Friday, October 29, 2010

reading chair

I'm so glad my kid enjoys books already. She got This chair for her birthday and loves to sit in it and look at her books!

Friday, October 22, 2010

cant wait

Kaycie just can't wait to be forward facing on her birthday!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Wanna guess where all my canned goods are right now? If you guessed "in the recycle bin you had put in front of the cabinet to keep Kaycie out of the cans" then you're a winner!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


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Tuesday, September 21, 2010


No, I did not encourage this. This is what I busted her doing.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the monster in my closet

Whenever I lose my kid, I always go check her closet.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

What I've Been Reading

It makes me sad to realize how little I've read since getting pregnant. First I was too sick, then too busy, then too exhausted. But now that Kaycie has finally started sleeping at night (at least for the moment, she tends to go six weeks sleeping, then six weeks not) and napping consistently twice a day (1-2 hours each nap!) I have saturated myself with books. I went through a string of books that proved depressing, but only I only regretted one of them. I've also realized that my recent reads have taken me on a journey around the world, from 19th century China to modern Afghanistan and India to the Canaan of Biblical times. All but one of these focus on the themes surrounding women and their relationship with other women, men, and the culture they are born into. Here's what I've been reading:

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See - This was a fascinating look at the life of women in China in the 1800's. Once I got past the description of the foot binding (yowzers!) I was completely taken in by this book. It focuses on the friendship between two women who are contractually bound together as young girls and face the challenge of maintaining a friendship as they grow older, grow apart, and live in very different social conditions. A showcase of Chinese culture and character development. I can say with some honesty that this book made me stop and think about my own friendships and what I needed to do to be a better friend. It was probably my favorite of the "women" books in this list.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
- I was a bit disappointed by this one. It's a fictional story giving an account of the life of Dinah from the Bible. The first half explored the relationship between Dinah and her mothers in contrast to her relationship with the men in the family. The second half focused on her internal struggles living with her mother-in-law in Egypt. I don't know if it was the attempt to weave as much Biblical reference as possible into the story or the onslaught of characters, but I stayed distracted trying to remember the names and relationships. It was interesting, but for some reason I was expecting a little more.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
- This book is by the same author as The Kite Runner, which I read a few years ago. The Kite runner was a pretty rough story, so I had been a little reluctant to read this one. Despite the depressing nature of the story, I liked this one better. The story spans a few decades in Afghanistan and features two different women from very different circumstances who end up married to the same awful, abusive man. I can't even begin to describe the different relationships covered, it's a pretty tangled web, but the book is very well written, has great character development, and has a good (if slightly 'easy') ending. This was actually the last of these books I read and the happy ending was quite the relief. I will say that my timing was bad. I learned quite a bit about Afghan politics that made me understand our current political position there a bit better, and made me very nervous for my Uncle being deployed there.

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar - Please don't ready this book. The only reason I finished it was because I thought for sure there would have to be one uplifting scene before the end. There wasn't. Every single thing that happens to all the characters in this book is awful. And while the other three books I've mentioned have similar themes and explore different cultures, this one intentionally doesn't do a whole lot of explaining about Indian culture. The author says in the afterward that she didn't want people to read this as a book about the struggle of women in India, she wanted them to read it as a story about the struggle of women everywhere. The problem is that she made a lot of references to Indian culture that weren't explained very well and left me confused. I seriously considered stopping halfway through and at the end I wished I had. At that point I really didn't care much about what happened to the characters, I didn't want to know anymore of their history or their future. I still don't.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
- WHEEEW. That sigh of relief was for a book that wasn't mired in a pit of despair for the women of the world. Very refreshing after the above string of misery. I'd had this book on my Reminder List for a while but the reviews were very mixed. I found it at the library and figured I'd give it a shot. I loved it. This was one of the most unique books I've ever read. Don't read it expecting a story. It's not about the plot, it's about the narrator - a 15 year old boy with autism. The plot is secondary to the character and the glimpse of his world. I understand why some people hated it, but I was amazed. Don't expect to understand everything you read. Part of the point of the story is that we can't understand the mathematical parts of his mind. We aren't supposed to. That's what makes autism different. I can't promise anybody else that they will enjoy this book, but I do recommend giving it a try.

One important thing I take from this list is the difference between Space in Between Us and Snow Flower. Where Snow Flower does an excellent job of taking the reader on a journey through Chinese culture and at the same time connected to my own life and made me think about my own relationships. Space in Between Us gave me a small but confusing glimpse into the Indian culture and left me thinking little more than I just wasted several hours of my life that I couldn't get back. I understand the point the author was making about the gaps between social class being universal, but she would have been better off weaving that into the book instead of explaining it in the interview in the afterward.

In the spirit of honesty, I followed that list up with some serious fluff. I've been flying through a series of trash reads (yes, I've sunk to a new low with the Sookie Stackhouse series of vampire novels, I'm on book 8). But right now I'm 15 pages into Memoirs of a Geisha, which I never read when it came out many years ago. Perhaps that will start my next list. Also on my To Be Read list - Invictus (the book that the movie was based on, about Nelson Mandela and his role in South Africa hosting the rugby World Cup), and Blue Like Jazz.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

4 Days

I have a huge respect for the men and women who serve in our military, but I honestly don't know how they do it.

My uncle is full time National Guard. Six years ago he was deployed to Iraq. Shortly after he left for training in Texas my grandfather died quite unexpectedly. A few months later, as his unit was in staging, days away from shipping out, my other uncle died after a very long and painful fight with cancer.

My uncle has been deployed again and has been gone most of the summer in training. He is coming home Wednesday night and shipping out to Afghanistan on Monday. He has four days to spend with his wife and kids. Four days to soak up all the love he can from his seven month old granddaughter who will be a small child by the time he returns.

