Wednesday, March 30, 2011

He loves me

I am a huge words of affirmation person - it's the way I give and receive love. So it used to confuse me when Nate didn't just tell me all the time how much he loves me (although he did say it first), or go on and on in sonnets about my ravishing beauty and whatnot... And then I figured out all the ways he says I love you without actually saying I love you.

For example, there's the time he tricked me into thinking we were only spending $25 on each other for Valentine's Day, and then he surprised me with the Kindle I'd been wanting for a year.

Or there are the Sunday mornings he gets up with Milo so I can sleep in.

Or the fact that he won't let me mow the lawn.

I know he loves me when he tells his friends how awesome it is that I stay home now (just the fact that I can do that is a huge testament of love), and brags about the meals I've been cooking (even better than just telling me they're good).

He balances the checkbook and takes care of the finances so I never have to worry, even though I know sometimes he carries that huge burden on his own.

And there's Nathan's love language - tickling. The more he tickles, the more I know he loves me. And when he says that he has to tickle me because I have the best laugh in the world, he might as well be standing on the roof, shouting his undying love for me into a megaphone for the world to hear.

But the one thing he does, the absolute topper, the most shocking and amazing and delightful thing in all of the world is when my sweet Nathan, who hates to be touched while he's sleeping, mumbles sleepily, "Baby, are you cold? Come here and cuddle up next to me."

Yep. He loves me. I just had to figure out how he says it.

Vote for Milo again!!!!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Career change

I have always wanted to be an FBI agent. I remember scoring high for that line of work on my high school aptitude tests (although you and I both know I have a tough time keeping a secret), and being thrilled with the possibility.

So imagine my delight when I found myself in an undercover situation. Picture this. I'm walking into a giant ballroom, decked out in crimson and gold. I'm thin, svelte, gorgeous, wearing a long, slinky black dress with a plunging neckline (hey, when you're undercover, you've got to work with what you've got - and I've got a huge rack at this point in time). As I glide into the room, heads turn, and I feel confident. The situation is under control. The secret files are in my possession, and no one would guess it.

Two handsome men in tuxedos suction to my side, and they lean in and whisper, "What is that?"

I look down at the brown handbag with blue and white stripes on the handle that I'm carrying. What on earth? This doesn't go with my outfit at all.  "It's my breast pump," I whisper confidentially.  "I carry it everywhere I go. I've got a 3-month old son. Shhhhhhh."

Their heads whip toward me in shock. "What????"

"My breast pump."

I wake up.
"My breast pump. Right."

Can you tell I'm a mommy? Even my dreams are being invaded by such practical thoughts as, "I can't leave home without that breast pump, especially if I'm going to be away for a while." Ahhhh, Milo. You changed my spy dreams to mommy moments. And believe it or not, I'm okay with it.

Here's to life-changing decisions.

Hey, while you're here, want to vote again?

Monday, March 28, 2011

A tiny favor

As you may know, I have the cutest baby on the planet. Now would you help me prove it? Milo is in a contest this week on, for the photo of him smiling that I posted last week. In case you forgot, here it is (I just never get tired of looking at it).

If you click on the link below, you can vote for him to win.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and vote...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kate vs. Wild

You know that project that people do in high school to prepare them for parenting (or to discourage them from it - haven't figured out which purpose it serves)? The one where students have to carry around a 10-pound flour sack, secure a babysitter for it when they're busy, etc. etc. etc.? I should have paid more attention in high school.

I'll be honest. Senior year, I had other priorities, and having kids was nowhere on my radar. I promptly chucked that sucker in the trunk and left it there for the entire week of the project. I didn't make up activities and write about them in the provided journal. I didn't draw a cutesy little face on it and dress it in tiny clothes like the rest of the girls. I didn't find a babysitter for it while I was at cheerleading practice. I knew that as long as it was in my trunk, it was safe and sound, and I could turn it in at the end of the week and be done with the whole ordeal.

