Monday, January 25, 2010

Teething Woes

When Morgan got her first teeth, we never knew they were coming in because they never bothered her.  But these teeth coming in now have had her on and off cranky the past week.  Poor baby.

So this morning was a cranky morning.  This was Morgan as I was fixing her breakfast.  I had to take a picture because she rarely cries like this.  I think it's the cutest (but saddest) thing.

Nothing that a couple of teething tablets, a hug, and some colorful paper bowls couldn't fix. 

Also, just like I thought, I went back and read my post from yesterday and hated it.  First of all, it was crazy long (thanks, Tanya, for texting me and making sure I knew that it was a "novel!"  Haha!).  If I'd actually had a chance to proofread it, I probably would've caught 80% of the typos, and certainly would've changed the wording of a lot of it.  You see, my first draft of anything (research paper, letter, blog post) is always very colorful.  I like to exaggerate my points.  Then I'll come back and tone it down and make it a little more realistic.  There have been a few posts to my blog that I haven't toned down before posting, and later just shook my head at myself.  Remember I said I felt like a "FA" back in December (when referring to my weight)?  That was something that was supposed to go to the cutting room floor.  I usually don't go back and correct stuff, but I had to correct that.  I made it a little more PG a couple of days later.

Yesterday's post is just one of those I will leave.  One part I didn't like (besides boring you with my love for teaching and my thyroid issues) is that I made it seem like my ego was huge.  It really wasn't.  I was just confident and used to doing well.  I didn't have a big ego, though.  And who calls themself a "stand-out kid?"  Not me.  Apparently my writing alter ego does.  She's a hoot sometimes.

Anyway, have a good week, everybody!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Just an Update (that pretty much turns out to be my life story -- haha)!

Okay.  No pictures this time.  Sorry.

Today I wanted to update the blog and was totally not going to do it once I realized I had no pictures.  But I had to remind myself that my blog is not just for pictures.  Because I those of you who visit the blog care what I have to SAY... No?

But seriously, I haven't touched my camera since last weekend.  If you follow me on Twitter, you'll, every once in a while, catch a pic I've snapped with my phone.

Anyway, we haven't been up to much.  These past two weeks at work have been great as usual.  Not sure I've ever just flat out said this on the blog, but I LOVE MY JOB as a teacher.  Sure there are days when I watch the clock.  But I can honestly say those are few and far between. 

I remember wanting to be a teacher as a kid.  I remember making my cousins "play school" with me.  Then I got to high school and was undecided on a career -- I wanted to be everything from a nurse to something in criminal justice.  That criminal justice thing followed me to college and it's what I declared as my major.  I graduated high school in 2000, when the technological boom was crazy.  Shortly after getting to college and researching career outlooks and things like that, I thought it was sort of crazy to NOT major in something technology-related.  So I changed my major to Computer Information Systems.  Probably the best decision I made as a stupid, young adult.  I never considered teaching at that point.  It seemed "boring" compared to what was going on in the world.  Plus, I liked a challenge, and I always thought the school of education would be "too easy." 

Well, anyway, I went off into this major of Computer Information Systems, and realized that it dealt with more of the "business" side of technology.  There was a separate major for Computer Science.  You know, for the REALLY smart people. :-)  Anyway, I loved every minute of it -- all of my marketing and finance classes that came along with it (Hated accounting.  A lot.).  I was SO excited about graduating and going out into the real world!  I always thought I'd be in Atlanta working for Coca-Cola or another large company - doing my thang.  I just knew that's what would happen because (not to toot my own horn) I'd always been sort of a stand-out kid.  I was blessed to be able to do well in a lot of things.

Well, I graduated, and of course I didn't find a job as quickly as I always imagined I would.  Actually, I don't remember even looking as hard as I thought I would because I was contemplating going right into grad school to get my MBA.  I never even applied to Coca-Cola.  But I did contemplate going to Atlanta for Emory, one of the top MBA programs in the Southeast (wasn't brave enough to try anything outside the Southeast.  Wasn't even brave enough to take an internship I was offered in Chicago after my sophomore year.  But that's a story for another day.)  So, before I knew it, I decided to stay in 'Bama.  I just happened to be in love and knew I would be happier near my honey (not a day has gone by, either, that I've regretted ANY of these decisions.  Read on to see why.).

