Wednesday, August 31, 2011

VERY very bad week here.

Not only do we still not have power or water (since Sunday at 5am) but the WORST of all...our best friends, Todd and Mindy's, house burnt down late Monday night/Tuesday morning at 2:00am.

Thank GOD they got out with their three children (Christina-9, Anthony- 2 1/2 and TJ- 1 1/2. Anthony is Hunter's best little friend) unharmed.  But my heart is oh-so-heavy for their loss.



It's not just the material loss they suffered (since the house is completely gone and unsalvagable) but even more devastating, is that their 3 sweet dogs and 1 of their 2 cats were killed in the blaze. My heart breaks for them.

The blaze started from candles becuz like us, they don't have any power due to Irene, and must have fallen asleep with a candle going. Todd said they woke up to fire alarms going off, and the foot of their bed ablaze with a small fire going. He screamed at Mindy to go get the fire extinguisher in the kitchen while he tried to put it out but by the time she got back (seconds!) it had spread too much.  He told her to get the kids, they had to get out.

The poor labs, all three of them, were trapped on the other side of the fire, in the master bedroom bathroom, barking and crying. I well up every time I think of that and my stomach twists in knots.  These dogs were THE BEST and so sweet with everyone, the kids. So lovable. One of their neighbors tried very hard to get to them, crawling in on his belly, but he said the fire and smoke was too much and he couldn't get through...and by that point he was afraid the dogs had probably succumbed to smoke inhalation.  On his way back out, he found one of the kitties on the floor, unresponsive. He carried him outside, giving him mouth-to-snout. I'm happy to say, that kitty went to the vet and he is going to (physically) be ok.

It's hard on all of them but the 9 year old is taking it extremely hard since she is old enough to understand. Yesterday night when we saw them, she was so sad and I overheard her whisper to her mom, "I just wanna go home. I want my dogs back."

My heart is breaking for our friends...they are FAMILY to us. Daryl and Todd are like brothers. When I think of how close we could have come to losing them, I just want to throw up. I'm so, so thankful they are still here with us and when I hugged them yesterday, I didn't want to let go! :-(  Life is so precious.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Okay, all this talk about Hurricane Irene has got everyone in an uproar. Friends are posting on FB with pictures of grocery store shelves that are BARREN of milk, bread, batteries etc.

Really?

Is it bad, that I really could care less? I'm not worried, not freaking out, not stocking up on supplies. I'm more annoyed that there is the chance I could lose power and not be able to watch movies. I LOVE nestling up on the couch with some good movies on tv, when it's raining/thundering/storming outside.

I remember bits and pieces of Hurricane Gloria back in '85. I was nine years old and for the most part, I found it all kind of exciting. At one point, I remember, when the winds got reeeeeeeeeeally crazy, I went into our finished basement with my dog, a Shepherd mix named Frisky, who was PETRIFIED of bad weather. If a thunderstorm was coming (and had not even arrived yet) you'd find poor Frisky huddled in a trembling pile of dog in the basement. So down I went, more so I think to keep her company, and watched a little bit of  "Pete's Dragon" (LOVED that corny movie as a child!) while riding out the storm.

My father, when he was alive, was a lineman and when ANY type of storms happened, my Dad would be gone for sometimes hours, sometimes DAYS, based on the intensity of the storms and how many people were without power.  I remember, he'd come home SO exhausted and eat a home cooked meal and sleep for a long time to catch up on some much missed ZZZzzzz's.

So, if anything, this impending Hurricanes Irene is actually making me quite nostalgic.  Is that crazy? I'm thinking of how, when they're big enough, I'll tell my kids "You guys got to experience your first hurricane as babies. And only the SECOND hurricane Mommy has ever been through!"  I guess I'm a nut!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dear Avery,

Today you are FIVE MONTHS OLD.  I really don't understand how this could be...weren't you JUST BORN, my sweet girl?


You are such a mover and a shaker, Avery.  When Mommy places you in the center of a blanket you are immediately off and rolling away. You turn yourself all around on the blanket so that you can get a full view of everyone around you! You are a nosey baby. :-)  You are very interested in musical and/or light-up toys, and I've even caught you grabbing at some of your brother's toys.  You also had a couple firsts this month regarding toys...your first time in the Johnny Jump Up and the exersaucer. You're still a tad too small for the JJU but the exersacuer was perfect! And you look so big and grown-up in it.  Of course, Hunter also thinks it's very exciting so he climbs in it often, but you are such a good girl, you are willing to share.


You are still a breast fed baby and now for the past couple weeks or so, you absolutely REFUSE to take a bottle.  This makes Mommy a little bit crazy.  I went out to a friend's house for the first time since you were born and poor Daddy had a heck of a time...you screamed and cried and fought as he tried to give you a bottle (you won't take one from your Nana either when she is babysitting you while Mommy is at work).  Mommy's boss even let me bring you to work the other day cuz I had been telling her how crazy you've been for your Nana.  You were a good (if needy!) girl.  Mommy also introduced you to rice cereal for the first time last week and it was a hit!

