Sunday, March 29, 2009



This time last year I quickly realized that I was immersed in perhaps one of the largest changes of my life. I had just had a baby, was living out of boxes, was adjusting to Kelly’s new job with AT&T, had recently vacated my position at the hospital and was now a stay at home mom of two children that were probably just as nervous as I was… and with good reason. My plate was full and perhaps my cup and lap as well… I was in all out messy eater. My life needed a little cleaning, perhaps a healthy dose of organization and at least one long nap. However it just wasn't the right time for additional tasks...not yet.

Weeks turned into months and I found that was slowly beginning to gain a little foothold in my world of upheaval. My new abode had a the familiar smells of home, I finally learned how to work the electric gate, had returned to a new part time position at the hospital and had actually met my new best-friend-with-a-kid at a park. Suddenly, newness felt a lot less scary and frankly- a bit less new.

It was at this time that I decided to make a “Completely Julie List”. In case you didn’t know this I love lists immensely. Which is funny because I really am not all that logical or organized… My “completely Julie list” was a list written on a piece of torn spiral notebook paper (my lists don’t have to look pretty) that outlined everything that I thought would make me feel at peace with my surroundings. It was hoped that after everything on my list was checked off I would feel like me- completely. Really the whole concept of all of this is sort of funny because I had no idea what complete Julie felt like because it was ever-evolving. But oh well.

The timing was perfect. This year is my Golden year. For me, I decided that the golden part of this year was to focus on inner strength and light. Kick off was for September. I joined a gym, attended local PTA programming, and life became a little busy… but in a good way. I like to feel busy and also stay up late which I have found is a very good combination.

Along with most people in the world we got swept away in the haze between November and January and emerged with about a million new kid toys in our house. But changes were still happening.

One of the things that I really wanted to try was a cleanse this year. Kelly and I decided to go with the master cleanse. It was hard—mainly, because I love food--- but my goodness, was it wonderful! I don’t know that it was so much that we needed a lemonade mixture to feel healthy but more that it was good timing with the changing of the seasons. I think what I loved the most about it was the energy that we now had. Tasks that had been long abandoned were now finally completed--- like the cleaning of my closets. I think that this could be a post to itself. My home has been clean but my closets had been a mess…very much a reflection of my life.

Life comes full circle. By this time my “completely Julie list” is lost and long forgotten. This weekend as Kelly and I were immersed in closet chaos I stumbled across a box. I initially assumed it was all trash and then looked inside to discover a piece of torn notebook paper with a ‘completely Julie list’- my 27 goals that would help find me. Immediately, I was able to see how far I had come from the nervous person immersed in her world of change. In many ways it was the totality of the list that brought my whole Julie project to a close. So while outwardly the master cleanse was really great… it was really a list, some closets and a bunch of crossed off words that became the best plan for cleansing a Julie…


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Potato Face

Molly loves to play 'potato face'. Of course it generally doesn't hold her interest for more than 15 minutes but that is okay...only princesses and books are capable of that. We bought Molly Mr. potato head when she was much to young for them and I am so happy that we did. Her creations were incredible. Here is one from a long while ago and it isn't even her best work. Who knew that we had our own little Picasso on our hands? At least she got the nose right...sort of... it was really just an accident I think. I loved it when the shoes came out the ear hole- that was my favorite.

But then the other day I walked in to see potato face looking like this. Hooray developmental milestones. I love that she left one ear off though and stayed true to her Molly flair. You bet the next step was to accessorize her one ear-ed diva with a nice gold hoop earring and a purse on the arm (after they were put on of course.)

Potato face, you're lookin' good.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Go Bananas!

One donated pacifier, two train transfers and a lovely carousel ride later we had completed our mission! Our children have finally seen the zoo. Another first for the baby book.
I really wish that you could hear me laughing because I am so behind on updating the baby books. I think I left off when Gabriel had two teeth...he is now at 8. hmmm.
It was perfect zoo weather this weekend and not as busy as I had expected for the end of Spring Break. I think there was a discount day on Friday...stink. We decided to make a whole day of it and take the train to the zoo. We heart DART. It was so fun and the kids loved the train.

I have always felt a little bad about never taking Molly to the zoo before. I just didn't know how much she would like it. I have to say that she did enjoy it but still think it could have waited a little longer... I was surprised. I think it will suffice to say that we will be holding off on a zoo membership. Molly did love some big parts of the zoo. She was quite taken with the elephant poop and referred to him as a big boy elephant and she LOVED the gorillas... like LOVE LOVE people. She became fast friends with them.

