Thursday, May 29, 2008

I can't afford another baby!

Holy cow! Maggie's school just handed out registration forms for next year's school year with increased prices beginning August 1st. Her tuition is being raised by $40! Looking at the price sheet, I had a bit of sticker shock. Infants are $975 a month!! Luckily, Maggie's is less because of her age, but seeing this has Andrew confirming his belief that no more child are going to happen for at least two years.

Between that and gas prices, I'm going to be in the poor house! Thank goodness I'm happy with the school.

Maybe when Maggie is getting ready for kindergarten we can consider baby Scott #3!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Maggie's loving the water! We went "simming" three times this weekend and have been playing with her new Ariel sprinkler (read--complete piece of crap that doesn't work well but toddler loves). She loves it all--picking out a different swimsuit to wear, lathering in "sumscream," and getting soaked to the bone!

I'm currently looking into different swim lesson options for her, as she is so fearless in the water. She will just jump into your arms in the water and tries to wriggle out while exclaiming, "me do it myself!!" Umm, no, don't think so my child. We'll be spending lots of time in the pool this summer with my mom's pool and our neighborhood one. I personally hate public pools, but I guess I will suck it up for the little one. If anyone has any good suggestions for swim lessons that won't force me to go broke, let me know!

Here are some cute pics from tonight's time soaking in the backyard...

Nothing like getting pelted in the face with cold water to make a little one happy

A thirsty girl

"Look at my hands!" That's Maggie's new favorite thing to say--"Look at ME!"..."Look at Mama!" "Look at BeeBee." If you heard just how cute the voice is, you would want to just eat her up.

My other baby--just far enough away to stay dry but just close enough to be with us. She loves for us all to be outside, but hates getting wet! Aren't Golden Retrievers supposed to be water dogs?? Not mine, that's for sure.

This is what summer is all about.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Le Cinquieme

If you haven't noticed, I caved. I'm twittering much to the eye rolling of my spouse. Maybe I'll figure out how to get the messages on my phone. Until now, I'm still not totally sure.

We're having a great weekend with lots of fun times with friends and family. Maggie has been swimming, playing with Luke, and playing with the godchildren too. We're all exhausted but happy.

OK, time for our fifth round of answers. I'm just dragging this out, aren't I?

From Domestic Engineer

Hey Jenny, couldn't resist. You give so much of yourself as a mother, wife, and in your career. If you could give yourself an entire day to induldge without care of cost or consequences, what would you do?

I like this clause--"without care of cost or consequences." I would love a big day of pampering. The works. At some place plush and fancy. Totally decadent with champagne and some fabulous meal in my robe. Sounds like heaven to me.

From Donna
I have often wondered what happened to the book that you were writing about Allie?

I considered writing a book. I tried to write a proposal to take to a book agent. I couldn't get past the first paragraph. Dana and I decided to write a book together. We met to create an outline and idea of what to do. We had a conference call with Tracey (before we had ever met in person and she was still a high school counselor in Rhode Island) to discuss. We procrastinated. We tried to write. And every time we did, we had nothing.

What we realized? We've already written our stories. I wrote and wrote. No, it wasn't a book that could be mass produced, but it is out there. I couldn't rewrite it any way. I couldn't find something that made me want to continue. People still tell me to write a book about Allie, but I don't know that I ever will.

From pipsylou...

What scares you most about having another child?

Gosh, so much scares me. When I first had Allie, I wasn't afraid about much. I knew there were things that could happen. I followed the basic guidelines (baby on the back, avoiding foods, etc), but I didn't stress about the details. Then she got sick and passed away. I was a nervous wreck during Maggie's pregnancy and even more afraid during Maggie's first year of life. Every time she gets sick, Andrew and I have a small panic.

You know, I've had two beautiful incredible little girls that have blessed my life. I am afraid of something else bad happening. I just don't think I could handle it.

What changes have you made in your life that are a direct result of Allie's death?

So much of my life has changed because of Allie. Obviously, the biggest was the career change. I would never have gone into the nonprofit sector had it not been for Allie. Many of my relationships have changed (as you read in Part four's answers).

For me, I look at life in two parts--my life before Allie and my life after her. They are so very different.

From HollyH...

1. what is your favorite color?


2. favorite flower?


3. do you think your faithful readers will be registering for the Heroes for Children 1K/5K as soon as online registration is ready?

Oh how I love that a member of my REGISTRATION committee for the 5K asked a question about registration! Love you, Holly, and totally loving that you are commenting here on the blog. I certainly hope that people register for the 5K. 5K is my favorite event of the year! I love the family friendly feel and the way we honor the families we serve. My favorite part of the event is our balloon release. We release two red heart mylar balloons to represent Taylor and Allie and yellow balloons representing the children we have served from one year to the next. I love this send off and look forward to it each year.

This year's event is especially significant for me. It's scheduled for Saturday, September 13th. The anniversary of Allie's death. As we call that "Allie Day" and try our best to do something fun with Maggie, this is so perfect for us. What a great way to honor Allie and have a great Allie Day.

Registration is open now! If you are in the Metroplex area, please join us for this great event in September!

