Monday, April 23, 2012


So, I am in the kitchen pretending to cook a nutritious dinner for my children (ie putting frozen chicken nuggets in the oven).  I hear a squeal from the living room where I left my perfect children playing in a supervised and clean environment with educational toys (ie watching TV alone with only each others fists and screams to keep each other company on our stained carpet).  I happily (grumpily) call to the children in a sing-song voice (harsh holler).  Jeremy responds with an adorable laugh, "Viley!  You crawling!!  Good job!!" (true story).
My 10.5 month old daughter finally started crawling!!  I was even more excited and proud than Jeremy was - he has been taking it rather personally that his instruction has not worked on her.  She has this weird little crawl where one leg is perfect and the other is just kind of along for the ride.  But, it works.  She can get from one end of our house to the other, and she is so happy.  She had gone into a frustrated slump (screaming and driving me crazy) but now she is her old happy, smiley self again.  Luckily, our home is still child-proofed from our first foray into mobile child-rearing.  Here's hoping it holds up this time around.
My moral is simple.  Let kids be kids.  I thought I learned this with Jeremy, but it seems I did not.  I listened to the critics, read the online reports, freaked out over milestones, and caused both myself and my daughter a lot of frustration.  I did not allow her to sit up, I forced her into odd positions that would "induce" crawling.  I got upset with her, and she with me.  What I did not do was let her be Violet.  She is a 10.5 month crawler.  Jeremy was a 6 month crawler.  So what.  I am fairly certain her future college application will not ask at what age she crawled.  Or rolled.  Or walked.  I certainly hope it doesn't ask when Jeremy spoke. 
I don't know why she wanted to wait this long to crawl, but I do know it made her first time even sweeter.  And she is seriously the most adorable crawler I have ever seen!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Violet: 10 (and a half) Months Old

It's a little late, but who cares? Violet is 10 months old, plus. She is adorable.She is also officially behind now. 90% of children crawl by 10 months. We are just hoping she crawls before kindergarten.

Viley's current favorites are peek a boo, Daddy, dancing and singing, Tangled, emptying containers and filling them back up, screaming when she wants to crawl or stand but can't figure it out, and eating.The girl does love her some food. We have yet to find anything she will not eat. In abundance. Mashed potatoes, olives, fruit of all kinds, hamburger, tacos, pita, sandwiches of all kinds (I gave her peanut butter and jelly and her teacher gasped - apparently no peanuts until age 3 - oops), tomatoes, spinach, crackers, cheese, juice, chocolate, beans, carrots, barbeque, potato salad, tuna, chicken, fries, lamb, etc. She is insane and my little chunky monkey.

We just had our parent teacher conference for the semester and she is doing fine other than the obvious gross motor issues that we are choosing to not harp on at the moment. She has become extremely vocal and has different yells that mean different things. It is not at all annoying or grating on my nerves. She mimics speech patterns and new words this month are "boo" and "uh oh."

Here she is in the outfit Aunt Megan made for her!Oh, and she is apparently a teenager.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Field Trip!

Ok, so in my efforts to not be a completely non-existent mother, I volunteered to take Jeremy's class on a field trip. Not just any field trip, though, a super classy and fun tour of a residence hall! Don't let the excitement overwhelm you!

Seriously, though, it was fun and it did somewhat make sense. His class is currently studying clothes - sizes, shapes, materials, fasteners, etc. I was asked to bring Violet in to show off an example of tiny clothes.This was following one of the dads showing off huge clothes.I was told that they were hoping to take the kids to see a laundromat. Well, I don't have access to Disney World, but I do have twelve different laundry facilities at my disposal. That's right, who's the coolest mom now?!

I decided a trip to South Carrick Hall was in order. You will remember that this is the hall I once ran and is where Brian and I were living when we had young Jeremy. South Carrick was his first home. He was quite popular with the 500 freshman girls who lived there.We walked from the school to the hall, and the first thing we encountered was the mailboxes. Listening to 4 and 5 year olds attempt to understand math is hilarious. If there are 500 women in the building how many mailboxes do you think there are? One! 500! 13! (There are 250).I think they loved the elevator rides best of all.They got to tour an RA room. They were very disappointed not to see 500 beds in her room. Math is hard.So funny to see little people in our res hall hallways!I thought a trip to the roof would be fun, and I was right. They loved it! They are quite astute at identifying Knoxville landmarks. They knew the Sunsphere, Ayres Hall, Neyland Stadium, the CSX Train Depot (guess who knew that one), and the Sterchi Building downtown. Finally, we headed to the basement to check out the laundry facilities. They were enthralled with the machines.They were also very concerned that people left their clothes in the machines. What if they get stolen? Should we take the clothes out and save them? Why do they look gray? Are they clean or dirty? Do they smell? All good questions.When we got over to the male side of the building (North and South Carrick connect in the basement for some inter-gender mingling - UT is stuck in 1950), a student walked in a was so confused by the kids. They attacked him with questions about his laundry and he was very nice to them.

