Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My How They Have Grown

Here are a few of my favorite pictures over the past year....
There are no less than 6,872 more I'd like to post, but these are my top 3

Just a normal day being a Diva.
At the liquor store buying "Mommy Juice"
Reid felt the sunglasses made her look older and so they didn't card her.
My Everything's

Big Brother taking Reid for a spin
She was so thrilled to be riding with him
I pray he always looks after her

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2013....The Kids Go Off To College...

So, Reid was born and then I fell off the face of the earth.  The End.

Update: Reid has already graduated from college and is plotting World Domination and Hill is the CEO of World Peace.

That pretty much sums up the last 15 months and I don't even know where to begin to pick back up!  I could start from the day she was born...I have no less than 10,000 pictures on my computer to post of her and Hill and all we've been up to.  Funny things Hill says.  Milestones of Reid's.  Which maybe I will back track some day (hopefully sooner rather than later.)  I guess for now you need the Cliff Notes version.  I've always been a fan of brevity, but unfortunately I don't know how to be brief.

So - Reid was born and she is so stinking sweet and snuggly and kissy and dramatic and a Daddy's girl and prissy!  She can not function without her paci.  She has a routine and she loves it and when she is ready for bed - she asks for her 'ba' (bottle) and walks to her room so her Daddy can rock her to sleep.  She doesn't really like anyone but me or Chip.  She thinks Hill hung the moon. She has to have a baby doll in her hand at all times.  Totally dramatic is an understatement.  This is coming from the non-drama-mama.  I really really don't like drama.  So of course my God has a wacky sense of humor and gives me the sweet dimple faced little girl that can go from melting your heart giggling into a flat as a pancake not breathing crying so hard on the floor fit in less than 2.5 seconds.  I think she's bipolar.  I love her more than life itself, but she is different than Hill.  Which is great because I want my kids to have their own personality and be their own person.  Reid is on track to being the ring leader of world domination.  Girl Power....Hear Me Roar!  (Which ironically enough Reid does growl and roar a lot come to think of it.)  She's a powerfully independent little stinker....wonder where she gets that?  Hmmm? boot...she looks like me STILL.  Yay!  Weird! Now after all these years of Hill being a spitting image of his father it's nice to know that I quite possibly took part in the conception of our children.  Chip can't threaten me with a maternity test with Reid....even though he saw the doctors take both children out of my body.  I do have to say that Reid is looking more and more like Hill.  So you can flip a coin that quite possibly Hill does look a bit like me or that Reid is looking more like Chip.  You choose.  I will say that the other day I took a picture of Reid and her hair is a tad curly.  This made her look just like her cousin Addie - - and Addie looks just like Chip's mom. 

So, rewind. Here is the nutshell version of the last year and the biggies....

Reid was born in November 2012.  I went back to work January 2, 2013.  February 7th the bank I worked for was bought out.  I was offered a job to stay on.  I was fortunate and I know it.  The majority of my coworkers were not as lucky.  I was given options about what jobs I would want.  I accepted one of the jobs even though it wouldn't start until the merger was finalized towards the end of the year.  I trucked along with such an unsettled feeling.  Things weren't going to be the same.  My boss would no longer be allowed to be my boss and he was my mentor.  My fast track rug was pulled out from under me and I landed on my big bootie.  My coworkers were my family and we were being broken up.  Do I blame anyone...absolutely not.  As many of you may differ in opinion the selling of the bank was a great business move.  It was a publically traded company and had poised itself beautifully.  Business is business.  Sure I am sad but only selfishly for my career and relationships.  Kosciusko was extremely fortunate to have such a thriving bank headquartered here for over a hundred years.  I understand the devastation of the merger and how it adversely effects our town and economy but in the changing times no one should be able to point a finger or blame.  Be grateful of all the years it helped provide to our tiny community.  The bank never had to stay in a small town as they were a multi Billion dollar institution.  Yup, Billion with a B.  They did though and that is awesome.  That's coming from someone affected all the way around - emotionally, physically and financially.  No hard feelings from me, nor a very large percentage of the employees displaced.  Are we sad, absolutely.  Disgruntled, nope.

March and April 2013 were a blur with the transition of a newborn, a mama's boy toddler that pretended the new baby didn't exist, and the unknown of my career.  Hormones are a bitch I tell ya.  Chip was so supportive and understanding.  Love that man! 

