Thursday, December 27, 2007


One of our family's Christmas traditions is getting a family picture with Santa! Yes, ALL of us pile up on Santa:) When Ben and I lived in Italy they even took a framed picture of us and put it in Santa's lap LOL This year we had quite the crowd!!!! Luckily Santa had a HUGE chair-seriously the biggest Santa chair I've ever seen.

Back Row (L to R): Ben, Dana (stepdad), Ken (Anthony's mister), Anthony (my LITTLE brother)
Front Row (L to R): Danielle sitting in Aunt Stacy's lap, Michael (cousin) kneeling, Bella sitting in Jessica's lap (cousin), Nana (D's mama) flashin her money!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007!!!

We got to play with our new toy so we actually have some pictures of the holidays to share:)

Bella opening her first gift on Christmas morning

Love my sweet baby in her footies!!!

YES- the classic messy hair Christmas morning picture:)

Playing with Michael at GiGi's- totally loving the kitchen that Nana got her!

The Pickles!!!!!

bad picture in the sun but its Anthony and Ken:)

Waiting in line for pictures with Santa

Obviously not in order- putting the kitchen together on Christmas Eve!

Add it to the blackmail pile LOL Even has a cute lil red bow!!!

This is serious business!!!!

Opening gifts at Gramma's & Mema's

hehe playing with her microphone!

HILARIOUS-playing with Mama's purse and cell phone! Such a lil lady:)

Happy Holidays from the Pickles:)

Monday, December 17, 2007


We got a diagnosis today. "We need to do a stain so we can determine the stage." I literally screamed NOOOOOOOOO and hit the floor. I laid there and just sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. We fully expected it to be cancer but I was holding on to that little whim of hope for a miracle-maybe it was just pancreatitis, maybe they could treat it, maybe they could just remove it. No. Its just cancer. JUST cancer.

She called after mom gave me the news and I heard her say, "Hello" and I lost it. I could barely breathe. That made her lose it and she finally got out, "Will you be ok if I call you back later?"

I won't be ok. I will NOT be ok in a world where my Nana does not exist. Where I can't call her just for the hell of it to tell her that Bella had a bad night. Where I can't call her to let her listen to Bella babble. Where I can't go over to her house and watch her heart smile when Bella runs to her with open arms. Where I know I'll never get a Nana back scratch ever again. Where neck snuggles no longer make everything ok.

They are doing stains this afternoon to determine what stage it is in. There are no treatment options. We will simply treat the pain. How do you wake up every morning and live knowing that you are waiting for someone to die? How do you wait for something like that? I keep telling myself, "No, we will just go about this with the mentality that she is ALIVE and she is not 'dying' until those last few breaths." I refuse to let her lay in bed and be depressed and die. I know she has to accept this in her own way, deal with it in her own way, on her terms-but as she keeps saying, "We gotta pull up our boot straps". And all I keep thinking is, "Will Bella remember her? Will my next baby even exist before she is gone?"

How do you have Christmas when you know the person that has been the central point of your world your entire life is dying right in front of you? Normal doesn't exist anymore.

How do you not beat the living tar out of her son who is too much of an ass to come see his mother and father on what may be their last Christmas?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Growing Up

k, gonna try to be better and start posting again, even if I don't have pretty pics to share LOL

Bella is growing up SOOOO fast!!! She is so smart-it is scary! She started out the day in full Pissy Pants mode, totally not wanting to cooperate and made us late getting to the sitter. She threw a HUGE hissy fit when I dropped her off at the sitter's. I said, "Baby, lets make a deal. You try to cry for only 30 minutes this time instead of an hour." It was only her 2nd day there so I figure 30 minutes is a good goal.

Went home in a super crappy mood (depressed and on edge to hear news about Nana, and dealing with the drama that goes along with it). Dreaded going to get Bella because I had to take her to get her flu shot. Went to get her and she was dancing around, giggling and happy as could be. Sommer said she only cried for a few minutes after I left-YAY!!!! Its just a transition and Bella had to learn that unlike her old babysitter, Sommer is NOT gonna hold her all day long and does NOT need to (thank Heavens Sommer totally agrees with this-she rocks!).

