Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rubber Bands or Cocktails?

Day before yesterday we had to go buy a bunch of rubber bands.  I've waited for this day for a few months now and it came a little later than I thought it would.  I guess that's a good thing? 
Chip had Hill in the kitchen and Chip ran to go brush his hair before we left the house.  Chip came back and Hill had the economy size PineSol in a bear hug.  He'd figured out how to open the cabinet door under the sink where we house all the cleaners and little boy poisons. 
It's a shame he found that cabinet when he could have hit up the cabinet next to it and made a little cape cod or amaretto sour in his sippy cup.  Grow some hair on his chest. Mix a little hunch punch.  Or better yet, he might have whipped out his bottle and made a white russian or something? 

Heck, he loves to shake things...Give the boy a shaker for Christmas.  He will be making key lime pie martini's in no time!

Oh, wait...we were talking about rubber bands and PineSol weren't we?  So, sorry I was envisioning my son playing Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail.

We got the rubber Hill is super upset he can't get his hands on the dish detergent or furniture polish.
Maybe if I pull this part up?

As he shakes it back & forth

On a side note:  I didn't put a rubber band on the 'other' cabinet...just incase he decides to learn how to mix mommy a little 'sweet tea.'

Friday, November 26, 2010

Our First Thanksgiving

As I typed the title to this blog I realized that this year has truly been a year of firsts. Most every single second of Hill's life so far has been a monumental (or even non monumental) first for him, and sometimes for me and Chip too.  Hill will never have a first Thanksgiving again.  How does time just slip by us? 

As I reflect on the things I am grateful for big and small, important and petty, materialistic and charitable one word just finds it's way back into my mind.  Love.  Not just this Thanksgiving, but this whole year to me can be summed up in that one four letter word - love.  I love my husband, my mother, my father, my family, my friends, my dogs and they all know it.  I don't always tell them everyday how much I love them and I don't always think about how much I love them every day.  It's just a given, I know, they know - it's love. 

With Hill, it's different.  It's different in the fact that I think about my love for him every day.  I literally have multiple moments just out of the blue throughout the day where I sit and think about how much I really really love him.  How much he means to me.  How blessed we truly are to have him so healthy and perfect and funny and just a precious little ball of joy. 

He makes me think about how awesome our God really is to have created this tiny being inside of me and to watch him come into this world and be able to watch and help him grow into this little man.  It's love.  I have found the meaning of agape.  What a phenominal feeling Christ must have at all times knowing this feeling of divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, thoughtful love.  It sure makes me want to be a better person.

I could list all the things I am thankful for like my family, our health, my job, the Tivo (DVR), the internet, fountain cokes, and electricity.  Yet this year has a new perspective and I am thankful for my year of firsts and for the love I have for my family.

With that said, our first Thanksgiving was wonderful.  It was just me, Chip and Hill - no hustle and bustle, no running to 8 different lunches and dinners, no pressure.  Chip bought a honey baked ham, made green bean casserole, bought Country Crock stick in the microwave mac & cheese, then I heated up some corn, bought some rolls and made a rum cake.  Literally, Thanksgiving took 35 minutes to do. We ate at noon and I had the kitchen cleaned by 1:00.  We took Hill on his first 4 wheeler ride around the neighborhood and he had the biggest smile on his face, clapped the whole time and pointed to the trees.  We have a little outdoorsman on our hands.  What a perfect day!

Here are the pictures of our Thanksgiving spread.  It was really good, but now that I look at the picture most everything we ate was yellow - corn, mac & cheese, green bean casserole topping, butter, rum cake...

Happy Thanksgiving!
May your hearts be filled with agape.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sit. Stay. Roll Over.

You may appreciate the hilarity of this story if you have seen the millions of pictures of Hill playing with Foster.  Hill LOVES him some 116 lb, brown hair shedding everywhere, seafood dumpster breath, Foster. 

