Mary Mary Quite Contrary

This post is dedicated to the first day of summer!

Remember these little dudes? My squash seedlin’s?

April 7th, just 4 days before Anthony was born

Last we checked, they were doing fine in their new homes:

End of April

Well, wouldya get a look at them now?

yowza! Just 2 months later!

3 more just like this

Then, we have a couple new kids on the block:

Zuchinni seedling on the left was started in May. The one on the right was store-bought, for comparison. I could be biased, but it looks like mine is better

A few tomato plants. The one I started from seed is in the middle, the two on the outside were store-bought seedlings that someone gave us


Also part of our merry band are the tropical plants that I was given at graduation. They were used to decorate at the reception, but they needed someone to take them home! I obliged.

windowsill cuties

If I can find the time to transport them, we will be borrowing a few half wine barrels from Brooke to plant a few more seedlings that my uncle grew for us. Preferably, I’d like to have a couple different kinds of peppers– none of my seedlings sprouted 😦

We won’t get a ton of produce this year, but I think it’s pretty good, considering I just had a baby AND we moved!

Also, considering my past gardening attempts, at best, looked like this!

Spring 2011



Today, I took Gregory to a “Mommy and Me” gymnastics class at the old gym I was a part of as a child. It was nostalgic, to say the least (although I did quite a bit more than jump and climb around back then!).

Gregory is a bit of an odd duck when it comes to new social situations. Most of the time, he sits off to the side, observing quietly, until he finds something he can feel safe doing. When he finds that, he latches on like a leech and doesn’t let go. After a bit, if we’re lucky, he branches out.

Today was no exception. Guess what they had littered alllll over the floor? BALLS. Of all different shapes and sizes. Gregory was in heaven. For the first half of class, Gregory must have sent at least 3 kids crashing to the ground because he was throwing balls into the dancing/prancing session of “circle time”. The first time I got him to “climb” the circuit of soft obstacles (he was totally mesmerized by the trampoline), he complied. The second time? He gave me a low warning growl (spending too much time with Clarabelle?), reminding me that he wanted the BALLS.

But he became more and more interested in what the other kids were doing as the hour progressed, even voluntarily climbing on the circuit and trying to walk on the straight line velcro-ed to the floor. There were lots of fun songs and group activities, although only half of the kids participated (the other half were climbing and jumping off of everything in sight!).

I took my eyes off Gregory for one second, and when I found him again, he’d run over to the corner, near one of the speakers that was blasting some nonsense song about “staying true to yourself”. And he was dancing. Not any old dancing. River dancing. He had one foot at a time, tapping in front of him to the rhythm, both hands on his hips. Then, he turned sideways and started hopping back and forth. It was the FUNNIEST thing I’ve seen in a long time. I really wish I could’ve gotten it on video.


Only wants to throw balls because he’s too manly to play on the gym equipment?

Off in the corner, doing some undeniably feminine river-dancing moves by himself? What???

Then, the whole way home, I could hear Gregory in the backseat talking about it all. Lots of gibberish, but I could make out a few words, mainly, “BALL!” Also, this string of words kept repeating itself: “Home, Dadda! Home, Wee! Home, COOKIE!”. Hmmm… I may have had a hard time getting him to leave….caught red-handed, bribing my kid…..

The class meets every Tuesday and Thursday morning, and it’s pretty cheap. I think we’ll be going often!

Being Gregory’s Mother– 20 Months

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that when he HEARS that garbage truck behind the backyard fence, he will strain every muscle in his body to try and see it from his high chair. Best save the chiropractor for a later date and lift him up high to see it.

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that if you put on some music, preferably the Downton Abbey soundtrack, he will start dancing. She doesn’t know where he got most of his “moves”, like the one where he’s “sprinkling seeds”, and especially the river dancing, but Gregory’s mother doesn’t ask rude questions like that. She does suspect that Gregory’s father has something to do with it all…

So suave!

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that although he seems to like torturing “Ra-relle”, that dog is still his best friend. Gregory’s mother can rest assured, knowing that they have an odd symbiotic relationship wherein he occasionally acts as the benevolent dropper of snacks, and she occasionally acts as a punching bag for all manner of shovels, brooms and toy cars.

Gregory never met a dog he didn’t like

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that he WILL remember whatever word you say and repeat it. Watch out, world. He points to his Mamma’s cup and says, “Beer!”. He yells “WHY!!!”, not because he’s asking, but because it’s what Mamma uses instead of a 4 letter word. When he says he wants “vaggies” for dinner, Gregory’s mother doesn’t get embarrassed– she knows he meant those little carrots and corn kernels, not….anything else.

Being Gregory’s mother means finally getting kisses “with lips” instead of with a head butt. A definite improvement, except for when he gets too enthusiastic…

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that he has some anatomical trouble when it comes time to find his “bel-bow”, but he is a pro at naming his hair, ears, eyes, pointer finger, chin, tongue, teeth, you name it!

