Friday, April 29, 2011

Out of Commission

So sorry we have been out of commission lately.  We have had a lot of bad weather and tornadoes hit our area.  We are all safe and now have power but between work and being a pioneer I have not found the time to post pictures of Easter and our two egg hunts.  Once I come out of my personal whirl wind I will get everyone up to date on our ongoing going on's.

I leave you with this - - Hill enjoying eating his Easter candy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

School Easter Party & The Coolest Fun Bags Ever...

I had my first sign up sheet as a parent to bring something for Hill's school Easter party.  I think that's somewhat of a milestone...maybe...maybe I'm just a nerd. 

Anyway, I got a kick out of it!  I was incharge of bringing the party favor / fun bags, how exciting right?  I get to be the fun mom that gives fun things or maybe to the first time parent that other parents see as just the new mom who hasn't learned her lesson yet?  My brother said that if I bought crappy things then maybe I wouldn't be asked to do it again.  I took the opposite outlook.  I like to try to think outside the box and make it different.  What would kids ranging from 10 - 18 months like?  I guess I forgot to ask myself that question before I signed up to do it.  It's HARD thinking of things that you can't choke on or be allergic to at that age as you stroll down the aisle of Dollar General.
I think I did a pretty good job if I say so myself. 

I'm all about having useful things that can be utilized so I chose
sand buckets with shovels instead of Easter baskets.

To make it Easter-y I added Easter grass.
Then there was a kid sized water bottle, airheads, bubbles, big bouncy balloon, ring pop, Rice Krispy treats, smarties, bubbles, and fruit chews.

And the special touch.
I wrote Happy Easter! on the Rice Krispy Treats.

And of course....
No Easter party is complete without Peeps.
 Not too shabby for fun bags right?

So onto the party...
Hill showed his Dada his toys that he plays with at school

Pearce and Anna wanted to hang out with Hill and his cool dad.

My cute stinker!

So, what am I suppose to do with these round things?

In Hill's little language I SWEAR he said, "Rowan, Wake Up!"
Well it sounded like it anyway.  Rowan was sleepy, but Hill was ready to party!

Anna Banana

Ms. Judy turned on the music and these kids just started breaking it on down! Hilarious!
I guess since it is a Baptist daycare I can't say that they danced...
We will call it 'expressive movement.'

Party Food Time!!!

Anna loved her cupcake.

Pearce did too!

Hill liked the cheese puffs more than the cupcake

Dancing and cupcakes make us thirsty!
Britton & Pearce chug a lugging.

Family picture
Chip and I were so glad we got to participate in Hill's Easter party!  We are so fortunate to be able to attend his school events; our work places are very family oriented and we wouldn't have it any other way.  I will eat up these years when Hill actually wants us there instead of being the old fuddy duddy parents that he doesn't want around because we are embarassing.  Thank you to First Baptist Church Childcare Ministries for being so wonderful.  Also a special thanks to Ms. Judy and Mrs. Trista for putting on such a special party for our kiddos! 

Where Where You A Year Ago Today?

I know where I was.  I know where most of my readers were.  Others outside of our world were glued to the TV watching the news hit about the Gulf oil spill.  Yet, we were all bowing our heads and praying.  We had a heavy yet hopeful heart that day.  Our day started extremely early that morning.  I was squeezing Hill a little extra tight.  Chip and I were a nervous wreck.  There were tears of fear.  Pacing.  We knew our lives and son's health could be much worse as we looked on at all the other children playing in the waiting room at LeBonheur in Memphis.  We kissed Hill's big smile repeatedly knowing that mere hours later he wouldn't be able to give us those huge open mouth kisses we needed everyday to make it though the day.  I stared at him.  I remember being strong though.  There was a flood of various emotions.  I felt safe but still scared. 

