Friday, May 29, 2009


I haven't posted in a while because we have been super busy, as always.
Two weekends ago, the might, mighty Raptor tournament was....interesting. The boys stayed at my in laws' with little problem, but the tournament itself was a royal mess. We played one team that looked like it was compiled of pre-NBA super-stars and I doubt that they were 10 & 11. They looked more like my mom's 10-graders. The killed us in the first game. Shameful loss. Our guys were beat the minute they saw the other team do their warm-ups. We did play them again on Sunday, and although the mini-LaBrons beat us again, our guys played their 11-year-old hearts out and we were proud.

Here's Unc (AKA Coach Deuce) chaperoning the boys sleeping downstairs
That week we went to Auburn Family Fun Day, which is held every summer for Auburn employees and their families. It was big fun. Of course, Aubie served ice cream so it was pretty much a perfect scenario for Emma Kate. We played with our friends Allyson and Mary McKinnon and hung out with some "bassetball boyz" whose parents are Auburn-employed.

Then, back to MeMe and Hopps for the weekend because Uncle Todd and Aunt Margie were up from Ocala for Memorial Day! It was lots of fun and since they had not seen Emma Kate since she was 8 months old, they were amazed at how busy she is. I think they are convinced that she is the only 2.5 year old they have ever met that has no interest in television--not even cartoons or Disney movies.
This week it has been work and basketball--for we have yet another tournament this weekend. We know all of the teams that will be there this weekend, and while they are all contenders, there are no mini-Labrons or 16 year olds on the teams.
Wish us luck!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meet Stacy

Emma Kate has three dolls: Jasmine, Belle and Baby. She has never LOVED dolls, but every now and then one of them will be her favorite toy of the day.

I gave her my old Cabbage Patch doll, circa '86, long ago, but she never showed any interest. Then out of the blue, on Mother's Day, she picked her up and asked her name.

I honestly could not remember. This was my first Cabbage Patch and once I moved on to my identical premie-boy twin cabbage patch dolls, my cabbage patch horse and my corn-silk-hair cabbage patch, this one was thrown to the wayside.

So I told Emma Kate she could name her. I volunteered several options but she shot them all down. Then she said "how 'bout Stacy?"

I don't know any Stacys and I am pretty sure she doesn't so I had no idea where this came from. Nonetheless, Stacy it is.

Stacy was nude, so I made her and Emma Kate matching dresses and now Stacy fills the bed each night with the likes of Belle, Jasmine and occasionally Baby.

Later, me and Mikey T were trying to think about where in the world EK would have come up with the name Stacy and then I remembered. On Mother's Day, we took EK to Keisel Park with our beloved dog, Lucy. They have a play pin area for dogs and there were several pups celebrating mom's day there. One was named Stacy and EK fell in love.

So, the Stacy mystery was solved and my heart is happy knowing that EK has pumped some new life (and wardrobe) into my old cabbage patch doll.

This is Lucy and Drake--a huge dog chasing his ball, which EK had.

