Foster is 14 months

Foster is now a little over 14 months old.  I really can’t believe it!  Foster is such a sweet boy.  I love him to pieces.  Here are a few pictures that I took this morning…

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Just this month Foster has developed some really ornery looks.  He can be a little stinker but I love every second of it.  He’s all boy.  I have a feeling it’s going to be hard to discipline him- how could you discipline this face?

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Foster isn’t quite walking yet.  I’m not worried about it.   I really think that because he is such an efficient crawler he just doesn’t see the need to walk?  We’re not pushing him because we know how things change once a baby becomes a toddler. :)  He has started randomly standing up on his own.  He’ll be in the middle of a room and he’ll just stand up with a little gleam in his eye like “Look at me, I’m pretty cool.”  Here he is standing… unfortunately you can’t see his feet here but trust me, he’s standing!

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Here he is searching for his monkey paci in his crib.  When he gets sleepy or just bored, he goes to his crib to find it.  He is so attached to his monkey paci which I know is my fault because I gave it to him all the time when he was a baby and in pain from reflux.  It brings him so much comfort.  I don’t have the heart to take it from him yet so I’ll wait until it’s REALLY hard to wean him.  :)

Foster loves his bed.   He loves to sleep.  He loves to nap.  (He is just like his Mommy!) When he wakes up in the morning he eats breakfast, plays for about 45 minutes and then starts asking for a nap!  When I put him in his crib he smiles and pulls the blanket up to his chin and just giggles like “Oh, Mommy, I love my bed.  Night night.”  I’ve started to really try to hold him off a bit in the morning so he gets on a more normal nap schedule.  He also takes a long afternoon nap then goes to bed around 7:30 and sleeps until 8:00 am. We got pretty lucky in the sleep department with this little guy.

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He is a very good baby.  But when he wants something, he lets you know!  If he is hungry, you know.  If he is tired, you know.  Just this month he has become extremely vocal.  He babbles all the time.  Emma always tries to interpret what he’s saying.  Usually every sentence has a subject, a verb, and a Dadda.  We think.  He says things like “A bobba ee Dadda?”  “Moo Moo ah Dadda?”  Everything is a question, unless he’s mad- then it’s a very loud statement!

His favorite words are “Ball,  ball, and ball, and Dadda.” Balloon is “Baaaallllooo.”  Bottle is “Ba ba.”  More is “moh.”  He loves animal sounds: Monkey = “ooo ooo ooo ahh ahh ahh”, dog is “ar ar ar ar”, cow is “moooo,” rooster is “cah cah cah cah cah” for cockle doodle doo.  He does say “Mama” but only when he’s desperate.  He has a word for Emma, something like “eeda.” 

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Foster LOVES balls, LOVES dogs, LOVES food.  But his favorite thing ever continues to be his sister Emma.  Really, their relationship is amazing.  He laughs at her, talks to her, wants to be right with her all the time.  And she is the best big sister ever.  This weekend at my Grandmother’s funeral Emma’s job was to take care of Foster for me during the ceremony (in the nursery with supervision.)  She truly did take care of him.  She kept his paci in her purse just in case he needed it.  She played with him the whole time and didn’t leave his side.  I love them together.

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I know my life is going to get busier with Foster.  Robin and I remember the 12 month-2 year span of time as being the biggest period of change and development for Emma.  She went from a baby to a little person.  I can’t wait to see the little person that Foster will become. 





Tribute to Grandma

Writing and scrapbooking have always been a form of therapy for me, and in some cases, a form of grieving.   Now, blogging is my release, it is my therapy!  Today I am grieving.  If you are not family, you may want to skip this post!  I’m sure this will turn in to a novel, and that’s ok.  The novel still won’t encompass all that Grandma meant to me.  I hope to jot down some of my favorite memories of my Grandma here so that one day I can look back and remember and so that my kids will grow up knowing what a special lady she was. 

