Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sew Mama, Sew!

My friends and I have been on a sewing kick latley. My co-worker/friend Betty and I are busy trying new patterns and trying a gazillion new appliques. My friends Alica & Allyson are busy making clothes for our daughters--all similar in age. I have it down to about one outfit or dress for Emma Kate a night.

It is so relaxing to sew for Emma Kate. She has an area in the garage where she plays with all of her toys and I sit and work on sewing on the other side. Every now and then she will bring over some piece of clothing that she has taken off her body and says,

"Here mommy, make this!"

It is really cute. So I take whatever it is from her hand, act like I am sewing on it and hand it back to her. Her response:

"ooooh pwetty mommy. put it on emmatate."

I love it.

Here is what she wore today....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This place....


...is amazing. This is The Growing Room, Auburn, Al. See, when we found out we were moving to Auburn, the first thing I did was email my friend Allyson. She was in Auburn and I needed to pick her brain on everything Auburn. Doctors, dentists, churches, DAYCARE. She emailed me back and told me all about her pediatrician's office (now ours too) and some daycare options. Her child, featured here before (sweet Mary Mckinnon---or Miny Kinin as EK calls her) goes to University Daycare, but Allyson told me to check out the new daycare that had just openend--The Growing Room.

I came to mom's one weekend and we checked it out. From the moment I walked in the door, I was sold. This place is AMAZAING. Emma Kate had not been to daycare, but I was starting back to FULL TIME work and she was going to have to be with someone other than me for at least 8 hours a day. This was terrifying and exciting all at once. See, I am a great mom and I love LOVE--in love--with my sweet daughter. But I am not a good STAY-AT-HOME-MOM. I need to work to remain sain and I am a better mother when I am sain. I am jealous of those moms who are good SAHMs. I wish I was. But, I learned, I am not. And I am okay with that.

So---EK was going to school. I was terrified because you read all the horror stories of abuse and neglect and I was scared that my child would be influenced by someone outside of my immediate circle.

We have been at the Growing Room since August 1, 2008. Emma Kate has learned so much. Before she was 2 she knew her ABC's, recognizes her written name, identifies letters, can count to 10, knows all her colors and shapes. They just impress me with what they are able to do with 16 2 year olds.

Emma Kate was a little late to talk. But after a month at GR--the child has a vocabulary of a 4 year old.

GR feeds EK a hot breakfast and lunch everyday. Do you know what that does for my mornings??? I literally wake her up ten minutes before we leave the house. How lucky am I??

Emma Kate is madly in love with three people that are not related to her. Her teacher O'dessa (Dessa); her teacher Megan (Med) and her boyfriend Caden (CadenWalker--she calls him by his first and last name, because she has a double name, she thinks all of her friends do too).

Today I found out that Emma Kate is "transitioning" to the next class. I am excited, as CadenWalker is already moving up, but saddened that she is leaving Dessa and Meg. I know that we will love her next teachers just as much, but I am so grateful for Dessa and Meg loving my child as much as they do and making our first experience with full-time daycare so wonderful.
This is EK at school--walking up to get her diaper changed. Check out her new "hollywood" smile.


video

These are all of her friends at school and Ms. Meg. CadenWalker is the boy.

video

Monday, January 26, 2009

I believe in Auburn...

Most of you know that I am a compelte dork when it comes to Auburn. I love everything Auburn. I always have. I love that my husband loves Auburn and my family loves Auburn. So, I get sad sometimes at the apathy that strikes Auburn after football season. For example, basketball. Now Auburn is not known for its outstanding basketball program, but it is still Auburn and I love it.
So I was THRILLED to go see the undefeated Women Tigers BEAT Tennessee for the first time in 12 (yes 12!) years. It was a great atmosphere. It was a sell-out crowd--a record for Auburn Basketball.
It was a great game and we were there with Aunt Debbie, Uncle Mike, Cousin Ashley, Friends Mrs. Sally and Hilary and Bean. Emma Kate had no nap and we didn't think we would make it through the first half.
That lil' trooper lasted the entire game. All it took was Aubie and some popcorn.
War Eagle!

Friday, January 23, 2009

I've been tagged...

I was tagged by birthday twin to post the fourth picture in my fourth album. So, here it is. This is Marcella, my mother-in-law. I am really the only one who calls her Marcella. Everyone else calls her Marcy. Or MeMe. Or Grandma. This was taken on the top of the Westin Hotel in Atlanta over Christmas Holiday.
OK--your turn. I tag Allyson, Alicia, Jamie and Paige.

Photo Shoot

Listen people, if you are in the Birmingham Area, and you need some pictures, you need to use Crystal Lamar. Many of you know her as a teacher at dear ol' Thompson. She takes pictures on the side. She was my wedding photographer (and florist). She took Emma Kate's newborn pics (which I still get comments about). She took our huge family photo. I had been meaning to get Emma Kate's 2yo photos, but was slacking. Mom and I invited Crystal to come play in Auburn, and I begged her to bring her camera. She brought her camera and her hubby and her kids.


