Friday, December 28, 2012

Putting You On That Plane Will Never Get Easier...

Upon driving away from the airport this morning, I have come to terms that putting you on a plane back to Ohio, over 1200 miles away, will never get easier over time.

I have loved having you here for over a week but as the time come for you to leave, it always makes me sad.  I suppose even the weather this morning reflects my feelings,  since the rain only seemed to pour harder as I pulled away from the airport.  I really hate that in the last couple of days that you were here you got that terrible cold that seems to be going around.  Be sure to call you doctor as soon as you can to see if there is anything you can take for it...And REST and try to stay out of the snow and cold too!

***I am going to miss not getting to sit with you each morning and sip hot tea and coffee.
***I am going to miss seeing that big belly of yours grow bigger each day (I think it grew more in the time you were here!).
***I am going to miss running over and putting my hand on your belly to feel my sweet Holli Reese kick.
***I am going to miss you not being here to run errands with me.
***OK...I am REALLY going to just miss EVERYTHING about you.

I don't think I will be able to make it back to Ohio until possibly the first part of February because there are so many things coming up that I need to tend to:  Mam-Maw is having a stress test on Jan. 7th and I also have to plan Ryan and Allison's engagement party and their rehearsal dinner.  I'm sure when I do get to come, though, it will be bitterly cold and I don't know HOW we southern girls are going to deal with that sort of weather!  (Not well, I suspect...).

I will be getting the rest of your Christmas and baby gifts to Justin so he can ship them to you; I know you want to get your Cricut as soon as possible and I cannot wait to see what cute projects you create using it!  When you start feeling a little better from your cold, let's try to Skype so I can get to actually talk to you and see your belly and don't forget to call me after you have your glucose test done next week.  I guess I need to take advantage of getting up so early this morning and start on the mountain of laundry that is all that is left of everyone's visit home from the holidays.  And then I suppose I will head to the gym for a little yoga and Pilate's...back to my regular routine.  That routine is what helps me get by when all of y'all leave after visits; you will only understand this when Holli and your other kids get older and move away.  It is not easy to have an "empty nest", however, it is just another normal passage of life that one gets somwhat used to.  I LOVE you VERY MUCH and will MISS YOU SO MUCH EVERY DAY you are not here...
                                                                               MOM




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dear Daughter, Please Teach Your Children The "TRUE" Meaning Of Christmas...

Dear Caitlin,
     As I sat in church Sunday and listened to the sermon, I decided to write this post.  You know that I am so in love with the Christmas season and it's not just because of the decorations, festivities and gift giving.  It is because of a tiny baby born so many years ago...The Christ Child.

It saddens me to think of the children out there who have no idea what the "True" meaning of Christmas is.  I was raised in church, therefore, I knew that I would always raise my children in church and with Christian values.  That is why one of our Christmas traditions has always been to honor the "True" meaning of the season by focusing on the Christ Child that was born to save the world.

I love the tradition of our family gathering together on Christmas Eve and heading to church for that annual service.  You were born in December so I think the first time I ever took you to church was for the Christmas Eve Service that year.  The Christmas story is always read from the Bible, we sing carols and then each family lights a candle on the tree at the front of the church.  I find myself sitting and reflecting during that time about how blessed we are.  Blessed to all be together, blessed to be healthy, blessed to have roofs over our heads...but mostly blessed that we have a Savior who loved us enough to come into this world as a tiny baby and then die for our sins.

It is my prayer that you will raise your children in church.  Teach them not about "religion" but about a "relationship" with the Lord.  Teach them the "True" meaning of Christmas...This is the thing in life that is important.  This is what will bring meaning and peace to their lives.  This is an everlasting gift that you can give your children.


"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.'"
Luke 2: 10-11


MERRY CHRISTMAS to you this first year you are so far away from us.  I am so happy that you will be back in the south only one week from today!  I cannot wait to see you and Baby Holli and celebrate her upcoming birth with your baby shower and then Christmas.  I LOVE you...and miss you MORE!
              MOM


Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Name For "Baby Jarrell"...FINALLY!

Dear Caitlin,
     I am so happy that you and Kevin have finally decided on a name for our precious new little baby; Holli Reese Jarrell!  I like that and we can all start referring to her by that name.  I suppose she is bound to be a replica of you since you have blessed her with the middle name I gave you 23 years ago.  It was so appropriate for you since you were going to be a December baby and I'm happy that you like it enough to pass it along to your own daughter.


 
I ran across these old photos of you and the boys and decided to share them with you.  David adored you from the moment he met you.

It's no wonder you got Best Dressed of you high school class and college sorority; I dressed you in cute dresses and HUGE hair bows every day!

