I Am the Girl Who...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I am the girl who...

  • Cries whenever she hears The Star Spangled Banner or just about any other patriotic song.
  • Gets very irritated whenever someone speaks to my daughter in baby talk.  She is sixteen months old and speaks in many complete sentences, so please don't dumb down your language unless you need it.
  • Hates flips flops and the sound they make.  I especially hate them in a professional setting.
  • Would rather receive a gadget as a gift than jewelry any day.
  • Loves to bury my face in Lucy or Dory fur.  I love the way they smell when they're not wet or haven't been outside much.
  • Doesn't get the zombie craze.  The same goes for vampires, witches, warlocks, pirates, and ninjas.  I like ordinary people.
  • Finds Microsoft commercials catchy, but will never willingly buy a PC again.
  • Always needs cheesy nachos after Thanksgiving.
  • Has no tolerance for most sales people.  I don't like being "sold" something.  I rarely ever go shopping for anything unprepared, and I often know more about what I'm shopping for than the salesperson.  Please, just let me look in peace.
  • Knows it's not what all the "cool kids" like, but I actually prefer Blogger to Wordpress.
  • Is pro-Oxford Comma.
  • Gets angry at the level of stupidity of supposedly intelligent contestants on Jeopardy, especially when they confuse Gone With the Wind with The Great Gatsby.
  • Will stop doing whatever I'm doing and run outside to look for rainbows with my husband and daughter.  
Who are you?  I challenge you to make a list of things that make you unique and link to it in my comments!

Ladybug's Daddy

Friday, June 14, 2013

Often, I tell Bart that I didn't fall in love with him for his taste in music.  Nor did I fall in love with him for his penchant for telling really bad jokes.  Quite honestly I fell in love with him despite those two things.   Even though he would claim he wan't comfortable with most children, he was always very good with them.  Just as I knew after a couple of months that I was going to spend the rest of my life with him, something told me that he would someday be an awesome dad.  Let's be honest ladies, that's really one of the things that attracts us to men.  Bart's general goodness was what attracted me to him more than anything else.

We were married for five years before we decided to start trying for children.  It was another year before it actually happened the first time.  Suddenly we were responsible for bringing another person into this world.  While we were incredibly happy, we were also terrified.  We hadn't really had time to stop being terrified before that pregnancy was over, but that short time was long enough to begin a change in both of us.

After the miscarriage, neither of us was in a hurry to get pregnant again.  After the advised amount of time we didn't do anything to prevent getting pregnant but didn't really try hard again either.  Just then, we weren't ready to chance another miscarriage, but God was preparing us.  After a year and a half we were both much less panicked when that Clear Blue Easy stick told me "pregnant."  In February of last year, my instincts from ten years previously were confirmed, and I saw with my eyes what a great dad Bart could be is.

It's different for most dads.  They may see ultrasounds, watch our bodies change, and even feel kicks (or like Bart, poke the baby to make her kick).  However, it's often not really real to them until they see their child and hold her.  Beyond the blessing of my child being born, I had the pleasure of watching true love at first sight when Bart met Ladybug.  I saw his eyes well up (even though he claims they didn't).  A different Bart walked out of the OR that Monday morning that the one who entered it, and I found myself falling even more in love with the new Bart.

I have had sixteen months to watch this new Bart interact with his Ladybug.  I have watched him comfort her when she was upset.  I've watched them call the Hogs together, play guitar together, cuddle together, and just goof off together. I 've watched Bart fly kites for Ladybug, carry her across the Royal Gorge Bridge, pull her all over kingdom come in her wagon, hold her while she screamed with joy at seeing turtles, and kiss her boo boo's.  I've witnessed the sweetest, most tender of moments between the two of them.  I have watched this other girl enter his heart and couldn't be happier.

Ladybug, Lucy, Dory, and I are blessed to have Bart as our Daddy and husband.  God knew what he was doing when he threw us together at a summer job eleven years ago.  Ladybug has a wonderful daddy, and it's very fitting that one of her first words was "Dada."  She adores him, and so do I.
A good daddy won't want to put you down once you're born.
A good daddy is a great place to nap.
A good daddy will hold you your first time in church.
A good daddy will let you chew on his head.
A good daddy comforts you when you're upset.
A good daddy is a girl's first love.
A good daddy plays in the snow with you.
A good daddy pulls you and your cousin all over creation.
A good daddy holds your hand and never lets you go.

City Tots, Country Tots

Monday, June 10, 2013

Even though my brother-in-law, his wife, and his son live in Colorado, they're still considered Arkansas citizens, because Boone is in the Army.  This means that they are still licensed to drive in Arkansas, and Jessica's needed to make the trip to Arkansas in order to renew hers.  So, she and the Pistol (our eleven-month-old nephew) journeyed here with a couple of friends.  They spent last week with Bart's parents, and will spend this week with hers before making it back to Colorado for Father's Day.  That meant at least Ladybug and I spent the better part of last week traveling to different places in order to visit 1/2 of our Colorado family.  Uncle Boone and Apache the Lab, who is the same age as Dory Gale, had to stay in Colorado.

