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Saturday, November 21, 2009

The ABCs of Thanksgiving

Like my hair? Hey, just glad to have it!
All right, with Thanksgiving next week (I can't believe it is already almost here!!), I wanted to blog about the things I am thankful for. Because I miss my second grade class (some days), I decided to write the ABCs of Thanksgiving - things I am thankful for. I try to keep it real, so hopefully this won't be too cheesy. Cheesy blogs send me over the edge!!! And, this is long - a warning for people like Derek, who complained that the last post about Gordon took too much time to read. Hmm, I don't remember begging him to read it! He is just jealous he doesn't have a pup like Gordon to look at everyday. Here goes (and it is going to drive me crazy if the spacing messes up in the format, bear with me!). Thank you, God Almighty for these things:

A - Auburn - I absolutely loved all the time I spent there. We used to make fun of my mom because when we would go back she would say she had the most fun of her life there. I now understand what she was saying! I love where God has me in life now, but what a blessing to be able to be there 5 years! 4 years plus one masters year was more than I deserved. The friendships and memories will last forever, and God allowed me to meet my husband there! We are blessed that Heath's sister lives there and we have a place to stay almost every weekend in the fall...and that Heath's family buys tickets for the games for us!

Turner with Pap last Auburn game at home

B - Best Friends - What a blessing to have close friends through every stage of life. God uses these to sharpen and challenge me, to make me laugh, to encourage, refocus me, entertain me. And show me His love! I love facebook because it reminds me of people from all these stages - birth/childhood, high school, college, working world and now mommyhood!

With BFF Gina and Baby Luke

C - Caffeine - Just bein' real. I can't live without it. Call me a bad mom. Whatever - it gets me through the day, and has ever since my parents introduced me to it (which I am sure they regret) as a child. Everyone said Turner would be traumatized from all the caffeine in the womb and from breast feeding, but does this face look traumatized? I think not!

At a building birthday party last weekend

D - Discipline - I am so glad God is my Father and used my parents and now my marriage and being a parent to discipline me as His child. Nothing like chasing a super-fast crawling baby around saying things like "Get out of the toilet" or grabbing a chip out of his mouth and then having him throw up all over me to remind me that we are all sinners, and disobey, and have since birth. But He forgives and restores us back to Him every time through his Holy Spirit.

E - Exercise - I have mentioned before that having a child does a number on your body. I am thankful for exercise, and how it renews you! I loved participating in Boot Camp for a couple of months before this pregnancy (now Heath gets to do it!) And I have a close friend who lives right near me (not for much longer) that LOVES exercise and has made a great walking partner.

F - Family - My little immediate family (of 3 and a half) and my extended family - Starrs and Hendersons. One blessing about Turner and this baby being so close together will be that they will able to (hopefully) be best friends, like Heath and I are with our siblings. And having Turner has made me appreciate every one of them even more - always willing to help and serve and unconditionally love him over the last year.

G - God, our Father - Lord, thank you for choosing me as your child. Thank you for never giving up on me and continuing to work on me! That is the greatest blessing of all time - the gift of eternal life. Thank you for sending your son, Jesus Christ.

H - Heath - I am so thankful for my husband and best friend. God made him especially for me, and I am grateful. He is more patient and loving than he should be. I am very proud of him for providing for us, and for the husband and father that he is. He keeps me grounded, and that is a hard task. So stable, and striving to be a godly man daily. Thank you, Lord, for him.

Turner - 9 days old

I - Internet - Ahh, my connection to the outside world. Facebook, email, blogs, online banking/shopping, etc. Though I have to be careful of how I spend time on here, it is so nice to have this form of communication. Especially this last year "at home". Which is funny if you know me, because we are really not at home that much! I also love being able to take pictures and share them and memories of Turner in a blog, because my baby book is lacking!

J - Jeep - Oh, my white jeep. The one I got right before I got married. The first car that was all mine - at age 23! I got to share a car for 7 years before that, and I survived! That little jeep is still good to me. Soon enough we will need a bigger car, but I am still attached to my Grand Cherokee.

K - Kate Bug - This was the original weasel. Now Turner has taken over the name for sure! She continually makes me laugh, and lately I have truly loved watching her interact with and entertain Turner. I am blessed to be an aunt - to her, Blake-ums and Baby Ellie. What a neat gift God gives us to be able to have nieces and nephews.

