Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

You don't look a day over 21! We love you! Doesn't this look like Bailey??

Monday, January 21, 2008

More Puppy Love

Some recent pictures of our boys:

"Lost" and Found!

We had quite the drama on our hands last night. We did our usual nighttime routine, including eating dinner as a family, having some play time, taking a bath, putting on PJs, and reading a story. When it came time to give hugs and kisses and get tucked in for bed, 2 very important things were all of a sudden missing...Elise's beloved blankies. She has 2 Taggies, and they must go everywhere she goes!

Jamie and I distinctly remembered putting them in bed with her earlier at nap time. So, they had to be in the house, right?? We spent literally 2 hours searching the entire house with no sign of the blankets anywhere.

The places we searched include (but are not limited to):

*All the beds - stripped down and taken apart
*Between all pillow cases
*In the laundry
*In the car
*In the front & back yard
*The entire playroom - literally torn apart searching
*Under every piece of furniture (including moving the couches)
*In between every couch cushion
*In the dog beds
*On all the ceiling fans
*In every single drawer & cabinet in the whole house
*Behind every shelf
*Under every rug
*In the refridgerator & freezer (you never know)

It was after 10pm last night before Jamie and I finally gave up. Elise went to sleep okay without them after a brief period of crying. We even let her help look for a while in hopes that she would remember where she put them. Eventually, we had to just put her to bed without them.

Jamie and my mom had the day off, so they spent literally half of today searching both of the houses. I kept trying to think of additional places to look too. Finally, we gave up today and my mom went in search of a replacement, which she found and purchased.

Elise seemed fairly pleased with her replacement when we got home tonight. We ate dinner and came into the living room for a bit of down time before bath time. Elise wandered into her playroom, and I looked up to find her standing right in front of me holding up both missing blankets! I was so thrilled to see them! I asked her where she found them, and she walked me into her playroom and showed me where she had put them. They were inside this box:

This box is REALLY small, as you can kind of see in relation to the size of my hand. There is no way I would guess her blankets would fit in there. Once I got over my joy to have located the blankies, it dawned on me that Elise had known all along where they were. Then I got a little angry! I asked her if she knew they were in there last night, and she said yes. I asked her why she would let Coach and I search the house for all that time if she knew where they were. She said, "because." I had to count to ten. I am guessing it was a state of the art stall tactic at bed time last night.

I really am just happy to have found them, but now I am realizing how sneaky my little love is becoming. She is outsmarting us left and right! I am going to have to be on my toes and become a little wiser to her tricks. We had a talk about why it's not nice to do things like that, and she said she was sorry. Hopefully it won't happen again!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Squeezing in an update

Things have been extremely busy both at work and at home. I barely have a chance to catch my breath, but wanted to let everyone know we are still alive!

I like to think that I can have a successful career, be a loving and devoted wife, and a great mother - all while preparing several hot meals each week, keeping the house presentable (with Jamie's help of course), and keeping up with my own personal interests. Whitney Houston's I'm Every Woman comes to mind. Sometimes that works out better than others. Right now I am having a hard time doing it all. I've fallen behind on my Bible reading and really need to catch up. I feel bad that I haven't been able to devote much real quality time to Jamie in the last few weeks. Of course we see one another and talk every day, but we really need to find some time to slow down and just focus on each other soon.

Work is very hectic right now for several reasons. I am normally busy around this time of year anyway making sure the tax program is set up to run smoothly. This year it is compounded by the fact that our department has had so much turnover, and we have converted to a new version of our personnel tracking software, AND we have switched tax service providers. I have been very busy managing the transition, and we've been doing a lot of training of the new staff. Learning the new ins and outs of the software has proved to be a challenge too. I've been putting in some overtime, which is rare for me. I'm not getting home until around 7pm, and then I want to spend every second possible with Elise before she has to go to bed. By the time she is asleep, I am pretty worthless.

Jamie is really busy too. His next masters class began this week, and he took the GRE today. He has been stressing over the GRE for several weeks and studying every night. He scored very well as I knew he would. I know he is glad to have that behind him. Now he only has to focus on his class, work, and baseball ("only", right). He traveled to Waco last week to attend a baseball coaching convention. He enjoyed it, and the boys, Elise, and I missed him terribly. I'm glad to have him back home and not have to worry about him taking any more trips until the football coaching convention this summer.

I'm so tired! The good news is that in a few more weeks, things should really level out at work. I have this Friday off work, so I am really looking forward to having a day with Elise. I've been missing her a lot. I am planning to do a roast in the crock pot on Friday too. I've been wanting to try a new recipe - I just haven't had the chance yet.

Hopefully I will have something more interesting to say next time I post!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I have been outsmarted by my 3 year old.

And Jamie is loving every minute.

He has been hazing me all evening, so I told him that I would post a blog about what happened at dinner tonight. I called Jamie on my way home and asked him to please go ahead and pop our lasagna in the oven so it would be ready when Elise and I got home. So, we came through the door and dinner was served!