Tuesday Ladybug and I drove down to Greenwood to spend the day at my in-law's.  I wanted Ladybug and Pistol to be able to spend as much time together as possible.  Every time the kids get together, they're able to interact more and more.  It was fun watching them get reacquainted.

I had a quick lesson on what it might have been like had I a little boy.  Aunt J and Ladybug were walking together down the hill, while Pistol was sitting on the grass.  I went to pick him up, finding something in his right hand.  I knew he hadn't had anything in his hand when he sat down, so I quickly started trying to see what he was holding.  Then I noticed it was black and leathery. Worried he had picked up a snake, I managed to throw it from his super-baby grip, onto the ground.  It wasn't a snake, but a lizard.  It was a poor, dead, squashed lizard.  We were all equally grossed out and amused.  Mostly we were thankful he hadn't a chance to put it in his mouth.

City Tots
Wednesday evening, we dropped Lucy and Dory off at camp.  Then Thursday morning Bart, Ladybug, and I left for Little Rock, where everyone was getting together at Bart's maternal grandparents' house.  Bart made a point to take off work for this, because with his brother being in the Army, we honestly don't know how many chances the great-grandparents will get to see Ladybug and Pistol together.

It was a rather uneventful trip to Little Rock, except Ladybug lost a shoe where we ate in Clarksville.  Thankfully I called them, and someone found it.  We told them we would pick it up on our way back home.  She already needs a new pair of sneakers.  I didn't want to have to buy her a new pair of sandals again, too!

When we got there, L wasn't in the best mood.  She was hungry and tired.  She should have taken her nap after we ate lunch in Clarksville and been rested by the time we got to Little Rock.  Instead, she chose to sing and stay awake.  I should have suggested we turn off the radio or turn on some soothing instrumental music that she couldn't sing to.  Anyway, she's going through a phase where she sometimes cries when she's around unfamiliar people at first.  Thankfully she warmed up pretty quickly and had seen her grandparents, aunt, and cousin on Tuesday.

Thursday night, we ate at Cracker Barrel with Bart's parents, Aunt J, Pistol, Bart's grandparents, and his Uncle Joel, Aunt Mary, and cousin Claire.  While there, Ladybug found the rocking chairs and fell in love.  Thankfully she had her monkey purse filled with her winnings from the March Madness basketball challenge.  She didn't really want to hand her money over to the cashier, but she does love her chair.

After dinner, Bart didn't want Ladybug to take her bath in the hotel, so she and Pistol took one together at the grandparents' house.  I took pictures, but won't post them here.  Pistol seemed to enjoy himself, but Ladybug wasn't very happy to have to take a bath with a boy.  When we made it to our hotel and settled for the night, she had to realize that she was sleeping between Mom and Dad, not having a party in bed with us.  After that, we all slept.  We didn't really sleep well, but we slept.

Friday morning, we pulled out Ladybug's wagon, which we brought with us, and Bart pulled Pistol and Ladybug around well... the not-so-great neighborhood (just off 65th Street, between Scott Hamilton and Geyer Springs) where his grandparents built their house over fifty years ago.  Ladybug enjoyed the wagon-ride, as always, but Pistol loved it. I think this cemented Boone and Jessica's plans to get him a wagon for his birthday next month.  Whenever Bart stopped pulling them, Pistol would jump up and down for him to start pulling him again.  He loved it so much that he got upset when Bart loaded the wagon into the back of his truck before we all left.

By the time we all left around 2 Friday, Ladybug had started trying to "take care" of Pistol in a big sisterly fashion.  She also grew very attached to her great-grandparents, and I hated that we had to leave so soon.  She fell asleep before we hit University Ave.  Bart decided to take a nostalgic, "scenic" route to the Interstate.  Had Ladybug not been asleep, we would have stopped at the Arkansas Geological Survey, where I worked for a year, and Bart's parents met in the 70's.  So, we just drove by as we went on to where Bart's firm used to have their home office, across the street from Arkansas Children's Hospital.  We thought the building had been torn down, but it's still standing.  Then, when we got on 630, we drove past where Ray Winder Field used to be.  It made both of us sad to see the parking lot in its place.  We spent some nice evenings there the year we lived in Bryant.  A lady near us was hit in the face with a foul ball once.  Bart has childhood memories of going to games there.  His mom has memories of her grandfather taking her to games.

Country Tots
After getting home Friday, we drove to Cincinnatti, AR on Saturday to the Gilbreath family farmstead to see Bart's Mema and some other relatives on his Dad's side.  While there, Pistol and Ladybug got to get on a tractor. Pistol liked it, Ladybug didn't.  She also didn't want to walk through mud.  She did like seeing the moo cows, and we had to walk down to the creek to see them.  Once again, Bart had to pull them around in the wagon, this time taking them to where the road is paved and back.  Pistol was still enamored with the wagon.
Going to see the "moo cows."

