Somebody...

5/28/11

is ready


to go


to


Disney World!


Lucky for him we're leaving in less than an hour.
 

Kenny and K-3

Yesterday, Jake wore his shorts backwards not just for one hour but at least twelve (How GQ is that?  Gotta love this dressing himself thing he's got going on right now.), blue speckled swimming goggles on his forehead, and just before he went to bed, he informed me that he "...is one organized guy."  Oh yeah, Buddy.  Organized you are!

Just at little random something...that's true. 

Kenny Chesney.  Young.  Wednesday night.  I Go Back.  Just Jim and I.  Down the Road.  Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.  Back Where I Come From.  Most incredible date night we've had since God only knows when.

And this past Thursday Jake had his End-of-the-Year-Party and Graduation Day from K-3.  A, B, C's and 1, 2, 3's are just a few of the things he's learned.  He's drawing, coloring, counting, and recognizing colors better than ever before.  And now he has the diploma to prove it...



He also has a black chin because his face was painted to look like a pirate's.  
 

Gilda's...and God's Greatness

5/25/11

I was sitting on a loveseat in the waiting area when another client walked in.  She signed in at the counter, and just as the receptionist had asked me how I was doing, she also asked her.  "Once I have some lunch (and held up a bottle of Gatorade and a protein shake that looked like one of Jake's juice boxes), I'll be much better.", she said.

She walked over and sat down in a single chair next to the shelves full of shampoo and styling gel and commented that she really needed a straw.  I just kept looking forward and down at my phone to check the time allowing her to make conversation with herself.  She didn't let her need for a straw stop her nor did the fact that she was "eating" her lunch stop her from talking.  "I just don't have much time in between phone calls to actually eat", she said.  I looked up, looked at her, and smiled.  Maybe she was talking to me, I thought, so this time I sympathized and said, "Yeah it's tough to take time out when you're super busy, especially if you're trying to talk and eat at the same time." 

I assumed she was a telemarketer on her lunch break or afternoon off, so when she shifted what was now a conversation between the two of us from not having time to eat lunch because of an enormous amount of phone calls to the fact that she doesn't know anymore what's open and what's not since the tornado that demolished so much of Tuscaloosa had hit almost a month ago, I thought it was odd.  But I didn't care.  I had some company while I waited, so I just kept talking too.  I told her I couldn't count how many times I had told Jim, people I talked to from other states who had called to discuss the funds they had awarded to The University of Alabama and asked about how things were, best friends, and church family that "...it's like you get so used to seeing everything like it is right now, you almost can't remember how it used to be."

She agreed completely with these words..."I still think at times that I can go home, crawl in my own bed, and just go to sleep."  It only took seconds for me to realize the she was a victim of the tornado.  She lowered her head, folded her hands together in between her knees, and her body shook as she started to cry.  I asked her if she had lost her home, and she nodded her head to say yes.  I went from where I was sitting to where she was sitting and wrapped my arms around her.  "I'm so sorry", I said several times.  She stopped crying and said, "Thank you so much.  That's just what I needed."

I sat back down, and she started searching through her purse while she told her story.  She pulled out a white, letter-sized envelope with a dozen or more photos in it of what was left of her home.  She showed me a dresser that was still standing but damaged and told me that it belonged to her parents - the first piece of furniture they ever owned together - and her sister was having it restored.  She told me she found her cat alive and well under the rubble of her garage after three days of searching for her, and she gave her patio umbrella to the national guard members who were watching the area surrounding her home.  Then she shared how old she was (Sixty, but I swear she didn't look a day over forty-five, and I told her that.) and that she has a daughter my age who's an elementary school teacher in Maryland. 

Just before she left after being called back for her appointment, she made the time to tell me her daughter was able to visit the home where she grew up the weekend before and had slept in her childhood bedroom one last time.  And I said, "Wow!  What a blessing!  How great is our God?!" to which she replied...

"He is greater than great!"                 

T-6 Days...

5/23/11

until we are here!


Along with my sister and niece.

Who are almost completely packed.

Which is what I should be doing - packing.

Goodnight!
 

