Wednesday, August 31, 2011


On the way home last night, our usual route was blocked due to what I can only assume was the longest and slowest train - on the face of the earth.
Instead of waiting patiently like a good commuter, I saw the delay ahead and I detoured onto the road that runs right in front of Pelham High School. 

We pass by the high school on a somewhat regular basis, but usually only have the need to go onto school property for basketball and football games.
Lately, each time we approach the school, I tell Addie that we are going to watch Julien play football.
She will repeat "football" after me and will get really excited when she finally sees the field.

On this particular day, as we approached the school, Addie was semi-quietly looking at the Scholastic Book Brochure and I was enjoying the lack of screaming.
That's when I heard her sweet little voice ask,  "football?".

I swear I thought my heart stopped for just a second.  The sound of her sweet little voice asking a spontaneous question and the sound of her saying a word not in imitation was so beautifully amazing!

What was so amazing as well was that she remembered where we were.

I was so amazed!
I am so thankful for each little bit of progress that we see!
Thank you all for your continued prayers and support.

Tailgate Challenge

We made a trip out to Sloss Furnaces for The Bell Center Tailgate Challenge.
Addie had her moments of uncertainty with all of the commotion and people and Aubie was of particular concern to Addie.
Life came to a complete standstill when Aubie was anywhere close to Addie.
Despite the trauma, we all had a great time.
Addie even got the bouncy all to herself.
When we walked up, there were six very rambunctious boys inside. 
Without me even having to say a word, the volunteer in charge of policing the bouncy asked the boys to come on out and let Addie have a turn..and they did.
Addie was such a sweet girl.
She played for a few minutes and I didn't have to ask her twice to come on out and let the other children have a turn.
The weather was beautiful and we were surrounded by good friends.
It was a good day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

1.2 lbs of Pure Rotteness

For the last several months there have been numerous discussions regarding my Mother and canine companions.
We always had dogs growing up, but when our last dog died in 1999, my Mother swore that was the last one.
After Mom's heart surgery, we talked more about her getting a good rescue dog for companionship.
We (meaning me) searched far and wide for the perfect dog, but none seemed like a perfect fit for Mom.
It just so happened that my aunt (my wonderful, fabulous aunt) found this little rat at the lake.
She had been rejected by her Mother (what a brat) and apparently left to die.
My aunt has spent the last few weeks caring for her and finally decided that it was time for her to find a permanent home.
My Mother is now the proud new Mother to this little ball of fluff.
My fabulous and wonderful aunt named her Carlisle. I think she looks more like a Fergie.
My Mother will decide on a name soon, but despite the lack of a permanent name, she has already taken over my Mother's house.

What a good dog...

For the last few weeks Fergie has been housed in her bed when my aunt wasn't available to hold her.
Her bed is a black, white and hot pink bag where she loves to sleep and obviously feels secure.

I gave Fergie a quick bath and she loved it!
This is the best part about my Mom having a new puppy.
I can love on her...and then I can walk out the door and leave the puppy responsibility behind!
She is not the least bit spoiled already.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

First Game of the Season - Fall 2011

Tis the Season.

My husband spent the first game of the season perched high above the crowds tending to volunteer camera duty.

Chunk and I sat as close to the exit as we could get just in case I needed to get up and leave with her for any reason.
She was such a good girl, despite the awful heat!

We were surprised to see Julien playing any length of time because of the amount of practice time that he has missed.

It was really nice to see him on the field, although outnumbered - #61 and the other two opposing players are blocking him.

There's a better view...#68 black belongs to me.

I love how #18 figures it really is pointless to step in at this point.
I know how it feels when Julien is just playing around and hits me...I really wouldn't want to be on the receiving end when he's in full pads.

