December 14, 2010

To My Daughter

365 days ago I was in labor.
I had not met you before and could only imagine what you would be like.
Who would you look like? Would you have your daddy's hair or your momma's blue eyes?
365 days ago I waited in anticipation to meet the child the Lord had been growing in my belly for 9 long months. I waited to hold your tiny hands and cup your itty bitty feet.  I waited to meet the little girl that would forever change my world.
365 days ago we prepared our home for you.  We set up your crib and put on fresh sheets for the very first time.  We packed up your tiny clothes and nightgowns to bring to the hospital.  I was so amazed at how little your onsies were and couldn't imagine you ever fitting into them.  
365 days ago I watched your daddy sleep.  I watched him take deep breathes and watched his chest slowly deflate.  That was the last night he would not worry about his little girl.  I watched your daddy as he dreamed of you and smiled with delight.
365 days ago you were in my belly. I rested my hands on you and prayed over you.  I looked down at the bump and cried with overwhelming happiness knowing you were only hours away.
365 days ago I pushed. And pushed. And pushed.  You arrived in this world a beautiful pink hue and was placed on my belly. I wept.  I loved you immediately.  You were placed in your daddy's arms as he carried you away to be cleaned up.  He put on your first diaper and wrapped you up.  Then he placed you in my arms and I stroked your sweet face.
365 days ago you were born.  You became the apple of your daddy's eye and you made your momma's heart grow to a size she never thought possible.  
Tonight I laid you down to sleep and sang you Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  You looked up at me and closed your sweet blue eyes and I slowly closed your bedroom door.

Love forevermore, 
Your momma

October 28, 2010

Opinions Please

So, I'm going to take a break from blogging about the crying and ask for some nursery decor opinions.
Yes, Gracie is almost a year old and yes, I am just know being able to nest and create her nursery....almost big girl room. 
The walls are painted Angelic my Sherwin Williams: 
And I'm making some Roman Shade and I can't decide between these three fabrics:
Caitlin Blooms in Nude Alexander Henry

Woodcut in Sassblue by Anna Maria Horner

Eden in Amber by Michael Miller

So what do you think?


October 27, 2010


Your words of encouragement have been a tremendous blessing over these past 24 hours.  So I have to be real, I gave in last night around midnight after she had gotten up 4 times already and had listened to hours of screaming/crying/fussing/screaming.  I was second guessing myself, slightly delusional and overwhelmed.  This morning she cried through her whole nap and was miserable all day because she was so tired.  Second nap only lasted an hour, which is about normal for her.  Bedtime was early around 6:20pm because she was so exhausted.  She cried about 10 minutes or so; it's 9:30 now and I haven't heard anything yet but I know that midnight hour is fast approaching and I'm scared, not going to lie.  But with ya'lls words of encouragement I think it will make it easier to bury my head deeper into the pillow and wait it out.  
It's easy to forget that women go through this same experience day in and day out all around the world and that your not alone and you guys brought me back to that reality. THANKS!


October 26, 2010


Ok, so the only reason I'm writing this post is to stop myself from running into Gracie's room, picking her up and hugging her tight.  It's night 1 of letting her cry it out and it is harder than giving birth to her in the first place.  I sat on the kitchen floor rocking myself back and forth reading "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby" by Marc Weissbluth M.D reassuring myself that I'm doing this for her good, allowing her to learn how to fall asleep alone because I can't rock her to sleep until she's 40.  I read this book, all 457 pages in 2 days.  Obviously I am desperate.  Every nap, every traffic jam, every elevator ride, I was reading this book.  
I was introduced to Baby-Wise before Gracie was born and studied (even took notes!) and tried to implement it but I think as a first-time parent I was unsure of myself, didn't feel secure in hearing her cry and couldn't stand it myself.  That plus multiple moves and no true place of her own lead up to a 10 month old baby who had NEVER slept through the night.  We eventually did everything the book told us not to.  We even began bringing her into our bed when she woke at 2am because I was desperate for sleep.  I don't know why I'm writing past tense, hopeful I guess.  PS. I think if we use the book with the next baby it will work.

