Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful, happy and healthy 2008!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A different perspective

First of all let me start by saying that I am most definitely NOT the mother that I thought or said I would be. I was, to say the least, a much better parent before Isabella came along. If only I could do what I said I would and not do what I said I wouldn't at least half the time, my parenting would be out of this world.

Luckily this is not a post about my parenting shortcomings; certainly no one has that kind of time. It is however, a direct result from a conversation I had with my friend Christie today after we picked Isabella up at MDO. You see, Isabella proudly showed me an ornament she made today in class and I couldn't wait to get home to put it up on our Christmas tree.

OK, so rewind about 6-8 years to an era when my Christmas trees were a "work of art". Every year I slaved over the tree for days decorating it in a specific theme (a different one each year mind you, which can get really expensive, really fast). Year after year Scott would find some of his childhood ornaments and hand them to me to incorporate into the tree decor. This is probably what I worked the hardest on ~ I was determined to find the best possible hiding place so that they were concealed, but yet I could tell Scott they were on there. Yeah,... not one of my proudest moments.

I also remember telling Scott numerous times that some day when we had children I would still have my very own beautiful tree but that we'd have a different tree to house all of the kids' ornaments. This is where that different perspective kicks in. Seriously, what in the world was I thinking?

Like I mentioned on the previous post, I love my big beautiful tree which is packed with a huge assortment of ornaments ~ some from years of collecting, others brand new, some are Scott's childhood ornaments and yes, ALL of Isabella's handmade ornaments. Would you like to take a guess as to which ones are my favorite? I can't even imagine her art not being a part of our tree. Her ornaments actually make the tree and she's so incredibly proud to point them out to us.

Hey, I guess this counts as one of those things I said I wouldn't do, but I am doing and I actually feel like a better mama for it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Catching Up

OK, so it's been about a month and a half since my last post, and I swear it feels like it's just been a couple of days. Time is just flying by these days. Anyway I must warn you, this is kind of a long post. Alrighty then, where do I start?
For the last few weeks we've either been crazy busy or nursing one nasty illness after another. Unfortunately, I can't report that we're finally healthy being that as of right now we are ALL suffering from terrible colds. Ever since Isabella started preschool it's always one thing or another, and it really stinks for me since there isn't much I can take these days. Oh NyQuil, how I love and miss thee,....

I am however, happy to report that our Christmas cards have been mailed and our trees are all finally up. Three in total this year and I love every single one of them. My favorite one is the one in the living room. I love the feeling of calm and peace it gives me from just looking at it. Isabella absolutely loves sitting in front of it and admiring all the lights and ornaments. She especially likes the new ornaments I got specifically for her this year. We still haven't done the outside lights, but I'm not really stressing over it or much else for that matter.

All of our Christmas shopping is done allowing us time to relax, enjoy the true meaning of the season and all the fun events we've taken Isabella to in the last few weeks. We've seen Santa Claus a couple of times, but I think it's safe to say she's still quite leery of him. She really tried to do the whole "sit on his lap and tell him what you want" thing at Zoo Lights, but changed her mind at the last moment. The closest she has gotten to him was at the Pink Palace Museum Enchanted Forest where she made him move in order to be in the picture (God forbid she's uncomfortable or inconvenienced).
Anyway, whether she's close to him or not she's always made it a point of telling him what she wants for Christmas, and her list goes a little something like this: a baby doll, puzzles and chocolate chip cookies. And truth be told, she's been consistent about her list since before Thanksgiving. So let's keep our fingers crossed and hope she gets exactly what she wants this Christmas.

We also had the honor of attending her first ever Christmas Program this year where her class sang "Jesus Loves Me" and "Jingle Bells". It was awesome seeing all those 2-year old kids up front. They all pretty much stood there looking out at the audience during "Jesus Loves Me", but when it was time for "Jingle Bells" their job was to shake their bells and that's exactly what they did, and may I say she did it beautifully. We are so very proud of her.
Isabella's Nana sent her the most beautiful dress and beret for the special occasion. Now you tell me if she wasn't working the "Holiday Attitude" look.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Too cute to spook

The last couple of years we haven't really gotten into the Halloween thing with Isabella being so young. We've gotten the costumes, taken her picture, and that's about it. But this year it's a whole different story. She absolutely loved her Butterfly Princess costume, her Princess candy bucket and her ballerina slippers, and she looked beautiful!
She had a great time at our church's Fall Festival this year where she got to wear her costume for the first time, play lots of games, have her face painted (by her mommy), and eat tons of candy.