In April I was offered a job as a marketing director for a mechanical company.  It was really thief in the night-ish come to think of it.  The offer came on a Friday when the company president came to my house to talk to me about it.  I turned it down Saturday and by Monday we had everything settled on my transition.  I turned in my notice Tuesday and my boss was extremely supportive.  He knew who I would be going to work for and how good of guys they are so he was not worried about my future endeavor. Love me some Barry.  The bank CEO was out of town until that Thursday and so when he came back I truly thought he had heard.  I will never forget the shock on his face standing in the kitchen at work when I said I was going to miss him.  He didn't know I was leaving.  He later called me into his office and we talked and he completely understood.  I told him that I kept my promise to him that I was devoted to M&F as long as it was M&F, unfortunately M&F was no longer going to exist.  It was a punch in the gut but a reality.  I love absolutely everyone I worked with.  I don't know of many people that can say that.  I was blessed beyond measure for one month shy of 7 years to have had such an experience.  It was time for a new journey though.

I started Ivey on May 6th.  Everyone has been here 20+ years and that speaks VOLUMES of how great of people they are.  There are over 42 employees that have dedicated over 30 years of service to this company.  That is UN.HEARD.OF!  The kindness of the people has made this transition possible.  Even 10 months later I still have questions....daily.  I'm annoying.  The industry is totally different than banking.  I miss banking, but only because it was my comfort zone.  I'm learning more and more about plumbing and HVAC and job sites and marketing branding and publishing things.  It's all very very educational.  I do have to say that everyone is extremely nice.  I didn't think I could find people of the same caliber to work with, thankfully I was wrong! 

The lady I was replacing THANK GOD was still here to train me for about 3 weeks.  That was fantastic.  Then when she left in June I was like --- uhhh, ummm, yeah, learn by fire.  My first few publications weren't that great but my coworkers which are all across the southeast were very supportive and encouraging.  I still struggle, but I still consider myself new.

So May, new job.  June and July learn new job.  Kids were trucking along at daycare.  All was well - still transitioning into the new life of baby girl and tiny boy and new job and all the ins and outs of life.  Then August came.  You know August is my least favorite month other than it being my moms birthday on the 8th. 

I am not sure how we survived August.  There was something BIG every week.  I think Hill got sick with something.  Got well.  Then we met up with my dad, step mom and niece at Lake Sam Rayburn.  Seven hours one way in the car with babies is tiresome is all I will say, but we had an AWESOME time.  Then Hill started school K-3 with Mrs. Melinda.  Ya'll know how I get when Hill changes classes.  I'm a wreck.  Only this time I walked him into his class hugged and kissed him bye and busted out crying.  Mrs. Melinda was consoling me about how fast they grow up and it will be fine and how much fun he will have and  I said, "yeah, I know.  I'm sorry, but my dog died this morning and this is all too much."  It was sorta funny looking back on it now.  Foxy Mama did die, which is not funny, but very tragic.  She was 11 and the best most devoted dog ever.  Hill talks about FM in Heaven all the time.  Anyway, so it was an emotional day of dogs dying and children starting school.  Not to mention the anticipation build up of Hill's upcoming cleft surgery. 

Hill had his third cleft surgery on August 20th.  Hopefully the third time is the charm...but he's charming every time!  (ya ya ya, I couldn't resist)  Being the third time does not make it any easier.  Your baby having craniofacial plastic surgery is never ever settling.  Yet, you are more educated about the process and the ropes of expectations. You still pace.  You pray.  You feel like time is standing still.  You wonder what they are doing.  You wonder how will he feel.  You have the weight of the world on your shoulders while your baby is under anesthesia.  There is nothing peaceful about any of it until they say, "Mr. & Mrs. Hawkins everything went fine and he's in recovery.  You can come see him now."  You go back and look at your tiny's little swollen face and kiss it and hold his hand.  Heart breaking, every time.  But it's for the best.  We went in at 7 that morning.  They took him back at like 8 and he was out by 9 and in recovery until 10:45.  He took longer to come out of anesthesia this time.  We were getting a little concerned.  They picked him up and I held him and talked to him.  They put a wet rag on his face. And then he started waking up.  He wanted some sprite and his "builder man" toy that he got to pick out from the special room before surgery.  I have pictures and he's like a little drunk man in recovery with his construction hat on.  Hilarious.
We were in the car on the road by 11:00.  We got home at like 2:00 to Mama Lou and Reid. Hill was playing with his tractors in his room 5 hours after having major reconstructive surgery.  Can you say AMAZING?  The resilience of these tiny tots is beyond fathomable. 

