Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Tongue

Late this afternoon we gathered up the kiddos to go visit my step-dad. It was the first time we'd been able to see Charlie since his massive left brain stroke. He was discharged from the hospital and admitted to the rehab wing of a nursing home. Monday he starts a 3 week course of rehabilitation and after that my mom will know a lot more about what course of action to take.

It was so good to see him. He definitely recognized us and the girls who greeted him loudly. He was sitting up and able to feed himself various pureed foods fairly well. But after his meal he was ready to lay back down immediately and from then on we didn't see much response from him.

Charlie is very strong and we are thankful for that. We are anxious to see how far rehabilitation will take him in the days and weeks ahead. As the swelling on the brain decreases hopefully his recovery will quicken. He is definitely paralyzed on the right side. Although he has uttered a few words over the past couple of days, we did not hear him speak during our visit.

I think that the loss of speech must be so frustrating to him. Even more so than the loss of use of one half of his body. It has really made me think about my use of words. I've been pondering what it would be like to suddenly and unexpectedly lose my ability to talk. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I might be in regret of words that recently flowed from my mouth. Were they spoken in love? Were they critical or judgemental in nature? In what tone were they spoken? Should they have even been spoken at all?

I can't help but to wonder if I'd be proud of them being the final words that my husband or children heard from me. I wonder if Charlie has any regrets of things spoken just before he collapsed that afternoon.

Control of the tongue. It must be tamed according to the first 12 verses of James Chapter 3.

These verses from Proverbs are definitely hitting me hard too:

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

Proverbs 11:12 A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue.

Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 21:23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

This final one from my favorite chapter in Proverbs really knocks me to my knees:

Proverbs 31:26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

I am convicted so much for letting the same tongue that teaches my girls about God's love also be the tongue that is snippy, hurried, or impatient with them. Lots for me to ponder.

We are hopeful for Charlie to get back to being himself as much as soon as possible.

If you have found this blog by way of an email I sent regarding Charlie, please enter your e-mail address at the left so updates can come to your inbox. I plan on posting updates here periodically as a faster and easier way to keep family and friends aware of his progress.

Thank you so much for your prayers, kind emails, and comments.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sushi at 9:30 PM? Not a good idea.

My hubby got a fantastic job offer yesterday, so celebration was in order. Celebration = ice cream with some sort of candy bar on top of it. It was late and when I got to the ice cream store I realized I hadn't even eaten dinner. I had just turned in some paperwork from my part-time-make-this-stay-at-home-mom-crazy-job, and dinner just hadn't happened for me.

The trendy sushi restaurant next door beckoned me. Were they even still open? I walked over and to my surprise they were open. Completely empty, but open. So in no time I had a sushi roll and some tempura to go in one hand and an ice cream for the hubs in the other one.

Hubby was eying my sushi and I didn't even offer him a bite. Lucky him. He wasn't eyeing me so closely, rather gathering the girls and running far away when the sushi decided early this morning it would rather be swimming in my toilet than in my stomach.

Ugh! And I have eaten there several times with no sister even raves about it and she could be just about the pickiest person I know ...especially about where she eats her sushi.

So Jerry has Jade quarantined but Lily is curious, so I am now joined by her at the sushi's new home.

L-Mommy, why are you spitting up? Did you eat something bad? I bet you ate some grass. Dogs eat grass when they feel bad. Did you eat some grass?

M-Uh, no. I didn't. Where is your father? Can you please go be with Daddy while I am sick?

I was just surprised she didn't ask me if I was pregnant or something. Although I'm sure she wasn't aware of the havoc she wreaked on my stomach the first 20 weeks of her little life, she definitely remembers the first 17 weeks of Jade being in my tummy. She would even imitate me by going to the toilet and making gagging noises. Great. Just the noise would send me running.

So it was Lily's last day of MDO today, and by golly...she was going to make it there. So in between vomiting episodes I got myself and the girls out the door to school. Thank goodness for the drop off line. I looked awful and probably smelled even worse.

