Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Follow

Do you know how many blog hops are out there??? I found 16 today! I am cleaning up my google reader and the best way to find new blogs, is to jump on the bandwagon and follow some random people. Sometimes you find your bloggy soul mate...that person who thinks like you do, or has the same kind of crazy life you do and can commiserate! So take a chance, pick one, pick BOLD and pick them ALL and go find a new bloggy friend!Let's Just Give It Away 
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Long Time Coming...

There are moments as parents that it all makes sense. That all the craziness, stress, and worry just melt away, and you are blindsided with pure joy.
That happened to me last night at dinner.
My sweet 3 year old is speech delayed. It's not something we advertise, but its noticeable. We are currently in therapy for it and he has been making amazing progress. We work on all kinds of things at home, eye contact, structured play, and words. We read like its going out of style, we say silly phrases over and over, and the only TV he is allowed to watch on weeknights has to be something that will enrich his mind. We allow silly stuff on the weekend, because everyone needs a break.
But last night at dinner, he said the most amazing thing, the thing I have been waiting to hear in his precious little boy voice since the day that he was born.
"I Love Momma."
I wept. I had to leave the dinner table so he didn't think that he had done anything wrong. I was so overcome with joy that I was almost sobbing. Some parents take those little words for granted, they hear them everyday and have for years. But this was the first time that my son was able to articulate that feeling. I know he loves me, we are big on hugs and kisses at my house. In the bathtub the "momma" duck will give kisses to the "baby" duck. There is no question that he feels the love that we have for him daily.

And now, there is no question in my mind, that that love is reciprocated.
I love momma is the sweetest phrase in the world.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You might have a preschooler if...

These are funny things that I find myself doing...and I wonder if I am the only one. So to follow the funny Jeff Foxworth, You might have a preschooler if...

You find yourself randomly quoting Dr Suess books to yourself... " The sun did not shine it was too wet to play" I said this the other afternoon when it was raining.

You look at containers before you put them in the garbage/recycling bin, thinking how you could make them into a craft project.

You are guilty of preparing two seperate for you and the hubby, and one for the toddler who is on a perpetual food strike. I put bits of what we are having on his plate, but I know he isn't going to eat it. Ugh!

You get excited when the Michael's and JoAnn's circulars come out and there are free or cheap projects coming to the store.

Last week at Michael's they had a handprint painting to welcome your new baby from the sibling. All you had to purchase was the 12x12 canvas (which was $8, but bogo, so we bought 4 for $16).

We had an assembly line going since we were the only people to show up! Awesome!

Randy and Bailey did most of the work, but we had 4 canvas paintings just in time for Grandparent's Day!
We actually modified the picture by adding William's handprint in addition to Bailey's, as the smaller fish in the pond. In a word...Precious!

So these are the things that go on in my world...Sound familiar?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Take me out to the Ballgame~

So while my step son, Jared was down for a quick visit, we all went to the ballpark to see the Montgomery Biscuits play a game. As a Christmas present for my super hard to buy for hubby, I was inspired to get him season tickets to the Biscuits. Its not that he is a Biscuits fan, but he is a HUGE baseball fan. Bailey and William better hurry up and grow so he can enroll them in Little League (pray that they like the sport :)

Another cool thing about the night we planned to was Country night (08/06), and they had pony rides for the little ones. Bailey LOVED this little feature!

I am too crazy about my sweet Bailey to let him ride the pony solo just yet, so I walked around and around and around with him....for two turns!
Randy's parents came to town to see the boys and joined us for the game.
And of course we have to show you how little William enjoyed the game...

Its always a risk taking Bailey and William to something like this, you never know how they will behave, or how the weather is going to hold up. Bailey was GREAT, Will slept and nursed for most of the game, and the weather cooperated until the 7th inning. Once the rain came...and it was really a downpour, we packed it in and headed home, it was after 9pm and Bailey was tired (OK...I was tired too!) But see the slump :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

To Infinity and Beyond! A Costume Review

I was contacted by Costume Super Center and asked if I would like the opportunity to review one of their costumes. Being the mom of a toddler who LOVES pretend play, I jumped at the chance! I am not being compensated for this review, the only catch was that I write an honest review of a complimentary here goes!

