Our Sweet Sarah Beth


Darling Little Debbie


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Murphy Family Gift Swap

For those of you who did not get one of Jack's special Christmas cards, this is what Jack put into my dad's family dirty santa game. It was certainly a hit, and for those of you who know my Aunt Dee, you can hear her cracking up at :15, :30 and :45.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oh Holy Night

For me, it just isn't Christmas until I hear Mary Beth sing this song. She thrilled the crowd at my dad's family Christmas last weekend with this family favorite. I am still amazed at her voice.
If you don't have time to listen all the way through, just skip to 1:50. You'll get the point.

Sorry it's kinda dark.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Bunny's Back


The Prodigal Bunny has returned home! After a nightmare of frantic searching, Jack had the brilliant idea to check behind the couch, which is pushed up against the wall. For sport, SB used to throw things behind it, but I haven't noticed her doing that in a while.

Anyway, she apparently hasn't forgotten about that hiding spot. It took all of my strength to drag our couch away from the wall so that I could get behind it, but it was totally worth it. There was a treasure trove of valuables hidden behind it, including our remote control, some really old Hershey's kisses, a few of my vaccine studies that I had been missing, and sitting pretty on top of everything was BUNNY!!!

SB can finally sleep now. And so can we.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lost Bunny

For the safe return of Bunny.

Please help us find Bunny!

Description: He is a soft, stuffed rabbit, white with pastel spots.

Identifying marks: "My First Easter" embroidered on his chest in pink thread.

Answers to the name of Bunny.

Sarah Beth gets very screamy without him at bedtime. In fact, she is screaming right now. I knew we were in trouble when seven o'clock rolled around, and I couldn't find him. Optimistically, I put Surrogate Bunny in her crib instead (which I think is more like Piglet from Winnie the Pooh, but he has ears like bunny, and that is what Sarah Beth loves the most). After the regular night time routine: bathtime, diaper and pajamas, saying good night to Daddy, then to the rocking chair, I put her into her crib and waited for her to roll over, grab Surrogate Bunny's ear and stick it in her mouth with her thumb. Instead, she rolled over, reached for Bunny, then recoiled at the sight of SuBu (Surrogate Bunny).

I tiptoed out the door anyway, hoping for the best. Notsomuch. The quiet crying soon became all out wailing, gut wrenching sobs for Bunny.

Jack and I have torn the house apart. I searched all of her favorite hot spots: the tupperware cabinet, the toilet, and I even dug through the trash can, all to no avail. I went into her room to try to calm her while I racked my brain trying to remember the last place I saw Bunny. When the screaming became unbearable, I returned to the kitchen. Jack met me there.

Emily: We have got to find Bunny.
Jack: Did you check the trash can?

I told you it was her favorite spot. In fact, I had minutes before scolded her for digging an oil-soaked paper towel out of the trash can and cleaning my kitchen floors with it. But Bunny was not there.

Jack is currently taking his turn trying to console our sleepy child who cannot seem to get to sleep without Bunny. So, please, keep your eyes open. SB is offering a $.27 reward for his safe return, and at this point, I'd probably give my right arm to have him back.

Friday, November 21, 2008

War of the Words

Those of you who live here may have seen this already, but it is my pleasure to share this with the rest of you.

Recently, McDonalds began advertising the addition of lattes to their menu. They even offered patrons a free sample. Fantastic. Good for them.
Not so good for the coffee shop next door. It has apparently been bad for their business. So the owner came up with such a brilliant slogan, he decided to post it on his large sign. It said, "Do you really want a clown making your coffee??"

Unfortunately, I was not made aware of this event until they had already changed the sign, so it was too late to get a picture.

The good news for you is, McDonalds doesn't take any crap from anybody, especially not any jabs at their beloved Ronald. The next day, this sign was proudly displayed on the corner of the highway, next to their entrance, which, coincidentally, is also next to the coffee shop entrance.

Just in case the photo is blurry, their sign says, "We're not clowning around. Free latte today." I had one. It was delicious. But I digress.

Not to be outdone, the coffee shop fired right back.

Free lattes at McDonalds but quality lattes at Strange Brew.

I don't know how many people tried the free McDonalds latte on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I drove by there again yesterday, and McDonalds had extended their giveaway. Free lattes again on Thursday! That made 3 days in a row!

Apparently very distressed by the marketing strategy of their new rival, the coffee shop owner posted a warning to potential McDonalds customers late yesterday afternoon.

We'll excuse the absence of the apostrophe since this is hilarious.

I can't wait to see what they have done today. It's freezing outside, but as soon as SB wakes up, I'm packing her into the car and taking my camer to investigate the scene. And maybe get another free latte. As a dedicated investigative journalist, I consider it my duty.


Also, as it turns out, Arby's is


If they are still hireing today, I will get a photo.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Childhood silliness and my career as a neurologist

Thanks, LT, for the tag. I will now let you all in a little closer by listing a few interesting things about myself. But only because LT insisted.

1. I had an imaginary friend when I was a kid. Her name was Becca. She lived in the woods in front of my house.

2. As a child, and until very recently, I thought the lyrics to the childhood song, Do Your Ears Hang Low were "Can you throw them over your shoulder like a cotton roman soldier?"

3. I let my child eat off of the floor. Saves me from having to clean the floor. Whenever she is done eating, she lets me know by helpfully pushing the rest of her food off of her high chair tray. That way, I don't have to clean that either. And, if she gets hungry later, ta da! She just returns to the scene of the crime and presto! Her cheerios are usually still waiting for her. While I don't encourage this behavior, I really don't like to sweep. So it works out for both of us. Besides, if she doesn't eat them, they are just going to get all crunched up when I step on them.

4. I was in a Rascal Flatts video. Jack is very tired of hearing about this. You would think he would be happy to be married to someone so famous.

5. Spelling and grammatical errors drive me crazy. I realize that no one is perfect, and please do not point out all the mistakes I made in this post. What really grinds my gears is when these mistakes are made in large print, by people who should really consider how many people are going to see them. For example, when Pizza Hut advertised in large letters on their large sign : NOW HIRING DRIVER, someone should have caught that. Were they hiring several driverS or did they only have room for A driver? I was also very disturbed by Wendy's announcement that their renovations had been completed: DINNING ROOM NOW OPEN. So, instead of driving through, you could come in and eat in their dinning room.

This is the same reason why I cannot read the local newspaper. It is so full of errors that it would take an entire edition to print all of the retractions. The last straw for me was when they ran a huge headline after MSU had beaten a big opponent a couple of years ago. The title: one word, huge letters: CONGRADULATIONS. I could have accepted it readily if this was meant for graduating seniors, but it was not. As an editor, how do you not catch that???