I figured Jade would take a nice long nap while mommy recovered and flushed the fish away. Is this some sort of payback for being a tadpole murderer? Anyway, I got her down and decided to lay myself down too. Lily's MDO program is only 3 hours long, so I even set my cell phone alarm just in case Jader-Tater really snoozed. Ha! 30 minutes later she was WIDE awake and ready for play time. Every other morning this week she has napped for at least 1.5 hours or longer.

Sometimes I just don't get God's sense of humor.

Thank goodness my husband gets mine.

He e-mailed me this afternoon regarding his new job:

Hey Kerry,

I hope that you are in a deep sleep right now and that the girls are as well!!!

I'm going to respond to this e-mail, letting him know that I accept the position.


Hee. Hee. Hee.

Tired babies make awful nappers. No one was sleeping this afternoon in our house. So I kindly replied:

j tcau,l b;'AX2Z

THAT was jade typing........

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha about sleeping children..........sleeping children? where? not in this house. i am zonked and still haven't eaten anything but crackers.

i'd really like to rest when you get here so i can do bedtime routine w/the girls tonight while you kick it back in front of LOST.

And that's exactly what happened. I fell into a such a deep sleep for nearly two hours...I think I even drooled on my pillow. Disgusting and beautiful all at the same time.

Even more beautiful that I didn't trip down the stairs due to the toys strewn all over the stairway and elsewhere. I didn't even care though...two kids were fed and ready for bed. And one hubby was ready for LOST.

It's late now and I really haven't eaten...but you can be sure that the only thing I'll be reaching for tonight are some saltine crackers.

P.S. Thank you for your well wishes and prayers for Charlie. I plan to post an update on him soon. It seems like things are drastically up and then down again...prayers definitely still appreciated.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


It turns out while we were running around the backyard squirting water guns and smashing water balloons, a completely different scenario was playing out at my mother's house.

My mom was in her office with the door closed working on her computer. My step dad was in another room assembling their new gas grill (it was too stinking hot to do it outside). My mom heard some clanging noises and assumed it was just Charlie working on the grill. I guess the noises changed or seemed weird so my mom went to check things out. When she opened the office door she found Charlie laying at her feet. He had crawled over there after suffering a major stroke.

This is the e-mail I sent out yesterday:

Dear Friends and Family,

A phone call came our way yesterday that harbored some painful news. I wanted to share it with you so that you may pray with us if possible. My step-father, Charlie, who has been a part of our family for the last 17 years, suffered a severe stroke. He was care flighted to a hospital in Waco where they are continuing to assess the damage. He currently is unable to speak at all and has no movement on the right side of his body. My mom said that yesterday he was alert and recognized her and one of his daughters, but this morning he is more "blank" and less responsive. We feared this day was coming as he has had serious heart problems in the past and suffered a minor stroke last year.

Please join us in prayer that rehabilitation will be an option, that he will receive good care, and especially for my mom who is faced with many complicated decisions regarding his care, their farmland and animals, and her full time job situation.

We appreciate you,

Kerry for the Gibsons

I am still sort of in shock over all of this and what it means for him and my dear mom. I have not seen him yet. Without going into too much detail, the relationship I have with him...especially over the last 3 years, has been strained at best.

The Lord is gracious though, and after not speaking with him at all for way too long, both my sister and I have seen and spoken with him on separate occasions just within the past two months. I am so thankful for those visits, especially now.

My last visit with him was at their new property where he was building their home (still unfinished), let's just say their new location is remote. Like travel down a gravel road kind of remote. I've always been uncomfortable with them living out in the country like that, but it is what they prefer. It's odd that we had a conversation about some new private helicopter evacuation insurance they had recently gotten. Who knew a helicopter would be touching down on their land to carry him away just a few short weeks later.

My mom is a registered nurse and a director at a home care agency, so she is well equipped to handle to the days and months ahead. More importantly she is a woman of prayer and deep faith and knows the Source of wisdom well. I still grieve about what has happened and have so many questions about how it will all turn out.

Would you join us in prayer?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An Unintentional Blogging Break

Y'all must have, Kerry gets awakened by some birds early one morning and then falls off the face of the blogosphere. It wasn't an intentional break. We actually just made the 3-day weekend a 4-day one instead, so you'd think I would have had lots of computer time, but over the past few days I've barely been online at all.