Somehow, that kind of treatment doesn't work as well for real live babies (and no, I didn't put Milo in the trunk). Unlike flour sacks, babies are precious, and sweet, and they smell so pleasant (at least 95% of the time). They need to be guarded constantly and kept safe from anything scary, yucky, or dirty. I have to confess, I did a bad job of that today, and what I'm about to tell you will never win me Mommy of the Year (to quote Brittany). Poor Milo was right up close to something a little scary, very yucky, and somewhat dirty, and I didn't even know it.

Flashback to yesterday. I was at Amanda's house dropping off some shorts, and she asked if I'd like some ground buffalo meat.

"Buffalo? I thought those were extinct... or endangered... or something like that. Can you even hunt them?"

"Absolutely, and someone packed our freezer full of meat. Would you take some off my hands?"

"Hmmmm.  Sure. I know Nate likes it since he ate those burgers the other night at your house. I could probably find something to do with it."

(I won't even go into the fact that I had no idea what I would do with it. As a vegetarian, I tend to be very timid about preparing new meats.)

"Okay, thanks, Kate. I'll have Ethan put it in the car."

And that's the last I even thought for a second about buffalo meat. Milo and I ran some errands, cleaned and cooked for company that night, entertained, and picked up Nate from work. Then it was off to Lowe's, home for dinner, hanging out with Chad and Tree and hearing all about their adventures in Israel... I never even remembered that Amanda and I had even talked about buffalo. Until today, around 11 a.m., when Mom walked me to my car to put a basket in for me.

"Sweetie, what's this in the back seat? I think it's leaking, whatever it is."

I stared at her for a long minute. "Mom, I have no idea. What on earth is that?"

And then it hit me. "Oh my word, ew ew ew ew ew! That's buffalo meat, and it's been in my car since yesterday around 1:00! Mom, what do I do? How do I clean that? What about Milo? He's been sitting next to that! EW!!!!!"

Oh yes, I had been driving around with my poor babyson sitting right next to a pile of thawed buffalo meat, just leaking blood and meat juices all over the seat. Can you breathe in salmonella, or whatever it is that comes off of raw buffalo? My poor child! Mom took the meat to put into the dumpster, and I drove home as fast as I could, threw a dish towel over the seat, and whisked Milo into the house and safety. What is wrong with me?

I won't even bore you with the details of the cleanup or the long list of products I used in an attempt to make it go away. Needless to say, the car now overwhelmingly smells of Pinesol (and as much as I love Pinesol, apparently you can have too much of a good thing), and no one will ever sit in our back seat again. (*Correction, Nate did mention that I may have to sit there all the time from now on as punishment.) Remember yesterday when I mentioned that I might need a bit more sleep? Remember HEB? Right. That was nothing compared to this. Not only did I soil my lovely newish mom and dad car, but I also exposed my poor babyson to something scary, yucky, and dirty at the same time. It's like I was the quarterback, and I got sacked by a little bag of buffalo.

So, kids. When you're asked to carry around a bag of flour and pretend it's a child, for heaven's sake, just roll with it. Imagine all the scenarios you could come across when you're a grown-up and have a baby for real. Remember that you might be a little bit clumsy and a lot forgetful by that time. Think about the last thing on earth you'd want to expose a child to, and practice avoiding it at all costs.

And if anyone asks you if you'd like some buffalo meat, at least have the good sense to put it in the front seat where you'll actually remember it's there.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This and that

So I happened to look out the back door the other day, although I can't remember why... Wait, let's be honest. We both know it was to yell at my dogs, who seem to have an incessant barking contest with the terrier next door... But I digress...
Imagine my delight, though, when I was surprised by this:
Who knows where this beautiful plant came from? We certainly didn't plant it, but it was a nice little treat to see growing along the fence line. Every time I look at our yard, I get overwhelmed. It needs to be mowed so badly (which means we need to either buy a mower or pay someone to do it), and I also need to borrow a tiller and get my garden spot ready. And all these things will fall into place with a little hard work, but it's just getting started that's the hardest.

