Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oxford Supper Club

Last weekend we went to Oxford. You know, God’s country. Where the Grove trees wrap you in hugs like a long lost friend and the historical buildings on campus greet you in their gentleman like way. Where the Square is the best Southern hostess a visitor could ever ask for. Oxford speaks. Sounds silly to those of you that don’t know how moving of a town it really is. Definitely an impressionable place, which is why we continually yearn to go back.

Hart’s parents have a house in Oxford and we try to make an annual friends trip during the summer for a little get away. This month was the Hawkins turn to do supper club so we figured since it’s all the people in our supper club going anyway, we’d do it there! So, the Pettit’s, the Pope’s, the Warrington’s and the Hawkins’ with all 5 kids in tow (plus 2 in utero) had a fabulous weekend. Whitney and I and our kiddos went early.

Friday afternoon the preciousness started - I got a call from someone super precious from Lulu’s saying that I had a gift waiting for me. A Gift? For Me? No one ever buys me happies. What could this be? I had to go to Lulu’s anyway because they posted a picture of this must.have.precious.purse on Facebook and so my sweet precious friend Corinne that owns Lulu’s with her adorably precious sister, Lindsey held it back for me. I ran up to Lulu’s to see what my gift was and guess what! It was my precious purse! It was from my precious mother. You see when you have precious merchandise - in precious peoples store – and it’s purchased by precious people - that preciously stalk you on facebook …it just becomes a big happy happy ball of preciousness. Thanks mom for being so thoughtful, you are the best facebook stalker ever.

While in there I got the cutest flats and some Emi jay hair bands and the latest and greatest Lulu’s tshirt to lounge in post pregnancy. I’ll start washing it now as it’s the snuggle kind that only gets better as you wash it. Hopefully Hill will still be “nuggling” with me by then.

Friday night we ate at Snack Bar which has fantastic lobster mac and cheese that Chip and I both ordered because we don’t share. Then afterwards we went back to the house and hung out.

Saturday Whitney cooked breakfast and we all were lazy lounging people until lunch when we all went our separate ways. That’s what I love about all of our friendships is that we don’t feel obligated to do what everyone else is doing. Chip and Hill went to Pizza Den, I went to South Depot, The Warrington’s and the Pope’s went to Ajax and the Pettit’s went to Irie. Then oddly enough we all ended up back at the house soon afterwards. It was so hot and draining that after hitting up a few shops we were zapped. Whitney got to shop around and we have a new project we are going to start on. I’m super hyped about it. I will divulge later, it’s going to be awesome. All I will say is that it involves Colonel Reb.

The only thing I bought was a watch for Hill. He's been such a big boy with potty training so it was his prize. We are going to work on learning time and he feels really cool wearing his motor-sike (motorcycle) watch…I let him pick it out.

Chip and I cooked dinner Saturday night. I have to admit. I went to Kroger…alone…for like an hour on Friday and it was the most awesome hour I’ve had in maybe ever. Why is this amazing, it’s a grocery store? If you live in the land of Koz you know we lack in the caliber of foods sold locally, it’s catering mainly to the EBT folks and jacking the price up because they aren’t paying for it anyway. (sorry did I say all of that out loud?) If you know me, I love foods even if it’s just looking at it. If you have a 2 year old you may not think you need a tiny get away, but you do. I think I went around the cheese area 46 times just staring at it in amazement of all the fabulous stinky cheese. Finally the cheese lady came and asked me if I needed help. I guess I was looking suspicious. She recommended an aged parmesan and peppercorn dip with my pretzel chips. That cheese lady new her stuff. It was good. I went up and down all the aisles just looking around at the bright shiny produce and having the option of organic foods just made me feel fancy. I’m sad and pathetic and please feel free to feel sorry for me. I don’t know what all I put in my shopping cart but it all just felt right. I bought the stuff to make a lemon custard like dessert…and by damned I made it with freaking organic lemons – because I could. Did anyone know the difference? Probably not, but I had the option and I took it! My friends and children are a tad less infected with pesticides since I chose that route. You all can thank me later. I had the opportunity to choose freshly cut meats – and dare I say purchase a filet made of beef? Gasp, all my friends outside of Attala county. They. Don’t. Sell. Filets. In. Kosciusko. I know, aged parmesan, organic lemons and filet minion. I was in food heaven. I may have cried when I left... Maybe.

Chip cooked New Orleans BBQ shrimp with angel hair pasta and I made asparagus in balsamic vinaigrette, a salad, bread, and a lemon dessert. It was pretty good. I even had a glass of red wine with it. I’m pretty sure that my number one craving this pregnancy is red wine. Unfortunately I cannot indulge into this craving but I think about red wine all the time. I need to start attending AA meetings because it can be like 10 in the morning and I think about red wine. A full bodied strong dry red wine is what I long for. With Hill it was fountain cokes, with Reid its red wine. It’s a good thing that Sonic doesn’t sell red wine in Route 44 cups or poor Reid would suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome. But hey…just think about it….what if Sonic did sell red wine in Route 44 cups…how amazing would that be?

People ask me all the time when deciding where to go for lunch, what does the pregnant mama want for lunch? Hoping I’d made the decision. Well what I really want to say is red wine…but I don’t. Honestly I have no food cravings. It’s like if you talk about it then that’s what I want but I can’t decide on my own, which is why Hill chooses what’s for dinner 97% of the time. We’ve eaten so many hot dogs finally last week when I asked Hill what he wanted for dinner he said, “No hotdogs.”

Anyway, supper club was great. The whole weekend was great. The boys played and played and played. Everyone is still working on their sharing skills which proved to be trying for us mamas with the constant “I want that truck” drama. I guess it is God’s way of preparing us all for our little girls entering the scenario and growing up. Funny that all of us have had boys first then girls.

Hill is a total monkey see, monkey do so whatever Tanner was doing…Hill was a copy cat. It’s so funny watching kids conform to one another. Hill, Harvey and Tanner are precious and have such good manners with their please and thank you’s and yes ma’ams. We are all lucky lucky mama’s.

Hill put up quite a fight both Friday and Saturday night when it was time to go to bed. He didn’t want to miss out on the fun. Saturday he was so pooped that I held his crying tired little self in my arms and just rocked him to sleep. He was out in like 67 seconds. As he fought his sleep I sat there rocking him and thinking about how insanely fast he has grown up and I couldn’t remember the last time he let me rock him to sleep. I thought about how all night he played and played and played and went up the stairs and down the stairs 600,000 times and never once needed me for anything. I was a little heartbroken. Does this mean I have to release him from his bubble? Mr. Independent has also become Mr. Self-sufficient in all he does. The kid even takes it upon himself to tt when he has to go (we are totally tt potty trained and still working on #2.)

This weekend was a real eye opener for me. I’m really glad that he will have Reid to grow up with. He so enjoys interaction with others and after seeing him with Emory Hart I know he’s going to be a good big brother. Makes me have happy tears.

I didn't get but 1 picture all weekend. I'm hoping that I can steal some off Whitney and Gena's blogs soon.

Here is Mr. Hart reading Hill and Tanner a book.

(And I had to post a picture of my precious purse so you can be jealous.)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Work, Eat, Sleep, and all the random stuff in between...

I haven’t forgotten about my blog. I have just been a busy bee. Reid and I had an appointment on Tuesday, July 24th and she is rapidly growing as she measures 2 weeks ahead to 25 weeks and has a heart rate of 140 bpm. She has for sure made herself visible over the past month…as I have ballooned. I’ve gained 18lbs total (by 23 weeks) which I am super ok about because I gained 400,000 lbs with Hill. Old black ladies are always around to let me know, “Oh girl! You sure are showing now, it happened over night! But it’s only in your stomach and your butt!” Truth hurts, truth hurts.

Reid, who was not as active in utero as early on as Hill was, has totally made up for lost time. She must have dewclaws of a dragon because as she does her alligator spins she manages to scrape my lower lady parts. It’s not that fun. I can sit on the couch and Chip and Hill can see her flip and poke and watch her disfigure my stomach to look like a hunch stomach… she spends most of her time on my right upper side. I attribute this to having more space on my right side as I don’t have a gallbladder. I know that is ridiculous to say but when I got my gallbladder removed in 1999 I’ve always felt like I have had empty space there (even though I know my organs shifted and filled in that gap). So Reid has now taken comfort in my gallbladder gap.

