Sunday, June 24, 2007


Anderson's big birthday party was Saturday afternoon at our home. We intended to make it a small affair with just family, but then there were a few close friends with small children that Anderson plays with regularly that we decided needed to be invited. Before we knew it, we had a pretty big event planned for our little monkey. I can honestly say that for a 1st birthday that he will never remember in the first place...we really busted our butts to get everything just perfect. It was all worth it though. Anderson had a blast! We planned the party to start after he woke up from his afternoon nap which was great because he was in a wonderful mood and ready to party!

Our theme was monkeys, and trust me when I say that I bought anything that I saw that had anything to do with a monkey within the last two months!! I felt like I was becoming THAT know, the scary one that goes over the top with anything concerning her child...but I couldn't help it! You only have a first birthday once, so I wanted it to be perfect for him! Maybe when he is older he'll look back at the pictures and realize how much planning and effort was put in just for his special day! :-)

We started off the party with entertainment by a dear friend of mine, Miss Dawn. Dawn is one of the girls from my bible study at TCAT that meets on Tuesday nights. Dawn knew me before Anderson was even a thought! She is a music therapist at the RISE school on campus. It is a school that specializes in mainstreaming regular children with special needs children. Coach Stallings helped start the school in honor of his son Johnny, who has Downs Syndrome. Dawn played music for all of the little kiddos at the party and everyone had a blast watching her creative interaction with the children. Anderson always tried to "help" her play the guitar...Saturday was no different!!

Anderson received so many wonderful presents. He got a great mixture of fun toys and money for college!! Some of his favorites were the ball pit that Jeff and I got him. There is also the AWESOME Radio Flyer pony that my Dad and Martha gave him. I think he is going to wear that one out big time!! Jeff and I also just had to get him a "baby" Alabama jersey. We plan on getting him one every year with his age as the number. We are crazy Alabama fans and don't miss a game, so he will grow up a tide boy for sure!! Aunt Jenn shipped a really cool ball popper all the way from Tampa! We really hate that she wasn't able to be there! Marcie gave him a really cool parrot that repeats everything you say. He loves birds so that was a great gift! My mom very generously started a trust for Anderson and daddy was soooo happy about that. He now says Anderson can go to medical pressure Anderson...we just think it would be great if you could be a quarterback at Alabama and a Doctor!! HA!! Mom also gave us a beautiful little child size rocking chair that was hers as a child. What a cool gift! Jeff's parents and some of the other "responsible" adults also gave us money to save for Anderson's college. Who knew we had so many level headed people in our families!

Overall we had a great time! The kids were having a ball, and the parents were enjoying watching all of the festivities. Anderson really did enjoy himself and he slept really well that night...he was one worn out little man!!We spent most of the day Sunday recovering from all of that hard work. We did manage to get in a quick trip to the pool though. What a great weekend!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Still reflecting...Anderson turns One!!

Jeff and I have spent the majority of the night watching videos of Anderson from the last year. We started with a videotape from Christmas of 2005 where we announced to my family that we were expecting. We gave my dad a picture of the ultrasound from 9 weeks in a frame. Needless to say we won the best present award that year! I still can't believe we waited that long to tell anyone! I was 13 weeks when we made our announcement. I think people were more shocked at how far along I was than that we were pregnant.

The next video was one that my mom filmed while we were in the ultrasound room finding out the sex of our little bambino. Bless her heart, mom came dressed in head to toe pink just confident that it was a girl . She had 3 of us and we were all girls so she didn't understand the concept that it could be a boy! As soon as the screen flashed up I saw it. The tech didn't even have to tell us...It's a Boy!! What a shock! Jeff and I both really thought it was a girl, but "BOY" were we wrong! We left the appointment and went straight away to buy some blue...we found an adorable blue onesie that said simply in black typstyle letters..."DUDE". That night we were having all of our nearby family over for a dinner celebration to announce the sex. We took the onesie and taped it to the door and listened as people walked up the sidewalk and shrieked!