I put her down drowsy and ofcourse she woke when her head hit the mattress (not actually hit, just the figure of speech...just to be clear).  I closed the door, proceed to the kitchen and cried myself.  16 minutes later it was silent.  20 minutes later I tiptoed in to check on her. It looked like a tornado had hit the crib.  I had a few blankets hanging off the crib and a little container of toys that she plays with after she wakes up from naps.  So anyways she was lying in a heap of blankets surrounded by toys with her little bottom stuck up in the air.  I placed the blanket on her and tiptoed out.  30 minutes later the cries start up again and last for a good 20 minutes.  As I frantically read on the kitchen floor stuffing my face with pepperoni and pineapple pizza I find myself on the verge of walking into her room and then it stops.   
So that's where I'm at now.  I don't know when she is going to cry, if she's going to cry and how I'm going to handle it.  That's why I'm writing, persuading myself I'm doing the right thing, she'll be okay and she is being watched over by her Heavenly Father through it all.  I know 46 minutes of crying doesn't sound like alot to people who have never experienced it but those 46 minutes felt like 46 hours.  
I am aware that this may make no sense to some people and if I weren't a God-fearing woman I would probably never admit to this situation because it makes me feel like a failure as a mother but I'm sure there's other moms our there going through this very thing and feel alone. You're not and I'm not alone in this.  I have a prayer taped up on her door asking the Lord to camp his angels around her crib and lay his soothing hand upon her just to remind myself that all this is in His hands.  He created her and knows every part of her being.  
So, there it is...the ugly sad truth.  My baby doesn't sleep and we're working on fixing the problem but in the end we know that this is in God's hands.  Any prayers will be greatly accepted!

PS.  If you do not agree with the cry it out method because you think it's cruel and unnatural feel free to keep your comments to yourself.  I'm sure you have very good reasons but I do not want to hear them :)


September 21, 2010

Sit Down Dinners

I have to admit we have sat down to dinner in front of the tv since we've been married.  Mostly because we've never had a dining room table (well we did but it was used as a desk instead) or the room to have a dining room, the coffee table was our dining table.  Well, I am determined to change that! I remember siting down to eat as a family when I was a child and I want my children to be able to say they have those same types of memories.  But I didn't think Jonathan would be down for siting on a table cloth and picnic-ing it in the dining/nursery room so I had to carve out any area in our tiny space to make room for those dinner memories.  Thus the small space between the nursery and living room is where I shoved our dining table.
We bought a dining table off Craigslist a few months ago for $40 (a steal considering its worth close to $500 after a little research on the hubby's part) but we haven't had any chairs.  Saturday we found some chairs in our price range, $35 a piece, which is actually a little over our price range but they're solid wood, in good condition and pretty fancy.  We got 4 of them from a hotel liquidation center down the road, which means they are covered in hideous green fabric some designer thought was fabulous 20 years ago.  I thought about painting the frames white but our table is white and that just seemed a little overkill to me so I've kept the original finish (just need to fill in the scuffs and knicks) and recovered the seats.  2 done, 2 to go.  The cushions were already thick and somewhat new so I didn't add any extra batting.  I got a $13 drop cloth from Home Depot, bleached it, bleached it again and used it to recover the seats and there's enough to cover all 4!  Grace and I ventured to Jo-Anns today to look for some trim and found some black trim @.79/yd.  12 yards was enough for all 4 chairs and I had a coupon so I only spent $5 on trim!
We've been siting down for family dinner this week and I gotta say it beats vegging out in front of the tv anyday!


And here's a glimpse of life lately:

Grace has discovered toilet paper
(that skirt is the leg of an old pair of jeans- super cute and super easy)

She loves the craft boxes in our room, ribbon is her favorite...

the statue in front of our apartments (in the background) after the Saints won last night

Our Bedroom- can you tell everything is in storage and we're using what we've got: pink, red, purple and black; what a color combo 
plus a little cutie tearing into some ribbon

Living room: we're looking for some couches but can't bite the bullet and make a decision (or fork over $1000+). We found the lamps a a salvage store for $5 each, got some lampshades from Target and trimmed them in some yellow ruffles.  The ottoman is the same green leather as the couches but I made a slip-cover from a bleached drop-cloth.  Side table...actually it's a moving box with a yellow floral table cloth I found at goodwill for a few bucks.  The pink suitcase (another goodwill find) in the corner is a good place to keep Grace's toys out and accessible for her but also easy to clean up when it's time to vaccum.

Nursery aka Dining room.  Jonathan didn't want to hang anything on the walls because we're only here a few I taped :)  Just some scrapbook paper and hot glue and you've got monograms and paper pin-wheels.  I'm thinking maybe new bedding?  The bumper is really cute but it's also really thin...I'm not sure yet.