Before you get all curious about what fun things we did for 4 just wasn't that exciting. In fact, I'm sure I took less than 10 pictures the entire time.

Friday was dedicated as car maintenance day. Everything was due or overdue on both of them. Tags, inspections, oil, oh fun. Now we get to add to that list: put bumper back on car. As Jerry and Lily were playing computer games, our car was going through the wash behind them. Isn't the place that can inspect, change oil, and then give you a free wash a good deal? Jerry turned around as he heard the loud thud and saw our car's bumper dragging behind it through the viewing windows.

I think I've mentioned before that we really aren't into cars. Pretty much if they crank and go, that's good enough for us. To me, not having car payments is so much more exciting than a shiny new car. However, I do like to drive around with my bumper intact. Negotiations are in progress. Maybe not a good deal after all.

The rest of the time went like this: housework, laundry, shop for birthday/grad gifts, attend a party for dear friend who finished his masters & and his daughter who turned two, drive to E. Texas, attend b'day party for Jerry's Memmy who turned 96, drive home from E. Texas while Jade cried for for 91 of the 118 minutes, shop for impromptu cookout we had today, cookout with family, clean up yard, clean up kids, clean up house, put children in dark rooms and pray they go to sleep quickly for a very long time.

Whew! It is one of those times that the coming week is looking more restful than the weekend has been.

Although I'm sure you'd rather see a picture of our bumperless car, here are a few pics of the cousins playing in the water. This sprinkler ball combo thingy was a hit.

I caught these two before Jade decided she didn't like the idea of a cold bath in the backyard. The fun went south with a little kick in the face from big sister. At that point we couldn't tell if she was red from the kick, the crying, or a sudden sunburn.

The definite highlight of the day was running around with my dad, hubby and sis pegging each other with water balloons. I think the girls enjoyed it too. Then, Kelly and my Dad came out with water guns for each of us. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. I carried Jade thinking they would go easy on me...totally forgetting that my family is relentless and loves to laugh at other people's pain. I would try to hide behind Jade and they would just continue firing away.

And she just giggled through every minute of it. It's good to know early on that she has inherited that gene...laugh now sweetheart...payback is coming.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

This one's for the birds

Birdies. I really love you. And even the sweet chirping you do too.

NOT at 5 AM though. Not at 5 AM right outside my window. Not at 5 AM on a morning that I really didn't need to be up at 5 AM.

Short of cutting down some pretty great trees, I'm not sure how to give you the hint. And those trees are shade bearing, so not a chance. Nope. Being shaded from the Texas heat outweighs your morning serenade. Even if it is way too early for a serenade.

Maybe you could fly east for a while? I know a home where you could have a great nest. In fact it might just make Heather's day after their recent bird adventure. Watch out for the cat though.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I think I have my boy...

we named him Lily.

We've always thought it'd be so fun to have a boy. In fact Jerry wants two of them. I am nervous to try for number 3 and then have to try for number 4, 5 and so on until we get those boys...and end up like the old lady in the shoe...only full of girls! So I am secretly hoping for twin boys on try number 3, if we even take that plunge. I think I just heard the thud of my mother falling off her chair.

Anyway, the pressure is off. I think we already have a boy. Lily is filling his shoes nicely.

Like today when she had a couple of friends over to play. They were all dolled up cute and sweet and Lily was just...well...all BOY. Playing rough, being bossy...totally threw a fit about me even running a comb through her hair. We played outside and when I ran in to get some snacks and drinks for them I peeked out the window and saw her swinging crazily from the swings in ways I'm sure weren't approved by our play system's manufacturer. Oh Lord, I thought.

But I continued making the snacks because it didn't seem as if the two sweet princesses were in any danger. So I gathered the bowls of raisins and gold fish, along with lemonades, and headed out the back door. Suddenly my bare foot landed on something cold and wet...surely this cute pink outfit that was sopping wet and laying on the ground didn't come off of my daughter!

Sure enough, I see a white flash which is my naked Lily scaling the climbing wall.