We go back to Dr. North on August 17th and will have the 3D or 4D sonogram – the one where you can see their alien-istic features. We are looking for cleft lip and if she opens her mouth, like the alligator she is, then maybe we can check out the palate. Pray for palate viewing! I’ve read that statistically just cleft palate is more prominent in girls. Cleft lip and palate is more prominent in boys. But you can’t believe 63% of all the statistics you read so I just stress over the worst case scenario….because that’s just what I do. I’m a spastic mom. I fear that we get over the worry and all being well then she comes out and her palate is cleft meaning a multitude of scenarios in this tiny brain of mine that processes bad things at lightning speed. If she has a cleft palate then she has to use the haberman bottle which is a special feeding bottle. Which milk will come out her nose, which daycare can’t handle special needs children, which I’d have to quit my job. She wouldn’t have her first surgery until 9 months then potentially multiple surgeries and speech therapy for years to follow.

I know that it would be new territory / obstacle, but when we found out Hill had a cleft I hashed out any and every scenario to anyone that would listen….even to my blog readers who actually chose to listen. A local friend of mine has a daughter that was born with a cleft palate and I remember her being so nonchalant about the whole thing. She said something along the lines of, it’s just something you learn to live with and it doesn’t change anything. She’s fine now and had to have another surgery a year or two ago and she’s in grade school. I remember being like??? I know she worried for her daughter but after having Hill and going through surgeries I understand now what she meant and how she was so nonchalant. It's a big deal, one of the hardest most emotional times of my life. It seemed so intangible to be this grounded once finding out that your child has a deformity. So, I know that should Reid have something wrong we will cope with it and it will be as if we didn’t know any different. I just like to panic and make up nonexistent scenarios.

So as if that wasn’t mentally stressful enough…I will have my glucose test on the 17th. I will never forget when I had my glucose test with Hill. I drank the flat Sunkist orange drink and started geeking out like 30 minutes afterwards. I was driving and Chip was with me. I remember being at the turn signal to turn into the doctors’ office and telling Chip he should probably drive. Chip was like, “What? Why? Are you serious, you can’t make it 10 feet?” I really didn’t know that I could…but I did... only to not seem ridiculous to Chip. I felt like Shelby, Julia Roberts’ character in Steel Magnolias, needing orange juice to prevent a diabetic coma. I will be sure to take a snack this go round for afterwards to absorb all my geeked-out-ness. So pray for no gestational diabetes. Mostly pray for no cleft lip or cleft palate, but a big no to gestational diabetes would be nice too if you find the time. Thanks.

Why have I been so busy you ask? Well I got into this crazy pregnant state of mind where in my nesting preplanning I couldn’t figure out what to do with the stuff that’s currently in Reid’s room. I decided that I needed a bigger house. One with a play room so I didn’t have to clean up toys EVERY day. One with more space so I can put stuff…not sure what kind of stuff, just stuff. One that had an extra bedroom for the 4 times a year that guests come spend the night. Chip jumped on my bandwagon and so we went online to see what was for sale in the Land of Koz. We’d found a house we liked but since we LOVE LOVE LOVE our house - - we didn’t feel like we wanted to just be silly and have to renovate this potential new bigger house to meet our requirements….because that is more costly and not financially savvy. The realtor was at a loss because she usually has her customers call me to work out what is financially best for them. Myself as an analyst and my husband as a financial planner can make positive decisions all day long for others but seem to second guess ourselves when it comes to our own actions. Ridiculous I know. We just wanted someone to tell us what to do, we over analyzed the entire thing.

Chip’s qualm with the bigger house was the kitchen. We currently have commercial grade ovens and stoves in our kitchen and he’s the cook so I give him full rein to make those decisions. He decided in order to make it work in the bigger house he’d have to add a gas range and an outdoor kitchen. My hold up was the bathrooms. There were 4 bathrooms but only one bathtub. The bathtub was in the master bathroom but there were 2 problems with that. A) It’s a garden tub in the master…no shower. Weird, so no shower in master won’t work for us we’d have to renovate. B) have you ever tried to bathe a baby in a garden tub that’s elevated? It’s impossible unless you get in there with them or have go go gadet arms. Then there were petty little things here and there that I’d want to change, so by the end of everything and the seller being super nice and working with us in every way…we walked away from their final counter offer. I will say that we looked forward to potentially living in that specific neighborhood with such special neighbors, but really I have zero regrets. My only regret was the stress I put on Reid, and my marriage, that caused contractions so horrendous that while I tried to relax in a hot bath that I thought I was going to have a water birth right then and there at 22 weeks. This, if we did buy the bigger house having doctors next door on each side of me could have been beneficial in that scenario.

It’s been a week now since we decided against the house and just last night Hill told me he didn’t want to move. He likes his toys. When we’d look at the house he really liked that there were tons of stairs in the bigger house, but when I asked him which room he wanted he said he wanted to keep his room at home. I think he thought he’d have to move into someone else’s room without his stuff. Poor noggin’. I know we’ve made the right decision. There are a few tweaks we may make to our house but we absolutely LOVE our house – like a ton. Yet should another “bigger house” come available now Chip and I know exactly what we would require to make it happen. I do have to say one thing…. I am one hell of a negotiator.

Sweet Hill had his open house on Thursday the 26th. His teachers will be Mrs. Lisa and Mrs. Trista. Since Hill started daycare in June of 2010, Trista has been an assistant teacher through 4 of his 6 classes. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Mrs. Lisa so we are super stoked for like 10,000 reasons. Mostly because he has good teachers, but mainly that in this new class he will have lesson units and learn new stuff each day, they get to color every day and have story book time where the teacher reads. Ugh, it’s like a huge fabulous wonderful transition. The one I’ve been waiting for since June 2010. Hill is a big nerd like his mama and daddy. He gets home from school and wants to play flashcards and do ABC things and count and learn new words and read books and help us cook…he needs stimulation and wants to be a big helper in all he does. He doesn’t much care to play 24-7 unless it’s educational and I can’t argue with that! Last year he did have Ms. Shonda and she was the epitome of wonderful and really worked with Hill in colors and arts and abc’s and potty training, she recognized his need for stimulation. This year it’s like school where they will have lesson plans taught to them, so I’m anxious to see how it pans out. He has a good group of kiddos in his class. One of them being Baylie who has a new baby sister too.

I took Baylie’s family dinner the other day and I could not believe how sweet and tiny little Laney is. I always say when I see tiny babies that “Hill was never this small!” - - and he wasn’t! He came out a whopper of 9lbs 1 oz and Laney was 6lbs something. Three pounds is a lot when you are dealing with little people. I hope Hill is as good a big brother as Baylie is a good big sister. This weekend Hill told me he wanted to hold his baby. His baby Reid. It was absolutely adorable comment and I wanted to take Reid out and hand her over to him. Sickeningly weird mental visual, but over-all precious precious thought. I hope he loves her when she gets here. He’s such a mama’s boy and I just want us to be one big happy Hawkins. He sure knows how to get me. All he has to do is tell me he wants to snuggle “nuggle” and I drop everything…every time…nuggling is my weakness, my kryptonite. Or he just has to ask me in his happy tiny person voice “Eww want to pay whit me?” (you want to play with me?) or “Eww lay whit me in my big boy bed?” or “Eww come check on me in a minute?” or pretty much any words that come out of his mouth get me. He’s so independent and hilarious that anytime he wants me to do something I ask him how high he wants me to jump while doing it. I just want to eat him up all the time. I’m no “pom pom mom”, but I do think I would do most anything for him….at age 2, at least. Ask me again in a couple years.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

State Farm Haiku

When someone goes above and beyond for me I always want to express my gratitude to them. I haven't done an appreciative haiku in a while so I felt the need to shout out my love for my insurance agent and crew from the rooftop...or my blog.

Cheesy, maybe...but I don't write haikus for just anyone ya know and I know those sweet girls all read my blog so --- here it is, the longest haiku I've ever written because I can't say enough in my 5-7-5 about the girls that keep things straight for me. It's a hard job.

An Ode To My State Farm Girls (and Edwin)

Edwin's girls are great
They make my life happy
Way to go State Farm!

Amie knows my stuff
And makes sure it is covered
Even my napkins.

Should they catch on fire
Or there be a real bad leak
She will replace them.

I can rest well now
As I am taken care of
With my State Farm girls.

Thanks for putting up with me team!
I love them...I love them a lot and thinking about how much I love them may make some people, maybe even them, uncomfortable.

I can't even express to you during my wreck in January how awesome they were. It was by far the most professional and personal service I've ever experienced from anyone. Ever.

Not to mention I'm the BIGGEST tight wad (ha! Like you didn't know) and they continually save me money and don't charge extra for my being so needy or having a zillion silly questions or policy changes.

In my emails to Amie I sign them "I love you, RCH" I'm serious. I did it today. Can you say that to or about your insurance team?

Thanks for all you do. I feel like you should probably all be in the delivery room when I birth Reid.

