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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday is Pool Day

Every Thursday Charissa and I go to the pool with whatever friends are available to go with us. We play in the pool, we have a picnic lunch and we enjoy the splash park and enjoy running around in the sun. My friend Julie took some pictures this week, and since I never take my camera, I stole her pictures to put on the blog. Enjoy!

Charissa and Nathan follow each other around the splash park for a good bit of the time we're there.

Doesn't she look like a tiny majorette marching in a parade?!

So typical - all three children in one spot falling over each other.

If you're ever bored on a Thursday you should come to the pool with us. Only one more month of splish-splash fun! Unless I start going to the indoor pool at Pullen Park. I'm just imagining how nice that will feel when I'm 8 months pregnant and feeling the full effects of gravity on my belly. Yikes!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's For Sure ...

The Treeces are having another GIRL! We are very excited. I really wanted another little girl so that Charissa would have a sister close to her age. I don't have a sister, so I'm going to live vicariously through my girls. We were able to get some 4D images at the ultrasound as well. I tried to scan it and it isn't the clearest picture - but it's better than nothing.

That's my baby! She has her arms up by her head and she's facing the camera. And look at those big luscious lips! So far, it looks like the girls won't look alike. But we'll see after Baby Girl is born.

Right now we don't have a name picked out for her, but we are getting close. Check back in the next few weeks.

Monday, July 28, 2008

First Heels

Charissa got new boots this weekend! I went to the Kid's Exchange (something every Mommy should go to if possible) and found this great little pair of boots! They have a little heel and they're just so cute! As soon as Charissa laid eyes on them, she wanted to wear them. She had a little trouble walking around because they're a little big, a lot heavier, and they have a heel. But she likes them! I know she looks a little country-western in these pictures, but that's not her normal style so don't worry.

After she took off her boots she was still in the shoe-trying on mood and went to find some of my shoes to try on. Of course she picked the sparkliest pair.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Summer Reading List

Do you remember in middle school and high school how you had your summer reading list? There would be like two books you'd have to read over the summer that inevitable everyone read in the week before school because we all forgot about it. I think it's such a good practice to have a reading list. It keeps your reading varied and purposeful. In the beginning of the summer I asked Britt to make me a "summer reading list." Here's the books on my list:
  1. When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy by John Piper
  2. Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace by Gary and Betsy Ricucci
  3. Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
  4. Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney
  5. Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem by Robert D. Jones
In June I didn't read any of the books because I got caught up reading some other things, but then in July I buckled down and got to work. I've finished When I Don't Desire God and Love that Lasts and I'm currently a couple chapters into Shepherding a Child's Heart. Hopefully I'll still be able to finish them all by the end of the summer (which technically is after Labor Day, I think).

I encourage you all to make your own reading list. Pick whatever pace you want to read at, but have a goal to read several different books in the near future. If you need help, ask your spouse, a friend or your pastor to suggest good books for you. I'm sure if you put a tiny bit of effort into it you can come up with a list that will take you several years to finish.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Museum Day Acheived!

Charissa and I actually made it to the museum today. And not just one museum - two! It helps that they are right across from each other, but it was still quite an achievement. We looked at exhibits about duck models used in hunting, how North Carolinians had contributed to every war, photographs of the Civil Rights Movement in NC, bugs native to NC, and all sorts of interesting things. We missed the "meet the animal" time, so no live animals today - but hopefully we'll make it back to see whatever it is they keep at the museum. I really hope it's not bugs.

Here are some pictures of CJ enjoying all the culture:

It's hard to tell, but she's talking on the phone. Clearly a no-no in the museum.

I like this picture just because she looks pretty. I'm totally biased.

Clearly, she's enjoying herself. She has the explanation to all the waterfowl exhibits in front of her. Oh, if only she could read ...

After the museum visits, we stopped and got a sno-cone. It was Charissa's very first sno-cone, and she's a BIG fan.

Here she is reaching with all her might to grab hold of the elusive sno-cone. I think she ate 3/4 of it. For some reason they didn't have spoons, so I ended up just putting it in her sippy cup. She is one very happy little girl.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Certain Kind of Closeness

Sometimes when Charissa and I are playing or I am "supervising" her playtime, I'll lay on the floor on my tummy (which is something I'll probably only be able to do for a few more weeks). Normally, I'll be reading a book or working on something right in front of me. More often than not, some certain individual will come over to me after a while and stick her tiny caboose in my face and sit down right on my book or whatever it is I'm looking at. Her back is literally pressed against my face and she's just leaning against me as content as can be. So then we tickle and laugh and hug and have all sorts of mama-daughter fun. That's a certain kind of closeness that most people don't have.

