Thursday, April 27, 2006

Happy Birthday to Jack!

Jack had a great second birthday. The party - just family really - is this Sunday, but he enjoyed a cupcake today (check out the crayon candles!):


We went to the pediatrician yesterday (no shots until he's 4!) and all seems well, excepting the speech delay, of course. Jack had a speech evaluation the other day, so we're awaiting a verdict from TEIS to see if they will provide speech therapy for the man. Anyway, yesterday Jack weighed in at 25 lbs. (10-25%) and 34 1/2 inches (50%). So he's average height, and just a little bit on the skinny side, as always. The pediatrician seems to think he's growing well though, so that's always good news.

I don't think the doctor believed me when I said that he knows his colors, but when you can put about 20 blocks, crayons, anything, in front of him, ask him to pick certain colors, and he gets them right every time - well, I think he knows his colors!

Now he just needs to talk! He has finally added "Woof" to his vocabulary - all his language development has really exploded over the past 3 weeks - so I remain optimistic that some real talking is just around the corner. And once he starts talking...

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Things that Bug Me....

OK, so today's Jack's birthday, and this evening after dinner and birthday cupcakes we went outside so Jack could try out his new bubble "lawn mower" (practicing for future chores) and play on his playground. To the right is the lawn mower, which drove Annie crazy (I didn't take the best pictures of Jack with the mower, so sorry, and the stain on the floor is just from the bubble stuff - I'm not that bad of a housekeeper)

Anyway, we get outside and are quickly spotted by the neighborhood girls.

Let me preface the rest with saying that A and I don't know the neighbors, adult or children. We don't really care about knowing the neighbors. We just like to be left alone. We're anti-social hermits that way, and we like it. And it's not like our neighbors have truly tried to get to know us either - so we assume that the feeling's mutual. We're not a lovey-dovey, let's all go hang out together kind of neighborhood, and quite frankly that suits us just fine.

Well, in the past weeks the neighbor girls keep wanting to come over to play. A barely gets out of the car and hears "Can we play?" from these girls that we don't even know. Mind you, these girls are 1. Older than Jack (two are in elementary school), so they're likely not going to be buddies; and 2. These girls ask to play when Jack's not even outside - meaning, they're not coming over to play with Jack, but instead they're coming over to play with Jack's stuff, which just really bothers me. Are the parents around when these girls pop by? No, not really. They've yet to introduce themselves, and yet their children are popping by our house almost each and every pleasant day.

So anyway, we'd barely set foot out the door, Jack with his new lawn mower, when these girls come by wanting to play.

And what do you say? Since we planned to stay outside anyway, we have no good reason to say no, so "Sure, you guys can play".

So they're ALL OVER Jack's new playground set, which we quickly figure out is only for 3 kids at a time, so we have to watch out for that and play referee. And they ask 20 bazillion questions, such as:
  • Where's his room?
  • Can we see his room? (Um, no, we'll forget that this is an obvious ploy to get to my kid's toys and focus on the fact that we don't know you or your parents).
  • Can we play in the sandbox? (Not opening that up right now). But she wants to play in it! (It makes a mess, so no).
  • Is there fabric under this mulch? (Not sure, I didn't do the mulch, A did). Later - "look there is fabric under here" (she dug to find it) (Um, A worked really hard on that, so could you cover that hole back up?).
  • When's his birthday? So he's 2? So he was 1 last time we "played" with him?
  • And on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on....
And they want to "make" Jack do stuff because he's younger than them, not understanding or caring that he has his own mind, and will decide to do what he wants to do, thank you very much. He's not stupid - he's actually very bright - he just doesn't speak.

So anyway, these girls crawl all around Jack's stuff - on his birthday, but he didn't seem to be bothered by it - for at least an hour before the neighbor calls all the girls home. Apparently one girl came back while A was still outside, getting something we'd left, and upon finding out that we were going in, said "That's OK, I don't like that playground anyway; it's too small", while A's thinking "Fine. We didn't buy it for you anyway. It wasn't built for a first-grader, and you weren't invited over here in the first place".

I know at least someone out in Blogland, or perhaps even one of my friends or family, is reading this and thinking we're just awful people to complain about these kids, but here's the deal - they aren't our kids, and we don't even know them. Where are the parents? Why are these kids roaming around (one is as young as 3, from what the girls told me)? If these kids are coming around all the time, don't the parents want to know what adults are going to be around? And why do we have to babysit children that we don't even know?