Lovin' on Stacy

Ek at Keisel Park on Mom's Day

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Power of Oprah

I am way behind on this post, because my camera would not load to the computer. But this post is still blog-worthy.
Last Thursday I went to get EK from school and realized that I had NADA to eat at the house. I had not taken anything out of the freezer and had no ready-to-eat supper ideas. If EK does not eat by 6:15 p.m. her head starts spinning like Linda Blair in the Exorcists, so I knew it was going to be a fast food night for us. I was not in the mood for McDonald's, so I asked EK what she wanted.
"Chizzen nungents, " was her reply.
Usually, when chicken is the request, we head over the Breezeway for some grilled baskets--I prefer grilled chicken over fried any day. But, I had heard about KFC's new grilled chicken and I pass a KFC on the way home, so I thought we would give it a try.
I pulled into the strip mall parking lot that connects to the KFC drive thru line while trying to explain why we could not listen to the T.I. cd that Daddy and Unc left in the car for the 100th time (more on that later). As I pulled in, I realized that I was stuck in some sort of traffic jam in the mall lot. Was there a big sale at the mattress store? Was this an entire middle school meeting to leave for a field trip? Um, no, it was the line for KFC.
Allegedly, this was the day that Oprah announced that you could go online and print out a coupon for a free grilled chicken meal from the Ol' Colonel. I was stuck. There was now a car behind me and I was stuck in this line with no where to get out. I was 14 cars back. FOURTEEN. I looked at the clock. It was 5:21.
I had less than an hour to get food into EK's mouth before she turned into the Tasmanian devil. Could she wait? What was the option? No food at the house and by the time I managed my 72- point turn to try and get out of the narrow line, I would just have to go wait in another line somewhere else.
So, I made the decision to wait in line. It would go fast?! Wouldn't it?

That was just the drive thru line. The ENTIRE strip mall parking lot was FULL and I realized that all of it was for the KFC. If the fire chief had been near he would have shut the place down. Everyone was flooding in with folded sheets of printer paper to get their free chicken.
Hey--I live in a college town and it was finals week. I think the entire student body was gettin' their chicken on.
So we waited. There was even a gal selling Krispy Kreme donughts to those of us waiting in line. At first I thought this was humorous, but when I looked at the clock and it was 5:52 and I was still 8 cars back, I knew Krispy Kreme was my only option.
$8.00 later, my daughter had gooey hands, but I had bought myself at least another ten minutes.
Finally after 14 rendnetions of "wheels on the bus" I was nearing the window. I ordered a bucket of grilled chicken and two sides. It was 6:03.
When I got up to the window, the cute---and exhausted---clerk looked at me and gave me my total. I handed her my debit card and she said....
"Do you know you are my first paying customer since before lunch?"
"WHAT??????? Are you kidding me??"

"No, look," and she stepped back so that I could see the heaping pile of folded printer paper. It was as big as her cash register and spilling onto the floor.
I asked if they were going to run out of chicken (like we did the time I worked at Guthrie's. That is all they serve at Guthries.) She said...
"If we do I am changing my shirt and leaving the state, these folks are cuh-razy."
As we pulled away, it was 6:12 and I knew I was safe. I could get home in 3 minutes and have EK enjoying her grilled KFC before Dr Jekyl/Mrs. Hyde came out. There was still a line forming beghind me as we pulled away.

But, Oprah was righ it was yummy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tommy Tummy and the Terrible Tickler

Ridiculous. That is all I can say. I knew that my brother, the writer, had been writing children's' stories for a very long time. Heck, he has been writing his whole entire life--the cursed son of an English teacher, I guess.And he writes very well; that is how he has made his living as a copywriter. But in late April, he sent me an email which included a link to his "story-telling" website. He asked me to forward it to friends I know, that may be willing to give him an honest opinion as to whether he should seek to have these stories published.Admittedly, I forgot about the site until I was cleaning out my email box this morning. I clicked on the link and put in my email address to enter the site. UMMMMMMMMMMMM--


He should have published these YEARS ago. They are better than most stories I have on EK's bookshelf. Better than the books she reads everyday at school and at bedtime. Better than most I have heard. I cannot believe that he is just now putting these stories out for someone other than his sons (he has three and one little girl on the way, so he KNOWS kids) to enjoy. It is just plain RIDICULOUS. Have I mentioned that yet??
So, please, visit this site. Enter your email address (it will not be used for spam, you have my word!) and listen to the first story, Tommy Tummy and the Terrible Tickler. Leave a comment; be brutally honest!
Tell you friends and tell them to tell their friends friends. And then, when it actually does get published, we'll invite you to the launch party ;-)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Manicure Day!