He had a follow up appointment in Memphis the next week and so we made a road trip out of it.  He wasn't allowed to go to school for 2 weeks after his surgery so after his appointment that following Wednesday we went on to Nashville to watch Ole Miss play Vanderbilt.  We have wonderful friends in Nashville and so we stayed with them and hung out with other friends too.  We all have kids the around the same age.  Kellan and Reid had a baby sitter and our friends, Craig & Lyndsay, Chip, Hill and I all went to the game.  It was an incredible game.  And I obsessed over how freaking good the hot dog was.  Seriously, hands down the best hotdog I've ever had.  Hill had a blast at the game and was a super trooper all night. 

While in Nashville I went to our Nashville office to meet those folks and put a face with a name.  They took me out to the job site and I got to see how they did things.  What a great experience.  I think things like that help me to do my job better and have a clearer perspective of what it is Ivey does and how it ticks.

Hill was able to go back to school after Labor Day.  When it was time for everyone to go to the gym or play outside Hill was extremely angelic and understanding that he had to go sit in the office with the daycare director and play with his ninja turtles or on the ipad.  He did this for about 2-3 weeks.  He was also very understanding when his good buddy Tanner had a birthday at the splash pad and he couldn't participate.  And when his cousin, Shane Preston, had a birthday party at the place where you chase pigs and chickens and before I could get on the arena to tell him it's not a good idea they blew the whistle and someone elbowed him in the mouth....he had to sit out.  He didn't complain. 

My dad came to visit the kids towards the end of September.  You notice how I said that?  When you have kids your parents don't come to see you anymore, they come to see your kids.  It's ok.  I know they love me.  Hill loves him some Papi. 

October was the last month that my tiny last born child would ever be mere months old.  It was the last month before she turned a year.  Where on earth did the time go?  She went to her first Ole Miss football game that month.  It was Ole Miss vs. A&M.  She slept through the whole entire thing.  The people around me kept asking - how is she asleep?  It was so loud!

The last weekend in October I met my mom in New Orleans for a wedding.  I wasn't invited to the wedding but I crashed it.  It was a great time!  I enjoyed hanging out with my mom and all the people from my home town that I have not seen in literally 15 years.  My favorite story from that weekend is when Chip said, "You and your mom go out to eat a nice meal.  I will pay for it."  So, a group of people were going to eat at Galatoire's.    For those of you not familiar, Galatoire's is a very upscale restaurant.  There were 17 people in our group and at the end of an extravagant meal they said that one of the guys had paid for our meal.  Floored at the generosity of my friend I text Chip and let him know.  The thing I forgot to mention is that my generous friend that bought us dinner, his name was Chip as well.  So here is how the text conversation went.

Me:  OMG!  Just had the most amazing dinner at Galatoire's.  There were 17 people in our group and Chip bought everyone's food and wine!


Me: Not you Chip J.

Chip: oh shit, I nearly fainted

Me:  Ha you almost fainted b/c you thought you paid for it. ???

Chip:  Yeah, I told you I would pay.

PRICELESS!!! Poor hubs thought he had bought everyone's food.

Mom and I had a great time in New Orleans.  Thanks for inviting me Mama Lou!

November was busy for me and a tad bit emotional knowing that my last born baby was turning one year old.  Where exactly did the time go?  The weekend before her birthday Chip cooked shish-ka-bobs and I seriously thought that Reid was going into anaphylactic shock.  She kepts sticking out her tongue and grabbing it. She'd slowly stick her tongue out and leave it out.  I was in a panic.  I couldn't put her to bed if her tongue was going to swell up and she was going to choke to death!  So I watched her for a little bit only to figure out that the silly stinker had discovered her tongue.  Now that's her favorite thing in the world to do.  Stick out her tongue and make you laugh.

Her birthday party was on the 17th even though her birth date is the 12th.  Mama Lou came to town and we had family and few close friends over for a lemonade party.  It was quite presh.  She still didn't walk at this point so she crawled 900 mph everywhere.  She does not like to be confined.  She got a play kitchen and baby dolls and some clothes.  It was a great first birthday!

Reid got her 1 year shots and Hill needed to get a Hep A shot. Hill was such a trooper, he was prepared and just knew it wasn't going to hurt.  After all, he only had to get 1 shot.  So bless his little bones he jumped up on the table.  Laid down and was not even nervous.  The nurse stuck him and he screamed and cried so hard.  I felt like it hurt his feelings more than it hurt from the prick.  He was NOT expecting that.  3 months later and he's still talking about it.  Must have been devastating. 