L - Laughter - Turner reminds me of this every day. He laughs and smiles all the time! I wish I could catch on tape when he laughs uncontrollably - priceless. Laughing until I cry is one of my favorite things. God uses family and friends, television, even strangers to bring laughter daily.

Being silly in the bath

M - Mother's Day Out - This has been my new gig, and I like it. In the beginning, I wasn't sure. The kids were a lot younger (only 3 have turned 2 in the last few weeks), and that was much younger than my precious second graders. But, I realized as my first trimester of pregnancy ended, I was a new person - especially at "school." The kids have started calling me by name now, and they don't cry about leaving their moms. They are used to me, and I am used to them. And Turner doesn't bat an eye in his room - he is in heaven!

N - Nap time - Ahh, that is what is happening now (well it was when I started writing this). I dreaded when he was born having to be home at a certain time every day for him to sleep. Whatever. It is great! Time to chill out, and just be alone for a little while. I am extremely extroverted, and even I need some of that time! And, Turner is good to me because he sleeps well anywhere - Auburn games, out at restaurants, in the car, etc. When he is tired, he sleeps, and he is not waking up until he is ready! Thank you, Lord.

O - OMES - My former school. I love running into former kids and parents. I had a wonderful 5 years there, and really never believed I wouldn't be there. But God's timing is perfect, and I love my situation. This year off has been wonderful, and all in His plan!

P - Pregnancy - I can say this is sometimes a pain in the butt, but I am still thankful. I don't love not feeling great and being tired, but as I am in the second trimester, I am a new woman. I was not sick for even one minute with Turner, and I haven't thrown up this time, but I have a new appreciation for trimesters. Though this little blessing was not planned (I thought we would have to have help again), I praise the Lord for it! I am glad I have a sovereign God who knows better than I do! Now, notice I didn't say I was thankful for maternity clothes. Ughh, still working on my attitude about those!

Q - Quick orders from Lindsey - I go back and forth about getting a sewing machine of my own. I tell you, it is so nice to have a sister who can whip up cute clothes or monogramming in no time! Makes me wonder if I even need to worry about it. Why? She is so talented. I save a bunch of money, and Turner gets to look good. Blessing.

R - Restaurants - I am obsessed with eating out. I blame my parents for depriving me as a child. Now I understand, it was expensive and a hassle with 3 children! They have more than made up for it with all the meals they have bought over the years. We eat lunch as a family every Sunday, and I am blessed they are so giving! It makes my day to eat out with friends and catch up, these lunches/dinners with family, and with Heath on our "dates".

S - Sunday School - God has blessed us over the last almost 5 years with our Cornerstone Sunday School class. We love the opportunity to fellowship with other believers in our stage of life - from newlyweds to new parents. I look forward to more years with them! And, I cannot say enough about what a blessing it was for the ministry of bringing food when we had a baby.

T - Turner Bug, of course. I never imagined what a blessing being a mother would be. Someone asked me the other day if I was sad that he was turning one. I said, "Well, you know, I am pregnant again, so I haven't really mourned the loss of the baby stage." Her mouth dropped open for I promise 3 full minutes. She had a baby around when I did, and said "You just did this!" I know, I know. I have truly adored him since the minute I met him. And the cliche is true, every stage really does get more fun. I didn't believe that until it has happened. But, he is at a really fun age right now, even though he is ALL OVER THE PLACE!!

U - Unemployment - Thank you, God, for the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. Another phrase I never really thought would describe me. There is no perfect way for every family, but for now this is working well for us. I love being able to be home, but I miss the old paycheck I was getting!

V - Video monitor. This little gem is wonderful. In the middle of the night, I just pop it on and see what Turner is up to. Really, I look at it all day long. When he was a few months old, I used to leave it on all the time. Then I graduated into being able to pop it on and off.

W - Watching television - I love t.v. I am not ashamed. I am not always proud of what is on, but I would have a hard time without it.

X - Xtra minutes on my cell phone - I can't abandon T-Mobile. I have too good of a plan! My cell phone is my lifeline - another thing I have to pray about becoming an idol. But it is wonderful to be able to pick up the phone and keep up with people. I love technology!

Y - Yakina, Shaneka and Na'Shira - These are Turner's Mother's Day Out teachers and I am grateful for them. They love him, and he loves them. I know this isn't tactful, but he LOVES black women. Plain and simple, they are his favorite! I love that they know his quirks and how to deal with him, and they spoil him (they gave him food from our Thanksgiving Feast at work yesterday!!). They even texted me last week to tell me they found his missing lovey, Mr. Lion. You can't beat that!

