Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It's too quiet in here

After a few days of sore throat, cough, sneezing and general yuckiness, I headed to the doctor this morning. Sinus infection. Great. I have plenty of time for that in the midst of finishing my Christmas shopping and packing. (Please note the sarcasm.)

For the majority of the day, I've been trying to take it easy on the couch and let the meds kick in. I used every ounce of energy I had to feed Avery some lunch and clean up a bit. I was straightening the living room, trying to recover from the tornado of puzzles on the floor and realized that it was really quiet. I yelled, "Avery, where are you?" I heard her tiny voice say "in da kitchen." Then I heard the toilet seat.

I raced through the kitchen to the half bath and found the little loon with her pants around her ankles trying to put the toilet paper (completely unrolled) back on the roll. A definite Kodak moment I couldn't miss. She told me that she wanted to go on mommy's potty. I think it's time for door knob covers!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hope you weren't holding your breath!

Many apologies if you were waiting around for me to write -- that's if any of you are still even checking for updates!

I'm at the very end of my last campaign for work before the holidays. Lola and I decided not to take on anything extra -- just in case. She delivered her first son VERY EARLY, so we're not taking chances. Besides, we need to make sure we're really rested before we each become parents of two. Holy Cow!

That said, I'm praying myself to Friday. I've made hundreds of media calls in the last two weeks and it's not only physically exhausting, but it's sometimes ego deflating. Of those hundreds of calls, it's rare to actually get a live person on the phone and when you do, most of the time they're either too busy to talk to you or completely not interested in what you've got to say. That's when I have to put my game face on and plow through. You absolutely must believe in what you're pitching and feel confident that there is someone out there who is going to be thrilled to cover it. I've got the pleasure of doing tour press for Moya Brennan, who is performing her holiday album, An Irish Christmas, on the U.S. leg of her world tour. She's Enya's sister and lead singer of their family band, Clannad. How cool!

In other news, we're decking our halls for the holidays. I LOVE Christmas. I'm already listening to Mix 92.9 around the clock to get myself psyched up for the holidays. Avery is intrigued by the lights and decorations, too. When we were in NC, she helped Nana decorate the tree and had a ball. She's also very into her "Ho Ho jammies" (red & white striped pajamas with a matching hat.) Looks like I've infected her with the Christmas spirit!
I also couldn't resist sharing a photo of my not-so-little brother carving the Thanksgiving turkey.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Been on hiatus

So sorry for the long lapse in posting. I wonder if I even have any remaining readers any more. We've had a very eventful last couple of weeks and I've been overwhelmed by the holidays.

We're currently in North Carolina at my parents' house. The house smells magnificent -- turkey, cornbread, freshly-peeled oranges, and all things Thanksgiving. We've been eating like kings (and queens and princesses). It's so hard being pregnant this time of year. Even though I'm supposedly "eating for two," I feel terribly guilty for every bite that ends up in my belly. Pretty sure I'm way ahead of schedule on my weight gain this pregnancy, but I've been told I should either be more careful about the types of foods I'm eating or just delight in the fact that I'm fat anyway and enjoy it. I guess I'll enjoy it!

The holidays bring the most decadent foods and family gatherings require everything in a casserole. Bring on the butter! We've tricked ourselves into thinking we're eating healthy by masquerading these butter dishes behind vegetable facades, too. Not only that, but you MUST have a bite of everyone's casserole -- troublesome if you attend a gathering with a large family as everyone is responsible for bringing a different dish.

I learned this morning that the number one food on the day after Thanksgiving is take-out pizza. No wonder! It's so much easier to prepare (just pick up the phone!) and clean-up is a cinch. It's probably healthier than all the casseroles anyway.

Black Friday is absolutely the worst thing about Thanksgiving. It's pitiful how people bundle up their exhausted, cold children and force them into what is essentially the running of the bulls at 2 a.m. Not my idea of a fun time. We woke up at 9 o'clock this morning. Yay! I'll stick to catalogs and online shopping.

We wish you and yours all the best the season has to offer! Happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

God is taking pictures!

Yesterday afternoon, Avery and I zipped outside to get the mail around 4. What a nice afternoon. And then.....the clouds rolled in. It got incredibly dark incredibly fast. With a cold front on the move into town, it bumped right into the warm front we'd had going on here for the last few days. Yikes! The perfect storm.

With it getting so dark, Avery was acting hungry, so with Chad at a work event, we were on our own for dinner. What does that mean in our house? Spaghetti-Os! I pulled Avery's bowl out of the microwave and put her in her high chair. Her high chair is right by the back window. When I couldn't see the head and tail lights of the cars on Old Hickory from the window, I went in for a closer look. When the lightning flashed, all I could see was swirling wind and rain.

