Friday, August 31, 2012

Let's state the obvious.

It really was a good my head.
Alabama in June is quickly approaching 100 degrees.
Our subdivision has a pool.
I have three children and only two arms.
I'm sure that the above mentioned pool would have something like 48 visitors on any given evening.
Not to mention that someone in our subdivision recently posted an article on facebook with the title, If you're in a neighborhood pool with three other people chances are that one of you is peeing.
I have two sons
When both of them are in the bathtub at night chances are that two of them are peeing.

Alright. Time out.
This was one of the drafts saved in my list of unpublished posts.
Never completed.
There are plenty more drafts awaiting completion.
Let's state the obvious. Most of those post will never see the light of day.

The most consistent blog is in my head.  I am constantly blogging in my noggin'. With three kiddos there is never a lack of inspiration, just a lack of time.
Truth be told, I won't give up my sleep to blog.  I just refuse.  
And that's how two months pass by with no new posts.
Also, when I publish this post, Bunny's picture is going to appear further down on the page.  I love clicking on my blog and seeing her little western themed self.  That was a good look for her. I may just have to add that picture to the sidebar. Yeah, that's what I'll do.

The one post that I hate I haven't completed is the one in which we were given Emmett's diagnosis.  I have the pictures uploaded but they aren't accompanied by words.  I must add the words before I post the pictures.  It just has to happen that way.

Here's something somewhat crippling about me.  If I can't do something the exact way that I want to then I'd rather not do it at all.  And that's another reason for the looooong silences on the ole blog.  That wonderful attribute serves me well...NOT.
Another quality that I possess has been passed on to my first born.  Her first grade teacher asked us to write a letter about our child so that she could get a better understanding of them.  And so I'm sure that it was incredibly encouraging to read that Ellie Kate often doesn't want to learn something, she just wants to know it.  I was quick to take responsibility for passing this onto Priss.  So this year we are hoping to encourage a love for learning.  So far, first grade has proven to not be kindergarten and that doesn't always sit well with Ellie Kate.

Speaking of Ellie Kate, today is her birthday.  She is turning six years old. (Sigh.)
This week in the car on the way to church she told me,"Mama, me and Nicolas talked about gettin' married today. We're gonna grow up and catch alligators together. We don't know what kind of stuff we'll have, you know, like a house and stuff.  We'll have some kids. We don't know how many."  To which I replied,"Does Nicolas love Jesus?"
Me:"Did he say that?"
EK:"No, but I can tell that he does because he does nice things."
She also included a description of this boy,"He's got brown hair, a freckled nose, and peach skin."
I gave Ross the heads up at church that night.
Ellie Kate wanted to ride home with him.
When he asked her about Nicolas, she responded,"How did you know about him?"
Ross quickly let her know that he knows about everything.
She went on to tell him that Nicolas is an expert in science.
And when she was giving her Daddy the description of Nicolas, it blew her mind when he already knew that that boy has a freckled nose.
After that Ross made Ellie Kate hold his hand all the way home.
It's always something with that child.
Glory be.

Just last week we celebrated Emmett's fourth birthday. (Another sigh.) 
Emmett's life is one of celebration.  Each accomplishment. There are no small accomplishments. They are all big.
Ross and I (and many others) continue to stand in amazement when it comes to Emmett's progress.  I really do hate that I haven't consistently written down all of the things that he's learning or doing.

We were told in May at his final appointment in Birmingham that he is indeed on the autistic spectrum.
What would appear to some as being a crushing blow has instead just been an identification of where he is.  One thing that we can't determine is where he's going.  Don't get me wrong, we fully accept and are continually accepting his diagnosis.  However, that little boy, time and again, blows any expectation that I (knowingly or unknowingly) place on him out of the water.

 Ross read part of a book this summer. It talked about the way that parents respond to their children.  It spoke of how our demeanor can relate our expectations to our child.  They can interpret what we think their capabilities are and their potential or the limit thereof.
And that's why we've claimed Ephesians 3:20-21 when it comes to Mr. Emmett. The verse says,"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

HE has already done more than I ever even knew to ask.  Emmett's progress has been beyond anything I could imagine.  These verses help point us to Christ.  It is through His supernatural strength that we are able to stand. We give Him all the glory for entrusting us with Emmett and letting us watch him overcome challenges.
Emmett helps me to see that we are all uniquely made.  And so we sit in expectation of where this road will lead.  It's not always easy, but it is always worth it.

And that leaves our little Jack Jack.  That would be the one tugging on my arm as I type.  Besides sleep rivaling the blog, Jack is in direct competition for all of my time and attention.  Even now he fusses loudly saying,"Ba...Ba...Ba" (Ball), over and over again.  There's a reason I've been calling him Caboose lately.  It's like our family is a quirky little sentence and Jack is our very loud exclamation point at the end.

This is Jack (with his Meme) after his big boy haircut.
Ross decided to give him a major haircut.  We're talking remove-all-of-his-baby-hair type of haircut.  This Mama was not happy.  In the single Godliest act of my life, I halfway forgave him.  Now it looks like Emmett has a little clone following him around.  They look so much alike.

There is one thing that I have to mention.  This one thing has completely altered my life and led me to a statement that I never dreamed I would utter.  The statement I am referring to is "I want my minivan back."

You see our minivan, Dory, has had some major issues. First of all, we call her Dory because she is unclear on what features with which she is equipped.  For instance, we have been driving down the road and Dory has begun to beep.  This would be the feature in which when you are in reverse and coming close to an object, your car beeps so that you don't bump into it.  Well, Dory does not have that feature and if she did it really would not help us when we are going 75+ miles per hour on the interstate.

The other thing that she does is turn the passenger side air bag either on or off depending upon her mood and who the passenger is. At any given time the air bag button will either turn off or light up.  Don't test her.

And so we call her Dory after the fish with short term memory loss on Finding Nemo.

Well Dory has been in the shop for 2+ weeks now.  She apparently has some transmission issues.  We have been fortunate enough to be able to borrow a car from a family member.  However, in said car my children can touch each other.  Dramatic pause.  That's right.  Emmett can keep his hand on Ellie Kate's arm just because he wants it there.  And Ellie Kate can yell something like,"Quit touching me! Emmett's touching me!"  This may or may not be followed by me reaching my arm over the backseat trying to cause some separation. And that leads me to this statement.  My arms are too short.  And so depending upon the volume and level of violence in the backseat, I may have had to pull over beside the road, get out of the car, and play referee. 
I can assure you that after the above actions have taken place and we've resumed our trip, Emmett has always once again felt the need to place his hand on Ellie Kate's arm.
That's just the way it goes.
And that leads me to making the statement,"I want my minivan back."

