Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Sweet Princess"

It was time for another trim and Monkus did a fabulous job!
She was a little unnerved and held tight to Julien's hand with her left hand and held tight to my hand with her right hand.
She is such a sweet little Monkey and I am so proud of her for being so brave!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dear Abby:

As I spent this evening cleaning regurgitated corn out of my daughter's bathtub, a fleeting thought crossed my mind.
I do not remember the last time that I completed one single day without smelling like a wet dog. Each and every morning before I wake my children, I am clean, groomed and smell of the finest Donna Karen Parfum.
My children are my heart and soul. I do not remember my life before them, nor do I care to.
What I fail to understand, Dear Abby, is how I somehow end my days a ragged mess, reeking of sweat and covered in bodily fluid other than my own.
Could you please explain to me how the God of Beauty is on a perpetual vacation and how the God of Pungent Stench and the God of Sick Humor appear to be watching over me?

Signed,
Graceless Stench of a Mom in Alabama

Monday, June 28, 2010

"I Didn't Know"

Was the reply.
I apparently have once again failed as a Mother.
Somewhere over the years I failed to verbally state that you do not put liquid dish soap in the dishwasher.
Due to my lack of domestic verbal ramblings, this is what I came home to today.
Not to fret, it was a remarkably easy fix.
Honestly, it was just nice that he put forth the effort to put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and all the clean utensils out of the drawer in as well (I don't know why).
My dishwasher is now officially cleaner than the day we bought it and my son is now properly schooled in the appropriate detergent to use in a dishwasher.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Completely jacked up

Chris and I try our best to take the kids to as many different places around town as possible.
We love going to new parks, restaurants and random places.
So, we decided to take the little Monkey to a new park for the afternoon on Father's Day.
This park is right in the middle of this little town not too terribly far from our house (just far enough so that we thought the little Monkey was going to burst at least one lung before we found this place hidden in the middle of "downtown").
The park itself is just gorgeous with a huge open field that would be perfect for picnics and playing ball... awesome tree carvings...and this quaint little stream that flows between the parking area and the rest of the park.

Ahem...let me preface the rest of this story with a little disclaimer:

Chris and I have an ongoing joke - we always wonder if people in more affluent areas of town feel about us the way we do when we are driving through less than desirable areas of town.

We always laugh when we pull in next to a car that costs six figures and wonder if the people in the car are reaching over to lock their doors (or voice activate the locks) and telling their wives to just "wait a second before you get out" because of the way we look and the car we drive.
Imagine the looks on our faces when we pulled into the parking area of this beautiful park and saw a family swimming in this little stream.
I mean, I do understand this is Alabama and things of this nature will occur...but I honestly don't recall a time that I have ever seen naked children swimming in a stream...next to a parking lot...at a public park...on a Sunday afternoon.
I would expect naked individuals in a lake...at night and totally approve of it, but this doesn't quite fit my logical thought process.
Chris assured me that it was fine, so we packed up the stroller and headed out to the park - over the bridge above the naked children - squeezed by the large shirtless man in overalls - stepped over the decaying fish on the sidewalk - and finally walked past the man taking a nap on the picnic table.
This story does absolutely nothing for the people of the South.
The only thing that would have made the moment perfect was if there was a lady in her house coat, eating pork rinds, with curlers in her hair telling the news crew about the tornado that just near about blew her whole entire house away.
I still can't believe we ever even got out of the car...

Sweet Baby Girl and her Daddy - Father's Day

While some toddlers want nothing more than to run about, Addie wanted nothing more than to just relax in her stroller and was pretty irritated when we took her out.
She barely humored our request for a picture before she was trying to climb back into the stroller.
Trust me, that is not a complaint.
It was great to walk around at our leisure and enjoy the beautiful day.

Sometimes it is just necessary to say it

My husband is good to me.
When he found out Thursday what the funeral arrangements would be, he picked up the telephone and called the guy over the golf tournament (remember his four days of golf?) to let him know that he would be missing the first round of day three on Saturday morning.
I didn't even have to ask him if he would go with me to the funeral.
I fully realize that not all husbands would do that.
Yes, I realize how lucky I am.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stories saved for later

I have a few funny stories to share and a few really sweet stories and more pictures, but my heart just is not in it right now.
I was looking through the pictures from Sunday and this one struck me as fitting for now.
I took this picture at a peaceful moment in the midst of our stressful day.
We are nearing the end of this week, for which I am thankful.
Next week will be better.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A loss truly felt

Today this world lost a wonderful man.
A man who I was honored to work with, one who made my days easier and brighter.
A man who graced our community and who was a friend to so many people.
My heart aches over the loss and I know that so many are grieving with me.
The week that started out so tough has only gotten worse.
Please pray for peace and comfort for the family and for strength in the coming days.

