Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Picture of the day!

Behold , the rotten little Monkey and the best Neurologist a little Monkey and her Mommy could ever ask for.
This is Dr. Ness and I am ever so grateful for her encouragement, compassion and the hope that she offers to us!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


There are so many things about being a Mom that I love.
There is no way to even begin to list them all out.
In my insanely, annoying desire to have some sort of order in my house, I have learned that there are more important things in life to fret about.
I have also learned to find a tolerance for the things that drive me crazy, because truthfully, those things are so very special and should not be taken for granted.
I know that not every woman is able to have children of their own, so I treasure the gift of being a Mother.
Things that irritate other people are endearing to me.
I know that my children will not spend their entire lives leaving books in the hallway...telephones next to my bed...ducks on the stairs... teapots in the entryway or...
shoes just inches from the basket they are meant to be placed in.
I have even learned not to freak out when my husband walks in the house all covered in sweat, dirt and grass after spending hours caring for our yard.
I don't take that for granted because I know how lucky I am to have him...
even if he does wear an Auburn shirt.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Working, working, working

The little Monkey is still working on trying to climb the stairs.
It is still quite a bit of effort for her to crawl up the stairs and it will still be a (long) while before she can walk up the stairs.

She is just so proud of herself when she crawls up the stairs and loves all the praise we give her for doing such a great job...Our kitties love to sit at the top of the stairs and watch the little Monkey crawl up.
I can't figure out if they want to squash her like a little bug or if they are watching in admiration, just like the rest of us.

Here is Thomas, our sweet kitty...
and little Alley Brat...

The climb up the stairs always wears the little Monkey out.
As soon as she reaches the top, she has to sit and take a little break, but that never deters her from trying again the next time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pictures of the day!

A little bit of progress...

Sweet Addie is trying to learn how to get down off of our bed.
I think she is doing a fabulous job!
This was taken this morning before any of us were fully awake, but straight from sleep, Addie is in the best of moods!
(You can pause the music on the blog if you choose - lower, right hand side of the blog)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

One year has passed

(I meant to write this post two weeks back, but time slipped away from me.)
One year has passed since the moment when we witnessed yet one more beautiful miracle.
It has now been one year since Addie started walking - (see hyperlink for another look at the beautiful moment when my sweet baby girl took her first steps!).
There is not a day that passes that I don't watch her in amazement.
I love to see her getting from one place to the next without the assistance of a walker, although I believe that I would have been happy had she never progressed past using her walker.
The progress she makes is so heartwarming, but the lack of progress we see is not devastating. Just having Addie as she is, is the most amazing feeling in the world.
I just needed to take a moment to tell each one of you again how thankful that I am for your continued prayers and for the support that you continue to show for us.
We wouldn't be where we are today if it weren't for your prayers and the gifts bestowed upon us by our gracious and loving GOD.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I think it's the heat

that is making everyone teeter on the verge of insanity.
It's July, it's Alabama and it's HOT. Miserably hot.
This week has just been crazy. The little Monkey is having a tough week and has been so upset in the evenings. My nights have consisted of trying to calm a crying and fearful Monkey, leaving me with no time for anything else.
In an effort to keep my blog from shutting down due to inactivity, the following short story is necessary.
I fully realize that I didn't tell you guys a very sweet Monkey story.
With just a little bit of help and encouragement, my little Monkey can can do two very amazing things:
1. She can count to ten while singing a song or following along with someone counting with her or singing to her, and;
2. She is so incredibly close to singing her ABC's with assistance! She can say almost all of the letters (although not perfectly, but you know what she is intending to say) and is so happy when we reach letter "Z"!
It is the sweetest sound ever! If I ever find the cord to recharge the camcorder ...or if I can steal my husbands phone, I will capture the moment to share!
We are seeing a little bit of progress and it is such a beautiful sight!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Such a good sharer

Since Addie is such a good sharer, she thinks everybody else has to be as well.
She was absolutely certain that Julien's shoulder pads were meant to be shared.
She wore those things for as long as she could before we finally took them away.
We were so worried that she was going to lose her balance and take a nasty fall.
She thought she was pretty cute stuff "walking" around with them on!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Prayers for my dear friend and her family

Would you mind saying a prayer for my dear friend, Patti and her family?
This world lost a great man last week and this is a tough time for Patti's family.
Most of you will remember Frank from his amazing art show just this past May.
(See hyperlinks for details)

Good grief she's tough!

