Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Almost Famous

I love to take pictures.  I'm slowly venturing into the realm of manual settings on my big, fancy camera... and eventually even additional lenses. 

Little did I know that my pictures would eventually be featured in a gallery.  Like a real place people go to buy art.  It's the JLH Gallery in New Jersey and the gallery officially opens on April 1st - no joke, April 1st.

I'll have more info on the grand opening celebration as it draws closer.  And my photos will be available online for purchase as well.  You can find the gallery online at  www.  (Thanks, Claudia for correcting me!).

I'm still in a little shock about the whole thing.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Parent Proofing

Now that the Doodle is crawling, it's all about baby-proofing the house.  We took some steps last summer, but have been making sure the stuff we overlooked is going to be ok.  For instance, we never even knew we had an outlet under the bar.  So when we put outlet covers on everything, we missed that one.

Well, guess who made a beeline for that outlet last weekend?  Yep... 15 seconds later, it was promtly covered and then we spent the rest of the day trying to decide if we knew we had an outlet there or not.

What none of the books or experts talk about though is parent proofing.  In an attempt to open the container that held her new sippy cup, I managed to give myself a fat lip.  I had to pull on the packaging so hard that the force caused the cup to fly out of it and hit me in the mouth.

I yelped and my lip started to swell.  T was feeding the baby, so I told him to ingore my cries.  I was ok... it just hurt like.... well, like someone popped me in the mouth!  This morning my bottom lip is still a tad swollen, although it only hurts when I eat or drink...

Yes, I'll live.... but really?  All I was trying to do was open the stinking cup!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Told ya...

I knew when I left for New York/New Jersey last week that Caroline would be driving when I got home.  I told her not to grow while I was gone, but apparently she was having none of that!

She is quasi-pulling up.  She grabs on to stuff and is up on her knees.  That's as far as she's been able to get, but she is getting quite adept at that move.  She was playing like that when I picked her up from school today... just hanging on to the activity center and kneeling next to it playing with the stuff on it.

Well, after we put her to bed tonight, she was quiet for a while.  Then over the monitor, I heard a weird sound.  It sounded like a bouncing mattress and a squeaking bed.  Could my not even 10 month old daughter be jumping on her bed?

T got up to investigate and came back into the living room laughing.  He said, "you've got to come see this."

So there she was... jumping in her bed... sort of.  She was holding on to the side... on her knees... bouncing up and down.  After we laid her back down and covered her back up, we then made plans to lower the bed even more tomorrow night.

Monday, March 22, 2010


If you don't believe in reincarnation, you should.  The more time goes by, the more B imbodies everything that made Rufus what he was.  It's simply amazing to have two dogs so similar.  I woke up on Saturday morning and found that B had taken over Copper's bed.

Sing it with me, a la Chris Farley "Big dog in a little bed.... "

Forgive the grainy, bad, early morning, cell phone photos.  I knew if I got up to get the camera, he'd move.  He moved after I snapped the first picture.  He looked at me like "What?  You've never seen a large dog in a tiny bed before?"

Seems innocent enough you'd think.  But keep in mind that we had to get Copper and Rufus the exact same beds or otherwise they'd fight over them all night long.  And even with the same beds, they were constantly back and forth in each other's beds anyway.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Because I'm like that Part 2

I've given up reading books.  I get sucked into the story and don't put it down, forsaking sleep and food and work and baths.  It's in everyone's best interest that I've given up reading books.

I do, however, love to read blogs.  Simple, normally short posts about as many topics as you can imagine.  But I have this strange quirk when I find a new blog.

I know it's completely out of this world that I might have a strange quirk, but believe it.  I feel like when I start reading a new blog that I can't just start reading from that day forward.  If I do that, I feel like the kid who's late to the party and won't know the fun inside jokes.

So I start at the beginning and read ALL the posts for said blog until I am up to date.  This can take weeks... months actually, depending on how old the blog is and how frequent the author posts.

