Friday, May 30, 2008

The Cotton Patch Festival

A couple of Saturdays ago, the girls and I went to the Cotton Patch Festival in Uriah, Alabama (Uriah has one of the local Cotton Gins in this area). I hestiated to go by myself (Brannon works Saturdays) with both girls but I loaded up their red wagon in the back of the Suburban and Bella promised me she would stay in the wagon the whole time - so off we went!!
The girls were excellent!! They did indeed stay in the wagon the entire time - except when we stopped by a little petting zoo they had set up. The girls loved it! Bella was able to name each and every animal - we're still working on this knowledge with Brooklyn.

P.S. - I have no idea why the pictures have that horrible red tint to them - I obviously had the camera on a crazy setting - but you can still get the idea of the fun they had!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Riding the 4-Wheeler with Paw-Paw

Please note that no children were harmed in the taking of these photographs. Despite the last photograph no child was forced to get on the four-wheeler! (ha-ha)
Paw-Paw brought Paxton (the girls' cousin) down to our house a few Sundays ago and the girls decided they wanted to (or thought they did) ride with Paw-Paw.
So, Paw-Paw put Bella on the back with Paxton (they weren't going out of our yard). Then Brooklyn was very impatient and wanted on too!

So Paw-Paw put Brooklyn in his lap and made sure Paxton and Bella were on so they wouldn't fall.
Then off they went (very slowly and not far for that matter)...
Bella and Paxton were fine - but Brooklyn had other thoughts about the whole thing!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Funny Pregnancy Update

So, as of today I am 11 weeks and 5 days along! I have a pregnancy ticker on the right sidebar of the blog and this is what it read today:

So reassuring to know my baby no longer has a tail!! haha

A Sweet Story...

You always hear people say "kids can be so cruel", but I think kids can be amazing sometimes! Here is a sweet story from The Anniston Star...
Swinging home: Alexandria community rallies around child with Down syndrome
Brett Buckner, Staff Writer
Published: May 24, 2008