Took her to get her flu shot, she jumped a little, whimpered for about 5 seconds, then jumped off my lap and was running around giggling!! Definitely NOT my child where shots are concerned:) She was in an awesome mood for the rest of the day-we should go get flu shots more often!!! I think she is really having a good time at the new sitter's. She gets to play with kids her age and some a little older which she loves. I think its definitely more challenging than playing with only one other kid that is younger than her so I'm feeling like this was a good move. I think she'll be talking real words (English not Bellish) in no time because she is around talking kids all day. Ok so maybe it won't be words just yet-at least not today, she did NOT shut up the entire afternoon but they actually sound like letters and syllabels instead of just grunts:) My baby has moved up in the world from being a caveman:)

We are suppose to go to a cookie exchange party tomorrow but its already sleeting outside:( BOOOOO I was really looking forward to that.

Aighty time to go get under some warm covers and knock out some more of the new book I got at the library- "Playing for Pizza" by John Grisham:) FINALLY!!!!


2 days til we hopefully get GOOD news on Nana
3 days til I hopefully get to pick Nana and Papa up in Joplin
4 days til Bean and I get to pick up my LITTLE brother at the airport
1 week til Lil Pickle and familia arrive!!!!!

YAY I love spending the holidays with family:)

Thank you, Santa!!!

Santa (whomever you might be!):

Thank you for the awesome letter to Bella! That was a really neat idea and I'll definitely be putting it in her keepsake book:) TOO cute!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Christmas Portraits

We got our family pics done this weekend. They were SUPPOSE to be done outside at the Shiloh Museum but it was too dang cold and Bean already had a runny nose so the photo chic decided to do it inside. Next year I'll have to schedule it a lil earlier because I had this nice lil vision in my head of us getting pics done outside when there were lots of pretty leaves. All the dang leaves are gone and its COLD!!!!

So if you got an email to select a picture, please email me back with:

1) the picture number that is your favorite (you can pick 2 if you like-1 of just Bella and 1 of the family), AND
2) if you prefer color, black & white, or sepia.


1- Family

2- Bella

3- Family

4- Family

5- Family

6- Casper and her Christmas Family:)

7- Bella

8- Bella

9- Bella

10- Bella

11- Bella

12- Bella

13- Bella

14- Bella

15- Bella

16- Bella

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gobble Gobble!!!

WOOHOO gonna get the gobble on tomorrow:) My turkey is currently in the fridge thawing. Gonna stuff that bird and make it yummy tonight so it can soak up all the YUM overnight. Tonight we are having Gusano's (GREATEST Chicago-style pizza EVER) with Vicky, Aunt June & Uncle Rudolph. Ben and I will spend the evening setting up guest beds in the computer room. Then tomorrow the feasting begins:) Our menu:

Turkey- Danielle (I LOOOOOOVE making the Thanksgiving turkey!!!!)
Stuffing- GiGi
Mashed Potatoes- Nana
Sweet Potatoes- Danielle
Green Beans- Nana
Corn- Danielle
Carrots- Danielle
Cranberry Sauce- GiGi (homemade for everyone); Danielle (store bought for Ben-WEIRDO)
Rolls- Nana
Apple Squares-GiGi
Pumpkin Pie- GiGi
Pecan Pie- Nana
Mincemeat tarts- GiGi

Jerry & Aaron will be arriving on Thursday. We'll have them, Nana & Papa Dana, GiGi & Papa, and us:) Can't wait to pig out and then pass out watching some pigskin!!!

We are thankful for:
~A healthy year
~Watching our lil beauty bean grow into an awesome lil chica
~Having family close and willing to drive to see us
~Family Love
~Anthony flying home in less than a month!!!!
~Stacy's fam coming for Christmas
~Safe trips throughout the year that allowed us to visit family and friends
~Jobs that we look forward to each day (Carmina ROKS!!!)
~Forever Friends (LOVE YOU ALY!!!)
~Each other- I couldn't live this life without you babe, I love you!!!!

AMEN, DIG IN!!!!!!!

