Thursday, March 30, 2006

off to florida

thank you all for your well wishes concerning Annabelle, she is doing much much better. "Just perfect", as she told my parents.

i won't be here for a few to florida!!! :)
i will try to post from there, if i get access, otherwise i'll be back tuesday.
hope to talk to you all soon!

<---Juju running in the wind :)

Friday, March 24, 2006


Annabelle has pneumonia. She's been wheezing and coughing like crazy, she can't talk without losing her breath after every couple of words. Fever. Not good. She didn't eat anything yesterday, and in one final attempt, I gave her a pink doughnut with sprinkles on it. She was overjoyed, and spent the next 20 minutes poking and staring at it. But she couldn't eat it. That's how i knew she was REALLY sick.

Dustin said that i should take her to the hospital. She immediately starts crying. "Please, no please no, not the hospital!!!" Dustin convinces her to go because they have candy there and she can have one piece (even though it's 10 pm) so she tells me, "Mama, I've been thinkin about it and I think Daddy has a good idea for me to go to the hospital. (all of this between gasps for air) They have candy there and that just might make me feel better. Daddy had a great idea!!!"

She and I pull out of the driveway and she says, "Mama, what are they gonna do to me?" I explain in the simplest of terms that they will find out what is making her sick and give her special medicine that Mommy and Daddy don't have at home. She asks very very quietly, "Mama, are they gonna cut out my throat?"
"What??? NO! Absolutely not. They don't ever cut out little girls throats."
"Oh, good. Cause that's what I was thinkin about when i was getting dressed to go to the hospital and i don't want them to cut out my throat."

We get there and she is clinging to me in one, sweaty, shivering, gasping heap. The nurses are so sad to see her in such a condition, and bump us in front of an entire waiting room of people to see the doctor. (why did the waiting room of this small hospital have like 20 grown adults in it at 10pm??)

She was a trooper. They ran tests and gave her breathing treatments to control her breathing. Chest X-rays. She said (of the x-ray machine) ,
"Mama, that camera is WAY bigger than my camera. But it's not pink." Then she kind of smirked a little bit, as though she pitied their pathetic grey camera.

At one point, she was crying in pain from something they did, and I couldn't do anything about it. I stood across the room and cried with her. I handed her a tiny orange tootsie roll to clutch and try to take her mind off the pain and focus on the special treat that awaited her.
When it was over, she looked at me and said, "Mama, I REALLY love this candy." As if the pain was softened by the thought of Tootsie Roll Midgies.

During the breathing treatment that was to last about 5 minutes, she said, "Okay, I think that's enough now. Really, I'm lots better now. Let's just stop now. Okay?" The doctor and the two nurses just laughed and laughed.

Annabelle gets SO sincere when she is ill. When I stepped out of her line of sight to grab a kleenex, she said, "Mama, where are you going? It won't be fair for you to leave me all alone to be scared."

Shortly after, they sent us home. She woke up in the night, throwing up her antibiotics and her little orange tootsie roll. She took a bath, some tylenol, and an ancient family miracle elixir...Sprite. I cradled her like a baby and rocked her to sleep.

I came home tonight to a new girl. She is "all better". Still on meds, and her inhaler, but eating and playing and so so loving. She told me,
"Mama, I did really good at the hospital. I was delightful."
I said, "Delightful, eh? Where'd you hear that word?"
She said, "I just made it up. It's like "Light-ful, but with "duh" on it. Duh-Light-ful. "
And she was, and is, Delightful.

