Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

On Memorial Day, we were thrilled to have Josh at home...especially since he had worked on Saturday and Sunday. We enjoyed spending our morning swimming with some friends. Jack loves the pool. Sam enjoys it, but really prefers to get in and out and explore all the surroundings.

Later that day, we all went shopping in Buford. The crowds were out for sure, but Jack still got to enjoy several trips on the escalators (his favorite part of any trip to the mall). Eventually, Josh had to head back home for his Monday evening shift, and the boys and I headed to my brother and sister-in-law's house nearby for a cook-out with Mema & Pop. The highlight of a stop at Uncle John & Aunt Lisa's is always fun with their playful and energetic dog, Molly.

After lots of fun and food, we all headed to the Gwinnett Braves game. Jack particularly enjoyed the inflatables and popcorn. Sam enjoyed the freedom to roam as we elected to sit on the outfield lawn. We can't wait to go back with Josh in our party...especially since chasing Sam gets exhausting :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

From Woe to Woah...and everything in between

I've missed blogging so much these past couple weeks. I have lots to catch up on here, and my ultimate plan will probably include post-dating some entries over the next few days. So, what's been keeping me from blogging? That's the worst part, it's been normal stuff.

Part of it probably had to do with traveling to Chattanooga three out of four weekends. The most recent trip to honor and celebrate the life of Josh's uncle. As hectic as those weekends were, we value the precious time we were given to catch up with family we don't get to see all that often.

Then last Sunday night, Sam woke up overnight with a fever and the sick cycle began. After 36 hours of fever off and on and an unusually cuddly baby, he seemed to bounce back with a returned appetite on Tuesday afternoon. Although it seemed to begin rather routinely, Wednesday morning is a total blur. Within an hour or two of waking up, Jack was falling asleep while watching Super Why. I can't say I was surprised to find him running a fever. I dosed him with motrin and raced to grab a shower knowing I was in for another mopey, clingy day. I dried off just in time to witness Jack having a febrile seizure. It was his first ever, and even though I knew what it probably was, I was spooked. After a visit from the local EMS, he began to perk up. Needless to say, it was a low-key, lay-on-the-couch kinda day for Jack. By Thursday afternoon, we'd figured out he had strep, and he'd turned a big corner by Friday afternoon. But the cycle wasn't over yet, Josh developed fever and an intense headache during the night Thursday. So, Friday was spent trying to stay out of dad's hair and allow him to rest. He finally started feeling a little better Saturday evening.

Playing nurse had me exhausted. I was able to get lots of laundry done, but didn't make it to get groceries until today. No surprise, we've had an unhealthy share of carry-out, fast food & quick-fix meals over the last couple of weeks. My house is of course a wreck as well.

This week has been about getting back on track, and the blog is no exception. I've been having trouble keeping straight what day of the week it is. My Monday night bible study has concluded for the year, which always signaled the start of the week. With the boys being sick, we missed the last day of school and the end-of-the-year program. Then this week, the boys and I went to Athens Monday afternoon to spend the night with my parents. The trip allowed me, my sister and brother to have dinner together, just the three of us. A rare treat, indeed...especially now that my sister lives in Germany. Jack had an early morning dental appointment Tuesday morning that went really well. Then we headed home. So, if you see me around town, do me a favor and remind me what day it is. There's a good chance that I have no idea.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Celebrating Uncle Ken

On Saturday we traveled back to Chattanooga for the funeral of Josh's Uncle Ken. Although goodbyes are never easy, it was a beautiful service that truly celebrated his life. If I can tell you a bit about Uncle Ken, it's that he was full of life. I know that's something that a lot of people say, but he really brought a light with him wherever he went. He always had a smile on his face and a laugh wasn't far behind.

Although there are several hilarious moments to recall, I'll share one story I remember fondly. On a somewhat recent (in the last 5 years) family celebration, we were gathered at Josh's aunt and uncle's house. It was either New Year's Eve or July 4th because fireworks were involved. (Although with Josh's family sometimes a holiday wasn't even necessary to pull out the pyrotechnics. Afterall, Josh's parents and uncle did grow up in Alabama.) Anyway, they have this (foreign to me) tradition of throwing the fireworks at each other.