Quick Christmas list update: please take the building blocks off the list. This item has been purchased. THANKS:)

Hope everyone has a safe, fun, relaxing, and full tummy Thanksgiving:)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Text Only Baby

Ya'll are gonna have to live with text-only posts for a bit until we get our new camera:( Its driving me crazy-I keep jumping for the camera to get good pics and BOOOOOOO!!!! So I'll just have to update you and you can picture it in your head!

I am having a Pampered Chef Cooking Party tomorrow so I've been cleaning all week and Bella has been soooo cute-she LOVES to help! She kept stealing my dust rag away from me and was wiping everything she could reach. She'd wipe the floor and then throw the rag and jump up and down giggling. Anytime she found something that she thought was trash (the child is like a human vacuum cleaner-she can find the tiniest lil dust balls and pieces of lint!!!), she would pick it up and RRRRUUUUNNNN to the trash can and bang on the lid until I opened it for her.

Her new favorite things to do are:
  • Dance in circles to make herself dizzy
  • Pull out the kitchen mat and jump on it
  • Do laps in the kitchen and living room, screaming the whole time
  • Get her big penguin and wrestle it to the ground
  • Give "Bella kisses" (loverly sloppy open mouth kisses)
  • Loooooooooves to snuggle and watch a cartoon w/ some milk when she wakes up in the morning (no more nursing!)
  • Has figured out that the bedroom TV remote works in the living room as well, and will run back and forth changing the channels (yes, she can change the channels, until it gets to Animal Planet and then she plops on the floor and is actually still for a few minutes)
  • Likes to stick her tongue between her top and bottom front teeth and blow zerberts
  • When she is sitting in the back seat of the car, she'll sing "Mamaaaaa" and I'll say, "Bella" and we do it back and forth til she cracks up laughing
  • Favorite time of the day: when we are getting ready for bathtime, right after Mama takes off her diaper and she streaks through the house squeeling like a lil girl:)
  • She won't eat anything off a fork unless she can do it herself
  • The girl is gonna be an awesome catcher in softball-she can't catch worth a crud yet but she can chunk that ball like there is no tomorrow!!! And she doesn't underhand toss it either, she chunks it like a big boy!!!
  • When you give her a hug, she likes to pat ya on the back now:)
  • She LOOOOOOOOVES stairs!!! She had never been around stairs before and we went to playgroup the other day at a house that had stairs. She spent 75% of the time racing up and down the stairs-figured out how to get up and down within 10 minutes of being there!!!

k my jaw is starting to hurt (had wisdom teeth surgery last week, ended up with a black eye in the process LOL) so I'm gonna hit the sack

Next week is gonna be CRAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZY!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Christmas Lists

You've been begging for it, the long awaited, its FINALLY here......



If my baby gets nothing else this Christmas, she would LOVE a wagon. She had SOOOO much fun riding in Pop's big wagon in Bama and the red wagon at Aunt 'Nette's-she's GOTTA have one of her own!!! PLEASE do not buy one of the plastic ones (I'll take it back), and it MUST have the side rails like the one above or.... I'll take it back:) Not trying to ruin the fun but I love my baby-gotta keep her safe!!!!

LeapFrog Little Touch LeapPad

Any kind of musical instruments!!! Its funny-I use to call Bella my "Tiny Dancer" when I was pregnant because she ALWAYS danced when there was music playing. Now that she is on the outside, she does the EXACT same thing. It doesn't matter where we are or what is going on, if she hears any inkling of music, that lil body is dancing all over the place.

Bean needs a baby doll. This baby doll should be soft and snuggleable (can have a hard face, hands, feet, but needs a soft body). If it pees, cries, talks, poops, requires batteries in any fashion, I will stomp on it and then take it back. Just a plain Jane baby doll for Bean to snuggle and love (ok so she will probably throw it and tackle it 75% of the time but that is cute too LOL)

I dunno where she got these genes-gotta be Daddy because it sure as heck isn't me!!! But the child LOVES to clean. If she sees a dish rag within reach, she grabs it and is cleaning-she loves to wipe down her tray after she eats, wipes the walls, wipes the floors-anything ol Bean thinks needs a wiping:) When I take her outside to rake leaves, she fights me for the broom (when she isn't busy supervising and barking orders... ok so she DID get that from me LOL). And anytime we are at a friend's house that has a play vacuum, she is on it. So my lil lady needs her own vacuum-gotta train 'em early!!!