I very quickly rolled the high chair to the safest interior space in our house and then the power went out. It was pitch black. I managed to keep Avery calm by telling her that the lightning was God taking pictures of us. The power blinked on a couple of times, so Avery clapped and cheered. Then it was off for a long time, so I pulled out the candles. Avery had Spaghetti-Os by candlelight. I, on the other hand, had peanut butter crackers since that was all I could see to find in the kitchen that didn't require heating. Oh well.

We moved our party to the car in the garage so we could listen to the radio. (No, we don't have a battery-powered radio within easy reach in our house.) Avery enjoyed "driving," beeping the horn, flipping the turn signal, turning on the hazard lights and climbing from front to back seat. Once we were sure the storm had passed, we returned to the comfort of our living room and played puzzles and read books by candlelight.

I called NES to report our outage on their automated phone system. The final prompt tells you to press "1" if you want to be called and informed when your power is restored. Hmmm, let me think about that. No, thanks. I think I'll figure that out when EVERY LIGHT IN MY HOUSE COMES ON AT THE SAME TIME. Give me a break!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Whirlwind holiday

The last week has blown by so quickly. We jumped in the car immediately after church on Sunday to meet my aunt Amy to hitch a ride with her to North Carolina to visit my parents. The journey there took FOREVER, but we managed to arrive before midnight. We spent Monday hunting for shopping deals on last-minute Halloween costumes (and collected a couple for next year, too!) Monday night, mom had a bunch of friends over to see Amy's fall CAbi clothing collection (Carol Anderson by invitation). After lunch on Tuesday with mom and dad, we jumped back in the car and returned to the central time zone. Yep! Quick trip!

Wednesday, I forced myself to hit the YMCA and then met with the Creative Planning Team at Otter Creek for lunch and a brainstorming session for Tim's upcoming series on Time. I'm really looking forward to his message this season. So much preparation and prayer goes into his message. I am grateful that we're blessed with his talent.

I made an early dinner for our family and we tried to get Avery out the door for some quick Trick-or-Treating before church. No such luck. The child didn't want to put on her costume. Chad had let her try it on that morning, so she was a bit freaked out by it. Marvelous. We thought we'd be able to bribe her to put it on for Jay, Melanie, Tori and Abby Brown before church, but they weren't home, so we just zipped off to Parade of Bible Characters. Rather than wear myself out (and the kiddo who'd have to actually wear the costume) we opted to be audience members at church. Surprisingly, Avery really enjoyed clapping and cheering for each kid that crossed the stage.

We headed home to see if any porch lights were still on in our neighborhood. We convinced Avery to put her costume on and we popped over to our next door neighbors' house. Here's our adorable pink poodle.

I'm also overdue for a post from our visit to Walden Farm. Avery had the most fun with the tractors and shopping cart. We brought home two "punk nins" that day that Avery is VERY proud of!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

May I change my name?

For some strange reason, the last two nights my normally-predictable, even-tempered child has boycotted sleep. Why? She was grumpy on Tuesday when her preschool teacher had to wake her up from her nap at the end of the school day. I don't think she has recovered.

Tuesday night, we were up and down at least every hour because she was crying hysterically. However, she wanted nothing to do with Chad. She just stood up in her crib saying, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy ..." I'm flattered. Honestly. But I need sleep, child!

She also resisted her afternoon nap yesterday, begging for my bed. So I tucked her into my bed. She escaped. I put her back in my bed and laid down next to her. She attempted to escape again. Back to the crib. She screamed for a while and finally crashed. The nap was shorter than normal, but at least she got one.

She woke up from that nap in hysterics again. My wheels are turning, thinking of every possible mysterious illness that could be plaguing my child. I stripped her down and wrapped her in a blanket and rocked for for a little. She calmed down, then went nuts again. I dressed her and brought her down to try Elmo. That stinkin' red monster has helped in the past, so I'm pulling out all the stops.

I spoon-fed the child some cottage cheese and let her watch the Elmo in Grouchland DVD and she transformed back into my child again. Were we in the clear???

No. She was normal for church last night and very pleasant on the way home. We had a great bedtime routine and tucked her in without incident. I crashed pretty soon thereafter and just as I was drifting off, I heard "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy ..." Kill me. I'm really considering a name change. I laid her back down and told her to go to sleep. She woke up several times last night, but we let her cry it out. Tough love? Maybe. But DEFINITELY sheer exhaustion.

This morning, she was as perky as ever. She wanted breakfast. Yogurt, apple, cheerios, juice. I'm happy with that. While she was eating, though, I ran upstairs to grab another load of laundry to throw in. By the time I got back downstairs, Avery had painted her entire bib with her yogurt. Why me??? I stripped her down to her diaper, but she has a yogurt cowlick that I've got to remedy before school today.

