Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We've expanded our home by 4 feet!

You may have heard the big news - We have a puppy! We got her on November 3rd. She is a boxer and her name is Georgia Belle. She is the sweetest little thing and is beyond cute. Our kids absolutely adore her. A day hasn't gone by that Nolan hasn't said, "Thank you sooooo much for letting us have that puppy. I love her." He tells her all of the time that we aren't taking her back to the pet store (even though we didn't get her from a pet store). Landry has been smitten with her from day one. I have really been shocked at how dedicated she has been to caring for Georgia. We've had her for 3 weeks and Landry is still just crazy about her. My favorite thing is watching them swing together. Georgia is just about too big to fit on Landry's lap, but Landry still tries!
Mallory is not Georgia's biggest fan... yet. I came home yesterday and they were cuddled up on Mallory's bed together. That is a major improvement. I think Mal might like her a little, she just doesn't want us to know. :) Corinne likes Georgia, but Georgia has realized that Corinne is the smallest and is the easiest to chew on. So, being the typical third child, Corinne has learned the best way to defend herself. When Georgia runs us to her and clamps down on her clothing, Rin puts one hand on each side of Georgia's face and picks her up by the head. Funny enough, Georgia instantly lets go and stays clear of Corinne the rest of the time we are outside.
Here are the pictures. We got her at 7 weeks and 2 days. She was 7 lbs. She has doubled in size, but still has to wear a big padded collar to keep her from getting through our fence. She doesn't love the collar, but she's getting used to it. Brian's nurse made it for us (she rocks!), and we didn't pick the fabric. You will soon see why we call her our little flamer.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Flip-Side of Frustration

I really dread telling you that I've been wrapped up in monotony. I have stood at the washer several times in the past month thinking, "There has to be more purpose in my life than to wash clothes... fold clothes... dust... mop... mess up the kitchen cooking a meal then clean it up again." This kept going through my mind. Over an over again. I truly started to fall into a little bit of a funk. I was drowning in laundry. And, when you are drowning in anything, everything else that falls on top of you can easily weigh you down.
Several of my Facebook friends had the November status updates of "What I'm thankful for today..." I did not. Mine may have read a little like this: November 8th - Today I'm thankful that my 2-year-old only threw-up twice today and we made it to the sink both times. November 9th - Our new puppy only peed on the hardwoods today and spared the carpet. November 10th - My 6-year-old only had three breakdowns about things that shouldn't concern her... In other words, I wouldn't have shared a whole lot that I was "truly" thankful for. This nagging feeling of negativity was eating away at me. I did a lot of eye-rolling and groaning about a lot of things. Did you know that we aren't created to behave like this? 1 Corinthians 10:31 says "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." Hmmm... I was definitely NOT doing this... but I could. I could prepare a meal like I was preparing it for our Saviour. I could pre-treat stains like I was preparing a garment worthy to be worn by Jesus. I could change the way I approached my daily activities and see what there is to be thankful for in them.
November 8th - I'm thankful that I have not only a 2-year-old, but a 4 and a 6-year-old, too.
November 9th - I'm thankful that we took on the responsibility of a puppy so our children could experience the unconditional love of man's best friend.
November 10th - I'm thankful that I have a passionate 6-year-old that reminds me that someone is always watching me. Therefore, I need to be accountable and lead by example.
Just wanted to share that with you. I have to run for now. I have some laundry to tend to.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Disney, Take Two

We survived our second trip to Disney. I was ridiculously excited for this trip. We actually stayed off-property in a 1700 square-foot condo. Each child got to fall asleep in a separate room. Brian and I got to stay up later than the kids. We even watched a movie on the couch one night! This is COMPLETELY different from our last trip. We stayed in a room smaller than your average Motel 6. We all had to go to bed at the same time. After the kids finally fell asleep, we would sneak to the (tiny) bathroom to plan our next day. Now, I must mention that we were at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We got to sit on our balcony every morning and evening and hang with the giraffes and lots of other animals that look like they were created in a mad scientist's lab. We were actually torn between staying at our hotel and venturing out to one of the Disney parks. So, I won't complain about the size of the room too much. BUT, for a mom and dad who have found very little time to spend together, it was really nice to relax on a couch in a big living room rather than a plastic toilet lid in a little bathroom.

