Friday, December 28, 2007

WAHOO!! Christmas 2007

Now for the Christmas post. Go me, I am actually posting when I said I would. Warning, I got carried away, this is a long one, (with lots of pics), but it's Christmas, so get over it ;)

To start, we have pre-Christmas pictures that are just to dang cute to not put on here. Michael has a super soft and oh-so-cute Santa hat (among other cute holiday hats we have collected over the years). In the picture with Tyler you can see his attempts at smiling. He smiles and talks all the time now. Yesterday he was 3 months old. Where has the time gone? He is adorable and we love him to pieces. Both older boys love to hold him and are getting pretty decent at it. With all the not growing issues we had in the beginning, he sure is growing now. We can't wait to see what the doctor says at his next appointment.

Now for the actual Christmas part.

We made the boys wait until we were ready. It was more like until I was ready. I had to unload the pictures from the camera before the fun could begin. Michael was asleep for the beginning of the fun, but he did come join us later.
Thomas was so excited to discover a camera hidden inside the wrappings. We figured if he likes to see pictures so much, and he loves to play with Aunt Amanda's camera (she lets him), why not. So he spent much of the day playing photographer. We had to keep cleaning off the random pictures to make room for more. Really, random, he was taking pictures of the floor while he was walking. He got some really cute CLOSE ups of Michael that we may put up later. You are not mistaken, that is a cookie my kid is eating for breakfast. Hey, it's Christmas for goodness sakes.
Uncle Doug, Aunt Kristen and company sent fun games for the kids and these adorable towels. I love the Jerry face in this one, even though Thomas looks drunk. They ran around in their costumes until I took them away to wash them. I am thrilled to have hooded towels for the boys. We had a baby one, but they are obviously a bit big for those now. Thanks Ohio folks for the fun and useful goodies!
Michael's box was almost as tall as he is. I just thought it was funny.
So, Michael needs to grow up a little bit before his gets lots of use, but he is still a cute little birdie.
The Ohio crew also sent a super soft little dog for Michael. He is little, and adorable, and did I mention soft? Every time I rubbed it on his face he would smile and start talking again. He has already puked on it, but that is proof that he uses it. Tonight he was snuggling and trying to eat it again. We love the little baby size goodies people give us. I don't know where all you guys find them, but don't stop :)
Lolly gave both of the boys books, imagine that. Hmmmm, where did that love of reading come from? Is something like that genetic? Mom has this amazing knack of finding things that are different, fun, and adorable. This time it was a bowling set. There are six pins that are different animals. They make one of three different sounds, and the ball jingles. You can do all kinds of activities, like matching the sounds in pairs, doing "Old MacDonald," and of course bowling. Both boys have had a blast with these. Did you know that bowling has cheerleaders? At our house there are. "YAY JERRY!!!"

This year we tried something new. Tyler and I did not do gifts for each other. Instead, we helped put together boxes for the homeless. Our ward supports this each year and had a large goal of 100 boxes this year. We were able to provide simple necessities to those who might not otherwise have them. They would appreciate a hat and gloves, shampoo, toothbrush, soap, chapstick and other items far more than we would appreciate something that takes up space. We involved the kids, so we were able to teach them as well as help others. It was truly a blessing to all of us to help with this project.

We had the missionaries again. The tradition started while my brother was on his mission. We hoped someone was taking care of him, so we try to take care of ours around here. We try to have the missionaries over for holidays and give them the family experience they probably miss. Of course, after our house, they may not miss the family experience as much. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Most of you may recall the wonderful Thanksgiving experience one of out missionaries had. He earned the name "Elder Ralph," among others. BTW, he went home December 3, but his legacy lives on. Before they crew got here, they apparently had bets on who would puke first. I have a feeling this story is going to be around for a while. "You're going to the Holmes? Dude, did you hear about the Elder who puked at their house?!?" Needless to say, there was lots of encouragement all around to keep eating more and more. No puking this time, thank goodness. Does that mean I win the bet?

One of our missionaries is a Marine. I will leave the story there and let your imagination run with how much Tyler enjoyed him. The rest of us heard "blah blah blah" or maybe it was the "wah wah wah" of the teacher on Charlie Brown. Whatever. They enjoyed each other, and that is important.

Missionaries got stockings from the ward and played with the kids all day. They also talked to their families for hours between them. Mom's car broke down on their way home and I had to go rescue them. Next thing we knew, I was cooking a huge pot of chili to feed everybody. Yup, two meals and lots of fun later the missionaries went home. We all had a blast and hope everybody else did too. Tired mommy, somewhat cleaned kitchen, taken down tree and decorations, and a couple more phone calls to our families, and we finally crashed.

We are so grateful for this Christmas season. It gives us a chance to focus on the birth of Christ and what it means for us. There are also more opportunities to serve others. We have wonderful families that we love and who support us in our doings. This year we really tried to focus on others and to stay away from the commercialism of the season. I think we were successful and the holiday was better for it.

We hope all of you had as much fun as we did. We wish we could all be together with friends and family, but I don't know of a place big enough to hold everyone we would want to be with. We are grateful for the season and the blessings that come with it. We are grateful for all that everyone has done for us. Soon we will see you again, but for now we will have to make do with pictures. We love you and pray for blessings for you!

One last note... CONGRATS TO MY COUSIN!!! We can't wait for July and the chance to meet the baby! Keep us posted.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Eve Fun 2007

For now, this will have to do.

We went to Charlotte (Waxhaw) for Christmas Eve to see Gingams at Uncle Clayton and Aunt Libby's house. The weather was incredible and we had lots of fun at the barn. Thomas was more interested in the cats and dogs than the horses and chickens. Jerry loved the horses and sat on a couple. He even sat without help from daddy and stayed up for a few steps. Spanky kept coming up to Jerry to say hi. Michael loved being outside too.Thomas meets Spanky while Jerry watches from a safe distance.
Jerry sitting on Spanky

All three boys had lots of fun on the tree swing with Lolly. We have decided to sell the house, buy either an RV or a double wide, and park ourselves on the 26 acres of beauty. Tyler is really looking forward to the daily commute.
Tyler spent a good amount of time snuggling with one of the new puppies and trying to convince me that we need one too. Lindy is a couple weeks older than Michael. She is so cute. I don't do dogs, but she is sweet and adorable, I must admit. You can see how teeny she is by the size of Tyler's hand. I started to feel jealous that he snuggled and spent so much time with her. They even took a nap together. Good thing she stayed when we came home, that could have caused quite a few issues.
Not only do I not do dogs, or cats for that matter, but why get a dog when I have kids? Especially when those kids think it is great fun to hide and play in dog cages. Aren't the smiles proof enough? They played for quite some time, even trading cages back and forth. It is so nice to see my kids know how to share.After the drive home, yes we did a day trip, we stopped at Lolly's house for Christmas Eve. Chasing kids, taco soup, and the Christmas story (as wild as ever) and we were headed home. Santa spent time wrapping while Santa's helper talked on the phone.When I say wild, I mean it. This is just one little sample of the Christmas story with my family. Yes, the angel is sticking out of the stable. My sister is the master of getting the angel to stay on top of the stable. This year, we couldn't find a tack to stick the star, so we got creative. Te angel is balanced by her wings in the rafters. Here are some other samples for your enjoyment. Joseph traveled with his "exposed" wife. The wise guys came from the east. They brought gold, frankenstein, and fur. Christmas Adam is the day before Christmas Eve, it says in Genesis that Adam came before Eve. No, not all these came from little kids, most came from the big kids.

Just like we have Christmas Eve before Christmas day, the same goes for posting. For now, you get the fun of Christmas Eve, and tomorrow, if I am having a good day, you will get actual Christmas day.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Climbing the Walls

This is one of those days. Jerry is all but climbing the walls, and I am ready to follow suit. Of course Thomas wants whatever Jerry has, and Jerry isn't so good in the sharing department. Result... lots of tears and tantrums. I feel like a referee. Jerry has also learned to push the chairs to get what he wants. I have found him in the sink about to break my dishes, erasing my white board calendar and drawing on it (where he found a marker I'm not sure), trying to get water out of the fridge dispenser (I locked it after his first successful attempt today), standing inside the fridge getting food, in the dishwasher, and the list goes on. This morning Thomas got into the pantry, used a chair, put a stool on the chair, and got the package of Starburst that was hiding on the top shelf. I can barely reach that shelf on my tip toes except to put the foil up at the front.

