Friday, March 28, 2008

Don't ya be a grumpy.

Last night at Keno I won the cutest decorative hangy candle holder thingy ever. So when I got home I looked all around the house for the perfect place for it and realized room by room that I absolutely hated a lot of the choices we made when deciding where to hang stuff after we moved in. So, my sister came over today and helped me move stuff from wall to wall to satisfy my wheniwantsomethingdoneiwantitdonenow need. For real y'all. I'm not talking moving a couple of small framed pictures. We moved heavy mirrors and paintings back and forth between like 12 walls in my house. And I feel SO happy right now as I sit here and look around. Oh the simple things in life. It's so great to be me. I'm so thankful for Kate because I totally could not have done it alone and waiting until James gets home tomorrow is just out of the question. She did have to draw the line somewhere, though. I wanted to move all of the crosses from this wall...

into a wall in our bedroom, but Kate threatened to go home if I did that. But you know what? I don't even care right now because I'm so happy with all of my other decor and how well each piece matches it's respective room.

After we were done, me and Hunter and Kate and her kids and my other sister, Court, went to Chili's for dinner. And it was there that my worst nightmare began to come true. I experienced my first shameful my child is being a brat in public experience. If I had been an onlooker tonight I would have had so many critiques on my parenting skills. I'm really probably making it out to be way worse than it was. Hunter just screamed (or rather shrieked) every time the pacifier wasn't in his mouth. And why wasn't it in his mouth? Because his favorite game is to take it out and throw it on the ground and then scream until you clean it off and give it back. In my defense, if we were at home, the kid would just be screaming because I wouldn't keep giving it back. But I could feel the hatred shooting over at me from the couple at the table next to us, so I had to give in. What am I gonna do? I'm a sucker for peer pressure.

I read in my handout from Hunter's 12 month checkup that at this age a child will start refusing more and showing "tantrum like behavior". So, I've put together a tantrum montage for you. I hope this is not a sign of things to come...

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hunter the hunter

We had a small indoor Easter egg hunt today at my house with Hunter and his cousins, Zack and Vanesa. I think little H was a little confused about why we were insisting on walking around the room picking up these stupid eggs instead of letting him play with his toys.

Here's the kids before we started hunting...

And the hunt begins...

Hunter finding his first egg with mommy. You can see we found some really difficult hiding places to challenge him.

Hunter putting his egg in his Easter basket. Actually it was more of a bag than a basket...

Looking for the egg we hid in the fireplace. It's always safety first at the Brooks house!

Another strategic hiding place - right on the exercauser. Hey at least it was camoflauged.

We hid gerber puffs in Hunter's eggs. He was really excited to eat them...

We marked Hunter's eggs with an "H" so the kids didn't get the "baby stuff" and Hunter didn't get any candy so we could avoid disasters like this...

We accidentally pointed out a candy filled egg to Hunter and he put it in his bag. He was not happy when we took the candy away.

Friday, March 21, 2008

I've been tagged

My friend, Kat (over there at naptime confessions under friends and family) tagged me. I'm supposed to tell 10 things about myself that I guess not many people know. Since I'm a pretty open book this should be interesting. I'm thinking I'm just going to have to resort to embarrassing facts or stories. At least you'll get a laugh.

You should totally read Kat's blog because she's dang funny. Just make sure you don't read hers before you read this entry because I have the worst memory ever and she has some really interesting things that I'm sure will make my life seem really boring. Or maybe it's just that I am really boring. Nah. Couldn't be that.

Okay so here goes nothing:

1. When I was like 4 or 5 I used to stand in front of the mirror wearing my star shaped celebrity glasses, strike a pose, and say "I'm so pretty" over and over. Luckily, I've been humbled. Actually if I had to lean in one direction, I'd say I'm insecure now. With a couple of exceptions. Like when James and I watched our wedding video on our anniversary and after it was over I said, "I love myself. How could people not love me?" I have been humbled, though. Right.

2. In elementary school I used to play in my backyard in the afternoons and make up songs on the spot. I'd make up the music and lyrics as I went. And they rhymed y'all. They were good. I'll do one for you now. Ahem.... And I got nothin. Just shows you when you don't use your talent, you lose it. I could've been making the big bucks too.