The next video was Anderson's birth...we have watched it so many times and are so glad we did film it. That is an incredibly sweet part where they get him cleaned up and Jeff brings him over to me. I whisper in his ear and the Jeff goes to take him back to the nurse and he starts crying...Jeff brings him back next to my face and he went silent immediately. Jeff went to take him away again and he cried, he brought him back to my face and he went quiet again. Jeff and I both just burst into tears. I am pretty sure some of the nurses even got choked up. It was such a sweet moment and made me feel like a real mother...he knew me...for all of those months he has heard my voice and at this scary time when he was being forced from his cozy little spot, I was the only one that could calm him. It still gives me chills.

Before we knew it we were heading home. After an extra day added to the regular 3 night stay due to Anderson's Jaundice and my c-section we were beyond ready to be home!! Nobody stayed with us after Anderson came home. I've never understood that concept. I mean...I was like I am going to have to be the one that gets up with him to feed him so what can anyone help with? Plus Jeff and I really wanted to have time to bond as a family alone. We had to figure out this whole parenting thing on our own. I am sure that with baby # 2 I will let anyone willing to stay and help do so. At least then they can take care of Anderson while I'm taking care of the baby, but with just the three of us we felt we had it under control! We dressed Anderson in his little tiny blue daygown and wrapped him in a satin blanket that has been in my family for over 50 years. Every baby on my father's side has come home from the hospital in it...starting with my father, his sister (DeLane), me and both of my sisters, John and Walt (both of DeLane's kids). As soon as we got home Jeff's parents prepared a dinner for us and Anderson took a nap in his brand new cozy pack and play. What a great start to a beautiful new life! Happy Birthday Anderson!! Mommy and Daddy love you so much! We can't wait to see what the next year has in store! What an adventure...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Reflections on turning the big ONE!!

Get excited as I am that my precious little boy is turning one, I am a complete basket case emotionally! HA!! I guess mommy isn't quite ready for her baby to be a "big" boy now!! This means that I will probably do more than one sappy post this week as I reflect (and try to come to grips with) Anderson's first birthday. I have included several pictures in this post from Anderson's birth. The one at the top left is of me (I'm hoping you can't imagine me being that big and therefore don't recognize me!!) at about 1:30 am on June 22. My water broke about an hour before that, which was a huge surprise since it was five weeks ahead of schedule! Jeff and I both remained really calm...I'm surprised because that isn't normally like me, but I guess I had entered that realm where you know it is happening so you better get with it! We always knew preterm labor was in the cards since I had been on bedrest since The first of May, but I think we were still both shocked when it actually happened. Since I had steroid shots at an earlier stay in the hospital we felt like Anderson was going to be OK. We thought he may be in the NICU for a little while, but we expected a healthy baby. Looking back on it now, I realize how much of a blessing it was that Anderson was born as healthy as he was. He came out a whopping 7lbs 4 oz 5 weeks early...scares me to think what he would have been if I had gone to full term.

Since it was the middle of the night and we knew we were in for a c-section due to Anderson's breech position we decided it wasn't worth calling our parents since they couldn't make it there in time for the birth anyway. We called my Aunt since she was in town so that she could video the event for us. I took a shower, dried my hair and put on full makeup...if you know are laughing right now because that is SO me! Jeff kept saying...I think we should go to the hospital now...I was like...not yet...I haven't finished my hair. How ridiculous is that!! Well, don't worry because I paid for that decision in the end. About the time we got in the car to leave my contractions started. OOWWSA!! I was then wishing that maybe I had spent a little less time on my hair!! The drive to the hospital was so surreal. Just thinking that the next time we were in this car there would be this little baby in the backseat that was completely dependent on us was mind was made even more surreal because we were driving in the dead of the night with no cars on the road. It was a moment that neither of us will ever forget.

The C-section was a breeze and we welcomed our son into the world at 3:28 am. Jeff and I are still so grateful that it was the middle of the night so that we had time to bond with Anderson and catch our breath before the mob of people arrived a the hospital. Jeff even asked our OB if we could schedule the next one in the middle of the night...I wanted to hit one...are you kidding?? We just had this one! :-) Around 5:30 when I came out of recovery the phone calls began. Everyone was in complete shock that Anderson was here so early. That day we had over 25 visitors. Anderson was already a popular little man!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day Part Two...

