Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Do you hear the restrains of one of the most beautiful songs in the world going through your head? Because I do! Why?

Mallory slept in her bed last night!

Can I hear a hallelujah?! I surely hope this sweet relief is not a fluke. Because boy did I enjoy my beauty sleep last night. I haven't spoken with Shawn yet today but I'm sure he didn't miss the kicks to his kidneys one bit.

First, I tried bribing her. A few months ago Shawn bought a flashlight that looks like a Hannah Montana microphone. She's a little young for HM (IMO) so we put it in the closet, just waiting for the right moment to whip it out and have her submit to our will in return for a toy. Last night was the right time. I told her if she slept in her bed for five nights in a row she would get the toy.

Wasn't so sure it was going to work though ... because around 9p she crawled into our bed. I was working so I kept shooing her away. She finally got the point and went back to her room. When I was done ... bout 9:30p, she was still wide awake. Then it hit me ... she used to sleep with music as a baby, let's put some on for her. Easier said than done ... we don't have just a "plain" CD player in the house anymore. No, I can only buy technology that has dual purposes. :) But, regardless, there was no problem ... I hauled my laptop in there, popped in the Celine Dion "Miracle" CD and dug out a power cord to ensure said music would play to the end of the CD (I wasn't taking ANY chances).

It worked.

This morning she asked me if I would play her the music again. OF COURSE I WILL IF IT WILL GET YOU TO SLEEP IN YOUR BED. So, I have an errand to run at lunch -- to pick up Mallory's very own technological device that will keep her out of mommy and daddy's bed. Cross your fingers that it works again tonight.

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's not the excitement I thought it would be

Hallelujah the bunk beds arrived on Saturday morning. The delivery truck's arrival was heralded with a beautiful sun-shiny day. Even better, they were on time. I wasn't feeling great that day but sucked it up, moved furniture around, cleaned out closets, etc.

Mallory was sooo excited to get her beds. She played coy with the delivery guys and would run back and forth from her room to me or Shawn and bury her head. When it was all said and done, here's what we have:
Nice, eh? The finish is called Shell. A wonderful creamy color. Of course this means that I must paint all the other furniture in the room to match (because it is currently white). Oh well ... I will just keep telling myself that I love my family and enjoy all the work that goes into making their abode beautiful.

The new bedding looks good too. I got two different quilts. The bottom bunk has a fairy princess on it and the top bunk is a patchwork. You don't get a pic of the top one because well ... I was too lazy to crawl up there and snap it (I foresee Mallory taking advtg of mommy's laziness!) Both are Simply Shabby Chic by Rachael Ashwell from Target.

So what girl wouldn't love all this? Apparently mine. We've had the bed for two nights so far. And you want to know how many nights she's slept in it: zero. You got it. She is now saying she's afraid of her room. That if she sleeps in there the Kangaroos (???) are going to come in and get her. Monster/kangaroo spray isn't working. I don't know what to do. These beds were supposed to solve my problems!

Truett didn't get left out of the room makeover challenge this weekend. He got Mallie's old bed. The room is tight with the crib and bed, etc. but I think we made it look okay. Please overlook the theme mishmash. I know that monkey/jeep and bunnies do not go together. But until we dump the crib bunnies have to go off-roading and avoid being food for the crocs/monkeys.

So that was my weekend. Lots 'o work, but worth it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

In-house Political Pundit

I am a republican. Always have been. Hate to say I always will be because well ... never say never. Needless to say I am a McCain/Palin supporter. I've even helped Shawn see the light and he is coming over to the "right" side. :) But I think we have a problem and may need an intervention. I wouldn't normally find this a problem. But it's the second time it's happened.

Incident #1 - A few months ago, we were reading the paper and there was a picture of Obama on the front page. Mallory looked at it and said, "I like Brakack Opama." The world started spinning ... really, I am not lieing.

Incident #2 - We were watching the debate tonight. It was over, I was having a hey-dey messaging with my girl Cheryl. When all the sudden I heard, "I LIKE BRRACCKAKKA OOOKKBBAAKKKAMMMAA." I had heart palpitations. And I think my blood pressure rose a teensy tiny bit.

So, my daughter is now my political enemy. My own little pundit walking around the house .. and I can't turn her off like I can the TV. Well, enemy may be harsh considering she's not quite four and doesn't understand what really liking a candidate means. But, is this just the beginning? Are we going to be polar opposites on life views? I guess I was with my mom. Oy vey. It's going to be a wild ride with this child.