                                That is Caki holding YOU, while David and Justin sit close by.

Sorry...I HAD to add this one!  You with curlers in your hair and a cookie in your hand.  Look how innocent Ryan and David "appear" to be.

                                                 And one of my all time FAVORITES of y'all!

  YEP!  I'm pretty sure that little Holli Reese will be an awfully lot like her mommy, Caitlin Holli!


Dad and I are here at the lake this weekend and it is a bleak, rainy day; not unlike the days there in Ohio except for the fact that it is not cold.  Parker spent the night with us last night and is still with me today; we are all supposed to go to The Festival of Lights downtown tonight.  I always love going to the festival and hope that this time Parker will not be afraid of the fireworks.  Hopefully you and little Holli can make it next year.  I guess I will have to buy her and Parker Ann matching Christmas outfits to wear!  It's fun just thinking about it.

I'm really glad that Dad and I surprised you for your birthday weekend; I was afraid that you would guess we were coming.  We had fun and cannot wait for you and Kevin to get here in about a week and a half!  I think that everyone will end up making it in for Christmas Day for sure and I will be planning my big dinner that evening.  AND the baby shower plans are coming along well too.  All of the invitations were sent out, the cake has been ordered and also some really cute decorations that I ordered from Etsy that I can't wait for you to see.  OH...and, of course, the theme is vintage and pink!  Hmmm...Now that I know the baby's name I guess I could think of some sort of decoration with her name on it too.

Well, I will take lots of pictures at the festival tonight to share on my other blog; be sure to check them out!  I will miss you not being here with us this year, but like I said..."Let's shoot for next year"!  I love you to the moon and back!!!
                                                                        MOM

Monday, November 26, 2012

Countdown To Christmas Visit, Baby Shower and Birthday!

Dear Caitlin,
     Well, Thanksgiving is over and it's now on to Christmas and your baby shower!  It has been several days now and I am STILL putting out all of my Christmas decorations...you KNOW how many I have but I do love getting the house looking festive for everyone.  And this year, Parker is sure to notice and LOVE everything.
     Today is Monday and I am also gearing up for my next dental implant surgery on Wednesday (ugh...).  I'm really not looking forward to that at all and am just ready to get it over with.  My doctor has assured me that it won't be as bad as the last one but I'm not taking any chances...I'm stocking up on all medications I could possibly need now!  That is another reason I wanted all of my decorations finished by Tuesday; so I could just sit back and enjoy them and know that I don't have anything pressing after my surgery.  Hmmm..."not pressing"?!  I suppose I shouldn't put it THAT way.  I will still have to finish Christmas shopping (thank goodness for shopping online!) and preparing for your baby shower.  And speaking of the baby shower, the invitations should be going to the printer today and I have ordered some really cute decorations from Etsy this morning too.  I have some real "Girl Cuteness" planned and I hope you love it.
     On to your birthday now...It's coming up in only a week so you just be looking for the surprise I will be sending you to hopefully make that day a happy one for you!  I still can't believe that 23 years ago I was getting ready to get my Christmas present for the year...and for life; my own little baby girl.  And now my baby girl is having her own baby girl.  Wow! Time sure does fly and I must admit that it has been so much fun.  From hair bows to bloomers and dresses and dance costumes to cheer leading pom-poms;  Teddy Bear Tea Parties and high school dances...you have been a little ball of joy in our lives and we are so happy that God gifted us with you.  I pray that your little girl will bring you as much joy over the years as you have brought our entire family.  We love you, Baby Girl!  And we miss getting to see you every day.  I cannot wait until Dec. 19th gets here and I get to see you again! Until then...I LOVE YOU TO THE MOON and BACK!
                                                                                                               MOM

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Today Is The Day! BOY or GIRL?

Dear Caitlin,
     I'm just sitting here waiting for the call.  Oh, I know you are planning something "special" to tell Dad and me what the sex of the baby is, but TODAY is actually the day.  And just to let you know...I'm STILL sticking with my guess...I think it's a BOY!  Well, since I think that, it most like is a GIRL because, as we all know, I'm not really good at guessing; I thought Parker was a boy...wrong!  And WAY BACK WHEN, I thought Ryan was a GIRL (Haley Taylor...)...wrong!  So, in saying all of THAT, I am still sticking with my guess of a BOY but you are probably right and it is a GIRL.  Anyway, I don't really care; I'm just ready for another happy, healthy baby who will call me Ya Ya!  So...Here's to waiting.  Now, HURRY UP AND LET ME KNOW so I can start buying more baby stuff!!!

                                               11 and counting...What will number 12 be?!