The Three. Notice this is before Jack's big boy haircut.

Well that is a quick little random all over the place update.

Oh and about the it seemed like a good idea at the time story above, well, let's just say that we ended up with a small inflatable pool and a crazy sprinkler.  After trying to blow the blasted thing up and getting dizzy, I loaded the kiddos back into the car and we drove to a gas station where I spent more money on getting the pool halfway inflated than the darn thing cost to purchase.  We then proceeded back home.  After getting possibly 15 good minutes of 'pool time' I surveyed the scene to note that one child was on the brink of having a potty accident in the yard. This led me to say, "Just go ahead and go." After making that statement I noticed that my neighbor heard the entire conversation and I could not even pretend to be embarrassed.
Jack was content for the most part being covered in 1,345,972 giblets of grass.  Meanwhile, Ellie Kate stood outside of the pool, arms folded demanding that everyone get out of the pool because she just wanted to relax.
After tracking the 1,345,972 giblets of grass into the house, I realized that it was already six o'clock and my patient children were crying for the supper that I was yet to prepare.  Needless to say, when Ross arrived home I was still in a damp swimsuit with smeared mascara trying to calm the masses.
Actually as I write this, I cannot recall other specifics of the evening because I'm guessing that I blocked them out.
And with that, I will not promise any blog posts until the world once again spins correctly on its axis I get my minivan back.

Making a wish.
Blowing out her candles.

Blowing out his candles after stopping to say the blessing.
Giving Aunt Jennifer some sugar.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bunny: A life well lived.

August 6,2001-June 21,2012

I remember the first time I saw her.
I was in a difficult period of my life mostly because of my own poor decision making.
I was going thru an odd, overwhelming process of recovery.
I had bought a chihuahua named Scarlet.
After just six months Scarlet was killed by a car at my parents' home.
Six months into recovery and my recovery puppy died.
I went back to the same lady who had sold Scarlet to me.
I looked over the sea of chihuahuas. 
Talk about some yapping. Glory.
And there she was.
I think it was her expression that caught my eye.
She had such a worried look about her. 
Her little eyebrows were full of emotion.
I said,"That's the one I want."
The lady replied,"You can't have her. I want to breed her."
I left.
Apparently the lady called my mom and said that I actually could have the little white one because she knew that I would take good care of her.
It was around Thanksgiving.
I was getting ready to go to a family gathering and as I stood in the bathroom fixing my hair, Bunny literally sat on my foot.
I was her person.

I didn't know what he was about to tell me. Last Thursday Ross led me to the front porch and closed the door behind us.  He had come home early from work and wanted to talk to me.
"What are you about to tell me?", I said with a nervous smile.
He took a deep breathe,"It's Bunny."
"What?", I asked as I covered my face with both of my hands.
"Your Mom found her. She died in her sleep.  I'm so sorry, Baby."

It was the second time that he had left work early...for Bunny.
The first time was when I was seven months pregnant with Ellie Kate and I had returned home from school with no Bunny to be found.
And now before me stood my dear husband.  In all of my quirkiness of love for my little Bunny, he had embraced me.
When we were first married, we (meaning me, Ross, and Bunny) moved to Louisville, Kentucky.  Remember, I was her person. 
Ross and Bunny had to get use to each other.
He told me that when I would leave for work in the mornings, the door would close behind me and Bunny would look at him as if to say,"Why did you make her leave?"  Then she would have nothing to do with him as she made her way to her bed to mope until I returned home.
She moped to the point that we considered getting her a pet.  We ultimately decided that unless Bunny could learn to clean out a litter box, she was not ready for pet ownership.
I remember laughing hysterically one day when Ross told me,"She really thinks that you gave birth to her."

Now he was having to tell me the news that he knew would break my heart.
And then in a statement that made me hug him tight, he said,"I want to drive you to your parents' house so that you can see her again."
 At 6 p.m we loaded up Jack, Emmett, and our best babysitter Lindsey. (Ellie Kate was already at my parents' house.)
We drove to Ariton. 
I walked in and there at the end of the counter was a shoe box.
I opened it to find my Bunny.
And then I sat for a while and cried and petted her.
When it was time to go, we all gathered around.
Ross said, "I'll say a prayer."
I quickly interjected,"First you should share some of your memories about Bunny."
He briefly gave me a "Really?" look.
Then he proceeded,"One of the first times I met Bunny..."
I interrupted,"That's not a good memory. You should share another one."
He said,"Okay, I'll share two Bunny stories."
He started again,"One of the first times I met Bunny was at Amy's apartment in Troy. Bunny was sitting in Amy's lap. I leaned in to give Amy a hug and Bunny quickly launched toward me actually lodging onto my nose.  Thankfully, she didn't bite down."
True story.
He continued,"The other story about Bunny that comes to mind was when we lived in Kentucky. I was ironing a shirt in our extra bedroom. Bunny walked into the room, around the ironing board and sneezed directly on my foot.  She then turned and left the room."
Of course, we all laughed.
Then my precious husband prayed.
It was a sweet prayer of thanks for giving us pets and the joy that they bring into our lives.
After that we left returning home around midnight.
I love my husband.

On the way home I talked about how weird it felt to lose Bunny.  It was as if a chapter of my life was closing. It was another reminder that I don't get to choose how quickly or slowly the pages turn.  As I said before Bunny came into my life when things were difficult.  My mom use to call her my little enabler because on days when I felt depressed, Bunny would snuggle up next to me and we would sleep for extended periods of time. 
She was a source of unconditional acceptance.  She was never once not happy to see me.
She has traveled extensively even taking a few airplane rides.  Thanks to my Dad she was heavily medicated during those trips. I remember taking her out of her carrier in the Atlanta airport.  I wrapped her in a blanket covering everything but her little face.  Then I sat looking proud of my bundle and watched as people rounded the corner.  They would glance down at what appeared to be an infant in my arms. They would quickly look away only to return a last fleeting glance.  I knew they were thinking,"I guess every mom does think their baby's pretty."

