kids

kids

Thursday, December 31, 2009

ALL IN

I have learned a lot from my son. A sampling: don't ever assume little boys grow out of peeing in your face while changing their diapers, blow dryers are frightening but frizzy hair is perfectly acceptable, the human body possesses an unending supply of slobber, and poop is not as gross as I once thought. However, I now have a new maxim to add to my ever-growing list: do nothing by halves - if you go in, go ALL IN.

Jeremy has a cold this holiday season. Similar to the stomach flu he had last year. Most colds and stomach flues last about 72 hours. For normal humans. For Jeremy, they last much, much longer. Those of you who remember (and you will NEVER forget, will you?), his stomach flu lasted two weeks, infected 7 different family members, and resembled the plague more than the stomach bug the doctors described to us.

Jeremy's cold first surfaced on Christmas morning. Fever reached 103 degrees and vomit made an appearance before presents ever did. Oh, but that was just the beginning. After two sleepless nights, we took him to the doctor Monday morning, and were told he had two "raging" ear infections. But, we were given medicine and assured he would be fine in 72 hours. We should have known better - he is going ALL IN.

he looks so innocent, doesn't he? don't be taken in!

The next morning, Jeremy's ear drum burst, which I did not even know was possible in real life. Apparently, it is. It basically means that the pain in that one ear has subsided and in its place disgusting green goop has begun streaming out of his ear at a constant pace, for three days now. Oh, and did I mention that since he has started school, Jeremy has learned the art of licking snot, and now that includes ear goop. I am so disgusted by this I cannot properly describe it. Use your imagination.

Anyway, we are now on day 8 of the common cold bug/plague and Jeremy's temperature, which was supposed to be gone, is now back at 102.2 degrees. His right ear (the one with the drum still intact) is still hurting him, and the left ear is still producing enough goop to drown a small rat. And he hates ear drops, fever medicine, and antibiotics, which we have to apply constantly. The body contortions he can pull when trying to avoid ear drops are reminiscent of the exorcist (especially when you factor in all the green goop). ALL IN.

We are hoping we are approaching the end of this particular strain of plague. But who knows. If there is a record out there held by some other kid, rest assured, Jeremy will not rest until he breaks it. That's my boy!

On a lighter note, we had visits from the Hopper family and my sister Cheri. It was nice to see everyone! And Jeremy loves to be a fireman now...because that is what you do when you are 2.

Grandaddy and Nana

Daddy, David, Rob, and Jennie playing monopoly

The Hoppers got us an area rug! Thanks!

Aunt Cheri makes me laugh even when I feel like poop!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Videos!

I am quite proud. It only took 5 days and one brother-in-law for me to finally figure out how to get these videos posted. Yay! I am beyond intelligent.

Now that they are here, I am wishing they were a bit better. It is called a flip video, so I flipped it while videoing, but now the videos are all flippy. Hmm.

Anyway, enjoy! First up, Christmas morning, Jeremy LOVED his car garage toy from Nona and Pop.
video

Here, we have Jeremy attempting to unlock the patio door with my keys. He is quite smart (unlike his technology-challenged mother).
video

Finally, he is a big fan of the racing track that Aunt Jennie and Uncle Rob gave him. This kid really likes cars!
video

Once he is no longer sick and missing an eardrum, I will work on getting some more videos with a bit more substance.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas and Fevers and Memories - Oh My!

