Monday, August 30, 2010

Fun Monday

Today was a fun day. We started off the morning, early, very early! Philip was ready for a nap by 8:00 while the rest of us were eating breakfast. Good thing he can sleep anywhere.

By 10:00, Jackson and Wesley left to “go to work.” Jackson has wanted to join Wesley at work for a while and today it worked out. The best part of Wesley’s job is relationship building with teens. This morning, he was spending time with one of the teens who graduated a few years back. He was watching his 3-year-old nephew so it was a natural fit for Jackson to join them. Wesley and Gerald visited and Jackson got to enjoy time with his new friend, Amir. They had a great time.

While they were away (and Philip was still asleep) I caught up on some TiVoed episodes of Racheal Ray. Once Philip woke up, we went outside and enjoyed the beautiful day.

I have noticed that I don’t take nearly the amount of pictures of Philip as I did of Jackson. Mainly that’s because we don’t stop enough with Jackson around to snap any! While J was gone, I decided to seize the opportunity to get a few cute shots of Philip outdoors.

Everyone lately has been saying "Oh, Philip is a mini-Jackson" In my opinion they don't look anything alike. Jackson (as a baby) looked just like me. This above picture of Philip looks just like Wesley!

I love that you can tell he is smiling!
(Look at his perfect posture!)

"What's with all these pictures, Mommy?"

After dinner, Wesley offered to clean up and the boys and I headed back outdoors. Jackson loves being with Philip and wants him to play so badly. Whenever I feel it is safe, I let Philip join in on the fun. Tonight, I figured it was as good of a time as any to try out the cozy coupe. I think Philip (and Jackson) enjoyed it!

I hope this brotherly fun lasts as they grow older!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Date Night

Tonight, Wesley and I went out! It has been quite awhile since we have been able to go out alone and it was so fun. We had big plans on our anniversary, but Toy Story 3 with Jackson trumped that outing!

Our wonderful friends, Edith and Larry, sent word they were in town this weekend and wanted some time with Jackson and Philip. When Jackson was young, they would watch him for us almost every Thursday. Due to crazy schedules, we haven’t been in town at the same time much this year, and they have only been with Philip once. They were itching to get some playtime in with him and Jackson.

Jackson was all about being with Mr. Larry and Mrs. Edith and was telling Philip about their house on the way to Alpharetta. (Overheard from the backseat: Don't cry, Philip. We get to give the dogs cookies when we get there!)

Knowing they were in good hands, Wesley and I did a little clothes shopping and decided to enjoy a nice dinner out at PF Changs. It was DELICIOUS and very affordable! We split an appetizer, entree, and even saved room for a yummy dessert.

Since it was nearing 10:00 when we arrived to pick up the boys, I thought we would find one, if not both, asleep. Wrong! They were both up laughing and playing. I think from the smiles, they had fun!

Thank you Larry and Edith for loving on our boys and for giving us the opportunity to have the night out!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Collection Agency

Yesterday, I received a notice from a collection agency regarding an outstanding charge we owed to Northside Anesthesiology. I quickly called Northside to inquire about this charge. I remembered the first time I received the bill from the Anesthesiology company, I had called to dispute the charge and was told the charge would be removed.

When the billing representative answered the call yesterday afternoon, she asked for my account number. As I began to inquire as to what the outstanding charge was for, she quickly asked for my name. I stated it and she said, "please hold."


A few minutes later she was back on the phone and said, I apologize for this oversight. The charge will be removed and we will contact the collection agency immediately.

As I hung up, excited that the call was fast, easy, and resulted in a zero balance, I wondered what exactly the representative saw in my file that made her act so swiftly. Maybe there were notes about the first conversation I had with a billing representative. If so, I wonder what they said. I vividly remember the went something like this:

Representative: Northside Anesthesiology, may I help you?

Me: Yes, I just received a bill from your company. There was an amount listed, but no description of the services. Can you please tell me what I am being billed for as I don't remember using your company.

R: Services were on 2/7/10

Me: I see that, but can you tell me what the services were? Again, I don't remember using your company.

R: 2/7/10. Isn't that when you had a baby? You don't remember having a baby?

Me: No, I remember having my baby a little too well to have used any of your services!

R: Oh....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Car Show

Last August, Jackson, Wesley and I attended a car show up the street. A few weeks ago, I saw the advertisement for this year's show and knew we should go again.