I went to pick Hill up from daycare on Friday and here's how the conversation went down:

Me: (to Hill) Hey, Buddy!  Did you have a good day?
Teacher:  Rachel, I've been meaning to ask you.  When Hill is at home does he play with the dogs?
Me: Yes.
Teacher:  Does he by chance crawl all over them?
Me: Yes.
Teacher:  Yep I figured so, well, he's doing that to all the children.  He is crawling over them and on top of them as they are on the floor playing.
Me: (unable to hold back my laughter...) I'm sorry.

I do hope that this isn't a problem.  I would have NO clue how to make him stop.  I just have this visual of Hill playing Godzilla with these kids and just crawling over them and on them and thru them.  Cracks me up.

I hope he doesn't try to eat the other kids hair or pull on their ears or pet them.  Poor kiddo, he has no manners and thinks other kids are like his brother and sisters at home. 

When Hill cries, Foster howls....then Hill thinks Foster is funny.  I hope that Hill doesn't start howling when the kids at daycare cry.  I guess we'll just have to figure out how to cross that bridge if we get there.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rewind - Uncle Jason

I hate when I get out of chronological order! 
Here are a few pictures of when Uncle Jason came to visit October 28th - 31st. 
I Love These Boys!

Trouble 1 & Trouble 2
We went to the Ole Miss Auburn game in Oxford while Hill and Mama Lou stayed in Kosciusko and played.
Chip, Jason and I had a blast. I love and miss hanging out with my brother. It doesn't happen often enough. As for the relationship that Chip has with my family...sometimes I think they'd chose him over me any day. Chip was made to fit into my family and if you know my family, that is just plain scary.

Jason, Colonel Reb, Me

Our Auburn friends
Jason & Gena Pope

Our Nashville friends
Craig & Lindsay Sanders

Chip & Jason

Me & Chip

Jason, Me, Chip
Thanks for coming to visit Jay-ston.  We love you and can't wait until January when you come back again!

A Hunting Hill Will Go...

Last Saturday was the opening of deer season.  Chip woke up early early and went hunting.  Hill and I decided that waking up early was for the birds, you can still hunt without being sleep deprived.  So we went on our own hunting trip.  Our excursion was way more fun than Dada's!  We dressed up for the occasion so we would be incognito and Hill saw all kinds of rare wild animals...

We tackled a BEAR!

Then we played with the bear.

We spotted a FOX!

Then the fox helped Hill inspect his boot

Then we saw a rare sighting;
an OLD OLD albino wolly mammoth!

Then the bear and Hill prayed that Dada
would bring home a big deer!

Then after his hunt he was exhausted so he took
a nap with a baby black bear.

Sweet snuggly bear.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I Believe

Tonight I put up the Christmas tree. 

I lugged out all the Christmas boxes and decorations from the attic. Put the tree together with the help of a few h-e double hockey sticks said.  Placed ornaments and fru fru all over it high enough a 10 month old wouldn't be tempted to reach.  Then I arranged the gifts underneath (since I'm already finished with all my shopping.)

Then I took this picture.

It just looks like a pretty tree, right?  Well what I failed to mention is that I didn't have a star, a big bow or an angel to put on top of the tree. 

There won't be a bow or star or anything else placed on top of our tree this year.  After I took this picture I realized that there is already an angel there. 

No explination.  No words.  To the naked eye there is visibly nothing there.  The swirl of light tells me that our angel is looking over us this year, and hopefully for years to come. 

 Snooks wouldn't dare miss Hill's first Christmas!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Week in Review - Thursday "Nada"

Nothing really happened on Thrusday, yesterday.  They changed out a large piece of glass in my boss' office.  That was pretty much the excitement of the day.  I decided that if it were to have broken in the repairmans hands it was so big it would have sliced his body in half.  That would have been news worthy, but thankfully that didn't happen.

In other news, I can't remember if I reported last week, but Hill officially has 5 teeth.  Front top two and the top left tooth next to the front one and the front bottom two.  He's ready to start eating steak!

The other night when I was giving Hill a bath I was singing Christmas songs to him as we were playing.  In the middle of Silent Night Hill decided that the Dada Song was WAY more fun and proceeded to sing it at the top of his lungs.  The Dada song pretty much sounds exactly like what you think in your head.  Rapidly repeating da da da da da da.  (The only word he wants to say these days.)  We got out of the bath and Chip said he could hear him singing all the way in the living room.  Chip likes the Dada song, a lot.  Mama, not so much.

