Wednesday, December 30

A Very Judge Christmas.

There is a huge pile of Judge toys in the front room. He sure got a great haul this year. He loves new friends. He loves to make sure they are surrounding him at all times.

He also loves to take friends out with him and let them wait while he sniffs the perimeter. Here's his new friend, Beaver, waiting on the back porch while Judge does his business on Christmas morning.

Here's my boy enjoying the hot dog that Gramma Jojo and Grandpa Jay sent:

What a merry Christmas for a (mostly) good dog.

Monday, December 28


I started to make Christmas cards and never was able to finish. I ate too much. I ate too much CANDY. I'm still eating too much candy. I didn't get a chance to call anyone and just chat. I still haven't taken that family picture. Nothing went quite as planned.

I did get some very precious days alone with husband, which is something we haven't had in . . . almost a year. It was better than good. That's all I really wanted for Christmas, to be honest.

I'm having a hard time getting back to reality after all the merriment this past week.

I'm also getting bigger and bigger by the second and it only gets more and more difficult just to breathe and move around. Here's the belly today - almost 33 weeks:

And here's the belly with some of my Christmas loot:

a coat that fits over baby bump,

The Sewing Bible (to help me expand my talents, hopefully),

and the gigantic box of chocolates that husband got for me.

All in all, it was a pretty merry and bright Christmas.
Hope everyone's holidays were just as great.

Wednesday, December 23

Ho, ho, ho!

Can't wait for Christmas. We've got some good time off and family to see.

Lots of love and yummy food to be had.

(Do you love our penguin friend? He is so cheap and silly that I can't help but be happy when I see him. Also, Judge hasn't even tried to eat him and that's a real Christmas miracle.)

Saturday, December 19


On sunny days in the late fall and early winter, Judge sits by the sliding glass doors all day and wants to go in and out constantly. Why?

Because there are lizards crawling up and down the glass. It makes Judge crazy. He can't get them through the glass, but as soon as he's outside they hide out of reach and out of sight.

I like seeing them. I had a pet lizard growing up. I called her April Gadget (after characters from Ninja Turtles and Rescue Rangers, of course). We bought bags of crickets to feed her in the winter. In the summer, we caught grasshoppers in the raspberry bushes for her to eat. She seemed to live forever.

Judge and the lizards are enemies. He's trying to protect his property. He never catches them, so he just whines and whines and tries to get out the door faster.

I really love those lizards.

(Yes, even if they do make my dog an obnoxious mess.)

Thursday, December 17

Our Winter Wonderland

Here in the south, our winter looks like this:

Foggy, frosty, grey and cold. No snow.

In an attempt to make my own winter wonderland, I hung some snowflakes and icicles in the windows. That way I can look out the window and pretend it is snowing but I don't have to get cold or wet and I don't have to drive in it.

I found out it is pretty hard to take good pictures of them, by the way.

In other news, I'm in love with the Christmas tree. I don't even care that there aren't any presents underneath it yet. In fact, I hadn't even remembered that presents are supposed to go there until husband reminded me.

It makes the room look so happy.
It welcomes me home when I come through the door.
It's my nightlight.
It reminds me that it is almost Christmas already!
It's Judge's new favorite hangout spot (he loves to sit next to it and watch the cars go by).

And there is really nothing better than a nap by the tree with the lights all sparkling.

(Usually I'm in the recliner next to Judge. Husband and I are like a couple of ninety-year-olds . . . sometimes we even share a blanket and hold hands from our respective recliners while we watch our stories.)

Wednesday, December 16

A little TMI:

My belly button has all but disappeared. Not popped out, mind you. It is slowly being stretched out and swallowed up . . . I think it will be completely gone by the end.

Is that too much information?

PS - please DON'T click on the picture to make it larger . . . it is big enough already.

Monday, December 14

30ish weeks.

We're getting there. On Christmas Eve I'll start my 8th month.
I'm starting to wish I could wear sweatpants all the time.

Yesterday husband knocked on my belly and baby knocked back. Pretty amazing, right?

Friday, December 11

New Favorite Store.

Well, in the mall anyway.