As soon as I heard that my Grandma passed away, I quickly thought of my favorite pictures of her.  Pictures mean so much to me- I cling to pictures.  I know that may be silly- they are just objects.  But the memories behind them are so clear in my mind.  It’s as if I can look at a picture and remember that moment.   As soon as I heard that Grandma passed away I thought of these photos, and several others that I haven’t had time to round up quite yet but I will in the coming days… and when I find them I will add them here.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the two of us.  Obviously, this was my wedding day, June 24, 2000.  Sadly, this is one of the last pictures where I truly feel like she was Grandma the way I remember her.  In 2002 she became pretty immobile- she was bound to her wheelchair and bound to a nursing home.  Not at all the way I remember her.  She was still Grandma, but not the way I remember her here, where she could pick out her own clothes, fix her own hair, spray on her own perfume.  I cherish this picture because she was so happy for me.  Right after we took this picture she hugged me and said, “Jill, I’ve always prayed that you would find a good man, and my prayers were answered.”  I remember her looking so beautiful on my wedding day.

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I think I was just a little older than Emma in this picture…probably around 1983Grandma and Jill edit

Fast forward a few years, this is right before Homecoming Court, Junior Year, 1995:grandma and jill prom edit

Fast forward a few more years, here is Grandma and my Dad- this may be their last picture together before he died: (he was such a goof-ball!)Grandma and dad edit

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Aleta Pauline Montgomery.  I don’t even know where to begin.  Grandma was an amazing lady.  She was eccentric, she was hip, she was caring, she was giving, she was strong, she was gentle, she was sweet, she was bold, she was Aleta!  And she was a very big part of my life.

Aleta was my Dad’s Mom.  She was 91 when she passed away, after living in a couple of different nursing homes here in Tulsa for the past 10 years.  These last 10 years are not the years that I want to remember, Grandma was not herself.  Amazingly, her mind stayed in tact until the very end.  But her body was so frail, so weak, and it just wasn’t how I remember her as my Grandma.  Every day, she had to be fed, she had to be lifted out of bed into a chair, then to a wheelchair.  Her quality of life wasn’t great, and due to that, I am so grateful that she now resides with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

What I want to remember

Grandma was one of the most eccentric people I have ever met.  To begin with, she died her hair black but always had a silver streak in the front of her hair.  Sometimes, the streak moved slightly and sometimes there were two streaks, but always a splash of silver.  And she loved for people to notice her hair and compliment her silver streak… NOT gray, but SILVER.  She had a hair appointment every week and she could not miss it- rain or snow, she was there.  Barbara was her hairstylist and our entire family knew about Barbara.  Not only was her hair eccentric, so were her clothes!  I will never forget my rehearsal dinner when she showed up in a COW print dress, tight red patent belt, red 4 inch heel red patent shoes and cow print hoop earrings that were about 2 inches round.  Talk about a head-turner!  But I loved it!  She shopped at Miss Jackson’s and Saks in Tulsa.  If you don’t know about these stores, just think “expensive and trendy”  She loved that they waited on her, they knew her, they took care of her.  Her closet was “to die for.”  100 pair of high-heeled shoes.  Don’t get me started on the jewelry- the most beautiful jewelry you’ve ever seen and tons of it… now my Emma gets to play dress up with this jewelry- not the expensive stuff, just the gaudy stuff!  When she went out in public she was dressed “to the nines”, she never dressed down.  We joked that she even dressed up for her doctor’s appointments.  We kept telling her, Grandma, your doctors will not understand that you have all of these ailments if you keep showing up in your dress, high-heeled shoes, jewelry, strong perfume and full make-up, “You look too good Grandma!”

I went to visit her every summer for at least a week.  I spent several days packing my red suitcase that had “Going to Grandma’s” printed on it.  Usually my mom drove me half-way and Grandma picked me up at 86th St. North and then we headed to Bartlesville.  In the front seat where I sat in her car she had a spiral index card notepad where we would begin to make our “list” for the next week.  We made a list of all of the things we wanted to do together.  Our list usually included going to the mall to buy some clothes, going to Luby’s to have some cherry pie, going to the Kiddie Park, going to the Water Park, playing miniature golf, making floral arrangements, making sugar cookies, going bowling, visiting Ms. Phillips at the nursing home, going to a movie, and the list goes on and on.  Anything I wanted to do, we put on the list.  And we always completed the list!   Grandma spoiled me rotten.  I mean ROTTEN!  When I act spoiled today, I tell Robin, “Sorry, my Grandma made me this way!” 

Grandma was a homemaker in the truest form.  She lived to serve her family.  She was devoted to her husband, devoted to her kids, and devoted to her Grandkids.  And her attitude of love and service reached beyond her immediate family to extended family and strangers.  I can think of many examples of times that she treated 2nd and 3rd cousins as her own children.  She saw a need and met it.  She cared for people with a servant heart. 