September 7, 2010

Our August

Our August was filled with grandparents, tests, snowballs, baby bottom bumps and grins.  My mom and dad made a visit towards the end of last month to see baby girl.  They stayed downtown and got a first-hand experience of NOLA nightlife.  Grace and I brought them to eat at some of our favorite new places and of course the mall.  No visit is complete without a trip to the mall right?  Totally off topic but has anyone else seen the coupons Gap is giving out for 40% off on Wednesdays? Pretty cool!  
Add another bump to the list.  We had a great time with my parents and look forward to their next visit!
Last week Jonathan's dad came into town on business and we were able to spend a few days with him.  Grace has recently become quite the ham around other people and was more than excited to show Pops all her new funny faces.  
Grace has started pulling up within the past month and is now getting pretty fearless.  Trying no-hands, with her back to the wall....which ends in the bottom bump and cry.  We've been trying not to baby her and clap when she falls which has really helped; she'll make a sad face and then look for our reaction, if you're happy she's happy.  She's playing in her new play area, sucking her entire hand and squishing her face into a stink face right now, oh and trying to pull out the entire contents of the dresser.  
The house is not finished, doesn't even have walls yet....and life is getting a little cramped in this little apartment.  Even Jonathan is ready to get out of here because "it's just not comfortable" which means alot because he never complains about our living situation (and we've had LOTS of living situations since we've been married- 6 homes so far).  They say insulation will go in on Thursday and drywall should begin the next day. 
Jonathan is at school close to 14 hours a day right now.  I bribe him with dinner to get him home for an hour or so at night.  This has been much much much tougher than I had expected but its only 4 years so there's a light at the end of the tunnel.  But we're just entering the tunnel :(  Any prayers you can send our way would be greatly appreciated!  3 tests this week and another major one on Tuesday so we won't be seeing him for a few days.  
We're going to go the park until daddy gets home, here's some pictures.

                                                             baby stove from a diaper box

                                                                     play suitcase


August 9, 2010

And she's off...

Grace started crawling recently and is discovering her independence with unbridled joy and tepid curiosity.   She started with the army crawl at the beginning of this month, began pushing herself up into the sitting position about a week later and got her knees under her as she crawled just yesterday.  She seems like such a big girl but because of the complete lack of hair and petite size she still looks like a baby baby.  Pulling out ALL of her books by the tv is her favorite activity right now, along with smashing toys (i thought girls were supposed to be gentle?) and brushing her teeth.  Daddy is very excited about that last one!  She is very excited about the fact she can move around on her own but doesn't like to be out of eyesight of mommy so there is alot of nervous cries when she finds she's crawled out of sight.  I've tried to introduce Grace to many different foods (hoping not to have a picky eater in the future!) and she's done awesome so far; only gaged up lima beans and I don't blame her on that one.  She is eating yogurt, tofu, egg yolks and just today we added cottage cheese to the list of dairy and proteins.  Act excited when you feed them new foods and they get excited too I've learned.  Chicken and turkey are coming next month; I have no clue how to prepare them so I've better get on it.  
Jonathan started Gross Anatomy today, they are jumping right in and get their cadavers today and begin dissection.  He was much more excited then I would ever be, I've only dissected a star fish and I don't think that really counts.  Along with anatomy come hours and hours of MORE study time each day, not too excited about that.  
I'm trying to slip cover and old ottoman right now but I can't get motivated to start so the fabric is just wraped around it at this point.  I picked up a drop cloth from Home Depot yesterday, really cheap: $10 bucks compared to $60 bucks in what it would cost in fabric.  I like the simple clean color anyways so I bleached the heck out of it to soften and lighten it up and I think it's going to be pretty cool as soon as I find some motivation.  I've also got to shower, do dishes, laundry, iron, vaccum and mop.  Still no motivation, I better go chug a coke.


July 29, 2010

Per Request

I'm alive.  Just thought I would make that clear seeing how long it's been since the last post.  Life with a first year Dental school student and an 8 month old is pretty exhausting.  Especially when the 8 month old no longer likes to sleep and the Dental student has classes all day and can't help at the midnight and 4 am scream-fests anymore.  I'm really hoping Grace is teething and those suckers poke through soon!
Getting adjusted to life in a big city hasn't been as difficult as I would have thought; but everything takes longer to get to, traffic hours have to be avoided and all these one-way streets are kicking my butt.  I have not caused a crash or been involved in one yet, although Jonathan says it's just a matter of time because I'm a woman. (That's his kind of joke, most woman get offended when they hear him say it but it's just a joke, calm down)   Jonathan and I have re-discovered our love for snow-cones aka SnowBalls here in Nola.  I don't understand how those BahamaBucks can charge such ridiculous prices! I get a medium stuffed (with ice cream) for $2.00 and it's huge.  Because they're so cheap we get them most everyday.  I've learned you can always justify some things :)  We also eat a lot of po-boys which are basically sandwiches for really poor guys I'm assuming.  I'm learning to like seafood, heavily battered and fried of course.  
Jonathan's family came in town this past weekend and we got to do the downtown thing and had dinner and a boat ride on an old steamboat.  Grace ended the ride naked because it was so dang hot.  I can't wait till fall, July in New Orleans is almost unbearable, another justification for daily snowball trips.  
baby meeting the silver man