You LOVE eating off the spoon and get so excited that you start shrieking and squealing.  And yesterday you had your first offical baby food, sweet potatoes! You chowed it right down. Despite your look in the picture, you really did enjoy it.


You want to be held almost ALL the time.  This does make it hard for anything else to get down around the house!  But cuddling with you and brother defintely trumps out laundry or dishes anyday.  You love to be kissed, Avery, and you are super ticklish. Your most ticklish spots are your arm pits, your chunky thighs and under your chin/neck...I love to hear the endless peals of giggles you let loose with!

We had gotten a good routine going for putting you down to nap/night time in your crib and Mommy was able to lay you down drowsy, with a musical mobile going, and you'd go to sleep on your own. Now? You seem to have reverted and I'm forced to nurse you to sleep most of the time before laying you down. Otherwise you cry and cry and it breaks my heart!  You and Hunter share a bedroom so I'm much quicker to run in and check on you when you squawk (than I was when Hunter was a baby)...becuz I don't want you to wake up your brother!

You found your feet at the beginning of this month and haven't let go yet! Your favorite position to be in now is on your back, piggy toes up in teh air and clutched in your little hands.




Daddy and Mommy brought you to the pediatrician (with Hunter for his 2 year appointment) when you were a week shy of five months. You now weigh 16 pounds--give or take--and you are 25 inches long! My big girl, in the 75%! The pediatrican said you are long for your age! So was your brother, so I'm sure you'll take after him in that respect!  You had a bad case of cradle cap that just rubbing on baby oil wasn't enough, so your Nana worked on your head a few times, gently with a fine tooth comb, and now your head is almost back to normal! You lost some hair from the cradle cap so Mommy is hoping it starts to grow back soon. I loved how beautiful and dark your hair was at birth!
As always, Aves (Daddy started calling you this and it's stuck!), we feel so lucky to have you. You complete our family in a way I never thought possible. I love your sweet smile and your endlessly happy laughter and I like to you call you my "happy girl". You are OUR happy girl!
Love you always and forever,
Mommy, Daddy and Hunter

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Dear Hunter,

Today you are TWO YEARS OLD.

Never in my wildest dreams, while I was pregnant with you, did I realize what an amazing little boy you'd turn out to be.

 Hilarious (we call you "the Clown" or "Goofball" sometimes...and you've inherited that from both of your parents), stubborn (DEFINITELY from your Dad) , handsome, inquisitive, determined, a daredevil.  The boy with the 1,000 watt smile.  That smile will melt girls hearts someday, but for now, the only girl I wanna know it's melting is your MOMMY.    You are also a HUGE Daddy's Boy. Words can not describe the pure joy in your father's eyes when you run to him for a big hug and a kiss, when he gets home. And when he leaves for work and hears you crying and calling out "Daddy!" it just about breaks his heart.

You are talking so much now, buddy, and your enunciation gets clearer and clearer every day.  You make your Daddy and Mommy crack up so hard with some of your favorite words: "Niiiiiiiice!" and "Coooooo-eeeee" (for coffee).

You are just starting to show an interest in the alphabet and colors and you quite the parrot, imitating what we say, "1-2-3!"  You now try to put your own clothes on (and sometime succeed with your pants, but other times you have a shirt on your leg) and know how to take off and put on your velcro sandals. If we ask you to put your toys away, most of the time you gladly oblige (Thanks, Nana!).  When you are hungry, no matter what time of day it is, you ask for "din-din" (Mommy often times says that instead of dinner and i guess it stuck). 

Hunter, you are such a sweet-natured boy and always want to please! When Mommy is cleaning, you are quick to help in anyway you can: pushing your stool over to the washing machine so that you can put dirty clothes in with me, dragging out the mop when you see me sweeping or vacuuming the floor.  You love to help us cook/bake so often times, we let you have your own bowl and spoon to mix.

I didn't realize it was possible, Hunter, to love you EVEN MORE but when your baby sister was born that is EXACTLY what happened. You turned into this beautifully nurturing and loving brother who hates to hear Avery cry (you get upset and frantically tell me "Cry! Baby cry!" when you hear her crying) and you are always quick to share kisses on her cheeks/forehead/hand/foot.  You copy like you've seen Mommy do, and grab Avery's foot and sniff it then immediately pull back and exclaim "Pee-uuu! Stinky!" 

You've become a little fish, a boy who LOVES the water. This both pleases and worries Mommy! I'm so glad that you enjoy swimming like your parents do, however, your lack of fear scares the heck out of us sometimes! When we are holding you in the lake, you just want to leap out of our arms, like you think you can float/swim away no problem. This month we had your first EVER trip to the beach and it was enjoyed immensely. I could barely drag you away from the sand and surf, after your first initial nervousness at the small waves crashing in.