Love you girls,

Monday, July 16, 2012

Nesting, Napkins and Potty Training

It is official; the “nesting bug” has hit the Hawkins household. It was sickly evident this past week when I made my kitchen cabinets spic n’ span and organized. I read this article on cabinet cleaning, yes – yes I really did, and it said to pretend that all your cabinets have glass fronts and everyone that walks in your kitchen can see into them. For some reason that really worked for my mental psyche. Anyway, I boxed up unused kitchen items to put in the attic for when we do get a bay house. I will seriously furnish another kitchen with all the things I de-cluttered in my shelves. So that really isn’t all that funny other than the purple penis shaped cup with straw that I found in the back of the cabinet compliments of my bachelorette party 6 years ago. I will say that would certainly catch an eye if I did have glass front cabinets.

Anywho…what was so funny to me was that Chip has been bitten by the nesting bug. He went full force into the worst demonic room at our house. The storage room in the garage. I think he must have been possessed or maybe the opposite and feeling really religious because it’s a doosie. After he threw a whole huge garbage can of stuff away and organized the shelves and cleared the floor he came into the house and said…”I am no longer allowed to by spray paint and you are no longer allowed to buy fertilizer and weed killer….and he looked around the kitchen and said….or cocktail napkins.”

Ugh, knife through the heart! I can get over the fertilizer and weed killer I bought it for $1 at Wal-Mart when winter hit and it was “such a good deal” I had to buy it and let it sit on my shelves for 2 years. The cocktail napkins though, that’s an addiction I have, a secretly not talked about addiction that has its’ very own cabinet in my house. I won’t admit I have a problem because I love them, cocktail napkins, they are there when you need them and can liven the spirit of the party up by their whimsical colors, their serious or classy designs or even with the hilarious little sayings and pictures they have on them that make me feel like I’m funny or sane. I’d always thought my hoarding of them was something I could blame on my sorority because my mom has a friend with a cocktail napkin fetish, she was a ZTA too. See, I find excuses for my problem. I blame it on other people. I hide it in a closet.

One time Chip told me that I had to stop buying cocktail napkins and that was when they took up only a drawer, not a cabinet. My defensive rebuttal was, “oh yea, well you have to stop buying mustard.” And he did. He admitted that he had a fear of running out of mustard, but he looked at our pantry and noticed that we had enough for the end of time…and he stopped. I on the other hand, did not. So, what did I do with the overload of napkins? I put a bunch of the fun bright colored margarita ones and silly sayings into a gallon Ziploc (or three) and boxed them up for the bay house. What a fun surprise in 4-5 years when I open the box and there are my sweet happy napkins to open the door to drinks o’ plenty.

The party type napkins only take up 2 shelves in a cabinet now, so…if you need napkins just call me, please. I will feel obligated to give them to you and really need to give them to you and let them enjoy life to the fullest. Ok, so I really really digressed from talking about my nesting. I think I need to move on to more exciting things…like….

Hill has put his foot down that he is not a baby, he’s not even a big boy, but he is a man – not a little man but a BIG man. I have told him that he cannot be a man until he tt’s and poo poo’s in the potty. Chip says he can’t be a man until he tt’s and poo poo’s in the potty and learns to shave. Anyway, I’ve got to say that my BIG man (who doesn’t shave) was accident free the entire weekend! After a discussion with my friend Jennifer L about her potty training debacle with her son I took a few notes and implemented the sticker chart. I wrote the numbers 1-10 on a piece of paper and told Hill that once he got to 10 stickers from tt’ing and poo pooing in the potty he could have donuts. Something he asks for at least 3-4 times a week. Until then no donuts. He caught on after we got to number 4 on the chart and we’d be so excited for him and flip out at how he’s becoming a man. It also helped him when we’d show my iPhone and Angry Birds how we tt in the potty - - Angry Birds even entertained him a bit while he “sat” on the potty. (Hill you can thank me later for disclosing that when you get older.) By Friday night (we’d started Wednesday night & he is at school from 8-5 during the day) he was able to go get donuts Saturday morning! We started another 1-10 chart and he got to 10 fast because I gave him an extra sticker if he told me he had to tt then went and tt’d or poo poo’d. By the time we got to 10 he was totally not into his stickers anymore and just wanted to potty. I kept on with the chart though just to keep showing him his progress.

You see Hill and I have this open line of communication. I usually play with him 24-7 when we are at home but sometimes I have to do laundry or wash dishes or need to rest my feet in the living room so if he’s playing in his room and I don’t hear him for a minute I’ll call out “Buddy, you ok?” In his tiny voice he always replies “Yes!” So I continually do this…it cracks Chip and I up, but it works, yet if he doesn’t answer then I stop what I’m doing and go check on him. So Sunday afternoon Chip and I were in the living room and Hill went to his room to play and I called out, “Buddy, you ok?” No answer, again “Buddy, you ok?” I told Chip, he doesn’t have on a diaper, he’s probably playing with his trucks and pooping solo – so just as Chip jumped up to go check on him we heard the toilet flush. Chip walked in on him standing on his stool pulling up his underwear. He had taken the initiative to go and take care of business all by himself. Didn’t tell a soul just like a BIG man and did it alone. I cried. Actually, I’m teary eyed typing this. That was like the biggest of all mamma jammas that my little boy is a “man.” This hormonal mama cannot handle that emotion just yet. I mean it was a fluke that the bathroom door was open because I have child proof knob covers on all the bathroom doors for fear that he will fall into the toilet or a randomly filled bathtub outside of bath time and drown. They say kids can drown in 2 inches of water in a mop bucket. Now here he is freaking going potty alone and he’d have washed his hands but he can’t reach the faucet knobs even standing on his stool. He’s 2 ½ not 21. I’m an over reactive yet proud mother…this is why I cry for I know not what to do. This is what I wanted…one out of diapers before one in diapers. Then to top it all off, at nap time I forgot to put Hill into a pull up and he stayed dry the entire time. Then this morning, Monday, when I got him out of bed for school his diaper was dry as a bone. So we went and tt’d and he tt’d like a man…a man who held it all night long. I’m not going to say he’s potty trained yet. I still need the tt/poo poo Gods to shine down on us until we are more comfy with it, so in the mean time send happy juju thoughts to tt / poo poo in the potty our way. I’ll keep you posted.

This weekend we only left the house to go to the redbox to rent movies…and to buy chocolate covered almonds from CVS. Reid absolutely freaking loves chocolate covered almonds, she literally flips out like worse than Hill when he was a master uterine Kung Fu Fighter. I have to say that she may not have the opportunity to look like me but she certainly appreciates the finer things in life like I do. I love her already - she will one day appreciate the love of shoes and purses too…because they always fit. Then one day when she gets teeth, I will introduce her to malt balls…not just any junk malt ball like Whoppers or something mass produced where you get a funky hard one every now and then, but good yum crisp on the inside and milk chocolatey on the outside malt ball. Mama Lou knows what I’m talking about.

We rented The Descendants, The Muppets, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The Descendants was really good, I’d recommend it. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was very different but had a good plot. I will let you decide if you want to watch it. Then Chip really wants Hill to like the Muppets. We’d tried before when Muppets Take Manhattan came on TV a couple months ago, but Hill wasn’t into it. Chip was so sad. He was hoping it would be all the rage and replace Mickey Mouse because Chip HATES Mickey and Goofy’s voices and Hill LOVES all things Mickey. I think Chip may have thought they could form a closer bond over some Muppets since Hill is too young to drink Scotch. I don’t know, but Hill does not dig the Muppets…yet. Personally, I thought The Muppets movie put out recently by Disney was really good. I didn’t get to finish it but it was hilarious and entertaining (with old 80’s flashbacks) for parents and then the Muppets (if your kid is into puppets) for the kiddos. So that is my Siskel & Ebert review for the weekend. A lot of entertainment for under $4.00 because redbox is like $1.20 a movie for 24 hours. Can’t beat that with a stick.

Even though I am nesting, my house looks like a tornado hit it. It’s really only the living room though. Hill has his tent set up with trucks and sippy cups and donuts and books strung throughout. Then Chip decided to fix our over-priced, made in China, crappy construction-ed leather Ashley couch frame so that required a floor jack, wood, nails, a vacuum cleaner, hammers, a crowbar and tape measure…which when you have a 2 year old means he too needs his hammer, screwdriver, saw, nails, toolbox and dinosaur to help.

When I woke up this morning for work…I just stepped over it all like it had become one with the house. Happy Monday folks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Long Weekend....and post

The 4th of July was very productive at the Hawkins residence. I’m not sure that I left the house all day but I managed to clean out my closet which is a huge feat, much like the Independence of the United States...there is my patriotic angle for the day.