Apparently she had gotten the water hose, doused herself and Emma...while Mia had the good sense to run. I had grabbed the camera to get a picture of the trio earlier...I wasn't envisioning my child unclothed in the photo.

With today's high of 97 approaching, thankfully they dried quickly before their mothers learned of the incident. And I got Lily redressed before the doorbell rang.

I'm guessing this interest in water play stemmed from the taste she got of it at some fountains this weekend. We were enjoying the patio and some awesome weather this past Saturday at lunch.

There were kids playing in the fountains a few yards away, so Lily finished her meal and joined in the fun. At first she was just frolicking in and out...not getting soaked. She was so cute.
Next thing I know she is doing this.

Lily...I sure hope you aren't about to do what I think you are.

Oh, yep. She sure is.

Great. Sitting on the water. In her PULL-UP. Not a swimmer version mind you. I try not to parade our potty training saga on the blog too often, but isn't that sort of a boy issue too?

The sag. Oh the sag. Not a Kodak moment.

The silver lining...I did have a change of clothes in the car (for potty reasons, not water reasons) and Nestle Toll House had a patio where she could drip dry until we made it back to the car.

What's the saying? Boys will be boys or girls will be girls...or in our house, girls will be boys.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I'll be dreaming in 4s I'm afraid...

Christina tagged me...and I know a few of you reading this are immediately scrolling to the bottom to decide if you are hating me or not...since this is the third tag I've tried to tag some new bloggy friends too...but couldn't let a couple of you escape! Sorry!

4 things I was doing 10 years ago: (1998)

1. Jerry and I were engaged for the second time.
2. I had just changed my major from accounting to education.
3. I was working PT for a food distributor (doing accounting...big eye opener! and oddly enough I am now working PT from home for that same company...after not working there for 6 years)
4. I was 21 years old. That seems crazy!

4 things I was doing 5 years ago: (2003)

1. Trying to get pregnant.
2. The second engagement had worked in case you were wondering.
3. We'd been married 4 years.
4. I had already quit teaching and was managing a small office...not back at the food distributor just yet.

4 things I did yesterday:

1. Took Jade to her last Kindermusik class of the semester.
2. Registered Lily for summer camps...the thought of no MDO for three months had me shaking.
3. Witnessed Lily receiving a phone call from a friend who wanted to play. She's 3 y'all. When will the boys start calling?
4. Had date night with a restaurant, without a park attached or a dancing mouse on stage. And a movie too...that wasn't rated G. We drank coffee and I wasn't reminding anyone to be careful because momma's coffee is hot. Mayan Mocha from Texas Roast would be my new favorite (spicy chocolate with a hint of chile), good thing they don't have a will lessen my addiction...I won't even drag two chillins into Starbucks...waiting in the drive-thru line is enough of a beating!

4 shows I love to watch:

1. Good Morning America (until Lily changes the channel to Sesame Street).
2. Grey's Anatomy...we all have our vices.
3. Any DVD that I think might actually get Lily to poop on the potty...we have a collection!
4. ??? Who has time to really keep up with 4 shows? I seriously don't watch much TV.

4 things I love to do:

1. Watch my girls sleep.
2. Update my NetFlix queue just so that when they come in they can sit next to my TV and collect dust. I think they thought we'd stolen the last two.
3. Multitasking. You can bet that if we're on the phone, I'm either driving, doing dishes or folding laundry.
4. Pulling weeds. I love to conquer them...the bigger the weed the more enjoyment it brings!

Okay, now for the fun part. I tag Mommy Esquire, Life with the Wisners, My 4 Savages, With 1 Step, The Sullivan Sitcom, Our Moments our Memories and Pink and Blue Too. And just so there aren't any hurt feelings...if this meme sounds fun to you...consider yourself tagged! Link back to me so I can check it out.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Kermit Lives

He made it through the night. This means I really need to find a cover for the tank.

I'm just thinking about our our little vacuum cleaner...a.k.a Jade...or we can just call her Kirby.

I would hate for Kirby to be crawling along and meet Kermit and mistake him for a raisin.

