Sunday, October 28, 2007

T Street

We arrived safely on Saturday morning after a minor delay at DFW. We stepped off the plane and yes, could smell smoke from the wildfires, but it wasn't as strong as it has been. The day was spent with family--Mema, Pops, and Aunt Cari (Aron's sister drove down for the weekend from NorCal). We enjoyed lunch at Pacific Whey Cafe (one of our most favorite eateries here), where everything is made from scratch. The shopping center where the restaurant was located seemed to be having a trick or treat party for kiddos, so we saw dozens of children dressed up, from Snow White to a banana, all were totally adorable. A few hours later, Aron and I were off for a much-needed date night! Hooray for on-hand sitters who happen to want to be with your child and not charge you a cent. :) We ate dinner at our favorite pizza place, BJs, and saw the movie "Michael Clayton," which we thought was a very intelligent film; outstanding. Today, I had coffee with my good friend, Cayla, and later, Aron and I took Maggie to one of our favorite beaches in San Clemente, T Street. Maggie loved the sand, but NOT the water (once again, if you remember our times this summer with my folks at both the Atlantic and Gulf). Once the tide rolled in and covered her feet, she was in tears. Regardless, we enjoyed taking her to the ocean, dreaming of living down there one day in the future, and driving along PCH. Dinner was carne asada and dessert will be Golden Spoon. Yum!

Pictures forthcoming!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

going private

I have contemplated for many months now about making this blog private. And truthfully, I'm ready to take the plunge. The reasons are: 1) I post details and pictures about our life and our little girl and well, I'm not entirely sure of everyone who reads this blog and that can be kind of scary and 2) I would like to begin writing more personal details about my life and once again, I'm not sure of the readership of this blog. I hope you all can understand these reasons.

With this in mind, those of you who already blog, do not have to create an account to view my blog (obviously). But, there are those of you who do not blog and who may not have a Blogger account and you will have to create one to view this blog, because you will have to sign in to access it. I think this is the biggest reason I have not gone private before now--loosing readership. I know that there are many extended friends of our family (my folks friends) that read this, but do not comment (which is totally fine). I'm just at a place where I would like to know that my information is "safe" in cyberspace.

Therefore, if you still desire to read this blog, you will have to do the aforementioned task if you haven't already (get a free account) as well as email me that you want to be on the list to check our blog: I want to keep as many of you in the loop about our lives; blogging is a wonderful hobby to me and I enjoy keeping in touch this way. Even if you feel I may not remember you, shoot me an email and say you still want to stay connected.

I'm thinking this will all take place in the next 2 weeks, so you have some time! :) I'll post one final "going private" post the day before I do.

Another trip! SoCal, here we come!

Aron has a business trip to CA, so I am going with him! We fly out Saturday morning and return to Dallas on Wednesday evening. We are thrilled to see Aron's folks, who haven't seen Maggie since she was 3 months old. It'll be great to connect with some of our friends, too. I will be free most mornings of the week, so if you are around, drop me a line and let me know you want to connect. We'll see if we can make it happen!

In other news, we do our final walk-thru of the hous tonight, then close tomorrow at 11am! Woo-hoo! We plan to move in at the end of next week.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

wordless wednesday

I decided to enter Maggie into the Gap Casting Call; here are a few shots from yesterday I took, though none of the ones I actually entered. I may put those up here later.
The second to last picture is a good shot of her saying "Oh!" She says it to everything and it's so cute! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

mom's corner

I often have mom questions that come to mind and need to post here more regularly, seeking the advice of my faithful blog readers. :) Hence begins "Mom's Corner."