Last night we were playing in his cage and talking to Mama Lou on the phone.  Hill kept saying baw baw.  I really thought he was saying baba (bottle) or buhbuh (bye bye) but realized he was picking up his ball and showing it to me to play.  This kid is a freaking genius!  I say ball or book or toy to him all the time, but he's really picking up on them now.  I swear the other day he said juice. 

I love watching him play because you can see those tiny wheels turning in his head.  He's a prodigy.  It's as if he wants to understand the concept of things like the wheel on the truck not just the truck.  Or learn more about the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. (that was for you monty python dorks)  But really, it's fun watching him learn.  I had this huge fear that I wouldn't know how to educate him through his infant years (or really his whole life) and he'd just not know anything.  Other kids would be like, you like my blue sippy cup? and he'd be like what does that mean, I know no words!?  I can't say I've intentially taught him anything, or not taught him anything, but I for sure know he's taught himself a WHOLE lot by just figuring it out.  I think he gets that from his daddy.

I heard the other day that Nurse Anesthetists make phat cash right out of school and decided that is what Hill should be.  Chip thinks we should let him decide what he wants to do with his life, I agree to an extent as long as it encompass' taking care of his mother the rest of his life.  Other than that pre requisite, I'm cool with whatever the little boy decides to do. 

Now go get mama another vodka tonic and don't forget the lime this time....thanks sweetie.

Week in Review - Wednesday "Snot"

Nothing significant happened Wednesday except that I realized the culprit to my laziness is snot.  Yup, snot the stuff that clogs the top of your head all the way down to your nose and then goes down your throat and causes you to sound like an 85 year old Virginia Slim smoker with emphysema.  That snot.

I don't feel bad, but I don't have motivation to do things around the house either.  So, Wednesday I decided to take some pictures of the things that aren't getting done due to my snot making me lazy.  I made it through like two items then got embarrassed to show you the mountain of clothes and the dog hair tumble weeds for fear you would call the Department of Human Services on me and they'd take away my son.

Here is the culprit.
This is the snot can, it does not even put a dent in proving all the snot that has come out of my tiny nose.  I will never understand how it travels so far up in my sinus'.  The nettie pot is my best friend.  She's even had a hard time bull dozing her way through one nostril and out the other. (ewww, was that TMI?)

Because of afore mentioned picture I haven't had time wanted to do much of anything around the house.
 Poor little Hill, I finally had to load the dishwasher so my son could have a bottle to drink his night time ba-ba.  They were all dirty and it was beyond time.

Not that he lets me slow down, because he's into everything.  Here he is taking the lid from an empty baba either off the floor because he's tired of this mess and is cleaning up after us or putting it onto the floor because he's just decided to join in on the mess.  Who knows?

You get the idea, the casa is getting cleaned soon......well maybe if my snot clears up.

Week in Review - Tuesday "GNO"

I really should get out more because to me GNO sounds like some neo physic molecule or some new political party or possibly an abbreviation for a diaper rash Hill may have come down with- - but in all reality it stands for Girls Night Out.  What do I know about that?  What is that?  How do you pronounce that? Gu-ir-wls Nih-t Owwt.  New concept, crazy concept! 

Ok, so I'm being a bit rediculous.  I know what a girls night out is.  Chip and Hill had a boys night in on Tuesday while I went....well, umm out. 

Traditions and Trends, a fabulous retial shop on the Square, put it on and me and about 30 of my closest friends (maybe like 25 because I didn't know some of the people) gathered at a local restaurant, Helpdesk, and had dinner and painted our own Christmas canvas.  Oh My Goodness, I had so much fun painting!  The teacher walked us through it step by step as we all painted the same thing, but with our own special touches.  Here you can see how everyones is the same, but different. 
(I stole pictures from everyone elses blog since I didn't take my camera, but I posted the links to their blogs to give them credit.)