I was also reminded why I hate going to the doctor. Yes, I took all three with me. Yes, all three made it home. Michael is doing great. We saw the same doctor that we saw every other day when he was born, and she was so excited to see him. His head and length (23.5 inches) are right on track. His weight, 12 lbs 5 oz, is a huge jump from last time. The doctor said he just proved to her that even babies with lots of trouble in the beginning can jump way up and surprise you. She was floored that he rolls over, until he did it for her. She says his motor skills are advanced and he is going to be crawling and walking early at this rate. I am afraid of early since Thomas and Jerry both walked at 10 months. On a sad note, Jerry has two ear infections, one with pus on his ear drum. Good news is the tubes have it draining out and down the side of his face, but it is still bad. One more of these and they are sending us back to the ENT to check the tubes and possibly get another set. Right on target for one of my kids. At least if we do another set I won't be in the hospital having a baby the same day. Small blessings.

Now that I have vented, I feel better. My kids may make me nuts, but they are good kids. I am lucky to have them and blessed that they are happy and healthy enough to make me crazy. Even when I am ready to quit, I can still be grateful for the blessing they are. The smiles and random hugs and kisses make everything better.

Not that this is new, but don't plan on a family Christmas letter. Not going to happen again this year. Maybe we will go for an Easter letter. That way you can all be surprised by one letter in the middle of the year, rather than ours getting lost in the midst of all the other letters that come at Christmas. Yeah, that's my plan, that's the real reason I don't send one out. Not that I am busy, or a slacker, or a procrastinator. No, I just have a different plan. I also have "some ocean front property in Arizona" and "if you'll buy that, I'll throw the Golden Gate in too."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Let the Holidays Begin

We just completed the whirlwind beginning of the busy holiday season. Grandma and Grandpa came in from Arizona to party with us for a while. Then, a couple days later, Aunt Erin and Uncle James joined the party. We ate ourselves sick and all managed to gain weight, and enjoy it. We visited the NC Art Museum and introduced the foreigners to Southern BBQ and Hushpuppies. They are now big fans, as they should be. Tyler went for Krispy Kreme Thanksgiving morning and we got to eat hot doughnuts for breakfast. We had Thanksgiving at our house, and boy did we have a house full. The missionaries came to join the fun and created some excitement of their own while they were here. One of the Elders ate himself sick, literally. The poor guy got to experience his dinner twice. He won't be hearing the end of that one for a while. After passing out from ingesting loads of food, we started the fun again. Everybody and a few more came to see me sing with the NC Symphony and NC Master Chorale, then we went and gorged on more good food at a local steak house. Good music, good friends, good food... you can't go wrong. On Sunday we had the baby blessing. We were so fortunate to have some of the most special and most important people there with us. Later, we all packed up with way too much stuff for a couple of days, and headed to the beach. We got to spend a couple fabulous days winding down from the excitement of the previous week. Of course we had more good food while we were there. I think everybody really enjoyed the East Coast. We came back home and ate more leftovers, yummy. The next day we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast/lunch and ate ourselves sick again. Uncle James taught Thomas to to call it Food Barrel, but it still tasted the same. Later, everybody packed up and headed back home. We all had so much fun and just enjoyed being together. We are sad everybody couldn't make it, but we know they were here with us in spirit.

We are so grateful for wonderful family and friends. We are so blessed to have so many special people in our lives. I hope you all take a few minutes during this crazy time of year to reflect and focus on our many blessings. You can be sure that you are on our list of blessings.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

His Royal Cuteness

Just for Aunt Becky

Yes, I know it looks a lot like the same picture, but it is really arms in motion. He is 7 weeks today, but thinks he is older. He rolls from his tummy to his back both ways and is working on going from back to tummy. He also can spin in a circle on the floor, if you give him enough time. Plus, he can scoot a few inches. I am in so much trouble.

Baby calls, so no time to list sweet moments today, but there were plenty.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Beans, Beans, good for your Sanity

The beans seem to be working. Thomas did great with them yesterday. Today he got to put in some honesty beans. He ate some of my yogurt, which I had placed high and in the back of the fridge, without asking. Even though he knew he would get in trouble, he told the truth and got beans. This afternoon, however, was not so good. He got mad because he didn't want to take a nap. He started kicking the door and throwing a fit. We have talked before about being mad is ok, as is yelling into or punching a pillow, but destroying things is not ok. I told him after naps we would have to take out good choice beans. After his nap, Thomas came down and told me he needed to take out good choice beans. He wasn't happy about it, but kept reminding me that he needed to take them out. It would seem that the concept has sunk in. Let's hope it continues to go well and be a positive learning experience.

We are all looking forward to next week. Grandparents and aunts and uncles are coming into town. Thomas is counting days and I can't wait for the adult contact. Oh yeah, and there's that Turkey holiday too. The break and change in routine will be good for me, I mean us.

Anyone want to help Tyler with this dastardly truck rebuild? We need it done soon, really. I am starting to hate the truck I love. Please, no more bad luck with this thing.

Moments of the day. Thomas built train tracks for me. Jerry kept his diaper on all day. Michael slept on my friend through most of rehearsal and made cute babe noises. Tyler helped me as I tried to get out the door with all my stuff and running late.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Some days are a Roller Coaster

It has been one of those days. Good and bad all rolled into one.

I didn't have to make Tyler's lunch today, which was great! It was even better since I hardly slept last night thanks to a poor little baby who couldn't breathe. The boys were sweet, for a while. Soon they decided to take a turn. Thomas helped himself to two bananas. What he ate was fine, it was the fact that he did it without asking, then hid the last one from Jerry and didn't want to tell me where it was. Thomas ended up in time out for I can't remember what. While there he decided to kick the door and throw a fit. Nice. When I told him he had lost TV for the rest of the day, for something else, he threw a toy bin and nailed me in the head. Good thing my head was blocking the way to Michael. After a nice trip to his room that involved lots of screaming and fit throwing, we had a talk.

Here is a really neat idea if you are having any issues with your kids. When I was a nasty teen I blew it in a major way and got caught by mom. To earn her trust back I had to earn beans. Every time I did something that showed she could trust me, I got beans in a bucket. If I did something that would lose her trust, beans came out. Once the bucket was full, in theory, I had earned her trust again. Go figure, it became such a habit to do things to earn her trust that we both forgot about the beans and I did it without the reward. We are applying this concept to Thomas. We have been having a hard time with good choices and telling the truth. Now he has a bean bucket and two kids of beans, one for truth and one for good choices. This seems to be doing the trick, so far.

Unfortunately, this evening Jerry was at it. He took my drink, but I caught him before major damage occurred. Potty break, never good in our house. While in the bathroom, Jerry dumped Dr Pepper all over the carpet. Thomas pooped in his underwear. Thomas went into the bathroom. Underwear around 4 year old ankles means poop smeared all around the outside of the toilet bowl, plus the seat from his little bum. Let me tell you how much fun that was! Early bed time were in order, for all of our sakes. I went in the room to get jammas on Jerry, bad idea. Jerry had not only emptied Thomas's dresser a few days ago (still waiting to be re-folded and put away), but he also emptied his drawers. Let me just say I do not like folding laundry. As much as I don't like it, Jerry seems to enjoy emptying drawers. I put it off until it can't be any more, then do a marathon folding binge. I had to go hide in my room, and of course Michael started screaming from below.

Now, here I sit, venting to cyber world and those few who are interested enough to read about my plights and misadventures. Two big boys are in bed, Michael is screaming to be fed again, Tyler is out working on the poor truck again (3 engines, 2 months, and 1 ridiculous amount of money now). I think I deserve a fudge round and another Dr Pepper, don't you? Either that or a meltdown. Maybe both...