You see, for the past 6 years Chip has had to travel across the house to the guest room to gather his clothes just to bring them back to our bathroom to shower and get dressed. I on the other hand have a nice sized walk in closet where I get out of the shower and get dressed at my leisure as I dry my hair and put on make-up all in the same little area. Very convenient. I am proud to say that Chip no longer has to travel cross country to gather his goods. I made space for him to have his very own rack in the closet. Yup, it’s like when you are first dating and you let him keep a toothbrush at your house. We’ve been married for 6 years and dated like 5 years before that…he finally gets to share a closet with me…and I have a dresser too. I gave him 2 drawers. Total Progress with 5 garbage bags of shoes, purses and clothes to take to Helping Hands.

The closet cleaning out was courtesy of Reid who will need to make the guest room her room, and brought to you by her mothers’ entrance into nesting. Yay for nesting! It’s one of my favorite parts of being pregnant…I know, strange…but I love it just as much as school supplies and HEB cake. It’s the best.

Hill’s daycare was closed Thursday and Friday to have the carpets cleaned. Very convenient. So my boss agreed to let me work off site so I could tend to Hill. He’s the best….right up there in the same league as nesting, school supplies and HEB cake. I forgot to tell you the beauty of my life right now. I’m 5 months pregnant and it’s July in the South and our A/C unit can’t keep up with this atrocious heat and thinks that 76 is a good degree to keep my house at….on a week that I am at home. The fans were on, the blinds were shut and all the doors throughout the rooms of the house were open for circulation. I was totally dependent on the insulation of our house and wooded lot to keep me cool. So our BFF Allen Warrington -AKA Harvey’s dad – came over Thursday morning at like 5am and started the install of a new A/C unit and furnace. Ouch to my pocketbook but I laid in bed for like 30 minutes listening to him in my attic thinking what a wonderful man he is and how he brings chilly happiness to boys and girls all over the world, like Santa. I was delusional and excited and he is my hero. I got up and managed to make more progress around the house from 5:30 am to 7:30 am than I had in like 8 days combined. Laundry done, dishes done, toys put away…what! I asked Allen if he could come over every morning to stir up productivity. Hill slept through all the thuds and plops in the attic and at 7:30 woke up and said, “Mama, whas dat noise?” I said that’s Mr. Allen working in the attic. He was so excited Mr. Allen was at his house and he probably had tools and needed his help. Hill walked outside and saw “Harvey’s truck” and wondered where Harvey was. Thank goodness Hill really didn’t feel the need to go “help” Mr. Allen because they were on a roll ahead of schedule and had the air up and running by lunch -- this pregnant lady was super happy.

Just in time for us to finish packing up the car and head to the coast. We needed to go to the coast to tend to some business, see Jane Claire & the girls (Chip’s sister and nieces), meet up with our good friends the Martin’s from Oxford that were down there visiting relatives and go to the circus with them!

We got to Gulfport about 7:30 pm and I showered to get the car funk off of me. Do you ever get that way? You've sat there doing nothing, but still need a shower? Once I was ready we went to Ocean Springs to eat at Leo’s recommended by our friends the Pettit’s. Leo’s is hands down the best pizza I’ve ever eaten. It was so fun because they have an outdoor patio with live music - - like singer songwriter David Earl Keen type music. It was awesome. Seriously one of the best nights I’ve had in a really really long time. Hill could sit for hours and watch live music which is awesome in itself. It was late though and we were all tired so the night had to end. We stayed at Jane Claire’s and hung out with her and the girls to wake up Friday morning and me, Chip and Hill to head to New Orleans. On the way to New Orleans we had to make a stop and TCB…take care business. For the past forever we have wanted to have a place of our own on the coast. I knew the area I wanted to invest in and I was very specific about which neighborhood in the area I wanted. So it was Chip’s job to find it for a reasonable price. Low and behold manna from heaven (and my husbands’ infatuation with deals and Craigslist) shone down and brought us exactly what we were looking for. I mean exactly.

The people that owned the lot lived there full time even though it’s more of a weekender type place. Katrina washed their house away in 2005 and they never rebuilt. They have two houses and didn’t feel the need to rebuild since they have another house only 35 minutes away. So, we checked out the lot, figured out the property lines, talked to a few neighbors to make sure they are cool and fun and have kids and then pretty much bought it after only one phone call back and forth to haggle.

I have no words to express my extreme happiness. All of my friends back home understand how much the Bay means to me because they too have the same fond memories and know the fun times that were had at our bay houses in Port Alto, Rockport and El Campo Club. My heart just fills to the brim knowing my kids will be able to enjoy the same great times growing up with a bay house. Chip didn’t have that growing up but he had the condo in Diamondhead which is a good layover spot but doesn't have the amenities that a bayhouse has so he and his friends are ecstatic about fishing 24-7 as the house will be right near their favorite fishing spots…like I can probably see it from my balcony once it’s built.

So anyway, it will be later than sooner when we build (way later once I figured out we’d pay more in monthly insurance than my personal residences’ monthly utility bills). I figure that unless a monetary ship comes in we will have to wait until Hill and my unborn baby don’t have daycare dues anymore. So 4-5 years if we want to be smart about this. I’m ok with that, because we are in such a good position right now and we don’t have to rush out and build or make rash decisions…we own the lot we want and we can take our time.

Through my research building on the coast has a LOT more hoops to jump through than your average bear. Structural pilings have to be x amount above the blah blah blah and then your house has to meet certain weights per piling, which in turn determines how much your insurance is. My head hurts and I don’t mean to sound like a snob, but I’m so glad that you can pay people to figure all of that out…or better yet, have a dad that knows random things like that. We’ve gone ahead designed the inside and my dad is helping design the exterior, as that is by far his most favorite thing to do. By the end of the day Friday I had 19 emails and no less that 45 texts from him as he drove around Rockport taking pictures and drawing sketches of houses. He’s so funny. He told me Saturday morning that he is so excited to help design this that he woke up thinking about it and it’s all he can think about. He’s been sending me texts to go look at certain pictures and get ideas. When he found out that I wasn’t getting Architectural Digest anymore he immediately re-subscribed me to it. He’s obsessively hilarious and very helpful. It’s what he thrives on and is very very good at. I guess since he’s finished with renovating his Rockport houses he needs a new project and we are super happy and invite his know how and ideas.

So, I’ll digress and talk about the rest of the trip. After visiting the lot in Bay St. Louis we headed to New Orleans, which was only 40 minutes away. The craving I’ve had since February of the redfish meuniere at Coop’s Place would be fulfilled. I was a happy little girl. So we find a parking spot, get to the door and I’d forgotten that you have to be 21 to enter, even to just eat. So, Hill and I went to the French Market and found a table and Chip went and got a to go order of the redfish. As Chip walked up with the white Styrofoam box I think I might have seen God beams shine down on him. It was a glorious moment and a heavenly taste in my mouth. Do yourself a favor and get in the car right now and go eat it. Right now. You can thank me later. Afterwards we headed to the Aquarium.

The Aquarium was a lot of fun. Chip and I have been before but we enjoyed it so much more with Hill. It’s way more fun experiencing things through the eyes of a 2 year old. The fish seem more animated, the sting rays smile at you as they waft over your head in the tanks and the sharks seem more (in a big boy gruff voice) SCARRRYYY! It’s all fun and games until you go into the rainforest and a freaking big ass red parrot flips out and falls (yes falls not fly’s) down the stairs and almost crashes into Hill and I. My cat like reflexes throw Hill in the air and catch him as to not be taken down by a spread winged red mammoth. Do you know how freaking big parrots are with their wings open? We were totally innocent bystanders. The zoo keeper guy came running down the stairs to get the red monster and said something spooked the bird and he flipped out. No joke! That was an understatement. Hill will be traumatized for the rest of his life – I have no doubts. Chip on the other hand cracked up laughing the whole time. The Aquarium didn’t seem so fun to Hill after that. I can’t really say I blame him. So we got him a t-shirt to show he’d been and left the Big Easy. Looking back it really is funny, but was scary at the time. I wished we had it on video.

We got back to Jane Claire’s house in Gulfport and Hill told her about the “big red scary bird.” Then three days later we were watching tv and a red parrot came on. Hill said, “Mama! It’s the big red scary bird!” I’m pretty sure he’s damaged for life.

Saturday morning we woke up and got dressed for the day and grabbed some Chick-fil-a chicken minis, which are ALWAYS good for the soul, and headed back to the lot in Bay St. Louis. I wanted to walk the bushy lot because the day before I had on a dress and didn’t want to trek through it without pants on. Chiggers love pregnant women…I’ve learned that through picking blackberries with Hill this summer. So I had on jeans and trekked my 5 month pregnant bootie through the bushy jungle to make sure there weren’t any low spots or areas that hold moisture. The lot was level which is great!

