Thursday, December 27, 2007

Roll Over Beethoven!

Renae did end up giving us a Christmas present this year! On Christmas morning, Jesse and I were getting ready while Renae laid on her play mat. She has been able to roll to her side for quite awhile now, but as I was watching her that morning, she looked like she was going to roll even further and as I starred in amazement, she did it! Jesse caught the tail end of it, and saw her roll over later on that day. Tonight she has been rolling over like crazy so I think she has it down. However, I've quickly learned that my life has changed yet again. I was just writing an email while Renae was on her blanket in the living room. I left her in the middle of the blanket. After awhile I heard her fussing and when I went to check on her, she was facing the opposite direction, and was completely off of the blanket. I guess the days of leaving her on the bed and walking away for a few minutes is out of the question now. Wow! We have a somewhat mobile daughter!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!
Have fun celebrating our Saviors' humble entrance into our world!
For fun pictures of our trip to CR, click here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The One That Made Jesse Say, "Awwww . . ."

When Jesse returned to work after lunch, he let me know that Renae was sitting in our red chair in the living room and kind of fussy. I was finishing something up in the computer room. When I came out to feed her, this is how I found her:

And here is a video from last night. Renae has definitely found her voice and we are hearing it more and more!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Renae's Ramblings Part III

I had my first photo shoot today! I kept hearing Daddy complain to Mommy that he needed a picture of me to put up at the office-whatever that is. So I begged and begged Mom to make me perty and take some pictures of me. She said I did a great job posing. Sometimes I went for a serious look, and sometimes I tried to growl like a tier. But most times I just smiled. (Little does she know that I wasn't smiling because of her . . .) Sometimes I got distracted because I kept finding these skin colored things with 5 long fingers. Every once in awhile they flew in front of my face so I would play with them. Mommy is printing the pictures and then we are going to take them to Daddy so he can finally have pictures of his favorite little girl. Let me know which ones you like the best! And if you want a copy for yourself you have to pay 50$. Mom says it will help pay for my college tuition.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Our Little Angel . . .

We have never had an angel on the top of our tree but we finally got one this year. We think she is so pretty and really makes our tree stand out. The only bummer is we have to hold her there . . .

She's not always this angelic . .

But she is always this cute . . .

Our little Elfina . . .

(P.S. Can you tell our internet is working today? Yay! I finally was able to call someone and he walked me through how to fix it if it happened again. Yippee for tech-no-lo-geeeeeee!)


Yep. We Are Still Internetless. I Am Currently Typing And Viewing This Page On A 1 In X 1.5 In. Screen. At Least T9word Mode Makes The Typing A Little Faster. Anyway . . . Its Snowing Here Again And It Is So Pretty. Not Everyone Thinks So Because Of The Ice Mix That Has Fallen With The Beautiful Snow. Plus It Is Kind Of Nice Since This Year I Dont Have To Drive To Work In This Weather. I Still Enjoy Checking To See If My Old School Is Cancelled. I Dont Miss Waking Up To Tons Of Snow And Hoping We Were Cancelled Only To Find Out We Ere The Only District To Not Cancel. Well This Has Taken Of Quite Awhile To Type And I Must Move On With My Morning. Have A Great Day!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

We're Down Again . . .

It's official. Our internet connection IS a woman. Out internet hasn't been working since Saturday so we are stuck having to use our phones to check email, or go to my parents, or check it at work for Jesse. Having internet on your phones is great, but it's no fun trying to respond to emails using T9W to type your messages.

So, I do have some pictures to post, but of course they are at home on the computer sin el internet. I made Renae's stocking yesterday along with 3 batches of homemade chex mix. That stuff is SO good. Hopefully we'll figure out our internet soon and we will post pictures again.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

We Are Up and Running Again!

I've decided our Internet connection is of the female species. One day it is functioning fine, and the next it's completely unresponsive and I can't get anywhere. Fortunately, our Internet decided to work today so here I am catching up on emails, blogging and facebook. It feels good to reconnect. We had a fun week. Penni was here last weekend and we celebrated her 21st birthday-again. On Tuesday, Jesse received free tickets to an Iowa State basketball game. Then on Wednesday, we baby-sat for a family we are friends with and took their 3 kids plus Renae to Iowa State's beautiful campus. Every year they have things you can do on campus-decorating cookies, making crafts, drinking hot cocoa, sleigh rides, listening to carols, watching the big tree light up . . . I love it. So we braved the cold and bundled up all the kids. I don't really have any pictures of us there so you'll just have to imagine us in the moment. Today I have been cozy here at home because we've had freezing rain and snow all day. Jesse did have to go to work for awhile but because there weren't very many people shopping for cars, they drew straws and sent half the employees home. I was glad Jesse came home to hang out with Renae and I. Well, I'll leave you with a few pictures from our week. Have a great rest of your weekend and keep warm if you are having the same weather we are!