6. If I had my college career to live over again, I would go into the medical field. I don't want to be a doctor though. I have absolutely no interest in practicing medicine. Something about jabbing people with needles and digging around in guts just doesn't do it for me. Hearing Jack's uncle's ER stories is enough for me. I am much more interested in the medical research field. Jack made a good point when he said that I could still learn all that stuff, without going back to college (and spending a bazillion dollars). He was right, and I have already started my career as a neuroscience researcher. I'd love to talk to you sometime about microglia, free radicals, cytokines and such.

7. In the midst of my neurolgy, business office manager and motherhood careers, I have also taken on another time consuming task within the last year. I am an organizer of a state wide group currently lobbying our state government to give parents the right to make their children's health decisions for them. If you live in Mississippi, unlike every other state in this country, you don't have a choice regarding your child's vaccinations. You have to get all of them. I'm not one of those fringe people who think vaccines are the devil and nobody should get them. I think the vaccine program has saved lives and protected many from disease.

However, I also think the current schedule is overcrowded, and my inquiries into the processes of the brain confirm my suspicions that overvaccinating children at such a young age can be detrimental to the development of their brains. I also think that there are several vaccines on the schedule that are not necessary, like chicken pox and hepatitis B. I realize that not all kids who are completely vaccinated according to the current schedule have adverse side effects, but a lot of them do. Not all people who smoke get lung cancer, but a lot of them do. I just think I should have a choice in deciding when my kid gets a vaccine and which ones she gets.

So I met with my state representative and talked to my senator by phone last week, and I have another meeting set up for tomorrow. So far, the ones I have talked to have been very supportive of what we are trying to do. We wrote a rough draft of a bill last night, and we already have someone to introduce it in January.

If this issue concerns you in any way, please feel free to talk to me about it. I'd love to hear your opinions on this issue, and I am not afraid of or offended by people who disagree with me. It actually helps to hear your concerns, so fire away.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Last weekend, Jack and I took SB on our yearly family vacay to Rosemary Beach. This year, we invited another family, the Johnsons, to share in the fun, the babysitter and unfortunately, the stomach bug. That's right. Our friends loaded up their SUV with two kids, a ton of luggage and one highly contagious strain of vomit.

To be fair, this bug has apparently been making the rounds through our church nursery, as three other families with small children have also been sick in the past two weeks. All of us have kids in the nursery together at church. Dang kids, always ruin everything.

Thursday was completely uneventful: the trip, the unloading and unpacking, the grocery shopping and settling into the house. Friday was fantastic. The weather was perfect, and we spent the morning at the beach. Naps, showers and photo shoots that afternoon, and the adults had a fabulous dinner and night out on the town on Halloween while the babysitter wrangled the kids at home.

We returned to a quiet house, which remained quiet until 1 am, when the fun started. Our friends were up all night with their 3-year-old, who quickly passed the virus to his father, who ended up in the hospital with severe dehydration and other complications. We didn't get much sleep, and at 4 am, a knock on our door announced that an ambulance was on the way to pick up the dehydrated father.

Did I mention that the mother of the sick kid was pregnant? Yeah. She got sick the next morning. They offered to get a hotel room in hopes of keeping the virus contained, but we knew it was probably too late. Jack and I escaped with SB and the babysitter, praying we would be spared, although we knew we had already been exposed. We went to the beach, the outlet malls and the pool- anything to keep us out of the house.

But of course, the damage was already done, and SB woke us up around 12:30 that night with a stomach bug all her own. We spent the rest of the night between SB's throw up sessions cleaning sheets, changing and washing clothes and trying to sleep a little too.

Early the next day (Sunday) we decided to bolt for home before we got sick too. We both felt fine, but we knew it was just a matter of time. We said goodbye to our friends, grabbed the babysitter and ran. The trip home was a nightmare, as SB screamed all the way, save the hour and a half that she slept.

We finally made it home, just in time. Jack and I spent Monday and Tuesday in the bed, sick, as the virus claimed its final victims. I called our precious babysitter yesterday to check on her, certain that our sickness had fallen upon her. I could not believe it when she told me that she had been spared. This feat is even more amazing when you consider the fact that she is the church nursery worker, and she has been keeping all these kids that have been spreading this awful virus for the past 2-3 weeks.

It's no wonder this thing spread the way it did, considering what a loving mood SB was in that weekend.

At least we got some good pictures out of the weekend, which you can see here, you know, if you care about that sort of thing.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh where, oh where has my little mind gone?

Oh where, oh where could it be? A mind is a terrible thing to lose. I have not been on top of things lately. Very forgetful with routine things like keeping up with clients, monthly tax reports, paying our mortgage... not a good thing to forget.

I even double booked myself for dinner/meeting tonight. I have to HAVE to be at a vaccine meeting tonight at 6:30, even though I scheduled dinner with another couple for tonight at 6:30. I actually had that dinner planned for tomorrow (Wednesday) night, until my mother reminded me that we were supposed to have dinner with THEM on Wednesday. So I moved our friends to tonight, only to have another friend call and ask about the meeting that is scheduled for tonight. So Jack will have to do without me for a while tonight, which he is certainly capable of doing. The man was born to entertain.

I'm still very distressed about our Phish tickets as well. Jack called and reminded me that they were going on sale last Saturday morning, and I made it to the computer in time to log on and jump into the fray. The fact that the band is getting back together just for this one weekend show meant that every fan across the country was trying to get tickets at 9:00 am Saturday morning. I was ready at 8:58, and Ticketmaster told me I was in line and it would take 15 minutes for them to find tickets for me! Fifteen minutes later, they were all sold out (of course) for all 3 shows, and the $50 tickets were already going for $200-$300 at auction sites.

What a brilliant marketing stunt. But totally unfair to me. Jack and I have only been to one show together, and it was fantastic. Eleventh row, open air, great music. Although the people in front of us thought we were cops because we did not want to smoke weed with them. Probably because Jack told them we were cops. (oh yes he did. we were not offered any more drugs after that point.)

I also forgot to blog about a very important event! Meredith came home for a visit!! True, it has been almost a month since she was here, but I can still show pictures, right?

Here she is bonding with SB by feeding her baked beans. Guess who had to change that diaper...

Best Friends.

We miss you Mere! Can't wait for Christmas!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee

I finally settled on a Halloween costume for SB. Even though we're not going trick or treating, she still needed a costume for photo ops.

As you can see, I decided on a bumblebee costume since she can say "Bzzz." It was either that or a puppy costume, since she also likes to bark every time she sees a dog.

