Friday, August 27, 2010

I Trust You'll Treat Her Well

I heard this poem Wednesday morning on G105.1 Bob and the Showgram on my way to work. After hearing the intro, I remember hearing it last year at this same time as school was starting for children everywhere. But, wow. This year it was MY child starting school!

I Trust You'll Treat Her Well
by Dan Valentine
World, I bequeath to you today one little girl in a crispy dress.. with two blue eyes...and a happy laugh that ripples all day long, and a batch of light blonde hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs. I Trust You'll Treat Her Well.
She's slipping out of the backyard of my heart this morning and skipping off down the street to her first day at school.
And never again will she be completely mine...
Prim and proud, she'll wave a young and independent hand this morning, and say goodbye and walk with little-lady steps to the nearby schoolhouse...
Gone will be the chattering little hoyden who lived only for play, and gone will be the delightful little gamin who roamed the yard like a proud princess with nary a care in her little world.
Now, she will learn to stand in lines...and wait by the alphabet for her name to be called...
She will learn to tune her little-girl ears for the sound of school bells, and for deadlines...
She will learn to giggle and gossip... and to look at the ceiling in a disinterested way when the little boy across the aisle sticks out his tongue.
Now she will learn to be jealous...and now she will learn how it is to feel hurt inside...and now she will learn how not to cry. No longer will she have time to sit on the front porch steps on a summer day and watch while an ant scurries across a crack in the sidewalk...
Or will she have time to pop out of bed with the dawn to kiss lilac blossoms in the morning dew. Now she will worry about important grades...and what dresses to wear...and whose best friend is whose. Now she will worry about the little boy who pulls her hair at recess time... and staying after school...and which little girls like which little boys...And the magic of books and knowledge will soon take the place of the magic of her blocks and dolls.
And she'll find her new heroes. For five full years I've been her sage and Santa Claus...her pal and playmate...her parent and friend. Now, alas, she'll learn to share her worship and adoration with her teachers (which is only right).
No longer will her parents be the smartest, and greatest in the world. Today, when the first school bell rings, she'll learn how it is to be a member of the group...with all its privileges, and, of course, its disadvantages, too.
She'll learn in time that proper young ladies don't laugh out loud...or keep frogs in pickle jars in bedrooms...or watch ants scurry across the cracks in a summer sidewalk...
Today, she'll begin to learn for the first time that all who smile at her are not her friends. That "the group" can be a demanding mistress... and I'll stand on the porch and watch her start out on the long, long journey to becoming a woman.So WORLD, I BEQUEATH TO YOU TODAY ONE LITTLE GIRL in a crispy dress, with two blue eyes, a happy laugh that ripples all day long, and a batch of light blonde hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs.

Date: April 18, 2005
Brooklyn (age 7 weeks) on her first day of pre-school.
Date: August 19, 2010
Brooklyn (age 5 1/2) on her first day of Kindergarten.

Are you crying yet? If so, then let me share with you what happened as I was just about to let the tears flow while hearing the poem on the radio.

Text received from Chad 7:44am: "Homegirl knows how to poop."

Thanks for the save, honey. You successfully brought me out of my sentimental funk. :-)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy 10 months, Jake!

I don't know if I am more in disbelief that Jake is 10 months today, or that I actually posted this entry on the 26th! :-)

Here's my sweet boy at 10 months old...

What an eventful month this has been! With Jake crawling and pulling up, we have a much happier, mobile baby. But with that, we also have more bumps and bruises. :-) We are all surviving, and he's a tough baby- thank goodness! Our biggest fear was the downstairs hardwood floors, but as long as he has some traction (ie: no footie pj's), he's good to go.

We interrupt this blog post to play with the baby monitor and lamp...

OK we're back...and brought in Brooklyn and Daddy for reinforcement.

Jake continues to be a good eater but is not a huge fan of finger foods other than Cheerios and Puffs. In baby food, he eats all the usuals, but I have also added blueberry applesauce and apricots. This week, I also bought some of the Stage 3 meals that I will try soon. I am hoping that as I introduce him to more mashed up table foods little by little, he will transition easily at one year to all table foods. So far, I have given him mashed potatoes (not impressed), mac and cheese (fine if fed on a spoon but not when he has to pick up), and baked beans (mashed up but LOVED).
He is still completely breastfed and uses a sippy cup for water. I have loved being able to provide him with all his liquid nourishment the past 10 months, but I have to say that it's starting to wear on me a bit (read: I WANT MY BODY BACK). But, it's just 9.5 more weeks (but who's counting?) and I am so proud that I was able to save our family sooooo much money by making this decision.

