Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just in Time for Halloween

Evan lost his first tooth! I didn't notice it until he was reading to me, and I saw it was G O N E! I looked in the gum he had been chewing but it wasn't there. So, I have no idea where his tooth is. I didn't notice it was gone this morning when he brushed his teeth, but we were rushed and I didn't pay real close attention. Maybe he lost it during lunch at school. Whenever he lost it must have been during the night last night or early this morning because his mouth was not bleeding at all. I'm so excited for him that he lost his first tooth, but so sad I didn't get to see it. Oh well, I'm sure we are just starting and there will be plenty more to follow. I told him I didn't think the Tooth Fairy had a rule about the tooth actually being present. She'll stop by anyway!

I started this post yesterday. After dinner, we started looking for the tooth. I didn't think we would find it though because I had just vacuumed the entire house. Evan always likes to crawl into our bed in the mornings, so that's were we started looking first. We carefully unmade the bed, and WE FOUND IT! It was on the very edge of my mattress. Yeah!

There it is!

I asked Derek to take Evan's picture to commemorate this big event, and this is what I got. Um, ok?! Couldn't they at least given me a smile or something?! Both of them were more concerned with wrestling with each other. Boys!

On another note, I have decided Ella Grace's 2nd birthday party theme will be kitty cats and puppy dogs because that is what she loves more than anything right now. If we see a dog or cat anywhere, she immediately exclaims, "Mama, dog! Awwww!" and makes a little pouty face. Last week we were at a red light and the lady beside us had her window down and her dog was hanging out of it. Ella Grace was just talking to it saying, "Hi, dog!" When the light turned green and the dog drove away, it was bad times. She was crying so hard calling, "Dooog." It was pitiful.

Derek mentioned getting her a dog for her birthday (we are not cat people), but I told him I really couldn't take care of one more thing right now, so she will have to settle for all kinds of decorations with pictures of cats and dogs. She will love it. I had already ordered this dress for her because I knew she would love it since it has the puppy on it. I just got it in the mail yesterday and it will be perfect for her to wear at her party. I showed it to her last night and she cried because she wanted to put it on right them. She spent the next ten minutes looking for it! I wanted to get it monogrammed, but Kelly's Kids has a cap of the number of letters and "Ella Grace" is over the limit, so Faith is going to make a hair bow for her with her monogram and some paw prints. It will be precious.


October is so busy. We are having dinner at our house Friday night to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday. Then, there are three additional family birthdays through the rest of the month. We'll be busy!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just a Couple of Things

Thank you all for sharing your ticket stories with me. I actually felt a lot better. That was until I went to pay my ticket and get on probation. That ticket cost me (well, Derek) $180!!! When the little guy at the counter told me this, I shouted, "Oh my stars!" I didn't mean to be loud, but I was shocked! Plus, I am on probation for two years.

After I paid my ticket, Derek told me how funny I was when I was telling him that I received the ticket. I remember telling Derek, "I was so mad, and that cop wasn't nice at all. So, I didn't even tell him 'Thank you' when he finished giving me instructions on how to take care of the ticket. I just rolled up my window and drove away." We both starting laughing when Derek reminded me this cop deals with criminals all day, so me not saying "Thank you" really didn't put a damper on his day. Ha!

On another totally random note, do any of you that live in central Arkansas need or know someone who needs a twin bed? Here is a picture of it...

I love this bed. I am only selling it because we got Evan a bigger bed this weekend (he is growing so fast). It comes with a head board, foot board, and rails, and we got it at Haverty's. The Pottery Barn Kids bedding is negotiable, too. Just send me an e-mail if you or someone you know may be interested. I would love to get this to someone who could use it and also out of my garage. :)

I had a lovely Girls' Night Out Friday night. We went to eat at Bonefish Grill. I'm not a huge seafood person, but I actually enjoyed my crab cakes. Then, we went to see the movie, "The Women." I think we all agreed it was a snoozer. As a matter of fact, one of us (I will not name names, Toni) really DID fall asleep. Seriously. Oh well, it was still great being out with my girls!

Toni, Me, and Tina

Michelle, Kim, and Abby

This is just a picture of my glamor girl today...


I hope you all have had a GREAT weekend. I'm looking forward to getting caught up on my blog reading after the kids go to bed tonight. I'm not able to read that much during the week because of our busy schedule. I've missed y'all!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Baby Can READ!