I couldn't wait to dress her as soon as I got home. I found out after I pulled out the costume that I would still need to get a few things to complete the outfit, but I love the fuzzy antenae that flop on either side of her head.

We are practicing our bee noises, and I can't wait to get some better shots once I get the outfit completed.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Sister, My Hero

Today is a very special day. It is my sister's birthday! Twenty-two years old. Mary Beth has been a wonderful helper to me since SB was born. She has logged many hours holding, changing and feeding SB, and until very recently, she was our go to girl for babysitting. Now that she is in nursing school, however, her babysitting days are over. (Boo school)

But thanks to the fact that MB is in nursing school, she was able to save my daughter's life a few weeks ago. Mary Beth had mentioned that she had learned how to do CPR and how help a choking infant. I told her I wanted to learn how to do it, but I never got around to it.

A few weeks ago, we were at my mom's house hanging out, and SB had a little bite of my apple. Instead of chewing, she threw it straight down the hatch. Her eyes started to bulge out of her head, and she opened her mouth but couldn't breathe. I panicked and immediately handed her to Mary Beth, our resident nurse. Mary Beth reacted like a pro. She picked her up, flipped her onto her stomach and pounded on her back until SB coughed. She set SB down and we all breathed a sigh of relief (scary!) until we realized she still couldn't breathe!

Mary Beth immediately picked her back up and worked on her until my tiny little baby coughed up the apple and started crying. I have never been so happy to hear that little cry. I scooped her up and tried to calm her down, although it was difficult considering I was also hysterical.

I am so thankful that Mary Beth was there that day. I just have no idea what I would have done had I been by myself that day. I have seen the maneuvers performed on TV before, but I certainly don't have any training.

Mary Beth, you are the best. Thank you just doesn't seem big enough. I hope you like the shoes I got you for your birthday. Yeah. Shoes. I couldn't think of any better way to say "happy birthday" and "thanks for being a hero" than an awesome pair of stilletos.

And you can still babysit anytime you want.

Happy birthday, Mary Beth! I love you.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Miserable Vomitous Mass

Whew. SB is finally asleep, taking her afternoon nap. Hopefully, when she wakes up this time, it won't be with a diaper full of stinky you know what. That's right, folks. SB has got the stomach bug.

I've been pooped on and puked on more times that I want to remember in the past 2 days. It all started when I went to get her out of her crib yesterday morning, usually a happy time. When I walked through her door, I was knocked down by such a scent that it sent me backwards into the hall, choking for air.

Her room reeked for the rest of the day, despite my best efforts. I stripped her bed, even the bumper pads had to go into the washing machine. Twice. I empied the trash and almost threw her clothes away, but instead decided to send them through the washer two times as well. They were really cute and new. I opened the window and put some scented candles in her room AND turned on the fan. Still stunk like a skunk.

Six loads of laundry, five wardrobe changes, four nasty diapers, three pukes and two days later we seem to be on the up and up. And my carpet has never been cleaner, thanks to Resolve carpet cleaner, which has been scrubbed into my living room carpet three times in the past two days.

So stay away, all ye friends. Stay away just in case. I don't want this thing spreading. Now I'm off to take a nap. Hopefully won't awake to any more laundry. I need a vacation.

I Can't Wait!

Myspace Countdowns, Fun Countdowns at WishAFriend.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Whew, what a weekend. Jack came home from a weeklong trip to Colorado, Sarah Beth turned one, MSU got their first victory of the season (hopefully not their last) and we had lots of company. But let's focus on what is important here.

My little baby isn't such a little baby anymore!! I can't believe she is already a whole year old! Last weekend some of my girlfriends threw her a party in Jackson. Amy and Carrie made her a shortbread cookie (with no eggs) that she could have all to herself.

She had a blast opening her presents

But she did not have as much fun as we did!

She even got to meet Carrie's puppy, which she loved. You can see that here. And she bonded with some of her aunts. Thanks for a great weekend, girls!

Her actual birthday was Saturday, September 6th. I had to convince Jack that of course we had to have a party. He finally gave in, but insisted that the event would be family only. We grilled burgers, and I baked two cakes, one without eggs for SB. I'll be uploading videos of the occasion on Youtube, for those of you who are on pins and needles waiting for that. I'm also in the process of uploading her birthday photo album to Shutterfly. I'll post when they are ready.

She got some really cute clothes, but her favorite gift seemed to be the baby stroller. She took off on that thing and didn't stop until we put her to bed that night. It was a great success.

Although I've sworn off birthday limericks, I did find a few minutes to scratch out a bday poem for my first and only daughter. That will have to wait until later though. I don't have time to type it out as I have company walking through the door. Until tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Twenty-nine again?

I almost let the day get away from me, but better late than never, I always say. Tonight we pay tribute to a woman well worth every word written here this evening.

by Emily Redwood

There once was a woman named mother
Who like her there was not one other
She's funny and sweet
Never misses a beat
Epitome of belle from southern

My mother she taught me everything
Always cooking and cleaning in full swing
Never thinks of herself
Puts her pride on the shelf
Her praises enough I cannot sing

Spends time serving children and husband
She always meets every demand
She never placed blame
Never missed a game
No referee her could withstand

She's a rapper and also a dancer
To her moves we never could answer
She dipped and she swayed
And fun we all made
Her reindeer name would be Prancer

But joking and all fun aside now
I've said all that my time will allow
We love you, we need you
Without you we'd be blue
So mom stand up and take a big bow

Happy Birthday Mom.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Best Day Ever

Today was an ok day. At least it started off that way. I got SB down for a nap, then ran a few very important errands. (Don't freak out, my sister was here while SB was napping.) It's always a nice experience to be able to get things done without a baby in tow. I have quite a long to-do list, and it felt good to check off 3 things before 10 am.

I spent a few hours at my mother's house, and SB and I had a glorious, much needed 2 hour nap this afternoon. Then I remembered that despite a late afternoon, hour-long trip to wal mart yesterday, during which SB yelled "HEY! ME! HEY, HEEEEEEEEEEYYYY!" to every individual we saw while shopping, I was out of formula. Of course I had forgotten it yesterday, even though I walked right past it AND it was on my list.

I ran to Kroger, since it was closer and certain to be faster. They were out.

This is where the day gets good. Surprisingly enough, it was because I had to go to Wal Mart. I know I have a few new readers, and some of you may not remember this post, so I would recommend refreshing your memory before continuing. For those of you short on time, here's the quick version:

I went to wal mart one day last month to buy formula because I had a really good coupon ($10 off!) After a series of shenanigans, I finally made it to the check out line, and my checker was named Terrain. He must have been new, because it took him (and 3 other "helpful" employees) about 15 minutes of arguing before they could figure out how to use my coupon. Thanks Enfamil. It was a rather comical situation to me, but probably not to everyone else waiting behind me in the "express" lane.

