Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Car Seat Caper

Many of you may or may not know the original car seat story. About a year ago, I was driving Emma Kate around in Birmingham. We were headed down I-65 at my normal rate of speed when I heard EK laughing. I looked in my rear view and I saw Emma Katherine Thomas STANDING in her car seat, facing out of the back of our 4runner and waving at the cars behind us. Lovely.

I quickly exited at the Valleydale exit, which is still quite far from our home (then). I pullover and (spank) Emma Kate. I was shaking; she was laughing. (Keep in mind that she is just over one at this time--visions of the next 18 years are flashing in my head at a rate of speed faster than I was driving).
She had unbuckled the chest part of her car seat and then she squirmed her way to a standing position. I sat her back down and buckled her back in. I decided to travel down Hwy 31 the rest of the way.
About 8 minutes into our drive down 31, I hear her squirming and turn around just as she is standing up again. She is loving this "game" we are playing. I am not loving this "game" we are playing.

We repeat the spanking, the sitting and the re-buckling. And we're off.

I make it all they way to the Big Lots in Alabaster when she has popped up again. I realize that this isn't working. I have to run the risk of the po-po passing by me and my child in standing in the window--waving and laughing. Now I have visions of the DHR workers that I work with on a daily basis showing up at my house and the cops that I work with in Alabaster writing me a ticket.
I try one more time with stern words and mean faces. I RE-BUCKLE the child one more time. We get to Shelby Medical in Alabaster and she is back up. I pull over AGAIN. I find some packing tape (since it is December and I have been shipping packages all over the country).
I then tape my child to her car seat. Stop laughing; what else could I do?? I taped each leg (she had long pants on) to the car seat. I wrap tape around the chest buckle. I am now thinking I have out-smarted the one-year-old.
As we drove down 119, I hear whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip, whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip, whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip. And she's up. She has untangled all of the tape. Man she is fast. We are now in front of the elementary school---3 miles from home. I say a quick prayer and just drive......carefully.
We did make it home, safe and sound.
That night Mikey T decided we were heading straight to Target and we got this..........The lazyboy of carseats, the Britax Marathon..........

The Marathon has been a life-saver, literally. She has stayed in it for a year. No attempts to play parade-float-princess and wave at the folks behind us.

That is, until today. I am taking her to school and I hear her window roll down??? How can she reach that AND thank GOD the child-lock was on because she was after the door handle too.

Seems Super-human has figured out the Marathon.........

BUSTED. At least she stayed seated and seemed to have no desire to stand. She just wanted to play with the windows (which are now also child locked). She UN LATCHED the main latch. (and she took her shoe off) Yes, she is strong enough to push the button. This is new. In the past she just did the chest latch. Now it is both of them..........any suggestions??

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My name is Amy and I am an Addict.

I have started on Emma Kate's Holiday Collection. She may have an outfit for each day between now and New Year. It is out of control.

This is just two of many...........Thankfully, I am now taking more orders and I have two holiday shows coming up so I can feed my habit. I may soon need an intervention. Sippy...yes.

My child loves her sippy cups. Not one in particular, just in general. It usually doesn't matter what is in them, as long as it is not milk. She is not a big fan of milk. If she doesn't have a sippy, she'll take a cup (which she has gotten pretty good at drinking out of) or even a water bottle.

So, every night when she goes to bed, she wants her sippy. We put some water in her sippy for her, and that is what she sleeps with. She doesn't have a "blankie" or "luvie" or even a favorite stuffed animal. She has her sippy.

This is her at the beach this summer in her pack and play. Forget Minnie Mouse......I have my water bottle. Night Night.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Once we recovered from the Van Gogh incident, our weekend continued with a super fun playdate on Sunday afternoon. We met Ella Grace and Mary Mckinnon (can you tell we are from the south---all these double names!!!) at Hickory Dickory.
Emma Kate and Mary Mckinnon spent the afternoon trying to steal everyone else's toys. **Note to self: Bring toys to the playground in the future.
You would have thought the playground itself was enough fun, but I guess not.
Super-human Emma Kate decided to try a FULL ON pull-up on the monkey bars and was successful. Seriously, I knew at 4 months when it took 2 nurses, an Xray tech and "Amy" to pull her arms over her head for a chest Xray, that we were in fro some trouble. But the child has abnormal arm strength. It is scary.
Anyway, here are some pics from all that fun....

