Monday, September 29, 2008

Big Al and a VERY BIG RANKING!!


Last Friday morning Big Al came to visit Anderson's school. Thanks to Jeff's secretary, Anita, Anderson and Lydia had matching smocked Alabama outfits. I couldn't wait to dress them up for pictures with Big Al! The preschool director was kind enough to let me bring Lydia so that they could have their picture taken together. Anderson didn't cry, but he was really wanting to keep his distance from the massive elephant! The next day in a much hoped for buy completely unexpected turn of events our beloved Crimson Tide beat the bejesus out of number three ranked Georgia. I swear Anderson thought we had lost our minds we were running around and screaming so loud. Coach Saban lives in a neighborhood about 1/2 a mile from ours and Jeff swore he was going to go sit at the entrance to his neighborhood just so he could say he saw him that night! Low and behold Sunday night the rankings came out and we are #2 in the nation!!! Roll Tide!!


I can't believe that I haven't posted about this sooner, but Anderson has started a new school. It all happened the first week in July when I was very pregnant and too tired to post and since then, well, we have been a little busy! The school he is attending now was my very first choice when I was pregnant with Anderson and thought I would be returning to work. Well, I never went back to work and the waiting list was a mile long, so I just put it out of my mind.

Meanwhile, Anderson turned one and I was able to get in a MDO program at St. Mark Methodist called Noah's Ark Preschool. We loved it there and Anderson was very well taken care of by Ms. Alicia and Ms. Suzanne. Then this April my top choice school that I had nearly forgotten about called to say Anderson was up on the waiting list and that they had a three morning a week opening. It took 2 and a half years to get in for just three mornings! Initially Jeff and I leaned towards turning it down. Anderson was happy with his school and so were we...but in the back of my head I remembered how impressed I was when I had toured the other school while pregnant with Anderson. The new school only gave us 24 hours to think it over and this was one day before we left for San Fransisco for a week. Talk about bad timing!

We agonized over it because I was scared to change everything in his life at such a time. In a two month period he would be going to a big boy bed, changing rooms, changing schools, welcoming a baby sister and turning two. We prayed about it, and I think I called everyone in Tuscaloosa who had a connection to either school to get every one's opinion. We finally decided to bite the bullet and move him. Thankfully, a space opened up the first week in July and he started early, otherwise he would have started the week Lydia was due and I don't think I would have felt as comfortable with that. This way he had three full weeks to get used to his new school before we threw his whole routine out of whack! It is also on the way to Jeff's office which we knew would come in handy with a newborn. Jeff could get Anderson up and ready and take him at 7:30 while I slept in from being up with Lydia all night. At his old school we couldn't drop off until 8:30 and it was across town. So with weepy eyes I took Anderson to his last day at Noah's Ark to tell his teachers. They were very understanding and knew that location and time were our deciding factors. However, they gave us an end of the year CD of pictures from school set to music. Jeff watched it first and warned me not to watch it. Of course, I did anyway and spent the next 24 hours crying and wondering if we had made the right choice. He had so much fun there and he was on his own turf with teachers he knew and friends he was used to. However, we still decided to pros of the new school outweighed the cons of moving him.

Since Anderson has been at his new school we have been so impressed!! One thing I love is that they teach units and base all of their activities on that units theme. For example, they did a farm unit and there artwork was all about farms and animals, so were their lessons on numbers, letters, shapes and colors. He loves show and tell and I love trying to be creative about what he takes depending on the theme. They have done so many creative things to learn including using texture, color, story time, etc... He also goes to chapel once a week where they learn simple bible stories and songs. Both of his teachers have B.S. degrees in early childhood education, and I trust them completely to challenge Anderson academically. I know he is just two, but as a former teacher...I also know you can't start too early. The facility is newer with great space and separate playgrounds for little and big kids. They have tons of fun activities every month like Big Al and a pony ride party coming up next month, not to mention the fun stuff they do for the holidays. I'm sorry for not calling the school by name, but I am a little leery to do that on the blog.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lydia's Playdate

Our friends Julie and Steven welcomed their sweet little boy Preston last week. I had several errands to run in Birmingham and stopped by for what I guess could officially be called Lydia's first playdate. Of course, they both slept through the whole thing!

I am also posting a closer pic of Lydia in her strawberry shortcake outfit. I bought it the day we found out she was a girl...I still have to pinch myself sometimes I get so excited about my sweet baby GIRL!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Beach Trip




Ok, I am so sorry it has taken me this long to actually post this! Life with two kiddos has me a bit overwhelmed these days. On some days I feel like I have it under control and then on others I feel like I can barely keep my head above laundry...oops I mean water! ;-) I am trying to savor this time, but I have to admit I am looking forward to Lydia being on more of a schedule.



