Saturday, December 26, 2009

36wks.....Maternity Pictures



http://elizabethpaigephotography.com/


One thing that I didn't do with Hannah & Sarah that I was set on doing with this pregnancy was maternity pictures. I wanted to make sure I captured this moment in print because I'm pretty certain this will be my last pregnancy. One of my dearest friends, Cory, had maternity pictures taken last summer & I was blessed with the opportunity to be there with her. I fell in love with the photographer, Elizabeth Paige. She is amazing! She did our family pictures last Fall and they were amazing as well.
We ventured out to a farm in Midway, FL on December 17th. It was hi 40s to lo 50s that morning, but we were going to get them done because I was already 36wks. I am extremely grateful for Adrienne who helped me out with Ms Sarah Frances & she also had some great ideas...peaking around the barn! Paige even captured a few pics with Sarah.
So, I am 37+3 wks today and anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new baby girl. Today we are going to cast my belly! Another dear friend, Alicia, got me a belly casting kit and I have yet to pull out. Figure today is the day considering labor may come at time now!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sarafina turns the big "4"



Yes, my little precious baby girl turned 4 years old! I cannot believe that it has already been four years. I further cannot believe that she will only be "Mommy's baby girl" for a few more weeks. Leonard & I realized that this needed to be special for her because her whole world is about to be rocked and turned up-side-down. So, she got an afternoon with Mommy & Daddy all by herself. She started the day opening gifts. It was suppose to be be a distraction while we hunted down a candle to place on her birthday breakfast doughnut. Needless to say, we never did find those candles.....and I buy a brand new box every bday for this same reason! Where do they go?

She was blessed with many great gifts. I have to say her hands down favorite is the Leapster that Ms Stacy & Eli got for her. She has never mentioned wanting one before. Yet, the child cannot put it down. And of course, there were NO AA batteries to be found in the house. We had to scramble because I had an early prenatal visit, but we had to stop to get those batteries on the way. At least now I have a gift idea for Christmas....a game for the Leapster.

After my prenatal visit...which went great by the way....the countdown is on, we met Daddy at the mall. Now the one thing she has been begging for is a new Build-a-bear. So, we took her to the workshop in the mall. She was in Heaven! Had to pull the reigns many times because Daddy doesn't know how to say "NO." She choose a very cute little puppy dog....a Portuguese Water dog that she happily named "Santa." Of course, she enjoyed the Build-a-bear rituals of bringing her puppy to life. This was all followed up by lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. She enjoys the mini burgers & grapes from salad bar. Daddy then had to head back to work.

Our day kept going from there. She wore her new dance dress & carried her new dance bag (thanks, Grandma Florene) to Ballet that evening. The day finally concluded with Pizza (another Sarah favorite), cake, & ice cream with the McCoy family back at home. As I tucked her in that night she smiled really wide and said, "Mommy, my birthday has come. That means Christmas is coming soon.....and then the BABY!" :)



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hannah's First Chorus Performance



That's right.....Hannah Banana is in the school's choir! She eagerly joined back in September. They have after school rehearsal once a week and we finally got to witness all her hard work. The school had its first performance of the year this week. Hannah complained about having to stand in the back. I tried to explain to her that it was because she is soooo tall & the tall kids are always in the back. She wasn't feelin being pinned between all the boys and it showed all over face. She refused to smile the entire performance. However, they did quite well. The McCoy family and Ms Tina came out to support her. She was very happy to see Ms Tina. Unfortunately, they haven't been able to spend much time together with our new hectic schedule. Of course in Banana fashion, she wouldn't allow me to get a "good" picture. Leonard & I are very happy to see her thriving at her new school. She brings up homeschool about once a week, but overall doing well.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And the Winner is..........

...STUDENT OF THE WEEK
"Congratulations to Hannah Huff, our Student of the Week! Hannah is currently in Level II classes and was nominated by her teachers because of her polite manners, her willingness to learn and improve and her initiative and drive. We've loved watching you grow, Hannah. Congratulations - we're so proud of you!" - The Performing Arts Center of Tallahassee www.pactdance.com

Hannah is currently in her 5th season at PACT.
She is taking Ballet II & Jazz II.
Leonard & I are very proud of her and are very excited about her achievement.

