Thursday, October 30, 2014

Retweeted by Willie

This won't mean much to some of you (Jeremy), but to others (Mom, Daddy, Camden), it will mean the world: 


I'm not sure I've been so excited since Mom, Jones, and I ran into Nerlens Noel in the Qdoba parking lot. 

Because I was excited about Monday nite's Blue / White game, the boys were wearing their UK jerseys on Tuesday. Since the jerseys feature Willie's number (but NOT, God forbid, his NAME!), I tweeted him a pic of them, and BOOM. 


So they've got THAT going for them ... 

a Few things about Freddie

First of all, y'all.

These eyes.

This is an iPhone picture, so the quality's not awesome, but its clear enough to see these gigantic peepers (AND the game-changing bath seat my friend Kendra lent us).

Jeepers creepers, Freddie Bear.

Also, Freddie has a new trick. On Monday, I was sitting in the garage, while the boys - Jones in his John Deere and Freddie in his walker - played in the driveway. I turned on Jones's "jam" (still Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off," I'm ashamed to say), and this time, Jones wasn't the only one who reacted.  Freddie started to clap! He'd never done it before, but apparently, he liked it, because he continued to clap for about twenty minutes straight, even as Jones-in-the-John-Deere repeatedly rammed Freddie's walker head-on like they were driving daggone Dodge 'em Cars.

The next day, Freddie continued to be enamored with clapping, as you can see in the video below.

In this second video, taken on Monday, it goes on and on.  Freddie seems to just clap endlessly, but that's why I post it - because that's how it happened. As a point of information, by the way, Freddie got where he was by Jones ramming him there from right inside the garage where he started.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tragedy + Comedy

For months, the boys have loved their cuddle times, visiting each other's crib at the end of their naps. Jones still loves it; Freddie's beginning to enjoy being manhandlled by his big brother less and less.

Pictures by Caroline

Now that we finally have wifi at home again, I can catch up on a lot of things I've been meaning to post. Some of those "meaning-to-post" things are these pictures by Caroline Hamilton. Caroline is the daughter of a friend of mine from high school. She spent a lot of time playing with the boys this summer and got some pictures of Freddie at the start of fall.

(She would've gotten some pictures of Jones, too. But he needed a nap.  For the sake of his good reputation, I'll leave it at that.)

These are my favorites of the pictures she took of Freddie Bear - snapped at both the airport park in Greenville and at Mom and Daddy's! 

Thank you, Caroline, and GREAT WORK!

Sneak Peek at Trick or Treat

I fully anticipate that, this time next year, Jones will want to be Handy Manny or wear some other every-kid kind of Halloween costume. Freddie, being totally enamored by everything his big brother does, will probably follow in this Disney Junior-inspired suit, or, more likely, Jones will talk him in to being one of Manny's tools, the same way my sister convinced me to be Cinderella's fairy godmother (every four year old's DREAM role). I'm fine with that. In fact, I look forward to seeing how they choose to express themselves in their costume choices. 

Until then, though, I get to express MYSELF in their costume choices. 

And that's what I did this year.

Some backstory: back when I was dressing up for Halloween festivities as a teen or an adult, I'd always choose a classic-TV character. This was an homage to my love for the early days of Nick at Nite. Among others, I've dressed up like Laverne DiFazzio, Mrs. Roper, Alice Kramden, and Mary Richards (actually, there was an entire TV station internship that I dressed like her). 

Speaking of classic TV, Jeremy and I watched a lot of "Bonanza" back when we first got married. I'd never seen the show before, but Jeremy'd always loved it. So we'd throw the sofa cushions on the floor and snuggle up for a couple of hours in (a fictitious representation of) the American West. My only stipulation was that we had to watch episodes with Adam. If you've ever seen "Bonanza," you know why. 

Now that you know those two little tidbits of information, you'll understand why I dressed the boys up like Hoss & "Little Jones" Cartwright for Halloween this year. I write all this out, because I've said it 6,012 times in answer to the question, "What are you supposed to be?" (No. Jones isn't Woody). Why I refuse to just politely respond "He's a cowboy" will forever be one of life's great mysteries.