Monday, June 21, 2010

One more little white lie

So, today wasn't a better day.
In fact, it was a day of pure heartbreak.
This year has been very, very difficult because it appears that everywhere we turn, people that we care about are struggling with illness or the death of loved ones.
The year started with us burying my nephews.
As the year has progressed, five people that we know have been diagnosed with one form of cancer or another.
We have had tragedy in our little town time and again with accidental deaths.
Then today, tragedy with somebody who has brought joy into my life for the last six years.
He is a man that never failed to make my days easier and who always took the time to ask me about my children - about Addie.
He called not long ago asking what my children were doing for the summer and we talked about Julien being in Colorado and we talked about how much Addie missed seeing Julien.
He always listened with interest and even laughed at my stupid jokes.
He called again this past Friday for a business call and when I hung up the phone with him, there was something tugging at my heart, but I had no idea what it was...until today.
My heart is just broken and life isn't fair....and HIPAA sucks.
For those of you who know this story, I know you are praying right along with me for this family.

Picture perfect

This couple stopped to say hello to us while we were visiting a nearby park this past Sunday.
I just couldn't help myself and had to take a picture of them.
They just seemed like a couple who would have a country love song written about them.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

This is the post wishing my husband a Happy Father's Day.
Although he technically received his Father's Day gift two months back, he still made out like a bandit.
Other than his four day golf trip in April, he enjoyed a massage Saturday night (we took part in a fundraiser - here is the link in case anyone is interested in helping this family), followed by an adults only dinner (with his wife) and then he will be wrapping up the festivities while enjoying four days of golf this week.
The four days will be in Alabama, so he will be home each night, but still...four days off to play golf.
So, please don't take pity on my husband when I tell you that I didn't purchase him a card from the kids.
I know, I am such a slacker, but surely we can move past it and he will learn to forgive me...
probably somewhere on the back nine on day one of his play time with friends.
I hope you guys enjoyed this day.
It was tough for us.
Chris is perpetually on call and spent the morning at work, followed by a little Monkey that cried almost ALL day and Julien is away for the weekend.
Tomorrow will be better after my fours hours of sleep (and it better be uninterrupted!).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Well mannered

In my effort to teach the little Monkey useful and practical language that will assist her in daily communications, it is also necessary to teach the rotten little Monkey manners.
I do not remember at what point Monkey caught on to the phrase, "excuse me", but she absolutely has it down pat and knows the appropriate times in which to use it.
She also uses the phrase at times that are not necessarily needed, but her efforts just highlight her sweet beauty.
Not only does the little Monkey say "excuse me" when she bumps into somebody or needs to get past someone, but she also says "excuse me":
~To the cats
~To socks that may be on the floor in her walking path
~To the island in the kitchen when she hits it because she loses her balance
~or to no one in particular to compensate for unladylike sounds.
I am awfully proud of my little Monkey and her sweet little manners
Life is good.

The after party

and after showers.
Not like I expected her to be anywhere else other than all snuggled in with Julien.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ummm....

One of my new favorite things that Addie says is, "Um".
:)
She is so very perceptive and it occurred to me how she learned the word.
Addie tries her best to talk to me and I try really, really hard to understand what she is trying to tell me.
In an effort to buy me a few seconds to respond to her, I will say...
"Um...well, Baby Girl, Mommy is trying to understand you. Can you show me what you need?"
I realized that I was saying "Um" almost every single time.
So, now when you ask the little Monkey a question, she will say, "Ummmm" in a very inquisitive little voice and hold up her hands as if she is trying to figure it out.
It may not be the best habit for her to have or the best stepping stone towards a world filled with good grammar (but who am I kidding, she is my child and we live in the deep South...sheesh), but it is a new word and new vocal skills and I am not willing to hinder any speech development -regardless if it is "grammatically" incorrect or not!

Happy 8th Birthday Gabi!