Sweet moments
Thomas let me take a nap this afternoon. He played quietly and didn't create any trouble or disasters. He didn't even wake up Jerry.
Jerry gives Michael his pacifier. As soon as Michael starts to cry, Jerry is on his way to the rescue. Funny part is, after a few tries, if Michael doesn't take hold, Jerry just looks at me, then drops the pacifier in Michael's lap. Oh well, he tried.
Michael snuggled and took a nap with me this afternoon. Babies are sweet.

Go figure... the power flashed several times near the end of this posting. Good thing Blogger saves as you go, otherwise I could have really deserved a meltdown. Happy Monday to me, yipee.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

How on EARTH did this happen?

I have no idea how this happened, and it will probably never happen again. I am looking at the clock, it says 8:44 pm, and all the kids are asleep. Thomas and Jerry crashed around 5, and Michael just conked out a little bit ago. What am I doing? Writing a post, snuggling on the couch, then going to bed early. NICE!!!

Another "how on earth" was a huge shock to me. I was on the floor playing with Michael. He was playing getting "tummy time." Next thing I know, he is working his way towards rolling over. He got his shoulder rotated under him and was pushing with hands and feet. Then it happened, he landed on his back. He is six weeks old today and rolled over. Why do I feel like I am in trouble already?

Since I am trying to focus on the good, I am going to share it with my web audience. We went to visit Lolly for lunch. She had treats for both big boys. Jerry had a bite size treat and Thomas had a Hershey bar, small size. Lolly looked over and asked Thomas if he had shared his treat with Jerry. His answer, "yes," with a sort of "duh" undertone. So nice of him to share. Jerry made me laugh with his laughing while I attacked him with kisses to distract him fro me putting ear drops in.

For now, goodbye and good night!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sweet moments

Today, after feeding Michael (again), I gave him a little kiss on his cute nose. Much to my delight, he smiled at me. I did it again and...... nope, he just looked at me. That sweet little smile makes the puke and no sleep worth it.

Thomas loves to take care of Michael. This morning Michael was getting "tummy time" and spit up. Thomas was worried because Michael got his hands in it, so he rolled the baby over and started clapping Michael's feet to keep him happy. He also gave Jerry a book in his crib this morning to keep Jerry happy. Thomas also sings to Michael from the back seat. This usually happens at night when Michael is tired but won't go to sleep. I will soon hear "go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep Michael" coming from the back seat. It makes my heart happy. Such a good big brother.

Jerry doesn't like when Michael cries. Jerry will go look for the pacifier and give it to him. We have moved on from the shoving the entire thing in the poor baby's mouth and he now does a very nice job. He also likes to turn on the switch that makes the bouncy seat vibrate. I'm still not sure if he does this to comfort Michael or to be able to play with a switch. Either way, it benefits all of us.

Monday, November 05, 2007

So Dang Cute!

Just like any good parents, we did Halloween for our kids. I even made the big boys' costumes. Yes, I nominate myself for the Awesome Mom award. We went to the ward party, as usual. Then, on Wednesday, we went to Lolly's house for door knocking. By the end of the night, Jerry was walking up to doors and holding his little pumpkin out and mumbling in Jerry-speak trick-or-treat. Both big boys had lots of fun. Michael stayed at the house with Lolly, but he did rack in a Reese's cup in his car seat. After only four houses, we called it quits with a quite full bucket. It pays to be little and cute!

Michael, the cutest dang penguin on the face of the earth. The costume is so soft, and even has a little tail on the back. Tyler says he is a baby dressed as a penguin pretending to be a pumpkin. Amanda said we should have put smileys on his feet and called him Happy Feet. Silly family. Oh yeah, we like Lolly's costume too :)

Thomas and Jerry as Tom and Jerry. Aren't they the cutest dang cat and mouse you ever saw?!?! Disclaimer: Yes, I know the real Jerry mouse is brown, but do you know how hard it is to find a brown sweat suit? Really, you go try sometime, preferably the day before you need the costumes done. No, I am not a procrastinator, um, yeah right. By the time we took the picture their noses had worn off, but they are still cute with their whiskers. Jerry loved his ears. When Thomas first tried his on, Jerry got upset and wanted to wear some. My boys are nuts, but we love them that way.

The tail. Tyler suggested using a pipe cleaner for Jerry's tail. It turned out to be so funny and cute. Sometimes it would fall out and Jerry would bring it to you to put back in. I think he liked his costume. You can also see the poor kid's infected ear. Go figure, he gets tubes, then a month later has an ear infection and sinus infection. Yup, he's ours.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

SLIGHT Change of Plans

Why do I even bother to make plans? Not long ago I made the comment "don't change things on a control freak, they may freak out." Well, I am the control freak, everything possible got changed for me, and I amazingly did not freak out (this time). What on earth could I be referring to... the arrival of Michael. Let me just tell you about our adventure, although adventure is an understatement in the extreme. Warning: This is a long story, sorry. It goes faster when I'm talking rather than typing. It is apparently more fun to watch me tell the story since I seem to get quite animated in my telling.

I was scheduled for a c-section on October 3. Great, fantastic, we can plan everything. Jerry will have his surgery the week before. I will go to my rehearsal on Tuesday and have a baby Wednesday morning. Becky, Tyler's sister, was scheduled to fly in the day before to take care of the kids while I was busy having a baby. Becky would have the car with the boys and Tyler would have the truck to get me. After coming home, I would get to park my non-pregnant self on the couch and watch conference all weekend.

Change of plans. I lost reverse in the truck. What does this mean, you ask? Well, it means Tyler had two weeks to replace the engine and transmission in the truck before I came home. The other important reason for having the truck done, besides more people than seat belts for a few days, is that all three car seats would not fit in the car. Slight problem.

Change of plans. I went to rehearsal Tuesday, as planned. People asked when I was having the baby. I kept telling them I would be at rehearsal the following week and be not pregnant the week after (baby delivery was scheduled the morning after the next rehearsal). One of the singers who is also pregnant wished me good luck, in case she didn't see me before I had the baby. I assured her I would see her again before baby arrival. NOPE. Wednesday night I woke up not feeling so hot, and I had to pee (shocker). I went to the bathroom and it happened. My first thought was there is no way on earth my bladder can hold that much with a baby pushing on it. It kept coming. Now I am sitting here thinking there is no way this is happening. I decide to go back to bed. Bad idea. I got that feeling just as I was about to crawl back in and hope I didn't throw up. Rush back to the bathroom and continue repeating "this is not happening." Being the kind wife that I am, I next made a quick dash to the phone and into the other bathroom so I wouldn't wake up Tyler for no good reason. I call Becky, it's only 10:30 her time, and ask her to tell me my water didn't just break. She starts laughing at me. Not the reaction I had in mind. After more of her laughing at me, assuring me that I am in labor, and her laughing at me more (I think I did some laughing too), I went to wake up Tyler. I had to repeat myself three times before he had a clue what I was saying. Of course, as I am telling him I am making another dash back to the bathroom. Yes, I would be one of those few people who actually gush when their water breaks. And I continued to gush for quite some time. I called mom and asked her to come over. Her drowsy response, classic, "You mean right now?!?!" This was not an excited question, it was a very confused and unbelieving question. Well, come to find out, she thought I meant come get Thomas for breakfast now. After clarifying what I mean, she was on her way over. While we waited, Tyler says "this is probably a dumb question, but, are you sure your water broke?" I answered him with another gush.

Change of plans. Jerry is scheduled to have tubes put in his ears in 5 hours. What can you do? In our case, we pack his stuff, leave mom the instructions and paper work, sign a release authorizing her to do anything to care for the kids, and go to the hospital. The original plan was for mom to take Thomas to breakfast while Jerry was having the actual surgery and recovery, thus mom's confusion at a 1am phone call asking her to come over now.