First, we were all starving so we went to lunch at NIFFERS. Yum. Emma Kate had corn nuggets. Corn nuggets and mustard ended up all over her dress and her face got all red and splotchy. I thought "disaster." Crystal thought, "No problem." We headed to campus to get some authentic Auburn shots of EK. It started raining. I thought, "disaster." Crystal said, "No problem."


Somehow, someway, super-photographer Crystal got amazing shots of EK and photoshopped that mustard right out.
So, if you need a photog, let me know, I will hook you up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Playdate

Monday we spent our off day inside, except for a quick playdate with our friends Mary McKinnon and Allyson. The girls had fun and they were suprisinlgy tame enough for the mom's to have some grown-up conversation for at least seven whole minutes!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Coach Mikey T, Take 2

Well, as I stated before it is basketball season and we are now officially the Auburn Nuggets. But, wait...that is not all. Mikey T's profound win over the Auburn Hawks last weekend catapulted him to Auburn Rec Coaching Royalty. He can now hang out with the cool kids. He has been asked to coach the Auburn Raptors, the Auburn boys traveling team. TRA-VEL-ING team. As in, get in the car and drive further than Auburn TRAVELING team. And I agreed. It was a moment of weakness. He looked like a kid asking for his favorite toy when he came to me and said....
"Uh, so Danny has started this traveling league and one of my players is gonna be on it. Pretty cool, huh?"
Me: "Sure," (As I mull over my fabric choices for EK's next outfit--not paying much attention)

He: "Well, they are like, dying for me to come to this information meeting tonight. I mean, I may just go to see what they say."

Me: "Uh...sure. Wait when is the meeting?"

He: "Tomorrow after church. It won't be long or anything."

Me: (thinking---sweet, Ek will be napping and Mike will be out of the house---I can SO catch up on my TiVoed Y&R!! What is Jack up to this week?) "OK, that sounds good."

He: "So, if they want me to coach, I mean, it is just like four tournaments and the farthest one is Valley or Montgomery....well, I'll just see what they say."

By the time he returned from the meeting Sunday night, he was already listed as a coach on the website.
We are excited though. It makes him happy, gives him his "testosterone time," and the games are fun. I don't play sports, I was a dancer. But I always LOVED watching sports. Especially Mike or my brothers play. I think I went to EVERY high school basketball game Mike played his junior and senior year. I also watched most of his golf matches. I would COME home from Auburn to see my little brother play high school soccer. I love to watch my nephews play t-ball and soccer. So, since EK is still to little to partake in organized sports, we get our kicks watching Mikey T coach!
Last Saturday, I had my "Lil Nugget" all dressed up and we were in the bleachers cheering for the Nuggets when a lady said...

"Which one is yours?" She could tell by my enthusiasm that I had a vested interest in the game.
"The COACH," I said and she giggled....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

WARNING! TMI....


If you are easily offended or do not like yucky stuff--read no further. This is about toddler poop.
There you have been warned.
Today, my title has officially changed from Mommy to Poop collector.

Emma Kate has had.....questionable diapers (I am trying to keep this PG) lately. Lots of questionable diapers. Which have, in turn, caused a hidious diaper rash. They have called me from school twice regarding the little red hiney and the screaming child it is attached to. Our Asthma/Allergist told us that this is probably a throw back to the gastrointestinal problems she had as a baby and is referring us BACK to our gastro doc. In the meantime, I had to do something about the sore hiney.
So, Sunday I took the hiney to the doctor. The doctor rambled a list of viruses or "normal" things it probably is. But, we all know that Emma Kate usually doesn't get "normal" (she gets that honest) so we needed to TEST, just to be sure. So the doc ran out and said, "I'll be back in a minute with the TEST."

"O.K.", I thought, "EK is gonna get pricked." That is never an issue for Emma Kate. She just looks at the needle and nurse like they just took her favorite toy--but usually no tears. I guess she was in so much pain as a bambino that now she has a pretty high tolerance for pain.

A minute later, the nurse walks in with the TEST. It is not a needle or a pricker-thingy. It is not a swab for her mouth or a urine receptacle. It is this.................


At first, I was confused. What are they going to gather? She has not pooped while we have been here??? Then, I slowly came through the fog as she explained what I did with the containers.