Well, tonight I managed to finish my own personal version of War and Peace.  It's taken me months to read the entire thing... but now I have.  When I caught up to real time, I raised my arms in touchdown mode and sang "I am the champion... I am the champion...."

T just looked at me with a blank face.  Apparently it's not all that impressive to everyone.

Maybe if I fold the towels on the sofa he'll be impressed.  He might not be impressed, but he'll definitely be shocked.

The Blizzard of March 2010

It poured rain all night.  It was supposed to turn to snow today.... stay tuned and I'll hopefully have some pictures to post of insane blizzard.... IN MARCH!

UPDATE:  We only got about 2" of snow today.  And I didn't ever bother to take a picture.  It was ugly snow and never inspired me to take a picture.  T did get some great pictures of the blizzard on Christmas Eve.  Maybe I'll post those one day for you.  Maybe... if you're good.

Friday, March 19, 2010


And here is more crawling....

Rare gems

Living in Oklahoma, our circle of friends is decidely smaller than it was in Louisiana.  We don't have a life-long connection to this area and the people in it.  But we have managed to find friends that I feel like I've known all my life.

When you don't have school or family or similiar histories in common, it's often difficult to cultivate friendships - especially as adults.  But when you do find those friends, it's a special gift.

To find people who think your kid is as cute as you think she is and is excited to keep her late on a school night so you can enjoy a night out as an adult is something I probably might not have needed in a friend if I still lived in Baton Rouge.  But I am thankful that I do have that now.

Thank you, Steph, Nick and Mase!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

9 Months in pictures

Well, in one picture.  This was taken this past weekend in Benton.  She wasn't super crazy about Momma's photoshoot idea, but we got one good one.  And I know that white bow is awful.  I need to find a better one. 

She does occassionally close her mouth... but it's rare!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Not so innocent

It's funny what seemingly innocent little things bring back very vivid memories.  Last week, I bought a package of cookies with the intent to make a little sweet snack to bring with us when we visit T's parents.  Mr. Andy always likes it when we come baring sweets (oh and the baby).

Well, life happened and the dessert didn't get made.  So last night after dinner, I helped myself to some of the cookies, because I wasn't cooking at 9 pm.  That's actually pushing towards and past my bedtime (no comments about my advanced age, please).

But as I sat on the sofa enjoying my cookies, I remembered the first weekend we were in Oklahoma.  The pods hadn't arrived with all of our furniture yet, so all we had was the sofa, Rufus' chair and the TV.  The TV was sitting on the floor because we hadn't bought an entertainment center yet.

Since the TV was on the floor, so was I.  I was leaning back against the sofa, sitting with my legs crossed eating a couple cookies (notice a pattern here) and watching TV.  The dogs were inside because we didn't have the yard fenced in yet.

I was eating Nutter Butter cookies.  I used to love them as a kid, but hadn't bought them myself in years.  I decided to get a package while I was buying our first groceries in Oklahoma.

So I was casually sitting on the floor eating cookies.  I had one in my right hand that I was eating.  And I had the other cookie in my left hand, casually resting on my knee.  My sweet Rufus walked up to me and licked the cookie in my left hand.  Then he sat down and looked at me like "um... are you gonna eat that?"

I was completely caught off guard.  Rufus had NEVER done anything like that.  Now, Copper, she'd take the food out of your mouth if you let her.  But sweet Rufus had never done anything so blatant! 

I looked at T and we both burst out laughing.  Of course, I had to give him the cookie.  I wasn't going to eat it after he licked it.  He proudly took his cookie and jumped up into his chair.  Copper just sat there looking at us like "what the hell?!?"  So I gave her the rest of the one I was eating.

That will teach me... won't it?  My innocent dog was apparently not so innocent.  I miss that goofy dog...

