Saturday, April 30, 2011


Holidays keep getting more and more fun as Jeremy gets older. I do struggle with the religious part of this holiday for a toddler, though. We did well with Christmas and Jesus' birthday party, but I just don't know how to explain a crucifixion and rising from the dead to him. So, we skipped that this year, I hope that is ok. The Easter Bunny is also still a strange idea to him, and when I told him about a possible chocolate bunny appearing in his basket, he looked at me like I had three heads and said, "nooo, that's silly, mommy."

But, a chocolate bunny did indeed arrive, and Jeremy now understands the joy of such a thing. He also got some huge eggs with matchbox cars inside from Nona and Pop, a Batman t-shirt, a casual Easter outfit, tons of candy, and a few little toys. The book and extra little bag are from Aunt Katherine and Uncle Graham. Funny, we sent the exact same book to their son (though ours was mailed late)!A few days before Easter I took Jeremy to the annual Eggstravaganza on campus, which is organized by our student leadership group in Housing. When I originally thought I could not make it, I told some of the students and they were very concerned about Jeremy missing it. I was not important, but Jeremy being there was a must. So cute. He was totally treated like a VIP and didn't even have to wait in the hot dog line - his was brought right out to him. Because he is awesome. It was a lovely event and Jeremy was able to meet up with some friends from school: Natalia, William, and Audrey. Kendall also came but missed the photo.I was proud of my little man during the egg hunt. He did it all by himself (some kids had parents hunting with them) and got 8 eggs (a very good number considering the huge number of kids hunting and their ages). He got free food, a free t-shirt, played a duck pond game to win more candy, and continued his fear of cotton candy (he just does not understand how it is food). He could have had his face painted and done some races but a huge storm hit so we headed home a bit early.On Easter Sunday, we went to Ben and Elizabeth's house (excuse me, WILLIAM's house) for an egg hunt and dinner with friends. To prepare, Jeremy and I made a bunny cake and potato salad. The potato salad is Cheri's recipe that everyone loves and the bunny cake is a childhood memory of mine that I was super excited to introduce to Jeremy. He loved it!I am thrilled at how wonderfully he now plays with other kids. Put him and William in the same house and they jump up and down and run away together. For hours. Literally. It is magical. The only hiccup is his still active train obsession and his dislike of sharing said trains. He seems to be good with everything else in the world, but ask him to share a Thomas train and get the earplugs out. Other than that, though, he was a perfectly behaved gentleman for the holiday.We had a lovely Easter with great weather and friends. Thanks to the URHC officers and members for a great Eggstravaganza, to Ben and Elizabeth for inviting us to spend the day with them again, to Joel for making yummy deviled eggs, and to William for sharing his trains with Jeremy!
(ignore the horrid quality of most photos - I am still without a working camera, so I have been taking video and then stealing snapshots from the video)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oh Dear...

So, I am having a baby, right? She is a cute little bugger, but a bugger nonetheless. I have an extra ultrasound scheduled for Monday since she is measuring so large and will most likely be told a regular birth is no longer an option for me so we will be extracting rather than birthing once again. The doctor told me that I grow very healthy, stout babies. No little scrawny babes for me! But, this means that she is already big enough to be delivered. Like now. And that is not a joke. I am having trouble moving around and my arthritis has taken this opportunity to rear its ugly head. Oh, and my 3 year old is still in diapers with no end in sight.

Add that up and I have been more than a bit uncomfortable of late. As I attempted to get up off the floor in Jeremy's room last night, he looked at me and said in his sweetest voice, "Don't worry, mommy. It's ok."

Then he looked straight at my stomach and said in a stern voice, "Baby Violet, get out! Mommy is tired!"

Sometimes I just love my kid(s). But, I would prefer Baby Violet to stay put for a bit longer. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Danielle Christine: 9, no, 21 Years Old!

My baby sister turns 21 years old today.