We made it to the parks before opening 6 out of the 7 days we were there. The one day we got there late was due to the fact that we didn't get in bed until 1am because we attending Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party. We were certainly worn out from day one, but some things just energize you in a way that you can't get anywhere else. Here are of few of the "magical" moments we found at Walt Disney World.

  • The first day we went to the parks, we were handed a special parking pass for that day. We got to park right at the entrance to the Animal Kingdom. It was unbelievable! The only problem? Well, we kept thinking it was going to happen again. It didn't. But, it sure was funny to hear ourselves turn on the charm when we rode through the gates. We would even discuss before and after our exchange with the attendant what we would say/should have said to secure that elusive "Dream Parking". It provided a lot of laughs for the adults in our van. :)
  • The kids laughing, playing, tickling... It's amazing how much they appreciate each other when they don't have their friends around.
  • Watching Corinne see the characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She was waving frantically then looked at me with these big, beautiful eyes that spoke three words - That. Was. Awesome!
  • The kids reaching their limit, breaking down, and me still being able to look at my husband and smile because we both know how blessed we are.
  • Gigantic Plaza ice cream sundaes. One was big enough to feed five, but we had to get two for good measure.
  • Landry being picked as THE girl to go accept the rose from the Beast at the end of the show. That girl has nerves of steel!
  • Nolan being picked-out at the Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor. After he saw that he was projected up on the big screen, he straightened his police officer hat (he was dressed up for Halloween) and stood up straight. When his exchange with the monster was done, he quietly leans into me and says, "That was fun being me." I think every mom can appreciate how good that feels to hear your kid say that.
The magical moments were plentiful. The not-so-magical ones were, too. There are lots of pictures I took and even more that I missed. Guess that means we'll just have to go back. :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

1st grade

Landry has officially started the 1st grade. Thankfully she has declared "I love school!" That's a first for her, and has since been retracted, but at least I did hear those words come out of her mouth at some point. She has decided that school wouldn't be so bad if she could only sleep until 7am, instead of 6:30. I haven't mentioned to her that she often gets up before 7am when she doesn't have school. Why bother? She wouldn't believe me. She has officially entered the "I already know everything I need to know" zone. After all, she is 6 1/2. She has some serious life experience under her belt.
Landry's teacher is Ms. Gordon. We have heard wonderful things about her. She even had an article written about her praising her skills as an educator. Of course, this makes me smile and breathe a sigh of relief. Landry loved her Kindergarten teacher so much that I wasn't sure if she would be able to move on.
Landry had a half day on Thursday, getting out at 11am. I sent her a snack with a note saying how much we loved her and hoped her first day went great. When I picked her up, she had a huge smile on her face and said, "I got that note! And, I saw those M&M's you put in my Goldfish!" I loved it. Those are the little things I've looked forward to doing since before she was even born.
This is Landry's first time being in school for a "full" day. She gets out at 2:30, which means we eat lunch without her. Friday was her first full day, and we all felt her absence at lunch. Brian was off and we went to eat at our favorite BBQ place after we picked Nolan up at 11:45. We pulled out of the school and Nolan and Rin both became very vocal about us forgetting their sister. Nolan said, "We still need to get Landry!" Corinne was quietly reassuring herself with "Sissy's coming." When we got a table at the restaurant, I started setting it up for a party of five. It was a really strange and unenjoyable experience. When we got back in the car, Nolan said, "Can we go pick Landry up now?" I told him I would come back and get her in a little bit. He wasn't thrilled, but I think he was pretty certain that I was telling him the truth.
2:30 finally came. Landry got in the car and said "I love school!" She buckled herself in and I asked her how her first full day went. She said it was good, but "I missed my brother." Well, if you have children then you know that my heart warmed up a little with that statement. I told her how much Nolan and Corinne missed her. She walked in the door and gave Nolan a hug. They got along so well all afternoon. What's that old saying about absence?...
Overall, I think we are off to a great year. I'm baffled at what to pack for lunch everyday, but I'm sure I'll figure it out by the time Rin gets to this point. Schedules have become more packed an hectic, but for some reason I just love it. I feel the sadness of how fast time passes and how quickly children grow, but I have also seen enough loss to know that I should be immensely grateful for the fact that my children have the joy of experiencing these moments. So incredibly thankful for each breath I get to share with them. So thankful that I have a first grader. So thankful that I live in an age where technology allows me to document my feelings for my family in blogs, pictures and videos.
And while I've spent many hours pondering the fact that someone else spends more awake time with my child than I do, I have been given the gift of being aware that I need to make my precious few hours count even more. Not in teaching fundamentals of academics, but in cuddling, laughing, talking, and thanking our Creator.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Corinne is 2!!!