Ross and Bunny both hung in there and whenever a storm came, she actually would go and sit beside him.  I think he made her feel safe.
She was probably just fully accepting my husband when I brought home Ellie Kate from the hospital.
Bunny simply acted as if Ellie Kate did not exist.
Complete denial.
Of course, Ellie Kate learned to crawl.  She began reaching and grabbing.  So Bunny spent more time at the safest place in our home, underneath our bed.
And before Bunny even knew what had happened we welcomed two more bundles into our home.
Her method was one of avoidance.
With the craziness of three young children, Bunny never necessarily helped out, but she did always offer that same sympathetic look of concern with her one eye and wrinkled brow.
And when Jack would snack, Bunny knew to appear because finally we had a baby who liked to feed her whatever he was eating.  She did have to approach cautiously though.  Jack was bad about appearing on her blind side and popping her on the rear.  He always followed this obvious insult with a deep baby chuckle of laughter. But he did feed her.  Of course, he also stole her food which can explain his shiny coat  hair.
And so Bunny suffered through children.
It wasn't all suffering.
I think she enjoyed Ellie Kate's tea parties.

I was blessed to have my little companion for the amount of time that I did. 
I think she had some cat in her because she had more than one life.  Several years ago Bunny cheated death when she got hit by a truck and survived.  She lay in the road until another vehicle came along.  The driver thought she was a squirrel but his daughter who is no doubt an exceptional person recognized that Bunny was a dog.  They rescued her from the road.  She was left with a black eye that made her look as if she'd been in a bar brawl. (Of course, Bunny didn't go to bars.)  That accident left her blind in her left eye, but as mentioned in a previous post it only heightened her other senses causing her to still be an ominous threat if the situation called for such.

My college roommate called to check on me after Bunny passed away.  We laughed as we remembered taking Bunny along with us in college.  Around Christmas time we would put her little santa hat on her head. She would spread Christmas cheer as we picked up our food at a drive-thru.  We quickly realized that people are so much nicer to you when you have a dressed up chihuahua.

It seems that everyone knew Bunny.
Thank you for indulging me by letting me just be my quirky self and post about my sweet, little chihuahua. 
She will be greatly missed.

I've had people ask me how Ellie Kate has handled it.  Well do not worry for a moment about her.  Remember she was at my parents' home when my Mom discovered Bunny?  My Mom told Ellie Kate that Bunny had died.  Her reply,"She never done that before."  To which my Mom responded,"No Ellie Kate, Bunny never died before."
When I was petting Bunny in the shoebox, I picked Ellie Kate up.  Looking over at Bunny she said,"Yeah, she's dead alright."
A couple of days ago when Jack dropped some food on the floor, Ellie Kate said,"Oh Bunny will get...No. Bunny won't get it because she's dead."
And now when she sees a picture of Bunny she says,"Bunny was alive in that picture."
I asked her if she was sad at all about Bunny and she said,"Yeah, but I'm not going to cry."
And I think this event of Bunny passing has led Ellie Kate to other conclusions. Just a few days ago she told me and Ross that we are older than her and her brothers and that we would die before them.
I would like to say that she was choking back tears, but I think she was just letting us know what to expect.

And so our household carries on.
We have so many Bunny stories, songs, and inside jokes that will be told and retold.
She's in countless pictures and videos.
I am sure that at some point there will be a picture post just for her.

I'm sad but I'm also grateful that I got to be her person.

Friday, June 8, 2012

A, um, "dreadful" Tea Party

(For Rebecca)

It was to be a tea party like any other that Miss Ellie Kate had hosted numerous times before...or so one would think.  She began by whittling down her guest list to include only three guests; Miss Belle, Miss Rapunzel, and Miss Bunnadette "Bunny".  How was she to know the rudeness that would come from one of those guests?  She had never combined the word dreadful with one of her tea parties, but with table set and conversation ready to flow, sadly this event would include tense moments and would be an abrupt change from the joyful parties of old.
Miss Ellie Kate greeted her first guests and posed for a photo.  And next to arrive, fashionably late was Miss Bunny. She chatted, making small talk and exchanging pleasantries.

And then the known fashionista made her daring reveal.  Yes, today country western was her mood as reflected below.

Miss Ellie Kate was rather amused by Miss Bunny's choice of clothing and as hostess she quickly approved of the whimsy that Miss Bunny's clothing provided to the sometimes staunch atmosphere of society events.

Belle was quick to compliment Miss Bunny's ensemble.  It seemed as if Rapunzel would follow suit.

And then out of nowhere Rapunzel raised her hand and commented snidely about Miss Bunny's outfit.  Miss Ellie Kate sat with a nervous smile across her face.  She could not believe what was unfolding before her very eyes!  In her own words,"I was thinking that was mean. That's all."                          As the verbal assault continued, it was noted that Miss Bunny chose not to stoop to the level of Miss Rapunzel.  Everyone knew that the unkempt mane of Miss Rapunzel was a wide open target at which, if chosen Miss Bunny could aptly hit the bulls eye  with an unkind remark of her own.                               
And in that moment when Miss Bunny chose not to be rude, Miss Ellie Kate ever the gracious host, stepped in to the defense of her battered guest.  As Belle sat at the table with a painted on smile backed by an unmade bed and unfolded laundry, Miss Ellie Kate pointed directly at Miss Rapunzel and said,"Stop."  Never had there been a more appropriate word spoken. 

And as Miss Ellie Kate turned to speak with Miss Bunny, it was noted that in the classiest act of what was to be this season's social engagements, Miss Bunny had removed both her hat and bandanna and slipped quietly out of the party.  She did so having never spoken a word of contempt nor even disdain toward Miss Rapunzel.  No, with dignity intact Miss Bunny having made a fashionably late, grand entrance simply made a calm exit choosing to let her silence speak the loudest of all.
  When asked to reflect on her tea party Miss Ellie Kate said,"Dreadful. That's all." 
And in a daring act of loyalty toward the graceful Miss Bunny, the hostess with the mostest, Miss Ellie Kate ban Miss Rapunzel from her tea parties.  In a statement to the press Miss Ellie Kate clearly expressed her feelings,"What does banned mean? (I told her.) Oh yeah, that's it. She's not going to (attend another tea party) until it's 10 years."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Follow up interview with Ellie Kate

And now I sit down to interview my kindergartener first grader (insert tear).