Because well...Kermit wouldn't have a chance...and well, that is just gross.

If this was going on while Lily had been crawling, I would have been all worried about her. Now I'm all worried about the frog. And Jade is only the second child...Lord have mercy if we have a third.

Reminds me of this funny e-mail...just in case you haven't seen it:

Baby 1, 2 and 3
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
_____________________________ ______ __________________
Preparing for the Birth:
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don't bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.
The Layette:
1st baby: You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?______________________________________________________
1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.
1st baby: You change your baby's diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, Baby Zoo, Baby Movies and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaners.
_____________________________________________ _________
Going Out:
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
At Home:
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
Swallowing Coins:
1st baby: When first baby swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.
2nd baby: When second baby swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd baby: When third baby swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance!

Yep. Yep. Check. Yes. True. That's right. Poor Jade!

And Jerry and I are both second born. Explains a lot about us and our siblings.

My apologies to third born and beyond.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Meet Kermit.

Hello Kermit. I'm glad you're here. I say that because 12 of your brother/sister tadpoles have not made it as far as you have.

Seeing that the odds are against you...12 dead...10 still living...I have taken you out of the tank to honor you with a photo shoot.

You are having a hard time looking me in the eye. I promise I have not been killing off your siblings.

I've been hitting all the latest tadpole websites to learn how to raise you up to be a strong toad or frog...whichever one you might be.

I have changed your water. Even collected fresh rainwater for you. No chlorine...honest.

I have given you a rock to climb out on.

I read you might enjoy lettuce. So I boiled some for you.

Your tank is not in direct sunlight or under a vent.

But for some reason you guys are dropping like flies. Aren't you supposed to drop the flies?

And then you lay there on the bottom of the tank and and a sibling comes to snack on you. Gross, I know. But I am allowing this carnivorous activity in case you're not vegan.

These just aren't the lessons I intended to be teaching my daughter by bringing you into our home.

Here you are back on your rock. You rock climbing stud.

Stay safe. If you aren't on the rock in the morning I'm going to assume you are hopping around my house, because I've yet to find a cover for your tank. Better that than providing breakfast for the youngins. I just can't bear that thought. Just like I can't bear the thought of my epitaph reading "Tadpole Murderer".

Okay people! We raised tadpoles numerous times while growing up and I don't remember it being a traumatic experience. Lily checks the tank each morning not to see their growth, but to count the dead. What am I doing wrong?!?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's Less than a 4 hour drive...yeah right!

Kelly and I pulled out from my driveway at 2:50 PM. Only 5 minutes past our desired departure time. Yay, us! Child free and excited, I was glad to hear that one of her co-workers who frequents Natchitoches assured her that contrary to Mapquest, our drive there would be a slim 3 hours and 45 minutes...NOT 4 and a half hours. Awesome.

We already knew which restaurant we wanted to try first, and slowly enjoying some tasty seafood and a glass of wine by 6:45 sounded wonderful. Plus, since we were both newbies to the whole Natchitoches experience, we wanted to get into town during daylight and start planning where to spend our money and fill our bellies!

We also had 3 floors of a bed and breakfast to investigate before we laid our locks down for a long uninterrupted night's rest.

We aren't generally detectives, but that night we would be. There are 31 B & B's in town, but with the local college's graduation falling that same weekend, most were booked. After hours of surfing, I came across one that looked awesome and I couldn't believe it had a room available...even more interesting was the fact that ALL of its rooms were available. There must be a catch, right? Oh definitely.

We'd be inhabiting all three levels of the ginormous place by ourselves. All three levels of the house built in 1838. All three levels of old creaky floors. All three levels of multiple staircases and entrances. I rationalized that last part in my mind as...well, we'll have lots of ways to escape if something goes wrong!

Plus, since the innkeepers would be away on vacation and the housekeeper (who doesn't stay there anyway) doesn't make breakfast, they were going to give us a hefty discount. We'd be getting in early enough to retrieve the key from the porch and tour the place during daylight before we locked it down for the night. the two mommies desperate for a night away!