We all sat down at the table and Elise said the blessing. We are really focusing on table manners right now - just the basics such as putting your napkin in your lap and chewing with your mouth closed. So we are making a big effort to prepare meals and eat at the table as many times as possible during the week.

Last night Jamie picked up a pizza, because I was working late and we were both tired. We still ate at the table together. I don't usually eat my crust, so when I was finished I fed it to Bailey & Dexter.

Tonight I gave Elise some yogurt with her lasagna. It's an odd combination, but I was shooting for a balanced meal! She took a spoonful of yogurt and threw it on the floor. Obviously I got quite upset! I scolded her, and she told me that she was feeding it to the dogs. I replied, "Elise, dogs don't eat the same food that people eat." You can probably guess where this is heading...

She quickly - without missing a beat - said, "Why can dogs eat pizza then, mommy?"


Monday, January 7, 2008

I just realized...

that I haven't updated my blog in a week!

I guess there have not been too many interesting things to talk about. Jamie and I are both back at work now after the holidays, so we are tired and getting readjusted to our early mornings. We have just about another month until baseball season will be in full swing (no pun intended).

This is the time of year that is the toughest for me. I'm a great football wife, but I struggle a bit with baseball. Jamie is the JV coach and he does not have an assistant. Also, they maintain the field themselves (football has a grounds crew that takes care of basic maintenance). That means that the hours are a bit longer during baseball season, because after the kids go home from practice there is work to be done on the field. Games are twice a week instead of once, and Jamie coaches the JV game, then assists with the varsity game when possible. That means he's coaching from around 4:30 until close to 10:00 many nights. I do enjoy the games, but it's hard to make it up there for most of them - half of them are on school nights, and Elise gets tired. I try to make it to the varsity games when I can, because they are more exciting than the JV games. Also, when I attend the JV games, I sit by myself since there are no other JV wives to chat with. So, I guess I am feeling a bit "blah" about the start of baseball being around the corner. The positive thing is that Jamie truly loves the game and enjoys coaching a lot. I'm happy that it makes him happy.

There have been a ton of changes at work lately! I met my new boss after the holiday. She seems great so far, and we are all adjusting yet again. This is my third manager in less than 2 years. It seems that each time I get used to one person and their leadership style, they are moving on and we are going through a transition all over again. We've also had a lot of turnover among our staff, and I am missing some of our old colleagues as they have moved on to better opportunities elsewhere.

Here is a picture of our old group taken at our manager's farewell luncheon:

This past weekend was nice. We really didn't do much at all. Jamie and Wes have been working on a huge project in our back yard, so Jamie spent some time outside dealing with that. We are basically attempting to raise a huge portion of our back yard. We have some issues with standing water, etc. They are using sand to elevate the yard, then we will add new sod this spring. As of now we still have a mountain of sand waiting to be used. It is a LOT of work and will take some time to complete. While elevating portions of the yard, Jamie also decided to raise our porch. That has proved to be quite a task as well! He is moving aside each individual paving stone and elevating the ground beneath it with sand, then replacing the stones. Wes also helped him build a nice fence around our air conditioning unit. The fence was very needed in order to keep 2 dogs who will remain nameless from chewing the cords to bits and wiping out our air conditioning!

Other than those projects, we just stayed home and spent time together. I made some ranch chicken that Jamie loved on Saturday night, and my homemade vegetable beef stew on Sunday. I am trying to do more cooking - just one of my several New Year's resolutions! If anyone has any great crock pot recipes, please feel free to post them!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Welcome 2008!

Jamie, Elise, and I rang in the new year last night in a very low key manner, which was perfect for us. My mom made a bunch of good things to eat, so we went by there with the intention of eating and heading home by Elise's bed time. This plan was interrupted by one of our Christmas traditions that spilled over into the new year this year.

We always have a big puzzle going in the dining room over the Christmas holiday. As we all pass through, we work on it from time to time. We completed this year's puzzle in only a few days due to the fact that Jamie and I are competitive people at heart and were determined to conquer the puzzle (ha ha). Since we mastered the first puzzle so easily, mom found another one that is proving to be much more difficult. Needless to say, Jamie and I got very involved in trying to complete it last night. Before we knew it, it was nearly 11:00 and we were still out with Elise! We noticed that things had gotten awfully quiet in the other room, and anyone who knows Elise would know right away how unusual that is! We peeked into the living room and found this:

Pa Pa was just loving this! It was really, really cute. Elise *never* falls asleep anywhere other than her bed, so he felt really special that she crawled up into his lap and went to sleep. She slept there for an hour before we scooped her up and brought her home to tuck her into her own bed.

About an hour later Jamie and I kissed at midnight and went to sleep. It was a perfect beginning to 2008. I have a good feeling about this coming year.

May 2008 bless you and your family in ways that you cannot even imagine!