I'm way behind on this post, but we are officially done with the "1's" in this house. Corinne turned 2 on July 14th. She's a super-spunky, fun-loving chickadee with a major attitude. She plays rough and won't put up with anything. She can also flip a switch and be the sweetest little cuddle bug ever. Nolan likes to call her "Sweetle Bug". I agree. She has the best cheeks (and I'm talking about both sets). She likes to run around in the buff, which is the only way she will use the potty. If you put a pair of panties on her, she's going to stand there and pee in them the second the elastic hits her waist. So, I guess you would say she's partially potty-trained. Works for me because I'm happy not to have one more little one needing to use every public restroom quite yet. I don't think I would EVER get any shopping done!
We had Rin's party at the pool again this year. I couldn't think of what to put on her cake so I asked Landry what she thought. And, with a look of complete common sense on her face, she said "How about a pool?" Hmmmm.... why didn't I think of that? So I goggled some cakes and you are seeing the result. Nolan gave me direction on where to put each bear. He requested that I put him on the diving board. I did. Then he scrunched his nose up and said, "Where's my Daddy to catch me?" As you may have noticed, the little bear out at the end of the diving board is Brian. :) (Although I told him he was the bear in the black Speedo.)
Corinne is our first child to actually enjoy opening presents at the ripe old age of two. Her favorites were, well.... EVERYTHING! She got two baby dolls, two animals who move and make sounds, a backpack, and some clothes. From us she got a sleeping bag, water toys, and Nemo fruit chewies (she adores them). Landry and Nolan have enjoyed her loot as much as she has. In fact, they are pretty sure that everything she received is to be shared among them equally. Ah, the joy of siblings.
In short, I would just have to say again how very thankful I am that God gave us Corinne. She was one of the biggest surprises of my life and I can't imagine what life would be like without her. She's precious in every way and I praise God for her daily. We love you little girl!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mackey and Me