baby being cleaned by aunties after being covered in silver paint

naked baby enjoying the ride with her aunt

Sorry this has all been such a random assortments of ramblings but the baby is actually taking a nap and it is blowing my mind. I guess I should get the vacuuming done before she wakes up and tries to eat everything she can find on the ground.  Then I'm guessing a trip to the snowball hut :)

I'm going to try and get back to regular posting.  No promises but I'll try!
new sleeping position
pulling up


July 14, 2010

House and High Chairs

Ok, so she's a little rough right now.  It's a Katrina victim and needs some much needed attention but give it a few months (hopefully no more than 3 more months because our lease is up then).  Everything was striped down to the studs and built back up again, new roof is on and windows and doors are going in this week.  

Looking into the kitchen from the dining room

Looking into the living room from the kitchen

dining room, the pink studs frame out the walk-in pantry and yes that pantry will be painted pink :)

 Since we moved to New Orleans about 2 weeks ago we haven't had more than a few minutes to just sit. Moving, unpacking, repacking things for storage and building decisions among just a few of the things going on.  So I hope to get back on a normal routine of blogging because I know some grandparents out there are very eager to see baby girl!

She likes to watch us in the kitchen. I'm looking for a high chair because she's started trying to eat the carpet.  Wierd. I'm thinking this Boon Flair Pedestal High Chair. It's one solid piece so crumbs and junk doesn't build up in the cracks, it rolls and the height adjusts.


Plus it matches her bow.


July 4, 2010


So we are official New Orleans residents.  It's the 4th of July and we can see some amazing fireworks displays right outside our window, beside a church dome and above the cemetery.  Did I mention we live directly beside a cemetery? Not the type where people are buried below the ground, but above in marble tombs.  About 40 feet away from the back door.  We may also be some of the few residents under the age of 75 in our apartment building which is nice that there isn't a ton of parties going on but there are a ton of yappy lap dogs walking around.  We are living in a one bed, one bath place for the next 3 months until the house is finished and surprisingly it is much bigger than I expected.  I had never seen the place, no pictures, nothing, before I walked in the door with Gracie and our suitcases.  Grace is sleeping in the dining room aka the nursery.  I'm not quite sure where exactly we live but someone said we live right on St. John Bayou. We're directly on the water, what type of water? No clue. A bayou I guess but I'm not sure what a bayou is so...  But across the water is an amazing children's playground based on all the fairy tale characters that Grace will love when she can walk in talk and get into trouble.  
We are absolutely exhausted and would like nothing more than to sleep for 3 days but with a baby I guess you can't do that.  I plan on exploring our neighborhood tomorrow, hopefully I can find my way back home.  

June 26, 2010

Still here

Wow, it's been awhile since I've posted, sorry guys! We have been busy packing up again.  3 days until the big move and I think this is the most organized move yet.  Have I ever mentioned this is the 5th move since we've been married. We've been married 2 years.  Just 2.  

We each sent a big box of shoes and clothes to goodwill (aka my mom who brings it to a place called Trade n Treasure to sell it) and we've been purging all the junk and misc, things that:
a) don't know what it is but have held onto it thinking we would figure it out 
b) high school clothes we always held out hope that we could fit into again (I'm 23, if it doesn't fit now it sure won't fit in 5 years) 
c) those clothes that are really cute on the hanger but nowhere else  
d) boxes of random loose paper (where did this come from)
e) 100's of notebooks and notes from college science classes
(I could go through the entire alphabet but I'm sure you get that we had a bunch of junk)

Bye bye college papasan chair- i loved it, he hated it and Grace will kill herself trying to climb it.  Adios the first sofa I ever bought, a $400 Ashley's Furniture score that was only worth about $50 seeing as the cardboard arms have caved in.  I saved for months to get that thing too.  Peace bookcase, side table and tv stand.  But now we have room for the beautiful dresser Jonny re-finished! Pictures coming soon.  