This job is nuts, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Difficult loss

Friends, I learned tonight that a friend and former co-worker had a difficult prenatal doctor visit today. She and her husband found out that their baby no longer had a heartbeat. Tomorrow, she'll have to deliver the baby. How profoundly sad that a normally happy occasion will be extremely full of pain and disappointment.

When I hear things like that -- God-fearing people having to endure unspeakable loss -- I feel a sense of guilt that my pregnancy has been so routine and normal and joyful.

Please pray for peace and comfort for my friend and her husband. And cherish every normal, average moment of your day that you'd normally take for granted. Much thanks.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's not easy being green

I needed a change. I've had the same blog template for ages now. Okay, so now I just have the same template in a different color, but it feels different. Just go with it.

The day has been NUTS. I realize it's only 4:00, but I feel like the day won't end. The alarm went off this morning about 3:45. (Yes, you just read that correctly.) Chad got up early to take his best friend Za and his fiancee to the airport. They had been staying with us since Sunday because Za's grandmother had a massive stroke. Thankfully, she's doing much better and is about to be moved to a rehabilitation facility. The day started REALLY early for my sweet husband, but he was glad to help his friend.

I'm very grateful that Chad remembered to re-set the alarm for me. Normally, I wouldn't need it, but Avery was snoozing away this morning, way past her regular wake time. I had to wake her at 7:45 so she could be dressed and fed before we needed to zip out the door for a meeting at Kirkpatrick Elementary at 8:30.

I scheduled aforementioned meeting at 8:30 so I'd be done in time to take Avery to preschool at 9:30. After the meeting, I rolled into the Crieve Hall parking lot at 9:35 and there was not a soul in sight. Fears affirmed. School was closed for Fall Break. WHAT??? I thought I heard a little buzz Tuesday afternoon about Fall Break, but I ran home and checked the school handbook and calendar that said Oct 12 was Fall Break. That's tomorrow. NOT today. Nothing had been sent home. Nobody'd said a word to me.

Well crud. Now I had to come home with an antsy toddler who'd be climbing the walls while I was trying to make media calls. I needed a Cranberry Limeade. However, Avery was a little angel this morning. She played quietly with blocks and books and baby dolls and chattered away to herself. She did try to turn on the television, but I distracted her with markers and paper.

We met Chad for lunch outside at Baja Burrito to give Avery a break from "my office" (the living room.) He had stories, too. Since he had to drop Za and Krishon off at the airport at 4:45, he was at work by 5:15. He pushed a wrong button on the alarm panel, setting it off. So he corrected it and turned it off. Next thing he knew, the phone was ringing. It was the alarm company. They asked him if everything was okay and requested the code. He gave it to them, but couldn't provide the account password. They hung up. 2 minutes later, the police roll into the parking lot. Chad explains and thinks it's all fixed. However, then his boss, John, squeals into the parking lot, looking confused, tired, and disheveled. Chad felt TERRIBLE! Poor John. Back to bed.

Anyone ready for TV tonight? I've been disappointed with Grey's. I hope tonight gets better. The Office is definitely winning my affection. Jim and Pam. Yay!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Okay, so it's broken

Saturday, Chad got brave and took apart the VCR. We made it a team effort and Avery wanted to help. Chad had taken the top off the VCR and laid it on the floor. Avery stepped on it and bent it in half. Spectacular. I bent it back as close to the right shape as possible. Then Chad stepped on it and cut his toe. He then bled all over the carpet. Marvelous.

We unwound the tape from the machine and pried the cassette out of it. I wound the tape up and saved the cassette. A good start, right? Nope. I found out what was goofing up the VCR. Brace yourself, okay?

Kix cereal.

I flipped the VCR and shook out all the stale kid-tested deliciousness. We replaced the cover and plugged it in. The "cassette in" light was still flashing. Even though we removed the tape, the tape deck was still down, indicating to the sub-human super-smart VCR that it knew better than us. Aarg!

We took the VCR apart again and forced the tape deck to the "up" position. In the process, we snapped one of the parts off. Okay, so new VCR/DVD combo in our near future. We had to go ahead and break the thing even more to remove Avery's precious "Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland" DVD. (She can't live without it. How did she even learn about the little red terror in the first place???)

In other news, Avery got her first professional haircut several days ago. This is just the first time I've gotten around to posting the pix. She didn't make a peep! She just sat really still and acted very serious. I'm really missing the pigtails, but we have no more ragged ends. Yay!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Thursday night gripes

Why? Why must all the good television shows be on the air on the same night at the same time on the one night of the week when Chad isn't here? I am completely addicted to Earl, The Office, & Grey's Anatomy. The Office and Grey's are on at the same time on different networks. Chad doesn't give a flying flitter about Grey's, but he won't miss The Office.