Change of plans again. We take mom's car to the hospital so she had the car with car seats. The security guy asked if I could walk to the delivery floor. Sure, no problem I say. He doesn't exactly believe me since I am doubled over trying not to leak all over the floor. Yes, I know it is a hospital for crying out loud, and I know it happens all the time, but not me. A minute after he cancels the call for a wheelchair, the elevator opens. I was greeted by three nurses and a wheelchair. They looked at me and my now soaked pants and said good thing they were there. Turns out the code that was called in was translated as "lady delivering on the floor right now." After checking in, I got to go hang out in triage and get my IVs going. Because I was previously scheduled for surgery, albeit a week later, my doctor had alerted the OR and anesthesia before I even got to the hospital. I met my nurse, anesthesia doctor, and my doctor. Guess what, my doctor was a change of plans too. The one scheduled to deliver was not the one on call. Oh well. Four hours later my doctor comes in to inform me...

Change of plans. She had fired my anesthesia team because they had kept me waiting for over four hours when I was previously scheduled. Fine, no biggie, I didn't like the original guy anyway. After some painful labor I was given drugs that slow the labor and make the contractions bearable. This is not common practice, but my labor was progressing, and I was still not on my way to surgery. Next thing I know, new nurse (mine had disappeared long ago) and my doctor were packing me up and rolling me out the door. Tyler hardly had time to call and check on mom and Jerry because they got me out so fast. We were finally on our way for delivery.

We went into surgery and because Jerry was going into surgery very soon, but across the street at an outpatient surgery center, my doctor informed the OR that Tyler was keeping his cell phone on during surgery. This just goes to show that cell phones really don't interfere with medical equipment. Lucky for us, he was allowed to keep his phone, since we forgot the camera in the morning chaos. Hooray for camera phones.

There were a few miserable moments and creating more mess for the doctors to clean up (meds and anxiety), but we survived. I have to admit, this was the worst of the three surgeries, but not for any fault of the professionals. I got to see Michael then Tyler went off with him to the nursery. Next he dashed across the street and got to Jerry minutes before his surgery. So Tyler was able to be there when Jerry went in and then for him waking up. Lolly and Thomas even got to go back while he was waking up. Little side note, the staff at the surgery center thought my mom was Jerry's mom. Then the doctor met them and said "you aren't mom" and she told him what happened (he had seen me big and huge just two days earlier). While I was in recovery the nurses let me call and check on the other surgery. Apparently this was highly unusual too because I later heard my nurse telling the new nurse that she had let me call and check on my son and I was doing much better now. The medical staff all around couldn't believe our situation and were all super nice and understanding and accommodating for us. We have great doctors, thank goodness. So in the end, Jerry surgery that was scheduled to be done a week before my delivery ended up happening an hour after mine. Go figure.

I just have to sing Tyler's praises here, since I can. He was cool and calm and collected through the entire mess. He was the one running all around between two people in surgery. He also arranged for people to keep the kids for a couple days. He definitely qualifies for the title of super dad after this one. He is amazing and we are so lucky to have him!

Turns out the hospital was having a huge baby boom when we came in. It was a full moon, which several nurses were joking about. I was the 9th c-section in my OR that night. I had to go to ICU which had been converted to delivery recovery. It took almost 12 hours for me to finally get to my permanent room. The hospital was a busy place that day.

Adventures got more exciting once we got home. Two days after I got home Becky came to the rescue. Man, what a blessing she was. The morning she came in, my incision split. Don't worry, I am fine now, but we have had quite an ordeal over the past month getting it to heal. I'll spare the general public the gory details. Poor Michael wasn't gaining weight and had major jaundice issues. His counts got so high and his weight so low he almost didn't get to leave the hospital, then he almost had to go back. Every day for a week and a half we were going to one doctor or another or to the lab. There was only one day we didn't go, and Thomas looked at Michael, then looked at Lolly and said "that guy forgot to go to the doctor today!" We all got a kick out of that one.

Now, a month later, we are doing fine. Michael has no jaundice issues, eats fine, and is back above birth weight. I am doing well and should be completely healed before too long. We are all getting back into a routine, sort of. And the truck still isn't done. Many many thanks to all of those who helped, drove, rescued, fed, entertained, loved, and prayed for us. We appreciate it all and could not have done any of this without you. Thanks for saving our sanity and putting up with us when we lose it. We love you tons and are lucky to be surrounded by the best people in the world!

Monday, October 22, 2007

The New Family

Our newly expanded family (baby Michael Walker Holmes). If you haven't heard, there was quite a bit of excitement involved in his arrival. I will be posting that story soon, but pictures will have to do for now. Everybody is doing well and we are all adjusting. The big boys love their new brother to pieces, literally. This is going to be one tough kid, thanks to his brothers.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I'm Coming, I'm Coming...

Yes, I know I have yet to post about new baby Michael. We have had a little too much excitement around here and are just now starting to settle down. I promise, I will get the pictures and everything up soon. Sorry for the delays.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Chaos in the End

One week from today I will be heading to the hospital to deliver beast #3. No, he still doesn't have a name either. I know I was getting pretty good about posting, but then life got in the way again. Just to prove that point, this has been our schedule recently.

Last week I had rehearsals every night but one. Then I had a 4 hour dress rehearsal with the NC Symphony and turned around and did three full out concerts with them. I was doing a Disney show and had a blast, but man was I tired in the end. In the middle of all that, Jerry went to the doctor, I went to the doctor, Jerry went to the ENT and got surgery scheduled. He is having tubes tomorrow morning. All that is in addition to the usual teaching, shopping, keep the house going schedule. Oh yeah, and don't forget to clean the baby room, clean the guest room (aka get all the junk out), climb up to the attic to get all the baby stuff, sort through and throw away nasty puked on clothes you wonder why you kept, and wash everything. Did I mention Tyler is working insane overtime through the whole thing too? WHEW, It makes me tired all over again just to think what we have been doing the last week. The chaos keeps up until I go in the hospital, then I get a break. Of course, then the chaos starts all over with a new baby in the house. To quote one of my favorite movie lines, "It's our lot in life. It's not a lot, but it's our life." If I weren't pregnant or trying to come up with what movie that was from I could probably tell you, but for now, I have no idea.

Thanks for keeping up with us and all your help in me trying to keep my sanity. We will get pictures and stats up as soon as we can. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Every Day's an Adventure

If I said my life is boring, I would be a big, fat, liar. OK, so the big and fat part stands, for now, but that is baby no-name's fault right now.

When asked how I'm doing or how is it being a stay-home mom, my response is usually something along the lines of "every day is an adventure." Some days are just more of an adventure than others.

Let's take a look at yesterday

The boys have dump trucks, if you read the blog you have seen and heard about them. Yesterday, as I was checking my email, I heard Jerry screaming. The boys had been playing with the trucks as usual, so I was paying not much attention to them at the time. Anyway, this was not the typical "I didn't get my way" or "I'm mad about something" scream. This was a "I am hurt" type of scream. Any parent can tell you there is a difference in the screams of their child. Poor Jerry is walking towards me with huge tears pouring down his face and a bloody mouth. As Jerry sadly sat in my lap, I noticed his legs were red too. Thomas later told me that Jerry was trying to climb into the truck to get pushed around. Lesson learned, don't do this on the hard wood entry, save this stunt for carpet. My best guess is that he slipped and scraped all down the front of his left leg and now has a lovely bruise to show for it. He also managed to scrape his right leg pretty good too. Back to poor Jerry. He was sitting beside me on the couch, but was trying to get down. He got down, went for a blanket, then climbed back up next to me and snuggled in the blanket. This child loves to snuggle blankets!

Later, as I was putting him in his chair for lunch, we had another incident. Pregnancy brain seems to be taking its toll on the kids. Next thing I know, Jerry is screaming once again. I look down to realize I have just smashed his tiny finger between the booster and the table.

We had several other incidents throughout the day, but I can't seem to remember them at the moment. Just a little while ago, however, he tried to go down the stairs on his head because he was carrying a toy down with him. Luckily I was going down in front of him and watching this time. Poor kid just can't catch a break.

So, in my life, every day is an adventure, some are just more exciting than others. Happy adventures to all you moms!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ride 'em Cowboy

Today was the big day!