ALEXANDRIA - In a batter's helmet that keeps sliding down over his eyes, Devon Peoples digs his cleats deep in the grass, chokes up nice and tight on the bat and swings for the fences. W-H-I-F-F … Strike one.
The coach steps a little bit closer.
W-H-I-F-F … Strike two.
In front of him, just over the coach's shoulder, stands the rest of the team, each waiting for their turn. Rather than taunting and mocking Devon's wild swings, they chant his name and clap - tiny hands against leather gloves.
The coach tosses the ball in underhanded. With a mighty swing, Devon knocks the ball hard to the ground. Though only a quiet dribbler that dies in the grass, Devon stares at it and smiles, not confused, proud.
Devon Peoples is 9 years old and has Down syndrome, but no one here really cares.
The Alexandria youth baseball fields are a place where moms walk around in baby blue, orange and gray jerseys with their kids' names on the back. It's where coaches lean over chain link fences to give the play-by-play to parents arriving late from work. It's where kids too young to be on a team play on gravel fields with sticks and wadded up Coke cups.
They are a community under lights, unified by an outfield scoreboard and the applause that's given for both teams.
Around here, Devon Peoples is just another little boy who loves to play baseball.
"He really feels like he's a part of something special, and it's the community that's done that," says Devon's mother, Terri Peoples, leaning against the splintered orange bleachers before the game. "Most people are afraid of what they don't understand. But people here have been nothing but accepting."
While Terri's talking, Devon fields grounders. After a couple scoot past his outstretched glove, teammate Tanner Mize, better known as "Bucket," offers a few pointers.
"Keep your glove down, Dev," Bucket says, kneeling down. "Follow it into your glove."
Devon loses interest when he sees Mike Mize, better known as Coach Mike, coach of the AA Valley Boys, Devon's team.
Coach Mike met Devon some four years ago in T-ball. He's the one who calls Terri every spring with the same question, "You gonna let Dev come out for baseball this year?"
Now, Devon gets up at 5 a.m., shakes his momma awake and leans in real close. "Ball game … Coach Mike," he'll say, grinning. It takes a lot of convincing before Terri talks Devon back into bed, usually wearing his uniform.
"It's all Coach Mike's fault," Terri says, loud enough for Mize to hear. "He's created a monster."
Coming up to just above his belt loop, Devon hugs Coach Mike so tight that for a second he looks like a third leg. He pulls away only after stealing the man's cell phone and dancing a jig to its computerized ring tone. The only thing that pulls Devon back is Coach Mike's voice.
"What time is it?" Mize shouts.
"Ball game!" Devon answers. Swinging for the fences
As darkness descends, the field lights start to glow. Clouds of gray dust drift against the dying sunshine as The Valley Boys take the field. It's the last game of the night and the final game of the season.
With the rest of the team in the field, No. 32 sits alone in the dugout, quietly gathering baseballs and rolling them around in the dirt between his knees.
Devon doesn't play in the field. But he always gets to bat.
Ever since his days in T-ball, at the end of each inning, Devon's allowed to walk out and take a few swings.
"It's his moment," Terri says. "And he knows it."
That moment arrives with one out in the bottom of the first. With The Valley Boys up 5-0 over Club Fitness as the mercy rule ended the inning, Devon hears his name shouted from every corner of the field and bleachers. Grabbing the closest bat and helmet, he sprints from the dugout like a boy being chased by bees.
Soon as Devon's cleats cross the chalk line, the crowd erupts.
"Keep your eye on the ball," shouts a grandfather in a John Deere hat and overalls. "Watch it all the way in, son. Take your time."
With Coach Mike running the pitching machine and assistant coach Pat Brown crouching behind him, Devon swings for the fences. And misses … twice.
The third pitch is the charm. Devon slaps one off the end of the bat, spinning it backward and off the catcher's glove - foul. No matter. Devon pushes the helmet off and races toward first base, pausing only long enough to give the crowd a "Come on! Come on!" gesture with his small arms flapping.
In a happy trot, Devon makes his way around the bases - some he touches, most he misses. By the time he's rounded third a chant is gaining momentum.
"Slide … Slide … Slide … Slide."
When Devon chooses to stay on his cleats, Coach Mike scoops him up in the air and rubs him across home plate making sure his uniform gets dirty enough to wash one last time. The team pours from the dugout, greeting Devon with a flurry of hugs and high-fives like he'd just won the World Series with a walk-off homer.
Though it's a run that won't flash across a scoreboard or show up in a newspaper box score for his momma to stick to the refrigerator, for one little boy and this tiny community, touching home plate means all the world.
"He thinks he's really doing it," Terri says. "This isn't pretend, not for him. It's not the other team letting him get a hit.
"It's real for Devon."
On the visitors' side near home plate, a young boy sits in the dirt staring through the spaces in the chain link fence, watching as Devon makes a third triumphant lap around the bases.
"Dad, what's he doing?" the boy asks, looking over his shoulder and flashing a red, candy-stained grin.
"He's playing baseball," the man answers, meeting his son's eyes. "He's just playing baseball."
After the game, which The Valley Boys won 20-0, Coach Mike talks about the boy he's grown to love.
"That's the reason we play youth sports," he says, watching Devon from the shadows of the dugout. "I want him to get out, to show off and have a good time. I love it. Playing with Dev is more fun for me than baseball.
"I'll take that any day."

More Outside Pictures

More pictures of our girls enjoying the great outdoors!!! We need to get them a new swing set - the one in our yard is so hold and is falling apart but they love to swing on the one that works (the other is such a tangled mess that I won't let them use it)! They have birthdays coming up - maybe....I didn't realize that so many of them were of Brooklyn!

Doesn't every girl ride her John Deere tractor in a dress???

Looking at the planter with Paw-Paw

A few Sundays ago - Paw Paw (Bran's dad) was planting some peas and such in "our" garden and Brooklyn was quite intrigued with his Planter!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

Memorial Day has a new meaning and reverence for me this year as opposed to other years. Don't get me wrong - I have always been thankful, and continue to be thankful, for those who serve our country selflessly so that I may enjoy the freedoms that I enjoy.