Her favorite part of course had to be the carousel. Those sneaky zoo people put this sucker right at the entrance which means we talked about it the WHOLE time until it was time to leave. Molly, of course chose to ride the gorilla-- which we later prayed for at bedtime. God bless the gorillas.

Speaking of gorillas, that night we uncovered a couple monkeys of our own that decided to air dry after bath that evening... while pushing babies around of course.
Happy night from our zoo to yours...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sweet and Sour

... about a delay in posting. Does anyone else feel like they have lost a few days this week? Between work and family, I have had but a moment to slow down. So here I am sitting next to a graham cookie faced Gabe and drinking some nice lemonade (we will get there) embracing a slower paced moment. Whew.

In case you didn't know it --- St. Pat's Day happens to be my second favorite holiday of the whole year. (1st favorite goes to Fourth of July) I start looking forward to St. Pat's Day generally around December 27th. I love it. I was born into an enormous Irish Catholic family, married a man whose favorite color is green and attended 9 years of parochial school at a place named St. Patrick. Random info but all signs lead to lover of the holiday.

It is something I hope to make special for my children too. This year was both of my children's second time to celebrate St. Patty's. It is amazing that I am now rounding to the point where Gabe has been around for this celebration before... and I am not pregnant... things just might be though I hate to jinx it---delightfully stagnant? Here is the post from last year...look how tiny Gabriel was!

Not anymore... here Gabe is wearing his green avocado mustache with pride...
leprechauns have got to eat you know...
Here are some lovely lady leprechauns...

And the guys in green drinking their green ale of choice. I heart uncle nick's shirt.

Not to name any names but there might have been one certain leprechaun that ate from the time the party started until the party wrapped up...

It was a night filled with sweet memories.... I would like to take a minute to address the enormous amount of people not wearing green on Tuesday. Growing up we had to sleep in green jammies the night before to avoid breakfast pinching by the family. This year, everywhere we went I had to fight the urge to pinch people. I have come to learn that pinching is often not socially acceptable on a play date.
Since that lovely night of green Kelly and I have embraced the sour. This year, Kelly and I made a few plans to embrace a life style change. One of them included a cleanse. I told Kelly I was incapable of starting a cleanse until after St. Pat's Day---remember the gearing up begins in December. So yesterday was official kick off of our lemonade cleanse. Unfortunately due to a stressful moment that might have resulted in a cheeseburger we are now on official kick off part II and doing quite well. I even cooked a yummy dinner tonight for a new mommy and didn't even feel tempted to take a bite... well, maybe a little tempted. But I didn't. I'll keep you posted on how it goes without going into detail on how it all goes...if you get my drift.
So here we are with our sweet and sour...taking life's lemons and definitely making some lemonade.
Happy weekend to you!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I wanna know where the gold's at...

On Saturday, the Irish crew and one Frenchman headed out for some good ole' parade watching. It was so much fun this year...and incredibly cold! A little shiver couldn't take the bounce from our step and it was nothing a nice blue moon couldn't fix (for the over 21 crowd :)

Hooray Greenville Parade!

I promise they were wearing lots of green-just no way to tell under the winter apparel.

This kids quickly lost their comfy spots to the beer. I told Kelly that I was going to let my beer sit for a minute to cool it a little more. Also, make sure to notice Kelly's superior catch. Sure it may just be a SMU shirt...sorry dad... I mean an AWESOME SMU shirt. Who knew that a shirt could cause such pandemonium in a mob of green?

Molly LOVED it when all the Chloes were out walking! She kept telling me "There's Chloe...and Chloe again... and Chloe again..." Our other favorite float was the 'shake your shamrock' float. Apparently, Molly and Gabe both thought they had the best dancing music. Uncle Nick had called us to look for the Alabama Leprechaun float but I missed it due to toddler potty time.

Gabriel and Kelly had some great bonding time. They shared some love...

and some delicious beads...

What better way to celebrate an end to a parade then some green and white Krispy Kreme's?