Not one single tear was shed.
Chunky Monkey lost her balance and fell.
She fell at the top of the stairs, the safety gate caught her, but retaliated (I am not sure what I'm thinking about this gate right now - it obviously kept her from falling, but a sharp edge in the design of the gate - that we never noticed before - caused a bit of damage in the process).
The little Monkey was pleased as punch to point out her battle wounds. She watched intently as I cleaned and sanitized the area.

Sanitizing wash, Polysporin and four big boo-boo band-aids later, Monkey is on her way back to being as good as new.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


This is such a warm and fuzzy post that if you woke up on the wrong side of the bed (like I will if I don't go to bed soon), then you probably should skip over this until after lunch.
I am not a fan of "fast food" restaurants and out of all of the major chains, Chick-fil-A is the only one that we visit at least once a month.
It could be Chris grabbing a sandwich at lunch, us taking the kids for "ice cream" - which really means the new yogurt cups (but don't tell Addie) - or us stopping by because we were just too exhausted to do anything else.
We stopped at the Chick-fil-A at McAdory tonight.
We are always pleased with their service and manners.
Tonight while Addie and I were sitting in a heat induced haze and waiting for Chris at one of the booths, I was aimlessly looking out the window.
There was a blue truck with a handicap hanging tag, but parked in a regular spot and as I was pointlessly trying to figure out why they parked in a regular spot, I saw a couple walking out with one of the Chick-fil-A workers.
The lady was walking slightly ahead of the man and he was walking painfully slow with a walker while being assisted by - the Chick-fil-A worker.
I sat and watched as the worker helped this man all the way to his truck and made sure that he was fine before turning to walk back inside.
I was beyond impressed.
I know that Chick-fil-A makes a point of hiring people with special needs and I have always thought highly of the company for that reason.
I didn't realize that they also expected their employee's to help customers to the extent of assisting them to their cars if needed.
I know it honestly is just common sense, but it is so rare that you see people helping others just because it is the right thing to do.
Too bad more corporations don't follow suit with Chick-fil-A's customer service mentality.
That is my warm and fuzzy story for the day.

Ever so slowly

Progress is being made.
Chunky Monkey made a bee-line to the ladder as soon as she saw it set up in her room.
It took a bit of effort, but she made it up two steps and then we grabbed her!
We wouldn't let her even attempt to climb any further since the tray on the ladder was full of items that would not agree with human consumption or keeping the body free from cuts and abrasions.
Still...we were so proud! Checking out her bed and trying to find her blankie.

A little help from her Mommy and blankie was safe from falling debris.
Life was good again.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh boy...

My sweet baby girl is the funniest little thing.
She is so sweet and so brave, but there are many things that frighten her terribly.
Two of the things that we encountered recently were at another dental check-up and the following week, at lunch.
I really love Addie's dentist and his staff.
They are so gentle and sweet and seem not to notice that my child hits meltdown as soon as she enters the exam area or that she is acting like they are trying to rip her lung out through her toenail.
What they don't understand is that Addie isn't frightened of them, she is frightened of the gloves and masks that they wear.
I am not entirely sure that frightened is even the right word, she is terrified!
As soon as she saw the hygienist reach for the purple exam gloves, she had a complete come apart.
These gloves and the coordinating masks, fall into the same category as scarecrows and clowns.
Our sweet dentist was completely clueless that had he just removed his mask completely from his person after the exam, that my child would have went from ear-splitting screaming to a mere whimper.
Seeing as how he doesn't know Addie very well, I decided not to say anything to him about the mask although he wore it dangling from his ears the entire time he was carrying her to get prizes and talking to me about the CT Scan from earlier this year.
He was so loving to her, never knowing that the mask of doom was causing her hysterics.
So, for those of you who have children that have no aversions to purple exam gloves and masks, I highly recommend Addie's dentist.
Great dentists are hard to find!
~Lets move on to lunch this past Sunday~
We were waiting patiently for our food at our favorite local deli, when I saw the server bringing it to us...while wearing purple food service gloves (Chris swears they were blue, not purple...but frankly the color shade of the gloves doesn't change the story).
Addie had her back to this man as he was approaching us and I tried desperately to take the food from him before Addie turned to look at him, but it was just too late.
As he reached over Addie to put the plates on the table, she took one look at his hands and started shaking.
It was horrible.
The shaking was then accompanied by whimpers and then she began to "beg" me to get her.
I tried to calm her to no avail, so I picked her up out of her highchair, sat her next to me on the bench and cuddled her as she watched this guys every move around the entire deli.
She wouldn't eat and couldn't take her eyes off of him.
Thank goodness he finished his shift about 15 minutes later.
When I saw him start to walk out the door, I picked Addie up so that she could watch him leave the building.
I told her that he was "all gone" and he went "bye-bye", that it was over.
After watching the door for several more minutes to make sure he wasn't coming back, Addie began to eat.
Poor Addie couldn't figure out if the guy was there to examine her teeth, give her a vaccination or just deliver her turkey sandwich and fruit.