It was May 26, 2007 when Marine Sgt. Nicholas R. Walsh, 26, of Millstadt, Ill.; assigned to the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; died from wounds sustained while conducting combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq. Nick and his wife have two young sons, 4 and 7 months (at the time).
I know that soldiers are giving their lives for us everyday, but the war is a world away and I really didn't "know" anyone who was actively serving in the war, let alone anyone that had given his (or her) life. But I knew Nick - or at least I had growing up. His mom, Maggie, was my Confirmation Sponsor and I babysat for his two brothers. I lost touch with the family after they moved from my hometown - but I thought of them so often. Maggie was such a force in my life - more than she'll ever know. So when my mom called me to tell me that Nick had been killed - even though I had not spoken to or even seen any of them in almost 15 years - I wept for them. And then to learn that he was married with two kids - one of them being the same age as our Brooklyn - it just broke my heart. How do you tell a 4-year that is waiting for his daddy to come home for Halloween that he won't be? It just isn't fair!
Here is a little history of Memorial Day and his observance:
Memorial Day is a United States Federal Holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (observed in 2008 on May 26). It was formerly known as Decoration Day; and for many years observed on May 30, regardless of the day of the week. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to include those who died in any war or military action.

Following the end of the Civil War, many communities set aside a day to mark the end of the war or as a memorial to those who had died. Some of the places creating an early memorial day include Charleston, South Carolina; Boalsburg, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; Carbondale, Illinois; and Columbus, Mississippi, among others. These observances eventually coalesced around Decoration Day, honoring the Union dead, and the several Confederate Memorial Days.
Decoration Day, c. 1900. "You bet I'm goin' to be a soldier, too, like my Uncle David, when I grow up." According to Professor David Blight of the Yale University History Department, the first memorial day was observed in 1865 by liberated slaves at the historic race track in Charleston. The site was a former Confederate prison camp as well as a mass grave for Union soldiers who had died while captive. A parade with thousands of freed blacks and Union soldiers was followed by patriotic singing and a picnic.
The official birthplace of Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York. The village was credited with being the birthplace because it observed the day on May 5, 1866, and each year thereafter, and because it is likely that the friendship of General John Murray, a distinguished citizen of Waterloo, and General John A. Logan, who led the call for the day to be observed each year and helped spread the event nationwide, was a key factor in its growth.
General Logan had been impressed by the way the South honored their dead with a special day and decided the Union needed a similar day. Reportedly, Logan said that it was most fitting; that the ancients, especially the Greeks, had honored their dead, particularly their heroes, by chaplets of laurel and flowers, and that he intended to issue an order designating a day for decorating the grave of every soldier in the land, and if he could he would have made it a holiday. Logan had been the principal speaker in a citywide memorial observation on April 29, 1866, at a cemetery in Carbondale, Illinois, an event that likely gave him the idea to make it a national holiday. On May 5, 1868, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans' organization, Logan issued a proclamation that "Decoration Day" be observed nationwide. It was observed for the first time on May 30 of the same year; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle. The tombs of fallen Union soldiers were decorated in remembrance of this day.
Many of the states of the U.S. South refused to celebrate Decoration Day, due to lingering hostility towards the Union Army and also because there were very few veterans of the Union Army who lived in the South. A notable exception was Columbus, Mississippi, which on April 25, 1866 at its Decoration Day commemorated both the Union and Confederate casualties buried in its cemetery.
The alternative name of "Memorial Day" was first used in 1882, but did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967 . On June 28, 1968, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved three holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend and for the first time recognized Columbus Day as a federal holiday. The holidays included Washington's Birthday (which evolved into Presidents' Day), Veterans Day, and Memorial Day. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971 . After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply at the state level, all fifty states adopted the measure within a few years, although Veterans Day was eventually changed back to its traditional date. Ironically, most corporate businesses no longer close on Columbus Day or Veterans Day, and an increasing number are staying open on President's Day as well. Memorial Day, however, has endured as one holiday during which most businesses stay closed because it marks the beginning of the "summer vacation season," as does neighboring Canada's Victoria Day, which occurs on the prior Monday.
As you celebrate Memorial Day this year - remember the true meaning and remember those who are sacrificing so much for us! And remember the families that are also sacrificing. And SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, even if you don't support the war!!!!!
And today as I go to work on Memorial Day -I will not complain about having to be at work on a "holdiay" because I will remember what so many have given (and continue to give) for me to have the opportunity to go to work! Thank you to all our military for your dedication and selfless service!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tootside Dippindoodle

