Saturday, March 31, 2012

Murphy’s Law

This very long blog is for all the people and things I’ve neglected lately.  For the friends that have asked me if I’m mad at them.  For the thank you notes that have yet to be written.  For the people that I forgot to invite to James’ party.  And for the patient people who have been receiving frantic phone calls from me {you know who you are}.

All is well about six weeks ago.  Just sailing through life.  Double fisting.


I send out James’ birthday invitations after deciding to invite his preschool class to our home.  Justin and I decided to make this party all about James, by having it at his best time of day (morning) and inviting his friends, not just ours.  After all, he is the birthday boy.


I’m thinking fun birthday party planning for the next month or so.  And BAM.  Cabinet falls off the wall in the middle of the night.


We jump up, and I say “What the hell was that?!” and grab the baby monitor.  Justin goes downstairs, and I dial 911.  We are so relieved to find our kitchen in the above state.  I suggest to Justin that we “clean it up in the morning?” and we mosey back to bed.  Thankful no one was hurt.

The next day the madness begins.  Justin shop-vacs every piece of glass.  This one heavy cabinet has damaged just about everything.   Wall, island countertop, dishwasher, floor, shoe mold, and of course the cabinet itself and it’s contents.  I spend 6 hours making a USAA claim and do inventory on all that was lost.  I’m now thinking one thing.  And that’s shopping.  I start with a Keurig.


I begin researching and pricing dinnerware, because it now sets in that we don’t have dishes.  In the meantime, I’m getting used to a revolving door of contractors and I’ve given up cooking.


We also find a leak under the kitchen sink, indicating that we need a new faucet.  No big deal.  We feel confident at this point.


The dinnerware gets put on hold, because I am now told to empty out my other kitchen cabinets.  It’s also time to redecorate my kitchen.  Fun, right?  I have a couple of days and I’m trying to make decisions based on potential buyers.  I choose neutral.  These are my options for white paint.


We decide to upgrade our kitchen in the process.  We take the house off the market.  We think granite countertops.  We spend what felt like an entire weekend in hardware stores.  Then, we humble ourselves back to laminate.


We decide to paint the bathroom and dining room while they’re in here.  And why not the ceilings.  They need it.  We let James decorate first.


In the meantime Justin gets news that he will soon be deployed to Afghanistan so, he starts job searching.  Thankfully, we are out of contract and can get out of the Army.  I trust in the Lord, and I can’t imagine an employer that wouldn’t hire my husband.  But it is stressful, and I won’t lie about that.


James’ second molars start to come in.  Then it gets worse.  He’s not able to eat anything.  Yogurt, bananas, milk, cereal, everything makes him scream in pain.  I keep him home from school.  On the third day he can’t even drink water, and I am extremely worried about dehydration.  Ice cream hurts, too.  Popsicles are the only thing he can eat.  He’s diagnosed with Hand Foot Mouth Disease, which is a common virus going around his school.  He has ulcers on his throat, tongue, lips and hands.  My poor baby.


The house is put on hold.  The birthday party has been forgotten about.  James and I are pretty much quarantined as he cries all day long.  Sasa thankfully helps out a couple of mornings.  And lucky for us, Papa comes in town for his business.  Papa saves the day with distraction.

They watch the moon.


They find the birds in trees.


They watch Toy Story.  And I’m really thinking there is something amazing I must be missing about this Buzz Lightyear character.


We’re just happy to have Papa around.


James continues to live on popsicles.  He pretty much expects them now.


Justin and I feel nothing short of exhausted.


Justin has an interview on James’ sixth day of HFM.  He comes home early.  Says he’s not feeling well.  James heals.  Thank God.  Justin’s stress causes him to get sick.  I gain one soldier and lose another.


I notice every picture I have of Justin, he’s sleeping.  Only because that’s how stressed and exhausted he is this month.  God bless him.


After a few days, everyone is feeling better.


James’ birthday is a couple of days away so, we practice using candles upon request. :)


The weather is getting beautiful.  Perfect for a backyard party.  The flowers are blooming , and our yard becomes infested with yellow jackets.  It’s so bad that James and I cannot go in the backyard all week.  I have a meltdown.  I call our pest control, Ledford, who comes to our house four times the week of the party.  They are great.  And they even call me the day of the party to make sure no kids were stung by yellow jackets.

Half of James’ class emails me saying they can no longer make it to the party.  They have Hand Foot Mouth.  I am ironically now thanking God that James already had HFM, it ran it’s course, and we didn’t have to cancel his party.  It’s funny how things work out.


We have a wonderful weekend of birthday celebrations.

Mammy and Papa stay with us, and we haven’t seen Mammy since Christmas!  It’s always great to have my parents in town. But it’s especially great when we have to prep our house for construction. They’re great babysitters!

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The construction begins Monday morning.  My parents go back to Florida and now Sasa helps me.  I don’t know what I would do without Sasa.


The paint is looking good.  So are the countertops.  Our new cabinets fall off the delivery truck and break.