Thursday, March 11, 2010


We had our ENT appointment this morning.  We got there early and lucky for Momma, there was a Starbucks in the lobby.  So Doodle made her first visit to Starbucks and proceeded to scratch their lovely leather club chair with her fingernails.  It looked like a cat had attacked that chair.  I felt so bad... it was a soft, beautiful leather.  Oh well... that's what they get for letting yahoos in.

We made our way up to the 3rd floor and arrived 30 minutes early with all of our paperwork in hand, already filled out (typed cause I'm anal that way).  There was only one pair of chairs open, so I plopped her in a chair and sat next to her to enjoy my Venti Nonfat Caramel Macchiato.

It was 15 minutes before they called us up there to take our paperwork.  So they took all our info, 14 forms of identification, insurance card and payment.  It was another 10 minutes before she called me back up there to take all my cards back.

Did I mention it was HOT in the waiting room?  Doodle was sweating.  I took off as many of her layers as I could.  I know better, but only had on a tank top under my sweater, therefor, all my layers stayed in place.

Another 45+ minutes rolls by before we are called back into the room.  By this time, Doodle is tired, hot, hungry and sporting a full diaper (at least I suspected that one).  I didn't come prepared with a full diaper bag because I figured we'd be in and out.

Universe - 1, Momma - 0.

We are FINALLY called back and don't have to wait very long for the doc.  I tell him a brief history of the last 6 weeks and why we are there.  He looks deep in her ears, up her nose and in her throat (gotta make sure we cover all bases of the E-N-T).  Then he says that her ears are fine now (of course they are).  She is a borderline case of needing tubes.  He says that right now, structurally she could go either way.

So our course of action is to do nothing for now.  Next time she gets sick, we'll re-evaluate but at least now we are established patients and can get in same day if we need to (provided we don't mind waiting forever, of course).

And with that 10 minute (max) consultation, we were on our way.  I rolled into school with a tired, hungry, dirty-diapered baby... at least I apologized for dropping her off that way.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

9 Months

Doodle is 9 months old today.  She is 21 lbs, 3 ozs and 17 feet tall.  Ok, maybe not quite 17 feet... maybe only 12 and half.

She does, however, have 2 new teeth!  After a weekend of demon-possessed-goat baby, the second of her two teeth finally pushed through and our sweet angel returned to us.

She can do some serious business with her commando crawl.  She is really trying to pull her knees underneath her.  We keep thinking it will happen any day.  And I'm sure she'll walk right past me as soon as I post this.

Unfortunately, we are headed to the ENT.  When she started running fever again last week, we couldn't rule out her ears even though she is teething.  So we saved a co-pay and just called the doctor.  She confirmed that it only makes sense to head to the ENT.

Her new thing, that I could totally live without, is a temper tantrum.  If she doesn't get exactly what she wants, when she wants it, she throws her whole upper body back and flails around, while screaming.  I'm not sure how this started, but demon-possessed-goat baby debuted it this past weekend.

We tried a new vegetable last night - butternut squash.  Daddy didn't think she would like it, but she gobbled it right up.

It's fun to make her laugh... and I'm never quite sure what she'll find funny.  So I'm generally acting like an idiot in an effort to coax a giggle.

I guess it's time to really start planning that birthday party!!

Monday, March 8, 2010


Unfortunately, Caroline's ears aren't doing that much better.  So we are headed to the ENT this week.  My back is better, but I'm not pain free quite yet.

But work doesn't stop.... so we keep going.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Super is an understatement

Picture it.  New Orleans, 1989.  A middle class young girl and her family venture to the big city to enjoy an NFL football game.

That young girl - me.  That NFL football team - The Saints.

It was my very first NFL game.  The Saints were playing the Indianapolis Colts on December 24, 1989.  Erik Dickerson was the star of the Colts.  Jim Mora (Sr.) was the coach of the Saints.  Bobby Hebert was the quarterback.