From c...

Do you have any advice for a nurse entering the pediatric hematology/oncology field?

Never lose your compassion. Yes, you have to be guarded with your emotions as this is a tough field that can be emotionally draining. But always remember that these families need compassion. They need to feel like their child is a priority and not just another patient. They need to know that you are doing your best to make sure their child is well provided for.

Something that has stuck with me was the fact that they always told us that while Allie only had a less than 20% chance of survival, they were going to treat her like she was 110% to live. They said that while they were treatment protocols for cancer patients, she was still important. And that while it was not the first time they have ever treated a child with AML, it was the first time they had ever treated ALLIE. She wasn't a number, wasn't a statistic. She was a child, and they always remembered that. And as a parent, I can't thank them enough.

From Shannon...

Do you ever wish you had gone back to teaching? Will you ever return to your former passion?

There are times I miss it. I had dinner with two former students a little over a week ago and left a little sad. I loved teaching and loved being with the kids. But, I consider that a part of my life that is no longer the path I am following. I may return to teaching in some form, but I doubt it will be in the traditional classroom sense.

For now, I'm very content with my role and career with Heroes for Children. I love what I do for living and I wouldn't change it at all. This is where I am meant to be right now.

From Kelly...

What is your favorite place to shop for Miss Maggie?

I love to shop for Maggie! She is such a little cutie and everything looks great on her. Those curls, oh, melt my heart! I probably shop the most for her at Children's Place both for the price and the sizing. Their clothes run smaller so they seem to fit Maggie better. And their prices definitey fit in my budget!

What ways to you find to make special time for your faithful pooch Brandie?

I make time for Brandy every day. She is my little love and definitely my dog. What makes her happiest is if I get on the floor with her. She loves to curl up on the floor with me. She just wants a little extra love and attention, with a rub behind her ears. I'm happy to oblige. I just love that sweet dog!

From Carolein...

The other day was the first I saw of anything mentioned of Baby Searcy. When is Amy due? Does she know what she's having?

We're thrilled that Maggie is getting yet another Searcy cousin!! The baby was a happy surprise that we are anticipating the first week of November. Amie and Michael have never found out the sex of their children before their births. However, they are going to find out this time as big sister Isabella is requesting it. We should know soon!

Your favorite vacation ever?

Rome. 2002. Our first big vacation that we took the two of us. Our honeymoon was a trip to San Antonio (my father was dying and we were young and poor!). We had the best time that trip. I remember us darn near limping at the end of the trip since we walked that entire city. That is my all time favorite vacation with Andrew.

How you chose both of your daughters names and what names you like for any future children (believe me, not pressing on asking when the next one is coming....I get too much of that myself and my little guy is turning 3 in a couple of weeks!).

I answered the question about Maggie and Allie's name in Part I of this. As for future children--our boy name has been chosen since I was first pregnant with Allie. She would have been Drew. Maggie would have been Drew. If we ever have a boy, it will be Drew--Winfield Andrew Scott, IV. If we have another girl, my current top choice for a girl is Katy. Short for Katherine (as you know I like names that have both a long and short version).

Looks like Part Six is in our future!

I'm off to bed!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Million Dollar Celebration

Heroes for Children is celebrating a HUGE milestone this month!!

Read all about it here.

Thank you, Allie. I love you so much, my sweet girl. Thank you for blessing my life in a MILLION ways and more.

Visiting Big Sophie

> We were at the clinic today to deliver toys for cancer patients.
> While there, I had to make my usual visit to Big Sophie in the front
> playroom of the clinic. Old girl is still looking pretty good!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And it continues...

Can you handle more? More answers to more burning questions! Really, you're probably rolling your eyes at me right now. Buckle we go!

From Penny...

How where you able to handle some of the inappropriate/obsessive attention Allie got even when you where dealing with your loss. You always seemed so gracious.

This has to be one of my favorite questions asked during this Q&A. First, thank you for the compliment. I don't know if I've always been gracious, but I've certainly tried. When I started journaling about Allie's journey on the website, it was most certainly not for recognition. It started first and foremost so I could keep friends and family abreast of her treatment. Do you know how difficult it is to relay the same painful story over and over again throughout the day? I couldn't handle it and needed a way to dissiminate the information in an easier way.

And then, the story grew. It spread through the internet, propelled by BabyCenter as well as the Dallas Morning News and WFAA stories. It was overwhelming at times. It was inspiring at most. There were times where I realized that people really felt like they knew us from my writing.

Since May 2004, I've been spotted at some interesting places. We've had a few dinners interuppted, been stopped walking through the mall, greeted warmly at the grocery store, and even met someone in line waiting for Santa Claus. Do I mind? No. I've opened my life up in this way. There have been some overzealous people along the way, and there have been some downright rude and hurtful people. I've had to learn to deal with them. I remind myself that what I share here on this blog is still only a portion of me and my life. I remind myself that by allowing people in my life, I allow them the opportunity to say what they think. People aren't all going to like me or how I've handled things. There have been a few things that have crossed the line. When I had a woman comment in the guestbook a few weeks after Allie died that saying she beat her cancer was a "slap in the face" to all those that survived cancer, I was furious. That got to me. I couldn't help but crying when someone posted the ugly comment after Maggie was born that she was "ugly and I hope she dies a slow and painful death like your other daughter." While I realize that was some heartless person who found some fun in such a cruel comment, that one got to me. I immediately deleted it when I read it, but it has obviously left a lasting mark on me.