This child has no fear..."Mo Amy, Mo!"

Giving MM some love. They hugged so hard they fell down and knocked over that poor little girl in the blue shirt.

Chatting with our new firend Ella Grace.

Sweet Ella Grace posed perfectly. Mary McKinnon kept her eyes on her momma. Emma Kate let everyone know that a "pane" was flying overhead. She's kind of obsessed with planes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Van Gogh to Your Room!

Emma Kate was in rare form this weekend. She stayed at home on Friday because I worked from home and Mike was there, too. She did not nap on Friday. She did not sleep well Friday night. She did not nap during our first attempt on Saturday. My friend Allyson came over to sew, and Mike played outside with Emma Kate the entire time. Emma Kate took the Zebra and rode him all over the neighborhood. Down to Ma-Ma's and back up the street. She was pooped. Or so we thought.

We put her in bed and thought she would be out in a minute. We heard her in her room--first crying, then talking and eventually even laughing. Mike said,"Maybe I should just go in there." But I, having read way too many parenting books, magazines and blogs said, "No! If she knows that crying will get her out of a nap, she will never go down again. This is a lesson. I don't care if she stays awake for two hours in her room, she is staying in there. There is nothing in there that she can get in to."
If you are a parent, don't ever say those words. After about 45 minutes of hearing her talking in her room, I finally thought we should peek in--you know, just to check.
TIME-OUT: If you know EK, you know that she is very innovative. She has been opening the front door since she was 10 months old. She scaled baby gates since she was 8 months old. The day she learned to crawl, at 5.5 months, she learned to go up and down stairs. So I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. There, I said it so you don't have to. TIME-IN.
As I walked in, this is what greeted me......

On the walls, on the doors, on the carpet, on the bedspread, pillows and bedskirt. Everywhere.

The child had "pain" or "daw" (as she says) on her pants, her toes and EVERY book and stuffed animal in her room.

Now, before you yell at me, there were not markers lying around. They were in a closed closet (which we didn't know she could open) on a shelf (which we didn't know she could reach) in a bag (which we didn't think she would be interested in).

Well, she can open the door, she can reach the shelf (when standing on her giant frog chair which she had pushed over to the closet) and she DOES care about the bag.

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning my child and her room. My mom scrubbed her down with alcohol. I am usually the disciplinarian, but even Mikey T got in on the action. Emma Kate has never seen him that mad. She didn't know what to do! He is usually such a push over and she knows it. But this time, not even those big blue eyes or that pouty lip could undo the damage.

She had to help me clean and all afternoon she kept tearing up and saying "dowwy" which is her version of "sorry."

So, when she didn't nap again on Sunday, we didn't fight it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Name is.....

This is just a short update to let everyone know that I was officially "mommy" for exactly two weeks. Emma Kate, out of the blue, finally started calling me mommy. It was so nice to hear that sweet little voice say "Tank u mommy."

HOWEVER---for some reason, I sneezed and I became Amy again. No really....I sneezed and Emma Kate turned to me and said..."Bess u amy."

I must give her school the credit for this one, becuase I was unaware she knew to say "Bless You."

Nonetheless, I guess "Mommys" don't sneeze, becuase since that moment, I have been Amy.

I tried to fake sneeze thinking maybe Mommy would come back, but so far it has not worked. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Grand Ole Pumpkin Patch & The Break-In

We went "home" to Alabaster this weekend to see MeMe and Hoppy and I was checking out mom's house which is about to be put on the market.

Saturday my cousins (also known as my work-horses) met me at mom's old house to finish painting the kitchen and what-not. The house is fairly empty, but in August my older brother and I had put the last of stuff in boxes and bagged up a ton of clothing for charity and trash for the dump.

When me and the cousins walked in the house on Saturday, it had been ransacked. It was unbelievable. Every bag and box had been ripped open, dumped in the middle of the room and sifted through. They also left behind some of their own goodies, including adult-entertainment magazines and other unmentionalbles.

