Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good morning and Good night Minneapolis!

Looking forward to a weekend at home with my family...

This week on more than one occasion, work has started in the early morning hours and ended in the o'dark hundred hours. I did enjoy the training and meetings, the networking with so many talented professionals, and the hot meals that I got to eat all by myself! :) But, I missed my boys...tonight when I got home, Cooper started pumping his little arms and legs as soon as he saw me. And get this, I put him down on the floor 20 min later to find little man shooting across the floor on all fours! He is officially a crawler!

*Note to self: Next time we have meetings in the city (downtown Minne) on the same day as a Twins game, take the light rail!!! I literally drove around for almost 2 hours looking for a parking place in the city...had no idea where I was going. Maybe shed a few tears along the way. Have never been so excited to see random-person-that-sits-down-in-the- "basement"-with-me on the other side of the room (last cube on second row) pulling up behind me...
[Insert pat on back statement] "You are smart, talented, capable and have proven to yourself and others that you can drive downtown by yourself like a big, next time, save yourself the stress and let someone else handle the craziness!!!"
10pm Wednesday...time to head on (love the music that's playing!), gps not working, lots of traffic (still) and a whole lot'ta one-ways...good thing I really love what I do :)
Good night Minneapolis.
Until the morning...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

a visit from Rassie and other random happenings...

Lots has been happening around here lately...

Rassie flew in to see her grandsons 2 weeks ago; the time flew by much too fast...but then it always does when family is near. Though the week was busy with work hours, we still found time for some "real time." The boys and Rassie enjoyed an outing one morning to the zoo and then there was dinner at Rainforest cafe at Mall of America, a special 2 hour shopping trip (just the two of us without the kids), a walk on a nice evening around the neighborhood and playtime at the park. She was so sweet to spoil me with a couple of homecooked meals ready and prepared when I walked in the door late in the day, and I think spent several hours practically every day trying to catch me up on my ironing! She was a great help while she was here; I just wish the week had gone by slower so we could have squeezed in more visiting time.

Thanks for sharing your summer time with us, Mama! I love you!

You know we had to fill our hours after Rassie left with activity or we might be really sad, so a few hours after she flew out, some friends of ours came over for dinner and a playdate. Bella and Parker had such a great time playing with just about every toy that we have! We miss our friends not living close by anymore, so it's special when we can get together to hang out several times a year. The two play so well together; the adults love to visit and to watch them!

Other random things...
Parker is excited to own his very first sleeping bag compliments of his daddy. When Clay brought it home the other week, Parker insisted he was going to sleep in it that afternoon during naptime. I think he's excited about it...what do you think?

Several weeks ago, Clay and I both celebrated our birthdays. On the night of my birthday, I came home to this...Clay and Parker busy in the kitchen creating delicious kabobs...the beautiful thing about it? I didn't have to lift a finger. :) I joked with him (when I saw the numerous dishes in the sink that the meal left for us) that I thought being the birthday girl meant NO work in the kitchen for a whole 24 hours. He laughed. Well, one out of two wasn't bad! Definately not complaining...I'll take whatever I can get!!!

And this little fella has been busy on his knees exploring the possibilities of crawling. He takes one to two little knee crawls and then falls down to his tummy. He then rolls over and over and over to get where he needs to go and when he gets near a couch or table, sits himself up by scooting his little knees up underneath him and plopping over onto his bottom. He's up to 4 teeth now and likes to put anything and everything in his mouth. He keeps his mama busy, and I love him so much! Such a cutie!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

laid-back Friday afternoon

Parker, Cooper and I enjoyed a laid-back Friday afternoon outside and around the home.

Throwing the football, "mowing the grass," playing with toys in the wagon, visiting with neighbors, chasing Tuesday (the neighbor's cat), riding bikes in the driveway, watering my front porch plant...aahhhh, perfect way to start a summer weekend.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Documented: "A Day in the Life - Our Today"

A Day in the Life: Our Today
June 23, 2011
Story: Carrie, Parker and Cooper from sleep to wake to sleep again
Clay is flying (somewhere)
Weather: Chilly for first time in awhile...about 60 degrees..overcast...rainy
Wearing: a coral dress with white jacket and Ann Taylor
Accessories: oatmeal colored shoes (Love these shoes!) and chunky silver jewelry