So, we were cruising along quite nicely, anxious to use the HOV lane to get us there even faster, when all of a sudden we came to a stop. There were signs on the HOV lane wall that stated "NO PARKING" and we were really scared that we might just get a ticket. There are 3 East/West highways that could have taken us out of this place, and we managed to choose the 1 that had a fuel spill and was narrowing from 5 lanes to 1 during Friday afternoon traffic. With that kind of luck I was really glad we had decided against going gambling for the weekend.

That little fuel spill set us back well over an hour, but we were still optimistic. We decided on candy bars to hold us over til our much awaited seafood dinner, and decided to call the restaurant and find out how late they were open. 10 problem!

But once again Kelly's speedometer slowed from 75+ to less than a crawl. During the hour and 15 minutes it took us to go the next 7 miles, we had to call again. "What time does your kitchen actually close? And what is the attire?" Knowing we'd be barely making it in time to eat much less dress up...and then I called yet one more time to get detailed instructions on how to get there. We WANTED our seafood! They stopped taking orders at 9:45, so it was our mission to make it by then.

Then the ambulance raced by on the other side and the traffic eased. We decided after passing the wreckage that we were really thankful to have been waiting rather than involved in the roll over accident. Must have been a family could see their pillows and what appeared to be a cooler of juice boxes scattered along the road. Our lives can be forever changed in one instant.

Nearly 7 hours after leaving my driveway, we made it to Mariner's. I don't know if it was just because we were tired or we reeked from being in the car that long...but our waitress was less than thrilled when we showed up a few minutes before the kitchen closed. The food was good, but we didn't dare drink...we still had an old house to find and investigate...and we needed to have our best detective game on!

The roads going into downtown were dark, and the quaint little historic district street signs weren't exactly helpful to out-of-towners. It was 11:30 PM, and quite dark, when we pulled up at the Levy-East House. It was beautiful...and spooky. Once we checked every stairwell, bathroom, bedroom, hallway and even the closets, we felt safe. What would we have done if we had found someone? I especially liked it when I opened what I assumed to be a closet door, but it opened to expose part of the attic......yikes!

So, we looked over some of the Steel Magnolia filming memorabilia, and closed our eyes at 12:30. 6:23 AM both wide awake. Sleeping in is just a thing of the past for these two mommas I guess. Although there wasn't any dog barking during the night, the trains and sirens reminded me of the last B & B experience Jerry and I had around Valentine's Day. I also was having dreams of little froggies hopping all over my own house...Jerry ended up going out of town after all and I forgot to tell him to cover the tadpole cage where 20 of our newest little friends were quickly sprouting limbs and losing tails.

At least it was light at 6:23 AM and we could finally see our surroundings. I loved this beautiful tree outside our window,

and really enjoyed having coffee with my sis in these great rockers on the other 2nd floor porch.

After that it was eating, shopping, eating and shopping. We filled our bellies here and here. And left more money than we should have here and here.
That's not all we did. We also:
rode that carriage on this street,

and admired this river.
We could have also toured plantations, forts, and museums. And even taken a riverboat ride. But instead we toured the shops and ate enough to make us as big as a riverboat instead. And you'll notice there are no pics of Kelly and finger was too greasy from the fried shrimp at Mama's Oyster House to push the button!
And then we had a very UNeventful trip home which was very welcomed by us.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cajun Country Awaits Us

I am so spoiled. I am getting another girls getaway this weekend. This time with the ultimate one and only sister! I never do this sort of thing, and now the opportunity has presented itself twice. Twice in 4 weeks. Well, I'm just not one to pass up an opportunity.

We're on our way to Cajun Country. Natchitoches. Say that 5 times fast! It actually isn't pronounced anything like it looks. It took me forever to find it on Google.

Natchitoches, Louisiana, I am so excited to meet you. I can't wait to taste your fine dining, stroll your lovely streets, shop at your fantastic boutiques, float on your river, tour a few of your 31 B & Bs, and discover whatever else it is that you have to offer.

This is the town where they filmed Steel Magnolias. What an awesome place to spend a weekend with your best friend, your confidant, your sister.