I’m sure you’re asking…why didn’t your husband walk the lot instead of the 5 month pregnant woman in Southern July heat? Well, those of you that know my husband aren’t asking that question because you know that he is so afraid of snakes I have to do everything wilderness like in the summertime for him like…make sure there are no snakes in his boathouse, make sure the lot we are purchasing is level, come home from work to kill a snake with a hoe outside in my suit and high heels because he can’t even sit in the living room without thinking it is going to get him. You know he hunts everything except turkeys yet do you know why? Because snakes are out during turkey season! My favorite job…dispose of snakes he’s blown the heads off of…you get the picture? And the irony is – I hate snakes too! It just comes with the Chippy territory you become immune to it and it never gets old because his fear is always hilarious. I’ve seen him jump 10 feet in the air flailing his arms and screaming like a girl because he saw a stick that looked like a snake. Priceless.

After I surveyed the lot we went on to eat at Whitecaps on Hwy 90. The view is great but the food and service were awful. I’d not eaten there before but Chip had and he said that it was the same way the time before he just thought maybe he’d caught them on a bad day. To make up for the drab food experience it was time for the Ringling Brothers Circus!!

We met our Oxford friends Susan, Daniel, Sullivan and Daniel’s mom Anna at the Coliseum. We had awesome seats, thanks Susan, and it was a “Spectacular” show. Hill wore his "E" is for elephant shirt and Sullivan was excited about the “surface” too. I loved the elephants and decided it would be great to have an elephant but it had to have a funny personality or I wouldn't really like it. Hill said he liked the camels the best. When we pulled into the parking lot Chip said he saw them leaf blowing the camels to make their hair poofy. I hate I missed that! The circus acrobats had this spinning double hamster wheel thing that they were doing tricks in and my stomach was in knots watching it but just as I was thinking, Susan and Daniel would love scary things like that - - Susan said, “Oh that looks fun! I want to do that!” The Martin clan is freaks I tell you! You saw the pictures of them on all the carnival rides with Hill a few weeks ago. Ok so they aren’t freaks, I’m just a big ol’ chicken. Anyway, the Martin’s should join the circus and the Hawkins will become carnies since we like to drink and put things together and take them apart. If the Martin’s were circus members’ maybe they could give us a break on the $18 light up swords and $10 sno cones? Hill was not leaving without a light up spinning vibrating sword. The circus was fantastic and the Martin’s are fantastic. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to go!

But alas, the fun must end. Saturday morning we had gotten a call from a rental tenant that the A/C window unit went out. So, after the circus we went to Home Depot and bought a new unit then headed back to the Land of Koz to save them from melting in this sweltering heat.

I think we must have peeved off the A/C Gods. We replaced our entire house unit Thursday, then Saturday the rental property needed a new window unit, then on the way home my car a/c was on the fritz…it ended up being something Chip found an internet fix for, but seriously the thousands of dollars we have spent in that 3 day span makes me vomit in my mouth, profusely…but then I get over it because I don’t even want to pretend like I’d be ok without a/c. I would sell my soul to the devil for a/c being pregnant in this horrific humid heat…honestly, I probably wouldn’t have to even be pregnant…I just threw that in there for a little dramatic woe is me spin.

We got home Saturday night dropped off the window unit and pulled in the drive way at like 10:00 pm. Chip drove, I was pooped and Hill was a trooper having sat in his car seat from 4:00-10:00 (he slept like 3 of those hours.) It was so nice walking into a clean house, thank you Delfina, and to see my 4 legged babies. We were able to relax all day Sunday. What a fun busy week we’d had!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

It's a....Baby Grover?

So sorry to leave you all hanging…..we are having a GIRL! Reid Catherine will make her debut on November 12th! So we are over half way there! My doctors’ appointment on June 26th went well I had a sonogram and Hill went with us. Hill acted like some child I’d never met before. When we were in the waiting room to go back for the sonogram he was talking SO LOUD. I didn’t really feel bad because he was giving the soon to be parents a dose of what to expect. When we were called back I was sure to let the tech know about Hill’s cleft and she said she had already read up on my chart and was familiar. So yay! I had a good feeling about this tech…she was savvy. My kind of girl. She asked Hill if he wanted a brother or sister and he said “Sister! I call her Grover!” side bar: on the way to the doctor we were talking to Hill about the baby and he decided he wanted to name her Grover. So all day he called her baby Grover. He told everyone her name would be Grover….everyone.

The tech checked all the organs and measurements and said that she was measuring 2 days ahead of schedule and everything looked perfect. We heard the heartbeat and Hill liked that. She said ok, now…let’s see if we can tell what the baby is…Reid reminded me of an alligator. You know how alligators catch something then dive down deep and spin around? Well she was all spinning around so I was afraid we’d NEVER find out the gender. Finally the tech snapped a shot and said, “You see those three lines? It’s a Girl! Hill got what he asked for!” I was happy, Chip was happy. As I’d stated before I never really had any inkling of what to expect I just knew I had a 50/50 shot of it being a girl.

So when she said “GIRL” a thought crossed my mind that I hadn’t dwelled on before. I’ve got to find clothes for her. I mean friends have said they’d give me hand me downs and I even looked at cute girl clothes in that Kelly’s Kids catalog, but it never really sunk in that I really have no clothing for her. I know that sounds silly. I was telling my best friend Meredith about it and she said that we could totally go Shiloh Jolie-Pitt style (Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitts daughter) she wears her brothers hand me downs. So Reid will for sure be rocking the khaki cargo pants with tshirts. We may forego a Mohawk, but who knows??

Anyway, after Hill found out what the baby was he was like, “peace out people” and headed for the door. He got what he wanted and he was on his way out into the hall to swoon the ladies and tell them about baby Grover. Chip was able to grab him and explain to him we’d not seen something very important….does she have a cleft?

Reid, the spinning alligator, was hard to see! The tech was able to freeze a couple of frames and from what she could tell everything was symmetrical. Not to fill the tech with doubt, but Hill’s sonograms were too. I asked her to switch it over to 4D and so she did. It really looked like a big blob of clay in the picture but she was able to freeze a frame and I saw her face. It was a blur, but I saw her face. It was perfectly symmetrical and her “God says, shhh” (that’s what I call that indention between your nose and lip) was in-tact and her nose was normal as a normal blob could be. The tech said she cannot say just yet because she is so small and it’s too early to visibly see, but from what she did see she feels 100% confident that Reid Catherine does not have a cleft. Keep praying though! It is too early to make everything out clearly and also who knows if her pallet is affected? That’s the worry wart mama in me. I do have to say that I saw Reid’s eye indentions, nose and mouth. She looked like a tiny sweet alien.

Once the sonogram was over we headed upstairs to see Dr. North. It took a while to get back to the exam room and Hill was a pill. He wasn’t screaming bad he just wasn’t himself. He was laying on the floor, playing hide and go seek behind the furniture. Finding all the New Testament tiny bibles on the tables and “weeding de bye-ble.” Then he found the scale and needed to continuously weigh himself and check his height. Then he found a step stool and brought it out in the lobby to “climb.” Finally…they called us back. Once we got into the exam room it was a 6x6 space for him to find every instrument and loud thing he could bang around. Chip took him out to roam the halls.

Dr. North came in and said everything looked great! He said we’d get a better 4D sonogram at 24-27 weeks and check development. He asked when I wanted to schedule my csection for. My due date is November 20th and he said I could do it as early as the 10th of November. I said, “I know this sounds silly and not like I’m going to forget my kids birthday…but can we do it on Monday, November 12th? Hill’s birthday is 1-12 and this baby could be 11-12.” So, November 12th it will be! Dr. North roamed the hall with me so he could see Hill. Hill had been talking about the baby doctor all day and finally when he meets him he gets shy and won’t look at him. Silly Hill. So we had a great check up and the whole family was involved. I’m glad we took Hill, I know he won’t have this experience again, and maybe won’t even remember this one, but he was there and he got to share in the excitement.

He may have gotten over calling her Grover, but he still calls her Emory Hart and he thinks she lives in his belly too. He’s my sweet boy…and he calls me his sweet boy too.

*A special thanks to my friend Melanie for lighting a fire under me to blog. She is a reader of the blog and tracked me down in Facebook to friend me to tell me she was dying to know what the baby was!!! So funny and so glad to know people actually still read my jib jab.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Big Days!!

Today is June 25th. Tomorrow will be June 26th. These are two biggie dates in my life this year!

Tonight will complete my tenure as the Kosciusko Rotary Clubs 86th President. I will turn the gavel over to the incoming President, Jean Jacobs. Jean will do a great job. I feel as though after tonight a weight will be lifted. I don’t necessarily mean that in a negative way even though this year has been really trying. It’s as if I’m emptying my plate of one more responsibility, which mentally I really need right now. I already feel more organization within my life. I even cleaned out my purse today…see baby steps. I’ll get back to the Rachel I know one day.