I mean, when was the last time you felt the freedom to sit on someone's face? (in a nice way)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Museum Day! {canceled}

Since Charissa had "hand, foot, and mouth disease" last week she's quarantined from playing with other children until this Wednesday. It gets kind of boring having to stay in the house and stare at each other all day, so we decided to go to a museum. (You see, if you keep your kid in a stroller and don't let them touch anything/anyone, they aren't going to infect anyone and thus you can somewhat go out into the public.) We invited our friends Julie and Nathan to go with us because Nathan was also sick with hand, foot, and mouth so they're allowed to play with each other. Well, we got all the way out to the Art Museum when we saw a sign that said "Museum Closed." What's up with that? Who knew that art took Monday's off.

So ... we went to the mall. We walked around for a while and talked and window shopped. I even got a new dress to wear to a wedding Britt and I are going to next weekend. And Charissa and Nathan got balloons from the Hallmark store. Charissa referred to it as her "pritty boon." She also said "dank ou" to the lady who made it for her.

So, word to the wise - make sure you check that the museum is open before you go out there.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday, Sleepy Sunday

I've been taking the phrase "day of rest" pretty seriously lately (and sometimes not even on Sundays). I've had some trouble sleeping at night because of my allergies. I'll wake up around 200 or 300 in the morning and my eyes will be extremely itchy, my throat hurts, I'm sneezy and my nose is all runny (I'm very attractive at 200 in the morning). I lay in bed for a while willing myself to go to sleep, and then after 45 minutes or an hour I get up go to the couch. I have a system that seems to work pretty well. First, I eat a bowl of cereal because it scratches my throat and I'll go to sleep faster if I have a full tummy (just like a baby). Then I get a cold wash cloth and lay it over my eyes. Third, I lay down and listen (because my eyes are covered by the washcloth) to some episode of FRIENDS. Presto, I'm asleep within 1-2 episodes.

I mean, it's nice to have a working system, but I think I'd rather sleep through the night. Thankfully I have a doctor's appointment on Friday and hopefully they will be able to give me some advice/medicine.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Busy, Busy Beaver

Charissa and I were at the store yesterday and we saw some hair bows that we really liked. Except, they turned out to not be hair bows with clips, instead they had rubber bands (well, those cloth bands). Charissa won't have enough hair for those things for another 2 years, so I was really disappointed that we couldn't get them. And then I had an idea - I could get them and turn them into clips. So that's what I did last night. I made her 12 new hair bows. Whew. Here's the result of my efforts:
Charissa is clearly a fan. And look how well the green one matches her outfit!
Do you think she has enough hair bows for a girl with 14 hairs?
Keeping in line with the creative, homemaking attitude, I decided to freeze some peaches this morning. I bought a lot at the farmer's market and then realized that we wouldn't eat them before they went bad so that's when I decided to freeze them. I found a pretty easy method for freezing them (you can use this method with a lot of fruits). This is what you do:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. When it's boiling put whole peaches (with the skins on) in the boiling water for 1 minute.
2. After a minute, take the peaches out and put them in a bowl of icy water. Let them cool for 2 minutes
3. Take them out of the cold water and gently rub the peach to get the skin to come off. It should easily slide right off. (I wish I had known this tip when I was making baby food.)
4. When all the skins are off, cut the peaches into halves, slices, bits - whatever size you want them to be in.
5. Pour white grape juice, apple juice, or peach juice over the slices so that they are covered in the juice. This will help to preserve the flavor, texture, and prevent freezer burn.
6. Seal them tightly in freezer appropriate bags. Make sure you get all the air out so they don't get freezer burn.
7. Voila! Frozen peaches to enjoy whenever you want!
Charissa especially loved helping to pat the bags down flat. It was really easy too. I think start to finish the whole process took less than half an hour - including dishes. YAY!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Charissa's First Prayer

Charissa has really bad eczema and it's aggravated by heat so summer can be hard on her. She was crying in her carseat yesterday morning because she was itching so badly. Since I was driving I couldn't really help her, so I told her that she needed to pray for help. Here was our conversation:

Me: Charissa you need to pray that Jesus helps you not feel itchy.
CJ: Waaaa!
Me: Charissa, say "Jesus, help."
CJ: [wimper, wimper]
Me: Charissa, say, "Jesus"
CJ: Jee-zus
Me: Say, "help"
CJ: Ehlp
Me: That's right, just say "Jesus, help" and He will help you through your itchiness.
CJ: Jee-zus ehlp.

