Thursday, August 28, 2008


I have been working with Jackson on getting him to transition over to solid foods. I really don't remember having as much trouble with Abby Kate and Joshua transitioning. Jackson refuses to eat solid vegetables and fruits. I have tried them all and he will usually take one bite and immediately spit it back out. I've tried letting him pick it up and feed himself and I have also fed him the solid food on a spoon or fork. He does really well with the snack foods, but I need for him to really eat. I tried the "cold turkey, no more baby food" method and found that I was wondering if he was getting enough to eat. I am about to run out of the purees and need some help remembering what to do. I don't want my baby to go hungry, but I need to stop feeding him purees by the spoonful. I have tried all of these things over and over again. What should I do? Should I offer him food and if he objects, get him down from the table? Should I keep on spoon feeding him - maybe he is just not ready? I don't really know. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Way Back When-sday

August 27, 2005
Gulf Shores, Alabama
We evacuated the next day.
Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Ouch, It Stung Me!"

Abby Kate got stung a little over nine days ago. I ended up taking her to the doctor today and she is now on a round of antibiotics to fight off the infection.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Demands of Motherhood

My children are demanding!

In fact, they have been demanding since birth. When Jason and I were blessed with twins four years ago, our lives were turned upside down. Right from the very beginning, Jason and I were on "twin time". We were there to meet each and every single need. The first month was a real challenge since we wanted to be up at the hospital every chance they would let us. It was really rough when Abby Kate was home and Joshua was still up at the hospital. I could not get up to the hospital as much as I would have liked since I had to take care of Abby Kate. Jason drove up to that hospital every single night at midnight to make it to the 1:00 AM feed and would get home later that morning and help me out with Abby Kate. Once both of the kids were home, things were manageable with the routine that we created. Jason was so great to get up with me for all of the feeds. When it was time to feed the babies, we would wake both of them up, give them their bottles and then try and get them back down to sleep. On top of that, I would pump after we got the little ones back to bed. We would sleep for about 30-45 minutes and then wake up to do it all over again. Feed time was very long! Things got a little rocky when they both became colicky at the same time. The only time that I ever cried that first year was one night that they both were crying. They were completely inconsolable and Jason was hours away at a Junior High Fall Retreat. That first year I learned a lot about meeting my babies needs. There was no way that I was going to be able to meet both of their needs at the exact same time. Every time that I had both babies crying, I had to assess the situation and see which child needed me the most (or first). It was very difficult and stressful to have both of your babies crying at the same time, a husband at work, a dog that needed out every time things got hectic in the house and family two hours away. On top of that, I had dished that needed washing, piles of laundry that needed washing, a house that needed to be cleaned, meals that needed to be made and errands that needed to be run (and I needed a shower!!!). I learned to manage and somehow we made it to 2008 and our babies are now four year olds.

Now, probably more than ever, I am just about ready to pull out my hair! My children have always been demanding, but now I actually have to hear about it. I can handle the crying! Bring on the crying! What I can't deal with is the attitude, bossiness, temper tantrums, sulking, yelling and WHINING!!!! Oh my, the whining! It gets me every time. "I'm hungry. When are we going to eat breakfast? When are you getting up out of bed? I want cereal. I'm hungry. I need milk. I need a napkin. I need more cereal. What are we going to do today? I need more milk. I have to go potty. What are you doing? What am I going to wear today? Can I have gum? Can I have tic-tacs? I'm done. Can I get down?". And this is not said just once by one four year old. No, it is by both. Even though they just heard their twin ask for the same thing, the other twin feels the need to ask too - for the exact same thing! My day is constantly filled with questions and requests for me to do something else for them. "When is Daddy coming home? Can we watch a show? When can we go outside? I'm hungry again. Mommy, Joshua did _______. Mommy, Abby Kate did _________. Can you get Jackson out of my room? Where are you Mommy? Can I have a sip of water? Can I have a snack? Will you get down my crayons? I'm cold. I can't hear the radio. I'm hot. Where are we going now?".

