Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cool Stuff

I just found this on Yahoo and thought it was some cool information.  I am such a mom and wife.

Christmas Parties

Ugh, I know, I am so behind.  I feel like I say this a lot.  Again, I apologize.  J, O and I had some parties to attend, the biggest one being J's all-staff party at the arena.  She got to meet Howler, the Coyotes' mascot, and watch all the people ice skating and drinking hot chocolate.  We had a nice dinner too with some decorate your own cupcakes.  Very yummy.  Though I didn't get to eat much with chasing a toddler around but that's okay.  I probably didn't need it.
Here are some pictures from the all-staff party.  No player photos, sorry, though there were several of them there.

O showing us her new smile for the camera with her squinched up eyes.

I thought this one was funny.  It looks like O is almost giving us a gang sign.  Or one of those gun things that people do.

Our friends Andi and Kyle tried to get some pictures of us for our Christmas card.  O wasn't really having much of it so we stuck her stupid pacifier in her mouth.  And J looks a little drunk in one of them.  He wasn't.

We got one okay one of that round, minus the cookie in O's mouth.

These are my favorites, especially the last one.  It's one we used on our Christmas card.  O is fascinated by Howler and I love that she is reaching out to touch him.  I don't like that I look like I still have a big belly but whatever.  (On a side note I finally dropped below my pre-pregnancy weight!  But I'm probably back up above it after Christmas.  Oh well, back on the wagon!)

I had a couple of parties at work as well.  One for our agency and one just for the HR division within the agency.  Both were very nice and of course I probably ate more than I needed to.  J and I also went to a party that one of his colleagues held.  We went last year and had a blast and this year did not disappoint either.  My mom came out to watch O so J and I were out until midnight!  That's late for us!  =)  Once again we ate too much but that's what this time of year is about.  Right?

I'll be putting up a separate post about our Christmas.  It was a really nice day with the exception of some stomach issues that J and I had.  But O had a great day!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jinx (warning - fairly long)

I have a confession to make and I really don't know if I should say anything but the people who read this blog aren't going to go blabbing their mouths off, are they?  =)

I don't think it will come as any surprise to hear that we are looking for a job back in Texas (or a nearby state).  Well, I'm not.  John is.  Everyone knows that we want to be back close to family. 

It's not that J doesn't like his job.  Just the opposite, in fact.  He LOVES his job.  He loves what he does, where he works and who he works with (and I am in the same boat).  He loves working in sports again.  We just want to be closer to where all our relatives live and the Coyotes aren't the most stable of organizations right now.  That pull of our family is stronger than the one that is keeping us here.  It's unfortunate that AZ is so far from TX (and that a lot of the people in AZ suck - sorry, it's true) because the situation as far as our jobs here go really is pretty ideal.

I haven't said anything thus far because I don't want to jinx anything we may have in the works and be disappointed all over again.  For example, J had a phone interview a few weeks ago and I didn't say anything to anyone because I didn't want it to come back and bite me. (By the way, nothing has come of it so I don't know why I was worried.)

But then I thought that it really doesn't work that way.  At least I don't believe that it does.  Some of you may not agree with me but I believe that things happen the way they do for a reason.  I believe that there is a plan out there for all of us and we just have to let go and let it happen.  Even though I believe this in my heart I have a hard time letting go in my head.  I fight it every time and then when everything works out I always wonder why I didn't just let things happen like they were supposed to.  I have faith that what is in store for me is going to be the right thing, and when it happens it is going to be at the right time.

As much as I hated moving when I was in high school it set in motion everything that has brought me to where I am today.  If we hadn't moved I wouldn't have ended up at Rhodes where I met two of my best friends in the world.  If I hadn't ended up at Rhodes and living in Memphis I wouldn't have worked for the Redbirds.  It was there that I met John and now I can't imagine my life without him.  I truly believe that the heartache that went with the move, and every other experience in my life, has also brought so much happiness and made things the "way they were supposed to be".

I believe that when John was so unhappy at his job before the Coyotes and all the rejection that came with his job search at the time was worth it when I came across the Coyotes' position on a whim.  It was supposed to happen that way for him/us.  Sure, we didn't want to stay here any longer, but this is what we needed at the time.

