Wednesday, May 30, 2007


I came in from the garage this afternoon and found Henry looking like this . . . Apparently I hadn't closed our craft closet door tightly, and he was licking a tray of watercolor paints! He didn't understand why David and I were laughing so hard, until I put him in the bathroom up to the mirror. He kept saying, "I have PAINT face! I SILLY!"

David had his post-op follow up appointment today for his tonsil/adenoid surgery. All is well, healed completely, lots of room in his mouth and nose. Yea! We also went to the splash pad this morning, and David and Henry both didn't even get wet! They were more interested in playing on the ropes surrounding the cement pad.

I'm off to clean up from dinner and fold some laundry. Have a great night!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Super babies!

David and Henry got the funniest pajamas over the weekend. They're Superman and Batman pj's, complete with cape. They wanted to wear them out of the house today. The answer was no, only partially because they were dirty. I have a feeling that tomorrow they might be the chosen outfits! Here are some pictures of them in full superhero stance, and some of them "flying" . . . on the coffee table.

Monday, May 28, 2007

What a weekend!

Let me start off with the big news of the weekend. . . NO MORE PACIFICA!!! We went on Friday and traded it in. We got a 2007 Nissan Quest. I can't believe how freaking excited I am to drive a minivan. I know -- I'm really, really not cool. I would say not cool anymore, but I'm not sure I ever was! I'm so glad to be rid of that car. And, wouldn't you know, I checked the messages when we got home Friday night and there was one from someone calling about the Pacifica being for sale!

David started back at speech therapy on Friday. His longtime therapist Ms. Bev left in March and his new therapist couldn't start seeing him until the beginning of May. With his surgery, that backed the start up until this past Friday. Two months off was a long time! I was worried about how he would be with Ms. Beth, his new therapist, because he can be very shy when he first meets people. We had been talking about Ms. Beth a lot, and the first thing he said to her was, "You my Ms. Beth? You like my blue shoes? This my brother Henry." Okaaaaaay. We didn't have anything to worry about. Hopefully that lasts beyond the sort of honeymoon period in the first few weeks. He did great in his first appointment with her, so it's looking good! She'll be evaluating him over the next few weeks, and I'm very curious to see how he scores. He's not been evaluated formally, as in following a standardized test, for a year, and he's had HUGE speech developments over that year. We miss Ms. Bev, but we still visit her and I know we'll love Ms. Beth too.

Saturday we hung out at my parents house with them and Julie, Darrell, and JT. We all swam, played outside, and had a barbecue. It was lots of fun. The boys were exhausted. And so were the parents!! David and Henry are doing so well in the pool. David especially. I have to call tomorrow to get them signed up for swimming lessons. David can go in the water with his floaties on and stay above water while kicking his legs, floating, and treading water. Henry's a little more unsure, but not afraid to just jump right in! I obviously can't take them both at the same time to lessons, so I'm hoping to get Henry into the first class since David's doing so much better.

Sunday we ran some errands and did stuff around the house. Nothing exciting. Today was more of the same. We went swimming this afternoon after D&H woke up from their naps. Everyone's in bed and I'm working on a cake for tomorrow. I have some pictures to post of David and Henry in their new super hero pajamas, but the camera's in the car and I'm too lazy to get it!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lake Winnie Rocks!

We went to Lake Winnie today, in "Chooganooga" as Henry was calling it tonight. We loved it! Julie and I were more tired than the boys when we got home, but we had so much fun. The weather was great, the rides were fun, and we were all pooped. All the ingredients for a fabulous day. They rode lots of rides in the kiddie section, we all rode the train (twice!) and we ate Carny food like cotton candy, slushies, and ice cream. Henry's motto for the day seemed to be, "NO! I do it MY-SELF!" Julie and I got to do lots of fun chatting on the way to and from Chattanooga, as well as at the park because the boys were able to do 90% of the rides themselves. What a concept!