So, my honey was a Graduate Assistant for Alabama Football, so it only made sense to apply to the MBA program at the University of Alabama.  I quickly got my application, essay, and letters of recommendations together.  I knew it was going to be a challenge getting in since the program only took about 60 new students per year.  And I had a few things going against me as far as what was required to get in the program, but I was pretty much used to getting anything I applied for (can you tell my ego was THIS BIG).  And I actually thought I had a sliver of chance.  Well, um, not this time.  Nope.  Got that rejection letter quickly.  It humbled my little butt, too.  I wasn't used to being rejected.  I quickly got over it, though -- I knew I couldn't change it, and I  knew I had to do SOMETHING.  So I applied to the MBA program at Auburn University Montgomery (not to be confused with Auburn University, which I later DID get a masters degree on...). It's program wasn't as competitive, so I got in there and started their MBA program.  In the meantime, I snabbed a full-time job at a medical supply company.  The pay was more than I'd ever made, so I was happy.  'Til I realized I was bored.  Like REALLY bored.  My job was probably more a marketing job (which I always thought I'd like), and I was approaching some really nice traveling opportunities there.  But that sitting behind a desk thing for eight hours straight was driving me NUTS.  I was SO unhappy.

So after some soul-searching and all that other good stuff young people go through, I realized that maybe instead of getting an MBA (which was proving to be very easy 'cause I just loved the stuff), I would get a degree in education -- and maybe TEACH the stuff I love.  I knew it was a job where I wouldn't be behind a desk most of the time, I'd meet new people all the time, I'd have a little freedom in my "craft" and have summers off! :-)  So I went through the whole application process again -- letters of recommendation, standardize tests, etc.  -- and applied to Auburn University's Business Education program. (Many people have asked me why Auburn and not Alabama.  I would have done the program at Alabama if they HAD a business education program at the time.  Today they actually have a program very similar.)

Anyway, the rest is history.  About halfway through getting my degree in education, I got my first teaching job.  After my first year, I KNEW that I'd found gold.  I knew why God had taken me through all the other stuff to get there.  For instance, I'm so glad I majored in Computer Information Systems FIRST instead of doing just regular Business Education as an undergrad because there were so many things I could have missed. 

Anyway, I did NOT intend to bore you with half my life story there -- I guess I just wanted to show that I sort of fell into something I love.  Sort of like those actors on TV that say never intended to be an actor but was in the right place at the right time, blah, blah, blah. 

Anyway, I am just so thankful to be SO in love with my job.  I am NEVER bored.  My "work" changes all the time because of the nature of my subject area.  I work with 125 different teenagers every day who just happened to be great kids.  Sure, I've had those few that wanted to be less than great, but once you show them they can't ruffle your feathers (but you can ruffle theirs), they'll never give you another problem.  And unlike my old desk job, I AM ALWAYS in control of the environment.  Oh, and all the other stuff is just icing on the cake:  great benefits, every holiday off, summers off, etc.  Do I sound like a commercial for the college of education yet? 

Anyway, so, yeah.  I had a good week at work.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I went for a thyroid checkup this week. Quick backstory:  If you've ever see me in person, you've probably noticed the scar at the base of my neck.  Back in 2006, I began to lose weight, hair, patience (it makes you very irritable), and was eventually diagnosed with hyperthyroidism - which is basically a term that says your metabolism is going crazy and working overtime.  Well, mine was working some serious overtime, which resulted in me having to get my entire thyroid removed.  Well, when you remove your thyroid, your natural metabolism goes right along with it.  You virtually have no metabolism once it's gone.  Which means you'll have to be on medication for the rest of your life to replace it.  Hormone therapy is what they call it. 