Merry Christmas! Whew! So, it has been a busy couple of days. We took Jeremy to see Santa on the 23rd. Here he is posing with mommy before the trip - pretending like he will be a good boy. Looks can be deceiving.
We went to Bass Pro Shop because according to knoxmoms.com, they have a great Santa and free pictures. This was our first time in a BPS, and it is huge! Santa's wonderland was nice, and Jeremy liked the trains a lot.He did not, however, like Santa. This is not a big surprise, but after hearing so many stories from friends about how their perfect children loved Santa, I had high hopes. Oh well! I love my bratty little scream machine. Sorry this is blurry - I took a picture of the picture they gave us.Christmas Eve was exciting - Jeremy and I went to my office for a quick few hours of work prior to running Joel to the airport. Jeremy loves playing in the office, and he is getting quite good at using the computer (turning it off while I am typing) and using the phone (calling UT information when I am not looking - it is not a recording, but a real lady who now thinks I am crazy).Then he got all dressed up in his Ralph Lauren for Christmas Mass! Isn't he handsome? What an angelic smile!
That night, Santa stopped by our house! He left lots of fun toys and big boy bedding for Jeremy.If you look closely, you can see one of his chairs is held together with a ribbon. I suggest all parents open these things prior to midnight on Christmas. Just a thought.
Unfortunately, Christmas morning started off with a sputter rather than a bang when Jeremy woke up fitful, with a 100.8 degree fever, and threw up when we gave him medicine. Luckily, we only had to postpone the festivities for a few hours. Here is my sick boy after perusing his stocking.
Here he is with his presents. He LOVED this car garage thing my parents bought him. He even helped daddy put it together - so helpful...or impatient...whatever.What a mess! We had a parent moment when we were both frantically putting together toys with Jeremy breathing down our necks when we realized this is our future. And we loved every minute of it!My baby coloring before going to bed. So big!My mom and dad gave us a flip video (crazy!), so I tried to use it today. I am not good with technology, so yes, I realize this is a bit bad, but I tried. This is Jeremy playing with the car thing that turned out to be his favorite gift of the day!

***I realize this will come as a shock to you all, but I could not manage to get the video to upload. Apparently it is 161 MGs, and that is a lot. I let the computer try for 6 hours before I made myself stop. Anyone know how I can make the video file smaller so it will upload?***

Jeremy's temperature went up again in the evening, and it rose to 102.9 degrees. But, he is a trooper. I must note my absolute favorite part of the day: I had my first Sandlot viewing with my son! Jeremy loved it. He sat in my lap and watched the whole thing (yes, part of that is because he is sick). It was magical.

So, today is not the Christmas that Jeremy was sick; today is the Christmas my boy and I watched our first baseball movie together and he loved it! I see scorebooks in our future!! Ah, happy Christmas to all!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Observations

Christmas Week is here! I love this time of year, but as I get older, I feel a certain need to create the Christmas atmosphere rather than simply let it come over me when it is ready. Last night, after a long and rough day, I was simply not feeling it. So, after putting Jeremy to bed, I curled up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate, turned off all the lights except the Christmas tree, and watched Holiday Inn. If Bing Crosby can't get you in the Christmas mood, who can, right?
It worked, to an extent. I think I am just realizing that as I get older, the magic, while still there, is a bit transformed from what I am used to seeing. The mall is not magical, it is scary and to be avoided at all costs. Presents don't mysteriously appear under the tree, they cost money and are more in the "household needs" category than the "ooh I wish I had that dress" category. The yummy food has to actually be prepared and low and behold someone even has to clean up the kitchen afterwards! Who knew?

After the initial shock of all this realism wore off, and my amazement sunk in at how my parents managed to keep this holiday so magical in my head for so long, I started to look around my living room at the magical moments of my own Christmas this year. What has me excited? Jeremy opening his presents and seeing his new toys for the first time. Sitting quietly in our little house with Jeremy on my lap reading Green Eggs and Ham for the millionth time. Introducing Jeremy to his new bedroom complete with fake fireplace in the reading corner, coloring station, and big boy bed. Knowing that I am sitting in my office right now typing this - there is not a student to be seen, not a problem to be solved (at the moment anyway).
Here are some of my joys in picture form:

1. During finals time, I, as a student affairs professional, was asked to come to work at 10:30pm to be present while our students had a "flash rave" in the library. It was interesting. Thousands of students in the library lobby with music blaring, singing, dancing, etc. As the consummate professional that I am, I realized that if this mob got out of hand a lot more force than I could muster would be needed. So, I pulled out a camera and snapped a picture (I was stuck in a corner blocking entrance into the faculty lounge). Holiday time: all these crazy, loud, needy kids are gone for three whole weeks! Let there be peace on earth!
2. Jeremy. Nuff said. With all his struggles this year, he remains my biggest blessing this Christmas. Seriously, how cute is this kid at his first Christmas, only 12 days old? Holiday time: I get to stay home with my baby for 12 straight days and just play, laugh, and cuddle.3. Family and Friends. Even those I won't see up close will be with us. Seriously, have you seen the presents under our tree? Only like 3 of those were bought by us. And I won't even attempt to describe the generosity and love I have recently seen in a friend. Simply unbelievable. (These pictured pals helped me put together a toy box for Bud). Holiday time: family and friends are appreciated and loved more than ever! 4. Chores. Not kidding. I usually enjoy being lazy and put off chores for months if at all possible. Holiday time: nothing is more exciting than preparing our home for Christmas, like spending an hour putting together a toy box. So much fun! Now that I think about it, I wouldn't trade any of my new joys simply to get out of doing dishes or unwrap a new dress. Hmm, perhaps after all this time, I have finally discovered the magic of the season. Being thankful to the Lord for what you have, finding a little bit of peace and quiet, saying "I love you" to those you love, and bringing a smile to the face of a little kid. Who knew it was so simple? Not even Bing Crosby I bet.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jeremy is 2!

This past Sunday marked the 2nd anniversary of Jeremy's entrance into the world. Wasn't that a fun day? Emergency c-section and drama, but I still don't think we could have ever imagined what we were in for: screaming, vomiting, projectile pooping - in short, the best thing that ever happened to us!! Regardless of the yucky things he can spew on me, I love my little monster more than anything in the world, and his second birthday party was set to the theme of another favorite monster, Elmo!

The birthday surprises began when Jeremy woke up from his nap to find BOTH sets of his grandparents waiting for his arrival! Jeremy has not seen both grandparent sets together since his first Christmas when he was 10 days old. He was so happy to see them all!

Jeremy with his Pop:Jeremy trying out the new rocking chair that Grandaddy and Nana got him:Then, his party started! I made Elmo cupcakes with the help of my mommy, and all the kids enjoyed them.
When Jeremy ate the Elmo candy head, it looked like he bit off a real head and had blood dripping down his face. Classy.He got TONS of presents. He has a lot of great people in his life who are entirely too generous. That is one lucky kid.Jeremy's friend William is a big fan of Thomas the Tank Engine, so when that gift appeared, Jeremy learned a lesson in sharing. (Sending love to William who had surgery today for his breathing problems - we love you!)It was a very successful birthday and Jeremy had a blast! We had 5 kids and over 20 adults crammed into our tiny townhouse, but it was fun. Thanks to everyone who came - we love you!

Here's to another great year with Jeremy. I have a feeling the "terrible twos" will be nothing of the sort, not with such a great little boy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Go Titans Go!

For my lovely husband's birthday this year, I bought tickets to see the Tennessee Titans play the Arizona Cardinals. I bought them this summer after the Titans had a great 13-3 season last year. Then, this season began with a resounding 0-6 record. Great, I had bought my husband tickets to see his favorite team during their worst season in history. Happy Birthday. But, luckily, the Titans decided to play football again and won 4 games in a row headed into the Cardinal showdown. He had no idea I had the tickets until the day of the game. He was shocked - it was lovely. Graham and Katherine came with us, which I think made it more fun for him (while I am a sports fan, I much prefer baseball to football, and Graham gave him the die-hard football partner he needed for such an occasion). Here is a picture of us. Graham and Katherine are adorable and perfect, as usual. I hate them. We look crazy, goofy, and completely unphotogenic. Oh well!
So, the game. Turns out, best game ever! Well, that is not true - Brian was present for the Music City Miracle, and really, what can beat that? But, we came from behind in the last 4 minutes with a 99-yard drive, 4 4th down conversions to keep us alive, and with 4 seconds on the clock and again on 4th down, Vince Young connected with Kenny Britt in the endzone for a touchdown. It was exciting to see, to say the least. This is the PAT.
This is Brian at this historic (is that laying it on too thick?) game.
Me and my hubby on his birthday. I love him.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Why I Do Declare, I am officially a Southerner!