Four days to see his mother, who was just told she probably won't live more than six more months without major invasive heart surgery, which she has already refused. At 84 and a severe diabetic, she probably wouldn't make it through the surgery and recovery. Doc said if she did have the surgery the recovery would be extremely difficult and would probably buy her a year or two.

How do you say goodbye to your mother in four days, knowing that it's the last one?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Shoe or drum?

Kaycie loves a shoe. Especially a shoe thats a drum.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Awesome new toy

Because dead leaves are fascinating! (and tasty)
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For Sale

Two weeks ago we put our house up for sale.

Let me start by saying that I'm not a good housekeeper. At times I'm not even an adequate housekeeper. My house usually contains entirely too much clutter, dust, and more than one article of clothing in the floor that needs to go in the washer.

I've owned this place for seven years and it has never been this clean. I mean it's clean. We rented a storage building and piled it full of excess stuff, including some larger pieces of furniture, to declutter and make the house look bigger. At this point I'm wondering if I can just sell the contents of the storage building and be done with it because the house looks so much better, is so much easier to actually clean, and most of that stuff has been in storage for over a month now and we haven't really missed it (except for the two boxes I had to go retrieve last week). The only thing I'm really missing is my bookshelf, and that's because every time I have a book requested on Paperback Swap I have to dig through a box to find it. This time of year that's an issue. The start of every semester means reading lists that usually put my account on meltdown. But I digress.

We had new carpet installed that I love. We had half the inside of the house painted, which turned into a nightmare. We still haven't finished touching up all the places that the painters either missed, forgot to do, or just made a mess of. It was bad enough we didn't want them coming back to fix it. There are several other repairs that we know need to be done, but I'm thinking they aren't at the top of my list right now, we can do them if requested after home inspection. We're about a year away from needing a roof and I'm ignoring the fact that we've had another foundation shift that needs to be dealt with at some point, but it doesn't seem to be severe yet.

I keep hoping the house will sell quickly, but it's not really an urgent matter. We don't have to move, we just want to. I'm not looking forward to having another mortgage. I am looking forward to an adult sized bathroom. We've found 3 houses that we really liked, two of which have since sold. One is still on the market and just had a price drop, but it had some quirks and I'd like to look at it again and have a foundation report done before we buy it. I know it had a crack but I don't know how bad it is. I can live with a small shift (been living with one for seven years!) but a big one would be expensive. None of which will matter if our house doesn't sell.

We had our first showing this morning. I'm hoping we get some feedback from it because I'm really curious to know how people see it. They certainly can't say it wasn't clean. Small, yes. Old, yes. A bit outdated in places, yes. But it's clean! I'm hoping that at some point, for some buyer, that will be enough.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mystery package

We were driving along today when we saw a UPS truck hauling a little brown UPS trailer behind it. I commented that he must have a lot of extra packages to deliver. Greg said it was probably one extra large package. After a few minutes of quiet thought on the matter Greg said, "Its a hippopotamus."

Me: The package?
Greg: Yep.
Me: A hippo?
Greg: Yep.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


No, she isn't soaking wet because of diaper malfunction.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Ok, so I've been thinking that I need to post some of the funny pictures that I spontaneously take of Kaycie doing typically destructive or funny stuff. The thing is, I usually take them with my phone and the quality is pretty terrible. But I'm going to post some anyway. Because she's pretty funny. I send these to Greg most days so he can keep up with what she's doing, why not share some with you too? (And Lauren, if you were my friend on BB messenger I could send these to you, too...) I'm getting a phone upgrade next month, maybe (but most likely not) it will be an improvement in camera quality. But who am I kidding? Next to my Nikon, phone cameras just suck. Anyway, just be aware that there might be some random posts that consist of low quality pictures of my kid doing weird stuff. It's because I'm posting from my phone. Here are a few recent samples:

Practicing for her future blog

Proof that she'll eat anything:

Destructor! But at least she loves books.

Begging for my toast. Who do you think will win?

And by the way, how about that new carpet! Woohoo!

9 Months - Time For Change (Updated)

My baby girl has now been my baby girl for as long as I was pregnant with her.


Today Kaycie flipped the calendar to 9 months old. We went to her check up and she's been deemed perfectly healthy and a child giant. Her weight didn't go up as much as I thought it would, she was just under 21lbs which puts her in the 85 percentile. That's the first time she's been under the 90th percentile since she was born, and I'm sure all the extra exercise from crawling around looking for trouble helped! She measured in at 30 inches, which was off the chart. Literally, doc said they called it "greater than 95th percentile." That explains the jump to size 18 month pants a couple of weeks ago.

She has done so much in the past month, it's hard to capture it all. She had her first lesson about hats. Hats are defined as anything you can put on your head. She didn't much like her first lesson.

Later lessons went much better. She liked this hat, probably because it matched her outfit so well.

She also had the opportunity to hang out with two of her namesakes, Aunt Kay and Sharonda (also a Kay). I think Kaycie is going to find that she has been named after quite a few amazing women.

Since she's started crawling we have been having all kinds of fun playing chase around the house. Kaycie usually catches me, which means standing up beside me while I'm on my hands and knees, and beating me in the back. I'll cry out, "Attack!" and she'll usually respond with a battle cry of, 'AAAAAHHHH!" It's ridiculously funny.

She is also getting into trouble going and coming. She loves to pull up on things that aren't sturdy and a we've taken a few tumbles. Greg and I have decided that our goal as parents is to keep as much of her blood inside her as possible. I haven't felt like I've done a very good job of that this past month, as she took two spills that resulted in busted lips. The first one was pretty bad, not long after she started pulling up she tried to pull up on our bed by grabbing the sheet, slipped and hit the bed rail with her face. There was much crying and more blood than I care to think about now. I think that was her first lesson that mobility is a dangerous thing. I wish I could protect her better, but she has a little bit of an adventurous spirit that sometimes leads to pulling a side table down on her head. These things are going to happen.