I recently got a pattern for a cutie-patootie peasant dress. Super easy and really quick, I grabbed some fabric I had been holding onto for awhile and sewed away. I loved how the light blue and white brought out Emma Kate's eyes.
Two Sundays ago, I took EK to have her pictures taken and she wore her new blue and white dress. She was precious. Her white shoes were too dirty to wear in pics, so before we went, I painted her toenails and let her go barefoot in the photo shoot. We got some great pics.
Afterwards, we came home and it was nap time. I told her to head to her room and even if she didn't sleep she had to stay in her bed for an hour. This is our latest ploy to get her to take a nap and it is working like a gem. Sometimes, she plays for a bit, but eventually always falls asleep.


After about an hour and a half and no peep, I heard her call....
"Momma, I weady to come ooooooouuuuuuttttttttt nowwwww."
So I told her that was fine. I was sitting at my sewing table and when she rounded the corner, I gasped and felt suddenly panicked because my baby girl was standing there in front of me covered in blood.
Then, a split-second later, I realized that she was smiling from ear to ear and did not appear to be hurt. At that moment, I realized I (YES it was my fault) had left the nail polish in EK's reach and she had given herself a manicure.

And since I didn't have much nail poish remover on hand, it took three days and a trip to MeMe's house to get it all off. The dress, I am afraid, is dead.
But hey, at least we got some cute pics of it! (I'll post those later.)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Following the family theme, let's discuss cousins. I have lots of 'em. I have a combined total of 16 first cousins. I love them all and actually like them all, too. Although many of them live far away (um, like CHINA far away), I still consider us close. My mother's sister, Becky has four children and her brother, Mike has four children and we all grew up in Alabama. I have the most memories with these eight....summers in Selma, Alabama jumping in heaping piles of cotton seed and Vacation Bible School parades through the small town of Benton. Games of Sharks and Minnows in the pool and nighttime games of Blind Man's Bluff. Hopping hay bales and riding horses until the sun finally fell around eight p.m. Then the holidays and family beach trips with all of my mom's side--her four brothers and sisters and children, where you have to have a sense of humor, quick wit and a sharp tongue just to make it through dinner. If me or my cousins ever brought a quiet boyfriend/girlfriend to Thanksgiving, the relationship ended shortly thereafter. If you cannot hack it at a Gallagher event, you aren't gonna make the cut. There is always laughter---a lot, usually at someone at the table's expense and you learn early the best defense is a good offense. It must be all that Irish Kennedy-Gallagher blood in one room.
My dad's side is equally as close in just a different way. My dad's brothers are two of the funniest humans alive, although their humor is not the Irish humor of the Gallaghers'. It is stories and jokes and puns that keep you laughing until your sweet tea travels through your nasal canal. It is staying after dinner for hours just to play the latest "figure it out" game or talk Auburn football. My three cousins on that side are all younger so my memories are less "growing up together" and more "watching them grow up." I was excited when my cousin Ashley moved from Texas to Alabama during her high school years and was able to spend more time with her than ever before. Sadly, I was only able to watch my Chase-meister grow up to be a teenager as he unexpectedly passed away this past June.
At Chase's devastating funeral, I realized too late how cherished cousins and extended family are. I decided that no matter what I had to do, Emma Kate was going to be close to her cousins, which as of now stands at 3.5 (three boys that belong to my older brother and one girl on the way).
I fell madly in love with Joseph (JoeMan) the first time I met him, when he FINALLY decided to join us on this earth after a grueling 3-day labor. He stole my heart from his first cry and he still has me wrapped around his finger. He was the first in our family and at the time, I did not know unconditional love for a child until he was born. Wow, it was powerful. Joseph is smart beyond his seven years. He is an equal mix of his momma and daddy. He has a sweet, caring nature like no other little boy I have ever known and he should be the poster-child for "great cousin." He adores Ashley and Emma Kate and the feeling is mutual.

