Saturday, February 23, 2008

5 Happy Months!

Tomorrow Cate will be 5 months old, and I know I say this every time she's officially a month older, but I just can't get over how fast these past months have gone by. She continues to make me smile all day long and is the sweetest little thing ever! Instead of posting a current picture, I decided to add this one of her from when she was a week or so old. She's laying next to one of Towns' baby dolls and I took this picture so I'd always have a way to remember how small she was. Happy 5 Month Birthday, Cate Bug!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

No Fear

A couple of weekends ago while we were visiting J's parents, I took these pictures of Bethany. The child is really not scared of anything....see exhibit A below.
We'd put the tent up in the backyard for the kids and were in the process of finding wood with which to build a fire to roast marshmellows when Jonathan found this little guy. Actually, there was nothing little about him. I ran like a crazy person straight to the house when I heard the first mention of the word "snake"...but Bethany obviously wasn't the least bit scared. After her daddy killed it, she decided it would be a good idea to have her picture taken holding it. I'm so terrified of snakes it takes my breath away, literally. So for me to even get close enough to her while she was holding that thing to even take this picture...well, let's just say my heart was in my throat. Towns even touched it and afterwards I scrubbed her hands for five solid minutes. I think I'm OCD...
Exhibit B...
Pop fixed a rope swing on the big oak tree in the backyard last summer and the kids have a blast on it. Jonathan decided it would be a good idea to let Bethany go off the corner of the roof (you can see it in the right side of this picture) on the swing. She climbed up there all by herself and swung off the roof (standing up, I might add) and when I saw it for the first time I nearly had a massive coronary. You couldn't have paid me money to do it, but Bethany didn't think twice about it! Thank God for some strong rope holding that swing up and no broken bones!!
Next up, the tree stand episode...keep in mind all of these pictures were taken in less than a 24 hour period. So you can only imagine what it's like at our house...never a dull moment!! Jonathan has a special gift of coming up with crazy things like this. He's really creative at finding way to entertain the kids, but most of them could land us in the ER. Thankfully, that's never happened. Almost 4 years of being married to him has taught me one thing...NEVER say never!!!
J's dad is an avid deer hunter and this contraption is his tree stand. Bethany got all the way up there by herself and I'd venture to say that she was at least 10 feet off the ground. In this next picture it's just her, the tree, the stand, and that pretty blue sky! This is the point where I'd be entering panic mode BEGGING someone to get me down...not her though. Please note the big smile on her face!

Love you, BBMac! You never cease to amaze me!! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Happy Heart Day...A Week Late!

Poor little Cate and Towns sure didn't feel good on Valentine's Day (as you can probably tell by how rough they look!)...but naturally they sported their coordinating outfits like true champs. I am out of the running for the Mother of the Year Award for making them endure all this picture taking...but it was their first Valentine's Day together so I couldn't NOT capture the moment!

Towns has gotten into the habit of thinking Cate does things to her on purpose. For example, in the picture above Cate had her fingers in Towns' hair so Towns told me that she was pulling her hair. And if Cate's foot accidentally touches her, Cate's kicking her. And if her hands or arms touch her, Cate's pushing her. It really is quite funny the way she over dramatizes it, and I can't seem to get through to her the fact that Cate's not really old enough to push or kick her intentionally. That day will come soon enough....

I've never once in almost three years gotten Towns to smile for the camera. It just doesn't happen. Until now, and this is the face she gives me. When I ask her to smile she closes her eyes and gives me this crooked grin. I guess I should take what I can get...

This one is a little better!

Not sure what these looks are about, but I think it just about captures the mood because neither one of them felt good at all and you could tell it on their faces.

Here Towns is asking me if it's ok to dig into her Valentine's mailbox...the deal was when she cooperated long enough for the pictures, she could then have her stash of chocolate!

I gave her a little flowerpot that came with strawberry seeds and we're trying our luck at getting them to grow. I could kill a fake plant, so it's highly unlikely that anything will come of our strawberries! I was not blessed with a green thumb...

Here's how Towns spent most of Valentine's Day....

So Cate and I played together in the of her favorite things ever!

We decided Towns had slept long enough so Cate got the job of being her wake up call...Cate LOVES to crawl all over Towns. It's fun to her for about two seconds and then she's begging me to get her off of her!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm Confused...

Two things have me puzzled today...

1. Can someone please tell me how I missed STIRRUP PANTS coming back in???? I filed those away back in 1990 and have vowed ever since to never, ever relive that fashion nightmare. Sorry if any of you are wearing stirrups today. I'm sure you can really pull them off, but me, not so much. Nor do I want to.

