Sunday, December 16, 2007
My favorite part of that peppermint song was always the words and actions for "pick a purple tie for Uncle Lou." Poor Uncle Lou.
We have been trying our best to get Christmas organized and finished here before we take off for Christmas in Salt Lake. It's fun, but sheesh. Jake is down two finals with two to go this week, and then we're off!
So these are our pictures we got from JC Penney's. I just took a picture of the actual pictures, so they're really dark here, but you get the gist.
This week my heart fell into the pit of my stomach. I ran some errands and was trying to get a little bit of Christmas shopping done. I went to my bank ATM machine to make a deposit and to buy stamps. I made sure to get my receipt on each, and then I was off and running with Tessa to get the other things done on my list. About an hour later, we were at the register in TJ Maxx when I realized my debit card was not in my wallet. I LEFT IT IN THE ATM MACHINE! Who does that?! Me. Now, it's not like we've got a fortune in our bank account, but we certainly don't have a fortune outside our bank account to make up for it either. I thought I was going to be sick. I immediately called the bank and told them what happened and said I'd be there as soon as I could. I handed my daughter off to a friend and frantically drove back to the bank. A lady in our ward who works at that bank calmed me down, assured me I wasn't a total idiot, and let me know that no other purchases had been made on the card. She cancelled the card and told me that the machine probably sucked it back in and shredded it. I'm now waiting for a new check card in the mail. I was fortunate it wasn't worse. Sigh.
We had a bit of a storm which finally blew most of the leaves off of our tree. Our front yard was covered. Since there was some sunshine the next day, I went out while the babies were napping and raked up twenty piles. The whole clean up the yard project turned into a four day progressive job since I needed help getting the leaves bagged and we had so many things going on between us. The rain didn't exactly move things along. Finally we forced time in to finish it up and just made Tessa watch us from her blanket laden stroller.
I thought I would have a break from creepy crawly bigger in Texas bugs since it's December. Naw. I found these two friends next to each other while scooping leaves into a bag. At least the cold has slowed them down.
Tessa update: So far we've only been able to trick her into standing. She'll only do it when she has no idea. She was very interested in holding a box the other day, and it gave her a false sense of holding on to something stable. So, she stood for a few seconds until she figured it out and then squatted to sit. Tonight I had the Elmo's World DVD babysit Tessa so I could vacuum the house, and I caught her enthralled enough not to care about hanging on. She's getting there.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
We were given free tickets to the Jazz vs. Mavericks game for last Saturday night and went with two other couples. I don't know if I've never noticed, or if I hadn't seen downtown Dallas at night, but it really is pretty. It was my first time to the American Airlines Center, which is a very cool place. We had a blast and watched the Jazz struggle to keep up with the Mavs --which was just impossible that night. And as much as I love my little Tess, it was also really fun to be on a date with Jake. She never even knew we were gone.
There hasn't been anything huge this week, just some nice visits with friends and some really crazy weather that can't decide on warm or cold. Jake has his first final tomorrow. And other than that, we are just trying to make the most of the Christmas season here before we head for consistently freezing cold Salt Lake.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Okay, backing up to Friday... We got Tessa's 1 year picture and a new family picture done. We went to JC Penney's. Why? Because we have COUPONS from there. I hope I never have to use a reason like that again. Jake strongly suggested that next time we head somewhere else. The appt. was for 4:40. The place was packed. Hot, sweaty, and filled with impatient people. We finally got into a studio at 5:20. We started with all three of us. Mr. Photographer put us in a few different positions, counted to three each time, and then when he was completely finished with the number of pictures he could take of us, he asked, "Is there a way to get her to smile?" He didn't even try!!! She was sitting patiently in my lap or in front of me the whole time with her mouth hanging open, staring at Mr. Photo who didn't even care to attempt to get her to look pleasant. So...onto the Tessa solo pictures. Mr. Photo immediately asked if we would get behind him to get her to smile. Sure. No prob. He took a couple pictures of her sitting and then wanted to know if she could stand on her own. Not on demand, not yet. So, he found a crate for her to hold onto while standing. She was excited and kept leaning down to swipe her hand around the inside of the crate, meanwhile Jake and I were dancing around in the background to get her to look our way. After a couple more shots, Mr. P looked up at me and asked if she would be able to hold a sign that said, "I am 2."
