Jude Landry Store

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I don't even know what to type here.

We got bad news today.

The bank denied our buyer's offer on the house. If you remember, we were going the short sale route and asking the bank to accept an offer below the amount of our loan, hoping that the value loss of our home and our incredible hardship history would be enough for them to forgive our debt. Well the amount we were asking them to accept is actually $20,000 too low. Our buyers are walking away and now our realtor is trying to find investors who might be interested in buying a rental property.

It makes decorating the tree with ornaments like these, a little less enjoyable. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Let me just catch you up to speed.

I'm thankful that Thanksgiving is over. But only the part involving a puking, whining 1.5 year old. And in case you were wondering, yes, regurgitating strawberry yogurt 6 times over a 6 hour car ride is as terrible as you'd imagine. Did you know that nightmares can have smells? Charlotte seemed to get better and then sick again over our vacation (someone obviously didn't get her the memo) and now that we're home we've had no puking sessions, but just as much whining. Trust me, the whining is better. (Sarah, we'll talk about sweet Evelyn tomorrow.) By the way, crushed garlic with olive oil rubbed on the feet of sick children should be right up there with, but still below, Holy Water.

Speaking of sweet Evelyn, we've been taking care of her for almost a month (I say we because Jude has been so involved when he gets home and Joan's been so helpful, too) and it's been going great. She really is an easy baby and my days aren't nearly as stressful as I anticipated. I hope it continues to go so well because it's been a great arrangement so far.

Joan's excited about the Christmas season and is currently watching Charlie "Brownie."

I guess this is old news, but did you hear Demi and Ashton are getting a divorce? I was really erked when I saw an article entitled, "How Strong Women Dump Their Misbehaving Men: Demi Moore's Powerful Statement." What bothers me about this and so many other high profile marriages ending the same way is how the media describes the woman (or man) who leaves as strong and it implies that the one who stayed is weak. Let's be honest, it must take a strong person to get through that type of betrayal either way, but doesn't it seem like it might take an even stronger person to forgive and faithfully honor the vows they made even when their spouse didn't? And I'm sure lots of factors come in to play when people are choosing how to move forward, like abuse, the presence of children, the nature of the betrayal, the unwillingness of the spouse to be faithful, etc., but when spouses choose to forgive and honor their commitment, I don't think they're weak. Do you? Think of all of the wives of politicians who've stood by their husbands at press conferences, only to be labeled by the world as weak, stuck because the're financially dependent, or easily manipulated, while women like Jenny Sanford, South Carolina's former first lady, are applauded and cheered. Shame on us.

Sorry, guess that turned into a soap box shpeel. But in other news... I have a new best friend. My pocket calculator. Since moving to a cash-envelope system for groceries and toiletries, I get to the cashier with exact change before they tell me the total. I love the look on their faces.

You know when musicians on TV say that they've been singing since before they could talk? Do you roll your eyes, too? Well, I won't be doing that anymore because we've got proof. Charlotte, who barely says anything (especially words you specifically request) is constantly singing, humming, and making melody. It's a pretty cute sight and if I could ever sneak a video of her, I'll prove it.

Getting your phone out of a guitar's hole is pretty difficult, but putting it in is quite easy. Ask Charlotte.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Making things make life better: Baby Carriers

I made these doll carriers for the girls for Christmas. I would link to a tutorial, but I just kind of winged it. Charlotte's carrier (the one without pink...) was made first and should be a bit taller. I might add a piece at the bottom to lengthen it. But either way, I think they'll like 'em.

Oh, and Charlotte might not be wearing it properly, so real baby-wearing mamas, please don't jump on my case... ;)

Yes, I just used an emoticon. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Making things make life better.

Meet Evelyn. She's the sweet little red-head that I take care of everyday.

She's turning one on Monday and since I'm off next week, she got her birthday present today.

I repurposed one of Jude's old sweaters into a hat with ears.

I think she likes it.

And because it would be a crime to hide all that red hair under a cap...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Why do I feel this way?

*Mom, I know you'll be reading this, so please don't take offense.

Anyone who knows my mom, knows she goes above and beyond what most people would expect of her. She's generous, selfless, and seemingly numb to sacrifice. We're talking the I'll drive 7 hours on Monday to babysit while you go to dinner and drive 7 hours home on Tuesday kind of generous.