                                                                                                                  Love,
                                                                                                                  Ya Ya

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Laying Our Hands On "Baby Jarrell"...

Some mothers-to-be are funny about people touching their growing baby bumps, but fortunately for us, you are not.  And so while you have been here on this little visit to the south, well...the women of the south have laid their hands on our precious little "Baby Jarrell"!

I'm not sure why we all want to touch a pregnant mommy's belly but we all do.  Well, of course, I do have my own theories as to why.  Most of us have either had children or are wanting to have children; touching an expectant mommy's belly is a way of connecting with the little baby growing inside her.  One cannot help but notice the smile begin to spread across the "toucher's" face as they approach the new mommy-to-be with hands stretched outward and when you smiled back...that was all it took for those hands to reach out and rub your belly.  And the thing that is so interesting about this phenomenon is that it is women that we know from everywhere that want to participate in this activity; family member, close friends, church friends and even the nail shop ladies!  I though it was so cute how after rubbing their hands over your growing belly, they all made a prediction of what the sex of the baby would be.  We are all connected in some way..."Baby Jarrell" has had hands laid on him/her.  I consider this to be a blessing or sorts from other women who have brought (or hope to bring...) new life into this world.  We all love you, "Baby Jarrell" and cannot wait for your arrival.  This week we will find out if you are a girl or a boy.  It really doesn't matter to me; I just want a healthy baby and mommy.  However, I DO have my own prediction...I'm thinking "BOY".  Caitlin is thinking "GIRL"...





                                                                            18 Weeks...

"Baby Jarrell", I already love you so much before I have even met you...
                                                                                                               LOVE,
                                                                                                                YA YA








Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dear Daughter, Life Lesson Number 1: Treat Others The Way YOU Want To Be Treated

Dear Caitlin,
     It is so nice having you here for a week and a half.  I love the fact that you are here to watch movies with me and drink hot chocolate in bed in the mornings.  It has been fun to actually have you sit here in person while I talk to you instead of just seeing you on Skype.  I'm so glad that "Baby Jarrell" has been moving around so much while you have been here; I'd like to think it's because he/she has heard Ya Ya's voice and can't wait to get out here and meet me!  As we have talked this week, I have realized that you too will now be in the unique club we call "Motherhood".  And with its membership there are many things that you will need to know in order to equip yourself for the job.  I hope that I have already taught you many of these things through my own words and actions over the years and feel that I most likely have since you have grown up to be such a well grounded young woman.  But today, I will offer a bit of advice that is absolutely necessary but also one you will find difficult to adhere to as a mother:  "Treating others the way YOU want to be treated."

The Bible tells us this and I believe that most of the time you do well with this, however, when you become a mother this will become an increasingly harder thing to do.  As that little baby grows inside your belly and you feel it move around, a bond develops; one that is stronger than anything I've ever known.  You will want to nurture and protect that child from every injustice and evil in the world.  And in your quest to do that, you will want to hurt those who hurt your child.  This is only human nature and you should realize that fact.  However, God tells us that we are to forgive (very difficult when someone hurts your child...) and we are to treat others the way WE want to be treated.  Hmmm...THAT is definitely NOT an easy one.

Although treating people nicely when they do not treat you nicely is difficult always remember...IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.  And at the end of the day, you will always feel good about what you have done; thinking of others before yourself.  I know that you have seen me struggle with this myself over the years, especially in your high school years.  When someone treated you unfairly, all I wanted to do was to hunt them down and make them pay!  HEY!  I'm only human too.  I have had to pray MANY times for God to forgive me for my words and thoughts concerning this.  But the importance of this lesson is not only for you; it is for your child also.  Our children watch us and whether we want them to or not, they become just like us.  As we watch our children grow over the years, we often times see bits and pieces of ourselves in them...sometimes things we would care not to see.  And so, what I guess I am telling you is that by YOU doing the right thing, your children will see that and also do it.

This was just a little "Life Lesson" that I was thinking about and decided to put down.  It is something good to remember and I hope that it will help you with your passage into motherhood...


                                                                                                I Love You To The Moon...And Back!
                                                                                                                           Mom

Monday, October 15, 2012

3...2...1...NEW YORK CITY HERE WE COME!!!

Dear Caitlin, 
     I miss you more every day.  After we Skyped last night, I realized even more how much I miss you and also how very quiet it is around here with everyone gone.  But then I just focused on getting to Thursday!  Yippee, Yahoo and all that stuff!!!  We will FINALLY be meeting you in NYC and I couldn't be more excited.