Z - Zzzz - sleep. Lame, I know, but there aren't a lot of Z words. I am blessed that Turner has been a wonderful sleeper and I pray this next one is! In normal life, I don't need much sleep. But I need more when I am pregnant. My mom is hoping this next child will be like me and never sleep. Please, no, Lord! But, I will deal if that is the case!

Okay, so this turned out probably way longer than I intended. But, what an awesome exercise in thankfulness. One thing I forgot - Praise God for health of our family and those around us. He is the Healer, and I praise Him for His mercy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ode to Gordon

Guess who had a birthday this weekend?  That's right - this guy!  He turned 5 on November 13th, and I figured I needed to blog about him.  That little kitchen decoration - sadly that is about where he ranks these days!
I was thinking back on our time with him.  Of course, I cannot find very many pictures of him anywhere! There were some in my classroom, but who knows where they are now??  Storage?  The back of the guest room closet?  Hmm, needless to say, this won't have many pics!
We got Gordie the Christmas we were first married - 2004.  We were not (and are still not) dog people, but I thought it would be fun to have a puppy.  I was not ready for a child, and I thought a puppy would be cute and a lot less non-committal.  Anyway, I was set on a dachsund named Herman, but Heath saw a couple with a baby pug in their purse at Panera, and thought he liked pugs better.  Man, does he regret that Panera trip now, but God knew what he was doing!!
Anyway, we found an article for pugs in the paper, but it was in the town of Albertville (about an hour or so away).  So, we set out on Christmas Eve to "look at" puppies.  When we got there - wow it was disgusting - they took us out back to the pin.  There was a tiny, 6 week old black puppy shivering in there.  I was sold!  I picked him up and Heath (the planner) said "What are the temperaments of pugs?"  The country man said "Ell, they's about like their owners.  And lookin' at her (me), looks like this un'll be hopper (hyper)."  Hmm.  I laughed, and we set off on our way.  We headed to buy all of his gear and show him off!  We stopped at Kate's house in Springville on the way home, and I used to have a picture of that day.  Of course I lost it (hopefully not forever), but he was SO tiny!  
It is hard to name a dog!  And a child for that matter.  But, anyway.  We went back and forth all the way up there about what his name would be.  I think human names are funny, and Heath was more traditional.  I swear he suggested Black Beauty, but he denies it.  Anyway, we passed an insurance (I think) billboard that said Gordon Henderson.  And that was it!
We got to my parents' house, and my mom said, "Get that THING off my carpet!"  She doesn't love dogs, and that has pretty much been consistent all of Gordon's life.  That night and the next few weeks, we had a crying, not so good at sleeping puppy. After having a baby, I don't think I will get a puppy again!  I could do it with Turner because of mother's love and stuff, and I guess that is what got me through then, but it is annoying to listen to them cry!

Gordon's first Christmas card - he was a year old and some referred to him as "the Christmas gremlin" - I am fully aware that he is beautiful because he is so ugly

