Monday, January 28, 2008

We had a really great weekend visiting with Nana, Papa, Walker, and Amy. The boys were ecstatic to have some of their most favorite playmates here to play "dogs". We went to the job site on Saturday morning so they could see Seth's handy work on the timber frames houses in Black Mountain and then followed that with a yummy lunch at My Father's Pizza. Nana and Papa were quite impressed with the houses and I got pumped about the fact that one day (hopefully very soon) I will get decorate on for us to live in. Timber frames are truly the prettiest houses in the world and Seth and Dana are really talented builders.

Annabelle added a few more words to her vocabulary: Nana, Max (Nana's chihuahua), Papa, and Go-go-go. She LOVES Max! I am sure that she yelled Max 50 times throughout the day. Here are a few pictures of the weekend:

Nana read many many books to Annabelle. She loved it.
Nana bought the boys ANOTHER webkin. They both got golden retrievers; Adam named his Joe, after Amy and Walker's dog and Caleb named his Aaron, after his other baby cousin. Caleb's is a baby golden retriever. This is a picture of them playing Webkinz on the computer with Amy.

I still let Annabelle wear her Christmas pajamas from Aunt Carolyn cause they are so cute and she will be too big for them next year.

Caleb and Walker being GOOOBERS!!!!!
Amy and Adam doing the same.
The pigtails are getting longer. I know you may be overwhelmed by her cuteness in this picture!

That is Max in Seth's lap. We were so happy to have him here. he almost made me want to get myself a little doggy for the kids. Nana brought the kids their Valentines presents and shirts from Disneyland. She always has a gift for them for every holiday. They especially loved their lunch boxes and it took me a while to convince Adam to take off his shirt so I could wash it!

Nana got Annabelle the cutest book! It plays music and has a spot for a picture of her in the the back.

This is a video of Annabelle chanting "max"

The best part of the weekend for me was when Nana cleaned our upstairs.......all of it. What a wonderful thing to have a little help around the house without the battle of getting the kids to clean! When they left on Sunday, the house was spotless! What a glorious feeling!

I will leave you with this image. No wonder I haven't
progressed much with my guitar skills! I have a little too much help with it at times.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Winter Blahs

We are pluggin' away here at the Harrison house just trying to get through January. One more month of coldness.........then March will be better....then April will be even better..........
Winter is such a drag. More laundry, higher heating bills, stuck inside, colds and coughs, dry skin, socks and shoes to find when we go out, blah, blah blah....

Ooooo, what a downer post. I know you are thinking,"I do not have time to sit here and read Julie's whining." I just haven't posted in a few days so I thought I'd better get after it. Caleb's thumb is healing well. He is down to just a bandaid under the splint that we change twice a day. I wish he would let me take a picture of it for you to see, though it is not a sight for the easily-grossed out folks. He is thankfully done with the antibiotics now.

We start our Botany homeschool class tomorrow afternoon. I was always extremely nervous about the first day of school growing up and I am trying to be calm and laid-back about this. We missed the first class (doctor's appt. last week) and I feel quite unprepared.

Nana, Papa, Walker, and Amy are coming up to visit tomorrow. The boys have been literally counting down the days until their arrival. It should be a fun weekend, though I am not sure what we are going to do. I feel a bit unprepared for that too. I am looking forward to them bringing my pillow that I left there at Christmas. I leave a serious trail everywhere I go. Seth does too and so it is just a mess when you put us together. The Harrisons always have a stack of our belongings we forgot on previous visits and have had to mail us things on occasion as well. They are quite surprised that we have managed to never forget a child in our travels. We actually left all of our pillows due to some miscommunication between Seth and me. Yep, I am that girl who would forget her head if it wasn't attached.

Well, this is a pretty shabby post but I figured that I wouldn't get a chance to write anything until Monday........... and heaven forbid I go a whole week without blogging! I will be thinking of something interesting (at least to me) to tell everyone next week.

Check ya later!

