Sunday, March 18, 2018

18--vol 3...

Late this morn, My Sweet Hubby and I are heading East to CELEBRATE Baby Elle’s second birthday! With several other family members. She won’t actually be two for a few more days. But this day made the most sense for TLC and her Gang and our families. So CELEBRATE we SHALL!

I’m positive TLC wishes she could be writing this post. In fact, that’s how we planned it. She’d do eighteen things she TREASURES about her second child. Y’all know our yadayadayada story/excuse: Life gets in the way of our good intentions. We both realized she was super strapped for time.

ENTER…MOI! Grammy can’t post pictures like TLC would have done. (TLC can do a few for me soon.) I can, however, give you…

Eighteen (18) Things I ADORE about Baby Elle (aka Belle):


  1. Her sweet, funny, precious spirit! From the moment she was born, we all knew she was going to be very different from her older sister (Little Leighton—aka LL). Feistier. Yes—Wilder.
  2. Her energy! Y’all may recall LL wasn’t a very…what’s the word…physical infant/baby/toddler. In fact, she didn’t sit up on her own until she was nearly a year old. We, lovingly, called her The Happy Sitter—because you could move her around the house all day long and sit her anywhere on any floor and she’d be happy for quite some time. She was getting restless? No problem. Pick her up and move her again! She was sixteen months old before she started walking. Even after that milestone, we never worried about her climbing up on things. Jumping down off things. Running much of anywhere. Belle, ontheotherhand, was a ball of fire and movement from the time she was in her Mommy’s tummy! She did everything physical much earlier than LL ever did. To this day? You can watch her little eyes/brain constantly looking around and trying to figure out where she’s going next. What she’s going to try to get up on/in to. We (tenderly) call her The Tornado. She is EXHAUSTING. In the very best way possible.
  3. Her love for Her Big Sis! She looks at LL with complete and sincere amazement/admiration. She watches LL. She listens to her. She has from the time she was born. Don’t get me wrong. She fights with LL over toys. Space. Food. If she wants it? She’s going to get it. And hold onto it until the bitter end. Through all of that drama? Her Big Sister reigns SUPREME.
  4. Her laughter. Her giggles. Her silliness. And, trust me: She completely knows she’s being ridiculous!
  5. Her manners. From the time she could start saying “Tank ou, Mama…” “Tank ou, Daddy…” “Tank ou, Gwammy…” “Tank ou, Pa-Pa…”, she became the most polite toddler I’ve ever known. And that includes her Mama—who was pretty dadgum polite but sometimes had to be reminded to give thanks to someone. And Her Big Sister. Heck, possibly, me! She thanks everyone around her for something only one person has really done for her. It’s beyond cute.
  6. “God bless you, Gwammy.” When someone sneezes or coughs? She is the first to say: “God bless you!” Again, the most polite child ever.
  7. The fantastic way she naps and sleeps at night! LL? She was like her Mama. Not a good napper. Not a good night-time sleeper. In fact, she really didn’t sleep in her crib for more than a couple of hours at a time. We’d all finally just give in and put her in bed with us. It was the only way we could get any sleep. (TLC? The same. Exactly the same.) Now, in LL’s defense? Two things: (1) We have no way of knowing when Celiac disease starting affecting Little Leighton. Could have been very early on. She was two when she was diagnosed. At 2? TLC and Her Hubby bought a pretty Pottery Barn bed for LL—called it a “Princess” bed—and LL started sleeping in it right away. Has been a decent/GOOD SLEEPER since then! (2) Belle actually didn’t start off as a great sleeper. In fact, TLC hired an expert (a well-known New Orleans’ pediatrician) to Facetime with her one night to give her advice on how to help Baby Elle overcome her infant sleeping issues. Whether it was this doctor’s expertise or Belle simply being ready to start sleeping better, it happened. In the past few weeks? We’ve all noticed how Belle scooches into a corner of her crib with her Bunny Lovie (she calls “DeeDee”) and three pacifiers (she calls BaaBaas). She stays in the corner for most of her naps and her nights. It makes us smile.
  8. Her hair! Especially when she wakes up from a nap or in the mornings! It. Is. WILD. Which she thinks is FUNNY. Also, those little pink glasses. I mean, seriously, Friends. Are they the MOST PRECIOUS?
  9. Her love of fruit chews! You know—those little packages of sweet things that are made by companies that try to convince us they’re healthy because they have a teeny percentage of fruit juice in them? Right. Anyway, from the time TLC could give them to Baby Elle without cutting each of them up into several pieces, she has craved them. She is OBSESSED. She’d eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and her morning and afternoon snacks. She literally will look at you—every hour on the hour—and, with the sweetest little voice and expression—say: “Fruit chews, Gwammy? Fruit Chews?” It breaks my heart when I have to either pretend I didn’t hear her or think of something to distract her/change the subject. Or, God forbid, say “No, Belle. No fruit chews. You’ve already had two packages today.” She basically likes about six foods at this point in her little life. Which completely frustrates Her Mama. Fruit Chews are absolutely #1 on Baby Belle’s List of Preferred Foods.
  10. Her curiosity! Yes, most every toddler is curious about everything. I get it. She is hyper-curious! Trust me. This Little Princess picks up everything. Looks at everything. Wants to take everything apart. Holds on to the weirdest things until she finally puts them down and you retrieve them and hide them. We call her a little wackadoodle about this idiosyncrasy.
  11. Her running! Everywhere. All. Day. Long. Yes. This goes along with her physicalness. Yet, it’s also separate. Because even when she should be exhausted? She runs. One of my sisters can do the BEST impression of Belle running. It’s fast, sort of sideways and full of utter abandon. I LOVE watching Belle—even as we all try to protect her from injuring herself.
  12. The fact that she calls LL’s teachers by their last name. There is not the required “Mrs.” in front of either one of them. Just their last names. Like Belle thinks their last names are actually their first names. They think she is a hoot. I agree!
  13. The fact she’s never afraid to tell someone: “NO.” Whether it’s me trying to get her to eat something she doesn’t intend to eat—“No, Gwammy. No.”—or whether it’s her Mama telling her not to continue to do something she’s doing. She is not afraid to say: “NO.” Yes, her Mama occasionally puts her in Time-Out for this choice. Still…this grandmother must hide her laughter.
  14. Her dancing! And singing! She is cRaZy about the movies Frozen and Sing! Mostly Sing! “Mom Pig, Gwammy? Watch Mom Pig?” She would watch Sing all day. Every day. Every night. 24/7. Yes. Mama TLC and Big Sister LL get weary of starting this movie over. And over. And over. Grammy thinks it’s priceless and they should simply CHILL. Winky. Wink.
  15. “Okay, Gwammy!” When she says “Okay?” Her little shoulders rise and her adorable little voice gets higher and she smiles. It melts my heart.
  16. Her love of people! She is quite interested in knowing all her family members and friends. If you’re lucky? She’ll go to you pretty quick. She’ll let you hold her hand. Yes. This could possibly be a challenge for us all in the future—teaching her to be extremely careful about whom she trusts. We’ll be working on that every day for a long time, I fear. But, for now, as we watch her every second like hawks—it’s nice! Little Leighton was always very skeptical of everyone. She still is shy/reserved/slow to warm up to people. Belle? Completely opposite.
  17. Her love of: Daniel Tiger and Baby Margaret. Peppa Pig. Olaf from Frozen. Full House! If TLC—or Nanny Grammy—needs a few minutes to get a meal together or to get some fast chores done? Put on one of Baby Elle’s favourite TV shows and she’s good for 15-25 minutes!
  18. My MOST FAVOURITE thing about Baby Elle? She’s here! Making our lives full of spunk. Sass. Giggles. JOY! She’s a force to be reckoned with. Already. At two. Watch Out World!