So Wednesday morning with our little family packed up, a truck, a volkswagon and a u-haul trailer we're driving across Texas and down the Louisiana coast to move into our tiny 1 bedroom apartment 2 minutes from dental school.  If you think of us by chance please say a little prayer for us. Thanks and here's some swimming pictures, as you can tell she is becoming quite photogenic.


ps. feel free to leave comments :)

June 15, 2010

Chaos Complete.....for now

So these past 2 weeks have been hectic.  My floors haven't been touched, laundry is miles high, bathrooms...let's not go there.  Why the nasty living conditions?  I've been crafting my little heart away for Trade Days this past weekend.  I started MG Creations (Madison Grace Coulon...MGC....get it?) trying to earn some money since I don't want to go back to teaching and leave little one at home but soon realized that preparing for a booth at a trade show in just over a week isn't the brightest idea I've ever had.  I had piles of baby leg warmers, baby sweatpants, onsies, bows, earrings, shoes, not to mention the tablecloths I sewed from old sheets.  Going into it I thought "oh this will be fun and easy", coming out of it I'm thinking "I'm insane."  It wouldn't of been too bad if I hadn't been directly across from the live "entertainment" for 8 hours, if there hadn't been a mild tornado trying to crush my petite tent, 100 degree weather and a pestering neighbor.  It also would have helped if I had sold more than 3 items.  That's right 3 ITEMS! That's it. 2 pairs of shoes and a pair of pants.  Why the pants? A child had an accident in their pants and the mom needed something to throw on him.  I felt so bad for the kid that I sold them for $5 instead of the $12 they were listed for.  I'm not a great business woman obviously.  I had been so worried that I didn't have enough stuff and didn't think "this is all coming home with me."  My sweet husband sat out in the heat with me behind our 2 little tables, under a tent that could come down at any moment and reassured me that I wasn't an idiot, people just don't know the good stuff.  I watched for hours and hours as people walked by with crap and ignored my humble little tent.  Plastic guns, fried chicken on a stick, cheapo paper umbrellas, Walmart goods.  C'mon now people!  
But that's enough whining... I have decided to keep at it.  Anyways, I have all this stuff and only know so many babies to give it to.  So NOLA markets beware, MG Creations is coming and you will drool over the cuteness I have in stock.  A little over-confident maybe...  I have a blog MG Creations that I am currently the only follower of so, if you want to join the craft train there's the site. I'll post crafts I'm working on, things I'm selling and whining sessions when I don't sell anything (not really).  

On a brighter note: Grace turns 6 months old today! 6 months ago I was in labor, oblivious to the trials, sleep depravation and joys to come.  A lot of people say they can't remember life without their child, well I can.  It was easy and carefree but I wouldn't trade what I have now for anything.  I will take days without showering, nights with 2 hours sleep and baby kisses over my pre-baby life any day.  She has grown so much in such a short time, I can't imagine what she will be like in 6 more months.  Maybe a head of hair, waddling around the house talking to herself? 

Jonathan turns 24 this Thursday! We met at 15 years old, just kids.  I've watched him grow into an amazing man, attentive husband, joyful, loving father, serious student and serious hottie...a wonderful God-fearing person. Happy Birthday babe!

Baby girl just fell asleep in my lap so I've got to put her down.  Here is a picture of baby girl. She has to sit up in the tub now, we can't get her to lay more itty bitty baby for us :(


June 4, 2010

The Emotional Journey of a 5 month old

These were all taken in the course of about 30 seconds...

It's very emotional being a baby apparently.

So, daddy is away in New Orleans for the week and Gracie and I are really REALLY missing him.  He's never been away for more than 2 days so these 5 days are going to be tough. 2 days down, 3 to go.   I've been keeping busy crafting. I'm doing Stanton Trade Days! MG Creations is going to have a booth full of baby goodness and cute cute jewelry compliments of my sister-in-law.   So I've been sewing, painting and ironing my fingers away.  Puh-lease check us out June 12-13th at Trade Days!  I don't want to bring home 50 onsies, pants and legwarmers.  I only have one child! 
Thankfully the crafting has kept me inside because West Texas has recently become a sauna. 105 today and 108 tomorrow.  We've been swimming each night around 6 but that may come to a stop the next few days seeing as the water has turned into boiling hot lava.  I think I might fry an egg on the cement tomorrow, just to see if it actually works; my 8th grade science teacher would be so proud.  
So it is almost 10 on a friday night, first night of summer for Midland schools.  Baby is asleep (for now), hubby is away, fox news is on in the background and I decided I would try making italian soda.  I was surprised to find out how easy it was.
1 ounce Half and Half
2 tbsp syrup (I used raspberry)
top it off with sparkling or club soda.

Just don't add the soda in too fast or you get a foamy volcano like mine.
Give it a try and let me know what you think, it's delicious after you clean up the mess.

Off to bed