Well, anyway, it takes a while to get it where it should be (it took over a year for me).  Then, I get pregnant exactly two years later, which, as to be expected, throws everything out of balance.  So here it is a year after having Morgan, and I'm still not where I should be.  This time, I'm to blame, though.  I completely forget to take my hormones.  Or I remember to take them when I take my birth control pill, which is not what you're supposed to do (it doesn't work as well -- the hormone, NOT the birth control! LOL)!  So, anyway, now I'll be at the freaking endocrinologist every six weeks again. I am GOING to do better because Morgan needs a healthy mama!

Speaking of healthy, I'm trying to make US healthier.  We've always gone to bed really late (DK and I), which is unhealthy is many ways.  Well, for the week, we've been going to bed before 10.  Which is HUGE for us. And just like expected, we FEEL better.  I'm taking this journey to "health" thing for us one step at a time.  I'm dusting off the ol' Wii Fit soon.  I even bought the Wii Fit Plus CD as an incentive (okay, okay, I REALLY bought it because it has an option where you can weigh your baby and stuff)...

Anyway, so what is Morgan up to? Oh, is that what you came for? Sorry!

She's just growing up. Her newest word is "stop." Wanna take a wild guess why? Yes, she's at the age where she's constantly into stuff, so I'm oftentimes saying "no" and "stop." So now whenever she gets into something, and I say, "Morgan!" she turns around and says "stop" very quickly. And then she walks away from whatever she's not supposed to be doing. Well, at least she gets it, right?

Anyway, as I was about to end this post, she woke up from a REALLY long nap (can't you tell by the length of this post? Ha!).  She slept right through lunch, so, of course I get up to fix her something to eat.  Well, it actually made me bring out the camera because she was doing some of her funny stuff...

Whenever I'm in the kitchen around food, the stove, or anything, I don't like her in there.  Basically, instead of buying baby gates and stuff, I block off rooms with things we already have -- like her big toys, her pack 'n play, and her high chair.  For a while, this worked.  Now she's getting around Mama's tricks.  Watch the little monster in action:

"Now where's my grub?"

Then she likes to go back out and do the same thing..

Just some candids...

Been in the laundry, of course...

Hope everyone's had a great weekend!  Have a good week!

And I'm posting this without proofing since we just decided to drive to Tuscaloosa to see Auntie Ash!  So please excuse any errors or anything I say crazy.  I'll probably cringe when I read this later...

On our way, Auntie Ash! :-)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Over the River and Through the Woods... Grandmother's house we went yesterday!  If you'll remember, my grandma was supposed to keep Morgan last week if her new daycare spot wasn't ready.  Well, I punked out.  The new daycare spot wasn't quite ready, but I couldn't stand the thought of not seeing her for four or five days.  So I called her old daycare to ask if she could come back for a week or two, and they were happy to have her. 

I still wanted her to spend some time with my grandma, so we went to Talladega yesterday.  My brother, and one of my nieces and her mom were there.  My mom also came over after work. There was talking, laughing, cards, and Dominos (yesterday I learned that DK is pretty good in Dominos.  He let us win a few games, but then started strategizing and won every game after that.  I never knew he could play Dominos!). We also went to see one of my aunts at her job.  I was glad we went because Morgan hasn't seen this aunt since she was probably about six months old.  My aunt insists Morgan looks like me and says she has the pictues to prove it. I like hearing that every once in a while since 95% of people say Morgan looks like her daddy, my daddy, or my sister-in-law!

I'm glad Morgan got to spend some time with her family in Talladega.  I have more family there that I want her to get to know better, and friends that I'd like to visit more often (and not just talk to on FB).  So maybe we can get around to doing that more often this new year. :)

Here are few pics from the day.  Most of these were taken when Morgan reeeeally needed a nap, or right after her nap.  Translation:  she wasn't in the best mood.

Phone Pic.  My Aunt NeeNee (she is so funny).  And Little Miss Sleepy not feeling the moment.

My brother Clif with his youngest girl and my girl.

Niece Alteria, her mom, Alethea, and Crazy Baby right after a nap.

Don't let this pic fool you.  She is NOT shy.


More posing.  She was TOO funny.