(Thanks to Walgreens for the photos.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Can someone please tell me...

why on the rare occasions that I leave my house and look somewhat presentable, that I never, ever see anyone that I know?
On the other hand, if I spent the day digging a sewer line, then decided to run out for a bite to eat in sweats and a t-shirt, sweat running down my back, disheveled hair and streaked make-up that I would run into every old boyfriend and their new, gorgeous wives, 150 people that I work with, the guy that was not flirting with me at the country club last weekend and a news crew wanting my personal opinion (live) on the Obama Administration, Health Care Reform and the impact that it will have on those with special needs?

Why? Why? Why?
Forget global warming, lets discuss the total misalignment of the whole solar system!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What a HUGE relief!

I know that most of you know at least one person who makes a career out of going to school.
My husband is one of those people.
He went to school long enough that he could be a doctor or a lawyer or one of the many other professions that guarantees astronomical student loan debt and beautiful houses high atop the mountain.
One small detail, he isn't a doctor or a lawyer, but he is finally finished with school - he's done. He swears he is never going back and I promise you that I couldn't be more thrilled or more proud of him!
With our schedules, there was only one night that we could get our friends together in order to celebrate and that was last night.
We had such a great time...but as you all know, we don't leave our home (or stay in our home) without some oddity or drama occurring.
Last night was no exception.

This is the best picture that we could get and it was after my makeup was destroyed and after we had sweated buckets...good thing you can't smell us.

The rest of the story requires you to pay a little bit of attention if you choose to follow along...

We went to a great Mexican restaurant where valet parking is usually a smart option and the atmosphere is conducive to a good time.

The night started off with the valet parking.

We paid to valet park five feet from where we dropped our car.

To make it even more humorous, when we were on our way back out, we were in a hurry to catch up with friends, the lady in front of us had lost her valet ticket and although we literally could take a few steps and be at our car, we had to wait and wait and wait for the keys...since we were in an incredible hurry, Chris paid the guy and told him that he would just get the car himself.

It is a very good thing that we were already completely tickled from the events that had just happened, so we had a great sense of humour about the situation.

What occurred just prior to that was beyond hilarious.

Apparently due to the language barrier, our server failed to understand that we needed the bill for the evening split out. The server decided that he was going to split the bill evenly instead of according to who ordered what. A bit ridiculous because some of us had more drinks than others, which upped the bill.

When the server brought the bill, it was split evenly and we all owed (for example) $37.67. As I was finishing off my frozen yummy beverage, I noticed that there was something odd at the bottom of my glass. I took my straw and poked at the bottom hoping beyond all hope that it wasn't what I thought it was. Well, it was what I thought it was, but thank goodness it was on the underside of the glass and not in the glass.

It was a cricket and he apparently had been smooshed on the underside of my glass from the get go.

As I passed the glass off to my girlfriend, I started laughing and just couldn't stop. I was laughing so hard that I was crying and tears were streaming down my face at about the same time the server came back. When he asked if there was anything else that he could remove from our table, I held up the glass and told him that he could remove "this" and pointed.

Blah, blah, thing you the manager is at our table and tells me that he will take the drink off the bill and I politely reminded the server that I specifically requested that he bring me my dish with "no meat" and that meant "no meat" at all...

He did get my joke and chuckled a bit, from pure relief, I imagine, and took our bills to recalculate them.

He removed my frosty beverage and two frosty beverages from another couples bill because they had already paid at the bar.

When the bills came back Chris and I owed $45.98 and the other couples owed $41.57 and $51.20.

We all sat looking at the bills trying to figure out the Alabama math and just couldn't figure it out. At that point, we were all so tickled and just decided that we needed to leave before they decided to recalculate our bills...again.