Now for the most important part. Saturday, I learned an amazing secret. Molly just might be my get out of jail free card. It was unreal. Let me explain. I am still in such a state of shock that I have yet to find the words. Molly was just standing at the rail looking at the floats and drunken debauchery happen right in front of her. Like this...
She was loving it but was really quiet and just soaking it all in. As the floats were approaching I turned to Kelly and casually remarked that Molly was probably going to get pelted with beads. I am not kidding that the first bead thrown in our area bounces directly off the pole at her head and lands right at her feet. That kid is a magnet. And then it really began. People would get off the floats to bring her beads. WHAT? Molly was making out like a bandit.
She had to go to the bathroom and we approached Krispy Kreme. I know that I have a tendency to over exaggerate. Please know, that this is NOT one of those times. That line was easily 30 deep. It was filled with crazy green drunk people. We took our place at the back. Molly turns to drunk man A and informed him that she had to go tee tee a lot. Brilliant Molly, brilliant. At this point that Drunk Man A starts chanting 'Let her through'. Before I know it this catches on. I kid you not it was like the parting of the seas. On our way to the bathroom people were putting more beads on her... what? When we came out of the bathroom the line burst into cheers/clapping and Molly informed them that "She did it!!" more cheers...more beads. Not normal. Oh the power of the cuteness this exact moment I suddenly saw all the ways that I can benefit from this. Goodbye bathroom lines, hello upgrades.
Here Molly is showing off half of her loot at home. She had too many to fit all around her neck.

Stay tuned for more St. Patty's pics from Tuesday Night's annual Janick Family Hoopla!

Friday, March 13, 2009

perfect weather

Rainy days are perfect for watching movies with some close friends.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The not-so-good-kind-of-quiet...

When you become a parent life as you know it transforms. I think that this is true of pretty much any milestone in life. Perhaps one of the biggest changes after having kids has been the absence of quiet. Long gone are the days of curling up with a book on a rainy Saturday, showering without interruptions, peeing with the door closed… ahh… faded memories.

You find yourself trying so hard to remember what quiet felt like. And then one day you get a little taste- just not quite the taste that you were wanting. You see, I have come to find out that now quiet is never really a good thing. If there is quiet then you know something that shouldn’t be happening very likely IS happening. Quiet is no longer a luxury… rather it is an indication to seek your child out immediately.

The other day Molly was nice and quiet… a little too quiet. We had picked up Molly some stickers at the store because she had such great behavior the whole day! I figured she would want to put one on…

Just not all of them at once. Under her shirt. I guess that is where stickers go though?
***warning this is a picture of a VERY dirty Molly at the end of the day...***

So, our sticker girl was nice and decorated all the way up to bath time where Molly helped the stickers get nice and clean with soap.

I have to give her some credit - the stickers did look quite lovely all compacted together like that – even under her shirt. She just was wearing her flair incognito.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rainy Day Dancing

Today was definitely an inside play day. In a valiant effort to consume toddler energy we had a big ole' dance party at Casa May! Now even though these dance parties are about a weekly occurrence at our house the kids still get really excited when we have one.

IT was RoCkIn'.

I think that my favorite moment of the day was about 2 hours after this video when I went looking for a VERY quiet Molly. I rounded the corner to see her dancing quietly in her room. She informed me that she was "practicing her dance moves." She was "dancing with her knees".

Dancing on a rainy day just might be our favorite past time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Our Big Boy

I am shocked at how quickly Gabriel is making the transition from baby to little toddler. It seems to be literally happening over night. He now has several new words (up, ball, truck, LALALAL aka Molly). He is on his way to becoming a complete walker. This is actually a little nicer because he is much slower at walking then crawling which means I can actually keep up now. Whew. I will take whatever break I can get.

Recently, Gabriel has started wearing hats again. He went through this phase where nothing could be on his head. I am so happy to be moving out of that phase.

Doesn't he look bigger?

*please note that my children do not always wear the same outfits...I just seem to only take pictures on the days they are wearing the same outfit as last post. Maybe they are just that much cuter in the outfit inevitably making it a picture day?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Super Saturday

On Friday afternoon, we all walked to the park when Kelly came home. On our walk I saw this BEAUTIFUL tree and remembered that Dallas Blooms opened this weekend! Dallas Blooms is so wonderful! I think that our arboretum pass just might be my favorite thing ever!

I was worried that the flowers would not be in full bloom because it was the first day. Boy, was I wrong. The arboretum did not disappoint.

okay so this is a very terrified looking picture of Molly but I promise she was really happy all day (amazingly)

The storybook houses were SO fun! I love that they are positioned all over the park so anywhere you go you can discover a new house!

I think that Molly and Gabe liked Treasure Island best. It had a big sandbox.

Gabriel did GREAT with the sand and didn't attempt to taste it until the last minute before we moved to the next house. He was not a fan of sand eating.
The arboretum was the perfect place for some RUNNING OFF ENERGY! I am not going to lie- this past week was not Molly's finest.
She really did great today though. We needed that.