To make me feel better, I think I am going to take the view that she is doing this just because it riles me. You know ... kinda like when she goes around the house saying "Hook `em Horns" and then giggles in her little evil laugh, all the while knowing I have been trying to get her to say "Sic `em Bears" for months.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Excruciating Wait

It's been almost four weeks since we ordered the bunk beds. And an excruciating wait. But, it's almost over. I have been told the beds will be delivered on Saturday between 10a and 12p CT. Stay tuned for pics.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Is that how you spell it? If I had to say it phoenetically, that would be pretty close. But you see, I'm having a little trouble as it's not a word in my native tongue, so I'm not quite sure. Where does it come from?

It's Mallory's newest way to say "costume." She's been fervently looking through all the sales catalogs and magazines we've received lately to figure out which "hoscqume" she wants to wear for Halloween. She has spent hours examining the hoscumes in the Wishcraft catalog. So far, the choices have been narrowed down to (in no particular order):
  • Bat girl
  • Wonder woman
  • Super girl (her own incarnation)
  • Elizabeth (yes, the great ruler of England)
  • Pirate (the male version only)
  • Go-go girl
  • Cheerleader
So, the question is ... which will win? I tried to get her to be Princess Leah so I could dress Truett up as Yoda. But she didn't go for it.


I know I've been doing these quite a bit lately ... It's really not a copp-out. I want to remember these things. So here's the latest installment, said while in the car on Saturday.

"I like being Mallory Tinkham because ... I have little toes. I have little feet."

What great self-esteem!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nine Years of Wedded Bliss

Happy Anniversary to us! Nine years ago today, at just about this time, I was a little frenzied with wedding prep. I believe I was in a panic over the fact that I could not find my knee highs (yes, so I'm a little redneck, so what?). Luckily, the best sister in the world sent my then very young nephew who was a newly-minted driver to Wal-Mart to pick up a $.33/ball of sheerness to save the day.

Most of our wedding day is but a fuzzy memory now ... but I do remember a few things.
  • Shopping trip. My sister and I got up and went to the mall the day of my wedding. It was so fun. I got a free makeover at Estee Lauder (my makeup was flawless!) and bought some jewelery to wear that day. It was great to share that time with my sister.
  • Rushing to decorate. I'm not sure how I ended up on decorating duty, but had to go to the florist, church and reception site to "fluff." It made the day feel rushed.
  • Trying not to giggle during the ceremony. See, I had had a dream a few weeks before that I busted out laughing. Of course, during the *actual* ceremony, Shawn and I looked at each other at the same time with the same thought of that dream. Man was it hard to stifle those giggles! Maybe that explains the next bullet.
  • "Let us pray." I like prayer. Have nothing against it. But, really Rev. Webb, did we need 5,000 prayers during the ceremony? I guess he thought we needed a "little extra" help from the man above.
  • Forced presenting. We were forced to sit for oh ... what felt like most of the night and open gifts from people who had not been able to attend a shower because they were from out of town. It was nice that they thought of us, but really I would have rather been dancing.
  • Tennis shoes and knee highs. After we cut the cake, I politely asked Shawn if he would put on my tennis shoes and spare me the pain of high heels. I was really comfy the rest of the night.

Lots has changed in nine years ... infertility, two babies, houses, cars, trips ... the list could go on and on. But one thing that hasn't -- I still love you, Lobby/Goose/whatever your name is!

Shawn did well in his celebratory prep ... I woke up to a pretty bauble and then got flowers at work.

(I tried to take a pic of the bauble and the iPhone just cannot zoom in close enough to get the detail with no fuzzies. Sorry.)

Saturday night we're going to celebrate with a fine dining experience at The Capital Grille. It's been a good nine years ... here's hoping the next nine are even better.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The stats

True had his 15 mo check up today. I realize now that I am typing this I should have been putting all his prior stats on the blog. Just in case I lose all of those little pieces of yellow paper they give you at the dr office. That way in thirty years I could tell him what he weighed at each checkup (on second thought ... do you think this blog will be here that long?!). Cause you know that's important information. And I don't have the best memory when it comes to these things. Oh well, I guess it's never too late to start, right?

Height: 30.5" (40%tile)
Weight: 21 lbs 15oz (20%tile)
Head: 19.25" (25%tile)

So my boy is perfect in every way (and I am not being biased ... the dr said it too!). Hard to believe he's already over a year old. This time a year ago I was just coming back to the office to work (I had worked at home for some time) and crying inside every day because I had to let the lovely ladies at daycare fawn over him. I still feel the same way ... just a little more used to it now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"God talks to me"

In the car this morning, Mallory pronounced, "God talks to me." I was excited ... my daughter is already finding enlightenment at 3.5yo! But then, that idea went downhill very quickly with the rest of the conversation:

Mallie: Mommy, God talks to me.
Mommy: Really, what does he say?
Mallie: He says that we need to go swimming.