She's also started standing up for several seconds on her own without support. I wonder if I will be writing about her walking in my next update post...

Her favorite toys right now are balls, anything that plays music that she can dance too (that girl LOVES to dance!), the thermostat, light switches, door knobs, and the curtains over the back door which are perfect for peek-a-boo. Her nemesis is wash cloths. She like to bend them to her will then use them as weapons. And of course to play peek-a-boo.

The next few weeks will likely prove to be a challenge for us all. She's still not sleeping well most night and that's going to have to change. We're going back to gremlin rules - no feeding after midnight. She's not going to like it, since she's been having a mid morning snack between 1 and 4am most mornings. Doc said it time for her to suck it up, in part because it's time to lose the bottle. Kaycie is very attached to her bottle. Like, time for a 12 step program attached. So as we move her off formula and onto milk over the next few weeks we're also moving her off the bottle and onto a sippy. She's been drinking water from a sippy with her meals for a couple of months and likes it fine, but it's not her bottle and she doesn't usually drink as much from it as she will a bottle. I don't know how she will take to milk - she's been on soy formula because she had a lot of tummy issues with milk early on - but we're will be finding out tomorrow morning. Hopefully it'll work out fine and we can expand her diet to include all kinds of fun dairy. She needs to have some ice cream! And mac and cheese, and just plain cheese, and yogurt... So many new things waiting for her. Oh, and she's pretty much done with baby food. She's a big girl, she wants to feed herself things like carrot sticks and diced fruit and sweet potato chunks and my toast. I can't imagine how I'll get enough food in her to survive once we're done with formula. It takes her forever to eat!

I can't believe the first time I posted this I forgot to mention her four new teeth, all of which arrived within 48 hours of each other. And her doc said she thinks a couple more are on their way. Don't kids start popping teeth out without even thinking about it at some point? Let's hope so, because Kaycie will have a mouth full in about a week at this rate. AND didn't mention that she's finally started babbling. She was down with the "ma-ma-ma" a couple of weeks ago, but then she learned the "bwa-bwa-bwa" and the "ma-ma-ma" was so last week. I've been desperately trying to get her to do the "da-da-da' but she's not into that yet.

For the record, I went back and updated that last paragraph (twice) not because I really think anybody cares, but because this is my record of her progress, and the way I'm keeping up with all the new things she's learning. I usually do these later at night after she's in bed, so I'm exhausted and forget a lot. When I think of important things later, I'll go back and add them for my own record.

Finally, I have about a dozen posts I want to do about things that are pretty much not at all related to Kaycie, things like trying to sell our house and the crazy things related to that. Things like the fact that she's napping well enough for me to be reading some great books again. Things like the fact that my parents bought a motor home, and I think that's awesome. Things like the fact that I've been off my ADD meds for two years now and how I'm managing. Things like how we're certifiably insane for planning a trip to Disney World for Kaycie's first birthday (we're soooo taking a set a grandparents!). I need to make a point, at least once a week, to reserve a nap time to sit and write. I miss blogging so much, but it's habit that it's too easy to fall out of when you're not sitting at a desk at work all day! =)

I can't leave a Kaycie update post with that, so instead I'll leave with one of my favorite pics of the past month. She's almost perfected her pitiful:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Insight Into the Mind of a Kaycie

Things Kaycie Finds Offensive:

1. A neatly folded pile of washcloths
2. Rings (or stars) properly stacked on a stacker
3. Books neatly lined up on a bookshelf
4. Anything stored or organized in a basket, bucket, bag, or box
5. Order

Things Kaycie Finds Pleasing:

1. Chaos

This sheds some light into the Edwin vs Ian debate.*

It also makes me wonder if she would go totally insane if I put a stack of neatly folded washcloths inside a box with a ring stacker on top.

*We have left it up to Kaycie as to which of the Emmer boys she chooses to marry, Edwin, the brilliant leader of the Forces of Good, or his younger brother Ian, evil genius, leader of the Forces of Evil, and future Grand Ruler of the Universe.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

8 Months - Not So Little Anymore

My baby girl isn't a baby anymore. She's a big girl, eating her finger foods and exploring her world without reservation. Last time I posted she was rolling around like crazy. That lasted another week, by Father's Day she was crawling a couple of steps at a time, mostly motivated by the idea of getting the pup. Within two more days she was crawling like she was born to it. She immediately started pulling up to stand and trying to glide along the furniture. To be honest, crawling is just a means to an end. Standing up is where it's at!

There are a couple of benefits to crawling. Like playing with her new toy:

She also likes to chase me around boxes in the floor. Yes, we are packing up our house to have new carpet installed and hopefully sell the house so we can move, thus the pile of boxes everywhere that are sooooo tasty and fun. Everything is an adventure now. Most days I message Greg a picture of something new she's gotten into. I should do a post of just those pictures, but the camera on phone is pretty bad, so the quality of those pictures is awful on the big screen!

Kaycie has also quit sleeping well over the past couple of weeks. Dang 8 month sleep regression/growth spurt. She's been waking up 2-4 times a night starving. The pup isn't helping; he's woken her up the past two night with his crazy howling from the living room. I don't know what I'm going to do with all these growth spurts. She's already in 12 month clothes!

We finished our music class in June and I've already found a new class for fall, this one in Clinton instead of downtown Jackson. I haven't decided whether to register her for another music class (she loved the last one) or a sign language/music class. I want to get her in a Mother's Morning Out program where she can make some friends, but the only one I've found in Clinton won't take kids under 1, so I have her on the waiting list for November. Hopefully they'll have something open by then.