I started searching in kids Halloween costumes...there was so much to choose from! They have Dr Suess, Disney, and even Pixar characters. I loved that the site is super easy to browse and the search function pulls up great options. I made my way to toddler costumes where I hit the jackpot! Bailey is all about Buzz Lightyear and anything having to do with rockets and space. So when I found the Buzz Lightyear Toddler Costume I called my husband and told him all about this opportunity.

You know how sometimes, you order something, and the quality is not what it should be, or it looks completely different from the picture on the package. I am happy to say that this was not the case with the costume. It looks just like the packaging and the picture on the website.
We received the shipment of the costume pretty fast, I was thrilled that the entire ordering/shipping of the costume was so easy and timely. According to the website if you order by 3pm EST (M-F) it ships out that same day. 

When we arrived home from daycare, I asked Bailey if he wanted to try on a fun dress up costume. I showed him that it was Buzz Lightyear, and he got so excited! It was a 3T/4T size, which is perfect because he is right in between those sizes. As you can see its a little snug, but he is tall and the length is perfect. The leg covers will also cover his  shoes, so if another child was taller than he is, they would still be pergectly covered up.

The costume is handwashable...which is good because I couldn't get it off of him until bath time. Thats right folks...he ate dinner as Buzz. Got pink yogurt all over the sleeves and top. I just soaked it and soaped it and it all came right out.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to test out this great costume! You will hear from me soon...because we will need to order the infant alien costume for the we can trick or treat together. I can't wait!

The only negative thing I can say is that its hard to remove from the child who has fallen in love with it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Arrival

I have been is my excuse.

We delivered William Michael by scheduled c-section on Tuesday, June 8th at 0700. He weighed in at a lovely 8 pounds, 7 ounces, and stretched  20.25 inches.

My parents were kind enough to keep Bailey the night before and take him to daycare that morning. Then they joined Randy's parents in the waiting room.

My procedure went well. We were surrounded by my fantastic Dr and some really great nurses, they helped me feel comfortable for the duration. I remember at some point of the surgery thinking, wow, this nurse standing behind me stroking mt hair is really going above and was so soothing at the time. Turns out, that was my wonderful husband. I have said it before and I am sure I will say it again, he is my rock. He comforts me, sometimes even when I am not aware that I need it.

Everything moved pretty quick after William was born, and before I knew it, he and Randy were off to the nursery, and they finished sewing me up and took me to recovery. The hospital has a new way of doing things, so Randy and William rejoined me in the recovery room for what they call "Bonding Time" I guess some study shows that its better for baby to spend 30-60 minutes with Mom skin to skin before rushing off to be bathed, medicated, have blood drawn and whatever else they do. It lowers the stress level of the baby...really? They had to do a study for that?

So there is a reason for that freaked out expression. This is Bailey meeting William for the first time & he just grabbed him to plant a big kiss on his new little brother. Bailey is so affectionate with William, he is forever giving him hugs and kisses.
Look at those fat rolls!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Maternity Photos

I had an opportunity to have some maternity photos taken by the very talented Jeanette Monplaisir of JM Photography. She is just starting out in the world of photography and let me tell you, this young lady has some seious talent.

We went to have belly shots taken when I as 36 weeks pregnant with Bailey and we were disappointed. We went to Portrait Innovations and out of the 60 shots that were taken there were only 6 or so that we liked. My husband is not a big fan of having his picture taken needless to say, none were purchased and we did not return to have more pictures taken.