This is her at the last annual performance with her teachers,
Ms Carly & Ms Robyn.
This year she has two new teachers and
really getting into the valuable techniques of dance.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cloth What?

Yes, cloth diapers! Everyone is asking "why?" My response, "why not?" True, I did not use cloth diapers with my first two girls, but after talking with a few friends and doing alot of research....."why not?" Initially, I was a little hesitant. My first thought was of those Gerber pre-folds and white vinyl covers that my Momma used with my baby sister. I remember dunking those things in the toilet....and the smell!


Pre-fold diaper with Snappi

However, cloth diapers have come a LONG way in the past few years. Sure, the pre-folds are still around, but say "good-bye" to the safety pin closure. The Snappi is a plastic stretchy closure that wont stick you or baby. The pre-fold diaper is still the most economical, but the quality is much better than before. And now those white vinyl covers have been replaced by cool assorted colors that close with snaps or velcro.


Thirsty Duo Covers with Pre-fold


FuzziBunz Pocket Diaper

Ultimately, the decision to use cloth was that it would be best for our pockets & best for the environment. If you know Leonard, you know that he is "Mr Green" and all about saving the environment. And if you know me, you know that I am all about spending money wisely and saving where I can. I spent a little over $200 for my initial stash and shouldn't HAVE to buy another diaper for at least 6mos....even longer if Baby Girl Huff is as petite as Ms Sarah. And I can give them away and that Mommy wont have to spend a $$$ on diapers!


FuzziBunz Pocket Diaper

My Beginning Stash + a few dozen pre-folds

There are tons of great resources on-line for choosing cloth diapers. But thank God, I have been blessed with someone locally who has helped me tremendously. Seeing something on-line and actually touching it & asking an expert about them makes it soooo much easier. Jen Starks at Ecological Babies (http://www.ecologicalbabies.com/) has been a great resource. She encouraged me to buy a couple of different brands to fill them out first. So my beginning stash includes one FuzziBunz, 2 Bum Genius, 2 Gro Babies, and pre-folds with Thirsty Duo covers.

Gro-Baby System

Gro-Baby System comes in a alot more colors/patterns & snap closure. They are one of the newest diapers on the market. See how easy to use!



Bum Genius 3.0 One size diaper

The Bum Genius diaper is the most popular and seems very easy to use. My Dear friend, Genny has offered me a dozen of her baby girl's. I'm quite excited about adding them to my stash and for the low low $$$$$!





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Sunday, August 30, 2009

1st week down....




The first week of school....done! This past week took the TLH Huffs by storm. We were no way ready to be getting up at 0545 every single day. Hannah & Amari jumped out of bed the first day, but each day following became a chore.....for me of course. So, we are up at 0545 and out the house by 0620 to catch the bus by 0640. "Lord, send help" as my dear friend Tina would say. We are truly NOT morning people, but we shall press on.

Sarah cried ALL day Monday and ran around the house looking for her sister & brother. I was soooo tired after working all night that I just could not fester enough energy to entertain her. However, each day got better as we kept busy. She was truly excited to try on her very first pair of ballet slippers and tap shoes! I took her all by herself to Head Over Heals off Lake Ella. We are frequent patrons there as Hannah needs new dance shoes at least 2-3 times a season. However, this time was Sarah's turn! She is taking pre-primary ballet & tap on Wednesdays. The studio was over crowded with 3 & 4 yr olds, but we found our way to studio #2. She clutched to my leg as we stood in line to enter the class. We were both very pleased to find out her teacher would be Ms Robyn (she also taught Hannah & we know her well). Sarah then realized that she had to go in all by herself....no more "Mommy & Me." She broke down into tears & begged me to come with her, but Ms Robyn to the rescue. I stayed & watcher her on the tv. She did well & came out very excited!



Hannah's week was also very full. She started a new school & a her 5th season of dance at PACT. She is only taking Ballet II & Jazz II this season. Going to take it easy with all the new adjustments going on.