After Lake Winnie we went to downtown Chattanooga and went to a city park that was HUGE. It had a great interactive fountain area the kids could run through. D&H were pretty tired, so they stuck close to Mama. JT was loving the fountain though! We'll definitely go back. It's so close, and there is a ton of child-friendly stuff to do, all within walking distance of each other.

Third time's the charm?

I know you're not going to believe this (or maybe you will??), but the car is still not fixed! **Insert shock and awe here** Chris said the car started making "the noise" BEFORE HE EVEN GOT OUT OF THE PARKING LOT at the dealership. We're both furious at this point, and don't know where else to turn with the stupid thing. We're bringing it back tomorrow, for the last time. The service manager told me he "assures" me that it's not unsafe, it's just irritating. Um, when you can't figure out what the flip is wrong with it, how can you assure me of anything? And, call me crazy, but when you take the car out to test drive it and LISTEN FOR A NOISE, I'm thinking you shouldn't turn the radio up so loud it scares the next person to get into the car. I'm no expert, but. . . Irritating noise be damned, the car is getting traded in as soon as we get it back. And I'm not paying Chrysler another freaking dime! I just cancelled my automatic bill-pay just to make sure of it. We've made a very halfhearted attempt to sell the car privately, but honestly who is going to pay $16k for a car that comes with a free, safe but irritating, noise everytime you step on the brakes??

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Car. . . Again

Chris brought the car in this morning because of the noise it's making. Oh right, that would be the same noise it was making LAST WEEK when we brought it in to be fixed. Apparently Toby, "the long-haired grease monkey" as Chris called him, couldn't distinguish from the noise what was wrong. Chris spoke to the service manager, told him how unhappy we were, blah, blah, blah. He dropped the car off after having been told they might not get to it today and he didn't know how long it would take to fix it. Chris rolled up at home in a red Jeep Grand Cherokee (bleh!), and we waited. I fully expected to not get a call until tomorrow with the newest explanation of what is wrong. They called at 4:30 this afternoon and said it's done, that the parts they replaced last week needed to be realigned and "lubed up" and that we can pick it up. Okaaaaaaay. I sincerely hope that it's fixed this time, because Chris going to lose it if it's not. He's a very patient person, but he's about at the end of his rope!

We're off to Chattanooga tomorrow to go to the Lake Winnepesaukah amusement park. ( It's supposed to be great for small children, and we're really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


As I sit here, mere days away from the business side of turning thirty, I think about my life. As a child, I had no need for dolls. My favorite gift I remember getting for Christmas when I was little was a huge box full of office supplies. A plethora of pens, pencils, legal pads, tape, envelopes, and "While you were out" message books. I could play office for hours. Nobody would play school with me because I always had to be the teacher, and I was mean! I've always felt more comfortable with adults than with children, and I remember my father saying that raising me was like raising a child-sized Ronald Reagan. I didn't like for people to laugh at me, and I took things very seriously.

Twelve years ago, the ink fresh on my small town high school diploma, had someone told me at 30 I'd be living in Tennessee, married to a southern boy, with two children and not working I would have probably thrown up. I had such big dreams of a law career, working long hours, living the single girl life. I wanted to live in Boston and take the subway to work, not in a brick house in a subdivision across the street from a cotton field, driving an SUV to the park.

Eight years ago, the ink fresh on my large university diploma, given the same crystal ball to look through I REALLY wouldn't have believed this would be my life. I was all about the fast track. Law was still in the back of my mind, but I already had a job and I was doing great for a single girl fresh out of college. I loved my roommate (and I still do love her!), we had a great group of friends, a cute apartment, and I felt NO need for a husband or children. In fact, I don't think I even wanted them. I never really felt that pull that people talk about, that need to have children.

Until I met my husband. Apparently I just hadn't met the person I needed to have children with. Perhaps it's because Christopher is five years older than me and was already past the time in his life when he felt the need to spend his weekends in bars. I don't think that's it though. Literally the day I met him, I knew we would get married. I have no idea why, but I knew. We both did. And as our children started to quickly come, everyone thought we were crazy. Everyone but us. Don't get me wrong, there have certainly been times in the last few years of our lives that we've looked at each other and wondered what the hell we're doing, but then we look at David and Henry.