Kayla and Gena


Lauren, Jennifer, Corti and Shea

My picture!
(after I got it home and smeared the corners
on my jacket and purse)

I had a great time!  After we painted we went across the way to Traditions and Trends because they opened up their doors after hours for us to shop!  Great discounts and fabulous time to purchase the things I'd been eyeing in there!

So, my question is...Karen, Melissa, Mary Margaret (Traditions & Trends peeps)- can we do this again next week and then the next and then the one after that too?

Week in Review - Monday

Monday was a turning point for me.  It's silly silly silly on why, but my little baby is now a little boy and I'm having real difficulty with that. 

I remember when I'd take him to daycare and he'd have nothing but bottles every day all day long every 3 hours.  Then he moved up and had pureed fruits for breakfast and veggies for lunch and bottles.  Then it was fruits and veggies with cereal in it.  Then it became cereal or oatmeal at breakfast and a pick up type veggie and fruit for lunch with a snack after his afternoon nap.  Now it's like cereal bars and entree meals with sippy cups and a maybe one or two bottles. 

Monday as I dropped Hill off at daycare with his Wal-Mart sack of pre packaged, preplanned, non assorted meals for the week I asked the teacher what the other parents bring their kids for breakfast and lunch.  She said the same things I do.  I expressed my concern in Hill's diet and how Gerber rocks on having these little entree things for them you can just buy, but they don't offer much variety and I feel he's getting burned out on the same ol' same ol' and I don't want him to be a picky eater like his daddy!

She suggested maybe he try the plates from the daycare kitchen.  They would send me home with a menu that afternoon and I could go through the things he can and can't have and for $7.50 a week my son can have a variety menu, healthy state mandated organic and fresh fruits and vegetables and no more pre fab Gerber every stinkin' day!  I told them to sign me up twice!  It includes a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack every day Monday through Friday for seven dollars and fifty cents.  Seriously.

So they sent me home with a menu that afternoon and Chip and I went over it and found the only things he couldn't have were milk and peanut butter.  Everything else was acceptable.  We listed no strawberries, nuts or honey too just because he's not of that age yet. 

They gave him the plate lunch that Monday and they said they chopped it all up really well for him and he ate a hamburger patty, english peas, rice and corn...ALL OF IT!  Poor buddy, himz a growing boy!  He's done really well the rest of the week too, they put little hearts on his daily report card on the foods that he likes so that I will learn what he likes and doesn't like for home too.

I am so excited for my little big man and his food.  Yet, that's just it.  He's my little big man, not my tiny hiney baby anymore.  Why is it that this food thing has me heartbroken that my son is growing up?  I'm taking it pretty's like he's Mr. Independent now.  I can sit down and watch tv and he just entertains himself by pulling up on the furniture, playing with his blocks or books, starting the music on his toys so he can dance, snuggles with Foster.  I mean really for Christmas he's asking for a dorm room mini fridge for when he goes off to college next week. 

All this emotion because he can eat the plate meals from the kitchen at daycare.  Seriously, is this what the rest of my life is going to be like?  An emotional roller coaster of how fast my baby is growing up?

Week in Review - Sunday

We have had a really really busy week.  I would start in chronological order, but I don't have all the pictures I need yet from last Saturday at the Presbyterian Day School Fall Harvest Festival that JJ and I took the boys to.  So, we will start with Sunday...

We went to church, it starts at 10:30, but Hill's nap time is 9:30 so I thought I was being brilliant by letting him get really sleepy then give him his bottle in church and then he could catch some zzz's.  Ha, ha...all you veteran mothers are like cracking up at me thinking I should have known better than that.  He was good for the first 3/4 of church playing with his quiet toys, smiling at all the people, eating cheerios, feeding me cheerios, dropping stuff over the pew so the guy behind us could pick it up.  He did a little singing and dancing and praying.  He loves it when everyone sings or prays in unison, he thinks they are talking to him.

All was well, then he got sleepy.  He started talking really loud (and if you are familiar with the Episcopal church it's old and small and voices carry) he didn't want me to hold him, wanted to BANG his toys on the pews and crawl about.  Again, the church is small, not many people and they always say for me to not leave that they love having Hill there and his sweet voice ringing throughout the rafters.  Ok, so I made up the rafter part, but they do say his crying or jabbing is totally acceptable and for me not to leave. 

