pink cards aren't the plain old color cards. Pink cards are the ones that have the candy cane, jelly bean, lollipop, etc. on them.) Playing Candyland with Jules can be rather frustrating since on each turn she draws 3 or 4 times just hoping for a card she likes, and the game can be downright frightful if I DARE to unknowingly draw a pink card before her highness. Today's game resulted in tears because I drew 2 pink cards before she did.

Corn Popper: The fact that this toy is in the house is totally my fault. Santa brought this for Christmas just a few weeks ago. I just knew that even though it was kind of a "baby" toy my girls would like it b/c it made noise and could be pushed around. I was right about both of them liking the toy. However, while making dinner tonight, I decided that I no longer liked the corn popper. Popping sound on carpet I can take. Popping sound as the toy is pulled all over the kitchen gets annoying.

*I assure you that I'm actually very thrilled and certainly blessed for my children to have SOOO many toys. They definitely do not do without... our house looks like Toys R Us!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Amerian Idol Is Back!

The last 2 evenings, I've been glued in front of the TV watching American Idol. I've been a fan for 5 or 6 years now, maybe longer. Since the tryout portion of the show is also the funniest, I thought I'd include a list of some of my favorite comments from the first 2 episodes of the season.

*You sound like a cat barking.
*Come on Simon, you're gorgeous!
*It made me gradjatate to music.
*You just need to stand away from Miss Annoying.
*Are you serial??
*Do you have a motor or something going on in your throat?
*SHUT UP, you're through to Hollywood.
*I did my best... I hit really loud notes!
*I'm gonna ride on an air-o-plane!
*You won Miss Congeliality?

I also just loved the 62 year old man who decided to show up and perform his original song. A few of the lyrics..."Lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground. Walkin' downtown, gold teeth in and your pants on the ground. Lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground."

The first 2 episodes also made me come to the conclusion that of the guest hosts, Victoria Beckham is MUCH more polite than Mary J. Blige. Coming into A.I. auditions as a judge - it's a given that you're going to have to hear some really bad singers. Victoria was mostly able to politely tell them that singing just wasn't a good career choice for them. Mary just kept busting out with laughter! Instead of chuckling at the lack of self-awareness of the contestant, I wound up thinking "HOW RUDE - at least show them a TAD of respect." In my opinion, Mary was much ruder and more disrespectful than Simon, and as every American Idol fan knows - finding someone 'ruder' than Simon is a hard task.

a new 4 letter word

Julia received this spelling/puzzle game for Christmas. It's really the perfect level for her. There are 20 different mini-puzzle to put together, and each puzzle is of a different 3 or 4 letter word. She loves going through the entire box and finishing all 20 puzzle making sure to spell and "sound out" each word. Fabulous right?? Well, Julia was playing this game by herself the other day when Matt heard the word "fock." Of course, he whipped his head up SO FAST and said "What did you say??" Apparently, his reaction told Julia that she had inadvertantly said something wrong... she quietly pointed and asked what a letter was. Matt responded "X." "Oh," said Julia "FOX!"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I hate clothes!

Don't get me wrong... I'm not about to go preaching about my preference for the au naturel look! I fully support the social requirement to have articles of clothing physically covering one's body. I do wish, though, that society would lower its fashion standards. Why can't pajamas and a robe be more socially acceptable?? Why should anyone look down on jeans and a goodwill t-shirt??

I HATE shopping! Indecisiveness is a problem for me, and stores crammed full of hundreds/thousands of clothing options are not good. When shopping, I literally feel this dull ache of panic as it rises from the pit of my stomach up to my chest (where my heart begins to race) and then to my head (where it feels as if I'm going to go crazy or just break down in tears.)

I HATE the fact that the panic I feel towards shopping sometimes causes me to have a meltdown IN PUBLIC!

I HATE the way it is so hard to find something that I think looks good.

I HATE that when I DO find something that I think looks good, it usually makes me FEEL uncomfortable. It's too low cut, too tight, too itchy...

I HATE clothes that need special care. I'm willing to line dry, but hand wash or dry clean?? I don't think so.

I HATE the anxiousness that happens at home as I stand in the closet looking around, trying to find something that makes me look and feel good. I hate this even more, because I know deep down that I could look all day long in the aforementioned closet and still never find anything that I like.