S

5/22/11

sweet


silly


squealing


smiley


siblings


on Sunday

 

I got these for Mother's Day.

5/21/11

 
The socks too.

Because

5/20/11

Because I had forgotten I had even made this one...

And because I just felt like posting a video and thought, "Awwwwweeeeeee" when I watched this one from September 2008...

And because I just don't care that it came out really dark and doesn't have the most climactic ending (but whose home videos ever really do)...

And because it brought me real deal joy to know these two are still bonding day in and day out while Jim is his SAHD...


video
.





Larry's Story

5/19/11

Jim feels like he's in Groundhog Day, Jake's room looks like a granade filled with toys exploded in it (Excellent!), and tonight I sang "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" to Parker as I rocked him to sleep.

Definitely random.  But true.

Back to the lizard...

I mentioned a few or two days ago that I came home to an ordinary-and-shedding, find-them-all-over-the-place, brown-sometimes-green, I-have-no-idea-what-his-scientific-name-is lizard that Jake and his (for the time-being) SAHD dad had caught in our garage. 

When I first met him, he was being held hostage in one of my plastic, food storage bowls with a lightly-colored purple lid that now has at minimum four holes in it.  I asked questions about how they caught him (something about screaming, running and jumping) and found out that what had turned into an afternoon observation experiment was named Larry and would have his very own reptile appropriate living quarters in the short amount of time it would take them to make it to the pet store and back. 

Over the last few days, Larry has eaten one fly, has spent his days in his lizard-sized home but not out of Jake's sight, and has been used as a means of scaring the holy crap out of me...several times (apparently that's funny to certain people that I live with).  And apparently it's been a pretty good thing going for him up until this morning. 

Jim called some time before nine, I told him I wished I had stayed in bed (or something like that when he asked how my day was going so far), and then he proceeded to totally cheer me up when he told me what he had really called to say (with Jake's help - Gotta love some speakerphone.).  Larry had been set free.  And I was happy.  Immediately.  I told Jake how great I thought it was to know that Larry was reunited with his family (Larry had reeeaaaalllly been missing his family.  He told me himself.) and how I just knew his friend was so, so glad to be back where he really belongs.   

But it wasn't until tonight after a game of T-Ball had been played and after we had ordered our dinner at McAllister's and after Jake brought up the subject of letting Larry go that I found out that Jake made this decision all on his own.  Yeah.  He really did.  He woke up this morning, noticed his pet had not eaten anything at all since two days before and decided it was best to let him go back into the great outdoors and the world of grass and bushes he was meant to live in.  My four-year old, all by his petite four-year old self, put the needs of something that had become his friend before his own wants and desires to keep him as his pet.  He did what he knew was best for a little brown lizard aka Larry even though the attachment he had formed was so significant.

It touched me.  And it made me thank my God for giving me such an amazing little boy with a heart for lizards...and the reminder, because of him, to be selfless.    

He Is...

Our

blue-eyed

lover of squash


grabber of toys


(almost) daycare going

neck-bending

smiling

laughing


four-month old

 
Parker!

Grandma's Arms - Purpose No. 1,479:

5/17/11

Stretching the neck on her four-month, four-day old grandson

 

Dirt Cheap

Yesterday, I came home to a lizard trapped purposely in one of my Rubbermaid containers (Yep. That one's a gonner.), and I took a shower and changed the sheets on our bed all before Parker woke from his afternoon nap (Guess all the lizard catching did him in.).

Random...Yes. But true.

So my dad likes to tease me about the fact that Jim and I love to shop at a store here in town called Dirt Cheap (They've recently changed their name from Treasure Hunt. I only assume this came from the saying, "One man's junk..." You know the one.). He doesn't get all excited about the deals I tell him we got. Instead he says things like, "If ya'll ever quit going there, they might actually go out of business." 

And I have to laugh.  I really do.  But when I quit laughing, I tell him, "Hey!  Don't be knocking my store now!" 

Because really.  Where else can you find a brand new chicco stroller that's missing the canopy and you have to call their customer service department to get a replacement that costs the same amount of money that you paid for the stroller to start with? 