I know it may seem odd to be going out of town during Mother's Day weekend. But hey, I figure there isn't a better way to be appreciated than to leave the hubby in charge for a while. Poor thing. He has a broken toe and just learned that is parents are going to be out of pocket this weekend. Looks like he'll be flying solo. Hope this doesn't happen again!

Friday, May 9, 2008

See Honey, I told you we didn't need a dog!

I used to be a huge animal lover. And not just of the typical dogs and cats.

Every Easter, my mom would either surprise us with a bunny, a duck, or a chick. The funny colored ones from the feed store. They were great. The ducks ended up at the local pond, we would keep the bunnies, and we even tried to keep the chicks. The problem was that they all turned into roosters. We lived in a normal neighborhood development, and eventually got a "rooster at large" ticket from animal control. Guess the neighbors didn't like the crowing.

Of course we had more normal pets like fish, hamsters, and cats. I treated my cats well. Dressed them in doll clothes, bathed them regularly, and even put ice in their water bowl during the hot Texas summers.

We never had a dog though. And I have never been a dog person.

Meet hubby. Serious dog lover. So, a few months before we got married I bought him a puppy for his birthday. Seeing that I haven't ever owned a dog, I didn't exactly know how to go about picking one out. I thought the SPCA gave them away for free. I went there and picked out a "lab mix"...later learning that this is pretty much the title they give to any poor dog that doesn't have an identifiable breed. My first clue should have been how scared he was. Wouldn't even come to the edge of the cage to greet me. SOLD to the idiot for nearly $300...and my dog journey began.

And the journey of awful animal experiences. During our near 9 years of marriage, many an animal has come through these doors and then exited in some way or another. Some alive and some, well, NOT. Dallas, the "lab mix", didn't turn out so bad, but when he was joined, by "Bleu", a blue heeler that we later bought, things went crazy. They ended up getting out, Bleu never to be found again (since she was actually a desirable breed), and Dallas ended up hit on a busy road. He survived, but freaked out without Bleu around and I just couldn't handle his nervousness and shedding. So Dallas ended up in East Texas with Jerry's parents, where he still happily lives today.

We've had many other great pets along the way.

We had a fun cat that urinated all over my car...practically ruining it with the most awful stench that no gimmick I've tried has EVER been able to remove. Fat Albert was his name. And when we put our house up for sale, we just couldn't chance our oh so precious kitty getting out. Bye-bye Fat Albert.

We were also the lucky owners of a diabetic cat. We adopted her with no clue of her illness. After drinking multiple bowls of water daily and soaking the litter box to the point of overflow, we learned of her diagnosis. Our budget didn't allow for insulin shots for our cat, so bye-bye Madame.

We most recently got a Beta fish. Jerry and Lily went for an outing and came back with this great surprise. Within hours Lily could of cared less about it. I cleaned its bowl the first 3 and only times. Jerry was able to ignore the stench and look of the nasty bowl. I could not. So, bye-bye nameless Beta fish. I hope your fate turned out as well as Nemo's.

I just don't ever want an animal to take away from the attention, money, and energy I feel like my kids deserve. I am really irritated by people who treat their animals like humans. I nearly puked when seeing a recent episode of Oprah when they did like a 15 minute tribute to her dog that had passed away. Please.

I'm sure we will eventually get a dog. After all, my hubby does love them, and I love my hubby. It will have to be when the girls are at an age that they can really appreciate having an animal though.

Until then, we have a substitute.


She recently started crawling. It was awesome. She does this funny military type crawl. How is this like a dog? Well, the first night she did it she had a Thomas the train in one hand, and a Little People figurine in the other. She would throw them ahead of herself and then go retrieve them. Throw them again and go get them.

I commented then to Jerry, "See honey, I told you we didn't need a dog! Jade is playing fetch with herself".

He mutters something about how I totally don't get it, that you play fetch with the dog, they don't play by themselves, yada yada yada.

So you can imagine my surprise when he calls me in yesterday all excited about something new Jade was doing.

J-Kerry, come watch this, you'll never believe what Jade is doing!

K-What! What?