4:13am Waahh! Waaahhhh! Cooper is hungry.
4:31-5:45 Laid in bed trying to go to sleep but for some reason Cooper wasn't settled and kept me awake.
5:45 am Gave up on sleep.
Shower, dress, get ready for work...quick check for email rsvps for Sat cookout..respond to a few emails
6:50am Whip up some of "Nanny's cookies" to take to training class
7:30am Cooper wakes up...Change his diaper, dress him for day, hold and giggle with him for a minute before I dance and do a jig in the kitchen for him while I'm finishing up my baking. He was half happy and half threatening to cry...he was getting hungry (typically he's at daycare by was different) Prayed neighbors wouldn't catch me making a fool of myself in kitchen with baking utensils
7:55 Wake Parker up
7:58 Last batch of cookies come out of oven
8:00 Dress Parker, take wet sheets off the bed and throw them downstairs
Load boys and bags in car...singing randomly in a crazy voice, "We're off to see the wizard..." parker laughs and says, "No mom, we're off to see Ms. Leslie!" Forgot dress shoes. Darn. Pull back in driveway. Run inside to grab AT shoes.
8:15 Drop boys off at Daycare
8:26 Park at office, carry in nursing bag, purse, personalized lunch bag and plate of cookies wearing my "crocs"...get in elevator with 6 suits...starting to feel like Suzy Homemaker from South (almost every day I'm in a suit or formal dress...casual day today with sundress and jacket...couldn't help but laugh after getting off elevator...wish there was a picture of this one...)
8:30am Arrive at work...everyone is happy to see cookies
(Cookies are gone before 10am)
Received email that I won a $50 gift card to Best Buy...whooohoo! Husband will be giveaways!
*Training Phase 2 on Account Business Reviews and Proposal Presentations...head is spinning...lots of info taken in this week
Lunch today: homemade chicken salad sandwich, blueberries and strawberries and carrot sticks
MR: 9:30 and 12:30pm (perfect time to pray for boys and make a couple of quick phone calls)

4:30pm Switch to comfortable rubber houseshoes (aka crocs) Leave work to go get boys
5pm Home
5:05 unload bags from car (put milk in fridge, put Cooper's empty bottles and food containers in sink to be washed, hang Parker's backpack in closet, bring in diaper bag, nursing bag, purse, lunchbag and shoes..check cooper's stats sheet again for times and feedings and such)
5:08 Turn on oven...pop chicken for dinner in oven
5:10 Head over to park with boys...kick the soccer ball with Parker (Cooper loved it...I held him while I kicked the ball..he laughed hard every time I kicked the ball back to was chilly out...60 maybe? Headed home about 5:30)...Grab mail from mailbox.
5:34 Cooper in high chair with food waiting for him :) Smart mama I am. Mum Mum to keep him busy. Warm baby food. He doesn't want to wear bib. Takes it off and is now on floor.
5:36 Take chicken out of oven. Green beans go in microwave.
5:37 Cooper screaming. He has finished mum mum and doesn't want to eat baby food.
(Parker playing at front door with outdoor play shovels, buckets, etc.)
5:38 Trying to feed Cooper sweet potatoes and pears. A challenge. He wants to hold the spoons. So far to count...3 spoons on floor. Attempted to put bib on Cooper again. It's on the floor shortly after.