My niece said to me last night, "I want to spend the night with you."  Haha!  That would mean I'd have to have more FOOD in the house (I'm a terrible grocery-buyer) and a few age-appropriate toys and maybe a few little-girl DVDs!  So I told her to get with her sister and we'll plan another slumber party with all "The Girls."  Can't wait because they are so funny and so sweet.

And all this kid wanted to do the whole time was get all my grandma's magnets and carry them around and throw them on the kitchen floor.  She was in heaven.

Hope everyone's having a good weekend!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help. Please.

Like many of you, one of my first thoughts when I heard about the earthquake in Haiti was "What can I do?"  I am just heartbroken about this, as I know the world is, and am eager to do what I can.  I know there are tons of ways to give -- Red Cross, Compassion, etc.  If you're looking for an organization that gives 100% of its proceeds to the cause (not saying the others I mentioned don't because I don't know), visit  Or you can just text "YELE" to 501501 to donate $5 (this will be billed to your phone bill).  Please just give what you can.  They need us.

Edited to Add:  You may have noticed that I removed the YELE button from the blog.  I specifically chose this organization to go through because it belongs to Wyclef Jean, who we all know, is from Haiti. The organization prides itself on giving 100% of its proceeds to the cause.  You probably know that an article came out this weekend questioning YELE's accounting practices.  Yikes!  So I can't fully "endorse" YELE until I know they're clean. :)  Like I said before, it never meant I wasn't for other organizations like Red Cross -- in fact, I gave through Red Cross, too, on behalf of my sorority.  There are plenty organizations to choose from out there, and most of their financial practices have been in the news at one point or another, including Red Cross.  As long as we give, guys, I am confident that the victims in Haiti and other causes, in the end, benefit from our efforts. 

Saturday, January 9, 2010

13 Months!

Okay, if you're visiting for the first time since yesterday, you may want to start a few posts down.  I recently did a lot of posting! :)  This is just my monthly check-in of Morgan's new age -- she's now 13 months! 

Just like I say every month, she does something every day to amaze us and amuse us to no end.  As far as new stuff (and I'll try to remember everything -- I still haven't had any sleep), the biggest thing is she says pretty clearly "THANK YOU."  Not "ta-ta" or any of the baby talk I assumed a one-year-old would use, but thank you.  Guess we should work on "you're welcome."  She also is getting pretty good at counting to five...well, sorta.  She can almost actually say some of the numbers. She can make the "two" and "five" sounds.  The other numbers are just sing-songy sounds that we just pretend are the numbers. LOL.  And she knows to clap after five always.  You don't even have to say it -- you can just do the numbers on your hand and be silent.  It's funny.  I obviously had no clue what 13-month old toddlers were capable of!  

Remember when I told you she can show you your nose, but not her own.  Well, that's still the case, LOL.  But she can show you her ear and  her teeth (she doesn't point to her teeth, but says "ahh" like you would at the dentist.)  She knows how to say "eye."  I also now think she finally says MaMa to me.

She is now beginning to obey "no" more.  Sometimes she tries me, but I give her the look.  And she knows what it means and often stops in her tracks. She still has a little tantrum problem, but I think she'll grow out of it.  And then, this is something I forgot to mention a couple of months ago.  Her eczema, which I mentioned quite a few times when she was younger, has nearly disappeared!  At around 11 months, I realized that it wasn't there anymore!  Not saying it will never flare up again, but we're so happy to have a break from it.  If we're lucky, it will never come back.

So, yep, that our little Morgan Monster at 13 months.  The older she gets, the more fun we have!

Trip Wrap-Up and Last Few Pics

So of course the Tide brought home the gold (or crystal), so everyone in our camp was thrilled.  Everyone's been asking me if Morgan and I went to the game.  You know, for a minute there, I lost my mind and actually thought I could take a 13-month old to such a huge event.  We would've been out there for 12+ hours!  So Morgan and I gave up our spots (yeah, babies had to have a ticket!) and happily stayed at the hotel.  We had our own little tailgate party with fruit snacks and milk! :)

The other question I get is if I ran across any celebrities while I was there.  DK thought he saw Tatyana Ali (Ashley from the Fresh Prince), but I don't think it was her.  The girl favored her, but not enough for me to be convinced.  One of my favorite comedians of all time and Alabama native Rickey Smiley was on our layover flight from Houston.  I follow him on Twitter so I feel like I know him!  LOL.  I told him to keep the funny tweets coming because he has me rolling every day!  After we'd gotten in the car to go home, I tweeted that I'd seen him on the plane, and he retweeted and responded (if you're not on Twitter, that probably doesn't mean much to you). LOL.  I got a little kick out of that.  He is so funny.