Jackson loved seeing all the fancy cars and hearing the band perform. Wesley and I enjoyed the yummy hot dogs they were grilling out, and Philip just enjoyed it all!

The car show is held at the church where Jackson goes to Preschool. They do some wonderful outreach programs throughout the year, and this is one of our favorites.

Philip is slimming down at top but just can't shake those thighs!

Philip, Wesley, and Jackson listening to the band.

Our attempt at a family picture

There were lots of cool cars at the show. This was not necessarily our favorite, but we had to snap a picture in front of it due to what happened in it.

The owners had the front door opened so Wesley went in first, followed by Jackson and then Philip and I brought up the rear. I thought we would find a party bus or tour bus but really it was a motor home.

It was fully equipped with a kitchen and eating area, bathroom,and bedroom. Wesley walked by the table in the kitchen and started talking to the owner. As soon as Jackson neared the table, he hoped up on the chair and starting taking his shoes off. I quickly stop him, and we all joked around saying "make yourself at home Jackson."

Evidently, the joke part of that comment didn't take with Jackson.

To view the bedroom in the back, you have to travel through the open bathroom. First Wesley went through and then Jackson. Before I could even enter, Jackson has found the potty, pulled down his pants and is standing "in position" ready to go!!! AHHH!!!!

Mortified, we quickly pull up his pants, comment on how lovely the place is and leave!

The owner's comment as we leave, "Don't worry. That's not the first time today that has happened!"

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I had these three pictures on my camera and had to share:

I cropped this out of a bad family picture. He was the only one looking cute and I didn't want to lose that smile.

While we were taking the family shot of the Otts last Sunday, Jackson helped us get the boys to smile by acting goofy behind the camera. Once we had "the" shot, he wanted his turn in front of the lens. We were all behind Wesley making funny faces as he posed for the perfect shot.

This one cracked me up. We had to leave the pool early due to thunder. I snapped this picture as we were packing up and heading home.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Falcons Preseason game

One of the Atlanta Falcons players donated a number of preseason tickets to the YMCA. Wesley was given some of those tickets and used them to treat the students who traveled on the International Trips this summer to a night out. They had an extra ticket so Jackson was able to join them as well.

They had a great time. I heard through the grapevine that Jackson enjoyed watching the cheerleaders more than the football game. All boy I guess :-)

Here's Jackson enjoying the peanut butter & jelly sandwich and Cheetos I packed for him. He nibbled on this dinner until Wesley bought them a pizza to share. He really loved that!

Great seats!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I want my Daddy!

Sunday morning, we were excited to have Scott and Ashley as well as our friends Carlton and Patricia join us at church. Since they were with us and because Wesley was leading the communion thoughts, I thought it would be nice for Jackson to stay in the auditorium with us.

Thanks to some awesome sticker books that Ashley and Scott gave Jackson, he remained very calm throughout the beginning songs. As we finished singing and Wesley walked onto the stage, Jackson looked at me and then back at Da Da. You could see in his eyes "what's he doing?"

A true Daddy's boy, Jackson did not like the idea of Wesley being up on stage while he sat in the audience. As Wesley started speaking, Jackson turned to me and said "I want my Daddy!"

I had a split second to decide: do I try to calm him down in the auditorium, let him run up on stage with Wesley, or take him out. I decided to go for the first option - see if he would calm down. That decision was a good decision for all of two seconds as the "I want my Da Da" cries grew louder and louder.

We were seated near the front and as Wesley said, "I was watching Curious George with my son the other day," we began the journey out. The screaming was not lost on Wesley who in stride said, "Oh, there's my son now."

The crowd followed the cries across the auditorium and saw a teary eyed little boy longingly looking to the stage at his Daddy while his (slightly embarrassed) Mommy escorted him out.

We walked outside the building to calm down. As the tears dried up, we came back in right as Wesley's voice filled the front entry. He was beginning the prayer for the juice, and Jackson's cries picked up right where they had left off. Thankfully, we disturbed no one in the lobby but I quickly realized that nothing I was going to do would calm this sad little boy down. I walked over to the nursery and just handed him over. All I could hope for was a nursery distraction.

The nursery staff worked their charm and Jackson was good to go by the time we picked him up after service. I thought the incident would be long forgotten, but Monday morning as we were driving around town, Jackson commented from the back seat:

"Mommy, I don't want Da Da to go back on that stage again at church!"