Friday, January 18, 2008

the SMASHED thumb

As most of you know, we have had a crappy week here at the Harrison house. I am going to attempt to give the "Reader's Digest version" of the smashed thumb incident. Seth is always interrupting my long-winded stories and saying, "Can you just give me the Reader's Digest version?".

Tuesday night, Caleb picked up Seth's 30lb. dumbbell and put in the back of his toy dump truck. It flipped out and landed on his thumb. The thumb was a bloody, smashed mess. As for Caleb, he was screaming BLOODY murder! (I was in the basement with him but didn't realize that he had the dumbbell) We got a neighbor to come watch Annabelle and raced to the ER. They sedated him, stitched him up, x-rayed it, determined the little end bone to be fractured in many places, wrapped it up and sent us home. I took Caleb to the hand surgeon today so he could look at it. He said it would be fine but that there was a chance that the fingernail might grow in a bit bumpy. Then we got a little splint for the arm.

Wow, all of that does not do the story justice.

Remember that we are talking about Caleb here. I left out all of the parts where we had to hold him down with all of our might and when he screamed and cried for hours. Once they got the IV in that night, everything calmed down. Thank God for good drugs. The anesthetic that they gave him was really weird stuff because his eyes were open and looking around during the whole procedure, though he couldn't feel it or remember anything afterward.

Thank God for Mimi too. She came to the ER so that Seth could take Adam home. It always helps to have your Moma by your side when the going gets tough. I thought a lot that night about how many times she had been in my position with us as kids. All you want in the whole world is to take their place. I thought about how hard it was for her and others to see me in labor for all of those hours. It is worse to watch a loved one go through pain than to be the one in pain for most people. She also came to the house the next day and took the boys to get, yet another, Webkin. If all of this keeps up, they are going to have an obnoxious amount of those little critters.

Thank God for sweet neighbors too. Kelly came over to watch Annabelle and proceeded to clean our entire downstairs, which was a bigger mess than usual (go figure). I came home to the dishes done and clean floors.........heavenly! The next day, Taylor (Kelly's son), spent the day playing with the boys and keeping Caleb occupied. They even played in the snow a bit.

Annabelle came out for a few minutes too

Emily and Caleb

the snow fort

I thought today's doctor visit would be easy-breezy.I decided to get a babysitter at the last minute and thank God I did, because I couldn't have done it with Annabelle and Adam there too. The visit was atrocious! They had to remove his dressing which had a TON of dried blood on it, so we had to soak it in peroxide. If Caleb hadn't been screaming the entire time and fighting me to keep it in the cup, I would have definitely taken a picture with my phone. I love putting peroxide on things and watching the bubbles and fizz. Let me tell you about this fizz! The cup was overflowing! I had to keep getting paper towels to catch it. After that, he was completely traumatized for the umpteenth time this week, so when they fit him for the splint, I literally had to hold him in a headlock to keep his arm still. You would have thought he was being branded or something from the sound of it all.

So here we are. Caleb hates his splint. It is super cute as you can see in the picture. camoflauge and navy. I know, I know, you could barely find it at first.

He is on antibiotics again......Lord give us strength! We go back to the hand surgeon on Wednesday.

At least it isn't summer.

By the way, a lesson for everyone is this: We waited for less than 2 minutes in the ER waiting room with Caleb. When Adam had a broken femur bone (leg), we waited over 3 hours, because he wasn't crying. The nurse said that if their is a screaming kid in the waiting room, they do everything they can to get them back to a doctor. So, if you take your child to the ER, get them to scream!!!!!!!!
Also, Popsicles are helpful when giving kids medicine because they help to numb their taste buds.

Nana, Papa, and the Dunlaps are most likely coming up next weekend to visit. We are all excited and with that, I can end on a good note.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Most of our outings to the grocery store include a conversation with an older person or couple reminiscing about their younger parenting days. (We are usually causing a commotion) Today, I chatted a little with a couple who have five grown children that live all over the country now....3 boys 2 girls. Of course, they reminded me that these are "the best days of my life and to cherish having all of my kids under my roof." I really want to do that but it can be so hard when Adam is pushing Annabelle in the stroller down the aisles as fast as he can doing wheelies while Caleb is sitting in the buggy and has just busted the 5 lb. bag of sugar all over the place.