Grandma loved gifts.  I think this must have been her love language.  She loved to buy for her family- to the point that she would hide credit card statements from Grandpa.  We had Christmas at her house every morning until about 12 years ago when it just got to be too much for her.  Up to that point, every morning, her house was filled with the Spirit of Christmas.  I still have visions of her living room.  It was SO comfortable, so fun.  And that Christmas tree- my oh my- it was FULL of gifts.  The gifts were about 3 feet deep and extended several feet into the living room.  It was ridiculous really.  Our family is pretty small.  She loved to watch us open gifts and we spent a lot of time doing that on Christmas morning!

Grandma loved to garden.  Just about every single time I visited her house she had multiple arranged floral vases out of her very own garden.  We’re talking beautiful roses, snap dragons, peonies, etc.  Her house smelled like flowers.  She loved teaching me about taking care of the flowers, cutting, and arranging them.  I remember one time my brother, parents, and I were on our way back from a Kansas trip and we decided to stop in and surprise Grandma and Grandpa un-announced.  I was so excited to find out what Grandma did on a daily-basis when family wasn’t around.  Did she sit and watch T.V?  Take a nap?  When we got there, we found her gardening in her backyard gardens: kneeling, pruning, pulling weeds.  That made a huge impact on me for some reason!  She was dedicated to her gardens.  If it weren’t for all of the time that she spent caring for her gardens, we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the beautiful arrangements every time we were there.  She was dedicated to her flowers, the same way that she was dedicated to her family!

Grandma loved to cook.  Man oh man, she loved to cook!  Her Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas meals consisted of about 20 different dishes that we passed around the table.  We were fairly gluttonous around her table but it was just understood.  She had a clipboard with a checklist for all of the dishes that needed to make it to the table and my job was to check them off when they were ready.  My memories of Thanksgiving meal included one or two turkeys, 3 different kinds of gravies for the various desires of various family members (with giblets and without/ white and brown), real green beans made in bacon grease (yes, you heard me right), sour cabbage (my Dad’s favorite), homemade mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, dressing, and the list goes on and on.  Each and every time I visited her house, her hand-painted cookie jar was filled to the brim with from-scratch sugar cookies that were iced and decorated.  Now that I’m a mom and have attempted this with Emma I realize how much work that must have been to have those prepared each and every time we visited!  (and NO, I will not share her secret recipe!  Just kidding.)  She was also famous for her Strawberry Ice Cream- a recipe that her parents received when they got their very first freezer. 

Grandma had her own food addictions as well.  In addition to the amazing things she cooked up for us, she had a few cravings that I will always remember.  During my teen and college years she developed a craving for glass bottled cokes- NOT plastic bottled, NOT canned- the old fashioned glass bottles.  She would put them in the freezer for 13 minutes- NOT 10, NOT 15, but 13 minutes. :)  It was just long enough for it to develop a crystalized iciness, but not frozen.  When I would visit, we would each have one.  We would sit and chat.  It was amazing.  Oh what sweet memories.  I will think of her every time I drink a glass-bottled coke.  Her other obsession was ketchup!  Oh my goodness, just ask the nursing home folks!  She was known as the ketchup lady!  She ate ketchup on everything- vegetables, fruit, ice cream (ok, I don’t know about that, but almost everything.)  She loved ketchup on eggs.  At the nursing home they brought her 10 ketchup packets with every meal.  I always thought this must be so unhealthy- all of that salt and sugar.  But hey, she lived to 91 years old so it must not be THAT bad!

There are so many other little things about Grandma that I will always remember… like her telling all of the family including her grown adult children to “Go wash your little hands” before meals, her long magenta painted fingernails clicking along with the beat of the turn signal blinker while driving, her rubbing my back to sleep for an hour a more- long after I had actually fallen to sleep, her love for the songs “It’s a Small World” and “You Light Up My Life," her purple carpet in her bedroom because she loved the color purple and her pepto bismol colored utility room because she loved the color pink (even though family advised against it), the fact that my family was so excited when I learned to drive so that I could drive (instead of her!) when I went to visit, the times that we went on nature walks through her neighborhood when I was little and collected everything in a brown paper sack from Braum’s (my favorite item was always the cool pinecones that we found), the time that we went on a bird-watching boat trip and were so out of place (we were the only ones that didn’t bring binoculars) and we giggled the whole time, going to OK Mozart concerts and salivating over the pianist Robin Williams, her bringing me flowers to every one of my piano recitals, her sweet hand written notes (especially when I was in college and needed to hear from home), and the list goes on and on.