I loaded up the boys and a picnic lunch and off we went on our big adventure of the day, maybe even the year. Both boys got the chance to ride Cheyenne and loved it. Thomas has no fear and was happy to ride with Elise or just by himself. Jerry even got in on the fun and rode around the ring a couple times with Elise. Thomas was having so much fun and even got to trot and canter around the ring a bit. Both boys had a blast petting and loving on Cheyenne. Thomas also got to feed her apples out of his hand. Little fingers and hands make it a little difficult to feed a horse, but with some help he managed. After our fun horse adventures, we got to have a picnic lunch on the lawn. Also, the boys played with Walter the dog the entire time we were there. The weather was perfect, so we all just enjoyed being outside. Thanks so much to Elise for letting us invade her zoo, and thanks to Bradford for helping lift and wrangle and protect the kids (little boys need protecting from excited chocolate labs).

If being dirty is any indication of having fun, both boys had a blast. Both had dirt in all kinds of places from hair to ears to between toes. Maybe next time Jerry should wear something a little better than sandals. Hey, maybe next time I might even get to ride. Not very often that I'm jealous of my kids, but today definitely qualified. If I got up, we would have been riding to the hospital to get me off. I don't think the doctors would approve of horseback riding 18 days before my delivery date.

Thanks again to everybody for helping us have such a fun and exciting day. I am sure I will be hearing about it for weeks to come, as well as a chorus of "when can we go back?" Next time you see the boys, ask them about their horseback adventures.

And for all you Granberry's, we passed the NC State chicken coops on our way to see the horse. I pointed out the cows and chicken coops to Thomas. He asked if we could go catch one of those chickens. All I could do was laugh and say I didn't think the school would like it if we did that. Good thing we didn't have a leash in the truck too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Keeping Secrets

Connections are a wonderful thing. Knowing the right people can be very helpful and lots of fun for all of us.

Thomas has decided he wants a horse. Yes, I know most kids go through the "I want a pony" stage. Thomas wants a horse with spots, black and white big spots. We looked at pictures of horses of various breeds online the other day and the one he picked is called a Gypsy Vanner. These beautiful horses were bred specifically to pull gypsy carts across Europe. They look a lot like a Clydesdale, one of the breeds mixed to create the Gypsy. Maybe he likes it subconsciously because my mother used to threaten to sell me to the gypsies. Hmmmmmmm, sounds like a fitting threat for him now too :)

I decided to see if we could get Thomas close enough to touch a horse. Yes, he got to pet Aunt Libby's horses a while ago, but he doesn't remember that. As much as we would love to go back down to Charlotte for this adventure, my body just won't allow it at the time. So, we turn to closer alternatives. We have a new friend, I think Thomas is in love with her, who happens to live not to far from us and has a horse of her own. Saturday we are taking Thomas and Jerry to meet Cheyanne the horse and take a little pasture ride (while I sit and watch with camera in hand).

Many of you know little four year olds get most excited at any adventure, no matter how small. Well, this is a huge adventure. To save my ears and sanity, I am not telling the little guy what we are doing. Maybe I'll tell him Saturday morning, but it might just be better to surprise him altogether when we pull up to the house. So next time you see Thomas, don't spill the beans on our next great adventure.

Stay tuned for pictures and tales from the day, you know they are coming!

Monday, August 27, 2007


My baby, for now, has developed a new disturbing habit. When he gets mad or upset, he headbutts. Originally this was his and daddy's way of saying "hi" (we did this with Thomas too) but it has taken a turn for the worse. No longer is it the cute little ritual it once was. Nor is it a slow soft bump of the foreheads. When Jerry doesn't get his way, you might find him smashing his little head into the wall. Or, in this morning's case, he was trying to smash his head into my leg because I wouldn't pick him up while I was reading my email, and he missed. Yes, my child now has a hole in his head just above his eyebrow (amazingly he hardly bled, but I am sure a nasty bruise is forming). He was aiming for my leg, I think, and hit the corner of the computer keyboard tray instead. Later it was the table, window, and who knows what else is to come. Any suggestions on how to stop this one? I am thinking wrapping his head in pillows might get CPS or DSS called on me....

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lunch is Messy

PB is a staple in our house, and probably most houses are no different. I am sitting here watching my child eat, and I use the word "eat" loosely, and wondering why I continue to feed it to him. Most of it is on his face, shirt, hands, table, and anything else his grubby little fingers touch. Daily we clean PB out of hair, ears, and nose. Looks like we need to add eyebrows and eyelashes to the list today. Here is how we eat PB, or any sandwich, in our house. Mom makes the sandwich. After "amen" the sandwich is dissected to open face. It is then shoved onto fingers like rings and all innards sucked off (jelly is a particular favorite for the slurping noise). After more smearing and sucking, it comes time for the dreaded wipe down. Why do I subject myself to this event on an almost daily basis. You would think by now I would be feeding them something less messy. I guess the inexpensive and easy fix outweighs the mess. And sometimes it is kinda funny, like finding PB up the nose hours later. Time for the power wash...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mark Your Calendars

We are officially scheduled for the arrival of baby #3. Surgery is on the books for Wednesday, October 3, 2007 at 2:00pm at Rex Hospital with Dr. Dave Henderson doing the procedure. Please keep in mind that calls are preferred over visits. Once we get home, probably Friday or Saturday, that may be a different story. You can be sure that pictures will be posted very soon after. I can't wait for this little bugger to make his arrival, and I am sure he can't wait to meet all these people who already love him to pieces.

Anybody want to tell me how to put up a countdown? I am showing my techno-idiocy at the moment.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Proud Daddy

We have been teaching Thomas to say prayers, and he loves to say them, all the time. It is very apparent that he pays attention to what we say, and retains it. In every prayer he is grateful for and blesses the missionaries, the soldiers, and the Marines. After kids were tucked in last night Tyler pointed out that Thomas says soldiers and Marines and said that makes Tyler a proud Daddy. Once a Marine, always a Marine. At least it is the good stuff Thomas seems to be retaining. The pictures are from Memorial Day when we taught the kids what the special day is all about. We pulled out Tyler's uniforms and let the kids wear pieces of them. Future Marines?

Monday, August 13, 2007

What a Day!

We've all been there... one of those days that just starts bad and keeps going south. One of those days why you wonder why on earth you even bothered to get out of bed.

Today, Thomas was supposed to be reading quietly while I refused to wake up. Then he comes and tells me that he made an orange igloo. Turns out he found the play doh that we threw in the trash and decided to make an igloo. Yes, nice orange play doh all over the kitchen floor. Luckily, I never saw it. When he told me what he had done, I told him to clean it up before I came downstairs. He did a fabulous job and only a tiny little spot was missed. After Thomas's meltdown over what to eat for our rushed breakfast it was time for me to teach. While I was teaching piano, the kids ran everywhere and got into everything. They were dragging the vacuum around by the cord and Jerry was trying to eat the attachments or sing into them. Next thing I know Thomas is telling me Jerry is taking his diaper off. I ignore it for a time, until Thomas informs me that Jerry has pooped on the floor. Mind you I am still trying to teach. Turns out it was just a little spillage from the diaper he took off, but a mess non the less. Next adventure. Jerry climbed onto the table (nothing new there) and dumped the end of the bag of Cheerios onto the table and floor. Then he thought it would be fun to take the videos that were on the table and crush the Cheerios. By the time I was done teaching at 9:30 I was ready to move to the zoo. Things had to be more in control there. I put the boys in their room to play while I put myself in time-out. We had more ups and downs throughout the day, but the worst was over, except for the contact that got lost in my eye for over and hour and a half and finally came out folded over itself three times. Can you blame me for moments of questioning why on earth I am having another (yes, I know it is a little late for that one)? Ah, the joys of mommy-land. Join us next time for the next adventure from our house. Does our day make you feel a little better about yours? If it does, or if our misadventures put a smile on your face, this blog has done its job.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Delayed Beach Post

This post is dedicated to my Aunt SJ, who so kindly reminded me that it has been almost two months since the beach and there is still no beach post. This one's for you.

