Monday, March 2, 2015

Brotherly Love?

At lunch today, Jones reached out and grabbed Freddie's hand. He's never done that before, and I thought he'd drop it as soon as he took it. Or, maybe, that he'd pinch it or squeeze it or use it to put some of Freddie's Goldfish on Jones's tray. 

But he didn't. 

He held it for several minutes. He even turned back to keep eating off of his tray, still holding Freddie's hand behind him. Freddie didn't seem to mind the attention. He just acted like it was a completely normal thing to have happen. For as many times as Jones has body slammed Freddie - or put him in an unprovoked chokehold - this gesture was the most heart-stoppingly sweet thing Jones has done to Freddie, since he used to climb in Brother's crib and "cuckle" with him after their naps.

Maybe Jones is starting to feel guilty for all of those body slams. 

Later today, the boys and I were at Ingles. We just needed a few things, so I pushed Freddie in his stroller and told Jones he'd have to hold my hand through the store. He did GREAT with this. In fact, he had the best day obedience-wise that he's had in a week, which was a great relief, because, obedience-wise, the last week has been R.O.U.G.H. 

Anyway, we'd almost made it through the entire store when I stopped in the freezer section on the outside wall. Remembering I needed blue cheese for dinner, I stopped the stroller and backtracked no more than nine feet straight back to get the cheese. Jones must've assumed I was leaving Freddie. He immediately said, "Baby!" and ran to the back of the stroller, grabbing the bar to push it (which he couldn't do) and turning to look at me, as if to say, "Have you forgotten...?!?!" It was precious

"We're not leaving Baby, Jones," I explained. "Mama just stepped back here to get something."  

But given the number of times a day I wonder if Jones is ALWAYS going to pick and bicker with Freddie (who, let it be known, never fights back ... yet), I am so grateful for an early example of him being his brother's keeper.

I am ALSO grateful that today was warm enough to go outside without wearing ski bibs.

Freddie's getting more and more bold
about standing, but, 14 months old today,
he's still not taking steps. I'm
hoping we're getting close, though! 

So, maybe Jones wasn't COMPLETELY loving today.

Freddie still watches Jones
like he's a movie.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hymn of the Month

"Dare to Stand"

Take your stand with the Son of God,
oh, be faithful to His name;
plant your feet on the Word of God;
it shall ever be the same.

Dare to stand alone for Christ,
claim the blood He sacrificed,
lift the name of Jesus high!
Press onward to the sky!

Join us, Christian, and take your stand;
daily feast upon His Word;
face the foe with your sword in hand,
'til the vict'ry shout is heard.

a Weekend in Greenville

This weekend, we went to Greenville. There's not much to tell about the visit, but there ARE a few pictures to show ... and a video of Jones and (my) Daddy pretending to be Dr. Evil and his Mini Me. In fact, if shooting this video was ALL I did during the weekend, the trip would've been TOTALLY worth it.

(The first few of these were taken late last week before we left town.)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Say it Ain't Snow!

To know me is to know I hate snow.

Here's the thing: I grew up in South Carolina.  There, the very threat of snow means the entire town shuts down and is paralyzed for a really, really unreasonably long amount of time. I don't like that one iota. My inner go bug does NOT like to have her wings clipped. And driving in "the elements" is not a possibility for me. Just ask Leslie Bell, who's rescued me more than once during a weather "event."

Here in Canton, snow is handled a little differently.  For instance, the town owns a snow plow. Plus, I rarely have anywhere to go here, so getting there is never a problem. That's probably why I wasn't sad at all to see about five inches on the ground when I got up this morning.

It started - just as they'd predicted - around 5:30 last nite. Jones and I stood at the den window, him with his lips pressed to the glass and me shaking my hips and singing, "Let it Snow!" as we watched it fall. By the time day broke, there was a thick, fluffy, beautiful blanket of powdery white.

I immediately took Jones to the window to show him this morning. He started running from the window towards the hall and back to the window in a seemingly endless loop of puppy-like excitement. A little later in the morning, I sat his crib by the window, so he could sit in it, "reading" his tractor books. Instead, he stood the entire time, leaning on the railing, mouth agape at the late-Winter wonderland laid out before him.