Oh, those little minds that remember so much!

Though it was not enjoyable to have 400 pairs of eyes watching as I walked my little one out, I am so blessed that even as an early age, he has such a relationship with his Daddy that he doesn't want to be a part!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Girls Night Out

It is so good to go out with the girls!

Tonight, Kate, Katey, Ashley and I went to paint pottery in Alpharetta. The place - All Fired Up - reminded me of the place in Green Hills we used to go to in college. We brought dinner and enjoyed spending 2 hours chatting and painting. It was a lot of fun and I am happy with how my "artwork" turned out.

Honestly though, just as fun and exciting as being with the girls was figuring out where I was going to stop to pick up dinner. It sounds simple, but when a 3-year-old's taste buds usually limit you to Chick-fil-a and McDonalds being able to decide what I wanted was a special treat. I agonized over the decision because who knows how long it will be until I get to think of only me when eating out (who knew my lunch break would be a (very little) thing I miss about working at an office full time!)

My choice: Qdoba. It was a good choice for two reasons: One, it tasted yummy, and two, Jackson would have hated it :-)

Here's my finished work- salt and pepper shakers

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend with the Larmers

Back in May, we made plans with Scott and Ashley to get together for a visit. Due to their crazy schedules and our summer calendar, we couldn’t find an available weekend until August.

We quickly reserved this past weekend for a Cumming visit with the Larmers. Due to some work conflicts, they couldn’t get in until Saturday, which turned out to be for the best. Saturday morning was filled with Jackson and Wesley going to a birthday party at Build A Bear and Philip and I heading to Publix for the weekend run.

I think someone enjoyed having the Publix cart to himself!

They arrived in time for lunch and we made BLTs from the last of the yummy tomatoes from my garden. After mealtime, we put the boys down and talked. Well, Ashley, Scott and I talked. Wesley just played with the toys they brought with them – an Ipad and Kindle.

After naps, we ventured out to run a few errands. What was to be a quick trip to Target ended up taking awhile as Scott, Jackson and Wesley found a few more toys to play with!

That night, after the boys were fed and put to bed, we started on our dinner. I had already made the main dish and just had to put a few finishing touches on the extras. I think the menu turned out nice and was delicious! Nothing left over – isn’t that a good sign of a great dinner?

Thanks to Scott for taking some awesome shots of our dinner table:

Caesar salad with homemade croutons!

Chicken Spaghetti (Pioneer Woman Cookbook) and bruschetta (made with our tomatoes - don't they look fabulous!)

After dinner, while Wesley & Scott looked on (and continued to play with the Ipad), Ashley and I started to work on Sunday’s lunch. We invited the Ott family over for lunch to celebrate Shannon’s 30th birthday.

I love to cook and love it even more when I have someone to cook with. Thankfully, Ashley and Scott love to cook as much as I do and we had so much fun talking about new recipes, ingredients, and places to eat as we prepared for Sunday.

Scott had worked up a theme and menu for us. Using his recipes and the Pioneer Woman cookbook, we put together an impressive spread for a Sunday feast!

After church, we came back and got everything ready for lunch. The Otts (minus John) arrived around noon, and we enjoyed spending time talking and reconnecting.

I forgot to take pictures before we devoured the brunch. Thankfully, we had a little extra so I could snap a few shots of our fabulous meal:

Praline French Toast

Sausage Egg Casserole

Garlic Cheese Grits

Blueberry Muffins

For dessert, we made Shannon her favorite - a chocolate cake and
homemade Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.

All I could find for a candle was Jackson's #2 from last year. The kids wanted to see Shannon blow out something so she was a sport and played along. Happy birthday, Shannon!

David and Jackson really enjoyed singing Happy Birthday and watching Shannon blow out the candle.

The Otts - Grace, Shannon, David, and Josh (standing)

David, Jackson and Josh

I can't begin to describe how well these three got along! Wesley had a huge talk with Jackson before they arrived about playing nice and sharing. Either the talk did it, or else they are just meant to be great friends, because they played together beautifully!! No fighting, yelling or tears! Shannon and I agreed we must get together again soon because it was actually an enjoyable playgroup for the kids and adults!

After the birthday celebration, the Otts headed their way, and soon after, Scott and Ashley left too. It made for a very quiet house Sunday a


We loved having Scott and Ashley with us. There is something special about sharing time with those you love the most in the comfort of your own home. Also, there was something special heart-warming about seeing my boys interact with Ashley and Scott.