Amari survived his first week of school as a TLH Huff. No after school activities for him just yet. He hasn't decided what or if he wants to do anything. He's slowly easing from his shell daily & spending alot more time outside with Hannah and the other neighborhood kids. He loves his new roller skates that Grandma Florene sent him. We did hit a speed bump Thursday night when he refused to do his reading with his dad. I let Leonard handle it. I pray that he continues to adjust and thrives.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"I told you so!"

Ok....so, yesterday morning we had our routine 20wk ultrasound. The baby looks great & is growing well. Now the big question at these ultrasounds is "boy or girl?" Leonard & I had previously discussed that we would find out the sex of the baby. He told me to stop calling his baby girl Jeremiah (the chosen name for a boy). I had no gut instinct either way like I did with my girls.



So, the very nice ultrasound tech looks at us both and asks, "do you want to know the sex of your baby?" Leonard says, "No because I already know." Huh? So, she then looks at me and Leonard says, "if you're going tell her I'm going to leave the room." Huh? So, now she is looking at us like we are insane! To appease us both, she printed out an ultrasound pic, typed the sex on it, and sealed it in an envelope for us. Of course, I ripped it open as soon we stepped out of the exam room hoping to prove him wrong. He says as I open the envelope, "I told you so!"



Yes, he told me so! The TLH Huffs are expecting another girl this winter! I was actually quite relieved because I truly don't think I am a "boy's Mommy." Sarah has declared her name to be Maggie. Hannah still does not believe the baby is a girl. She was actually wishing for a baby brother "because I already have a baby sister."



My dear friend Adrienne took these cute belly photos for me for. I have NO belly pics of my previous pregnancies & she is insisting that I take at least one every couple of weeks. Hope to have some professional ones taken later in the pregnancy by Paige. www.elizabethpaigephotography.com

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer Ending...and New Beginnings!

The Summer is coming to an end and the Tallahassee Huffs are embarking on a new journey. So many new things to report...I don't know where to start. So, I'm going to start with the MOST exciting news.....The TLH Huffs will be welcoming a new edition this winter! I am 19wks pregnant and due January 13, 2010. The girls are overjoyed and amazed with my ever changing body. They have been very inquisitive and of course Mommy has encouraged them. Our Midwife loaned Sarah a great book about a baby being born. She now knows all about placentas, amniotic fluid, and umbilical cords. It's too funny to hear her and Hannah discussing the impending birth. Hannah has already proclaimed that she will be delivering the baby and Sarah wants to cut "the cord." We are all very excited. I have my 20wk ultrasound this week. Leonard would like to find out the sex, but I'm not sure if I want to. Stay tuned to find out! ;)

Baby Huff will the be our 2nd newest edition. A few weeks ago Leonard's son, Amari, came to live with us from Detroit. He calls Tallahassee "the country." I guess it is compared to the Big "D"! He is a little shy, but coming more out of his shell daily The girls have enjoyed him being here. Sarah is literally attached to his hip most of the day. Yes, you have counted correctly....The TLH Huffs will be a family of SIX this winter!


Unfortunately with all these changes and new beginnings, we have had to say goodbye to homeschooling for now. :( Both Hannah & I are very sad to see her go back to school. Yet, we had a great time last year with tons of pics to prove it! The first day of school is today. She will be attending a new charter school here called Imagine @ Evening Rose. The majority of the student there were previously home schooled. So, hopefully she will embrace this opportunity and enjoy it. However, I did tell her if she gave it her honest best and didn't like it, she didn't have to continue. Please say a prayer for us....I think this is going to be a pretty rough week.

So, it will just be Sarah & I at home...until Baby Huff's arrival. I'm sure she will be keep me busy with Story time at the library, pre-school gymnastics, dance, and play dates.