     I know that Caki and Tabitha are excited about the trip too.  They are both planning on coming out here to spend the night with me Wednesday night so we can get to the airport early for that 6 a.m. flight.  But just think...by about 12:30, we will all be together in The Big Apple!  In preparation for our departure, I decided to make out a little itinerary for us...well, let's say I jotted down a bunch of things I want us to do while we are there.  Among those things, of course, is to eat at some yummy places.  I made a reservation today for us at The Boathouse.  It is in Central Park and if you remember correctly, it was featured in the movie, "27 Dresses".  I also plan on us taking a carriage ride through Central Park and then getting out and doing some walking there.  Central Park is much larger than anyone would suspect and it should just be beautiful during this time of year when the leaves are falling and changing colors.  The other place that I made reservations at is Serendipity.  This place is really featured for their WONDERFUL desserts but they won't allow you to make reservations just for dessert, so I worked around that little issue.  HEY!  We didn't want to stand in line for possibly an hour just to get dessert, now did we?!  I went ahead and made a dinner reservation for us there (didn't even know they served meals there...) and then we can get our meal AND a delicious dessert!

When I was in town today I went ahead and bought you a pair of those maternity James Skinny Jeans.  I was told that they fit really well; I hope they do and you like them.  I also picked up a few more tops for you to wear.  HEY...Didn't I do the exact thing the last time I visited you in Ohio?!  No wonder my suitcase is always overweight.

Dad and Justin made it to Newfoundland and said the wind was blowing about 60 mph and it was snowing last night.  Today was supposed to be their first day to hunt so I am anxious to see how they did.  However, I have no idea what we would do with a moose or a bear!

Tomorrow I will be driving to Shreveport.  I'm sure you heard one of the dogs chewed my night guard to pieces (sigh...).  Well, apparently I am in luck because when I called the office to tell them about it, they told me that they had another one made for me there!  I told them I would take an appointment at whatever time I could get one, so I decided to see if Mam-Maw wanted to get out of the house and ride with me there.  My appointment isn't until 3:00 so we are going to leave early enough to eat lunch while we are there.  And speaking of lunch, Allison stopped by and had lunch with me as she was passing through town on her way to Ryan's.  I thought that was really sweet of her to call me.  We talked about wedding stuff and I can tell she is getting excited...I am too!

Well, I suppose I should go upstairs and get my suitcase out and start packing it.  But you know me; I tend to wait until the last minute and then just throw some stuff in there.  Just wanted to write you a quick note.  I can't WAIT to see you (and Baby Jarrell!).  I love you to the moon and back...
                                                                                                                             Mom

Friday, September 28, 2012

Love You To The Moon...And Back!

Dear Caitlin,
     I was so happy that you found time to write back to me!  I know you have been so busy with work...but I guess that is good too since it occupies your time while Kevin is at work.  And also so glad to hear that you have possibly found a church that you like!  I have been praying that you would; I know that is where you will meet people you can get involved with, maybe a women's Bible study or something.  And I guess this was just a good week all around for you since y'all went to dinner with Kevin's resident friend and his wife and you two seemed to hit it off.  I know it has taken a while and moving into a new area where you know no one is difficult, but you are finally making strides in your social life and I am so happy for you!

I can't believe you didn't put this picture on here to show everybody how big Baby Jarrell is getting (12 weeks!).


This week I have just hung around the house and basically piddled around.  And I must say...it was kinda nice to just do that for a week.  I FINALLY got caught up on laundry and have almost finished the little LSU jumper I'm knitting Parker (ran out of yarn and had to order some more...) and Baby Jarrell's blankie is coming along too.  I really need to knit Ann Marie's twins a matching pair of bloomers before they are born too. 

          It's getting there!  Can't WAIT to wrap my sweet new grand baby up in this soft blankie.


We were thinking about going to Natchitoches this weekend but I think it is supposed to rain so I don't know if we will now.  I think that today I will go to yoga (YEP!  Started back this week...And YES, I'm sore!) and then possibly go to my art studio to work on painting some Halloween cards.  I've also been "thinking" about decorating the house for fall but it is still just so hot here I can't seem to get in the mood.  A cool front for us apparently is temperatures in the high 80's and low 90's...I DO miss the cool temperatures there in Cleveland.

                                            Dad put my board up last weekend and painted it.


                     It looks GREAT, doesn't it?  Now, I just have to hang my paintings on it.

I'm taking this painting down to the printers today to make one of my Halloween cards...More to come!



Well, Dad booked all of our tickets for the New York trip and today he is booking our rooms!  This trip is going to be so much fun because you haven't been there since you were a little girl and then Tabitha and Caki have never been.  Autumn is so pretty in New York and I just can't wait to show you all around.  Hey!  We might even try to catch up with Clay while we are there and buy him some lunch; you know he has started his acting school there.