Matthew (MattMatt) is the blond-haired, spitting image of his daddy at that age. He is competitive and athletic. He is one who contemplates everything-- who will fool you into thinking he has forgotten something and then spontaneously bring it up three days later. His blue eyes are breathtaking and he gives great hugs.
Baby Sean is not going to be Baby Sean much longer. He is younger than Emma Kate by 9 months (I think we gave the couple baby fever when EK was born). He is the happiest baby I have ever known and when he smiles, which is often, you would give him whatever he asked for.
These kiddos lived in Montgomery and when they finally made the move to Helena to be near us, we all packed up and moved to Auburn. The one regret I had about moving was that Emma Kate would not go to church every Sunday and see her cousins like she did for the first year of her life.
So, naturally, if we are going to be within a 30 mile radius of Birmingham, it is an absolute that I am going to see these boys (and soon to be girl). That often consists of a quick run to the park or us catching the last 30 minutes of a tee ball game, but we take what we can get.
Maybe one day they will move into our little nook of the world, Eagle Ridge (there are still some lots available!!) but until then, these little mini-trips will have to do.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


So, I have a big family. And in that big family, I have several uncles. I have an Uncle Jamie, Uncle Barry and two Uncle Mikes. That is just first generation uncles. My Uncle Alan passed away when I was two, but I still have a vivid memory of him lifting me over his head and playing with me.
Emma Kate has three uncles. My two brothers, Danny and Michael Alan and MikeyT's brother, Todd. Emma Kate loves them all, but she sees Uncle Michael (or UNC, as she calls him) everyday as he lives here in Eagle Ridge.
Unc and Emma Kate have a special bond. They have a special hand shake that they do every time they see eachother. They have special names for eachother, as she calls him Unc and he calls her "EmmaTate," a name he came up with before she was born. They laugh, a lot.
If Emma Kate has not seen Unc that day, she will spontaneously say,
"I wan-a see Unc."
Ashley loves Unc, too. Maybe it is because he is just a big kid himself, but Unc is "cool," whereas we are just the non-cool parents. Unc text messages and myspaces Ashley and they have little inside jokes that they won't tell us about.
It is pretty funny, because if you knew Michael Alan before he was an uncle, you may not have thought you would ever seen him dressed in a tu-tu or going on a great big bear hunt (singing and everything.)
I wish the girls saw all of their uncles (and Aunts-Melinda and Margie!!) as much as they see Unc, but I am so glad that they are both are close to Unc and he is so good to my girls!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Playing Catch Up

I think there are going to be several posts this week as I have a gazillion pictures of the past few weeks (maybe months) to put up. Here goes.....
I *Heart* Teague.
Teague is a "bassetball boy." He is not on Mike's team right now, but he was a mighty-mighty-nugget and he plays for another Raptor team so we see him frequently. He has two little sisters and he is such a good big brother. Emma Kate adores him. Teague was the first bassetball boy to read to Emma Kate. Whenever he sees her, he stops what he is doing and grabs her hand. He looks out for her. And she loves him.
We were at City Fest two weekends ago and in the big kiddie area that has 15 of those bouncy-blow-up-jumpy-things. Emma Kate has never been a big fan. They intimidate her. So when I saw my all-time favorite polisci professor, Dr. Brown (many of you have heard of him because I started talking about him circa 1998), manning one of the bouncy gigs, we headed over for a try. Emma Kate did get in, but this super-duper 4-in-one castle had more than she needed. She was kind-of wandering aimlessly through and I had that scary thought that I was going to kick off the shoes and head in after her--flashback. But then, coming from a distance like the guardian angel that he is....
He said :" Can I leave my shoes with you and just take her with me?"

I said"Ummmmmmm, YES." I hope I didn't sound too eager.
So these two went off and played for an hour.........
City Fest was a blast. We saw Nova or "Aubie's Bird," as EK calls her.
We saw a lumberjack show. Check out the axe flying in the air. We checked out an Auburn Fire Truck. And EK got to ride a pony, which is always at the top of her list as best things EVER. It was a great weekend and I must say, the City of Auburn knows how to throw a party.