Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I wasn't prepared for this.

I think every parent realizes at some point that there are some things that NO ONE can prepare you for once you have children.  I'm not talking big deal things, but silly little things that drive you nuts.  People warn us about the big things, but seem to forget to tell us about some of the following:

-  In a matter of a week you can be both disgusted by and utterly thrilled at the sight of poop.

-  You will find milk splatter everywhere.  On your furniture, clothing, electronics, toys...EVERYWHERE.  Also, it can be harder to clean than plaster.

-  You will find yourself spending more money on shoes for your little one than you do yourself.  For shoe lovers, like me, this is a great disappointment.

-  Your attic and every closet will be stuffed with containers full of outgrown clothing, toys, and other baby items.  Inevitably, this will cause an argument between the parent who wants to give it all away and the one that wants to keep it for the "next one."

-  If you never washed your walls before, you will now.

-  High chairs are disgusting.  No amount of cleaning and washing will be able to remove all of the dried banana, peanut butter, and ketchup from it.

-  You will begin defending certain children's programming to others, not because you don't agree with their assessment of it as "creepy" but because it makes your child happy.  And, anything that keeps him/her from throwing a tantrum is ok in your book.

-  You will get really mad at yourself for throwing away stale bread, cereal, and crackers rather than saving them to feed the ducks.

-  Kitchen counters are no longer just a place to prepare meals and display kitchen accessories, they become a catch all for everything from change to mail in order to keep them out of your little one's reach.

-  You will get so used to using the bathroom with the door open that you may forget about closing it even when company comes over.  QUITE EMBARRASSING!

-  You will no longer be able to sit down and enjoy a snack or something to drink without having to share it.

-  You will become a horrible songwriter about everything from buckling the car seat to the food in the frozen food isle.

-  Last but not least,  you'll find that you don't really care about any of the above things.  In the end, it's all worth it!

Now, what "little things" weren't you prepared for since becoming a parent?


Sunday, June 19, 2011

For Bryan

To My Honey:

I know you asked that your one gift on Father's Day would be for me not to write some long, sappy, and in your words cheesy Facebook status about you, but you didn't say anything about my blog.  I promise not to make it too long, and hopefully not too "cheesy".  I just want to say thank you....

Thank you for always bringing humor to our home.

Blue Steel

Thank you for working hard to take care of us.

Dr. Daddy!

Thank you for lifting me up and always pushing me to succeed.

I meant that lifting up part quite literally. :)

Thank you for your playfulness.

Thank you for loving Jackson and myself and putting us before anything else in this world.

Thank you for teaching our little boy how to be a man of God.

And we both know God is a Bulls fan!

More than anything, thank you for being you.  

Stud muffin

When we got married I didn't think I could love you any more.  Since that day we've been through ups and downs and life has thrown us some curveballs but instead of letting those curveballs tear us apart, we only became stronger as a team.  Then we became parents and my love for you grew deeper than I ever thought it could.  Watching you with Jackson makes me swoon.  Watching how much he is like you, makes my heart melt even more.  There isn't anyone else in this world I want Jackson to grow up to be like.

Even if that means he'll always have squinty eyes and a fake smile in pictures.

I love you and can't wait to make more babies with you!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

To cut or not to cut? That is the question.

I've insisted for months that I'm not going to cut Jackson's hair until I absolutely have to.

He may have inherited his daddy's high forehead, but Jackson definitely got my hair.  And, I think I have great hair (not to be entirely vain or anything).  I could tell you the story about how my mom didn't pray that I'd be healthy or normal, but prayed that I'd have beautiful hair while I was in the womb.  But...if you know me or her AT ALL, you've probably heard that story.


Recently, though, I've been feeling some pressure to give him a little trim.

I hate that because I LOVE  his hair.  It's getting long, and the longer it gets, the more it curls in the back.  Proportionally, it's done fairly well too, except for a few wisps on the sides that are a little longer than the rest and have a mind of their own from time to time.  It took a little while to fully come in but at least he wasn't one of those unfortunate babies that ended up with horrible bald spots or baby mullets.

There are a couple downsides when it comes to long hair though.

One -- it's hot.  When he get's really sweaty it sticks to his face and neck...and looks like this.

He looks happy.

Two, he gets mistaken for a girl.  Now, I know Jackson looks like a little boy, but he IS pretty.

Pretty boy proof.

The longer his hair has gotten, the more, "Awww...what a pretty little girl?!" comments we've gotten.  These are usually followed by me correcting them and giving them a "Can't you see HE has on boys clothing?!" look.

Three, it makes it hard to put sunscreen on his head.  Because his hair is still fine on top, his scalp still gets sunburned if we don't apply sunscreen.  (This was also inherited from me.  I have terrible memories of scalp sunburns as a child that peeled, bled, and scabbed.  It makes my head itch just thinking about it.)  I don't want him to have to go through that, but I'm not entirely sure a haircut would solve the problem unless I just buzzed it.  AND, THAT IS NOT HAPPENING!

When I think of all these things, I really start to consider getting his hair cut.

But, then I look at him and see this...