Hill was sleepy, but surprisingly not hungry.  They called us back to meet with the anesthesiologist, everyone was so busy getting their normal daily routine kicked into gear.  This wasn't routine for us, but the nurses made everything ok.  We were taken back to a room where I held Hill close and Chip held me close.  I was thankful Hill decided to take a nap as I held him, that made it easier to pass him to the nurse that took him behind the double doors for surgery.  My little man never even knew I wasn't holding him.
I remember meeting Dr. Shell in the hallway after surgery.  We still hadn't seen Hill, but Dr. Shell said all went well.  I thinked I even hugged him as we stood in the middle of the clean beige institutionalized looking wing. 

We were taken back to the recovery area where everything was so open. We could see all the children coming out of surgery and out of anesthesia.  I felt fortunate that Hill still hadn't woken up and we were able to be there as he came out of the fog to comfort him.  He didn't cry.  He was a little irritable, but visibly doped up on pain meds.  He was responsive to our voices and had wires hooked up to him everywhere.  His arms were out straight from his body with braces on.  It was a sad sight.  His lip was swollen, but looked fantastic.  He was being well tended to, as all the children were.  I was reading a bulletin on the wall about what all the intercom codes were.  If they said "Paiging Dr. Brown" it meant something like we were on lock down.  I can't recall what the code was for a fire, but 2 seconds after I read that bulletin I heard the page for a fire.  Why was noone in a panic?  Then they cancelled the fire page. What would we have done had there been a fire and had to evacuate?  An hour or two after surgery we were taken up to a hospital room.

The days in the hospital were a blur.  I don't really remember anything but an achy back and all three of us sleeping in his room.  I remember Joseph, a little boy having kidney surgery.  He was around Hill's age and his parents and family kept us company during Hill's surgery.  We emailed back and forth a couple times after we all got home; and I tried to email them a couple months ago because they were weighing on my mind.  I haven't heard from them.  The nurses showed us how to syringe feed, it was awful.  It was hard, tedious and not much fun for anyone.  I don't want to be a Debbie Downer about it because cleft moms that may be reading this may panic.  My only advice is to not use a syringe, but a big medicine dropper.  It will save you a lot of heartache...and headaches.

Once we got home I thought Hill was probably in severe pain so at any whimper I'd give him Tylenol with codine.  Little did I know he was whimpering because his stomach hurt from all the Tylenol with codine!  We made many many trips back and forth to Memphis.  When we did our taxes a couple months ago I counted up mileage and we made 9 trips back and forth to Memphis in 2010.  I'll have to get back to you on total miles in 2010 for doctor visits from New Orleans, to Jackson, to Memphis.  I added it up and it's obscene. 

I've digressed....

A year ago today was an emotional day.  It was scary, humbling, gut punching, wonderful, nerve wracking, happy tears, sad tears, and heart warming.  What a diverse ray of emotions.  Seems like an oxymoron, but it's true.  Your prayers were felt that day.  As we prepare for another surgery on May 20th my heart is warmed by knowing what to expect and knowing I have my prayer warriors out there praying for the most loved little boy I've ever known.  Yesterday LeBonheur called to confirm payments for the surgery and it became a little more real to me.  I'm still ok and ready, but just talking to them made it factual, for a lack of better words.

April 21, 2010 changed my little boys life for the better.  The previous year, April 21, 2009 he was just about to be a glimmer in my eye.  Today, April 21, 2011 Chip and I went to his school and celebrated Easter with his class. To me that seemed so fitting.  It's Holy Week.  The time that our Lord, Jesus Christ, died for us to receive a new life...a new beautiful life after death.

Happy Easter to everyone. 
May you and your family count your blessings and give thanks to Him for them!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Weekend Visitor & Playing Outside

I guess I've become the once a week blogger.  That makes me sad, but as soon as I figure out how to add more hours into the day I will become a better blogger...that's my promise to you.

We had a fun visitor this weekend!  Papi (my dad) came to visit all the way from Texas!

 We didn't get very many pictures while Papi was here because we were too busy playing! 