You may not know this, but I grew up with the world's greatest dog. His name was Rexanne McKenzie. The "anne" part of Rexanne was supposed to be dropped once he started lifting his leg to pee. But, you know how names go. It was just too catchy so it never really did completely go away. Rex lived to be almost 16. He was more human than K-9. He would get a disgusted looked on his face when you shooed him off of the couch. He monopolized the space in front of the fireplace on cold winter nights. If you were going to sit on the floor, then he was going to sit on your lap. Rex was free, which means he cost a LOT of money in the long run. He even had a metal plate on his hip that made us pamper him even more in the winter when he would get the shivers from being outside for only a few minutes. He was tough and very territorial. A pit-pull mix, he had every reason to not turn out to be a great dog for kids. On the contrary, he was my best friend from day one. I can't tell you how much I loved/love this dog. I still dream about him, and he died many years ago. When I went off to college, he stayed with my parents. Throughout college, I became dead-set on getting a dog. But, since apartments require lots of extra money when you have pets, and I had very little money, it was obvious that a dog would have to wait. Brian would give me stuffed animal dogs for each holiday. When I graduated from college, his gift to me was Puppy Chow. It wouldn't be long before I brought home my own puppy...
A friend of mine from college had great news! His family had an extra lab pup. He was a chocolate-yellow lab mix. We loaded up in my friend's truck with nothing other than a cardboard box and headed to Statesboro to pick up my new guy. I knew his name would be Max, but couldn't foresee that he would more frequently be called MacMac or Mackey. For some reason, I was quite convinced he would be brown. I think I had read that chocolate was dominant over yellow, or maybe I just made that up. Either way, I had pictured a fat little chocolate fur ball riding home in my lap that night. Guess what? He wasn't chocolate. He was almost WHITE! Even better, he was white with gorgeous, chocolate-lab, greenish eyes. He was the prettiest dog I have ever seen. And he was mine!
Max grew up fast and got into EVERYTHING. He was your typical puppy, but with some serious belly issues. Thank goodness he was so irresistibly cute, or he wouldn't have lived very long. He was all dog. He enjoyed being outside, he ate dog food, he rolled in cow manure, he could sniff-out a lake from miles away, you name it. He was more K-9 than human. He hated being in trouble. He loved belly-rubs and peanut butter.
Age was hard on Max. When he was about 7, he developed severe skin and food allergies. Unfortunately, we didn't know that was what it was until he was almost 11. It was heart-breaking to see him go from wanting to be pet, to being able to only pet his face without him going crazy. Brian and I watched Marley and Me and barely kept it together. The movie paralleled our lives in an incredible way, especially the fact that the couple in the movie was dealing with an aging yellow lab who was dearly loved by the family. On May 7th, I came home and had a message on my machine. Apparently, someone let our dogs out. Max was suffering from laryngeal paralysis, which made it hard for him to breathe, especially in the heat. While he was out running around, he laid down in our neighbor's yard and died. Our neighbor called and left a message with the news. Obviously, it was a terrible way for me and the kids to hear about it. Thankfully, we had some caring neighbors that brought Max back to us, wrapped up in a blanket. We got to love on him and say our goodbyes. At that moment, I was so thankful that my kids will one day say, "You may not know this, but I grew up with the world's greatest dog."

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kids Say...

I just realized I had this post sitting around waiting to be edited. So, that's why this dates back to May. There's just not enough time in the day!

When Max died, Nolan was obviously very confused. He kept coming up with things to try to make me feel better. Here are a couple of the quotes that made me smile.

"Max is just going to take a break from breathing for a while, then he's going to be alive again."

"I know! Why don't we put him by our garden so he can grow again."

Landry was quite distraught over Max's death, mainly due to my reaction of uncontrollable crying. (I think I freaked them out a little.) Landry said, "I've never seen you cry that hard before." Nolan said, "Yeah, I didn't even know adults cried. I thought it was only for kids."

Some other funny ones:

Barack Obama came on TV and Nolan said "There's our principal!"

We're sitting at Zaxby's when principal at Landry's school walks in. Landry waves and smiles. Nolan very loudly says, "That's our president!"

We were at Brian's office and I was sitting on one of the patient tables. Nolan picked up Brian's stethoscope, put it on and said "I'm going to go bless Mom's heart." Now that's a kid from the south!

September - Brian, Landry, Nolan and I were sitting on the couch having family movie time. Nolan cuddled up to me, put arm around him, picked my hand up and said, "You smell wonderful." Brian is constantly accusing Nolan of sabotaging him as far as compliments go. So, to this comment Brian looked at me, rolled his eyes, and shook his head. I think he had just been out-done by a 4-year-old. :)

I came downstairs after getting ready to go hang out with some girlfriends. Nolan said, "Do you need some lipstick... for the prettiest lady in my life?"

