December 2006


Another year is rolling around tomorrow. Like last year, I’m not very optimistic about my little one eating a black eyed pea. So…. I have to resort to deceitful tactics to ensure good luck for little Joelle.

I think I got the idea from my mom stuffing my dog’s heart worm medicine into a hotdog because he wouldn’t eat them. Regardless of where my plan originated, I mushed up one single pea and stuffed it into the bread I baked to go with the peas last year and plan to do the same this year.

I don’t think of myself as an overly superstitious person, but this is one family tradition I won’t let slide.

Joelle has figured out that we don’t care for loud noise.  It’s funny to me that it only just recently occured to her because she hates the garage door opening, toilets flushing and the vacuum cleaner.  She has these new toys from her happy meals that play this obnoxious, repetitive song.  One night at dinner, she pressed it so many times – Chris finally grabbed it and said, “enough.”  That moment was a pivotal one for her, she recognized that she had irritated us and had asserted a bit of power over us.  She has now taken a strong liking to all toys and items that make noise.  She’s looking to push that button again.

We aren’t playing along.  We’re both ignoring it with every ounce of our will power.  I was on the phone with Nana tonight and suddenly she found her very loud, seldom played with popper toy.  She just walked the living – dining – kitchen circuit watching me to see if she was getting to me.  This morning, she yelled into the empty wrapping paper tube recognizing that it amplified her voice.  She got a new book that says, “I love Christmas cookies,” when you press a button.  She pressed it and looked at daddy with a smirk on her face. 

We’ll see who budges first…

Ok, this is really odd.  After finishing up that story about how I said, “I never regretted getting something done early,” the doorbell rang.  I could tell there were a lot of folks outside, so I opened it – I recognized immediately they were Christmas caroling.  I said, “oh, my daughter is sleeping,” but the singing had commenced and drowned me out.  Joelle had just asked us last night about Christmas caroling.  Literally, last night.  We explained to her what it was and then said we didn’t know why so many books still mention it because it was sort of an antiquated custom.  Is the universe mocking me? 

It was very nice – Feliz Navidad and We Want to Wish you a Merry Christmas.  We do live in a pretty cool neighborhood.  I’m mean really, who else has had Christmas caroling?  Too bad Joelle was asleep, she would have loved it!  Chris left me alone to listen – he sheepishly looked around the corner but wouldn’t come stand by me.  🙂

Chris likes to make fun of me for being, well, the opposite of a procrastinator. Is there a word for that? Let me know if there is, because that’s me. Last night, I was filling all the egg cartons for Joelle’s cookie decorating party on Tuesday (yes, two days prior to the party). I have half dozen egg cartons and I filled each egg cup with a different type of cookie decorating accessory. I also decorated each tub of frosting with ribbons and their names. (I got the girls each their own tub, not anticipating that they would need a whole tub, but because I wanted to avoid germ contamination. Who can avoid licking the knife with scrumptious icing?) Chris chuckled and said, “Isn’t it a little soon to be getting ready?” I responded, “I have never regretted getting ready too soon.”

Those words are coming back to haunt me today. I still maintain that it is definitely worth the obvious obstacles that could arise to go ahead and get ready early, but I can also see where you might regret it. For example, we both worked very diligently at getting the yard raked yesterday (9 BIG bags of leaves – Petie: 1.5 hours, Chris: 4 hours. Before you judge my 1.5 hours against Chris’s 4 hours, please remember my handicap!) I anticipated that we would be able to go outside for the party. WRONG. It rained all day and is likely to rain tomorrow. I already put sprinkles in the egg cartons instead of a larger, easier to clean up, decoration – also anticipating that we’d be outside. Furthermore, the electric company sent over people to cut down the limbs of our trees hanging over the power line today. What are the odds? I stood there watching and envisioned a thick layer of leaves from all the ruckus in the trees. As it turned out, they did quite a nice job of tidying up after themselves, but it could’ve been ugly.

Finally, I wrapped what I thought was the remainder of my Christmas gifts yesterday afternoon. Although I didn’t vocalize my satisfaction when I was done, I had a mental image of me wiping my hands together as if to show I was done with that task. On his way back in town from Wimberley, my Dad brought over a gift for me to wrap for Mom today. (No, I’m not mad, daddy, I think it’s actually pretty hilarious.) I wonder what else I can jinx by getting started early….

Joelle has an advent calendar this year for Christmas.  We had one last year, but this is the first time she’s really appreciated it for what it is:  a countdown to Christmas.  She understands why she can only open one box each day and hasn’t tried to mess with that.  I’m sure she’s dying to just open them all up, but somehow this little 4 year old restrains herself to one a day. 

I thought the advent calendar would make Christmas come slower, but it has actually seemed to speed it up for me.  We opened box “14” today, that’s crazy close to Christmas!  I think there should be a countdown calendar for your baby’s delivery date.  Every day you get to open a box with a giftie inside!  Bottles, binky, washclothes, lotion, etc.  Nothing fancy, just helps lead to the excitement.  Unfortunately, it would only work for scheduled c-sections, but it seems those are pretty abundant these days.  (Although more common on the 2nd baby when you need less stuff.) 

I’m not to counting down days yet….  6 weeks on Monday.   

I have a tentative date scheduled for my c-section – January 29th. Mark your calendars! It feels strange to know my baby’s birthday before she gets here.

Joelle met Dr. Levin today (“Auntie Sherri”). Dr. Levin is so very sweet with kids. She swooped Joelle up and gave her big hugs and her full attention. Joelle loved it at first, and then something in her clicked, “I don’t know this woman.” She gave Nana and I the pouty face. It was very cute and I’m glad I brought Nana and Joelle along to meet my doctor today. It felt weird that they hadn’t met someone who has become a central figure in my life. (Yes, Chris has met her.) Plus, Nana went with me to almost every single doctor’s appointment that Chris didn’t go to when Joelle was in my tummy. I’ve missed her this go round.

A friend of mine called the other night and at the end of our conversation, she said, “oh, by the way, I didn’t know you guys were ‘Hollywood Stars’.”  I couldn’t imagine what she was talking about.  By my silence, she realized I didn’t have a clue as to what she meant.  She said, “Your pictures are in a great big collage in the Picture People store.”  “Big display of your family with Joelle and her pig tails.” 

My first response was shock and a little anger.  My friend was also very surprised I didn’t know.  Don’t they have to tell you?  We looked on the internet to see if they had the right to use our pictures without our permission and asked around.  Joey introduced us to the concepts of innocent infringement and willful refusal.  Chris asked his friend at work about it because his wife is a professional photographer.  His friend felt relatively sure that we had indeed signed something without realizing it and Chris suddenly did remember filling out paperwork with lots of small print while I put up Joelle’s adorable pig tails. 

Still, we were ticked and on a mission tonight to confront them and ask them to take our beloved family off display.  Well… that is until we got there.  It wasn’t hard to spot – centered and in a large framed collage is our family at the Picture People in Memorial City Mall.  We sheepishly smiled at each other and said, “we are a cute family.”  Chris laughed and said to Joelle and I, “autographs, anyone interested in autographs!?”  So we left without saying anything at all to the busy workers.  

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