I ran to Walgreen's yesterday to grab some VHS tapes. Then I stuck one in the VCR in our bedroom on NBC and tried to stick the other in the VCR in our study on ABC. However, we are missing the cord that attaches the VCR to the TV. Aarg! So I decided to just record whatever I was watching in the living room.

Chad zipped out the door to softball and I put Avery in bed and grabbed a glass of sweet tea and plopped onto the couch. Then I remembered the tape! I hadn't put it in the VCR! I jumped up quickly and popped it in. It revved its little motor and made a strange sound. I ejected the tape and peered inside. Diaper coupons. Lovely. I pulled them out and tried again. It whirred again and then shut itself off. I turned it back on and pushed the eject button. Nothing. It turned itself off again. You've GOT to be kidding me!

This morning the tape is STILL in the VCR and I have no idea what else might be in there with it. At least I managed to get my cell phone out of there the time my little helper stuck it in there.

Since NBC was being recorded upstairs last night, I watched Grey's on ABC. Then I ran upstairs and watched Earl and The Office. (I have no desire to watch 30 Rock. Not sure why. Love Tina's credit card commercials, though.)

So if any network executives stumble across my blog, please hear my plea. Move SOMETHING to another night. Thank you for Heroes and Dancing with the Stars. And I LOVE YOU CBS for making Survivor available On Demand. (One of Chad's tax clients is on the show this season!) My other plea is to move the good stuff that falls on Wednesday night to another weeknight. I'm never sure what's good on Wednesday since we're at church. It may be time for DVR!

By the way, if anyone has recommendations for getting a VHS tape out of the VCR without breaking either, PLEASE let me know!

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Manipulator

My child is a con artist. She knows how to get what she wants. The bargaining comes mainly at naptime and bedtime. Since she was sick during the last weekend and the first part of this week, her schedule has been a bit "off." A little leniency when she's sick makes her think she can get away with anything.

She uses her sweetest face when making requests and she always says "peeeeese" with her little head cocked to the side. Kill me. I'm a sucker for the cute face.

From what I understand, it gets worse as they get older. Great. What have I gotten myself into? How soon is it to start using the phrase "because I said so"?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Beach - Take II

I'm just getting around to posting about this past weekend's beach trip. We had planned to go to Gulf Shores with Chad's parents, sister, brother-in-law and niece. Chad's sister called us Wednesday evening. They had left around noon that day to get there ahead of us. They'd been contacted by the condo people telling them that there was a problem with the stove in our condo. They had decided to move us. However, all the places they tried to stick us in were lacking. Julie had done her research and chosen our place because of the size, indoor pool, and proximity to the beach.

She got tough with them. They finally called back to tell us that we'd be in a 3,300 sq. ft. condo just on the other side of the FL/AL border with a wraparound balcony right on the beach. Incredible. The kitchen was top-notch and all the bedrooms had their own bathroom and king sized bed. It was wonderful.

We had been concerned about the weather. When we attempted to go to Hilton Head earlier this summer, the torrential downpour kept us from enjoying anything and the forecast was looking gloomy this time, too. Depressing. However, the rains saved themselves for night. We got a little sprinkle shower one afternoon, but that was all. It was great!

Avery was a bit timid on the beach (as was her cousin Caroline), but she warmed up to the ocean when one of us was holding her. She adored the indoor pool, too. She kept asking to go to the "o-sin" or "da poo."

The rough spot to the weekend (there's always one of those, isn't there?) was the fever Avery woke up with Saturday morning. We thought it might be molars coming in, but then the coughing started. By the time we got home Sunday night, she was miserable. She had a fever off and on until yesterday. The doctor says it's viral, which means we just have to sit and wait. We've been trapped in the house forever and I'm dying to see the light of day again! I think we're on the upswing!

Caroline and Avery were very excited to see each other!

Avery LOVED the indoor pool.

Avery entertains Caroline during tummy time.

Avery and Caroline in deep conversation about sippy cups

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Public Apology

I need to publicly apologize to the poor soul I was impatient with on the road today. When I thought she was changing lanes too slowly (and dangerously), she was really having some sort of car trouble. She could tell I was impatient because she mouthed the words "I'm sorry" when I drove past her.

Like a coward, I was too embarrassed to turn around and find out if she needed any help. I just hung my head and finished my drive home.

I've got to learn patience. Too many times in my day I am short with people -- even those I'm closest to -- and I'm a poor reflection of Christ in my day. I am at my worst when I am behind the wheel, too.