For convenience's sake, I left Freddie inside with Jeremy when I took Jones outside. As he did on Tuesday, Jones stood still on the sidewalk, just checking stuff out for a few minutes. Then, he started digging in the snow with the slotted spoon I'd given him for harvesting snow for snow cream.

While he did that, I (attempted to) built a snowman. It seemed like the parental thing to do. Refer to the part about my being from South Carolina if you wonder why I had no idea how to make said snowman any bigger than he was. Our buddy - I decided to name him "Doc," because of all of the carrots used in his creation - didn't last long. As soon as construction was completed, I proudly brought Jones over to see him. Recognizing his glasses, Jones immediately went to get them; that was the end of poor Doc's head.

By mid-morning, I'd thought we'd done our "snow play" for the day. Then, Jeremy's dad came over with a snow plow and a four wheeler (remember what I said about having such generous in-laws?), and Jones said he wanted to go for a ride, so back we went into the snow paraphernalia. As it turns out, when given the chance to actually ride the four wheeler, Jones was totally uninterested.  This time, however, I also brought Freddie out; he was more than happy to go for a spin.

By then, the temps were in the mid-40s; the "blanket" was quickly becoming like a scrunched up dishrag tossed out on the lawn, so the boys took their naps - Jones's lasting for an unusually long three and a half hours - and later tonite, cousins Ellery and Evan (both "E" to Jones) and Aunt "DahDah" came over for sledding down our back hill. For all the fun Jones had playing in the snow (snow "balls" are his favorite), the best part of his day was probably the end of it, as he played with E1 and 2 in our den.

After two weather events in one week, I am officially ready for the Masters.

Bring it, Spring.

Focus: Freddie

I sometimes feel like is a little more focused on the former than the latter. In an effort to even things out, here's a post dedicated entirely to Freddie Bear, who is increasingly called "Freckle," though I have absolutely no idea why. He has exactly ZERO freckles.

The first picture posted below shows Freddie sitting in one of his favorite places - on the step stool that Jeremy bought me at the Hayesville Festival on the Square when we were engaged. I'm going to stop a minute to focus on the fact that, in spite of today's snow, trips to Hayesville are just a few weeks ago away.


Back to Freckle (as I told you ...):

He sits on this stool all the time. Generally, he sits on it after he's stood on it to bang that green sign against the wall, so that the sign goes cock-eyed. Ditto that for the picture beside it. He then has a habit of pulling pieces of the (mercifully, plastic) frame on the end entirely off and waving them around like they're a conductor's baton. Or a magician's wand.

I was excited to get a picture of him sitting on the stool before Jones and I went out to play in the snow this morning (Freddie and Jeremy stayed in until later in the day). When I came in later, I caught him in the act of playing with the frame on the end. I was excited about that, too, though I'm not at all looking forward to putting that thing together - AGAIN - when it's time to "tidy up the nursery" later tonite (I think of Mary Poppins every nite when I say to Jones, "Let's go clean the playroom!").

After he got up from his nap, he was playing in the playroom when I walked in, and he'd gotten himself in to the little red wagon the Pressleys gave him for his birthday. He looked at me, like, "Push me!"

So I did.

Mostly because this kid is kinda irresistible.

Case in point:

I love this video for a couple of reasons. First of all, you can hear him saying, "Go!" He doesn't do the little pause he does when he says it on the train, for some reason.  Guess he's more ready to GO than usual? Secondly, you can hear his little giggle.  Thirdly, you can see his sweet smiles and happy eyes, and finally, you can hear him giving his little grunt-y whine, as well as the "tssss" sound he makes when he wants something. 

After he climbed out of the wagon, he eventually made it over to his books. I've mentioned before how hard it is to get him to read anything. Lately, though, I've seen him flipping through them (often upside down; see below) quite a bit.  He still won't sit on my lap to listen to a story, though. 

Baby steps.

Speaking of, maybe the NEXT all-Freddie post will be because of THOSE?!