In celebration of my niece's 8th birthday, we had a great big celebration at our house....with lots of pink...and feathers!

Gabi had a great, great birthday and we had a lot of fun although everyone was crammed into my house because it was so incredibly hot that there was no way to move the party outside.

The little Monkey couldn't get enough lovins' from Julien - she had missed him so much!

Uncle Howard had to spoil the little Monkey as well!

The weather was scorching hot!

Even the "balloon man" and "face painting lady" moved the activities inside and thank goodness they don't feel the need to dress up as clowns in order to apply paint to kids faces and make balloons - there is good in the world after all!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I know it you guys...

I just can't bring myself to store away perfectly good pajamas just because Christmas is over...so, now we are in June of another year and still Christmas pajamas are making an appearance.
Chunkus Monkus was content to stand at the window with her little duck and watch her Daddy clean the deck in preparation for the big party at our house.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

HOME, HOME, HOME!

This is not the best picture of Julien, but I just don't care!
Julien got home a full day early!!!!
On the way home, he sent me a text asking me to wake Addie from her nap so that he could give her a hug when he got home...and of course I did (although you guys know I don't wake a sleeping Monkey for hardly anything!)
Addie was waiting at the window when she saw the truck pull up and as they were parking we ran to the front door.
Addie watched as Julien got out of the truck and then she started looking from Julien to me and then back to Julien.
When he opened the glass door, she just looked at him in amazement and then he hugged her until I thought every ounce of air was gone from her little body.
Next, he scooped her up, put her on his shoulders and didn't let go of her for the next two days.
Addie followed him everywhere, held his hand the entire time they were in the car together and even said something that Julien and I swear sounded like, "don't go" when Julien went to leave the room.
I don't know who missed who the most.
Thank you each and every one for praying for Julien while he was away.
Thank you for asking about him and constantly checking on him.
I can now rest so much easier at night knowing both of my babies are together again.

Monday, June 14, 2010

An answered prayer - Greenvale Part 3

I have had a bit of anxiety over posting this, but know that you guys must know how extremely grateful that I continue to be for your prayers and support.
I don't talk about Addie's head circumference.
I may randomly mention it from time to time to a very select few people, but there is no reason to discuss it.
In the beginning, I worried over what we could expect for growth and development.
As time passed, I changed my prayer for Addie.
It is a very specific prayer and a very private prayer.
A prayer that I don't share with anyone, but it is a prayer that comes from my heart and is supported by logical expectations.
I turned my excessive worry of Addie's growth and development over to GOD.
I put the tape measures away and only bring one out every few months - just to check.
It had been months and months since the last time I checked Addie's head circumference.
About two months back, I ran across one of the many tape measures that I have tucked away throughout our house and as Addie and I were sitting on the floor of her bedroom playing, I quickly measured her head and had to force myself to look at the numbers.
I read the numbers and then remeasured and reread it and then I tucked the tape measure away and never said a word - to anybody.
A month or so later, I casually mentioned to Chris that I thought there might have been a little bit of head growth.
On the morning that we went to see Dr. Dudgeon, I dropped one of the tape measures in my bag and thought I would ask him to check behind me and so he did.
He read the numbers exactly as I had.
There has been growth in Addie's head circumference - just a little smidgen of growth.
That little smidgen of growth is a representation of my constant prayers and faith.
Would you all please say a prayer and thank our GOD for continuing to show this world the miracles that HE showers upon Addie?
Do you guys realize what a beautiful gift this is to my heart?
It is just a smidgen of growth, but an answered prayer that is immeasurable.
Please continue your prayers for Addie - for Addie's continued progression and head growth.
I am beyond blessed for this life that I have and wouldn't trade a minute of it.