Tanashia

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

BeFunky.com

I saw an awesome pic on a friend' blog....The Veleber Chronicles. Had to see how she did that. Did a couple of pics and now I'm addicted. Thanks, Brooke!





www.befunky.com

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

HomeSchool Day....at Wild Adventures

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The school year is slowing down for TLH Huffs. The girls continue to work daily, but not as much. For the end of the year field trip, Adrienne & I took the girls to Wild Adventures for "HomeSchool Days." The park designates two weeks out of the year for kids who are homeschooled. Admission was reduced and the girls were able to have private tours of the park and animals. The weather was scorching. So, we diverted from the planned iteneraty to hit a couple of water rides! It was Adrienne & her girls first time at the park. We had a great time and looking for to it again in the Fall.


Music, Magic, & Make Believe


In June, Hannah preformed in her 4th annual end of season dance recital. This year was her first time being in the "big show" on Friday night! The show was amazing. All of the dancers did a great job. Leonard & I were very proud of Hannah & all her hard work this dance season.

She had three performances.....Hip-Hop Jrs, Ballet II, and Jazz II. She was very excited to be in the "big show," but missed being with her friend Kennedy. Unfortunately, Kennedy wont be in the "big show" for another season. So, the TLH Huffs are preparing for another season of dance that starts next month. Yet, this time Ms Sarah will be hitting the stage too! That's right...she is 3 yrs old and old enought to dance! She will be taking pre-primary ballet and tap. Do they make tap shoes that small?!?!?



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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"I don't like Tee Tee Nashia!"
















Adria LaToya Cowell...that's what they call her. The middle child of my baby sister. Merely six months older than Sarah, but VERY different.

Well she has been with the TLH Huffs for the past few weeks so that Toya can get some rest with her new baby (DJ). Adria has spent some time with us on more than one occasion. And each time I swear it is the last. Yet, somehow I forget that. I think, "she's older now...more mature...it's will be different...better!"

Maybe NOT!














Don't get me wrong. We love her to death and treat her like she is one of the TLH Huffs. Yet, she constantly reminds us that she is not. "My momma is Toya and my daddy is AJ!" She is very strong willed and wants what she wants when she wants it. When she gets angry she has the horrible habit of screaming bloody murder at the top of her lungs. So who does it now too....yes, my Sarah.




But this takes the cake....yesterday the girls and I met Leonard for lunch at Pizza Hut after a morning at the Jr. Museum. The place is busy because it's lunch time. Adria decides that she wants to pout and at the top of her lungs yell, "I don't like you" to me! "I don't like Tee Tee Nashia!"
Every head turns and everyone is watching and waiting to see my response. What to do?
Inhale...1.2.3...exhale...1.2.3. Thank the Lord, Leonard was there. He promptly handled the situation.
I can laugh about it now. I even took the time to snap a pic of her. She continues to remind me that she doesn't like me. Oh, well. I'm not her friend....I'm her Tee Tee Nashia!




Friday, April 3, 2009

Hannah's HomeSchool Update

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I cannot believe that it is April already! Where has the time gone? The girls have been staying busy with all their activities....especially Hannah Banana! Her annual end of the year dance recital is approaching. We got a sneak peak at the costumes last week...very interesting. I am in love with her ballet one. She is in love with her jazz one. And we both are questioning the hip-hop one. Stay tuned for pics!

She has decided that she definitely wants to audition for the Company. Auditions are on the 19th! I think this audition will either "make or break" her dream of being a dancer. She is loosing interest. Leonard is willing to let her just stop. I was thinking, "what if Alicia Keys' mom just let her stop when she just got a little discouraged at 8yrs of age?" I only wish my mom was firm with me and didn't let me give up playing the piano or clarinet...I was actually pretty good...not to toot my own horn! ;)

She has actually become quite interested in science and health. Hmmmm....wonder where she gets that from? The Jr Museum has an exhibit on the history of health care in Florida. We both learned ALOT! I was quite pleased with all the information that they had about African-American midwives in Florida....a little passion of my own! Hannah has already began planning her own home births. She asked me why didn't I have my babies at home?!? For a moment I thought I was rearing a midwife, but she quickly shattered that for me. She has declared that she is going to Engineering School! She sooo didn't get that from me! :)

HomeSchooling has been pretty amazing and we are still enjoying it. We have been blessed to have friends that are enjoying the same journey. In February, Adrienne and I took the girls to FAMU's campus to visit the Black Archives. It was an amazing experience. I broke the rules and pulled out the camera. In all honesty, I didn't know that I couldn't take pictures. Yet, I got a few in before Adrienne pointed out the sign.