October 26, 2010 - Nolan decided he was going to clean the house up for me today because he "doesn't want Mom to be the only one that cleans". More importantly, "The Bible is true, and it says to help clean. It says to be helplish." Over and over again he talked about how "helplish" he was being. Landry and I looked at each other and snickered. Landry told him that the correct word was "helpful". A few minutes go by as he continues to clean. Then he walks by me and says, "Mom, aren't I being so helpfulish?" It cracked me up to see Landry shake her head and say, "Nolan, helpfulish means you are being kind of helpful, but not all the way. Uhhh." Nolan's reply? "Yep! I'm being helpfulish!"

I just read through these and I think it's pretty obvious that Nolan is the funny one in our family. Landry is going through a stage where she thinks that if people laugh at her then she did something wrong. Corinne is funny, but with her facial expressions. Nothing I can capture in writing!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nolan is 4!

I can't believe it but Nolan is 4! He is really excited about being four, mainly because I told him he could stop taking naps. Well... that didn't quite work out as planned. He has been "difficult" the past few days. So, the nap has been reinstated. Something else that has come along with being four has been an appetite. This kid ate like a bird up until a week ago. Suddenly he's cleaning his plate for at least one meal a day, sometimes two. He's actually put on a little weight and his 5 slim jeans are getting a little snug. I predict a growth spurt will come and take care of that, but it's kind of nice for now.
I just can't say enough about my only son. He's sweet, funny, smart, and inquisitive. Yesterday he said "I like your flip flops. And your face and neck are pretty." Then he just walked away like it was nothing. He had no clue that it kept me going that day. Not because my son said I was pretty, but because my son is 4 and said I was pretty. Four-year-olds don't just pass out gratuitous compliments. I knew he really meant it. In fact, he says sweet little things like that to me all of the time.
And there you have only a few of the reasons I treasure this fellow so much. I didn't even get around to mentioning his infectious smile, spastic jumping jacks, love of sprinkles, meticulous dessert eating skills, or his consistent attention and care towards our pets. Hmm, guess I'll have to get to those next time.
Happy Birthday Nolan! We love you like crazy!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I thought you would be special. . .

Dear Landry,
The moment I discovered you were "on-board", I knew you would be special. I thought it would be because you were my first experience with being pregnant. You would be our first born. When I found out we were having a girl, I thought you would be special because you were my daughter. I always dreamed I would have a daughter, but felt certain I was destined to have three boys. I thought you would be special because you would be the one who taught me how to be a mom. You would be the one who loved to go shopping with me and the one whose delicate nature would throw your father for a loop. How was I to know that those weren't the things that would make you special? How did I know that you would groan when I pulled into the mall, or Target, or the grocery store? In fact, you don't really like shopping anywhere unless you get a package of gum at the end. I would have never guessed that you would be the first one to declare a "smack-down" on your dad when he walked in from work every night. I could have never known all of the reasons I would find you so incredibly special.
Do you know how much I love your eagerness to learn? How about the way I adore your sassy side and your confidence? I never dreamed that one of the things I would love about you was the joy you found in losing a tooth and the declaration you made about how it improved your looks. I could not have known that you would love to play tackle football, but with beautifully painted fingernails.
Most importantly, I never even thought about how special I would view your compassion for people. I was berated for weeks about not thinking to bring food for the needy lady who approached us outside of McAlister's. You even packed a box of raisins for her in case we saw her the next week. Today, when I picked you up from school, I saw you holding the arm of a little boy that you claim to dislike. You got in the car and told me he ran into someone and hurt his head. You wanted to help him. Thank you for making my heart smile. I could have never known why you would be so very special.