Just to wrap the trip up, it was amazing and I'm so glad we got to go!  I'll finish up with some other random pics from the trip:

Blowing a kiss bye-bye with my camera bag as her suitcase.

Hanging out with her PaPa Coach.

Skyline in the background.

Newport Beach

Skyline at Night

Goodbye, LA!

Tour Pics Part II

I did not ask "Yoda" for a pic.  Man, this guy was creepy...

He got Jasmine, too.

No, I'm not kidding.  These peeps were on the street.

I don't really watch this show, but I thought this was cool.

"Float like a butterfly..."

Just enjoying it all.

The Hollywood sign is actually in the background, but it's really hard to see.

Not sure what they were filming.

From the movie, Pretty Woman.

Hollywood Hills.  How many celebrities live there these days?  Zero.  It's now an middle to upper-middle class neighborhood.

Reba McEntire's Pad

Queen Latifah's

The House from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (which is actually NOT located in the Bel-Air community, but regular ol' Beverly Hills).

Ben Stiller's Pad

The home Michael Jackson was renting when he died.

The gate that you saw over and over on the news. :(

Gsa Gsa Gabor's Pad (since the 1980s!)

Tori Spelling's House (she still had up Christmas decorations)

New Construction...belongs to none other than Jennifer Aniston

Famous street with the palm trees...can be seen in Beverly Hills Cop and something else...can't remember...

Danny Devito's Pad

Saw Christina Aguillera's house, too...not sure why I can't find it in my pictures.

Um, I'm really bad at naming luxury cars...I don't even know what this is.  Bentley?  Rolls?  Whatever it is, it turned a lot of heads (even our tour guide's).

Boutique of a famous wedding planner that has a show on TV...not sure who it is, but some of you may watch it and know exactly who it belongs to.

Venice Beach.  Mo slept right through it.

Jasmine and Ash

The Tide is number...

Ginger and Ms. Pat

Get off that phone, Jas!

Behind us is the basketball court from the movie White Men Can't Jump.

Sometimes called Muscle Beach, Venice Beach had a LOT of interesting things to see. 

Had some of these.  Delish!

The tour was awesome! 

Stuff I Talk About

2011 30 day shred age update AKA animals anniversary appreciation aquarium around the house art museum Atlanta baby/toddler sleep issues baking bama football beach birthday birthday party blog awards blog buddies blogher books camping causes celebrations celebrities cheer days childhood children's museum children's theater Christmas christmas card class reunion college days concert conference cousins crafts dance date night dating days deals decluttering dentist Disney dk easter engagement facebook faith fall fun family family fun fashion father's day favorite blogs field trip field trips football friday flashback friends fun event funny pic Gaylord Opryland genealogy girl scouts goals god grad school grateful graves' disease Halloween health holidays Hollywood honeymoon instagram Iron Bowl key west kindermusik learning letter to my daughter library Los Angeles m me miami mlk day morgan is three museum Nashville national championship game natural hair nature new look new orleans New Years nyc out on the town parks parties phone fun pinterest play days at home playdate playground action pregnancy professional development Race for the Cure raleigh ramblings reading Recipes relay for life school program shows singing skating snow soccer social networking sorority spring break spring fun stress summer summer fun summer reading summer to do list teacher life technical difficulties terrible twos Thanksgiving the girls the park theme park thomas and friends three thyroid tragedy trains traveling tricycle trips twitter valentine's day video walk for autism water play we love being outside wedding wordless wednesday work wrapup Yo Gabba Gabba zoo
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