3. In 5th grade my 3 best friends, Brittney, Stephanie, Lindsay, and I created a club called the drugs aren't cool club. We had meetings at Stephanie's quasi-mansion at which we would sit in her secret hiding place in her house (which if I'm remembering correctly was a room hidden in her mother's closet or something - I wasn't kidding about that mansion part) and eat snacks and make crafts (like our hot pink drugs aren't cool sweatshirts that we wore to school. Y'all WE WORE THEM TO SCHOOL. I'm serious!). We wouldn't let anyone else join our club so our teachers made us disband. Looking back I'm wondering who would want to join that club anyway? I'm so embarrassed right now.

4. I'm still scared of the dark. Seriously. I've carried this fear into adulthood. Hey, the boogeyman's a scarey thought.

5. I'm a HORRIBLE dancer. You know in high school they have those banquets at the end of every year? Well at the cheerleader banquet my senior year we watched a video of highlights from that school year. There was footage from cheerleading camp where on the last day we were all doing the dances we learned that week. I'm in the middle stopping and throwing up my hands in frustration about every 5 seconds. Then came college. And where did my friends like to go every Thursday night? Dancing. Or I guess I should say clubbing, but I feel really stupid typing that. Whatever. Anyway, I would basically stand on the side and laugh at all of the other people who couldn't dance or just sway back and forth in a circle with my girlfriends and hope that no one was watching me.

6. I'm crazy about organization. Like to a disturbing level. Just look in my closet. Or bookcase. Or movie or cd rack.

7. In 4th grade my teacher was doing some geography lesson and I was sitting with my BFF, Brittney (see # 3 above) and our two crushes Duke (yes, Duke. Britt's crush, not mine) and Michael. The teacher asked some question about which state was larger than Texas or was in the south and large or something and I answered California. Well apparently that was wrong because she told me so and didn't soften the blow. From that point on I was VERY hesitant to answer questions in class. It scarred me y'all. My fear of sounding stupid lasted through graduate school.

8. I've never voted. I know. I know. Y'all are all cursing me or gasping right now. I know you're appalled Stefanie. Don't hate.

9. If I had unlimited money and James was on board (which he is definitely.not.on.board) I would have like 6 kids. I love the entire process. I feel like it's a little science experiment. (Not the raising them part. Just the growing them and birthing them. Well actually, it is kind of an experiment raising them too, isn't it? Hmmmm.)

10. I LOVE the NFL draft. It reminds me of sorority rush. I like the first day best, but am totally okay with listening or watching past then. I get more excited for this than for the actual games.

Okay now I have to tag someone. I've thought a lot about this and almost tagged my friend, Courtney, but then I remembered she tagged me once and I never did it. So I'm gonna give her a break. So I'm going to tag Matt. You have to do this, Matt! You owe me. I'm not sure for what, but I'll think of something. Now get busy typing so I can laugh. I have high expectations for you!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Could he be cuter?

This is what Hunter does every time we put him down to sleep. Don't let the red eye take away from the cuteness. You know that's the sweetest thing you've ever seen.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Dear Hunter

I'm overwhelmed with emotion as I sit here the morning of your first birthday. The tears have already started to flow as I think of my love for you. I remember when you were still in my womb feeling so close to you, yet at the same time wondering what the love of a parent was. Who was this baby growing inside of me? I hadn't yet seen your face or kissed your brow.
Then you came, and from the first moment I saw you, I was in love. How could I have known then how much I would be changed by you? You have made me a better woman - a better wife, a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend. Just having you as my son has made my heart grow exponentially. There are no words to adequately express my love for you. Your sweet eyes and smile and arms when they are hugging me are gifts from heaven. Where else would I rather be than sitting in one of your hugs?
It is an honor to be called your mother. Raising you is truly the greatest thing I will ever do. It will be my joy to watch you grow - to watch you become a man of God. I've heard it said that it's often the child that teaches the parent. That has been so true so many times this past year. God has taught me so many things through you. Most importantly He's given me a tiny glimpse of what His love for us is like.
I love you sweet boy. I will never be able to repay you for all you've given me. My heart is so full...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Cutest Little Toy Box You've Ever Seen

My dad made Hunter this toy box for his birthday...