Monday, March 20, 2006

rainy day

it was so drizzly and cold yesterday, but bella made me stick to my word and take her to the park to take pictures. i didn't get to take her "4 year old" pictures, but she got to take lots with her new camera. she is so good, seriously. she photographed a gumball machine, a flower bed that surrounded a tree, a creek of water, some acorns that she found on the ground, a video game machine, our pizza at pizza hut. she is so creative and anytime that i pointed out something that she could take a picture of, she contemplated it for a bit and said, "no. maybe you can take a picture of that with YOUR camera." she does not waste film.

last night, the 4 of us were wrestling on the floor and dustin and i got a little rough, figure fours and all those other cool wrestling moves. at one point, it looked pretty bleak for me. julian abandoned me, bella was watching from a safe place, and dustin was sitting on my chest, tickling me and declaring himself "the winner". the thing is, (and you can ask my brother) i have really flexible legs. in one fatal swoop, i wrapped my leg around dustin's head and pinned him to the floor and proceeded to kick him with my other leg. dustin was begging for mercy and before either of us knew what happened, bella had her camera out and was snapping away. i hope she got a good one, of the night mommy kicked daddy's booty. she's definitely mommy's girl. :)

by the way, is it weird that julian likes to walk around the house in my heels? i don't even like to wear heels, but he just loves them. he must get that from his sissy daddy. hee hee.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

happy birthday annabelle grace

my annabelle is 4 years old today. we've been planning her party for weeks, and it did not disappoint. very small and cozy and comfortable, full of phone calls from aunts and uncles and grandparents in mexico and texas. three of her favorite cousins came to the house to party with us, along with poppy and tata. (all of her cousins are her favorite cousins...but her older cousin, hudson, holds a special place in her heart. she will be heartbroken when she realizes that it is not appropriate to marry him) today, she couldn't be happier.

Four is so strange. So strange to be talking about kindergarten with expectation, and not just something that we will deal with "some day". So strange to realize that nobody considers her to be a baby anymore. So strange that she prefers "My Little Pony" over babyish toys like "Little People".

we have a mommy/bella day planned tomorrow. we're going to the park to take"4 year old" pictures, and probably out to eat and play. we gave her a little princess camera, her first little camera and we are going to photograph everything her 4 year old eye spies. i'm excited and she is too.

tonight, i was eating a salad (well...most people wouldn't consider it to be a "salad", it was just spinach, carrots, cucumbers and tuna) to "cancel out" the cupcakes and chocolate and 4 glasses of lemonade that i consumed, and bella leaned over from her salad (spinach, carrots, and caesar dressing) and took a small piece of tuna out of my bowl. she tasted it and made a little face until i informed her that she liked tuna.
"how do you know that i like tuna?" she asked, very intrigued with my mysterious ways, i'm sure.
"well, when i was pregnant with you and you were in my belly, i ate tuna almost every day. i didn't ever eat tuna until you were in my belly, so i guess it was you that liked tuna."
she smiled at such a funny picture.
she said, "i remember mama, i was in your belly and i looked up at your throat when you were eatin tuna and i opened my mouth and ate some and it was so good."
"yep, that's how it happened alright. you wanted tuna and oranges all the time."
"mama! i LOVE oranges. i ate them when i was in your belly!"
she thought about this some more and said,
"mama, amy's belly is getting bigger. she eats a lot of food. i think baby jocelyn really likes to eat food like i did."

Thursday, March 09, 2006


a few days ago, a woman comes into my department with her 6 year old daughter, holding a big pink puffy dress. they want matching shoes. i mention "easter", because we've been selling so many easter dresses/shoes this month. the mom informed me that her daughter, "did pageants".

we slipped the little dress shoe onto the girls foot, and i say, "the length is good, but her foot is pretty narrow, so you may have to poke an extra hole in this strap to keep it on her little foot."

the mom, who i should mention was quite a large woman, smiles almost proudly and says, "yes, we have to do that a lot, she's just skinny."

the little girl looks very proudly at me and says, "YEAH, I"M SKINNY."

the little girl models the shoes in the mirror, strutting around the store, doing her "pageant walk", etc. she is quite enamored with herself.

the mom says, "you just love yourself, don't you?"

the daughter replies, "yes, i love myself, because i'm skinny."

the mom just smiles and nods and says, "yes you are."

