Sunday, May 30, 2010

Spoiled Rotten

Yesterday, Jeremy was sick with a fever and constipation (again!). The green car won't start, so Jeremy and I were stranded for the day. Joel brought us some groceries and fever medicine (we had to throw all of ours away after the recall), so we love Mr. Joel. It was a long and painful day, but we managed to survive it. My little man was so miserable I tried everything - I even acted out the Dr. Seuss books like little plays. I got a tiny smile. The day culminated in me recreating the scene in that book I can't remember - Beloved maybe? - and literally relieving Jeremy's stopped up bowels myself. I am not kidding. I go to great lengths for this child and it thankfully provided a restful night's sleep for him. I think I may have nightmares, though. Pictures of sick boy and Seuss boy:Today he was feeling 100 times better (oh the healing power of poop), so we went to AC Moore to get some place cards to use for Joey and Megan's rehearsal dinner. I thought it would be a quick trip and Jeremy would be bored but well-behaved (because past precedent tells me this?? I am clearly deluded). Little did I know that AC Moore inexplicably has the largest selection of Thomas products I have ever seen. Seriously, it is like 2 entire aisles - in a craft store - what the heck? Naturally, Jeremy's Thomas radar pulled him to that section of the store within seconds of us walking through the door. Tantrums of epic proportions flew into my head as I quickly calculated our miniscule budget knowing that Thomas and his friends do not play for free. Then, I saw it. Right there in big red: ALL THOMAS MERCHANDISE 40% OFF!! By this time Jeremy was jumping up and down and grabbing everything in sight like a crazy person. Luckily, the salesperson passing by took his greedy mania for cute enthusiasm and handed me a coupon for an additional 20% off my purchase. What?? 60% off Thomas stuff?? A truly fortunate day for my little man.

We ended up getting Rosie (the purple engine - he needed a girl), a switch track piece so that his engine shed will actually fit the set we have, and some stickers. I did not let him go overboard, despite the temptation. Here he is with his new purchases. Notice the SEVEN stickers on his shirt. He loves them. He picked out ones for "mama" (I am still glowing over that one) and "dada" but put them on his own shirt.Oh, plus he is a genius. He took the Jenga blocks and made roadblocks for the trains to knock over, then he made tunnels. So creative!Then, this evening daddy cooked a new pasta for us from scratch. It had salmon, bacon, cheese, cream, tomatoes, dill, parsley, garlic, and all other sorts of yumminess. Mmmmm.So, a yucky weekend turned into a yummy one! Yay!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Best Friends Forever

Jeremy is finally at the age where he recognizes the fact that he is not the only person on the planet. He plays with other kids and has some pals in his class at school. However, his best friend is William. William was born two months after Jeremy and his mom and I were both Hall Directors at the time, so the boys share a common bond of spending their baby years in a college residence hall. Since they now enjoy each other's company, we got them together for some playdates this weekend (plus Elizabeth and Ben are fun as well!).

Yesterday, we went to the UT vs Alabama baseball game. It was very fun. Elizabeth and I got in free as UT staff members and it was $1 hot dog night, which of course makes me happy. Here are the boys enjoying the game. This photo is indicative of the night. Jeremy sat in his chair watching the game (or the trains behind the field, whatever) and William climbed on the seats, flirted with fans, and was adorably rambunctious. The famous San Diego Chicken was at the game, which was exciting for me. I think I have seen him at least two other times, but he is still super funny. Here he is squaring off with Smokey.This was my first attempt scoring the game with Jeremy present, and I was quite successful!William and his parents left around 8:30, we stayed until 9:30. This was 1.5 hours past Jeremy's bed time, and we were pushing our luck. We left in the bottom of the 8th with the score at 2-1 Bama. Turns out the game went to 11 innings with the Vols losing 4-2. Boo. It has been a long time since I left a baseball game early. Stupid responsible decision making.