...and I think, "NO WAY am I cutting off that gorgeous hair."  We'll do whatever it takes to keep him cool and keep sunburn at bay by using caps and hats.  And, who cares if people mistake him for a girl from time to time -- they are idiots.  I just can't do it yet!

So, what do you think?

Just in case you needed more photographic evidence.
Also, if you wanted to swoon some more.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm taking refresher courses...against my will.

The past week had been a week of refresher courses for me.  Refresher courses I did not and still DO NOT want to take.

Refresher course #1 - Intro to Proper Care of the K-9 Species
Anyone can tell you that when you have real children, your furry children get knocked down a notch on the totem pole and start to become slightly neglected.  On Friday, we had a BIG scare with Red.  He woke us up early Friday morning, whining to go outside.  In doggy language this means - I'M ABOUT TO POOP MYSELF, HELP ME NOW!  So, we ran to turn off the alarm and get him out the door.  Well, he didn't make it.  Poor pup.  You can't imagine the amount of shame on his face for the next hour.  For the rest of the day, he wouldn't eat and what little he did eat or drink came right back up.  We just thought he had a normal upset stomach until 8:30 that evening when he had uncontrollable diarrhea again, but this time is was PURE BLOOD.  It was one of the scariest and most pitiful things I'd ever seen.  After an emergency trip to the vet, and a poor experience with that same vet where we had to demand tests being run - the diagnosis was pancreatitis (which can be fatal).  We are very glad we demanded tests because had the vet had it his way, he would've just watched Red die.  It's taken a few days but after lots of meds, a new diet, and lots and lots of love and attention (that he deserved before he got sick) Red's finally starting to act like himself.  When you think you're about to lose one of your furry babies, you are quickly reminded of how much you took them for granted!

Refresher Course #2:  The Science of Waking Up Before 8:00 AM
Since we got back from vacation in NC, Jackson's started waking up between the hours of 6 and 8 a.m. several days a week.  This is HIGHLY unusual and HIGHLY disappointing for me considering he hasn't woken up before 8:30 a.m. (and not fallen back asleep) in months.  At first, I thought it was just due to being on Eastern time rather than Central.  He went back to sleeping in for a few days and then returned to early waking again.  I think the problem is that the sun rises here at about 6:00 a.m now and shines right in his windows.  We bought heavy duty blackout curtains, but it doesn't block out all the light.  Plus, the birds start chirping so loud you can hear them over his white noise machine.  (As you can tell via the shades and the noise machine, I enjoy my sleep and have manipulated my child to be a late sleeper since he was aitty-bitty.)  The first couple times he woke up so early, I could give him milk and he'd go back to sleep for a few hours.  Those days are few and far between now, so I'm having to relearn how to drag myself out of bed in the morning and go to bed at a normal hour.  Neither of which I'm mastering very quickly.  If I had to give myself a grade for this refresher course right now, a C would be generous!

Refresher Course #3:  Every class you've ever had to take in math, history, and science.
On Saturday, I am taking one of the three PRAXIS tests I have to pass in order to transfer my teaching licensure from SC to TN.  The first test is Middle School Content Knowledge - a test that combines math, science, history, and language arts.  I thought it'd be a pretty easy test to pass, but after taking a practice test...I'M TERRIFIED!  The math is NOT middle school math.  There are questions on everything from long division, to logarithms, to matrix algebra.  I don't know about you, but I didn't learn anything about logs until I was a Senior in high school and NEVER even touched on Matrix Algebra.  In fact, it was only when Bryan tried to help me with a question I didn't understand that I knew what Matrix Algebra even was.  The History questions cover the entire history of the world - everything from American History, to developing civilizations, and the history of EVERYTHING ELSE THAT EVER HAPPENED IN THE WORLD!  One question would be about some factory system during the industrial revolution and the next would be about the Tang Dynasty in China.   I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure my History professors in college didn't even know all there was to know about the history of the world in general, let alone one of my middle school teachers.  I did well on the science and perfectly on the language arts portion, so I'm just trying to focus on brushing up on math and history.  Although, I'm not sure it should be called a "refresher course" since I'm learning much of it for the first time.

Refresher Course #4:  Intro to Diet and Exercise
The Friday before I left for NC, I went to get my annual physical.  Despite my begging and pleading that they not, they weighed me.  JERKS! To put it nicely and succinctly, let's just say, I was not pleased with the outcome.  Bryan also got a physical and although his weight was fine, his blood work came back and showed he has high cholesterol.  We were shocked by that and, honestly, a bit scared so we've been trying to kick our butts into gear.  We've thrown out all the junk and are trying to eat healthy foods - lean proteins, no refined sugars, fresh fruits and veggies, etc.  We've also been trying to exercise almost every day.  Although, it's more like a few times a week.  So far, we've been doing ok but we are gradually improving.  I have to be honest and say that Bryan is much better at this than I am.  He is usually the one pushing me to exercise and reminding me to eat better.  My mom used to say that Bryan was the best thing that ever happened to my GPA in college.  He studied all the time, and I wanted to spend time with him, so I'd study too.  Much like in college, if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be doing very well in this course either!

In college, taking 4 courses would be considered taking a full load.  However in life, you can't just drop a course.  Too bad!