And He did help her. She was much happier for the rest of the trip home. It's a good first pray for her to learn because it's pretty applicable in every situation. In the evening, we worked on our second prayer - "Jesus, thank you." Charissa was able to say that one a few times as well. It's very exciting to see Charissa be able to start praying and communicating with God.

A Very Sick Bundle

For reasons still unknown to us, Charissa got very sick on Wednesday night. She woke up from her afternoon nap with a temperature of 103.5. Other than the fever, nothing was wrong with her - she had no other symptoms and she was perfectly happy. When we got her up from her evening nap, her temperature was still 103 and then she started throwing up. When babies get sick and throw up it's really hard to know how to handle it because they can't say, "Oh - I feel sick and I think I'm going to throw up" and then you have time to get to the bathroom. They just throw up. Wherever. On whomever. Thankfully she contained it on the changing table and didn't get any on us (that wasn't the case the other time she threw up). For the rest of the evening she was just pitiful. She laid on our chests and wanted to be held. Nothing else. She didn't want to eat, drink, play ... nothing. Charissa woke up once during the night, but I just went in there and laid down with her and she went right back to sleep.

And then, in typical Charissa fashion, the next morning she woke up and was fine. No fever, no vomiting, no nothing. I think every time Charissa has gotten sick she'll be real sick one afternoon and evening and then the next morning all is well. Which is fine by me - I hope that's a pattern she maintains her whole life.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Making a House Our Home

Summer seems like the appropriate time of year to work on projects. Britt and I have been working on some "home-making" projects - which means they are decorating projects. We painted our guest room, which ended up being a lot more work than we thought. Instead of taking 2-3 days, it took us 3 weeks. We didn't work on it everyday, but it was 3 weeks before we finished. But at least it's done! Then we put up some wallpaper in our bedroom on one wall. I am so thankful that we only did one wall because it was hard! Well, from start to finish it only took us 4 hours so I guess that's better than the painting. We have many more projects to do, but at least this was a start.

Enjoy the pictures of our pretty home:

Little Girls Get Special Treats When Their Mama is Tired

Britt hurt his back over the weekend and thus has been laid out since about Saturday. That means I pretty much have two people that I have to run around caring for, bringing stuff to, and keeping entertained. And I'm pregnant. So as you can imagine, I've been a little worn out. Yesterday I told Charissa that she had to do a quiet activity and sit still for just a few minutes so that I could rest. If any of you know my child you know that she doesn't sit still. She runs. She investigates. She's loud. She rarely does quiet and still.

That's where Bambi comes in. Charissa got to sit in her new pink chair, have a cup of milk and a graham cracker, and watch Bambi. Well ... we watched about 20 minutes of it before she got restless and started a-wandering again. But we had lots of fun. I realized after I put it on, that it was actually a good movie to watch and talk about animals because the animals were mostly realistically drawn and were acting normal (except for that whole talking thing). So we pointed out birds and bunnies and flowers and trees ... we had a good time together. So even though Bambi might be one of the most boring Disney movies ever, there are some merits for watching it (no offense to those who love Bambi).

Here's some pictures of Charissa enjoying the movie:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lady in Making

For my third birthday I got my ears pierced. The story goes that for months I begged my parents for earrings and they finally consented. I vividly remember that day: Two women with big, bushy hair stood on either side of me with earring guns and simultaneously shot holes in my tiny ears. I think I cried for like 2 minutes and then began to admire my new earrings. As I got older, I began to question my parents about how much I really "begged" for earrings and how much was their idea. To me, three years old just seemed really young to be craving earrings. My mom has never moved from her stance that it was my idea and I begged until they finally caved. I am finally beginning to understand the indwelling nature of women from the time they can roll over.