Aha. My child has found another clever way to twist the truth to her way of thinking! She's a sneaky one. Of course, maybe God is telling her to go swimming and who am I to interfere!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just Be

I'm sure there will be thousands of blogs written today about the national innocence that was lost seven years ago when the attacks on the Pentagon, World Trade Center and flights across Shanksville, PA occurred. I'm still devastated by the events of that day. Honestly, I don't think I can fathom or understand the enormous impact it's had on our lives. Maybe I just choose not to.

But, I'm not going to talk about that today. I'm going to talk about "just being." I'm working on "just being present" in my everyday life and appreciating what I have. It's hard because this is not my personality type ... but I feel that this will help make me a better person, a better parent.

If we would let ourselves just be and stop and smell the roses every once in a while, our whole world could be different. Like today ... it's 8:45a and I am just getting to work. And I'm okay with that because what good would it to me to rush and get upset with my children, myself and other drivers on the road. Think about those who were early or late to work on 9/11. Do you think they were upset that they missed the train, their flight or that cab? Maybe for that moment only because the events of the rest of the day opened their eyes.

So I guess I'm trying to say we never know what is going to happen. A chain of events could lead to a positive or negative in our lives. So just go with it. It may not be what you want, but roll with it, don't fight it. If you don't like it, change it. But do it in a positive manner.

Now tomorrow, when I am cursing myself for oversleeping again and the crazies in traffic who are too busy to get off their cell phone to pay attention to the road, I will try to remember how I feel today. Because this is how I want to be every day.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It's been a long time since ...

Growing up, I used to play a mean trick on friends who came to spend the night with me. I'd lure them over under the guise of chit chat, popcorn, movies, make-up, boys ... an endless list of things girls like to do when they sleep over at someones house. Of course, once they were there ... (insert evil laugh) I made them my minions and put them to work. The diva interior designer would come out and I'd force them to help me rearrange my room (insert another evil laugh). It didn't take long for people to catch on to this phenomenon of "let's go to Jenn's house and work." Of course, it did quickly sort out the real friends! Luckily, I didn't push it on them too many times. I couldn't wait for them to come over to rearrange ... so I learned to do a lot of heavy lifting myself.

Even today ... (muffled) years later, Shawn still quakes when he hears me say, "I have an idea." Because to him, this means "let's rearrange the furniture." Let's face it, I like to change things up. But in this house I haven't done much of that. Probably because there is really only one way to put furniture in our bedroom. And the playroom doesn't have that much in it. The kitchen ... well, there is only so much you can do. But the living room and office are fair game! It's on baby. :)

Well, we've arranged the living room about three times in almost two years. That is REALLY a low arrangement to time ratio for me. The office has been arranged once - when we got the office furniture put in.

But lately, I've been feeling the old familiar itch. Maybe it's the change in weather. Maybe I've just unsuccessfully tried to stifle the inner designer ... but it's back. So on Sunday, when I said, "I've got an idea," Shawn just kinda rolled his eyes and backed away. But once I told him what it was, he was very very happy. Especially when I moved all the furniture by myself while he was at Home Depot.

Anyway ... that's a really big lead in to say that I rearranged the office. I think it looks pretty good. Of course, we're going to dump the big black filing cabinet and the broken 46" tv (have I written about the famous Wii incident yet?). And I still need a nice room-sized rug. But we're getting there. Yeah, it's a bit of a bowling alley since all the furniture is off to the side, but this arrangement REALLY works for us.

The curtains are a little tired ... I think I may put up some nice blue ones I have. Yes, I know the rod is hung too low. But I gave up on trying to direct Shawn to where I really wanted it. It works for now.
I found this baby at the new Homegoods store (that place is HEAVEN I tell you). It lives in the office by the back door. We each have our own basket. I was thinking about painting the baskets black. What do you think?
Anyway ... this gives each of us a place to put our stuff each day ... and a way for mommy to not have to run home from school to pick up something we forgot. I can hear it now:

Kidlet: Mommy, I forgot (insert some weird item) at home.
Mommy: Was it in your basket?
Kidlet: No, I forgot to put it in there.
Mommy: You should have remembered to put it in your basket. I bet you don't forget next time. I'm not going home to get it.

Okay ... so that would be in a perfect world. In the real world I always turn around, go home and bring the missing item. On a side note, does anyone else find it disturbing that I always create conversations like this? I'm kinda worried about myself.

Anyway ... that's what I've been up to. I'm getting antsy to do a little something to the playroom next. Please don't let me do anything crazy before the holidays. I have too much to do already. I cannot add to the madness.