But quite honestly, the highlight for Isabella was being able to go door to door, say Trick or Treat and get free candy. You wouldn't believe how quickly she caught on to this new concept. By the time we got to the second and third house she was an old pro. We really enjoyed walking around our neighborhood with our friends, the Padawers. Madison was dressed as Ariel, from The Little Mermaid, with the big red hair and everything. They looked seriously cute.
In other news, we had our ultrasound this Monday, and thank God everything looks great so far. We were able to see the little heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach, hands, feet,... well, pretty much everything but the baby's face, being that is was on its side or its belly during the entire procedure. And yes, I did mean everything. I am pleased to inform you that we are having a baby BOY! Yeah! We are so excited. Even Isabella seems pleased with our news. I think she would definitely struggle if she had to share her princess status with someone else in the house.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fun at the Patch

So we finally made it to a pumpkin patch this year with our great friends the Padawers. We have been postponing our trip because it's been so hot and my idea of a pumpkin patch visit and a hay ride usually involves jeans and warm, cozy sweaters, not shorts and T-shirts. Since we got there in the morning it was still somewhat "chilly", but unfortunately it wasn't long before the temperature was up in the 80's.

We kicked off our adventure with a hay ride out to the fields where we got to pick our own pumpkins right off the vines. Then we headed back to the "farm" to play in the playground, ride the train, pet and feed the animals, roast marshmallows and jump in the moonwalk. A funny thing that happened was while Isabella and I were posing for a picture in front of the goats, one of them decided my hair looked good enough to eat and took a big ol' bite of it scaring me to death and making me jump a good ten feet. I seriously do not remember the last time I moved that fast.
I think the girls would have been quite content to stay there all day, but we finally convinced them that the adults were hot and hungry and that we needed to go get some lunch. But it was a very good day filled with so much fun and a whole lot of laughter.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I must confess

Isabella had her school pictures taken last week, and I must confess I was petrified. Why?, you ask. Well, here lately when you ask her to smile for the camera she loudly says "CHEESE" and makes the scariest looking face. And I know I'm her mama and I love her to death, but when I say scary,... I mean scary. Scary like "Chucky the doll" scary (please refer to exhibits A and B below):

Exhibit A ~ Here's Chucky the doll:Exhibit B ~ Here's Isabella looking "Chucky-ish":
Due to this small issue, we actually had some impromptu smiling practices/sessions at home before her school photos were taken. Needless to say we got this look from her more than once, and every single time her daddy would praise her by loudly exclaiming "Beautiful!". Seriously?!?! I could have killed him every time he did because I just knew all of her pictures would end up looking like that.

Anyway, today was the big day, the day we got to pick up the pictures. I found myself walking towards the table with quite the array of emotions going on inside me: anxiety, anticipation, fear, dread of the unknown, uncertainty. I gave the lady Isabella's name and she pulled out her pictures, she then looked at me and said "Oh". Oh? What is that supposed to mean? The first thing that popped into my mind was CHUCKY! Then she says "You're going to have a hard time choosing". Phew,...

The pictures were stunning. I picked 6 poses from a total of 10 available and absolutely loved them. I'm pretty sure we're going to use one of them on our Christmas cards so I'm only going to share a couple at this time. These are scanned copies so they are not as good as the originals, but you get the idea.

Yeah, no Chucky doll here, just our beautiful girl who constantly keeps us guessing.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I don't ever want to forget,...

So Scott and I were talking about a funny thing that happened in the car on the way home from dinner Saturday night. Just a few days later and we're already struggling to remember ALL the details. But we've finally managed to piece it together and it goes a little something like this:

At Hannah's birthday party all the girls got one of those funky straws with lots of loops in their cups. On the way home Isabella pulled her straw out of her cup and since it was so dark she was having a hard time getting it back in the right spot. So she asked her daddy for help. Scott took the straw put it in the cup and gave it back to her, to which she enthusiastically responded:

"Good job, Daddy! I'm so proud of you!"

Scott and I looked at each other and started laughing. Of course, as you can imagine, her daddy instantly turned to mush. Not that it takes much,...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fun Weekend

So here we are on the very last day of September and I'm sitting here wondering where has the time gone. There are pumpkin patches going up all around us and it's still 86 degrees around here. Aren't you supposed to wear nice cozy sweaters and jeans when you go on hay rides? I'm having a real hard time getting into the spirit of Autumn these days. In addition, I cannot believe my eyes when I go out shopping and stores are packed with Christmas merchandise.