I've mentioned before that I would love to just have someone go shopping and buy my clothes for me. I used to think I would love a stylist. However, that really wouldn't solve all my problems. Sure, it would keep some of the public anxiousness at bay - but a stylist would typically expect me to sacrifice some of my comfort for fashion. Stacy London isn't going to care whether or not I feel a little exposed! I'm not sure what exactly the solution is to end my hatred toward clothing (believe me when I say I've been looking for a solution for years.) I just thought I'd share my feelings since many of the people who read my blog already know that I have this aversion.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's a U.T.I.

Audrey woke up yesterday morning with a 104.6 fever. It went down with Tylenol, but when she woke at 2:00 from her nap, it was back up over 104. We headed to Pediatric Afterhours where they put a bag on her to try to get a urine sample, Audrey was not happy with this. She cried when they put it on her, and after I had put her pants back on she kept trying to take them off saying "Poo-poo ewwww." (Poo-poo is the only word she uses in reference to her nether region.) While we waited for Audrey's urine sample, they also swabbed her nose and throat for a flu and strep test. Audrey SCREAMED like CRAZY when this was done. Afterwards, she tried to nap in my arms, but whenever a door was opened ANYWHERE in the clinic she would let out a "NOOO" and attempt to scramble deeper into my arms. Babe was scared to death they were going to come after her again.

After an hour or so of waiting on a urine sample, the NP came and suggested we walk around - that we didn't have to just sit in the room. I thought that heading down to the water fountain would be a good idea - Audrey wasn't interested in the juice I had brought or the 7up the nurse had given, but we needed her to drink! Water fountains are still fun and new for her. Unfortunately, the second we headed out the door, Audrey walked out saying "Ju-Ju, Daddy, Ju-Ju, bye-bye" She thought we were going home :( Sorry darling!

2+ hours waiting for a sample, I finally gave in to a catheter. :(

I cried the second I laid her down on the table. I continued to cry, hold her hands and stroke her cheek while the nurses took care of business. As soon as the cath was over Audrey stopped crying, but my tears continued for about 5 more minutes. Then more tears started falling as I worried that this whole thing was just a virus and I'd put her through an AWFUL afternoon for nothing.

As it turns out, Audrey definitely has an infection. N.P. said it would take til Tuesday to read the culture, but she started us on the antibiotic that was the most likely one we'd need. We have to call our pediatrician tomorrow to find out what the culture reading was.

After a stop at Walgreens for the antibiotic, we finally made it home. Audrey kept telling Matt and Julia about "Doctor, poo-poo, ewwww" while I explained what she was talking about. This trip to the doctor definitely left an impression on her.

She had a rough night, but Audrey's feeling ok right now. When her tylenol is kicked into gear she feels good enough to get up, eat, even fight with Julia! She refused to look at the camera, but here's a pic from this morning.

And, here's a picture that Matt took of me last night at 9:15.... what can I say? It's been a long 48 hours.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

We're Home

After Matt got back from lunch, he decided that we should just come on home. I feel really bad that our plans for the weekend got derailed, but I'm also pleased to be back in the comfort of home while Audrey's sick.

We didn't leave Aiken until 4:30, therefore didn't make it back home until after 10. Along the way we stopped to eat, where I decided to take pictures...

Yes, the girls are wearing pajamas. Julia really wanted to, and when she made that request my immediate thought was that pajamas would be the most comfortable thing for Audrey to wear. So, here we are in an Arby's outside Atlanta looking spiffy!

Immediately upon arriving home, I grabbed the thermometer and checked Audrey's temp. 102.7 in one ear and 103 in the other. As I sit here typing, I'm worrying that it was perhaps even higher - that perhaps the quick (COLD) run from the car to the house might have lowered it. I need to stop it, I don't need to worry anymore than I am.... I cried a good portion of our trip home, and here's a comment I made on facebook today: In my mind, every second that she's sick is a second closer to her suffering lifelong kidney problems b/c of my providing insufficient medical care. Anyone care for a nice helping of drama???

