Wednesday, July 30, 2008

home renovation: part I

In preparation for Charlie's arrival, we have begun a little addition/renovation project at our house.

1. Our former "carport" is being transformed into a playroom for the kiddos

2. Charlie's little room (which used to be a "pass through" room - with two doors in it) is being renovated so that their is just one door going into the bedroom.

3. We had the brick planter removed from the front of the house in order to create a more formal entry.

Here are some pictures of the house before and of the work in progress:



Sunday, July 27, 2008

a sneak peek at preciousness to come

Wednesday of last week, I had the opportunity to get a glimpse of my precious little man, Charlie, in a 4D ultrasound.

My heart did flip-flops when I saw my sweet, God given gift on the screen. What a privilege to carry a tiny life inside of me. A living, growing, little person with fingerprints and eyebrows and ten teency toes. A person whom God specifically created for His glory. The responsibility, the weight of it all - It's nothing short of mind-blowing.

Typically, those ultrasounds are done between 28-32 weeks gestation, but a friend of mine from book club knows a girl who was a Sonographer at night for a hospital here in town who offered to scan me for FREE. Since it was her last couple of days on the job, I had to do it a few weeks earlier than is ideal for the pictures, but FREE is always ideal for the budget!

We weren't expecting to get super-great pictures of our little guy since it was so early, but thankfully, we did! The Sonographer said that he was definitely a boy (whew! I've already indulged in a few purchases for him!) and that he was a little more plump than she expected him to be for his gestational period. I have to admit that hearing that he was already chubby-ish made me feel kind of I'm doing something right!

Look at the pictures and tell me if you see what I saw: David, David, David.

He has his daddy's mouth and chin, and Avery's sweet little nose. So precious!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

mommy's plan

So I have this fear that when our baby Charlie arrives this November, Avery will completely freak out. I picture full-out temper tantrums followed by crazed screaming fits and hours upon hours of toddler hiney glued to the Time Out Chair. If I let my mind go unchecked, I envision horrible scenes of 2-year-old mayhem and destruction: hard objects hurled at the baby, Cheetos purposely ground into the sofa, "Mommy Stinks" written in toddler scribble on the walls, toys thrown into the toilet, permanent marker on clothing (gasp!)... and on and on. Each horrifying scene ends with mommy being dragged away in a straight jacket.

I'm told by my experienced mommy friends that those moments (hopefully, not all of them!) are inevitable and that little "emotional outbursts" are a normal part of a toddler's adjustment to having a new sibling in his/her home.

The Realist in me accepts that information as true and is attempting to emotionally brace myself for those moments. But the Dreamer in me secretly hopes to be the one mommy that it doesn't happen to. You know, the one that everyone hates? I think I could handle being hated if it meant that I got to keep my sanity.

Since keeping my sanity is relatively important to me, I've developed what I hope to be a brilliant, successful, fool-proof plan for easing my almost-two-year old into big sisterhood (go ahead, laugh if you want...).

My "plan" includes talking about baby Charlie, showing Avery clothes/items I've bought for baby Charlie, showing her pictures of her friends with their baby siblings, introducing her to the concept of nurturing a baby, and lots of praying, praying, praying. Currently, the biggest hurdle we have to overcome is getting her to say anything other than "no" when we ask her if she wants to have a baby at our house.

I've also decided to keep her room exactly the same and not introduce a big girl bed until life stabilizes again for her. Unfortunately, that means that I have to find another crib pretty soon. I plan to hold off on introducing potty training to her until she is closer to three as well. Unfortunately, THAT means lots of diapers to buy in the next year. HOORAY!!!

I realize that my efforts may end up being in vain, but because I'm heard-headed and a control freak, I've decided to stick with the plan anyway. At least for now...

We've played "baby and mommy" together a lot lately, so I decided to buy a crib at a local consignment sale this week. She has really enjoyed playing with it, but I'm really not sure that her sweet little toddler mind grasps the whole "nurturing" concept. At least I got some really cute pictures.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

ugh. i'm "that mom".

The slightly stuck-up, idealistic, pre-mommy educator that I used to be always insisted that I wouldn't let my child watch T.V. until she was at least three (something I once read about brain development in the young child and ADHD or something).