EK: "What are you writing?What did you spell, Mama?"
Me: What was yesterday?
EK:"May 2nd."
Me:"Yesterday was your last day of..."
EK:"Kindergarten...What test are you giving me now? Who are you sending this to?"
Me:"What was your favorite thing about school?"
EK:"We went to summer splash."
Me:"What did you do there?"
EK: "We got to get in sprinklers.Frst we did snack time. Then we did gym class. Then we went to bouncy house. Disco. Playground. Sprinkler. Pool. And back to our classroom."
Me:"Sit down.  What is something that you learned in kindergarten?"
EK: "Um..we learned about the ocean."
Me: "What about it?"
EK: "We learned about all the creatures that live in there. That's all."
Me:"How many days were you in kindergarten?"
EK:"Fer about 24, I mean 25.   My initials are EKK. That's my initials."
Me:"What were your teachers names?"
EK:"Ms. Adams, Ms. Ashley, Ms. Marty, & Ms. Cutler."
Me: "How do you think 1st grade will be different than kindergarten?"
EK:"It's gonna be different.  It has a library, art, and that is all that we got to see and the last thing we saw is music."
Me:"So you're talking about your fieldtrip to 1st grade."
EK:"Right. And um, we saw Super Girl."
Me:"Who is Super Girl?"
EK:"A woman on a cartoon.  She's a superhero. She's American girl."
Me:"What makes her super?"
EK:"She has a mask and a cape and a superhero shirt with a star on it and superhero pants."
Me:"Could I be her?"
EK:"Noooo.  You don't even know her."
Me:"So she has a super outfit but what makes her super?"
EK:"That was what makes her super.  Who are you sending this to?"
Me:"I was going to put it on my blog."
EK:"Afterwards can you read it to me?"
Me:"Yeah. You be thinking about what you want to tell me about kindergarten."
EK:"That was all.We made some jellyfish.  Can I get to coloring?"
Me:"Let's finish up. Give me...sit"
EK: "Why am I gonna do another test?"
Me:"Give me one word to describe kindergarten."
EK:"What does descibe mean?  What does dehydrate mean?"
Me:"You tell me."
EK:"I don't know."
Me:"It's when you don't drink enough and your body runs out of fluid.  What were you telling me about Texas earlier?"
EK:"That it was hot."
Me:"Why's it hot?"
EK:"Because they live near the desert. There's tumbleweeds.  Um...there is ugly lookin' armadillos for sure.  You always have to dehydrate.  It means drink plenty of water."
Me:"And if you walked into the desert?You said earlier that you would run into Africa, then New York..."
EK:"Egypt comes after New York City."
EK:"(Giggling with nostrils flaring) ... blah blah blah blah blah..."
Me:"You are silly."

Well there wasn't much to that.  I can be assured that she gets her sense of geography from me.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Process

\\\\\\\\ Those opening slash marks were typed by Jack.  He is currently playing at my feet.  And by playing, I mean continuously unplugging the battery charger to my computer.  When being lured away redirected to play with other toys, he can often figure out what his Mommy is up to and then comes THE squeal.  That would be THE squeal that breaks glass.  After said squeal, I often check our front porch to take inventory of all the neighborhood dogs that have spontaneously appeared. 
Anyway, this post isn't about my Little Siren.  It's an update on his big brother, Emmett.  Last month we got a call from the place in Birmingham whose waiting list we'd been on for close to 12 months.  Due to a cancellation, we were being scheduled to start the diagnosing process with Emmett.  I only took a few pictures from our first visit.  Ross and I were able to make the first trip together.  To the right, are pictures of Emmett entertaining himself on the drive to Birmingham.  The top shot shows him playing with my necklace.  The second picture shows him making some of his usual hand motions along with his cute little smirked face.  That dimple coupled with those big ole' blue eyes, can render this mama helpless. 
Upon arrival, we encountered one of the highlights of the trip for Emmett.  That's right we got to ride an elevator.  Joy abounded for our Little Man.  We exited the elevator and checked in.  Below is a picture of our view from the waiting room. 
Thankfully we never waited for long periods of time. 
I couldn't help but look around at the others in the waiting room and wonder what their stories were.  I'm sure that there was a level of connectivity that would have quickly surfaced had we had time to talk.
Our first visit was with a speech pathologist.  She asked me and Ross alot of questions.  We then stepped out into an observation room so that she could begin her testing with Emmett.  It was really cool to be able to watch.  I knew the questions that he could answer. Of course there are the questions that he could answer and then there are the questions that he would answer. Ross and I had prayed that above all, those testing Emmett would be able to get an accurate picture of him.  We simply trusted that our prayer was being answered.
One thing that you can know for sure is that you won't have to guess when Emmett is finished.  He'll let you know.  That's just what he did for the lady below.  He began saying "Aw done" and "Dee end". 
 It was decided that we should take a lunch break and try again later.

 Being in downtown Birmingham, we walked to lunch.

We literally feasted on Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q.  Those cheddar biscuits...oh glory.
We returned to the clinic for more appointments that included meeting with a social worker and continued testing with the speech pathologist.  I so wish I had a picture of Emmett getting his hearing checked.  He actually sat in the sound booth with headphones on and tested beautifully.  Our day ended with having Emmett's vision checked.  We left the clinic with a three-year-old with dialated eyes. 

Make that a very tired three-year-old.  It was a long day for our Little Man, but he did so well.

He slept most of the way home.