Sometimes I feel like I'm taking advantage of her willingness.

Sometimes I feel like I'm giving her the greatest gift, accepting that willingness.

Sometimes I feel like a neglectful parent, letting my 1.5 year old spend the night somewhere else for a week or so, and enjoying that time away from them.

Sometimes I feel like a confident parent, raising a perfectly secure 1.5 year old that can thrive under someone else's supervision for several nights.

We trust my parents, we trust Jude's parents. We know that when our children are with them, they are being treating with love and surrounded by safety and they honor our parental wishes (most of the time - chocolate before dinner? I don't want to know.). But for whatever reason, this internal dialogue is going on.

Maybe it's because I can often remember spending the week at my grandmother's house in the summer, but Jude never did. But, he lived in the same town as his and saw them often. Mine lived in other cities. Maybe it's because I don't know many friends who send their kids away overnight. Even my sister is hesitant to send her children to MS with my parents when they're coming for a visit. Maybe it's because I'm a well-adjusted product of parents that both worked and utilized daycares and babysitters, but now I'm a full-time mother responsible for the large majority of the caregiving.

It seems like my gut is saying, "It's fine. You love your children and are comfortable with the people they're staying with - what's the problem?" And my all-to-aware self-consciousness is saying, "But they don't do it, they don't do it. They're your kids - you should be taking care of them."

I don't really know what I'm looking for here - someone to affirm my gut or lists reasons why they agree with the opposite. Just typing it all out has already helped a little. But feel free to chime in on the discussion. I'll try not to worry too much about what everyone else is doing, although it sure would be nice to hear, "Oh, Alisha, you're not a terrible mother," from someone else besides my gut. Though, she's usually right...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nothing worth sharing

Jude and I are going to see The Avett Brothers play for free tonight in Starkville. And particularly on this Veteran's Day, certain lines from their song, "Murder in the City," speak to the incredible sacrifice so many military families have made for the safety and comfort of my own. In case you don't want to listen to the whole song, the beautiful lines:

Make sure my sister knows I loved her
Make sure my mother knows the same
Always remember, there is nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name

A "thank you" seems lacking.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Everyday, I'm so thankful that these girls have each other.

To see more photos like this, click here!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Verbatim. One of the sweetest.

"Momma, I want freckles all over my body."
"You do? Why?"
"So I can be a mommy."
"You don't have to have freckles to be a mommy. Do you still want them?"
"Because I love you."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm glad that's over.

I'm so glad to be done with Halloween. You know you've gone to too many costume-wearing events when you've had to wash the costumes at least once before real trick-or-treating even begins. It started with the Pumpkin Palooza event downtown (you've already seen those photos here), followed by costume day for Joan's class, a Saturday Halloween party for the entire school, Trunk-or-Treat at St. Joseph's, costume day at the library, and finally the real trick-or-treating.

Halloween shouldn't be this big of a deal. Next year won't be for the Landry's. Promise.

But still, these photos sure are cute, huh? (You have to click "photos," remember...)

Sauteing sucks.

Why can't I do what should be the most simple kitchen task (other than boiling water), sauteing?!

Too much butter or oil? Too little?

Too high of a flame? Too low?

Cooking too long? Too short?

What's the deal, people! Send me your suggestions on how to successfully saute onions and such before cooking. Why do I keep ending up with crunchy and sometimes crispy ones? And give me specifics.

And Kristi, if you're reading, I tried really hard - for like 30 minutes on low heat - to get those veggies soft. I hope they're ok...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy All Saints Day!

This day was a little low-key for us because it was my first day taking care of a friend's little girl full-time. But we made sure to get some halo donuts this morning before Pop left for work.

Before Evelyn came over, I cut Joan's hair short - you know, like St. Joan of Arc probably had it (minus the bow, of course).

(Yes, she's holding a bag of Whoppers. 
How do you think I was able to cut 3 inches off in a straight line...)

For night prayer, we lit four candles for our deceased family members, friends, clergy, and those forgotten and we watched this short litany of the saints video that Bonnie posted on our tv (a nice feature of having our computer connected to it). Joan just loved all of the images and by the end of the song, she finally started singing, "Pray for us."

I'm not really sure what's planned for tomorrow. Maybe something will come by Divine Inspiration.