Seriously, how can we be so lucky? How can I be so lucky? When David was born, I "gave up" my career to stay home with him and, subsequently, Henry. I didn't give anything up. I have a husband who loves me, even with all of my personality quirks, bossiness, strange obsessions, and stupid jokes. He works hard to support us so I don't have to. He loves us unconditionally and enormously. He tells me all the time that I'm the best wife he could have (clearly he doesn't know what else is available!) and I know he means it.

And no matter how emotionally draining, frustrating, messy, loud, and chaotic our lives seem to be, it's perfect. David and Henry are amazing. They are sweet, loving, smart, fun, adorable, silly, and curious. They are so different, yet sometimes seem to be extensions of one another. They are perfect. And they are mine. And when I think about my days of not wanting children, I realize I didn't want other people's children. I needed to know what it was like to want my own.

Lots of people ask me if I'm ever going to go back to law school. I'm not totally ruling it out, but it's not for me right now. And I feel when they ask, it's implied that what I'm doing now -- staying home and raising our children -- somehow isn't as important as law school, or as noble. Seriously? What I'm doing now, this giving up my career and "just being a housewife", is the most important thing I'll ever do. In. My. Life. So, as I peer down the barrel of the 30 year old gun and I think about my life, I realize that it's not what I haven't done in the past that defines me. It's what I've yet to do with my family in the future. And I can't wait!

Playing outside

We spent the majority of the day today playing in the backyard. Not really doing much of anything -- swimming, sandbox, slide, eating lunch, chasing the dog. Nothing too exciting! David did great with his potty training today. He had one accident, but was dry from 3 when he woke from his nap until 8 when he went to bed, including a trip to Target! Baby steps people!

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Farmer's Marky

We spent the morning at the "Farmer's Marky" today, as David called it. David got all dressed up in his getup he picked out, hat and sunglasses, and he was so proud. They lasted about 10 minutes after we got there, and then he got sick of keeping
track of them and put them in the stroller. We loved it there! There was a great selection of local fruits and vegetables, plants, flowers, spices, honey, etc. We got purple peppers, strawberries, peaches, green tomatoes, red potatoes, Lebanese zucchini, and little cucumbers. YUM! David and Henry have been all about some strawberries and peaches today. We'll definitely be headed back soon.

While we were there, we walked across the street to Bicentennial Park. David kept asking where the slide was and saying, "Almost a little more to get to the slide?" Well there's no slide there, but he was content to run around with Henry and their best friend J.T. I think Henry ran a mile while we were there. It was a nice morning, and great weather to be outside. I figured they would be exhausted (which they were) and come home to nap . . . no such luck. They must have been juiced up with all of the strawberries they ate.

We hung out here for a while then headed to the fountains at Stonecrest Hospital to splash in the water. I brought David's tricycle and Henry's scooter, and David rode that tricycle all over the fountain area. This is a new skill for him (as in, within the last three or four days) and he's already doing so much better than he was. He got a bicycle for Christmas, but is a bit scared of it. I think he'll be on it in no time, considering how well he's doing on his trike!

Now for my pet peeve of the day. . . Seriously, why do people not strap their children into a carseat? Or even a freaking seatbelt?? I saw two seperate cars today with unsecured children in them. And I'm not talking about children who are old enough to make the decision for themself. I mean children under the age of 5ish. The first incident was at the fountains this afternoon. I pulled up, and there were two men there with six small children. OK, that alone is odd! There was only one other car in the area, a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I thought it was odd, but really started to wonder when they gathered up all of the (at this point crying) children and headed toward the Jeep. One man strapped three of the children into carseats in the back seat. The fourth child rode in the front seat, with no seatbelt. I estimate him to be around 5. The other two children, also I would say between 4 and 6 years old, rode in the TRUNK area with the other man, with the TAILGATE OPEN!!!!!!!! WHAT?! Not one of the two grown men in the situation thought maybe this wasn't a great idea? The second incident was at Publix this afternoon. We were crossing the street, Henry riding in the seat of the shopping cart, David holding my hand, and a car with the radio thumping ripped through the parking lot. It was a "woman" (in her 20s, at the oldest) with two small children in the car. One in the front seat, no seatbelt, and one in the back seat standing up looking out the back window. HELLO!!!! I don't understand it!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Weekend update

What a weekend! By today, all of us were pooped!