Okay, back to the future. I had another good coupon for my formula ($5 this time), so off I went to purchase some. I was back at the Mart, and again, all I needed was formula. And some bottle liners that I remembered at the last second. I had a coupon for those too! A whole dollar off! It was going to be a good day, sticking it to the man with all my coupons.

I quickly located the shortest check out line, and as soon as I reached the front, I stopped dead in my tracks. I couldn't believe my eyes.

It was Terrain.

Terrain, coupon-scanner extraordinaire.

What are the odds, I wondered to myself. As many times as I go to wal mart, every time a different checker. The only two times I have a coupon, I get this guy. I almost switched lines, but then I noticed that Terrain must have really been logging his hours as a coupon scanner. How could I tell? Simple. Ice. Terrain was iced from head to hands in large, sparkling diamonds. He was wearing huge diamond earrings, a diamond chain that must have been 2'' thick (with his wal mart employee ID tag hanging from it), and two diamond bracelets on each wrist.

Let's just let that sink in for a minute. I know I did.

I was confident that Terrain was going to be able to handle my coupons today.

He couldn't.

I almost videotaped myself mimicking the expression that overtook his face when I proudly presented him with my Enfamil coupon. It was a look of horror/depression/complete disappointment, followed by a frustrated grunt, "ugh."

Lucky for him, there was a Star Checker visiting with another employee in the lane right behind him, and she was all too happy to assist us. Not. She finally dragged herself over to complain about my coupon, and she told him to run it through the scanner as a check. The machine did not like it. It beeped loudly. After a few more tries and a few more beeps, the lady closely examined the check and decided that the machine wouldn't take it because I had not signed it.

An interesting assessment. When did wal mart get high tech scanners that detect ink signatures?

She produced a pen and told me to endorse the back. Now it would work. Not. I think the lady behind me was ready to give me five dollars just to get me out of there. But I wasn't backing down.

Terrain was absolutely convinced that he should treat the coupon as cash, despite the large red lettering at the top of the coupon that instructed the retailer to "treat as check."

I'm not sure how they finally figured it out, but somehow I got my discount on the formula and got out of there. I didn't realize until I got home that Terrain had kept my bottle liner coupon (which also wouldn't work). I'm thinking of going back tomorrow and asking for a dollar.

Friday, August 22, 2008

HB to Me!

It's the most won-der-ful time of the year. I celebrated my 24th birthday earlier this week, and it was a good time. Jack and I had planned to go to dinner, and when we arrived at the restaurant, 16 of our friends were already there to help us celebrate! What a wonderful surprise. We ate, drank and were very merry.

I got some wonderful presents, including a brand new set of dishes (they are so cute) AND a newly tiled kitchen floor. But the best gift of all was waiting for me at home when we got back from the restaurant. A new car? A million bucks? nay. It was something so much better; something on which you cannot put a price tag.

It was a local commercial I had first seen months ago, but to my dismay, it stopped airing before I could get a video of it. I searched youtube to no avail, and finally I gave up the dream. However, when I turned on the tv to get an Olympic medal count, there it was in all its glory. Upon further investigation, I found it on youtube! It's your lucky day.

This little gem really needs no explanation, for there really are no words to aptly describe its gumbiness. Just sit back, turn your speakers up LOUD and soak it all in.

Happy birthday to me. Thank you, Denvil Crowe, for making it one to remember.

Don't you dare!

Still speechless.

Monday, August 18, 2008

SB's New Tricks

Isn't she adorable?

Here Comes Treble

What can I say? SB has been a little bit of a pill lately. She's very mobile, and that has created more than one problem for us.

She was playing nicely in the middle of the floor a few days ago while Jack and I were busy watching "I Love Money." We looked up at the commercial break to find that SB had pulled herself up to the coffee table and helped herself to the box of Kleenex that was sitting on top of it. She had already emptied most of the box, and she had a FIT when we took it away. As a peace offering, she did offer to give one to me.

She has also discovered the stairs in our house. Thankfully she found them while she was already downstairs and not while she was up. Jack and I got to her when she was about halfway up. I bought and installed safety gates the very next day.

She was a little distressed when she realized that she could no longer reach the trash can. Did I mention that I also caught her pushing over the kitchen trash can? She was diving in just when I reached her, so I was able to keep most of the goo off of her.

She's also decided that she HATES her car seat. Now that she can move around, she does NOT appreciate being confined. She made this perfectly clear on our trip to Memphis last week. (She screamed the whole way.) It really made me rethink my upcoming trip to Jackson, but I'm dying to see my girlfriends, so DNW Amy, SB and I are coming (with sedatives).

Sometimes when I am alone at home and have to shower or call a client, I have to put her in her cage, aka, the pack and play. She is most unhappy when it's time for the cage, even though I shower her with toys. She insists on being free to roam at all times.

But she's not all bad. I will be posting a video shortly to show you her newest accomplishment. She knows what the puppy dog says, and enjoys barking at the neighbor's dogs whenever we go outside. She's very ferocious.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Yay Sarah!

Last weekend, I went with a few friends to a baby shower for sweet Sarah Alford. Of course I forgot my camer, so I've been waiting on LT to post photos for me to steal. Sarah looked so cute, and a lot of people came to bless her. It was a fun time.

except for one thing.

And I'm not bitter about this or anything. I just feel like I was shafted a little bit. What do you think?

We played this game where everyone wears a clothespin on their shirt, and if you say the word "baby" then someone can take your pin. The person with the most pins at the end of the shower wins a prize. LT and I were in fierce competition, but my strategy of staying close to my mom, who said the forbidden word several times, paid off big time. I was 2 pins ahead of LT with five total. I didn't see anyone else with nearly that many, so I relaxed a little.

LT kept trying to trick me into saying the b word, but I stayed strong throughout the day.

I kept hearing these two girls across the room having a lovely conversation about their kids, and both of them kept saying the b word. I wanted so badly to run across the room and jerk both their pins off of their shirts, but I didn't know either one of them, and although I am a very competitive person, I just didn't feel right about it. I struggled with this for a long time, and finally decided to stay put, since I didn't see anyone else with as many pins as me. I didn't want to be "that girl" who was taking the game way too seriously, yanking pins off everybody in sight. In retrospect, perhaps I should have. But I didn't. To my own detriment.