We're still sporting the mohawk hair-do...but that's just what nature has done, and we are rolling with it. Occasionally he gets it spiked up but it falls pretty quickly. :-)
As far as size, I reported after last doctor's visit he was a little over 25 pounds. He is wearing 12-24 month clothes, depending on the brand and the style. I am hoping that I just won't have to buy him new clothes for the next year because he has really plateaued in growth.

Jake loves playing with toys on the floor. Favorites include: Brooklyn's old teeny kitchen that sits on the floor that makes cooking noises, stacking blocks, animal book (with real animal pictures), a toothbrush or hairbrush, a small Dora soccer ball, and Brooklyn's ball popper that we just pulled out of storage. We can sometimes bribe him to sit in the exersaucer for a few minutes if we give him some Cheerios or Puffs on the tray.
Jake will also sometimes find entertainment on TV when Brooklyn is watching Nick Jr. His favorite character is Moose who talks in between the different shows. It's very cute to see him hear Moose's voice and then turn around to find where it is coming from.

Sleeping was a challenge this month. I think between getting two bottom teeth and just being between 9-10 months (a time our doctor says baby sometimes go through a "sleep disturbance phase"), Jake was starting to wake up 2-3 times a night. But, we went against everything we ever did with Brooklyn and let him cry it out (I'll have to post on this later on!), and within about 5-7 days, he was sleeping through the night again. He has decided that bedtime is between 7-7:30am (LOVE) and wake time is 5-5:30am (NOT LOVE). The last 2 mornings he stretched to 6:10am, and I know it's a mental thing, but I just feel sooo much more rested when I see a 6 on the clock when I open my eyes. :-)
I know I probably say this every month, but Jake truly is such a great baby! He's friendly, smiley, squishy, silly, slobberly, snuggly, and giggly. We just love him so much and cannot wait to see what the next month holds for our youngest Johnson baby!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Way Back When-esday!

It's Way Back When-esday!!

Date: Early September 2009

*The first picture of my two babies (Brooklyn 4 1/2 and utero-Jake 30ish weeks).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy Half Birthday, Brooklyn!

Today, Brooklyn turns 5 1/2. We celebrated by dropping her off at Gramma and Pops' house so Chad and I could attend her Kindergarten parent meeting. :-) We did, however, bring home special caramel sundaes for her half birthday dessert!

Well, you all obviously know by now that Brooklyn started Kindergarten last that's been pretty much what's been going on with her.

Chad snuck this picture of her while walking by art class this week....she is standing in the teal shirt. So grown up!

I had a Girl Scout skating event last Saturday so I took Brooklyn with me and let her try skating for the first time.

She was so excited and so proud of herself. That is, until she slipped and rolled underneath the foosball table and scraped her leg up pretty bad. A cherry sno-cone stopped the tears but I thought skating was behind us forever. She completely surprised me, though, by finishing her sno-cone and putting her skates on by herself. She got right back up and skated around the carpeted area for the rest of the event. I was quite shocked but very proud...and it just shows me just how much she has grown up this summer.

Brooklyn ADORES her little brother...and I think considers him somewhat of the pet she's never had.

She loves sitting on the floor and playing with him...and then dragging him back onto her lap and trying to force his head on her shoulder.

She loves to make Jake giggle and smile and considers herself his "second mommy" or "mommy in charge" when I am not present.

Brooklyn has become quite the videographer these days. She loves to play on my iPhone, and I often get it back with, unique pictures and videos that she has taken.

She is apparently starring in her own iCarly video in the grocery cart at Harris Teeter. I actually had no idea she was taping in the cart...this was one of 5 videos I found on my phone later that week. (Brooklyn started watching some regular Nickelodeon during a week when she and her "big sister" Allie spent time together....iCarly is actually tolerable.)

