Monday, December 29, 2008

I was working on this post and got interrupted...just now realized I never posted here you go!

Some pics for the fans....

Kale still is not fond of Santa! See how he is gripping his daddy's coat?

Cousin Fletcher...such a cutie pie and growing up way to fast!

Chillin' at the lunch table

Examining his favorite present...his very own cell phone.

Ep asked him what he had...and he was excited to show him the cell phone!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I warned you...

Well, see, I warned you. I knew I wasn't going to get much posted this past week.

Here are the highlights and I will try to come back and fill in the missing parts of any stories and I will add pictures later as well:

  1. Kale cried, whined, or yelled the ENTIRE trip to Alma on Christmas Eve. We ate dinner with my parents and then turned our wagon north. It was only an hour drive and our little man was tired. Surely a nap was in the works. Oh yes...all 20 minutes of it and then we were back to whining...
  2. Christmas morning came and went like a flash. It included a Christmas breakfast and then present opening. Well, for Kale, it was more like present "presenting" because he hasn't yet figured out how to open gifts. In fact, his gifts sat in Christmas sacks in plain view all week and he never bothered them. No tissue paper hiding them or anything. His aunt Wendi and uncle Brian rocked our parental world but putting together his sit-n-spin (more on that later), lawnmower, and vacuum. Then, Wendi made a very justifiable observation...we are preparing our kid to work. We even gave him a cell phone to keep him available at all times! Well, we gave him a pretend cell phone. He already had some toy ones, but none were as real looking as this one. He loved his celly! Later, we really rocked his world because he was given not one but two real cell phones that are no longer assigned a working number (yes, we know that he can use them to call 911 and are just hoping that he doesn't). So yes, our son managed to score one fake and two real cell phones for Christmas at the ripe age of one!
  3. We had our traditional Christmas lunch at the Clarion in Fayetteville. Nothing like enjoying the fact that NOBODY has to cook! Ok, like I cook anything...but well, I figure the cooks in the family are elated that they don't have to cook. After playing musical rooms and a few other issues, all was well until some guy in charge tried to get us to hurry up and leave. He didn't get us seated until 30 minutes after our reservation and then tried to kick us out about an hour later. He kept saying that there was another family waiting to eat at 1:30pm and he needed the room. Mind you, we are still eating our dessert! We didn't get in a hurry. I don't think I am making a wild assumption to say that we won't be giving them our business in the future...
  4. Friday...I got up and did some post holiday deal shopping. I got some really good deals, but nothing to brag about. Then, after lunch we headed back to Alma. Yep, you guessed it...more whining from the back seat. Thankfully, its only an hour trip.
  5. Friday night was dinner with my parents, Chris, and his girlfriend. We all crammed into a six seater booth at Outback and had Kale bringing up the end of the table in a high chair. Then Chris disapeared back to his girlfriend's house about an hour away and we didn't see him the rest of the weekend. The highlight of the night was when he announced that he was going to start driving the patrol car on his Sunday (tonight) shift. I taught Chris to drive in parking lots before he was 14 and he has been driving pretty much since that age. So, we all had a good laugh when my mom blurted out "YOU are going to drive a car?" or maybe it was "they are going to let YOU drive a car?". It wasn't so much that she was baffled that he was going to drive a car as thats no biggie...but the idea of her son driving a patrol car just completely befuddled her. I can't blame still cracks me up to think of my brother being a cop and driving a patrol car. It just seems a little surreal. We know he is capable...but its still mind boggling that he is old enough and responsible enough to do that!
  6. My family didn't not exchange gifts this took the stress off everybody.
  7. Saturday was breakfast at Cracker Barrell and then we waited for the storms. They weren't as bad as the weather men said they would be. But, it went from being nearly 70 to around 30 in one afternoon.
  8. Saturday afternoon found Ep going to the Razorback game with his dad and retrieving my iPhone charger and one of Kale's three cell phones. We managed to leave both at thier house. I suppose it something along the lines of like mother, like son. While Ep was away, Kale and I went to raid Wal-Mart with Mema Nana. We needed two carts for all the stuff.
  9. On Saturday night, Ep and I went out on the town...we met up with Robin and Justin and some other folks and found out that the service at Varsity in Fort Smith absolutely without a doubt is some of the most awful food service you can get anywhere. You know its bad when people start calling over the manager to dispute having to pay a tip because we were a group. At one point, every single glass on the table was empty for well over 20 minutes. Then, every check that our waiter brought to us was wrong. Justin finally gave up and just paid both thier check and ours...
  10. Sunday...I went for some deals at Wal-Mart and Walgreens. By the time I got back, Ep and my dad had brought home Chinese food. After lunch, we loaded up and headed back to Little Rock. And yes, the whining began. However, I chose a better placement of his that helped some! Kale was soooo tired. We thought for sure that by 20 minutes down the road that he would be zonked. He didn't get that memo. He finally passed out about an hour later. Between a bottle and then Ep rolling down his window enough to give him the white noise affect...whew...he slept.
  11. We got home and unloaded and proceeded to see how many injuries we could give our son during the few hours we have had him alone for the past five days. He hadn't been in the house for two minutes before he attempted to give himself a black eye...and may have given himself a partial one. The end table got him. I was sure that he was going to somehow injure himself on the sit-n-spin (which I requested, by the way) because he doesn't begin to come close to being able to sit-n-spin, even with assistance. His little booty just plops right off about 1/4 of a spin around. BUT, he does know how to stand with both hands on the stationary part and plant one foot on the carpet and the other foot on the spinning part. Oh yea. So far, he only goes about 6 inches one way and then 6 inches back the other way. I wouldn't be suprised if he is going all the way around by the end of the week. Then he stole my was a choice...either let him grab the slice or my plate with ranch was going to fly across the living room. He must have been worried I would try to take the pizza back because he promptly threw it on the floor, walked on it, carried it around the room picking it apart (yes, on carpet), and even managed to get pizza sauce on his new sleeping bag. Lovely. We eventually got him ready for bed and were in the process of getting our bed cleaned off (from an unpacked suitcase). Kale and Ep were on the bed. Kale gave his daddy the business! First he smacked him in the groin and then he bit him square on the bridge of his nose. As Ep writhed in pain and yelped, Kale must have feared some sort of retaliation and went into the roll evacuation plan... and proceeded to roll his little self right off the bed. I am quite certain that Ep flew at that point. I had my back to them but turned when I hard the ka-thump of Kale hitting the floor. All I saw was Ep's butt bouncing off the bed while the rest of his body was completely airborn. I am not exaggerating here. After a good examination and Kale wanting to play, play, play... we deemed him as fine and went on with our night.

Now, here I sit... typing the longest update ever ...and its the short version. Its 11pm and I return to my desk tomorrow from being out of the office for 10 days.... I better go to bed.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas

Not sure how much time I am going to have between now and Christmas to this will have to get everyone

Friday, December 19, 2008


Got this in an email this morning and wanted to share...I have seen a few of these in a list before, but there were some new ones as well. Figured we could all use a smile or giggle today....

To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity
1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.
2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice!
3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, ask If They Want Fries with that.
4. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks . Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.
5. In the Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write ' For Marijuana.
6. Skip down the hall Rather Than Walk and see how many looks you get.
7 Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.
8. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is 'To Go'.
9. Sing Along At The Opera.
10. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You have a headache.
11. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream 'I Won! I Won!'
12. When Leaving the Zoo, Start Running towards the Parking lot, Yelling 'Run For Your Lives! They're Loose!'
13. Tell Your Children Over Dinner, 'Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.'

And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity


Have a happy Friday!!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

YEA! Way to go Chris!!!!!

My brother gets his own post today. I am sooooo proud of him. We all are! For many years, Chris has been working towards his dream of being a police officer. The road has taken him to various police departments to work as a dispatcher, and the most recent of these was at the Fort Smith Police Department. When some officer positions became open, he applied. He passed one test after another and waited. And then he waited some more. He thought he had been one of the seven chosen, and he was, but the budget only allowed them to hire six. What a roller coaster, right? Well, they told him that if any officers retire, quit, or get fired then he would be first in line for that job. They told him to expect something to happen next spring. So, the waiting began again. He took it all in stride.
Yesterday, he got a phone call. One of the six has decided not to take the position and you are in...come get your police identification and some other stuff...and report to the shooting range to get certified in the morning. Somewhere in all that, he will get sworn in...and poof, my brother is a certified police officer! Wow!
I am so proud of him. He didn't give up. He faced adversity several times and still didn't quit! So today, he begins living the first day of knowing what its like to chase a big dream and achieve it! brother is a police man....that is going to take a little bit to sink in! :) If you are ever in Fort Smith and run into Officer nice to him! Wow...Officer George...weird!