So at the end of the shower, the hostess was like, ok who has the most pins? I tried to play it cool, like I had forgotten all about the game. She looked at me and said, oh, you've got a lot. I was like, oh yeah, let me see....hmmm... i've got 5. I stook up to accept my prize when THE GIRL across the room, the girl that I let slide so many times when she said the b word, stood up and pointed to this 90 year old woman and said, "she has more."

I couldn't believe my ears. Sure enough, this little old lady had a nice little pile of pins on the seat next to her. Nobody bothered to count them, they just proclaimed her the winner, but I wasn't convinced she had more than 5. However, I figured if that little old lady was brave enough to go up to that many people and yank their pins off, she deserved the prize.

And then I heard the news. Someone whispered to me in the corner. She hadn't done any such thing! She had been sitting pretty in her chair during the whole shower, and when people had to leave early, they took off their pins and gave them to her! What an outrage!

But I'm not bitter.

ps I hope you enjoyed the moonwalking bear.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Moms Night Out

It's something I look forward to every other week. A night out with the girlies while the daddies keep the kiddies. Tonight was the night, and we were going out for sushi. After that, who knows. We are a wild and crazy bunch.

I left home a bit early so that I could run into the grocery store and replenish SB's formula supply. Heaven help us if we ever run out of that liquid gold! Unfortunately, Kroger's baby aisle was more than lacking in the formula department, so I settled on a pack of diapers and resigned myself to a post-dinner wal mart trip.

Dinner was delicious and the company was much needed and enjoyed. After dinner, the group broke up: some off to see a movie, and a few headed out for coffee. I set my sights on the Wal. All I needed was a little formula. In and out, I thought. The trip to the baby section and back to the check out counter was as swift as one could imagine. However, the "express" lane wasn't in such a hurry tonight.

I chose the lane that only had one cart ahead of me. I then watched as customers whizzed through the line next to me. Isn't that always how it happens? Of course, as soon as you change lanes, the line you were in suddenly disappears as your new found lane stalls to a standstill. I've been there many times, so I decided to wait it out as the ladies in front of me slowly unloaded their cart.

I don't know exactly how many things they had in their cart, but let's just say they were WAY over the express lane limit. How many things were in there? The lady pushing the cart was too big to see around, and the lady with her was slowly unloading items. Apparently, they had both done their shopping in the same cart and were now removing each item, carefully inspecting it, then either putting it on the counter or back in the cart. I wondered if I could move to the side a little and see how many more things were in the bottomless buggy.

As I pondered these things, I took a small step to my right, your left, and slipped on a wet spot on the floor. Very graceful. I tried to play it off by looking down and pointing to the big puddle of water on the floor beneath me, in case anyone was looking. I knew as a good citizen I should report the puddle to maintenance, so no one else would slip on it. They might not be as nice as me and could sue the Wal for millions. Just my (and their) luck, I see a wal mart man walking towards me at that very moment. Probably wanted to make sure I was alright.

Me: "Sir, excuse me, but there is a big puddle right here."
He stares blankly at me, like he doesn't speak English and didn't just see me bust it right in front of his face.
Me again: "I just slipped on it, and I don't want anyone else to fall and get hurt."
Him: "I'm sorry, I'm on break."

Let that sink in for a minute.

"I'm on break."

It was just like something from tv. You see it all the time, but you think , that doesn't happen in real life. People don't just blow you off and say, "I'm on break." Oh, contrar, my friend. This is real life, unfolding before me, and I am in shock. Let's go back to the story.

Him: "I'm on break." he looks at me as if to say, "what do you want me to do about it? he must have noticed my chin resting on the floor because he immediately came back with: "Sorry."

Oh well, if you're sorry...

Me: "I just thought you might want to put up a caution sign or something..."

Him: "I'm sure someone will get it." Then he leans backward against the small drink refrigerator and crosses his arms across his chest as if to say, "I'm on BREAK, and I'm going to lean right here on this cooler and look at you until my break is over. because I cannot be disturbed while I'm on my break."

He's not even going to find someone else to clean it up. Heaven forbid he waste a second of his undoubtedly much needed break asking someone to get a paper towel. I was in complete shock at the way mr. employee of the month was handling the situation, even worse that he was just leaning there, not 5 feet away, staring.

I finally just turned around and focused on getting through the line and getting out of there. The same 2 ladies were still in front of me, still trying to figure out which items belonged to which person. Finally, the first one was satisfied that she had retrieved all of her items from the buggy, but she was telling the check out lady that she didn't want to pay tax on her purchase. Well, who died and made her queen? Last time I checked, nobody I knew enjoyed paying taxes. Unfortunately, we all have to do it anyway.

She was waving some black and yellow credit card around like it was a magic wand that, when waved frantically in the air, made all the sales tax disappear! What a novel tool. The line beside me was still moving rapidly. Four people had all come and gone since I chose lane #2.

Five minutes later, the lady was still waving her magic sales tax wand and telling the lady she better not be charging her sales tax. I see a break in the line next to me. A brief opportunity of life in the fast lane appears as the final person checks out and no one else is in sight. I make a mad dash, carefully avoiding the puddle that, amazingly, no one has taken care of yet.

My new check out person is named Terrain. He was nice enough until I presented my formula coupon. The only reason I was buying this formula was because Enfamil was kind enough to send me a $10 off coupon. That's a big deal. Half off. I wasn't leaving without my discount. He looked at the coupon as if the writing was in Greek. Then he handed it back to me and very matter of factly said, "I don't know what to do with this."

I handed it back to him and kindly asked Terrain to please find out what to do with it.

"Hey! Hey, what I do with this?" he waved it around like a flag as he yelled to the checker at the next counter. She was still dealing with the anti-sales tax brigade, so she yelled back, "Do it as a check."

Terrain: "How I do that?"
Girl: "Just scan it!"

Another girl appeared, eager to join the fray.

Girl #2: "Nuh-uh, you 'sposed to do that like a coupon!"
Terrain: "How I do that?"
Girl #1: "No, you do it as a check!"
Terrain: "Well, you might as well come over here and do it for me cause I don't know how."

They all went back and forth for several minutes, each girl with her own idea of how it should work, and the guy insisting that someone else just do it for him. he was probably ready for his break.

It took all three of them converging on our register while the line backed up behind me to finally figure it out. As I ran out of the store, I heard girl #2 insisting that they had done it wrong, and she was going to tell. I ran faster. I looked back only as I reached the door, just in time to see a teenaged guy slip and fall on the mysterious puddle that never got wiped up. I hope he sues for millions.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fourth Fun

Just a quick update so nobody thinks I've died. We had a great holiday weekend with lots of food, family and fun. Mostly food. We ate with my mom's family on Friday, then had all of our friends over on Saturday for dinner plus the big UFC show (ultimate fighting). Which I am not a fan of, for the record, but Jack loves that stuff.