Anyway, Gordon has been my class mascot at school for the last 5 years.  They LOVED hearing Gordon stories, and though most classes didn't even meet him, they could write paragraphs about him, and he really helped out when we were studying adjectives!  I gave them Christmas cards of him every year, and they would throw down the candy and toys and books I gave them, and keep that stinkin' card as their favorite.  Crazy.
I had a student who was Indian and had autism.  We will call him K.  K talked about Gordon every single day.  He would say "You have a dog?" Yes, K, I do.  "It is a pug?"  Yes.  "It is a boy, it is a girl?"  You know it is a boy!  "It is a black pug."  Yep.  "Gordon is not day-ed (dead)."  No, K, you know he is not dead!!  Every day, same conversation.  Hilarious.  
And I had several kids beg me to bring him to their houses.  And I did it on several occasions!!  That is why I love second graders - so easy to make them happy!
2 years ago I had a little boy, M, who also talked about Gordon every day.  He was an odd bird, and I was pretty obsessed with him.  He called him "Gerden".  Every single day he would ask "Did Gerden die last night?" Odd, looking back.  And then he would say, "How much longer till lunsh?"  We had some speech problems!
Last year for Boosterthon (our school fundraiser), our team was called the Hollywood Pugs.  Heath brought Gordie to school that morning.  I wish I had the waiver that my principal made me create in case something "dangerous" happened with the pug.  Hilarious.  I put a picture of him, and made the parents sign off that their child was able to pet him, etc. and wouldn't hold us responsible if something were to happen.  Sometimes I think this world has lost its mind when it comes to crazy stuff like that, but the kids wanted him to come so bad that I just made a joke out of it.  Anyway, Heath brought him that morning for a little class pep rally - he had on a Boosterthon t-shirt.  And all the kids gave him (the dog) high five.  Awesome.
I was trying to think of my favorite stories of him.  So many times I thought it was fun for him to sleep with us.  Heath never thought that was fun, and ALWAYS took him back to his cage.  Looking back, I can't believe I thought that was so fun.  Babies really change you!
When he was just a few months old, I came home from school.  That first year I really used to race home to make sure he was okay.  Bless him, he is so low on the totem pole now!  Anyway, I walked in from school to the gated kitchen and could not find him anywhere!!  I panicked, of course.  All of a sudden, I saw his tiny puppy bed (that he could rest his head on now) sliding across the floor?!  I realized he had bitten a hole into it, then flipped it on his head and gotten stuck.  He was so hot when I pulled him out!
Another time, the first summer we had him, I went out of town for a week.  When I got back, I accused Heath of neglect (how true now!  Ha!) because the pug had a TICK!  I freaked out (Heath was at work), called the vet, and cried on the phone with them.  Seriously.  They told me how to get it off, and I am pretty sure they were dying laughing.  
Last fall, I was 30 weeks pregnant.  I decided to take Gordon on a long walk.  We made it to the end of our neighborhood, and he kept stopping.  I thought he was just being dramatic.  I kept yanking his leash.  It was still hot outside, looking back.  Anyway, then he laid down on the grass and started breathing heavy.  I teased him for panting and overdoing it, and he wouldn't move.  I finally had to pick him up (big and pregnant!) and hike up the huge hill to our house.  He weighs about 25 pounds, and I am not strong.  I called the vet, and they told me he was overheating and PASSING OUT.  Oops!

Gordon's Christmas pic from last year - taken the night I was in labor with Turner - who knew?

My last Gordon story happened today.  Now that he is kindergarten age, he thinks he is so free!  He is in an electric fence in our backyard.  Yesterday morning, our nosy neighbor caught Heath outside and told him Gordon was 2 doors down.  The battery on his electric collar was out, and he had escaped.  Anyway, fast forward to this morning.  Heath put him outside to feed him, and we forgot as we went to church and a long lunch.  Around 2 when we got home, I heard Heath yell "Crap!"  He told me what was going on, and my heart sank.  Keep in mind, a few weeks ago my loving husband loaded him in his cage one afternoon and told me he was taking him to the pound.  As he was promising it was a "no kill facility" I dropped to the floor and started crying!  I blame the hormones, but we have history with this guy.  Needless to say, we kept him.  So, I was freaking out.  Heath set out on foot to find him.  A few minutes later, all 3 of us left with Turner in the stroller and began walking the neighborhood.  I found some big scary woods at the end of our neighborhood and was convinced he was either in there with big animals, halfway to Auburn, or dead in the road.  That is because I saw a cute bulldog on 280 the other day, very sad.  Luckily, we walked back to the house, and found a note on our door.  Our sweet next door neighbor, Martha, had him in her backyard!  That is one thing about living in a retirement community (kidding, Heath), these folks don't let much get past them.  She said that 4 cars stopped to help her catch him because he "thought it was funny to run from her."  Silly pug.  

People have asked if Turner and Gordon interact - they have just started.  They are equally curious about each other.

Look at the love - and don't remind Heath about the scratches on the pantry door in the background!

We love you, Gordito.  Daddy just hides it - showing tough love.  Pretty soon Turner and I will team up on him and he will realize how much he loves you.  Here's to a long - and hopefully not too dangerous with small children running around - life with us!