Actually, it was a fairly successful Walmart trip today and I wasn't really worn out by the time we got back to the van.

The point is that I am trying to take in all of this time with my kiddos and enjoy them each day. I can somewhat relate to all of these folks' sentiments because I am eight years older than my brother, Jonathan, and I spent a lot of time taking care of him as a baby. Amie helped Moma with the housework and I took care of him. Jonathan was the best baby EVER.... cute, smart, witty. He was wonderful and honestly, sometimes I ache to hold him again as a toddler. I have dreams about him as a baby once in a while (however, lots of times he turns into Caleb somewhere during the course of my dream ..weirdness) When I watch old home movies , I get all teary eyed. He was a delight in our lives!

Are you all really creeped out now? Is Jonathan sufficiently embarrassed now? Back to the point of my story, it helps me to enjoy my babies now because I know that soon enough they will be all grown up like Jonathan and off to college. I will wish we could have a crazy outing to Walmart together.

Ok, you are free to go barf over my mushiness now.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I used to love that show on VH1 called the Best Week Ever, but I haven't seen it in a few years because we haven't had cable.

Well, guess what, we got cable last week. Seth decided that he needed to watch the Georgia Tech football games at home so he got us 100 channels. Aaaaaahhhh, TV! (that is a love/hate aahh!) I still haven't seen the Best Week Ever (is it still on?) but I wanted to say that if I was on that show, I would declare that the dude who made Webkinz as having the best week ever. ( and has been for the last month or two) What an incredible idea! I had no idea what these things were until Christmas. Basically, for anyone who may not know, they are these little stuffed animals that come with a code you enter into the website and create a little "world" for the dog or cat or frog or whatever. You can name them, design their rooms, take them to the doctor, feed them, play games and on and on and on..... The boys now have two dogs a piece and are in love with them.

Friday was a crazy day because I decided to take all three of my kids in for their yearly check-up together. I knew it would be hard, but I just figured I might as well go for it and get it over with. Everything was going pretty well until the doctor informed us that Caleb needed 2 shots and Adam would need one. WHAT???!!!!! I know for a fact that they told us at their four year old appointments, we were done with shots until they were 13. However, now they have added two more. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have told them no thanks, but I didn't. I ended up literally chasing Caleb down the hall and man-handling him onto the table where three of us held him down. It was horrible, but I swear I was in some sort of retarded daze through it. Then, surprisingly, Adam hopped up on the table, took his shot and didn't even cry. Those two guys have different pain receptors or something. After all of that, Annabelle got 4 shots and yes, one of them was the MMR one. I told them that I wanted to at least wait on that particular one, but she convinced me to go with it. I can be such a weak push-over. The nurse assured me that their were no preservatives in the shots. Hhhhmmm, sounds fishy to me. ANYWAYS, it is over and done and I have vowed to reject any shots for the boys until they are 13. (We'll see how that works out for me....) I figure in another year I won't be able to catch Caleb anyways.

SOoooooo, to make a long story longer, we went and found some freakin' Webkinz for them after that experience. If those doctors didn't already make a killing for a living, they would be smart and open up a gift shop in the waiting area. I would pretty much buy my kids anything after a horrible doctor's appointment including shots.

The day turned a corner for the good later because it was music night at Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Larry's house. Emily, our sweet, sweet neighbor came over and babysat Annabelle and the boys came along with me. It was a particularly fun evening because a few newcomers came over to hang out. I am pretty tired today but it was worth it.

Lastly, yea for January!
I am one of the only people on earth who actually enjoys January because everyone comes back to the gym and my classes are packed. I realize that it is entirely corny to teach aerobics but, I just love it.......and I have to work out or I will go wait, I may already be there..............