So dear, sweet, frustrated, embarrassed driver on the road: I'm so sorry for my behavior today. I hope you can forgive me!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Secret's Out

I suppose it's finally time to let the cat out of the bag. On March 9, we anticipate the arrival of a new member of the family. Avery is going to be a big sister!

We managed to keep it all quiet for the longest time so we could enjoy it ourselves for a while. I also wanted my clients to maintain their confidence in my skills. I believe I've proven that I'm quite capable of handling all their needs while growing a person at the same time!

I'm thrilled to be pregnant. I love the way my body changes and adore experiencing one of God's most beautiful mysteries. Even now, God is knitting the child together inside me. Wow! Who, after witnessing the miracle of life, would deny believing in God?

I appreciate your prayers during these next 25 (or 26, if this baby is like its sister) weeks. I leave you with the first picture of our little bundle.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Michigan who?

What a thrilling weekend of football! As most of you know, I profess faithfully to be an Alabama football fan. However, DEFINITELY the game of the weekend was the matchup between Michigan and Appalachian State.

My brother John just graduated from App this summer, so I'm not just jumping on the bandwagon blindly. App really shouldn't have been considered the underdog. They've won the last two 1AA national championships and were ranked #1 in the polls again. Michigan was #5. (Not any more!)

John and his friends watched the game from the Hickory Tavern near my parents' house. He said that people were standing on the tables during the last couple of minutes of the game. I can only imagine the chaos! Chad and I watched the re-airing on CSS last night. It was amazing how action-packed the last minute of the game was. Even though I already knew the outcome, I was on the edge of my seat. (It's like watching Titanic!)

We were supposed to spend the weekend in Hilton Head. However, the monsoon rains drove us out. As soon as we were off the island, the clouds parted. We drove up from there to my parents' house to enjoy better weather. I'll be sure to post pictures of our mini-vacation when I get them from Mom.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wild Child

My daughter is half Tasmanian devil. In the last week, she has found another level of energy and fun. She'll run and jump and spin in circles while squealing with delight. On Sunday afternoon, she thrashed around on my friend's living room floor laughing and jumping on Steve-o's chest. But as soon as we put her in her carseat for the drive home, she could barely hold her eyes open. She slept--HARD--for 5 hours in the car.

I've decided that this wild chaos is her way of trying to stay awake. I really must capture it all on camera and post here for your viewing enjoyment. It makes me tired just watching her.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Goodbye, Ol' Bird

This morning, Nannie, my great-grandmother (and Avery's great-great-grandmother), passed away peacefully. Until the last week, she's been doing very well, but she took a rough turn. She had a strong heart, but the rest of her was wearing out. To have been 90, I think that's pretty impressive.

Around midnight, her breathing slowed down and became more peaceful. She'd had what the doctors call a "death rattle" in her chest for a day or so, but her last hours were calm. With two of my aunts by her side, she opened her eyes (for the first time in 4 or 5 days) and looked at them intently. Then she squeezed their hand and exhaled one last relieved time. She was gone.

For the last few years, she has always talked of being eager to go be with Jimmie, my great-grandfather, who preceded her in death. She has acted ready for a long time, so I know she's thrilled to be together with him again.

I will always miss her and remember all my favorite things about her -- fresh figs on the kitchen counter, ginger ale on a hot day, climbing the clothesline in her yard, her beautiful roses. She was always wonderful to me and loved Chad like he'd always been hers. I am better from knowing her.

So here's to Jamie Burgess, my Nannie. I love you, Ol' Bird.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dog days of summer

Avery's been very busy while she's out of preschool this month. (I'm hanging in there, by the way, but very eager for Crieve Hall MDO to start up again in September!) Here are a few pictures from our fun lately:

Grandma and Avery, playing with a little bottle --hours of fun

Yummy watermelon on the deck, stripped down to a diaper to save the clothes!

Cooling off in the little pool -- so hot, even I had to join her!

Noshing on corn on the cob - she wouldn't let us pry it out of her hands before leaving the restaurant!

Enjoying a refreshing hose-off at the Troup farm

Playing in the dryer. Don't worry -- it wasn't on! She was having a ball!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


This video moved me to tears. Thank you, Jillina, for sharing it with me. It's pretty incredible.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

August already?

Okay, so July totally got away without me. I'm not quite ready for August, but it's here. It will be my busiest month this year by far. Avery is out of school this month and I have added two new clients. If you see me out and about and I seem to be in the zone, snap your fingers and welcome me back to Earth.

We've spent a lot of time indoors the last couple of weeks. It's just TOO HOT. It's almost not even worth going to the pool. I may just have to grin and bear the scorching heat on our walk to the pool for the relieving cool of the water.