Some of the greatest people in my life have come into it because of Allie's story and my website. One of my favorite people and a Heroes for Children board member got involved because she opened the Dallas Morning News and read the story of a dying little girl who was six days younger than her own daughter. Not knowing me, she came to the candlelight vigil for Allie and even attended Allie's funeral. She went on to start Heroes and Handbags and because of her, our organization has grown exponentially. And how about my favorite sweet Office Manager? The best Office Manager Heroes for Children has EVER had! If it wasn't for my online journal (I don't know that I had even heard the term "blog" back then), Cheryl wouldn't be in my life. And my life wouldn't be the same without her, that's for sure.

And there are the friendships. The incredible friendships I didn't find before Allie. I had some. But not like I have now. I didn't have people like Dana, Larissa, Tracey, Jen, Amy. And my life is better because of them. These women are not just my friends, they are my family. They followed my site, they read of my pain, and they supported me. I strengthened other friendships. Bond between me and Deb? Will NEVER be broken. It is rare for me to go longer than two days without speaking to Larissa. We, of course, talk about HFC and what is going on, but we share so many details of our lives together. She is more than my co-worker and co-founder with Heroes for Children, she is my family.

I guess my answer is really that I have taken the good with the bad. But for all the bad there was, and there were the times for sure, there were so many more good times. And I don't regret what happened.

Do you ever go to Baby Center anymore?

I found it too painful. I just can't put myself out there in that way. I tried being a member when I was pregnant with Maggie, but kept finding myself feeling bitter, sad, or downright depressed when reading. That wasn't a healthy time for me during that pregnancy. I was not in the best state of mind, and remembering my sadness every time I logged onto BabyCenter didn't help. I still get the emails about the development of my child, but that's the most I do with BabyCenter.

From Kat...
Out of Obama, Clinton & McCain - who will you vote for and why?

Obama. I align myself most with his ideals.

From Lyndsay...

Another blog I read just did something like this:

What were you doing 20 years ago?

15 years ago?

10 years ago?

5 years ago?

last year?


What are your plans for tomorrow?

Next year?

5 years?

10 years?

15 years?

20 years?...

okay admittedly that's a lot of work... but it was interesting to read and made me think about my own plans, etc.

Phew!! Am I the only one tired just thinking about this all?? I would imagine that answer would be no.

OK, 20 years ago--I was living in California in the East Bay of Contra Costa County (Pacheco). I was ten years old. Most likely, I was traipsing back and forth between my house and my friend Amber's, who lived one street over. Since it's May, I would have already been begging to be spending my time in the pool. I lived in the pool in the summer, chlorine induced green hair and all.

15 years ago--Finishing freshman year of high school at Clark High School in Plano. I really don't remember many good things about that year. I still wasn't out of my ackward phase (wait, have I ever gotten out of that phase??).

10 years ago--I was about to be engaged! I just KNEW it! Of course, I thought I was going to be engaged at every nice dinner, every walk outside that felt right, and every quiet time together. Of course, I was 20 years old and slightly stupid, so you know. I was just finishing my sophmore/junior year of college (finished college in three years, so that was sophmore and junior year in one). I left for France that summer, and was engaged to my wonderful, handsome, awesome husband the day after I returned. That was a magical summer.

5 years ago--I had just found out I was pregnant with our first child! It was Mother's Day and I had fainted in the shower the day before. Deb and Angela both told me that I was probably pregnant. Knowing they just had to be wrong, I jokingly told Andrew about it as we walked through the grocery store (to get ready for a dinner for my mom that night). Sure enough, I was pregnant! Turned out I was more than eight weeks pregnant! And I was over the moon!

Last year--Getting ready for my brother's wedding! He was married Memorial Day last year.

Today--Well, silly, it's a Wednesday, so I was WORKING!! It was a good day. We had a great board meeting last night where we had final approval for our newest staff member to be joining us (two weeks from today!) and we spent time getting ready for that new milestone in our life at HFC. Larissa and I went with our Chairman of the Board, Allan Rayson, to have lunch with a very special woman today. It wasn't the first time we've met Linda Armstrong Kelly, Lance Armstrong's amazing mother. Let me tell you--that woman is a ball of fire. Her story is one of childhood abuse, teenage pregnancy, raising a tenacious wild child as a struggling single mom, and now dividing her time between advocacy, inspriational speaking, and enjoying life with her 8 grandchildren. I think I could have spent hours speaking with her. I enjoyed every minute.

Tomorrow--It's an easy day in the office. I have some pressing tasks of getting financial assistance requests done, paying for three payments that are emergency requests that must be handled via credit card (one utility payment, one car payment before the car is repossessed, and one payment for carpet cleaning so a transplant patient can return home on Friday after months of living in the hospital. He must come home to a clean home, so we have to pay for it by noon tomorrow). I have a finance meeting with our Business Manager, and we're all home tomorrow night. Maggie got an "Ariel Sprinkler" this week, and we've been having a blast running through the sprinkler together. I end up soaked, but giggling so much!

