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Sunday, January 27, 2008

All About Tanner...

Our baby, Tanner, known as "the boy" around here, is growing up way too fast! And amidst the dramatics of my wild girls, he really doesn't get his fair share of "blog air time" so this one is all about Tanner!

He is 10 months old this month, and will be a year on March 19th. His days are full of nonstop entertainment via his sisters, and he is very anxious to be able to keep up with them. In between naps he crawls all over the place...

And I mean all over the place... he already likes to hide in what we call "the hiding spot" because all three of the kids enjoyed trying to get into this cabinet under the microwave.

We had to lower his bed this weekend because he's started pulling up. He loves to stand and bang on this music toy. (And Tessa is giving him a congratulatory pat there, not smacking him back down to the floor...)

And he loves to push himself around on his new riding toy...

And he is especially enjoying his new favorite thing these days, eating crackers... well, really just gumming them into mush and then spitting the crumbs all over the floor. I think he actually eats one corner of every cracker we give him.

And of course, he loves to wave... and say "Da Da". Occasionally, I'll get someting that sounds like "Ma Ma", but not often!

He is the SWEETEST baby, and I can't believe he'll be a year old in two months...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Our Kodak Moments...

Of course, like most moms, I love to take pictures of my kids. I have the camera out pretty much all the time so as not to miss one of those adorable "kid moments" that simply must be digitally perserved! This is one of my favorite pictures of my three... Tanner is barely two months old, and Gracie and Tessa loved to sit in front of that swing and sing to him. Tessa was in a good mood that morning, and is actually saying "cheese" to the camera!

But unfortunately, those moments are very rare with her! And as I've complained before.... Tessa does not like to have her picture taken. This drives me crazy. Typically, when she sees the camera, she immediately covers her face and cries, or runs away as if she's a celebrity dodging an ever pesky paparazzi!! She's impossible! And in the rare moments that she decides to cooperate with a "photo shoot," she prefers the camera all to herself... and is NOT a fan of posing with her siblings. Bless her.

So that being said... I'm always on the prowl for a moment when I can be sneaky and catch Tessa off guard to snap a picture of my three kids. As I'm sure all photo-happy moms know - this is not an easy task... and requires super quick thinking, fast fingers, and creativity! (A pocket full of suckers is helpful too).

Trav took Gracie's car seat out of his car last week and left it sitting (of course) in the living room. Tanner was really enjoying trying to climb into it, and so Gracie came over to help him. She summoned me from the kitchen to see the two of them together, and asked me to take their picture. So, I did...

I asked Tessa to get in the picture, but of course, she refused....

A few minutes later I noticed that Tessa, who was earlier not interested in the chair (she was playing with the laundry basket), had now decided that it looked fun, and she'd play with Gracie and Tanner after all.

I had to act fast!! With camera in hand and my finger already in position to snap the picture, I quickly put Tanner between the girls. And just as Tessa was about to squirm... for some insane reason I hollered "Hey, Scooby Doo!!" (I don't know why..... all I can think is they've been on this Scooby Doo kick lately, and it was the first thing that came to mind. ) Anyway, Tessa must have thought Scooby Doo was going to pop out of the camera or something because she stopped squirming and before she knew what had happened... click!

Finally... my three sweet faces, together, all looking in the general direction of the camera, without anyone screaming, eating candy, crying, pouting, or covering their face. Amazing... Thanks, Scooby!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Bridget!

Here's another "blog shout out" this month.
To the birthday girl today - Ms. Bridget, as Gracie and Tessa call her.

Bridget is truely one of the best... whether she's raising her boys with one hand...

While sewing some extravagant project with the other...

She is a relentless encourager to people, and never misses an opportunity to celebrate - anything, with anyone - ever!! Here she is hanging a valance (which she, of course, made) in Tanner's room before he was born.... bless her!

But most of all, she is the most devoted of friends, and the very definition of a "cheerful giver".

So to our Bridget, who loves people lavishly, and is a beautiful soul - Happy Birthday dear friend, from all your "girls"!! We love you!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Stop The Insanity!!

Umm, no, that's not me. But, did you see this woman on Oprah? Oprah had a "weight loss superstar show" back in December. It was to encourage people to "jumpstart" the new year, and of course, to plug her pal, Bob Green's, Living Your Best Life diet book. The show included 20 some odd people, all of whom had lost significant amounts of weight. This woman was 700 plus pounds, and lost over 500 doing it "the old fashion way" as Oprah put it, with diet and exercise.

In addition to her food addiction, this woman also smoked three packs a day - I thought it was a miracle she was even alive. Of course, as she tells it, she really wasn't living. She said that in 12 years, she thinks she may have left her small apartment less than 20 times. She's sure that in three years, she only ventured out three times.

She says her turning point was when she received a laptop as a gift and began making friends in internet chat rooms - political and academic chat rooms, where she said she could "feel free to be herself" because she knew she wouldn't be "judged and subsequently rejected at first sight." She said her chat buddies liked her and thought she was funny and interesting. They reminded her that there was someone underneath the mess she had become - someone worth saving.

I love those stories... and as I regroup to tread forward into "phase two" of my own downsizing journey, I won't be able to watch enough of those weight loss superstar shows. I love them... You know, those shows with the "if I can do it, anyone can" endings. My favorite, of course, is "Celebrity Fit Club", because aside from the inspirational aspect, there is plenty of entertaining drama to go along with it. I'm so wishing a new season was starting now.

On my other inspirational shows list, I really enjoyed the new Lifetime show, "How To Look Good Naked". I've only seen the pilot episode, but it was so fun - and informative. I bought the second episode on ITunes, but haven't watched it yet. I always hear how great "Biggest Loser" is, but I always miss the beginning and never really get into it.

