Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pics from my phone

Here are a few moments that I've captured over the past month or so when I didn't have a real camera handy. A little glimpse into my life.

It's summer in Texas! Time to break out the pool! But for Timothy, swimming in the "big" pool with his siblings can be a little overwhelming. So I filled our empty sandbox with water, and let him have his own private pool,
We've entered a new era for Timothy. Climbing! Nothing is safe. And homeschooling just got a lot more interesting!

Recently, Timothy's been falling asleep in his highchair during lunch. Sweet boy.
Watching the royal wedding.
Usually, my boys are rough and tumble, wild and crazy. One evening, Micah laid on me while I was on the couch, wrapped his "little" arms around me, and told me he would keep me safe from Benjamin. I savored this moment!
Another savorable moment..... a late sleeping Benjamin!
While we were in OKC last month, Elizabeth, my Mom and I took a break from the craziness and got pedicures. It was wonderful! Such a special time with two very special ladies.

For six straight days, we were sick. I think we ended up passing around two different viruses. This picture of Micah was taken during one of SIX doctor's visits that we made during our sickness. Poor little guy. Elizabeth and Benjamin were the same way the day before.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sell this house?!

Yep. The house is still on the market. After taking it off the market for a few weeks earlier this year, we put it back on at the end of February.

We've been enjoying lots of traffic, compared to the fall. We show the house at least twice a week, the most times we've showed it in a week is five times. We've even received an offer. However, it was low and the buyers weren't interested in negotiating.

All this is great, however, we still haven't sold the house.

One piece of criticism that we continually get is the carpet. Curtis and I decided we weren't putting any more big money into the house, specifically carpet since we have 4 young children. Last night, Curtis and I cleaned the carpets with a proffesional carpet cleaner that we rented. I was thrilled with the results!

Obviously, it doesn't look new. And we didn't worry too much about the areas the rug and carpet would cover. But as our realtor said, we just want to give a more positive first impression. And hopefully, now potential buyers will see the house as more move in ready.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Where to start?!

Last night, as part of my birthday celebration, Curtis and I went out for dinner. After dinner, we went to Half Price Books, where I found the following books.

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneffer
Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The best part about these books is that, except for one, they were all in the clearance section for $1! I was very excited to walk out of the store with 7 books for only $8.66.

But, where should I start?! I'm going to be doing some traveling, ALONE, in a couple weeks, and can't decide which books to take with me. Any recommendations?

Monday, May 16, 2011

My favorite people on my birthday

Ben and Wo

Benjamin has a very special friend, Will. When they were both little and learning how to talk, Will called Benjamin "Ben" and Benjamin called Will "Wo".

These two have had a very long friendship, starting with a car ride Erin, Will's Mommy, and I had. Erin and I were driving to a friends' house and Erin said, "So I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow." I thought that was interesting, since I too had a doctor's appointment the next day. She quickly informed me, "I'm pregnant!" Without missing a beat I said, "Me too!" We discovered that our due dates were the same day. Will was born on May 15th, 2007 and Benjamin was born three days later.

It's been such a joy to see Ben and Wo become sweet little buddies. We've been very blessed by the friendship of the Arnold family! I am so thankful that we have the Arnold family in our lives and the Benjamin has a great friend in Will.

May 2011
May 2010
May 2009
May 2008
July 2007
May, 2007. Erin had Will 3 days later and I had Benjamin 6 days later.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tacky and tasteless

"Since Gaga is all about transformation and the shock of the new, we asked trendsetting fashion and theatrical designers, illustrators, and cartoonists to try to top said meat dress."

This is what the New York magazine asked. Here's what one cartoonist produced.

As a mom of a child born with a cleft, I am completely offended.

In my opinion, it was tacky and tasteless of the artist to use something like a cleft to "transform" Lady Gaga. The artist, Tim Henley said, "Lady Gaga obtains a cleft lip from a cosmetic surgeon to spread her message of universal tolerance. What if you could change the life of a diva?"

Was it the artist's perogative to make this cartoon? Sure. If you think a cleft lip and palate and the title of Lady Gaga's new album (Born This Way) fit together in an ironic twist, fine. What really upsets me is that the New York Magazine chose to put this up for everyone to see. Though not wrong, I think it was a poor judgment choice.

The "assignment", Hypothetical Gaga, was to top the bizarre meat dress, to be more shocking. The cartoonist did get it right. A cleft lip is shocking at first for parents. But when I looked at Timothy, I immediately fell in love. I didn't see the cleft, I saw my beautiful baby boy. And when Tim Henley used a cleft lip to make Lady Gaga appear more shocking and bizarre, it felt like a slap in the face to me as a mother. My baby and the deformity he had should not be put into the same category as a stupid meat dress.

The cartoonist, Tim Henley, completely missed the mark, and the New York Magazine should NOT have published his work. The assignment was called Hypothetical Gaga. A cleft lip is not hypothetical. It is something that thousands of parents and children deal with every day.

If you agree with me, please take the time to e-mail New York Magazine. Here's a copy of the letter I sent.

"To whom it may concern,

I write to you today to express my disappointment and outrage in the portrayal of Lady Gaga with a cleft lip and palate.

Using a birth defect that effects thousands of parents and children every day as a way to make Lady Gaga look more bizarre and freakish is insulting. A cleft lip in not a hypothetical situation. My child, (change this as appropriate) has dealt with the many issues involved with having a cleft. Are you insinuating that a child with a cleft is bizarre or freakish? Shame on you!

How will you correct this wrong?


E-mails can be sent to:

Monday, May 09, 2011

Look a likes?

Recently, Timothy has heard that he looks a lot like his big brother, Benjamin. What do you think?

Benjamin, 15 months
Timothy, 14 months

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to me!

Mother's Day came a little early for me this year. Since I savor a cup (or two or three) of coffee in the morning, the kids each made me a coffee mug. Curtis did an amazing job preparing for this little activity. He bought all the supplies, did his research, went to several stores, endured the excitement of shopping with the three boys (which included a buggy accident..... everyone was fine!) and then patiently helped the kids with their mugs.
I love how each of the mugs shows a bit of each of the kids' personalities!
Elizabeth wrote "Happy Mother's Day!" several times on the mug, drew flowers and wrote her name in cursive!
Micah drew our family on the mug. He somehow forgot his sister, but quickly added her to our family line up!
Benjamin wrote "Mommy" on the mug he decorated and drew a yellow tornado. He even drew on the inside of his mug!
Timothy even made me a mug!! I was in the other room during this little project, and could hear Timothy screaming. I asked Curtis what he was fussing about, and Curtis said that every time he tried to switch marker colors, Timothy flipped.
The final product!!!

So far, it's been a very special Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

1 year with a new smile

March '10

May '10, a couple days after surgery

A few weeks after surgery

1 year after surgery!

One year ago, I claimed a bible verse on behalf of Timothy.

"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." John 9:3

Today we rejoice in the work of God in Timothy's life, and in our lives.

Timothy's cleft repair surgery was a hard, emotional journey for me as a mother. I tried to chronicle these thoughts and emotions in a few blog posts.

A Wonky Lip (March 2010, after our cleft repair journey began)
Wonky Lip Part 2 (My thoughts after scheduling Timothy's surgery)
And Odd Mental Process (thoughts on the emotional ride of "fixing" your child)
Craniofacial Awareness (a summary of Timothy's cleft story)

Wednesday, May 04, 2011