UM, HELLO. does this disturb anybody else? what kind of issues are you handing to your child? why is it okay to "love yourself, BECAUSE you are skinny?" is it not okay to love yourself, or be in pageants, or spend money on fancy silver shoes if you aren't skinny?

i thought about annabelle, and her "skinny" little body and her "skinny" little feet and realized that she doesn't even know that word. right now, she has no problem streaking through the house totally naked, shaking her little dimply butt at me on her way to the bathtub. she has no feeling one way or the other if she outgrows a pair of pants, or a pair of shoes. upon outgrowing a little skirt, she said to me, "i'm just getting bigger. i'm growin up."

and i am so sad to think that in a year or two, this could become more of an issue to her. how do i prevent this? how do i make this a "non-issue" in our house, and still deal with the fact that dustin is incredibly skinny and i am....incredibly not-skinny?

last month, annabelle patted poppy on his stomach and said, "poppy, why is your belly so big?"
he immediately got a little defensive and said, "i don't know bella."
she said, "your belly is big like amy's belly, but amy's belly has a baby in it."
he said, "do you think i have a baby in my belly?"
she said, "no. only girls have babies."
he asked, "then why do you think my belly is big?"
she looked at him for a minute, and with the most genuine, simplistic smile on her face, she shrugged and said, "you're just a big man, poppy."
he smiled so big and said, "you're absolutely right bella, i'm just a big man."

i don't know why i've been thinking about this all night. i was talking to a friend about our daughters starting school next year, and worrying about all that i haven't taught her. and worrying about all that other kids will teach her. i know i can't shelter her from other people and their distorted views on beauty and value, but i just want to know that she is fully equipped to know herself, and not buy into that crap. anyways...that's what's been on my mind tonight.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


So I've mentioned that Julian is making progress with his speech. It's still not at all understandable to anybody but those that are around him a lot. He talks very very fast, like a mix between Spanish, Robot, and Gibberish. My brother, the family psychologist, thinks it is because we moved to Mexico during the most critical period for language development. Interesting.

Because of his delay, I find myself having to go over some of the most basic things with him.
For instance, I can explain to him why hitting Mommy is wrong, and that he is in trouble, and he totally understands. He will hug me and pat my back.

But it's like pulling teeth to get him to say "Daddy". "Mama" he says almost as much as he says "Train", but Daddy, Bella, Poppy, it all comes out the same. "Mo-mo" Everybody is Mo-mo.

Tonight, I sat him in my lap and Bella sat beside us in the recliner. I did a little name recognition game, similar to Goonies "Me Chunk, You Sloth"

I touched Julian's chest with his hand and said, "Julian" I did the same to Bella and said "Bella" and finally to myself and said ,"Mama".

Then I said, "Julian, who's that?" and he said "Bella" and touched her head.
Then I said, "Who am I?" and he said, "Mama" and slapped my nose.
Finally I put his hand on his chest and said, "What's your name?" and he said, "Truck."

We're raising quite the manly little boy. So manly, that he insists on being called Truck.

Monday, March 06, 2006

This is my sister Amy. We did a little maternity photo shoot today and had so much fun. We're going to do another one at her house next week (this one was in a Best Western with terrible lighting conditions)

Here is one I will show you, because she hasn't seen them yet and I don't know if she approves of showing belly shots on my blog :)

But here is one I'm sneaking on here...Jocelyn wuz here. :) so cute. Jocelyn is the baby girl that is growing inside her tiny little stretched out belly.



The morning after the kids got home from Poppy and Tata's was relatively quiet. The kids were exhausted from a weekend of chasing Luther around the house, and they slept late.

Mom told us that while Julian was there, he had found an old dog turd of Luther's and tasted it. He followed the lick of the turd with a "blech. BLECH." and Mom scrubbed his mouth furiously with soap and water. Which brought more "BLECH's".

I'm assuming Julian was curious by the house training process that Luther's going through. Maybe he's ready to potty train himself.
Whatever it is, it didn't prepare us for what was to follow.

I called Dustin around 11:30 to check in, and see how the babies were. His voice was low and sounded disturbed.
"Julian played with his poop", he said.
Well, it's only natural. He's been curious for some time, I thought.
Dustin said, "No. It's everywhere. I don't know where to start. They are in the bathtub. There is poop everywhere." He hung up the phone shortly after, obviously not in the mood for small talk.

