Thursday, May 31, 2012

Toe Dippin'

Anyone who knows our family knows what beach people we are.  When my nephew was born, my mother introduced a celebration known as a "Toe Dippin'" where babies are introduced to OUR beach (Orange Beach, AL on the Gulf of Mexico), our family beach house, and everything else that our family loves about the beach.  This ritual has usually taken place during the baby's first trip to the beach.  Both my nephew and niece were almost a year old when their toes were dipped.  Carter was not a fan (he fussed), but Callen was delighted (she tried to crawl toward the water).  Since Memorial Day weekend was LE's first trip to the beach, Bamma made plans for her toes to be dipped this trip.

We had a full house for the weekend.  Steve came down Thursday afternoon, as did Bamma, Big Pat, LE and I.  Sue, Nick, Carter and Callen arrived late Thursday night.  Emily and Ken came in Friday afternoon.  It was nice to have the family all together for a change, even though it was short-lived.  Steve turned 30 Friday and part of his birthday trip was fishing in a tournament over the weekend, so he left Friday night after having everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to him and having some of his chocolate ice cream birthday cake.  Carter and Callen were GLAD to help him eat it!

Since the Willis' got in so late Thursday night, LE and I were already asleep. Carter and Callen were glad to see us when they got up Friday morning and they spent some time playing with and talking to their newest cousin.

Saying "Good Morning" to everyone
Loving on LE
Talking to LE
Checking out LE on her blanket
Callen dancing while Carter shares his "Giraffy" with LE (this is a HUGE deal!)
Spending some time talking to Big Pat
LE has not wanted to nap during the day, so that along with being in a new environment was not the best combination to induce sleep.  Aunt Sue, who now has the distinction of being the "Baby Whisperer," got LE down and she took a 3 hour nap Friday.  (It hasn't happened since.)  Saturday, Ken and I took LE shopping at the outlets and she slept the entire time we were there.  We then went to's for a late lunch and got to eat most of it before she woke up hungry.

Loving on Bamma
Aunt Em is a natural! 
Enjoying Uncle Steve's birthday cake (and making sure Uncle Ken doesn't "sneaky snake" any) 
"Bamma, I LOVE chocolate!"
Sunday was the day of the Toe Dippin'.  In addition to our family, Bamma had invited Jack, Papa Smith and Mama Jane, and the Johnsons--Cynthia, Brad, Ella, and Drew--to join us for the event.  The plan was to dip some toes and then have a bar-b-que lunch.  LE had on the swimsuit that Jack had given her and it just so happened that Callen had the exact same suit!  At the appointed time, everyone gathered on the dock and I ceremoniously dipped LE's toes in Terry Cove Harbor.  She was NOT impressed!

Cousins in the same suit!
Ready to have some toes dipped
The Dippin'

She was NOT happy!
That water was COLD, Mom!
The Johnsons

With Jack after recovering from the shock
Nap buddies--both completely worn out!

Monday, after the majority of the family had left, it was just Bamma, Big Pat, LE and I.  Bamma was entertaining LE and showed her the baby in the mirror.  LE was fascinated!  She smiled and talked to that baby and just had the best time.
The Baby in the Mirror

The entire weekend was wonderful!  Thank you to everyone for coming and a HUGE "Thank You" to Bamma for organizing it, cooking a wonderful lunch, and orchestrating a weekend I won't forget!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hard Working Girl

Before LE was even a blip on the radar, many times Ken would make the comment that "any child of mine will be learning the hardware business early!"  Apparently, he wasn't kidding!  That statement came to fruition this weekend.  Ken Senior went out of town and rather than close the store for the entire time he was gone, Ken asked LE and me to come be "back up" at the store Friday and Saturday.  The purpose of this (as far as I can tell) was for there to be an extra "warm body" there to fill the void, answer the phone, acknowledge customers, etc. especially when Ken would have to go outside to fill propane tanks.  I guess he figured that I would discourage anyone from walking off with the entire store.

LE was a trooper.  This little one was interested in every thing and every one who entered the premises.  We have figured out a few things about our little "fidget"over the past few weeks:  (1) she does not like to miss ANYTHING, (2) she likes to see what is going on around her, and (3) she does NOT like to take a nap during the day!  This last one is particularly hard on her mother, who would like for her to nap during the day, not only so she can get something done, but also so that "the fidget" will not be completely worn out, exhausted, and irritable about 5:00 each day!  But I digress.

LE was perfectly happy to be in the Baby B.jorn facing outward so that she could observe her surroundings.  And, she was fine as long as the person wearing the B.B. (read: "ME") was MOVING in some way, shape, form, or fashion.  I could be walking, bouncing, swaying, or whatever, but if I stood still for more than about 30 seconds, she would let me know in no uncertain terms that this was not acceptable!  Both days we were there, the only time I got to sit down was to feed her, which was about twice a day.  LE liked being in the B.B. so much that she fell asleep in it both days!  But even then, I had to keep moving or she would give a little cry or wake up.  She did allow me to put her in her car seat for a few minutes, but, again, I was her main entertainment.  Ken would take her during some of the down time, but he wasn't successful in teaching her to operate the cash register...yet.

