Thursday, August 30, 2007

Riding the Horsie and Blowing Kisses! (turn up your volume)

A true miracle baby!

Some dear friends of mine have recently had what I consider to be a true miracle baby!! I met Tracy Ashley while teaching at Oak Mountain High about 5 years ago. She had just married John that summer. They quickly got pregnant and had a boy named John Ross. Then soon afterwards came Peyton and Bennett. With three boys 4 and under she had quite a handful, but they always dreamed of a big family, so they decided to have one more! Unfortunately, about 20 weeks into the pregnancy Tracy's water broke. She was hospitilzed immediately and told that she would be on hospital bedrest until she delivered. Tracy and John were devestated and scared to death!! Tracy couldn't even sit up in bed to eat. It was a very serious concern that she would go into labor so early that the baby wouldn't survive. When I spoke to her the first time after all of this occured I got off the phone and cried for about 3 hours. I still tear up thinking about those dark says now. For weeks she wouldn't even allow visitors because she was so emotional. I stayed positive when talking to her, but I didn't know how in the world this baby was going to survive with such horrible odds!

I immediately contacted my bible study girls and we came up with a prayer schedule. I had the elders in our church praying for her and our pastor and his wife. Someone prayed for her everyday for the rest of her pregnancy. I don't think I have prayed so hard and so long for anyone or anything in my whole life! Well all of those prayers were answered. Every week that passed with that baby safely tucked inside her was a miracle! She managed to make it to around 30 weeks before delivering their precious child and to top it was a GIRL!! After three boys they were completely shocked!! After 10 weeks of mind numbing bedrest and not getting to be home with her sons Tracy welcomed little Emma Kate into the world! She was almost 4 lbs, which is large for a baby that premature. She spent a little over a month in the NICU, but was a strong baby to begin with. She never needed more than a feeding tube, which for a baby that early is almost unheard of!

Last week they were finally able to take her home and are just overjoyed and thankful for their healthy baby girl! God is so good! Congrats to the Ashley family!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Well, Saturday night we headed out to the annual Brookwood Rodeo. Jeff is the town of Brookwood's attorney, so he needed to make an appearance. We decided that it might be something fun to take Anderson to since he LOVES animals. It was past his bedtime (the rodeo started at 8:00 and Anderson's bedtime is 7:30), but we promised ourselves a long time ago that we wouldn't become a slave to a schedule. We try to stick to it, but if a special occasion arises we bend the rules a bit! My 7 year old nephew, Walt, spent the night with us and was definitely up for the adventure!

I, being a complete city girl, have never actually attended a rodeo. Much to my surprise it was very entertaining. The skill that these cowboys and cowgirls displayed while roping calves was amazing! Walt and I especially loved the bull riders. That takes some serious skill not to mention bravery. Anything where it is an accomplishment to do it for only 8 seconds has got to be tough! Walt and I were on the front row when one particular bull got so mad that he charged the gate right in front of us...I'm talking about 5 feet in front of us! We were so close he even slung mud all over us with his kicking and thrashing. What a thrill!

Anderson loved petting the horses, watching the mechanical bull and roaming freely through the huge pasture. He is so independent now and loves to be down walking or running whenever possible! He walked right up to the cows and declared as plain as day... "COW...moooo". It was so cute. I am glad he got to see some of these animals for real instead of just in books and on flashcards!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

She's going to the chapel...and she's gonna get MARRIED!!

I am a little late in posting this, but if you saw my previous blog you can understand! The weekend before the plague hit our house I flew down to Tampa to celebrate with my sister by giving her an impromptu lingerie shower and a wild bachelorette weekend! All of her bridesmaids were able to head to Tampa except for two, so she was delighted to have so many friends there!