It's amazing how quickly she's growing and learning to do new things. I can't wait to see what this month brings. We go back to the doc for a checkup on her 9 month birthday, so we'll have another weight and length check then as well as some possible dietary changes. The last time Greg got on the scale with her she was a little over 20lbs. My baby girl is getting so big!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Months Six and Seven

I would like to start with a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my mom, who share's Kaycie's 7 month birthday. And it was one year ago to the day that we had the ultrasound that told us we were having a girl. They did not mention that she would be a cutapotamus, but I suppose they didn't know.

That said, I can't believe I skipped the six month update. I didn't realize how quickly Kaycie's been changing until I went back and reviewed her 5 month update and thought that it seemed like forever ago. At her six month checkup Kaycie was a little over 18 pounds and measured 27 inches. That's in the 90th and 95th percentiles respectively. She's a giant of a child. She's already outgrown her infant carrier car seat, which was rated up to 20 pounds but her feet were dangling off the edge, so we upgraded to a convertible big girl car seat last month.

At the end of April we went to the beach. It was sooo much fun despite the bad weather that kept us off the sand. We stayed at Ft. Morgan (as always) and created new chapters of the Kaycie Fan Club at Tacky Jack's 2 in Ft. Morgan*, several places in Gulf Shores including Bahama Bob's, and in Pensacola, Foley, and Hattiesburg. We went to the zoo and she got a huge kick out of watching the baby tigers. It appeared to be mutual, as the baby tigers kept stalking her through the fence. All four grandparents came down the last weekend we were there and we had an awesome time taking them to eat at our favorite spots and sharing our little slice of beachy heaven. Ironically, the week we were there was the week the oil spill started. When we left they were afraid of having oil on the beaches the next week, but from what I understand it's just starting to arrive this week. I want to cry ever time I think about it. I want Kaycie to grow up loving that beach as much as Greg and I do, but I'm afraid it's going to be a long time before she gets to play in the sand there. That will not stop us from visiting, we still love to eat! In the best news of all, Kaycie magically started sleeping through the night on our third night there and has pretty much slept from 7pm to 6:30am every night since. (Excuse me while I pause to do a happy dance.)

Not only can she sit up like a pro now, she's also officially mobile. Not crawling, although she is DESPERATE to figure it out, but rolling around like cue ball on crack. She can very nearly fit under our new TV console, which is why if you come visit we have a giant stuffed animal and several pillows shoved under it. She has discovered a deep love for electrical cords. And computer cables. And anything else that might be close to the floor that she doesn't need to be eating. Heaven help me when she starts crawling. She's already mastered getting up on her hands and feet and rocking. I find her that way every single time I go to get her out of the crib. Except for the times I find her sitting up without assistance. And Greg swore she crawled one step to get a toy the other night. I don't doubt it.

She's mostly gotten over her fear of her grandfathers. Whew. She hung out in the back yard with her Papaw Hall one afternoon for like an hour. That is a huge relief.

At our last check in she was starting solid food, but shortly after I cut them out completely because she was having a lot of digestive issues. We started back the week she turned 6 months and it's been smooth sailing ever since. She'll eat anything I put on a spoon. At the 7 month mark I have a whole new list of things I can cook for her, so she'll be trying all kinds of new vegetables, brown rice, and get her first taste of chicken in the weeks to come. She's even drinking out of a sippy cup in her high chair! Sorta. If I help her hold it up. It's still a little heavy for her.

I've become a little more convinced that we're going to have a lefty on our hands. Back in March Lauren noticed that she seemed to have a left hand preference, but she was going back and forth between both hands depending on which was closer to the object. Since then I've noticed that when I feed her she always grabs the spoon with her left hand. And given the option she often chooses to hold things or pick them up with the left. Oh sigh. Her Papaw Butler is left handed. I hope that's not a sign! =)

Kaycie also got to meet her little cousin Braxtyn a few weeks ago. Braxtyn was born in January but has only been home from the NICU for a few weeks. They both seemed to get a kick out of staring at each other, and Kaycie was pretty interested in touching her. Just wait until the holidays, they'll both be getting into so much trouble!

I also started taking Kaycie to her first music class this month. It's a four week Kindermusic class at our church, but they do regular classes in the fall that I may sign her up for. She's really enjoyed the singing and dancing and staring at strangers. There are only a few kids in her class and she's the youngest and the only girl. I'm thinking about taking a stick next weeks to keep those boys away!

When I put her on the scale this morning she was just a smidge under 20 pounds. Such a big girl.

*We ate at Tacky Jack's 2 so much that one of the hostesses friended me on Facebook. We miss you, Marsha! Kaycie says hi!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tales of the Totapotamus

My kid has this fascination with people in restaurants sweeping the floor ('cause you know she doesn't see that at home!). Today we were eating at Cane's and she was hanging the high chair at the end of the booth when I leaned over and said, "Hey Kaycie, I hate to tell you but there's a woman right behind you sweeping the floor!" Now I'm not suggesting anything here, but as soon as I said it she whipped her entire body around and stared in amazement at the woman sweeping the floor until we left.

Yes, I know I didn't post a six month update. I didn't think about it until this past week. I'll probably just wait and do a 6-7 combo, because that girl has been super busy learning new things over the past couple of months!

More Classic Conversations

How you know you're in a neighborhood that's way out of your league:

Me: "There's a reasonable sized house."
Greg: "Ummmm."
Me: "No, wait, that's the garage..."

Monday, May 3, 2010

Classic Conversations

Me: Is there any lemonade left in my cup over there?

Greg: (picking up two cups) Is yours the green one? It has lemonade.

Me: I dunno. Does it have anything growing in it?

Greg: No, but the purple one does.