Picture taken of Carrie and Cooper one day earlier in the week...June 22, 2011

5:40 something... chicken cordon blue, green beans and blueberries on the table for Parker.
5:50 cheerios for cooper...still trying to finish up the baby food...1 more spoon on floor.
6:00pm Warmed up leftover carrots and potatoes from fridge for Cooper. He's happy and messy within minutes. (I did get him to also finish the baby food in between.) Last and final attempt with bib. Unsuccessful. Seriously, why bother at this point?
6:05 Parker slowly but surely taking bites and chatting happily.
6:10 I take first bite of lukewarm supper. Parker wants to help Cooper drink water from his sippy. Thank you Parker. Now please sit down.
6:13 Parker: "Can I have more blueberries, mama?" Mama: "Eat a couple more bites of chicken and green beans and you may have some more blueberries."
6:16 Get Parker more blueberries. Cooper needs more Now a total of 5 spoons on floor.
6:18 Parker randomly wants to sit in my lap to eat...that never happens.
6:19 I guess I'm done with supper. Visit with Parker while I make sure Cooper has easy access to food on tray.
6:22 Unload dishwasher while Parker is finishing up. Put dirty dishes in dishwasher.
6:29 Parker done with supper. Cooper done eating and being happy. Sent Parker to wash hands and play while I take Cooper upstairs for bath.
6:32 Wipe Cooper down and head upstairs for bath in duckie. Cooper doesn't want to stay on changing table..."Get me in my duckie NOW!"
6:34 Cooper happy splashing and moving in duckie bath. Cooper wants to play slip in slide..flip, turn, lay, roll...bathe him quickly and get him out before he lands on head in bottom of tub.
6:36 Parker comes in with soft baseball and soft baseball bat, 3 cars and a batman...puts them all in sink and starts playing with water involved.
6:39pm Cooper on changing table and not happy about leaving bath. Dry him off. Take him to bedroom to put on diaper. Give him toy froggy to play with..he wants the plastic hanger to chew on instead.
6:43 Cooper dressed and ready for bed.
6:44 Milk time for Cooper. He's rubbing eyes.
7pm Night Night Cooper. Fan on. Curtains closed. Lovee and blanket in crib with him. (Clay lowered crib Tuesday night and took bumper pad out)
7:02 Throw in load of laundry. Wipe of high chair in kitchen. Start washing a few dishes that can't go in dishwasher. Put clean sheets on Parker's bed.
7:16 Throw football downstairs with Parker.
7:37 Pick up toys time. (not many to pick up tonight)
7:42 Parker in bathtrub...he wants to play
(I finish cleaning up kitchen as I hear Parker playing upstairs)
7:52 2 minute warning
7:54 quiet upstairs..I go upstairs to see what's going on and to bathe Parker. He has dumped the entire bottle of shampoo into the bathwater. Only one towel needed to soak up water from floor from him swimming like a fish.
Empty water. Bathe Parker. He cries and wails that he can't breathe when I rinse his hair (per usual ritual).
8:02 Out of tub, dried off and brushing teeth.
8:04 Pull up on, putting on pjs.
8:07 Parker heads downstairs to get his car with engine pipes and something idea which ones he's talking about.
8:10 Parker returns happy with his wanted items.
8:12 Socks on feet, in bed with his 2 toys and stuffed animals
8:14 "Bedtime for Frances" rRead by mama
8:27 Prayers & kisses
8:33 Lights out.

This Mama: WHEW!!! I did it! I survived! Pat myself on the back and hit my tasks hard and fast.

Quick motion to wrap up daily tasks...Grab all dirties from bathroom and chunk downstairs. Switch laundry in washer. Fold 2 loads of laundry that are in downstairs LR. Take trash to street for morning pick up. Prepare baby food for tomorrow. Get tomorrow's dinner in head and out to thaw. All dishes washed. Counters wiped down. Clay called. Quick glance out of front window to see gorgeous sunset. Bags for tomorrow out and by door ready to be loaded. Pjs on. Face washed. Contacts out.

9:16 Totally have a million and one things to do but am sitting down to load pics from camera. Veg to blog music and start post.
11:03pm This mama is headed to bed....and praying for a solid night's sleep.

Gradually trying to take pics of our current everyday life...having Clay grab the camera when he's home to snap a few "everyday moments" of me and the boys.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

"If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right." -- Bill Cosby

Happy Father's Day to our Awesome Daddy! (the best bear hugger and playmate in the whole wide world!!)
We love you!
Parker and Cooper

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

sleep, growing boys and Como Zoo!

I received the best birthday present ever this week...our little Cooper man slept through the night!!! I knew it could be done again; now, we just have to cross our fingers that it continues. After sleep training for 3 nights, on the 4th night...he slept. from 7pm till 6am. Thank you Lord. (Could we ask for a continuation of this event...please!?!?)

This past weekend, after 2 1/2 hrs of trying to get out the door with the boys, we made it to Como Zoo for a morning with the animals. (Truly, by the time we loaded everything into the car, we felt like we could be gone for 4 days and be totally fine with reserves and all. Heaven forbid, we leave the Doc Hudson car or our Woody doll in the midst of packing everything else.) ;)
It was warm out, and we loved the adventure. The boys enjoyed seeing the giraffes, monkeys, flamingos and other exciting creatures. We had packed a picnic...sandwiches, chips, grapes, goldfish and trail mix, a cheese stick and pistachios. My three year old was literally eating the whole time we were at the park. I wish I had a picture of his face when I told him no at one point to "another snack." He's a growing boy.