While in Nashville for the holiday weekend, David informed us that a Civil War reenactment was going on in Franklin. I was leery. But, I decided that it was now or never, I must wrap myself in Southern pride and bite the bullet, so to speak. I have heard about these things my whole life but have managed to keep a respectful distance. Not anymore.

The Battle of Franklin took place at 4pm on November 30, 1864, so this was the 145th anniversary celebration. The battle lasted 5 hours and 10,000 soldiers were killed. A Union victory in numbers (7,000 Confederate dead vs 3,000 Union), the North pushed on so the South technically still held the field. The battle actually took place at a site that is now commercial property, so they held the reinactment nearby at the Carnton Plantation, which was used as a hospital after the battle. The bestseller Widows of the South is about Carrie McGavock, the lady of the house, who turned her yard into a cemetery so that the fallen soldiers would have a proper resting place.
Overall, this was quite an experience. I have included a bunch of pictures, most taken by David, who is quite the photographer. Here is the plantation:There was a car set up with lady apparel, so you could dress in period costume if you wanted. I was tempted, but did not bite.Most of the reinacters slept here in camp overnight to get into character. Some did not bathe for a week. Gross.The Confederate Army.
The Union Army. I did notice several kids running around with toy guns yelling about shootings some "Yanks," and that was interesting. Several people in the audience spoke about how maybe the South would pull it out this time around. It was neat seeing the type of people who attend these events.

The cannons were really loud.
The number of actors was kinda slim, so the dead people only stayed dead for a little while before getting back up and rejoining the fight. And then there was the helicopter. It was a remote one that flew over the battle to take pictures. Kinda killed the mood.
Oh, and Abe Lincoln was there. Not sure why he left Washington to come to the Battle of Franklin, but that's cool.All in all, it was fun seeing so many people excited about the South and the preservation of such an important part of our history.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Hopper Thanksgiving

We spent this year's Thanksgiving with the Hopper branch of the family in Nashville. It was a lot of fun, and since Jeremy was joined by his little cousin Phillip, this year was full of kids, noise, and the chaos I generally associate with the holiday.

It was a lovely visit, and I am so thankful for such a great family. Grandaddy and Nana are wonderful and do so much to make everyone comfortable and happy. Uncle Dave is Jeremy's favorite person behind Pop, and he devotes hours to Jeremy's entertainment each time we visit.

Here are two great pictures, courtesy of Graham.

The Hopper Family:The grandboys (this was the best we could get, Jeremy is not yet too fond of Phillip):I have a lot more to write about from this trip, so stay tuned!! I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving and ate entirely too much yummy food!

Things I am thankful for this year:
1. My husband and son. They are my everything and I thank God every day that they are happy and healthy.
2. Family and friends. This past month reminded me just how lucky I am to have such an amazing support system. I don't know what I would do without you guys!
3. University Housing. It drives me crazy sometimes, but my job is challenging, positive, and I know that I am making a difference and helping people each day. What more can you ask for?
4. My outlook. I am so thankful that the Lord gave me a positive outlook on life. Despite a few bumps and worries along the way, I am a glass is half full kind of gal and it makes each day brighter than the last!
5. Jeremy's strict 8pm bedtime. Seriously. This is my sanity, my salvation, and often the only quiet time I ever have in a day. Plus, there is nothing sweeter than reading that little boy 5 stories (yes, 5, he loves them), throwing blankets over his head, and kissing that smile.

What are you thankful for??

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Floodgate 2009

Welcome to Floodgate 2009! Many of you may remember Floodgate 2007 when we awoke to our entire apartment 6 inches deep in water - from the toilet - in a dorm - gross. We had just moved in, most of our belongings were in boxes on the floor, and I was 6 months pregnant. Woot!