One of the emails I received a few moments ago, kind of put me in my place. I've been following the story of a family whose twin boys were born very premature in December. One of the boys died within just a few days of birth, but the other has been fighting to survive for nearly a month now. How fortunate am I to be blessed with 2 children who are so ridiculously HEALTHY that a blasted fever has me freaking out???!!!

SC - sat.

We're still in S.C. The girls and I are hanging out at the hotel while Matt is having lunch with some church people. Why aren't we with them? Because Audrey's sick. She's got a fever. I wish I could tell you exactly how high the fever is, but I can't because I don't have a thermometer. I also do not currently have any tylenol to give the poor child. Why do children most often get sick when they are AWAY from home????

A week or so ago, we noticed that Audrey had some foul smelling urine. However, she's had this before (like 6-9 months ago) and it just went away quickly. Since there were no other symptoms - I just figured it was something she was eating. She's had the not so great smell to her diapers off and on since last weekend.

Yesterday, she was whiny (no shock since we were in a car all day and she ALWAYS whines in the car.) If you read my earlier post from today, you'll notice that Audrey was very tired yesterday night (no nap, and it was her bedtime) and that she didn't eat much. She didn't eat much for breakfast this morning either, and we noticed the fever soon after. Ever since, she's just wanted to be held.

So... I'm waiting for the doctor (in Columbus, GA) to call back so I know whether or not to search out a doctor here. We'll see how long it takes for the callback to be made... it is the weekend after all. Matt's also thisclose to us just leaving tomorrow morning (a day early) if Audrey's not feeling better.

We'll see....

Audrey's asleep in her playyard right now. Julia's in the bed, watching TV, and eating cheeto's (awful i know, but what can I say??? I'm mom-of-the-year.)

South Carolina, so far

We're visiting a church this weekend, just a preliminary visit. Yesterday, we toured the church, hung out with the pastor and his family, and then went out to eat. I'm not really going to go into details about my feelings regarding the job position but I will highlight a few other things.

Dinner wasn't scheduled until 7:30. However, it was Friday night. We didn't actually get to a table until 8:30. We ate at a Japanese restaurant, and the food wasn't brought out to cook until 8:52. All fine and dandy if it were just me and Matt... but the girls were with us. Typically, they eat at 6ish and go to bed between 8 and 8:15. They were especially tired since neither of them napped AT ALL in the car. Plus, they weren't able to keep themselves busy (by playing and running around) since we were in a restaurant.

You know how at Japanese restaurants the chefs always do a little show as they're just getting started... including a nice little display of fire to "wow" everyone? Well, Julia saw the table next to us light up and she shrieked. When our chef made a little onion pyramid and made that fire up, she cried. Julia continued whimpering in "fear" for the rest of the meal. She did enjoy some salad (typically she refuses to eat salad) and a little rice and chicken. When vegetables were placed on her plate, Julia asked repeatedly, "I dont' have to eat broccoli??"

Audrey was so tired, there were times she could barely keep her head up. She whined. Her eyes had the tendency to glaze over if she tried to focus. She didn't want to sit in the high chair (just my lap), and she didn't take a single bite the entire time we were there. Did I mention that she whined??

All of this adds up to a tasty, but rather unfun meal.

Reliving an embarrassment

Thursday night, I received an email from my cousin Ellen with a link to her wedding pictures. I was really excited to look at them, but I made a mistake when I opened the webpage...

I called Matt in the room so he could look at them with me.

In case you don't realize, this is the wedding where I FAINTED in the middle of the ceremony, thankyouverymuch.

A few of the comments I heard while looking at Ellen's beautiful wedding pictures were:
* Look, there's the guy that caught you.
* There you are... still standing for now.
* Hmm, some of these ceremony pictures look a little cropped.
* Is that Bob searching his pockets for a mint??
* Are you back up yet?

All of these comments were interspersed with him doing reenactments too.

I should have looked at the pictures By Myself.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

10 things you might not know about Matt

1. Apparently, Matt doesn't enjoy having his picture made. I had no pictures of him by himself to put on here.

2. During Florida football games Matt doesn't sit down at all. He stands in front of the TV and paces.

3. A few months ago, I asked Matt to start the dishwasher. His truthful reply was "I don't know how." --- Sheesh! I blame myself.