I responded, "But she's only one."
His slow and irritated answer - "It's a small sign. It says I, then has the letter M and a 2." At that point, my face twisted in every direction trying to figure out if I was missing out on some joke or if he was serious. I don't think he liked my "seriously, pal?" look, so he hurriedly said, "We've got a birthday cake she can hold."
"No thanks. I'd rather just have her in the picture." Done and done.
Forty more minutes and other background stress later, our pictures were uploaded for us to choose from. Meh. They'll work.
I'm grateful I got to go to the temple that night. I needed it.
Saturday morning I ran the ward 5K! And, I made pretty good time for me. Jake even ran most of it with Tessa in her stroller. Yay, Jake! I didn't expect him to do that. Our ward is awesome.
Afterward we went to the first birthday party of the little boy I watch during the week. She teaches gymnastics at the school where I used to teach so she was able to bring some mats home to fill a room where all the babies and toddlers played. I want a room filled with mats.
Jake and I decided on Sunday afternoon we should have the birthday cake and presents that evening since Jake still had to deal with school most of Monday. I made Tessa a funfetti strawberry jello cake with Cool Whip on top. We forgot to take the cake out of the pan before we poured the liquid jello on it and then I thought I could write her name with the food coloring tube in our cupboard too if I just did it lightly. It's a good thing she won't remember this cake. It wasn't cute. At least it tasted good. With grandparents on cell phones, we sang a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday and let her dig in. Oh, and the birthday crown was a last minute attempt to cover the awesome nap hair for pictures. I don't exactly win the prize for this party, but my little girl had fun --which is all that matters.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
We had a lovely Thanksgiving meal and redefined the word "relax". I ate too much pie and unfortunately enjoyed every minute of it. Jake didn't let me forget one tradition he married into. When I was 19 and my brother was 17, we had Thanksgiving over at my sister's house. When we were nice and stuffed to the brim, we couldn't just go around and say what we were thankful for like Grandma D wanted us to --nope, not like nice normal families do. My brother instead punched me in the belly. (Not hard, folks, but it doesn't take much to create serious discomfort in the abdominal area when it's packed too tight) Needless to say, I wasn't going to take that without a fight, so it resulted in a stomach boxing match with both of us groaning and laughing (Grandma was appalled). I think that's a big reason why now I am a little more careful about eating too much on Thanksgiving, not because I just shouldn't, but because it hurts more when you get punched. Every year someone starts the punch war, which usually ends in a truce....and then after a few more punches and groans/laughs, a real truce.
Anyway, on Friday we had a pretty big day. We went to the Fort Worth Zoo --which I love. It was cold, but worth going. We enjoyed On the Border food later on and then made our way to McKinney for the Dickens of a Christmas festival on main street. I love that downtown McKinney, too. Tessa did not sleep much that day, but she did so well and seemed to have a lot of fun, especially when she got to sit at the restaurant table with us in a booster seat. Big girl. My hands stayed busy keeping her hands from yanking everything off the table... which got easier once I tied her to the seat with Jake's jacket. :)
We were so grateful that Jake's parents and brother were able to join us for Thanksgiving. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. I know Tessa loved it as well.
On Sunday, my good friend Katie and her family (from Utah) were able to come for dinner. That was so much fun. They were staying with family in the area and made sure to come visit us. I was grateful for that too. Semi off topic for a second....I wanted to make soup and have it in bread bowls for dinner, but neither Walmart nor Albertson's carries the bread bowls. What in the world?! Are they more popular in Utah, or have I never really thought about it before and shopped for them? We ended up getting frozen dough and doing our best to make the bread bowls. It worked just fine, but now I know what I'll do differently next time. Anyway, it was nice to have a friend who has known me for so long see where I am and get a feel for our life here. Plus, good people make good company.
I have been slowly but surely getting my Christmas set up. I have to have a strategy this year for my decorations, especially with two babies in the house who like to dump EVERYTHING on the floor. It's getting there. Tessa was enthralled with the decorations when I started to get them out last night. It's such a mess to have to practically empty the closet to get to the Christmas boxes, but she sure didn't mind.