Mema's youngest great-grands
She's not a tractor girl.
We were supposed to go to the Natural's game Saturday, because it was Bart's firm's family night.  However, we opted to spend time with our extended family one last evening, because we just don't get to do it often enough.

Bart's working in Oklahoma City all this week, and Ladybug, the puppy dogs, and I are trying to shift back into our normal routine.  I think we're all glad for the return to normalcy, but I think we all miss our buddy Pistol (and Aunt J too!)  We probably won't get to see them again until after Christmas, and that's just a long time the way kids grow so quickly!
My buddy, Pistol.

What We've Learned In Sixteen Months

Thursday, June 6, 2013

  • Near the end of your bath, you like to lick the bottoms of your pruney feet.
  • You've been able to say, "Momma," for a long time, but you've just recently started really saying it often and in the right context.
  • You have decided that you love to eat Kix dry cereal.  You graze on it all day.
  • Your favorite foods are catfish, chicken, french fries, green beans, apples, shredded cheese, and of course Kix.
  • You like to pretend to cook so much that Santa will probably be bringing you a kitchen for Christmas.
  • You love counting and actually CAN count to around 8.  
  • You're learning your ABC's.  You know A-D pretty well.
  • You've decided to be mean and not like your Granddad right now.  I hope this doesn't last long, because he loves you so much.
  • You know the words to every song on Bob and Larry's Toddler Songs.  Just when I think you like one song more than another, you surprise me.
  • You still love to dance.  Whenever you see ballet on TV, you are very interested.  If nothing changes, I see ballet lessons in your future.
  • Of course, you also like to jam to hits from the 80's and 90's with your old mom.
  • You think hanging out in Mom and Dad's room during tornado warnings is a big party.
  • You like to *ahem* "read a magazine" on Dory's bed.
  • You also love watching radar.
  • You don't like having to wear a helmet to ride in the bike trailer.
  • You were allowed to stay awake and watch the Oklahoma Sooners Softball team beat Tennessee and become the national champions in the WCWS this week.
  • You and your cousin T like to chase Mr. Gibbs Kitty Cat at Grandma and Granddad's house, but your best friends are still Lucy and Dory.
  • You are our curious, silly, sweet blessing.

A Visit To the Garden

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Saturday was Bart's first day off of work in two weeks, and we decided that the weekend would be spent resting, going to church, and doing something, anything, together as a family.  Saturday was a drizzly, dull day for the most part, so it was a lazy day around the house.  Sunday after church we discussed taking Ladybug to try out the awesome Barbie fishing pole we got her when we went to Cabela's with the Yarberys a few weeks back or something else.  By the time we went to church, Sunday school Bart decided he didn't really want to have to gather up all of the fishing gear, renew our licenses, and all the other things that are entailed with fishing.  Instead we decided to visit the Botanical Garden of the Ozark's.

What is sad about this is that it was our first visit to the garden, and it is honestly right down the road from our house.  We've discussed going several times since it opened, but always found something else to do or not do, as often can be the case.  Sunday seemed like the perfect day to go though, because it was neither too hot nor too cold, and we wanted Ladybug to be able to run around somewhere safe.  I'm pretty sure someone in the church nursery rocked her to sleep some while we were in Sunday school, because chica did not want to take a nap.  Ladybug usually loves her naps.

When we got there, we were given the option of paying to get in that one time or become members and get in for one or two years.  Initially we chose to pay for just the day.  We saw several beautiful flowers.  I may have managed to fake horticultural knowledge enough to work in the seasonal department of a farm and home store in college, but I don't know enough to really discuss the flowers.  Ladybug loves flowers.  She loves smelling them and picking them to put in her hair.  We discouraged picking the flowers at the botanical garden, but oh how she wanted to.  

There's a chicken coop, and Ladybug especially loved seeing the chickens.  We call them "Cluck Cluck Chickens," thank you, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  One even came to visit with Ladybug for a bit.  She stuck a finger through the chicken wire, and well...  She wasn't hurt, but her reaction was priceless.
I think my favorite part of the garden was the Butterfly House.  We're still trying to shake off Winter's grip, here in Northwest Arkansas, so there were only a few butterflies Sunday.  Still, it was very serene to just get to hang out with them.  It's just the sort of thing my little Ladybug loves.

Of course by the time we finished we paid for a two-year family membership, and now also have admission or a discount to almost 300 other gardens, arboreta, and conservatories in the US, Canada, and some other places we'll probably never visit., including Garven Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, the Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City, and the Philbrook in Tulsa.  All in all, I think it's a very good deal.  Also, I now have to new place to take Ladybug for her monthly mommy, nonprofessional photo shoot.

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