My baby has the kind of brain that likes to build things, tear them apart, figure out how they work and put them back together. She needs some building blocks faster than pronto!!!!

If for some insane reason you believe that this child needs clothes (have you SEEN her closet lately?!?!), by all means, feel free to get her a Gymboree gift card. She won't be offended-they have a little couch and TV set that she LOOOOOVES to lounge on while Mama finds her ADORABLE clothes (SERIOUSLY!!!!). If you decide to take it upon yourself to buy stuff yourself (I know, its hard to resist, the stuff is WAY too cute!!!!), she might need some 18mo winter stuff and 18mo/2T spring stuff. If you find leftovers from summer, I'm gonna guess that she'll be 2T-3T. If you spend exorbitant amounts of money on clothes for this child, don't spend it all on one place, get GOOD bargains on lots of outfits-she is gonna wear it a max of 5 times during a month before she outgrows it.


Wide-Screen DVD, please. If you get Full Screen, he'll have to take it back which will entail him standing in the return line at WalMart which will mean a CRANKY Benjamin-PLEASE save me the migraine and just get wide-screen:)

PlayStation2 Smackdown vs Raw 2008 (you can save yourself alot of trouble and just get him a WalMart or BestBuy gift card LOL)

Again, wide-screen (I'm begging you, you do NOT understand what stepping a foot into WalMart does to this man's blood pressure LOL)

Again, save yourself the trouble-just go the safe route and make the boy go find his stuff himself:)

He wants (NEEEEEEDS) to buy some new jeans. He thought he wanted American Eagle but we went there the other weekend and it seems all the jeans they make now are either spandex or ride so low your butt crack hangs out-he wasn't happy. So he isn't sure which brand he wants to get now so he'd rather just have money so we can go exploring the Promenade and find the boy some pants!!!:)


VISA Gift Card- I can spend it ANYWHERE:) Don't confine me LOL You can get them at the bank:)

PJ pants, medium, COMFY

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Trip to Gulf Shores

Sorry it has taken me so long to get these on here-I've been playing catch up at work:)

The last Saturday of October we headed down to Little Rock for Aunt Annette's 50th birthday bash. Bella did really good on the ride down there- as long as she had a book in her hands she was happy:)

This is what Aunt 'Net got to wake up to on her front porch!! It is a cake made out of cardboard boxes:)

Her party was at their country club and the room was FULL of balloons which Bella LOVED!!! She had a blast chasing them around:)

They made Annette sit on a walker potty in the middle of the room to open presents. Jerry graciously let Annette borrow his reading glasses and someone gave her an old lady shawl as a gift-she was totally playing the part:)

Bella liked just chilling with Aunt Patsy

Bella found a new buddy to flirt with- Uncle Jackie:)

Annette with Cole and Bella- Cole is a year older than Bella and outweighs her by about 20 lbs.
Monday morning (BEFORE THE SUN WAS UP!!!) we headed to the airport to fly to Gulfport. The airport is still under alot of construction from Ivan and Katrina's damage. The weather was PERFECT the entire week!

Us at the beach in the wind:) The sand was sooooo pretty. The dry parts were like fluffy snow and the wet parts were like sno-cone ice.

my favorite lil beach babe:) She didn't get in the water except for in Daddy's arms-it was too cold but she liked playing with the shells.

So adorable!!!

Here Mama, I stole your glasses!

Hrmmm now I'll eat them:)

Screaming at the birds:)

Pensacola Beach, FL

Crazy people in the cold water (gotta teach Pop how to take pics that do NOT include his finger!!!)

The cool people:) Bella LOVES her Dora shades

Bella LOVED being outside and Pop has the greatest yard EVER!!! It is HUGE-tons of room for Bella to just run and dance and be silly (which she did about 90% of the time we were there!) and there is an awesome butterfly garden that she LOVED!!!

On Halloween we took Bella to the library where Pop works. She loved digging into the goody bowls:)

ARRRGH my lil Pirate Princess:)

Pirate Family:)