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Photo Friday: Golden

A and I have been married almost four years. I don't do yellow gold really - that's white gold, folks. I used flash on this - took some photos without the flash, but actually liked the effect here - it sparkles, just like gold and a diamond should:
Oh, and that's one of my piano books in the background - it was originally my mom's, so this piano book has seen a lot of use! It's my favorite piano book though, so I plan on Jack and Deuce to get some use out of it too - I'd love for 3 (or more) generations of our family to use this book.

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Friday, April 21, 2006


  1. For the past two weeks, Jack refuses to sleep in his bed. He'd rather sleep in the floor beside his bed. It started the night it stormed and hailed fairly bad. He also napped in the floor yesterday. I really hope this is a phase.
  2. I'm going to a baby shower Sunday, and I'm really looking forward to seeing some old friends there. Can't reveal the baby gift - she reads the blog, at least sometimes - but it's baby boy stuff, and very cute.
  3. StatCounter is addictive. I've discovered that my Photo Friday participation results in visits from all around the world. Someone fairly local found me via their Yahoo email - I'm wildly curious about that - and two visitors have come via searches for other things - love that someone found me through a Mark Slaughter search and found my first meme!
  4. Bridgermama started a great discussion on the topic of playgroups. Apparently a lot of women have had terrible experiences with playgroups; I've had the reverse. It's interesting reading. I'd recommend finding a playgroup to anyone, but it's obviously not for everyone, and every playgroup is different. Our playgroup is just as much for the moms as for the kids - we meet weekly for playtime, at a local place, local parks, a mom's home, etc...but we also maintain a messageboard and meet monthly for a Mom's Night Out. Jack and I did not know any other moms/kids before joining the playgroup - I'm the first of my friends to have any children, and Jack has no relatives close in age. I'm really glad that we joined the playgroup - it's good to be able to chat about "Mom Stuff" to other moms. Plus, I think moms need other moms to know we're not all going insane!
  5. Dr. Phil is on right now in the background. I do not watch Dr. Phil, I swear (it's stormy today and I'm keeping an eye on the weather), but these guys are trying to say that a man's fatherly responsibilities end if he just chooses not to be a dad. Wow, what an upstanding and responsible guy (in case sarcasm doesn't translate well into blog, that's sarcasm).

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Photo Friday: Full

Yes, I know it's not Friday, but apparently it does not have to be a Friday to submit your photo for Photo Friday. So, inspired by last weekend's Easter Egg Hunt, here's this week's Photo Friday submission:
A basket full of Easter Eggs just said it all for me. Hope everyone else enjoyed the weekend - no matter how, where or with who you celebrated it.

Oh, and since with the last "Six Things" meme everyone knows how weird I am about M&M's, I thought I'd share Jack's quirks. He loves blue, so for a while on the Easter Egg hunt he would only pick up blue eggs. This went on for a little while, until he had 10-15 blue eggs and realized this would really limit how many eggs he collected - at that point he expanded to purple, yellow and green.

For those living in or traveling to Middle Tennessee...

Got this in my inbox this evening:

Enjoy FREE Mondays through May and Help Tornado Victims

In response to the recent tornadoes in Middle Tennessee, the Frist Center will offer FREE admission on Mondays through May to those making donations of non-perishable food in the Grand Lobby of the Frist Center. The food items donated will go to Second Harvest Food Bank which is assisting disaster relief efforts by providing aid to shelters established by the American Red Cross and to individuals and families needing food.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Proof I'm a Total Weirdo

I've been tagged by "The Domesticator" (LOVE that - such a mom as super-robot-hero name) - over at Stolen Moments. The rules:

1. Reveal 6 weird facts/things/habits about yourself and then tag 6 people.

2. Leave a "You're tagged" comment to let people know you have tagged them. They must reveal 6 things or there will be dire consequences.