I didn't leave this last Sunday but the Sunday before that when we went I did leave because I was being the disruptive one!  Hill thought it was funny to give me kisses then to CHOMP down on my lip or my cheek with his razor teeth.  It hurt so bad I yelled out!  Yes, we are "that" family.  The disruptive ones.  They don't have a nursery so don't think I'm intentionally punishing myself and the congregation.  He really is good in church, just not when he doesn't have a nap. 

After church we got to the car and Chip said, "What a great sermon, I really enjoyed it."  I said, "all I got out of it was something about denominations and then the rest is just cheerios and books.  I am exhausted." Lesson learned, Hill will have his nap before church from now on.

After church we had to go clean out the camper.  I've probably not mentioned it but this summer we bought a FEMA camper.  Don't turn up your nose.  It was probably the cleanest one that came off the auction block.  We enjoyed it this summer out at the Country Club lake, but once Hill became mobile it wasn't functional for his sleeping and we just didn't really use it that much.  So we decided to sell it.  I was glad, not that it was a burden on us or anything, but I could think of like 8 other things I'd rather have like a new mattress or garage door or gun safe or front door or a standing weekly massage appointment or really just something more functional in my everyday life.

So, that was Sunday - church and getting the stuff out of the camper so the guy that bought it could take it away.  I think I may have gone to bed at like 8:00 that night.

Monday, November 15, 2010

First Hair Cut - Sort Of

For 10 months old Hill has an abundance of hair.  Until I can muster up the courage to accept that he is old enough to have a big boy hair cut, Mrs. Cornelia helped him out and cut the crazy hairs over his ears when she came to play on Wednesday the 10th.

Here are a few before & after pictures. 
Crazy Fly Away Hair
over his left ear

Say Bye-Bye Crazy Hair!

I can now concentrate without
all those crazy hairs over my ears!

You talkin' to me?
I can hear you now with out all that hair
in the way!
I'm going to have to break down really soon and just get the boy a real haircut.  We are going to need to tame those silky locks because we don't want the boy to have a mullet or rat tail in the back! 

Monday, November 08, 2010

10 Months - What's New?

It is as crazy for me to type as it is for me to say.....
Hill will be 10 months old this week!  (insert old lady voice here) Where does the time go?  They grow up so fast!