Being Gregory’s mother means being continually surprised by just how smart he is. Gregory’s mother used to have to prompt him with letters, asking, “What’s this one? What does it say?”, but she was shocked to find that he now loves to run up to license plates and read off the letters and numbers. Gregory’s mother knows that Gregory especially likes having a “B” on his shirt, especially when it’s accompanied by a matching “baseball”. One can never get bored when they have easy entertainment sitting right there for the saying.

All ready for first trip to the zoo!

Being Gregory’s mother means getting to take advantage of his new-found attention to detail. Gregory’s mother gets spit up on quite often by Gregory’s little brother, but the icky stuff doesn’t phase Gregory– he follows directions and goes to get Mommy a washcloth.

Being Gregory’s mother means getting to watch him sit for nearly ten minutes while concentrating and trying to figure something out.

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that one SURE way to make him giggle is to say, “MAH-rrrrio!”. Gregory’s mother also knows that the best silly things don’t make sense.

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that his favorite book is “Jamberry“, and that it can be read a variety of ways to his liking. Sometimes, an English accent is okay with him– it does rhyme, after all. And sometimes, it should be half-way sung. And sometimes, it should be done with tickles, all at the right spots. Gregory’s mother also knows that Gregory likes games, especially when they involve food, and that the only REAL way to read Jamberry is with a plate full of fresh berries, ready to snack on during each page.

Smiling with Nana on Mother’s Day

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that, when pointing out objects, he doesn’t like to just stop with one “tree!”, but wants to find, “anUH tree!” or “two tree!”. This also applies to “lams” (lamps), “doe-s” (doors), and “haws” (hats, of which there are a LOT in Jamberry).

Pointing out things at the park

Being Gregory’s mother means getting to wake up to the most sweet and cheerful voice saying, “Hi! Mamma, Dadda, maw-ning! Hi!” Gregory’s mother also gets to cuddle with him every morning as he drinks his milk, knowing that he will stop in between gulps to say, ever so tenderly, “mmm, Mama…mmmm, Dadda….mmm, Wee….”

So cute when waking up from a nap!

Being Gregory’s mother means getting to hear his sweet, “Nigh-nigh, lub-loo” (“love you”) every night as he’s on his way to bed with Dadda.

Asleep on the floor while playing

Being Gregory’s mother means getting to stand peacefully in church with the most well-behaved child she’s ever seen. Gregory’s mother also gets to respond to at least 2 people, every week, who say, “Wow! How did you train him to be so GOOD during church?” And the only answer Gregory’s mother can ever give is, “We didn’t do anything! He just loves church!” Because, how else do you explain how a toddler is able to quietly sit for 2+ hours???

Gregory standing at attention all of Anthony’s baptism next to Mamma and Dadda

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that the only way he comes back inside from playing is by kicking and screaming. Gregory’s mother knows that he loves the outdoors so much, and this is just the price one has to make in order to be a civilized human being.

Being Gregory’s mother means knowing that he loves sports of all kinds. She knows that all it takes is someone to demonstrate, whether it be an NBA player on TV or Dadda. Gregory’s mother doesn’t have to be afraid when he’s in the backyard all by himself for nearly an hour– he’s just hitting the ball off the tee, over and over again.

Being Gregory’s mother means relinquishing a certain amount of control when it comes to her plants. Gregory frequently “waters” these plants by stabbing the dirt around them with the watering can’s spout.

Being Gregory’s mother, ultimately, means getting to feel ever so blessed, every single day, for such a sweet, loving, smart and hilarious kid.  It means getting the joy of hearing him say things, like, “Dadda HOME!” It means getting to spend every day with someone who she not only loves, but someone she loves being around, “tinky” diapers and all 🙂

Father’s Day, in pictures

Oreos after liturgy

One wonderful smiling baby

Playing at Grandpa’s house

Blowing “bubboos” with Aunt Juju

Enthusiastic with the bubbles

Basketball with cousins, sisters, and best friends

Sing along to Goetye


Yesterday marked “9 weeks postpartum” for me.

Here’s a bit of a true confession– just like with Gregory, I’m starting to get impatient. I want my “old body” back.

Anybody who’s had a kid can tell you the real hard truth: although the numbers may go back to normal, everything has shifted. Nothing looks the same, which makes perfect sense! Having a baby requires your ab muscles to virtually separate and disappear. Your organs have to rearrange themselves (at the very end of my pregnancy, I felt my stomach growl, and it was under my rib cage, near my back! Tell me that isn’t some serious shifting!).

I’ve avoided working out based on my experience last time. I started exercising waaayyy too soon, and, as a result, not only re-injured my tailbone (stupid Pilates…) but also started losing weight like crazy. I vowed that I would not make the same mistake again.