 Get ready for New York!  I took this a couple of years ago when I was there; Isn't it BEAUTIFUL?!


Well, I just wanted to write a quick note before my Friday begins and let you know that I'm thinking about you...missing you and "Loving You To The Moon..And Back"!

Here are some pictures I've taken in the past couple weeks I thought you might enjoy...

Parker is looking like a little girl now instead of a baby.  Look at that ponytail!  And she LOVES sporting her many pairs of sunglasses.


Parker came home from church with us on Sunday and spent the night.  She's getting SO BIG, isn't she?  She will be excited to see Ca Ca when you come to visit too!  She is now in school for a half day 3 days a week.  She is speaking in sentences, knows her colors and can count to 10 in English AND Spanish (Thanks, Dora!).

I've been playing around with the editing on my Apple and am planning on matting some of my photos to sell in the studio...What do you think about calling this one, "Taste of Louisiana"?

                                     Here's another one..."Golden Moments in Central Park".

                                                                           Napa Valley...

                       This is one of the covered bridges I photographed while visiting you.

                                                               "So in Love with Italy"

                                I took this photo when I was in New Orleans about a week ago.

OK...So, that's it for now!  Love ya...Miss ya...Can't wait to see ya soon!!!
                                                                                                                  Mom

              

















Thursday, September 27, 2012

I miss you!

Hey Mom!

Okay, so it's been a REALY long time since I have wrote back. I have been so busy with work and I know that is no excuse! Well a lot has gone on since the last time I wrote. Today I am 13 weeks pregnant and I couldn't feel better! I still get sick every now and then... especially at night but for the most part I have started feeling much better:) I had my 12 week chechup and everything went really good. The baby is a little smaller than he/she should be, but the doctor said it's because I am so small. Also some not so good news... we have a to wait a little after 20 weeks to find out what the baby is because I have a anterior placed placenta. It makes it harder to see the baby because the placenta is in the way:( I have considered buying over the counter tests to determine the sex of the baby lol but I doubt they are worth it! Just a waste of money! Looks like I'll have to wait till 21 or 22 weeks. So we are looking to find out around November 22. SO LONG!!

The weather has been nice here... fall has made it's way and I am actually enjoying the weather because I am always so hot lately. How has the weather been in Louisiana? I can't wait till I get to come home to visit in October!! I am going to try and book my flight today:)) Also, I am SO excited about going to New York in October too!! So many fun things planned for the month of October! I really wish you and dad made a surprise visit up to Cleveland like y'all were going to .. but I understand why you couldn't.

Other than that... not much has been going on. Just work, work, and more work. I am ready for a little vacation! lol I'm thinking about going to the grocery store today to get the stuff I need to make mammaws chex mix recipe. I have been wanting to make it for awhile now!

Well I guess I should get back to work, I miss you and love you very much!! Only 21 more days till I see you!! YAY! Get ready:) Oh and Baby Jarrell says hello YaYa:)

Love, Caitlin

Friday, September 21, 2012

12 Weeks!!! Can't WAIT To Hear A "Baby Jarrell" Update

Dear Caitlin,
     It seems like the world is just spinning and I'm just holding on as tightly as I can.  Excitement is around every corner with Baby Jarrell arriving in the new year and now Ryan and Allison getting engaged!

                                           I'm REALLY happy for Ryan Poo and Ally Cat!

Now, I have been knitting away on Parker's little LSU  jumper so she can at least get to start wearing it for next week's game...

I'm going to get a little shirt and some leggings to go with it...OK, and probably some LSU pom-poms!  She says, "GEAUX TIGERS"!

And, of course, I am also busy trying to finish Baby Jarrell's blankie...

It is SO soft and I just cannot wait to wrap our sweet new little baby in it!  I have all these patterns just ready to knit as soon as I find out the gender!


Although I miss you terribly, I really am kinda glad to be home for a little while so I can relax and get a few things around here done.  Dad wanted to head to the lake today, but I told him I would just like to hang out here this weekend and piddle around...OK, and wash clothes (not sure I have any clean underwear left!).  And the thought of even packing an overnight bag again right now makes me feel ill; I'm worn out!

The weather is beginning to turn cool here in the mornings and late evenings but the temperature is still climbing up into the high 80's and around 90 during the days (ugh...).  Oh how I DO miss that Ohio weather of yours.

Next week I plan on getting back into my art studio and doing a little painting.  I was thinking about doing some things for Christmas gifts.  When you come to visit, you will have to come spend some time with me there; it would be fun to do some painting together!