Well, I am not sure if we got freezing rain, sleet, freezing fog, or just a mixture of all that....but whatever it was that fell last night has frozen central Arkansas--literally. You could ice skate on our back deck. The streets at our house are fine, but apparently they aren't so great everywhere else because Ep just called to say the roads are terrible. That would be why they cancelled every school within a 50 mile radius, closed federal and state offices, and most businesses are not opening until at least 10am. But, oh no...of my husband went. I am pretty sure he is in inclement weather denial. At least he waited until almost 9am to head out. Please pray for him today....the roads are awful and I am sure I won't be the only one worrying about him.

For the record, my office closes for bad weather when the Little Rock public schools close. Additionally, if the Little Rock schools don't close, but my local district does (Pulaski County), then I can stay home as well. Pretty nice policy if you ask me! So, I am home today.

In anticipation of being home today, I had Ep catch the Christmas tree box as I slid it down from the attic. The Christmas tree is now up and I have to figure out why on set of pre-lit lights aren't lighting up. Probably a fuse...that will be fun. Aritificial trees irritate my skin... I get red marks wherever it touches me.... so digging in the tree to find the right plug that needs a fuse should leave me looking like I have been in a cat fight!

I think I might do some online Christmas shopping today...perfect day for it! Of course, all while keeping an eye on the toilet paper bandit....who by the way is saying his own version of thank you. At least he is a polite toilet paper bandit! :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

It was a weekend

The weekend is over and the week has begun...

Weekend accomplishments: painted 2/3 of what needed to be painted in the garage, took mom to get her suburban and met my brother's girlfriend, ordered some gifts, won some ebay auctions, spent some snuggle time with Kale, think we got shafted by neighbor boys cleaning our yard, and had date night with Ep.

So far today, I forgot Kale had an appt to get a shot--a shot that he has to receive within 28-30 days of the last one he received. So, now he gets to go get it on Wednesday.

We are also MAYBE getting some ice...yuck. However, I need not fear, as Ep has kept me very aware of the latest forcast--I think he was giving 15 minute updates last night. I wore my snow/ice boots today, just in case.

I think thats it, but again, its only Monday morning...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Deals, Deals, Deals

Ok, I can't stand it any longer...I have been getting some deals this week.

Target has been shining bright while Walgreens has been doing time on skid row and is about to get yet another "sentencing" from me. I am either going to become friends with the Walgreens district manager or he is going to eternally hate me...its his choice, because I am not going away.

I went to Target yesterday to pick up some stuff for the ACH toy drive. My total before coupons was around $144 and I walked out paying $68 after coupons. I didn't have coupons for the toys, Ep's gift, and a couple of other things. BUT, I got free batteries (AA and AAA) galore, 3 free smell good candle looking things for the house, 2 free boxes of cereal, a free box of Kashi bars, and some free trial sizes of shampoo, conditioner, and detergent.

I donated a bunch of the batteries to ACH with the toys I donated. Kale went with me...we had a good time. He met some of my facebook friends from the local radio station and got his picture taken and such....he was his usual little celebrity self. That orange (its really not red) hair is going to bring him more attention than I could have ever dreamed. But hey...if the world wants to love on my son...have at it...just don't hurt him...OR ELSE!

If anyone is interested in free batteries...let me know...all it takes is a coupon that I can send to you (pdf document) and a Target $1 spot at your local Target.

Happy Friday....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Kale HATES shoes. There, did you get that point?

When I was pregnant, I read somewhere that you should wait until your child is walking before introducing shoes. The book said that it would help thier feet develop properly and that learning to walk would be easier. Here is what the book didn't say. If you let your child go barefoot all summer and then try to introduce him to shoes, he will outright refuse them.

We bought him a pair of Crocs because he has wide fat feet. You can't get the second shoe even halfway on before he already has the other one off and most times is already working on taking off his sock. We bought him a pair of neoprene backed Crocs...those came off way faster than I could even put them on him....and so did his socks.

God blessed me during the Duck Duck Goose sale this fall. I came across a pair fo barely used Stride Rite shoes in size 5.5 wide. Kale was a shoe size 4 at that time. I was hoping that by the time we got to size 5.5 he would have decided that shoes were not the devil. He didn't get that memo. These shoes fit him now but he still hates shoes. HOWEVER, since they velcro shut and he has not figured out velcro just yet...IF you can get them on and are golden! That is a big fat IF though. See, when you try to put his foot in the shoe, he automatically curls up his toes. Ever try to put a fat wide foot with curled up toes into a shoe and get it velcroed...especially when that foot belongs to a rambunctios 13 month old boy? Let me tell you, its a workout! Seriously, it will make you sweat! I have done that workout twice in the last few days. Once I got those suckers on him, they stayed on for several hours.

Kale also forgets that he can still walk in shoes. It takes him a bit before he "remembers" that he can still walk around even though he now has on clunky shoes (and I am sure that is what he could call them). But once he remembers...look he comes. And, if he could talk, he would be asking you to please take off his shoes!!!!

I have already started looking for his next pair of shoes...anybody priced a pair of Stride Rite toddler shoes lately? Um...$50 a pair! Since we need wide shoes, we may be forced into buying Stride Rite for a while...but that doesn't mean I won't be looking for other brands that carry a wide in toddler sizes!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

If you're happy and you know it...

Its been a little hectic around our house lately. Kale's ability to walk has just exploded. It won't be long before he loses his waddle and shows us how he can run...its just a matter of time. He can walk the entire length of our house, turn around, and go somewhere else without falling. He proves this when he can't find one of us and tries to track us down. If you disapear for a potty break and don't shut the door, then don't expect much privacy! He will find you!
Kale has learned how to clap and its usually not random. He claps for himself when he is happy, excited, or is praised. He claps when you sing "If your happy and you know it...", which he learned by watching his baby Einstein video. Its pretty cute when you spontaneously start singing that song and he starts clapping. When you get to the part about stomping your feet, he just shakes his head no...which is really cute as well. :)

Kale has forgotten how to sleep well at night. Its catching up with him. He tosses and turns all night...cries out...just acts not quite comfortable or relaxed. We don't know why. Ep thinks he is cutting another tooth, but I haven't found any new ones just yet. He bites me at least once a day...

Here is a pic of Kale with the beloved remote control. There are three things in our house that he constantly seeks (besides us). They are the tv remotes, cell phones, and computer keyboard. Most of the time, those things are out of his reach. We had to replace our DirecTv unit last week and as Ep worked on the new one, he gave Kale the battery-less remote to the old unit. Kale pretty much pranced with it! He took it all over the house and was soooo proud and then would stop to look and make sure he was really, really getting to hold the remote! Can you tell he was happy?

Christmas is coming...and our house is about to be decorated in a flurry of activity. Normally, I am bugging Ep to let me put out Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving has even arrived. Not this year. We are working on it though...

I tried to get Kale to let me take some Christmas pics. They didn't turn out as well as I had hoped and he confirmed that he has no idea what the heck I mean when I tell him to sit still for just a second. LOL! Some of the better ones...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Well, everyone who knows me should know by now that I love to find a bargain! I am competitive and my competition is the goal is to see how much I can save. In the long run, for every coupon I use, the store is reimbursed for the coupon PLUS they make .08 for each coupon they accept. So, everyone wins! :)

Last Thursday, I asked my loving husband to take me to Walgreens on the way to Thanksgiving lunch. In all honesty, I had a prescription to pick up, but turns out their pharmacy was closed at that store. I wasn't bummed though...because I had coupons to use...and oh boy did I get a deal!

Here is the summary:

1 can enfamil next step = $11.99
6 cans of gillette shave gel = $16.74
20 schick intuition razors = $79.80
1 dial trial size body wash = $.99
1 bottle Mr Clean = $3.29
1 $25 BabyGap gift card = $25

Total before coupons = $137.81
Minus 6 Walgreens coupons on the shave gel (-$10.80) = $127.01
Minus 20 $3 Walgreens coupons on the razors (-$60) = $67.01
Minus 20 $3 manufacture coupons on razors (-$60) = $7.01
Minus 1 $1 manufacture coupon on Mr Clean (-$1) = $6.01
and then there is the tax (+ $7.80) = $13.81
I should note that the tax is charged on the total before coupons. Bummer, right?