As for the rest--I really don't know. I hope that I will be working with one of the leading childhood cancer organizations in Texas. I want to see Heroes for Children continue to grow and benefit cancer families in the best capacity possible. I hope that I am still meeting my girlfriends for lunch to giggle and have Girls Night Out. I sincerely hope that I have happy, healthy, semi well adjusted children (child?? Jury is still out on that). I very much hope to be married to Andrew and continuing to enjoy his love, companionship, and wonderful friendship.

And one day in my lifetime, I hope to hear the amazing news that cancer has been cured.

From Kim S....

What is Maggie's first and middle name?

Margaret Elizabeth. And I love it! I love to say it, even when she isn't in trouble. I love when she says it too.

How did Maggie get her nickname Munchie?

We love nicknames. Andrew nicknamed Brandy "Mahoney" when she was first born. It's a joke because he kept insisting to name her that a la Police Academy (really just to annoy me). Though he doesn't call her that as much anymore, we still both refer to her as that every once in a while. The two of us, and only the two of us, called Allie "Pookie Bear." Well, that and Allie Cat, Kitty, Kitty Cat, and Snuggle Bug.

A common nickname for Maggie is Maggie Moo. Maggie's nickname in full is Munchie Moo. Munchie is simply short for Munchkin. Andrew called her a little munchie when she was first born, and it became Munchie Moo. We call her Munchie Moo, Munchie, Munch, Crunch and Munch, and even Crunchy (that's more Andrew though, not me). When talking about her, we refer to her as The Munch just as we used to call Allie The Girl. Just our terms of endearment.

When I was a little girl? I was Jenny Penny. Andrew was BoBo. I think he had it the worst if you ask me.

From 3menandalittlelady...

I know you went through some issues with God when he took Allie to live with him, but my question is "Where is your relationship with God right now and where do you see it going within the next several years and why?"

This is a difficult question for me. I prefer not to discuss religion with people and squirm about it. Always have. My current relationship would be nonexistant. I would rather not go into the many reasons why, but I have my reasons. I'm not angry with God, I can tell you that. I'm not angry with any one or anything about this situation. I've found my own peace with it.

Time to close for the night...

OK, so no wonder why we're on part four of these answers--I take a really long time to respond to one question. I have several friends that want me to try out the new blogging concept, Twitter. You can only use 250 characters on Twitter. I obviously struggle at that. Both in writing and most definitely in speaking. 250 words or less for me? I wouldn't know how to function.

I'm going to close tonight because I've had a raging headache off and on all day and it has returned once again. I'm happy tonight since David Cook took home the American Idol title and I got to have a nice dinner with Maggie, my mom, and my grandma (love when its the four generations all together!). Getting ready for the three day weekend. Mom is taking the Munch Saturday night. We're most excited about going to see Indiana Jones on Sunday morning before picking up (obviously I'm not going to church, so Sunday mornings are my favorite time to do activities such as this!).

Are you sick of my answers yet? I have to admit--I'm having fun with this!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Answers Part III

I'm not good at witty titles. Not going to attempt. You get the point of this entry--it's time for the third installment of our little Q&A. Who knew that a blog about french fries would yield so many comments! I love seeing you all respond. You know, as blog writers, we love when we get comments. Beth did a post that explains it best. I know you're reading, Mom, you can comment too!

Now on to the answers....

From my dear friend Amy who is currently chilling on the beach with the Franklin clan

I'm clearing your schedule for one whole week (don't you roll your eyes at me, missy) and giving you a roundtrip ticket good for anywhere in the world.

No eye rolling at all. Deep sigh in fact. Tuscany. For sure. Maybe a trip to the Italian coast, but I want a villa in Tuscany. Andrew and I spent a day in Florence on our cruise after Allie passed away. It wasn't enough time. I could have spent a month!

One of the many things I adore about you is that, like me, you don't cook. At all. So: what's your favorite meal? Where do you go to get it? What one food will you not eat, no matter how it's served?

Let's start with that one food. Peas. Don't eat them. Don't like them. Don't want to try them anymore. Yuck.

My favorite meal? Gosh, I'm not really sure. I'm going to say good sushi. I'm not an adventurous sushi eater, mainly sticking to some basic sushi (tuna, yellowtail, salmon, etc) and rolls (Rainbow roll being my absolute favorite). My favorite treat? Me and Larissa at Bluefish devouring an Ahi Tuna Tower.

What's your music genre of choice? Gimme your top three favorite songs right now. (I'm sorry; Wiggles tunes are unacceptable.)

I tend to stick to the local Mix station.

What's your favorite laugh-till-your-stomach-hurts movie? Got a favorite tearjerker? How about a swoonworthy romance? Let's hear it!

Laugh--Best Dog in Show

Tearjerker--Terms of Endearment

Swoonworthy romance--Sense and Sensibility (you knew it, didn't you, Deb?)