Finally, Happy Birthday, Ashley! Twenty-nine for the first time! We'll see if it continues. :)
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Nothing earth shattering happened this week, except for my dream about a space shuttle falling into the atmosphere and exploding right above Dallas. THAT was not a normal dream for me. Jake has been upping the study time for finals and has been working on a paper about the WTO and economic development. Blech. That's been one I haven't asked him to talk to me about. I've been reading some YAF Stephenie Meyer, enjoying cooking more than usual, and trying my best to get to know my neighbors. It makes me sad that I don't know the people who live around us. We don' t have "cup of sugar" or "chat while doing yardwork" neighbors --or even neighbors who know our names. I don't know how much that can change, but I'm working on my end of it. Slowly, but surely I'm building up some nerve.
We only took one picture this week:
Her hair is starting to hang in her eyes, and I'm just not interested in a haircut right now so we've started the piggy tail stage. We had a great time this week going on walks and to the park and library with Hudson. Those two babies keep me busy, what with throwing socks in the garbage can and singing songs --I always feel like I'm laying down some serious rhythm when I start reciting "Peas Porridge" with the both of them clapping and bouncing. I'm glad Tessa gets the chance to hang out with a friend during the day time. She's not AS possessive of her things as she was a month ago. I realize that could change with the development of the word "mine" not too far off.
We send out our love to the Johnson family.
Okay, to those reading this.....what is your favorite fiction book? I'd like to know. Seriously. I want to know what you would recommend. It's time for a new book. Just FYI: I have a bunch of favorites...but three I can think of right now would be Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, The Poisonwood Bible by Kingsolver, and Milkweed by Spinelli.
When Tessa is having her dinner, I sometimes choose a random CD for her meal music. Last night's was Michael Jackson's History. We had a fun post dinner boogie. I love Michael Jackson. Yes, I know he's a freak. I know. But no one, in my opinion, can outperform the 1980's Michael Jackson....however, I can't promise anything beyond that decade. I just have to remember him as he once was.
Anyway, I thought we could all use a flashback to the MJ glory days with Beat It....you know, when gang members could get away with wearing the ever fashionable sweatpants with accessorizing chains and one dangly earring. Michael Jackson brings peace to the streets in this video through his sage advice, "It doesn't matter who's wrong or right. Just beat it."
I dedicate this song to my brother. I can remember him as a three year old gettin' down in the living room to this song.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Tessa McBessa has four teeth! The top two are making their grand showing. Her own personal stalactites, or stalagmites? I can't keep those two straight. Anyway, she has been biting on material (clothes, washcloths...) and then pulling it away to test out the strength of those chompers. I've given her a toothbrush to chomp on. She thinks it's funny when she sees me brush my teeth, so she's been more excited about having her own than most kids.
This picture was from one of those days where I attempted to pull her hair back. It takes a lot of effort to keep the back from standing straight up. I'm wondering when her hair will have some weight to it. It just wants to stick out.
This is a Jamestown Corndog picture and video. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just ignore me. We don't make sense a lot in our house. However, we do think we're funny.
Today we went to the SMU tailgate party. I tried my first bratwurst. Halfway through it, I realized it would also be my last bratwurst and left it alone. Those tailgate parties are always interesting and sometimes good people watching events. Many people bring their dogs. It takes a certain kind of person to carry a dog around in a designer purse. There are more people on Earth who belong to that category of certain people than I had previously realized. That's all I'm going to say about that. There was an alumni jazz band. They were actually good, and Tessa seemed to enjoy the music.
This morning we went over to the park to exercize. I ran two miles. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but people, I don't run. I walk, I dance, I saunter, I aerobicize, but I don't run for an extended period of time unless I'm being chased. So it was a big deal. I even enjoyed it! I want to be able to run a 5K soon. I think I could have been just fine doing it this morning, but I didn't want to press my luck. I'll get to it by next week. Music makes such a big difference for me. Whenever I've gotten desperate for exercise in the past, I've gone running, but it just gets so boring! I really enjoyed myself this morning (and a few times in the last couple weeks), so maybe I've opened a new chapter on this method of exercise. Thank heaven for the Ipod. The only problem I had was tripping over my feet a couple times because I wanted to dance and run at the same time. Doesn't work.
