Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lake Chatuge, Take Two

Here are some quick hits from our July 4th weekend at Lake Chatuge:

  • Jones likes brisket. A lot. So much so that I think he may become a rancher when he grows up, just so he can have easier access to that cut of beef. I hope he does. I'd like some easier access myself.
  • Jones likes to drive the boat as much as he likes to eat brisket. During the weekend, he started running a fever and was all "Mama, Mama, Mama," as a result. And then we got on the boat, and, suddenly, we couldn't keep him off his Pop's lap in the Captain's Chair.
  • Jones got sicker than he's ever been before. It started Saturday nite with a slight fever. He was still eating fine and acting normally then. Sunday, though, the fever was higher, and that nite, he was up from 2-5 AM, which he has NEVER done, not one time in his entire life. Even as a newborn, he'd wake up, eat, and go right back to sleep. THAT to say, Big Brother did NOT feel well at all.  He and I sat on the front porch in those wee small hours, enjoying one of the most beautiful little corners of God's great creation. Our long stretches of silence were interrupted by infrequent discussions about the sounds that certain animals make (Cows, for instance, say, "OOOOOOhhhhhh;" cars - for our purposes that nite, also an animal - say either "beep! beep!" or "vroom!" depending on the mood Jones is in).  Monday morning, his temperature hit a lifetime high of just over 103. I called the doctor's office and was told by the nurse that a "fever virus" is going around. Since he had no other symptoms, she assumed this was the culprit. Where he got it, I don't know, but I'm thankful he's since gotten rid of it and pray that Brother doesn't get it, too. Mama needs some SLEEP!
  • Freddie can handle his bulky life vest a whole lot more happily if he has his pacifier in his mouth.
  • Much as they both like being ON the water, neither Jones nor Freddie were fond AT ALL of being IN the water. Think "wailing and gnashing of teeth."
  • Jones watched the same "Goofy" DVD about 9,345 times this weekend, thanks to an awesome little Cars television set, handed down from cousins Ellery and Evan. 
  • Jones calls both my mom AND Jeremy's "Mayme," which is weird, because we call Jeremy's mom "Nan" and always have. What's funny is how he, somehow, seems to know that they're both the same in terms of their relationship to him, thus warranting the same name? Or so I guess. That both of his grandfathers are called "Pop" can't help to clarify the situation for him.
  • Jones and Freddie do NOT sleep well when they are in the same room together. I may have to rethink my long-term plan of having them share a room. They can sleep like logs through the gunfire-like cacophony of July 4th fireworks, but when one of them starts jabbering at 5:30 in the morning, the other bolts up like a whack-a-mole. What wakes them up so early out there?!?  Typically, they'll catnap for an hour or so before I let them get up 30 minutes earlier than usual, but in the meantime, they've awakened the entire house. I'm fully expecting our visiting privileges to be revoked at any moment!

  • Tuesday, July 1, 2014

    Hymn of the Month(s)

    June - "Did You Ever Talk to God Above?"
    July - "All That Thrills my Soul is Jesus"

    Monday, June 30, 2014

    Rolling Jones

    Apparently, Jeremy will stop at nothing to entertain Jones, while I'm putting Freddie to bed. I came downstairs from tucking Brother in and see this:

    The water's fine.

    Jones had a big day.

    Today was the day that he and I started our Parent & Child Swim Class at the Eastside YMCA in Greenville.  I was nervous about how he'd do, to be honest. His first time in Mom and Daddy's pool this summer was not exactly what I'd call pleasant. He got used to it really quickly, but even now, he's good for about 25 minutes of swimming before he wants to sit on the side of the pool or walk around on the deck while the rest of us try to entice him back in to the water.

    Today, though, he did great (did you hear that? That was my sigh of relief). There were two other kids, a mom, and a dad in the class, and a teacher who looked to be about Camden's age. Her youth notwithstanding, she had the kids laughing and splashing like they were born swimmers.

    One game that they played required they throw a ball in the water and then "swim" to it, powered by their parents' arms. When they'd reach the ball, they'd have to throw it again and, again, swim to it, all the way up and down the swim lane. A variation to this was throwing the ball to the teacher, swimming to her, and then throwing the ball to the parent and swimming back to them. During this game, Jones would make a "tsssssss" sound every time he threw the ball. It's the same sound he makes when he does his fist bump, and it was absolutely adorable.

    The last exercise of the thirty-minute class required sitting the kids on the side of the pool and seeing if they'd slide or jump in. Jones had zero trouble with the "slide-in;" we didn't even try the jump, because, true to form, he was beginning to meltdown after 25 minutes in the pool. Maybe we'll try the "jump-in" at our next class.

    Or the next.

    If I'm feeling brave.