Yesterday we took Isabella to our friend's daughter birthday party. Hannah turned 5 years old and we celebrated at The Little Gym. Scott and I weren't quite sure how Isabella would do with all the older girls, but she had absolutely no problem keeping up and she had so much fun.
Also this weekend we finally put together the "big" gift we got Isabella for her birthday. Because it's an outside toy and the temperatures around here have been unbearable until recently, we decided to wait until nicer weather to put it together. Needless to say, she LOVES it and played with it for hours this weekend. I think she especially likes that she can get in it and eat her yummy treats without having to fight with the dogs.
Finally I would like to congratulate my cousin Jessica and her husband Kenneth on the birth of their beautiful baby girl, Koral, last Monday. They are all ecstatic to be home with their new addition and doing well and we just couldn't be happier for them.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


So here's what's been happening in and around casa Butler these last few weeks:

* Isabella absolutely loves going to her little preschool. Her favorite class is music where they get to sing and shake bells and they get their hand stamped if they're good. She so proudly shows me her stamped little hand every time I pick her up. Her second favorite is art which usually involves paint, glitter and glue. Needless to say, her least favorite part of the day is nap time. And although she has actually taken a nap or two, she usually sits or lays quietly on her mat until snack time.

* Since this is his busiest time of the year, Scott's been working crazy long hours and weekends, which in turn is killing me. I so look forward to when he walks through the door after work and Isabella excitedly announces his arrival and instantly forgets I even exist. Here lately he's been taking care of bath and other nighttime duties which gives me a nice little break. We just keep reminding ourselves this craziness is only temporary and will be over in a couple of weeks.

* We joined forces with our neighbors and had a huge yard sale yesterday. I wish I would have taken a picture of what our garage looked like on Friday night. We had so much stuff in it it looked like it was ready to burst . And although our local newspaper messed up our ad twice, Christie made and posted so many signs, that the traffic we got was unbelievable. We sold about 90% of the stuff we had out, and what didn't sell went straight to Goodwill afterwards. I was so excited to get rid of a lot of the antiques I collected during our Louisville days. Apparently I am over antiques and very much into more modern furniture/decor.

* Finally, we do a have a bit of good news to share. Pending everything continues to go well, as of March 2008 the Butler family will have expanded by one. That's right, we're pregnant, about 14 1/2 weeks to be exact! This might explain to those of you who have been unfortunate enough to be around me lately why I have been such a useless and unmotivated grouch. If you happen to be one of those unfortunate people , please accept my deepest apologies. The good news is I'm actually starting to feel better and snap out of this "thing" I've been in for the last couple of months. I don't really think Isabella can quite grasp that she's going to be a big sister and that there's a baby in my belly, since she's pretty adamant she has one in her belly as well. She and Scott went with me to last month's appointment and through an ultrasound we got to see a very active baby ~ yeah, Isabella was not impressed. Anyway, hopefully we'll find out the sex of the baby next month so we'll make sure to keep you updated.

On that note, I will say good night now and go watch a movie with my hubby. Until next time.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Magical evening

It was family date night Saturday night when we took Isabella downtown to see Disney On Ice ~ Princess Wishes (or the Ice Princesses, as her daddy often called them). Although she's not really familiar with any of the Disney Princesses yet, she sure loved seeing all the different characters and all the action happening on the ice. Her favorite part of the show was pretty much any time Mickey and Minnie Mouse came out. Those she did immediately recognize and absolutely loves. I'm so glad we were able to go. We had such a nice time and seeing her so excited made the whole experience totally magical for us.

P.S. Sorry about the poor quality of the pictures. Between the lighting, the non-stop action, and the distance good shots were impossible to get.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Our big girl

Today was Isabella's first day at Preschool/MDO. Scott and I have been preparing her for this day for weeks telling her about all the fun things she'd get to do while in school ~ playing with boys and girls, drawing pictures, singing songs, going to the playground, eating lunch and snacks, taking a nap. All of which she was anxiously looking forward to, except for the dreaded nap. I even spoke to her teacher about it (the nap I didn't think she'd take) during orientation. She was great about reassuring me that Isabella would be OK and that this is probably the one time in our kids' life when peer pressure is a good thing.

Anyway, this morning she woke up very excited. We ate breakfast, watched a little TV and the three of us went to drop her off for her first day of school.
There was only a little bit of hesitation this morning when we walked in and she saw the classroom. She took two steps back and decided this school thing might not be a good idea after all. Daddy reminded her about the fun things she was going to do, she looked inside the classroom, saw that there was paint and paper set up on the table and ran inside without giving me a kiss or even saying good bye. She looked back long enough for me to snap one last picture and that was that.
Needless to say I missed her terribly, but truth be told I enjoyed having some free time and those 5 hours absolutely flew by. When I went to pick her up this afternoon she showed me the artwork she'd created and the happy face stamp she got on her hand for being a good girl during music class. She didn't actually take a nap, but I was told she was very good about lying down quietly on her mat until nap time was officially over. She was so very proud of herself and us,... well we couldn't be more proud of our big girl.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back from the black hole

WOW, can you believe it's September already? So much has been going on around here. Let's see, where do I start?