The haggard, exhausted, pregnant mom that I have become is actually grateful to have a few minutes of silence (well, I guess Barney singing in the background doesn't officially count as "silence", but I'll take what I can get!) so she can get 10 minutes to put the laundry in the dryer or to unload the dishwasher.

Research be darned! At least I got my whites clean.

So - Have I become "That Mom"? The answer is definitely"yes".

Further examples of my "That Mom" status:
1. Opening an un-purchased bag of Goldfish crackers in the grocery store and allowing my child to "dig in" so that my child will stop screaming.

2. Running to the milk section, opening a container of milk and pouring it directly in the my child will stop screaming.

3. Sprinting to the baby section, opening a pacifier and sticking it in my infant's mouth my child will stop screaming.

3. Taking my child to Target in PJ's. More than once. Sometimes in PJ's that aren't even clean.

4. Contemplating (seriously - and more than once) buying a mini-van.

5. Allowing my child to eat fast food more than twice a week. Ok... maybe even more than that--as long as I'm being really honest here.

6. Allowing my child to watch Barney.

7. Watching Barney WITH my child.

8. Knowing all the words to every song on Yo! Gabba Gabba!

9. Humming a Yo! Gabba Gabba! song while doing the laundry.

10. Letting my child drink way too much of my Diet she will stop screaming.

11. Buying my child a pair of Crocs...and actually thinking that they are cute.

12. Being guilty of thinking, "Wow. My car's not even that dirty right now" because there is only half a box of crushed up cheerios and 3 sippy cups on the floor.

let's go to the mall!

*title courtesy of Robin Sparkles*

I don't know if you've heard or not, but Malco just finished a summer kid's film fest promo where you can take your kids to see a second-run movie with proceeds going to St. Jude.

Some of my friends and I made plans yesterday to meet up at the mall to take our kiddos to see Charlotte's Web.

Charlotte's Web is one of Avery's obsessions these days. We have seen it a million and one times on DVD at our house. It is affectionately referred to as, "Pig" or "Cow" by Avery. She just points to the T.V. and says, "Pig" over and over until I pay attention and turn it on. Occasionally, she comes to me - remote in hand - and says, "Mote. Pig".

OK. Back to my story:
So taking your kiddo on a sweltering hot Memphis day to a cool indoor movie sounds like a really great idea, huh? My friends and I thought so.

Evidently, every Day Care in Memphis thought so too. By the time I arrived (late as usual) to meet my friends at the movie, the entire theatre was full of little guys in matching t-shirts.

Instead of watching the movie, we settled for a nauseating ride on the carousel, lunch at Chic-fil-a, and play time in the indoor playground. The morning ended up being really fun. The kids enjoyed eating nuggets and playing bumper cars with the rolling high-chairs (much to the chagrin of a few sour-puss observers) and the mommies enjoyed catching up.

Sharing movie popcorn. Miller insisted on getting it despite the fact that we didn't go to the movie.

Emma and Avery in the "Plane".

Carter is giving Avery love. Avery is trying to get away...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

book worm

This picture says it all..

"Mommy. Do you mind? I'm reading, here."

The thing is, I have an eerie feeling that this is not the last time I will see this look...
It's kind of a scary foreshadowing of the future, don't you think?

"Mo-om! You are SOOO annoying!"
"Mom! You never let me do anything!"
" are such a dork! (eye-rolling, eye-rolling, sigh)"

I remember saying/thinking those exact thoughts about my mom. If I believed in Karma, I would be even more afraid of what the future has in store for me. Thankfully, I don't!

Maybe I'll just hold onto the hope that my little sweet angel will always be just that...


Saturday, July 19, 2008

silly rabbit...

Jennifer gets lovely teacher gift for Easter.

Jennifer offers very fancy teacher gift to Carter - thinking. "Hmmm...Genius...the perfect way to get rid of this thing. Plus, she's 3, she'll love it."

Carter cherishes Jennifer's "heart-felt" gift. Because she's 3 and completely precious and unsuspecting... Poor thing! Ms. Jennifer feels a LITTLE bad, but not really.

Maribeth (Carter's mommy) says, "Gee... thanks, Ms.Jennifer. It's beautiful. Don't think that this is the last time you will see this, though."

Fast-forward 1 or 2 Months:
Bunny "mysteriously" shows up in Jennifer's front flower bed.