My little boy can read! Derek and I have thought for some time now he definitely knew some words. Then, his paraprofessional asked me if I thought he could read because she was covering up flashcards with colors on them only letting him see the word and he was telling her what they were. I am so proud.

For a while now, he has been able to spell a few words like cat, dog, and pig. However, yesterday he read ten different words. This was amazing in itself, but on the ones he didn't know, he sounded them out. HE SOUNDED THEM OUT! Just AMAZING! I totally cried.

The words he read while with his favorite Occupational Therapist, Stacy.

I am SO thankful for the teachers and therapists that work with Evan who see how incredibly smart he is and challenge him to learn and reach his fullest potential. Evan has worked so hard in his six little years - much harder than any child should have to work, but I know one thing for sure. Nothing can hold Evan back - not even stinky old autism!

I'm so proud of you, son!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Can't Drive 55

Well, at least I guess I can't drive 25. I got a ticket yesterday morning. That's just the pits! I wasn't really paying attention to how fast I was going because I was just moving along with the traffic (so, I know I wasn't the only one). However, as luck would have it, I was the one caught and given a ticket by the "not so nice" motorcycle cop.


Of course I called Derek on the way home and told him, "I love you. I just got a speeding ticket." I am so thankful for a sweet, understanding husband that just says, "I'm sorry. That happens sometimes." Have I ever mentioned he has the patience of Job? He has to to live with me. Ha!

I'm just thankful I was still able to make it to school and get Evan to his classroom before the tardy bell rang. However, it's not a very fun way to start out the week. I am irritated at myself for adding one more thing to my list of things to do this week that was so unnecessary had I been paying attention. Now, I have to carve out some time this week to go to their office and take care of my ticket, and do this with a 23-month-old in tow. That should be fun. Ugh!

Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Slowly but Surely

I like to plan things, but sometimes it seems like the more I plan, the more monkeyed up my plans will get. If I just fly by the seat of my pants, things just seem to go smoother for me. I don't know why it works that way for me, but it just does. I just expect it now, as it just seems to be the way I roll. :)

I have been working on Ella Grace's room for about a month now. We have made progress, but it is not finished and it is driving me crazy. The room is painted and the bed is up and she is sleeping in it (very well I might add). However, somehow my bedding order got messed up. The duvet came in but it had white flannel on the back. Can you imagine white flannel on a toddler's bed? Needless to say, I sent that back and haven't gotten the correct one in yet or her curtains or the rest of her pillows or her side table.

However, some exciting developments are that I can finally get her clothes put away (thank goodness) because I did get my childhood chest painted. It matches her new furniture perfectly and I thought it turned out really cute...

I wish I would have taken before pictures when it was brown. The painter came to pick it up and I felt weird saying, "Wait a minute. I need to take a picture of this for my blog." Ha!

I love all the girly, swirly details. That is a jewelry box on top. I also love that she has something that was mine as a little girl.

Ella Grace wanting her picture taken with her new chest, too. She is SO proud of her new room.
I love how she has her little hands up by her face.

I am also excited because Kim, a fellow blogger and talented artist, is making a canvas for Ella's room with her name on it to go over her bed. It is going to be precious!

Hopefully, I will have all this wrapped up by her birthday in October. She turned 23 months yesterday. Whaaa! My baby is on the verge of being a two-year-old, and I can't believe it! Whaaa!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Little Mommy in Training

Ella Grace is such a little mommy. She loves to take care of her babies and stuffed animals. She also enjoys cleaning, especially when I vacuum. She LOVES it. She always wants to get her little toy vacuum and gets busy right along side me. It's so cute.

She also likes to get a baby wipe or rag and clean up a "mess" (even if there isn't one) on the floor or table. She will sing the "Clean Up" song while she is cleaning. She even tries to clean Evan by wiping him with a napkin. LOL. He doesn't like that very much. :)

Ella Grace, you will be such a good mommy one day!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Really???

I was busy doing housework yesterday and the news was on. I was half-way listening to it because all of this economic crisis talk is frankly freaking me out a little. I did stop what I was doing for a minute to listen to a story about Sarah Palin's glasses. Evidently, her rimless glasses are causing quite a stir. The man/company that makes her glasses received something like 9,000 orders in ten days! She is beautiful in her glasses, and I can see why people would want them. However, I don't think her bun will catch on quite as fast.