This time I didn't tell my husband. These are going to be a suprise present for Father's Day. So I kept Bailey out of daycare for a morning and we met Jeanette at  Blount Cultural Park right there at the Alabama Shakesphere Festival. My friend Shannon and her mom came by to help out with Bailey so we could do pictures of just me and pictures of the two of us.  (Thank you Shannon & Mrs Susan! This would not have been possible without your help!)
We started out by the pond, chasing geese.

Then headed over to the stone wall...

I really loved the way she edited these, some have that great shadowy quality and then to have them in black and white is such a great contrast.

 After the wall, we headed over to ASF to the gardens, but they were closed, so we took advantage of this great area, there was lots of greenery and some shade!

Look at that big belly! I am telling you, there is a 10 pound baby in there!

I saw a similar shot like this on someone's blog a while back, and I mentioned it to Jeanette and she was happy to help me create something similar.
 More shots of the big belly  :0) I did manage to fit my wedding rings on for these pictures, and it only took a small miracle to get them off. Swollen fingers are the greatest!

See those flushed cheeks! That sweet boy was playing hard!

So overall I am THRILLED with the way these pictures turned out. Jeanette did an amazing job. I will have to call her and sweet talk her into doing some newborn pictures of William once he arrives. Hiring a photographer to do family pictures like this is always a challenge. I really think that it is important to have that perfect blend of skill and chemistry, and Jeanette has this lovely personality, and she was SO very patient with Bailey, who is a bundle of energy.

And in the meantime...don't tell my husband these pictures are on the'll ruin the suprise!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A trip to remember...Belize

Let me tell you a story...
A long, long time 2002, I met this man.
We hit it off and had the best time together.
I met all his friends, he met all of mine, he met my family, I met his son. We went on trips together, fun things like Mobile, AL, beaches, Gaitlinburg, TN, Louisville, KY, Indianapolis, IN, Atlanta, GA, and everywhere in between. Over time, this man became my best friend, my confidant, my advisor.
In 2006, we were surprised to find out that this little bundle was on the way. We were completely unprepared for the changes this little man brought to our life. We learned to depend on each other even more for everyday things. I told a friend of mine recently that true love, is not flowers and candlelight. Its taking care of a sick child, mopping up vomit at 3am, and holding each other when you are both exhausted and sleep deprived, and comforting each other even as you try to comfort your little one.
I have said it before, I will say it again I am sure. We do things backwards here. Christmas of 2008 arrived, and tucked under the tree was this little gem... No diamond??? No. This man of mine knows that my absolute favorite gemstone is the garnet. So when he couldn't find a ring that he liked, he went to a local jeweler and had this lovely ring custom made for me. When we broke the news to family and friends, the reaction was pretty much the same. "Wow, that's great!" and "Its about time!" (I and friends can get away with that blunt honesty.)

So you realize that once you actually get engaged, its time to start thinking of WHERE and WHEN. Well...since we met in October, I thought we could just get married on our anniversary. That man looked at me and asked why I wanted to wait so long. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!? It takes you 6 yrs to propose and you want to know why I am waiting??? Men...I just don't understand the thought process.