We've tried to stick to a 8:00pm bedtime since school has started. We've done it twice in four days, but that's our fault because of some evening engagements. I hope to be more diligent about this, but Brooklyn has done GREAT waking up at 6:30am...and I am hoping it's because she is excited about going to school.

So far, Brooklyn says PE is her favorite class. But I think she has also enjoyed Art and Music. She even came home singing "This Land is Your Land" today and has started learning the Pledge of Allegiance. Her teacher says that she is adjusting well and slowly coming out of her shell. (I kinda hope she stays in her shell a teeny bit or this teacher is in for an iCarly/Grace Reigns Down/Shout service/Duggar family performance very soon.)

Brooklyn is still a great eater and her new favorite dinner has been either tacos or campfire chicken (where you put a chicken breast, potatoes, and carrots in aluminum foil, wrap up and bake in oven). She LOVES milk and doesn't ever really ask for juice. Her favorite treat is visiting Feeney's, a self serve frozen yogurt bar.

We have been so busy lately that Brooklyn actually hasn't been into the TV, but when she does need some "quiet time" she watches 19 Kids and Counting or Nick Jr. She loves Olivia and was tickled when she found out she has an Olivia in her class. She also LOVES the Fresh Beat Band...they are tolerable, but I can't get over the fact that one of the chicks used to be on Days of Our Lives so all I see is "Stefanie Johnson" when I watch that show.

That's about all I can think of right now....Brooklyn is just an absolute joy 90% of the time. We are working on that other 10%, but I think now that the kid has more structure in her schedule, she will be better off. She's smart, beautiful, hilarious, shy, bubbly, and just plain fun to be with. Her favorite thing to do all summer was go to the pool...and boy have I loved the great tan we both got this summer from her obsession with the water.

Our next big adventure is Uncle Drew and Aunt Molly's wedding next week. We will travel to the mountains for a weekend with both our families. Brooklyn, Allie, and I will help with the guest book and programs, Chad will usher, Jake will just be cute, and Brooklyn and Allie are also Flower Girls. We are very excited to see everyone!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

back to school, back to school...

"Back to school, back to school. To prove to Dad that I’m not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight. Ohhh, back to school. Back to school, back to school." -Adam Sandler (Billy) in Billy Madison

I could have used a really profound quote about education or growing up to head up this blog post, but don't we all just need a little humor on emotional days like this one? Brooklyn had her first day of Kindergarten today. Here she is ready to leave with Daddy. (It was barely light out when they left at a fresh 6:55am this morning!)

I was not prepared with a sign this morning so Brooklyn did "0's" for Grade 0. :-)

And Chad was nice enough to snap this picture for me when they got to school. She looks so tiny beside that sign. :-)

Happy first day of school, Brooklyn and Chad! I love you both very much and cannot wait to hear all about your day!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Way Back When-esday

Today's Way Back When-esday is dedicated to this precious angel, Ansley Dillon. You can read all about Ansley's adventures here, but one year ago this week- on August 20, 2009- one of my dearest friends, McKenzie, became a mommy.

Ansley is now just as gorgeous as a (just about) one year old. And I am blessed to see her almost everyday as she and Jake are classmates (and future power couple- Jakesley).

Ansley is my first baby to graduate from my "Oh, Baby!" blog list (on the righthand side of the blog). Though I am sad to see her "graduate" and become a big girl, (1) I can't keep them all on here or my list would become a bit ridiculous and (2) I will just look forward to adding Ansley's future little brothers or sisters. So, get to working, McKenzie! Ha ha! Just kidding!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

contagious baby laughs

I have become one of those people that posts a sideways video, but I just couldn't help it, and there was no way to re-create this moment. Jake's laugh is so hilarious here...and so perfectly shows how much he LOVES his big sister!