I try my very best to meet each child's need every day. Sometimes I sigh or tell them that it will be a moment, but I really try and respond as soon as I can. What drives me crazy is that I am usually doing for them exactly what they are asking me at any given moment. I must say that the meals are usually the worst. I also have a 14 month old that wants to eat, too! Life in this house is usually chaotic. I still have dishes to wash, meals to prepare, clothes to wash, errands to run, rooms to dust and vacuum, menu's to plan, groceries to buy, money to budget, bills to pay, fingernails and toenails to cut, babies to bathe, toys to pick up, bottoms to wipe, diapers to change, hair to brush, teeth to brush, light bulbs to change, weeds to pull, plants to water, beds to make and order to keep!

But you know what, I wouldn't change it all for anything! Sure, motherhood is demanding! Twins are demanding! Keeping a house is demanding! But, I am loving and enjoying each and every minute. I hope that my children know that I would do anything for them. They are the joys of my life!

(Even though I sigh! A lot!!!)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

She Said Yes

I'm hijacking Sunny's blog today for a very special (and long!) entry. -- Jason

Ten years ago, on August 21, 1998, I asked Sunny to marry me.

We began dating in the summer of 1995, right as I was graduating from high school. Sunny was a year younger than me in school, so that first year ours was sort of a "long distance" relationship. It wasn't really (I was at Lipscomb, she was in Mt. Juliet), but we pretty much only saw each other on the weekends. We hated it at the time, but in hindsight, I think that was a good thing. It allowed us to develop a relationship at a leisurely pace without smothering each other. Her first semester of college, Sunny went to Freed-Hardeman, which made things a little more difficult. But I made it to Henderson a couple of times a month to see her that semester. On August 24, 1996, after more than a year of dating, we finally said those special words to each other: "I love you."

By August 1998, we knew we wanted to get married. I had another year of school and she had another year and a half, but we both kinda knew it was only a matter of time. We were set to celebrate our 2 year "I love you" anniversary a couple of nights early (as a dormitory RA, Sunny had room check-in duties on the actual date) and I figured this was as good a time as any to pop the question. I spent the days leading up to the date digesting as much information as I could about diamond rings. I learned about the 4 C's (color, caret, clarity, and cut). I also quickly learned about the 5th C: COST. Nevertheless, I finally settled on the perfect ring. I made reservations at a swanky restaurant. I got a haircut. I wrote a poem that expressed exactly how I felt about her. I had the perfect spot picked out at the local park. My plan was for a post-dinner proposal on the bridge at the park with the sun setting across the water. It was going to be perfect.

Except that it wasn't.

As I open the car door for Sunny, I notice my first critical error. Lying on the console, in plain sight, was the business card from Carlyle & Co., the jewelry store where I'd bought her ring. It couldn't have been more obvious if it were a flashing neon sign. It seems that while dreaming of my blissful proposal scenario, I'd somehow forgotten to put the business card in the glove box. I rush around to my door, hoping to get in and swipe it up before she notices. But I'm too late. As I get in the car, I notice her eyes cutting away, making a point to NOT be looking at the business card. With my cover blown, I wonder if I should just call off the whole thing. Or if I should just propose on the spot. Both options seem lame, so I stick to the plan. While showing her some pictures I'd developed of a recent mission trip, I nonchalantly swipe the card and stick it in my pocket. Maybe all isn't lost, I think to myself.

At dinner, Sunny is noticeably beaming. She has this smile that she can't seem to wipe off of her face. I know she knows about the business card. But I desperately want the engagement to be a surprise. I've always avoided doing the big stuff on the days when she would expect it. Like, I'd send her a bouquet of flowers on Feb. 13, because she didn't expect them then. Stuff like that. Only this time, on the big day, I'm actually going to do something special. Which will surprise her. Which is the whole point. Only now she wont' be surprised. She's expecting it. And it's killing me. I've ordered a sirloin, but I can barely eat. This is not going according to plan.

Until...a thought. She knows about the card, so she knows I've been ring shopping. No avoiding that. But does she think I'm really stupid enough to leave the card out in plain sight on the night I'm intending to propose? Little does she know I really am that stupid. But if I can make her believe I'm not, then I'm back in the game. I decide to go for it.

"Sunny, I have something I need to tell you."

"OK," she says, her face getting flush. She's still beaming.