Sunday we had a big day outside.
Chip "HAD" to do some work on the bay boat so Hill and I supervised.
Yes, we have more boats than you can shake a stick at.  It's rediculous.  I think we can officially say we have a fleet. I googled what a fleet was and they said 3 or more.  So we have a fleet.  If you ask Chip we have like 6, I think. I only can account for 4... four too many.  He who dies with the most toys wins, I guess?  What happens if you are that persons wife and have to deal with all this stuff after they die?  That's just mean.


Hill was in charge of making sure the trailer was hooked up to the car appropriately
 Then he had enough of that and jumped in his car to cruise around.  This was the best gift ever.  Hill would eat, sleep and live in this car if we let him.  Thanks Pettits.  Especially Hart because he had to put it together.
Hill says, "Vroom, Vroom!"

Then he decided to do a little off roading

It's hard work with 2 inch legs pushing that car around in the grass!

Sitting in his car right after he accidentally FLEW down our drive way and couldn't stop.
I'm not sure what was more running after him or him just hanging on for the ride!
(Chip working on the boat)
 It got hot outside and so we decided to plug up this sprinkler thing I had.  Hill LOVED it.
Hey ma, check this out!

Action shot

running in the water

The aftermath.
Maybe doing this fully clothed was not a good idea.

So, we took off our clothes outside

Then wanted to go inside

Katie Lou just soaking up the sun.
Herz so pree-dee
 Then later that night I caught this picture.  Hill wanted to eat a lemon and he actually liked it!  Reminded me of my brother Jason growing up.  He'd eat lemons all the time.  My mom said I liked them too.  Maybe, just son has a Childers trait?  Bless his little heart.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

15 mintues, 5 years & 5K - - 5K

Ok so here it is.  The scoop on my first 5K.  Where do I begin?
My first 5K was the Jean Jones Walk/Run for Cancer.  I felt good about this being my first run.  Jean Jones passed away the year before I came to Ole Miss.  She was a counselor there and had an impact on so many her legacy still lives on at the University.  I love the cause, I love the University and I love Oxford.  So why not? 
As you may know Whitney has been training me to run by doing the couch to 5K.  We started back in January and ran rain, snow, wind, no matter what.  I was dedicated.  Running was something I've wanted to do for a long time....years, but it took Whit to get me off the couch to fulfill this bucket list wish of mine.  Here are a few pictures pre-race.

Whitney and Tanner

My biggest fans

pre-run family photo
I saw a few Oxford people I knew.  One of them being my dear friend / mentor, Whitman Smith.  Whitman was over the Ole Miss Orientation Leaders and has now worked his way up to being the director of enrollment services for the University.  He's a phenominal guy that has an impact on most everyone he meets.  I was glad to introduce him to my son and catch up and meet some of our great schools new ambassadors he was there with.  It was hard to believe, and made me feel REALLY old, but it has been 11 years since I was an Orientation Leader.  Neither of us could believe it. 

Ok so race time.  There were some pretty die hard looking racers there.  They had the racer garb on and some of it was a little extreme if I do say so myself.  I hate I didn't get pictures of some of them.  Anyway, I digress.  The race began. Whitney ran with me the whole time.  She could have gotten first place but she was dedicated to stick with me and Lord knows how much I appreciate it.  I know I wouldn't have made it without her support.  I had mentally planned out landmarks to where I'd run to and where I'd walk.  Ummm, that fell by the wayside rapidly.  I have to admit it slowed down my mental motivation more than I expected.  Here we are making the loop and our cheering section cheering us on.

me in pink and Whitney in sunglasses
I found these pictures on the camera. This must have been what the boys did while we ran...