Me: I'll go with the green one.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

5 Months

Kaycie turned 5 months old over the weekend. Yes, I'm a bit late posting an update, but we were out of town over the weekend and I've been sleeping in 2 hour segments every night since we got home, so functioning on a high level hasn't been a priority. No doc visit this month, but the last time we put her on the scale she was nearly 17 1/2 pounds and is now wearing some of her 9 month clothes. Geezum peetes.

As you may have guessed, Kaycie has quit sleeping. She's going to bed around 7, waking up at 8 (and sometimes again at 9) then sleeping in 3 hour spurts, at most, with at least one hour and half spurt at some point during the night. My child is slowly killing her momma. Yes I've tried crying it out. No, it doesn't work. I have read many times that the 4-6 month stretch simply sucks when it comes to sleep and the most effective thing to do is wait it out and remember that it won't last forever. One point made was that no kid every has to take her momma to college to rock her back to sleep at 2:30 in the morning. There have been nights of late when I fear Kaycie may be the first...

Her eating is also all screwed up. Most of the time when she wakes up at night she's starving and will take a full bottle. During the day she isn't hungry much and just grazes. She'll eat a couple of ounces, wait half an hour, eat another ounce, wait a while, and then be hungry again right at naptime and take half a bottle. This is not a good schedule. Nothing I've tried will get her back on track. I mention this mostly on the off chance somebody out there has a piece of magical advice to solve the feeding/sleeping conundrum so that I can actually sleep again before I'm a member of AARP. And for the record, if you do have a solution, based on everything I've read, I'm pretty sure you could be a millionaire quickly.*

But on to the fun parts. We've started eating solid food! Carrots are the current favorite, but she's also eating acorn squash, peas, bananas, and avocado. She isn't entirely sure about the avocado, but if I mix with the squash it's the most awesome thing ever. I dunno why. Next up on the list is sweet potatoes, green beans, and butternut squash. I'm hoping to get her introduced to enough new foods before we leave for vacation that I can take a variety and not have to try something new while we're at the beach.

Oh please let her start sleeping before we leave for the beach!

Being her daddy's child, she's become obsessed with electronic gadgets. My cell phone is a favorite, along with TV remotes and my laptop. Of course, she shares my DNA as well and therefore can entertain herself with a plastic cup. At least she's well rounded.

The problem with stranger anxiety has eased up a little. The only people she has serious issues with now are her two grandfathers. This is a problem people. She absolutely loves BFF Lauren and Uncle Bill. And she's fascinated by Casper. She'll talk to him, watch him closely as he moves around the house, and has starting trying to pet him. Oh boy.

She can sit up on her own for short stretches of time. Not well enough for me to leave her while she's doing it, but she doesn't need me for support. I mostly catch her when she topples over reaching for things. She's also started rolling from side to side all the time, and occasionally rolls herself onto her tummy by accident. I say by accident because being on her tummy is the worst thing ever and will bring on a traumatized fit. If tummy time is required for crawling, I think she'll be happy to just skip to walking. She also has moved into the stage where she gets traumatized if we leave the room. That brings a whole new challenge to trying to do laundry or cook on the grill.

And did I mention we're getting a tooth up front? She's been biting the daylights out of me with it since last Friday!

I'm sure there are a dozen things I'm missing, but I'm too tired to worry about it. Here's hoping next month brings more sleep.

*While desperately researching the sleep issue I found this website which I love. Very practical information like, "the 3-6 month stage absolutely SUCKS when it comes it sleeping..."

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I finally got to plant my box garden this year. My dad made me a box last fall, which I planned to plant in March. Unfortunately, I spent all of March, April, and part of June trying really hard to keep my head out of the toilet. To put it mildly, the first trimester of pregnancy is not the ideal time to start a garden!

This year I was afraid I wouldn't make it again. I didn't want to keep Kaycie outside for long stretches and, well, I pretty much spend all my time with her! But thankfully my mom came to visit last week while Greg was out of town and between the two of us we got the dirt and the seeds and got everything planted. The amazing thing is that I had the first signs of spouts less than a week later!

And I mean I have some serious sprouts. Yesterday morning I went out and I found this:

Then yesterday afternoon that same sprout looked like this:

And I'm not talking one sprout, I have sprouts all over my box! These are green beans, but I also have zucchini, butternut squash, acorn squash, buttercup squash, spinach, carrots, green peas, and an eggplant. Every single one of them have sproutage! I'm stoked. For the record, no, this garden isn't much for Greg and I. Greg won't touch hardly any of that (maybe the green beans, maybe). It's mostly for Kaycie. We go out twice every day to look at her sprouts. I can't wait to feed her fresh veggies from her own garden!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Kitchen Week

It's Kitchen Week here at the Hall home.

What's kitchen week? It's what most people would consider a kitchen day, but as I have an almost 5 month old baby girl, I'm giving myself a more realistic time frame...

A couple of months ago we revised our weekly grocery budget so I could shop less often and stock up on sale items when I did. After several weeks I now have a stash of food and I need to do something with it. I found the meat I like to use for steak bites on sale twice, so I need to cut them into bites and freeze them in batches in marinade. I also stocked up enough ground beef to make several batches of homemade sloppy joes, tacos and spaghetti sauce for the freezer. Kroger must have miscalculated the need for pork chops last week because the Reduced for Quick Sale bin was overflowing with them. I bought a couple of packs to put in the freezer, which means I can also whip up a big batch of my homemade shake and bake coating. I also want to try another seasoning glaze on some chops, so maybe I'll go ahead and work on that, too. Plus, I want to make up a batch of breakfast burritos for Greg to take to work. I've made them a few at a time, but I've heard that they freeze well and I want to give it a try. I also have a couple of bread machine recipes I want to try, since I scored a machine for $10 at the Gateway Thrift Store store a couple of weeks ago.