OK, so I got reprimanded today for being "the worst blogger EVER!". An accusation which I acknowledge to be true most recently and to which my only response is I AM SO SORRY! August was an extremely difficult month full of unpleasant A/C issues which I will spare all of you from; one because it's an unbelievably depressing topic for us and two because we're truly sick of dealing/talking about it. So, what better way to get over an atrocious situation than to leave it behind, way far behind, like 500 miles away from home.

As we did this time last year, we took an 8-hour road trip and spent Labor Day weekend visiting our great friends Rob, Rachel, Jack and Luke in Indiana. This year though we were also joined by our good friends Scott, Kathi, Isabel and their new baby girl, Gabrielle, from Wisconsin. The last time we got to spend any time with them was over two years ago. This was a totally different experience from the last time we were all together being that there were almost as many kids as there were adults. Quite honestly I wasn't sure how that would all go, but truth be told we had a fantastic weekend. And it was actually very relaxing. The kids got to play together and the adults got to do some much needed catching up.

Although much nicer weather than back home it still got pretty hot outside during the day, so in an effort to keep cool we visited the pool and played with the sprinklers and slip-n-slide in the front yard. All the kids were more than happy to play in the water. As you can probably guess, Isabella made sure to stay far away from any and all sprinkler-like activities.

Actually, it got so hot Rob decided he needed to cool off as well. Unfortunately, he was the only adult brave enough to cool off in this specific manner. I know the rest of us were secretly wishing we could do the same. It sure looked like fun.

While all the outdoor activities were going on Baby Gabrielle was inside taking her nap, but we made sure to get lots of photos of this sweet and happy baby girl.

On the way back home on Monday we decided to make a stop at Dinosaur World in Cave City, KY. We weren't really sure what it would be like, but every time we've driven by it in the past it's peaked our curiosity. So in order to ensure Isabella would not be frightened we kept telling her about the "really big dinosaur toys" we were going to go see. She loved it. It was set up like a path, very Jurassic Park like, and every few feet there were different dinosaur exhibits with information. Isabella loved that she got to do a whole lot of walking, so much so she actually asked her daddy to carry her for a while. And she only got scared a couple of times, mostly when the big dinosaurs were extremely close to the path.

Uncanny resemblance, don't you think?

I thought for sure after all this walking this child of ours would pass out in the car and take a nice long nap. WRONG! Apparently mommy was the one who was beat after our stop and took a nice long nap while daddy continued to drive and Isabella watched episode after episode of The Backyardigans on her DVD player.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Inhale - Exhale - Smile - Repeat

First of all I can't believe it's already been a week since my last post, time is just flying by and I can't seem to slow it down one bit. Well, except for last Thursday when time came to a screeching halt. You see the temperatures here have been miserably hot, consistently over 100 degrees, and our upstairs A/C unit croaked on us. So for most of the day the repair men turned both units off so that they could identify the problem. OH MY GOD!!! I believe the temperature inside the house got up to about 90 degrees, but I couldn't really leave the house because they kept asking questions and needing me to show them where "X" and "Y" were. OH MY GOD!!! I thought I would die. So they managed to find the problem and put a "band-aid" on it to get it to work until next Thursday when they come back for their scheduled 8-hour repair job. OK, just so you know we will NOT be here that day. We will be across the street at Christie's sitting in their nice cool living room with my cell phone, in case they need to ask me anything at all.

Let's see, other than that Isabella and I have been out to Josh's pool a few times to try to keep cool, we've gone to lunch with Christie and Madison, went downtown to take Scott out to lunch and we've spend A LOT of time indoors. Unfortunately, the weather forecast offers not a single glimpse of hope in the near future so we might have to get really creative about how to spend all of our time indoors without going totally crazy.

Now, there is one thing I am so very excited about. Back in February, Scott gave me a gift certificate for a 1/2 day spa visit for our 5-yr anniversary. I just recently panicked when I realized the certificate expires the end of this month so I went ahead and booked it for TODAY ~ 4 hours of a full-body massage, a pedicure, a manicure and a light lunch (which will probably consist of alfalfa sprouts in an extra light wheat pita - YUMMY!). Anyway, that's where I'll be headed in a little while and I can't wait. Say it with me: Inhale - Exhale - Smile - Repeat.