Monday, August 16, 2010

yummy goodness in a hard candy shell

What an education I had in baking this weekend! My mother-in-law was hosting a floating wedding shower for my brother-in-law and soon-to-be sister-in-law this weekend, and I volunteered to do a dessert. Since it would be a floating shower, I was thinking something "finger food-ish" like mini cupcakes, but then I remembered I had the cutest things at one of my baby showers for Jake- cake balls, or also known when put on a lollipop stick- cupcake pops.
I will never ever claim to be a baker or a chef, but I can usually follow directions pretty well. Unfortunately, as I got into this project and started reading up on how to make these, I found that there are so many different ways to do this- and some ways are more succesful than others. So, after some trial and error, and a few pictures snapped with the iPhone, I give you...
The Evolution Of Cupcake Pops (dum dum duuuuuuum)
First you need to bake a cake (any flavor) according to the box's directions.
After it cools for about 15 minutes, use a fork and "rake" the cake to make it the consistancy of dirt. You can also have a trusty assistant who uses a small bowl to collect the "larger chunks" where she can snack from later.
Sidenote: If you are on a diet, then make the cake according to Elizabeth's recipe here. I bet it will turn out the same and you can save a few calories.
Random note: If you use a light colored cake mix, like yellow seen above, I would only use the middle of the cake and avoid the darker parts. When mixed it makes it look brownish and just not as pretty. I also did a Devil's Food cake mix, and of course, that looked just fine being all dark brown.
Then you take your "dirt cake" and mix in a tub of any flavored icing. Some websites say a whole tub and some say 3/4 tub. I did a whole tub of white icing with my yellow cake and 3/4 tub of milk chocolate with the Devil's Food cake. I think I liked the consistancy of the ball better with only 3/4 tub. It was easier to work with later. Mix it all together and make one large ball on wax paper.
Then, allow the large ball to freeze for about 30 minutes. This is when I ran to the bank and back to the grocery store to get some things I forgot the first trip. Perfect timing.
Then, remove the large ball from the freezer and form into smaller balls (about the size of a ping pong ball...though towards the end I think mine were looking more like golf balls).

Then, place your balls back into the freezer and freeze for at least 6 hours. (I ended up doing overnight because the 6 hour mark would have been about 11pm, and Brooklyn would have had a fit if I did the "fun part" without her.)
Then, you are supposed to take any kind of chocolate melt and coat the balls. Easier said than done. I went to Michael's and bought the candy melts in brown and green (the shower colors) and started with the brown to coat the yellow cake. The bag says you can microwave it so I did. I got about 6 ghetto balls done when the chocolate just solidified and said "I'm done." I was not happy. And they were not pretty.

So, I thought that maybe I could do the saucepan on really low heat (as the bag directions also suggest). I used my green here.

I'll let the next picture speak for itself. Pure mess.

At this point I was not happy, and Brooklyn was more interested in trying to use the cookie cutter to cut the green chocolate blob. I took my unshowered, non-make-up self to the Teeter and bought Chocolate Bark (which another website recommended). I bought white chocolate and milk chocolate.

I actually attempted the microwave again, and this time it worked great. Brooklyn and I were cooking with gas now!

I saw a great technique online where you take plastic forks and break off the two inner tines. They were great to dip the cake balls without much mess. Once they were fully coated, I dropped them back into the chocolate and pushed a lollipop stick down the middle about halfway. (Gotta do this part quick because the chocolate hardens fairly quickly.)

So....Brooklyn and I did this about 40 times using one package of each color (worked out perfectly as far as the amount of chocolate verses cake).
Then, we got a sexy model to help display our creations.

All in all, once I got my technique down and bought the new chocolate, this project turned out to be quite easy and fairly inexpensive.
And it made a pretty cute addition to the wedding shower food table, if I do say so myself.

If you are interested in getting a more professional tutorial, then visit this website to get the best directions.

Friday, August 13, 2010

to remember forever

There are moments like these I want to remember forever. When Brooklyn is 14 and hates me and hates the world, I want to click back to this post and remember the sweetest 5 year old ever with the best sparkly personality (in the privacy of her own home).

She LOVES to help me cook or bake (which now that we are dieting we are trying to do more often, experimenting with healthy recipes). Here she is helping me make corn and black bean salsa for my Bunko party tonight. (BTW, cannot wait to see my Girl Scout buddies tonight!)

And then 14 year old Brooklyn will lean over my shoulder, see this post, and exclaim "OMG Mom! This is soooo embarassing! I am going to die if my friends see this!" And I will just smile and know that as the past 14 years have had its ups and downs and phases...this too will be just another phase.