I wear contacts all the time and rarely wear my glasses. If I am not wearing my contacts, I can't even read the alarm clock! Derek, on the other hand, is "Eagle Eye" as I call him. I just hope Evan and Ella Grace take after him.

You can thank me later for the riveting post! Ha! I just thought this was wild. Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Week-end Wrap Up

It's Tuesday, and I'm just getting a chance to wrap up my weekend. What a GREAT weekend it was. Sunday morning, Derek and I met some of my new besties at Mimi's Cafe for breakfast before we headed back home to Arkansas.

These are probably three of the sweetest people I have ever met in my life. I am so thankful Megan stopped by my blog that day just to say hi. It seems we clicked instantly, and then I met Lauren and Meagan. It was all the start of what I'm sure will be a wonderful friendship (and probably more road trips to Tennessee). Thank you again, girls, for all you did to raise money for autism in Evan's name. I don't think there are words to express how this has touched my heart.

Not only are these girls sweet and beautiful and hilarious, but there were equally sweet, handsome, and hilarious men there as well. We had so much fun meeting Web, David, Vance, and Dawson. Vance wasn't that crazy about me I don't think, but he was very comfortable with Derek. So, I just got some Vance sugar from the side without him really knowing it. Ha!


On the other hand, I think Dawson liked me. He would nuzzle down in my neck the instant I held him.


They are both so stinkin' cute I can hardly stand it!

If you are going on a road trip with your spouse anytime soon, I highly recommend this gadget Derek picked up before our trip. How wonderful it is to know where you are going and not have to...ahem..."ask for directions." Plus, this nice lady talks to you and tells you where to turn. It was an argument saver. Oh, I mean, life saver. :)


I started getting butterflies in my stomach when we saw this...

I could not wait to get home to my babies. I missed them terribly! Two nights is plenty for me to be away from them. They were SO happy we were home. Ella Grace had her arms up for me to hold her before I even opened the door, and Evan and Derek wasted no time wrestling in the floor. We hit the ground running taking them to the Jump Zone and out to eat. We were exhausted by the end of the night, but it was all worth it. I loved spending time with my husband, meeting my new sweet friends and their families, and loving on my kids when we got home. It was just perfect. A huge thank you to my mom who stayed with them while we were gone. She is such a wonderful mom to me and grandmother to her grandchildren. Thanks, Mom!

Here is a snippet of what EG and her Daddy were up to while Derek was supposed to be packing for our trip. As you can guess, I was gone on an errand hence the outfit she is wearing, the hairdo, and the fact that she is even listening to, much less dancing to Toby Keith's "Who's Your Daddy!!!" I'm telling you, there is no telling what kind of shenanigans go on here when I am out!

video

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tennessee Time

What a great day so far! Derek and I got to meet Lauren, Meagan, and Megan at the Tennessee Walk for Autism this morning. Megan asked me to text her when we got close, but I wanted to surprise them. We walked toward the registration area (these girls do a lot of volunteer work through their local junior league, so they were volunteering their time at the walk...another reason I love them). I spotted Lauren, Megan and Vance immediately. I think I frightened Vance because I screamed so loud when I saw them and instantly started hugging them. He probably thought, "Who in the world is this crazy lady?" Ha!

Derek and me before the walk.

The four of us.
It was so good to meet these three in person. They are just as sweet "in real life" as they are on their blogs. Since I am a giant, I am squatting down. Ha! I know some of you have commented before, "Just how tall are you?" Well, I say it's somewhere between 5'11" and 5'12". Ha! I also have to mention that Lauren designed our team shirts. They are SO cute, and I can honestly say ours were THE best out of all the others we saw. :)

Before the walk began, a sweet little girl with autism (you never would have even known she had autism) sang the National Anthem beautifully, and then we listened to Evan Farmer from TLC's "While You Were Out" talk about autism. This event raised $160,000 for autism research. Isn't that incredible?!?

Me and Evan Farmer from TLC's "While You Were Out."

I had the best time visiting with Lauren, Megan, Vance, Web, and Meagan during the walk. Vance even let me hold him once before he left! That made my day! He is THE cutest little boy, and I know Ella Grace would have LOVED to have been there with him.

Megan, sweet little Vance, and Web

Here we are walk in progress.
They made all these super cute signs with Evan's mug on them. I'm taking them home to show him.