So on that note, I'll leave you with a picture of last week's birthday boy and the apple of his eye. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Happy Birthday, Scott !

We're getting ready for our date; no time to post right now, other than to say: Happy Birthday, Cakes! I love you!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sweet memories

We've lived in TN for a little over three years now and I still love driving up and down Walnut Grove/Shelby Farms as much as I did when we first moved here. There's something very soothing about driving down a road where you're constantly surrounded by nature, seasonal crops, walking trails, a fishing pond, etc. And this is by far one of my favorite sights:

Two years ago, as I was headed home from the hospital scared to death about the incredible new responsibility in our lives (Isabella) ~ wondering how we would do it (one day at a time), if we would be good parents (we work very hard every single day to be), how much our lives would change (seriously? it's easier to tell you how it hasn't). While ALL these uncertainties and insecurities were running through my mind, I look up and see nothing but a sea of beautiful giant sunflowers. Suddenly I felt like it would all be OK, I felt like we would be able to make it.

Since that day I love this time of year because of the sweet memories of Isabella's birth, my first-time mom nerves as I'm headed home and the inner-peace that this amazing sight brought to me (albeit, this inner peace didn't last very long thanks to the ugly face of postpartum or baby blues or whatever you want to call uncontrollable sobbing, combined with total self doubt, lack of sleep, and many other symptoms, but that's besides the point).

So this year I decided to capture some pictures of this amazing sight so that I could always remember what brought me a bit of hope and sunshine during such a nerve-wrecking time. We all went to get some shots this afternoon, and I'm so glad we did because it was so very peaceful and absolutely breath-taking.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Down on the farm,...

I got the birthday pictures from Anita today and they are awesome. It was such a relief to be able to spend our time with Isabella and all of her guests and not have to worry about taking pictures.

Our farm trip was a blast. We had the most unbelievable weather for July. Among some of the things we got to do was feeding goats, turtle races, petting a ferret, a duckling, a bunny and a rooster, horse carriage rides, pony rides, feeding bunnies and a 1000 lb pig, milking a goat(some were much more brave than others), a train ride, a wonderful playground, and on and on.

The kids were SO good ~ all 13 of them. They all listened, followed the rules, and got to enjoy the farm and everything it had to offer.

One thing's for sure, this will certainly be a hard act to follow next year.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Just a peak,...

I just received a sneak peak of some of the birthday pictures. Anita, all I can say is WOW! I cannot wait to see all of them.

Happy Birthday, Isabella!

Exactly two years ago our lives changed in the most amazing and unbelievable way ~ when Isabella made us parents and a family of three.

We had the most wonderful Birthday Party for her yesterday at Kidz Kountry Petting Zoo in Southaven, MS. Luckily, a friend was able to take pictures throughout the party allowing Mommy and Daddy both to focus on having fun with the birthday girl. I will post pictures and stories about it as soon as I get them back.

Since today is her real birth date, we're planning a trip to Chuck E. Cheese's later on with our wonderful neighbors, which I'm sure will also require a post.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl! We love you so much!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

No more horsing around

I got a call from my cousin Jessica this morning telling me that she understood I was busy and all, but that I was really slacking in the blogging department. Alright girl, point taken,... I am so sorry.

OK, so we really have been busy these last couple of weeks getting ready for "Lella Happy Birday Comin", which Isabella has been reminding us of almost daily for the last few weeks, and getting some things done around the house. The kitchen got a bit of a much needed face lift ~ nothing major, just new paint, new light fixtures, new hardware and a different kitchen table. Although we would have loved to get new cabinets and counter tops, financially it's not the right time. But we're really happy with how it turned out. I'll make sure to post some pictures soon.

But in the midst of all the "busyness", we have carved out some time for fun stuff as well. On Saturday Scott and I took Isabella to Shelby Farms to see the horses and hopefully get her to ride one.

Let me start by saying that I tried this a few months ago. Isabella was quite taken with Beau (the horse) and was not at all afraid of him so naturally I was certain it would all be smooth sailing. I paid $4.00 and then she absolutely lost it and got hysterical when they tried to put the required helmet on her and,... that was the end of that.

So with her birthday party at the farm fast approaching, we thought we'd try this little adventure again. This time, putting on the helmet was absolutely no problem, she actually enjoyed having it on. Getting close to Pipper (the horse), that was all together a different story. So this time we paid $4.00 for her to wear a helmet and,... that was the end of that. However, she did look really cute with it on.

So by our estimation, we're thinking we will have spent close to $40.00 before she actually gets on one of the horses with a helmet on. Hmmm, kind of an expensive pony ride, don't you think?