• ~Psalm 46:4-5~

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My Bags are Packed …

I’ll be heading to Chicago in a few days. There’s this little shindig there, called BlogHer. You might have heard of it. Part of me is ecstatic, but that part of me is being held hostage by the part that’s terrified. I’ve pretty much convinced myself that after this trip I will NEVER, EVER again leave my baby girl’s side. She’d better enjoy this break from me, because for the next sixteen years, I plan to be stuck to her like a bump on a log. (We can even wear matching dresses to the prom!) This trip will be a milestone for us. I’ve never been away from her for so long before. FIVE whole days.

She’ll be staying with Nana and Poppy. I know that my parents will spoil her rotten and that she’ll have a blast. She’ll get to stay up late and eat M&M’s. That part is okay. I love the fact that she has adoring grandparents.

I’m just afraid of all of the “what ifs.” Those tiny worries start to add up when you plan a trip six months in advance. I have a slew of them stashed in the back corners of my brain. What if she chokes on an M&M? What if her cold turns into something serious with a fever of 104F? What if she throws tantrums in public when Mom goes to the store? It’s been really difficult to push those worries aside so that I can trust God to take care of her. In the deepest core of me, I feel that I am solely responsible for her safety.

I know that it’s a ludicrous thought. I know things could go wrong under my watch just like anybody else’s. But like Nemo’s dad, I feel the need to promise that “nothing will ever happen to [her].” I feel the need to be humming in the next room or sitting in the chair beside hers at the table. I feel the need to be close.

I’ve talked myself out of going to this conference about a hundred times. And each time I come back full circle. Hubster often reminds me that I deserve this trip. There are lots of reasons to go. It will be good for everyone involved. Staying home would be selfish and wasteful.

So I’m going to go. I’ll be live-blogging from the mommy-blogger sessions. I’ll be passing out blog cards, meeting friends in real life for the first time and sticking my foot in my mouth. I can’t wait for the photo walk and some of the geek-out sessions. There are souvenirs to purchase and swag bags to haul back up to our room. It’s going to be fun.

But I think my favorite part will be coming back home. My bags are already packed.

Dressing Up is Fun to Do

It’s seven days season again! So that means I’ll try to get a self-portrait posted every day for the next week. This evening, Bridoodle and I hung out on the front porch with a tiara. She loves to play dress up right now.

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On a related note, here’s a picture of Bri wobbling around in my high heels. She loves to pull them out and stomp around the house in them. She sounds like a herd of elephants. If I try to take them away, she’ll hug them to her chest while squealing, “Mine!”

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Princess Bri

We were folding laundry. Despite being under the weather this weekend, Bri and I have managed to get quite a bit of housecleaning done. Hubster even helped out with vacuuming and the dishes when he got home from work. As I was folding the clothes Bri was testing them to see if they were “Hot.” And I came across one of the dresses we bought on Memorial Day weekend.

scooting down stairs

Bridoodle wore this dress to church with her cousins last Sunday. (Today we stayed home because our drippy noses and hacking coughs would raise eyebrows.) These pictures just don’t do justice to the cuteness of this dress. I had to *wince* use the flash on my camera for these shots. It was too dark to go without the flash like I usually do. And I really hated to miss this moment between baby cousins.

baby cousins

Anyway, I went to hang up the dress and as I was putting it away, I stumbled across a purple princess dress that Mimi bought for Bri a couple of months ago. She’s never going to get a chance to wear it before she outgrows it, I thought mournfully as I passed over it. I pulled the dress out at and looked at the satin roses and crinoline. Bri leaned around my legs and pointed up at the purple chiffon, “Pretty!”

dressing up

So I did what any good mother would do. I let her play dress up. Forget the laundry! We grabbed the camera and she had fun posing and playing in the glowing morning sun.

playful pose

Then she decided that she wanted to ride the pony. So I staged a few shots with our resident rocking horse as well.

gleeful ride

her royal highness

But don’t let those sweet smiles fool you. There were plenty of royal temper tantrums mixed in with our dress up game. She played her part very well. Maybe she’s destined to be a real princess. (Or maybe she’s just really spoiled!)

pouty princess

“Spoiled? Me? Why you wouldn’t believe that, would you sweet intahnets?” says Bri. “I not spoyed.”

pure innocence

Look out world! She’s irresistable.

My High Energy Girl

running from Mama

Bridoodle’s been full of energy lately. We went shopping this afternoon and she ran away from me at least five times in the store. Thankfully, my awesome sister-in-law held onto my purse while I chased my sprinter from one end of the store to the other. I was seriously sweaty by the time we left!

smiley

In all the commotion, we did manage to find two adorable dresses at extremely great prices. So on the way back to Mimi and Gampa’s house, I decided to let Bri run off some steam in a nearby field in her brand new dress. She’s a running machine, I tell you what!

full tilt

Works For Me Wednesday – Paint Swatch Entertainment

Our little prodigy knows all (and I do mean ALL) of the Sesame Street characters. Of course you do have to speak toddlerese to understand her. She recognizes Uwnie, Buwht, Showy, Scarscar, Grobuh, Kiki, BidBurd and Elmo when we hold her diapers up like flashcards. Elmo is on the back of all of them and then various cast members grace the front. (Ten points if you know what brand of diaper we use! Twenty points if you can translate that list!)

While we are quite enamored with her insane memory regarding these cute furry monsters, we’re also hoping that she’ll learn more, umm, useful information too. You know like the colors and the shapes that they love to go on and on and on about on Sesame Street.

elmo and zoe

(Just for honesty’s sake, I must admit that she loves to sing the alphabet song and can make it pretty far on her own. Yesterday she got as far as dubba-u. And I know she’s not even two yet, so it’s okay if she majors in Sesame Street sociology right now.)