3. Leave me a comment letting me know you have completed your mission (should you choose to accept it).

OK, here goes. Hopefully I can think of some good stuff:
  1. I totally wanted to dye my hair purple/black (like comic book color) when I was in high school, but I was way too chicken to do it. I did have the habit of taking a marker to my hair when I was bored.
  2. I had five wisdom teeth.
  3. When I eat M&M's or other small candy/snacks, I alternate which sides of my mouth I am chewing with - on purpose - and sometimes I try to match the colors, as in one blue M&M on the right side - eat it - then a second blue M&M on the left side. If the colors don't match I sometimes just try to coordinate them. This is probably the most OCD trait of my personality.
  4. I lived in Monterrey, Mexico my junior year of college (exchange program), and during my first semester there it rained for about a month solid, causing torrents of rain to flow down certain streets. My Latin Dance class was off of the main campus, and it started raining during class. Heading back, I knew that if I went into one entrance I'd be walking through water that would pretty much cover my feet - gross - so I decided to go back another way. I ended up hitting this portion of the street that was impassible, and ended up Indiana Jonesing my way past this smelly building - I was holding onto a chain link fence, making my way over a thin piece of high concrete, and probably looking like one weird gringa to all those driving on the busy street - well, turns out I could not cross the next road, so I had to loop back around and enter campus the way I was trying to avoid. I don't know if that story comes across as well in written form (without hand gestures) but it was pretty darn stupid and hilarious.
  5. Addam and I met Ben Folds behind the Ryman once, and Addam said everything I would say ("Hey man, I really like your music, blah blah), so I just shook his hand and say "Hey." Felt like a complete dork.
  6. I don't like fruit mixed in with "dinner food", as in pineapple on pizza (yuck), strawberries or oranges in a regular salad (no thanks), etc... I like fruit as dessert or a snack, but with "dinner food" it just grosses me out.

That was pretty hard! Hope these met the definitions of weirdness. So, gotta tag some folks:

  1. Jamie at BlondeMomBlog
  2. Laura at Texas in Africa (and Laura I know you're busy over understood if you can't do this one)
  3. CitySlickerMom
  4. Jilly27 at Not Supernanny...Just Mom, who recently commented on a couple of my posts
  5. R*Belle over at Musings of a former Jr. League Dropout
  6. Mama Tulip at Where am I going...and why am I in this handbasket?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

And I would have gotten away with it too, but for my irrepressible love of Brie cheese and baguette bread!

Jack hits two at the end of April, and he's showing some definite '2' behavior. He's definitely been sporting a "my way or the highway" attitude these past few weeks. Anyway, an update on our little man at (almost) two:

Jack will grin on cue for a photo (see above).

Jack will eat the following: PB&J sandwiches, wheat bread, yogurt, Goldfish, chips, corn and grape tomatoes. Oh, and cookies. Sometimes waffles, muffins, french toast sticks, black beans, refried beans, cheese, fish sticks, fries and chicken nuggets. All other food is subject to review, and there is no guarantee that it will be eaten, even if it's from the above groups. As a general rule, he's ditched the highchair and booster seat and prefers to sit in a regular chair like everyone else. He loves milk, and his favorite juice is Berry Juicy Juice.

Jack says the following words: "Blue" (sounds like a cross between Boo, Blue, and Brew), "Bye Bye", "Mama", and has a Vroom Vroom noise that he uses as a noun when he wants his truck or car. He can sign "More", "Please", and "One" and is very good at pointing.

Jack LOVES Veggie Tales (that's where the blog title came from - I'm not a total weirdo, but Addam and I almost have that particular DVD memorized and I love that line). Those veggies are a daily obsession for the little man. He's also a fan of Playhouse Disney, specifically The Wiggles, Little Einstein, and Higglytown Heroes.

Jack loves trucks and Legos. We're not potty training yet, but he picked out Nascar underwear at KMart over Bob the Builder and Spongebob. His lovey is a pair of my pants. He's not a big fan of teddy bears and other stuffed animals, but after seeing the Care Bear's Journey to Joke-A-Lot movie on Disney the other day, he's down with his one Care Bear. I think he's got Champ Bear, but his is orange and not blue like in the cartoon.

Jack used to love to read but now he only asks us to read at bedtime. His current favorite bedtime stories are The Pokey Little Puppy and his Clifford Easter book. He sleeps in a toddler bed with his Nana-made Clifford bedding. He generally likes to sleep with his aforementioned, beloved blue pants and a couple of trucks.

Jack loves music. In addition to Veggie Tales and Playhouse Disney tunes, you can find him dancing to such selections as Foo Fighters' "DOA", Weezer's "Beverly Hills", and Jerry Lee Lewis's "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On".

Jack likes to pick out his own clothes, and can match colors. He knows his colors very well. His favorite color seems to be blue. He enjoys expressing himself artistically through stickers, glue, and sometimes coloring.

He recently discovered the joys of the Race Car shopping cart (or buggy, as we often say down in the South - I'm guilty) and now expects it each and every time we go to Kroger, along with his cookie.

