Thursday, August 29, 2013

Who wouldn't want to be me?

Last night's dinner conversation with my 14 year old son consisted of me explaining to him the difference between:




Chunk the re-schedule-er

Chunkus has been quite the little sickly thing this week.

Tuesday she managed to end our day a few hours early by needing a last minute doctor's appointment and our ENT was able to get us in the quickest.

As we waited for our turn, Addie was all about being a people watcher.
I truly feel for the people who think they can go potty without Addie noticing where they are headed.
She must blatantly point them out and ask me - for all the world to hear - "Potty?".

Yes, she is a mess.

Our ENT was nice enough to tell me that her throat looked just fine and her fungus was just viral.

Yet, it is always good to keep in touch with Addie's doctors.
It was also important to retrieve the necessary "Return to School" excuse
 the doctor and nurses admired Addie's baby, which really made her day and was worth my crazy afternoon.

Yesterday, she was fine at school, but today she decided she needed to rearrange my entire schedule.

She was overly quiet when we dropped her off at school and we had just managed to make it to my doctors appointment in Vestavia when I got a call that Addie had gotten sick.

By the time we picked her up and I got her home and settled, she was a little better.
She snuggled with me, baby, Bailey, rabbit and a baggy of crackers all day.

Alley even risk injury to her brittle bones in order to give Addie a "hug, hug".

No fever, no more vomiting...
so, we'll see what Friday brings.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Another Decade....gone.

I can't believe that Chris turned 40.
I know neither one of  us feel "older", yet we catch ourselves talking about "stupid kids" and "when we were your age" topics -which means that we really are adults and are getting older despite how we really see ourselves.

Chris's 40th Birthday celebration with my family took place at our house.
 It was Plan B, but sometimes it's just too difficult to make things work out for Plan A.

Despite our change in plans, I still made Chris wear his honorary big boy birthday shirt.
I just couldn't help myself.

My brother was more than happy to read aloud the card he picked out for Chris.
Yes..we are those people. 
The people who put Thanksgiving Hallmark commercials and special greeting card sentiments to shame.

...a closer look for your viewing pleasure.

All Chris asked for was a turtle cake.
Kay from Home Plate Cooking was happy to fulfill that wish.
The outcome was absolutely delicious!!!!

Somehow the day slipped away without getting pictures with everyone, but I'm sure Chris didn't mind.
He racked up on gifts from my family and even managed to acquire a new set of irons from us and a gift that he will not receive until April 2014.

All in all, not a bad way to celebrate the arrival of a new decade.

Happy 40th Birthday - we love you!

Monday, August 26, 2013

At the end of the day...

both of my children managed to warm my heart with only a few spoken words.

As we were leaving from picking Julien up from football, Monkus kept calling Julien's name.
He got irritated with her.
Which is understandable considering he was hot and tired and had spent the last two hours out in the awful August heat.
In my mind, when Addie repeats herself, I think it is her way of trying to participate in a conversation with the limited vocabulary she currently has.
It's really hard on my heart, but I'm so proud of her for trying her very best.
In an effort to defuse the situation, I asked Addie if she was "asking about Julien's day".
Her response was heaven sent.
In absolute clarity, she asked:

"Good day football?"

and I just about burst into tears.

Sometimes all she needs is a little guidance and our patience.

and then, while sitting at dinner tonight, I asked Julien about his day.  I asked if there were any bad parts that he wanted to talk about and he responded:

"I didn't have any bad parts in my day."

I'd say that is a pretty good day in the life of a 14 year old - and that makes me very happy.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

From time to time, I will have a business contact me and ask that I write a review for one of their products.
For various reasons, I have never responded to the requests.

However, I made an exception for

Michelle from emailed me requesting a review of one of their products and instead of just deleting the email, I decided to do a little research.

I looked up on
Upon seeing their good standing membership with the BBB, I then looked at their website.
The website was very "clean" looking and I was interested enough to look through the products they had to offer.

The only issue was that I initially didn't think they had any products that I could use.
I don't own a business and have no need for marketing supplies.

Then it hit me...they do sell products that even I could use! offers stickers, baby shower invitations/banners and yard signs, holiday signs...and birthday signs and banners!