In the meantime, Kaycie has started her journey into vegetables, so I've loaded up on new things to introduce to her. So far she's been eating carrots (which she loves) and acorn squash. I already have butternut squash and sweet potatoes prepped as well, but I bought more fresh organic carrots, zucchini, and snap beans, as well as frozen green and sweet peas (which I couldn't find fresh). That's a lot of steaming and baking to do!

Yes, I'm making Kaycie's baby food. If you want to make fun of me for that you might want to hold off a little while, as I'm thinking I'm going to be doing a post on that topic a little later.

And finally, if you made it this far into this post you deserve a little something special. For all of you who hate the yellow dust of Spring and are mired in the misery of pollen, here's a little something to help you remember why Spring doesn't totally suck:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

4 Months

My baby girl is 4 months old. Geezum peetes. As for the stats - she's a giant at 15lbs 7oz, 25 1/2 inches long. She was in the 90th percentile in all of her measurements.

I think this may have been my worst month ever for blog posts, but to be honest the only time I have to sit and type is when Kaycie's asleep, and for the past month I've spent every minute of her nap time face first on the nearest horizontal surface.

This hasn't been the easiest four weeks. I learned the term "4th Month Sleep Regression" recently. My sweet girl who slept 10-12 hours a night from weeks 6 - 12 has slowly deteriorated her sleep habits until she wakes up approximately every 2-3 hours and then wants to play for a couple of hours. At 1am. Oh I don't think so. I miss those six blissful weeks of sleep. This past weekend I had to call in reinforcements. My sweet mother-in-law came and took care of Kaycie for a few hours so I could go crash. Greg was sick and I hadn't slept more than a couple of hours in a row in two days. It was bad. Her 30 minute naps are now one and half to two hours. If I wake her up early she just wants to nap again sooner. She's about to make her mama coo coo for cocoa puffs. Thankfully the past two nights have been muuuuch better. And today she developed an ear infection so that she screams every time I lay her down for any reason. Somebody shoot me.

BUT, in good news, I suspect part of the problem this past weekend was a growth spurt, because by Sunday she could wear all those 3-6 month clothes that were too big last Friday. I'm doing the happy dance and half a dozen loads of laundry to refill her closet with new cuteness.

We made our first sick visit to the doc this month. I was afraid she had caught the ickies I had the week before. When I talked to the nurse she was afraid she'd caught RSV. Turns out she caught her daddy's DNA. My poor sweet girl is suffering from seasonal allergies and is already on her first decongestant (which keeps her from going to sleep well) and now has the previously mentioned ear infection. I went ahead and bought an automatic nasal aspirator. Seemed like a good investment.

Kaycie is such a big girl now that she has an aversion to sitting. She wants to stand. I broke out the play saucer this week to give my poor arms a break from holding her up. And my legs a break from being stomped on. She's got some powerful little legs, and they can't be still. She seems to love the saucer, especially if I put other toys within reach that she can pick up and lick.

In a really, really, really bad development this month, Kaycie has developed a serious issue with people. And by people I mostly mean her grandparents. She'll give both grandma's bad face if they try to hold her, but she'll get over it usually in a few minutes. The grandpa's haven't had it so easy. She's terrified of both of them. She can look at them from across the room and start crying. The only way they can hold her is if she's facing outward so that she can't see who has her. It's killing them both. Doc said she has never seen stranger anxiety this early before and the best medicine is more exposure to the people freaking her out. She has to grow out of this soon. She has to. I can live without sleeping for a while, but I can't live with her being afraid of grandparents!

She's also becoming a lot more cognitive. Her hands are fascinating to her, and she will stare at them in amazement. She looks for her daddy when he leaves the room. She'll watch the pup when he's roaming around. The baby that lives in the mirror is endlessly entertaining for her, and it follows her from room to room and even to grandparents' houses. She'll play by herself on her play mat or in her crib for half an hour or more now, just looking at things or licking her feet.

Did I mention she likes to lick things? Anything within reach get slimed. I swear her tongue spends more time out of her mouth than in it. Just a warning to anybody who might want to pick her up...

The next month should be fun. BFF Lauren will be here in a couple of weeks to spend some quality time with us. Or rather, with Kaycie, because I'm pretty sure I don't matter anymore! Hopefully Kaycie'll get to meet her new baby cousin who is getting stronger every day and should be going home from the NICU in a few weeks. April will bring even more adventure, as she makes her first beach trip AND attends her first wedding, all in the same week!

Monday, March 8, 2010


I survived the ebola.

So did Kaycie.

And Greg is 95% through his recovery as well.

Yes, it hit our entire household and last week was really pretty crappy. Thankfully this week is looking better. I'm planning a 4 month Kaycie update later this week, probably after her doc appointment on Wednesday, but here's a preview:

In the meantime, I gotta go do the 1,352 things on my list of things to get done while she's napping. Or, you know, go stand outside in shorts and a t-shirt and soak up some springy goodness. 'Cause I can't lie to you, I've missed it. A lot. I need warmth to live.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


My BFF Sharonda and I used to joke every time we got the sniffles that we had ebola.

I got the ebola.

Woke up with a sore throat and sniffles. Hoping it's short lived, but fear it's just an early symptom. It's the first time since I left my job at UMC that I've really gotten sick. I'm used to having to make the decision whether to stay home from work or not. Now I have to decide how to take care of an infant without breathing on her. Thankfully Greg has already taken Friday off from work, but we have hair appointments scheduled. This wouldn't be an issue if it didn't require a trip to Vicksburg.

Meanwhile, I've spent my day playing Yahtzee on Pogo instead of doing laundry, sorting Kaycie's new clothes into bins and running errands. My child isn't happy with the lack of personal attention she is receiving, which is too bad because the last thing I want is for her to be sick.