Addie refused to eat any dinner. 
She sat in her chair for a while before she climbed onto my lap and put her head on my shoulder.  She finally looked up at me and said, "hot".
I was shocked!
She has never, ever told me that she was hot or cold or hungry or sleepy...or anything.
To hear her say that was so very impressive!
I couldn't have agreed with her more.
I dug into our bag and found some cash and we were off to find an icee. 
That kept her busy for most of the second half.
Of course, she had to take the time to cheer for our team.
She truly is the best cheerleader ever and is Julien's biggest fan!
Holy cow.
Check out #61 on the opposing team.
Julien came home talking about this, he's huge!
We took the game 12-6 in overtime.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Feel So Special

My friend Jenn (in Canada) sent me flowers for a very special occasion!

The flowers made my entire week! 
I feel like I am indebted to Jenn for all that she has done for me. 
She is an amazing friend (and not to mention Super Mom and Wife).

7th Grade Already....

My name is Jennifer and I'm the Mother of a 7th Grader.

Shouldn't I get a certificate or a special trophy or something for that?
Here we go again, another year of middle school....August 11, 2011

I think Addie got a little concerned that I was passing her off to Julien so that I could jump into the car and drive away.  She looked a bit petrified.

Julien has grown just a bit.
I am wearing heels and yet, he is still a few inches taller than I am. 
Chunk-Chunk after Julien got out of the car.
She loves taking Julien to school.
She will blow him a kiss and as we drive off, she yells after him, "Bye at school!". (her version of "have a good day at school".)

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Dog Did It.

Unfortunately for my husband and son, we don't have a dog.
We have no canine of any sorts to blame things on, so the blame automatically defaults to Chunk-Chunk.

I had simply walked into the kitchen to get Addie an apple.
I saw her standing next to Chris, who was relaxing in the recliner and then,
I heard a ruckus.

I looked and immediately knew that the lamp and/or the bulb was broken and just assumed that Chunk had knocked it over.

I walked into the room to get her so that Chris could clean up the broken glass and I told her that it was "OK, it was just an accident".
I continued to tell her that it was just a boo-boo accident, but we had to stay in the kitchen until "Daddy vacuums up the mess".

I talked to Addie for a good five minutes before it was safe enough for her to go back into the living room.
Once back in the living room, she was happy to chomp away at the apple while she watched Chris.
Although she wasn't overly thrilled with the camera...

After the living room was all back together, we went about our business.

It was a long time after, that I finally asked Chris what exactly happened (did Addie lose her balance, was she grabbing for the lamp, etc....) and there wasn't much of a response.
Finally...he opened his mouth to speak and said, "I broke the lamp".

Yes, ladies and gentlemen...had I not asked my husband for additional information, he would have been content to let me think that Addie was the one who broke the lamp and made the mess.

My husband is always the one to say that, "We can't have anything nice because of the cats and kids"....I somehow think we should add his name to the list of reasons why we "can't have anything nice".

Great Report!

Addie's Special Education Teacher sent me the following email absolutely made my day!  We are seeing some great new things from Addie and she is particularly interested in her name right now.. (Laura is always making Addie new and creative projects to work on, the one mentioned in the email is similar to a puzzle except it uses velcro).

"Miss Addie did GREAT today. I showed her the thing I made with her name on it and I said “who’s name is this?”. Addie said “Addie”!!!!!! The first time we matched the letters she got 3/5. Then the rest of the class started singing a good morning song, and of course Addie wanted to participate. We went to the rug and sang with the class then went back to work. She matched 5/5 letters when we tried it again. 5 out of 5!! Now, she would put the letters kind of sideways when matching, but she put it on the right letter. I also worked with her on spelling her name in imitation. She would say the letters after I said them. Then I made something with numbers on it and she matched numbers 1-4!!!!!! I am so proud of Addie! She also worked on drawing lines and she chose correct body parts upon request when we were playing with Mr. Potato Head. All around she had a good day.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The following is just a simple rhetorical question.

This post today is dedicated to a few people including my no particular order...Amy, Jenn, Holly, Julia and will understand this the most.