She moved to Tampa right before Anderson was born last year (June). Since she and Jeff got engaged at Thanksgiving she began making almost monthly trips home to Birmingham to plan the wedding, meet with vendors, etc. Since she was coming home so often, and I had such a small baby on my hands, I never went to Tampa to check out her place and see what her life is like there. I was glad to finally see where my sister was living after all these years! I have to say that Jennifer and Marcie both growing up, graduating from college, getting real jobs and moving out of state has been a real adjustment for me! I still remember when mom dressed them alike and they wore their hair in pigtails! We also had the unique but fun experience of being at the same high school for one year. In 1999-2000 I was teaching at Hoover High and Jennifer was a senior there and Marcie was a Junior. I even taught Jennifer US history! They were both on the dance team and I was the cheerleading sponsor, so if our parents wanted to find us on a Friday night...we were all in the same spot! I chaperoned their homecoming dances and proms. Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway...I digress... I flew in Friday morning and went with Jennifer for her last dress fitting. Her dress is gorgeous! I can't wait to post pictures here after the wedding. She also decided to wear my veil, shich menat a lot to me. Then she, Jeff (her Jeff) and I went for a scrumptious dinner at a great seafood spot. The next morning Jeff disappeared to a friends house in Orlando and Jenn and I ran to the airport to pick up the rest of the girls as their flights arrived from, South Carolina, Nashville, Mississipi and Birmingham. We headed to a great mall and shopped for most of the day...if you know me, you know I was in heaven!!

Later that afternoon, we headed back to the house to primp and prepare for the night. We then had Jenn's lingerie shower. She got some beautiful things! Then we headed out to Margarita Momma's for dinner and were escorted to a private room called The Velvet Room. I think they thought we might disturb the diners in the main room so they stuck us in our own room! ;-) After that we headed to a bar next door and danced the night away! A great time was had by all! Especially Jennifer who was given a new "dare" card every few minutes! She was a really good sport! After that somone thought it would be fun to go bowling! So off to a place called Splitsville we went! Finally after that everyone was ready to head home. This momma was pooped, but pretty proud that she held her own with all of the twenty-somethings!! I am posting a few more pics below:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Back to the land of the living...

I have finally (knock on wood) kicked the nasty virus I came down with last week and am feeling somewhat back to normal. It has been a very rough time in the Smith household!!! Jeff came down with a bug Monday and was in bed for two days. If you know my husband, you know how rare it is for him to sit still for 5 seconds, much less be in the bed for 2 days! Tuesday night Anderson seemed to have caught it. He threw up in his crib in the middle of the night. He has only thrown up once before in his whole little life! However, after that small episode he seemed fine and never showed another sign of being sick. Since both of my men had gotten sick I knew I was in for it too. I sort of ran around cleaning the house, doing the laundry, going to the store, etc... before I came down with it and we were all homebound.

Lo and behold Thursday morning I woke up feeling horrible and weak and sick to my tummy. Luckily Jeff had mostly recovered by that point and he was able to come home early and take care of Anderson. Being away from family that can help during these mini-crisis is so hard. I would have given a million dollars if my mom lived down the street! I stayed in bed Thursday and Friday and Saturday. Each day it seemed I felt worse. I couldn't keep anything down including liquids and was so weak, dehydrated and miserable!

Saturday night at about 3:30 am after too many trips to the bathroom to count I had to wake Jeff up because I was getting dizzy and felt like I was about to pass out....and then I did. He called an ambulance because I had no color. He said my lips were pasty white and turning blue. While he was waiting on the ambulance, we both were trying to figure out what to do with Anderson, although I am pretty sure Jeff's thoughts were much more lucid! After a few quick calls (unsuccessful) to some trusted friends who live nearby we decided that Anderson was going with us and called my mom to meet us at the hospital as soon as she could. She lives an hour and a half away so this was not ideal, but one friend we called ended up being out of town and the other had only a cell phone and didn't hear what do you do?