After the walk, Derek and I took some time to do some shopping. They have a wonderful mall here with all of the children's stores in the same area. Genius, I tell you!

Carter's, OshKosh, Gymboree, and Stride Rite all in a row. Could this really be happening to me?

Then, we had lunch at Red Robbin. I have never been before, and it was YUM.

Derek thrilled to have his picture taken at Red Robbin. Ha!

This evening, we are heading over to Lauren's house for dinner and a visit. I'm so excited to get to meet Lauren's baby, Dawson, in person. Hopefully, I can keep it down, so I don't scare him like I did Vance. :) We are having a great time!

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Great BIG Thank You

I wanted to update everyone on Evan's team "For the Love of Evan." I am SO excited to report that we met and even exceeded our goal of raising money for autism awareness. Thank you goes out to all of my family and friends out there who honored Evan by making a pledge in his team's name. There are also many of you that I don't know personally who have donated on Evan's behalf, and for that kindness I am extremely grateful. And, for those of you who have prayed for Evan and our family, THANK YOU. There really isn't anything better you could do for us!

Most of all, thank you to Meagan, Megan, and Lauren for taking the initiative to start a team and naming it in honor of my son! All of the love and kindness that has been shown our family in these last months has given us light in this sometimes dark journey of autism. Our family has come a long way since that diagnosis day. Now, we live in the present and hope for the future. We are so blessed!

Thank you all! My heart is full!

My sweet, happy boy this afternoon. Oh, how I love this boy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You?

Of course, no one needs to be reminded of what today's date means. 9/11 was the worst terroristic attack on US soil EVER. I think 9/11 is one of those days in which you don't forget where your were or what you were doing when you heard the news. In my lifetime, besides 9/11, I remember where I was when the Challenger burst into flames (watching it on TV in elementary school) and the Oklahoma City bombing.

For me, Sept. 11, 2001 will forever be ingrained in my memory, as the world stood still that day. I remember being at work (I did work in the "real world" for seven years before I had Evan). One of my employees called to tell me, "A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center." I was shocked. I worked in the telecommunications industry and there was a huge room on our floor with gigantic television screens that were used by the engineers. I ran to that room and they had on the news. The room was dark and there were the horrific sights on the big screens. I just couldn't believe it. It's still hard to believe something like that could happen here...in the United States of America! Every year, especially on 9/11, is another reminder to me how privileged I am live here, all the blessings that come with being an American, and the huge sacrifice our men and women in uniform are making to ensure the freedom of my children.

So, where were you when you heard this terrible news?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm Tired Y'all

I feel exhausted. I'm plain tired. Do you ever feel that way? Since school has started, I have met myself coming and going. I just "thought" I was busy while Evan was in pre-school. We are running all the time now! It is all for good though. The drive to Evan's school every day, twice a day is more than worth it thus far, and after school every day I take him to a therapist we adore.

School has surprised me. I was totally prepared for it to be something I would not be 100% pleased about. Oh, me, of little faith sometimes. I have prayed for Evan's school situation, especially Kindergarten, for years now, and wow has God answered BIG time. This public classroom setting Evan is in right now is wonderful!

It kind of got off to a sad start, as one of the paraprofessionals in his room was electrocuted in a lake at a designated swimming area. She jumped in the water to help her son, who is six, because he got electrocuted while swimming, and then she couldn't move when she got in the water to help him. It was a terrible tragedy, as a 12-year-old girl they were with drown in the accident, but luckily Evan's teacher and her son were rescued and have recovered. I had no idea you could get electrocuted in the lake! Just tragic.

It seems that the teachers and students have now settled in, and Evan is doing great. They have paired him with a paraprofessional that is from Jamaica. She is so kind and nurturing and Evan has had a bond with her from day one. I thought this was so interesting that he latched on to her so quickly, but I soon learned that she has a brother with autism, and then I understood. This may sound interesting, but I firmly believe Evan picks up on others that "get him." I think that is why he loves her so much. She understands autism. She is firm with him when she needs to be, but also lavishes him with love and understanding. I mean, what else could I ask for? To top that off, I was on my way to the parking lot when a Speech Pathologist came over to meet me because the school district hired her to be a full-time speech therapist in the classroom. Speech and language is probably Evan's biggest hurdle, so this was GREAT news! God is good...all the time.