Tic-tacs, cooties and immunizations - Greenvale - Part 2

Addie's visit to Greenvale went very well.
She was sweet and didn't cause a ruckus as she had at our last visit, but she did manage to use up over half of the 104 stickers and container of tic-tacs that I brought for her to occupy the wait time.
Addie managed to touch every nook and cranny in the exam room and tried her best to ingest as many cooties as humanly possible.
I don't believe that Addie talked to Dr. Dudgeon, but she finally showed off her walking skills and was a very good little patient.
Addie was due for an immunization and I didn't hesitate to go ahead and get it while we were there - it had been a year since her last one.
As I have said many, many times before, Addie is the best little patient when she has to get a shot!
The nurse that administered the immunization to Addie was pleasant.
I don't remember seeing her before, but after she asked if I always held Addie on my lap for the administration, Addie took the lead.
I told Addie that she had to get one boo-boo shot on her leg and that is when Addie looked down at her leg and pointed.
She then watched as the nurse wiped her leg, dried it with the cotton ball, administered the immunization and applied the boo-boo band-aid.
Addie never cried.
I am so proud of her and I am unbelievably lucky to have a child that doesn't freak out over shots!
I suspect we will be back to Greenvale soon.
Little Monkey's can ingest only so many cootie infested tic-tacs and eat only so many cat treats before we are bound to end up with something that requires a written prescription.

My Favorite Pediatrician - Part 1

Well, technically he isn't my Pediatrician, but he is my favorite Pediatrician.
He has been Julien's Pediatrician since Julien was a toddler and he has been with me since the very beginning with Addie.
He was the one who sat in my hospital room talking to me not long after my sweet Addie was born.
He was the one who sat in an exam room and told me with compassion that the sweet baby that I held in my arms was more special than I realized and he was the one who sat through my tears, listened to my fears and irrational thought process and he is the one who has taken the brunt of my frustration.
He has been by my side and he never gave up on Addie.
I can tell you with absolute certainty that those are not qualities that very many physician's possess.
I don't know if the hardest years are now behind us or if the hardest years are still to come, but I do feel pretty certain that I can turn to him for whatever it is that I may need and he will be there.
If you are in the market for a new Pediatrician, check out Greenvale Pediatrics and let me go ahead and address the two main questions that I got after the last time I talked about our Pediatrician:
1. No. He is not single.
2. Yes. He is happily married - with children.

Addie isn't shying away from Dr. Dudgeon, she is trying to keep an eye on the stethoscope...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My favorite commercial

Oldie, but a goodie.

I realize not everyone will find this funny, but I do believe this has to be my favorite commercial - ever. You must have an aversion to clowns, as I do, to fully appreciate it.

(You can pause the music at the bottom right of the blog if you choose)

P.O.C. or just a side effect

I have lots of little updates -and pictures, but am still trying to catch up from the time when my day started last Thursday.
Life has been even more hectic than usual.
Sweet Addie woke me Friday morning and I knew before I even got to her that she had to be running a fever.
She has this distinctive little whimper that she makes only when she has a fever.
I don't know if the fever was caused by a side effect to an immunization she received last Thursday or if the fever was caused by P.O.C.:
Pediatrician's Office Cooties.
Addie does not tolerate immunizations well and usually runs a high fever, but then again, I do believe she ate a tic-tac off the exam room floor, so it is a complete toss up.
I will start catching up soon...I'm smiling just thinking about the updates I have!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Daily Prayer

B-U-S-T-E-D

The little Monkey has had evil moments over the last few days.
I was hoping for an ear infection or some sort of cootie bug so that I could explain it all away, but apparently, that is not the case.
She is just in the mood to be evil...and I am in the mood to capture it for all the world to see.
Of course, since I am an evil Mommy, I require that she clean up her messes - regardless of the demonic state in which she resides.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Missing Julien

The little Monkey went looking for Julien tonight.
When time permits in the evenings, Julien will usually read the little Monkey a book in his room right before bedtime. When Monkey was looking for Julien tonight, she held up her hands in an effort to ask,
"where did he go?".
She stood in his room looking at her book.

Then ventured over to the mural that she is never, EVER, allowed to touch.
Wow...that's one big guy!
She went over by the window and pulled the curtains back and revealed that they are in desperate need of being ironed.
Ooohhh...don't tell Julien that she touched his backpack...or
the signs on his wall...
and she most certainly did not try to run out of his room holding rule number one:


Julien was more than happy to report that he is in Aspen today!

No...no, no...not because of the absolute beauty of Aspen, but because that is where the movie Dumb and Dumber supposedly took place!

Monday, June 07, 2010

No better way to wrap up a Monday!

We couldn't get to the pool fast enough this evening!
We are so impressed with how well the little Monkey is doing walking around the pool and she has such a great time being in the water.
She also enjoys watching everybody...nosey little thing!
Check out Monkey's hair...her teacher was having an 80's flashback.
(our camera was at home - my poor little BlackBerry had to capture this moment for us)

Saturday, June 05, 2010

It's really all about the sticker

Addie was more than happy to go with us to vote.
All she knew was that she was required to ride in the car... sit quietly (and crooked) in her stroller...
and then steal any sticker within her reach.