And where else can you buy a Leapster 2 that was obviously used as a display, doesn't work, and sits in the cabinet above your refrigerator (BTW, we went back and bought another one which means half off wasn't really half off, but now...NOW...Jake is scoring big time on his Toy Story 3 game.)? 

And where else can you buy four boxes of Q-tips that have green Salvage stickers in bold black text stuck to them and look like the were played racquetball with? 

These are GOOD deals, Dad, I tell him.

He doesn't buy it. 

He just laughs and says, "Oh really?"

Okay, so those weren't my best purchases from there, I'll admit.  I'll also admit a huge majority of what's in this store is probably...okay okay...it's junk.  Jake admits it too...right when we walk in the store.  "Look at all this junk!" he shouts.  Awesome Jake.  I sincerely hope every single person in here heard you, Buddy.  Actually I really don't.  Nor did I say that to him when we went there to shop last Friday night.  I actually slapped my hand over his mouth and whipped my head around to see if anyone could have possibly heard what he said. 

I'm able to sleep at night telling myself they didn't.      

But what I can say, ya'll?  Buying things like two boxes of diapers for the price of one, enough Q-tips to clean all eight of our ears for the rest of our lives, brand new sippy cups that take half a bottle of WD-40 to get the tape residue off of them, and a toddler swimming pool in the shape of a crab that no one wanted in its original retail location just thrills me. 

So I'll keep going. 

I'll keep getting burned every now and again on electronics that don't work. 

I'll keep laughing with my dad when he cracks his not-so-funny jokes just to make him feel good. 

And I'll snap a picture of Jake in his Ct0.6 tangerine, chicco stroller that I still got for twenty bucks less...even if I did have to order a replacement canopy.  Bam!

Look Who's...

5/16/11

Talking Eating!...

video

Rice cereal, sweet potatoes, carrots, pears, and apples are on his menu so far.

And for tomorrow's dinner...Squash!

Torticollis and T-Ball

Ever feel like you just grabbed two weeks worth of pages on one of those little tear-a-page-a-day calendars and ripped them off at once? That pretty much sums me up today.

Just thought I would get that out of the way.

A week ago today, I took Parker to see Dr. B. for his four month well baby visit. And well he is.

Besides being well, he's also weighing in at fourteen pounds, nine and one half ounces and is towering above anything and everything shorter than he is at twenty-five inches tall (or long...either way works for me). We answered "yes" to every question Dr. B. threw at us as far as his development goes, Parker flashed him a few smiles, and we were cleared for take-off on spoon feeding. We left his office with two band aids and two appointments (one for his six month well baby visit and one for physical therapy). Yes...physical therapy. It seems Parker has what is called Infant Torticollis. And it's all my fault. His uteri quarters were too close for comfort (literally), and the muscle called the Sternocleido Mastoid on the left side of his neck is...well...stiff.

So this past Thursday, we went to his first physical therapy appointment. We met Melinda and Diane. We also saw Michelle who I had no idea worked there. But that's beside the point. Melinda told us we couldn't have had Parker in better hands. The fact that Dr. B. noticed it this early was huge (Parker's case is not a severe one, so only he or someone who's used to seeing it would have known.). Like she explained - trying to stretch the neck of a crawling or walking toddler is way harder than trying to stretch a four month old infant who really has no other options (Sounds kind of cruel, but it's really not. I wish someone would lay me on my side in their lap and tilt my head sideways super gently.). She demonstrated for me exactly what to do with him at home, and that's just how we do it...multiple times a day.

After just one week, I would almost swear he's sitting up a little straighter already.

But I'm just a proud momma, so we'll take him back once more in June and have Melinda tell me for real if he's holding that neck of his straighter or not. 

I'll keep you posted.

And then there's Jake - our healthy (other than the scar above his right eye) T-Ball player.


Seriously, is his expression and stance at the plate not the funniest thing? 

He does these same moves every.single.time he's at bat.  He never fails.

And it cracks me up!


This was him...playing for the Green Machine this past Saturday.



His Grandma watched his very first game, but his Grandpa, Aunt Cathy, and cousin Emily had not seen him play.