Hunter, you are SUCH the boy's boy.

You love trucks, cars, trains (no matter what we see when we're on the road driving, or any loud noise we hear, you excitedly call out "Train! Train!"). Your favorite place to be is rolling around in the dirt, picking up clumps of grass, sticks, or whatever you can get your hands on.  For your birthday, one of the gifts Mommy and Daddy got you is a very cool water table and I can't wait to see you messing around in the water and sand! You'll be in your glories!

Oh, bubba, I feel like simple words could never convey the depths of my feelings for you. I literally ACHE when you are sad, I am over the moon happy when you smile and I LOVE you more and more and more every single minute of every single day.  You mean more than we can ever say, little man. 
We love you forever and always,
Daddy, Mommy and Avery

Monday, August 01, 2011

Lots going on lately for us in the C-household!


Currently planning Hunter's 2nd birthday party (he turns two THIS THURSDAY...my big boy will be TWO. I still can't wrap my brain around that!) and it's been fun. He loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so that's our theme. I got Mickey ears for the kids to wear and I'm lots of little Mickey Mouse touches. :-) I know Hunter will love it! We're doing pizza and people can swim in the lake. Of course this morning the weatherman put the week's potential weather up and it hlowed rain and thunderstorms for this Saturday....GRRRRR. So fingers crossed he is WRONG.

Avery is getting so big and active. She is a rolling machine! She's even attempting to crawl...sticking her little booty way up and underneath her and then trying to scootch along. It's so cute. She's definitely teething but waaaaaaaaaay easier to deal with than her brother was while teething. Heh. That being said, though, I often times can't put her down! Makes it a tad hard to get anything done which is why our house is a total pigsty!

Well, it has been an experience having Daryl's grandma staying here this summer! (She stays for like 2-3 weeks then goes home for about 3-4 nights to just check her mail and keep her house in order) Some days it's VERY trying and annoys the crap out of me. Other times, like when Hunter leaps onto her lap on the couch and throws his arms around her for a big hug and a kiss? It's priceless. He's grown MUCH closer to his Great-Grandma than he previously was, and it is very sweet to see. I know it makes Daryl so happy! And let me tell you, my dog, Tucker, LOVES Grandma. She feeds him every night. She is home with him all day when we're at work and he gets to sit outside in the sun with her or hop in the lake for a quick dip...he is sad when his buddy goes home!

I'm DESPERATE for some ME-time.  I seriously have to work it in somewhere (and not feel guilty about leaving hubby home with the two kids...WHY? I have no idea why i feel like that...I handle the two of them on my own all the time so I shouldn't feel bad!). Saturday I was feeling very stressed and so I left the three of them at home and just went to the grocery store to get a couple things. Granted, the store is only about 5 minutes down the road, but I cranked the tunes, opened all the windows and sunroof, and jammed out the way there! I would have taken my sweet time in the store, too, but wouldn't you know it, I suddenly had to go to the bathroom VERY bad and had to leave. Argh! But my 20 minutes to myself was definitely appreciated!

Big D is doing good. He has been taking all his meds (which is something, cuz for a while he wasn't taking ANY thing and we were eating really bad, so he started feeling crappy again) and feeling pretty decent. And he's lookin' good too...heh heh...he lost some weight and the other day he had on a new red shirt and camo swim shorts and I was like, "DAMN, my husband looks hot!" ;-) Now, if only April can get back to "hot"....*SIGH*  The weight loss is slow and steady, which is okay, but my body is all weird after two kids and the fat just sits very differently. I STILL can't really fit into some of my pants, even though I weigh a pound or two less than my pre-pregnancy weight. Crazy. And when I attempted to try some clothes on the other day, it WASN'T pretty.

My little Tigger,and his Daddy, last Halloween 2010!
I'm a nut...I'm ALREADY thinking about Halloween. ;-) It's one of my favorite holidays and I'm super excited that Hunter will be big enough to appreciate it this year (last year he was veeeery tired and it was freezing, and I think he wasn't sure what to make of it). I'm trying to think what I want to dress the kids up as this year. Any ideas? I also am contemplating having a Halloween party. I'm a social girl and i LOVE having people over and entertaining. But back when we lived in the "ghetto", our house was way too small so we could only have small groups of people over at a time. Now? I can actually throw a party and FIT more than four people in the house. So, I'm torn between doing a kid party OR a party just for us adults. I'm leaning more towards an adult party, cuz I'm sure as the kids get bigger there will be plenty of time for all their parties! Plus I'd love to really get all crazy with spooky decorations and food. Heh heh. Can you tell I'm ready for Fall? Don't get me wrong, this summer has been fabulous, but Autumn is my most favorite season and I'm so excited that it's so close! I'm ready to put the a/c units away for the season!!!!!!!!!!!!