We spent last weekend in Florence with my mom and brothers. They drove in from NC to play on the lake with us. My grandparents got a trampoline for the lake that is anchored on the lake bottom with a cinder block. I wish I had video of my mom trying to simply get on it. The actual jumping was just icing on the cake.

You would have thought it was Thanksgiving on Saturday as most of the family gathered from across the South to celebrate Grandpa's 62nd birthday. Grandma's kitchen was full of home-cooked Southern food and, as every year before, we dug into the annual prune cake -- Grandpa's favorite!

Avery had a ball running back and forth between all the cousins. I really wish we lived closer to all of them because Avery thrives on the family interaction. She's started speaking in sentences and over the weekend, her vocabulary seemed to develop even more. It's so fun to see!

No pictures this time, but I'll be sure to capture some of Avery's antics for next time.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

C'mon, Vogue!

Well, I've got a new passion. Modeling. I honestly believe I'm terrible at it, but it's so much fun!

Earlier this week, I got a call from a former client, asking me if I could be a model for a photo shoot for a feature in the Tennessean. Oh, the pressure! I caved. I'm a sucker for trying on clothes and shoes, so I agreed.

This morning, the photographer and feature writer came to Petite Boutique for the shoot. The owner, Laurie Roe, pulled a few outfits for me to try and we got down to business. The Tennessean team was wonderful. They gave great direction and were very generous with their compliments. It was a nice little ego boost.

I had a great time this morning and even came home with a new pair of sunglasses.

Watch for the feature in Sunday's edition of The Tennessean.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Consumer Review

For the last several months, I've been begging Chad for new carpet or hardwoods. The people who lived her before obviously never walked on this carpet because it was gorgeous when we purchased this home. However, when we moved in, let the dogs temporarily rule the roost and then had a child who loves to make a mess, our gorgeous carpet bid us adieu and its ugly alter-ego took over.

It was obvious what our normal path was -- down the stairs, into the kitchen, and onto the couch -- the carpet ratted us out by pointing the way with dingy dirt. We also couldn't hide the fact that we're habitual tea drinkers because of the spill stains in not-so-subtle places.

A few months ago, I called Stanley Steemer. (It drives me crazy that they won't spell it right! That was just their first mistake.) They sent out Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb to clean our carpet. In the dead of winter, I couldn't close the door because the hoses had to be run in from their van outside. They also informed me that the girl who "just answers the phone" incorrectly assured us that the spots would come out of the carpet. So much for the guarantee. I was a totally dissatisfied customer.

After grumbling and complaining too much, I went to look at carpet. Should I fork out the big bucks for the good stuff that I'll love or purchase the cheap stuff and hope we can move soon? Oh, the angst.

Last week, however, after my weekly grocery run (Who am I kidding? It's a grocery journey -- LONG journey.) I noticed a rack of Rug Doctor machines by the checkout line. When I got home, I unloaded the food and jumped on the computer to do a little research. For about $40, I could rent the machine and additional upholstery cleaning hose for a day and also purchase the concentrated carpet cleaning solution. A small investment. The reviews and testimonials sold me.

I ran back to the store with Avery on my hip and rented the bad boy. I even rolled it to my car and put it in by myself while still holding her. Something told me my doors wouldn't have to stay open while the carpet was being cleaned this time.

I vacuumed the house quickly and went to work steam cleaning away. It was marvelous! That machine sucked all the nastiness out of my worn out carpet. You no longer can tell where the main traffic paths are. I might be able to get a few more years out of my carpet.

A quick disclaimer: If you come to visit me and don't think my carpets look smokin' hot, get over it. You should've seen the before shots! Go get you a Rug Doctor, too!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Getting frisky

Well, we made it home, but not without incident. We had our luggage packed, had breakfast, grabbed a cab, and headed to the airport. The security line wasn't too bad, so we felt good about our trek through the terminal. However, I started beeping through the metal detector. I backed up, removed my watch and bracelet and walked through again. Beeped again. Then I realized that I still had my very large hoop earrings in. Too late.

I got whisked into a plexiglass holding pen with a man who looked like an old man extra from a Saudi Arabian film. They very obtrusively summoned a female security officer who made me "spread 'em" and frisked me. It was the earrings. Duh.

For a split second, I thought about being embarrassed. Then I looked around and remembered that I was in Las Vegas -- the city of lunatics -- so I blew it off.

We had a wonderful time -- seeing all the city sights, losing only about $20 (since Chad has self control), and lounging by the pool. We managed to avoid a couple of disasters at the HR convention Chad was helping with, and felt great about it before leaving town. We ate WAY too much, walked WAY too far and smelled WAY too much cigarette smoke, but all in all it was a spectacular place to travel together.