Jake has his finals coming up here pretty soon. We were discussing today how that means he's almost halfway finished! Go, Jake!
Have a fabulous week everyone!
A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
1. It takes me a while to REALLY figure out how I feel about things and make a decision as to where I stand on an issue. I tend to make my friends and family listen to me ramble on about a subject, and then somewhere in that rambling, I find out how I view and feel about a certain situation. Usually after this process, I stand firm in what I've decided and am not afraid to share it when asked. When asked in the middle of deciding, though, get ready for some incoherent strings of thought!
2. I get really shy around shy people --or people who just don't feel like talking to me. You can only comment on the weather so much. Then I just start to feel stupid. I'm a lot less sure of myself than I appear to be. I used to struggle with eye contact, and recently I've found I'm reverting back to that --looking down or away from people I'm talking to who I don't know well. So now I'm consciously working on it.
3. I love the little details in life. I think they are part of what makes a great story (however, not everyone thinks the same, so I have to be careful about my tendency to get wordy). Facial expressions are the best.
4. I find a lot of things funny. I used to think that most people had the same sense of humor I do --because, come on, the things I find humorous ARE funny! Well, it's not true. People do not have the same sense of humor, and some people don't have a sense of humor at all.
5. I can do a lot of things, but I'm not exceptionally good at anything I do (except creating self serve icecream cones). Well, I can't play competitive sports, so we'll take that one out immediately --oh yeah, take out singing too. Other than that, there isn't anything I necessarily shine at doing, but I can get by okay -and I usually really enjoy myself in what I've chosen to attempt.
6. I collect Hard Rock Cafe pins (I still need a Dallas one!), not specific styles, I just like having them from different places. I don't display them or anything. They're just in a Minnie Mouse mug in the office. I collect nativity sets too. I'd like to have sets from all over the world.
*I tag Christina, Lisa, Alex, and anyone else who reads this who hasn't been tagged. Please don't make me hunt you down. If you don't feel like being tagged, then quit yer cryin' and just ignore me.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Onto what we did this week... We dressed up on Friday night to visit some Halloween celebrators for a few minutes. We grabbed wigs and decided we would just tell people we were "wiggin out". Tessa did really well with keeping the wig on. I couldn't stop laughing at her. We decided it was going to be included in her official Halloween costume, too. Jake's brother Matt came into town for work last weekend as well, and we were so happy to be able to visit with him. We picnicked and took a walk in downtown McKinney (I love that place)on Saturday and just enjoyed the night air. Tessa shared her first icecream cone with me. She would stick out her tongue and wait for me to swipe some icecream across it. :)
Sunday we drove around downtown Dallas before taking Matt back to the airport. I hadn't been in some of those areas of Dallas. There are so many places I still need to discover.
Halloween was a blur for the most part. I was little more frazzled than I wanted to be by the time I got Tessa to the Trunk or Treat party at the church. Among many other things, Jake's snowglobe from New York was pulled off the bookshelf and shattered. The destructive ability of my child has been grossly underestimated until now. I had never smelled anything like the snowglobe liquid that seeped into my carpet. That was bad news...and a lot of work to get it taken care of. Anyway, I finally got Tessa and myself to Trunk or Treat (along with chili and Jake's costume). It was an all day school day for Jake, but he braved the traffic during rush hour to see Tessa for her first Halloween --plus he was part of her costume. He was with us for about forty minutes before running back to night class. We enjoyed our ward members and friends....and my first trunk or treat ever. I still think that's a whole lotta candy in a short amount of time. Where's the work ethic we used to put into Halloween candy gathering? Why, back in my day.......