So on a trip to the local Wam-Lart today, I decided to keep her entertained and practice her color memorization at the same time. The girl needs to learn some colors! Our first stop was the paint section. There I picked out the standards – red, yellow, blue, purple, orange and green from the free paint swatches. Then I let her hold the swatches as we roamed around the store, and I prompted her to say each color. She loved it! And I loved the price. (Those Elmo stickers start to add up after a few trips.)

Meemaw in the mirror

The original version of this fabulous idea came from my Meemaw. She told me that my cousins like to get the Mickety Mouse swatches from nearby home improvement stores. They use the swatches to play memory games or to make flash cards for their elementary school aged kids. Bridoodle’s not quite old enough for that, but I can’t wait to try it when she grows up a little bit.

Today paint swatches worked for me when I needed a tool for teaching colors. What works for you?

Find more fabulous tips visit Works For Me Wednesday hosted by We Are THAT Family.

WFMW

The Best Mother’s Day Present Ever

bri likes burritos

Saturday evening, after I arrived home from the wedding dress shopping extravaganza, Hubs and I started celebrating Mother’s Day. I really milked the weekend for all it was worth. On my way home I stopped by Best Buy to pick out my present. I asked for a new external hard drive for this holiday. I know, right? I’m such a nerd! Hubs grilled me a big fat steak Saturday night and we sat talking together late into the night after Bri went to bed. I reminisced back to the days when Bri was a newborn. Hubs pondered deep theological questions. We stayed up really late, just talking. I love it when that happens.

silly bite face

On Sunday, we slept in until 7am. Then Hubs made pancakes for me and Bri. He gave me salmon colored roses and the promise of a pedicure. Then we all got ready for church. We arrived in the parking lot five minutes early and I exclaimed that we would actually be on time for a change! Hubs laughed and said, “We’re not on time until we walk into the sanctuary.” Sure enough, the nursery worker for Bri’s class didn’t show up, so we ended up waiting around for fifteen minutes before everything was sorted out. We walked into the service as the offering plates were being passed. Awkward!

gimme more burrito

I started to feel woozy during church, so we went home early. After a nice long nap, I felt great again.

Then I watched Hubs clean the house while I played on the computer. (Alright, I may have helped a little bitty bit.) There’s nothing better than having a clean house that you (mostly) didn’t have to clean. Sigh.

The best part of the day was Bridoodle’s present to me. She said, “I luh you!” for the first time. It was so precious! Hubs and I both melted into puddles of butter on the floor. We’ve been trying to coax her into saying “I love you” for the past few weeks. Usually she replies with “No!” So this was a big improvement.

slurping my soda

For dinner, I wanted to go to Moe’s. I figured it wouldn’t be too crowded. So I ordered a Moo Moo Mr. Cow for me and Bri, while Hubs got a Cosocostan. And we all shared some queso dip and the chocolate chip cookie!

pretending to be gross

Hubs and I practiced making silly faces for the camera. We want to be really good at embarrassing Bri when she’s a teenager. We are dedicated parents!

last bite

And that was my Mother’s day weekend. It was fabulous! I can’t wait to go get my pedicure and fill up my external hard drive with lots of pictures.

Bridoodle Discovers the Internet

My darling girl has a Sesame Street obsession. She’s not yet two, and she already knows the main characters by name. Her favorite furry little monster goes by Elmo. And there are usually about five exclamation points trailing his name. She gets very excited about him. We’ve been checking out Sesame Street DVD’s from the library and we’ve even purchased a few. (Yes, we live in the stone ages. No such thing as TiVo in this house!) At the end of the movies, there’s always a spot for SesameStreet.com and tonight I though I would explore it with Bri.

skeptical Bri

She wasn’t so sure about this idea at first. But as soon as she saw her friend Elmo, she was all smiles. I made the mistake of pulling out the computer while she was still eating. Ooops! She didn’t touch her food again. Her eyes were glued to the computer screen from then on!

gleeful girl

She sat still, mesmerized by Elmo and his friends, while I grabbed the camera to document it. Occasionally she would look at me in amazement and then point to the screen before shouting, “ELMO!!!!!”

TV dinner

Eventually, she figured out where the controls were on the keyboard. She actually leaned forward and tried to stand up so that she could reach the computer. Crazy kid! I think she got tired of seeing the Count and wanted me to play more videos of the younger muppets. So I obliged her and found a section devoted to Elmo.

elmo and abby cadabby

There were several videos of Elmo with Abby Cadabby. She’s a pink fairy muppet and she loves words. I think she’s just as cute as a button. Bri however didn’t seem to care for her too much.

nail-biting suspense

She seemed a little worried that Elmo and Abby Cadabby might start holding hands. I think Bridoodle feels very loyal to Zoe. We have about five Sesame Street books that picture Zoe and Elmo together all the time. Only one shows a picture of Abby Cadabby and she’s ice skating all by herself. So when I found a video of Elmo and Zoe together, Bri got really excited again.

elmo and zoe

You can see her greasy finger prints on the keyboard. She wanted to get closer to Elmo and Zoe. (Note the missing arrow key. That’s why we don’t let her get close to the computer. She did that when she was six months old. Lesson learned.)

brand new internet addict

All in all, we had a blast playing on the internet together. I think this is the beginning of a whole new adventure. My baby’s growing up!

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