Friday, November 6, 2009

11 Months

I have an eleven month old!!  One month away from a year!  How is it that when you are pregnant, time ticks away slowly, but once they are born, it FLIES!
Trying to think of some highlights of eleven months.  Still Toothless Joe.  But I am hoping some teeth are poking through before a year.  Cross your fingers.  He likes to play with remote controls and cups mostly (still), and walks around the table or on the couch, etc. when he is holding on.  No steps yet without holding on.  He is understanding a little more who Gordon is (our pug).  I wouldn't call the 2 best friends.  Gordon sniffed Turner's bottom the other day and it freaked him out and he screamed.  Then, he stared and stared at Gordon, not necessarily in a loving way.  He still loves the bath, and his loveys - especially Duck and Mr. Lion.  He is trying juice, but only from my cup.  Won't have much to do with a sippy cup yet.  I think he likes mine because it is not watered down, I probably need to start doing that!  And he is eating more and more table food - especially crackers and recently vanilla wafers at school.  
Last weekend, I went to Atlanta 3 days in a row.  Thursday I went to Market (so fun!) with Mom, Lindsey and Katie Compton.  We had a good time, and Turner stayed at Ms. Lee's all day.  That is where he went last year when I was teaching.  He got a good report.  I warned them that his favorite thing to do is crawl around (FAST) and climb up on things, then fall down and hit his head.  They told me that is exactly what he did!
Friday we headed over to see Jay and Kate in the hospital while we waited for Ellie to come.  Then we headed to Auburn for the Ole Miss game.  I thought it was going to be rainy, but the weather cooperated and it turned out to be a really fun game!!  Turner the Tiger turned many heads.  I think people forgot it was Halloween.  But seriously, I probably heard 543 people say "OH - look at that baby."  Then Heath would say "Trick or Treat!"  He did great during the game, and even napped with Aunt Kelly (a wonderful built-in babysitter, seriously) during 2nd quarter and half time.  I think he was warm and cuddly in his tiger suit.

After the game, we headed back to Atlanta to see baby Ellie and Jay and Kate.  So sweet and she  had those squishy little cheeks.  She already looks different, however we did see her just a couple hours after being born.  :)

Now I have a niece and a nephew born on Halloween - exactly one year apart.  So Sunday we celebrated Blake-ums turning one.  Hilarious!  Turner doesn't seem too jealous that Blake can walk and he can't.  I might be a bad mom, but I am sure not rushing it.  He already crawls too fast for me.  It stresses Heath out when we are at home.  I will be in the den doing something very productive like reading blogs and we will hear a noise in the kitchen.  10 seconds after I just saw him in the den!  And I have to watch because his favorite place to hang out is the dishwasher.  I don't think so!

Today I had to take the weasel to the doctor for a "nameless, faceless fever virus" according to the doctor.  He has been pretty pitiful - the last 2 days he has cried and cried and I have just had to hold him.  But, 2 and 3 hours later you would never know he was sick!!  Last night, he slept with us.  Well, he didn't start out with us - I went and got him when he was screaming and burning up at 10:30 and threw him next to me.  Sidenote - I don't know how people sleep with their babies all the time.  This kid is a bed hog.  Anyway, by 3:30, I woke up thinking there were 2 children in my bed because he was flipping and jumping from Heath to me and back.  I am not exaggerating.  At first I thought he was having seizures or hallucinating from fever, which was scary.  Then I realized, no, he was just awake and wanting to play!!  I grabbed him and he laughed in my face.  He kills me.  So, he got to go back to his bed, where he stayed.  The doctor actually said "It should be over now.  He can do whatever he wants to tomorrow."  Like he has been begging to go to a friend's house or something.  Ha!  More like we can get back to whatever we want tomorrow, which if you know Heath of course involves the Auburn game.  I am trying to get pumped up about Homecoming...
2 weird things at the doctor - 1.  He didn't cry when they poked his finger and filled the little lab vial with blood.  He just stared at it and then back at me, and resumed playing with his water bottle.  What??  I want to cry NOW whenever they take my blood and fill things with it.  Then he tried to scheme a way to take the bandaid off.  I think it was off by the time he got in the car.
2.  We play this game with him (well, Heath would want me to clarify that I do this more often, because it does sound sort of crazy).  But we have done it since he was about 7 months old.  I will (usually in the car) say "Ahh."  And he will mimic the noise back "AAhh"  This can go on for several minutes, if not hours.  I shorten it or try to make the noise different, just to see what he will do.  No kidding, he will go all day.  I sometimes think it is funny to see how long Heath can handle it in the car before he (Heath) loses his mind.  But, I digress.  When we were sitting in the doctor's office, there was a younger baby in a room down the hall.  Turner and I were playing while waiting for the doctor, and the baby was crying - not screaming in a fit, just crying out.  Every time the baby would make a noise, Turner would respond "Aaahh."  Like a game.  Then he would laugh.  Is this psycho or just a sense of humor?  I tried to tell him to be quiet, but I kept laughing, because it reminded me of animals communicating - like echolocation or something.   

Check out these party animals!!