Last but not least…

Grandma loved the Lord.  Every time I visited her and was there on a Sunday, we were in church.  She attended First United Methodist Church and I loved going there.  It was different from my Baptist Church… more formal, more fancy.  It was nice for a change.   Dad used to tell me stories of how it was a requirement that the kids attend church every Sunday.  Even though my Grandpa didn’t attend, she made SURE the kids were in church every Sunday.  It wasn’t just a ritual, it was a way of life.  Every night that I spent the night with her we said our prayers, kneeling by the bed.  Her prayers were heart-felt and true.  When I was about 12 years old, I gave her an angel for Christmas, just because it reminded me of Grandma and I thought she would like it.  On the card I wrote, “Grandma, you are an angel to me.”  Of course she loved it (as any Grandmother would!.)  But from that point on, Grandma and I began exchanging angels…for Birthdays, Christmas, Graduations, and any other excuse we could think of!  She told me many times that I was an angel in her life and I told her she was an angel in mine.   It thrills me more than words to realize that she is now a true angel in Heaven watching over my children and me. 

Her maiden name was Montgomery.  I am SO thankful that my parents gave me the middle name Montgomery.  I used to hate it when I was little- kids made fun of it.  Now I cherish it.  I love having that piece of Grandma with me.  We’ve always shared a special bond and we always will. 

I thank the Lord for my Grandma and for the legacy that she left. 

I’m thankful that she is now in peace and without pain.

Can’t wait to see you on the other side Grandma.   





Grandma’s Funeral

I am working on a post called “Tribute to Grandma” that should be finished in a day or so… but I’m searching for a few more pictures that absolutely must be included in the post. 

For now, here are a few pictures from Saturday, January 22nd the day of Grandma’s funeral in Bartlesville.  She passed away on Tuesday, the 18th in Tulsa while residing at The Cottage.  She was 91 years old and passed away after a yucky bout with pneumonia. 

These 3 pictures were taken in the cemetery.  I realize that is very odd and probably uncommon to take pictures in a cemetery at a funeral, and even more odd that everyone is smiling.  But my family is not “normal” and I like these pictures so I am posting them.  This is the remaining Foster crew (minus my kids): Jill, Haley, Ron, Gail, Sara, Judy, Brandon.)

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Nana and Foster before the ceremony (I love this picture of them!)IMG_6586

… and this is Emma right before the ceremony.  Needless to say I was very thankful that Judy and Ron lined up childcare for Foster and Emma during the service.  I have a feeling I would not have been able to truly enjoy the funeral if Emma and Foster had attended.  She was so wound up!

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Grandma’s service was perfect.  It took place in a small chapel in her home church First United Methodist Church in Bartlesville.  Many of her long-time friends came to the service and it was so great to see them.  Grandma was a special lady and it was such a joy to celebrate her life. 





Snow Day!

Well, the first real snow day of the year did not go exactly how I pictured… I work ONE day/week and the ONE day that I happened to work this week was Thursday, the very worst driving day ever and it just so happened that I volunteered to work a 12 hour day shift that day from 7am-7pm.  SO, not only did I miss out on watching Emma play in the snow, I had to drive on the scary roads early in the morning and late at night.  Yikes!  I prayed hard during my commute and drove about 10 mph both ways.  I had no major issues driving Praise the Lord! 

Robin stayed at home with both kids ALL. DAY. LONG.  We had thought that Emma would be at school that day but due to the snow school was cancelled!  By 9:00 am he had texted me saying, “How do you do this all day everyday???”  He had to be pretty creative entertaining the kids but I know he enjoys his time with them and the kids really love their special time with Daddy.

Robin took these pictures of Emma in the snow.  He wasn’t quite brave enough to bring Foster outside (and I don’t blame him!)  Hopefully we will get another snow day this Winter. :)

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Fan Club

Last Tuesday night we got to go watch our cousin Haley cheer at a basketball game.  Emma is in awe of Haley and wants to be like her when she grows up.  Foster LOVED watching the basketball go back and forth on the court but once he found the stadium stairs he was all over the place. 