In other news, I got new Toms! I ordered them FOREVER ago on eBay, and they apparently had to ship from China. Twice. The first time they came, I apparently wasn't here to sign for them, so the post office sent them back. To China. Does this make any sense at all? Don't they usually leave a little note for you to pick them up at the post office? Or try again before they ship them back to China? Anyway, the seller mailed them again and I finally got them yesterday and immediately wore them around my house for the afternoon (did I mention I don't get out much?). In case you can't tell, they're dark brown with different rainbow colored stitching for the stripes. YAY!

Finally, I regret to inform  you that I am minorly obsessed with buying Scentsy products. What is wrong with me? I have no job! And yet I can't stop thinking about how I can buy new scent blocks and a warmer for my bedroom... It makes me feel better to think that it all goes to a worthy cause, though. My sis-in-law Teresa is selling them to fund an adoption - how cool! So if you're interested in buying any, please let me know. I have literally sniffed every single sample scent a dozen times, so I can give you a recommendation on anything that suits your fancy.

Now, I have got to go take a nap before I destroy anything else due to lack of sleep. Poor HEB just didn't see me coming today, and in the 5 minutes I was there I knocked down a number of individual applesauces that went everywhere and destroyed a lemon cake sample display. Goodnight!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Any cuter?

There's nothing I could say that you aren't already thinking...
My life is amazing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A big day

Today, the day before he turns 3 months old, Milo rolled over from his tummy to his back. I can't believe my little baby boy is growing so much! When did he get so big? I said that out loud to him and he looked at me like, "Mommy, you're going to be saying that for the rest of my life."

It's so strange to be so excited about something and so overwhelmed by it at the same time. I love every milestone, and at the same time, I realize that time flies by so quickly, and before I know it, my sweet little man will be a big boy of 2, 3, 13, 18... I'm not quite ready to think about it, to be honest.

So for today I'm just going to celebrate my little developmental prodigy and say, "Can you believe that Milo rolled over???"

Monday, March 21, 2011

A little faith

Wow. What do I even say? This is where faith comes in...
I got my final paycheck from Lufkin ISD on Friday, and it wasn't quite what I had expected. It was, in fact, a check for $3.93. That was including my $1000 early resignation bonus. Not sure exactly what I had anticipated, but it wasn't $3.93, that's for sure.
So, as mentioned, this is where faith comes in, and it's as hard as all get-out for me. I like to plan and budget. And even more than that, I like to shop. Guess that's all out the window at this point, but I'm trying to trust God and Nate, in that order.
And if you hear of me even looking at eBay, you should probably head to my house immediately and administer a good smack.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Overheard at the Jackson home.

"Titi, did Nate tell you about all the crap that came out of my hole?"

Ahhhhh, dental humor at its finest. And the best part is that Ann had no idea what she was saying.

And Nate informed me that I can not say "Indian" on my blog. I have to say Native American. So Milo is actually a Germative American. Whatever.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Good ol' St. Pat

I went this whole day without wearing a stitch of green. Not an earring, not a pair of undies, nada. I didn't even carry a green purse like Ann, who was told by the man at Dollar General, "Ooooh, it's lucky you gotta green bag, I was finna pinch you." But did anyone pinch me? No. Did anyone other than me even recognize that it was St. Patrick's Day? Hmmmm, nope. Who was the one who suggested that we celebrate our Irish-ness with a shamrock shake? Oh, that's right. ME. Am I the only person in east Texas other than our friendly Dollar General employee who celebrates the luck o' the Irish? This time of year I really miss the North.

Ann and I were discussing what nationalities Milo has most, and we realized that he gets quite a bit of German from me, and quite a bit of Indian from Nate. Which, in our humble opinion, makes him Germindian. Lucky him. Apparently Germindians are some of the most gorgeous (and rare) creatures alive.

In other news, let me tell you a little bit about me and my beautiful mother. My whole life, my mom tried to convince me to become a nurse (despite my weak stomach and overall distaste for the functions of the human body). "You'll always have a job, honey," was her argument, and you've got to admit, she's right. However, not only am I easily disgusted, but I also lack a certain amount of compassion for people in pain (I blame it on my own high pain tolerance).