At the game where we enjoyed expensive popcorn and ice cream.

I TOLD you she has big feet!

Out to eat for Penni's birthday. We missed you Kevin!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Great Word Debate . . .

Those who know me well know that I like to be right. I read a book once about building your spouses self-esteem and it said that often times people who always have to be right usually never were in their childhood. So I blame my parents. :) Just kidding. Anyway, last week Jesse said something to me that has sparked quite the debate. I seem to be the only one who thinks this way (which probably means I AM wrong, but I can't admit it quite yet.) Here was our conversation:

Jesse: Most Iowans are Hawk fans.
Julie: That's not true!
Jesse: Yes it is.
Julie: Jesse, you can't say MOST Iowans are Hawkeye fans. I agree that MORE Iowans are Hawkeye fans because I'd say the state is split about 60% Hawks, and 40% Cyclones.
Jesse: Well that is still most because most means at least 51% or more.
Julie: MORE is more than 51% not MOST.

And thus began our debate . . .

So as we continued our debate later with these two men, we decided to look up the word MORE and MOST in the dictionary. I was not happy with our discovery. says:

more: Pronunciation[mawr, mohr]
–adjective, compar. of much or many with most as superl. greater quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number: I need more money.
2.additional or further: Do you need more time? More discussion seems pointless.

most: Pronunciation[mohst]
–adjective, superl. of much or many with more as compar. the greatest quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number: to win the most votes. the majority of instances: Most operations are successful.
3.greatest, as in size or extent: the most talent.

So according to the dictionary, Jesse is right about the meaning of the word most. However, in this Hawk/Cyclone context, would MOST people use the word MOST to describe the number of people who like the Hawks? What I'm wondering is what do YOU think of when you hear the word MOST? Before you make a decision, read the following excerpts."

1. "Most women go through pregnancy and childbirth without any complications. "What to Expect When You're Expecting." This could also be read:

Jesse definition: "At least 51% of women go through pregnancy and childbirth without any complications."

Julie definition: "At least 75% of women go through pregnancy and childbirth without any complications."

So about half of all women could possibly have complications? Wow-that is scary statistic.

2. "Most people need help before arrival and during their first six months in a new country."

Jesse definition: "At least 51% of people need help before arrival and during their first six months in a new country."

Julie definition: "At least 75% of of people need help before arrival and during their first six months in a new country."

I would be pretty amazed if about 50% of expats DON'T need any help.

3. "Most women own 19 pairs of shoes-some secretly." let's take a poll on this one. (Vote on the right.) I can believe that at least 75% of women have about 19 pairs of shoes. (At my last shoe count I believe I was at 30.)

So in conclusion, when you see the word MOST written down or spoken in a context similar to the ones above, what do you assume? Do you assume that the person is saying about 75% or more of a group of people (or things) are _________? OR, do you assume the person is saying at least 51% of a group of people are _________?

Please place your votes to the side because perhaps if we get MOST people to agree that the dictionary definition is incorrect, we can take it to Webster's himself (well the current CEO) and request a change. The dictionary isn't set in stone you know. Haven't you read the book "Frindle?"-ok, you probably haven't because it's a great teacher book and students in elementary school often have to read it for class.

To quote my brilliant sister-in-law (who is an editor to boot), "50-75 % = more, but 75-99% = most." I rest my case. Jesse said I should go to Drake University and get my law degree and then take him to court. Silly guy-everyone knows that MOST women would never take things that far . . .

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful that I finally realized my blog only allowed registered users to comment. Oops. I didn't know. So to celebrate my discovery, I changed it to 'anyone." Now even YOU can comment. Happy commenting!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Guess Who Got Flowers for no Reason at all?


Jesse brought these home for me last night. I love them and I love him more.

And a cute picture of Renae after her bath.

Monday, November 19, 2007

One Fun Weekend . . .

We had quite a busy weekend these past few days! We took part in a party, a murder and an early Thanksgiving Dinner. One of my favorite niece's had a birthday this weekend. She is such a cutie and I think she was way more interested in her toys than her cards . . .