Lastly, Jacob turned thirty-one today! Since he had a cake and cookies at work, I decided not to overload on that stuff, so I made Jello jigglers to go with our pizza and movie party. I tried to cut a birthday cake in the Jello with a steak knife before Jake realized what I was doing, and, well, you can see the outcome for yourself. At least he got a good laugh out of it. Happy Birthday, sweetie!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
We went to the Plano International Festival Saturday afternoon. I was personally excited for the entertainment scheduled, so I didn't pay any attention to the "naturalization" on the online program . Well, we showed up right as the naturalization was getting started. Fifty people were sworn in as new American citizens. They were from all over the globe --Argentina, Ghana, India, Mexico, Bosnia-Herzegovina.... I had never witnessed something like this and neither had Jacob. We felt incredibly fortunate to be there. They repeated the oath of citizenship and then said the Pledge of Allegiance with the crowd for the first time as American citizens. Jake and I both couldn't help but get a little emotional. I don't need many reminders, but I just thought about how grateful I am to live in this country as I watched those little old Sons of the Revolution present our flag. With a crowd cheering, it seemed a wonderful way to be welcomed as a new citizen.
We made our way around the different booths representing different countries and watched some of the entertainment. Tessa had fun dancing with Mom and Dad to the music. One booth, surprisingly, didn't make it into the main collection of booths. This particular booth was for Klingons. Yes, Star Trek Klingons. Two men in full garb were there to represent. The Klingon flag waved proudly above the table. Where does one even find a Klingon flag? No clue. I guess these guys didn't get the memo that it was an international festival..... not an intergalactic one.
Later that day we went over to another park. Jake went to grab something from the car, so I pushed the stroller off the path a little toward a pond/lake. I took Tessa out to get closer to the water and left the stroller sitting there with my purse, the diaper bag, etc. in the bottom basket and a folded blanket sitting on the top umbrella part. I crouched down with Tessa at the water's edge to look at some ducks swimming away from us. A breeze picked up, and I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I whipped my head around to see my stroller ZOOMing down the incline toward the water. I ran to set Tessa down away from the water and sped toward the stroller as it jumped and toppled forward into the pond. I splashed into the water to pull out the stroller (it was only up to mid-calf) as the blanket floated further out. Suddenly I realized there was a man in the water with me helping me get the stroller out. He then went out a little further to get the blanket. I'm glad chivalry isn't dead. Jake got back in time to hear this guy explain that he thought there was a baby in the stroller when he saw it rolling toward the water. Poor guy. I was grateful for his help. Tessa looked thoroughly entertained. Jake pointed out all the little fish swimming around right where I'd been. Ick. I laughed pretty hard about it. Everything in the stroller was okay. I just sprayed it off when I got home and washed the raft/blanket. Upon hearing the story, most people have reminded me that the stroller has brakes. Thank you, everybody. I know.
Other than that, it's been a good week overall. Just the usual for the most part.... watching the babies, visiting with friends, park time, Rhyme Time at the library, projects, grocery shopping ...just stuff. Jake's brother Matt is coming into town tonight for business. We're excited to have him come stay. Last thing: Erica Whetstone, a friend of mine for over 20 years!?!, is getting married to a really great guy this coming Tuesday. I just wanted to send out a huge CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!
My kid is the reason you have to supervise your child while eating those big Gerber cookie stick things. She wants it all at once.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Until next week...
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Here's Tessa! She will be 10 months old in 3 days. Can you believe it? She finally got her first tooth, and it is just slowly making its way up and into the world. This girl is smiling all the time now-- yes, a wrinkle nosed smile I apparently passed along to her. When she "talks", she sounds like she's speaking Ewok.
It was just beautiful outside last night, so I took Tessa outside to sit on our nice patch of grass in the front yard. I'm usually afraid of sitting on the grass without a blanket in this state because I have come across some seriously creepy crawly things here I had never seen before. I don't think Jake knew exactly how big a pansy I was about bugs when he married me. Oh well. Anyway, it was alluring enough last night to spend a few minutes enjoying outside. Tessa had a great time checking out the texture of the grass and only had to be stopped a couple times from eating it.
Let see, what else is new this month? Jacob was offered the summer internship with the Settlepou firm in Dallas --this is how they lead into a permanent job offer, I guess. That relieved a lot of stress for him. Yay! It's nice to open the options, and this is one that he feels really good about. I just feel good about a job that will pay off school loans ......and that he's happy too.
September is one serious birthday explosion month, so I hope that all of you people with September birthdays had a good one.