That said, I'm playing nursemaid this week, and I'm sure Mom couldn't be prouder. Nate and Ann both had some dental experiences, Ann with the removal of 4 wisdom teeth, and Nate with his 6 fillings, 2 wisdom teeth extractions, and cementing of a permanent bridge. WOW. I feel for them, I really do. But I also went through the removal of all 4 impacted wisdom teeth with nothing but ibuprofen and nerves of steel, so I have to remind myself that this can be an extremely painful experience. People, I am taking care of 3 babies, and only one of them is actually an infant (and the other two enjoy playing Mario for Wii on pain medication). Of course I'm exaggerating a bit, but I'm sure you know how I feel.

Days like these I remember that my new job is a 24/7 one, and I want to give my own stay-at-home mom a hug every time I think about it. No breaks. No days off. Just being a supermom every single second of every single day. So let me celebrate St. Patrick's Day by saying this. I love you, Mom. Thank you.

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Pics

So we had a bit of a photo shoot last week, and here's my favorite photo - just the proof, no retouching at this point. Could this child be any cuter? Try to ignore my manhand.

Milo also got quite a cute little onesie professing his love for his auntie. Which one? I'll never tell. After all, he loves them all, and each one needs to feel that she's the one he's honoring the most. Notice the concern on his face - he doesn't want anyone to feel left out. All I have to say is, where on earth was this onesie when I was busy having nieces and nephews? Because I know I'm the favorite.

And finally, here's my little man, talking to his daddy, saying, "Where on earth is Mommy? I'm hungry!"

I know I spend so much of my time posting pictures of Milo that I hardly have time to tell you anything else... but these days, I have no students to report on and I rarely leave the house. I spend my time hanging out with Milo, shredding with Jillian, shaking my non-latino bootie doing Zumba with my friend Melissa, and cooking up a storm with my magic cookbook (*otherwise known as Better Homes and Gardens). Life is good.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Inexorable Gushing

I dropped Nate off for work this morning so Milo and I could have the car. We have a very important patient who needs some loving - my precious sister Sarah is on bed rest. The plan is to take her some books, cookies, and lots of love. I think we've got it handled.

All that aside, though, I was sitting at a four-way stop, looking at the sun shining through the trees, listening to my babyson coo in the back seat, and I had this startling revelation. I love my life. Oh my gosh, I love my life. When was the last time that I could truly say that? Not that I haven't loved portions of my life. I've been so satisfied in areas, but not in others. But at this very moment, I can tell you that every single thing is working together for my good. Wow!

I have spent my entire life with the notion that working would be the only thing to make me completely fulfilled. Imagine my nerves when I considered staying home instead. But I haven't been left with an unfillable void. Instead, being at home has given me the time to do two things I love: take care of Milo and take care of other people. I'm not too busy for everyone else, and I'm not so consumed with what I have to do that I can't think of anything but work. I can devour a book, plan an amazing dinner, work out with my friends, go for a run in the morning without worrying about the fact that I'll have to be up from then until at least 11 pm... I even have time for a nap every now and then. Now that's what I'm talking about.

And don't even get me started on my amazing husband. How many women have a man who will literally say, "You need to stay home. I want to provide for you. You just concern yourself with what God is telling you to do, and I'll take care of the rest." I'm seriously humbled to tears every time I think of this sensitive, caring, wonderful man and the way that he loves me.

I'm feeling ridiculously spoiled right now.  Have I mentioned that I love, love, love my life?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


So Nate got Milo a little something for our family pictures...

Monday, March 7, 2011


I did it.
I finally got out for a run. Somehow I pictured myself running on the day of my 6-week follow-up appointment, when Dr. Arnold cleared me to exercise again. Heck, I even pictured myself cheating and running before that happened, but my schedule just never quite worked out. Until yesterday, when both of my men were sleeping, and I slipped out for a slow, agonizingly wonderful 2.5 miler. Let me just tell you, I'm still sore today, but every time a muscle twinges, I think about how great it felt to be out there again. I'm on the way back!