God bless each of Y’all on this Wonderful Sunday—wherever in this World Y’all are!

(Thanks for your patience!)



Tuesday, March 13, 2018

tuesdays with TLC...

So, we're Spring Breakin' this week. Baby Elle and I are actually flying solo (duo?) while Little Leighton is visiting Grammy ELC and Pa-Pa at their Country Casa for a few days. We miss her so much but know she is having a BALL.

While LL has been gone, we've run a few errands, played at the park and been to Target. Twice.

I plan to be back to my regularly scheduled programming next week! We've started discussing our summer vacation this year, and I thought I might give y'all some insight into the challenges we face as a Celiac Family when traveling.

Happy day, everyone!

Friday, March 9, 2018

it's a small world...

TLC WILL BE BACK! Someday. Hopefully next Tuesday. Right, TLC? (Repeat after me, TLC: Yes, Mom. I will post on Tuesday. Cross my heart.)

Meantime? Y’all have moi. Again.

So y’all know we have our place for sale. (It doesn’t matter how many times I type this or talk about it: IT. IS. DEVASTATING. If ONLY I could win the Powerball. I’d hire someone to live in our very cute—just the truth—many people confirm this—Barn Apartment/Guest Cottage to be here every day to keep an eye on it and feed and take care of Hunter the Cat and I’d buy an exquisite lakehouse somewhere near TLC and Her Little Princesses. I’d buy My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and Buddy Boo Bear (aka BBB) a $300,000 motor home. PLUS, I’d hire someone to drive them anywhere they wanted to go! Then we’d come back to Our Country Casa every 2-3 weeks and take in all of the beauty.

Until I win that Powerball? Our Country Casa is for sale. DAMMITALL.