Monday, September 08, 2008

NYC, home away from home

I feel like I've been spending LOTS `O time in NYC these days. And I love it!

Years ago I really wanted to move there and take a big `ol bite out of the city. At my previous employer, an internal job was posted for the practice in NYC and I seriously thought about applying. I even joked around with Shawn to get his take (Underhanded, I know. He had no idea of what I was doing. He was just being introduced to the world of Jenn). He didn't take.

Anyway, was having lunch with my friend Tracy a few weeks ago and we started throwing around the idea of doing another girls' trip. Couldn't afford another trip to Paris (Tracy and I went in Feb 08) or Vienna (where we're planning our next out-of-country escapade) so we said that maybe a cosmopolitan city like NYC could fill in the gaps. And, even better, let's go at the holidays to soak up all the holiday spirit.

Started talking to my friend Mello `Dondo. She has a friend who owns partnership in a hotel just off Times Square. The more we talk, the more exciting this trip is ... because it's becoming a reality. Yes my friends, discount hotel room just off Times Square. We are paying a per night rate that is just a little more than we'd pay for a hotel room in Suburbia, TX.

Oh wait, it gets even better (do you feel like you're in an infomercial for NYC?). We had been looking at airfare and were finding rates in the vicinity of $300 - $325. This AM when the hotel was confirmed, we logged on and found it for $238. This trip was destined.

So ... I'm off to soak up some more of the big city with my girls. It's going to be a long wait until December.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Another overheard and a fun Saturday

She got me on this one. We happened to be driving by a farm in the middle of suburbia. Since a family farm seems to be a distinct species, I made it a point to make sure she saw the animals. There were cows and alpacas lazily grazing. The conversation inside the car went something like this:

Mommy: Look at all the cows, Mallory!
Mallory: Yes, there are baby cows too.
Mommy: Do you know what a baby cow is called?
Mallory: A baby cow.
Daddy: *snicker*snicker*snicker*

I scratched my head and had to give it to her. And of course, continued the lesson!

Still no bunk bed delivery. I'm getting antsy, but it's only been a week. Patience cricket. Patience. In the meantime, I've been looking for a decorative theme for True's room. It's hard to find something that meets Shawn's request of "jeep" and my request of "not really jeep." I think I finally found it on eBay. I won it in a bitterly-fought bidding war (I was only mildly wounded, I cannot say what happened to the other party). The spoils of my war came today ... but not in as good of shape as I would have hoped. And the lamp that came with was broken so I need to contact seller and file a claim with the post office. Just what I want to spend my time doing.

This morning we set up a 529 for Mallory's college. I've determined she is going to have to pay for part of school for herself! I am a true believer in pay yourself first because scholarships, loans, etc. are available for college but not for retirement. I mean really ... to fund a private education I'd have to set aside almost $900/mo for 14 years to pay 100% of her education (almost $500/mo for a public school). So, we are going to put in a little over time so that by the time she's ready to go to college she should have enough to pay for at least one year. We need to set one up for True, but we're going to wait a year to see how this one performs. If we like, we'll sign him up next year.

After that we went to Gatti Town and hooked up with the `Dondos. Kids love playing together. And True did not appreciate his first ride on the carousel. This was right after the ride was over. Unfortunately you cannot see the tears. Maybe he just doesn't like riding horseback?

Mallory and Christopher had a great time running around and playing games. At the end, we got to pick prizes (a ring, a sugar necklace and a soccer ball eraser) and take a ride on the train. Even Mommy and Mrs. Melody got in on the action.

After that, we came home. As I'm writing this Daddy is snoozing on the couch. Mommy has gotten up 5 times. To let the dogs out, get True up from his nap, get Mallie a snack (x2) and take my own bathroom break. Something that should have taken me 10 mins has somehow stretched out to just over an hour. Hopefully Mommy will get her own quiet time today.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Decisions made, bed bought

I so struggled with the bunk bed decision ... which style, which color, what do I do? I really made it harder than it should have been. Story of my life.

I finally realized that I kept going back to one set in particular. So once I consciously realized that, the decision was made. But then, what color? Let me tell you, I struggled with this one. White ... is it too girly? Black ... it is a neutral (at least in my house) but is it girly enough? Red ... one of my fav colors, but would it be neutral enough to decorate? I chose none of the above.

After hem-hawing for a few hours on Saturday, I finally made the call and ordered the bed. No, I'm not going to tell you which one yet. I was ambitious yesterday and trekked around McKinney and Plano to find bedding. The good news is that we are all set ... we just need the beds to arrive.

Don't worry ... I won't keep you in the dark. You'll be the first to know once they very nice furniture men come in and set them up! Hopefully they'll be here in the next two weeks. Till then, stand by.
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