The Learning Express!

Mostly because I want things like these for my little girl:

Calico Critters

Melissa and Doug Play Food Sets

Don't they just make you wish you had all the money in the world to spend on toys? I know it will be a while before she will even care about any of this stuff, but I love it so much. I just can't wait.

Also, have I ever mentioned that Babyland General Hospital is merely an hour and thirty minute drive from our house? That's right, it's where Cabbage Patch Kids come from. You can adopt one as soon as it comes from the patch! I haven't been able to drag husband there yet. We'll get there soon. He won't be able to say to no two begging loves-of-his-life, right?

(My kid looked a lot like this one, but with a yellow dress. Her name was Alice.)

Tuesday, December 8

One Lazy Dog + One Unmade Bed

This is what happens when I turn my back on that combination.

How could you not want to take a nap immediately?
Judge looks so comfy on pillow and blanket mountain.

Monday, December 7

Christmas is coming . . .

the goose is getting fat.
Well, I'm the goose.
Okay, not fat - but round as round could be.
(The point where my lungs feel crushed most of the time.)

Not a whole lot is going on around here except my lack of readiness for Christmas.
Where is this month going?!

In the meantime, enjoy this little song that I listened to growing up:

What Can You Get a Wookie for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)?

Tuesday, December 1

Fun with Felt.

We had a crazy and fun weekend. We ate two fabulous Thanksgiving meals, worked Black Friday shifts (I had to work the 5 AM shift, husband closed), got some great deals at the mall, "glassed it up" twice at McDonalds, fixed a leaky faucet, had a glucose screening, partied after church with a casserole mixer, and on and on and on. I made two very delicious pies and one pretty mean casserole. It was a great warm up for an entire month of projects, crazy holiday hours at work and much more baking.

I've already started some holiday crafting with a serious felt fetish. Judge likes the felt, too. For some reason he wants to either eat it or sit on my lap while I embroider it. He's strangely fascinated. I've got lots more I want to do, but we'll see how busy it gets now that it is officially December! (This post is mostly for my mom, because I tried to send her some pictures of the stuff I've been working on and the email didn't quite work.)

Wreath, with Felt Hearts
(that I need to actually hang on the door)

(for the whole family, still working on Lil Girl's)

Christmas Ornaments
(not made of felt, but pieces of the old broken chandelier that was in the house when we got here)

Tree Skirt
(also not felt, but made from material I got in a little bundle from Goodwill)

Did I mention that I love my sewing machine
(and my husband, who pretends to be really excited about these projects and tells me how cool they are, even when I'm not sure he really cares about felt at all) ?

Thursday, November 26


The Pilgrims and the Indians
had a pow-wow a long time ago.
The Pilgrims and the Indians
felt like havin' a party and so . . .
The Pilgrims and the Indians
cooked some turkey and Indian corn,
sat down and ate together
and that is how Thanksgiving was born!

(I tried to get Judge to wear those hats but whenever I put them on his head he would try to look up at them, so they'd fall off. He's really no fun to dress up. Oh well. Next year I'll have a little girl and we'll dress up all day long.)

Today I'm thankful for my dog friend, even if he won't wear hats. He's a great cuddler and always makes me smile.

I'm thankful for my sweet baby-to-be. I can't wait to see her and hold her and kiss her and play all day.

I'm thankful for my family near and far and my wonderful friends. I wish for teleportation or some other way to see everyone I love whenever I want.

I'm most, most thankful for my husband and everything he does to make my life so great. I have the best one out there and I wouldn't trade him for anything.

I'm pretty much just thankful for all of it.

Anyway, enough with that mushy stuff. I'm ready to eat and I have two bellies to fill!

Oh, here's the best picture I could get of Judge in a hat:

Saturday, November 21

I did it . . .

Friday, November 20


You know your pregnancy hormones are out of control when:

You see expiration dates on cans or opening dates for movies and the first thing you think about is how old your child will be when that happens.

All you do is think about chocolate and suddenly you can taste it in your mouth.

You starting seeing your home as surfaces to sanitize and areas to baby proof.