Oh, and I'm not the only one tired around her. Evan also seemed a bit run down with a runny nose and watery eyes and a little whiney when I got him from school, but he is acting like his old self now, thank goodness. Little precious didn't get a very long nap today, and this is where I just found her. Up until this point, she has been very busy, which is why she doesn't have on her pajama top. She got it wet. Water seems to be a new love!

Please tell me she will always be small enough to fit her entire body on a bean bag!

Thinking about today and Evan's school made me think about this song. I mainly know about this group because my grandmother LOVES them, and I have heard a quartet sing this song in church before. I'm sure you've heard it, too. It just makes my heart happy and is SO true! Plus, these guys can break. it. down! Ha!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It's Been a Year

It has now been one year since Derek has been home from Iraq. There really aren't words to express how thankful I am. It's amazing how fast this year has flown by versus how slooooowly the year he was gone crept by. I'll never again take for granted a goodnight kiss or my hand being held while watching a movie or belly laughing about something silly with my best friend or sharing a holiday together as a family. It is so easy to take those things for granted until you are in a situation like deployment. At that point, I realized how silly arguments can be and how you really are never promised that next moment. So, go give that husband of yours a big hug, kiss and tell him you love him. It's so nice to have the opportunity to do that! :)

While Derek was in Iraq, he did get to see some fascinating sights, and some from Biblical times. I thought I would share them with you in honor of our one year anniversary.

I love that they painted a Razorback on the top of the hanger in honor of our favorite team, the Arkansas Razorbacks!

Oldest arch in the world

Tower of Babil (see the guy on the top?)

Flying in Iraq

Derek's unit from Arkansas

And, I thought this summer in Arkansas was hot. It was this hot most days in Iraq. Can you see it says 130 degrees?

Derek at the House of Abraham. This was one of the sights he was most excited to see.

Ziggurat

Ishtar gate

Lion sculpture in Babylon

A street in Babylon

Amphitheater in Babylon

Baghdad from the air

Handsomeness by his aircraft

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor of Love Day

What a terrific weekend. I started it out with dinner on Friday night with my "besties" (as my friend, Tina's, daughter calls it). We had a delicious dinner at PF Chang's and just an overall great time.

Saturday I spent most of the day organizing, ironing, and pricing clothes for an upcoming resale event. I do this twice a year. I sell things that Evan and Ella Grace have outgrown and use that money to buy them new clothes for the upcoming season. They also take furniture, so I will be selling the crib (whaaaa!) and the chest that matches. I'm kind of sad, but I am so excited about Ella Grace's new room that it's ok. It is a lot of work gathering everything and pricing it all, but in the end very worth it. Not only do I make a few dollars to support my Gymboree habit (ha!), but I also clean out closets, which is the best feeling!

Clothes ironed, tagged and ready.

You know how it is. Children won't be interested in something for months, but when you get it out to get rid of it, they are all of the sudden wanting to play with it or wear it. Ella Grace, being the fashionista she is, loved this hat and mitten set of Evan's. However, she prefered the mittens on her feet. LOL! Oh, and I do realize her outfit doesn't match. Her Daddy dressed her. :)

Sunday Evan spent a lot of time outside while Derek cleaned out the flower beds. I stayed inside working on my sale project and Ella Grace took a long nap. That evening we took the kids to the Jump Zone and they had THE best time. It's amazing what happens in just a couple of months. EG was sliding all by herself! It was amazing (not to mention I held my breath a couple of times). After all the jumping, we went to eat at the Purple Cow and had a really nice dinner.



Evan is a pro!

Ella Grace wanting to be like her brother and go by herself.




All by herself!

After dinner, baths and kids in their beds, Derek and I tackled Ella Grace's room. We cleaned it all out and got busy painting her room pink! By 3:00 a.m. we are all done and covered in paint. LOL! I am in love with the color (I just adore pink anyway). Derek also got Ella Grace's new bed put together and it is super cute. Now, I am just waiting on the bedding to come in and my childhood chest to be painted and the room will be complete.

Today, we aren't doing much. We are just playing and spending family time and trying to recover from staying up until 3:00 a.m. We're too old for all that! Ha! E & EG are still in their pajamas and it is noon! :) Now, that's my kind of day. I hope you and yours are having a fantastic Labor Day!