2. How is it that I have five glorious days all to myself and I can't seem to find any overwhelming enjoyment in it? My children are in very capable hands which leaves me no reason whatsoever to worry about them and their well being. It's not like I have any doubt that they're not being taken care of. In fact, they're probably having more fun at Ya Ya and Poppy's playing with Max and Anna Grace than they'd have here. Towns literally walked out the door yesterday and didn't look back until I MADE her come back and at least give me a hug. I wasn't really expecting her to fall out in the floor in protest of me sending her off. But at least a hug and a kiss...I mean, come on. I can't blame her though. That girl loves to stay on the road, and she gets it so honestly from me. Back to the point...I had all these grand plans and high hopes of doing things around here that I've been wanting to do, but never have had the time. Namely, tackling that huge Rubbermaid full of super fun fabric and making the girls matching outfits for spring and summer. I'd also love to get my closets cleaned out and organized. And I have canvases screaming "paint me, paint me". But somehow, I can't get it together enough to make any headway. I walk around in circles not knowing what to do next. Here's the conclusion I've come to: I'm completely lost without my kiddos. Our daily routine is so engrained in me and when I shy away the least bit from the norm, I don't know what to do! Good or bad, I suppose that makes me a creature of habit. The one nice thing that's come of my empty house is that J and I are reliving our pre-baby days. It's wild how once you have children it completely changes everything. For whatever reason, I've always had a tinge of guilt run through me for halfway enjoying anything that doesn't involve them. I'd almost forgotten how much fun we could have when the kids aren't around. And that's not such a bad thing. Even if it is watching Viva La Bam re-runs until midnight because they make us laugh like schoolgirls (and now I'm wondering why I just admitted that I like that show...disclaimer: I don't really like the people in it or how they talk or the message they convey, but it is pretty hysterical). It's Tuesday and I've got two and a half more days of trying to find something with which to fill my time. Any suggestions to make the time go by faster???

Monday, February 18, 2008

What To Do?

I pose this question in reference to the fact that I just sent my children to Andalusia to stay with my mom until Friday....WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MYSELF?? I have five days of absolutely nothing to do and I can't even begin to think about what it is that I'm going to fill my time with! I love my babies more than life itself, but after having a house full of sicklings for 8 days straight, m-o-m needs a b-r-e-a-k and some s-l-e-e-p! I've gotten into the habit lately of spelling things out. Maybe because my almost-3-year-old is incredibly smart and when I'm talking about things I don't want her to know I'm talking about, it requires a background in Hooked on Phonics. Or SRAs...remember those?? Like when I was making a grocery list the other day and asked Jonathan to check and see if we had any p-o-p-s-i-c-l-e-s. If Towns had heard the word itself, she would've talked about popsicles and why we didn't have any and why couldn't we buy any and why can't we just go to the store right now and get some, etc., etc. until she was blue in the face. So in an effort to save myself five minutes of answering question upon question about our timliness of buying popsicles and so forth, I just spell things out. It really saves me a lot of time and energy. Especially since Towns is so into the "but why?" thing these days. Everything I tell her is followed by "why?" and when I make my best attempt to answer the question it's once again followed with "but why though?". I love that about her. As exhausting and challenging as it is, I enjoy her being so interested in what's going on around her. However, I have a degree in marketing and finance. Not rocket science. So the other day when she asked me to explain to her why it's dark at night and light during the day, I had a little trouble. Yes, I can handle the whole "the sun comes out during the day to give us light, and at night when we're supposed to be asleep the sun goes away and the moon comes out". And then came "but why?". When my second answer wasn't good enough, she then wanted to know exactly where the sun went when at night. Naturally, after that she wanted to know where the moon went during the day. Note to self: stick with "because that's just the way God made it" instead of getting into a discussion with a 2 year old involving words like solar system, orbit, and things of that nature. It's times like these that make me realize I really should have paid attention more in school. Anyway, we're officially over the flu and everything else we've been plagued with. A trip to the pedicatrician last week proved disastrous when we discovered that both Towns and Cate tested positive for the flu, they both had double ear infections, and Towns also tested positive for strep throat. I don't think a lifetime supply of Lysol or Clorox would even touch the amount that's been sprayed in my house over the last week. Praise the Lord, we're done with it now and I hope we never, ever have it again! I had two sick babies on my hands and Jonathan and I both had it too...which doesn't make for a very easy recovery. I'm over the flu and have now moved onto a sinus infection. But that, my friends, I can handle. Anything is better than the f-l-u...

Monday, February 11, 2008

We've Been Bitten by the Bug....

....the flu bug, that is. It's been running rampant around our church and it was just a matter of days before we, too, ended up with it when you consider we're at church pretty much every day of our lives! Towns is much worse off than I am...this morning she had a temp of 104.1 which scared the living daylights out of me!! The two of us have been in the bed most of the day and poor little Cate has just been sitting in whatever makes her the happiest for the time being. We've got an alternating system going on....the bouncey seat, the swing, the baby papisan, the rainforest jumparoo, the Bumbo seat, and then finally the bed for a nap. We've been on that repeat cycle all day long, and I'm hoping if we're not better by tomorrow she's up for another day of entertaining herself, bless her heart! This is reason numero uno why you don't live hours upon hours away from your family. It's not like I can call up my best friend here and ask her to enter this quaranteened establishment to care for Cate while Towns and I are on the mend. But my mom or mother-in-law would be here in no time flat...flu germs and all! Oh, how I long for the day that we can move closer to home!! (No offense, Decatur, we've really enjoyed our time here, but it's just not the same when your closest relatives are 2 1/2 hours away and can't just pop over when you need a babysitter for the afternoon!) Please say a little prayer for Cate that she doesn't get sick. With her being 4 1/2 months old, but only weighing in at 12 pounds, she'd be one sick baby if she caught this bug.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sweet Thing

No point to this post whatsoever, other than to share a few sweet pics of Cate!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Flaaash Baaack!

