Friday, March 27, 2009

Jeffrey in the News

I have to brag on Jeffrey James;  he made the newspaper today in Baton Rouge!  Jeff has been designing T-shirts and doing some freelance graphic design work for a few months now and the store that sells his shirts had a fundraiser fashion show earlier in the week. The newspaper did a feature story on it and one of his shirts was pictured. Here's the link!  

You have to scroll to the second picture in the photo line-up and it says that the shirt is by Au-si, which is the name of his design company.  His company is also listed in the article itself.  We had no idea that it was going to be in the paper, but my mom called me this afternoon to tell me that Jeff's shirt made it into the People section; we were surprised and excited to see it on the cover page!  

As a side note, the name of his company has a sweet back-story.  Caroline's two first real words were "outside" and "guitar" (is she her father's daughter or what?).  "Outside" in Caroline-speak sounded more like "au-si", and so a company name was born!  

I'm so proud of you, Jeffrey James!  


We're taking a road trip!

A very, very long road trip. Well, if it was up to Caroline we'd be taking a very long road trip. We are actually heading to Nashville soon to see friends, and Caroline has been really excited about flying in an airplane to get there. Granted, she thinks we are also going to be skydiving from the airplane, but I'm sure the disappointment that we will be walking onto and off of the airplane will die down once we're in the air.

As we were saying prayers last night, Caroline said, "And God, I am going to fly to Cooper's house and then I want to drive to see Santa and New York and then we will drive to you in Heaven." I wasn't quite sure how to respond to that, so I didn't.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pray for this baby

Prayers for Stellan


You can click on the button to go to his mom's blog where you can read his story. Apparently things are not going well for him today.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Finally


Spring is finally here and we've been spending some time outside in the afternoons, taking advantage of the day light and nice weather.  So, I'm finally getting a few minutes to put some updated pictures of the girls up!  Like I said in my last post, we've just been busy, but we are doing well.  In addition to spending time outside, the season of life where our weekends are overtaken by birthday parties has begun; so between spending time and money at Target and Wal-Mart and weekend afternoons at bouncy birthday places, I haven't had much free time on the weekends!  Caroline enjoys it though, and I suppose that's all part of growing up, for both her and us.  

Charlotte is changing just about every week.  She is a truly happy baby who loves to smile and (almost) laugh.  It's hard to believe she is about to be four months old, but every day I look at Caroline, it is a testament to the cliche that "time flies".  Charlotte has never been a big fan of the pacifier, she usually only wants it when she's ready for a nap, unlike Caroline who couldn't leave home without it.  I had a feeling Charlotte would be a thumb-sucker instead of the pacifier loving baby that her sister was, and she proved me right this past week and found her thumb!  





Caroline has moved up to the "big kids" class at school and she is really loving being there.  She had started to say in recent weeks that she was still with "some babies" in her class at school, and now that is no longer the case!  They've been working on writing letters and recognizing words a little more than they did in her previous class, and I she is enjoying the challenge of that.  She comes home and wants to "do homework" now and practice all of the skills they are teaching her at school.  Caroline is still growing like a weed and I am not sure how we are going to continue to clothe this child, she grows out of clothes faster than I ever imagined a child could.  She has also gotten back into the habit of making up songs which is entertaining for all of us.  

Caroline and Jeff ran another kids' race this weekend and they had a great time running it with friends.  After the race, there was a DJ playing music for the after party and Caroline had to join in the Cupid Shuffle, proud moment for us!  








Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 18

Sorry for the long silence and break from posting pictures of the girls. I have a ton of pictures on my camera waiting to be uploaded to the computer. Life is just busy right now, but I'll try to get some updates on here this weekend!

On a totally different note, I had a bit of a shock this week on Tuesday when I got to work. As I walked in the door, I found out that a friend and co-worker died very unexpectedly. She was young, only 47, and just didn't wake up Tuesday morning. She was a truly caring person who always stopped by to check in and visit with me. I really miss her smile and laugh. She leaves behind her husband and two sons. If you would keep her family in your prayers right now, I know they need them. It is a reminder to me that life is so fragile; we have no idea what each day will hold.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Whoa.

I never read Atlas Shrugged in school. I vaguely remember it being on an optional reading list for summer reading in high school, but I guess I picked something else off of the list. I'm adding it to my book waiting list that I'm running right now. I just finished one book, so I'm now reading three; I'd like to shrink the list down to one before I pick up another. In any event, I read this article today and I'm intrigued. This one might have to jump to the top of the list and pass up Mr. Lehrer's new book that I wrote about a week or so ago.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Give-away!

Beth is giving away three blog makeovers at her blog! If I don't win (fingers crossed) one of them, I'm going to have her makeover my blog the old-fashioned way (by paying her to do it). Check out her work and if you have a blog enter to win!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Passions of the brain

I'm currently reading about four or five books, something I never do. As a general rule, I like to read one thing at a time. My brain can only take so much, but lately so many books have piqued my interest. In any event, one of the books I'm reading right now is My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. It is a fascinating and captivating book. In it, the author tells how she, a "neuoratomistis" (huh?), trained and learned in all things about the brain, had a stroke at age 37. She details how she "observed" herself having the stroke and was able to seek help as she saw what was happening to her. I told Jeff that after I finish reading it he shouldn't be surprised if I talk constantly about going back to school to get my PhD in neuro-psychology. The book reminded me how much I loved science in school and brought me back to my college days of studying psychology.