So...last Wednesday after 4 hours of packing (don't judge us! we are just trying to survive!) we left for the beach to meet my Mom, Mike, both of my sisters and their husband/boyfriend, my stepbrother Todd and his wife Susan and Mike's nephew Shawn and his wife Renn. It was a full house...14 people to be exact! Luckily we had a great house. It was three floors with each having its own set of three bedrooms, a living room, a kitchenette and three bathrooms. We were able to spread out nicely! On our way down both of our babies were perfect angels. We only stopped two times and that was really more of us needing to go to the bathroom or get a drink. The lovebugs were everywhere. As we got south of Thomasville they were plastered all over our car. Apparently this is an annual event where they come out to mate and are EVERYWHERE! We were glad to find that out. We thought for a second we were seeing some sort of weird plague! HA!

Once we got down there we really did have a great time with everyone. Anderson was such a live wire, but in a good way. He is like his mommy and loves to be social! He was in heaven with a different person to play with every 5 minutes! We were right on the ocean which was perfect for flying his kite and picking up sea shells. We also had a small pool which was nice for him to play in. I am pretty sure he has been quite bored this week back at our "boring" house with our "boring" schedule.


Of course everyone gave Lydia a ton of attention as well. She was such a good baby the whole time. She barely made a peep. Renn said that neither of her kids were ever that content to just sit and sleep at that age. I know we have been super blessed to have two relatively easy babies. I especially enjoyed dressing Anderson and Lydia in matching jammies...seriously how stinking cute is that?

Overall the weather wasn't great, but the guys all got in a day of golf on Thursday and then the girls headed for the outlets for the day on Friday. Saturday was pretty much spent watching football and eating yummy seafood. Lydia even put her cheerleading outfit on for the game! :-) It was a great time to visit with family!
Here is my web album for more pics. They were so many good ones, but I am out of time and room to post them all!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What a Photograph...

We have just returned from a 5 day trip to the beach with my mom's whole side of the family...all 14 of us. I promise to update lots of pics later, but for right now you all simply must see this photograph. One heck of a storm blew in on Thursday night/ Friday morning. We were even without power for a bit. The next morning Shawn came running down stairs to ask if we had seen the waterspout...so we all (think the Griswalds) ran onto the deck to look out over the ocean. This is what we saw: On this second photo I took put the fill light so you could see the funnel all the way down. Oh and by the way...see that person running on the beach...yeah that would be my little sister Marcie coming in from her run on the beach. We all screamed at her to look behind her, but she never understood what we were saying. When she got in and we all looked at this pic our first thought was....Wow!! Our second thought was Holy Cow...that looks neat and all but when those come on land they call them tornadoes. Scary to be that close to one!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

First Smile



Lydia is getting so big. I could literally put myself in a puddle of tears right here in my kitchen floor thinking about how quickly she is growing. I can already tell that I am going to baby her a bit more than Anderson. With him I was always concerned about hitting the next milestone (rolling over, sitting up, crawing, etc...), but with her I have barely put her down for tummy time and she will be two months old next week!


So here is an update on all things Lydia:

***She isn't sleeping through the night, but does have stretches of about 5 hours of sleep, so I think we are starting to build up to sleeping all night. Right now she goes down after her feeding at about 10:30 and is up again around 3:30 to eat again and then goes back to sleep until about 7:30 or so. It's not ideal, but compared to the few weeks where she woke up twice a night to feed...hey I'll take it any day!
***She is in her room now. We started putting her in her crib at about 5 weeks old. I still freak out and check the video monitor all the time. SIDS is pretty much my worst fear at this point.

***I am still nursing almost exclusively. A lot of nights Jeff will give her some formula (2-3 oz) before we go to bed. It gives me a break and allows him to bond with her too. I am so glad that I stuck with it. I love nursing her It really forces me to slow down and focus on just her at least 7 or 8 times a day. Besides the emotional benefits, it is so nice not having to wash bottles and pay for a ton of formula. All of you moms out there that couldn't nurse the first time around....there is hope. This time it was much easier! I guess every child is different. Anderson was a barracuda which was super painful, but that hasn't been an issue with Lydia. Also this book helped a lot. I recommend it wholeheartedly! Bre#$%feeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for nursing Mothers

***Her little personality is so laid back- she is like Anderson in that manner. I think they have the same disposition for now. She only cries when she is hungry or is having her clothes or diaper changed. Even then her cry is almost like a little alarm...waaahhh...breath...waaahhh...breath. Since she does it so few times it really breaks your heart when she does...especially Jeff. He can not handle hearing her cry for more than 2 seconds! Anderson is the same way. We were in the car the other night when she started to cry a little because it was time to eat. Anderson from his car seat was reaching across the back seat trying to hold her hand and saying "It's okay baby sister...don't be scared". He thought she was scared because it was dark outside.