Our next day of appointments didn't go so smoothly.  The date coincided with Ross's office opening, so this time it was just Emmett and me. 
Our day started with a psychiatric evaluation.  I answered question after question.  Meanwhile, Emmett was evaluated thru playing.  At one point, he came over to me.  I encouraged him to return to his testing.  He turned around, completed the task at hand, sat in his chair and said,"Mama, happy now?"  I had never heard him say that.  I looked around at the others to see if they had heard the same thing.  I then looked back at Emmett and said,"Yes, baby, Mama's happy now." 
I mentioned to the psychiatrist that Ellie Kate had been a strength for Emmett and if we needed to confirm this Ellie Kate herself would come and share all of her data that she had collected concerning Emmett. The doctor went on to say that she had recently been at a conference where the speaker said that he wished every delayed child could be given a big sister.
That appointment lasted for a good long while.  I had already heard some "Aw done"s and "Dee end"s.
Our next appointment was with an occupational therapist.  I left the room to observe on the other side of the glass.  I could quickly tell that this appointment was over before it even started.  Instead of stacking blocks, Emmett would throw them on the floor and say,"Dee End!"
By this point I had been told that our 1:00 appointment had been cancelled due to the doctor's sickness.  I suggested that we break for lunch and try again later.
Emmett and I went to lunch.  We returned to give our time with the occupational therapist another try.
I was feeling "Aw done" by this point as well.
Bless their hearts, those girls tried and tried to entice Emmett to participate in their testing.  After much prompting, he would occasionally comply.  One of them told me that she knew that he could do more than what she had seen.  It didn't end well.  He took off his shoes and repeatedly said "No" as I drug him out from under a table and back to the waiting room.
Our last appointment for the day was with a nutritionist.  Emmett was resistent again. This mama was emotional.  The nutritionist asked me my name and I cried.  I accepted a tissue, wiped away my tears, and promised myself that I could cry all the way home if I would just finish up here.
We completed our last appointment and then we headed home.  Emmett was asleep before we ever got out of Birmingham.
It's funny how I'm always caught off guard by my own emotions.  I guess I psych myself out to think that I've hit an even keel.  No more highs.  No more lows.  Just steady.  I go from mountain top floating to give me a butterfly net and my own pasture at break neck speed, making every emotional pitstop along the way.
As I sat answering the psychiatrist's questions, I would think,"We aren't talking about my child. Emmett is fine.  No delays.  He's just who he is."  Of course, I would come back to reality and realize that we were indeed talking about my child.
The Lord has been ever so faithful along this road.  The truth is that Emmett is the Lord's.  Ross and I have only been entrusted with this important, little soul.  I'm reminded of James 1:17,"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  Emmett is our good and perfect gift sent to us from our Father. Period.
If you are around Emmett for any amount of time you will see that he is unhindered by the opinions of those around him.  He is who he is in more than just a three-year-old little boy kind of way.  He has a freedom about him that I will never personally know. 
 I have a fear that I must continually give to the Lord.  It's Emmett's future.  I know it's bright and promising.  I know the Lord will guide and direct each step along the way.  But the hard part for me is that Emmett won't be three forever.  I don't know what things years down the road look like.  I want to shield him from curious looks.  I don't want a cruel word ever spoken to or about him.
My fears often seem loud and over powering.  That's when I'm thankful that God is consistent, never changing and His Spirit gently reminds me of His promises.  HE DOES NOT CHANGE.  My emotions are haywire at best.  They are all over the map.  Sometimes it just ain't pretty.
But in the midst of it He wraps heartache in mercy.  He brings people into our lives to walk along side of us.  He opens doors that we didn't even know existed. Only He can produce something worthwhile out of pain. And even louder than Jack's squeal in my ears, John 1:16 rings true in my soul,"From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another."
We go back at the end of the month for a diagnosis and recommendations.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers and kind words.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

In honor of Mothers' Day; A repost

This was originally posted on February 28, 2011 with the title being "Just Another Day in Paradise". 
No names have been changed because no one is innocent anyway. No sedatives were used after the completion of this post.
 Oh, and Happy Mothers' Day!

A quick little update.
This must be prefaced by saying that this post is more of a run-on thought with incomplete sentences. Grammar lovers beware.

The chaotic tone of this post is a reflection of my current day reality. So here is my unperfected post.

We have three children. This is one of my first thoughts every morning. This statement stirs my drowsy mind. The Lord has blessed us with three children. What a beautiful picture. At this point Jack and I are the only ones awake. He is drinking a bottle. Ellie Kate and Emmett are asleep and I am not the only one over four years of age in our home. Ross is still home. I know that in a little while he will get up with the older kids and make them breakfast in order that I may catch a few extra moments of sleep with Jack.

And so the day begins.

Fast forward...

Ross has left for work. I am out numbered 3 to 1. If I were a betting person, my money would be on the three little people. They know things. Oh yeah. Don't be fooled. They are all in this together.

Emmett doesn't acknowledge his little brother. I'll say,"Emmett, see the baby?" Without looking Jack's way, he shakes his head back and forth saying,"Nooo, nooo." Meanwhile, Bunny (our chihuahua) is curled up in the corner thinking,"I tried that same method with you, Kid, and it didn't work."

Ellie Kate, on the other hand, is THE big sister. I guess we've played up the role so much that now she feels that she needs to remind us of exactly who she is. After leaving the room for a quick moment and returning to find EK on the bed having scooped Jack up into her arms, nearly all her defensive statements after that began with,"But Mama, I'm the big sista." I follow this with, "And I'm the Mommy."

So where was I? Oh yes, Ross has left me... to go to work and carry on in our normal everyday life. And here is a quick glimpse of my new normal.

Jack cries. If not held, he cries. Sometimes I follow suit...with the crying.

There are 7 loads of laundry to be washed, dried, folded, and put away.

The dishwasher needs unloading.

I should at some point brush my teeth.

Something has set Emmett off. I put him in his room and close the door. He has developed superhuman strength. I hope his room can hold him.

Ellie Kate is using chairs from the kitchen table to make a "tent for 4 year olds". Apparently this tent should hold 137 toys from her room. I tell myself that we'll clean up later all the while knowing that I am lying to myself.

Meanwhile, the four year old is a tutu wearing pirate who has made herself a treasure map and thankfully has decided to allow her two year old brother into the tent made specifically for four year olds. I make a mental note to give her candy later. She makes a mental note to treat herself to hidden candy later.

I've decided that kitchen sinks are for holding dishes. I should not rush this process.

Dishwasher needs to be unloaded.

I should get out of my pajamas. No time to change and I don't want more clothes in the dirty pile.

Jack cries. He is little, but his newborn sensor lets him know when Mommy is trying to rest or do anything else for that matter. And so he cries.

I decide to just sit and hold him.

I observe my home.

Tent set up in living room. It contains a music box, a ball, chewing gum, shoe boxes, and anything else of utmost importance to a four year old.

Throughout the day one of two songs will play in my mind. The first is an old country song called Just Another Day in Paradise. The second is a silly song with Larry from Veggietales. The lyrics...If it doesn't have a tail it's not a monkey even if it has a monkey kind of shape. If it doesn't have a tale it's not a monkey, if it doesn't have a tail it's not a monkey, it's an ape.
I note that I don't have a tail.

Meanwhile, Ellie Kate lets me know that,"stupid isn't a bad word. You just don't say it at someone." It's never 'end of discussion' with her and she continues to discuss with herself.

Then Emmett makes his request time and time again for juice. He says,"Duice? Duice? Duice?"