    Or crazy.

    We go back every Monday and Wednesday in July.

    Saturday, June 28, 2014

    #freddiesfirstyear, Volume I

    Photo book-wise, doing for Freddie as I did for Jones has proven to be far harder than I expected it to be. That's why the first book in the planned three-volume "Freddie's First Year" set wasn't finished until today - two days before he hits the half-year mark.

    So ...


    Anyway, I really have no excuse. I tried to make it easy on myself by using the exact same template that I used for Jones's "Daily Instagrams." That should mean it's as simple as uploading the pictures (which I can do from my phone, which I ALWAYS have on me) and plopping them in the pre-determined, chronologically-organized places.

    Still, I can't keep up.

    But I'm trying, and I'm glad I am, because strolling through these moments just a few months after they happened has been so much fun as I finished up the book tonite. I can only imagine how fun it'll be to go through them a few YEARS (or DECADES!) after they happen!

    Now, I wait for Shutterfly to send an email with "FREE 8X8 PHOTO BOOK" in the subject line.

    Cross your fingers, and watch your in-box.

    Click here to view this photo book larger

    You'll love award-winning Shutterfly photo books. Start your own today.

    Friday, June 27, 2014

    Freddie Bear's (Impromptu) Photo Session

    Just because I can never seem to find the time to write about them doesn't mean that milestones aren't being crossed every day by the one and only Freddie Bear.

    He's gotten his first tooth this week; he's starting to laugh, AND he can sit up, though his "sit" quickly becomes a "hunch," as, in the course of a few minutes, he slumps progressively down-down-down until his chest rests on his legs. Oh, and often, there are faceplants. Still, you can't tell me that doesn't count.

    He's started on baby food; he really loves it AND chewing on the spoon I feed him with. I give him a fruit at breakfast and a vegetable for dinner. His schedule is set - up around 7 a.m., naps at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. (assuming he'll drop his evening "cat nap" soon? Jones never took one, so I'm not sure when he'll give it up), and bed at 7:30. He turns six months on Monday and is the sweetest little love dumpling I can even imagine.

    And his eyes.

    His eyes will stop your heart. I know this because they stop the hearts of people everywhere we go. I think a lot about my boys' eyes, because I think they're so beautiful (I can say that because they didn't get them from me!). It's been well documented that, when Jeremy picked me up for our first date, the first thing to stop MY heart were his gorgeous eyes. I opened the door, saw them, and, as the last song sung at our wedding reception says, "'Zing! Zing! Zing!' went my heartstrings!"

    Through both pregnancies, I prayed that the babies would be born with their daddy's eyes. It occurred to me recently that God answered my prayers both times but in different ways: Jones has the shape of Jeremy's eyes, and Freddie has the color. Isn't that just like God to show me how creative He is? I pray one prayer, and He can answer it in an infinite number of ways.

    That made me think even more about artistry of God. Jones and Freddie were drawn from the exact same genetic pool, yet they look nothing alike. God can take the "raw material" - in this case, my DNA and Jeremy's - and make from it an unending number of variations. Had Jeremy and I had a passenger van full of kids, they'd all have been unique, individual creations made from the exact same materials. Like a jazz musician improvising on a theme, God is truly the great Creator, unlimited in both His imagination and His power.

    Anyway, I bring up my thoughts on the boys' eyes, because you can't help but notice Freddie's in these pictures I'm posting. We're going to Nashville in early August for Brooke to take some family pictures, and my plan had been that Freddie would wear his dedication outfit. I quickly realized, though, that the outfit may not, shall we say, make it to early August, as my nearly six-month old is very close to  outgrowing its six-month size. I took these snapshots in the Pressleys' yard, so I'd at least have some second-rate shots of my sweet baby in an outfit that I totally loved.

    Enjoy this beautiful baby ... she said in all modesty.

    Thursday, June 26, 2014


    Jones had eaten a big dinner.

    Pizza, fruit, and a glass of milk, he emptied his tray about as quickly as I'd filled it. As a treat, I broke a miniature Hershey Bar into four pieces and left it in front of him. It was gone just as fast as the rest of his dinner. 

    He then said, "Mama!" and pointed to the pantry (where the candy had come from). I'm really working on "Please" and "Thank you" with him, so I decided I wouldn't give him another piece until he'd at least made an effort to say one of the phrases.  

    "Say, 'p-p-p-please,'" I said, my face just inches from his. Finally, he did. He got out, "p-p-p-," and I thought it was so adorable that I didn't make him say the "-lease." Sue me.

    Seconds later, the second chocolate was gone. When it was, he again said, "MAMA!" pointed at the pantry, and said, this time without prompting, "P-p-p..."

    His wish was my command.