Aunt Julie and one of her favorites

Birthday girl opening up a gift from one of her friends.

Saturday night our Connection Group (plus a few others) got together for a night of mystery. It was a western theme and we all came dressed as our assigned characters. Jesse was a smooth talking owner of a saloon, and I was his wife who loved being the center of attention. We easily played our parts . . so well in fact that we both got voted "Best Performance." Jesse also won the prize for "Best Dressed." I wanted to vote for one of the other girls because her dress was so cool, but decided I would vote for my husband who did look pretty authentic. He ended up winning-probably because he voted for himself. Lame.

Mingling and crime solving.

Don't worry-she didn't smoke it. She just held the prop. Then she promptly went to bed and slept the whole time. Thank goodness because Mom and Dad wanted to have fun!

A wealthy daughter from out east, and a Southern Belle

The Southern Belle and the Poker Champ Victim

Henrietta and Harry High-Stakes

Town Banker and Town Sheriff

The Murderer and the Outlaw

Sunday we had Thanksgiving Dinner for some international students. Our connection group made the food and we enjoyed the meal with new friends from around the world.
My first time making a turkey!

It's done! (an hour early . . .)

The carving man. Who ended up having one of our guests help him because he was struggling to cut the bird. I don't think I would have done much better.

Playing some charades.

A whole new world . . . We were flying so fast on the Aladdin carpet that the camera couldn't even catch us!
P.S Jesse's Chester A. Arthur beard was authentic. That man can grown a beard like no one's business. He just made it look even darker by rubbing in my mascara. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

1st post from cell phone

Hey We've Entered The Texting Age. This Taks 4ever

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lesson's From the Mommy Academy . . .

This past spring, I ended a 19 year relationship with public education. It was sad to leave but I was confident that my new position as Mom at the school of Child rearing would be very fulfilling. When I arrived at my new job, I was loaded with all of my supplies-parenting and baby books, my mother's instinct and a heart that was ready to be put to work. However, shortly after arriving I noticed that the administration seemed to be hiding. I was struggling at teaching my seemingly delinquent new student. A few weeks into the job, I also receive a pink slip of sorts and came to work the next day as a student at the newly renamed Mommy Academy. I was at least comforted that my fellow colleagues had also been pink slipped and they were seated in chairs next to me. I noticed that we all had the same kind of look to us. It was as if our facial expressions said, "How in the world do I do this?"

So for the benefit (and humor) of any readers, I've decided I would start taking notes and posting the lessons learned at the Mommy Academy on my blog. I have classes daily and when I have more "aha!" moments or just simply "that's a funny one we'll laugh about in 10 years" I'll be sure to post my findings here. I am in quite along program so I don't believe I will be graduating anytime soon. I'll let you know if I'm receiving a passing grade . . .

Lesson 1: Always keep a diaper on the Baby.
I learned this lesson last week after Renae had a quick bath. I needed to get ready and decided I would let her sit wrapped up in JESSE'S comfy big bath towel while I quickly got ready. I placed the purple burrito on our bed. In the midst of hair scrunching and applying blush, I heard a very unpleasant noise exit the body of Renae. When I went to pick her up, I discovered she had left a very dirty towel (JESSE'S towel) and I was in need of a sheet change.

Lesson 2: Always bring an extra outfit when out and about with Baby.
Two days in a row Renae has decided to have complete blow outs in public. In fact, at the Mexican restaurant, the owners wife thought Renae was just too cute and wanted to hold her and take her around to some of the other workers. We gladly let her and when I went to retrieve Renae, we discovered she had pooped through her pink tights. Eww. I did receive an A+ on this assignment because I had studied the wise counsel of Women of Old. I was prepared with a change of clothes and a fresh diaper. Today I was also prepared when the result of my Mexican food kicked into Renae's system. In fact I was prepared TWICE today. Gross.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Bueller? Bueller?

Anyone anyone? Is anyone there? I've been told by a few people that they are having trouble leaving comments on my site. If you are one of those peeps will you please email me so I can know if it's something I need to fix on my end, or if it's just a computer thing on their end. Or maybe you aren't a commenter like me. I tend to just stalk blogs. :) Thanks.

Also, my daughter is so talented. She is a-may-zeen. Today she was lying on the changing table after being fed, changed, given vitamins and boogers sucked. At the end of her changing table is a waste basket. She has had a slight cold so she's been sneezing quite a bit. I saw a sneeze coming and backed up so I didn't get slobbered on once again. As I watched her cute little sneeze, I saw something come flying out of her mouth, arch into a perfect rainbow shape, sail over the entire length of the changing table and land precisely in the waste basket. What talent! She took out the step of me wiping her nose with a kleenex. Had I used a kleenex, I would have contributed to yet more waste in our world. We all know how important protecting our environment is now a days. She's so Green . . .