So now, you know.

We're looking forward to trick or treating and the annual Halloween party with Jeremy's family on Friday nite. But we've already done a little celebrating - with our church's "Not So Scary" Halloween Party and a photo shoot at Cataloochee Ranch.

Next to Lake Junaluska, Cataloochee is my favorite place in Haywood County. It's atop a moutain. Not nearly as big as the Cartwright's Ponderosa, I truly believe it's twice as pretty. Haylee Floyd, a friend from church, went with us to Cataloochee - and spent a ton of time with Freddie at the Not So Scary Party, so she's the one who shows up in several of the pictures below. 

Here are some things from the festivities that I especially want to remember:

Jones was in a TERRIBLE mood when we went to Cataloochee (Freddie, on the other hand, was PERFECT). 99% of the pictures I got of him were of him crying. That all changed just before we left when I picked up a big, skinny stick and used it to gently tickle Jones's belly, like a giant finger poking at the Pillsbury Doughboy. It worked. Jones proceeded to carry the stick around for the rest of our visit.

Jones's boots. Oy. I looked on eBay for months for boots for Jones. Turns out, people are pretty proud of their used, toddler-sized cowboy boots, and since there was no way I was going to spend $20 plus shipping for a pair of shoes that I wasn't entirely sure Jones would even wear, I asked Brooke if her sister's boys may have some Jones could borrow. They did (thank you, Cayce!). For the way Jones reacted to wearing cowboy boots, you'd think I'd slipped his foot into a close-toed nest of cockroaches. He'd just stand there, crying, pointing at the boots and saying, "Shoooooeeeee. Shooooooeeeee." I tried several times to get him used to them, and no dice. Luckily, Little Joe wore his boots UNDER his pant legs, so Jones's brown suede loafers looked just fine, though Ty Burklow's boots would've been SO.MUCH.CUTER.

Freddie's hat. If I'm not going to spend $20 for Jones's boots, then you KNOW I'm not going to spent $95 for Freddie's hat. Hoss has a very specific look to his hat, so I ended up making him one, which was so horrific that I don't really care to remember it, except to say that, when I tried it on Freddie, he immediately sloughed it off, so I'm saying our Hoss didn't wear a hat, because he hated wearing one as much as Jones hated wearing boots.  But the real reason is because the monstrosity I made was ... next memory ...

As we stood in line to get into the Not So Scary Party, Jones was very clingy and wouldn't let me put him down. I finally realized it was because there was a big bad wolf behind us and his cousin, Ellery, in a gorilla mask, right in front of us. 

Jones played his first fall festival games. Though the idea of following directions is a concept he's (ahem) gonna need some more time to master, he very quickly got the hang of the candy prize. His first game was the Penny Pitch. He pitched his penny and then started picking up other pennies from the floor to throw them in the plastic swimming pool, too. Carrington from church gave him his treat, and we moved on to the Pumpkin Toss. He dropped his ping pong ball in the pumpkin bucket at point-blank range (those "stand here" stripes are just suggestions, right?) and then walked to the candy bin and pointed at it. Maybe next year I'll dress him up as Pavlov's dog.

Jones painted his first pumpkin! He did a really good job - and continues to use his left hand. I'm not sure if he'll stay a southpaw, but for now ... 

Freddie was in the presence of a princess most of the nite. Haylee carted him around, like I used to cart Andrea Holmes all over at the Oakwood Fall Festival (an event, by the way, that was pretty much the high point of my year). She was dressed up like Elsa from "Frozen," and Freddie ended up wearing most of her body glitter. 

The hayride was a hit with both boys. Cousin Brent was there with his big, green tractor, so Jones's Nan assumed that Jones would love jumping up in the cab with Brent. He didn't. He didn't even love jumping up in the cab with Nan, and he didn't want to get anywhere near the bed with hay in it, either. Instead, he sat in his daddy's lap, while Jeremy drove behind Brent in Mr. Pressley's truck. After Jeremy's job was done, we got both boys to ride on the last hayride of the nite. Jones was whiny when we got on, but as soon as we started moving, he was having the time of his life. It was DEFINITELY a great ending to a great nite.