We are looking forward to the Spring's warm weather and new adventures! Shot out to Melody...thanks for the on-line resources!




Sarah's HomeSchool Update

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It is finally Spring! The weather is warm and the girls are loving it. We had a setback this week with all the raining and flooding, but today the sun is shinning! Next Sunday is Easter and we have tons of crafts and reading planned for this upcoming week.

Sarah is no longer attending the "Critter Class" at the Jr Museum. Enrollment really picks up in the Spring and we missed out on a spot. Oh, well! We still have our membership and enjoy checking up on the animals and all the new exhibits.

At her last class, she learned all about turtles and rabbits. She really liked examining everything with the magnifying glass. At home we are still working on her phonics. She mastered letter recognition and has moved on to letter sounds. Hooray for Hooked on Phonics! She can easily start up the computer games all by herself and maneuver through them with little assistance.

Her greatest achievement is learning to spell her name....not just Sarah, but Sarah Huff! She is even trying to write it! Go, Sarah Frances! We are loving the chalkboard walk. She practice writing whenever she likes without killing a tree! It's all about being green. :)



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Edition....

This week the girls & I have been rocking out to old school New Edition. My sisters & I grew up listening to them and attended all of their concernts within a 200 mile radius. I have found it very amusing that my girls enjoy the music as well. We have even got Adria dancing to "Mr Telephone Man." It's hilarious! :O

So, this if for my sisters and my cousin Tiffany!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where is my pickle?

Many of you have absolutely no idea what I am referring to. But I know that there are alot of you who do! OK. In short, my employer had all employees attend a customer service class a few years ago. The title of this class was "the pickle." We are encouraged to ALWAYS put the customer first and just give them the pickle.

So, I want to know where is my pickle? Every Friday afternoon after Hannah's dance class, the girls and I get "fast food." They take turns picking the place. Sarah always chooses Chick-fil-a. Hannah likes McDonald's. Well, last Friday it was Hannah's turn.

We ALWAYS order the same thing....a #1, large, with sweet tea...a chicken nugget happy meal, with Hi-C for a girl...and a might kids cheeseburger meal with a Sprite. I'm always polite and use my "please" and "thank-you." But I cannot remember the last time I was greeted with "Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?" or "you're welcome."

This lovely afternoon, the cashier told me that my total was $10.04. I said "I'm sorry but did you get the entire order" and then repeated it for him. His response, "Yeah, it's $10.04" (of course in a rude and condescending tone). I took a deep breath (as Hannah has taught me to do in times like these) and repeated the order once again.

***PAUSE*** Really quickly....a #1 lrg is about $6, a kids meal about $4, and a might meal about $5....Got me? ***RESUME***

"I said it's $10.04. Just drive around." So, I drove around and repeated the order AGAIN! "I got it. It's $10.04." Took another deep breath and handed him my debit card and then drove to the "pick up" window. She proceeded to hand me one happy meal, one mighty meal, and one large ice tea. Took another deep breath. "You need something else?" she asked. "My #1 value meal large, please." "Uh, you didn't order one. I gave you what you ordered and you didn't order no #1. I'm looking at it right here." (Imagine the rolling of the eyes and the neck) If it had been any other day, I probably would have taken her on. But it was a Friday and I was in desperate need of a nap before work.

So, I ask again....where is my pickle? Where has customer service gone in this country. Why can't I be greeted with a smile when I choose to spend my hard earned money at an establishment? Do employers really not care how their employees are treating customers? With ALL that said....the TLH Huffs will no longer patron McDonald's or any other establishment that does not feel like giving us a "pickle."







Saturday, March 14, 2009

Adria is back.....

It's official! Adria is back! Adria is my baby sister's middle daughter. She and Sarah are very close in age and LOVE being with each other. Well, the weather is warm and Summer is approaching. So it is time for the cousins to visit. Hold on to your seats...with Dria around there is always a good story to share.


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