Friday we had a garage sale. For some reason I really enjoy doing those. I think it's that I feel so good about clearing out our "junk". We made a little money, but seemed to have a bunch of stuff leftover. I put it all out by the road with a free sign on it, and it was gone within two hours. Saved Christopher a trip to Goodwill with it, and made some little junk lovers day.

I also had an interesting phone call from the director of nursing at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital on Friday. I had written a letter to several of the administrators of the hospital explaining our dissatisfaction with the nursing care, etc. while David was in the hospital, and she was calling to follow up on it. She seemed to be very sincere in her appreciation of the letter, and very apologetic for the issues we had. I should be hearing something from the nursing managers in the recovery area and the floor our room was on sometime this week.

Saturday we ran some errands in the morning and had Supper Club at Mike & Rachael's house that night. We had a great time! The theme was "Bar Food". There was so much yummy food! We brought shrimp cocktail, stuffed mushrooms, and rum cake. There was also fried pickles, chicken tenders, potato skins, buffalo wings, cheesecake, brownies. . . so much to choose from! Not the most healthy fare, but very good. David and Henry played HARD with all of their buddies. Those boys will play outside from sun-up to sun-down if I let them. David loved driving Tyler's mini-quad around the yard, especially up a little hill and rolling back down. Henry was more interested in throwing the sand toys down the slide and following Jenna, the only girl in a group of 12 children, around. He also wanted to hold Gabe, Jenna's 4 month old brother, every time he saw him. "I hold baby Babe!" He was so sweet, kissing and hugging him.

Today we were all pretty lazy this morning. We ran to Target, then went to Gigi and Grampy's house for a swim. The pool was FRIGID though (OK, probably like 75 degrees, but that's too cold for us!) so we played in the hot tub and the baby pool. David and Henry rode their tricycle and little motorcycle thing around the driveway, we played in the sandbox, had some lunch, and that was enough activity for us. We were all really tired from our gallivanting last night, so we came home and napped. Chris was, of course, asleep because he had to work tonight. As soon as we got home, David walked into the house, right to his room, sat on the bed, took his shoes off and climbed under the covers. This is a HUGE step for him, because he's been so anti-nap since moving out of his crib. He also stayed dry all day long with no accidents, which is another big deal around here. Hopefully we're on our way to consistently having dry pants. He's doing really well, just always wants "to pick a prize" when he goes to the bathroom. . . the child will be 40 and want a sticker and a prize from his wife when he uses the bathroom!

We're going to spend the morning at the Farmer's market tomorrow. Have a great day!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ridin' around in my automobile

- Sticker price of cute, safe, brand new, "reliable" car that we love(d) --$40,130
- Number of days it's been in the garage for repairs in the past 24 months -- 22
- Price of most recent repair (yesterday) to fix "popping" sound -- $350.94
- Driving the car down the road the day after picking it up from the repair shop and hearing the same popping sound -- PRICELESS