It was unseasonably cold in South Louisiana that day.  Parks of Lake Pontchartrain had frozen over.  In fact, Dad said they the lake was FROOOOOZEN SOLID!  We parked our car in a parking lot on the corner of Julia and O'Keefe.  Dad told me to remember that.  Twenty-one years later, I still remember.  Don't ask me where my shoes are though.

We walked as a family through the streets of New Orleans, taking in the sights to be seen.  When we got to the Superdome, I remember looking up at it and thinking it was just so large.  We made our way to our seats and peeled off our coats.

I remember just taking it all in.... the sights, the sounds, the vastness of the Superdome.  The Saints were in rare form that day.  The scored almost everytime they touched the ball.  It was so fun for a first game... all Saints, all the time.

There was about 5 minutes left in the game and Dad said it was time to go.  I was UNHAPPY.  There was still 5 minutes left in the game.  We could score again!  Mom and Dad both insisted that we wouldn't score again and we wouldn't miss anything but the traffic.

When we finally got back in the car and put the game on the radio, they HAD scored again.  They scored on a kick return.  They set up and ran a reverse and added insult to injury in a runaway win against the Colts.

It was a positive Saints memory from my childhood.  And frankly, there weren't a lot of them.  Just when you thought they were on the doorstep of turning a corner, they would screw up and it was a dagger to your heart.

I remember getting beat down by Joe Montana twice a year.  I remember winning with replacement players.  I remember not being able to see games because they were blacked out in Baton Rouge.  I remember year after year Benson threatening to move the team if the state didn't give him more money.  Ups and downs... highs and lows... lots and lots of lows.

When the Saints beat Minnesota to go to the Super Bowl, I almost couldn't believe it.  It was surreal.  I had to keep asking T if it was really real.

When they returned the interception for the touchdown, I almost posted on Facebook that I couldn't believe we were going to win.  But I stopped myself.  I didn't want to jinx it.  And if anyone could screw it up, I figured it would be the Saints.

I sat there in disbelief as the confetti rained down.  I knew lots of people actually at the game.  I remember watching LSU win the 2003 National Championship and I wondered if it was the same feeling that I had then.

Part of the reason I haven't posted about it before now is because part of me is still in disbelief about it all.  The Saints... Super Bowl Champions!  ?  Really?  Wow....

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Because I'm like that

A friend of ours here is an editor at the local newspaper.   He also has a blog.  He was coming over for the Super Bowl with his family.  The week before he sent me an email asking a couple of questions because he was working on a blog post.

He asked if we'd been life long Saints fans.  I sent back this huge email full of stories about what it means to be a Saints fan... memories... emotions... feelings.  He emailed me back with a follow up question.

"So that would be a yes?"

I had assumed that he didn't want just a yes or no answer the first time.  I mean, he was writing a blog post about this, right?

If you'd like to read the blog post he wrote, it's here .  If you happen to miss where I'm mentioned, it's the part that said, "die-hard Saints fan."

Apparently he did just want a one word answer.  That's what I get for assuming, right?

Tomorrow - my long awaited Super Bowl post.  I know... you're on the edge of your seats.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Reasons I'll never win a Bloggie

1.  I don't post often enough.  I try my best to keep everyone updated on what's going on since my original intent of this blog was to stay in touch with family.  Beyond that, it's hard for me to remember to post that often.  And frankly, what do I have to say really?

2. I don't have a gimmick.  Gimmick is the wrong word... but people don't flock here because of my fabulous photography or my baking or my knitting.  I've done a little of all of that, but I'm not a specialist.  I'm more of a general practitioner.

3. I refuse to recount the endless tales of my embarrassing ways.  It's hard enough living through it the first time.  I don't need to remind myself that I'm a huge dork.  If you know me, you are very aware that I'm a dork.  If you by chance are reading this and don't know me, trust me... I'm a huge dork.