Have you guys ever been so relieved to have something over and behind you that you just wanted to sit down and have a good cry? 

I'm talking about a relief bigger than the absence of pain after a successful epidural or the relief of feeling your feet touch the ground after a 110 mhp motorcycle ride across Jacksonville Main Street Bridge or the relief felt after walking away from a podium knowing that every word that came out of your mouth was perfect?

Do you have any idea what that kind of relief feels like?


So do I.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Another Family In Need of Prayer

This is a child in our community.  This accident occurred right outside the high school as we sat watching Julien's football game on Thursday night.

Please pray as you feel led.

Tyler Lee

Friday, August 19, 2011

Are You Freakin' Kidding Me?

For those of you who might not have figured it out by now, my husband is one of those "yard people" (not to be confused with swamp people) who spends countless hours each week trimming, mowing, weeding and pruning all the live greenery type stuff outside of our house.

For the last few weeks I've listened to him complain - virtually non-stop - about some freakin' animal that has been digging up the mulch in the flower beds.

Considering my list of things that are causing me to lose sleep at night, this one was so far down on the list that it didn't even make the cut-off.

The kids are in bed asleep (thank you!) and it's 10:45 at night and my husband is outside watering the lawn (our neighbor across the street is out too, so it makes my husband look like less of a geek)...when Chris comes running back through the door telling me he found the source of the chaos in the yard.

He told me that he started to walk down the front steps when the bush closest to the steps started shaking violently and as he was preparing to be attacked by a 12 foot python, this little guy walked out....

He even stood still for me to take his picture - what a trooper.

Considering the critters that it could have been, I realize it could be so much worse.
Seeing as how I'm not real fond of contracting rabies or leprosy, I would really appreciate it if he (the armadillo, not my husband) would find another home...immediately, if not sooner.

I wonder how much this little critter-be-gone adventure is going to cost.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thanks a Million!

One of the many things that I love about Addie is how much she appreciates everything.
The Glitter 4 Girls Tattoos totally rock...and they better because those things take an act of congress to remove.

Sweet Girl opened the card and immediately brought it over to me so that I could read it to her.
When I read the very end and told her who it was from, she was just beaming with joy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Drama That I Don't Need

I'll leave out the story that I really want to tell about my lack of patience for how people respond to time sensitive information...and get right down to it.

Julien was given the go ahead to get back out on the football field.
I have no idea if he will actually play in the pre-season game since he missed a ton of practice due to his jacked up knee.
All I do know is that my child is not moping around the house because he can't do much of anything at practice.

I really hope this season will be drama free.

Thank you everyone for continually asking for updates on Julien.

Happy and Content

Addie is doing well in her new class.
There has been the expected adjustment period, but I have heard good reports from Addie's teachers, as well as other parents and children.
I love that everyone watches out for Addie.
It makes me feel so good to know that we have so many people who care about her and want her to do well...and I am sure I would hear all the negative reports if Addie was wreaking havoc within her classroom as well!

Here is rotten Baby Girl on one of the last days in her old classroom

and on one of her first days in her new classroom
and a little update from Addie's first week in her new class.

This is the first week that Addie's therapists are coming back out to see her, so she has been very busy with lots of things going on.
So far, I have received tremendous feedback about how well Addie is doing!
Laura called me today to tell me how incredibly proud of Addie she was...
Addie matched three of the five letters in her name during her therapy session!
That is HUGE progress and there was lots of celebrating taking place!!!!!

I really think it's going to be a great year!
We have all of Addie's therapists back with us from last year.
That is a huge relief to me and I know how much Addie loves each one of them!
....and I know how much they mean to me as well....

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time Out.


My sister pointed out to me how far behind I am on updates.
I will get all the little updates made soon.
I will respond to all of my personal emails soon.
If I haven't responded, I will soon and I apologize for the delay.
Right now, I am just trying to get through the next few days.
There is a lot going on and it will all be better soon.