Dear Nolan,
I knew before you were born that you would be special. You were going to be our first son. You would be the one to teach Landry how to be a great big sister. You were going to be the one to go hunting with your dad. You would be the one to play sports. I thought you would be special because you were the missing piece to what supposedly makes a "perfect" family. In fact, when I was out and about with Landry and I was pregnant with you, many strangers would ask what I was having. When I answered "boy", at least half of these people said "That's perfect!" Can you fathom that I almost believed them? I thought you would be special because you would be all of the stereotypical things that a boy is to his father. I KNEW that you would be special, but couldn't have dreamed of all of the reasons why.
Do you have any idea how much I cherish your tender spirit? The way you notice every single thing, like my haircut or that my toenails are painted? I truly admire the way that you have no hesitance in climbing in Dad's lap, and sitting there for as long as you are able. I could have never known that when I said "OUCH!" you would be the only one to say "Are you okay?" I could not have known that I would be granted the joy hearing my 3-year-old say "Wow! You look pretty. . . and tall!" when I walked down the stairs after getting ready for Daddy's Christmas party (I was wearing some REALLY high heels). And, the warmth I would feel when you told me you liked my "pretty new dress" when I put on my nightgown. Your smile kills me. It's simply infectious. Of course, some of the reasons I knew you would be special held true. You love to play sports and you love to throw-down with your dad. But I could have never known all of the reasons I would find you so special.

Dear Corinne,
Oh, how I knew you would be special. I laid awake many nights praying that God would bring us a third child. I felt in my heart that I wanted a third child, but Daddy wasn't so sure. I prayed the way that I knew I should. I prayed for God's will and that Daddy and I would be on the same page as far as this matter goes. In November 2007, we were SHOCKED to find out that you were on your way to our family. I instantly knew that you would be special because you were the baby. You were our final experience as far as newborns go. I knew you would be special because you would be tender and meek. You would need to be protected by your older sister and brother. I was going to spend every waking moment documenting your progress. You were going to be special because you were coming to a mom and dad who had lots of experience. HAHAHAHA!!!
I truly could have never known that you would be special because of the way that you can put Landry and Nolan in their place. How could I have known that you would take on this little adorable attitude? Could I have predicted that you would grab me by both cheeks when you wanted my attention? I surely didn't know that I would be so busy chasing you around and keeping you from falling out of chairs that I barely had time to record you milestones in my journal.
What makes you special to me is that you give incredible hugs, and sometimes, if you feel like it, sweet little kisses. You are so special because you can love a stuffed bear with all of your might, which makes me excited to see how your love will develop for people. The way you squint your eyes (and smile) at the supper table when you get a bite of something. I never knew that your independent will would make you special to me. In fact, I thought the opposite. I thought I would peel you off of me when I dropped you off at church. Nope. You wave good-bye. I envisioned just how special you would be, but I could have never imagined all of the things I didn't think of.

To my children,
As your mother, the only great advice I have for you so far is this: Never decide why someone is special. Instead, let them show you.
I love you all so very much.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Landry's 6th Birthday Party

Ok, this event happened over a month ago, but better late than never! Landry had her party at Snip-Its. It's a small kids salon that does birthday parties on the side. The kids get their hair and make-up done, fingernails painted, and get to dress-up. The room for the party was WAY too small, but the kids didn't seem to mind. And, while we were there, we decided to get Corinne's hair cut for the first time. She had a bit of a mullet going on. That's not cute. . . even on a sweet little angel like my Rinney Pie. Since that haircut, her hair hasn't grown a single millimeter. She got that trait from me. It keeps the bills low for going to the hairdresser, but makes it very hard to change hairstyles. For now, I'll just be thankful we have hair, especially Brian. :) Back to the party. . . Here are a few pictures. Landry picked the oldest, most run-down dress-up costume they had. Sometimes I just don't get that girl. She had a great time. Nolan was drawn to a hippie costume. This drew TONS of jokes, most of which came from his dad, and most of which weren't appropriate for young-ones. But, they were pretty funny.
Most importantly, we got to celebrate another year with our big girl. She is changing so much and growing into a young lady. She is definitely out of the "little" girl stage. She talks a lot about wanting to grow up, what she's going to do when she gets older, and most of all, wanting to be famous. I think my next step is to show her some before and after pics of some child stars. Of course, then I would have to explain what a mug shot is. Not quite ready for that!