But it’s a definite temptation of mine. When I see my post-partum tummy, I want to hit the gym HARD, eat only lean meats and veggies, and never look back. It has nothing to do with numbers on a scale or clothes I want to wear. I just remember and miss my old stomach, even the one I had post-Gregory (yes, after 7-8 weeks my abs did go back to a semi-normal “flat” state).

Knowing this temptation of mine, I purposely put an extended “hold” on my gym membership until July. I knew that if I set foot inside, I would be unable to hold back.

Because I’ve realized something– knowing what I know about myself and my metabolism, it would be pure selfishness to do any sort of hard exercising right now. I know, almost without a doubt, what it will do to my milk supply, and, therefore, Anthony’s health.

The impatient part of me that almost doesn’t care?

My strong sense of entitlement and selfishness, front and center.

But this is just another area of my heart that I get to see the Lord change in me. I get to realize that my body is no longer mine, but an offering to God for His service. That part in the Romans where Paul says to “offer yourself as a living sacrifice”? Totally starting to get that now. I don’t get to decide what I do with my body apart from God’s plan for it, or I am clearly no better than Jonah, running away in the hull of some ship.

I’ve mentioned on this blog the  huge struggles I had with eating disorders in high school. While peer pressure is definitely a factor for many teens, I think the biggest factor is control– we like to pretend we are mini-gods, masters of our own universe. Our culture tells us that we can have anything we want if we just want it badly enough, and eating disorders are no different. Genetics? Who cares. Proper health measures? Forget about it. I’m young and invincible, and if I want to eat in a way that defies the natural way of things, so be it!

I’ve tried “playing god” with my body, and I’ve never been so miserable in all my life.

Which brings me to another lesson God’s been teaching me.

When I stop taking control away from Him, I get to see, no, experience His plan.

For instance, instead of having rock hard abs for my own vanity (my plan), I grew two human beings! It’s still hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that my body was able to grow and keep three people (myself included) alive for the past 2.5 years!! That’s so incredible! I still haven’t comprehended how cool God made a woman’s body– in January, 2010, Gregory was just an embryo, no bigger than a pea. Now, he can walk, talk and throw a baseball, largely due to my body and the miracle it was able to produce! Not to mention being responsible for  keeping him alive with breastmilk!

Suppose I was stuck on Mount Everest for 3 days and I somehow, by the grace of God, managed to keep myself and two others alive, despite the dangers all around us. That would be an accomplishment, no? And wouldn’t it be wrong for someone to look at all the bruises and frost-bitten limbs and say, “You look terrible!” Wouldn’t that totally be missing the point of the miracle that just took place?

I think postpartum women (especially myself) need to give ourselves a break. We didn’t just keep someone alive for a few days, we did it for months, even years! For me to look at myself and “want” my body back is to do serious injury to the miracle that God did. Who am I to say that this miracle isn’t enough for a lifetime?

Anthony’s 2 Month Letter

Dearest Anthony,

You are already 2 months old. No one would know it by looking at you. People have guessed 5 or 6 months, but never 8 weeks. You already weigh 14 pounds and are 25″ long! For a frame of reference, your brother wasn’t this big until he was half a year old.

But you are your own unique little person, marching to the beat of your own drum, and we LOVE that about you. Your many many rolls (Mommy counted 6 per thigh tonight! Wowza!), your full head of thick (yet so soft…) black hair, your beautiful blue eyes that occasionally look Asian, your ginormous umbilical hernia– you are already so special in so many ways.

So big!

We are beginning to see more and more of your personality each day now. You have so many sounds, gurgles and coos, and we are starting to have lots of little “conversations”. You smile lots, you fall asleep during tummy time, you have different cries for different needs. You recognize Mommy now. In fact, you made her morning the other day– you woke up fussing, and the moment she reached over to get you, you cracked the biggest grin. What a charmer.

You still love being cuddled. Since Mommy and Daddy made the decision not to use an infant carseat, you get held in either a sling, the Moby wrap or the Mei Tai a LOT. Even short grocery trip runs are pleasant when Mommy gets to snuggle you the whole time! You fall asleep when you’re being cuddled close, making it easy to do chores, play with your brother, even eat dinner while “wearing” you. This is how you made your first beach and zoo trip!

You’re in there, somewhere, with your little hat to keep the sun off

You love to play in your floor gym, staring at yourself in the mirror for many minutes at a time. You always fall asleep the moment we hit 35 mph in the car (and we can’t fool you either! 30 just doesn’t quite cut it!). You have long active stretches during the day where you perform your aerobics, kicking and punching constantly (reminds Mommy very much of when you were inside her!).