Today, we took the boys to the Knoxville Children's Reading Festival. Books and kids - perfect! It was held at World's Fair Park and was really fun. The boys had a blast. They held hands and ran through the park together (I have never seen Jeremy hold hands with anyone other than me prior to this, it was very sweet).They played on a ton of little obstacle things and in the new WFP Playground. Jeremy really likes slides, can you tell?William played in the fountains and posed with Princess Pea (from Super Why).Super Why himself was there (he is the main character in the PBS show that teaches reading through classic kids lit - it is really cute and Jeremy likes it a lot). He did not, however, like the people dressed up in huge and creepy costumes. Or the random people on stilts. I was a little scared of that as well.But, creepos aside, it was a fun event. We bought a book to benefit Friends of the Library and Jeremy made a bookmark with the police department booth and got a Super Why mask. Here are the excited boys in Ben's truck. Carpooling is fun!
Overall, I'd say it was a great weekend for Jeremy and his BFF (William, not Mr. Moo).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hair Today...Gone Tomorrow

Jeremy has a lot of hair. It is inexplicably blonde, and it jiggles on his head when he runs. I call him "Jigs" because of this (and the fact that his chubby cheeks also jiggle). I love my baby's hair. When we first met him, we did not understand where the blonde came from, but we loved him anyway. See? Love.Then, we noticed the hair's propensity to stand on end, which provided us with endless amusement. Hee Hee.
Look at that weirdo.The hair calmed down a bit as our baby grew into a man.
But, it still managed to get out of control, particularly when he was sweaty. Daddy asked if he could take Jeremy to get a haircut yesterday. I said "Yay! No more bathtub haircuts! Hoorah!"So, here is the new Jeremy. Has he gained new appeal with his shorn locks ala Agassi and Beckham or has he lost a bit of his power like Samson and Felicity? You make the call.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Sweetest Word: "Mama"!!!

Whip me, beat me, take away my Jane Austen books! I don't care! MY BOY SAID "MAMA"!

See, I even have video evidence:

Less than a month shy of being 2 and a half years old, my beautiful baby boy finally said "mama". Yesterday, our Early Interventionist and his teacher freaked out when I got to the school because he said it with his flash cards. This morning, we had speech (random Saturday house call) and Jennifer got his tongue all loosened up. Everyone has been working with him on the 'm' sound for ages. He can make the 'm' sometimes, but when we tried to get him to say the magic word, his 'm' would turn into a 'b'. But not today!!! I can officially die happy.

Here's some eye candy of the smartest little speech-disorder-beating kid you have ever seen:

Watching the Fox game of the week (the only baseball we get, sad day).Playing Connect Four (thanks Nona and Pop).He came home from school with a blue eyebrow the other day. Very punk rock.Presenting me a flower and gift on Mother's Day.Goofing off in my sunglasses at Tomato Head.These last two illustrate how Jeremy spends 90% of his time at home: with his best friends Thomas, James, Billy, and Percy.
Hope you are all having as great a Saturday as we are!! Love you!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears, No Thanks!!

Once upon a time there was a young girl named Little Jeannie Lou. Little Jeannie Lou was a lovely child with cherub cheeks and knobbly knees. She played all day, read books all night, and did well in school. She loved all her friends and family, but there was one secret she sought to conceal from them all. While Cheri Lynn brought home a kitten, Joseph Edward brought home stray dogs by the dozens, and Danielle Christine cuddled her little Lucky pup, Little Jeannie Lou smiled from a distance secretly praying, "Please don't come near me, please don't come near me." For her worst fear in life was to be covered in the slobber, fur, and scratches that inevitably come with pet interactions. Sure, animals are cute...from a respectful distance. No need to talk to them, or smell them, or, heaven forbid, touch them.

As a youngster, Little Jeannie Lou was asked to share in the care of three birds she shared with her siblings. Mysteriously (I swear I don't know what happened), the birds did not survive the week they were under her care. As an adolescent, High Schooler Jeannie Lou begged her teacher for a detention so that she could miss the annual trip to the zoo with her class. No success. The trip sucked, and Jeannie Lou was once again forced to pretend to find defecating nasty animals adorable and interesting. Visiting friends with pets is always tough, but the lucky development of an allergy has saved Jeannie Lou for coming up with creative excuses to keep her distance from the furry things running rampant in people's houses where they expect guests to sit and eat without vomiting.

So Jeannie Lou made it almost 30 years of her life keeping her distance and not-so-secretly hating animals. And then "the motherhood" hit. Jeremy Campbell LOVES animals of all kinds. At his school their project this semester has been an animal study. They took a field trip to the Animal Shelter that daddy attended, but the culmination of their study was a big trip to the Knoxville Zoo. Geeze louise.

I took Jeremy to the zoo, along with seven other 2 year-olds, their parents, and 2 teachers. Most of the time, I closed my eyes and thought of England, but then I noticed that Jeremy was in HEAVEN. He loved it, was on his best behavior, and really showed me how much he has learned about animals these past months, which considering his lack of language was pretty impressive. We saw elephants, bears, giraffes, fish, otters, penguins, turtles, snakes, camels, goats, and some other smelly things that I can't think of. Jeremy's favorites were the elephants, red pandas, otters, and penguins. He ran up to each exhibit, put his face and hands right on the glass, and yelped with joy. He touched a camel and I took him into the petting zoo part and helped him pet a goat and a sheep (which means I got waay closer to these animals than I ever, ever wanted to). But, I have to admit, it was more than worth it to see the excitement on my baby's face. I would hug a lion in heat for that crazy kid.