Dustin cleaned from about 12 noon until 9pm that night. When I got home from work, I scooped up the kids and headed to Braum's. We then went to Wal-Mart to pick up a movie and some new shoes for Bella.

Dustin said the weirdest part was that Bella didn't say anything. Apparently Dustin had nodded off on the couch and about 30 minutes after Julian began painting the house with poo, he woke up from the smell. Normally, Bella would have woken Dustin up with shrieks of "JUJU'S GOT POOPOO!!!! DADDY CHANGE HIM!!!" But this time, nothing.

And the areas that were smeared with poo, were areas that Julian used to play at a lot, but no longer visit. Like the window in the living room, and the coffee table. Which leads me to believe that Julian may have been planning this for some time.

When Dustin tried to discipline Julian, he just smiled. Not embarrassed. Not upset. Just smiled. Like he had crossed one more thing off of his "To do before I lose my baby-ish charm" list.

When I came home, it was all cleaned up. The floors were a little damp from the steam cleaning that Dustin gave them. Every surface sparkled. My house smelled like bleach, which i secretly love. And Dustin proudly pointed to 5 freshly washed loads of laundry on the couch.

I said, "If this is what it took to get you to do laundry, I would have crapped all over the house 5 years ago."

Yo yo. Juju here. I got a funny story for you.

I've been planning this for a while now. Since I was about 20 months old. I used to hang out at my window and dream of the day that Daddy would nod off, so I could play with this sticky brown stuff in my Lion King diapers.

The day came. Daddy was pretty tired, and fell asleep on the couch while me and sis were watching Bob the Builder. I gave Bella a threatening look and told her to keep quiet, or she would be my first victim.

She nodded, obediently and kept watching her show.

I knew my time was limited, so I loosened up my diaper (so I could fill it to capacity) and let go of 2 days of stored up poo. I was working with a full diaper. My first stop was my old window, where I had planned my adventure months before. I wiped my dirty hand from one end of the window to the other. Then I let my hand guide me around the living room, hitting the coffee table, the desk, Daddy's guitar, Mommy's chair, the carpet, and whatever dropped on the floor between there and my room.

I got bored of poo play shortly after covering Bella's bed in the stuff, and started playing with my toys instead.

Bella did good and didn't utter a word to Daddy. But the smell must have gave me away, because he woke up and said, "Juju, you are stinky. Let's change your diaper." You shoulda seen the look on his face when I reached up to him with my brown poo covered hands. He sobbed like a baby.

The next thing I know, I spend an hour in the bathtub, and the rest of the night in Mommy and Daddy's bed watching cartoons. Can you believe that? Hours and hours of TV and baths, two of my favorite things. Then Mama came home and took us to get french fries and ice cream, two more of my favorite things.

It was the best day of my life.

The only weird part, is that Mama bought me big boy undies, Nemo ones. She made me wear them for a few minutes, and Daddy made me sit on my big boy potty lots of times. They kept saying I was a big boy, which kind of freaked me out. Then they got rid of my baby bed and put me in a big boy bed. How does poo play equate to being a big boy? I haven't figured that one out yet. Until next time...

peace out, yo.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

playing catch up

i can't believe how long it's been. i've started a new entry several times, but just end up deleting it in boredom. Here are a few highlights of my little life.

*Pride and Prejudice. If you haven't rented this yet, may I ask why not??? It is wonderful.

*Walk the Line. Same as above.

*Amy and Salomon visited. They'll be here for a few days, so we met them for dinner at Olive Garden tonight, and me and Bella will probably go hang out with Amy tomorrow. They painted their baby's nursery yesterday. I can't wait to see. It is apparently a cute sage green color with yellow at the top (very very high ceilings) They ordered a cherry wood crib and the most adorable bedding. I'll post pictures when I take some :) I love decorating nurseries. It is the most fun part, the nesting period, right before your new baby arrives. I used to sit in the rocking chair and look around the room at all the things that I imagined my little baby girl and boy would some day play with. And now they are. And tearing up the window blinds in the process. Our landlords are so hating us right now. Anyways, Amy's baby shower will be March 11th. Next Saturday. I can't wait to see all the sweet new stuff they get for baby Jocelyn. But not as much as I can't wait to meet sweet baby Jocelyn. She is so loved already.