So, for now - a picture from August 3.
Chunkus opening a present from two very special people.
She was thrilled!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

By The Way...

You can go ahead and cage the pigeons.

I lasted five whole days without a cell phone.
It was a quiet five days, despite getting incredibly behind on emails.
I had a nice, quiet, uninterrupted lunch with friends and never once had to check my phone.
I could walk places without an email, text or call tracking me down and people were actually forced to pick up a telephone to talk to
It wasn't until I took the day off work that it hit me.
I was away from my husband, away from Chunk (Julien was with me) and away from any way for anyone to get in touch with me if anything happened or if I was in need of assistance. 
After Julien's 1 1/2 hours of PT, I drove a couple hundred feet over to Verizon to retrieve a new phone.
I'm back to having technology at my fingertips 24/7.
You can now reach me via one of my five email addresses, my cellular telephone or by text.


As a sidebar.

I am one of those crazy people that feel the need to have a phone with me at all times.  Not because I embark on rude public conversations, but because of my Dad.

The morning that my Dad died, he had cleaned out my Mom's car for her.  While cleaning out the car, he had taken out her phone and didn't put it back.

It was while my Mom was out running errands that my Dad died.  I was 3000 miles away and I knew about my Dad before my Mom did because no one had any way to get in touch with her.

That's reason enough for me to want to keep a phone nearby at all times.

Patience Is A Virtue

I normally try to be somewhat mindful of posting pictures where other people are visible, I usually crop pictures like crazy...but this time...too bad.

When we walked into the Bubble Room, this little boy was having the best time playing at this particular bubble exhibit.  Him and his Dad had such a great time, that I could feel myself aging as we stood there.
Addie was so incredibly patient, as was I, partly because it was so entertaining.

Addie stood there, wanting to touch the bubbles so incredibly bad.
She is a great turn taker and she waited patiently for her turn.

This exhibit was a little tricky and you had to take your time or else the bubble would pop before you got the wall of bubbles to the top.
Once at the top, it was extra cool to watch!

Check this out (sorry cool sunglass wearing Dad - if you find this blog and ask me to remove the picture, then I will, otherwise....), how cool is that?!
It looks like a 4D ultrasound of some really old man.
I really can't blame them for hogging the exhibit!
While Addie and I were stuck waiting for our turn, Julien was one exhibit over having a great time!
Finally...we got a turn.
Cool sunglass Dad and his son didn't move an inch and felt compelled to give me pointers.
So what if it's July, it's 200 below zero in this museum....I had my parka in the car as back-up.

Check out sweet girl trying to blow the bubble!
It took me forever to get the bubble wall perfect and to the top and Chunkus just couldn't help herself....I was a milisecond too late redirecting her hands and so she had a great time popping my work of art!
Why yes...we did take our time at this exhibit too and Monkus had the best time demolishing each bubble that I made for her.

Summer Is Coming To An End...

Too bad the dreadful summer weather doesn't follow the school year calendar. 

School starts back tomorrow.

Julien is looking forward to it.  I am looking forward to it. 

However, the thought of having to sit in rush hour traffic makes me want to curl into a ball and sob.
Some of you may remember the visual from almost one year ago - hmmm, I suppose I whine about this each and every year.

We have two exits out of our neighborhood and four different routes to choose from on our morning commute. 
Each one of them consists of  two lane roads.

Heaven forbid there be a school bus in front of you making you stop every 1/4 mile or a lazy, slow train blocking the tracks or an accident and on rare occasions, the relocation of a house.

So, tomorrow it starts all over again.  It won't be so horrible just as long as Chunk Chunk is happy and content in the car.

I'm a betting woman and that is one bet I wouldn't waste my money on.

Happy New School Year to you all!

You're Never Too Old...

To enjoy bubbles.