Some pictures of our adventure, courtesy of Jeremy's teacher Jill since I forgot my camera:

I love that Mr. Moo is a part of every single picture. And that Jeremy is totally the coolest kid there rocking his ball cap and polo look. That last pic is of the kids gathered around a water fountain. Yes, the red pandas were like 2 feet away, but they could put their hands in the water so that was way more fun.

I will probably get more pictures of the trip later, so I will post more at a later date if they are cute.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ode to a Beautiful Mom

I realized while talking to my mom on the phone the other day that I have now missed 10 Mother's Days in a row. I don't do it on purpose, it was always during finals while I was in college and during closing while I was running the residence halls. So, here is my long-distance tribute to my "drop dead gorgeous" mother, Velita Nadine Boldreghini Carr:

She was quite a dancer when she was little. She says she took ballet and tap because she had to correct her horrible balance. I think she is lying. She was a ballet dancer until she was 18, so she must have been good!Her senior class picture. So beautiful. I remember looking at this as a little kid and hoping my senior pic would be as gorgeous. I think I wore the exact same lace thingy, but alas, I did not inherit her amazing smile.The family portrait that hangs in Nona's house was always a favorite to us cousins when we were little. It was so funny to think of our parents being that young (and Uncle Louis having real hair). Seriously, though, how luminous is my mom in this picture? It is like she has her own special lighting. She managed to make the 70s clothes look graceful and pretty.I love this picture of my parents at their wedding. They are incredibly goofy people, and this one shows that side of them a bit. Mom was beautiful and dad looks so young!The happiest day of my mom's life: the day JEANNIE was born! Sure, other kids would also be born, but this was the BEST! How does she look that pretty seconds after giving birth?Mommy and me. I love her glasses and awesome 80s haircut. But with me in her arms, she looks genuinely happy!Our family in 1984. Danielle was still 6 years away, so this was the group I remember from our crazy kid adventures. How mom got us all to look that clean and brushed I have no idea. I can barely get one kid looking decent, let alone three.Our family many years later. Yay, Danielle made finally made it! Mom is still gorgeous 20 years and 4 wacky kids down the road.I love that she is up for anything when it comes to us. For instance, we missed out on our annual Santa picture in 2005, so we dressed up mom as Santa and sat on her lap. This one is my favorite of our Santa snapshots throughout the years, and I think it was our last since I got married the next year.Mom and dad at Halloween. When I mention things like this to my friends, they look at me in shock and say their parents never dressed up, even when they were kids. That is insane to me. No one loves Halloween more than my mom. She has had some classic costumes and is great with make-up. My favorite was when she was preggo with Dani, she dressed as a pregnant nun and dad was the pope. We are good Catholics.Another reason I love my mom: she loves my dad so much! How wonderful to look up to two people who have such a great relationship. They fight sometimes (she threw a prescription pill bottle at his head once, and he was so shocked that she actually hit her mark the fight ended in laughter) but it always ends with laughs and hugs - like a real couple.My mom in a nutshell (emphasis on the nut): for her 50th birthday we threw her a superhero themed party and she dressed as Wonder Woman - and totally rocked the costume!When I became a mommy 2 years ago, she was 400 miles away but she and dad were the first ones to make it to my bedside. The emergency C-section prevented them from making the birth, but even so they were darn close!Nothing is more comforting as a new mother than having your own mom around for words of advice and to soothe your frazzled nerves.Since December 13, 2007 when I met my own son, my understanding of what my mom went through raising me made much more sense. I still have a lot to learn, but I have a great role model. Why don't I look as effortlessly gorgeous as my mom did on delivery day??And finally, my all time favorite picture of my mom. This, to me, sums up the superstar that is Velita Carr. This is Christmas morning. Judging by Cheri's age and excitement, it is around 6am. She and dad were most likely up all night putting together toys (to help Santa, of course). Look at how little Joey is, he cannot even sit up properly. Now, look at my mom. Luminous. Just strikingly gorgeous. With three kids under the age of five, one that was about five months old. On Christmas morning. No makeup, bathrobe (that robe is in so many memories of mine), and there she is...stunning. Truly a superMOM.I love you, Mommy!