During a particularly active session

This month, you were baptized and chrismated! You only screamed through the “exorcism” portion and the actual water part, but you were good the rest of the time. Your godparents, Gregory and Joanna, flew all the way out from Scotland for you! They brought you a beautiful cross necklace and icon of Saint Anthony. They held you as much as possible before leaving again. We hope that you will get to know them well!

With your godparents

You have continued to be a good sleeper, so long as you are well fed, recently changed and swaddled. Almost every night, you sleep from 1am until the sun rises. You never sleep with a pacifier– we only use it to calm you down when you’re having a huge fit. Speaking of fits…you have one huge set of lungs! You can go from fast asleep to screaming with huge TEARS in under 20 seconds. Not exaggerating. You have some intense extremes, kiddo.

That’s one big yawn!

You have been struggling with some reflux, and it’s so heartbreaking. Your cries are so sad, so painful sounding that everyone around just looks at you with sympathy. We help by burping you lots, sometimes 2-3x during a feeding and then several times afterwards. The Dr. prescribed you a small dosage of Zantac today, so we’ll see if that helps. Given all that pain, it’s no wonder you’ve been spitting up after almost every single feeding (you even “projectiled” one into Mommy’s EAR yesterday!).

But we don’t resent you for it.

Because you are our little Anthony.

Our “Anton”. Our “Barnacle”. Our “Wee”.

Your quiet and sweet intensity is a perfect addition to our little family, and we love living with you 🙂

Love, Mommy


The last two days have been busy and more than a tad overwhelming.

Saturday morning, we woke up and G had a 103 fever. Seeing as this is his first since he was Anthony’s age, we didn’t even have Tylenol. We had to call my mom and ask her to bring some from her house! He’s not complaining of any other symptoms, he’s just super lethargic when the fever is at its peak. It BREAKS my heart to watch him still try to throw a ball (yes, not even a 103 fever stops him) while he stumbles around the living room.

Meanwhile, it seemed like nothing in our house was working. I couldn’t figure out the correct cycles on our dryer, so our clothes were continuously wet (stupid Energy Star! Totally a first-world problem though, I understand). Our dishwasher only washed half the dishes we put in it.

Somehow, we made it in one piece to the graduation ceremony on Saturday. Autie, Brooke and my mom watched the sick baby and infant in the cry room while I got to walk in with the faculty. Fun fact– I had the same graduation in the same exact place 9 years ago with many of the same teachers! In fact, I sat next to one of them. It was surreal and kept making me giggle a little bit. Jesse’s speech was FANTASTIC, and he’s been getting rave reviews ever since. Even last night at Paso High’s baccelaureate ceremony, someone random came up and asked, “weren’t you the speaker at NCCS graduation last night? I’m friends with so and so, and I can see why they say such awesome things about you!”

But, just as always when Jesse gets praise and accolades from those around him, I want to make and buy Courtney’s t-shirt idea. At one time, we all wanted to make shirts that said, “You may love Jesse,” on the front, and, “but WE loved him FIRST.” on the back. The rest of the evening, people introduced me to others as, “the wife of the speaker.” Hmmm…..

Anyways, we were exhausted by the time we got done with the various after-graduation parties and such. Luckily, one of the parties was actually being hosted at my parents’ house for Kelly Cannon, so I was able to put G down to sleep there and then leave with Jesse to visit others.

But Sunday brought a whole new set of challenges….on top of STILL having a toddler with a 103 temperature, our dishwasher still wasn’t working 100%, I still couldn’t figure out our dryer so the clothes from Saturday were still wet, our GARAGE DOOR stopped working (there’s a manual function, so thank God our car won’t be stuck inside!), AND we found a potentially venomous dead spider not a foot from Gregory’s crib. It moved while Jesse was poking it, so he stabbed it with his big knife. As a result, we can’t say for sure whether it’s a brown recluse or not, but we should know soon.

And, in all the shuffle of Saturday, I managed to somehow misplace my cell phone (still haven’t found it!).

So I pulled another “MAYDAY!!” alert on my mom. While Jesse went to Paso’s Baccalaureate service for Emily, my mom came over and watched the babies with me. She even did our dishes and folded all of our laundry (I had figured out the dryer by then…). I was able to finish out a stressful day eating pizza and chatting with my mom on the sofa. When Jesse got home, I made tea and we watched a movie.

Moral of the Story: Live 1 mile away from your mom. It’s worth it when you have 2 kids and one of them is sick. Promise.

Dallas Auditions

Jesse and I stumbled across this audition from this year’s So You Think You Can Dance. This 29 year old stay at home mom from McKinney (30 min. north of where we used to live) brought her children with her to audition, and let’s just say….TV GOLD ensued. Wait until the very end for the best part! 🙂

bad joke eel

I must be more tired than I thought… this had me laughing pretty hard.

As always, courtesy of Pinterest 🙂

Small Town Living

You know you live in a small town when the evening news includes reports of a bear who wandered onto the freeway near the outlet mall…