1 week later:
Bunny "mysteriously" returns to Maribeth's front yard.

1 more week later:
Bunny hops on over to Jennifer's house. In the same spot that he went to the last time. Not very creative, Mr. Bunny.

1 week after that:
Bunny makes a trip over to Maribeth's back yard to hang out in a super-cool hiding place. It takes Maribeth a while to find Mr. Bunny this time...ha!

2 weeks after that:
Bunny lands in the EXACT same spot that he ALWAYS comes to in Jennifer's yard. Bunny is totally lame.
However -- Bunny is now decked out for the 4th of July. Nice touch.

A couple of days later:
Bunny hides in the bushes at Maribeth's house in the middle of the night... Bunny is worried that he might get caught, but he is super quiet and runs --- er, I mean, hops--- quickly.

Jennifer and David drive home from vacation a week later, and discover Bunny's latest hiding place:
Jennifer's front yard - this time, the window box.

Bunny will not be staying here at our house for long...Mark my words.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


It's been CRAZY hot lately. Avery and I have really enjoyed spending an hour or two in the afternoons at the pool near our house. The kiddie pool is the perfect place for Avery to get a little bit of freedom while I cool off in 12 inches of water. Fun times.

Avery's little imagination has just started to awaken and it is super fun to watch her play. She pretends to "cook" all the time. In this picture she is pretending to make "cheese" (macaroni and cheese) for mommy. She kept stirring the water in the pail then
looking at it and saying, "hot". I would have to blow on it and she would give me a "bite". So cute.

Snack time.

the apple doesn't fall far from the tree..

It seems that Avery has adopted some of her mommy's crazy preggo cravings/food obsessions over the past month or two. She loves to eat pickles, Mexican food, ice-cream (eye-keem), french onion dip, and Sonic Cherry Limeades...just like me. Her favorite food obsession, however, is cheese dip.

Because I am totally digging on the Mexican food lately, we eat Mexican at LEAST twice a week (I'm seriously not exaggerating). I'm in hard-core LOVE with Taqueria La Guadalupana on Summer Ave. It's the kind of place where you just point to an item on the menu when you are ready to order because the servers "Don't even speak American". I'm totally obsessed with that place. It's just wrong, really.

Avery ONLY eats cheese dip when she goes to Mexican restaraunts and usually wolfs down the entire bowl of cheese dip by herself. It's a sight to behold. We have learned the hard way that it is necessary to come armed with the poncho-sized bib and a million-and-one baby wipes in order to go to a Mexican restaraunt with her.

maybe we should put away the hot sauce...hmm...that might be smart.

Daddy hasn't even pushed her seat all the way in yet!

The Avery way to eat cheese dip: Chips are optional. Fingers work just as well as utensils.

mmmmm.....makes me want some cheese dip. yumm-o.

cuteisms- courtesy of my little puddin' pop

AVERY (emphatically):
eye yah youuu.

mommy. I love you. A-men!

I'm not quite sure if that was one sentence or three, but I just melted. My favorite Avery-ism to date!

Monday, July 14, 2008

some pictures from our cruise...

I made a little slideshow from our cruise to Mexico. Enjoy!
Click to play mexican cruise
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what was lost is now found!

After looking (in toddler-inspired hiding places) for my long-lost phone for over a week, I am happy to report that my phone is BACK! While David and I were on our Mexican cruise, we got a text message from my brother Joseph, who was house-sitting for us. This is what it said:

found your phone...
in a bag of chips!

Yes. That's right. A bag of chips. The ONLY place that I failed to look in the entire house, mind you. David and I had a good laugh about that one and then breathed a sigh of relief. Had it been necessary for me to buy another cell phone, it would have been my 4th one since JANUARY. Most of my cell phone fatalities were due to being water-logged in some form ( 2 of them were dropped in the dog bowl. A lesson that I learned the hard way!).

Toddlers are the best!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

dude, where's my phone?!?