How is that sentence even possible?!? Frightening thought indeed!Danielle Christine Carr came into our lives on April 20, 1990 with joy from Mom and Dad, nonchalance from a 6 year old Joey, excitement from a 9 year old Jeannie, and tears from a 10 year old Cheri who feared she may have to share a room with the baby. Mom and Dad let us choose her name, and now she is stuck forever with a middle name inspired by the horrible B movie and Stephen King book, Christine the Killer Car.Dani was a crazy cute kid and quickly began to show traits that were decidedly unique in our family, and luckily did not include murdering people as a car. She did not exactly take to sports, which the rest of us enjoyed to extremes, but she was loud, musical, and theatrical. I remember a kindergarten production she was in at church and though the whole group was supposedly singing, the only kid you could hear was Dani, and she was singing loud enough for the big guy and all the saints to hear in the heavens above. It was like The Dani Show with a few back-up singers who are there to take up space while the diva does her thing.This, of course, was only the beginning of her love of performance. Now a theatre major in college and a veteran of the stage with more than 20 shows under her belt, this kid is no joke. Unfortunately, since I live out of Memphis I have only seen a handful of her performances but it is an understatement to say she steals the show every time she walks on stage. She has even begun directing, helping children in their first attempts at theatre, and is now pursuing her interest in the historical aspect of theatre as a dramaturg.Honestly, though, when I think of my baby sis I think of when she was little. Dan and I shared a room for about 7 years. When she had nightmares, she crawled into my bed. When she got sick, she threw up on my bed. When she got scared of lightning, she slept in my bed. I remember a recurring nightmare I had as a child was that our house would catch on fire. These dreams only got worse once Dani was born and I used to wake up at night in a sweat and panic trying to figure out how I would save that tiny little girl if there was a fire and we were trapped in our room. I had some pretty elaborate plans. I left home at 18, when Dani was 9, and have not lived in Memphis for more than a few months since then. So, to me, she will always be my little baby sis - 9 years old and scared of thunder and lightning. Surely she still plays with Santa Bear, snores like an old man, and watches The Power Rangers, right?But, in reality, she is a lot more than that. She is a fiercely intelligent young lady, independent, quick witted, and creative. She is emotionally invested in all she does and feels things deeply because she cares so much. Dani has had to deal with more than most people of her age, but she has never let her disease get her down or rob her of what she wants to do. I admire that and I probably don't tell her that enough.Dan Quayle, Daniel, Quail Dog, Dog, Dani, Danielle: Happy Birthday. I am sorry I can't be there for the Carr family 21st birthday traditional trip to Tunica, but you better believe I would have made the trip if I were not 8 months pregnant. You are a great sister, a good friend, and a beautiful young woman. I am lucky to be your sister, and I am so excited for this fun milestone in your life. Have fun!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dixie Stampede!

About a week ago, Jeremy and I were asked to chaperon a trip to the Dixie Stampede! One of the residence halls I work with took their International Roommate Program group (American students who live with foreign exchange students) to give them a taste of southern culture - Dolly Parton style. I have never been and single tickets are normally like $50, so I jumped at the opportunity. Plus, I find it hilarious that we take international students to such a tacky and hilariously redneck place.

I am super glad I said yes. Jeremy was extremely well behaved, which eased my fears of taking a 3 year old on yet another outing with college kids and his presence kept the students in check (we placed the trouble-makers in my van so that they would be better behaved - and it worked! Wow - I sound like I work with kindergartners, not 20 year-olds.) We started with Jeremy posing with the "princess." She was very nice and Jeremy was shy in speaking to her but kept telling me the princess was pretty. In the background you can see Kurt and Akshitha, the RAs who organized the event - love them.Then, they usher you into a room where you take commemorative photos. They brought us ours and they were $25!! So, Mona, my lovely GA, deftly took a photo of the photo so that I could keep this cute pic of my boy and his band-aid face.Basically, the Dixie Stampede is just a dinner show with horses. We were seated on the "South" side, and were instructed to cheer for the south and boo the north. This was the night they would finally decide which side is actually better. Classy. We were served enough food to feed an army - each person got a whole chicken, soup, rolls, corn on the cob, ham, and a potato. Then, we got an apple turnover for dessert. The only catch - no utensils, so we ate with our hands. Jeremy, however, did not eat at all because he could not tear his eyes away from the action in front of him.He was mesmerized by the horses, lights, birds, buffalo, pigs, miniature horses, trick riders, and general craziness. They have audience participation, so we were thrilled when one of our international students and one of the RAs got called down to do a race - and won! They were adorable. It was a hilarious event and I think the students enjoyed it - and I know Jeremy did. He even got to pet the horses at the end! Oh, and I am sad to announce that the North won, once again. Maybe next time. But, as Dolly herself reminded us at the end while wearing some sort of sequin American flag, we are all Americans, north and south, and we are proud to be so. Gotta love that Dolly... and America.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Mole

I have fallen massively behind in my blogging again, so this week will hopefully make up for that. First up, a quick update on Jeremy's precious little face. About a week ago, we had his mole assessed for the first time with a pediatric dermatologist (we highly recommend Dr. Elizabeth Anderson). She went ahead and shaved it off and did a biopsy. Luckily, I was at work during this and Brian was the one who had to hold him down as they repeatedly stuck a needle in his FACE and then cut into his FACE. He was a brave boy and 2 nurses and Dr. Anderson have all told me over the phone that he was the cutest kid they have seen. :) And even with a band-aid on his face, he is quite handsome, dontcha think?Anyway, the biopsy showed that the mole was a Compound Spitz Nevus and most likely nothing to worry about, but with my history and the chance that it could grow back and become a more complicated mole later, they recommended we schedule a full surgery to have it completely cut out. Since it is on his face and he is so young, Dr. Anderson would like him to see a plastic surgeon and we have our first appointment with him on April 28th. Wish us luck and pray I have more meetings at work and do not have to witness my little man being put under and more cutting into his tiny little precious FACE. I can't help but feel a bit guilty that it was my genes that passed along the fun mole issues, but oh well, he will have a cool scar to impress the ladies with later. I think we will make up some fun stories of dare-devil bravery to make it seem more impressive.

Any suggestions are welcome.