Anyway, the paramedics arrived and immediately started an IV before even trying to move me downstairs and into the ambulance. My blood pressure was 80 over 60...dangerously low and I was sort of floating in and out of consciousness. I am certain our neighbors were completely freaked out because not only the ambulance showed up...we also had 2 full size fire trucks in our quiet little culdesac at 4:00 am. Jeff followed the ambulance in our car with a very sleepy Anderson in tow. Once at the hospital, they administered two more bags of fluid and I started to feel human again! After a long day at the hospital I expected to go home and be cured....WRONG! We went home and the dehydration was gone, but the bug was still going strong for three more days. I can't remember the last time I was "in the bed" sick for a full week. Luckily Mom was able to keep Anderson until Monday and Miss Susie came Tuesday and he went to school today. I am finally able to keep food down as of this morning! Yeah!! So that gets me caught up. I promise to post more blogs soon, but right now I am trying to still take it easy!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Whew! What a week!.....(from Anderson's point of view)

Let me tell you a Story....

Wow, what a fun week I had this week. Mommy and Daddy didn't seem to have too much fun though, Daddy says this was the week from Hell...whatever that is?

Mommy went to some place called Tampa for some big party for Aunt Jenn...Daddy says that Mommy went away to stay up way past her bedtime with some other girls to drink "ikkie" juice and dance to really loud music and giggle alot. I don't know why she could'nt do that here with me and my Elmo chair? It makes me giggle and I we have juice here too....Daddy says she also went to do other stuff girls do before they get married.....I guess he will tell me later.

Daddy and I went to see Nana and Pop in Tennessee for Pop's 72nd birthday. It was fun, I played with my cousin Anna...she is really old. Daddy says she is in Jr. High School now, she is taller than Mommy. The best part was when we got to eat cake and strawberries! I made everyone laugh by telling stories.....I talked and talked while they ate, but I don't think they understood me. So, I decided it would be fun to put green beans on my head! That killed them, boy do I know how to work a room! It must not take much to make some people laugh. Then, I got to take a bath in a huge bathtub that was almost over my head it was so was Cool!

The weekend was great, but that's when Daddy started to not having fun anymore. On the way to our house his car stopped going in someplace called Huntsville, it is a really long way from our house....He tried to get the car to work by opening lots of little doors and still would not go. He said it was a dead as a pile of poo poo and he said some other words he told me not to say......It was really hot too, the numbers on the inside of our car had three numbers....but I can't read was really really hot though. Daddy sweated alot and his head was really red. I think that was from the heat, but it could have been from yelling at the car.... I had fun sitting in my stroller in the shade and drinking juice. I saw lots of cool cars go by and I watched birds, I like birds alot. Daddy just sweated alot and talked to the car from time to time...his head gets shiny when he sweats alot because he doesn't have hair on top. He said lots of words to the car...some that started with God... and some other words I didn't understand. He felt bad for saying those words and told me never to say them...
It took a really really long time, but a big hairy man came with a really big red truck gave our dead car a piggy back ride to some place where they make cars go again. He was a nice man, his shirt was dirty and he smelled funny. Daddy said he smelled like whiskey...., whatever that is...? Daddy gave him alot of the little green paper we use to get stuff at the store. Daddy said they were playing "stick up" and it was our turn to get the "stick up". He said the stick went someplace I did'nt understand... When the nice man took the truck away....Daddy said that he would have to sell the farm to get our car back....but I don't think we have a farm, so I did'nt understand that part either?...
We got to go walk to a gas station to cool off and wait for Pop to get us. I had a really big Stinky Stinky diaper...I got to even wear new clothes, then I did it again before we even left the gas station and got to change clothes again....Daddy's head got red again. He was tired.....Then Pop came in his truck and took us to a place where airplanes live and we borrowed a car from someone there...Daddy says it was the next to last car they had to let anyone borrow in the whole place...Daddy was happy to borrow this car he said the car they gave us must have been made of gold...I think he had to give them alot of that stuff to borrow the car, I did'nt understand because the car was not really Gold, it was actually kind of purple and really small...... I was really hot and tired so I yelled alot on the way home, I figured if it worked for Daddy while he was working on the car...maybe it would work for worked! Daddy gave me some Cinnamon Gold Fish and juice. I slept the rest of the way home. Mommy came home I was glad to see her, I'll bet she is sad she missed my fun trip with Daddy.