So...for $13.81 I got all that stuff listed I need to remind you that it included a $25 BabyGap gift card? Don't worry, I already spent it! :)

In reality, I saved more than that...because some of those items are priced on sale...and at the bottom of my receipt it shows what I saved off of the regular prices....

In total, I saved:
$10.80 on the 7 hour coupon
$110 in advertised savings (Walgreens coupons plus sale prices)
$121 in manufacture's coupons
for a whopping total of $241.80 if I had paid full price for those items!

I heart coupons!!!!!!

If you want to know where I get most of my info...check out and please know it can be overwhelming at first and very addicting....but after a while it gets much easier!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A week?

Ugh, how did that happen? I went a week without updating and now I need to play "catch you up"! Hmmm, well, grab a comfy we go...

Last weekend was a the big prep for Christmas cleaning. We are hosting "Moody Christmas" at our house this year because its my mom's year to host. Its much easier for her family to drive 20-40 miles to our house than the 150 miles to her house. We have made some updates and such as we started preparing for Dec 20th. We got Merry Maids involved. There was some misunderstandings on their part and the official "deep clean" on Monday turned into more of a "somewhat clean" event. That resulted in a disgruntled phone call on Monday evening, which resulted in a visit to our house by the manager the next morning, which resulted in a team of three merry maids revisiting our house that afternoon. And THEN we had a very clean house! Wednesday came and went with a half day of work for me and then some errand running with Kale. My dad arrived and Ep had made deer stew...we all enjoyed a pre-Thanksgiving meal!

Thursday was a fast and furious version of Thanksgiving. We all went to Lonoke...but not really Lonoke to be thankful with some extended family. It was a good time. From there, Ep and I ran away together for a few days. Kale stayed in Little Rock with Mema Nana and Pawpaw. We think he kept them in line.

Ep and I had a lot of fun...I did some shopping, but very little was on Friday and I was disapointed with my options on Saturday. Duh Marcia...Friday was the busiest shopping day of the year...there are NO BARGAINS LEFT the next day! We returned home today to find our little boy walking all over the place. Its just plain unreal to me! He will just take off walking...its crazy! He will also walk with you by holding onto your pant leg, but if you try to hold his hand to help him walk then he just drops to the floor. I am posting the proof of walking in the video below...

Larry, you might want to get that firewall fixed and Wendi, here is your warning...your dad is probably about to come to your house... :)

As I was typing this, Ep made the following comment from the couch: "Marcia, he is walking all over this house...he just walked from the ottoman to halfway across the room and to his rocking horse and...(I don't remember the rest)., ignore the people in the background of this video!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Just some pics...we have a wild man on the loose at our house.

We didn't comb his hair today, can you tell???
In case you were wondering, his shirt says "I don't have an off button"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another week...and what month is it again?

Wow. That is all I can really say. I can't believe its almost Thanksgiving. I have been incredibly busy with work. I got behind on a project and then being out of the country for 12 days didn't help either. Whew...but I got that project behind me. I finished it on Friday. Monday will bring a new one, but its much shorter and easier.

I haven't bought one single Christmas gift. I haven't even THOUGHT about what I will be getting everyone. I don't even know what I want...much less what anyone else wants.

Ep and I made a journey to Lowe's today. We survived. THAT is a miracle. We didn't kill each other OR leave our loaded cart in the middle of an aisle and walk out because of poor customer service. Don't be misled...they had AWFUL customer service...but we just aren't in a position right now to make our stand for good customer service. We could have gone to Home Depot, but they are worse than Lowe's. If someone knows a good place to buy home improvement stuff in our area...AND get good customer service...speak up!!!

We then celebrated by having pizza for lunch. :) Yummy!

After we got home...we installed a new set of blinds in the kitchen. It was a tag team effort. Let's just leave it at that....

Tomorrow, I am painting the hall bathroom. We bought a sprayer to that ought to be really interesting. I just hope I don't accidentally spray the tub or toilet!

Well, I will leave you with some pics of the star of our show....

Trying to get a drink from an unopened soup can. When that one didn't work, he threw it down and went for another one from his stash (see the grocery bag of cans?)
Just a happy little boy on a Saturday morning.
He loves to roll that little pumpkin all over the house.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Manic Monday

Just another manic Monday whoooaaaoooo.... (anybody besides me remember that song?)

Kale woke us up at 5am...for no reason other than to talk to us apparently. There were lots of Dada and Hi's being said in our bed this morning...before dawn. Ugh. We responded with a lot of shhhh and its still night night and its sleepy time, but he didn't care. After 30 minutes of bed olympics, he finally settled back down with a bottle while I cradled him next to me. Ep helped send him the message that it was still sleepytime by snoring from his side of the bed. Then Kale proceeded to sleep until 8am! I had to get up by 7am to take a shower before Ep left. Oh yea!

When the sleeping prince awoke, I got him dressed and fed him breakfast. Apprently, he wanted the world to know I fed him breakfast because he gave my jeans an open mouth oatmeal slathered slobbery kiss...twice. I knew that if I changed jeans, he would just find a way to make the I just wore them anyway. He proceeded to bite me several times before we left the house...they weren't aggressive bites...they were more like the "I am loving on you...mmm, you taste good...chomp!" kind of bite.

Down the road we went to the pediatrician...and what does he do? He falls asleep. I thought I might sneek in a trip to Target, but since he was sleeping I just decided to hang out in the parking lot and let him rest. I waited until the last minute to get him out...and of course he woke up. Mr-I-can't-miss-anything was not going to sleep through getting out of the truck, oh no! He wasn't sure where he was...but he was ok with it. Poor guy, had no idea what was coming. He got his shot (for RSV) and nearly turned purple...he was definitely crimson red...and then came the dreaded wail. So, I just stood there and held him tight until he decided that we hadn't tried to kill him. He gulped down some bottle while I put his pants back on. Oh...and he weighs 24 pounds, 9.5 ounces.

So, back in the truck and down the road we go to Aunt Robin's house. He nearly fell asleep again. He was being pretty clingy and docile when I left him with Robin. Thankfully, he was clinging to her and not upset that I left. Mema Nana picked him up a few hours later and they are probably back at our house by now. Thank you Robin for keeping him for a couple of hours really helped!

I don't know what tonight holds, but I know it involves tackling projects on the "get it done before Dec 20th list" and also cutting up deer meat (Ep will be doing that!). We didn't shoot cousin did...and shared the meat with us.

Just another manic Monday...whooooaaaooooo

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Seems a week without daddy leads to a little boy remembering how to say momma. Still, he seems to mostly associate it with food. Everytime I hear my name, he is either getting food from one of us or wanting food from one of us. Ep said that he was saying Momma when they woke up from their nap today...but I bet it was because he was hungry from sleeping right through lunch! Oh least he is saying it more! :)

PS...Bekah...just got your message...will email or something tomorrow...

Kale's letter to Santa....

Kale's letter to Santa....

Dear Santa,
I have been very, very good. I promise.
PS--don't believe what my mommy might tell you about toilet paper, the fridge, doors, and my teeth. She doesn't know what she is talking about!

The bestest boy ever,

And then there is mommy's version....
I must say...Kale is growing up. How do I know this? Well, for one, the word NO is being said a LOT around our house recently. He understands no. Its VERY clear that he understands the concept and meaning of NO. Kale will approach something he knows he is not supposed to have and start shaking his head no. Most times, he does well and leaves whatever it is alone. Other times, not so much...he will shake his head no and then go for it anyway. Here is some proof from his recent escapades....

He found the toilet paper roll....then proved he could care less about the paper and was still spinning the roller when he realized he was "caught".

I got something out of the fridge and left the door open as I placed it on the counter. I turned around and this is what I saw. He played there for so long that his hands felt like ice cubes (acording to Mema Nana)

Oh we get to babyproof the doors.....this was on Halloween. This it the door to the garage, which is where we most frequently come and go from the house.

This is from yesterday....cute pic huh?
Well, I chose it for a reason...see those chompers?
Those top two have friends...two more on top and three on the bottom!
He knows how to use them and he knows he can bite more than just his food!
Try to ignore Mema Nana playing "tump the ottoman" in the background...she may get me for not cropping that out!

PS...I still think I have the bestest boy ever!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Forgot this one...just remembered

I forgot to blog this its a few weeks delayed....