Upon realizing that even an average girl like me could utilize the services offered by, I contacted Michelle for more information.  

Michelle immediately emailed me back with the information needed on how to order one of their products.
I went back to the website, easily found the link for "banners" , then "event banners", and then "birthday banners".  

The navigation through's website is super easy and the layout is very easy on the eyes.
I didn't have to backtrack or sit and try to figure out where I needed to go next and one of the very nice features is the "breadcrumbs" at the top at the page that allowed me to browse through some of the other products without having to go back to the home page.

Upon picking the banner design that I wanted, and clicking "customize", the next view of the website was a fun little treat....
while the banner template was loading, an adorable little animated raccoon kept me entertained.

Unfortunately - for me - the website is so quick, that the little raccoon quickly disappeared and I moved on to the next step of the process.

Each step through the customization process was truly self explanatory, and very user friendly.
I was very impressed.

It took me no time at all to customize the banner and submit my request.
I did not request rush delivery, but from the submission of my order until the order shipped was only three days!
From the time the banner shipped until I received it was two full business days.
Considering it was a custom ordered item, I was impressed at the speed of the shipment.

I received an email confirmation upon receipt of placing my order.
I received an email giving me instructions on how to install vinyl banners (which I probably should have read closer).
I received an email notifying me when the banner shipped
another email notifying me that the banner had been delivered to my front door!
That is what I call phenomenal customer service!

The banner arrived in tact and packaged securely.

When I opened the box, the banner was exactly as requested.
The banner is heavyweight, appears to be extremely durable and the colors are fantastic!

I, of course, proceeded to publicly shame my husband by putting the banner on the front railing for the entire day.
The banner stayed outside in the hot Alabama sun and was still in perfect condition when I brought it inside later that evening. 

Everyone at the party absolutely loved the banner and commented on the quality and color.

Thanks to for helping to make a birthday party that much more special.
From the professionally designed website to the  exceptional customer service, exceeded my expectations!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Must Have - First Day of School Photo

Courtesy of Mrs. Morris

...and it was on Addie's first day of Kindergarten.
She is just as happy the second time around!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First Day of School 2013 - Part Two

So far, so good.
This week has been fantastic - just exhausting!

Julien has enjoyed his first three days of high school!  
So far, he loves his new schedule and routine including after school football practice.
He is absolutely staying busy!

Addie seems to be loving school.
She is exhausted when we pick her up, but very much ready to return to school the next morning...
and she is still very much all about her backpack!

I hate that Addie cannot tell me about her day, but I feel for certain that she is loving every minute of it!

(Also, I told my mother how very proud I am of her for not being in the hospital this August!
It has been nice not to have to incorporate that into our schedules - and of course, it's been awfully nice to see mom doing better.)

~ ~ ~

Addie was a little nut when it was picture time.
She was posing and giggling the entire time!

The lack of a smile was a result of me telling her to wait just a second before she put her backpack (back) on.

Julien and I were both shoe-less at this point.
He truly is that much taller than me
please note the proximity of my face to his armpit.
That means that - on more than one occasion - he has stuck his sweaty, dirty, germ ridden, smelly boy pit right in my face -
and thinks it is the funniest thing - EVER.

I wish the same upon all of you mother of teenage boys.
I refuse to suffer alone.

Oh my goodness - we finally made it  out the front door and Monkus was beyond excited!
Seeing all the buses go by the house just added to her already silly mood!

J-Rod and the Little Monkus

Monkus has just this year started walking up the walkway with minimal assistance.
There is quite the incline and although we always hold her hand or keep a hand on her back for stability, she does the rest by herself.

Once we were in the car, Monkus went from silly to nervous...and very quiet.

What an incredible sigh of relief to know that this year has started out on the right path!

August 19, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

First Day of School 2013!

Addie was up and awake by 4:55!
Julien didn't take much to get him up and moving either, although he did manage to sleep until 6:00. 

For all of the teachers and aides who assisted Addie today and thought that maybe I had lost my mind - I can honestly say, that I have
it's all due to exhaustion.

I was so exhausted that I apparently sent Addie to school wearing not only her skirt and leggings, but also her hide-ees.