Charissa is a lady in making. She loves ALL things girlie. She has four purses that she rotates between. She puts stuff in them, takes stuff out of them ... there's a lot of activity with purses. She has compacts, lipstick holders, credit cards, a llama - everything you need in a purse. She loves hair bows. She asks for them. She'll see a bow, point to it and say "bow" until you put it in her hair. And then she just smiles and laughs. Charissa LOVES makeup. She takes my blush brush and wipes it all over her face. She'll sit still and let you put lipstick/chapstick/lip gloss on her. And she even knows what eyelash curlers are for! She'll hold them up to her eyes and go "mmm" as if the noise is important to the curling (NOTE: She doesn't actually curl her eyelashes as she doesn't have the dexterity to move the slider up and down). This morning she kept asking for "more" blow drying. Charissa would brush her hair and I would blow dry, which is so silly because she has like 14 hairs. She's just a very girlie little girl. And don't even get her started with lotion. We have to hide lotion in our house because if she sees it she'll ask for it and want to rub it in her hands and then her arms and then her feet and then her legs ... and if she runs out of skin she'll rub it on you. And Charissa will do this over and over again until she's just slimy. I've tried to explain to her that she's using a 24 hour moisturizer, but she doesn't seem to care.

Can you imagine what she's going to be like at 16?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

In the Time of Strange Dreams

I have always dreamed vividly and been able to remember them quite clearly when I wake up. Now, that I'm pregnant, it's increased by at least ten-fold. I'll dream several distinct dreams in one night and remember them all. And the will all be just crazy scenarios.

For instance, last night I had a dream that I was being held hostage on a deserted island by Martha Stewart. There were a couple of other people there: my brother Rusty, Martha Stewart's 16-year-old illegitimate daughter that no one knew about (not a real person ... that I know of), and Sawyer from LOST. Other than the face that she was crazy and wouldn't let us off the island, it wasn't that bad. We lived in a mansion, had cable TV, and we even had these nice fancy dinners with individualized seashell place cards. Very Martha Stewart. I even got to ride a giant seal around in the ocean. At least I think it was a seal. My zoology isn't extensive.

So today I will be on the look-out for Martha. You know .... just in case it was prophetic.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Grocery Store Fun ...

I went to the grocery store by myself the other day because Britt was home to watch Charissa and I thought, "Hey - it'll be easier if I go without her." How wrong I was. I think I need Charissa around to help me concentrate and stay focused. Without her I was running around trying to get things quickly, but I kept forgetting things and having to go back and forth and back and forth. It was ridiculous. And then when I was in the cereal aisle I moved a bag of cereal to see how much was in it, and when it moved I saw these spindly bug/rodent/lizard legs and screamed and jumped way back. Five seconds later I discovered that it was a plastic lizard hiding beneath the cereal bag and I wasn't in any mortal danger. I finally finished all my shopping and went to check out. I decided that it would probably be faster if I went to the self-checkout line. Wrong again. Apparently I was moving too fast for the scanner and it would tell me to "remove the last item" even though it was already rung up. And to top it off I rung up my 8.5 pound cantaloupe as horseradish root, which is a meager $5.99 per pound item. I opted not to pay $52 for the cantaloupe and sought the assistance of the kind lady who oversees self-checkout.

All in all, it was quite the experience.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Fun New Website

A good friend of ours pointed us to this website called Basically, you can go online and rate books, talk with other people about books, get suggestions on what to read, and if you have any friends who are also using the site you can find out what they have read and are reading. It's so fun! (Yes, I do realize I'm a nerd.) I spent a ridiculous amount of time online yesterday adding books that I had read to my "bookshelf." And, they have trivia questions about books and I really love testing my knowledge of literature.

I am so thankful for this because I was just talking with some friends about how I don't feel like I'm studying anything anymore and I really want to be intellectually stimulated. Sometimes I really miss school. Not the tests or the deadlines or the pressure, but I do miss the classes and reading and learning. Right now I'm reading one of my old history textbooks, and I'm really enjoying it. Plus, I'm finding out how shockingly little I retained. Always fun.

So go to the website and enjoy books!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Case of Mistaken Bunny

Right before we put Charissa in her crib for the night, Britt always holds her, reads her a Psalm, and prays with her. She somewhat quietly sits and holds her Bunnifriend and her Okra while she listens to her daddy. Last night, Britt handed her the Okra and what he thought was Bunnifriend, but was actually a very similar looking pink bear. They sat down in the rocker and he starts reading to her, and Charissa took the strings on the top of the bear to chew on them like she normally does with her Bunnifriend. And that's when it hit her - those strings had never been chewed on before. So she kind of pulls the bear away from her and looks at it quizzically, and then she looks in her lap to see if her Bunnifriend is there. She was so confused and kept looking at the bear like "who are you and what are you doing here?" Britt and I were trying so hard not to laugh because it was just so funny to watch her as she looked for her precious nighttime friend. She finally dropped the pink bear on the floor and we got her the real Bunnifriend, and there was much rejoicing by all.