Momma is not a word that frequents Kale's mouth anymore. Everyone is either Nana or Dada. He seems to alternate equally between calling me either of those names. Great. And then along came chocolate. A few weeks ago I was enjoying a little bit of Halloween chocolate. Well of course, my busy pants had to come see what Momma was eating. So I gave him a small piece...and his immediate response was big eyes and a very vocal MMMMMMMM. He also made it VERY clear that he wanted MORE...

Fast forward to a few nights later. Mema Nana was giving us date night...and I called to see if she wanted us to bring her anything. That was when she shared this with me. She was enjoying some chocolate and again, mr busy pants had to come inspect. So, she gave him a tiny piece. How does he respond? MMMMMmmmm Momma Momma

So now, I am truly one with chocolate. Momma is chocolate and chocolate is least right now in the world of Kale anyway!!!

.49 for two coffee mates!

Edited to add that this is only good on the liquid coffee mate!!!!

I have decided to start sharing some of my here goes....

Ok, for all the Coffee Mate liquid is a deal for you. Get it while its good. If your name is Sue not do this...I have it taken care of for you... :)

This deal will get you two cans of Coffee Mate for .49 this week at Walgreens....

Go here: ...just follow the directions. You can uninstall the coupon printer after you print. IMPORTANT: after you print the first one, hit the back button on your browser...then hit refresh. Then, print again. You should be able to print two sets of the coupons.

Now...go to your local Walgreens...look for the ad at the front of the store...take one (this is also the ad that comes in the Sunday paper). Open it to page 2 and find the in store coupon for Buy One Get One (BOGO) on Coffee Mate. Now, go find your coffee mate. Get two. Go to the front of the store....get in line...when its your turn...give the coffee mate to the cashier...give her your instore coupon (you can give her the ad, you don't have to tear it out)....give her your two coupons for $1 off one coffee mate. Pay your .49 plus tax...and leave. Its that easy.

Now...if you are wondering about using 3 coupons on 2 Walgreens (and Target for that matter) you can combine a manufacturers coupon (the one you printed) with an in store coupon (specific to that store...Walgreens, Target, etc). me...have fun getting your cheap coffee mate!

Coffee Mate--Math:$2.49 with in ad bogo free Q-( 2) $1.00 MQ= $0.49

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Its his time...

Its Ep's time...thats all I am saying. He had a great day....thats all I am saying....because I don't want to jinx anything!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm not Britney, but oops, I did it again....

Don't ask me how...I have no idea, but oops, I did it again! Ep and I play this game when we have news to share...we try to find some good news to go with any bad here goes. The good can be fixed and won't cost us a dime. The bad news is that I already managed to lose a diamond out of my new rings. I lost a diamond out of the rose gold ring. Again, no idea how I did that, especially since that ring nests between the other two rings! Since we went a phenomenal jeweler this time around...less than 2.5 hours after I noticed I was missing a diamond, our jeweler has already returned my call and told me to bring the ring in and he will get it fixed. How many jewelers do you know that will call you after hours to assure you that your jewelry can and will be fixed? I don't know many, but I know one...and that is what counts! :)

I was texting with Ep while he waited for his name to be called during "pairings", which is when they assign a co-angler to fish from the back of his boat. So, I let him know via text. As soon as I typed "the diamond is missing from my rose ring" and hit send...the messages stopped coming from his end. So, either he is mad or his name got called. I am going with the notion that his name got called. I KNOW I didn't do anything to make this diamond fall out. Nobody knows how freaking careful I am now with my rings. Its insane how careful I very not like me for the first 32 years of my life...but so much like me for the past couple of months.

On a completely different note...I gave blood today. We had a blood drive at work and I chose to give. I had decided to give anyway, so it was just convenient that it was at work. I tried to think of something good and positive I could do every year to commemorate the day that is forever etched in our minds (Nov 5th)...which is the day Kale was admitted to Arkansas Children's Hospital with his heart condition. I felt so incredibly helpless that day. Since he received blood that day, I decided that by donating blood I could give back AND help someone else the way that someone helped Kale. So, I gave blood today. It wasn't hard and didn't hurt. If you haven't ever given blood, I challenge you to give it a try. It DOES make a difference...need proof...see the video in the previous post of the little orange headed boy walking around...he is living proof that someone giving blood DOES make a difference! If you have given before but haven't done so in a is your reminder...its time to give! I also found out that in our area, the blood bank has about 1/2 days worth of blood on hand...and that is it! Whew...more people need to matter where you are...I am sure that the stats in your area aren't much different! Ok..Marcia's personal GIVE BLOOD psa is now over...but don't forget...GIVE BLOOD!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

assisted walking and a small temper

Well...he started a new trick today. The temper isn't new...and here it is in full view...when he runs into something, he gets mad because he hasn't quite figured out how to change direction or turn around yet. Thats only a matter of days away, hopefully. He has not done this assisted walking at ALL before today. A few hours ago he just got up and took off...Mema Nana nearly fell over from shock!

So...Ep made the prediction that Kale might be walking by the time he comes home this weekend...sorry honey...he might be running by then! :)

Oh, and yes...we know...he has a temper...and its out of control. Oh the fun ahead of us as we try to tame it!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday night already?

Whew, can't believe its already Sunday night. Another weekend gone...some stuff accomplished, but it seems that we don't quite ever get it all done. However, we have some we just need to follow through....

Kale is dadadadadada dadadadaddada hi dadadaddadadada hi. And when he isn't saying that, he just anyone, anything, for no apparent reason...other than the fact that he can. At dinner tonight, her made a 3 1/2 year old nearly fall out of her chair staring at him because he started yelling. He doesn't seem to understand what "sshhhh, quiet...inside voices" means just yet. Oh..and he bites...he was giving me kisses today...twice...the first kisses he has granted me in a while...and then CHOMP! Pretty sure I will have a bruise on my cheek soon. We have decided that all the yelling is so his daddy can hear him all the way in North Carolina.

Ok...its bedtime...bottle, cuddly boy...and making sure his head or feet are touching me all night long...oh yea! :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Here comes the weekend

Well, its been a full week. Our weeks seem to just move faster and faster lately.

Monday--Kale went to stay with Robin and the boys...and had a great time. I took him to Old Navy and Target afterwards and he wasn't as thrilled with that! Nana arrived in time to transfer him to her bed that night...and he was overjoyed to wake up next to her on Tuesday.

Tuesday--Kale got a follow up flu shot....he was NOT happy about that...for about 20 seconds. I voted after dropping off Kale and Nana at home. Nana had an audiology (ENT) appt that afternoon, so Kale and I went looking for peelies and then to the mall (my first time to the mall in months! yes, really!). We managed to eat Chik-fil-A for both breakfast AND lunch on that day. Then it was home so Merry Maids could come give us a quote and then we watched election night coverage while munching on Sonic...Kale WILL steal your cheese stick if you don't watch him! He was a fry and cheese stick thief and was even eyeing my burger! It must have worn him out....he was out by 8pm. :)

Wednesday--I am trying to remember....I know I had lunch with Ep...oh, and we went out for date night in two different vehicles because we had to pick one up along the way and take it back to our house. We had sushi...yummy. I think Ep tried to grow a rice field in his belly.

Thursday--ummm, I don't remember? I know that Ep took Kale to go pick up Noney and Grandaddy from the airport. Nana and I went out for some girl time...since we never seem to make time for that anymore. We went looking for some "girl support" and then to dinner at Mimi's Cafe. Nana nearly disowned me for not introducing her to Mimi's before now...
We came home to find Ep and Kale snuggled up in the bed and that Noney and Grandaddy had already bailed out of town because they were vacationed out...

Friday--whew...are we there yet? Ep and I shared lunch and invited Nana and Kale to join us. However, since Kale was sleeping and Nana was about to Holiday House it...they declined. Kale got the best of Nana at Holiday House though...she said she couldn't go a couple feet without someone stopping her to tell her how beautiful his hair is...and then she called me and threatened to shave him bald! Whoa! They are still Holiday Housing...although one of them had a bottle and dozed off for a while. Tonight will just be some family time. Ep leaves us in the morning and won't be back for a week. We don't want to see him until next Sunday. He is going to Charlotte, NC to fish in a national tournamen that he qualified to fish. They have a "cut" on Friday. The final day is Saturday...

Nana and I don't have much planned this weekend....well, we do, but nothign of note...just your normal weekend stuff. Run errands...sell things on ebay (me) and buy stuff on ebay (Nana)...and get to work on Holidaying our house before the holiday crew arrives later next month.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What a difference a year makes

Around 10am this morning, I had the sudden realization of what today is...this was odd for me, because I have been awaiting this day for a while now. Then, the day gets here, and I am completely oblivious to it for hours. Maybe thats not such a bad thing.