Unbelieveable.  Hill is so unbelievable and smart and funny and the love of my life.
I haven't posted a "what's he doing now" type post but he's doing so many new crazy grown up little boy things now I have to make a list.
  • He is still undecided if he likes to feed himself or still eat baby food by a spoon.  He can definately do both but it depends on his mood.  He ALWAYS has enough room for more puffs, cheerios, goldfish or mini club crackers no matter what.  He is a big snacker like his mama and daddy.
  • The dogs LOVE it now that Hill has food he can throw on the floor to them.  They are like vultures waiting for the food to fall.  It's really annoying being that I've prided myself in not giving my dogs people food their whole lives!
  • He does share his snacks with you though.  He will put cheerios in your mouth for you and when you crunch on them he just laughs and laughs.
  • He has been using a sippy cup for a couple of months now but still prefers to drink out of his bottle.  He drinks 6 oz of formula 4 times a day.
    • One when he wakes up, one after his morning nap, one after his afternoon nap and one before bed.
    • He drinks juice or G2 Gatorade from his sippy cup
  • He now says and associates his ba-ba (bottle) with drinking.
  • He is still infatuated with saying da-da about pretty much everything.  You can sometimes get a hey, ba-ba, dog, or a mama on rare occasions.
  • He knows how to make fart noises.  You can ask him what his dinosaur says and he says, "Pfffttttttt"  HILARIOUS!
    • Why does he make that noise?  Probably because his dinosaur bath toy sucks up water and when you squeeze it to shoot the water out of its mouth it makes that noise when it's about out of water.  That's the only answer I have for that.
  • Bath time by far is his ultimate favorite time.  Last Monday he learned how to turn on the cold water by himself.  Not so much into learning how to turn it off though.  When you put him on the floor to run his bathwater he pulls himself up on the side of the tub and bounces up and down.  Soo excited!
  • He also has a dolphin much like his bath time dinosaur but Hill likes to open his mouth for you to squirt the water into his mouth from the dolphins mouth.  Where he comes up with this stuff I'll never know.
  • He has out grown his sweet little hooded towels, they just don't wrap around big and snuggly like mamas towels do.
  • Ugh, last Wednesday we had a first.  A poop in the tub.  I couldn't be lucky enough to have a solid poo either, it was a diahrrea day.  I screamed, Hill was confused, Chip was grossed out.  It was traumatic.  We moved to the guest bathroom for a few days until I could get over that he'd pooped in his tub. (yes I cleaned it out immediately)
  • He wakes up early.....every morning.  He can go to bed at 7 or at 8 pm and no matter what - he's going to be up anytime between 5:30 and 6:30 - sometimes you get a rare 7:00 am.  He's up and at em' ready to have his ba-ba and play play play!  Me, not so much.  I struggle, as does Chip.  Yes, Chip, the one that never slept a wink ever in his whole life, 'sleeping is boring' 'sleeping is a waste of time' up until I got pregnant and then it was like a light switch.  He could automatically sleep.  All those years of not sleeping caught up with him mere months before I birthed our son. Rediculous.
  • He wears a size 4 diaper, the night time 12 hour absorpancy kind 24-7.  They look huge on him, but the size 3's don't hold it all in.
  • We have chronic diaper rashes it seems.  He has yeast infections often that we got some bubonic cream for and it will knock it out in about 2 days.
  • He loves books, clanking toys together or a spoon with a bowl.  Anything to make music.  If there is no music, that's ok, he's got some in his head to dance to.  He is a dancing machine.  He will go up to his toys and hit the button to make them sing and he will dance dance dance, then it stops and he hits the button again and again and again.  It's a never ending dance party.
  • When we are in the car he sings...a lot.  Even if there is no music, you can hear him back there he gets high pitched then low pitched.  It's hysterical.  I call it singing both the girl and boy parts of songs.  Acapella all the way.
  • He still loves his swing.  I have no idea what we are going to do when he grows out of it.  He will sit in his swing and watch tv or look around for hours.  He loves to sleep in it and it's great for the fussy times he wants to fight night night time.
  • He has to have his paci and something soft to go to sleep with.  I rock him every night.  I love it.  I dread the day he doesn't want me to do that anymore.  I will probably cry.
  • He pulls up on everything.  Did I say everything because I meant EVERYTHING! Coffee table, couch, bar stools, dining room chairs, cabinets, tables, dogs, doors, toys, legs, cars, trees, paper shredders, bookshelves, dishwasher, bathtub, toilets, dressers.  Pretty much everything.  He will hold on and walk around it once he's pulled up.  So smart, that little boy of mine.
  • He's gotten into the "Mama Phase" as I like to call it.  He wants his Mama 24-7, even though he won't say my name he just cries and cries and cries when he sees me doing something, anything and he's not in my arms.  Sort of sweet, but unproductive at the same time.  I fear temper tantrums are going to be super bad if I can't figure out how to nip this in the bud ASAP.  He doesn't understand when I say, "How about No!" like the rest of my family does and then just get over it.
  • He does understand the word No.  He won't always tell you that he does, but he does.
  • I like it when he twirls around on his bootie.  He will sit on his bum and grab a toy to his left then uses his feet to spin himself to get something on the other side.  He's like a carousel.  Never moves, just spins.
  • He wears a size 9 month pants, 12-18 month shirts and size 3 shoe.
  • If you open the drawers to his dresser he will manage to take every folded article of clothing in it...out.  One by one.  It's so funny....but he's the only one laughing.
  • His hair is so long, he needs to have the hair above his ears cut because it's pretty much crazy wild and afros out.  Sometimes when he rubs his hair with his hands everywhere he looks like an unkempt homeless child.  Poor kiddo.  When it's brushed and in place he has beautiful soft fine blonde hair with awesome highlights that movie stars would pay big money for.
  • He will come and give you kisses if you ask for them.  They are still open mouth, not as slobbery, but with teeth now.  He likes to bite your cheek or nose so be careful!
  • His hugs....are the best ever.  He holds so tight and just loves loves loves on you.  He's my little snuggle bug.
  • He is really into pointing.  He points like he's saying he's 1 year old.  That's at least what I tell people - we are practicing for the big day!  I laugh when he does it though because it's like he's pointing as if to say, "To the Batcave!"  We also play ET phone home.  I touch my finger to his and it kills him.  He just cracks up.
  • He thinks his daddy is the funniest person alive.
All in all he's pretty much the most special, beautiful, fun loving, awesome little guy on the face of the planet.  He melts my heart and is all I think about whether we are together or apart.  I can't believe he's going to be 10 months old on Friday!  I want to bottle up this past year and make sure not one second of it is forgotten.  All I have to say is that I'm so glad I have this blog to document it.  Yay for my little big man...all grown up and going off to college next week (or so it seems.)