You find yourself explaining to your husband the advantages of baby travel systems and all sorts of other strange contraptions you hadn't even heard of a few months ago.

Seeing a baby at the store erases all other thoughts from your mind.

You can't watch any sort of television show or movie about giving birth without sobbing, mostly because it's so beautiful but partly because you know you're going to be in some serious pain very soon.

and this one, that happened just a few minutes ago . . .

While listening to "Sleigh Ride" you get choked up when you realize that these really are "the things we'll remember all through our lives."

I mean, seriously. Check out how motherly I'm looking right this minute.

Tuesday, November 17

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies.

You know those really yummy pumpkin cookies that you can buy at the Macey's bakery?
They're usually served with hot cocoa or apple cider after church functions, such as trips to Temple Square or the Festival of Trees.

Anyway, they scream holiday season and they're so tasty . . . and I found a recipe that duplicates them perfectly (with some modification). I made some on Halloween and they were so good that I immediately bought supplies to make more - double recipe. It also goes along with my recent string of cake mix cookie delight (Oreos, Oatmeal Creme Pies).

I found the original recipe on the Better Homes and Gardens website (see 28 Pumpkin Recipes) and decided to forgo the filling and just add chocolate chips instead.

Here it is:

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 package 2-layer spice cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil (if you use foil, grease it).
Mix pumpkin and butter until smooth. Add cake mix, eggs, and milk and mix until well combined. Add chocolate chips (although I'm normally a milk chocolate girl, I really think semisweet is the perfect compliment to the pumpkin spice flavor). Drop by heaping tablespoon onto the paper (or foil) about 3" apart and bake for about 15 minutes, or until light brown on the edges. Cool on wire rack. They have a tendency to stick together a little, so you might want put parchment paper between layers of cookies when storing them.

Yuuuuuum. Unfortunately I ate all the cookies before I could take any pictures, so here's one of Judge. I just found out that he's been taking trips to the video game store with my brother-in-law and that everyone there loves him.

Saturday, November 14

I can't wait for this picture to be complete.

Judge likes to hide out under the high chair.
It's like he knows that, one day, food will magically rain down on him if he sits there.

P.S. - The baby countdown is now in the double digits.
Is it weird that I want to make a paper chain to have a physical reminder of how many days are left?

Tuesday, November 10

Falling, falling, falling.

No, not that song from the car commercial (or the Charlotte Russe playlist)*.

The leaves!

Last week:

Same trees, this week:

Hurricane Ida's leftovers also blew in this morning. All we can do is stay inside, make a fire in the fireplace and eat lots of warm chocolate chip cookies. Sounds good, huh?

*"That song" is 1901 by Phoenix, in case you're one of those people who will go crazy not knowing. I'm definitely one of those people. Thank you internet for helping me not be a wreck when I can't remember lyrics or the names of songs.

Sunday, November 8

Does this baby make me look fat?

The other day, while I was at work, a teenage girl excitedly asked, "Ooooo, when are you due?!"

I smiled and said, "February" and she responded with "Oh."
She had a really disappointed look on her face.

I take that to mean that I look gigantic and she thought I was going to say, "OH, any day now! Look at me, ready to pop!"

Seriously, what else could she have meant by that "Oh"?

PS - That first pose is my Heidi Klum impression. Is she always pregnant and gorgeous or what?

Tuesday, November 3

Leaves - about a million pictures of them.

Here in Georgia, we get the real deal when it comes to fall -
I mean, a crazy snowstorm doesn't knock all the leaves off the trees by mid-October.
There's more time for colors to change
and leaves to fall
and for Judge to bark at the falling leaves.

He and I went exploring in the woods the other day and got a few pictures. He's still pretty bad at exploring. He walked behind me in the brambles so that I could receive the full sting of thorns and he could stay safe in my wake. He did hop around on some fallen trees and sniff some possible animal homes, so I guess he's making progress.

He still likes to tug on my arm as I'm taking pictures, though.

Anyway, here's autumn at our house:

This is a fire break behind our house. That's how many trees there are - you have to break them up so the whole state doesn't burn down at once.

Oh, and some really yummy chili when all the exploring is done.