We also hosted my wonderful cousin, Laura Beth for the weekend. I didn't realize how much I missed that girl! Unfortunately, my camer was MIA for almost the entire weekend, and I didn't get a single picture of her! shameful. I"m sorry, LB. It doesn't mean I don't love you.

LB and SB got along famously, and Laura even taught her how to crawl! Funny, I would have thought she would have been working on her speech, but I guess SB is talking all the time anyway. We miss you Laura! Since I don't have a picture of you, I'll post one I took of SB with her other cousins instead.

That's the best I could do. Dang kids won't be still for a second!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Double Trouble

Whew, I am exhausted. I've not done a single thing today. I only left the house two times: once to my parent's house to get a break from SB and once to pick up something for dinner so I didn't have to cook. I suppose I am just recuperating from yesterday. Here's how it went down.

6:30 am: Jack accidentally wakes SB up while he is getting ready for work. I reluctantly roll out of bed, already exhausted from another sleepless night. (not SB's fault. just having trouble sleeping lately.)

8:30 am: I put Grumpy down for a nap and make a break for my bed in hopes of catching a quick nap myself.

8:45 am: I am drifting off to dreamland.

8:45 1/2 am: The phone rings. I curse the caller under my breath and try not to hurt myself while running for the phone. It could be about a job, and I don't want to miss a client's call.

8:46 am: It is a telemarketer. I tell him thanks for ruining my nap, and I hope he gets hit by a car on his way home from work.

8:48 am: I am wide awake in bed, worried that he might actually get run over later and I would be responsible.

10:00 am: The fun begins. SB is up and ready to party. We're off to the pool. I quickly don my swimsuit and made the mistake of looking in the mirror before putting on my cover up. I decide that it's time to lose some weight.

10:15 am: I stop in at Wendy's for a healthy breakfast, per my new diet. I notice a fantastic picture of their sausage and egg biscuit, dripping with melty cheese. I don't know who does the photography for Wendy's, but they are fantastic. That biscuit was just dancing out of the wrapper. I order one, and since it's just such a great deal, make it a combo with hash browns and a coke. diet. I promise myself a healthy lunch.

11:45 am: We are ready to leave the pool. My 4-year-old neice Mary is in town, and my sister-in-law Corrie suggests we take the kids (her 1-year-old son Judah and 2 1/2 year-old daughter Caroline plus my 9 month old SB plus my 4-year-old neice Mary, who is under my watch for a few hours) to McDonalds to play. What a wonderful idea, I say.

12:15 pm: We have wrangled all the children out of the pool, dried them off, dressed them and loaded them into our cars, lured with promises of cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets ringing in their ears.

12:18 pm: On the way to McDonalds, I hear distress calls coming from the back seat. Mary has decided to see how much of her hair she can tangle and stick into the velcro portion of her sun hat. At a red light, I turn to survey the damage. Most of her hair is in a tangled mess, her hat dangling off the side of her head. I assure her that I can fix it as soon as we get to McDonalds. Leave it alone, I tell her. You will only make it worse.

She ignores me. She makes it worse.

12:20 pm: We have arrived at McDonalds, and I begin the task of detaching Mary's hat from her tangled hair. I have never seen such a mess. After several minutes of yanking and pulling, I am almost certain I am going to have to cut her hair. Mary has beautiful, long curly brown hair. Only the horrified look I could clearly imagine on her mother's face kept me from doing this. Five minutes later, she was free of the hat and several handfuls of hair.

12:30 pm: I order a happy meal for Mary and after the stress of the velcro hair incident, I feel I deserve a break. I order a chicken sandwich and fries. Plus a coke. not diet. because chicken is better for you than beef. It all equals out. I have SB in one arm and a tray full of food and drinks in the other. Mary and Caroline are obediently walking beside me while Corrie waits on her food. I attempt to open the door to the play room and almost fall/drop the food tray and SB. A kind lady opens the door for me and smiles sympathetically. I know what she was thinking: "What is she thinking??"

What was I thinking?

12:31 pm: Mary drops her sprite. Liquid is everywhere. SB goes into a high chair, which is disgusting, no doubt. I didn't have time to sanitize it but could imagine all of the invisible, microscopic bacteria that silently lay in wait to poison my daughter. I say a little prayer that she won't contract AIDS. The kind lady who opened the door for me reappears with a roll of paper towels and another sympathetic smile. I get on my knees to clean up the McDonald's play room floor and say a little prayer that I won't contract AIDS. I throw away the wet towels and return to the table, only to realize that I didn't dry the entire area as I slip and fall on my rear end. The kind lady is there, once again, to help me to my feet. My humiliation is complete.

12:33: Mary has to go potty. I won't delve into my feelings towards public bathrooms, let alone the McD playroom bathroom. I take Mary to the bathroom and spend several minutes covering the toilet seat with paper before I allow her to sit down. I cringe as she deftly shifts the paper off the seat as she hops on. I say a little prayer that she won't contract hepatitis. or AIDS.

12:50: The kind lady is back, this time looking for her son, who is hiding at the very top of the play room tunnel maze, refusing to come down.

"Jack, it's time to come down!"
no response.
"Come on, Jack, let's go now."
Little Jack is unmoved and uninterested in coming down from his perch. I find it rather ironic that this little boy is named 'Jack.' The begging continues for several minutes until her husband enters the action. Time to lay down the law.

Father: "Hey, Jack, you want some ice cream? How about some
chocolate? We can go get cookies!!"

Mother: "Yay! cookies and ice cream!"

12:55 pm: The promises of treats unimaginable continue to flow from the kind lady and her husband as they name every delectable goody known to mankind. It will all be his if he just comes down from the tunnel. and he won't even get a spanking if he comes down right then! Little Jack is doing an amazing job of ignoring his parents, and I begin to worry about a similar situation arising when I announce it's time for us to go. Corrie helpfully tells me that she had the same problem with her daughter last time they were at McDonalds. I decide we are going to be here a while.

1:00 pm: Miraculously, Mary and Caroline both come down the slide at the same time, and we grab them before they can go back up. I am somehow able to carry SB, my purse and the diaper bag to the car while holding Mary's hand, load up the items plus SB in the car while keeping a dancing Mary out of traffic, then get Mary in the car after putting her velcro hat out of reach for the trip home.

1:05 pm: Mary asks where we are going, and I tell her back to Hunny's house (that's what she calls my mom.) She insists that she wants to go to my house so she can play with SB. I am exhausted, but I can't say no to that adorable little face. Plus I feel bad about ripping out all of her hair.