"I know you saw the Carlyle & Co. card there in the car tonight. I didn't want you to see that, but I guess I'd better just go ahead and tell you. I went to look at rings the other day. I was really wanting this to be a special night and all. And I know we've been talking a lot about getting married. But, honey, I have to be honest: I had no idea how much those engagement rings cost. I realized I didn't quite have enough money to be able to get you the ring I wanted, the ring you deserve. And so, I just wanted you to know that. I'd hate for you to get your hopes up just because you saw that business card in the car tonight."

She says all the right things, but I can tell she's deflated. She assures me it's not a big deal, that she understands. A few minutes later, she excuses herself to the bathroom. When she comes back, I can tell she's been crying. And I'm back in the game, baby! (Not surprisingly, my appetite came back, too!)

But I wasn't quite out of the woods yet. My second critical error was miscalculating when the sun would set. As we head out to the car, I realize I won't have time to make it all the way to the park. Time for another audible. There was a swing at Lipscomb that was really special to us; it was a place we would sit together and talk and pray and dream about our lives together. The more I think about it, this is way better than the park anyway. I glance at my watch; I should have just enough time to get her there before sundown.

As we near the car, I say, "Well, I do have one surprise for you." I pull out the cloth napkin I've stolen from the restaurant and I blindfold her. I tell her I have a special place to take her, but I don't want her to know where we're going. I get her back to campus and get her out of the car and walk her to the swing holding her hand. I remember her being so worried that I was going to let her trip or fall down! I finally get her seated in the swing, still wearing the blindfold. I take out the ring, get down on one knee and I'm just about to speak when...a girl comes around the corner walking her dog! I'm thinking, "Get out of here! Can't you see what's going on here! Don't you know how many times this thing has been hanging on by a thread! And now it's all going to be blown by you and your dog!" She sees us and instantly stops in her tracks. She gives me a smile, turns quickly and walks in the other direction. Final crisis averted.

I tell Sunny that it's time for her to remove the blindfold. When she does, her eyes meet mine first. She gives me a warm smile because she knows this is "our swing" and I think for just a moment she's impressed by my sweet attempt to redeem what has been for her an otherwise depressing night. She doesn't realize that she's looking past something, something I'm holding out in my hand. A moment passes and I glance down at the ring and then back to her eyes. I look back at her just in time to see her countenance light up again as she sees the ring in my hand. I soak up the moment before pulling out my poem and reading it to her. In the final line, I ask her to marry me. The final verse belongs to her; her response determines whether the poem is a comedy or a tragedy.

Ten years later, I'm still thankful she said yes.

Sunny, I'll never get tired of telling that story. And I'll never get tired of you. Thank you for loving me. And thank you for saying yes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Too Much TV

When I was a little girl, I loved reading any book out of The Berenstain Bears collection. I think that "Too Much TV" and "Learn About Strangers" were some of my favorites. 

One of my discussion board projects for my summer education course was to write about a show that either I enjoyed as a child or that my children enjoy. I choose to discuss the show that my children love the most, Dora, The Explorer. At the beginning of my discussion, I stated that I don't really let my children watch that much tv. On any given day, they might get to see one 30 minute show. That does not mean that there are days where they might get to watch more, but the majority of the time the tv is off in our house. I had several other responses to my discussion board post, but one really shocked me. Keep in mind that this was an education class. One of the other students in the class told me that she really saw the value in children watching tv (the educational value - point taken). One of her arguments was that children that stay home with their mom need to have "real-life" experiences and that the only way that they will get that is to watch tv. She recommended that all children should watch a minimum of 3 HOURS a day!!!!! 

Excuse me! I believe that my children have plenty of "real-life" experiences! In fact, they probably get more than their fair share when we leave our house. I do not see the educational value in letting any child watch 3 hours of tv a day. I guess that I tend to agree with The Berenstain Bears in saying that 3 hours is just "Too Much TV". 


What are some of your favorite childhood shows?

If you have kids, what is their favorite show?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Celebrating and Other News

Jason and I had a great anniversary! It is hard to believe that we have actually been married for 9 years. What is even harder to believe is that Jason and I went on our first date 13 years ago. I feel so blessed to have Jason as my best friend and husband.