I'm about to break my own rule and park her in front of the TV. She is entertained enough if I talk to her from a distance, but that just makes my throat hurt worse. Blah. I plan on drugging myself tonight and hoping I feel better in the morning.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Great Clothes Conundrum

One of the reasons I hate clothes shopping is because I've always been hard to fit. I always seem to be a size in between. Regular pants are too long, petites are too short. If I try to buy a suit the top will be too big, the bottoms too small.

I never realized that these issues began as infants.

Kaycie has long outgrown her 0-3 month outfits. She's been mostly wearing Carters 3 month clothes, but even those are getting too small. I noticed she couldn't stretch out her legs in her 3 month footies today. So I started digging through her 3-6 month clothes. They are all huge on her. The onesies hang down to her knees. The footies are nearly 2 inches too long in the crotch and the legs. I've pulled out almost everything and found maybe two things that she can wear, which aren't quite as too big as the rest. It's not that she doesn't have clothes, she has buckets of clothes. It's not that I need to go buy her clothes, there isn't an in between size to buy!

What I'm saying is that my child, who has a wardrobe 3 times as large as mine, will be mostly naked until she hits another growth spurt! Why can't somebody make 4 month old clothes?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

3 Months

My little girl is three months old today.

Wow. She's gone from fitting the crook of my arm to spilling out when I hold her with both arms.

She's certainly more active. She's trying to be helpful and hold her own bottle, except that usually results in pushing it out of her mouth. She has also become very good at sucking her thumb while drinking her bottle. Again, not the most helpful situation, but a definite sign of talent. Very soon she will be introduced to a spoon and rice cereal. That should be entertaining. And messy.

She's laughing and smiling and babbling a lot. Especially if you play with her feet. She wakes up happy most every morning, after 10-12 hours of sleep. Yes, I know that's ridiculous for a 3 month old child, but the girl likes to sleep. At least at night. Naps are a different story, she'd rather skip those altogether, which tends to result in the appearance of Miss Fussybutt.

Her eyesight is developing quickly. She can see much further and more detail. I can tell because she's taken a lot more interest in the world around her, particularly the things on her nursery walls! She will stare at her flowers in amazement. She's also staying awake more while riding in the car, looking out the window at the scenery. She seems in awe of new places. Hope she keeps that up, as she will be taking her first beach vacation in April!

She doesn't like to snuggle so much anymore, unless she just woke up. She wants to be where she can see. She'd rather sit up in lap or stand up on those strong legs. Just don't expect her to lay on her tummy happily. Uh uh. She hates tummy time with a passion. I know she has strong back and neck muscles, as she will push off of me if I try to put her on my shoulder, but when I put her on her tummy she will just lay still and scream. I'm working on some incentives to make her more patient, but so far nothing's worked.

However, she's recently discovered toys. She likes cloth toys, especially if they make crinkle noises, that she can attack and eat, but she's showing a little interest in her Pooh bear as well. I'm gradually introducing her to new things, but her favorite toy is still her hands, which she likes to chew on, and my fingers, which she also likes to chew on. Second place would definitely be her Leo the Lion, which crinkles and she can chew on. See a theme here?

Finally, one thing that hasn't really changed is her interest in people. She absolutely loves it when her grandparents visit. She made friends with Lauren when she was here before Christmas, and I'm sure will be super excited to see her again next month. She can usually be passed around without much fuss. She had fun at her first Superbowl party, where she met her little cousin Mackenzie and lots of Greg's family. I suspect her first words may be "Who Dat." She didn't do as well at Addyson's birthday party, but we're going to consider that a fluke. Overall she doesn't seem to care who's holding her, as long as she has their full attention and they are willing to have a conversation with her!

She's growing so much. I can't imagine what the next three months will bring.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quote of the Day

Me: I'm going down the hall right now to kneel and pray that Kaycie got your brain.

Greg: From some of the things I've seen, it's too late...


There will be no pictures from Addyson's birthday party. Mostly because we didn't get to stay for the party. Minutes after we got there Kaycie got freaked out and started screaming. Greg and I spent 30 minutes trying to calm her down in the back room, but she wasn't having it. She wailed until we put her in the car and then promptly passed out. When we got her home she woke up the happiest baby you've ever seen. Sigh.

I don't know what was up with her, Addyson had walked over to her and was being sweet, but may have scared her. There were also a lot of people there and the noise level was getting pretty high for a minute there, so that could have freaked her out. She's not used to being around that much noise. And I wasn't holding her at the time, Jen's mom had her, so it could just be the combination of unusual activities got to her.

Anyway, I'm very very sad that I missed it. I'd been looking forward to it all week. I never get to see Addyson anymore, since I usually see Jen at lunch. And Jen's parents have only gotten to see Kaycie once, right before Christmas. Jen's in-laws hadn't seen her at all. I'm sure they all think she's a psycho baby now.

How is Kaycie?

I've been such a slacker lately that I haven't even posted any updates about my adorable child. Sorry. I've been too busy trying to keep her fed an entertained! Anyway, she'll be 12 weeks on Tuesday. I can't keep up with weeks anymore, so I'm going to have to start counting months instead. Greg put her on the scale this morning and she topped out just over 13lbs.

We've settled into a great routine. She wakes up around 9-9:30am most mornings, eats, plays, and goes down for naps around 10:30-11. She sleeps for 30-45 minutes, wakes up, eats, plays, and after a couple of hours goes down for second naps. Wash, rinse, repeat until 9pm, when she get snuggied and goes to bed. And sleeps until about 9 the next morning. No, I'm not kidding. She sleeps about 12 hours every night. I know. I thank God every day for an easy kid.

