Zee Front Door

Saturday, March 31, 2012

We have been in our house a couple months shy of 2 years.

In that amount of time, we've accomplished a fair number of improvements (though our house was in really good shape when we moved in, part of the reason we picked it).

For a trip down memory lane, some of the improvements include laundry room creation, installing sod in the front yard, and lots and lots of paint.

Here's the front of our house on the day we moved in:

Look at us! Younger (me, slimmer) and childless. Anyway, we pretty much tore out everything you see in that photo, in the way of plants and grass (including those holly/lollipop trees). Not that there was too terribly much to speak of.

Well. We definitely tore everything out.

And it is with many apologies to our neighbors that I admit the re-installation process of landscaping has been S-L-O-W.  A husband in school who studies all the time, finances, logistics, and a pregnancy have kept us from pursuing this as quickly and hard-core I've wanted to.

But there are changes on the horizon, my friends. CHANGES, I say. And I should have after pictures  soon, like, soon soon.

Another project we are hopefully going to tackle is painting our front door. That's a pretty inexpensive way to liven up your house's presentation. Problem is, if we paint our door what we're thinking, then the shutters will have to be painted too (not quite as quick and easy).


photo by Stephen


1, 2, 3

The front door we have right now was actually originally behind a swinging louvered/screen door that we removed, so it's actually not flush with the threshold. It's also not (hopefully) our forever front door. I would love to get a stained wooden front door at some point.

But in the meantime, painting ours a fun and admittedly trendy color seems like an inexpensive and easy-ish solution to brighten up the front of our house.

Photo number 1 is sort of what I gravitate toward, but I love the combo with that shutter color in photo 3.

We'll see where we end up and WHEN this will actually happen. Obviously it'll have to be when Jonny's BOARD EXAMS are OVER.

That will be a great day!

Rifle is Beautiful

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Dying over the new spring Rifle collection...

OMG, right?  That "Market List" notepad sends me over the top.



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I like to do it.

Usually, so does this baby we call daughter.

But the past several days, since we've been dealing with this little cold/snotty nose (and maybe teething? actually maybe?) she hasn't been sleeping as much as usual, nor as easily.

(Oh, just another Friday night at 9:45...I finally gave up and just let her sit up with me for a little bit... she finally went to sleep at 10:15. This girl is usually asleep at 7, btw.) LOOK AT THAT FACE, HA

We've been spoiled, I know. But I got used to it. I got used to going to sleep at night and knowing I wouldn't wake up again until my alarm went off. You know, how people do.

Things work a little funky when you're up at 3 a.m....well, at least they do for me. My 3 p.m. Diet Coke becomes a little more necessary. My mornings a little more zombie.

She's awful cute though.

But last night she slept ALL NIGHT so I think we're on the upswing. She likes breakfast, just like her mama.

7 Months Old...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

(...with a slacker mom.) WARNING PHOTO OVERLOAD

To My Little Baby Cutie Pie:

You have actually been 7 months old for a week and a half. That probably makes you seven-and-one-third months. Sorry I'm just now getting here. Even in this last week and a half, things have happened that I will have to save for the 8 month post! We're all going to pretend this was written back on March 10...

(look how long your little hairs have gotten!)

The big thing that happened this month is that you are (mostly) broken from your swaddle habit. It has not been easy. One morning (toward the end of February), I heard you rustling around and checked the monitor and saw you flip over on your tummy while swaddled. Eeks! From there you were rolling all over the place in your bed. So we tried cold turkey, just swaddling your legs/tummy...didn't all-the-way work, had to do more of a slow wean. It was not easy, and there are STILL times (3 weeks later) when the only thing that will calm you for sleep is a full swaddle, but those times are fewer and fewer. You are a girl who just love(s/d) her swaddle! You love to sleep on your side, a little tilted in on your tummy, with your bunny lovey and paci.

Antics like that may get you a once-in-a-blue-moon nap on Mommy's bed:

You're going to sleep between 6:50-7 p.m. and sleeping until anywhere between 6-7 a.m. This swaddle-weaning business has sort of thrown things for a loop, but we're pretty much back to that schedule. For naps in general, you're sleeping about an hour in the morning and 2-2.5 hours in the afternoon. You're still nursing great, and get two bottles during the day while Mommy is at work.

Mommy & Daddy have been taking you on walks when we all get home in the evenings and we LOVE it. You are so chilled out, taking things in.

On Wednesdays, when "Cici" (Cindi L.) and Aunt Martha keep you, you guys have been taking walks on the Greenline with "the Charlies" and their mommies...Charlie I. & Charlie F. Look at you cuties in your strollers. I wish I could come too, but yall have a great time!

You are still not in day care, but we think you'll be able to go back soon. You've done great, and did not get sick at ALL this month, praise God! We are so thankful for your health!  And we are super thankful for all of the sweet and wonderful ladies who have been taking care of you this (warm and weird) winter. How special for you to have special bonds with so many wonderful women of God!

You are such a happy girl! Lots of smiles and giggles, and you really only fuss or whine when you're hungry or sleepy. You have such an accommodating disposition...you will smile at anyone and don't mind anyone holding you.