The beach was fantastic, no surprise there. We had lots of family and friends there and we all had a great time. The weather was even pregnant-friendly. I spent quite a bit of time outside reading and watching the boys play with sand, hoses, and in the pool. Both boys had a blast with the sand, people, and water. We even had a visit from friends who happened to be four houses down the same week we were there.

Thomas identified everybody new as "that man" or "that girl" and described what clothes they had on the first day. Nathan was that man with the funny hair and the red shirt. My favorite part of so many people was Thomas and Jerry had plenty of new friends to play with, which meant a break for me. WOOHOO! Thomas had a great kite this year (pictures on someone else's camera). It was the cutest kite with a penguin on it and a tail of little penguins. Can you guess who picked that one out, hmmmmm? The first day he was flying it, he discovered that if he shook his hand back and forth, the string let out really quickly. He would laugh and laugh like it was the funniest thing in the world. We thought it was an accident at first, which it probably was, and we all laughed at him and his excitement. Then he discovered it was funny to let the string out and it was funny to have everybody laughing at him. Thus commenced a fantastic game for Thomas. Later in the week, we were flying the kite and Lolly attached it to a chair so nobody had to be holding it. A certain little baby managed to get it off the chair and it took off before anyone could stop him or catch the kite. Who would have thought that a grocery store kite would fly so well. It went up, over to the house next door, started going over the top, then we thought it might get caught on the side, but no, it kept on going over. I made a run for it, maybe more of a waddle, to try and catch it (sorry, no pictures or video of that one). In the end, I found it tangled in a tree, across the street, and three houses down. How I managed to find it is still a mystery. I untangled the kite and we all went back to playing like nothing had happened. The things we do for our kids.

Jerry discovered the water. You would think that an ocean millions of times bigger than he is, and water that keeps moving would scare a kid of 16 months. No, not my kid. Any time we let him down on the sand, he was making a run for the water. Several times he was knocked over and fell face down, but still he didn't get scared. One night we brought him in soaked from head to toe and with sand in all sorts of odd places. Happy babies, cute babies, what more could I ask for. Maybe tired babies that sleep so I can catch a break. Nice!

One of Thomas's favorite moments I was reminded of by the best picture that was emailed to me today (thanks SJ!). As tall as I am not, my cousin Nathan is tall. He is well over 6 feet, and helped Thomas walk on the ceiling. A four year old with his feet on the ceiling, sounds like Abe Lincoln to me. He also thought it was great fun to spread his towel out on the beach next to all the big people and lay out after playing in the water. Amanda or mom got pictures of that one, but alas, my camera was still in the car across the street at that point.

So there you have it, a post from the beach. If I can ever remember to get the pictures from everybody else who took them while my camera was in the car, I will post more fun photos later. If you have any fun pictures of our growing family (notice I said growing family and not growing me), please, send them our way. Family in Arizona loves as many pictures as I can send them. For now, this will have to do.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Go Go Gadget Baby

Yes, I know, this is not the beach, but it also didn't involve loading pictures.

For those of you who have not had the experience of having Jerry reach something you thought there was NO WAY on earth he could possibly reach, this story is for you.

I am sitting my little, ok, not so little right now, self at the table eating some leftovers. I hear a noise behind me. Next thing I know, Jerry goes running past me with the bread knife in his hand, happily waving it around for all to see. My legs may be twice the length of his right now, but that kid can move when he wants to. Off I go, chasing a little not yet 17 month old through the kitchen, into the living room where he hits one couch with the knife on his way around, and across to the other side of the room where I am finally able to corner him. Then, what does he do? He turns on me with the knife! Little stinker. I got the knife from him and promptly put it in the sink. Last I checked he could only reach up, not up, over, and down again. You may now commence falling on the floor laughing at the situation and the mental picture of what just happened. Oh well, short moment of excitement, but absoultely not one I had in mind for tonight, much less ever.

No, I did not leave the knife where he could reach it, just in case you thought I might have a moment of pregnancy brain so bad that I would do that. Somehow, he reached his cute little arm up to the middle of the counter where I had earlier been cutting a loaf of bread I made yesterday. This is not the first time he has reached something unreachable. For more stories on Gadget Boy, feel free to ask. And remember, NOTHING is safe from him, even the top of the fridge!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I am a hypocrite, and more

I feel the need to apologize to Evelyn. I keep giving her a hard time about not posting, and it has been quite some time since I did any posting of my own. Perhaps it is because her life sounds so much funnier than mine does. C'mon, I'm not the one who falls and steps on my ankle while attempting to put up drapes when I have a brand spankin new baby and a less than 2 year old who depend on me for everything. I also don't have a little girl who insists on wearing a swimsuit over her pants and shirt with a ball cap turned backwards. See, her life is far more exciting than mine, or would traumatic be the word. Really, if you haven't recently, go click on her link and be prepared to laugh at her daily predicaments. Evelyn, sorry for harping on you about not posting for 2 weeks. Sorry to the rest of you for my being so bad about posting on our blog. LOVE YOU E!!

Anywho... Last week I sang at the Mudcats game. Can I just tell you how much fun it is to do those games!!! The high temps for the day kept dropping as the week went on. By the time I sang, it was around 70, a cool 70 at that, and breezy. I got the best day of the season for a pregnant girl to sing! Thanks to all the family who came out to party with us and made it so much more fun. Thanks to Aunt Jewel, or Grammer as Thomas now calls her along with her grandbabies, for providing plenty of sugar and junk to all the kids. Cotton Candy could make you any kid's best bud, and wipes a parent's best friend for that matter. Also, thanks to Lolly for the yummy dots that Thomas is now in love with (Jerry likes ice cream no matter what shape or form, no, Jerry just likes food). I feel incredibly blessed and honored to be able to sing the National Anthem at any event. The song is so important to so many people, and it has so much meaning and significance for our country. Any time I sing it, I hope that I can do justice to the song and honor the personal meaning it has to each individual as well as our wonderful country as a whole. Again, thanks to everybody for coming to support me and have fun with us at the game. I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful people who love me and support me in all my crazy and public adventures.

Coming in the next post.... a flashback to the beach. Yes, I am slow to post (we have been home 2 weeks already). I just can't seem to make myself sit down and upload the pictures to make the post exciting. Not to mention my camera was left in the car, forgotten, for the first few days, so I need to bum pictures off my family.

Congrats to my cousin Nathan who just went into the MTC yesterday. We will all miss him, but are proud of what he is doing, and look forward to seeing how he grows during his 2 years on a mission in Paris, France.

Quick update on the Holmes troops, I'm fine and growing bigger. Baby is big normal, as usual, and will be delivered the first week of October, or earlier if I have any say about it. Tyler is still doing electrical and the job is going well. Service work is what he loves and what he is good at. Call (us) Waco Electrical in Garner for all your electrical needs, and ask for Tyler to come do the work (shameless plug to make him look even better at work). He will have paid vacation by the time this baby arrives, YIPEE, unlike with Jerry. Thomas is a nut and wants to go to school so bad he can hardly stand it. Everybody cross your fingers that he gets assigned to the first year-round track next year so he can start mid July and not the last track in late September. He is forever telling me "that's my school" and "I need to go do my homework." Jerry is a cute little bugger. He is into everything and everywhere, nothing is safe from him, really, nothing. First he learned to push the chairs around, then, a couple days ago the stinker figured out he can climb onto the kitchen chairs and then onto the table. The little rascal knows when he is about to get in trouble, so he smiles and laughs and sometimes runs away. What can I say, I have good kids who keep me busy and laughing, and frazzled too. What more could a girl want, except temperatures in the low 70s for the rest of the summer.

Have a good one, and we will see you soon............

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ultrasound Wonders

WE had the wonderfully fun ultrasound appointment May 9. Raise your hand if you predicted girl (majority vote), now raise your hand for boy (Rachel and Tyler and baby Jerry). It took a little while for us to get a real good confirmation, but after some playing around and a fun trip down the 4-D ultrasound road, we got a definite.