From Devan...

How is the diet coming along?

I have a problem. A serious food problem. And I'm failing at a diet. Yet again. I've gained a good portion of the weight back. Feeling obese yet again.

You know, as I'm typing, I'm slowing down on the answering here. I think it has to do with watching a movie and trying to answer emails all at the same time. I think I'll call it a night and go to part four another day.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What Movie Can I Watch Over and Over??

Love Actually. And precisely for this very reason.

How can you possibly be in a funk when you watch this?

Add to it this clip, and I'm forever in love with this movie.

Curled up on the couch and watching. Any time I need a movie, this is what I go for. Making the movie even better? This fun part. Andrew's favorite is when she points at the little boy with him beaming and then turns her attention ("and you, and you") to the rest of the audience. The look on his face is priceless.

Freedom Fries

Andrew and I got to talking in the car this afternoon. You know, about our favorite french fries. Our top list of delicious fries:

  1. Wing Stop. Seriously. Our favorite. Have you tried this parmesan flavored, fresh cut, awesome things? No? Well, you're seriously missing out.
  2. Houston's. Add to the that a plate of their fork n' knife ribs and I am one extremely happy woman.
  3. McDonald's. Must be properly salted and fresh. Must be fresh. My favorite? The little crispy ones.
  4. Chick-Fil-A. Two words--waffle fries.

Now here's our problem. In making our top five list of french fries, we got stumped at number 5. Wendy's, Burger King, and Jack in the Box are not going to make the list. So, what's your favorite place for french fries? Enlighten me.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Part Deux

I'm enjoying answering these great questions. My mom told me she wanted to submit the question, "what about your mother totally drives you crazy?" What a silly woman. Answering these tonight took longer than I thought it would. I started this like two hours ago. It's quiet in my house. Andrew is hanging out with the guys with our friend Allan's annual poker game. Just got a call that he and Kenny, Larissa's husband, were the big winners of the night. They're so proud of themselves that they're now on their way to the sports bar across the street from our neighborhood. Maggie was grumpy tonight, so we snuggled up and watched the "Pig Moonie," Charlotte's Web.

From my friend Candice...

I'd like to know what you would be doing if you didn't have to work as a teacher or do HFC, AND you had an unlimited amount of money.I would travel the world and donate tiome and money to various causes.what would you do?

I know one thing--I would be working in some capacity. I am a workaholic, and the idea of not doing something, whether paid or volunteer, is a bit foreign to me. If I had unlimited resources? Travel would be top on my list. Andrew and I love to travel and enjoy seeing new places. Always more fun when you have more funds!

From MyDogTeaser...

Describe a typical day in your house.

Andrew is the first up and moving in the morning. Usually its his allergies that wake him early--either they are bothering him and he can't sleep, or he is getting up early to get to the doctor's office to get his shots before work. He's Mister Low Maintenance when it comes to getting ready. It's a shower, get dressed, and run some mousse in his hair. He's good about tiptoeing in our bedroom, often leaving before I get out of the bed. He has to make his side of the bed before leaving. He hates when the dog crawls up in his spot when the bed isn't made because he doesnt want dog hair on his sheets. And trust me, if Brandy has the ability to curl up in Andrew's spot, she takes it. She loves to sleep with me in the bed, but only when she can have his pillow.

I set my alarm to 7:15. Whether I actually wake up to that or Maggie depends on the morning. We have our mornings together. It's milk, applesauce and Wiggles. In that order. She wants me to feed her the applesauce as we snuggle together on the couch.

It depends on Maggie what we do about showering. Most days, she opts to stay out in the living room watching dancing Australians. Couple times a week, she chooses to either take a "regular bath" (no bubbles) or get in the shower with me. This is actually the easiest thing because then I don't have to chase her to get her dressed. If she showers with me, I get her out, wrap her in a towel, and take her straight to getting dressed. It also helps because with her curly hair is easiest to tame when soaking wet!

Maggie and I do the struggle to get out the door by 8:30 or 8:45. Whether or not we do this well all depends on whether we fight over the shoes she is wearing. She likes to have a "nack" in the car, usually a baggie of Club crackers. She helps me feed the dog before we out the door. If I walk directly to the car, she doesn't like it. I have to first "jump" off the small ledge from the back door and garage floor (think--one inch lip of cement or so). She jumps first, exclaiming, "I Jump!!" and then turns and waits for me to do the same.

She usually cries and hugs my leg during drop off at school. And when I close the door and look in the window? She's happily playing with her friends. Drop off is typically at 9:15am. I'm at the office between 9:30--9:45am. Unless it is a work lunch, I don't take a lunch hour. If I am coming in later to be with Maggie in the morning, I don't feel comfortable taking a lunch. But when I do, like this Wednesday with all the girls, it was quite the treat.

My day is never the same. I'm in the office, out of the office, in meetings, making presentations, and in front of the computer. You just never know! At least once a week, I have an evening meeting. If the meeting begins at 6:30 or 7, Andrew and Maggie try to bring me dinner and hang out until it begins. If it starts earlier, I dine alone or have dinner during the meeting.