This round of museum pictures comes from our local museum.
When it's 128 degrees outside, this is a good "go to" place to keep the kids occupied for a couple of hours.

We had the best time playing with the bubbles, despite the fact that we were sticking our hands in the same vat of soapy, spit infested water as the other gazillions of people.
It was two days after this visit that I ended up sick enough to pay a visit to my favorite physician and to be in quarantine for the next 48 hours.


Chunky Monkey reached for the sky in a futile effort for her Daddy or Julien to pick her up so that she could touch the ceiling too.
They never got the hint, so I had to step in, swoop Chunk up and let her touch the highly contaminated, dirt covered ceiling.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Quick Update

Chunk's new class at school is going well.
She is happy to be back with her "old" friends.

I have pictures and lots of information to share...just not right now.


Julien went back for his two week check up on his knee.  He is out for another two weeks considering the doctor can still move Julien's knee cap out of place.  Two more weeks of PT and no football.  We are less than thrilled.


It was five years ago today that I found out that I was having a Baby Girl.  I was sitting at work today when I remembered the date.  It was such an awful feeling that came over me.

I thought about each part of that day.
Julien telling my Mom.
Us being at the restaurant to tell Chris's Mom - the restaurant that it took us four years to return to and we will never go back again.
My panic over not having a clue how I would manage to fix a little girl's hair...

Just memories.

I'm going to bed so that this day will be behind me.

Abridged Version

Of the conversation with my husband today regarding my handy dandy BB:

Me - "Did you get it to work?"
Him - "Not yet, but I'm trying."
Him - "Why don't you just go to Verizon and get another one?"
Me - "Well, did you Google it?  Maybe you can figure out the problem that way."
Him - Irritated groan because he thinks that I think that he's an idiot.
Him - "Fine.  I'll see what I can find."

A while later...

Him - "It's dead.  I've tried to blah, blah, blah, and blah."
Me - "Seriously?"
Him - "Yep.  You're going to have to get you a new one."

I don't want a new stupid cell phone.  I want my old stupid cell phone where I get to press real buttons to call people and where I can close the phone so that I know my call has officially ended.

My contract expired forever ago. 
It's just stubbornness that's keeping me from technological advancement.
My husband walks around with at least five brand spankin' new cellular, data enhanced, touch screen, voice activated, DNA altering devices every day.

I just want a phone - where I can call people if I must and respond to emails in a timely manner.

My husband thinks I will cave soon...we'll see.

Almost There...

Once Monkey saw Julien touch the ceiling, she had to try it too!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Growth Spurts

Where's Jack and his magic beans when I really need him?

Solar Flares Killed My Cell Phone Battery

My beloved dinosaur of a cell phone has died.
My husband thinks he can fix it although I think he is to blame considering he can't stand my trusty Blackberry Flip Phone.  If my husband continues to deny the allegations, the only other probability to my BB's destruction is  - the solar flares.

My BB is one of those things that I will hang onto for as long as I can.
Kind of like my paper calendars and paper bound books.

For any of you who are trying to reach me via cellular telephone or text, you are out of luck for an unknown period of time.

If you were calling for medical advice, please redirect your call to your personal physician.
If this is a medical emergency, please call 911 or go directly to the emergency department of the  hospital nearest you.

If you were calling to schedule a television interview, magazine interview, request my personal appearance or 10,000 copies of my autograph, my publicist will get back with you within the next 24 hours.

If this is not a medical emergency or a request for an interview, but it is an urgent matter, I can still be reached via email, my land line telephone at my place of residence (when the ringer is on and I am home to answer it - so good luck with that) or by carrier pigeon.

For all other matters requiring my services, my secretary will get back with you at his earliest convenience - which according to my paper desk calendar will be on or after August 22, 2011.

Thank you and have a good evening.

Monkey See

Monkey Do.

Addie loves trying to do everything that we do.
That includes trying to wear my glasses while sitting at the computer.

She's so silly!