"With the little spoon, you will gather the poop and put it into the container. Make sure you get a good amount--to the top--and make sure it is a good sampling of every 'aspect' of the poop. You can scoop it directly from the diaper. Then close the lid and shake it up really well so that it mixes with the solution. These two can be left out at room temperature, this one needs to be refrigerated and taken to the hospital within two hours."
GREAT. Then, in true Emma Kate fashion, she, for the first time in weeks, does not poop for two days. She got stage fright. Finally, last night before Mikey T was going to give her a bath, I hear him yell "WE HAVE POOP---REPEAT WE HAVE POOP!!!"
I swear I suddenly heard the large sirens you hear in movies when there has been some sort of chemical spill----WRENEHHH----WRENEHHH-----WRENEHHH.
I (as per the directions---no seriously) scrubbed up like I was on the set of Grey's Anatomy. Anti-bacterial soap to my elbows. I prepared my "sterile zone" and retrieved the diaper. I will spare you any further details, but you get the picture.
I was only able to get enough for two receptacles--the un-refrigerated ones. Then, I had a semi-meltdown as to where to store little jars of toddler poop?? Is there a proper place??? In the bathroom?? But where? I finally settled on a hidden corner of the countertop, behind a picture frame??? I have never had to deal with poop storage before!

So, that was my night. And I get to do it again tonight. If you are not a parent, you are probably freaking out--totally disgusted and think I am insane for scooping poop. And hey, that is okay. I get it.
If you ARE a parent, you are probably thinking, "That sounds like the time I had to.......(enter gross action here)....."








Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A week in the life of the Thomas Clan...

It is a big week in the Thomas household! Tonight, Coach Mikey T gets back in action with his new team................

Yep, since football has ended and the Mighty Mighty Raiders are through, our family is now huge Nuggets fans. No, not Denver, rather, 5th grade Auburn Boys Basketball Nuggets--of course. The first game is Saturday at Auburn University. Coach Mikey T is completely enthralled with the Nuggets. More than he ever was with the Mighty Mighty Raiders. Since basketball is closer to his heart than football, the Auburn Nuggets should have a better season than the Mighty Mighty Raiders had.
Did I also tell you that Mikey T has a new job? Well, he's been there for over a month now, but he is now with ADT. That means we now know everything you could ever want to know about home security. And then some. But he is doing great and I am really proud of him!!
Saturday, Ashley has a dance competition in Orlando that we (and you!!) can watch online. She will be performing a duet and a group number at this competition and she (of course) won a bunch of awards at this one last year.
Good Luck Ash!! If you want to watch, let me know and I will give you the website info and times!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cancer-Schmancer!


Mom got her post-cancer-six-month screen results today and it was a big ol' negative. Woooo hooo. Take THAT cancer!!

Sisters

OK--I keep promising to get my act together and post all of our Christmas stuff. But I am super busy playing catch-up at work, and I promise I will get around to it before St. Patrick's Day.
In the meantime, I have to share this video with you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdlcfO2tTNA

See, I know brothers. I have two. I know the bond between a brother and a sister, times two. And it is a very special realtionship and I am not knocking it at all. I do not have sisters and I did not understand the bond between sisters until this Christmas. Wow.
Emma Kate does not get to see her sister nearly enough. Christmas and summer she is with us- and a few sporadic visits throughout the year are all we get. Most people that Emma Kate sees sporadically like that--well, she shys away from them for at least the first thirty minutes. Some, she just plain forgets altogether.
It amazes me everytime that we get Ashley. I am always afraid that EK is going to be shy around her or clam up at first. This has never happened.
From the minute Emma Kate laid eyes on her "Sissy," in the Atlanta airport, she got excited. I mean like butterflies-in-her-stomach-excited. A grin grows across her face that she cannot contain. The death grip she has on my neck (as we are in a crowded and very busy airport) releases in an instant and she quickly melts out of my arms. In one split-second she is standing in front of her sister, looking up at her with eyes as big as saucers. She grabs her hand as if to say, "You are here to stay and you are all mine."
And Ashley is amazing. You would think that a very cool 5th grader would be burdened by a whiny 2 year old constantly wanting her attention. You would think it would be annoying to keep a toddler from trying to get into all her very modern electronics and trying to stand right beside her while she is playing an intense round of Wii tennis with her daddy. Nope. Ashley is as patient as a grandmother with her. She gently grabs her digital camera from Emma Kate's grubby hands and says, "No, sissy, that is not a toy," in a voice that sounds as if she is about to read her a bedtime story. She pauses her very intense tennis match and moves Emma Kate out of the way and gives her a toy to (unsuccesfully) divert her attention from the Wii. She offers to feed her, change her, help her in any way she can. Not because she is asked, because we don't ever want her to feel like it is her job to take care of her sister, but because she genuinely wants to be a big sister in every sense of the word.
I do not think I have ever witnessed unconditional love like I do between these two precious souls. It was my favorite gift this year.
My least favorite of the year was having to send that part of my heart back to Florida on Christmas day. There are "issues" with the visitation schedule and Mike had to have Ashley back to Florida at noon on Christmas day. That meant that Santa visited my girls Christmas Eve and then a little bit at 5:30 a.m. on Christmas Day, before I sent Sissy and Daddy to Atlanta to catch a plane. It was heartwrenching to say the least, but it is just our life and we live it the best way we can.
I cannot wait until the next time we pick Ashley up, because there is nothing else that makes Emma Kate's face light up like that.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Catch up on Pics...






I don't have time to post a long in-depth blog about the holidays yet. Here are some pics until I do....