Warning...this won't be an easy read...

A year ago today, our world seemed to stop spinning for about 12 hours. We didn't recover to a normal level for months and still have moments of rememberance to jolt us. A year ago today, Kale rode in the ambulance to the hospital and spent over 3 hours in the ER while they tried to get an IV started and slow down his heartbeat. He was "ice bagged" twice--once at the dr's office and once in the ER. Being "ice bagged" is when they fill a ziplock type bag with water and ice...and then it really, really looks like they are trying to smother you with it while they attempt to confuse your body. He was poked and prodded so many times that eventually they had to give him blood as well after he was stable. Before he left the ER, he had been shocked twice in the attempt to slow his heart rate. in the thing they do to dead people to restart the heart...only they were just trying to slow his down. It worked the second time. We discovered what is was like to have the "code team" in your child's room....those are the people that come when they think your child's body might give out and they might need to administer drugs or machines to help him survive. I can't put into the words the feelings that a parent feels when thier child is laying there with so many hands trying to help him...and knowing all you can do is pray. Its a very humbling experience at the least. I prayed more that day than I probably have prayed in all the other days of my life. When all other words failed to come...I still managed to find the words of "Please Lord, watch over my son, please help my son." There was a point when thats all I could say. I remember thinking that Ep might very well physically kick the "social worker" out of the room. She was trying to help...but she didn't know us...and what she was saying/doing wasn't helping. I don't even remember what it was that she was saying and doing...I just know it aggravated the fire out of Ep.

After Kale was transferred to the CV-ICU, we had to wait until they got him settled before we could go inside. I don't remember when various family members arrived...I just know they came. We had barely been in the room with Kale for a few minutes when his heart rate jumped back up...and they had to shock him again. I remember thinking "is it us...are we causing this?". I know that sounds absurd...but nothing--and I mean nothing--is logical at all when your child has been that close to death and is still fighting for his life. Your brain takes you to places you didn't know existed...or just goes numb.

Kale was eventually stable. However, our journey felt really rocky. We would be told promising news only to be told something completely different a few hours later. Need an example? How about when they told us that we might get to go home the next day...only to come by a few hours later and tell us that they were having to change his medicine again because the one he was on was showing signs of giving him a possibly fatal heart beat. Needless to say...we told them we would stay as long as necessary.

Ep and I slept in the waiting room until Kale finally got moved to the "step down unit". Ep went home every day to shower and get anything we needed. For that week, I lived at the hospital. In fact, I didn't step one foot outside that entire week we were there. I didn't cross the threshold of an outside door. I ate, slept, showered, name it...all at the hospital.

During that time, we made associations that we didn't even know about...specifically, the smell of the soap and the antibacterial foam that is used all over the hospital. I can smell that soap and my mind shows me a picture of tiny Kale...wires and cords everywhere...him weighing less than 5 lbs and surrounded by machines that beeped and hissed.

There is a nurse that I won't ever forget. Her name is Heather. I was thinking today about why she means more to me than any of the other nurses Kale had during his stay. I think its because she was his first nurse...she provided us with a sense of calm, security, and assurance during at time when we really needed it. She knew her stuff...she was confident...and we needed someone like that caring for our child. Plus...she had auburn hair. :) I took Kale to see her a few months ago...she laughed and asked what I had been feeding him and just loved on him and his fat rolls.

During the stress of what happened to him, Kale forgot how to suck...and we had to remind him. He came within minutes of being "tubed" so they could provide him with nutrients...but God sent us a NICU nurse to the area (I refuse to believe that she just happened to be there) who was preparing for an incoming child. She took a moment to show me what I call the shotgun method. It worked...and he started gulping his milk. He hasn't slowed down since!

There are lots of times now when I think about something Ep said during or after Kale's "event". He said...we don't/didn't even know him. We had only had a week alone with our child. We were still learning about him and his personality. We truly had no idea...we didn't know he was stubborn, or about his temper, or his persistance, or that he has a way of drawing everyone to him. Now we least some of it. We are still learning about him daily and its a joy to do so.

I only remember breaking down one time. I was laying on my chair bed in the waiting room and I just lost it. We had received some news that wasn't good...but I don't remember what. I just remember asking Ep..."when will it stop?" and telling him that I couldn't handle anything more. He held me and I cried for a few minutes. Then I pulled myself together again. I haven't really cried about it since. I blocked the tears, the pain, and the anger. I get tears in my eyes as I remember, but I don't cry about it. I don't know why. I just don't. Maybe my mind knows that the pain of that situations just isn't bearable and so it won't let me go there. Either way, I do my best to not run from this memory...but to hold onto it...and remember how STRONG our little boy is and what he showed us that day. I still have up and down days with God about it all, but that is ok too.

I still look at Kale sometimes and wonder....did that REALLY happen? To look at him, you wouldn't know he has a heart condition. You wouldn't know he nearly died. He looks like most other one year olds...full of energy, fat and happy....he loves his bottle, babbles to us, loves Baby Einstein videos, lets us know--without any doubt--when he isn't happy, refuses to sleep in his bed, and loves to be outside. He is just a typical one year old. Funny what a difference a year truly does make!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tuesday...everything on Tuesday

We started out the day with a trip to the doctors office for Kale to get his second round of the flu shot. Oh yea! Actually, it wasn't that bad. Yes, he yelled and screamed...for about 10 seconds. Then he just gave me and the nurse a look that let us know he wasn't exactly happy about whatever we just did to him. 30 seconds later, he was over it. We had grabbed some breakfast from Chick-fil-A on the way with some biscuit on his belly, the gentle motion of the truck put him to sleep quickly.

We made another stop before the doctor so I could score some "peelies" and then we also ran to Old Navy to score some more socks on sale. Kale had all of four pairs that fit we NEEDED socks. After an Old Navy run last night...and the one this morning...he is good on socks now!

We then made one more "peelie" stop on the way home...but no luck.

I dropped Nana and Kale off at home and then went to vote. Let me tell you, there were some REALY energized people at the parking lot entrance. Wow! So, I leave me be and don't tell me I can't gripe and complain about politicians for the next four years. I I get to gripe, celebrate, or complain! Those who don't can't do that!!!! I know who you are... :) Be happy I am not calling you out here! :)

I am literally heading back out the door of work...Nana has her ENT appointment that means that Kale and I have a middle of the day date....until after her appt is over. :) Then, they will go home and I will come back to work....

This has been the most non-work "work" day ever....

Monday, November 3, 2008


Just to capture, before I forget....

Halloween was uneventful. We took a stroller ride to the only house in our neighbohood with its light on (it was still daylight, but still...). We then walked up to the fire station. Kale was more impressed with the long walk than he was with the candy. He doesn't even know he got candy for that matter. Even after dark, I think there were only two houses in our neighborhood with the light on...and ours was one of them. So yes, we trick or treated our own house since Nana was guarding the door. Ahem, Kale was our only trick or treater....we turned out the lights and were all in bed by 8:30pm.

We had the worst night with Kale last night...possibly the worst night thus far. He could NOT get comfy. His poor mouth was causing him too much pain. I gave him everything he could have, alternating every four hours. It didn't help that he decided to head butt the wall twice while half asleep. As if the yelling and screaming wasn't already bad enough...that just made it worse. He would fall asleep on top of me...but when I tried to lay him in the was a full on squall. ugh. I tried to go into his room to rock...oh heck no! He might fall asleep and be put in his crib, so I had to drag the rocker into our room. Oh yea! Something else to trip over during the night...

I wish I could say this morning was better....but we still have a very cranky, clingy, angry little boy. When I dropped him off at Robin's house, he immediately started playing and having a good time. He was playing by himself and got all excited or something and let out a yell that sent BOTH her boys running! Mind you, they are 9 months older than Kale...and can walk/run! It was hilarious. They may all be deaf by the time Kale gets done with them today. God BLESS them!!!! God BLESS Robin for letting me drop off my cranky boy so I could go to work.

Nana isn't faring much better....she has a fever caused by a sudden kidney infection. She got anitbiotics and is coming to report for duty...God BLESS her as well!

Ok...gotta go...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Morning--a pumpkin with a pumpkin

I found a pumpkin.....

hmmmm, what can I do with it???

uh oh, mommy is still watching me....

oh well, time to roll the pumpkin anyway!!!

What say you? Change?