Tomorrow the 26th at 10:00 am we will find out if baby Hawkins will be a boy or a girl. I am thinking we will take Hill with us so he can continue to be a part of the whole process. Maybe he will better understand that there is a baby in my tummy for real if he sees pictures. I’m 32 and I still need to see that assurance that there is a baby in there, for real. I just worry about something being wrong and Hill being there and us not knowing what to do. Yet, if something is wrong then I think I would want my bugga boo there to assure me by his presence that everything will be ok. Also, Dr. North and Toni haven’t seen Hill, other than pictures on Facebook, since he was 6 weeks old. So I think it will be an all-around good idea for Hill to come along in the morning.

Of course I’m excited to find out the gender and I’m just as excited to find out cleft or no cleft and I’m just as excited to make sure that all is healthy and just simply see this nugget in general! It’s WAY overdue in my opinion.

I have no inclination to think this baby is a boy or a girl. The first trimester I would have said for sure a girl – I was so sick and everything was so different…until week 13 and the light switch turned off and I was fine…just like with Hill…except the be mean to Chip hormone stayed. So now I think that since all that was the same it may be a boy. I guess I have a 50 / 50 shot. Preference, well I am quite fond of my little boy. Even though he can be dramatic as I imagine a girl to be sometimes, I don’t have to brush his hair every day and he is certainly my snuggle bug. A 100% mama’s boy. Yet, the other day a friend brought me a Kelly’s Kids catalog to look through and those little girl outfits are quite precious if I do say so myself. I got a little excited to maybe have a girl. With Hill I wanted a boy and prayed for a boy and got a boy and am so happy with my baby boy. So truthfully and I don’t mean this cliché, just as long as the baby is healthy I am fine. I want a girl or a boy, but not necessarily both. Twins may set me over the edge. Even though I did want twins when I was pregnant with Hill. I figured it would be a one stop shop, two for one and I wouldn’t know the difference of the ease of one good baby vs. twins.

At supper club Friday night my friend Jason, who he and his wife Gena have a 12 week old, assured me that no matter what this baby is it cannot possibly be as good of a kid as Hill is. So sweet, so passive, so quiet. Other than the health of this child, that is my ultimate concern…I’ve said it before….please don’t let this baby be a turd.

After 3 hours on my online Facebook poll I have 16 voting girl and 11 voting boy and a few that are confused that they didn’t know I was having a baby.

Are you dying to know the name?

If it’s a boy he will be named

Reid Thomas Hawkins

and if it’s a girl she will be named

Reid Catherine Hawkins

So we will have a baby Reid no matter what.

The other name that I liked which would have been for a boy or a girl is Hyatt. So if God has a sick sense of humor and gives me twins then they will be Reid and Hyatt. Otherwise we will have baby Reid.

Hill wants a sister 97% of the time that is his answer. He also wants to name the baby Emory Hart after Emory Hart Pettit. He thinks that all babies should be named Emory Hart. When we asked him about the name Reid he looked at me and said, “Read? Ok, I go get a book.” And scurried his tiny hiney into his room and brought me back a book. Wonder how confusing this will be?

Hello...Is There Anybody In There?

June 21st means I’ve made my way into my 18th week. Yay for pretty much the half way mark since I know I won’t be going the full 40 weeks as I’m having a c-section. I really figured that I would have felt this baby by now. I don’t mean to compare pregnancies, but I have no other means to base this on so I revert to what I felt with Hill. Hill was a master kung fu fighter and I was sure he had A.D.D in utero. This kiddo is quite the opposite. So he/she must be chill and hopefully not spastic outside of utero. Lord, I pray this kiddos is not a turd.

We all know I’ve wanted an ultrasound for a while. I just want to see how construction of my bugga boo is going. Having the Doppler done at the appointments is great because I get to hear the heartbeat and that gives me a piece of mind. I’ve been trying to psych myself out by not worrying…have you ever tried to do that? It’s a wasted effort especially for a control freak like me. So, today I called Dr. North. I decided that I’m not over reacting by not having felt this baby and seemingly he agreed. He told me to come in for an ultrasound to give me a piece of mind. Then I started flip flopping. Well maybe I’m over reacting. Maybe since I live an hour and half away I should just see if my local doctor can do a Doppler to check the heartbeat. I’d drop everything to have an ultrasound, no questions asked, but Chip is out of town, I have 13 people coming to my house in 6 hours for Book Club and why hit ultra-panic mode when truly I’ve been panicked for 18 weeks? So, I text my friend to see if we could listen through her Doppler at work at our local hospital. That way I can then rationally decide if I need to rush to Jackson and have this ultrasound. I’m a complete fruit loop….or basket case….or just a freaking fruit basket. Bless my spastic heart. I’m sure everything is fine and I’m just fat and this baby has tiny legs that can’t kick through my blubber for me to know it too is an acrobatic kung fu fighter like its’ brother.

Fast forward…I went to get the Doppler done. The heartbeat was 148 bpm. That was such a relief. Although I do have to say that I am a little sad that I didn’t get to find out today if it’s a boy or girl. I will on Tuesday though!!

Jewelry past & present...

When Chip’s mother, Adrienne, passed away in 2009 Chip inherited one of her rings. It’s beautiful with a wide thick gold band and three pronged nice size diamonds. Gorgeous. When Chip told me he wanted to take it to have something made for me, I cried. I sobbed like a little baby. This was like 3 years ago and even though I was pregnant with Hill it wasn’t the hormones that made me cry. I am truly a sap when it comes to heirlooms and sentimental items. To me things like this are priceless.

My three most prized possessions are my cast iron skillet that was my grandmothers’ from when she got married in 1938, my wedding ring that has Chip’s grandmothers’ diamonds in it and this ring of his mothers’…that too has the same mine cut diamonds of his grandmothers’. It’s history. It’s a relic of our families past, pieces of people that are no longer with us that have been given to us to carry on from generation to generation. I covet that responsibility to hand these items down to my children. I hope that they appreciate and respect them as Chip and I do.

From the beginning Chip and I’d talked about having earrings and a pendant necklace made from the 3 diamonds, something I could wear every day. To me it’s something special that holds significance. For the past three years I’ve been sitting on these diamonds waiting for the right time, waiting for the perfect design or creation to come to me, but I’ve got nothing.

For some reason today was the day that I randomly felt the need to go into our safe and get Adriennes’ ring and take it to the jeweler….and as I type that I look down at my calendar and realize that eleven years ago today (6/14/12) was when Chip and I first met. How peculiar is that? Whoa, ok anyway.

On my way home to get the ring I called Jane Claire (Chip’s sister) to talk to her about it and get her input, as it was her moms’ ring and I wanted her to be ok with my redoing it for something I could use every day and later hand down to my children. She was totally onboard and I think she could tell my gratitude and respect for her mothers’ belonging, which is important to me.

So I took the ring to a jeweler friend who ironically enough made that original ring for Adrienne from Charlie (Chip’s dad.) He was familiar with the ring and he knows how special this whole situation is to me and how much I respect the history and carrying the spirit of this onto my children. He knows what I like and I think we are both extremely excited to be taking this onto another generation.

I had assumed we’d make the earrings and a pendant and use the gold from the ring to make the settings and it would all still be one incorporated piece. Instead, Jimmy had another idea one that to me was fabulous and fit our lifestyle. Jimmy and his wife are avid boat and outdoor people too and so he suggested just simply taking the diamonds and prongs off the band and using the plain thick gold band as a simple wedding band for when we are on the boat or working in the yard. It’s still holds its’ sentimental symbolism as it’s an heirloom but it’s more functional than my everyday wedding ring, that I always take off anyway when we do outdoor things for fear of losing a diamond in the water or worse…the whole ring! Ugh, makes my stomach hurt thinking about it. So needless to say, I LOVE THE IDEA! I cannot wait to see what designs he comes up with for the earrings and pendant. I know it will be fabulous!

Beauty of Living in a Small Town

Wednesday, June 6th - So at 9:47 am I’m sitting in my office and I look at my clock and abruptly yelled “CRAP!” Hill has swimming lessons at 10:00! I grab my keys and run out of the office, to the parking lot jump in the car and arrive at Hill’s daycare at 9:49 am. Run inside to his classroom and he’s not there. Dang! I have to go search for him on the playground! Grab him and huff my way back to the car and are buckled into the car seat at 9:54 am. The playground search snagged my time a little. At 9:56 am we arrive to swim lessons and according to the teachers clock we are 5 minutes early! So I put Hill’s swim suit on and get him ready for class then leave him there. Through all the hustle and bustle I realize I am about to pee my pants so I run to my in laws house to tt and walk out of the bathroom and look at my clock when I get back in the car - - it’s 10:05 am. I AM THE ULTIMATE!!!! I have accomplished more in 18 minutes than some do in a day! Pin a rose on my freaking nose!