I imagined myself completely back in shape by now, wearing all my regular clothes, not seeing a pooch for my tummy when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror not sucking in. And Nate's been after me about the way I view myself, telling me I look amazing right now and that maybe my body won't ever be the same. Pregnancy should come with a warning label. Something like:
Don't expect to fit into your favorite jeans again for a loooooooong time. And be ready to cry through entire movies (the most recent being Everybody's Fine, a horribly sad piece of work) and episodes of Secret Millionaire, Extreme Home Makeover, The Biggest Loser, etc.  Prepare yourself to do crazy things like quit your job when you realize that nothing could be more important than raising your babyson. Don't be surprised when you start running on a few hours of sleep at a time and going out in public without a shred of makeup. And remember that every single one of these is completely worth it.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


You know, I've been really down on myself lately. Thinking about the many dreams that I had when I was younger and realizing that I haven't accomplished most of them. I have a few friends who are doing exactly what I always wanted to be doing - releasing a book, doing amazing photography, debuting an art show... All these creative ventures that I pictured for myself. And what am I doing? Well, I'm now unemployed, staying at home, trying to work out to get myself back in shape, and just plain being a mommy.

But then I realized that my own dreams have changed. Sure, I still have a few goals for myself. There's no way I could survive without my ambitions and goals. But of all my friends who are doing amazing things, none of them could make this.

Working up to it

Wait for it...

Bingo. Most beautiful sight.

Now that is a great accomplishment.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Daddy's Little Cowboy

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we're raising a little fan here. But he's going to have to split time between the Cowboys and the Bears, and I have no clue what we'll do when they play each other. I guess I need to get him a Bears onesie in time for the next season, right? He can be daddy's little cowboy and mommy's little bear. Sounds fair.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Well, my babyson seems to be a bit of a stinker, and highly intelligent. I know, there's no way he could have inherited either of these traits from Nathan or me...

Yesterday I asked Nate to occupy Milo for a few minutes while I finished dinner. He, of course, was extremely excited to hang out with the little guy since he'd been at work all day. Almost immediately, though, I heard crying from the living room. It lasted a minute or two, and then Nate came walking into the kitchen with Milo, who was completely content.

"Is he okay?" I asked. "Yeah, he's fine now. I sat down in the recliner and he started fussing, but he was fine as soon as I got up."

So we chatted for a few minutes, and Nate headed back to the living room. Again, the sound of fussing.

"Nate? What's going on? Everything okay?"

"Yeah, he's fine. I just sat down in the recliner again and he started crying... Wait a minute! Every time I sit down in this recliner he starts to cry..."

And that's when we figured out that our babyson is a genius. Nate only sits down with him in the recliner when he's going to rock him to sleep. Milo put two and two together and realized this, and he was just busy telling Nate that he was not ready for bed. How many 9-week olds can pick up on things like that?

On a side note, Milo also seems to think that 5 a.m. is a good time for a mommy-baby chat. He woke up ready to smile and coo this morning, and had no intention of eating or going back to sleep. I'm pretty sure we rocked in the glider for over an hour before he finally dozed off, only to wake back up again at 7. WHEW. So my child is both intelligent and social. Is it possible that he's perfect?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sunshine and smiles

Today is such a lazy day, and I think the mood is contagious. The weather is absolutely gorgeous - sunshine and chilly air, and I've had the back door open all day. And instead of doing my Jillian video and working up a good sweat, I've simply been lying around reading and playing with Milo. He's a little bundle of smiley energy, and I can't resist keeping him awake a little longer than I should each time he eats, although he seems to be feeling as lazy as I am, and is completely content to just lie on his blanket so we can smile at each other. It's one of our favorite activities.

I also figured out how to bread tofu and make peanut sauce, so I stuffed myself at lunch, which is even more reason to work out, though I have yet to. Because some days simply require enjoyment, pure and simple. And since an exercise video will never take the place of delight I get from a nice, long run, I'm choosing to just do absolutely nothing. Sensible logic, right? Besides, I'm reading an old favorite - The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood - and it's such a treat that I find it hard to take a break. Even to write my blog... which is turning out to be about virtually nothing. So perhaps I should just get back to my very busy afternoon?