See that little white train beside
the little white helicopter?
That train is Freddie!
He was sent to me by my friend
Elisabeth when I was pregnant with Freddie.
He's a friend of Thomas the Train.
You can probably imagine how
much I love the fact that
Thomas has a friend Frederick.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Cuckle" Bug

As usual, Freddie went to bed around 7:15.

Jones, however, got to stay up a little late tonite.

After the boys finished their dessert, I went to turn on the SEC Network for UK's 7 p.m. ballgame at Mississippi State. Jones saw the basketball uniforms on tv and, as he always does anytime he sees anyone in a uniform, said, "Buuueeeee!"

Typically, I'd have ignored his "request" to watch the game and rushed to get them both him and Freddie in bed by tip time, but tonite, the Pressleys were here, so I let the boys stay up a little to visit with their wonderful grandparents. Jones, of course, wanted to "cuckle" with his Nan on the inflatable "guest bed" I'd blown up for the boys to bounce on earlier today.

Soon enough, though, Nan and Pop had to go - they were rushing home to get up the hill to their house before it was completely covered in snow. Then Jones asked ME to "cuckle," and if Jones has ever asked you to cuckle, while giving you the "come here" gesture, you wouldn't care about bedtime, either. Especially if the Cats were off to a hot start in Starkville.

So Jeremy put poor Freddie Bear to bed. Jones and I laid on the blow up bed, our heads resting on a ginormous stuffed puppy, and we "cuckled," and we cheered for the Cats, and when the "Somethin's Got Ahold on Me" SEC Network Commercial came on, Jones's little hips started gyrating, and when it came on again, they did it again.

We watched the entire first half that way. Then I put him to bed, as usual. It was pretty much the most amazing 47 minutes of the entire day ... no, week.

Video Replay

One of my favorite new phrases in Jones's growing vocabulary is "Come on, Mama, Daddy, Baby, Pop, etc." The way he says it is made all the cuter by the fact that he motions with his little pointer finger when he says it.

One nite earlier this week, he'd said, "Come on, Mama" to me a couple of times, trying to get me from his room into the den.  Of course, as soon as I turned on the camera to record him doing it, he quit, but here's a video of him repeating it to me on my request. You can get the gist.

At the start of the video, he's saying, "CHEESE," because he saw my phone up in camera mode and assumed I was snapping a still shot (I guess you could say he knows the drill). At the end, as he's closing the door, he's repeating to me, "I LOOOOOOOOOVE you, Ma-ma" (just in case you need help cracking the Jones code).


The boys are playing so nicely and quietly in the playroom right now. Thank God for our unused dining room - and lots of Patch the Pirate on my iPod. In addition to learning to play really well - both together and on their own - Freddie is getting WAY more verbal, too. For instance, he'll (sometimes; definitely not always) wave and say, "Hi" and "Bye." When you say, "Ready, set ...," he'll say, "... Go!" It's always in that syntax, too. There's a little pause before "Go!" And he's mastered the sign for "Thank You," if you consider "mastering" putting both hands over his mouth and then extending them forward. He's also started gesturing when he talks, exactly like Jones does.  It is hilarious how much he looks like Jones when he does it.

It's not hard to see why he's communicating so well when you see the good help he has in this next video.  Well, you can kinda see it. They were sitting in the kitchen, eating dinner and laughing together last nite.  Jones was saying, "Ma-ma...Da-da...," trying to get Brother to copy him. It was adorable and another one of those times when I tried to sneakily flip on my camera, so I could capture the moment. As is always the case, as soon as the camera was handy, the moment was gone.

But you can at least you can see the tail end of it.  You can also see Freddie Bear's really righteous table dance. Oh, and when Jones says, "No, no, Baby" after Freddie hits the table, it's because Jones got in trouble once, because he hit the table in anger when I'd told him, "No" to something, so he now assumes that ALL hitting of the table is off limits, and he is, if nothing else, perfectly capable of being sure Freddie does NOTHING that is "off limits."

One final video (because I honestly can't remember if I've posted it before, and it's a doozy). Lest you think they ALWAYS play as well together as they are right now ...

... think again (in fact, when the bickering gets to be too much, we often put one in the den and the other in the playroom).