1:45 pm: SB is down for her afternoon nap, and I tuck Mary into the couch for "movie time" which was my code name for nap time. I laid down on the other couch so we could all nap at the same time. I wasn't aware that 4-year-olds do NOT take naps.

Mary is an adorable child, and she is also very intelligent. She can speak at the speed of light and pepper you with questions like machine gun fire. A problem arose when she began asking things about the cartoon like, "How did that man change into a llama?" and "Could I fly if I had wings like that?"

"I don't know." or "Maybe." are not acceptable answers to her incessant questions. If you give her an indefinite answer, she demands, "yes or no?" I finally just began to say "yes" every time I heard a break in her questioning. Apparently, she had asked for a snack somewhere in there, and when I said yes, she took it to heart. She dragged me off the couch and into the kitchen where she spotted Jack's DSOs. Double stuffed oreos are somewhat of a staple in our diet. Don't come around here with that regular oreo crap. I will say this: DSOs are the only oreos worth eating.

I give Mary a couple of cookies and she asks me some more questions. I find solace in the open bag of DSOs.

3:30 pm: SB is awake and stinky. I change the diaper and put her on the floor so I can wash my hands. When I return, Mary has emptied SB's toy box and spread all of her stuffed animals around the floor. SB is completely enthralled, so I take the opportunity to run to the living room to answer the phone. Two minutes later, I return to SB's room to see Mary lifting SB up under her arms and dragging her across the floor to me. So helpful.

4:00 pm: Jack is home, and I decide it's time for Mary to go back to my mom's, after Mary explains to Jack that she was the one who ate all his "Ortey-Ohs." and can she have another ortey-oh when she comes over again?

5:00 pm: Mary has been returned to my parents and my house has been restored to order. Dinner is nowhere in sight, and Jack is hungry. I need vegetables but settle for KFC with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy.

5:20 pm: On my way back home, as I bite into a warm KFC biscuit, I see a jogger. I resist the temptation to hit him as I have another bite. I promise myself that I will exercise tomorrow.

6:00 pm: I am settling in for a quiet night at home and an early bedtime when I remember that I have a vaccine meeting that starts in one hour. Our very first meeting in this area. I have to arrive early to set up and prepare in case anyone shows up. I kiss Jack and SB goodbye and head out the door.

9:00 pm: Arrive home, exhausted. Jack is already in bed, as he worked all day in the heat and then had to deal with SB singlehandedly while I was at my meeting. I recount the day's events and recall the diet decision that I had made earlier that morning. Then I recount how many cookies I ate at the meeting. I'm pretty sure I only had three. Plus a coke. not diet. I promise to do better the next day.

I didn't.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We Miss Aunt Meredith

We miss you, Meredith
Oh yes we do
We don't miss anyone
Like we miss you
When you're not with us
We're bluuuuuuuuuuueeeeeeee
Oh Meredith, we miss you

We had a great time visiting with you, even though it was brief. SB and I cannot wait until you come back in September. I promised her you would be here for her first birthday, and she is very excited.

SB lunging for her new favorite aunt and uncle.

SB warmed up to Aunt Meredith very quickly, especially when Mere was holding food.

Bribery works every time.

Come back soon, Uncle Vic and Aunt Mere!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all of my dad readers out there. A special wish for my own father, who I did not get a present for this year, since we kind of lumped mothers and fathers day along with your anniversary all into one big gift, which you got last month. Too bad for you.

Fathers are nice, fathers are nifty, you're getting this shout out instead of a gifty.

Seriously, Dad, I love you very much, and I could not have asked for a better father. I will always remember how you would come home from a long day at work but still have the energy to play kick the can until long after bedtime. Sometimes you would even hook up your little trailer to the lawn mower and drag us around the yard. And I'm still amazed at the strength you displayed while playing Rambo with us and the kids next door. war paint and all. What a dad.

Since Mom is out of town, I hope you enjoy a day of solitude, which, after all of your 30 + years of parenting, you will probably enjoy more than any present I could give you.

I'd also like to wish my husband a happy first father's day. Perhaps a story is in order?

About 2 months ago, we were on our way home from Colorado where we had been visiting Jack's dad (Happy Father's Day, Mr. Bobby!). We noticed a foul smell on the plane just before we landed but decided to wait until we got into the airport to change SB's diaper.

Jack, being the wonderful father that he is, offered to change her. He disappeared into the bathroom for a very long time. I was beginning to worry when a man emerged from the bathroom, laughing all the way. He noticed me standing alone and asked, "Is that your husband in there?" When I said yes, he laughed again and said, "He's doing a good job."

Not a good sign.

Jack appeared a few minutes later, holding a naked baby in his arms.

Jack: "you got any more clothes for her?"
Me: "yes. did you check in the diaper bag?"
Jack: "I didn't see anything in there."
Me: "Where are the clothes she was wearing?"
Jack: "I threw them away."

This is not an uncommon occurrence. It has happened on more than one occasion. If she soils an outfit, he just throws it in the trash. When I complain, his response is always the same. "she has tons of clothes. she won't miss one outfit."

I shouldn't complain. He is a wonderful father, and he has changed his share of dirty diapers. But if, heaven forbid, her diaper ever leaks onto her clothes, SB better pray to the god of adorable outfits that I'm the one on duty that day.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

how does this thing work

Just to let you know, I just published a new post that I started last week but didn't finish until now. For some reason, it posted below my last post, instead of up top. So you can view it if you scroll down a little bit.

Also, I can't for the life of me figure out how to put videos into my posts. I can add it from youtube into a separate post, but I can't put it in the middle of a relevant posting. What's the deal?

LT, I think I have seen you do it on your blog before. Mind sharing your knowledge?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

First of all, let me just say I've been very busy and realize that I haven't posted in a while. Things have been piling up on me. Running 2 businesses for Jack and taking care of a baby keep me busy enough. I've also been recruited to organize the north MS portion of the Mississippi Vaccine Information Center, so in my free time, I've been trying to keep up with that. I also halfway committed to a writing project, but I haven't been able to give very much time to that. (Sorry, brother. I'm doing the best I can.)

Also, in the midst of things, SB has decided that she no longer needs her afternoon nap. Nice timing, kid.

Let's face it. Blogging needs my attention too. But I digress. Today's title is very significant, because we're only a day away!

Meredith is coming tomorrow. Tomorrow!!! Granted, I won't get to see her very much, but I do have the very important job of picking her and Vic up from the airport. Then it's 2 1/2 hours of uninterrupted visiting time on the way home!