I believe that as soon as I learn to stop fighting what God has planned for me/us that things will happen the way that they should.  It's just a matter of doing it - which is much easier said than done, especially when you want it to happen right now.  I have to believe, though, that there is something better for us coming up and we just have to keep our eyes open for it and our hearts open to it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Decorations

I just wanted to make sure that I got some pictures up of our Christmas decorations for this year.  For the first time since we've been married, J and I got a real tree!  I was so excited!  O loves it, especially the lights.  She and the cat have been very good about not playing with the ornaments, though the cat is drinking out of the tree stand.

I tried to get some good shots of our lights outside but they didn't turn out real well.

We have Santa and his reindeer leading people to our house.
I tried getting fancy with my camera by putting it on the night scene setting but it didn't get any better pictures.  I couldn't hold it still enough.

O with her favorite ornament - a stuffed Santa.  She loves everything Santa, except for the big man himself.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Take a minute or two and go to Let's Say Thanks and send a card to a military service member for Christmas.  It's free and it is much appreciated!

Monday, December 14, 2009


O met Santa this weekend.  She wasn't having much of it, though she didn't cry.  She was kind of emotionless about it.  I'll attach the pictures that I took later, but to see some go here.  Select the event on 12/12/09 vs. Sharks, and then gallery 12.  Our pictures are 38, 39 & 40.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Baby alligator, snakes found in university dorm

Only in Arkansas:

Baby alligator, snakes found in university dorm

Bath Time

I don't know why but O has started squinting when she smiles for the camera.  It's really pretty funny but we're going to have to work on it.   The pictures below are from her bath the other night.  The ones with the dry hair are in her bath tub.

Look at that curly hair!

And the pictures with wet hair are in my bath tub post poop.  Yes, she pooped in the bath again.  I suppose I'm pretty lucky since she doesn't do it that often.  I think that she is getting closer and closer to being interested in potty training though because it really freaked her out that it was in the water with her and she has started stopping and squatting whenever she poops in her diaper.  I know you all were interested in that bit of information.

She got her flu shot last week.  Finally.  She didn't cry at all when she got the shot.  I was very surprised.  She also weighed in at 28 lb. 10 oz.  I don't know her height but will update everyone after her 18 month appointment next week.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I Wanna Be Like Mom!

Just some pictures of O trying on my pajama pants (isn't she so cute with pigtails!).

Don't forget to check out my other blog called Moms Questions!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


We survived!  That's the big news I guess.  O was wonderful on both plane rides and even slept for part of both legs.  Never in a million years did we expect that.  I didn't even bring a magazine or anything else to read expecting to have our hands full with her, but I really could have used some reading material after all.

We got to Austin on Wednesday and went up to Ryan's house where we were staying.  We chilled most of the day and had some barbecue for dinner from a place called Rudy's.  It was very good but I'm still a Memphis Barbecue girl. Ryan's dad, Mike, and brother and sister-in-law, Jason and Amanda came over as well for dinner and some Painkillers (a drink that my parents and Erin and Ryan discovered on their trips to the Virgin Islands and Ryan has recreated).  Awesome!  As you can tell, we had some fun.

Olivia is wearing my shoes but wanted to get in the boots.  It didn't really work.

This is Little Eddie.  He is Ryan's pirate (don't ask).  We took his patch and bandana off and put it on O.

 Some others got in on the act too.

On Thursday we went to my Uncle Larry's house for dinner and it was wonderful.  We had so much fun with everyone.  My entire family on my mom's side was there including two fiancees who will be joining the family next year.  Welcome Ryan and Jose!   

Here are some pictures from that day.

On Friday we drove from Austin to The Woodlands.  My mom was so excited that O finally got to go to their house.  We thought stairs might pose a problem since our house doesn't have any and she didn't have any experience with them but she put our fears to rest at Ryan's as she had no problem going up and down with a little help.  The only problem we had was that she wanted to go up and down over and over.  She had also shown us at the Goodyear Ballpark that she was fine with stairs.

We hosted a baby shower for my friend Renee on Saturday so we had a houseful of women.  It was a lot of fun and it was great to see several of my high school friends.  On Saturday night Tom and Melanie came over with their daughter Riley to watch the Baylor game and hang out.  And I just realized that I didn't take any pictures of the girls, but Mel did so when I get some pictures from her I'll post them.

Sunday we just relaxed and my Uncle Andy came over for dinner.  O loved the lights my dad had put out so we ran around outside.

On Monday we came home.  As much as we didn't want to go home it was nice to be back in our own house and to sleep in our own beds.  I hope all of you had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as we did!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Site!