Let's say you know someone and there is room in their life for change. What if by making some changes, they could not only improve thier life but also improve the lives around them. Should you hope for that change? Should you ask for that change? Should you encourage that change? Or should you just accept that this person will not change, not even ask them to change, and not even hope for a change?

I want to hear what you think...

Let me give you another tidbit of thought before you respond....
What if nobody had ever asked for change in the way slaves were treated? What if nobody ever challenged racist comments or actions? What if nobody had ever stood up for the protection of abused children? What if one person had not stood up and asked one other person for a change of mentality on those things? What if you see a need for change, but choose not to ask for it--have you done anyone justice in that situation?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dragging my feet....

I know, I know...I owe EVERYONE some pics. I have had several ask for birthday boy pics...and I will do my best to get them on here soon. Its been quite a busy week at work and such. Oh, life! Last weekend didn't feel so much like a weekend...but I am not complaining. I am just brain hasn't had much down time. Even my dreams have been crazy...and involved Ep and my mom buying a million dollar house for a "steal"! for the hiccups I mentioned in a previous post...they were in reference to things like Kale discovering he can open/shut doors and cabinets (thus we needed to install the babyproofing stuff), discovering the toilet paper roll (and unrolling it), and just the general stress/mayhem that comes with planning your childs first party and wanting to get it right and not miss anything along the way. Oh, parenthood!

Kale is doing fine and we still can't believe he is a one year old. We have done a lot of reflecting lately. Ep has even mentioned a couple of things that tells me that he has been doing some reflecting as well. A year ago yesterday, we finally brought Kale home for the first time. A year ago today, I was holding my breath in pure preemie baby that wasn't supposed to even be born yet...and no nurses to hold our hands...and no monitors to beep at us...and oh the joy but oh the fear! A year ago today, we were still in completel awe that our little boy was at home with us and that the doctors/nurses actually let us take him home! A year ago today, we had no idea of the giant hurdle still in front of us (although my instincts were trying to warn me). A year ago today, we were still loving the task of changing dirty diapers. A year ago today, we were excited when Kale drank more than a few ounces at a time. A year ago today, we were thinking he needed to add a little fat to his body. My oh My, how times have changed. Funny what change a year can bring! Everyday, we continue to thank God for the blessing of Kale!

Oh, one other thing...I made a video of pictures that we showed during halftime of the hog game on Saturday night. I called it "365 days of Kale George Fletcher" I will do my best to either link it on here or something...but that is going to take some time. Maybe it will be before he turns 16....

Monday, October 27, 2008

there aren't enough words...

There just aren't words for all the thoughts and emotions right now. Its Monday, and I am already mentally just wiped out.

The party went well. It had its hiccups...I will leave it at that. Overall, it was a good party and lots of fun was had by all who attended.

The Hog game was a exciting disapointment. We lost. However, I think this is justified to say...he recruited our current players and didn't recruit his current players. Basically, he can win with players that he doesn't recruit...but couldn't win with players that he did recruit. Give us a couple years and I bet we wax his hiney about the same time that the Ole Miss fans wake up and realize the roses they thought they were smelling were never really roses at all! Moving on...

My dad was with us all weekend and that was really nice. We really, really enjoyed him being here. I was glad he went to church with us on Sunday morning. I know that the format of the church we attend doesn't exactly mesh with what he prefers, but I was happy to have him with us for church.

Sunday night was a good "old yet new" experience. We joined a community group, which is a small group of people from church that meets every two weeks. Its a newly formed group, so Sunday night was devoted to just getting to know each other and deciding on how we want our group to work. I say "old yet new" because Ep and I have been part of a community group before through a different church in a different city. So, we kind of know the function and what we have to look forward to with the group. Child care isn't provided, so Kale stayed at home with MemaNana and Papaw. Since MemaNana won't be here most Sunday nights, we are now in the hunt for a babysitter for Sunday nights...every other week for a couple of hours.

By the time we got home, Kale was sacked out in MemaNana's bed. We picked him up and transported him to his bed...where he stayed for a whole hour before waking up. He was NOT happy about being in there and let us know...but not nearly to the extent that he let me know last week. Tonight, we will try again. His daddy can get a real taste of his temper...

It was a hard weekend of bad news....first the death of Anne Presley and then the deaths of two UCA students in Conway. Our society needs to get off its haunches and grow a backbone. Its time to bring some real punishment to those who do such awful things. I mean, really, is giving someone their own space with heat/air, tv, internet, blah blah blah really a way to punish someone for such violent acts? If they catch the people who did these things....will they sit forever in jail or be turned loose? Last week, a lady who has 10 DUI arrests was turned loose because she is considered a non-violent offender. Really...not violent...she has been driving impaired and caught 10 times and not caught no telling how many times...and by the grace of God has not yet killed the minimum, she is a threat to her own life...and by most standards, she is a threat to everyone else on the road as well. I am tired of the "system" that is so busy protecting criminals that the good outstanding citizens become the ones who are neglected. Enough is enough. Ok, I better get off my soapbox now...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Its Friday!

Whohooo, its finally Friday!!!! Or maybe I should say...uh oh, its Friday???

We had to get up early and caravan with Ep to drop off his truck. It was a three vehicle ordeal because he didn't want to come all the way back home. Fair enough. We got breakfast out of the deal. By the time we got back home, one of us had fallen asleep and another one of us was wanting to fall asleep. But sure enough, I put the car in park and the sleeping giant awoke. After quite a fight and a bottle, he and I finally settled in for a good nap.

During our nap, I think Mema finally gave up and took a nap herself. She disapeared into her room and is still missing in action. Not that it hasn't gone unnoticed. Kale woke up asking for her and hasn't stopped. Oh and the whining....WHERE did he learn that???

You know how it just seems to happen that the ONE toy that is so annoying and loud turns out to be a kid's favorite toy? Well, that is surely the case around here today....twice over.
  1. this one is a "handyman shop" makes the noises of sawing, cutting, etc. And oh my, its annoying and loud and it squeals. Ugh, enough already. Mema had the toy at her house and HAD to bring it back to Little Rock because she want to sell it on ebay because its so annoying. Um, I think she should have just thrown it in the pond at her house because now Kale has decided he likes the annoying thing!
  2. the second is a one that I actually like....its ball shaped and vibrates so that it rolls and flops its way all over the floor. Oh the entertainment. But its loud. I have a headache. Loud+headache=want to throw it outside (but I won't).

Ok, time for a late lunch...and then round two of Ep and the trucks....only this time Mema doesn't have to go....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This week....

So far this week:
  • I officially got my promotion.
  • Ep got waitlisted for the national tournament...if just one guy says he isn't going, then Ep is in...and the tournament is in a few weeks. We will find out by Nov 1st (I think).
  • Kale had his birthday cupcake and wasn't impresssed. He is more enthused by the, um, actually more by the string that hangs from the balloon.
  • Our house looks rather destroyed at the moment...I was gone for two weeks, Ep was gone for one week and Mema was gone for a WHO made this mess??? There is much cleaning to do....acgghck.

This weekend holds the following:

  • Cleaning, Cleaning, and more Cleaning on Friday for Marcia. Kale might help.
  • Saturday is the party...mommy, daddy, and immediate family will be celebrating. Kale won't know what to think....but we are looking forward to seeing and spending time with everyone. Maybe we can manage not to drop the video camera this time during the "cake".
  • I would like to sqeeze in a visit to a pumpkin patch somewhere....I was aiming for Sunday afternoon, but Ep has scheduled a golf outing (which should be interesting, given that he doesn't own any clubs at the moment and isn't BUYING any between now and then). So, either we will go without him...or maybe if I get all the cleaning done early then we will go early Saturday...BUT seriously, all the cleaning has to be done first.
  • Sunday night is our first community group meeting with people from church. I hope they will change the night they plan to regularly meet...but if they don't then we will just have to find a different group because we don't have a babysitter for every Sunday night (Mema will still be in Alma).

Thats all I can think of right now....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Big Secret...

The secret is....

I got an unexpected promotion! With that being said...I purposefully am not putting any identifying informaiton about the place where I work...because they have this thing called google alert that lets them know when something is posted with the name of the organization where I work...and they don't need the info about my personal blog, thanks very much! :)

Anyway....I have been at my job for 4.5 years now...and there was very very very unofficial conversations about a possible promotion...but that has been nearly a year ago and also in better economic times. Getting a promotion is not supposed to happen quite the way it did for me...its supposed to be a very quiet thing until its official and I had absolutely no idea that it had been in the works since JUNE! Due to some policy changes and new staff, it really took 3.5 months for them to get it done! However, since I didn't know it had been "proposed", thats no big deal to me. My pay increase isn't much, so it wouldn't have mattered that much financially if they had done it quicker.