Well, I just wanted to write a short note this morning and will be anxiously waiting to hear from you after your doctor's appointment this morning.  I think Sarah will be coming in town so I will get to see Parker today and then I have to go get my hair done this afternoon (these roots are terrible!).  I LOVE YOU and MISS YOU SO MUCH!  Call soon and let's try to skype this weekend!
                                                                       LOVE,
                                                                         Mom



Saturday, September 15, 2012

I'm So Glad The Week Passed Slowly...

Dear Caitlin,
     As I sit here on you balcony typing this letter, the sky has turned darker and I can smell the rain moving in.  It is though nature has sensed my reluctance to leave you here once again.  I agree with what you said the other day about loving how this week has crept by.  That, however, also is a double-edged sword for I will miss you even more when I return home.

I'm glad that I got to be here and not only to take you on adventures but also to do the mundane things, such as cooking dinner each night for you and catching you up on laundry.  I'm also happy to see that your morning sickness has subsided and Baby Jarrell appears to be thriving.  What a surprise that Kevin ordered that Fetal Doppler and it arrived before I left; I got to hear Baby Jarrell's beating heart for the second and third times...



When I leave, I hope that you will find some fun hobby or project to occupy your free time; see if there are art classes offered at some studio in town or go sign up for a class at the knitting or sewing shop.  I know you love to do all of these creative things, you must just make yourself get out of the house and do some of them.  Also, remember to take Kevin back to those wonderful walking trails in Olmstead Falls; I think he would love it there and y'all could even pack a picnic lunch to carry along.



As for me, when I return, I have to immediately go to New Orleans for a few days and then I plan on getting into my newly set up art studio to finish up some projects.  Sarah has decided to enroll Parker in the Mother's Day Out Program 3 days a week this year so I won't be keeping her as much as I used to.  I have missed seeing her while I have been here with you; I can't imagine how much I will miss Baby Jarrell whenever I have to leave the both of you here in Ohio.  Remember, though that we DO have some pretty awesome plans for meeting up through the end of the year:  5 weeks until our "Girls' Trip"...6 1/2 weeks until Halloween and Trick-R-Treating with Parker Ann...and 7 weeks until the Canton Flea Market Trip!  THEN, we are full swing into the holiday season.  I sure hope that y'all an make it in for some of the holidays; I am going to plan a baby shower for you!

Well, I really can't even begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed being here and how much I am going to miss you when I leave...so, let's just not even talk about that.  Please call me after you get out of you doctor's appointment next week; I can't believe that you will already be 12 weeks!  You are looking so cute (NO...your face does NOT look fat!) and we will have to skype often so I can see how your belly continues to grow.





I love you and will miss you VERY MUCH!  Take good care of yourself and Baby Jarrell and we can officially begin counting down the days until we see each other again.
                                                                                                              MOM


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Baby News

Dear Mom,

Okay so I know it has been a LONG time since I have wrote back:(  I haven't been feeling very well as you know, which is why it has taken me so long to finally write back! This morning I was again, feeling awful but finally went and picked up my medicine to help with the morning sickness (aka all day sickness). I took it about an hour ago and finally am feeling SO much better! I also went to pick up my new prenatal, but decided not to get it because the price was rediculous for just a months supply! I'm going to have to call my doctor back and see if she will call me a different one:) Plus the last one she put me on made me feel so sick for days.. so maybe a new one would be best!

The fast few weeks have been so long.. I have had work everyday and I am just ready for Friday to get here:)) I can't believe this Thurday I will be 9 weeks..I am so ready for week 12 though! I get to see Baby Jarrell again and hopefully all is great! So a few updates on how my body and mind has been changing since I have been pregnant...


I started off weighing 92 pounds before I got pregnant and I have already put on 8 pounds:) Which means I'm 100 pounds again:) The doctor said that it's great I have put on some weight because it will only make the baby heathier!

Some foods I have been craving (when I'm not feeling sick) are sweet and sour candy! No chocolate just stuff like jolly ranchers, lolly pops, those really good lolly pops that are green apple with caramel on top and sour patch kids! Some other things I have been craving are pancake syrup (this started today) :) So get the picture.. SWEET! It's so strange that all I have been wanting is sweets now because I have never really had that sweet tooth before.

I have found that sleeping at night is not my favorite thing to do anymore :( That is generally when my stomach feels the worst and I can never get comfortable. I can't imagine what it will be like when I'm really big!lol What I have been doing a lot lately is sleeping during the day though... I always feel SO tired!! It's like I never feel rested. The doctor says thats pretty normal though.

Lastly, I have been reading the books you gave me.. they have been very helpful and not too overwhelming... YET! I'm still looking into getting into a birthing class for Kevin and I.. because we both know I will need that!! The thought of having a baby scared me.. but hey, it can't be that bad if so many people continue to have kids, right?!? I've also been watching those shows where they show the births.. not a good idea!! Goodness... maybe if I don't think about it, then it won't be so bad!