I LOVE it, and Hunter does too despite the look on his face in the picture. I know y'all are totally coveting it, aren't you? Don't worry, I'm sure he'd be willing to make some for more for your little ones for the right price;).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

"Today is your birthday (party)...nananananana"

Mom, Kate, and Court that title's for you:)

Today was Hunter's 1st birthday party! We had tons of fun. My sweet friend, Tricia, took TONS of awesome pictures for us, so get ready because I'm posting A LOT of them - they're too cute to narrow down.

Hunter was a champ opening his presents. He sat with me the entire time, which is pretty dang amazing if you ask me. He started out pretty interested in the wrapping...
That lasted about a millisecond, at which point he became really overwhelmed by all of the paper surronding him...
And then there were yawns...
But he perked up pretty quickly when he saw how fun his new toys were...

Gotta love bows, especially when they go with the party theme:)

Singing Happy Birthday...

He seemed into it until he realized there were about 500 people watching him. Hey, you'd be freaked out too.

The candle...

Surprisingly, he didn't jump right in...

A little coaxing was required, but once he got that first taste, he couldn't get enough.

He hated how it felt on his hands, though.

So, he picked up his fork. I'm totally serious y'all. He picked it up on his own, without any help, and started using it! I have a well mannered little gentleman. Yes. Yes I do.

Unfortunately amongst all of the partying I forgot to take a picture of Hunter with all of his friends. Tricia did get some action shots of a few of them, though...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

times, they are a-changin'

During the months and months that I was obsessing about Hunter's lack of movement, everyone (and I mean everyone) kept telling me how thankful I should be because once he started moving, my house would be turned upside down. Well, I swore to myself that when that day finally came, I would rejoice in it and I would not get frustrated. That day is here y'all, and I'm proud to say I'm not frustrated at all, but LOVING IT!
Hunter is crawling all over the house - I think it's a relief to him that he can finally get where he wants on his own. So yesterday morning while I was getting ready for work, Hunter crawled into the bathroom with me (like every morning now - yay!) and started throwing his paci, then crawling over and picking it up. Throw, crawl, pick up, throw, crawl pick up. This kept him amused for quite a while (another plus of him crawling - I can actually fix my hair before work. Does anyone even remember what my fixed hair looks like? I didn't think so.)
Throwing things and then fetching them is his favorite game now. He's been throwing toys and pacifiers and whatever else he can get his little hands on for a long time now, but since he can now move around and retrieve whatever he threw, it adds an entirely new dimension to the game.
So back to yesterday. First he threw his paci in the shower, and then got mad that he couldn't make it over the step to get inside to pick it up. So I got it, rinsed it and gave it back. Then he threw it in the toilet. I didn't notice this until I saw him kneeling at the toilet peeking in. (This, I might add, is Hunter's favorite place to pull up. That kid loves the toilet. This could be good. Maybe we should start potty training next week...hmmmm.) So, obviously that paci went in the garbage. I got another paci for him, and within 1 minute, it too ended up in the trash can, and it was not my hands that put it there. So we were down to 1 paci for the day, and I didn't panic or get frustrated or anything. All I could do was smile. My heart was so happy. Then I realized what a blessing God has given me in all of this waiting. Although I felt like Hunter was NEVER GOING TO CRAWL DANGIT, he has! And I have no frustration - zero y'all - with him tearing my house apart, which if you know me at all, you see what kind of miracle this is. I live by order. This is the girl who alphabetizes everything and hangs her clothes based on style in the closet (evenly rotating through them of course). Go ahead laugh.
When Hunter throws his paci in the toilet or shower or trash can or when he crawls over and pulls on my pant leg when I'm trying to get dinner ready or when he crawls into the living room when I really need to be at the computer working on my lecture, I love it. I'm so thankful, and so is Hunter. Can't you see the excitement!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make me a Match

Last night my friends, Matt and Emily, got married. It was such a beautiful wedding, and I am so honored that I was able to be a part of their special day. I set Matt and Emily up around 4 years ago because I knew they would be perfect for each other. I can't remember another wedding where I felt as happy for the bride and groom as I did at last night. It is really special when you love both people so much. I couldn't stop smiling. I'm so excited for their union!