We came home to a very excited Avery, who ran back and forth between Chad and me hugging us over and over again. I LOVE that. Even though it was nice to get some time alone without her, we missed the little booger and couldn't wait to get home to her.

I'll leave you with a few pictures from our trip. We didn't have a single one of ourselves -- just the sights. Oh well. Enjoy!
The beautiful Bellagio before the infamous fountain show
The Eiffel Tower at the Paris resort
The volcano at the Mirage
Sweet time with Papa when he was in town for a funeral
Cheesin' it up with Nana and her super fun Green Tea bottle

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Today's high

Chad and I are in Las Vegas for the next few days -- sans Avery. His parents came up Thursday and my mom is relieving them today. Chad is helping with set-up and dismantle for a Healthways trade show booth at two conventions, so I'm tagging along.

This place is really amazing. It stinks like a giant ashtray, but the architectural details are phenomenal. We've exhausted ourselves each day so far with all the walking and intense heat. The high this weekend is 109!!! The low is 88. It's a really dry heat, so it doesn't feel as bad as 90 in Nashville, but it does feel like we're just standing in front of an open oven door.

We're at Bally's, next to Paris and across from the Bellagio. We watched the fountain show last night. It's amazing that they'd give up that much precious real estate for a big pond, but it draws so many people.

We've played a few slots and some video poker, but Chad won't let me bet more than 5 cents at a time. I keep telling him that a big investment equals a big return, but he keeps reminding me that we haven't lost more than about $10 so far.

This is the first time we've both left Avery overnight. We don't have a problem with it -- we just don't have any family in town to leave her with. She's in great hands with her grandparents and I'm sure she's getting spoiled beyond belief. I miss her terribly, though. Every time I see a child (not sure why ANYONE would want to bring a child here), I miss her even more.

Well, I'm finally off to eat breakfast. I know, I know. It's 11:50 to my body right now, but we're on VACATION! I'll post pictures when we return. Have a great weekend, bloggers!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pool drama

After Avery's second day of "school" today at Crieve Hall, I took her to the pool at the Y. It's her favorite place now. She's thrilled with being soaked to the bone.

Avery showed off her jumping off the side moves. Another mom with a daughter a little older than Avery struck up a conversation with me about their comfort level in the pool. It was an ever-so-brief chat, but a few minutes later, I noticed her across the pool with something all over her cheek.

She started trying to get the attention of her older daughter and I heard her give instructions to get out of the pool. After a closer look, I realized that she was holding the back of her baby's head and the 'something' all over her cheek was blood. She rushed over to the first aid station and the lifeguards were helping her stop the bleeding and trying to get her husband on the phone. They were pretty sure the baby would need stitches. She had slipped and hit her head in the shallow sloping end of the kiddie pool.

What do you do in a situation like that??? I would flip out if I were that mom. She couldn't drive to the hospital because she needed to keep pressure on the back of her baby's head. I tried to get her to let me drive them to the hospital, but she was nervous about driving without the baby in a carseat (and she'd just met me 20 minutes earlier.)

I felt compelled to help, so Avery and I gathered up her stroller, shoes, towels, pool floats and other belongings and kept her other daughter Joanna (probably age 5) occupied while she and the lifeguards waited for her husband to arrive.

In the mean time, Joanna said her stomach hurt because she was hungry. We went to my pool chair to get fruit snacks and cash and I got her and Avery each an ice cream sandwich. They were a mess, but stayed out of everyone's hair. We decided to play on the playground, but Joanna changed her mind on the way over because she needed to go to the bathroom. She informed me that she needed help and that she was sorry because it was "really messy." I wasn't prepared for that, but we survived.

Joanna was so polite and sweet, so it was an absolute pleasure to be able to help however I could. Once her daddy arrived, the whole family rushed off to take care of business and get the baby's head checked out. I certainly hope I see them again in better circumstances.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Is it summer yet?

I know it's not quite summer yet, but it sure feels like it. It's HOT. But thank heavens for the pool at the YMCA. Avery and I have been hitting it up every day. She's a big fan of splashing around. She's pretty brave, too. She's not afraid of the freezing cold water. I just have to grin and bear it so she doesn't get out of reach.

We spent the holiday weekend in Huntsville with Chad's family. Saturday was devoted to tromping around on the farm. Avery loved the barn and got to pet her first cow! It was the one that was born the same day as her. All the other cows run when you get too close, but "Avery's cow" will walk right up to you expecting some attention. All the photos are on Chad's parents' camera because I bought the wrong size battery! At least we had the video camer for other stills from the last few days.
I ran by Target this morning and bought a pack of the right size batteries so I won't have any more excuses for not documenting all the growing up going on in our house. I'm always behind the camera, so here are some good pictures of Avery with Daddy.
Cuddling by the pool

Eating spaghetti
"Helping" Daddy wash the car
"Helping" Daddy water the lawn
Playing in the bathtub with our buddy Madeline

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day and Field Day

I totally intended to post yesterday, but Chad and I got wrapped up in a crossword puzzle. We're addicts. Ever since we subscribed to the paper, we're hooked!