Unfortunately, we received news while at the game that my Grandmother had passed away so the event ended on a very sad note.  (***More on Grandma later in another post.)

Here are a couple of pictures from the game…

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“Tangled” with Aunt Judy

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Last Monday, on Martin Luther King Day, my sweet Aunt Judy took Emma to see “Tangled” at the movie theater at 2:00.  Emma was SO excited.  She has only been to see a real movie a couple of times and this is one that came highly recommended to us!  Emma waited for Judy in her playroom for about 30 minutes with her purse in her hand ready to go.  In her purse she packed a package of kleenex, gum, and sunglasses.   At the last minute, she made a wardrobe adjustment and decided to bring a different purse- one that was more “casual!”  I’m bummed that I didn’t take a picture of Emma and Judy before they left. 

Emma loved the movie and Judy said she did great.  She didn’t even hide her eyes through the scary parts!

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Jolly ‘Ol St. Nicholas

I know that Christmas is WAY over, but I totally forgot to post this very memorable picture.  It’s absolutely hideous of me… I wasn’t planning to be in it!  We went to see Santa Claus at Utica Square a couple of days before Christmas with my Mom and Uncle Brandon.  I figured that Emma would be scared of him and Foster would do just wonderfully- he is usually so happy to meet anyone!  I was right about Emma, wrong about Foster… they were both scared to death of him!  I really wanted a picture so I jumped in with Emma.  She never looked him or said a word to him.  Maybe next year!

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Lookin’ So Cute

Aunt Judy always keeps us in style.  For Christmas, Judy picked out this adorable outfit from Gap.  I absolutely love it, and Emma does too.  It’s amazing how a skirt that “swishes" (Emma’s word) makes a girl feel so sassy!

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And these are Emma’s favorite shoes… she got them for her Birthday from a friend.  They light up when she walks. :)

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Sick Babies

The week of January 2nd- through about January 9th is somewhat of a blur to me.  I guess it can be summed up by: sick Foster- Motrin-, Doctor’s appointment- Walgreen’s- kleenex- sick Emma- new humidifiers- antibiotics- back to Doctor- back to Walgreen’s- more kleenex- Mommy sick, no school- more Motrin- ruptured ear drum- weekend Doctor’s visit- back to Walgreen’s.  (not necessarily in that order.)

Wow, what a week.

We returned from Texas on Thursday, the 30th and on Friday Foster started coughing and acting puny- which led to a week long virus and 2 bouts of ear infections.  I took him to the Dr. on Monday and we opted for a Rocephin shot to try to kick the ear infections quickly but when he wasn’t better on Friday I took him back to the Dr. and the ear infections persisted.  We started a round of oral antibiotics and he started acting better by Saturday.  Emma started to get sick on Tuesday and stayed home from school Wednesday and Thursday.  I thought she just had the upper respiratory crud but on Saturday night she came into our bedroom screaming and crying.  On Sunday we realized her ears were hurting so I took her to the Dr. and she had a bad double ear infection.  SO, both of my kids are on the same 10 day antibiotic and doing much better.

It’s funny how God sometimes knows how to slow us down in our tracks.  I had a “to-do” list a mile long for last week.  You know the usual beginning of the year stuff: putting Christmas decorations away, re-organizing the playroom, clean out the kids’ bedrooms, etc.  I got nothing done- I was feeling so yucky it was difficult for me to even make dinner.  BUT, what I did get done was some quality time with my kids.  I realized that we were SO busy during December, I hadn’t really taken much time just to sit and “be with” my kids.  We did a lot of cuddling, watching movies, and just being together.  I won’t lie- there were times that the clinginess (is that a word?) from both of my kids really began to grate on me.  They both needed me so much!  At times, I wondered if it would ever end.  I’m happy to report that it did end.  We are back to normal this week and I am thankful.  But I’m also thankful for our extra week of togetherness, no matter how yucky it may have been.

A huge thank you to my mom and Aunt for helping out this week- Mom took Emma to dance on Monday night before she got sick and then helped over the weekend so I could get some errands done.  Aunt Judy came over to play on Saturday and I was able to clean my house and organize the playroom!  It felt so good to get some things done and I couldn’t have done it without her help… and Emma was so happy to have Aunt Judy to play with.

Here are my sick kiddos. 

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