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fun Depot and Resolutions

Dad called me up on Monday night and said he was watching Lanie and Lucie for Chuck after work, and did we want to go to Fun Depot with them? Well, OF COURSE we did! So we took all six grandkids there for a grand evening of fun. They were all about to burst with excitement the entire night. We played games and played in the soft area playground for almost 3 hours solid. One of the highlights of the evening was when Uncle Jonathan hit the jackpot on some game and won over a hundred tickets. After that, some guys there gave us about 200 more so the kids got to pick out all kinds of crappy prizes. They were delighted with their crowns, harmonicas, sweat bands and candy. That place is something else!

A few more thoughts on Fun Depot:
If you have ever been into that place, you most likely noticed the HUGE plaque with the ten commandments on the front wall and the verses at each putt putt hole. I thought a lot about those that night. At first glance, I will admit that they really bugged me. I just thought to myself, "Do they really think they are witnessing to their customers? And what would a non-Christian think of those?" I think that most most would be offended and "bugged" by it. And then, what if one of their employees was a total jerk and they were suppose to be representing the Christian Fun Depot?

However, I am a should NOT offend me personally AT ALL. Right? yes.

So, here are is my conclusion:
I am the one with a "heart issue" on this. I should not role my eyes at the ten commandments...... ever. Do I think that any non-Christian has been convicted and witnessed to by Fun Depot? Probably not, but maybe it would help the employees remember to be nice to others and live accordingly. I know that I need all of the reminders of Truth possible around me.

I will admit that I am still a bit torn on this issue, especially because we live in Asheville where folks are pretty hostile to God and all.

I have always wondered about that "Lord's Gym" near the Biltmore Square Mall. A Christian gym huh?

Completely unrelated to all of that, I thought that I would post a few of my new year's resolutions for all to see. My mom is all about goals and says it is important to write them down. Something like, if you write your goals down, you have a 80% chance of achieving them. It could be a higher percentage than that. maybe 90%. Anyways, so I decided that it would increase my chances of achieving these goals if I not only write them down, but I post them for my family and friends to see as well. I also decided to make lots of them and make them pretty specific goals so that I would have a better chance in keeping at least a few of them. You know, raise the odds or something.

So here they are: (in no particular order)
  • Make my kids help out around the house more. If they made the mess, they clean it up.
  • Write all of my aerobics combos down and make a file or something. I can't tell you how many I have made up and forgotten forever.
  • Finish Annabelle's baby is such a shame that I overdid the boys' books and they will probably never really care about them. I have got to get on my girl's book.
  • Once a week I want to do a bunch of cooking and food prep that I can keep in the freezer.
  • Therefore, make dinner more often.
  • Be less boring when it comes to my hair......not like a haircut or color or something......just maybe wear a hair band or something once in a while. crazy huh?
  • Learn more Bob Dylan covers on the guitar. He is awesome.
  • Call some friends that I have meaning to get in touch with.
  • Start this Homeschool Biology class with Caleb and Adam after step class on Fridays.
  • Work on my kickboxing class format.....make up some new stuff and practice. ( I just started a new class at Cheshire on Mondays at 4:30)
  • Quit procrastinating
  • Get organized......

I say get organized every year, and attempt it, but fail. I am one scattered gal.

Hhhhhmmm, I thought I had more on my mental list. I will have to add some more later if I think of them.

Anywho, happy New Year everyone! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Snow and Cousins

The kids were so excited to wake up to a little snow on Wednesday. It wasn't much, but it was enough to sled, and it was cold enough that it didn't melt right away. Caleb stayed outside the entire day. Adam got cold and had to come in ever so often. I love that they are old enough to go out on their own now. I'll just stay inside with Annabelle and make everyone hot chocolate when they come in. If we get a big snow, I might try to take her out and join everyone.......we will see. I hope so much that we get a big snow sometime this winter.

Annabelle watching out the window.

Caleb and our neighbor, Gentry

Lanie and Lucie spent the day with us on Friday. It was truly delightful having them here. They are so well-behaved and sweet. My favorite line from the day was when Lanie came downstairs to inform me that the boys had taken the mattress off the bed in the "big room" and were jumping on it. I then told her that actually they were allowed to jump on that bed. She was thrilled and ran off to join them.