On Monday, I was listening to Fresh Air and I was totally absorbed in the program. Jonah Lehrer was Terry Gross' guest and he recently published a book entitled How We Decide. It sparked that science-love, psychology student in me once again. It is a look at how emotions play into the decision-making process. We tend to think of rational decisions as those that would be made easier if we didn't have so many emotions (um . . . some of us more than others). Lehrer said that emotions play a much bigger role in those "rational" decisions than we realize. There are people whose brain's have been damaged in certain "emotional" areas due to brain tumors or other trauma and those people who you would therefore think would be able to easily make "rational" decisions cannot make even simple decisions such as what color pen to use.

The study that Lehrer talked about that interested me the most was about how our minds are not meant to handle the amount of information we have coming at us in modern times. In the study there were two groups of people. Group A was asked to memorize a string of 2 numbers and Group B was asked to memorize a string of 7 numbers. Both groups were told they had to remember these numbers and would be asked about them later. After they memorized the numbers, they were led to another room where they were offered their choice of two snacks: one was a "sensible" fruit salad, the other a decadent piece of chocolate cake. The people who remembered the 7 numbers were two times more likely to choose the chocolate cake. He reasoned that remembering even just 5 extra numbers made people more likely to make a less sensible decision about one's health. Don't get me wrong here, I love a good piece of chocolate cake, but the observation is an interesting one.

In my mind, this translated (surprise!) to motherhood (or parenthood if you will). As a mother you have so many things you're trying to keep in your head, so many things to focus on and organize and manage. Is it any wonder that many moms struggle with weight or eating healthy or really any decisions that are "good for you"? I know that may seem simplify things a bit too much, and I don't mean to make a huge generalization that many moms are overweight or don't exercise enough or don't eat healthy because they are busy, but I do believe that it's worth adding to the conversation.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Lost again

Last week I said I was lost when it comes to LOST and I'm not ready to change my status on that after last night. So, what is the deal with the blue vehicles? Blue VW buses, a blue Jeep? There's probably absolutely no significance to that whatsoever, it just caught my attention.

I didn't LOVE last night's episode, it was only so-so for me, but it did make me fall a little more in love with Sawyer. We got a chance to see a little more of his kind, "softer" side. I have been waiting for Juliet and Sawyer to get together, so we finally got a little peek at that. I am praying that their relationship isn't short-lived; I'm not ready for the Sawyer, Kate, Jack triangle to re-emerge. BTW, did Juliet look a little pregnant or was it just me?

In my mind, there weren't as many questions answered last night as there have been in the last two or three episodes, but my brain might not have been able to take too many more "answers" right now anyway. I'm still trying to sort through all that we've seen so far this season.

Again, I don't have a whole lot in the way of "theories" or connections from last night, but I did love seeing Sawyer happy and having him be the hero and good guy of the night.

Shannon is taking a LOST break this week, but thee are a few links in the comments FYI.

Update: Great recap from Amanda here.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Come Together

A while back I posted on my other blog about a "merge" of the two. You can read what I wrote there, but the gist of it is that with Charlotte's then imminent arrival, I felt like so many things in my life were coming together in a new way. It seemed natural that perhaps the two blogs should "come together" as well.

With that being said, this is something I would have probably previously posted there, but I think I'll make that transition today and put it here!

There are a lot of really great blogs and websites out there, but only so much time in the day. There are a few that I read regularly (check the list on the sidebar) and several that I check every few weeks or so. If I need a good word, I can always check in on Bring the Rain, Angie Smith's blog that she stared when she found out the baby she was carrying would likely not survive. If I need a laugh or a good "mom moment" I read Suburban Turmoil, Lindsay Ferrier's blog that ranges from funny to poignant often all within one post. So imagine my delight when the two of them came together to talk about something close to my heart!

Here's the video of Lindsey interviewing Angie (they will appear a couple of minutes into the video) about her experience of how others responded to her loss.




Dealing with a person who has experienced a miscarriage or a stillbirth or the loss of a child or parent or fill in the blank here with any other loss that alters your life is really hard. Really hard. Even as someone who has been there, I find it difficult to deal with.

Before we lost Joshua I would have been more likely to say nothing if I couldn't think of "something good" to say to someone who was going through that process. Now, on the other side, my best advice is to do the opposite of what I was inclined to do; it is always better to say something. Anything. Even if it's just like Angie said, "I don't know what to say or do, but I am so sorry." That recognition means more than I can say. When we were in the early days of grieving the loss of our baby, I found myself wondering, "does anyone have a clue what we're going through?" because it was so rare that someone outside our family (or close friends who are "family" to us) would say anything at all about the fact that we lost a baby. Those people who put themselves out there and asked questions, said the hard things, and were willing to make themselves uncomfortable on our behalf stick out in my mind even today.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Charlotte has something to say:

Here's a short little video of Charlotte talking to me as we were getting ready to leave the house this afternoon.  These moments make the sleepless nights a distant memory (even though we had one of those less than 24 hours ago).  

video