So they came this past weekend,


wore their jackets (Holy cow where did this sixty degree weather come from?),



and cheered him on.



Besides the Sandlot baseball field, they also went with us to Wagner's to buy Emily a pair of sandals to wear at her Kindergarten graduation today (Way to go, Emily!  We are proud of you and all that you've accomplished this year!) and a pair of Keen's to wear whenever she feels like it before we took it to the house for pizza, Buckeroo Bars (I have no idea if there's a recipe out there for those. I bought them from one of my coworkers who was doing a fundraiser for her daughter's preschool.  Can we say addictive?), and Kool-Aid Jammers.

So much fun.



So much sugar.  


So much love from his Grandpa.


But not much T-Ball left to play in this season. 

Just two more games, and this season is over.

Charles? Nope. Dad's in charge.

5/11/11

The clock on Jim's terminal leave is officially ticking these days.

SAHD (Stay-At-Home-Dad) is the title he holds for now.

Today is day five of his full-time dad duties. Last Thursday was day one, and I came home to a house with everything still standing, and no one was crying.

Did this surprise me? Not at all.

Jim is just the type of person that gets it done. He doesn't hesitate or choose what to do or what not to do. He just does. And it's what he does when it comes to being a dad. Diapers? Just ask him, and he'll change 'em (He changed as many as I did on our six pound one ounce firstborn during his eight-day NICU stay.). Bottles? He washes 'em and mixes 'em as well as I can. Swaddling? He should be a personal trainer for new parents on "How to Swaddle Your Baby the Right Way". Burping? If I couldn't get it done, I just handed our oldest babe to him because he had the magic touch. He's capable, and he's natural. He's unshaken, and he's confident.

And some how some way, him being there puts me at ease. I guess it's because he's the father of our sons. They are part of me, and he is part of them. So if I'm required to be somewhere other than where they are, he's the next best person.

Two weeks ago, I still cried when no one was looking. But this week, not so much. Yes I totally still wish it could be me. But when I think about the fact that while Parker naps in his crib, Jim and Jake spend their hours together playing catch and kickball and practicing their golf swings and when Jim tells me Parker's smiles have been countless and exactly how many ounces and what times during the day he drank, I know we're exactly where we're supposed to be.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven." (Ecc. 3:1). To be a full-time dad is the season of life Jim is living - it's the purpose he's serving.

I pray he sees every day as a gift, and in this little thing he's writing called his autobiography, I pray this chapter is the most precious and rewarding of all.

Elephant Ears

5/10/11

But not the kind you were probably expecting to see.

These elephant ears...

 
are from Downtown Baby

and from Mrs. Anna and Ms. Diane, Big Brother's K2 teachers.

Thousand Words Thursday...It's Finished!

5/6/11

What started out as an idea I got from a book (The Creative Home by SouleMama I think it was.) and a storage container of outfits from Jake's days gone by has turned into this.


When I opened the box it came to me in, I was just speechless. Sounds were coming out, believe me...just no words.


I held two corners and flung it in the air.  It fell like a picnic blanket, and Jake and I fell to the floor with it.  My tears and Oh my!'s defined the specialness of what was to him just a blanket. 

We hovered over it and took it all in.  I kept pointing to each block and calling out times I remember when he wore this...and that.  


The light green minky dot squares in each corner of the mustard yellow with white polka dot fabric border is one of the fabrics I used in his nursery. 

The small blue center square with the tiny yellow sailboat embroidered on it on the bottom row is from the sunhat he wore during his very first trip to the beach.  He was three months old.   

And the smocked schoolhouse and blue gingham was a romper he wore on his two month birthday.  We were living the country life with my family while Jim was at field training with his cadets, and my mom and I decided his two month birthday called for a day out.  So we went shopping. 

The little red barn he wore the day of his first birthday party.

And I can see him right now wearing the plaid blue whale on the carriage ride we took in Savannah.  


This quilt has no price tag.

Hanging it on the clothesline at the boys' grandparent's and snapping a few photos doesn't do it justice at all.


And every.single.square is definitely worth a thousand words.