Yep. Jumping on the bed is a favorite pastime in our house. If you have boys (rowdy ones), you might understand the need for this. Anyways, the girls enjoyed playing with Annabelle's toys and jumping on the bed. Here is a little video of them. Lanie needs a bit of practice.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

last thoughts on Christmas

I was just looking back at my Christmas posts and realized that I basically just put up pictures and said very little. And then I thought about how i forget unless I write it down. So here are a few thoughts from our 2006 Christmas.

This was the first Christmas that Seth and I didn't have to stay up very late putting something together like years before. Thanks to Bear Creek weekends and no huge presents (like the train table), I was able to have everything wrapped and in the attic weeks before. It was so nice to actually get in the bed before midnight on Christmas Eve, because we are always so worn out from the trip to Georgia. It is amazing how much better sleep I get in my own bed. That and the fact that Annabelle (and the boys too) are in the room with me down there. The boys start out in palettes in the living area, but take any opportunity to get in our room to sleep.

So, we got a good night's rest before the festivities of the day.
The boys woke up around 7:00 (as usual) and we all went down for the presents. The opening process was nice and slow because each gift had to be removed from the box (a lengthy process in itself) and played with a little before they moved on. I was so glad they didn't rip into everything and toss it to the side for what was next. I got Caleb and Adam each the same presents: red Power Ranger dirt bike for Caleb--blue for Adam....2 leapsters with a different game army jet for Caleb and helicopter for Adam........a chocolate lab Webkin for Adam and a husky for Caleb.... They always play together so they need the same stuff. I think we are going to try to even double up on the birthday party this year for that reason among others. I was a tiny bit worried that they might be unhappy with the Leapsters because they both want a Nintendo DS so badly. Leapsters are cheaper and supposedly more of a learning thing so we compromised on that for them. They were so happy with them!!!!

Annabelle was equally (actually more-so) cute as the guys and did so well opening her stroller and books. It really was a fantastic morning!

I also forgot to tell a few things from our Bartlett Gathering. I was so glad that Justin braved the festivities this year. We try each year to keep the chaos to a minimum, but it is really hard with 6 kids under 6 years. My absolute favorite part of the evening was may not believe this......but...... it was when Kiah RECITED the Christmas story from Luke! It was precious and I got a video with my camera but it is too long to post. (I tried 3 times!!) Growing up, Daddy always read the Christmas story to us before presents but now I guess Kiah has replaced him. She has the most amazing memory. What a gift.

Another big surprise of the evening was our present from Mimi and Grandaddy: DOLLYWOOD SEASON PASSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amie and I cried. We are so excited! Thanks Mimi and Grandaddy!

Caleb and Adam got these little Diego rescue animals with carriers and have played endlessly with them. They play "dogs" all of the time. It is cute.

So there is a little more on Christmas.

The next day, we went over to say goodbye to Leslie and eat Jesus's birthday cake. (we never have room for it on Christmas day)

I miss Leslie so much already.......and Paul.........and his warm........I mean slow roast hugs.

It wouldn't be a proper post without pictures:

the cake:

Bye Aunt Leslie!
the guys got these shirts in their stockings in Georgia: Daddy's team-Georgia Tech, Aunt Nicole, Uncle Heath, Uncle Johnny, and Walker's team-UGA

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas Day with the Bartlett Side

We always go to Mimi and Grandaddy's house Christmas afternoon. We enjoyed a delicious, traditional meal prepared by Mimi and Aunt Leslie of turkey and all of the fixin's that go along. They are fine cooks and such sweeties to do all of that work for us! One of the highlights of our evening was the ride in the trailer of Granddaddy's new tractor.

Annabelle made herself right at home in the middle of all of the other kids.

Annabelle got a kick out of Grandaddy's weird sunglasses

Our very talented cooks!

The grandchildren did so well for the picture process. We have it down to a science now. pictures, eat, presents.

The kids table

Annabelle was so sweet with the doll that Mimi bought her.

Annabelle was worn out! She looks a bit frazzled here.

I was really excited about giving this wig to Kiah. I thought it would make the perfect addition to her dress-up collection. It is very shiny!