Yesterday, after a day of work for me and 3 hours of preschool for Jeremy (they are doing transition visits, so daddy attends with Jeremy), we got home around 6pm. Jeremy immediately ran down the hallway toward the kitchen. We smiled as we heard the pitter patter of his little feet. Then, like the sounds of the apocalypse itself, the footsteps turned into squishsteps. With every step Jeremy took, water spurted out of the carpet and ran up over his shoes and all over the bottom of his pants. The past quickly came rushing back to us.

Our hot water heater had burst and our entire pantry (which is quite large and where we store a TON of stuff) was filled with water. It had run out into the aforementioned carpet, and we were not happy campers. We called maintenance (yay for renting and not buying), and were told it would be an hour at least before he arrived. In the meantime, daddy was hosting game night with friends who would be showing up at any moment. And Jeremy kept playing in the nasty water.

Luckily, home girl knows her way around a wet vac and can call in a favor. In less than 30 minutes, I had an industrial sized wet vac in the house to clean the mess (thanks Brandon and Steve and the Apts Res Hall!). Unfortunately, Jeremy thinks the wet vac is a monster whose sole mission on this planet is to eat him. He was terrified! So, we ate dinner upstairs in his room, had no water in the house until midnight, cleaned for hours, got a brand new hot water heater, and bonded with the maintenance guy and the carpet guy - both quite nice!
How was your Thanksgiving-eve night?

Our flood. It was much worse than this picture shows. Plus, our carpet was dirty so that water was disgusting. I didn't take a pic of the pantry - you will have to trust me that I was too busy bailing water and moving out squishy cardboard boxes to care about pics.

Me and my friend, wet vac. And I thought my days of using these machines was long gone since I finally moved off campus...silly Jeannie!

Free Stuff!

Sometimes I just love my job! Never one to turn down anything free, I have been particularly pleased recently as the opportunities for fun free adventures have fallen into my lap at a rapid pace.

First, our Hall Director staff (and me as a supervisor) took a professional development trip to Vanderbilt to talk with their housing staff and compare notes. It was interesting to see the differences between the smaller private school and our land-grant public institution. Biggest difference: the weirdo "green" toilets.
Here is a picture of us all at Vandy. Aren't we cute?
The best part is that one of my good friends, Alison, is an area coordinator at Vandy and Traci Ray, the person who was my first boss at UT and hired me as a little freshman to be an RA, is their Associate Director. So, in essence, I got a free trip to see my friends! Here we are:
The very next day, I got a call from one of our grad students who was taking a group of students to see Disney on Ice that night. She had three extra tickets - free, and offered them to our family. Fun! So, we took Jeremy to see "Disney on Ice Presents: Finding Nemo." It was super cute and Jeremy LOVED it! Ignore the fact that he has never seen Finding Nemo, it is unimportant. What is important is that Disney events like this are a racket to sell expensive junk to kids, but our kid is too young to care, so since we found a free parking spot, the entire night was f-r-e-e free! Here is Jeremy watching the fish people things:
Finally, I work the football games to make extra money, and I get a free ticket to each game. However, though I have worked at the stadium for two years, I have not attended a game in that long. This weekend was our last home game, so Graham to visit and I was able to get three free tickets instead of one. I also get free parking at the games. Score. Huge thanks to my amazing friends and their free babysitting. Jeremy peed on Kristin while she and Bryan were sitting, but she still seems to like him. :)

Oh one more thing: my friend Nicole has a lovely blog about her daughter, Lily, and she noted that she got free photo Christmas cards and privided the link. I tried it out - and yay! 50 free Christmas cards, free shipping, and no strings attached. Fun times! (I would include the link, but the deal is over, I barely got mine in on time.) Note for when you get your card: the font showed up better online, sorry it is a bit dark and hard to read. But it's free, so I ain't complaining.

Some outtakes of us trying to get a picture of Jeremy for the card. It was exhausting, but we succeeded thanks to candy! Works every time! This is in the lobby of the res hall where my office is located. That is a fake fireplace that the housekeepers built for the residents to decorate. How cool is that?