Welcome to Testosterone Central. Yes, another boy! Not that the average person can read an ultrasound picture, but in this one I think the legs, boy parts, and cord are pretty clear, you can also see the flailing arms and blurred head. I also just think the 4-D is fun. This kid is already on the move. When we started looking at pictures he was breech, but by the end he was head down. Good to know this kid has room to do all that, for now. I am hanging in there and surviving, doing pretty well, actually. Definitely not looking forward to the hot and humid summer ahead. 18 weeks and 1 day down, 18 weeks and 6 days to go, thank goodness for sumo babies that get scheduled early.

Now we can let the name game begin.... We are thinking Ben, what do you think? We already have Tom and Jerry, why not Ben and Jerry too :)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Save the Date

I just wanted to let everybody know that my date to sing at the Mudcats game is confirmed. I sing Thursday, June 14. The game starts at 7:15, I believe. I found out that there is no specific place where they put the anthem singers this year, just somewhere available in box seating. Those of you interested in coming, let me know and I will have them block out seats for us. If I could know by June 1 that would be fantabulous. You can just call or email and let me know who and how many. Of course, you can always just show up and get your tickets and hope you are near us, or just sneak on over at some point if you aren't. Also, Thursdays are "Thirsty Thursdays" and drinks (fountain Pepsi drinks included) are just $1. We would love to see anybody there, so let us know if you want to come! The games are a blast, and the more the merrier. Just click the title of this post to go directly to the Mudcast site.

See you there!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Adventures in MommyLand

Can I just tell you how nice it is to wake up to the sound of two cute little boys laughing away in the other room. Friday morning the boys were doing just that. I lay in bed enjoying the wonderful sound of my happy boys. Then I started hearing "Oh, sorry, sorry, sorry," followed by laughter. This happened several times. Finally I dragged myself out to go investigate the cause of the "sorry"s and laughter. Upon entering the room, I found both boys in Jerry's crib, not an unusual sight around here. But the exciting part, explaining the "sorry"s, was the black marker all over Jerry. Yes, my dear, sweet Thomas had climbed his way into the crib with a black marker. Upon arrival in the crib, he decided that Jerry makes a wonderful art canvas, head, hair, arms, legs and all. What can you do but laugh, and take a picture? Later Thomas told me he had also written on the crib. Sure enough, in nice little black letters was his version of his name across the end of the crib. All was easily cleaned, and many laughs were enjoyed by all, and Thomas got a little talk about we color paper, not Jerry or the crib. Oh yes, and all markers went in the garbage, buy the hand of Thomas, no less.

As I shared the story with mom, she pointed out that such adventures are just a part of Thomas's genes. Bradford had a fascination with black (just ask mom about that one, but all I have to say is I'll take the markered baby over B any day), and I had a thing with writing my name on everything in sight.

Moral: When you hear laughing and "sorry, sorry, sorry" close together, just enjoy the laughter and be grateful it isn't silence. After all, isn't the worst trouble when you don't hear them at all?

Friday, April 06, 2007


I am totally shocked. I got an email from the Mudcats the other day. OK, so not so shocked, they said I made it. They will contact me with my dates, and I will be sure to pass them on.

Meanwhile, I sit here listening to my wheezing baby laughing like there is no tomorrow as he carries books around the room. Who would have thought that carrying and dropping books could be so funny. Now he is looking at a book "Babies" that he picked out at the library yesterday. Are we bad for not telling either of the kids (like Jerry cares) that we are having another?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Creature of Habit?

Yes folks, I did it again. Saturday I auditioned to sing the National Anthem for the local small ball team, the Carolina Mudcats.

Tyler was working 2 hours away, so the boys got to go with me, fun for all. As we got close enough to see the baseball water tower Thomas said "It's the baseball place!" A good friend of mine was one of the judges, so I tracked her down and gave her a hard time for not letting the pregnant lady with 2 small kids go first. Oh well, it was worth a shot. The boys ran around and impressed everyone with their royal cuteness and had a grand time. Thomas kept asking where the "baseball men" were. After almost an hour and a half of auditions and screeches it was my turn. Thomas stood on the field with one of the coordinators, and I held Jerry. Jerry decided that he wanted to audition too and helped me in several places with his sweet baby harmony. When I was done, we turned around and Jerry blew kisses to the judges (my friend and two other mommy-type ladies), and Thomas waved. Really, who wouldn't melt at a cute little bugger blowing kisses at you, MMMMMMMMMMMMMWA?

I should know this week if I made the cuts (um, I don't see it being a problem, and I don't say that as a snob). Once we have game dates, you can bet we will post and invite everybody to come listen and have fun. Just ask the people who came last year, it's a blast. Besides, you can point and laugh at the big fat pregnant lady singing in the ridiculous NC heat and humidity. You may now all start saying prayers that they ask me to sing at the very beginning and the very end of the season, to avoid the worst of the heat.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Is that what I think it is? It looks like an alien!

Nope, that would be #3 in our house. Soon the little people will outnumber the big people. We kept it quiet for a while, but since I have been asked by several people how soon I am due, there is no sense in hiding it anymore. I am due October 11, but as usual, will be schedule for surgery a week to week and a half earlier than that. We will find out boy or girl around the end of May or early June. Yes, this is not your typical looking ultrasound, one of the joys of knowing your doctor. This is one of the fun 3-D ultrasounds. It looked more like a baby than the traditional ones, and it's fun, so I picked this one. Yeah, I know not everybody can see a baby in the picture, but I think it is fun to have a picture to go along with the story.

Are you as surprised as we were?

Monday, March 12, 2007


Family and friends are the most important people in this world. When one of them needs help, you drop everything and come running, without thought or question. And they will do the same for you. I am so very grateful for the family and friends I have, and the opportunities I have to be there for them when they need it most.

I have been hearing, or noticing more, people saying "bless our troops" and "pray for our troops," but please, let us not forget the family and friends they leave behind, especially when they are left behind for more than just a tour or deployment.

I will be difficult to reach for the next week or more, due to one of those drop everything and run circumstances at Fort Bragg. I am most grateful for the gospel in my life and the peace it brings. Being sealed to my family is something that means more than words can express, I know without a doubt that even separation in death is not eternal. Thanks to my wonderful husband who is letting me go and take care of everything needed, while he stays home and keeps the house from burning down.

As empty as it may sound to one suffering, my prayers are with my dear friend and her children. My prayers are with her husband's family. My prayers are with the friends he left behind. May peace and comfort be found by all.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Plague

Our house was infected by the plague this week. Tyler picked it up at work, and brought it home to share with us. I am glad he learned to share, now I think we need to work on what is appropriate to share.

Tuesday night he came home from work absolutely miserable. I had rehearsal, so I left him with the boys for a couple hours. When I got home, he was wrapped up in 2 blankets on the couch, shivering, saying he was cold, face burning up, ears red, and couldn't stand up to help Thomas over the gate. Next day, he couldn't even manage to get dressed for work, so I called into work for him. Turns out most of his work crew was out as well.

Let the fun begin. Jerry threw up at breakfast, we went to walk-in clinic at the doctor. Thomas needed to go potty. I lugged the poor unmoving baby (Jerry does NOT sit still) to go help Thomas. Party time, Thomas has started with diarrhea. No extra underwear, the office staff finding bags to put the dirty underwear in, and trying to do all of this while holding another sick baby, don't you wish you were me. (Dare, I must say your rotovirus story is horrible too) After a desperate call to me mommy for HELP and pullups, she came to the rescue. Almost an hour and half later, we got to see the doctor. Poor baby Jerry had a temp of 103!!! Good news, the ear infections weren't getting worse. Flu test should take 10 min, his came back in less than 5. Why treat one, when you can treat more. The wonderful doctor drugged up both boys, since Thomas was already showing symptoms.

Now, we are keeping track of meds on the white board because there are too many between 3 people to keep up with in my head. Tyler worked just a few hours Thurs and Fri then had to come home. All are much better now, and I have yet to catch the plague. How on earth people keep up with meds for more kids, I don't know, but I am grateful we are all better.