*We took down the crib today. Julian is officially in a big boy bed. He is doing awesome. It is amazing that despite all our communication problems with him, he obeys us like you wouldn't believe. I don't know how long it will last, but I couldn't be happier with him. The first year of Annabelle being in a big girl bed was pure torture, and hasn't gotten much better. But Julian, he is my big boy. I wish each of you could have more time to get to know my Juju. Not to brag or anything, because it has absolutely nothing to do with me, but he has the sweetest spirit. You just can't be sad or angry while in the same room with him. He will love you and make you laugh and give you lots of hugs and dance for you. He is so much to me.

"If I have a monument in this world, it is my son." --Maya Angelou....and I couldn't agree more.

*Dustin has downloaded all the Grey's Anatomy episodes that I haven't seen yet, and I've watched them ALL. I'm completely caught up on the show, and now Dustin is watching them all. He made fun of the show for a couple of weeks, but he's hooked.

*We've had a fun couple of days. We watched G.A. last night and a stupid funny movie that I shall not name here. We danced to Biirdie, Joss Stone, and The Weepies. Seriously. We danced like maniacs around the living room, making up new moves like "The Kicker", where you kick to the beat. We are way cool. But you all know that, right?

*The weirdest thing is that we both are having back issues right now. Dustin wants to go to the chiropractor. I don't know if I slept wrong or what, but I pretty much just want some Vicodin and a dark cool room with a big bed and a down comforter. Is that too much to ask?

*My Florida trip is coming up in a few weeks!!! I'm so excited I could skip around the house. And I have a little bit. I miss my sweet Katie and look foward to having some quality girl time, split equally with ocean time. I love the ocean and don't know why I don't live closer to it.

*Mom sent us some Girl Scout Cookies. Oh man. They're so good. My favorite is the Tagalong. But I've got a secret. There is a cookie on the market that tastes every bit as good as the tagalong. I'll go ahead and let you in on my secret, but you will probably be upset. Because the best thing about GSCookies is that you feel like you are allowed to overindulge, since they only come once a year, right? Well now, you'll overindulge, but you'll be able to go to Wal-Mart and pick up more whenever you want. They are the ones described as Fudge shop filled peanut butter.

*The receiving of the Girl Scout Cookies made me a little sad. Last year we received our package of GSCookies when we were in Mexico. A year ago today, I was in Mexico, and if I looked up my journal entries, I could probably tell you exactly what I did a year ago today. I miss it. A lot. I've been thinking a lot about what it would take for us to be able to live there longer. What we would have to do to make it "financially". How we could afford it, and still afford to come home a few times a year. I miss going to the market. The weather. The culture. The food. Ice cream night. El Jardin. The language. The carefree attitude. The bad drivers. The music, always playing from somewhere. My gym. The view from our apartment. Our sweet sweet neighbors, Andres and Sofia and Ophelia. Our general attitude about life while there, that has been so hard to find here in the states.

I remember shortly after arriving back in Arkansas, I saw my Uncle Jimmy and his kids at my Grandma's house. He said, "So, Mindi. You really enjoyed Mexico, huh?"

I told him yes, and that I would live there permanently if I could figure out how to make it happen. I asked him if he and Stacie would ever consider moving to Mexico, since it would only be improved by having more of my family closer.

He laughed and said, "Mindi, my family worked so hard to get out of Mexico, that I can't imagine ever wanting to go back." :)

Well, my family got out. And I appreciate their determination. But something there calls me back. And it calls my white boy husband. So that sort of puts me in a dilemma, eh? I don't know what we'll do. But I do hope Mexico is in our future. Even if just for a short time.

I'm off. Movies to watch. Girl Scout Cookies to eat. Blogs to read.