I wanted to let all of you know about my new website called Moms Questions.  I started it to get conversations going about being a mom (or dad) and raising kids and the worries and questions that come up in day to day life.  And then some.

Please check it out, comment, make suggestions, tell your friends!  Let me know how I could make it better or improve my writing.

I will still keep this blog going for a while, but eventually hope to move everything to that site.

Enjoy and thanks!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prematurity Awareness Month

For those of you not aware, this month is Prematurity Awareness Month, and today is Blog For Preemies day. 

I was lucky enough to not have to deal with the heartache and stress that comes with having a preemie, but follow stories of those that have.  Not all stories end up happy, but one that did is documented on a blog called Our Stork Got Lost.  It deals with prematurity as well as infertility in a wonderfully humorous but serious way.  The willingness of these people to share their story, and the courage they display is inspiring.  (I went to high school with Jeff but haven't seen him in years - I give him, and his wife Kerry, so much credit for displaying their life and struggles to the public and putting themselves out there for scrutiny.  You'll see what I mean when I say scrutiny.) 

The strength of parents that have children born 10 or 12 weeks early amazes me.  The months their babies have to spend in the NICU must be agonizing.  I don't know if I could do it and I pray that I never have to. 

I didn't realize, though, that my chances of having a premature baby are higher here in the United States than in most other developed countries.  According to the March of Dimes the U.S. gets a "D" grade when it comes to the number of premature births.  In the U.S. alone more than 540,000 babies are born prematurely (that's 1 out of every 8 births!).  And worldwide the number is around 13 million.

So why is this the case?  Why has the percentage of premature births grown so drastically in the last 20 years? 

Most of the time there is no particular reason for a woman going into premature labor.  But there are precautions that can be taken to help prevent a premature delivery.  The March of Dimes website has some wonderful suggestions for pregnant women to help them stay pregnant for their full term.  It gives some great information on prematurity for moms, families and professionals.  It also gives you ideas on what you can do, pregnant or not, to help fight prematurity.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Arizona's budget

I have been meaning to post this link for a while now.  I don't really know what took me so long.  It might have to do with a certain seriously teething 17-month old.

Anyway, most of you have seen the posts I've put up in the past about how Arizona is in a serious budget crisis right now.  Most agencies have laid off employees throughout this year in an effort to reduce costs.  I've been lucky enough to make it through two rounds of lay-offs at my agency.

Just recently the Governor asked all agencies to put together a proposal for what they would cut should they be required to reduce by another 15%.  These can all be found on the Office of Strategic Planning & Budgeting's website.  My agency is Administration.  To go directly to ADOA's proposal click here.  Go to page 62 for the Human Resources Division section.  The gist of the document for HR says that if ADOA were to cut the amount requested in the proposal then HR would essentially go away completely.

If that happened all the agencies would be required to handle the HR duties that ADOA currently does (HRIS entry, recruiting, employee relations, etc.).  The problem, though, is that the agencies that we help out are saying that if they have to cut 15% they will cut their HR department as well and give everything that we aren't already doing back to us.  Ummm, hello?  There is going to be no HR anywhere!  It just can't work!

It still remains to be seen if something will come of these proposals.  Our Governor is still pushing for a temporary tax increase to help offset the deficit we have but the Legislature isn't having any of it.  There still is not a budget passed for FY2010 (which started July 1).  I think that they are getting ready to start a 4th special session to try to get things worked out.

So that's where we are.  Who knows when we'll ever get in the black again.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween 2009!

Halloween was a crazy day for us this year.  We had a garage sale (more on that in a different post) and then went to the Coyotes' game.  I didn't think O is ready for the whole trick or treating gig this year, but we'll definitely try next year.  My parents were also in town so we wanted to make sure they got to at least one game this year.

We carved pumpkins for the first time since John and I have been married.  I think our jack-o-lanterns turned out pretty good.  I free-handed, and John used a pattern.

John deciding which pattern to use.

 O enjoyed playing with the guts more than anything

I guess before we had a baby we never really got that in to decorating for the holidays.  Sure, I'd put a few things out for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but now that O is here I want to make sure she has great holidays, and that means decorating.  It's actually kind of fun!

I went a little overboard with the pictures but O was so cute as Supergirl.  I just couldn't resist.  Enjoy!

This costume was so cute.  I had to get it from all angles.

Up, up and away!!!

Supergirl has to re-fuel at some point