We all need a little stress-reliever! This only takes a minute.
Here is your dose of humor...
1. Use the third letter of your first name to determine your New first name:

a = snickle

b = doombah

c = goober

d = cheesey

e = crusty

f = greasy

g = dumbo

h = farcus

I = dorky

j = doofus

k = funky

l = boobie

m = sleezy

n = sloopy

o = fluffy

p = stinky

q = slimy

r = dorfus

s = snooty

t = tootsie

u = dipsy

v = sneezy

w = liver

x = skippy

y = dinky

z = zippy

2. Use the second lett er of your lastname to determine the first half of your new last name:

a = dippinb

= feather

c = batty

d = burger

e = chicken

f = barffy

g = lizard

h = waffle

i = farkle

j = monkey

k = flippin

l = fricken

m = bubble

n = rhino

o = potty

p = hamster

q = buckle

r = gizzard

s = lickin

t = snickle

u = chuckle

v = pickle

w = lickin

x = dingle

y = gorilla

z = girdle

3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:
a = butt

b = boob

c = face

d = nose

e = hump

f = breath

g = pants

h = shorts

i = lips

j = honker

k = head

l = tush

m = chunks

n = dunkin

o = brains

p = biscuits

q = toes

r = doodle

s = fanny

t = sniffer

u = sprinkles

v = frack

w = squirt

x = humperdinck

y = hiney

z = juice

Thus, for example, George W. Bush's new name is: Fluffy Chucklefanny.
And remember that children laugh an average of 146 times a day; adults laugh an average of 4 times a day. Put more laughter in your day

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Brooklyn at 18-Months


I took Brooklyn for her 18-month well visit on the 9th of May. She is doing great. Here are her stats at 18-months:
Weight: 21 pounds 6 ounces -- 10%
Height: 31 inches -- 50-75%
Head Circumference: 18 inches -- 75% (she appears to be a small child with a big brain - haha)


  • You baby should walk alone and begin to walk fast - Brooklyn has been walking since she was 11 months old and now if you tell her to do something and she doesn't want to and you go towards her to pick her up - she runs away giggling!
  • Self-feeds with fingers, drinks from a cup and uses a spoon - Brooklyn has fed herself since she started on table food. She only took a bottle maybe 10 times total - so the transition to a cup was no problem. If I do not give her a spoon/fork fast enough - she starts demanding asking for a fork.
  • Your baby should now have a 4-10 word vocabulary and a few two word sentences - When I started listing all the words Brooklyn could say the pediatrician was very pleased and commented "that's a lot of words for an 18-month old"! Her current vocabulary includes (but is not limited to): Momma, Da-Da, Nana, Pop, Mi-Mi, Paw-Paw, Georgia, Bebba (Bella), Wa-Wa (water), truck, ball, bow, please, nose, eye, ear, mouth, baby, more, mine, no (I know there are more - I just can't think of them right now).
  • Start to learn body parts - Brooklyn knows where all of the following are and will point to them when asked (except of course at the pediatrician's office): nose, ears, eyes, mouth (she opens her mouth very wide when you ask her where her mouth is), feet, toes, hands, fingers, belly.