Speaking of growing boys, this one continues to amaze his mama and daddy. Not so much into milk (which his parents are not happy about), but very much into Big Boy food that he can hold, lift and put in his mouth himself. This proud mama has finally mastered the early evening meltdowns. Give him a carrot stick to chew on, a Mum Mum, his baby food, plus any and all food that he can eat off of our plates and his contagious smile will not falter....but Lord help the individual who lets him run out of mashed potatoes and watermelon.

On the toddler's end, Parker has been all about the outdoors and playing at the park in the neighborhood whenever he gets a chance. Is he old enough to be climbing on something this large??? Clay was laughing as my palms were seriously sweating when I observed my 3 year old maneuver through ropes and plastic steps 3 times his size. 

Looks like we have fun days ahead...I do think I need to go buy more food for our fridge though.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

10 years...Then & Now

This post has been in the works for quite a few weeks now. But with a three year old, an almost 8 month old, a new job and keeping up with the daily do's of being a wife and mommy, it was put on the backburner. Rest assured, it has not been due to a lack of reminiscing over the weekend and my visits with each of you. To my friends and classmates of Kirk Academy's Class of 2001, I thank you for the memories that we shared and the kinships that we made. I hope that each of you can look back as fondly as I can at the years spent at Kirk. To pigtails and braces, Boys II Men and awkward dances, Jaudon's lab to diploma's in hand, we made it through....and I think we turned out pretty darn good :)

Thanks to everyone who came to help make the night successful; we missed those of you who couldn't attend. Classmates came from Colorado, Tennessee, New York, Minnesota ;) and of course nearby parts of Mississippi. Here's to another ten years of great moments, successful days, and many blessings from above.

I hope that reading this post "made you Look. made you Smile. made you Laugh. made you Remember..."

Both kiddos are now up and running...supper is calling my name and I have quite a bit of laundry waiting for me downstairs. The reminiscing will have to end and greet me again another day. Back to today's moment and reality...

With love,

P.S. This song, "Here's to the Night" by Eve 6 -- hit play at bottom of pg if you can't hear music -- was playing on the radio in my bedroom as I got dressed on the night of our graduation

Last month, I flew back home for my ten year highschool class reunion. To be able to see some of my best friends and classmates that I haven't seen since graduation was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to the South. You know, everyone has different memories and thoughts about jr high/highschool experiences. My husband graduated with over 900 classmates; I graduated with 50. Growing up in a small town has its challenges (the main one being everyone knowing your business before you know about it :)) but it also has its sweet moments and I wouldn't take anything for my childhood/youth in good ole' Gtown (as it is fondly referred to by graduates). The memories and moments that I experienced at Kirk Academy, be it good, bad and/or ugly have helped to make me the person that I am today. I truly had been looking forward to this event for months (cheesy, I know...but hey, I was not the only one! Lindsey M. (who drove in with her husband from Nashville, TN) --btw, I will be referring to everyone mentioned in this post by first name and maiden initial--admitted that she had been talking about to everyone for months. We may have been a small class, but for the most part, we were pretty closeknit.

This past winter and spring, during all the preparation and planning with the girls (aka Ashley, Natalie, Terra and myself), quite a few afternoons during the boys' naptimes and my "clean-the-house, do-the-laundry, organize-the-pantry" mommy time I would find my mind drifting to those days at Kirk. Throwing in a load of sheets...thinking about Friday night football games. Ironing clothes for the next day (which I can assure you did not happen very often until recently!)...thinking about Mrs. Bain's Honors English class and Mr. Jaudon's Chemistry Contract and the "Bible." Picking up a pizza for Parker and me for supper on the way home from being out and about all day...thinking about a large group of us in Jr High who used to always meet up at Pizza Hut (next to our movie theater) then on to the movie...afterwards, we'd hit McDonalds to play on the playground until our parents picked us up (well, this happened a few goofy nights until we got in trouble by the McDonalds employees who told us we were too big to be on the playground equipment). Oh, and Homecoming weeks were the best. 