4. I have no idea how to generate enough traffic to this site to even scare people off.

5. I don't have contests and giveaways.

6. While it would be an honor to be nominated, I don't really care.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thank you, Mrs. Hutson

In the 8th grade, I had a wonderful English teacher.  I never was a big fan of English up until that point.  But she made it fun.  She made it interesting.  And she made me realize that I was pretty good at it.

She taught us some things that I still remember to this day.  One of the things she was a stickler about was words that aren't really words.  That stuck with me.  Her pet peeve became one of my pet peeves.  So I'm going to run through some words that aren't really words.  (Note:  If you have used these words while talking to me, I noticed.)

1. Ginormous
This is not a word.  I use this word all the time, especially when referencing our sweet baby.  In my defense, this word is used for emphasis.  I know it's incorrect, but it adds emphasis.  It's used as hyperbole as Stuart Scott intended it to be.  (Stuart Scott - ESPN Sportscenter anchor credited with creation of this word... at least in my opinion)

2. Ya'll, m'aam, alot
These are not words.  When you make a contraction, you place an apostrophe where you removed letters.  You all becomes y'all.  Madam becomes ma'am.  Alot is just simply not a word.  It is two words - a lot (as in "a large amount").  I'll never forget the day Mrs. Hutson got on her soapbox about "alot."  Let's just say it stuck with me.

3. Funner or Funnest
These are not words.  You will never catch me using these words.  The correct form of these words are more fun and most fun.  Please do not use these words around me or you will make my head explode.  Yes, there was also a soapbox about these words.

4. Normalcy
Oh holy crap this is not a word!!  In 1920, Warren G. Harding used the word normalcy in a speech on the campaign trail.  After the disruption of the World War, Harding said on the campaign trail, it was time to get back to normal: "America's present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration." He repeated the word in his inaugural address the next year: "Our supreme task is the resumption of our onward, normal way.... We must strive to normalcy to reach stability."

Normalcy was popular with the voters. But since it was a newly prominent word uttered by a politician, reactions to normalcy were mixed. Language purists sneered that Harding's word was a mistake for normality. They explained that -ity is the usual suffix for words like normal, while -cy is only attached to words that end in t, as in democracy from democrat.

You can't turn on the television today after some sort of disaster without reporters using the word over and over and over again.  And that's when my brain starts to ooze out of my ears.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On the mend

Things are looking up in the Smith household.  My back is doing better... much better.  I'd say I'm about 75%.  The downside to all this medicine is that I'm generally asleep 30 minutes after I take it.  And while, the rest has been good, it doesn't allow me to accomplish a lot in the evenings.  But we'll just pretend that I'm wearing clean clothes... how about that?

Caroline is getting over an excema outbreak on her stomach and a nasty diaper rash on her bottom.  She has 2 teeth coming in.  One is just barely broken through, the other is right there under her gums, but you can see the white.

She was a little fussy this weekend, but that's only to be expected given her teething, diaper rash and excema outbreak.  But things are looking better.  Now, if only someone would come do my 47 loads of laudry, clean my house, and prep my flower bed, I'd be a happy camper.

Any takers on that?


*crickets chirping*

I guess I've run everyone off.... 47 loads of laundry makes me want to run off too. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tired of seeing George

George is our small town pharmacist.  I'm tired of giving him my money.  I told him as much when I saw him today.  He didn't take it personally... which I appreciated.

Last Sunday morning at 2:30 am, I woke up with a HORRIBLE stomach virus.  I'm not sure if I could emphasize HORRIBLE enough.  Monday, T came home early sick with the same stomach virus.

Neither of us was able to really eat anything until Thursday.  At that point, I was so weak and tired from no food that it was hard to move around, but I was feeling better.

I stood up while holding the baby like I have 10,000 times before since June.  Unfortunately my back had other plans.  A white hot flash of pain shot through my back and down my legs.  Long story short, 4 days later the doctor says she thinks I slipped a disk.

I've got a boat load of medicine and a check up in 2 weeks.  At that time, we'll re-evaluate and may have an MRI.