Here are a few pictures of the swimming lessons! Chip, JJ and I went to observe Friday and caught a few sweet pics. Although Hill didn't enjoy himself Chris is a true blessing and I want to keep her in my pocket. If I could bottle up one ounce of her patience the world would be a better place.

AFP Test is back...

Today is Tuesday, June 5th I found out this morning that my AFP test came back normal. Yay! What a relief! This doesn’t necessarily mean that my child will not have a cleft, but it does mean that the most prominent syndrome associated with clefts (Down Syndrome) has been potentially ruled out along with any major malformations (spina bifida.) This is fantastic news, but why do I still feel the urge to just cry? I can’t decipher if my tears are happy tears or what.

I think I’ve formed a little bit of resentment at the fact that I’m 16 weeks and haven’t seen my baby in about 10 weeks. I have to admit I feel a little bit as though empty promises have been made. I was promised more sonograms this go round but actually the length of time has ben WAY longer than what I had with Hill. I had my first sonogram with Hill at like 10 or 13 weeks then I found out at 20 weeks he was a boy…so that was like 7-10 weeks as the longest stint of no sonogram. I’m going on 10 weeks and then have to wait another 3 before my 19 weeks sonogram. I am broken hearted and I’m a wreck. Very disappointed. Very. Nothing caregiver wise is different. I’m not treated as a high risk pregnancy, which I am considered.

I want a sonogram. I don’t even have to find out gender the until my 19 week sonogram. I don’t even have to find out cleft issues until my 19 week sonogram. I just want to see my baby and how he/she has grown from 1 cm at 7 weeks to whatever size today. I feel that need to connect as I have had such a problem this pregnancy with so many personal demons and have had such a disconnect.

Since I’m on a tirade…my other qualm of the day since I can’t seem to wallow in happiness is that why can’t the AFP test determine the gender? Really? How does it not? It can check for chromosome disorders or mal formations of the spine by certain levels of blah blah blah in my blood but can’t determine gender? This baffles me. Medicine is phenomenal and I respect it but I certainly don’t understand it.

So maybe once I stop being a sour puss on such a day filled with great news I’ll get over myself and avoid walking into oncoming traffic.


Even though Hill had a bad week last week I feel like moving him to his new class helped him out a lot or maybe I’m just too naïve to admit that we are entering into the terrible 2’s? Last time we went through this we attributed it to moving to his big boy bed. Maybe this is where we are again, but he wants to sleep in his big boy bed and so we are back to letting him. He has gotten better though.
We (me) seem to be in constant search for a change of scenery. So Friday the 25th Hill and I went to Oxford while Chip and his buddies went to the coast. We had so much fun in Oxford! I got to eat at Proud Larry’s, which I have been craving their roast beef sandwich for eons now and the best part is that we got to hang out with our friends the Martin’s! Susan, Daniel and Sullivan are the best. Friday night we all went to Oxford’s Carnival. The kiddos had a great time and I learned that when we go to Disney we are going with the Martin’s because they ride ANY ride and Chip and I do not. The freaking carousel makes me nauseated. I’m not too sure that we have to worry with scary rides and Hill because he is seemingly not too fond of them either. Susan, Daniel & Sullivan took Hill on the teacup and he hated it just as much as I hated watching him on it. I don’t do heights so again, Susan, Daniel & Sullivan took Hill on the Ferris wheel…I’m not sure he liked it but I’m not sure that he didn’t hate it either. The boys rode the cars that go round and round and round and make an annoying bzzzz noise when you press their horn button. The kids liked it and I got some good pictures of them.

After the carnival Hill we went to the Martin’s and spent the night. I was exhausted! We woke up and the mama’s and the boys went to eat at Big Bad Breakfast. I’m sorry but that is always the best breakfast I’ve ever eaten…every time I go. I have no idea if they have magic breakfast maker people in the back but I want to make out with all of them because their eggs are always so creamy and fluffy and their bacon is special. Like from a magic fairy pigs behind. It’s sweet with sprinkles of pig fairy love. Do yourself a favor and eat there if you haven’t. After breakfast we went to the park. Hill and Sullivan played and played. It was hot so we decided to head back to the Martin’s to let the boys play in the pool. Susan, and her Martha Stuart self, had homemade popsicles made that were from real fruit juice and absolutely yum. Once the boys had their fill of the pool it was lunch time so I decided to load up the car and head home - - that way we could grab a bite to eat on the way out of town and Hill could nap while we traveled the hour and 45 minutes home.

As if we didn’t have enough fun, then on Sunday we went to the Warrington’s to slide on the monster water slide. It’s like having our own mini water park. The Pettit’s, Warrington’s and Hill and I had a great time and Hart brought food to grill out and the boys played and played and played. We were pooped!

Only for Monday, Memorial Day a holiday from work, and I wake up at 5am with stomach virus symptoms. I had zero clue what to do. I puked so hard that I knew I’d thrown up all my insides. I was pretty sure that my baby in utero was scared to death it was going to come out of my throat. I know I was scared for it. I was also scared because what on God’s green earth am I going to do when Hill wakes up? How can I tend to him alone while Chip is on the coast? I text him at 6am. We were both like ??? What in the world??? So I thought that maybe I could assess the situation better once Hill woke up, which was at 8:30. So at 8:30 I called Chip’s step mom. She later came and got him and I fell into a deep deep navo gel (phenergan) coma. I woke up and it was all like a bad bad dream had happened. I was well and Chip was home.

So Tuesday the 29th was my baby doctor appointment….and my AFP testing…and Hill’s first day of his new class at school. I was really really really excited and flipped out and worried about everything all at the same time.

The night before I tried to explain to Hill that his new teachers were Mrs. Trista, who he’d had before, and Mrs. Michelle who would be new to him. He looked at me and said, “I go see Dr. Shell?” I had to get him to understand that Dr. Shell isn’t going to be his teacher, a lady named Michelle would be his teacher. So innocent and precious! I let Mrs. Michelle know not to be confused if he called her Dr. Shell, that's his plastic surgeon and their names sound alike. So after successfully dropping Hill off at daycare and me not crying like I’ve done every time he moves up a class I was feeling good about myself, my day and what was to come.

I got to Dr. North’s office. They did all the blood work for the AFP test. I begged for a sonogram, but no avail. I was upset. I did get excited when he did the Doppler and the heart beat came through immediately. It was 142 bpm. Very good and totally in the middle. It will take 7 days to hear back about the AFP test…so I’ll wait impatiently and google all the possibilities and drive myself crazy.

When I picked Hill up Tuesday afternoon he’d had a great day and the teachers were so excited about their new class and how good they all are! They even said that Hill hadn’t had an accident in his pull up all day because they’d been working on potty training! They were confident enough to suggest wearing big boy undies the next day! Ahhh! OMG, big boy undies!?!? I drop him off for 8 hours at his new big boy class and he has already gotten his own apartment, a drivers’ license and is working on his doctorate degree. Seriously, I’m just getting over him making complete sentences, being self-sufficient, dressing himself in the morning, sleeping in his big boy bed, his imagination coming to fruition with hilarious dragons and playmates…..now you mean to tell me he is ready for big boy underwear?

So I played into this grown up Hill Hawkins deal and he went all day Wednesday in his big boy undies and then Thursday morning when I dropped him off I knew he had to tt so I took him to the potty in his classroom and my heart broke. He was like a little man. He went to the tiny stool to the tiny toilet, pulled down his tiny pants, tt’d, flushed, went to the tiny sink, turned on the tiny faucet, squirted the tiny soap into this tiny hand and scrubbed them tiny-ly together then rinsed them off got a tiny towel and threw it in the tiny trash can. I just stood there with big ol tears. He did it all by himself and only after 2 days of being in that class. My tiny baby is now self-sufficient. Killing me.

The rest of the week and weekend were filled with starting my new cake decorating class. It’s 4 sessions and I should be able to make your wedding cake by the end of it…maybe or maybe I’m setting my goals too high? Anyway it should be fun and something I’ve always wanted to do.

We went to the Landrum’s and picked blueberries. I’m pretty sure that we can start calling Hill, Blueberry Hill. He LOVES blueberries and eats them by the handful. I cannot complain because they are super healthy and he loves them and we have a blast picking them with the Landrum’s. It’s a lot lot lot more fun than picking the black berries across the street from our house. I have chigger bites in places that pregnant people do not need to have chigger bites…I don’t even eat black berries…the things we do for our children. We can’t keep enough berries around for Hill. If you are looking for gift ideas for Hill, just buy the kid some berries. He will be the happiest kid ever. It’s disturbing how much he loves them.