When I don't have an evening meeting, I pick up Maggie from her preschool. Andrew and I have an agreement that she isn't there past 5:30 (though the school is open until 6:30). So, at 5:10pm, he calls me to make sure I'm on my way to get her. Most days, I answer the phone without a hello and say, "I'm on my way to get the Munch!" If I am running behind or caught up at work, he gets her. He actually works closer to her school than I do, so it works out well for us. Maggie gives the BEST greetings every evening. I like to sneak into the classroom when she isn't looking. It's so interesting to see her interacting with her friends and playing in the classroom. When she finally notices me, she will drop everything and run to my arms. Heaven. Nothing better.

Our evenings are pretty easy. Maggie used to go to bed at nine. That was before this week. You know, when she still took naps. But given the fact that my two year old has not taken a nap since last Friday (even with dedicated nap time for TWO HOURS at school with the room all dark and all the friends sleeping). This week, bedtime has been at eight. I'm bummed about it, to be honest. Two reasons--1) she has been a complete SNOT in the evening, melting at the littliest thing. 2) I'm losing an hour of time with her every night. We miss that time with her.

Once Maggie is asleep, it's back to work for me most days. Because I go in late in the mornings, I work again in the evenings. I take the time to work on emails and catch up on other things I need to get done. There are distractions, though, so I often work until close to midnight. Andrew and I like to have time together every evening catching up together. Thursday night is big TV night, so we make sure to watch together. The time we gained from skipping commericals with the DVR, we make up in pausing for conversations and our own commentary of what we are watching. I can't completely focus when the Posse starts firing emails off back and forth. In one evening, we can have fifty emails back and forth on just one topic! That's what happens when six outspoken, opionated, and extremely close friends get started on email!

I'm in bed after midnight most nights. And then we're back up to do it all over again the next day.

From Susie...

What's your all-time favorite Allie and/or Maggie story to tell?

I love to tell funny Maggie stories! Right now, it's about what she does after we put her to bed. She makes me laugh. Every night, we read her stories, kiss her, and close her door for her to go to bed. Seriously don't know how the child fits on her bed given that she has so much stuff all over it! Once alone, Maggie gets up and gets herself dressed properly for bed. You know because jammies are just not enough. Yesterday, I went in to get her in the morning to find her in her jammies with her Ariel costume over her pjs and her white flower sandals. She was so proud of herself. I also love to tell the funny things she says, like Wednesday morning when she told me that Baby Nash (Megan's new son and her current fav baby doll--sorry Deb!) is a boy, Baby Ella is a girl, and Baby Beck is a MAN!!

My favorite Allie story has to do with her eyes. Specifically, how through most of the things she endured, those eyes sparkled. How you could look at her and have peace. She had a way of comforting ME when she looked at me. She was an old soul. And I could get lost in those beautiful baby blues. That was how I knew she was really dying. Her eyes no longer sparkled. I miss them every day.

My favorite story to tell about my girls when they were first born--

When Allie was a newborn, the nurse from the nursery returned her with a sad sigh. "Oh, she's so sweet, we don't want to give her up!!" she exclaimed. "If you want some rest, you just call, we want her back in the nursery!" Allie was the calmest baby. She was content to lay in your arms for hours. She was my snuggle bug.

When Maggie was born, they brought her back from her newborn bath and assessments saying, "Well, she just woke every baby in the nursery up from the screaming. Enjoy!!" and they hightailed it out of the room. Maggie came out with attitude!! And while she is so sweet and funny, the child has an attitude for sure. And she never sits still! My mom calls her "Baby on the Go." Unless Maggie is passed out, she is moving. Going. Doing something. That's my Munchie Moo.

From Kcoe...

Who is your all-time favorite Big Brother contestant?

Love this question! Janelle. She should have won. Both times.

From Amanda...

What's your favorite guilty pleasure?

Chocolate. Too much of it!

What trait do you value most in your friends?

Honesty. You know, the kind of friend that will shop with you and tell you if the outfit really doesnt look right. The one you can call and ask, "Am I justified in being upset with this?" The one that won't tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear, but do it in a way that is still loving.

You say you can't cook. Any good stories to share when you actually did try?

I don't have any disastrous stories to share. When I try to cook, Andrew starts making his way in the kitchen. He sees the look of confusion on my face and tends to take over before it gets out of hand.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Let's start with the baby question, shall we?

Part I of the Answers. Comments are still open right now for more questions.

So, let's start with that burning question....asked by quite a few

When are you going to have another baby?

Not any time soon. Andrew and I are both clear on this. We will not consider another pregnancy until at least next summer. We have our tenth anniversary trip next summer. Alaskan cruise baby! I don't want to be pregnant or have a newborn before that trip. Not totally sure that we will have another. We talk about it, but we just aren't sure.

From the Nanny...

How did you pick Allie and Maggie's names?

I love formal, traditional names. I wanted names that could be found on a cute license plate or cup. One that wasn't too funky. I love being both Jennifer and Jenny, and liked the idea of a longer name with a cute shorter version for my children.