For today, the question is: at what age did you start brushing your child's teeth? Maggie has been teething once again and currently has 6 in, so it makes me wonder if I should be brushing them. I have read that you just use a soft toothbrush (or baby toothbrush) and no toothpaste at this point, but I just haven't gotten into the habit of it. For all those mothers that are further along then I am, let me know what you did! Thanks.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

cousin visit

My cousin, Joel, flew through Dallas on Thursday and stayed the night with us (he is my 3rd cousin, I believe; my dad and his grandpa are first cousins, how's that?). We ate at yummy Cafe Brazil, watched "The Office," and caught up in general; it's been about 5 years since we have seen eachother. I just wanted to post a picture of him and Maggie because well, Maggie *loved* him. Yes, she is a pretty agreeable child and smiles and goes to most any new person, but every now and then, there will be a man that freaks her out and she just burts into tears (and it has only happened with men, just ask Patti's husband). It's so bizzare beause the men are often very good friends of ours; she always warms up to them later, but the initial reaction is sometimes tears. This tends to happen with taller/more built, more facial-hair clad, men. I know Aron has facial hair, but I think she is used to it. I guess, I was just surprised how quickly she took to Joel (even crying when I took her away to go to bed!). Very sweet.
Thanks for stopping in, cuz. Come back anytime and bring your wife and kiddos with you. Here's to family!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

welcome, baby boy!

I just wanted to give a shout out to our friends, the Newtons. They welcomed baby #4 on October 8. Graysen Titus weighed in at 8lbs., 14 oz. Big sisters Caelan and Gabby and younger brother Brennen will no doubt be showering the little guy with tons of love and affection. Jesseca (the mama) shared the sweetest story on her blog: When Gabby found out it was a boy, she put her arm around Brennen and said, "I'm sorry you didn't get a sister. Sisters just give better hugs." Kids say the best things, don't they!? :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

pumpkin patch

I took these the week before last when Patti and I took the kiddos to the Dallas Arboretum to see the pumpkins.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

10 months

Maggie is 10 months old today! I have recently posted new pics as well as an update on the things she is doing, so this post will just be a simple acknowledgement to her monthly age. I'm already working on her birthday party, with many ideas courtesy of La. Maggie is an amazingly sweet, wonderful girl. I love being her mama.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Maggie took her first official steps last night! Hooray, hooray. :)

Now, we just need to get it on video.

wordless wednesday

Maggie at her first petting zoo a few weeks ago in Chicago

Maggie and Amelia enjoying the goats

Maggie in the pool at Kathryn's grandparents' house; she had a blast!

Monday, October 8, 2007

the children's reading corner

Because I am passionate about reading and fostering a love of books in children from an early age, I thought it would be fun to post a bi-monthly children's book recommendation.

Thus, to begin, here's my first rec: Do You Have a Hat? by Eileen Spinelli. Using rhyme, Spinelli introduces young readers to various historical figures, ranging from Franciso de Goya to Carmen Miranda to Charlie Chaplin. Each real-life character wore a hat and the author creatively describes how it set him/her apart. The illustrations are beautiful and captivating; this book should be added to your child's library today.

things i'm loving about maggie

in the past 3 weeks maggie has begun to do the following and I'm LOVNG it.

*Turn pages in the book at appropriate times (we let the page go with our right hand and she turns it)
*Laugh at random things when alone or with us
*Laugh at her favorite parts in books
*CUDDLE! I have discovered that before each nap and before bed, M will snuggle on our shoulder with her bink and blanket, and we can hold her as long as we please and she stays right there. I learned this when I was able to rock her to sleep in my arms during an out-of-the-blue "I-will-not-nap-but-I-am-exhuasted" moment we had three weeks ago. It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. And, she loves it when we sing to her. Although God must have a special love for my singing voice (when I sing in the "key of Suzanne," as my brother-in-law and husband affectionately call it), Maggie seems to be soothed by it. How awesome it that?!
*She is into everthing and is moving around faster than ever. This just happened in the last five days. She walks more quickly around objects (coffee table, chairs), loves to pull herself to standing on our legs, and stands for longer periods of time unassisted and w/out holding onto anything. I think she took her first few steps alone yesterday, but Aron doesn't think so (it wasn't totally controlled). But, she's close.
*She likes to pull my hair and chew it and loves to put daddy's nose in her mouth (so random!); she only does that to him and not me.
*Smack her lips together all the time; this is one of my favorite noises she makes.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

seriously. a lesson in baby etiquette

Let me be brief, but clear.