...and I didn't even notice until she was getting undressed for the shower tonight...

Poor Little Monkey was quadruple layered all day long!

Addie is all smiles tonight, but very sleepy.
Julien is on his way home from football and probably pretty sleepy as well!

I hope everyone else had a wonderful day...
and I sincerely hope all of our children sleep very well tonight since that appeared to be an issue not just in our home last night!

...more to come

I'm already feeling a little sorry for the teacher's...

Monkus wore her backpack around the house all afternoon yesterday.
She also carried her snack bag, anxiously waiting for the go ahead to pick out a snack for school.

She was WIDE AWAKE at 2:30 this morning.

Julien couldn't sleep either, but thankfully the last time I saw him was at 11:00 p.m. last night.

I am taking the obnoxious lack of sleep as excitement and not nerves - and I can't wait to see all the good things that today brings.

Good luck and God bless today!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Toto in Wonderland

There are tremendous benefits to having a Mom who doesn't mind loaning her dog to others for afternoon walks.
We had so much fun taking Toto to the park for the afternoon.
Julien and Addie took turns walking him.

I was so proud of Addie for managing Tucker's craziness while maneuvering over unfamiliar surfaces.

The downside was that it was really hot.

-Julien took the camera from me to take this picture-

Tucker was a bit hesitant about the water, but was so hot

that he quickly conquered his fears .

Addie was a bit nervous too about Toto going into the water

but like Toto, she quickly realized everything was just fine.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ready for Football!

While I was trying to get Addie to say her ABC's, she was trying to read the letters on the side of the cup.
I abandoned my efforts and we moved on to more important business!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


The response I received from Chunk when I told her that we had to walk back to see Julien and talk to the doctor was very much expected.

As we approached the door to the back, she turned around and walked back to the chairs, held up her hand to me, shook her head and said, "".
She proceeded to try her best to camouflage herself in the chair in hopes that I would forget all about her requirement to follow me to see Julien.

When the door to the back opened and she saw Julien, she started screaming his name and waving.
However, when we made it to the back and she saw him laying in the chair and the dentist with her mask and gloves on, she hit complete melt down.

It was lovely.

Doctor appointment number two of the day was even better.

Addie was scheduled to see a new provider today and after waiting for an obnoxiously long time - we left.
My time is just as valuable and if I have no explanation of an emergency situation (or even a decent excuse) delaying the doctor, I cannot sit around and occupy a nervous Monkey.

AND, let me just clarify...there are some doctors that I don't mind waiting for...and would wait two hours to see because they take the time with us that every patient deserves...and - because they are awesome.

alright...I'm done complaining.

I don't even know how many more appointments we have this week and I'm already exhausted at the thought of one more waiting room.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Just a Walk in the Park

and so it begins...

the countdown to school.
Now that it is almost here, I'm nervous.
Like butterflies in my stomach nervous.

This is the part where I stop letting all the "What ifs"  consume my brain and get back to the business of focusing on the moment.
It is so hard.

I will spend the next three business days taking Julien and Monkus to - almost all - last minute care providers and finishing up all the last minute details.
I have so many last minute things to finish that I'm pretty sure I am going to miss something earth shattering, that no one else will even notice.

I think the last of Monkus's six year molars are coming in.
Either that or she is getting sick
something else is bothering her terribly.

These last two days, she has not been herself at all.
Which, of course, makes me worry even more.

Julien has commented several times about Addie's rather odd behavior - which means he's worried too.

Our day tomorrow starts with a trip to the dentist for Julien.
We shall see how the Monkus reacts.
I typically schedule Julien's visits for times when Addie is at school, so this will be interesting.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Some things never change...

and for that, I am grateful.

Addie still loves to watch Chris work in the yard - as do I.
If she hears even what sounds like yard equipment, she immediately asks, "Daddy?" even if she knows that her Daddy is out on the golf course somewhere.

Addie always has to go to the windows or doors to assess the situation.

Rudy, Rudy - always right up in everybody's business.

One of my favorites, if for no other reason than it makes me smile.

When Chris is doing yard work, Addie always runs to the kitchen and asks for a "Drink" - and she is beyond proud to take it to her Daddy.