Then the week got even worse....Daddy went straight to work the next day.....he was still mad at the car from the day before and said he wished it would go live with someone else. On Tuesday I had my first day of all day school, I am such a big boy now..It made Mommy sad....I did'nt like all day school much, even though I only do that once a week. I missed my mommy and wanted to stay home and play. I did get a cool monkey backpack though.
Then Daddy got really sick. He was in the big bed for the whole day and nightime. Mommy had to do everything for him. He even went to the Dr., I think he got a shot...I hate those. Then Mommy got really sick. They both stayed home with me for two whole days.They were not much fun though. When he felt better a day later Daddy had to go all the way to that Huntsville place and give back the car he borrowed...he said they wanted more gold because he did'nt bring it back like he promised because he was sick.Daddy says you should always keep your promises...I think Daddy was mad again...he mumbled to himself alot that day. He came home in our old car again, so I guess it works now. ....Daddy said it was a long trip, and he said they played the "stick up" game again. I don't think he likes that game..He said he got the "stick" part again when he got our car back....I was glad he was home...
Then today (friday) Mommy got really really sick again and I went to work with Daddy. He got me some more Teddy Grahams and we ate them at his room where works. He was on the phone alot and was reading some books that did'nt have pictures...he looked like he was not having fun, I watched movies, but got bored so I yelled some so he would play with me....when he stopped playing with me I would pull some papers and stuff off his desk onto the floor. I think that is funny...I don't think daddy likes it when I do that, but I can't tell...he says stuff to himself, sometimes his head gets red, then he laughs at me. He thinks I am funny.

Well, mommy is still in a really long nap time in the big bed, so I am doing this for her. She has been there all day and night, I hope she feels better soon. Daddy does'nt give her Teddy Grahams, she eats little square crackers and Sprite and that's all. I miss playing with her and hugging her. She does'nt want me to get sick though. I had lots of fun this week, I wonder what we will do next week that will be even more fun???

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Never say Never!

One thing that this past year of motherhood has taught me is to never say never! As in..."I will NEVER let my child have a cheesy elmo anything. He will play with cool learning toys from vtech and lamaze". Well that all went to He** in a handbasket when Anderson decided he LOVED Elmo. I don't mean he likes him a little bit... He completely lights up at the sight of him whether it be on tv, a toy or furniture. Elmo is his new buddy! When your child has that kind of reaction to something all "rules" go out the window. We now have a Elmo chair that giggles and shakes when you sit in it, as well as an Elmo toothbrush and several Elmo books, DVD's and random other toys. Again...never say never!

I also remember a few years ago when my aunt's boys were small and she bought them a
ball pit. Never...I thought...would I surrender my living room to such a huge toy! Well, if you saw Anderson's birthday party know that we caved on that one too! Never say Never!!

I also thought I would be able to put a couple of wicker baskets of toys in the living room for storage. I would never devote an entire room to one child's play toys...what a waste of space! Ha!! A few weeks ago we bit the bullet and turned a guest room upstairs guessed it...a playroom. Out went the bedroom suit and in came a comfy couch and a ton of toys...And yes all of those toys are for one child! Never say Never!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Anderson's One Year Portraits have arrived!

We took Anderson to get his one year old pictures made a few weeks ago and were so pleased at how they turned out! It was really hard to pick just one for his portrait to go in our dining room, but we managed to do it. It is the one pictured above. He just has the sweetest expression on his face! Our good friend Crosby Thomley met us at the Chancellor's Mansion early one morning to get these shots. Anderson did not seem to want to cooperate, which made me a little concerned that we wouldn't get any good pictures to choose from.
However, Crosby worked his magic and got some great shots including one of Anderson looking at him over his shoulder with a look of "Hey dude...stop chasing me with that camera. Can't you see I'm busy playing... aka... climbing an iron bench so that I can scare my parents to death and possibly bust my head open! I think that shot turned out to be everyone's favorite!!

Here are a few more of our favorites...