(As good old Mama Neenaw used to say at Camp Chi O)

I'm on a roll here....there should be a law against blogging this much in one day! Since Bethany's only with us every other weekend, I don't get the opportunity to take as many pictures of her as I'd like. I came across these pictures from August 2006 and had to make this my 3rd (and final) post for the night. I'm all blogged out after this! These are from when my sweet grandmother's 79th birthday doubled as a perfect photo op. We all gathered at my aunt Melissa's house in Montgomery and hired a professional photographer to take some family pics. These are some I took with my own camera so they're nowhere near professional, but I do love these pictures of Bethany. She looks so young! And I love her hair this length!

Solo shot!

Bethany and Towns

It would be a miracle if we ever got one of Towns actually looking at the camera!

One of my all time faves...

Bethany and Anna Grace

Anna Grace, Bethany & Mary Catherine

Towns, Me, AG, Bethany, MC & Max

Wish I knew what they were scheming up!

Granny is famous for her lectures & here I caught MC getting one!

The Birthday Princess blowing out her candles (she'll be 81 this August)!

Make-Up Lesson

What kind of sister would Towns be if she didn't share her beauty secrets with Cate? She's learned from the best because Bethany has taught her everything she knows! I snapped these the other day after Towns asked for my permission to let her put a little lip gloss on Cate...

Umm, real ladies don't wear lip gloss up their noses. Might want to try again...

Not really for the eyes either....

Ok, Mom, would you PLEASE help me out here? Make her do it the right way!

Ah, there we go. Right on the smackers!

Now everyone is happy!

I'm In For It!!

I think I've got trouble on my hands...trouble with a capital T (and an -owns on the end of it). This chick is a mess if I've ever seen one and I couldn't resist posting some of the pictures I've taken of her over the last week. This might give you a little clue as to how our days go around here....never a dull moment!

(If I had any brains about me I'd make one of those neat slideshows instead of posting each and every one of these crazy pictures...maybe next time! And sorry about the spacing issues here...I'm not exactly an internet genius!)

Mornings here start with Towns wanting to pick out her clothes and it ends up being a battle of the wills. We both mean business and most of the time I win out, but if I cave in every now and then, this is what she'll pick out for herself...

Here Miss McClendon is sporting a metallic yellow leotard, circa 1984, a puffy vest with a fur-lined hood, a stunning flourecent green dress-up skirt, and crimson Mary Jane Crocs....BEA-U-TI-FUL!
Or she might just pick this out and the justification behind this is "why do I need clothes if I have on such big boots with high heels AND a bow?" to which I tried to explain that no matter how high the heels are, she still must wear clothes. Period.

The sad thing about it all is that before the sun goes down she's changed clothes approximately fourteen more times. Examples...

A fleece snowsuit.

Denim skirt and this pink shirt that don't go together...her abolute favorite two items of clothing she owns.

A swimsuit 2 sizes too small. Here she was sitting in the rocking chair with me on a stool in front of her giving her this pedicure (all her go along with Valentine's Day). Excuse the dirty feet!

Here she's got on a scarf that she insisted upon wearing to look like Bethany and Hannah Montana.

She actually picked this out and it matches, mark this one down in the books!

Prime example of how she goes to bed at night...she's fresh out of the shower here and got on her favorite tights, leotard and tutu!

This kid cracks me up on a daily basis and I can't get enough of her!! Here a few more pics for good measure....

If her cheeks look extra chubby here it's because she's got her vegetables stuffed in them. I didn't realize this until we'd been done with dinner for 30 minutes and she was already in the bathtub. Have you ever?! She's a sneaky little thing! Oh, and this is also the exact look she gives me when she gets in trouble. Usually the words that accompany this face are "you sure are sweet, Mommy"...and then I almost forget what she'd done wrong! One funny thing and I'll move on...the other day at Chick Fil A I was trying to get her to eat her lunch before she got the notion that she needed an ice cream cone. You know, because to a child Chick Fil A = playground + ice cream. So I told her that she needed to eat her lunch and then we'd talk about it (a phrase I find myself saying more and more which means that I'm turning into my mother). After some deep thought she replies "I don't want to TALK about it...I want to EAT it"! Nice try, but it didn't work!

This is how I found her last night when she'd gotten quiet....she'd pulled a stool up to my dresser and was going through my jewelry drawer (hence the necklace that she's already got on)...she had no idea I was watching her!

This is how she ate Sunday lunch last weekend...she said the pink shades helped her "see her food much better"!

Thought I'd throw this one in because of her cute owl jammies!

No particular reason for this one...just love it!