Thank you, God, for Landry.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Corinne is 18 months!

Okay, so I'm a little behind with the post. I have all kinds of posts in my head, just no time to put fingers to keyboard. To photo on the right is a picture of Rin on her 18-month birthday. She is a feisty little bundle of sweetness. She gives big hugs and has a ridiculously infectious giggle. She is adored. She amazes me with her speech. She even calmed my fear that she wouldn't be able to pronounce her own name. She pointed to her picture and said "Corinne." The other day we were in the car and she said "Corinne. . . pie." It was my smile for the day, because I always call her that. In all of the chaos, at least there's still one person in this house that listens to me.

The photo on the left is a typical picture of Corinne in the morning. She goes around collecting the pjs Landry and Nolan shed. She then puts them on herself, making sure that at least one of the articles of clothing doubles as a hat. Then, of course, she has to put on Brian's shoes, trying over and over again to walk in them. So far, she' been unsuccessful. I guess size 5T feet just don't fit very well in size 13 shoes. Her determination is quite admirable, though.

Thank you, God, for this sweet little girl. Her sweet chubby cheeks, scrinched-nose grin, and warm cozy cuddles make me one happy mom.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Landry is 6!!!

Middle picture: last day as a five-year-old. Right picture: Holding her favorite gift - mascara. :)

I just can't believe I have a six-year-old! Things have really changed this past year. I have been a little shocked about the transition from being five to being six. I think a lot of it may have to do with starting "big school". Landry is much more likely to dress -up in a real dress than she is a costume. She's a little tired of the Disney princesses, and she has started to really enjoy TV. Her sole focus right now is on losing her first tooth. Six days ago, she finally convinced me to try to wiggle it and. . . it was LOOSE! It totally took me by surprise. She's been saying she has a loose tooth for about 6 months. Of course, she'll be wiggling a molar or an eye-tooth, so I pretty much figured that she was imagining things. But, when she started wiggling the two bottom teeth, her eyes got HUGE! She turned around from the mirror and said "It really moved!" I started to think she might actually have a winner this time. So, needless to say, I wake-up to the same question every morning - "How long will it be until my tooth falls out?"
In the way of birthday gifts, Landry received something I have found quite addictive. I don't know why I never played with these when I was younger. What could it be? Are you curious? Is it something really complicated and expensive? NO! It's Shrinky Dinks! I just can't get enough of those things going from a big, dull, thin piece of plastic, to a small, bright, shiny, thick piece of "glass". I've enjoyed my oven more for making Shrinky Dinks than I have for making casseroles. Hmmmm. . . if only they were edible.
She also got a globe. It kind of shocked me when she opened it and said "Oh, yes! I'm going to find the boot, Italy!" She hasn't said one word about Italy until that moment. I was quite relieved that her first desire wasn't to find China. She told me last month that she wants to move there when she's an adult. She said she wants to have different people and a different government. I really don't know where she gets all of these thoughts. I spent a lot of time telling her that we already live in the best country on earth. I can't tell her a lot of the reasons why, because I want her to maintain the innocence of a child for as long as possible. But, I also want to make sure that she is constantly aware of the blessing of living in America.
Her big gift from us was a birthday party. She had it at a kids hair salon. It was way too small of a room, but she had a great time. And, Corinne got her first haircut! (That's the next post to come.)
So, another year has passed. Another year of parenting experience under my belt. Another year of on-the-job training coming my way. Thank you, God, for my first-born.

A Word About my Background. . .

If it looks like spring threw-up on my blog, that's because I'm dreaming of warmer temps, flowers, warmer temps, leaves on the trees, warmer temps. . .