I know this was before we had kids, because I would never have let Jack witness his daddy making such poor decisions. Anyway, it was always in good fun. This particular time, Josh managed to toss one into the front pocket of Uncle Ken's denim shirt. Thankfully, he was fine and got the fire out quickly. We laughed hysterically when Ken later posed for a photo in his shirt with a big hole where the front pocket once was. You could see straight through to his undershirt.

Months later, Josh received a package in the mail. Uncle Ken had taken that shirt and trimmed it to fit into a frame and pinned a 1st place blue ribbon on it. That's just how Uncle Ken was. He always kept the joke going. Of course, he'll be missed here on earth, but the horrific cancer had taken away his ability to enjoy life. So, I'm thankful his suffering has ended. Mostly, because I know he's in a better place living life to the fullest. And, the best parts of him will live on in his family and friends. Thanks, Uncle Ken, for sharing your humor and love of life with us all!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Good Old Days...

While waiting at a local establishment this week, I was thumbing through a somewhat depressing selection of magazines*. One of which was called Reminisce, the magazine that brings back the good times. From what I can gather it is filled almost entirely with reader submissions. Mainly old photos and stories from the "good ole days." Since this was a holiday edition, there was a section of nostalgic Christmas-themed advertisements. One in particular from 1928 caught my eye. I couldn't help but share.

Okay, so in case you can't tell. There are three very lucky children playing billards in their pajamas by the Christmas tree, while mom & pop (dressed as Santa) watch from the nearby staircase. The photo is cute and all, but the entertainment came in the form of the sales pitch:

The Brunswick Junior Playmate Pocket Billard Table is the best juvenile Christmas investment you can make. Children and grown-ups alike, all love games. In Billards you have one that affords healthful recreation...mental and muscular coordination...endless, tireless amusement...all-year, all-weather play.

It gives parents added control over the children by making hte home more attractive...thus keeping them within the family circle during their most formative and impressionable years. Every member of the family will enjoy the game...and Billards is easy to learn.

The Junior Playmate is strong...sturdily constructed...of quality materials. Children won't drop it in a week like a cheap toy but will play on it for years...and only $7.50 complete with all playing equipment.

"The best juvenile Christmas investment?" Good to know.
"Healthful recreation?" Sign me up!
"Mental and muscular coordination?" Sounds like a win-win.
"Added control over the children?" I must remember this...

According to this site, this same product might cost around $94.56 these days. Not as big a bargain, but for the ability to make my home more attractive during my children's "most formative and impressionable years." Sounds like "the best juvenile Christmas investment" to me! Hope you got a kick out of this too!

*When I shared this photo and story with Josh, he told me that his office waiting area has the very same magazine. I must remember to drop off my old issues of Entertainment Weekly and BHG.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chugga, chugga, choo, choo on Mother's Day

On Sunday, we swung through Blue Ridge to take a train ride before heading home. The boys really enjoyed themselves. It was a beautiful day to take in scenery from the train.

Quick photo before boarding

all aboard!

Soaking in the scenery

Mommy with her boys

toes in the breeze, skittles in hand...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wedding Weekend

This weekend we journeyed back to Chattanooga for the wedding of Josh's cousin, Ryan and his lovely bride Julie. We were also able to spend more time with Josh's uncle who is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. At certain moments, the wedding was bittersweet knowing the father of the groom was unable to attend because of his current residence on the hospice wing of Memorial Hospital. Join me in praying that his pain is eased and those around him comforted.

Birthday Princess & her summer sipper
 We also managed a small belated birthday celebration for Josh's sister, Kristy. She is such a funny gal, and so much fun to celebrate. When I was expecting Jack a few years ago, my mom bought a couple of little gifts for after our ultrasound. Once we learned we were having a Jack instead of a Jill, the mini tiara my mom had purchased from a friend's jewelry store was set to be returned. Josh's sister objected and insisted on buying the tiara for herself! For the past three years, she has adorned herself with the mini tiara on her birthday. I was overjoyed to see her slip it on after we arrived at lunch Saturday afternoon.

"They call this a challenge?"
Speaking of lunch, we dined at Cheeburger Cheeburger, which has one incredible burger. The menu lists a burger called "The Pounder," which is nearly $11 and weighs in at 20 ounces before being grilled. If you finish the pounder, you get embarrassed/recognized with a photo on a Wall of Fame in the restaurant. Of course, Josh loves a challenge. So, of course he jumped on the opportunity to defeat a food challenge. I was so proud...