OH Dear Goodness.
If I don't find my cell phone soon, I may have an aneurysm. No really.
Keeping in mind that I have a precious toddler who LOVES to talk on mommy's phone, here is a list of the random places that I have looked:
1. sofa: all I found was crushed up goldfish and an unidentified moldy brown thing.
2. under EVERY piece of furniture in my house: I really need to dust sometime!
3. the dog's crate: even HE was confused about that one.
4. the refrigerator: yes. that's what I said
5. all of the trash cans in the house: even the dumpster. sad.
6. the backyard.
7. avery's playroom
8. avery's closet
9. our car: I found dried up french fries, water toys, and the equivalent of half a box of cheerios on the floor, but no cell.
10. every closet: including inside David's shoes.

Now, I am at a total loss. We have a teeny tiny house... not some cavernous mansion. This shouldn't be hard, right?!?

I may go insane.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

it's a...


Hooray! We are sooo excited. Charles Joseph Tillman will be born November 26, 2008. Little Charlie has a very special name. His first name is after David's dad. Most of you know that David's dad passed away from cancer when David was 19. He was an awesome, godly man who left an amazing legacy for his family. Charlie's middle name is a family name from my side. My grandfather, dad, and brother are all named Joseph. Plus -- I just love the story of Joseph from the Bible.

Here are some pictures from our doctor's visit today. Of course, we had to wait forever. Avery hung in there pretty well. We packed lots of toys, snacks, and books to keep her occupied. Honestly, I think that she would have much rather played with the biohazard trash can or the stirrups! Don't you just love that Avery's just hanging out by the contraceptive poster in the picture? Nice, right?

When we finally got to go to the ultrasound room, Avery insisted (loudly) on sitting in my lap. She then decided that she needed to help the Sonographer by holding the ultrasound-thingy with her. Isn't she cute? When baby Charlie appeared on the screen, she said, "baby!" really loudly. It was so sweet.

I kept telling my friends that I thought that the baby was a girl because I didn't want to get my hopes up. When I saw that little tell-tale sign that the baby is a boy, I just started crying and crying... It was so amazing. His little body is just perfect. He has 10 fingers, 10 toes, a healthy heart, spine, brain and kidneys. He was attempting to suck his little hand, but kept hiccuping and so his fist never quite made it to his mouth.

How amazing is it that a little person is growing inside of me? I am overwhelmed and thrilled by the miracle of life. I know that all you mothers out there will agree that seeing your little one growing inside of you is like nothing else in the world.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

book club, boundaries, and pickle juice

My book club met last night to discuss our June Book Love the One You're With, by Emily Giffin. I have to say, this book was a little controversial. If it came with a rating like the movies do, I would definitely say it would be rated PG-13 for subject matter. The book opened up some great conversation within our group about the importance of communication in marriage and creating boundaries within relationships. Emily Giffin really is a great writer. I would never have chosen to read this book on my own, but I really like the fact that it prompted me to really evaluate my relationships and standards. It made my "baby brain" have to work a little bit. That's a good thing!

We ate at Sauces , a restaurant downtown. Super-cool atmosphere, but the food was just kind of mediocre. Kind of disappointing. Maybe if I had had their specialty Mojito, I might have felt differently! Sadly, however, babies and Mojitos just don't mix. Since I had tough time deciding what to order, I decided to go with one of their recommended entrees: crab cakes with remoulade sauce. Sounds yummy, right? That's what I thought too. Hmm... not-so-much. The last time a had crab cakes, I got them at Paulette's, so maybe it's not such a fair comparison! I think that the other girls enjoyed their food more than I did, but then again, THEY were able to sample the Mojitos! You would think that being preggo, I wouldn't be so choosy about my food, but I gotta tell you, I wasn't digging it.

Instead, I ate some of my food and went home to indulge in my new favorite obsession:

Yes, that IS a jar of pickles you see. I know, I know... soooo cliche, right? At least I don't follow it up with ice cream!
My new love isn't just any old jar of pickles, it's the creme de la creme of pickles: Claussen Kosher Dills. I have quite the discriminating palate when it comes to pickles!

So -you might be saying to yourself: "Hmm.. that the jar is completely devoid of pickles, and the pickle juice is more than half-way gone."
That's true... and there's a good reason for that. I have discovered that it's not enough for me to simply eat the pickles. It seems that drinking pickle juice has now become my new passion in life. I have to admit that I'm a little ashamed of my new addiction. How did I let things go this far? Where are those boundaries when you need them? I blame it on the hormones. Seriously, though, it's the yummiest thing that I've ever tasted these days.

oh, pickles... i love you so...
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