Friday, November 05, 2010


Today would be my Mamaw's 90th birthday.  She was such a phenominal woman, Ocie Lee Parker Childers (11-5-1920).  She married her sweetheart when she was 18 years old against her parents wishes, my grandfather was an older man in his 20's.  Her parents said it wouldn't last.  She told me about how her brother use to have to go on dates with them as a chaperone and how when my grandfather, James Wesley Childers asked for her hand in marriage her father said no.  They did it anyway.  They married December 26, 1938.  Out of all of Mamaw's brothers and sisters (I think there were 6) she and my grandfather were the only ones that never divorced.

They had 3 children.  One died when he was 2 from Polio.  He's burried in Laurel, MS and I plan to visit one day.  He was named after my grandfather if I'm not mistaken.  My dad was born in Laurel and he had an older sister Janet.  She went by Jan. 

My grandfather passed away in 1986 after 48 years of marriage, I was six years old.  I remember him taking me to McDonalds in his brown el camino half car half truck and I'd sit behind the seat on the floor board.  I remember picking pecans with him from the biggest pecan tree I've ever seen in my life, even to date.  The pecan tree was located behind the house that my grandfather had built attached to 5 acres and a row of oak trees along the road that my dad planted when he was younger, they are now gigantic.  Even after Papaw passed away Mamaw still kept up her acre sized garden, every year.  She kept her garden on into her early 80's.  I'd love to help shell peas, snap beans, make pickles and jelly. 

I think that Mamaw's way of life is the reason she waited to get her first grey hair until she was 72.  I remember it!  She was always beautiful, tall and thin.  She took excellent care of her skin, no wrinkles until probably the same year she got her grey hair.

Mamaw and I were close.  So close, always.  She was a sassy independent spitfire and I'm 100% sure that's where I get it from. She helped raise me.  I'd always look forward to Tuesday nights with Mamaw.  She taught me how to sew and we'd watch Knots Landing and Wheel of Fortune.  She'd always have fresh veggies for dinner with some banana pudding for dessert.  Everything sweet was usually made with sweet n low artificial sweetner because she was diabetic.  You never could tell any different.  She'd let me eat vanilla ice cream before bed and would pour a few drops of creme de mente over it.  Pepperminty ice cream, yum!  I'd sneek in the cabinet and pour a little more on there when she wasn't looking.  Now that I'm older, I realize that creme de mente is alcohol.  Never did I get enough to have an effect, but it cracks me up thinking about it.

Mamaw and I have so many memories.  Looking back we were like two little girls together, yet she was my mentor. It was completely obvious I was the favorite grandchild.   To date everyone still knows this. She would tell me almost every time we were together how I was not a grand daughter to her, more like a daughter.  She was like a mama hen and if anyone were to cross her she'd just write you off (I guess that's where I get that from too.) She didn't want you to tell anyone she was your grandmother, because that made her sound old.  Ok, Mamaw. 