It was a very fun trip, and shockingly the kids actually had a lot of fun touring the hall. I may have a full time job that keeps me away from the kids, but I am more than willing to adjust my job to fit into their curriculum as needed!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Is the Easter Bunny Here???

Every morning for DAYS I heard this. It was like Christmas all over again, which made me nervous, especially when he started listing the electric trains he wanted. We got there in the end, but it took some patience. I am quite sure he still does not understand the religious point of the day, but he does know that Jesus did something on Easter and he went to church without crying. I consider that a full success story.

The day before Easter, Jeremy and I dyed eggs - after yet another confusing conversation:
Me to Brian after t-ball: "Let's go home, and Jeremy will dye eggs with me."
Jeremy (shocked): "I am NOT going to DIE!"
Me and Brian: "BAHAHAHAHA!"
While Jeremy was busy not dying, Violet had a fashion show with her toys.We laid out the baskets, the empty plastic eggs (the Bunny takes them, fills them, and hides them around our house), and the carrots. And what do you know...that crazy rabbit finally showed up! Princess movies for Vi and LeapPad games for JerBear. (Courtesy of the Easter Bunny, aka my mom).We found all 27 eggs hidden (in a manner of speaking) in the house,Played with our new Ants in the Pants game,Read all 108 words on the new pack of reading flash cards on the first try (waste of 99 cents),Watched our new favorite movie, Tangled,Had a blast throwing plastic eggs all over the place,And attempted to comb our hair flat for church (failed).We had a lovely Easter Sunday at home with our little family. We hope you had the same!Happy Birthday to our godson, Philip!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fancy Dinner

I promise this will be my final post from Spring Break. Our last night in Memphis, we all went out to dinner downtown at the Majestic. It is an old movie theatre that is now a restaurant with silent movies playing in the background. Cheri gave all of us invitations and gift cards for Christmas to attend this "fancy dinner."

Two gals dressed for a night out. This happens once every never in our real lives, so I wanted to get a photo of me and Viley looking fancy. It will probably never happen again.Luckily, my mom was there to entertain Viley while I repeatedly pulled trains out of my food thanks to the monster on my other side. My siblings. We wanted to just do the one, but mom made us take a normal photo as well. Me, Mom, JerBear. How handsome is that boy and his Santa Fe boxcar?Cheri and her boyfriend Ted.Joey and Meg.Dani and her fiance Tim.My parents. (Dad had just come back from taking Violet outside during a screaming fit. He was quite happy to announce that she is a chic magnet and he would be happy to take her out anytime I needed.)Love.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Memphis Madness

I am a bit out of order here, but who cares? We did too many things I want to document while in Memphis for spring break. First up, my mom had her annual Spades Tournament. As with anything my mother does, she went totally and completely overboard. She sends out a formal invitation, four pages of rules, and decorates the house for weeks. The new addition this year was a homemade leader board. Yep. You can't tell in this photo but this thing is lifesize. Like, it is my size. Each team piece can be moved according to where they stand, and it is dry erase so reusable. She only spent $7 making this. Love her. As I am sure you immediately noticed, Dani and I came in 5th place - a personal best for us. We also had to inject our own weirdness, so we decided to dress as 80s girls. Most of the other people were just confused and thought we wore blue eyeshadow and dressed like that on a normal basis. For the first time, the bottom spot (winner of the toilet bowl traveling trophy) was just as popular as first place. My insane Aunt Lynn and ho Uncle Mike won it after a record-setting horrible score of NEGATIVE 1,836. Congrats to you!We also celebrated Chris and my birthdays at the tournament. My cousin Chris and I have had many joint parties over the years, so I feel that without him my b-day is lackluster. Jeremy helped us blow out the candles.Cheri made my AMAZING cake, and since she is perfect, so her cake had to be as well. She leveled it (who does that?) and left the extra stuff for people to eat. This turned into Violet being plopped in the middle of the dining room table and eating chocolate cake by the handful. My kids are not at all spoiled at Pop and Nona's house.Finally, I have to give a huge shout out to my sisters and mom. I found out upon my arrival that Cheri, Dani, and Mom are doing P90X together. 90 days of a crazy intense workout program! My mom is awesome. I have not exercised since 2006 and she is kicking butt in her 50s!! Here, Jeremy attempted to join them. He lasted three minutes. Apparently, I need to get my butt in gear if I want to not look like a whale next to these three at Dani's wedding in July.