We loved that each house really had a fun theme and unique things for the kids. Here Molly is visiting the Lorax.
We finally settled for a picnic on the big hill. Now that Gabriel is walking he loves that he can stand up and dance to the music just like Molly. Look at that BELLY!
Our little bohemian princess was REALLY in to the music. At one point she was dancing on these little platforms.
Gabriel sought this opportunity to eat the rest of Molly's lunch.
After nap it was too pretty not to go outside again! We opted for good ole' TCBY. YUMMY! I was really excited because while we were eating Gabe looked at Kelly and signed "more". We had been practicing but he had really yet to grasp it. He was SO cute. I am so sad that I couldn't get a picture of it. (and yes, these bibs are so old and WAY tiny...but they worked)

After eating all that ice cream it was dinner time. Nice. We took dinner to my Granny's and visited! Granny's house has all the fun toys to play with.
Although busy, I think that this weekend was EXACTLY what we needed. Every morning I open the paper and the front page is covered in economic woes and hardship. It is not that I don't want to acknowledge that we are in trying times but I occasionally just need an escape and some room for spontaneous joy. This weekend was the perfect opportunity for that! We are so thankful for the recharge of positive energy.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Well it is about time!

Kelly can finally breathe a little easier. I know that my eccentric ways sometimes cause him a little added stress. I think that this was one of those times. I finally updated my car tags!

Now, this picture is really not as bad as it seems. I have not gone a full year with expired tags. I did finally get tags two months late last year and then promptly lost them when they arrived. In my defense I had just delivered a baby and moved and I was a little sleepy. Going to the DMV for new tags has just been a constant on the to-do list for the last year...I just never quite got around to it - much to Kelly's frustration. Apparently, because the car is in my name only I can go and request new tags for 6 dollars. Really who has time? I mean, sure it may just be like 4 blocks from my house and I may be home with the kids every day but we are busy. Too much fun to be had if you ask me.

Really, it doesn't even matter because the problem now ceases to exist. So happy day for Stella (and Kelly too)... my car is finally legal!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wacky Weather

While I am pleased that we are in for a little warm up I am frustrated that our warm up includes several near 90 days. Really? I want spring. Nice, breezy, comfy, lukewarm spring. You have all heard my previous rants on the weather so I will not submit you to that again. But, it sure has been some wacky weather. And I don't heart that.
Case in point.
Last Thursday was beautiful and warm. Warm enough to wash good ole' Stella in the driveway. Molly loved this project! I think that her favorite part was when she got to strip down to her panties and scrub away. My little OCD cleaner. She is a girl after her Nonnie's heart.

Surprisingly, they were a very effective cleaning crew. That is until I turned around from spraying the car to see Gabe with the whole bucket of soap in hand taking a nice long swig. I almost threw up for him. But he lived and went on as if burping Palmolive was just a normal part of life.

Moving on to Saturday. Low in the 20s. So cold that that we lasted about 20 minutes outside before Molly started to turn blue. She could stand to have a little more meat on her skinny bones.

this is her cold face mid teeth chatter.
So yes, definitely been a week of up and down. Who knows we might be in for a swim this Friday followed by some sledding next week. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monster Monday

It happens early in the morning when the smell of breakfast still lingers in the air. The hardwoods creeeeek as you carry load after load of laundry to the back ever so distant bedroom. There is an unfamiliar shadow cast on the wall but it goes unnoticed as you are completely focused on the monotonous task of cleaning.

And this is the exact moment that the encounter occurs.

Heart palpitating, sweat dripping you meet the dreaded beast.

The Sticker Monster.

She roars and growls her fierce teeth. She is very liable to come after you with her strawberry stained talons and toxic breakfast bar breath. Your life is but a mere pebble in her path of destruction. Will you survive?

It is very fortunate that you have unearthed the secret kryptonite of this dreaded assailant. Sheer luck in the truest form. It so happens that the beast has a weakness for tickling and Disney. An unlikely combination yet the perfect formula for survival. Victory is yours…

For now.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dear Caroline

Molly was very excited to learn that her friend, Caroline, also loved the Happy Birthday song! So even though Caroline's birthday is still a bit away we do celebrate it a bunch here at our house.

Molly informed me that she was too technology savvy to just send a normal email or make a phone call to her friend. Instead, she opted for a video message.

So here you go Caroline...

Love, Molly