You will probably only appreciate this video if you watch So You Think You Can Dance. But even if you don't, you may enjoy hearing my "pee in your pants" laughter in the background. (My brother-in-law seemed to get a kick out of hearing it in the "Jake in the bouncer" video.) Brooklyn's new favorite game is pretending to be Cat Deeley, host of SYTYCD.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

one week left!

Today marks one week until Brooklyn's first day of school. As my recent Facebook statuses documented, it took forever for us to get out to Target to buy all her supplies. Probably part denial of having a baby old enough for Kindergarten and partly because I dreaded the final bill! We went Sunday morning and Target was heavenly...not a soul around...and we saved $8.00 with it being the tax free weekend. Double Yay! Brooklyn was very excited to pick out her backpack (we teetered between iCarly and Hello Kitty with the cat winning), her lunchbox (Hello Kitty- she said they had to match- YES, she is my daughter!), and a pink pencil box.

What a sweet Kindergartener I have! I am sure she will be very nervous and scared her first day of school (my poor, painfully shy daughter), but I give her a week before she LOVES it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'm a loser!

...a BIGGEST loser, that is!

I lost 3.5 pounds last week! Yay!

I really struggled with the few times we went out to eat, but I powered through and made "smarter" choices than I normally would. Probably still not the BEST choices...but better. :-)

And I gave up all sodas and sweet tea...though McDonalds and Bojangles are slowly trying to break me down with their sweet tea ads.

And we're also trying to stop eating at 8:00pm- 8:30pm at the very latest.

Oh, why wasn't I born with the metabolism of Heidi Klum???

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

a "half month" update...

I don't usually do a kid update halfway through the month, but 9 1/2 months proved to be very exciting for Jake!

In addition to his well check at the doctor's (25 pounds, 2 ounces (95%) and 29 inches long (75%) and a hepatitis B shot), Jake is also doing this...

Friday, August 6, 2010

uh, oh!

It has finally happened....

I came into Jake's room this morning to find him pulled up and dangling over the side of his crib trying to reach the paci he had dropped on the floor.

Chad lowered his crib to the lowest setting the same day.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Jumpin' Jake Flash!

OK.....poor pun, I know, but I wanted to show you this super short video.

Jake showed that Jumperoo who's the boss!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Way Back When-esday!

It's time for another edition of Way Back When-esday!

Today's picture comes to you from in August of 2009. And yes, being pregnant in in August does truly suck.

But we had a great time last year in Universal Studios celebrating Uncle Eric's graduation from Florida State!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Us!

It's hard to believe we came from this: this in just 8 years:

What a lucky, lucky girl I am!

(BTW- There's about 140 extra pounds between the four of us in that 2nd picture! Though I won't reveal how it's distributed, I am soooo glad that I started the Biggest Loser yesterday!)

On August 3, 2002, Chad and I said "I Do" in front of 240 of our closest friends and family. What an amazing day it was! Actually, it was an amazing WEEK....we had so much fun doing different "bridal party" activities each day before the wedding...and the actual wedding itself was perfect.

I am so blessed to have married my best friend...and that he turned out to be the best father, too.

The words to Bryan White's Song, "What Did I Do?" fit our life perfectly 8 years ago when we danced that first dance as husband and wife...and it still fits us perfectly now.

I love you, Chad! Happy Anniversary! Thanks for giving me the life that I have always dreamed of having!

What did I do to deserve you?

Only God's hands could have made you

And brought this dream to life

Always swore that I, I would never fall

I guess miracles happen after all

And what did I ever do to deserve you?

Unconventional describes my love for you

Unconditional 'cause there's nothing I won't do

I pray as this feeling grows

That you'll always touch the heart and so love me

It's a mystery

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm gonna be....

Today at work we started the Biggest Loser Girl Scout Challenge! I am so excited to finally have an extra push to lose weight. When I don't have accountability and incentive, I don't do well. :-)

We all pay $5 to participate and each week you weigh in. For each pound that you gain, you have to pay an additional $1, and at the end of the competition (November 30), the person who has the highest percentage of weight loss is the winner and takes home all the cash.

Now, I would not really classify myself as a competitive person, so why, you say, am I so excited to compete?

I HATE losing money! I figured that by doing this, a competition where I have to fork over MONEY, then I will definitely work harder to lose that weight and get in better shape. Hey, whatever motivates you, right? :-)

I'll keep you posted!


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