For Allie--Andrew was the difficult one with picking out her name! He didn't like any names. We had agreed on a middle name to be Leigh, in memory of my father, Jerry Lee, but we couldn't agree on a first name. We were traveling in France with students while I was pregnant. One night at dinner, the moms on the trip were throwing out name after name. He didn't like this one. He didn't like that one. Then, our tour guide said that her niece was Allison and they called her Allie. He lit up. We knew instantly. That was her name.

Maggie's name was my choice. She is named after two special little girls in our life (who are now both teenagers!!). Her name is a combination of Margaret Lillian and Abigail Elizabeth--hence you get Margaret Elizabeth. Even before I got pregnat with her, I knew this would be the name of my next daughter.

From More than a Minivan Mom...

Where do you see your life in 10 years?

If there is one thing I've learned in my life, it's that I just can't predict this type of answer. The best I can hope is that I will be happy. I hope that I will be healthy and happy with my family. Endless possibilities, right?

From Beth....

If you were unable to work with HFC or be a teacher...what would you choose for a profession?

I really had to think about this one. I wanted to be a teacher from as long as I can remember. But, something I would love the chance to do (even if just as a hobby) is be a storyteller. I love to tell stories to groups. I especially love to read children's books. I get so into the characters and doing voices for each. I get pretty animated and I love doing it. I would love to sit with a roomful of children and read stories, voices and all.

Capris or shorts?

As one who continuously has weight to lose, I will always answer CAPRIS.

What are your five favorite blogs?

Best blog I read--More Than a Minivan Mom

Wittiest writer--Franklin Five

When I want to know what's going on in Dallas--Park Cities People

A great Sunday read--Post Secret

Newest blog enjoyment--I Should Be Folding Laundry

What's your favorite song?

Crush, Dave Matthews Band

From The Thrifty Toddler and several others asking the same....

Maybe this isn't the right place for it but since you're asking...I'd love to hear how cousin Izzy and family are doing (I remember reading about them when Allie was sick). I'd also love an update on Sam and they other sweet boy who was in the hospital with Allie. I forgot his name (it's on the tip of my tongue!! E maybe?) but it was kind of unusual and he used to have a website too. :)

OK, so who to start with? Let's go with the family first. Amie, Micheal, Izzy, and Max are doing great! Isabella, Amie, and Frances are actually on vacation right. Maggie loves her cousins and just loves every second to be around them. Amie is expecting baby number three in the fall! We couldn't be more excited for them. Maggie and I are planning another trip to to Norman to be with them when Micheal is out of town. We'll have a great time! Maggie and Max are only two months apart and they play so well. And with older cousin Izzy to set the example, she's in play Heaven! She just giggles and giggles whenever they are around.

Mr. Sam Eisenberg--Sam, Ethan, Dana, and Dennis are going GREAT!! The boys are finishing first grade. They are thriving and doing fantastic. Dana and I get together at least once a month or so for lunch. She is doing really well. She is starting on new adventures in her life and finding tremendous happiness in her family. I haven't actually seen the boys in months. That's really because Dana and I typically get together for lunch or for Heroes for Children activities. But, trust me--the whole crazy Eisenberg bunch is fantastic!

Fieldon! His name is Fieldon, sister is Emmaday. I'm sad to tell you that I don't know how they are doing. Annie and I have havent spoken in quite some time. I can't give you a specific reason. We never had a disagreement. It was really just distance, life, and difference of personalities I guess. I still adore that family and we correspond at the holidays. I think it has been over a year since I've seen them. Fieldon is four now, meaning Emmaday is six, I think? The picture I got of them at Christmas blew me away. He is such a little man!

From Emily...

If you could only hear one song again for the rest of your life,(as many times as you want) which song would you choose?

Anything by Dave Matthews!

From Skinny Again...

Favorite TV show? Greys?

Love Greys, I do, but not my favorite. My all time favorite is The Sopranos. Still miss it. Still enjoy watching it on DVD (as we have all the seasons).

How do you motivate yourself to do something you really don't want to do?

I can't profess that I do this well. However, I do think it is about a little self talking. I might have to talk myself into whatever it is I need to do. And if that doesn't work? I suck it up, do whatever it is, a whine just a little (if Andrew is reading this he is shaking his head and saying that I whine more than "just a little")

Where did you meet your husband?

I honestly can't remember which came first. I can think of two first times we met. One was at my high school play in September 1995. We had a mutual friend that went to my high school (we went to rival schools in Plano) and dated Andrew's best friend John in our junior year. She and I were in a play together for our theatre class, Theatre Major Studies. Andrew came backstage after the play to talk to our mutual friend and we all stood in a group and talked. The other time was about a week before or a week later (I honestly can't remember) when I went with that friend to a coffee shop to hear a boy I was infatuated with sing at the coffee shop. Turned out I was one of four or five girls he was dating, so that obviously didn't last. Andrew and his friends were there too.

We went on our first date the first week of October 1995. We've never broken up. We've been together ever since.

What is your favorite thing to do on a lazy weekend day?

I love lazy Sundays! One of us will sleep in and then we hang on the couch and do nothing. It's really nice when Munchie is at my mom's! If I have the chance, I will always opt for a nap! But only if I can get a minimum of two months worth of solid quality napping. Otherwise, just not worth it to me.