On our actual anniversary, Jason and I ate at a local Italian restaurant. My friend, Amy, kept all 3 kids for us. We truly enjoyed a delicious meal and dessert.

Jason and I picked up the kids from school a little early on Friday and headed up to meet my dad in Columbia. My parents took Abby Kate, Joshua and Jackson to the Wilson County Fair. They all had a BLAST!!! They did not get home till near midnight! Jason and I enjoyed dinner at Five Guys and then we headed over to the new theater to watch Batman. Jason had already seen it 2 times, but was more than willing to see it a 3rd time with me. I really enjoyed it and afterwards we walked around and ended up at Barnes and Noble. We drank some coffee (mine was decaf, seeing as how it was 10:00 PM) and read some magazines until the store closed. Saturday morning we treated ourselves to breakfast and then did a little shopping. We headed back up to Columbia to pick up the kids and then headed home to get everyone in bed. Jason and I had the best time this weekend!

Jackson is now walking. He has been taking "steps" since he turned one, but now he is what I would really call walking.

And he is in to everything!!!

Jackson is my little monkey! Every time I see a monkey, it reminds me of my little guy.

He climbs everything!

His latest mission - the kitchen table! Yes, he is only 14 months old, but he can pull the chair out from under the table, climb up in the chair and sit, then he can stand in the chair and last but not least, he can climb on top of the table!!!!

Someone please help!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Celebrating NINE years...

...of being married to the love of my life! Happy Anniversary Jason!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


You know that the call from preschool in the morning is not going to be a good one.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Trial and Error

Last month, Jason and I raised our thermostat in an effort to reduce our electricity bill. In July, we paid $50 more than our monthly bill for June. In order to conserve our electricity and lower our bill, we raised our thermostat 2 degrees to 79 and learned to adjust. We found that we were actually COLD when we went to bed at night. I will admit, there were some days where I really needed the A/C to be a little cooler, but I had my mind fixed on lowering our electricity bill for this month.

I just walked out to the mailbox and received my monthly statement. Our bill was NOT lower at all! In fact, it was raised by $13.65! I was just trying to save some money and be more environmentally friendly. Oh well! I think that we will still keep our thermostat set at 79. With the cooler days (by cooler, I mean - high 80's) we have been having, maybe we will see a dramatic difference next month. Here's hoping..

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some "Twin" Moments

One of my projects for this week is to go through my iPhoto library and delete some of my old pictures. I have reached my limit (imagine that!) and must get rid of the bad pictures to make room for some more. I really have a hard time deleting pictures, but it has not been that bad. I wanted to share a few "twin" moments from Joshua and Abby Kate's first two years that brought back a lot of memories today.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Summer Education Class - Check

  • 3 required Saturday class sessions from 3:00 - 5:00
  • 6 assignments
  • 11 chapters read and studied
  • 12 discussion board posts
  • 2 tests
  • 1 article critique
  • 1 case study
  • 1 CALLA lesson plan
  • 3 days of observations
  • 1 field study report
Well, I finished up my summer education course last week. It was not as bad as I had imagined. I am grateful that I only had to take ONE class. There were several students taking FOUR classes this summer. Most of them worked full-time and had a kid or two or three! The next step is for me to get my academic transcript and mail it off to the Board of Education. I will hold my breath until I receive my renewed teaching certificate in the mail.

According to the Board of Education, I needed at least a C in my course to receive proper credit. Out of a possible 580 points, I earned 578! I got an A! It is not perfect, but I just have to let some things go!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Room Redo

Jason and I have been busying ourselves with some room redecorating. This past weekend we put the finishing touches on Jackson's nursery. I think that his room has been "in progress" for over a year now. Joshua got a new bed the other day, and so Jason and I gave Jackson the furniture that was in Joshua's room. The furniture that Jackson now has is the nursery furniture that my parent's bought for Abby Kate and Joshua's nursery before they were born. They shared the same bed and room for the first 5 or 6 months. I love Jackson's nursery furniture and the way that his room turned out. His bed will convert to a toddler bed when we are ready to transition him out of the crib. One day, Jason and I will convert it to a full sized bed when Jackson is older. For now Jackson's room is finished!

Jackson's room before paint.

Jackson' room painted.

Jackson's finished nursery!