J-Jade, get up on your knees. Get up on your knees, Jade. (And Jade immediately obeyed his command)

K-Wow Jerry, looks like you are training our little pup well. She comes when you say "come", fetches her own toys, and even gets up on her knees. Well done, honey!

Video to follow.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Assessing the Hail Damage

So, I was just noticing that although our cars were pelted to death by the recent hail storms, our stainless steel grill escaped unscathed. Not even one puny ding.

I guess I'll be taking cover under our grill during the next round of storms.

Do you think I should alert the auto industry?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Weekend in Pictures

I realize I'm a little late to be doing a weekend post, but our weekend just ended last night since Jerry took Monday off.

Here's a slide show of the highlights.

It started out with KidFish..where our town stocked one of the park's ponds with 1000 catfish for the kids to catch. I was a little alarmed when reading online about what kind of bait to use (am I hip mom or what? don't answer that) to learn that their barbs are sharp enough to cut right through your hand. Word has it that in previous years they stocked it with trout, but all the uncaught ones (I'm guessing 990) died in Texas heat. Yuck! So they brought on the barb bearing catfish. We didn't need to worry though. Who wants to F-I-S-H, when there is a P-L-A-Y-G-R-O-U-N-D within sight? Not Lily.

We met up with my sis and niece for lunch at Snuffers, along with my dad who had come out for KidFish. Not the best Snuffer's experience...and I usually rave about it. They must have misheard Kelly's order for extra well done meat...because it was so red you could still hear it mooing.

We spent the afternoon hanging with Jerry's family. They came out to celebrate the twins birthday...Jerry's mom and uncle turned 61! Oh how I hope to have twins next go round...twin boys! Am I crazy? They run on my mom's side of the family we'll see. Anyway, we took them to Patrizio's...much better! Several prom goers were there as well, so Lily was in high heaven dining with so many "princesses". One in particular was wearing a bright yellow gown, so Lily called her Belle.

Sunday we stepped back in time at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival. It was a lot of fun. To Jerry's dismay, Lily could have cared less about the jousting, but was more into the man powered rides and costumes. She finished the day with a fun face painting of Shamu...not really sure how that correlates with the event.

At that point, we weren't far from my mom's, so we headed over there for a quick visit. Lily was elated when my mom surprised her with two containers of tadpoles in various stages. So we have a new science project going on here. 22 lived and 4 have died. We most recently learned that they eat their own. That wasn't part of my lesson plan. Guess I don't need to worry about getting any fish food. I won't be sleeping well though until I find a cover for their little aquarium!

Want to join us on our tadpole adventure? Check out your local creek or you can even order them online.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hazards of Talking on Phone While Parenting

My phone rang yesterday just as I was finishing up lunch with the girls.

I started talking and Lily got up to catch the rest of her cartoon. She wanted her vitamins though so I got them from the pantry. I got two out and went on with my phone conversation.

A few minutes later Lily asked me for the vitamins again. Still on the phone, I was puzzled because I knew I had already gotten two out. I questioned her because she loves her Gummy Vites and I didn't want her to get two doses. I just knew I had gotten two out though. I started looking around while carrying on the conversation, but couldn't find them anywhere.

Then I looked at innocent Jade still sitting in her high chair. Half of a vitamin dangling from her mouth. I was hoping the other 1.5 vitamin had just fallen in her lap. No such luck. Apparently I had set them on her tray and just went on talking. She took mommy up on the offering of candy and munched away!

Never mind that the bottle clearly reads: NOT intended for children under the age of 2 due to choking hazard. Poor thing...she only has two teeth and those are only half way in...but by golly if mommy puts something on her tray...she eats it! She doesn't weigh 23 pounds by being picky!

Please don't be calling the authorities on me.

Note to self: No talking on phone while caring for children.

Well, that pretty much eliminates any time that I have. Looks like the only form of communication I'll be carrying out will be on the internet...since it is acceptable at...1:06 current time...but it's for the safety of my children!

Must go to bed. Good Night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite. But if they do, grab a shoe, and beat them til they're black and blue!

I just learned that last part from Tricia...have y'all ever heard that before? About the shoe? Hopefully I said it right.

Good night.
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