4. The first year we were married, Matt wrote a song for me. Well, he wrote lyrics. He still hasn't come up with the music to go with it. Of course, I don't think he's been trying.

5. Matt's such a sweetheart. He had our first date all planned out. We were going to go to dinner and a movie. What movie did he choose? That would be "SHREK." Not because he thought I would enjoy it, but because he wanted to pick the shortest movie possible in case I wound up annoying him.

6. Like many men, when I was pregnant he wanted boys. He specifically wanted a left handed boy that would grow up to become a fantabulous pitcher or quarterback. What he has now is a 3 year girl who can barely walk around the house without stumbling over her feet and a 1 year old girl who has the tendency to throw sucker punches.

*I had trouble coming with all 10 items about Matt (that I thought he would approve of me posting) so I asked Julia to help me come up with a few things to tell everyone about her daddy. Her replies are below.

7. He drinks coffee.

8. He plays with Julia and Audrey.

9. He lives in Alabama.

10. He likes to go to Bruster's. (ice cream shop)

10 things you might not know about Audrey!

1. She loves corn.

2. She's addicted to her B's. "B" is what she calls her pacifiers. We seem to spend half of our day looking for them, because dear Audrey feels incomplete without a 'B' in her mouth and one in each hand.

3. This week, we've gotten into the pattern of often going to sit on the potty after a diaper change. She gets so proud of herself and will call out for Julia to come see her.

4. When Audrey was born, her big sister was unable to say "Audrey." Instead, Julia called her "Audra." When we were in Julia's presence- Matt, the grandparents, and I soon found ourselves referring to the baby as "Audra" too. To this day, there are people at our former church that think our 2nd born is named "Audra."

5. Often, the only thing she will eat at dinner is fruit. She snubs her nose at meats and most vegetables (corn on the cob and mashed white/sweet potatoes are the only ones I can think of that she'll eat.) Last night, for instance, she ate some orange slices, pushed her plate away, and pronounced that she was "Done."

6. Audrey is a "little Mommy." She loves caring for her baby dolls. At any given time, she will have a baby asleep in the crib(covered with a blanket of course), 1 baby in the high chair (bib on), another in the rocker, a baby under each arm, and a slew of them strewn around the room. Of course, if Julia touches ANY of them... the wrath of Audrey comes out.

7. She's really good at hide-and-seek. Julia's closet is her favorite hiding spot. She climbs all the way in the back and can be ridiculously still and quiet.

8. Audrey likes to stand in her Daddy's lap and slow dance with him - "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus is her favorite. She's so adorably sweet.

9. 2 days ago, she was 'slow dancing' with Matt when she randomly leaned back and slugged him. She also has no qualms whatsoever about hitting her sister. Perhaps, my baby isn't so adorably sweet.

10. When Audrey gets in big trouble and has to sit in time out (1 whole minute of torture) she is then told to hug/apologize to the person she offended. Instead of hugging just that person, Audrey will search out everyone in the house until she's hugged us all.

I'm hoping to do a "10 things" list about Matt tomorrow. We'll see if I'm able to come up with anything that he allows me to post!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

10 things you might not know about JULIA

1. Julia received the pictured apron and muffin pan for Christmas along with a few other kitchen tools. The first thing we made together after receiving these items was cornbread. Now, she thinks we need to make cornbread for every meal.

2. Julia rarely takes a nap anymore. When she does sleep, she almost always wakes up in a "sad" mood.

3. When Julia's sad, she doesn't hesitate whatsoever to ask for a "holding" or a "snuggle." It's very sweet; I hope she continues this for years to come.

4. Her nickname is Ju-Ju. The first person I ever heard use the nickname "Ju-Ju" was a little girl from church, Annsley, who is just 7 months older than Julia. The name stuck. VERY FEW people at our former church bothered with her full name. This is also how she referred to herself for over 1.5 years. I have always thought it was really cute, except for the time or two when she has used her nickname in front of a curly headed individual with a hooked nose... in these instances I just felt uncomfortable.

5. She loves to eat carrots with ranch dressing. In fact, she also likes ranch dressing with her chicken nuggets and grapes.