***She is strong...I mean super strong. She has been holding her head up since the day after she was born. None of us could believe how strong her little neck muscles are. She also constantly pushes her legs down on your lap and "stands". Daddy is holding out hope that she will be very athletic. I envision pom poms and tutus while he is focused on soccer balls! We'll see what we get when she gets older...maybe we will both win! :-)
***She loves to be swaddled, but just like her brother at this age only from the upper chest down. She hates when you put her arms in the blanket. What a weird little quirk, huh? I find it very odd that they both had that preference almost immediately.
***She has reflux. It is a very mild case, much more mild than Anderson's at this age. She does spit up after almost every feeding, but it is a "happy spit"- she doesn't look to be in pain. We tried Zantac and she hated the taste. Then we flavored it with grape at the pharmacy and she still hated it. Today we started cherry flavored Prilosec...hopefully it will stop the spitting up. We are also letting her sleep in her swing upright to help her ease any discomfort she might be feeling.

Lydia's Birth Announcement


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Slice of Life

video

This video is the first time I just "rolled film" without any kind of agenda of trying to get him to say something or some other trick! His little personality is just so adorable right now and I am treasuring every conversation with him (generally filled with funny moments), so I wanted to catch a little slice of life. This is after nap time...so he's eating his snack (gummy Halloween treats) and watching his all time favorite show...Curious George. His reaction to funny parts and his dialog about the Dr. crack me up. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bloggers Unite!

This is such a cool story. There is a young woman, a wife and mother of four, who had a small but loyal following on her blog. Last month she and her husband were involved in a horrible plane crash that nearly killed them both. The outpouring of support (both spiritually and financially) from the blogging community has been so great that the New York Times featured the story here.
Also the Today Show picked it up and had a televised interview about it this morning here.

The article is a little more in depth than the Today interview. It points out how people see little distinction in on-line friends met through blogs and real friends. I can certainly attest to that as I have friendships that I consider very real with mommies I certainly respect and love reading about. Do I really "know" these women...nope I've never met them, but that really doesn't matter! :-) A few examples include my friend Britni out in Texas, or The Viets family all the way over in Scotland (we named our daughter Lydia after seeing their daughter on their blog) or Lawson's Meme, Joy who always leaves such sweet comments. I've never met any of these people, but I love reading their stories and their struggles. I have learned a lot from all of them. Yay for blogs!

Monday, September 8, 2008

New Blog URL

I am going to be changing the blog up a bit in the near future. I am playing with backgrounds and trying to customize a header...without paying for it. So if you see strange happenings you will know why!

Most importantly the url will change to www.smithstorytime.blogspot.com

The old www.adventuresint-town.blogspot.com_ was a lot to remember for a lot of people, so I am either going to change the url on this one or create a whole new one, so if you go to our t-town spot and their isn't anything there...you will know to go to the smithstorytime spot.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Praise the Lord and pass the pillow!


Lydia is 6 weeks old today and guess what she did to celebrate...she SLEPT. Seriously ya'll she really slept!!! I put her down at 11:00 and she woke up at 6:00 am!!! I feel like a whole new woman! I am of course almost afraid to report this momentous occasion for fear of completely jinxing myself, but I was too excited not to share!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Random posts and pictures...

After brainstorming on how I could possibly relate the following pictures, but I am too sleep deprived to figure it out... so without further adieu, I bring you a post of complete randomness...

Pop and Meme (My Dad and Martha) came to visit on Saturday to help mommy out since Daddy was at work trying to catch up from two jury trials in the last month. Congrats Daddy for two big defense verdicts!! :-)

We had a bit of storm damage to our fence and playhouse a couple of weeks ago and with the threat of additional rains form the hurricanes lining up in the gulf, we decided to have a company come in and take care of some dead/ dying trees/limbs. This provided endless entertainment for a certain two year old boy...check out he last picture of him perched on our back step watching intently!

One Brave Dude!

See him way up at the top of that tree!!

My little man!

And a little video of baby sister's first time in the swing. I love how wide awake she is. Her little eyes are so busy taking everything in!

video