Quarantine has been lifted, all are on the mend. Now we will start working on those sharing lessons.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The English Language

We were out running errands this evening and stopped to get something to drink. Thomas asked for some and we told him no, that is was for mommy and daddy. He told us he needed something to drink because he was "hungry and drinky." Ah, the joys of the English Language and the creation of adverbs. It's no wonder people have such a hard time learning to speak it.

After we got home we were talking about good choices and how making good choices, in this case cleaning his room when mommy told him to and getting ready for bed, makes mommy and daddy and Heavenly Father and Jesus happy. He informed me that he tomorrow he is going to church and he is going to walk like this (quietly and with his arm folded) to see Heavenly Father. He also said that Heavenly Father is coming to visit us. He is going to drive to see us. In His big truck. In His big garbage truck. I was very proud of Thomas saying that he was going to see Heavenly Father at church and that Heavenly Father is coming to visit us at our house. After that, however, it just got a bit funny and cute. I guess I need to be grateful for the lessons he learned, and smile at his expansion on them.

Gotta love the kids!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Walking and Women

That crazy little boy is walking. He started a couple of weeks ago, and is now all over the place. He walks more than he crawls now. Not only does he walk all over the place, he also climbs on everything in sight. He climbs on top of the block box and reaches everything on top of the video cabinet. He climbs on top of the outside toys box and reaches everything on the counter. He can crawl up the stairs as fast as you can walk up them. He has not only started climbing up on one thing, he now uses is as a step to get to the next milestone, like the chairs at the table (I am sure the table was the next milestone). The little monkey also likes to climb on top of a box and just sit there and smile at you as if to say "look at me, I am so proud of myself."

As far as cuteness goes, we didn't think he could get cuter, but he has. He has learned to wave bye-bye, clap-clap, and blow kisses. Well, the kisses are a work in progress. When we started he would take my hand and hold it up to my mouth. WE have since moved on to him holding his hand up to his mouth.

Since it is a bit cold out here lately, Jerry has been wearing a hat. It is a very cute hat, I must say, with the little ear covers, chin strap, and a big fleece pom-pom on top. Problem is, the hat is a bit big. It starts on top of his head, but works its way down. Before too long all you can see is the bottom of his nose, and his mouth. If you lift it up and look at him, or just start talking to him, all you will see is the bottom of his little nose and a huge grin with 4 full teeth, and 4 more poking through. Very cute.

Little funny on Thomas too, we can't leave him out of this. He was watching "Deal or No Deal" the other night. Those of you who keep up with the blog can imagine where this is going. As the models walked out he said "Oh my gosh! Look at them. They are beautiful." AT least my kid appreciates beautiful women. I love my little boys!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Arizona Pictures, well, some of them

Baby Jerry playing inside Aunt Becky's cabinets. Isn't he cute in there peeking around the corner. He could stand up inside there too.

Pillow fights with cousins. We had lots of these while we were visiting.

Sleeping at the table. Thomas was trying to put his sandwich in his mouth while his head was doing the sleeping bob. It was a moment right off of America's Funniest Home Videos.

Dog Pile on Aunt Erin and Uncle James. There were lots of those too.

The best Christmas Gift of the year, a book that means so much, but you thought was lost 15 years ago. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi, my love!

Aunt Erin helping Thomas feed the ducks. Ducks love ABC cookies from Costco.

Dump Truck photos to come, as well as family pics. There are just too many pictures to post everything. That's a good problem, right?

Home Again

As my brother-in-law so kindly pointed out this morning, I have not updated the Blog since coming home from AZ. He asked if the trip was so traumatic I didn't want to post, but the reality is life after being gone almost a month has kept us all a little distracted from the Blog.

We all survived the trip there on the plane and had a fabulous flight crew that helped us get settled with ALL our stuff. Aunt Becky met us at the airport, but got quite the surprise when she discovered we landed 30 min ahead of schedule. First stop, PETE'S!!! Man, can I just tell you that I have waited almost 3 years to have Pete's again. MMMMMMMM, can't beat a monster burger with onion rings and Pete's sauce, and $1.25 for a 44 oz Dr Pepper.

WE had lots of play time with aunts and uncles and cousins in the time we were visiting. What happens when you play with cousins for a week, adn don't take a nap? You fall asleep eating your dinner. Yes, we had one of the classic eating in your sleep at the table moments. Thinking about it just makes me laugh.

Uncle Doug, Aunt Kristen, and the kids surprised everyone and showed up to join the party. WE had all the siblings and families together for the first time in way too long. With everybody here, why not a round of family pictures. Cousin Sterling (Tyelr's cousin) took a TON of incredible pictures. With all the kids and siblings (big kids) we managed to get some really nice photos. The big kids ran off for some fun in the desert, and everybody came home with all fingers attached, huge grins on their faces, and lots of fun stories.

Christmas Eve we had the wonderful opportunity to have everybody together for a baby blessing. Randon, Bryant and Stephanie's new baby was blessed with all of us there. He is such a little cutie and even had on patent leather shoes. We are so glad we were able to be there and a part of their special day.

Christmas was wild with all the kids, then we did round two when all the extended family came over later. Family is what makes Christmas. Aunt Becky gave the boys humongous Tonka dump trucks. We like to put Jerry in them and push him around. He just laughs and laughs and bounces on his little bum. Pictures of that one are coming soon. Tyler got back a book he thought was lost 15 years ago of his USMC Boot Camp class. That was the hilight of Christmas, seeing how much that meant to him. Thanks to his mom for finding it, all I did was wrap it and give it to him.

Tyler managed to sneak away from work for a few days to come out, but after the fun of Christmas morning, I had to take him back to the airport for the trip home. Little did he know, he was in for a serious adventure. He was supposed to land at RDU just before midnight. I was following his flight online througout the wild game of pictionary at Becky's. Next thing I know, he is headed for Norfolk VA, not RDU. Turns out there was no visiblity and the plane was rerouted. Once in Norfolk, after lots of useless information, the passengers were finally told some of them may go home Wednesday, but Thrusday was most likely. GOtta love holiday travel. In the end, another Marine had maged to rent a car from the counter where an employee had just happened to stay late (2am) and was on his way to Jacksonville (2 hours SE of Raleigh) and offered Tyler a ride. Thank goodness for that lovely haircut he can't seem to get rid of. So, about 18 hours after we left him at the Phoenix airport, he managed to get home.

Later in our adventure we took the kids to the zoo. Thomas knew exactly what he wanted to see when we got there. Aunt Becky asked him what he wanted to look at and she got her answer, "I wanna see the Giraffes and the Lions, and the Tigers, and the Elephants, and the Zebras." OK, so maybe we might want to tone down the animal planet a bit. The kids and Uncle James were feeding the ducks after lunch when they discovered the ducks will eat out of your hand. How much fun is that. We got some great memories and pictures of that experience.

After lots of late nights, fun times, laughs, adventures, hugs, smiles, and good quality time, we headed home. The boys were wonderful on the trip home as well. I was so glad I didn't have "that kid" on the plane. I have to say a little thank you to the kid in front of us on the plane. Thanks for being so horrible that you made my kids look like saints.

After we got home, we had the time adjustment again, adn the adjustment back to real life. We did Christmas again with Lolly and family. Thomas got a train table for his Thomas trains, and he can't wait to help Daddy put it together. Jerry got some great soft Little Tikes cars and sights and senses balls that he loves to chase around the living room. The boys also love to put them in the dump trucks and dump them out and watch where they go. I was the real winner this year. I got the mega duty KitchenAid mixer I have been wanting for years. The timing is great too, since I'm not sure how many more cakes and frostings my little hand mixer can handle.

Yup, Christmas was wonderful to us. WE had the most important things, family and time. We are all so blessed to have great families and the opportunity to spend time with them. We miss everybody terribly now that we aren't with them every day, but we are looking forward to seeing you all again. 2008, AZ again. Lots of love and Hugs to all of you, and may everybody have a wonderful new year!

For some odd reason I can't get pictures to cooperate, so you will just have to check back later and match the pictures to the events. Sorry.