Speaking of devastating.  When Reid was born Mama Lou came and helped out and stayed for a week or two.  The week after she went home to Texas she was in a horrific car accident.  She broke both of her arms.  She was very very fortunate.  It was an extremely long and hard journey but my mom remained the strongest person I've ever known the entire time.  She never complained that she couldn't feed, bathe, clothe herself.  She was very appreciative.  She moved in with my aunt for that period.  Thank God for Aunt Rosemary.  It's a terrible hollow feeling knowing the one person that you love so much is having such a hard time and there was absolutely nothing I could about it.  Reid and I went to visit her (Reid was 2 months old) and I could tell that Mama Lou was so broken hearted that she couldn't hold her and snuggle her.  So, November 29, 2013 marked the 1 year anniversary of her wreck and still to this day she is doing therapy and trying to get her body back in line.  What a journey.

The first week in December Hill had his Christmas program at school.  He did such a good job.  He didn't break out in dance moves like he did the year before, which had the whole church tearfully laughing.  Wonder where he got those smooth moves I heard one of the parents behind me ask.  Oh, I know where he learned how to break. it. on. down.  heehee!  Anyway, Hill rocked out this year too.  So proud of my little guy.

The second week in December we loaded up the car and headed to Tejas.  What is normally a 9 hour drive ended up being like 13 hours.  I even changed a tt diaper without even taking Reid out of her car seat.  I don't think I could do that again if I tried.  The powers of a determined mama! 
It was worth it though because it was the the first ever best friends and family retreat.  We met Meredith and her kiddos at Provident City Ranch and had a blast.  I love it that our kiddos got to hang out.  It's important to us that they have a friendship.  As always, Mama Lou stepped up to the plate.  She went to the grocery store and had pre planned meals for us and we fed an army!  Julie and Christine came.  Beth and her boys came.  I got to see Essie and Mary.  My brother came out and spent the night.  My mom came and hung out.  Chip and Dana and their daughters came and cooked out.  The boys rode the Gator and ran around for miles in the open grass all weekend.  For sure a haven for both mamas and babies!  I love my friends.  They are the best. 

As frequent travelers you have to understand that the co-pilot (whoever is sitting in the front passenger seat) has the hardest job.  At one point Chip was getting a little sleepy on the way home driving so I volunteered to drive.  We pulled over and swapped.  Then Reid needed her paci, Reid needed her juice, Hill wanted a different movie, Hill couldn't find his snack.  Chip would get it all settled.  As soon as he strapped his seat belt back on Reid wanted a snack.  Then she dropped her paci on the floor board.  This went on for like 30 minutes.  Chip said, can you pull over so I can drive?!  Mmm Hmmm the co-pilot is so under appreciated.

Christmas was rapidly approaching.  The week before Christmas (December 20th) Reid decided she was just going to up and walk!  My determined little bugga boo just propped up on her feet and walked on over to see our dog Foster.  She's been stomping around ever since!  There is no stopping her now!

My dad, step mom and Hannah always come the weekend before Christmas.  This year was a mad house for their flying.  They stood in the rain to check in at the Houston airport and the line was so long they almost missed their flight.  Once they arrived to Jackson they had lost my step moms luggage.  The next day my step mom woke up with a migraine and had to go to the ER for a shot.  I felt so sorry for her.  We all had a great time though and her luggage arrived unscathed and the secret jewelry that my dad stashed in the front pocket was still there.  Hill has a blast playing with Hannah and Reid loves her some Papi. 

For New Years Eve I was asleep by 9:00.  That wrapped up our crazy busy life changing 2013.

I told you at the beginning I can't be brief.  I have pictures that go with this post, but they will have to be added later.  It's a little scatter brained of a post but I hit the highlights....and missed a lot too I'm sure.  I just wanted to touch base and let you know that I miss blogging.  I'd thought about not coming back, but it's really a haven for me.  I hope that I can frequent the blog more.  If not, you understand the continual adjustments of life and forgive me.  I thank God daily for the blessings He has bestowed upon me.  I'm not deserving of such love and rewards.  I'm glad He chose me to be right where I am and He gave me an exceptional husband and wonderful children.  I want to bottle up every second and every memory I have with them.  Time is not standing still.