Speaking of Buddy Boo Bear: As y’all may remember, we adopted him. Eight years ago. His owner’s Mom said he was 4 years old. We think he was actually 5. We hoped he’d be mostly an outdoor dog—coming in when it was super cold or super hot. No such luck. He had his own recliner at his previous owner’s home. After his (HORRID) heartworm treatment (Yes. He had heartworm. It cost us a small fortune to have him treated, but our Vet said he knew he’d be okay because he was a strong dog. He’s been healthy ever since. Well, he has to take thyroid meds. And he’s a bit overweight. And he has acid reflux. Still—he’s 90% healthy! Especially for a dog his age.), we had to put books on our couch and beds so he wouldn’t jump up on them. He stopped. He has been a fixture in our master bedroom ever since. (I listen to MSH and BBB BOTH snore. It’s great! Winky. Wink.)

When we’re about to show our casa and place? We must leave BBB OUTSIDE or in our garage.  While we clean and vacuum. To be honest? He is the reason we must vacuum our home every other day. Truthfully? We could do it morning and night. (We is old. We simply don’t have that kind of energy.) God love and bless him.

When he’s outside? This is what he does. He goes from window. To door. To window. Looking pathetic. Semi-frantic. It is quite sad. Hunter the Cat? Couldn’t be happier when BBB has to stay outside for a couple of hours. Follows him everywhere. Hunter loves BBB. BBB tolerates Hunter.

Yesterday morning, while we were waiting for a local realtor to get to our casa with her prospective buyers, I was checking each room. It hit me. I’ve taken THOUSANDS of pictures in 18 years in and around our casa. But I’d never taken close ups of things I truly love and will desperately miss. My vanity:

It’s not fancy marble. The sink probably should be replaced. I TREASURE my vanity chair and the fact I can sit at my makeup mirror to put on my “face-for-the-world” every day. (TLC has a vanity chair now and can sit to do her makeup! That was a BIG thing for her in her third house since she got married.)

This is what I look at as I do my makeup. Every day. Every week. Every month. Every year. (I’ve changed out the flowers a couple of times. When they’re on sale at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s and when they’re “sticky” from my oodles and gobs of hairspray.) I will desperately miss my bathroom.

This is our fireplace. I do have hundreds of pictures of our fireplace. 99% of said pictures have people in them. (I wouldn’t take $300,000 for those pictures, either. They are full of people I adore.) The mantle? Made from a tree that was on our place when we bought it. Crud. Now I have to stop for a tidbit to wipe away my tears. Sigh.

This pot o’ pansies? They’re right out our front door. MSH potted them for me five months ago. We truly forget to water them. They make me smile. (And remind me of My Nana. She loved pansies!)

The couple that came? Let me just say this: It is a SMALL world. Turned out we know her sister! VERY. WELL. I met her over 40 years ago. IN FACT, I met this woman at a baby shower for her sister! They loved our place. (Y’all would to. It might not be what you needed or wanted. Still…you would love it. Our view would ROCK your WORLD. Trust me on this.)

Who knows if they’ll submit a contract? I don’t. God knows. I don't. MSH and I stay in peace throughout this process. Thy Will Be Done. (Also, our casa stays mostly clean. Which is lovely.)

Y’all have a WONDERFUL Weekend—Wherever in this World Y’all are! (Look around Your World and focus on all of the things that make your heart happy!)



Sunday, March 4, 2018

a very broken world...

From Jesus Today, by Sarah Young:

BE OF GOOD COURAGE, AND I WILL STRENGTHEN your heart. I want you to face adversity with confidence and firm determination. Because I am with you and the Holy Spirit lives in you, you have everything you need to be bold. Cowardliness is not of My Kingdom. When you are feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances, remember who you are—a child of the eternal King! Invite Me into the very circumstances that are intimidating you, and let the Light of My powerful Presence strengthen you. When you choose to live courageously, I am pleased. And I respond by strengthening your heart, thus increasing your valor.

Expect to encounter hardships as you journey toward heaven, because you live in a very broken world. This is why bravery is desperately needed among My followers. You also need hope. My promise to strengthen your heart is for those who hope in Me. Courage and hope are closely connected in My kingdom. So I urge you to hold on to your courage and your hope. They are more precious than gold!

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.  --Psalm 31:24 NKJV

Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
 --Hebrews 3:6

Sadly, this is such a broken world, isn't it? It is often exceedingly overwhelming. Throw in our own, individual daily problems and challenges? Sometimes—it is simply too much. Too depressing. Discouraging. I needed this today as My Sweet Hubby and I try to focus, this quiet Sunday in North Central Texas, on Our Lord God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ. As we focus on our blessings. Our strengths. Our hopes.

God bless and be with each of you today…and always…

Love and Hugs,