I found out about it as we were zooming along a mountain road in Slovakia. I seriously will never forget this promotion or where I was that shocking! I was in the car with a member of the Poland office staff and the boss of my boss (R). We were on our travel day, which included a visit to a mountain lake, which is where we were headed at the time. Randomly, R says to me "I got an email from .... about your promotion and its approved." He had NO IDEA that I didn't even know a promotion was being currently considered. You can imagine the shock and I somehow managed to feign that I knew exactly what he was talking about as I manged to spit out "Thats good news." brain was whirling. Huh? We are getting email after email about budget cuts and the world news is nothing but recession and financially hard times. And I get a promotion? Huh???? Did NOT see that one coming at all! We got to our destination and R makes the same announcement to my boss, who was in another car. She looked at him with complete disbelief and then at me. At that point, I laughed and I wasn't sure if she was going to congratulate me or kill him. So, instead of my boss pulling me aside into a quiet meeting and giving me the good news....I got it riding along a mountain road in Slovakia from someone else. The whole thing was just hilarious. And because it was soooo far from what SHOULD have been happening for an approved promotion....I was stunned into disbelief, which is part of why I have kept it secret until today. Now, it is official. I will pretty much do the same thing I have been doing, with a few added tasks that I already know how to do but just haven't HAD to do. :) My pay will go up a little...and the rest of my benefits stay the same. I am happy with it all. I know, that in these troubled economic times, that I am blessed to have what I have.

And each day, with each new surprise...I am reminded that God is Good!!!!! :)

Birthday Time!

Well, we had our first round of birthday celebrating....and it went well.

Kale wasn't so sure about it all...he took a late nap...and we let him get awake enough to know what was going on...and then stripped him down. It was cupcake time. We lit the candle and sang to him...and then Ep "helped" him blow out the candle. We pushed the cupcake closer to him, but Kale wasn't sure what to do. For a boy who gets just bits and pieces of cake and sweets...he was overwhelmed with whole entire cupcake!!! By the way, the cupcake is strawberry to keep a family tradition! Ep and I both prefer strawberry cakes for our birthday I decided to give Kale his own version this next year, we will know what HE prefers. :) All of this was recorded, but then we knocked the video camera off the high chair and the first part of the celebration was apparently lost. Don't worry, the best part was caught on the second round of the video anyway! Don't worry, the second round of video is still capturing the FIRST cupcake! (which he really only nibbled before opting for supper instead! such a daddy's boy!) As you can see towards the end...he got his fill and then definitely did not want anymore cupcake!

Ok, here is the video....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to Kale!!! We can't believe its been a year.

Ep got home last night after Kale was already asleep. We quickly dozed off together...all three of us snuggled in the bed. It was a pretty good night...with Ep commenting that I was trying to freeze him out of the house and that Kale kept him warm!

As soon as Kale started wiggling this morning (he is NOT the fastest "waker upper"), I went ahead and turned on our lamp. I sang Happy Birthday to him and he sqawled at me at the end. He had opened his eyes by this point, but not enough to really know what was going on. Then he opened them...and saw his daddy. He looked at Ep and then at if to say "are you really BOTH here???". It ws great. He then gave Ep a round of Da Da Da Da and then proceeded to smack Ep in the face. Nope, he wasn't mad at him for being gone! It was truly his own version of take that Da Da...and if you leave me again there is more where that came from. We let him get away with that hit...its his birthday! He then proceeded to show Ep all of his new tricks...and we just hung out in the bed. It was wonderful. Then, we got Mema to join us on the bed...and that was good too.

After Ep took a shower, Kale showed him that he knows how to open the cabinet doors...good thing I bought the child proofing stuff yesterday. Now...we need to install it.

Kale has already delivered his morning stink and now is ready for a rest.

Our day will include getting Kale's gift...maybe having lunch with Da Da...and getting some cupcakes and balloons. Other than that...who knows! :)

I will update more later tonight...or in the coming days...and let you know how the big cupcake celebration goes tonight!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mixed posting...

This is your warning...this will be a mixed will include current stuff and reflective stuff...ok, there was the warning...

I can tell Kale is very glad I am home. He wakes up smiling at me and gets all excited to realize that he has been sleeping in the big bed with me. However, he is beyond ready for Da Da to come home. He continually asks for him. Tonight, he will be home. More than likely, Kale will be the best present he will get for his first birthday is BOTH of his parents being home with him for the first time in two weeks. Not such a bad gift when you are only turning one and the french fry container from Sonic outrates your other toys. :)

Kale and I enjoyed a blueberry yogurt in bed this morning around 4:30am. I had been up since 2:30 and to say I have jetlag is an understatement. He woke up to find me eating the yogurt and was very happy when he got to sample some as well. Since we were both awake, we went to his room to play. He crashed back out around 6am...and I followed around 6:45am...and we slept until 8:30am. He promptly stunk up his diaper and while I was picking out something for him to wear, off he went. So, I grabbed the camera....this is the wild haired morning look of a little boy who is 364 days old (otherwise, still known as zero years old).

His newest thing is to stand up on our bed and hold onto the "chair rail" that runs along the wall above our bed. We don't have a he grabs the chair rail. Sometimes, this results in a faceplant on the wall because he misjudges the distance. He doesn't like that so much.
He also performed a first today...he did patty cake all by himself...he is still working on doing all three parts together...but he can now officially do all of them without help. Most times though, he only does 2 out of the 3...clap...roll...throw.
His other new thing is to extend his pointer finger while keeping the rest of his hand closed. He doesn't point, but will try to use that extended finger to push buttons or touch things. Its quite cute, and a great start at the new task he has to learn after hold up his one finger when people ask how old he is!!!
Today, Kale is not a year old. This time last year, he was still bumping around in my belly and both of us were unaware that tomorrow would be his birthday. I had no idea of the horrible night that was about to be upon me. I was doing my best to convince my body to be a nice host for him as long as possible. My body didn't listen so well...and a year ago at 7:30am tomorrow...we found out we found out we were meeting our little boy that day. My mom had stepped out of the it was just me and Ep when they told me. After the doctor left...we had a few minutes alone....there were tears (of fear, frustration, and yet more fear), prayers, and the quick decision that the leading name on our list would be given to the little boy who would soon arrive. I can't believe its been a year since all of that and all that followed in the next few days and then coming weeks. I look at the first pictures of my very angry and yelling son...all 4 lbs, 11 oz of him at birth...and wonder how he has already grown into this crawling, babbling, loving, sweet, quick tempered, stubborn, Da Da obsessed, and amaze-us-on-a-daily-basis little boy.
I think back to how scared I was a year ago today...just trying so hard to be calm and keep my body from doing things it shouldn't. I was praying and hoping my little boy would be ok...I knew he would be in a NICU at birth as there was no way to avoid that. Nothing prepares you for what we experienced...and nothing could prepare us for the journey that still was ahead of us. I still don't understand why any of it happened, but it did. God has a reason for it and we may never know. I still pray that He will eventually show us the reason. But, until then I will be content and thankful and joyful about this little boy who crawls up to me and clings to my pants as I sit here typing...all the while greeting me with a big "HI!" and then using the drawstring of my pants as a chew toy, which by the way apparently taste good because he just gave me a big "ummm". It must be time for a snack.
Thank you God for this gift that is Kale George Fletcher. He is a such treasure and a blessing!
Here is a message straight from the star of the show....yes, Kale can type....I hope you can read baby babble....
k,e5fvb gjvb b b b b b b b b jjc vrcg 35vv c

Friday, October 17, 2008


Ok, I am home. Its been an ordeal to get here....and here is the summary. I am blogging as a way of unwinding before I go completely crash into the bed. (Note...I didn't finish this when I first started...I got about five minutes into it and went to bed.)