He proceeds to say many other things and I pause to imagine a life with subtitles so that I can understand his little self.

I check the clock and wonder where the last 2 and a half hours have gone.

There are still 7 loads of laundry to wash, dry, fold and put away.

The dishwasher needs unloading.

How have I accomplished nothing?

I observe Emmett eating a piece of Bunny's food. I suddenly realize why his hair (or coat) has been so shiny lately.

I remember a thing called facebook and wonder what is going on in the outside world.

I log into my email for the first time in over a month and cringe to see that I need to sort through nearly 450 emails.

...If it doesn't have a tail it's not a monkey...

I'm back.

I check a friend's blog. She, too, has a newborn. She has had various photo shoots with him. Beautiful, peaceful photos.

I don't know if I've taken Jack's photo since he was a week old.

I walk down our hall and realize that it looks like a shrine to Ellie Kate, our firstborn. I make a mental note to schedule an appointment for Emmett and Jack to have their picture taken. I immediately wonder what file that note will end up in.

I walk into Emmett's room and wonder when the toy bomb blew up. Cars, blocks, balls, and the like are scattered about. And carefully hidden from my eyes are his various pacifiers. He even has a pink butterfly one carried over from Ellie Kate's baby days. At two and a half he has a full blown addiction and I am his enabler. That's right. I push aside thoughts of future visits to the orthodontist and instead resort to pacifier bribery when he needs his diaper changed or it's time to go to bed. I do so with no shame to speak of.

It's lunch time. Spaghetti.

I have a fork in one hand and Jack with a bottle, in the other. Ellie Kate sits across the table correcting my technique.

Strip Emmett down to his diaper. Cut the pasta. Give him a spoon. Watch as he occasionally finds his mouth. Call Bunny in to clean up the floor. Grateful for her service.


Put Ellie Kate and Emmett in tub. Have to fill tub up twice because Emmett's a splasher. Wipe down kitchen while kids play. Return to bathroom to wrestle Little Man out of tub. He once again develops superhuman strength. I hulk out and handle the situation. Both kids out of tub, clean, dressed, and ready for nap time.

Pick up crying Jack. Feed him. Get him down for a nap.

Emmett, pacifier in mouth and another in hand, is also down for a nap.

Retreat to my room with Ellie Kate. I decide that she can pick out a movie to watch while I get some rest.

Wake up and wonder if I ever really slept.

Call Ross to see when he'll be home. He notes desperation in my voice and makes plans to return home sooner than originally planned.

7 loads of laundry to be washed, dried, folded, and put away.

Dishwasher needs unloading.

Should get out of my pajamas.

Still hopeful of brushing my teeth at some point.

Call my mom to ask her how in the world she did this. I am the youngest of three. We were doorsteps, as well. Make note to apologize more often to my mom "just because". Receive encouragement and sympathy.

Ellie Kate tells me I have "pwecious teeth".

Emmett's diaper is approaching the 24 pound weight limit of what it will hold. I wrestle him to the ground and change him. He requests "duice".

The thought in my head,"WE HAVE THREE CHILDREN!" It's more of a screaming voice at this point.

Bunny peeks at me with her good eye, begging for her arthritis medicine.

We got the kids a dog for Christmas. His name was Baxter. Past tense because we let him out to go potty and he never came back. I lack the proper response of sadness. I'm sure he found a nice home and I don't have to feed, water, or clean up after him anymore. The kids weren't really upset. Emmett never acknowledged Baxter (I'm sensing a theme). Ellie Kate's prayer about the situation, "And dear Lorwd, we pway for Baxter that we can get a new dog."

Decide to attempt to fold laundry on guest bed. Wonder if anything is hiding in 5 foot mountain of clothes. Fold three items. Jack cries.

Note that the Elmo video is replaying for 6th time. Hear Emmett cry followed by Ellie Kate saying,"I didn't hit him", which lets me know that she did. I remind her that she is "the big sister" and she must be sweet to her brothers.
Impressed that Emmett can turn on breast pump.

Think of several mommies that I know who 'have it all together'. I'm not on this list.

Supper approaches. Three options tonight. Spaghetti, bowl of cereal, or a sandwich.

Ross returns home. Emmett says "Daaaaddy!" So precious. Ellie Kate and Emmett squeal with delight as "The Daddy" chases them throughout the house.

Ellie Kate takes her Daddy to our bedroom to show him what she and Emmett have done. They have dumped Applejack crumbs all over our bed. She tells him that,"We're kids...we don't know any better."

Supper then bedtime.

Whole family goes into Emmett's room. We sing songs and say his Bible verse. I note that his nails must be cut tomorrow and realize I made the same note the night before.

Ellie Kate gives Daddy hugs and kisses and tells him goodnight. I brush her teeth and remember that I forgot to do the same for Emmett. I sit on EK's bed with her and we say our prayers and her Bible verse. Then she picks a song or two. She often still decides on Silent Night and Away in a Manger. We sing. I tuck her in. She puts on a toboggan that she calls her bedtime hat. I explain to her that she doesn't need to talk anymore. She calls me back into her room 3 more times.

I feed Jack and hold my breath as I try to lay him down twice. Newborn buzzer goes off as he is automatically aware of the fact that he isn't being held. Third times a charm. At this point I will only allow Ross and myself to whisper and tip toe.

I brush my teeth. Yes. I brush my teeth. Ross breaks out into a "Hallelujah!" chorus.

I don't have to put on my pajamas because I never took them off anyway.

Ross and I lay down on the fine layer of crumbs that has settled on our bed. They itch. I make a note to wash the sheets the next day and then decide that I really should follow thru with this notation.

7 loads of laundry never got washed, dried, folded, or put away.

The dishwasher was never unloaded.

I decide that the next day will provide another chance to tackle each chore. I mentally pat myself on the back for getting the coffee maker ready to go for the next morning.

I think of my day. My new normal. I hit the ground running and feel as though I never accomplish anything. Then I think of the moments Emmett 'gave me lovin' or Ellie Kate sang to her new brother. I remember the times I wiped a tear...or a rear:) I think of tending to a fresh boo boo or rocking my newborn. I relish the laughter that filled our home when "The Daddy" tickled his little ones. I think of Emmett learning a new word and Ellie Kate sharing with her oldest brother. I think of my husband telling me that I was beautiful when I knew my outward appearance was much to the contrary. I think of the miracle of each child and the uniqueness of each soul. I'm reminded of the blessings in our home.