CSI Alabaster showed up and took a bunch of pictures, dusted a bunch of things for fingerprints and "claimed" DNA samples from the unmentionables. They were very serious and did not enjoy any CSI jokes.

It was over-dramatic and laughable once you got past the pitifulness of it all.


Sunday was a much better day. We took Emma Kate to the Grand Ole Pumpkin patch in Clanton on our way back. MeMe and the beloved Hoppy followed us. Emma Kate was not excited that we had to take separate cars because she did not want to be separated from her MeMe and Hoppy.

This is her at the same place last year.....

And this year....

I cannot believe how big she has gotten!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

So glad it is Friday!

Wow, what a week.

  • There was a mini-crisis at work that could have cost us 2 months of work and $500,000.00, but we dodged that bullet.

  • Emma Kate got sent home from school yesterday with "uncontainable diaper issues." Supposedly, 5 kids in her class had the same issues. Emma Kate was sent home and told not to return until Monday. So, Mikey T went to school to pick her up. I am now suspicious becuase Emma Kate did not have another "diaper issue" all night and the kid was NOT sick. Quite contrary. Maybe they just wanted to get rid of all the kids for a long weekend? Will investigate further.

  • I have been on a sewing kick. I have made Emma Kate three halloween outfits. Not costumes--just outfits. Here is the first---my least fav. I also made her "fire safety" pants for last week's firetruck visit at school:

  • The others I have made are all about halloween: One is for the pumpkin patch this weekend and one is for her school carnival at the end of the month. I will post those as she wears them.

  • We are visiting the In-laws this weekend. Emma Kate is uber-excited. Next to Daddy, Hoppy is her favorite person on this earth. And sometimes, if candy is involved, he even beats Daddy.

  • I keep forgetting to post the video of Emma Kate learning to jump. She tried for days to get both feet of the ground at the same time. She was finally successful at the art museum.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Top Ten Things I Learned This Weekend....

Just a few things....

10. I love living in the Auburn/Opelika area. I knew this already. But I remember when going to an Auburn game was a well-planned, harldy ever well-executed, event that started Friday after work and did not end until I got home late Sunday night.
Well, Saturday, woke up, cleaned house and I decided about 1:30 that I was indeed going to the game, so Mike drove me to campus and I hopped out with only my bag on my shoulder (although, it was full of hotdogs and buns for the tailgate) and made it to the tent in time for Barry's brilliant songs.

9. I think I may be attempting to make a love match with a certain high school classmate/ relative of sorts and a dear friend. Stay tuned.

8. My family is hilarious. OK, I already knew this, but really all of them could make a living at comedy. Hilarious. I love Auburn football, not only because it is Auburn football, but because that means I get to spend a lot of time with my family. And laugh....a lot. Emma Kate fits right in.

7. I miss my nephews terribly. They were here for a short visit. Emma Kate worships them and cannot stop talking about them. I want them to move here. Stay tuned.

6. I beleive in Auburn and love it, but Saturday was painful. I have a pending root canal that I may schedule for November 15th because it will be less painful than watching the Georgia game.

5. My dog is the most patient dog of all time. Emma Kate rides her. She smothers her. She loves on her constantly. And sweet Lucy just sits there and licks her. It is amaazing.

4. My grandmother is a 76 year old woman who can still hold her own with 5 kids in a backyard. Unbelievable. I guess that is what having twin boys in the 50's (before pampers and with no washing machine or car) will do to a woman.

3. My mom loves me. OK, I knew this one too, but she is the only one willing to wait with me in the stadium, after a hideous loss to Arkansas, so that I can sing the Alama Mater with the band. I know, I am a dork, but my momma loves me.

2. Emma Kate makes me laugh out loud at least 10 times a day. Not a chuckle, but a belly laugh. She is one of the funniest kids I know. But then, so are my nephews. REfer to # 8.