Favorite Texas vacation spot?

Lake LBJ outside of Austin.

Chore you despise doing?

Vaccuuming. Good thing we have almost all wood floors now.

Chore you don't mind at all? Is there one?

Domestic I am not. Hmm....paying the housekeeper?

No, really, I think I would say cleaning the kitchen sink. Weird, huh?

Wow! That was a lot of questions! I think I am barely into them too. More to come tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dare I Ask?

I've been struggling with blog topics, as I have in the past. I've been in a bit of a funk the past few days. Nothing major, nothing dramatic. Just a funk.

So, I'm going to be adventurous and follow in the footsteps of some pretty daring bloggers. Beth and Tracey both tried it. They asked their readers to comment. To ask the burning questions they wanted to know about them.

Let's give it a try, shall we? I invite you to ask a question of me. I will then turn your questions into a blog post. Let's see how this goes.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Toddler Talk

Maggie: "Mama, I want the Other One Aggarella Moonie, OK?"

Did you get that? Any guess what the heck the kid is talking about

Why, that would be Cinderella 2, of course--"the other one Cinderella Movie!" Don't you love how they speak at this age? Of course, we are the only ones that understand things like this (I won't even attempt to spell out how she says Sleeping Beauty, but my mom thinks it sounds more like Mitisubishi!).

Love having a talking toddler with a growing vocabulary. Yesterday, I hugged Andrew and she yelled, "Get off of him, Mama, that's MY dada!" Nice!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

New Update to an Old Favorite

After almost four years of wear every single day, my gorgeous necklace with Allie's picture was getting a bit worn looking. The picture was greening just a bit. Picking up on my many hints, Andrew decided to make this Mother's Day extra special with a brand new necklace! It's two-sided, with my two beautiful girls on either side. I love it! The charm is even bigger too.

You know what I love most about these pictures? The way you are drawn to the eyes on each girl. I love those eyes. Fell in love with them 13 years ago on their father, and I'm captivated by them on all three of my sweet loved ones.

Happy Mother's Day to all the loving mothers I know. Hope you have a good day enjoying those wonderful people in your life. For me, I'm headed to the Children's Museum with Andrew and Maggie for our special day of fun. And I'm going to debut my new necklace, worn with pride and most importantly, love.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Running for Research

In 2008, Frances Broussard is running 12 half marathons. One a month. My initial reaction, given my feelings about running, is why in the heck would anyone want to do such a crazy thing?!? Of course, knowing Frances as I do, I know this is perfect for her. She loves to run. Keeps her in great shape. And for the second year in a row, provides her with a purpose. You see, one of her 1/2 marathons has a special significance. In October, joined with thousands of women in San Francisco, Frances will hit the pavement for the Nike Women's Marathon. She has a fundraising goal through Team in Training to raise $3,900 to help fund life saving research for leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.

Of course, as Allie's proud Nana, she does it in the name of her granddaughter. In memory of her sweet grandbaby, she serves on the Board of Directors of the North Texas chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and participates in Team in Training, joining her love for running with her passion and desire to see this horrible disease cured. If you can, please visit Frances' fundraising page. Even the smallest donation makes a difference!

I will link her fundraising page to this website until her race in October. If you are able to help, we truly appreciate it. If nothing else, please post her a comment here to give her some words of encouragement!

Frances--thank you for doing this for Allie and Joe. You are such a special person. I am so very grateful for you and your love for my family. I can easily say that I have the BEST mother-in-law possible! You support us so much and never push in any way. We love you so much. Allie, Maggie, Max, Izzy, and soon to be baby Searcy are so very blessed to have you as their Nana!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sea World Pics

We had such a great time with our little Munchie this weekend. Camp Discovery brings me for a camp planning meeting the first Saturday of every May. For the second year, we have taken that as the perfect opportunity to have a family trip to Sea World. This year, my mom joined us for a terrific weekend of fun, laughter, and tremendous love. We had a total blast! Well, I'll let the pictures tell the story....
In the car. Not sure what she was more excited about--Sea World or riding in the car next to her GaGa!

Dolphins! Very much worth the $10 and twenty minute wait to buy them a little tray of fish and watch Maggie squeal when feeding them

Maggie loved the water! She was very apprehensive though and kept running away from it
Getting a lot more brave!

Soaked! Ignore the woman on the left with the double chins. Just look at the cute baby

Crashed after the first day. She was so exhausted that she fell asleep with her ice cream sandwich in her hand!

"Hey mom--do you want to try this water ride? I bet we won't get that wet!" "Oh shit, we're soaked!!"

Maggie and Daddy waiting for Shamu. My beautiful family!

Cheesing it up for the camera

Loving on Shamu "Shamnu"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Shamu loving

Shamu is the "daddy" and the pink poodle is the "mommy" and they're

Time to head home to Dallas!

Ready to do it all over again today

Sea Workd here we come!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Honey Doll

Note the bitten off fingers and stitched arms. My most prized
possession from my childhood! Andrew says she is pretty scary. I think
she's great! Maybe a little freaky looking