Oh and one more thing that has changed... I am way more emotional than before (if that is even possible)!! I feel so bad for Kevin because my mood swings are so crazy sometimes. Hopefully this will pass.. because I hate feeling weird and not being able to say why I feel the way I feel .

Anyways.. other than working I haven't been up to much. I need to start getting out of the house some because staying home makes me want to go crazy sometimes!! I can't wait for you to come back up in Septemeber to see me:)) Hopefully by then I will be feeling a LOT better!

Well I hope y'all don't lose electricity when the storm hits!! I wouldn't  know what to do if I couldn't get in touch with anyone! Keep me updated or send me a text if you do lose service so I know everything is okay! I love you so much and miss you more than anything!! Talk to you soon:)

Love, Caitlin

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just A Note Before The Storm Hits...

Dear Caitlin,
     I thought I would write a quick note before this storm hits Louisiana.  You know that our electricity goes out during a regular thunderstorm and I'm not really sure what Isaac will bring for us.  David and Ryan made it in last night and will be here until the officials in their programs say they have to return to New Orleans.  I bought water and other items yesterday and today to prepare for whatever comes our way but I really hope we don't lose electricity and I also that there will be no threat of tornadoes during the next couple of days.  You know Sissy and Annie don't like to go outside when it is even sprinkling so they are definitely going to hate this!

How have you been feeling?  Better, I hope.  Guess what I did...I put the beginning of each new month of your pregnancy on my cell phone calendar! (ha ha!)  SO...Thursday "Baby Jarrell" will be at the 9 week point in your belly and this is what I found out about him/her:
     Your little one is about 1 inch long; the size of a grape
      Its little eyes have formed but they are fused shut; they won't open until 27 weeks
      Its embryonic tail is gone
      The heart finishes dividing into 4 chambers and the valves begin to form
      The external sex organs are there...but you won't be able to see them for a few more weeks
      It has earlobes and the mouth, nose and nostrils are more distinct
     
I am SO excited!  Can you tell?!  Although I only want a healthy baby I must admit that I am anxious to find out if it is a boy or girl.  Parker will be such a good cousin; I can't wait to see her with "Baby Jarrell"!  Have you been reading those books I bought you when I was there?...





As you know, we had Parker's 2nd birthday party Saturday.  She LOVED EVERYTHING about it.  Of course, it was a DORA PARTY!  Here are a few pictures and videos of it...

video
                                      Here is her trying out the gift you and the boys got her!

                                                Here's the kitchen that Dad and I gave her. 


video
                                                     Can you tell how much she liked it?!

            And look at her cute "Birthday Outfit"!  Sarah ordered the shirt and made the tutu.

And here is the hand print picture that Justin, Sarah and Parker made in San Diego last summer.  I finally had it framed to hang in her room!

video
But this is probably my favorite video.  She REALLY liked her cupcakes...I think she ate 4 that day!

Well, I just wanted to check on you and send you this note because if we do lose our electricity tomorrow, I won't be able to talk to you (I'm sure we will lose cell service too).  I hope your morning sickness starts to get better.  I love you and miss you (MORE!).
                                                                                                       Love,
                                                                                                        Mom

P.S.  I almost took the brown flip-flops back when I was there and you convinced me not to, however
        it will soon be too cold for you to wear them there so I'm considering swiping them when I
        return!














     
      
     


    

Friday, August 24, 2012

Missing "Mommy Jarrell"...

Dear Caitlin,
     I'm sitting here at home trying to recover from this jet lag; I think traveling has gotten the best of me and I'm ready to stay put for a little while (can you believe I said that?!)  Visiting you, of course, was wonderful....leaving not so wonderful.  And now that you are going to be a mommy, I will really miss getting to watch you go through your pregnancy day by day.  I will try to visit as much as I can and have already booked my next plane ticket to come see you in September when Dad goes on his first hunting trip of the season.

I will have to admit that there are actually a few things that I liked about Ohio (I know you must be surprised!).  I really like the nice cool weather in August (out hottest month of the year...) and the fact that you have lots of Panera Bread restaurants there.  I like all of the great shops in close proximity to your apartment (which I will be visiting frequently while there...) and the outdoor eateries.  Still there are also some things that I don't like either; mainly the fact that YOU (and "Baby Jarrell"...) are there and I can't see you very often.  The people there are not very talkative (aka:  "friendly")...I guess that's why they say we have "Southern Hospitality"!  I keep telling myself, "5 years isn't that long...is it?!"