  • Continue to exercise accident prevention - honestly - I feel like they are both accidents waiting to happen. It's only a matter of time given how much they climb and jump off things!
  • Avoid peanuts, gum, hard candies, hot dogs and popcorn - hmm...she likes nuts, don't give either of them gum or hard candies, she likes hotdogs and she likes popcorn (hello - movie night) - but she doesn't get any of the above without supervision....
  • Read to your baby. Begin as a bonding experience and continue to help your child develop early phonics and literacy - Brooklyn doesn't seem as interested in reading as Bella is (and was), but we keep trying and we're always looking at books for magazines (they get both Animal Babies and My Backyard in the mail) - so she is definitely exposed to it!
  • Off the bottle! - I just have to say how nice it was not to have to worry about this one! She has also totally stopped nursing (as of about a month or so ago). She pretty much did it on her own - so it wasn't too traumatic (on either of us).
  • Set limits with positive reinforcement to avoid temper tantrums - She has such a good example to follow with Bella that she is already spending so time in time-out!
  • Continue a regular bedtime routing including book reading - no nighttime bottle - Brooklyn goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 every night - we just ask her "are you ready to go nite-nite" and if she isn't, she'll say shake her head and say "no" and if she is, she'll walk into her room and start climbing on her crib! It's so easy right now - I dread moving her out of the crib!

Brooklyn was a bit more displeased with the doctor checking her over. I don't know what it was this time because last time she just sat in Brannon's lap and let the doctor do everything she needed. You may remember from her 12/15-month well visit - her iron levels were on the low side at 9. She has been on iron supplements to determine if she had an iron deficiency or if there was something else going on. When they pricked her finger (for which she didn't even cry!) - her levels were up to 10 - so they are holding off until her 2 year well visit to do the vein draw depending upon what her levels are at that point. (I was relieved they didn't have to do the vein draw)!! She got a new book at the doctor - Baa-Baa Black Sheep. They get a new book at each visit!

All in all she is doing great!

Another Outbreak...

Poor Bella - she's going to have to deal with this her whole life I guess. When she had her first outbreak at 5 months, the pediatriac dermatologist we saw had hoped that since it was such a bad outbreak - she might not get it again or that she might outgrow it. Doesn't look like that is going to happen.
I noticed her finger on Thursday, May 8th. I called the pediatrician that morning to get her the anti-viral medication - we had discussed the issue with the pediatrician at her 2-year well visit and she said that whenever she had an outbreak to just call and she would call something in. It was nice to not have to go to the doctor - especially when we know exactly what is. She took the medication like a champ - almost too well!! (Now she is constantly saying she needs her medicine and if you know us- we aren't big on giving them anything)!
I found these cotton finger covers that worked so much better than the sock. She wasn't too into wearing the sock this time - it is hard to use one's hands when it is covered with a sock! So these little covers worked great. And I used band-aids (a favorite of Bella's) to keep it in place on her finger.
It is mostly healed now - and she is always looking at it saying "my boo-boo all better now"!!

And please don't be alarmed that she has a band-aid on every single one of her fingers on that hand!! She insisted that she had boo-boos on ALL her fingers but it is really just the middle finger!! This child loves Band-aids - she went to school one day with about 10 on her legs and they asked if there had been some kind of accident!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Walking in Mommy's Shoes

The girls LOVE to play with my shoes! Here is a picture of each of them walking in my shoes!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

“The Kid in You” Photo Contest

5 minutes for Mom is having a photo contest! It is called "The Kid In You"! I had some cute pictures of the girls being just kids and having a good time - so I thought I'd enter! It's just for fun! They had the most fun getting "dressed" in their 'hats', 'belts', and scarves! It amazes me the imaginations of these girls and how they can turn anything into something!!! Being a kid is GREAT!

I have even been subjected to dressed in these lovely "get-ups", unfortunately there are no pictures because the girls are not allowed to use our camera!


So I emailed myself a whole bunch of pictures that I had been taking over the past few weeks, so that I could update the blog today. Well - you're never guess!! But I sent the wrong pictures - pictures that I have already posted!!! So I guess you'll have to wait yet another day for an update!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I got a Blog Award!

Michelle over at Big Blueberry Eyes passed this on to me!

Now I get to pass this on to some people:

Lesley at All About Patrick & Laura

Liesa at The Burke Family Blog

Melanie at And Baby Makes 4

LeAnne at House of Howard

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Earthquake in Atmore????