You're still wearing size 3 diapers, and are in all 6-12 month clothes, mostly 9 month. Not sure how much you weigh.

Also, your first Valentine's Day was this month. This is one of my favorite photos of you to date:

Daddy loves me and sent me this Valentine while I was at work that day:

Charming, I'm sure.

We were convinced that you were getting a tooth, for about half the month. You have psyched us out, so far. No teeth yet. But you're gumming EVERYTHING and all that. Also, one early morning when I stumbled into your room to get you up, I was changing your diaper and I swear you said "dada." But...? Does that COUNT-count as your first word? I don't know???

Funny/mystery face:

You are a roly poly like whoa, and have been sticking your booty in the air and getting on your knees trying to scoot and sort of do this army-crawl/belly thing to get to a toy. I don't think it'll be long before you're zooming around the floor (a day of reckoning for finding out how truly clean our floors are, eesh).

ALSO by the end of the month, you have gotten very proficient at sitting up! We're calling the "official" date of your sitting up March 11th (so, one day after 7 months old). Great job, lil bebe!

First time riding in the grocery cart like a big girl:

Food update: You've tried and liked sweet potatoes, squash, pears, oatmeal, carrots, apples, and prunes. You do NOT like peas (see below), and are still making up your mind about mangoes. I think you still love bananas best, though, much to Mommy's chagrin.

You started eating "lunch" this month in addition to dinner, and are getting more and more proficient at drinking water out of the straw in your sippy cup. We think you prefer this to the other kinds.

First bite of peas:

We had photographer Lindsey Lissau take your 6 month photos this past month. These are some of my favorite shots. 


This is a golden age, my dear.

You are so engaging and adorable...interested in everything, giggling, rolling, reaching, and so so sweet. We love being with you and watching you grow!  Can't get enough of that FACE!


Your posterity-obsessed Mommy

One month post
Two months post
Three month post
Four & Five months post
Six month post


p.s. if you follow me on instagram (lesliejerkins is my username), sorry for all the repeats! This is just a "greatest hits" of sorts, I suppose.


Monday, March 19, 2012

...I need to write that baby's 7 month post (late, again), but I'm sorta beat from getting her to sleep (tough tonight--teeth? runny nose? who ever knows?), staying up late this weekend, kitchen clean-up, etc.

Yes, you read that right, runny nose. Mama is taking deep breaths & chill pills and trying not to flip out. I'm now even more convinced that Jules' daddy is going to make a really great doctor...he has been nothing but calm and reassuring since the sniffles started yesterday (and my anxiety shot up), in a completely non-annoying way.

In other news, my bracket was shot to pieces (of course), but guess who's in first place in both family brackets?

She sure can pick 'em.

Our A/C is on right now. Everyone is talking about how warm it is everywhere, and Memphis is no exception. The hum and the smell of the A/C reminds me (duh) of the last time it was turned on, which was coincidentally around the time I had a newborn baby, which makes me feel all sort of nostalgia along with a dash of terror/relief.

p.s. Poor Tigers! Poor Longhorns! I guess we done struck out this year. Who am I going for now? Anyone who can beat Kentucky.

The Best Week(s) of the Year?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Probably not really the actual best but definitely some of the best. The Jerkins family loves us some March Madness. I love the beginning of the NCAA tournament…there's so much possibility, for every single team. Our Tigers (and my Longhorns) are fortunate enough to be in the tournament most years, and we’ve been fortunate enough to attend a good many games. School, job, and baby keep us home this year, but let me tell you…I’m pretty convinced that there is almost NOTHING you can attend that is quite as much fun as the NCAA Tournament. I’ve been able to go to two Final Fours (’03 New Orleans with the Longhorns, ’08 San Antonio with the Tigers), and every other round various times, cheering on both or either Tigers and Longhorns, in various cities. In the future (if we’re able), our children’s spring breaks will probably be filled with tournament-driven trips to see les Tigres.

For posterity’s sake, here’s my bracket!

You'll notice I have Kentucky losing early, and Memphis in the Elite Eight. Emotional guesses? Maybe.
Some picks are attempts at educated guesses…some are instinctual, some are sheer preference, and some are decided in my famed hurry-up-and-make-a-decision style. That's the FUN of a bracket--everyone pretty much gets their brackets "busted"!  Anything goes and ANYTHING can happen. It is "madness" after all.

We’ll see what happens. Enjoy!

Go Tigers (and Horns)!

p.s. how GREAT is it to start the week off with lots of bare branches in the skies, and end it with lots of budding green?


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I just wrote about Juliette's love for Sophie la Girafe in my Baby Gear post several weeks ago, and look! The Wall Street Journal just published an article about her...where/how she is made, along with her rise in popularity.
Vulli's sales of €22 million ($29 million) have more than quadrupled since 2006, just before Sophie was first sold outside France. This year, for the first time, the company expects to sell more outside of France than domestically.
That's saying something, because in France, Sophie is a national tradition. In 2010, Vulli sold 816,000 giraffes in France, and 828,000 babies were born, meaning that nearly every French newborn got one.
Wowee...almost 1:1!