She played with that sticker all night long...

and each and every time I asked her if we went and voted, she would respond back to me by saying, "vote" and nodding her head.


Julien update

Julien sent me a text last night telling me that he was having "flu like symptoms", but that he insists that he doesn't need to go to the doctor.
It is miserable being sick, but being sick while on vacation is even worse!
They have left Utah and are back in Colorado, so I think the majority of the traveling is over except for the trip back home.
Thank you for continuing to pray for him!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Shoes, shoes, shoes!

Monkey is the official shoe getter and obtained that position with no effort on my part.
She nominated herself, seconded the motion and then went on to approve and pass the motion.
I don't know what it is, but any time she knows that we are getting ready to leave, she will start bringing us shoes.
Sometimes the shoes are appropriate, other times not, but we are always thrilled with her efforts.
In this instance, she was trying to hoard as many shoes as possible. Then tried to take her shoes off so that she could wear mine.
In the end, she decided she would be just as happy sharing and helping me to put my shoes on.

What a good little helper!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

One very determined and outspoken little Monkey!

This was written on Monkey's daily sheet today.
Her teacher, Jessica, was beyond thrilled!
We think sweet Monkey will have no problem taking care of herself!

Other than Loretta Lynn

I do not believe that I have ever known of anyone else who gets so excited over a new pair of shoes.
My Chunky Monkey is thrilled over each and every new pair of shoes that she gets.
She truly is a shoe diva and I have no idea where she got that from!
I had to buy yet one more pair of shoes for the Monkey.
Chris and I hired a physical therapist to come and see Monkey for the summer months since she will not receive FIVE of the six therapy appointments each week that she normally receives because it is summer and some of the therapists don't work during the summer.
(Banging my head against a wall and trying really hard to keep my mouth zipped)
I have had major concerns with Monkey's braces and thank GOD for the physical therapist that came and thoroughly examined Monkey's braces because the braces are causing more harm than good.
We have had so much trouble with braces that I wonder how beneficial they really are for Monkey.
To keep the story short, we have ditched the braces and had to buy a good supportive athletic shoe until we can decide the next step to take to help Monkey's little feet.
The whole process is just so frustrating, but I am so thankful for our physical therapist and her hard, hard work with Monkey!
When the little Monkey got out of the shower tonight, she went straight for her new shoes and "begged" me to put them on.

Chris wanted to know exactly why Monkey had her shoes on...and nothing else.

(I have no idea why there is a video game crammed under my couch - that clearly was not returned to its proper place)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Exploring

Chunky Monkey didn't hesitate to explore every inch of the children's area.
I must have looked approachable today because I had some of the oddest conversations to take place.
~I had a physicians wife approach me to discuss reconstructive hand surgery and preventable measures for hand injuries.

~I had a Dad approach me to ask if I saw his daughters missing shoes and wondered if I could possibly help him and keep an eye out for them (isn't this a scenario that we tell our children all the time to avoid - run and yell "fire"...right?).

~I also had a Mother to tell me that if I would move out from in front of the camera that my little girl might enjoy watching herself on the video monitor...
what the...???
1. I didn't know there even was a video monitor - apparently there was one right in front of the chair that Monkey was trying to climb onto.
2. Was she implying that my bum was so big that it was blocking the entire video monitor?
3. What made her think that my little girl would enjoy watching herself on the monitor?
4. Although I am all for the whole free speech thing - AND THE AVOIDANCE OF SOCIALISM AND GOVERNMENT DICTATORSHIP - I really think that if I want my over sized bum to block something, that I really have that right...and;
5. My bum was inadvertently blocking the video monitor because I was keeping the little Monkey from falling off the chair.
what that Mommy would have had to realize is that Monkey cannot be left unattended in chairs because she has severe balance issues and falls easily.
(They don't sell alcohol at the children's museum,
but it is sold at Chuck E. Cheese.
I wonder who makes more business?)

Chris was not feeling well at all - ended up being walking pneumonia which put him in the bed for two whole days - so he missed out on all of my fun conversations of the day as he was sitting on any available chair trying to enjoy just watching Monkey.

Of course she took a time out to stop and look at the books.
My sweet girl loves books!