Last Monday afternoon, we felt our building shake and wondered what it was - but blew it off as nothing and really didn't give it any other thought! Well, in the Monday, May 12, 2008 edition of the Atmore Advance, there was the following article:
Shake may have been a quake
By Adam Prestridge
Those who felt the ground shake Monday afternoon in Atmore and the surrounding areas are convinced that it was an earthquake.
U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Lisa Wald, who also serves as the organization’s Web manager for earthquake hazard programs, could not rule out that the brief shaking felt in Atmore and Poarch was a small earthquake after performing some research for the Advance.
“There’s an outside chance that there was some small earthquake that was felt very locally,” Wald said. “If there have been reports made locally, then it’s possible. However, we did not receive reports from anyone, but there is still an outside chance.”
The Advance fielded numerous calls reporting the possible earthquake. Upon further research, a spokesperson with the National Weather Service out of Mobile confirmed that they had also received calls inquiring about a possible earthquake.
Wald initially researched regional information for the State of Alabama on the U.S. Geological Survey’s Web site to see if a recent earthquake had been documented. After finding that no earthquake had been recorded she agreed to perform further research in hopes of finding an answer.
“I checked to see if we had any ‘Felt Reports’ in the area around that time and we did not receive any reports from people through the Internet,” Wald said Tuesday evening. “I also had the seismic analysts take a look at the wave forms on record from the instruments and they did not see anything on any of the instruments in the area.”
Wald said the lack of instrumentation in Alabama could forever make last Monday’s ground shaking experience a mystery to those who felt it.
“We don’t have that many instruments in that part of the country and sometimes we can have a small earthquake that is not recorded by our instruments because they are not close enough,” Wald said. “Depending on where it was with respect to the closest instrument, there could very well have been something. There’s an outside chance, but we can’t really confirm it, or deny it.”

Monday, May 5, 2008

One and One and One is Three...

We're adding another to our family!
The new baby is due December 12, 2008!

This would mean I am about 8 weeks along! I went to the doctor at around 6 weeks and everything was fine - it was too early to hear the heartbeat and we opted out of the ultrasound. I go back to the doctor in early June at which time we should be able to hear the little one's heartbeat! I seem to be a bit more nauseas with this pregnancy so far - but that will subside in a few weeks (hopefully)!

Notes from the Weekend

This weekend the girls and I headed to Anniston early on Saturday morning. We left around 6:30 am and arrived just before noon (pretty good time considering the weather and our little stop for a bit of shopping in Sylacauga at Buttons and Bows).
Our first stop was for lunch with Micky and Katie and Mi-Mi (my mom)! What a nice lunch it was, too! The girls were very well behaved (thank goodness)! Thanks for lunch Micky - it was great to see you and Katie too!
Our next stop was to find a dress for the girls to wear to Church on Sunday for Dalton's baptism. We were successful in the mission and both girls looked very cute at Church (but can you believe I didn't get any pictures of them in their dresses?!?!)--
The next stop of the day was to Da's (my dad) house! Michael (my brother) lives next door to my dad, so he brought his kids up to my dad's and here are the girl cousins saying hello and giving each other big hugs!

Then Bella felt that Whitney needed to have a bracelet to match her dress. So she is helping her get the bracelet on!

Then Mi-Mi and the girls were running around the yard and chasing each other!
Then Uncle Mike wanted everyone to go to his house and see his chickens and ducks...So we proceeded to his house and had a make shift "petting zoo"! The girls loved the ducks and chickens and the bunny rabbit.
A picture of Bella, Brooklyn and Uncle Mike.
After staying at my dad's house for a bit, we went to eat pizza at Mata's! Then after we finished eating, we headed to the ball field where we were able to catch the last couple of innings of DJ's ball game!! Unfortunately, they did not win the game - but they did score 9 runs!! Great job!!!

Sunday morning Dalton was baptized at the 11am Mass at Sacred Heart.

I didn't get any pictures of my nephews, DJ and Zach (other than DJ's ball game pictures), so hopefully my sister will update her blog with some recent pictures of the boys!

It was quite a busy weekend but we enjoyed seeing everyone! But it is a lot of driving to do with one person and 2 little ones!!!