I also enjoy various "weight loss" blogs and websites. My all time favorite "weight loss guru" is Susan Powter. You know, "STOP THE INSANITY!" I think I watched her infomercial when she was really popular at least 100 times. She's interesting... sort of weird and scary... but very entertaining. I love the story she tells of after losing like 70 pounds, she's pushing her two kids in the stroller through the mall when it dawns on her that her "thighs are not rubbing together." She runs about the mall, shrieking with joy about how her thighs are not touching!!

Anyway... as for me, it's time to regroup, and stop my own insanity. After reaching my first major goal... I managed to escape the holidays still fitting comfortably into my sweet 16 jeans. And while no major damage was done, no progress was made either. I've still got plenty of work left to do, and I've come too far to quit now. I've had some trouble getting back on track, but after meeting with my UAMS "advisor" last week, a "refocusing effort" is officially underway...

It's going to be a long couple of weeks. I had gotten to where I was able to "add in" certain foods, make "good" choices, etc., which I was very much enjoying. But in my "refocus" plan, I'm back to having only the meal replacements for at least the next ten days - and while they didn't seem to be so bad before, for some reason they now are just tasting like poo. :-(

But oh well.... here's to finishing what I started. Moving onward, and in my case, downward!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Numero Uno

Big "blog shout out" to my sweet husband...

After a December full of insane hours, too little sleep, and a whole lot of crazy, Trav has officially claimed the top spot at Bale Chevrolet for December 2007. He was crowned "salesman of the month", and in addition to the nice bonus that goes along with the title, he will surely be enjoying his "throne" which is, of course, the much coveted prize parking spot by the door!

In addition to landing the top spot, he also sold 30 CARS for the month, a number no other salesman at the dealership has reached in four years!

He also claimed the title back in January of '07, and this time he'll be enjoying the "throne" a bit more. On the last day of the month when he had logged in his 30th car, his boss (who was looking to meet a year-end dealership number) made him a deal he couldn't pass up on a new Chevy Aveo.

Trav's hasn't had a car of "his own" that was less than 10 years old since.... well, ever. So of course, he was quite excited to have his little Aveo with on top of a working radio, has a CD player!! He's just giddy to be able to drive to work with his old friends, JayZ and Kid Rock....

Monday, January 7, 2008

Tagged To Be Weird...

This is an older picture of me and Miss J..... but there we are back in August. And so since Jerusalem posted her "five weird things" and tagged me for mine - here they are. And of course, there are plenty more than five, I'm sure.

1. I know the names of all the states in alphabetical order. I learned them in the fifth grade school chior in a song called "Fifty Nifty United States".... for some reason, I never forgot it - the states and that entire song. I can also name all nine of the Jacksons in chronological order and can tell you random info about the various members due to a documentary on A&E I got sucked into once years ago... but of course, no one cares! HA!

2. I'm 33, and I have worked in over 20 different places (full and part time) since I was 16. In addition to my "professional" work (as some would call it) being a legal secretary, word processor, and medical transcriptionist, I've been a lifeguard, sold shoes in three places, chased kids in two different daycares, was a seating hostess in three restaurants, worked in several retail stores (including Sears and Pottery Barn), was cashier a few times (once at Walgreens in the liquor department where I learned what a "jigger" was), have manned the reception desk for the the Trial Lawyers Association and the AR Times, and of course, have taken orders at two fast food places (DQ for two weeks, and Taco Bell for six hours).

3. I have a crooked toe...

4. I don't think I ever watched it in "prime time" when it was actually on, but I have somehow managed to see every episode of Designing Women, and when I come across them on Lifetime or Nick At Nite, I can identify the episode within seconds...

5. And finally, from 1995 to 1997 Trav and I lived in Mattoon, IL. The town where my parents grew up and married, and where I was born. A few months before I graduated and we planned to return to LR, the crappy apartment building we lived in was sold. I was in school and Trav worked the night shift at Coke - we were quite poor, and apartment options in our price range were few and far between.

So with only a few months left to live there, we rented a room in a "boarding house" of sorts that was originally the Mattoon Hospital. We, of course, paid $20 more for an extra bed and private shower... (which was the only way I was living there since community baths haven't been an option for me since summer camp).

Anyway... when I questioned the owner about the building once being the town hospital, it turns out we were residing on the maternity floor in the room that was once the hospital's delivery room... the hospital where I was born. So, if the owner was right (and his own children were born there) as it turns out, I might have once lived in the room where I was born. Totally bizzare.

And on that note... I think Heather should post her five things!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Same Old Lange Syne...

So... it's 2008. Hard for me to believe... so much has changed since our family ushered in 2007, and it seems the year has flown by. Our first year as a party of five has been crazy, fun, chaotic, challenging, and of course, a blessing! And in our moments of adjusting, and then readjusting, and where we struggled, but made it through - God has been so good - and our year was mostly full of much to be grateful for.

We had a very eventful New Year's Eve last year ringing in '07 with friends, where we had hoped to return this year. And as much as I hate to miss a grown up gathering with adult conversation.... Trav had to work late, Tanner and I have both been sick, and well, with all that was going on, we would probably have pulled into the party just in time to toast the new year, and head home.

So, we rented a movie, and then watched the "ball" make it's 100th descent into Time Square while little Hannah Montana and a few other random celebrity on-lookers kept chiming in about how "exciting, wonderful and amazing" it was to be there. And of course, as they carry on about it, I can't help but wonder if it really is.

It certainly looks fun - all the confetti, cheering, whooping, hollering... etc. But really the crowd is just standing there behind the barricades all night, right?? And of course, clearly, it's freezing. And then as you hear the hosts say how those people started lining up like 12 plus hours earlier... I don't know. Maybe the view from my living room isn't so bad after all....

May 2008 be full of all good things for you and yours...
with much to be grateful for.