Mother's Day was wonderful. Avery got me a sweet card and flowers and she helped Daddy make lunch for me. I got to take it easy for the day.

I LOVE being a mom. And it's so cliche, but I never knew how much my mom loved me until I had Avery. This is technically my third Mother's Day because two years ago on Mother's Day I learned I was pregnant with Avery. What a cool day!!!!

Today, Avery and I spent the morning at Kirkpatrick Elementary. I had the stroller loaded with fruit snacks and I hauled around a couple of coolers full of Capri Suns for the kiddos. They are hilarious! I wish I'd had my camera (but, of course, yet again, I don't have batteries). My class won Tug-o-War!

The kids wanted to take turns "helping" with Avery. They had a ball pushing her stroller and following her around and feeding her fruit snacks. They've all come a long way since the first of the year. I can hardly believe the year is almost over. Wow! First Grade, here they come!

Well, I'm sweaty, so it's time for a shower. Till next time . . .

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tongue bite or terrified?

Yesterday evening, we all sat down to dinner at the kitchen table. A fly had gotten into the house at some point and it was driving us crazy while we were eating. I rolled up a section of the newspaper and started swatting at it. After flailing around the kitchen like a lunatic, I finally knocked the fly out and beat it senseless on the floor.

I was incredibly proud of myself, but I looked up to see Avery's face. I've never seen anything like it. She looked terrified and was bawling her eyes out. I'm still not sure if she had bitten her tongue while eating or if she was genuinely frightened that I had killed a helpless (albeit germ-carrying) creature. I wish I had a photograph of the look on her face. I honestly haven't see anything like it in my life.

I shouldn't have excuses for not posting pictures. Just call it laziness. We haven't taken many photos lately because the camera battery died and I haven't bought new ones yet. Maybe soon. Til then . . .

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I Know, I Know

It's been over a week since my last post. But I have an excuse! I've been in Florence visiting my family while Chad was in Selma, Alabama for his last audit trip. Hooray! I haven't been chained to my computer like I usually am. Lola and I are gearing up for a new campaign, so in the interim I'm trying to get in all my visitin'.

My first day at my grandparents, my Grandpa patted my belly, thinking I was pregnant. I quickly scolded him and informed him that pregnancy was being prevented and that my empire waist shirt was completely in style right now. I also told him NEVER to assume a woman is pregnant until she tells him herself. Men!

Avery has been honking like the geese in the lake out back, but not on purpose. She has a cough that is finally breaking up, but now she's got a mid-grade fever and hasn't been interested in food (which is TOTALLY not like her!) She's pitiful. I just hope she sleeps well tonight.

No pictures today -- again. Sorry! I've gotta upload the latest when I get back to Nashvegas. Till then . . .

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Missed it

I completely missed it. It will possibly be one of the most talked-about news stories of the week. Sanjaya is gone.

I really wish I had been able to tune in to see him get the boot. Since websites are regulated to keep results secret until the west coast feed, I had to wait until JUST NOW to find out. I hope my eyes aren't playing tricks on me.

All I've gotta say now is: Shine, Melinda, shine! Be sure to vote, everyone!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Reading out loud

I drive my sweet husband crazy every night when I read through all my favorite blogs. I laugh out loud and then proceed to read the blog to him so I can share the hilarity with him. He usually doesn't get it. He's not the stay-at-home mom who relates to all the other stay-at-home moms who have kiddos who do funny things.

Thank you, blogger moms, for sharing your kids' funny stories. We need the laughs (sometimes just to get through the day and know we're not alone.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My other babies

Thursdays are my favorite! I volunteer in Mrs. Jones' kindergarten class at Kirkpatrick Elementary and love (almost) every minute of it. The kids are hilarious and so much fun, even though sometimes they have a tough time behaving. Mrs. Jones is a great teacher and gives these kids every chance in the world to thrive.

THANK YOU to everyone who has kept Avery for me so I can volunteer at Kirkpatrick. I'm so sorry for begging all the time. Please know that you are a ministry to me. I love you!
I also look forward to The Office & Grey's Anatomy and this week, Notes from the Underbelly! Loafing with my girlfriends in front of the TV this week!
Here are my Kirkpatrick babies:

Asma, San'Twan, & Tyssa
Reginae & Liric
Terelle & Michelle
Terelle & Ashton