The bank is sponsoring the Colgate Country Showdown in Philadelphia (MS) so I volunteered to go be a judge. The Colgate Country Showdown or as Chip calls it the “Toothpaste American Idol” is now really called the Texaco Country Showdown and is where people like Leeann Rimes got her break. So I had to decide if I was going to be an American Idol judge like Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul or Randy Jackson (as I haven’t really watched since it’s Randy, J-Lo and Steven Tyler.) I’d decided I would be Simon since I couldn’t get tipsy and act spacey like Paula. Long story short….I didn’t have to judge after all. Which was fine by me because Whitney, Kayla and I went to eat at Philip M’s and that made this pregnant girl really really happy.

Sunday was my sweet friend Shea’s baby shower. She is having another precious little girl and I know Baylie is going to be the best big sister ever. She was so polite to thank everyone before and after every present was opened. Such good manners! Baylie is Hill’s age and is in his new class. She is sure to keep everyone in line at school. In the mornings she has pretend birthday cake ready for us to eat and when it’s time to go home she is always so helpful to make sure that Hill has all his things to take home. She is a hoot and as precious as precious can be and will be very very helpful to her mommy when baby Laney comes in July!

Monday the 4th Hill started his swim lessons. Sunday night I was explaining to him that we were going to the Potts house to swim and Mrs. Chris would be his teacher. So Monday morning before school I told him I’d be picking him up a little before lunch to go to swim lessons. He said, “Mama, I go swim in the pot?” I said, no baby, you will go swim at the Potts’ house! I just pictured his sweet innocent imagination thinking he was going swimming in a potty or flower pot or cooking pot. I’m sure he was confused but excited. Once we got to lessons he saw Harvey and made a new friend with his same last name, Hadley Hawkins. This still didn’t prevent him from not liking swimming lessons (all week.) Chris is precious and does such a fantastic job with these kiddos. Her patience exceeds anyone I’ve ever met in my entire life. I shall strive to be more like her. Maybe he will like it better next year. We will keep practicing.

Pictures….why blogger app doesn't let me put them in an organized fashion I have no idea. Below you will find pictures of Oxford with Sullivan, pictures of Hill's first day at his new class (with Mrs. Trista), four wheeling with Garrison, swimming lessons and thumbs up tubing!

Lake, Putt Putt and Daycare Drama

Today is Thursday May the 24th. I cannot for the life of me remember what I did last weekend to even update you. I know we went to the Country Club and Tanner and Hill had their first ride around the lake in an inner tube being pulled by the boat! Mrs. Whitney rode with them and they did not want to stop! Finally after the 465th lap Mrs. Whitney said she was dizzy from going in circles and so we took a break to eat hamburgers.

There was a wedding out at the Country Club but I couldn’t figure out who it was. Then the bride and groom came down to the lake to take pictures and it was my friend Marsha’s brother, Evan! I didn’t interrupt only took a picture of them from afar and text it to Marsha. She text back that she thought that was us down at the lake and for us to come crash the wedding. I would have, but I wouldn’t have “blended” very well in my bathing suit cover up. It’s a sight I tell ya. So later on Marsha brought me some cake. She’s a true friend bringing the pregnant girl cake all the way down to the lake in her high heels. Trooper. Love her.

I feel like I’ve nonchalantly been a part of some major events in her family’s life. New Year’s 2 years ago Hill and I rode out to her uncle’s lake and all the family was gathered having a new year’s party and were all so sweet I wanted them to adopt me because they made me feel like I was family! We all gathered for the fireworks show that the guys were putting on and it was a sight! I remember tiny little Hill in my arms all bundled up laid back smiling at the fireworks going off in the sky. I wasn’t really paying much attention to my surroundings only Hill, but then across the lake something lit up. It said, “Will You Marry Me?” Lord I don’t know who is who or who isn’t married…I was so excited and confused! I look over next to me and this guy is on one knee proposing to the girl standing next to me. Whoa! Hello! I’m all up in the mix. She said yes and Marsha informed me that they married the following August and are now expecting their first child. Lovely lovely. Marsha’s family is pretty much the sweetest.

Ah! Ok, I remember now, Sunday Chip, Hill and I loaded up and drove to Jackson to play Putt Putt golf. Chip and I made the executive decision that Hill will be a golfer and we will try to dodge having to play baseball, football or any other sport (unless of course he wants to.) So when better to brain wash him, I mean teach him, than now? Lord have mercy on this heat. It was only like 88 degrees and we all almost died of heat strokes. We played 12 holes of putt putt and had a fun time. Hill likes to hit the ball then when it gets close to the hole pick it up and throw it in. I beat Chip...of course because here is a little tid bit fact that only a hand full of you know…at one juncture in my life I actually use to play golf avidly. Avidly does not mean that I was ever good, but it does mean that I can play. I was on the golf team in High School, again, this does not mean that I was ever good, or that I played in tournaments, but I was a part of a team and it just so happened to be golf. Chip on the other hand has clubs because all of his friends have clubs and that’s what you do – have the same things your friends have even if you don’t use them. Just kidding. Chip and I use to play golf more often when we lived in Oxford, but only a hand full of times after we moved to Kosciusko.

After the 12th putt putt hole we headed to Bass Pro Shop to cool off and look at the fish and as Hill says, “The other aminals.” While Chip looked for fishing stuff Hill and I jumped in a pontoon boat and Hill pretended to be a boat Captain while I propped my feet up. Once Chip came back the sales guy said, “Can I interest you in a boat?” I was quick to let the guy know that my husband was more than welcome to get a new boat, but he would not stay married to me as we have no more room for any more vessels at our house. The sales guy chuckled then looked at my face and realized I meant business. Poor fella, but 5 boats is enough for one man…but that’s just my thoughts. Well I take that back, Chip may have 4 boats, but Hill has 1 so 5 boats for one family is enough…but that’s just my thoughts. If we were shrimpers or had a deep sea charter then that would be one thing, but these boats do not bring in any supplemental income, therefore we can’t have anymore.

We’d planned to go to Sam’s and the grocery store while we were in Jackson, but we were so tired we headed home. Chip grilled steak and Hill and I caught lightening bugs in his bug catcher. I'm trying to teach Hill that not all bugs are bad. He flips out when he sees any bug and yells, "Mama! A bug-gah! Use your shoe!!!" He keeps me entertained. We had a great weekend!

This week, of the 21st marked only 3 more meetings until my Rotary tenure as President is up. I am a tad bit ready to turn over the reins to someone else.

Mrs. Barbara at Daycare called Tuesday and said that Hill will be moving up a class this next week. He will have his friend Rhett Regan back in his class. After Rhett and Hill were split up back in November Hill has struggled a bit. But they will be reunited along with some new faces and friends that we already know! I’m really looking forward to this transition because Hill has had a bit of a trying week. I don’t know if it’s because of some changes in his current class with Ms. Shonda leaving or the monotony of this routine. Hill likes stimulation and challenges. Anyway these past few days he has been a sweet boy in the mornings up until it’s time to go to school. Then he throws a fit because he wants a different sippy cup or he wants to change the shoes he has on or my favorite, he wants to ride in the opposite car of whatever I’m driving that day. We’ve walked into the doors of the daycare for 2 days this week screaming. This is so uncharacteristic of him. I think this new change will be good for him as he will get to do different things and play on a different playground and keep busy.

Yesterday I had an atrocious headache and was extremely tired. Chip took care of Hill while I lay in the bed and rested. They went to run some errands and when they came back I heard the doorknob on the bedroom door trying to open Hill came running in my room because he had to tell me something. He climbed up in bed with me and said, “I’m sorry mommy. I love you.” He and his daddy had a talk and he came to apologize for his behavior. It was really really touching. So then this morning he did the same thing by apologizing to Mrs. Barbara and Ms. Devin and Ms. Cindy for his behavior the day before. We promised to have a better day and if he was a good boy he said he wanted candy, his batman sippy cup and his Lightening McQueen car. Those are simple things that can be arranged. I called up there to make sure he didn’t have everyone held at gun point or had gone postal and they said he was doing fine. So that’s good news.

Other good news is that I have a little better peace of mind after talking to my friend Shea who is pregnant and had the AFP testing done for both of her pregnancies. I’ve been really trying not to think about it and now knowing someone who has had it done before makes me feel better. Everyone I’ve told that I’m having this test done has asked me why…and I’d never had anyone tell me they’d had it done. So I got worried. Secretly worried. Yet so worried that I was scared to research it because I was afraid of what I’d find. You know how I feel like I wear the statistic scarlet letter and even though with this testing nothing will change I just have that nervous mama feeling.

Pictures of: whitney, tanner and hill Tubing, Marsha's brothers wedding, & Hill and his Lightening 'Bug-gah'