Well now that I have totally bragged about my husband's fathering skills I thought I'd post some pics from our Father's Day gathering. We had a good day! We went to church that morning, or at least we tried. Anderson was so good about going to the nursery forever, but here lately when we drop him off he gets upset. We left him there with a ba-ba to make it a little easier and went into the sanctuary. After all of the singing and announcements Jeff decided to go check in on him to make sure he had calmed down. I stayed in church and low and behold he never came back! I sat through the sermon not wanting to be a distraction by getting up and leaving at that moment. When our preacher finally stopped I left to find Jeff. He had peeked into the nursery to find Anderson still crying, so he got him out and went to the cry room for the rest of the service. Anderson has become quite the drama- king lately...check out the pose in the picture above. I swear he picked it up at mom's morning out. On his knees and head and arms thrown back to pitch a big old fit. It was too funny not to take a picture of...

Anyway, we headed out for a nice lunch at...Jason's Deli. Funny how kids change things isn't it? A nice lunch used to involve a waiter and a we are all about cafeteria style. The quicker the better! We have even had to start eating in shifts when we go out. It is like combat duty!

For dinner that night we headed over to my dad's house for a Father's Day gathering. We ate hamburgers and watermelon...good times!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The BEST dad in the world!

Well, today was indeed a special day...Father's day! I know that there are tons of cards, frames, mugs and maybe even a few ties that can be bought to help others declare that they have the "World's Greatest Dad", but Anderson and I have a secret...the world's greatest dad...truly the "real" greatest dad lives with us! :-)

So let me, at the risk of sounding completely boastful, make my case for my sweet hubby being the world's greatest dad...

When Anderson was only a couple of weeks old, I sat in the living room floor of a good friend's house sobbing...literally sobbing... about this HUGE problem I had (I am certain hormones had no impact whatsoever). My problem was this...Jeff was doing too much. He was making me feel well...a little... gulp, uneccesary (except for the breastfeeding thing...that was the one thing he couldn't do). He got up in the middle of the night to help with the baby, cooked dinner, gave the baby his baths, came to every lactation and pediatrician appointment ...even taking off from work for several of those! When he walked in from work he would whisk the baby from my arms and tell me to relax...he was on duty now. So after explaining these HORRID conditions to my friend, her response was exactly as it should have been. She said "So let me get this are upset because you feel like Jeff helps too much?? Are you crazy! Do you know how many new moms would die to have a husband that involved!!"

Not much has changed since then except for me complaining about it! HA! Jeff was born to be a father. As soon as Anderson was born it was like he found his life's purpose...the thing he had been waiting for all of those years! To this day I can count on one hand the number of baths I have given my son. That is daddy's special time. They splash and play forever in there! By the time he's done on most nights there is more water on the floor than in the tub! He also always feeds Anderson his last "Ba- Ba" and puts him down for the night. Jeff has come home countless times at lunch to rescue his very frazzled stay at home wife...always prevailing with a cool head and a generous heart..."go upstairs and take a nap...I've got him".
I don't just think my husband is the "greatest" dad for what he has already done. I know that Jeff has so much to teach our little boy in the future. My sincere prayer is that Anderson turns out EXACTLY like his dad...a man's man, but with a soft spot and ever-so the gentleman. I can see countless father son trips to go fishing, camping, and even duck hunting (against my better judgement, I'm sure) in the future. I hope Anderson will cherish all of these things when he grows up to be a dad himself...he will certainly have very big shoes to fill...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Teething really BITES!!

Anderson's teething has really set in now. He got his first two teeth when he was only about 4 months old. Just in time for our Christmas card. Apparently all he wanted for Christmas was his two front teeth! HA! Check out the photo we included in our cards last Christmas and you can see them all shiny and new!!