One time Mamaw told on me.  I was driving her home from Dallas after a nice visit with my aunt and uncle, I was 16.  The weather was awful, rainy, cold and on the freeway between a cement wall and an 18 wheeler.  I started to hydro plane, got nervous and accidentally said a bad word.  Through all of this Mamaw looked over at me and said, "Rachel Lynn! I did not know you knew such words!  That's the worst one in the dictionary!"  I was mortified, all I could do was glimpse over into the empty back seat and ask..."who said that?" as if someone, anyone would take the blame.  I don't remember the rest of the trip but as soon as we got home, she let my dad know that I had said the worst word in the book.  My dad just laughed and asked, "Mother, was it the 'F' word?"  But he didn't say "F" he said the real word.  She might as well have just keeled over then. 

Later Mamaw remarried a very kind man, Leonard Steele in probably 1991.  Leonard had a very pure heart and would do anything for anyone.  After maybe10 years of marriage Leonard got alzheimers had to go into a nuring home, that broke her heart again.  He soon passed away not long after.

As if losing one child, the love of your life, and then your second love wasn't hard enough; when I was in highschool my Aunt Jan was diagnosed with cancer. She died 2 weeks later.

The strength that this woman had to pick herself up and carry on living life.  She was 88 when she passed away in February 2009.  I knew it was coming.  In July 2008 I went to visit her at the assisted living facility.  She moved there a couple years before for socialization and because she would try to do things like water the yard and trip over the water hose and break her back, only to heal back up and mow the yard to break something else.  Seriously. 

Anyway, when I went to visit her summer before last she gave me a bunch of her belongings.  Things she wanted me to have.  I got the wedding ring that Leonard gave her.  She said he loved me so and would want me to have it.  She also gave me the original wedding band my grandfather gave her in 1938.  It was not a full circle anymore she had worn it thin.  It is my most prized posession.  When he got enough money later in life he bought her a nicer ring.  My cousin Leslie got that.  She gave me her Eastern Star pin.  She was one of the founding members of her chapter, which I later found out at her funeral - she never would have boasted about that. She gave me a few other important pieces of jewelry that each had their own story.  We both got teary eyed as if we knew, but at the same time didn't know that this would be the last time we spent together.

That Christmas when we talked she reminded me that her and my Papaw would have been married 70 years.  I have one of their wedding presents and still use it to date.  Their cast iron skillet.

Her funeral was on my husbands birthday, February 5th.  It was sad, she was ready though.  I am selfish.  Later that month after nearly 3 years of marriage and always feeling that we didn't want to have children something changed for Chip and I. Maybe it's coincidence, but something about going to Texas to her funeral triggered something in both of us.  We never really sat and talked about having kids, but Chip brought it up out of the blue.  I had been thinking about it too.  Neither one of us can explain it, but I can't help but think she had a hand in it.

My heart hurts for Hill not getting to know Mamaw.  I know she's with everyone she loves and has missed for so long now, for that I am happy. I have millions of Mamaw stories and I plan to share them with Hill.

Happy 90th Birthday Mamaw!

Love you,

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Cleft Smiley

I was doing some research on how to handle people that make comments about how your cleft baby looks different or that ask "what's wrong with him?"  Yes, people comment more often than you think. 

I know it's silly of me to worry with this but I want to not take offense at their uneducated snarky tone and be a bigger person. Also, I truly want to help the ones that are sincere and want to understand.  Especially the children.  I don't fault anyone for not knowing or having questions, hell 11 months ago I was just as clueless.  I was just looking to learn how to better react and better phrase myself.

Did you know that every three minutes, a child with a cleft condition is born? (  That is so amazing to me.  So unreal.

Anyway, I guess I needed to get that off my chest or something....sorry.  Here is what I wanted to post.  I came across this really cute smiley face in my research and it made me happy.  I thought I'd share it.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

9 Month Fall Photos

There are no words.  Just when I thought our pictures every 3 months couldn't get any better than the time before, Sukie makes it happen.  I couldn't choose which ones to post so I posted an obscene amount of them.  Enjoy!

And in his Halloween costume...

Mama loves you little buddy!
You are so precious!