6. Julia is awful about getting toothpaste all over the bathroom mirror. The reason, though, is because she doesn't bother to look down and aim. Instead, she admires herself in the mirror the whole time. She also stares and makes faces at herself continuously throughout dinner by looking at her reflection in the china cabinet.

7. Julia's going though a stage right now where she's very... curious about her body. She loves running around naked.

8. Often, Julia chooses to sleep on her bedroom floor in a sleeping bag rather than in her bed.

9. Julia didn't spend a night away from her mommy until she was 2 years and 3 days old. I was in the hospital, just having had Audrey.

10. Julia has learned, at the young age of 3, how to pull a dutch oven. After she does this, she yells out "you (s)mell it??" and then bursts out in hysterical laughter. Thank you, Matt.

Tomorrow, look for 10 things about Audrey!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

10 things you might not know about ME...

**In no particular order...**

1. When Matt and I were first married, I felt I had a huge dilemma on what to put on our parents Christmas present tags. I couldn't put "Mom" if it went to my mother and "Jimmie Kay" if it went to his. That's not fair, they're both our mothers. I also felt that first names in general to our parents was too impersonal. So, I developed a little system: I would put Mom and Dad on both sets of gifts. The difference was in how I signed the 'from' section. "From, Matt and Valerie" meant that it went to a Bowman. "From, Valerie and Matt" meant that the present went to a Ford. This system is no longer in use since they now go by different 'grandparent' names.

2. I once saved my brother's life by running in and telling my mom that he was turning blue (dag-blamed lifesavers.) You're welcome, Andy.

3. I bought one of Julias' Santa presents this year from Goodwill.

4. I've been certified to teach in 3 different states, but I've never taught full-time.

5. My home number as a child was 901-424-5412. It's been more than 2 decades since my family has had that number, but it's still seared into my mind.

6. We chose to be surprised with the gender of our first child. Less than 8 hours before my scheduled C-section, Matt and I FINALLY decided that if our firstborn were a boy, his name would be Barrett Ford Bowman.

7. I'm glad Julia's not a boy b/c now I really dislike the name 'Barrett.'

8. I didn't really get Matt's approval, but my "just in case the girl you're expecting comes out a boy" name for Baby #2 was Cullen.

9. I overthink things. ALOT. Currently, I'm worried about whether or not anyone with the name "Barrett" will stumble onto my site and consequently be offended.

10. My feet are dry and gross. I assume it's because whenever the daytime high is over 50 degrees I choose to wear flipflops/go barefoot.

Click HERE to read another "things you might not know about me" list.

Check back tomorrow for a list of things you might not know about JULIA!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Billy Blanks

I've had way too much chocolate in the last few weeks, and I was starting to feel very 'blah.' So, I got 2 new workout videos this afternoon. After the girls went to bed, I decided to try out one of them. Let me tell you, after 50 minutes of some Taebo I realized that...









Did you think I was going to say "out of shape??"
Truthfully, I am that too. But, I was literally stumbling over my feet during a number of the exercises. Thank goodness Matt wasn't in the living room to see me - although it would have been a great candid camera video to shoot.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Fancy Schmancy

I imagine that many others do this same thing, but the fancy schmancy fine china that we registered for pre-wedding never gets used at our house. In fact, it has only been displayed in a china cabinet for less than 2 of the 6+ years we've been married. Before that the beautiful (and EXPENSIVE) stuff was just packed away in boxes, only to be used (at most) once a year. Since last week was Christmas, I pulled out our rarely touched holiday china to use for our family's dinner. Isn't it pretty?

After Christmas, I decided that we should keep using it. So we did for another few days. Julia even requested that we keep using the Christmas plates. However, it's now January, and the Christmas season is over.


Today was New Year's Day - another holiday! So, even though I had decided to put away my Christmas china, we still had another lovely set ready and waiting.

(Lenox Pearl Platinum - in case you're wondering)

That is how this morning Matt, Julia, Audrey, Pop, and I wound up eating Eggs, Pancakes, and Orange slices off of some crazy expensive plates. I rather enjoy using the fancy stuff. I know that I 'should' keep it in the cabinet (we WILL chip it eventually,) but that's no fun. What's the point of registering for such nice things if you're not going to use them??