Well, since then he has gotten 7 more teeth! He handles it pretty well, but can get fussy sometimes. When his top front two came in he was turn making us miserable! The other day I went to change his crib sheet and low and behold, I thought surely my child did not do this! We must have a woodchuck running rampant through the house!

No wood chuck was ever found so I began sneaking a peek to try to catch our little man in the act. I caught him a few times and he didn't seem to care! In fact, I even got this adorable picture of him tearing into his new and fairly expensive crib!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Our Sweet Nelly...

Well this has been a very trying week at the Smith House. Our 6 year old chocolate lab Nelly passed away Saturday afternoon. She became lethargic and started refusing to eat last week, so we rushed her to the vet. Blood tests were run, and she was poked and prodded. The vet said she had developed a serious auto-immune disease that was causing her body to attack her own red blood cells and she was unable to make more to replace them. We remained hopeful that IV antibiotics might help her turn the corner and our reports from the vet every day last week were a roller coaster. One day she was better and then she'd be worse. My poor husband was a basketcase. I have never wished to take grief and worry from someone as much as I have with Jeff over the last few days. He had to leave for New Orleans on Thursday for work and he was worried that she might pass away while he was gone. Unfortunately that is exactly what happened. They think she had a sudden heart-attack caused by the lack of oxygen in her blood. We are grateful that she didn't suffer, and that this did not play out over weeks or even months, but it is still a hard reality to accept!

Nelly was Jeff's baby girl. He always said she was the best girlfriend he ever had...I think that was even including me! She was a talented duck hunting dog and enjoyed countless trips to Arkansas with Jeff over the last six years. She was the most gentle dog around Anderson. She just tolerated all of his "love pats" like a champ. Our Springer Spaniel, Atticus, is just as devestated as the rest of us...get ready to pull out the kleenexes...this afternoon after Jeff buried Nelly I went outside to spend some time with Atticus. I threw a ball for him and he went to get it and brought it right to the spot where Nelly was buried and left it there and howled. I thought I was going to come unglued! It was so sad, but so sweet at the same time. Atticus has never known life without Nelly and this will be a huge adjustment for him.

Sorry for the bummer post, but that is what is happening around here...hopefully with Anderson's first birthday coming up brighter days are on the horizon.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fun at the Zoo!

This past Sunday we decided to take a short trip to the Birmingham Zoo! We have been meaning to take Anderson for a couple of months now, but this was the first weekend we could fit it in, so off we went. We were able to do the "Giraffe Encounter" where they allow you to step up on a platform and actually feed the giraffes. Anderson was a little concerned with such a large animal being that close to him. The look on his face in that picture is priceless...I wonder if he thought he was the food!

And of course with our little monkeypod we just had to check out the monkey exhibit! Anderson watched them swing around in their cages intently. We also took in the sea lion show and he loved that as well! He thought the splashing in and out of the water was so funny that he even started clapping. We also took a ride on the carousel and the ever popular choo choo train. It was a great afternoon to spend with just our little family. He has several Baby Einstein movies , but the ones with animals are always his favorite and generally garner his undivided attention. I can't help but think that little light bulbs were going off in his head when he saw these zoo animals. He must have been thinking...wait a minute...I've seen you before! Ha! Watching Anderson learn new things is our favorite way to spend this afternoon was a delight!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Birthdays Galore!

This week we had two birthday celebrations in the family! My birthday was Tuesday and I couldn't have asked for a better day! Anderson (with some help from daddy I'm sure!) gave me a spa gift certificate that I can hardly wait to use. Jeff really went all out and got me the new fancy camera I've been eyeing! As many pictures as we take, I really wanted to get a professional grade camera and Jeff surprised me with it as a birthday gift! Check out the picture of the Hibiscus that I took with it. It is so detailed and clear! That night we headed out for some sushi with some friends...good times!
On Saturday we celebrated my cousin Quinn's little girl's 2nd Birthday. Avery had a great time opening gifts and eating her cake! We got to see some family that we usually only see at Christmas, so a great time was had by all! Anderson is pictured below with our cousin Torrey. Anderson had a blast! He crawled all over the gym in circles chasing basketballs.