And ultimately I'm reminded of the verse at the top of this blog which says,"He gently leads those who have young." I ask Him to gently lead me. I drift off to sleep thinking, "The Lord has blessed us with three children" and it sounds melodious again.

Just another day in paradise, indeed.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Once upon a time...

By:  Ellie Kate
Once upon a time there was a little girl there was another little girl and there was a dog and it was a girl.  There was three boys.  Our dog is very old. Her leg been hurting her.  She got hit in the eye by a car. Emmett, he been always funny.  Ellie Kate, the little girl, she played duck, duck, goose with Emmett.  Daddy he always has to do work.  Mama she is a great cook.  (Hence this is a fairytale.)  And Jack the little baby he is sooo cute.  Jack one time he smashed my doll house.  One time me and Daddy went on a daddy daughter date date. We ate ice cream. Both of ours had chocolate ice cream.  We both had a cherry on top.  Daddy he didn't want his cherry.  I ate mine first then I ate Daddy's.  I sneaked up to his ice cream and stoled the cherry. Daddy said,"Where'd my cherry go!" I told Daddy that I stoled it.  He got my goat.  That was the end.

Safety first

You can never be too careful.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I do not share the speed of the ostrich.

If I were an animal I'd be an ostrich.
As stated above, I do not share their speed.  They are fast and often outrun predators.  I could never outrun anyone or anything.  My five-year-old can almost catch me in a game of chase.
The reason I'd be an ostrich, well, I used to think it was because when threatened, they bury their head in the sand.  This, however, is a misconception.  You see, when hiding from predators, the ostrich will lay it's head and neck flat on the ground trying to appear as a mere mound of dirt. 
I can relate.
Often when confronted with, well, life I want to lay flat on my bed on the ground and appear as something I'm not.  I want to sleep for hours on end be indistinguishable from my surroundings and let whatever threat that may be present, pass me by.  I don't want to be engaged with reality, because what if I just can't handle it? 

Maybe I was never meant to handle it.

This is an update on our family.

I've been meaning to write this post for some time now. 
When last I wrote about Emmett, he had started attending a special preschool in Auburn.  We were commuting five days a week between Ashland and Auburn.  Then in December, Ross and I took Emmett to an appointment at Children's in Birmingham for a speech evaluation.  Our appointment ended up being more about trying to get Emmett's therapies centrally located.  The therapist told us that we needed to start thinking long term concerning the course that we would be taking with Emmett's treatment.  We needed to really consider the toil commuting five days a week would take on our family.
It wasn't that she told us anything new, but I sat and cried.  Reality has a way of making you think you've come to terms with it and then reintroducing itself all over again.  It carries such weight.  It can feel suffocating. It is truthful and while that in and of itself isn't bad, when accompanied with my emotions, reality can seem big and scary.
Here we were at yet another evaluation.  We wanted to get Emmett the help that he was needing more than anything, but it felt like we were once again trying to move all the while just standing still.  That's the only way that I know to describe it.  Maybe it makes sense. Maybe it doesn't.
The lady that we met with was very helpful.  She knew of a speech therapist in Auburn who would accept our insurance and maybe even go to Emmett's preschool for his sessions.
It was during this time when Ross and I began to see the need to move our family to Auburn.  The day to day stresses and time constraints of commuting were starting to take their toil.  The thought of continuing as we were for years to come didn't seem possible. And that is why three weeks ago we moved to Auburn. 
Our time in Ashland was short, but very purposeful.  During these past months, our church family ministered to us in remarkable ways.  They even had "Emmett's Supper Club", in which they brought us supper three times a week.  Amazing.  They encouraged us, prayed for us, and made themselves available to us to help in any way we needed.  We will forever be grateful for them and the kindness that they showed to us.

Our last Sunday at FBCA was the 11th of March. 
Ross will be supply preaching in our current association.  He will also be opening up an Alstate office handling insurance and investments.
Ellie Kate has started kindergarten in Auburn.  She didn't miss a beat.  After her first day, her teacher told me that Ellie Kate kept her in stitches all day.  She told her about Bunny and something about diarrhea.  I'm sure I should just plan on being embarrassed when I pick her up everyday.
In our new house, Ellie Kate shares a room with Emmett.  It's just the cutest thing.  They have bunk beds.  Emmett loves going to bed.  He gets very excited and jabbers alot.  Ellie Kate told me that she climbed down from her top bunk and layed on the bottom bunk with him the other night until he went to sleep.  Then she returned to the top bunk.  She really is a good big sister.  She naturally teaches and encourages Emmett, as well, as bossing him around to no end.  When they are together, giggling fills the air.  In Kroger last week they "drove" our car buggy and we got so many looks because of their laughter.  I don't know about you, but this is not my common response to grocery shopping. They are very silly together.  It's sweet until one gets tired of the other.
And Emmett, well I don't even know where to start. 
His progress has been nothing short of amazing.  He loves going to "cool" and is absolutely thriving!  He now calls me "Mama" all the time.  Just last week he came into our room at 5:45 in the A.M. and said "Good Monin', Mama." So sweet. And bless his heart he says "Ewie Kaaate" alot sometimes even out of frustration. Imagine that.
He talks and talks and talks and we can understand more of it.  And don't get him started on his ABC's because you'll hear them over and over and over again (which is fine with me).
We are able to meet with his case worker at the preschool each week to be updated on his progress.  We are given printouts including graphs and charts that show what he is working on and tasks that his little self has mastered.  We are able to ask any questions and receive advice on ways that we can work with Emmett at home.
Twice a week Emmett receives speech therapy.  His therapist comes to his preschool for one session and then we take him to her office for the other session.  She is training us to help in Emmett's speech development.  He has learned how to make his wants known by asking, "May I have (such n such) pwease?"  We have been working on differentiating between yes/no. He has made tremendous strides in this area and it is just the cutest thing when you can tell that he's proud of himself. 
We are still waiting on our appointment with the place in Birmingham.  However, the goals that have been set for Emmett at his school are not contingent upon a diagnosis being made.  So we wait and that's okay.
I honestly cannot convey his progress.  We have been blessed to be able to witness it.
He is still very much Emmett.  He tends to be in his own little world, acting out movies/cartoons, but there is a definite difference in being able to communicate with him. The hard days seem farther apart now. 
 And Jack, well, he's my little side kick.  Sweet fella.  He had his first haircut, but it did not deter his locks from waving to the sky.  He's a fluffy headed little person.  He's a scooter.  He is responsible for cleaning the floors and he's good at it.  Whatever edible items he misses, well, Bunny steps in to do her part.  And she still provides reliable security for our family.  No shock there.
Jack points. Alot. 
Jack jabbers.  Alot.
He's still my Gwabber and Thrower.  I also think he's addicted to Bunny's food.  I am always relocating either him or her food.  It's a constant. Gerber may want to find out the ingredients in Science Diet's adult small bites.