The article about this rubber cutie pie teething toy is an interesting read.

And don't forget! she's cheaper on amazon.

Okay, I'll be done now :)

The Future is HERE

Friday, March 09, 2012

Yesterday, I was in Midtown Memphis for work...after my appointment, I meandered over to Urban Outfitters real quick to see about a cardigan. I recognize that I'm probably no longer UO's exact target demographic...[as I traipsed in with my uber-preppy silk tie-neck blouse tucked into a pencil skirt. point taken?] 

Nevertheless, I'd seen this cardigan on the internets and thought it would be a good workhorse piece for spring and summer.

(spotted on this post from Girl's Gone Child, aptly named "Gone [Postpartum] Style"...she has twin girls a month younger than Juliette.)

I go into the store and look around a bit before this very sweet girl asked me if she could help me find anything. I say, why actually yes, I'm looking for a short-sleeved orange cardigan.

As you can see above, dear reader, the cardigan is neither technically short-sleeved nor orange. She very sweetly shows me a couple orange cardigans/sweaters around the store, but obviously none of them are this one. She then offers to look it up on the computer and see if she can find it for me (this was getting way too involved, as I hadn't really been sure I was going to actually buy it, merely wanted to look at it) ...meanwhile, I go ahead and pull it up on my phone and then very sheepishly show her the item (apologizing for making such a big deal about such a boring item compared to the neon skinnys and printed dresses scattered about), and then also see where it says "online only." 

Um, whoops?  I'm batting 0% at this point (I know that's not technically what you say), and she reminds me that you can order online from the store with free shipping. Then I see on my phone where it says "Now $29" and I think, I have enough allowance to spend on something I'll potentially wear every single day.

From behind the counter, she whips out an iPhone, pulls up the cardigan, and asks me for my UO online login. I give it to her, verify the information, and then she swipes my credit card on the phone (well, on this thing attached to the phone that you couldn't even see). Seriously. If you think I'm small-city for not having seen this before, well that's fine. But I was completely impressed. A swiper connected to an iphone outside the Apple store? No reading my card # over the phone to a customer service representative and then being placed on hold? Email me my receipt? A potentially annoying encounter (ordering something from a store) reduced to 30 seconds without fuss. AMAZING.

If that's the future, I like it.

p.s. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweet sissy! For the next month, we will only be one age apart! (And from now on, I have the feeling I'll be the one enjoying that.)

My First Book Club & Baby Food

Thursday, March 01, 2012

... this book, The Namesake. I'm enjoying it so much that I've actually been delaying finishing because I do not want it to be over. Have you already read it or heard about it? Because I just found out that the movie was made in 2006. (whoops.)

I love Jhumpa Lahiri's writing style...it's simple and straightforward without patronizing. While reading, I somehow feel that my intelligence is being acknowledged. I also have really enjoyed learning more about the Indian culture (I love learning about it from you too, Nishta!).

I picked it up for my first-ever adult book club meeting, forthcoming (the alumnae group from my all-girls high school). How is it that I am nearing 28 years old (!!!) and have never been in a real book club?

...ALSO, I've been really enjoying making food for Juliette. I may not be cooking much for us, but I'm gosh-darn making her food!  Weird.

I've been using this book Super Baby Food, and this book, The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet, and this website. It's nice being able to read about which foods to introduce which months, etc. There's still a ton to learn!

It's been fun to buy organic fruits and veggies and cook/puree them for the little gobbler. I got a couple of these guys (for the lids mainly), and have a nice little stash of food cubes in our freezer.

So far, she loves sweet potatoes, bananas (as much as it hurts me, Professional Banana Hater), squash (jarred, not fresh! whyohwhy?), pears, and rice & oatmeal cereals. In an attempt to feed her non-sweet stuff, we've also tried avocado and peas with no success (there's this gag-and-spit routine she has going, which produces a lot of laughter mixed with pity on the part of her parents). I made the "Super Porridge" from Super Baby Food and she (ahem) has not taken to it. I gotta get something green into this baby! (Trying not to get nervous about having a potentially picky eater on our hands...yikes!)

I also made her these little teething biscuits, above (our pediatrician told us we could try it), but she was gnawing off tiny chunks from it and it made Mommy a little nervous, from a choking standpoint of course. [For perspective, one of those is about the size of my thumb.] They're in the freezer right now and I've let her suck on a frozen one or two (she's still managed to chew little bits off though).  That picture has made me realize it might be time for a new cookie sheet.

Politely waiting for her meal:

I have found the whole solid-food thing to be wildly confusing. I didn't give it a second thought until it was upon us (remember, I didn't register for any baby food accoutrements). Then it was like WHO SAYS WHAT WHEN WHERE WHY and all the information I heard and read was different! I guess it's one of those things where you just wing it and do what works for you, knowing(/hoping) your kid will turn out fine either way.

Anyone else out there read anything good besides the Hunger Games? Or been making baby food?
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