There is no telling how much the cost of dinner would have gone up to.

A big thanks to my Mom for watching my children so that we could have a great night out with friends...we needed it and had great reason to celebrate!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Go right ahead and think less of me...

It's really alright.
I promise.
It was 9:00 at night, Monkey was crying and we would have done anything to make it better. We had stopped at our favorite BBQ restaurant and there were leftover cheese muffins and butter in the car.
Monkey is all about the little dipping containers and once she set her eyes on the container, that is all she wanted.
So, in an effort to make life better for everyone, I gave it to her.
Life was much, much better although her cholesterol level was much, much higher - for just a little bit.
It is called desperation and I am proud to announce that Monkey was very, very quiet for the rest of our car ride.

Picture of the day!

My beautiful baby

Addie is so beautiful and her beauty is enhanced by the miracles that I am privy to each and every day.

Not quite "just us"

We missed Julien terribly, but he had a fabulous time and was busy all weekend with activities and caring for a new puppy (that will not live at our house).
The little Monkey was trying to keep her Daddy from giving her a kiss!
She didn't want his face stubble to hurt her little cheek!
I can't say that I blame her...

For three years in a row...

Sweet Addie wore the same outfit for Independence Day.
I'm thinking the outfit is now officially retired (thanks Wendy - I know you can't believe that we got use out of this for three years!).
July 4, 2008

July 4, 2009

July 4, 2010

Reason #127

Why you don't buy a 16 year old a brand new car.
GOD was truly watching over my niece.
She remembered what we have all pounded into her head and that was to wear her seat belt. The car rolled several times and thankfully the guard rail was there to stop the car...there is a river below.
She is in a whole lot of pain, but will be just fine.

Happy Independence Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.
Please remember all the men and women who allow us to celebrate this day of freedom.
We are enjoying the beautiful weather, friends and some much needed down time!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Kicking off the long weekend

Addie had to check and make sure her piggies were properly slathered in sunscreen and ready for hours of fun in the sun...

White girls without make-up tend to send the young and old alike running for their lives...only one little Monkey was brave enough to stay behind with the pale monster...
Water play - pre-pool dye...
post pool dye...ooohhh, the sun was bright...and talk about white girls - yikes, my husband could use more than a golf tan to cover his body!

(As timing would have it, Julien was away for the entire weekend.)

Yet one more loss

Yet one more beautiful life was lost yesterday.
Kembra, the assistant director (read the story here) at Addie's daycare drown while trying unsuccessfully to save a toddler (who is from our little community).
This beautiful woman made an amazing impression on me from the very first time that I met her because she never once treated Addie any differently than any other child.
She was always so proud of Addie's progress and was more than willing to help her in any way.
As you all know, we have been working so hard to get Addie ready to move up to the next classroom at school.
Kembra was scheduled to begin taking Addie to her new classroom next week (when she returned from the beach) in an effort to get Addie ready for the transition.
The last time that I saw Kembra, she was sitting in her office.
She was holding a little boy on her lap and he was reclined back up against her chest.
She was being so sweet to him and I remember thinking that he must either be sick or hurt and they must be waiting on his parent to arrive.
I was on my way out the door to work and just seeing the love she was showing him made me smile.
She was always so loving to the children and the children loved her.
Please pray for her family.
She leaves behind three girls of her own.

Friday, July 02, 2010


The little Monkey didn't make it all the way up the stairs, but she is making great progress!
She still does not understand the concept of falling and we have lots of work left to do, but she is trying so hard to learn!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

100% Humidity

Between the months of March and October each and every year, I spend countless hours wondering why I felt compelled to move back to Alabama.
Who willingly subjects themselves to this kind of heat and humidity?
There is something seriously wrong with the alignment of the planets when I have to turn the air conditioning down to 68, turn the fan on in my bedroom and bathroom and turn the vanity lights off in my bathroom just to be able to blow dry my hair without sweat running down my back....and please tell me WHO thought it was a bright idea to build a sky light into the ceiling of my bathroom when we live in a region of the world where it reaches 110 degrees before daybreak?
Therefore, it was no surprise that I thought my children's flesh would burst into flames midway through our morning at the park.

It was so hot that after a few minutes of walking around the park, Addie crawled up the stairs to the playground platform and laid down in what appeared to be an effort to take a nap.

She may not be able to verbally tell me what she needs, but her actions were quite clear - enough was enough - it was time to go!