Tanner discussing deep thoughts to is daddy in the Grove

Hill climbing out of the wagon and being MIA for a minute only to be spotted heading towards the bouncy house
 Ok, so back to the race.  I walked a lot more than I planned.  Whitney was supportive and would try to help me set landmark goals.  I wasn't able to meet them and it continued to discourage me.  It was also NOT fun having the police car that escorts the LAST runner behind me the whole time.  I felt like I was holding him up and I just knew I couldn't push any harder.  The first half mile Whitney said we ran in 6 minutes.  This was record for me because I run a 14 minute mile and this would have been an 11 minute mile at that pace.  I started off too fast.  With the cop behind me and racers ahead of me I guess I got caught up, which lead to even more rapid exhaustion.  There was no blood, there was lots of sweat and definitely internal tears throughout this run.  I'm not sure I've ever been so hot in my entire life.  I lived on the equator for a year, I have slept in muggy jungles, I grew up in Texas the most humid place on earth, but the heat did not compare to that day. 

At one point there was a split.  The walkers took a right and the runners took a left only to meet back up at a cross roads a mile later.  Had Whit not been with me I'd have totally gone with the walkers and done only 2 miles...but I pushed on.  There was a water station that I really just wanted to sit on the ground and have them pour water over my head for like 5 minutes, but I didn't do that because the cop behind me wouldn't have appreciated that.  I think him being there put a lot of pressure on me.  All the time Whitney being my rock and talking me through this.  She could tell I was discouraged and would remind me how well I was doing.  She'd call my time which was still better than my goal I set, so that was a positive.  Yet, I knew mentally I was still in a funk at how much I had walked than run.  The 'invisible hills' as I like to call them were treacherous in Oxford. 
We came to the cross roads where the walkers meet back up with the runners.  I had to laugh because through my heavy breathing I told Whitney, "are you kidding me?  I'm bringing in the walkers?" I looked ahead and saw the police car behind the walkers about to meet the police car that was behind me.  I'm the caboose.  I was prepared to be the last runner, but I don't think I was prepared to be the last runner coming in with the last walker.  So I pushed a little harder and passed all the people that were mosey-ing around.  I think Hill and his 2 inch legs walked faster than those people. 

I proceeded to pass the people walking their know the dogs that stop to smell every blade of grass and tt on it.  Yup, I was back there with those guys.  Once I passed them and passed a few groups of walkers I felt a little better.  I finally came to a civilization where walkers were cheering Whitney and I on and telling us that "we can do it."  This was the last leg (mostly downhill) before we encountered these folks. Where were they a mile and a half back?  I sure could have used them then.  Whit had me look up and I could see the balloons at the finish line.  The goal was in sight.  I pushed so so hard.

I debated whether to post this picture or not but I felt it summed up my race.  I will call this picture "The Struggle" I was almost to the finish line, I could see it, I was pushing, I am fat, I was running, it was an up hill battle, I'm fulfilling my bucket list wish that almost made me kick the bucket in the process.

 There were 127 runners.
61 were female.
17 were in my age group.

None of that matters to me.

I did it...I ran a 5K.
According to the results I ran a 5K in
42 minutes and 15 seconds.
That is not a great time, but it's 3 minutes better than my goal of finishing in 45 minutes.  It's what I'd been doing during my training - a 14 minute mile.

I was the last runner, but I'm ok with that because at least I was a runner.

and this moment made it all worth while.

Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement.  I couldn't have gotten this far without ya'll!

I ran a flippin' 5K, who'd a thunk it...
not me.

15 minutes, 5 years & 5K - - 5 years

This is the second part of my post.  My wonderful hubby and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary at our old stomping grounds....Oxford.
After Hill's appointment in Memphis on Thursday we hit up the famous Rendezvou for a tasty sausage and cheese plate and rack of ribs.  Chip always wants to eat there when we go to Memphis.  The ambiance of that place just makes us happy. 
My favorite story Chip tells is when he was like 10 years old and he and his family went to eat there.  The waiter abruptly asked what everyone wanted (these guys mean business and aren't the most gentle of men) in his tiny kid voice he said, "Uhhmm, I want some ribs please and some french fries."  The old third generation waiter turned to him and said, "Boy! If you want some french fries you bettah march yo happy ass down to McDonalds.  We ain't got no fries here!"  That stuck with Chip and cracks me up everytime I hear it.