I KNOW you're not planning on leaving me in here.

I'm waiting, people!

Sound asleep!

When we got home both afternoons, she was fussy, so Ken and I took her for a walk in her stroller.  She would conk out and sleep for a little while, and then we would wake her up and get her ready for bed.  After putting her down for the night, I was worn slap out!  Fortunately, Ken took care of dinner both nights while I had a well deserved glass of wine.  Maybe in the near future, Ken will be more successful in putting LE to work!

 Such a cutie!

 Being entertained.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Long Time Friends

I hesitate to call her my "oldest friend" because she's, really, not that old.  As a matter of fact, she's younger than I am.  I guess "long time friend" would be a more apt description, as I've known her longer than I've known either of my siblings.

Cynthia and I have been friends for 37 years.  Wow!  When I look at that number, it seems like such a long time, but it also seems like just yesterday we were rolling around in the basement of my house as we fought over costumes (sorry about the hair-pulling incident, C!) or having succotash for dinner at her house after walking through the creek to get there.  She is the one who knows most, if not all, of my entire life story and the person that I know I can call WHENEVER with good or bad news and she will always be there to listen.

She is the one who, when I called her last summer to tell her I was pregnant, I had to preface the entire conversation with, "You need to sit down.  No, you REALLY need to sit down!"  After I told her, there was silence on the other end of the phone for a second and she then said, "Hallelujah!  I never thought this day would come and, yet, here it is!"  And her response was just as I'd imagined it would be.

All this to say that, since we both have gotten married and had children, we don't get to see each other as much as we would like nor as often.  Since I've been on maternity leave, I decided that I would take a day and go have lunch with her.  Of course, LE went with me and we had lunch at a wonderful place in T-town called Cyp.ress Inn.  I told Cynthia that I thought the last time I was there was just after I was married, during that first football season, with her and her husband, Brad, which was about 10 years ago, so I was excited to return.

So sweet!

Love that smile!

Lunch was wonderful--both the food and the company.  I hate that we don't get together as often as we used to, but that makes the times we do spend together that much more special.  Thanks for a wonderful day, C!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend

As a first time mom, I wasn't really sure what to expect as far as Mother's Day was concerned.  I started about mid-April telling Ken, "You know Mother's Day is May 13."  His first comment was, "I know.  I'll get my mother a card."  Of course, that was NOT why I was beating him over the head with it gently reminding him of it--and he knew that; he just likes to pester me.

The entire weekend was special.  Friday night, Ken and LE took me to for dinner so we could eat sushi.  It was a welcome treat!  We left for dinner at 5:00 since we had "The Fidget" with us.  This was a whole new experience for Ken and me as we had been used to eating out rather late.  We both realized that we have to adjust for the sake of LE and that this is a new "normal" for us.  No more late night dinners unless we have a babysitter!  It's only fair to LE that we work around her schedule, particularly with regard to her bed time.

Enjoying dinner with Momee...

...and Daddy.

Saturday, Ken had to work until 2:00, but as soon as he got home, he took over with LE so that I could go get a much wanted pedicure.  The salon close to our house was covered up and it was going to be longer than I had anticipated, so I texted Ken to let him know that it would be awhile and he told me to take my time; he'd handle things at home.

Shortly after I got home, Ken left to go to the store to get the necessary items for dinner.  His mother, Jackie, was on her way to visit and Ken was cooking dinner for us.  Jack arrived in plenty of time to play with and love on LE and even helped with her bath.  After I put her to bed, Ken, Jack and I ate dinner and solved the world's problems.  Dinner was DELICIOUS and the company was fantastic!

Ken pronounced Sunday as "MY" day, so he pretty much let me do whatever I wanted/needed to do--cook, run errands, etc.  LE gave me a wonderful lime green Vera Brad.ley camera case, iTunes cards, and a sweet card.  Ken informed me that he had already taught her to drive so SHE was the one who purchased the gifts.  (Only after having read two chapters of War and Peace, or so he said.)

After I did all my running around, I got home to LE sleeping on Ken's chest.  I asked him how things had gone and he told me that she pretty much cried the entire time I was gone and had only stopped about 30 minutes prior to me walking in the door.  He said that he just couldn't figure out what she wanted.

When she woke up, she was hungry, so I fed her and she promptly fell right back to sleep.

The Fidget
Full, Comfortable, and Content

I am glad that my first Mother's Day was so wonderful!  Thanks to Ken and LE, it will definitely be one I remember.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Two Months

Today, LE is two months old!  I can't believe how much she has changed in just four weeks.  She is growing so quickly.  She's started to smile a little bit and makes some of the funniest faces.  She has also started sucking on her left hand, particularly her thumb, and she's lifting and holding up her head more.  I'm looking forward to seeing her progress as she continues to grow!
 Sweet smile

 You takin' a picture of me, Mom?

Like father, like daughter