(Marcy, we missed you. Here are your pictures.)
This is Matt and Emily's first dance - such a perfect picture to show who they are as a couple - so fun!

Emily, Me and Matt - I don't know what this weird thing is that I've started doing with my neck in pictures. It's cute of them, though, and it's their day not mine. . .even though we really wouldn't have been there if it wasn't for me, would we?;)

My dear friend, Amy, and me - I called Amy four years ago before setting Matt and Emily up to get her opinion (she knows them both as well). Amy gives great advice, and y'all know how indecisive I can be. I just needed some reassurance.

Matt and Emily at the end of the night.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Love Times Three

This was me and James three years ago today. Actually pretty close to this very minute we were doing this. I still remember that day so vividly, feeling nervous and happy and excited all at once. It seemed so surreal. I had been dreaming of my wedding day for so long and it was finally here! I felt honored to be the woman marrying James, and I still have that same feeling today. I love you, BH. You have exceeded all of my expectations. I couldn't ask for more.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

And He's Off

So my doctor sends these milestone checklists before certain well baby visits - I guess so that she can completely freak out parents. I know, I know. I'm a health care professional. I totally get the importance of assessing a child's overall development in order to insure that we can identify any problems and initiate treatment as early as possible...blah blah blah.

I received my checklist (which will from now on be referred to as the piece of paper that is in no way making me feel guilty as a parent or "stupid checklist" aka s.c. for short) a couple of days before Hunter started crawling. I did appreciate that it came so early because that gives me the opportunity to start working on the things on the list that he's struggling with - oh y'all know I will.

The s.c. is broken up into communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving and personal/social skills. The first time I looked at it, it was a stretch to say that Hunter met 1 (ONE!) in every skill category. I put it down for like a week and now we're up to 2-3 - see therapy really is beneficial especially when you do it on your kid! There is still one category that he is not doing so hot on. Y'all will never guess which one. Communication! Do y'all even know what my profession is?! Apparently I'm not that great of a speech therapist. All this time I've totally been neglecting my poor kid's communication skills because I was so psycho obsessed with his gross motor development. Which I have to say he has totally taken off on. He's crawling like a champ and walking around the living room table at record speeds (well, for him). And the ease at which that kid can maneuver between sitting and crawling is amazing to me having seen what he could do two weeks ago. Here's some proof:

Anyway, back to the communication skills. The s.c. expects my kid to use at least one word other than mama or dada. Are you kidding me? Don't panic y'all. I am a professional, and I know that it is not a problem if your kid isn't saying 3 intentional words by one year. According to the s.c. my kid is also supposed to be following simple one step commands without a cue. WHAT? Any speech pathologist can tell you that according to the Preschool Language Scale - 4, your kid doesn't need to follow simple one step commands with a cue until between 1-0 and 1-6. So, I'm not freaking out...yet.

I was beginning to feel a teensy weensy bit of guilt when I realized that a lot of my friends were signing with their kids and I hadn't even begun to think of doing this yet. It's really sad considering that was my foreign language in college and I use it at work semi-regularly. But, no guilt here! Right? Right! I'm sticking to it. I will not let the s.c. negatively impact the new found joy I am experiencing because of my kid's amazing mobility!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Dang Red Eye

Will someone please explain this to me?

and this

and this

I swear Hunter did not used to have red eye in every picture I took of him. I' ve been seriously debating whether this is my camera getting old - which it's not, I just got it like 2 years ago - or just my sucky picture taking skills. I've spent way too many minutes looking at my digital camera manual to try and figure out what the heck I'm doing wrong. It says that low lighting might cause red eye, but here's a picture I took today in the car while it was cloudy and raining out

Zero red eye. How do you explain that one Fujiflim?

One of my friends suggested I use a red eye reducer on my computer to fix the problem. This is actually a really good idea, so I went home and found that I already have one installed. Let me tell you, though, this is not an easy thing to do. In like 80% of the pictures, the stupid software makes one pupil like the size of a golf ball and the other the size of a piece of lint. How they think that's okay, I'll never know. And if the puplis actually come out the same size, I some how make them really off center - like this He looks totally cross eyed, but there's no going back now, because I saved it. Why? Because it doesn't let you preview the full picture unless you save it. Good.

Can anyone out there help me? Advice? Please?