Our downstairs looks like this.


Our upstairs looks like this.


I am a Matron of Honor in a Florida wedding.  But first I need new tires.  And I’m again thankful for help.  James and I have a carful of beautiful ladies pick us up from Firestone.


After a busy, wonderful visit in Florida {blog to come}, I come back home.  No matter where I go now and how much fun I have, my favorite part is always coming back home.


I jump right back into construction mode.  My contractor has described our project as “Murphy’s Law.”  I’ll leave it at that.  The problems are being fixed.  And my house is looking better and better.  Our new sink is in, the floor is almost done, and best of all, the cabinets are in.  Things are beginning to come together.


Justin gets the job!!  I am so amazed and impressed.  It was only his second interview.  He is getting out of the Army.  A transition I have anticipated for six years.  As Justin fills out his security clearance for his new job, I make dinner.  “A woman like you” by Lee Brice is playing.  Justin talks about how he could never deploy again because of James.  I have one of those moments that I feel like I will remember forever.  Justin getting out of the Army, discussing it in our first remodeled room, with our baby sitting on his lap.  I leave the stove to get my camera.


Life is good.  I’ve learned many lessons this year so far.  It’s been hectic, but that’s just life.  I’m sure it will continue with all the changes ahead. There will be things that I will miss about the Army, because it has been a big part of our family.  I mostly appreciate that we get to stay together, because I don’t know what I would do without my boys.


Friday, March 30, 2012

James’ 2nd Birthday

Pictures from March 16, 2012

My sweet baby boy turned two on Friday, March 16th.  Just like his first birthday, I took a picture when I first saw him… realizing this will be the last time I walk into his room with a camera, as opposed to him running free. {of course, he had Buzz}


James woke up to a surprise present from Grandpa and Grandma in the living room!  A train table that was constructed while he was sleeping.  As I bagged cookies and gummy worms for the bug themed party, Justin {and Lynyrd} put together the table.

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It was a late night, but it felt like Christmas.  The Lord knew we had a full two days ahead of us, and my baby slept until 8:00 on his birthday morning!  We told him he had a present downstairs from Grandma and Grandpa!  Parenting Lesson learned: Don’t call something a “present” unless it is wrapped.  He looked at the table and said “No, I no yike it.  No.  Present?  No. No.  Present?”  Justin and I just looked at each other like ‘you have got to be kidding me.’ 

Ten minutes later, he LOVED his new train table. :)


His two year well-check is next week, but I think he weighs about the same as he did a year ago.  Isn’t that crazy?! 

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He didn’t stay on the scale long enough for the results…  He looks so much taller and older and big-boy than he did a year ago.  My baby is certainly not a baby anymore.

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Last year, James had his birthday party the weekend before his birthday.  I was able to party-plan like crazy then, enjoy his entire birthday with him.  This year was quite the opposite.  His birthday party was scheduled for 10:00 the next morning.  I tried extra hard to make the day special, while getting things done.  A morning with Sasa was the best option for everyone. :)

First, James played some more with his train table.

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And spent some quality time with Buzzy.  He has thought it is Buzz’s birthday for two weeks now.


Buzzy doesn’t leave the house so, James hugged him goodbye before he went to Sasa’s.


Justin and I collectively cleaned the house, did yard work, made cupcakes and marshmallow pops, grocery shopped, and ran last minute errands.  One of us picked him up {the details of the day are already becoming a blur}, and he eventually went down for what ended up being a marathon nap.  The birthday boy sampled two marshmallow pops when he awoke and watched his favorite movie.

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Justin and I decided to put all party preparations on hold until James’s bedtime.  We went to an early dinner at Pizza Joint.  There’s just something I love about having certain memories as just the three of us.

James playing with his DaddyJames' 2nd Bday11

Since Christmas, I’ve kept this little toy in my purse for dinners out and such.  It lights up and spins when the button is pressed, and it never fails to entertain James while waiting for his food.

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Next stop?  Party City to get a balloon.  {I love this picture}

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I try to keep James from getting hold of balloons.  I’ve heard a few horror stories of balloons popping in a child’s mouth and causing suffocation or brain damage.  Crazy, right?  It’s just one of those things that I’ve heard, and can’t pretend like I don’t know it’s a possibility.  Mylar Balloons though are completely safe.  James loves a Sandra Boynton book called “Happy Birthday, Little Pookie” in which Pookie gets “a whole day of birthday surprises.”  Getting a balloon is one of them so, it’s only fitting to add that to our birthday traditions.

James nearly exploded with excitement when he saw a store full of Disney characters.  And therefore, had a meltdown upon leaving.

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He held his Buzz Lightyear Birthday Balloon as close as possible on the way home.

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That’s the last picture I took for the day.  James rested up for his birthday party the next morning, and the celebrations continued!

Happy Birthday to my favorite two year old boy!  You are my life, my sweet baby James.  I love you more than you ever will know.