  • I couldn't sleep last night...for a variety of reason, which more resembled a small circus than actually going to sleep. I forced myself to stay in bed and rest. However, between the hours of 10pm and 2:45am, I only slept for 45 minutes. Nice.
  • By 4am, I had mananged to lug my suitcase (all 49 pounds) and my carry on down two different flights of stairs without waking the dead and was waiting with my boss on the curb for out taxi.
  • By 4:30am, I was checked in, my luggge was checked, I had cleared security, and we were just waiting to board our planes (she was on a separate flight and separate carrier because she had arrived five days later than me).
  • At 5am..normal take off from Kosice, Slovakia...but I couldn't chill out enough to sleep. That was fine...I had another flight and then my trans-atlantic (and in a bulkhead seat) to sleep. Oh, if I had only known.
  • My flight from Prague left at 7am....our flight arrived at 6:35am. No worries...until I find out I have to clear security AGAIN. I was pushed to the front of the line because by the time I got to security it was 6:50am...and the man said...your flight will close in four minutes...and then a pushy grandma appeared from nowhere. She was in the same position, just a different flight. She literally elbowed me out of the way. I still made it through and RAN all the way to my flight. I got on the plane panting. Somehow I had scored a three seat row to myself. Yippee. Until we got on the tarmac and made a U-turn. Until they cancelled our flight because of mechanical issues. Once back in the terminal, it was an all out self preservation event. You could tell who knew what to do....and those of us who did, were running to the transfer counter. I was sixth in line....with around 160 people behind me. All the tickets had to be re-routed...and then had to be hand written. So, instead of flying to Amsterdam and Detroit....I was now going to Paris and Atanta...with hand written check in cards. Oh joy. My flight from Prague left at 10am....I know, for a fact, that if I had been further back in the line that I would still be trying to figure out how to get home...and I tried to call home...but my method didn't work and then I remembered that it was 2am at I would wait for Paris
  • I was sharing a three row seat with a guy from Prague to Paris. He got up before take off and never came back. We had some kind of plane problem with luggage....I nearly started laughing. We finally got to take off about 30 minutes late....I crashed. I woke up right before we landed. And the running began again.
  • I had an hour to figure out where I was supposed to be going and how to get there....only to discover that I have to clear customs again and secuity again. Let's just say its Paris...and Europe...and they do things how the want...and sometimes without regard to whether it needs to be done quickly. They had one guy working the customs line for all passengers going to the terminal for outbound international flights. I cleared and got on my bus...and am pretty sure I rode halfway around the airport. By the time I got to my gate, we were boarding. I frantically looked for a phone because by the time that my plane landed in Atlanta, my mom and Kale would be in the Little Rock airport wondering why I haven't shown up. I nearly cried right then. My next option was to find anyone speaking American English on a cell phone. Score. God sent me an angel. I found a lady and just stood in front of her. I said "I will give you $10 if I can please just call my mom to tell her my original plane got cancelled and to come to the airport later" Please? She wouldn't take my money....she let me call and leave messages with both my mom and Ep....hoping that the two of them could get it figured out.
  • Then, I moved on to boarding my flight and told the ladies that I had no idea what my next flight number was...could they please help. It was hand written (remember) and was pretty illegible. They looked me up and printed a boarding pass for me for my flight from Atlanta to Little Rock. That small gesture probably made the difference with me getting on that flight. For my transatlantic flight...I got to sit in the dreaded seats...the ones that don't fully recline as much as the other seats because they are right in front of a wall. That flight was like a circus as well....more on that later...probably in another post. We took off...I ate a few pieces of my food and then did my best to sleep...that lasted 1.5 hours. Ugh. As we finally approached Atlanta rain and fog delayed everything, but we finally got got our turn and landed.
  • Run, Run, Run...down to customs....cleared....over to baggage claim (hallalujah, my bag somehow made it!)....took back to recheck it and threw it on the belt. Then, get in line for security again. Cleared...and took off running. They were working through the stand by list when I got to my gate. They asked if I had an assigned seat and I said yes....gave her the card and she said you are good. By asking about my ticket in Paris, I had fully secured my seat on this next flight. I nearly cried walking down the corridor to my plane. I am certain that I would have been bumped had my seat not already been assigned.
  • It was a quick flight...and my little boy was on the other end of that long hallway. We had a joyous reunion. And he was very taken by all the activity of the airport as well, but was looking around and asking for his da-da....and I told him that he would be home in a couple of days.
  • Then, the final snag of the luggage, which had somehow made all the transitions with me throughout the day, did not get put on our plane to little rock. Wouldn't be suprising if it was only me....but half the plane didn't get their luggage. I was just laughing. Everyone else in the line was whining and moaning and griping. I wanted to tell them to shut up...seriously...and mom started asking me questions about my flights. I answered truthfully and some of them shut up a bit. I mean, I had been in airplanes or airports for 24 cancelled, had mechanical issues that delayed, had rain/fog delay, and had run through three different airports....and cleared customs and security in all of them. Some of the mumblings started to die down. I guess something about me smiling anyway made an impact. And my luggage will get delivered today, hopefully.

Kale was so wound up by the airport and all of its activity, that he promptly sacked out on the way home. He is sleeping with Nana tonight. My body is telling me I need sleep right now but my brain says its 11am (well, it is in Slovakia anyway). So, I have taken some medicine to crash back out. It seems to be working...and thats all for now.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

One more night....and all day....

I have one more night...and not even a full night....I have to be downstairs for a taxi at 4am. Then, I will be traveling all day. I am seven hours ahead of the Arkansas right now. 4am here will be 9pm there...and my flight will leave at 10pm Arkansas time. I get in at tomorrow afternoon around 5pm Arkansas time. I CAN NOT wait. Of course, my seat on the flight into Arkansas is near the back of the plane. But, I am really just praying I make my connection in Prague, as I only have 30 minutes there. Ironically, or blessedly, I got lost there TWICE when I was coming to now I really know to pay attention and watch where I am going there in the morning. God works in your favor if you let Him. I laughed out loud when I realized the way that He had made sure to let me know that I need to pay attention and not miss my gate in the morning. is a summary of my day....
  • The morning started with a meeting and the meetings were concluded with lunch. Everything went well and by 1:30pm we were on the road.
  • The Slovakia (Marta) took me and my boss to a cave....yes, a cave. Oh, not really. I still feel like I have walked all over Poland and Slovakia....and we had to walk around while we waited 45 minutes for the next tour...which consisted of the three of us and a Slovak couple. Did I mention that after you enter the cave, they lock the door....nothing like being locked in a cave....with bats. Seriously, they had to unlock the door on the other end of the tour to let us out. Then...we drove back to the town where we had spent the last couple of days...and kept driving. So, yes, we drove a full hour out of our way for this cave.
  • Then, as we traveled to Kosice (where we will begin our flights tomorrow), we got stuck on the side of a a traffic jam...because a Hungarian semi truck had somehow managed to break down in the middle...yes, middle...of the road. I am guessing his clutch failed....because we had to wait 45 minutes to get past him...and by then I am certain they could have stopped traffic enough to let him roll backwards to either of the TWO places on the side of the road which were plenty big enough for his park. But no...the middle of the road it was....
  • We got to Kosice and it only took us about 20 minutes to find our hotel, which was much better than the 2 hours it took me and Piotr to find our hotel in Krakow. We enter the hotel, or so we think, only to find ourselves in an unlit corridor...and we can hear music that only continues to get louder as we continue down the corridor. We open the door to "reception" and get blasted by music. Yep, I am thinking...this is so not going to be good. We find our way to the steps that lead to reception...again, no elevator and I am literally cursing myself for packing so much. Ugh. Turns out the celebration is supposed to last until 10pm...oh goody...that will give me 5 hours of sleep...before traveling for 21 hours straight. They are celebrating 60 years...of what, we don't know. We asked if it was an anniversary and they said no. So, 60 years of something is being celebrated really well by a group of people who are ALL old enough to be my grandparents....and did I mention that the music is loud and is hip/hop and dance music. Its not necessarily old European music either...its current stuff, like what is apparently in the clubs.
  • The flip side is that I am in a GREAT room. I have cable internet...which it took me a bit to find...a long hallway that leads to my bedroom...the other side of the bed is actually made...meaning I can spread out on something that doesn't equal a twin bed! I have a tv, but haven't yet been able to turn it on...oh well. Then, I discovered I have a portable fan. In all of my travels to Europe...which now includes 8 countries....and several hotels (um, six on this trip)...I have NEVER had a portable fan in my room. Most of this area of Europe doesn't even have air conditioners...much less a portable fan! I hooked that sucker up and then tried to figure out how to open my windows. They are ceiling windows...on a slope. I can just reach them to turn the handle....but if I push them up, I won't ever be able to close them. So, I got smart and hooked a clothing hangar to each handle....and pushed them slightly up. Thank goodness, the windows have strong hinges that hold them in place. :)

So, I am going now...the next time you hear from me, hopefully it will be from the United States...much love and hugs to everyone...