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Night of Camping . . . Almost

A few years ago, Jesse and I went camping at Ledges. We decided we wanted to do that again before it got too cold. Well this time, at 3:00 in the morning, I decided that 39 degrees WAS too cold. So after a fun evening of cooking meat packs wrapped in foil over a fire, eating smores, visiting with my visiting parents, watching "What About Bob" on our laptop in the car, trying to sleep but getting nowhere, I informed Jesse that I really just wanted to go home. I hadn't got much sleep the previous week and I was tired yet wide awake laying in the back of our Saturn VUE. Jesse seemed ok with the idea of heading home so we packed up our stuff and rushed home to our nice warm bed. AND . . .since it was the night of daylight savings, we got an extra hour of sleep. Renae was spending the night at my parents so I didn't even have to worry about waking up when she woke up. Usually I wouldn't be such a wuss about being merely uncomfortable just for one night. But I had already been laying awake for over an hour, I was so tired and Jesse seemed to be a cover hog. ;) The next morning as we were making our campfire breakfast of sausage, eggs and pancakes on our stove, I regretted our decision a little bit. But oh well. Life goes on. Next time we won't wait so long to go camping so it's not ridiculously cold out!

Eating smores around a campfire. Renae seems ticked she didn't get any.

My parents came out so I could feed Renae one last time that night and they also visited with us for awhile. I'm so grateful for free and fun baby-sitters!

I love snuggling with my baby! (Not to mention she kept me warm!)

Dad and Jesse discussing the proper way to cook a smore.

Renae and her Daddy snuggling. So cute . . .

Mom and her favorite daughter.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Updates, Updates . . .

Our social life . . .

Last weekend we had Penni and Kevin over for a few days. They were pretty excited to see their newest granddaughter and we loved having them here to snuggle her and to do an occasional diaper change. The rule in our house is whoever is holding Renae when she does her thing has to change her. Well Jesse decided to use the Grandma card and passed Renae onto Penni after Renae made quite a noise in her pants. But it must not have been loud enough for Penni to hear because I don't think she realized she'd been dooped by her "loving" son. :)

Grandma giving Renae a bath. She really does like her bath more now . . .

We had a great time with Penni and Kevin as always. They even got to watch Renae for a few hours while I went to a clothes swap. I had a blast "shopping" for new-to-me clothes. Jesse didn't mind it either because I didn't spend a dime!

See that scratch on her face? Her nails were too long and she clawed the skin off her face.

On Sunday we all went to Ledges State Park for a great afternoon of beautiful fall colors and landscape. We "hiked" a trail and I learned that carrying 10 extra pounds really makes a walk seem like a hike. (And no the extra pounds weren't on my body-I was wearing Renae in a sling.) Penni took pictures of our little family since we didn't have any recent ones.

This weekend we hope to go camping. We did it 2 years ago and have been wanting to do it again. Renae will spend the night at my parents while Jesse and I have fun making our meals over a fire and sleeping in our Saturn Vue.

Overseas process . . .
We have been accepted! We received a letter in the mail last Friday and sent in our acceptance of the job this week. We are excited to be on our way now even though we still have a few more months of waiting before we head to training. As it becomes more real we (I) am becoming more aware of all the things and PEOPLE I will miss. It will not be easy to say good-bye to family next Spring.

Renae . . .

Little Miss Thing has had an adventuresome week. On Tuesday she went trick-or-treating for the first time. However, because she doesn't have any teeth she couldn't eat any candy so really we just walked around our old street and said hi to our friends. We had to show off Renae in her cute costume! It was so fun to see all of our old neighbors.

Visiting Grandpy

On Wednesday I was a mean Mommy and hauled Renae all over town to see family. She had lots of people to visit in her cute outfit. She actually did really well, she just didn't get to take long naps like she was used to. Renae was so tired by the end of the day that she slept from about 6:00 p.m till 9:00 p.m. My Mom took her for a walk and she fell asleep and stayed asleep for quite awhile. She didn't even wake up in her car seat after the walk like she usually does. Later that night, Jesse and I went out to eat at a restaurant/pub and it was kind of loud. But Renae was out cold and didn't flinch a bit. Poor girl. She was soooo tired!