Carrie, Terra, Ashley, Natalie
Jr. High (9th grade)
Funny enough, the four of us were always the class officers except for our Jr year when the guys in our class thought it would be a great joke to put all guys in the spots (who truly could have cared less about the position) ...well, except for the President spot, which Ashley maintained. Our Senior year, when the idea was considered once again, one of the class sponsers spoke up and reminded them that the officers were the ones in charge of Class reunions and quite a few graduation tasks...the guys didn't think that was so funny. They quickly dismissed the idea.) ;)

 Carrie, Ashley, Terra, Natalie

The night before the class events, a few of us girls got together at a local restaurant to grab some appetizers and drinks while we played catch up. What I love about my Grenada Girls is how we can go months without seeing each other, but when we get together there's always laughter, catch-up-on-everyone's latest news and life, walks down memory lane and talks about the future.

Kathryn, Meagan, Terra, Carrie and Ashley
Topics of our conversations may have included (but certainly not limited to)...a 22 and 38 special complete with a proud TN armed license permit holder, a special roommate and an odd situation, potential burglars and husbands who can't hear worth a darn toot, raw shrimp, Kirk memories...and maybe another 2 1/2 hrs worth of random topics that lifelong girlfriends might be caught getting chatty about. I love these girls with all my heart and are so thankful for their friendship.

...the picture below may have included the part of about the raw shrimp...but I could be wrong. Ashley is going to kill me for posting this pic..but it was either this or Kathryn proudly flashing her new license (with her whole wallet and important personal details showing, half the picture would be blacked out for fear that some crazed maniac would look her up and attack her...not sure why I'm worried about her though...she's the one with the guns and the license to use them) :)

Saturday morning we were out at Kirk's playground for our class picnic...
photo below taken by Jan Moody

Class Picnic at Kirk Playground
...and our families

Miss Terra and myself :)

We toured the elementary and highschool buildings...they've changed a little bit in the last 10 years...still brought back plenty of recess, sidepocket, and achievement test memories though :)

Parker and his buddy Case were hard at work and play Saturday morning...

thanks for snagging these pictures of the boys, Mrs. Jan!

Photo below taken by Jan Moody

The precious new additions to Aleesha J's family...are these girls not adorable?!

Cooper tuckered out about midway through the morning.

Saturday night it was dinner and a band at First and Green in Downtown Grenada.

At 5pm the downtown square was quiet...

...not so much at 10pm...leave it to these guys to liven it up a bit...
Who needs a band, dancing, flowers, lights and food?
"Just bring on a tailgate, friends and a cold beer and we're good to go!"
So, the officers have all talked and next time we're saving everyone some money (and Ashley a whole lot of time in planning!!) and having a crawfish boil outside...on someone's tailgate. ;)

Well, at least Chad F and Meg broke it down on the dance floor...these two were precious to watch!

Well, Ashley, Terra, Natalie and I never made it outside to the tailgate party but we had quite the time chatting it up inside with our feet propped by the end of the evening. ha ha!
Thankful for this sweet fellow for flying in overnight just to be with me at this special event.

Funny how much things change over ten years. Back then we worried about what we were going to wear to the movie on Friday night or how we were going to finish Jaudon's contract in time. Now, most of are married with kids and are wondering how to get our little angels to sleep through the night so that we have energy for the next day of work. (Lindsay G, I think we're almost over the constipation thing...sleep training has started so hopefully, we'll be slumbering peacefully around here soon..I'll keep you updated) :)

7 hours later...mommy mode again...on a flight headed back to Minne...more than a little tired.

During the flight attendant's announcements, the hair pulling and the sleepy yawns, I might have drifted back into "KA memory mode" and smiled a few times. Here's to the Class of 2001 and the memories yet to come for each and every one of us!

"Made You Look"

One bright and shining moment,
when life seemed fresh and new,
With courage and determined steps,
we walked these halls anew.
Adventures waited anxiously,
to celebrate our days,
To laugh, to cry, to dance,
to sing, a time of wondering.
These ever-present memories,
captured in pictures of the mind,
Fashion a bridge to look ahead,
and all that’s left behind.
Within the hearts of each of us,
there lies a tie that binds,
Some quiet, gentle whisperings---
we look that one last time.
And looking , reach—and with one touch,
become unsung heroes tried and true,
We follow dreams and leave a past,
for those who surely follow, too.
With Him, our Guide, beside us----
age to age and heart to heart,
Our memories once again enrich,
though we are far apart.
Made you look, made you think,
made you bid farewell,
Made you face a new tomorrow---
embrace, embrace it well.

Written by Terry Jones
for Kirk Academy Class of 2001 Yearbook "Made You Look"