Here's to a new generation...

Hill with his legendary Rendezvou hat on

After getting our bellies full we traveled back down to Oxford to spend the weekend at the Pettit's house.  We had a fun day Friday doing a whole lot of whatever we felt like.  You see in the Hawkins family we plan our trips around food.  As you can see here, we introduced Hill to the awesome blueberry muffins at Bottletree Bakery.
Happy plate!
After Bottletree we went to visit my awesome friend Corinne and her equally awesome sister Lindsey who own the most fabulous shoe store this side of the Mississip' - - LuLu's.  Seriously, go visit you will not be let down.  Love them.  Bought two new pairs of zapatos for my feet.  Now I must get a pedicure so that I can wear them in style.  Great to see you girlies!

Then after LuLu's - even though we live 100 miles away Chip still travels to Jennifer in Oxford to get his hair cut.  She's the only person on this earth that can give Chip a good haircut.  Since my poor son has his daddy's big head and hair we figured she should probably give Hill his second haircut.  He did fantastic.  Jennifer is having her first baby next month; it's a little girl so maybe we can pre arrange her and Hill's marriage so that the boys can get free haircuts. 

We had reservations at Snackbar for Friday night for our 5 year anniversary and we were going to make it a family outing even though our sweet friend Laura offered to keep Hill.  It ended up that we were still full from lunch and hated to spend the money on the lobster mac and cheese we'd talked about and craved all week just to make ourselves miserably full.  So next time we may take Laura up and have a date. 
Friday evening the Pettit's made it to the house and the women and children hit the hay early so that we would be well rested for the 5K.  I dropped the boys off on the Square to go to the Lyric and hear Robert Randolph play then went back home and don't even remember my head hitting the pillow I was so tired.

I will post about the 5K seperately so chronologically you could insert the race here.

After the race we went back to the house and showered because I have never known such heat and sweat in my life...then we went to South Depot Taco Shop and met our good friends the Martin's there.  The taco shop is new and I love it.  I also love Susan, Daniel and Sullivan.  I love them more than tacos which is a whole lot because it was some good eatin' - you know I love good eatin'. 

After we ate Hill became 'THAT' child.  The one that everyone stares at because he's causing a ruckus. I'm sure his squeaker shoes added to the annoyance as he pushed his stroller around to every table in the restaurant.  Yup, it was nap time and we had to cut our visit with the Martin's short.  We all napped the whole rest of the afternoon.  I'm pretty sure I was in a coma.  It was nice to not have anything to do or worry with.  I don't think I've relaxed like that in probably 3 years.  Seriously, I think it's been 3 years.

After our naps we went and got a snocone and the Martin's met us back at the house for a shrimp boil.

Here is a picture of my son licking this rock.
He thought it was funny.

Playing trucks

Sullivan being precious

Tanner drinking his "coffee"
or watermelon snocone - whatever you like to call it.

Hill resting up for the....

Dance party!
And I thought Hill was a dancing machine until I saw Sullivan's mad skillz

Then Hill and Sullivan played with the air vent.
They thought it was 'cool' when the air would blow on their faces.

This was funny.
I have no words. 
Sullivan just plopped his head on the stool and flung his arms back.
I can't believe I caught the moment.

I would love nothing more than to squeeze this sweet boy 24-7!
He is so lovey!
 I will say that I don't think I've ever met an adult with more energy than Daniel (Sullivan's daddy.)  I'm not too sure what your secret is Daniel, but to chase those three boys around all night and play and read and hide in closets - - I'm pretty sure you are a super hero with secret super powers.

Hill playing baseball.
We had the most awesome time with everyone this past weekend.  We are so lucky to have such wonderful friends, I am so lucky to have the best husband and Hill is so lucky to have the best daddy. I look forward to the next 55 years!  I'm sure that they will have more advanced things than a blog by then, but I hope to still be writing about our adventures when we are 85.
Love you all!