And number one.............My husband is the best daddy in the world. No, really. I am very educated on how bad a dad can be. My husband is the opposite. I do not know anyone who can go through what he has gone through lately. Mike is the exact opposite of my own father and I should thank him for that every day. I knew when I married him that he was a good daddy, but he has amazed me lately. Emma Kate and Ashley are lucky to be able to call him "daddy" and I am lucky to be able to call him my husband.

Uncle Barry

If you know my uncle Barry, you love him. He one of the funniest humans on the planet. Even if you don't agree with him politically ( I don't) he'll make you question your own views. And if you don't agree with his choice of college team (I do), I am sorry.
Unlce Barry can sing. None of us really knew this until suddenly a few years ago, he started a band. Although the band has, well, de-banded, Barry will still fire up his guitar and sound equipment for the right cause. And this year, that cause has been Auburn football.
Every week at the tail-gate, Bar performs a song for the crowd about that week's game. They are hilarious. If you have time and you are anywhere near Jordan-Hare on a Saturday, swing by the tailgate and hear the latest tune.
Make sure you go the bathroom before you come, because you will pee your pants from laughter if you don't.
Barry also makes signs. Usually his signs are anti-other-team and quite funny. This week was more "focused" on the current situation on the plain. (Yes, it is plain, singular. Pet peeve, will discuss later).
Finally, Barry loves Emma Kate. Emma Kate is scared of Barry. Barry and fam come to Auburn almost every weekend. And Barry spends the first four hours of his visit beggin Emma Kate to come see him. Emma Kate just stares at him. She watches his every move, like a cat stalking its prey. If Barry moves, Emma Kate moves an equal distance away. Usually after about 4 hours of begging and bribing, Emma Kate will not squeal if Barry picks her up. And on really good days, she may even walk outside with him. But she never lets her guard down, you know, just in case.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Down on the Farm

My in-laws live in a nice neighborhood in Alabaster. They have for several years. Mikey T spent his Junior High and High School years there. The in-laws used to really like their neighborhood. A few years ago they got some new neighbors. The neighbors had a van. They parked the van in the back yard until weeds grew up over the van. Sheriff came; van was removed. The neighbors have several young kids who like to run around without clothing in the summer time. The neighbors had several dogs. Those dogs had more dogs. The dogs jumped the fence and got out. The neighbors put up chicken wire on top of the chain link fence, to keep the dogs in. It was an unsuccessful attempt and the dogs got out anyway.
So, one weekend, my father-in-law thought he heard something strange. Chickens. The neighbors now have one hen and one rooster on the back porch.
Now, there is nothing wrong with a little agriculture. But this is not an agriculture-zone area. This is a subdivision with manicured lots and a swimming pool. And now, chickens.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Names are fun!

So, we have had a lot of fun with names this week. For starters, I am still "Amy."
Emma Kate cannot say her "g" sound. That has caused a problem for my mother-in-law, AKA, Grandma and my grand-mother, AKA "Gram."
However, creative Emma Kate as solved that problem. She has renamed Grandma and Gram.
Emma Kate tried several names for Grandma. One day she called her "Ban." One day she called her "Kitty." She has settled on "MiMi." We don't know why or how she decided, but Grandma is now "MiMi."
Gram on the other hand did not do so well. After trying out several names (note: she comes up with these substitute name ALL on her own. We just sit back and enjoy.) she has decided her Gram will now be known as "BEAN." Yep, as in Lima, Baked or Green. Now, Gram has had several names. To me, she was always Grandmommy. While in kindergarten, my cousin Chase declared he would call her Grandmother. My other cousin Paige, calls her Gram. Others who know her and love her in our rather large family, and those who she has come to know and love as family all over the world call her Great-Great, Char, Charlotte, Grandma Charlotte, Char Char, and Mrs. Thompson. But leave it to Emma Kate to name her BEAN.
Emma Kate also has a new nick name. Every day when she walks in her classroom at school, the kids all yell her name. Well , their version of her name. Emma Kate is known to her fellow classmates as "ELMO!" I guess they heard her name and just likened it to their favorite character of all time.
I cannot wait until Thanksgiving. Maybe we can get Elmo, Bean and MiMi all together!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ashley Fay

Look at these pictures from one of Ashley's competitions this summer. Wow.