Waiting for the fun to begin
The wedding was so lovely, and the weather was perfection for an outdoor gathering by the lake. Ryan and Julie wanted all their neices, nephews and cousins to participate in the ceremony with a parade of sorts. The smaller ones rode in wagons and strollers, while the older kids pushed and pulled. Jack and Sam did pretty well, especially since we were working off limited naptime for Sam and zero napt for Jack.

And they're off...

Somehow they made it by the cupcakes without incidence

But, Jack gave the chocolate cakes an EYE-full!
You can see more of the fun in my May picasa album.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Emmy Time

As I've mentioned in my recent Thankful Thursday posts, my precious sister has been on American soil for the last 2 weeks. We've been trying to take advantage of this unexpected time as best as we can. So, last Wednesday she graciously agreed to watch Sam while I took Jack to an appointment in Athens. Afterwards, we kidnapped her to our house for a few days. We LOVED having her with us for a few days!

Fun with Woody & Aunt Emmy!
Even though we didn't do anything particularly "out of the ordinary" while Aunt Emmy was here, it was a sheer pleasure to have her here! The boys loved every moment; Jack asked about Emmy first thing when he woke up Thursday and Friday! He was quite disappointed when the fun ended Friday afternoon. And for me it was absolutely lovely to have a sidekick that I've missed so dearly!

Batter up! Showing Aunt Emmy his skills.
My sister is here for a few more weeks, which is great. We are hoping to have her come back for a few more days before her hubby arrives Memorial Day weekend, and maybe again after!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

No, Luke, I AM Your Father

So, last week at preschool, Jack's teacher relayed a funny story to me when I arrived to pick him up. They were talking about Mother's Day coming up and Father's Day would be following soon after. Jack interrupted (in what I can only assume was a some what dejected tone), "I don't have a father."

Jack's teacher said, "what about your daddy?" And he said, "Oh, yeah!"

So, while my sister was staying with us for a couple of days we decided to celebrate Thursday night with a chocolate chip cookie message cake. I won't go into all the details, but this is a very funny joke to the three of us! And Jack certainly didn't mind that we were enjoying cookie after dinner!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Loved this sooo much last year, we are doing it again!

Just got tickets on TicketWeb for Day Out With Thomas (TM) at Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (Bryson City Station) on 07/22/11

A performer is born

Jack's choir at church delivered a very short, but quite entertaining performance on Sunday night. Maybe there is some future kareoke in his future? Who knows.

Preschoolers Spring - May 1, 2011 from Laura Garrett on Vimeo.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom/Mema

Happy birthday to my dear sweet mom. Also known as Mema (pronounced Mee-ma) to the boys. We hope you've had a day as special as you are!

Here she is opening her birthday gift yesterday. Moments earlier we'd been outside and asked Jack if he wanted to give Mema her birthday present. He said, "Yes." And then in his best sing-songy voice he added,  "Me-ma, it's a neck-lace!"

We are thankful to have you in our family. Looking forward to celebrating you again with the whole family.

Please Pass the Potatoes

If you are a stranger to this blog, then you may not know that our little Sam likes to eat. Also, if you are a stranger to this blog, then who are you and what are you doing here? Seriously, the only people that read this are people that already know me and most see me with some regularity. Even though I follow many blogs of folks that don't know me, I'm pretty sure I have no similar followers! Anyway, I'm afraid our little Sam is already showing the signs of becoming an emotional eater.

Yes, it's true. My 14-month-old eats to feel better. On Saturday, big brother was graciously sharing his after-dinner Rice Krispy Treat from Zaxby's. All was well, until it was gone. Sam cried. a. lot. Before I knew it, Jack had shoved a half of a french fry in Sam's mouth, and silenced him. Scary, huh?

What about this morning? He sobbed when he realized he'd polished off his bowl of oatmeal. I'm. talking. tears. people. So, more cheerios, pancakes and part of a granola bar were quickly added to the breakfast menu.

I forgot to pick up peanut butter crackers when I was at the grocery store today. You know the little circle crackers with peanut butter-like spread in the middle. The boys love them. They are a great way to stall until dinner's ready if I need Sam to sit in his high chair. They are perfect for preschool lunch. Well, I thought I'd just improvise. I have Ritz crackers, and I have peanut butter. What's the difference, right?

You tell me...