I am SO happy that I got to go with you to your first doctor's appointment and see Ya Ya's precious next grand baby on the sonogram AND hear it's sweet little heartbeat...






I'm sorry that you have been feeling sick, but that should pass in the next few weeks.  Just remember to drink you ginger ale or Sprite and eat crackers.  And nap and rest as much as you can.  I know that I just got home but I already can't wait to see you in a month to see how much "Baby Jarrell" has grown!

Now, for what I want to plan for us to do on my next visit:  I want us to go to that city wide antique fair that will be going on the weekend I arrive.  I also want to try out that awesome looking nail salon over in Crocker Park and I definitely want to see what Broadway show will be in Cleveland and perhaps go to it one night while Kevin is working late.  But most of all...I just want to get to spend time with you.

As you know, Parker Ann's birthday party is Saturday.  David and Codi and Ryan and Allison will all be there.  We will, of course, miss you...BUT I will hook the computer up to SKYPE during the party so you can see her open her presents and eat her cake.  You know, she has been saying, "Ca Ca is having a baby"; it is so cute!  She has been watching me knit "Baby Jarrell" a lovey and she picks it up on the knitting needles and rubs it on her face.  She is going to SO love her baby cousin.

Well, I am going to sign off for now; just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed our visit this past week and look forward to the next one.  I love you and miss you (More!...)
                Mom


Friday, August 10, 2012

Just A Skip, Hop And Jump Away!

Dear Caitlin,
     Well, it's just a skip, hop and jump away...my visit to see you, that is!  This time next week I will be headed to Cleveland to see you and can I just tell you, I CAN'T WAIT!

Since coming home from California, Dad and I have not stopped.  We have been in New Orleans since Tuesday, staying with David this trip.  It has actually been a nice little side trip for me because I have gotten to sleep in every morning, get up and write a little and then hit the town to explore.  Wish you were here with us, though.  I found a great nail shop on Magazine Street where Codi and I got manis and pedis...

            But don't worry...I will find YOU a nail spa there in Cleveland too when I visit!

I talked to the new vet's office yesterday and Annie will finally be able to come home this weekend.  Poor baby, she has been SO sick; she was on an IV for 3 days!  But they told me she is better now and ready to come home.  I know that Sissy will be happy to see her too!  I just wish there was some way to bring them with me to your house, but I know that isn't possible.  Maybe I could hire a doggie sitter for them so they don't have to leave home.

This was when I brought them home from boarding the other day...before I knew Annie was so sick and going to have to spend the week in the Pet Hospital.


Did you get the invitation to Parker's birthday party?  It is so cute with her picture on it...and DORA, of course.  I've really got to get on the ball and get her kitchen before I leave for your house; I think she is going to LOVE pretend cooking in it.  Maybe we can shop for her present from you while I'm visiting.  And we will definitely SKYPE for her birthday party.  Can you believe she will be going to school 2 days a week this fall?!  She's just growing up WAY TOO FAST!

  How CUTE is she in her pajamas and swim hat?!  She STILL loves playing with that little farm.


Well, I have a pretty big surprise for you...Do you remember Ms. Judy who used to paint with me?  She has Red Door Art.  The studio has moved over on the road by Haverty's now and she contacted me this week to see if I would like to take a studio space there!  I'm going to go by there Saturday when I get home to look at it, but am pretty sure that is where I will be painting and writing from now on!  How exciting is that?!

We have had fun while here in New Orleans, but it has rained every day.  Oh, I'm not complaining since it has kept things cooled off...

                                               Yesterday, there was actually flash flooding.

                  So after a yummy lunch at Le Madeleine, just around the corner...

                                     We all found that it was the perfect time for a nap!

However, after nap time, Dad thought it was a great time to teach David how to make home made pizza!  He did a good job and dinner was delicious!


Most days after the rain, we have gotten out to eat at some pretty good places here in New Orleans, though...












                                                           This is a whole red fish!
                                                  And Double Chocolate Bread Pudding!

And then we INSISTED that Dad take us down to Sucre' for a sweet treat last night.  This place has been featured on the Food Network...




                                               Dad trying to decide what he will have...





                       Well, needless to say we had some VERY YUMMY treats there!


Dad is working for a while this morning and will be back to get me soon so I better get up and get dressed.  I couldn't go down to the French Quarters yesterday because of all the flash flooding but am planning to do so before we head home.  I am planning on going to the little knitting shop down there because the owner is going to teach me a new technique (which I hope to pass on to you...) I am excited about learning.

I will try to write again before we leave next week.  The longer you are gone, the more I miss you (sad face here...).  I love you and am counting down the days until I get to see your face in person!
                                                                                                                   Mom