The Larmers and Benders (minus a sleeping Philip)

I had to include this picture to show how close Scott and Jackson became over the weekend. It usually takes awhile for Jackson to warm up to new faces. Though Scott and Ashley are not new to Wesley and me, Jackson has only been around them a handful of times. Even so, Jackson and Scott became fast buddies.

The bonding started when Jackson learned that Scott can talk to stuffed animals. He would communicate with this puppy dog and the dog would talk back! Jackson loved it!

It warmed my heart, when I received an e-mail from Scott Monday morning:

fyi, i miss playing with jackson.
i would much rather do puppy voiceover work than legal work.

I guess the admiration was mutual!

Thank you Scott and Ashley for loving on our kids and for a great weekend! We can't wait to do it again soon!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mall with Minutha

This morning Wesley, Jackson, Philip and I met up with Minutha at the NorthPoint Mall. Minutha was one of the first teens we met when we moved to Alpharetta, and we have stayed very close even as she has moved onto college. In fact, she is about to start her fourth year at Georgia.

During the Spring semester, Minutha interned at Disney World and Wesley, Jackson and my father-in-law Jack went to visit. Jackson fell in love with Miss Minutha and was so excited about seeing her this morning.

When I asked if he wanted Mommy, Da Da or Minutha to take him on the carousel, he didn't skip a beat when he replied "Mi-new-pha" It was very sweet! I love for Jackson to be around great role models like Minutha. She is a beautiful young lady and I am so thankful she loves my boys so much!

Jackson and Mini!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First Graders!

This year was a very big year for three of my nephews – Luke, Joshua, and Caleb all started 1st grade!!

All three of these boys did so well in Kindergarten and I know they will love First grade as well. I asked Abby and Susan to send me some pictures of their first day. Don’t they look so grown up and handsome!

Good luck, boys!



Luke (with Trent)

Trent is even going to school this year - he started Mother's Day Out the same day Luke went to 1st grade! Wonder how much Abby loved having a quiet house?

Jackson goes to the dentist

As we approached Jackson's third birthday, I realized a trip to the dentist would soon be on our calendars. I had no idea where to take him so I went off a recommendation from Jackson's pediatrician. His first appointment with Pediatric Dentistry was scheduled for today.

Once arriving at the office, Jackson made himself comfortable and began playing with the toys and watching Cars, the movie. We were quickly called back and introduced to Dr. Bonjiovi. He was great with Jackson. He showed him all his "teeth tools" and even let Jackson try his hand at squirting the water.

Jackson seemed at ease, and I began to think we might have a successful visit. Well, things went sour once Dr. B, asked him to lie down on the table. He was not having that. We couldn't get him to calm down so they tried to conduct a lap examine where Jackson sat in my lap and laid back so the doctor could count teeth and brush in some fluoride. Even that didn't go well.

Dr. B said that he was able to administer a little fluoride and he could see that Jackson had all the teeth he should for 3 years old. He didn't want to press any more. His advice was to come back in six months and try again. Okay...

After the exam, Jackson got two tokens for prizes and a bag full of goodies. He loved that part of the appointment so next time I will remind him of the treats to get him through the exam.

Oh, he also loved the toys in the waiting room and actually asked if we could stay and play for a few more minutes after the exam was over. Sure, whatever floats your boat, Mr. Jackson!

Jackson & the funny little beaver at the dentist!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Swimming Pool

It's hot, and I don't do hot very well! I much prefer to stay indoors with the AC on full blast than sweat outdoors. For Jackson and Philip, this means most of this summer has been spent watching the sunny days go by from behind the windows in our kitchen. That's a little extreme. We do actually, get out a lot, but most all the activities really are done inside - play groups, Monkey Joes, mall walking, YMCA.

The heat has put a damper on our pool time. It has just been too hot to pile up and head to the neighborhood pool. Knowing how much Jackson loves to be the water, Wesley has suggested we take a family outing to the pool the past few nights. It has been so nice. We head over there after dinner which means fewer people and no hot sun!

Jackson has loved swimming with Wesley, and Philip and I have enjoyed floating by the stairs. Here are some pictures from our recent journey to the pool:

We loaded up the wagon with the towels, pool toys, Bumbo seat, and Philip!

What a strong boy pulling Philip to the pool!

On the way home, Jackson opted for a ride instead!