So we decided the beach, then we decided Las Vegas. And I started pricing both trips. Where could we have a fantastic vacation, and a beautiful wedding? Our family and friends loved the Vegas idea, and told him so. Then he started freaking out...How many people are you inviting??? I told him that the guest list was under 20 people, but if our other friends wanted to come see us get hitched while taking a vacation of their own, then the more the merrier! He stressed about this a bit. And when I started talking money, he looked at me and said that we could leave the country and have a tropical wedding for less than that. This was when he brought up Belize.
I had never heard of Belize. No idea where it was located, what was there, what the culture was, what language they spoke. So I started researching...and found out that Belize was JUST what we were looking for. Belize is a super small country in Central America. The language is English (although the locals also speak a form of creole) and they accept US dollars along with Belizian Dollars. The exchange rate is roughly $2 BZE = $1 US.
As far as things to do....pretty much everything you could think of. They have the longest barrier reef in this hemisphere, home to the Great Blue Hole, with hundreds of islands, snorkel and dive locations. Hundreds of ancient Maya sites both excavated and jungle-covered, and a lush tropical rain forest. 
So we started looking into the When....and we discovered if we traveled at the beginning of May, we would save bunches of money since that was when the dry season started, but everything would still be pretty lush. So we watched plane prices, and when the tickets that were $800 each in January became $350 in March, we JUMPED on them like crazy people.
Using the Internet, we also booked our beachfront cabana at Xaman Ek and wedding services thru Belize Weddings and of course we had to have a photographer, so we chose the lovely and talented Jen Sharp.
It might sound odd...but we decided to take this journey alone. There was a waiting period to obtain the wedding license, so we had the honeymoon all week, and got married on Friday, May 22nd. Instead of drama, and stress, and coordinating friends and family for activities, we decided to be a little selfish. It worked out perfectly. Our family wasn't hurt, they were just happy that we finally made everything all nice and legal.  A few friends were a little hurt that they were not included, but I think overall, they understood our reasoning.
Let me tell you about our amazing week in Belize.
We kayaked to the reef (which is only about a mile from shore) and snorkeled. (yes...I did not apply enough sun screen and I got COOKED on our first day there...ugh)

Then we arranged to get scuba certified. We dove Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (yes...the morning we got married, we spent an hour or so at the bottom of the ocean. It was so beautiful). I was terrified, but it was the most breathtaking thing ever. The colors of the things you see underwater are unreal. I cannot wait to get all that gear strapped back on and to dive again. I am told that Belize spoiled us, that the visibility is so perfect and the water so warm that we will be disappointed anywhere else we go...I sure hope that is not the case!
On Thursday we traveled inland to Lamanai, a Mayan temple. It was a 26 mile trip up-river where we saw all kinds of creatures. Manatee's, bats the size of a quarter, turtles, and even dolphins. There were several ruins that we were able to climb and explore, but the High Temple proved to be too much for me. Randy made it to the top, while I was entertained by some feuding Toucans and Howler Monkeys.

In the evenings, we took a boat ride from our resort to San Pedro, the main town on Ambergris Caye. Every restaurant we ate at was fantastic, the gift shops were fun to explore and there were street vendors where we purchased plenty of souvenirs for those we left at home. The main way to get around on Ambergris Caye is by boat, or golf cart. We mostly walked, and on most corners there were these great little "You are Here" signs that showed where everything you could possibly imagine was located in town. We found the post office, grocery stores, ATM was so great!
The on Friday...we were married. The pastor was this delightful woman, Susannah Flores. I cannot imagine a more lovely ceremony. It was simple and heartfelt. There were happy tears. I whispered my vows. Randy held my hand throughout the entire ceremony. We promised to make a home together, to celebrate life's joys together, to be committed to one another, to help each other to achieve our goals, to be our best friends, and to live life to the fullest with each other until the end of our days.

Sunrise the morning we left. This was the view from my doorway. The only quiet moment I had all day. We rushed packing (how is it that your suitcase is never big enough on your way home?) We made our way thru security (where they confiscated my conch shell that Randy got me at the bottom of the ocean....we are so going back so he can get me another) we hopped a plane from Belize City to Atlanta via Charlotte. And then we drove home from Atlanta to Montgomery. We got home, slept like the dead, and Sunday morning we rushed to my parents house to pick up our sweet little boy who had been basking in the attentions of his beloved grandparents for the 8 days we were gone.
I cannot tell you how much we missed that sweet boy. I know he was safe and content and loved with my parents, but we had never been separated that long. we come to our one year anniversary, I want to tell my husband how much I love him. How happy I am with the life we have together, how much I love our son and this second one who will be arriving in a few short weeks. There is no other place in my life I would rather be. No matter what comes our way, I am confident that we will face it and overcome it.

Now...go tell your sweetie how much you love them today!