Jack loves to play outside, and is getting this from his parents, grandparents and aunt for his birthday, and he has this from his Nana and Papaw waiting to be put together. For now, he's quite happy just wandering aimlessly outside, putting rocks, gravel, sticks and leaves into his dump truck. He never wants to wear a hat except for this one time when it was 66 degrees outside:


Thanks for indulging my "About my Awesome Child" post!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Strange Week

Thanks to everyone for your condolences in the passing of my grandmother. My Mom, Dad and I were able to attend her funeral, and it was quite lovely.

I know a lot of folks that read my blog also read Jamie's, and I'm sure you've all read about the storms that hit Tennessee last Friday. Talk about scary. As I've mentioned before on this blog, I've lived in the South all my life, but you never get used to tornadoes. I'm quite terrified of them, to be honest. And with this one, I think I was the most scared that I have ever been.

I am just so glad I turned on the TV that day. I kept an eye on it in the background while I worked and Jack napped. Well, around 1:45 or so I determined it was time to close up shop and pay some serious attention to the weather. I readied the portion of our laundry closet, got out the kennel for Annie, and waited for the tornado warning for our county.

It came around 2pm. Around that time, Jack woke from his nap and it started to rain. With the warning, I put Annie in her kennel, put that on top of the washer and dryer, and Jack and I huddled in the remaining corner of the laundry closet. About 15 minutes later the power went out - thank goodness for our battery operated radio, and thank goodness I was in the closet with a groggy toddler who was content to sit in my lap in the closet as long as he had his paci and blue pants.

Then came the hail, and I thought a tornado was hitting our house. After I teared up, thinking "this is it, a tornado has finally come to get us", I realized that it was hail, which we had just gotten a few days before. I continued to listen to the radio, which had gone to full-blown storm coverage (this never happens on the radio in Nashville, so ya know it's bad). The news was terrifying about what was going on - how our small town managed to avoid any damage amazes me. I just thank God that we were safe.

Addam was stuck in traffic while there was a tornado warning in Nashville - luckily he's OK. But this is why he was stuck in traffic, and why I am just plain terrified of tornadoes (photo from The Tennessean):

This is/was a large Baptist church located just off the interstate. Somehow the kids in the daycare inside were all OK - terribly frightened, I'm sure, but OK. We were in Goodlettsville during this last weekend, and you can see the trail of damage that the tornado left.

The worst damage was sustained in Gallatin, TN, where over 100 homes were completely destroyed. This terrifies me the most (again, photo from The Tennessean):

Even though Jack and I were in the safest part of our home, it would be difficult to survive if a tornado destroyed your home around you. It's so scary. There were 12 deaths from the tornadoes last week - as awful as that is, I think it would have been even worse if it had occurred after 7pm, when folks are all at home.

I feel so lucky that we're all safe and sound, and everyone I know in that area is safe. However, there are many families at this time without a home - keep these folks in Tennessee in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Sunday morning I got a phone call at 9:15am from my Dad, and I knew before I answered why he was calling. My maternal grandmother passed away during the night.

She's been sick for a long time, with a chronic lung disease that brought her already small frame down to just 66 pounds. She was tired of fighting for each breath and was ready to go.

My long-term memory is quite awful, so I only remember "snapshots" of memories when I was a child, spending time during the summer at my grandparents' house in Florence, Alabama. I remember that MeMaw always had frozen pizza (Totino's I think) for lunch while we were there (I think this was more for my brother because he was a Totino's nut). I remember that she had one of those standing hair dryers (the bowl kind like you see in salons) and I thought that was so cool. I remember that she cut coupons, and kept them in a book with her rebates. We got a lot of toys with those rebates, like California Raisins figurines and plush fruit toys (I think that was Del Monte) - I had a peach at least. MeMaw made THE BEST plum preserves. During the summers we would have fresh peaches from their peach trees, with sugar on top, and ice milk, which I can't find anymore so maybe I'll learn how to make it. She always had a loaf of banana or zucchini bread, or a cake, on hand - usually out of her freezer. She used to drive us around in her little red Toyota Corolla with white vinyl interior (probably an '84) that I thought was such a cool little car as a child.

MeMaw was the youngest of a lot of brothers and sisters - I don't even remember how many, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 or 13 seems right - and cared for at least two that I know of until they passed away, some years ago. She was given that same care by my PaPaw, and her daughters (including my Mom) and son, and Hospice of the Shoals, which provided nurses to care for her at home during her final days. She was able to die peacefully at home, and I'm sure that's what she wanted.

I was not her closest granddaughter, but I'll miss her.