And the ostrich. Much like the ostrich there have been many times recently when I've just wanted to blend in with my surroundings until trouble has passed me by.  But then God clearly shows me that that's not my calling.  It can be as simple as Ellie Kate asking me a question.  And in answering her I'm reminded that I am the lense thru which she perceives the world around her.  So yesterday when we were in the car together and the subject came up about why we moved to Auburn, we talked about how her Daddy and I make decisions.  I told her that we ask God what He wants us to do.  Then I got to share Romans 8:28 with her.  And while I think I saw a light bulb turn on above her head as she said,"Oh, I get it." It was I who was reminded that He works ALL things to the good of those who love Him. 
And He has.  And He does.
Much like the ostrich, I think there is also a misconception about me.  I think I'm perceived as something I'm not.  This last year when Jack got sick, when we moved three times, when we had evaluation after evaluation with Emmett, when we dealt with Ross's health concerns, when Ellie Kate started kindergarten, and on and on and on. I think that some people thought I was strong.  I wasn't.  I was frail and sometimes sad. I was hurt and confused.  I was wrestling with my faith and trying to cling to what I knew to be true.   
And once again in the middle of each transition God would wrap His grace and goodness tightly around me and my little family and handle everything in the tender way that only He can.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My little, old lady

To celebrate the 100th day of school, Ellie Kate and her classmates were encouraged to dress up like 100 year olds.  I cannot tell you just how perfect this was for Priss.  I wish you could hear her voice that accompanied her attire.  Just know that Ellie Kate was never able to do her little old lady impersonation without hunching over.  She fully played the part. 
The baby powder in her hair is a little more visible in this photo.
My 100 yr old kindergartener.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jack turns 1!

Newborn Baby Jack

Goodness gracious.  As I live and breathe how in the world is my baby turning one? On the other hand I feel like asking,"Are we sure he isn't turning 5?" 
Whew, what a year!
Coincidentally Jack's first year is also the year when I found the most grey hairs in my head.  Actually that's not completely a coincidence.
Our little fella has had some kind of a year.
His sickness at 8 weeks of age was alot to absorb.  Truly, I believe that one of the Lord's graces was in allowing me to operate without fully comprehending my surrounding circumstances.  He really carried us through that difficult time.
I've shared this with many, but I can vividly remember one of the most calming moments during that whole ordeal.  Ross and I had just been told of the reality of Jack's condition.  We were reeling from the words spinal tap, meningitis, and "he needs to be airlifted to Children's hospital".
I sat in the hospital room and heard the helicopter flying overhead.
I approached my baby as they were wheeling him to the elevator.  I told him that he was my big, strong boy and that I loved him. Then the medic who was taking him looked at me and said,"I'm going to take care of him."
And I knew that he would.
And I knew that He would.
As we walked to our car in the hospital parking lot, we saw the ambulance make it's way to the launch pad.  We stood watching, tears streaming down my face as my sick little one was lifted away. 
There was so much comfort in knowing that so many were already praying for him.
And today on his 1st birthday he is a happy, healthy, loud little person.
On his birthday.

God is good.
Jack is a blessing through and through.
As I reflect on it now, it amazes me that during this year of crazy transitions, health concerns, and concerns in general, God saw fit to place little Jack Watson in our family. No matter the chaos He has used our sweet baby as a continual reminder of His goodness and blessing in our lives. 
The presence of such innocence is a beautiful thing to behold.  That sweet, perfectly round face.  That jolly chuckle waiting to spill out with an abundance of drool.  Oh you gotta love a baby!  Especially this one.  Jack is my little Rooster.  His hair is in constant rebellion as it stands straight up, reaching ever higher and waving in the breeze.  When I bathe him and slick his hair down with water, I almost feel as if I've turned him into a little business man.  Of course, it dries quickly and "poof", my jolly, little fun loving guy is back.
One of my absolute favorite things about Jack is his "singing".  He is a songbird. I fully expected him to release a holiday album.  That baby sings like no other.  He's kindof like Buddy the elf. "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear."
Seriously, we went through a period of time when Jack would wake up and sing at about 2 in the a.m.  I would tell him that it was so pretty, but could we please wait a few more hours?
He still takes a bottle during the night.  It is so precious to return to my room and listen to the monitor as his little self sings until he falls back to sleep. I have walked into his room and found him singing in his sleep.
Oh, and it's always an original piece. It's usually goes something like this...."AaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaAaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAA..." and so on and so forth.

He is so ticklish.  I love to tickle him just so I can hear his precious laughter bubble out.
He has started doing something that Emmett did when he was a baby.  Jack raises his chin toward the ceiling and scrunches his little face up.  The Mommy melts every time.
He loves to watch anything that Emmett does.  Emmett usually calls him "Baby Dack", when prompted to acknowledge this little one who has hung around. Jack has those big ole' baby blues just like his brother.
Sucking his thumb & holding his Lovie
Mommy & Jack December 2011
Fathers' Day 2011
Jack & Ellie Kate April 2011
He also finds Ellie Kate to be rather entertaining.  I'm just hoping that he will start talking soon because currently Ellie Kate has a little voice that she pretends is his.  She feels safe behind her vocal disguise and allows all blame to sit squarely on her baby brother's shoulders when saying any silly words.  I'm not sure she knows any other kind of words.  In previous months she has mentioned that "Baby's don't have brains."  Hmmm....I'm wondering when she thinks those develop.   Anyway the sooner Jack can speak up for himself, the better.
Jack is a grabber and a thrower. It seems that nothing is ever fully out of his reach.  Oh yes. Do not be fooled.  He is a ninja.

This picture cracks me up.
In the mornings when I walk into his room I am usually greeted by him clapping his chubby little hands together.  Is there a better way to start one's morning? I think not. 
We are smitten with our little Jack Jack.                
Surprise! You get to dig in!
Happy Birthday Baby Jack!
" My Little Wooster"
Eating it up!
We love you!