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Video attempt

Chew, chew, chew

I am, everyday, continually amazed by David and Henry. They seem to learn something new constantly, and they're always impressed by the smallest things. They looooove when I chew gum and want me to blow bubbles all the time, and they're very interested in how I make the bubbles happen. I don't chew bubble gum -- I prefer minty, fresh flavored breath, as opposed to smelling like a watermelon blast. Minty fresh gum aint great for bubbles. We've tried to get David to chew gum before, but he swallowed it and threw up. Needless to say, after that happened I wasn't really interested in Henry giving it a go. Yesterday though, he decided it was time. I found him in the blue room, surrounded by gum wrappers and half chewed pieces of gum. He had fed some of the half chewed pieces to the dog. (This is probably a good thing, since she likes to snack on poopy diapers she digs out of the trash can. . . I prefer peppermint dog breath over poop dog breath any day.) He was saying, "Oooh! Spicy! This hot! I like it!" and spitting the gum out. This morning he thought he'd try again, this time with a little prodding from us. I've tried to post a video of him "chew, chew, chew"-ing his gum - I hope it works! It's probably odd that I find so much pleasure in him chewing gum, but for some reason I really do!

In other exciting news, today was a great day! It started off with a phone call at 6:30 this morning. Normally that would have been not great. Today however, it was Daddy calling to tell me that he had just stopped at the BRAND NEW DUNKIN DONUTS and got me a coffee!!!!! Four years without regular access to Dunks is over!!! Christopher didn't quite understand my excitement. Henry looked at the cup and said, "Where the donuts?" How does he know that cup comes from a place that sells donuts? I'm sipping my second one of the day (at almost 8 o'clock at night!). D, H, & I stopped on the way back from picking up the car to get a "pink donut" and I got another coffee.

I had a fun lunch with my girls (without my children) for Melanie's birthday. We ate at Jim 'n Nicks which is one of my favorites. After lunch, David and Henry took a nap. This is big news, because David's been very resistant to his naps since moving out of his crib. I'm so thankful that he seems to be headed back toward napping, because he really needs it! We also, as I mentioned, picked up the Pacifica from the dealer. The repair is done, and I'm done with the car. Hopefully we'll go tomorrow morning to start looking for a new car. I'm (hopefully!) about to become a member of the minivan mafia!

I am off to go fold some laundry and price some yard sale stuff. Have a great night!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My first blog!

So, it should come as no surprise that my first blog will be to complain about something. . . sometimes I feel like that's all I do! (Let me preface said complaint by saying that I cannot believe I've entered the world of blogging. As much as I love reading them, I never thought I would create my own!)

Back to the complaint department. . . We bought our Pacifica 2 years ago and have had problems with it pretty much since it peeled out of the showroom. It's back at the dealer today to have some creepy noise from the front end fixed. Turns out it's sway bars and links that need to be replaced. (I made the appropriate noises when the mechanic told me what was wrong, like I understood what the hell he was talking about.) I pulled out my dog-eared file about the Pacifica, with all of our maintenance logs, etc. in it. The same sway bars and links were replaced May 20, 2005. Less than 2 years ago, and it needs to be done again. WTF? **Shocker!** Now it's not covered by the "extended" warranty. Clearly "extended" is Chrysler speak for "joke". Christopher, who I love very much but I have to say can't complain to someone with the same enthusiasm as me, spoke to the people at the dealership who told him it wasn't covered and, oh by the way, will be $368 for the parts. He came home, told me the story, and I called customer service. They gave me the runaround, called the dealership, and they said the part needs to be replaced because it's RUSTED which is "clearly due to an environmental cause." WHAT?! Like the excessive salt on the roads in Tennesse? The massive amounts of snow we have? The floods? It seriously is a good thing that I wasn't AT the dealership and heard that news, because I honestly think that the police would have been called out of fear for their safety. I turned into a psycho. I'm now on a new mission, to find a new car. I'm DONE with Chrysler. Minivan, here I come!!! Who would have EVER thought those words would pass my lips?

In other, non-complainty, news, David is recovering well from his tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy last week. He's eating well, feeling well, and recovering nicely. Henry is as silly, fun, and crazy as ever. He's talking non-stop now. He's sitting on my lap saying, "I wub you Mama! I weally wub you!" He has a bit to add to the inaugural blog: vgvfg bgjvj,gffklvklfkldkll;sed kfjbeherklfsk, df,.j

Just in case those reading this from far away have forgotten what the Simpsons look like, here's a reminder!