My easy kid is getting quite independent, though. The past several mornings she's woken up very happy, which isn't unusual. I hear her talking and laughing with the animals on her mobile and go in to get her, but now she seems to get mad at me for interrupting her conversation. She's fine until I take her out of her crib to feed her, then she pouts! And she won't cuddle much anymore. She'd rather sit up or stand up in my lap. And she talks a LOT. She will jabber away at anybody who will listen. Half the time I give her a bottle she will eat about half of it then start pushing it aside to make room for her thumb in her mouth. Unfortunately it's not quite big enough to accomplish much, and she ends up eating her entire hand. And while I made the schedule sound easy, I promise you when she doesn't want a nap, no matter how tired she is, we always have a showdown. Usually I win, but it may take an hour to get there!

She's also started playing with some of her toys, which is good. Like Leo the Lion, which was courtesy of Uncle Bill. Poor Leo gets the brunt of her abuse most days, but she also enjoys kicking the daylights out of the elephant on her play mat. I'm also happy to report that she likes her room quite a bit. She likes to stare at the bright flowers on her wall, which makes me happy for choosing bright colors!

And that's the State of Kaycie these days. Hopefully I'll have some new pictures to post this afternoon, as we are about to head to BFF Addyson's birthday party! How can little Princess Fussypants be a year old already???

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Read a Book.

I totally suck. I wrote this post like 3 weeks ago but got interrupted and never finished it. I thought about it again tonight after recommending this book to Alison on FB. Sigh. Anyway, I'm not going to go back and see if this makes any sense, I'm just posting it as is.

I read a book last week. Actually, I read it New Year's Eve. The whole thing, start to finish. I'm pointing that out because I was pretty sure I'd never actually get the chance to finish a book again, at least not until Kaycie started school. But with her cooperation and Greg's help, I managed one more. I don't remember who recommended Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson, but I have to tell you it was a good pick. However, it does get a parental warning for language, violence and sexual content, which, I have to admit surprised me.

In a lot of ways the book is about the relationship among Southern women, and the writer does a pretty good job of weaving the complexities that exist, particularly within family relationships. This book is narrated by a woman named Arlene who left Alabama when she went to college and made a promise to God that she'd never return, never again lie, and never again have sex, so long as nobody ever learned the secret she left behind. Of course she ends up having to go back after nine years away. She is destined to confront her overbearing aunt who raised her and her sweet Southern Belle cousin, who considered Arlene's lifestyle as a teenager to be an embarrassment of sins. And she takes her black boyfriend with her to meet her family. I have to say, I thought that was a nice touch, it created a whole different conflict and highlighted a few personality quirks in each member of her family. Arlene spends the book gradually telling the story of her childhood that forced her to leave.

About half way through the book I started to think the plot was predictable, I knew what was going to happen next. Three-quarters of the way through I realized most of my predictions were totally wrong, mostly because I began to realize that Arlene was not a trustworthy narrator. She may not ever lie, but that certainly doesn't mean everything she offers is the truth. That's what made this a good book. I started off thinking it was about one thing and realized at the end that it was really about something totally different. There's a strength in each of these women that defies expectations. The conflicts don't get totally resolved and the crimes aren't brought to justice, but in the end you feel good about the journey the characters have made. I also appreciated writing style, which felt like a combo of educated city girl meets Southern diva. I can relate to that.

In the end, I liked this one enough to order another book by the same author, Between, Georgia. Maybe I'll get to read it one day too.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Whooooo Are You?

I keep getting friend requests on Facebook from people I went to high school with, which is cool. If I see your name and think, "Dang, I have seen that person since graduation!" then there's a good chance I'll accept you as a friend. If the only way I realize we went to school together is that I dug through your friend list and all 18 of our shared friends are WCHS class of 1993, Go Vikings!, then I'm going to think, "Huh, they must have gone to school with me" and then hit ignore.

But I tend to feel bad about that because chances are I probably did know them at some point, I just don't remember. Or they're on FB with their married name only. So I decided I needed a reference guide and started hunting down my senior yearbook. Except I can't find it. I know it's not at my house, I've moved way too many times without ever seeing it. I searched my mom's house over the weekend, but it's not there. Not a surprise, I didn't figure it ever moved with them.

My next and final option is to beg my brother to look at his house, which is the house I grew up in. However, since he cleaned out my room several years ago I feel like it probably isn't there either. This is the problem with having my possessions strewn out over three counties. But it kinda makes me sad. I don't have any of my high school or elementary school yearbooks, and all of the sudden I wish I did.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ah, The Memories (Just for Tank)

My blog friend Tank's daughter is getting married this summer, and they've suddenly become eyeball deep in wedding planning.

I just love weddings. Especially when I don't have to plan them.

I imagine you all know that talk of a wedding brings out nostalgia of our own big days. I mentioned to Tank about a few of the finer points of my wedding and she said something about wanting to see pictures, so I dug some up. I think most of you know where this is going. If you were at my wedding, you're probably rolling your eyes right now.

At the moment I can't locate the pictures of the reception flamingo decked out in the pink feather boa, but here's the one that was stationed outside the front door of the church:

And of course then there's Ebay (the gnome, not the auction). He made an appearance in a LOT of wedding pictures.

Ebay has so many pictures, he has his own photo album on Flickr. And yes, some of those are from the honeymoon. Now if I could just hunt down the rest of the reception pictures with the Mikey Mouse table and the flamingos...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Getting Close

So you may recall that I've mentioned the library that's being built behind my house. As in, DIRECTLY behind my house. In what used to be a heavily wooded area. Well, they should be done with the construction in the next month or two and hopefully have it open by mid-Spring. The outside part is mostly done, and ever since they put up the lights in the parking lot it looks like aliens have landed a space ship behind my house. The view from my back fence:

And the view from my back door:

I'm going to need a new back fence. And perhaps heavier drapes on the back door. At least we still have some trees for cover, you can see the entire building from my neighbor's back yard on the other side of this fence.