If you saw last season's episode of "The Office" where a co-worker brings her baby in to work, all decked out in pink and Pam says, "Oh, she's SO cute," only to have the mom respond, straight-faced, "This is a boy. His favorite color is pink," then this post is for you.

Folks, if you are unsure of the gender of a baby, *do not* presume to pick one and cross your fingers, hoping that the 50/50 chance is in your favor.

When we flew back to Texas last Saturday, I kid you not that 8 people at the airport and on the airplane called Maggie a "he." Just because a baby is not dolled up in pink and wearing bows, does not mean said baby is a boy. Maggie was wearing a brown and white stripped sweater and jeans rolled up at at the cuffs. I thought she looked pretty cute and hip. Apparently, everyone else thought she looked masculine.

Cab driver: "Is he tired?"

Ticket agent: "Are you planning to bring his carseat on the plane?"

Random airport passengers: "How old is he?" and "What a cute boy!"

Woman in line to get into seat behind us on plane: "Aren't you cute, little man!"

I graciously, and sweetly smiled to one and all and said, "Actually, this is a girl." But, after the third time, I just started to feel a bit stupefied.

Here's how you do it, people. If you are unsure if a baby is a boy or girl and you desire to make conversation, simply say the following:

"Oh, your baby is so cute. How old?"

That last part is the best way at being discreet, but still acknowledging that you recognize the baby is indeed a boy. Or girl. And not an "it."

The loving parent will respond with something to the effect of, "She is 3 months old," or "Evan is one year this week!"

There you have it.
There should be no excuses from now on when you inquire about a baby's gender.

However, I can't help you if the parent answers with a non-descript baby name; at that point, you're on your own.

one week, one day

We have officially been back in Texas for 8 days and overall, it's been really good. Our household goods arrived on Thursday and are in temporary storage until we close on our house on the 26th of this month. We are moving forward with the home purchase and everything looks great. We've already had friends offer to help us move in, paint, get settled, etc. How awesome is that?! Aron has hit the ground running in his new job as Manager for the Customer Service department for James Hardie and is doing well, though very busy. Last week, I spent many days with my good friend, Patti, and her 16-month old son, Grayson. He and Maggie have become fast friends. On Wednesday, we went to the Dallas Arboretum where I purchased a season pass. This place is absolutely beautiful and a great place to bring kiddos. They have wonderful year-round displays and events and there are even Mommy and Me Mondays where they have crafts, music, a small petting zoo, and other activities for a few hours. Currently, they have a fantastic pumpkin patch set up and the colors of plants and bushes that are out are breathtaking. Many of Patti's mom friends regularly visit the Arboretum and I am being grafted in. :) Maggie and I ran errands, played in our spacious 13oo sq. ft. temporary-housing apartment, and just settled in to daily life here. We purchased a new-to-us 2003 Honda Pilot and I'm loving the extra space and smooth ride. Today, we returned to our church for the first time since we moved away 11-months ago. It was great to see old friends, some old high school students we mentored, and enjoy lunch with Brad and Tammy at one of our favorite restaurants, Cafe Brazil.

So, we are here, we are back, and I'm surprised to find that I am actually glad to be here. I've had a few good conversations with friends in Chicago, and I'm hopefful that we will stay in touch for years to come (and that many will come visit me...hint, hint). Next week, it will be much of the same until we get moved into our home. Things are feeling somewhat normal and well, I'm somewhat relieved for that. I did call my mom on day 2 of us being here, though, and say, "When are you and dad moving back this way?" Now that we are here, we are anxious to have our immediate family come out to live. We shall see!

Friday, October 5, 2007

M, meet D. D, meet M

Last Sunday we were able to meet up with Matt and Rachel at Starbucks for a bit (they are living in NYC). It was our first time to meet Dealey James (born in June). He is a total doll and looks just like mama. We love and miss our friends! Maybe they'll move back this way now that we are back...