They are blowing through town for Vic's brother's wedding. This means that I will get to see them on the way home from the airport tomorrow night and maybe to take them to his parents house the next morning. Then they are all booked up with wedding festivities until Sunday, when they leave again.

But I will not complain. I am so excited about seeing them, even if it's only for a few hours. Plus, Meredith has only seen her favorite niece one other time, at Christmas. SB has changed so much since then, and I can't wait to show her off!

Vic and Mere, have a safe trip. I will see you at the airport in 25 hours.

I. Can't. Wait.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Jack's New Toy

Happy Birthday...to himself.

Apparently, Jack didn't get enough presents for his birthday. So he decided to go out and get one for himself. A big one.

Here it is, in all its glory.

He got a big ole HD flatscreen tv. He's been wanting one for a long time, and he finally decided to go for it.

In all fairness, he did consult with his two favorite girls before making such a purchase. He assured me it was for both of us; he could watch ultimate fighting and I could watch Lifetime, all in HD.

SB said she didn't mind as long as she got to watch The Backyardigans in HD.

As we contemplated our HD future, we decided that anything bigger than 46" would be too big for our living room (and the piece of furniture that holds our tv). However, when we got to the bigscreen section of Wal Mart (Jack's field of dreams), Jack immediately picked out the biggest television on display. It was a 50" plasma screen, and I almost fainted. I was able to talk him out of that, and we finally settled on something a little smaller.

We took home an LCD, and for those of you who may be considering your HD future, let me recommend LCD over the plasma. While I know next to nothing regarding this topic, I do know that the LCD doesn't reflect that awful glare from your living room windows. The plasma does. We are very satisfied with our selection.

Let me also make you aware that your HD future does not end with the purchase of a television. That, my friend, is only the beginning of your epic adventure. We spent the next several days and a few more hundred dollars gathering "necessary" equipment, including but not limited to component cables (don't ask; I don't know), an HD antenna for local stations and an HD DVR.

Jack's HD dreams were finally completed last week when the Directv guy showed up bright and early to set us up. I have to admit, it does make a big difference. And SB loved watching her favorite show on the bigscreen. You can share in the experience here.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Here Goes Nothing

I'm going to tell you something that might surprise you.

I am pro-choice.

For those of you who are still reading, let me explain. I am not referring to baby-killing. I'm talking about a parent's right to choose when it comes to vaccinations.

I know this can be a hot button issue, and I promise to stay away from the mercury-autism debate. But I've been telling people that I wish we had vaccine exemptions in this state while I sit around and not do anything about it. No more, my friend, no more.

Here's a summary for those of you who are not familiar with this issue: Mississippi is one of only 2 states that does not allow parents to opt-out of vaccines that are on the mandated schedule. If you want to put your kids in school, you have to inject them with every vaccine that the CDC recommends.

Some of these vaccines are made with aborted human fetal tissue.

Some have formaldehyde in them.

Lots of them have aluminum and other metals that I just don't want them sticking into SB.

Lots of kids have all these vaccines and are FINE. Some kids are not so lucky. Science still isn't perfect. Some kids just react differently to the same substance.

I am NOT anti-vaccine. I just want the right to choose which ones my child gets, which ones we wait on and which ones we avoid completely. Is that so bad?

All the other states except MS and West Virginia have exemptions for parents who don't want to stick their kids with every shot the CDC mandates.

Is disease rampant in those other states? NO

Lots of parents in other states have chosen to skip some of the suggested vaccines for whatever reason, and contrary to what the vaccine industry wants you to think, these unvaccinated kids are not running around spreading polio or rubella. Whoever heard of rubella anyway?

Polio has been eradicated, yet we're still vaccinating kids against it. The only cases of polio now are from kids who HAVE been vaxed against it. As in, they got it from the vaccine.

I know some of you are thinking that if we stop vaxing against it, it will come back. Do a little research on smallpox, okay? Same thing. Eradicated it, stopped vaxing against it, it's still gone.

I also don't think I should have to give SB a shot to protect her from Hepatitis B, which you get mainly from sharing infected needles. Since she's not an IV drug user (as far as I know) she probably doesn't need to be vaccinated against that while she's an infant.

Many of the things they are vaccinating kids against used to be life-threatening diseases. The vaccines used to be necessary to save lives. Things are different now. We have soap and warm water. We have hospitals if our kids get sick.

If SB scrapes her finger on a rusty nail, tetanus is not a death sentence. We can take her to the doctor to get a tetanus shot, if necessary.

Now they want to make your kids get a shot against chicken pox before they can start school. Because chicken pox is such a deadly disease? I think not. I had it as a kid, and so did you. You itched for a few days, didn't you? I know. I did too. I'm still here, and so are you.

I think in some cases, the possible negative effects of vaccinating outweigh the possible risk of disease. If you feel differently, that is fine.

I'm just not totally comfortable with this rule that I have to vaccinate my kid against every possible illness. I think as a parent I should have the right to decide what's best for my child. I do not believe for one second that I am endangering her life by not giving her a vaccine against chicken pox or tetanus or the flu.

But right now, the government says I have to either give my tiny little baby all those shots with all that stuff in them or she can't go to school. That's why I've decided to do something about it. You can too. Even if you want to give your kids all the shots on the schedule, you can still support a parent's right to make informed decisions.

And please don't tell me you don't want your kid sitting next to mine at school. If your kid got all the vaccinations, he has nothing to worry about, right?

If you live in Mississippi, you can join this Web site (no charge, no pressure). The more people we have, the stronger we will be for the next state legislative session (Jan 2009). The last bill supporting exemptions was killed in committee by an 11-10 vote. If we all band together, we can make our voices heard.

This Web site is just a group of parents who also want the right to make informed decisions. We are planning to lobby our legislators so they can hear our side of the issue. When session starts next year, we can hopefully get an exemption bill passed.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

SB's First Swim

We had our first trip to the swimming pool today, and I must say, it was very successful indeed. Mary Beth came along to help me out and be the official photographer for the big event. Harry, where would I be without you??

I've included my favorite picture from the day; I think it sums up exactly how SB felt about the experience.

You can see more here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Jack Redwood Day

Listen up people: Today is a very important day. It's Jackie's birthday!! Hooray Jack! Someone asked me if I was going to write him a birthday limerick, and in keeping with tradition, I suppose I will.

There once was a boy was named Jack
When girls saw him, they tried to attack
He brushed them all off
And then he would scoff
Girls, I'm taken; you'd better get back.

This Jack always has a good story
The details are always quite gory
Tales of Defrost and staffs
And everyone laughs
And Jack always gets all the glory.

Jack is also a real dancing fool
His moves make Napoleon drool
He got in the groove
And busted a move
Now everyone thinks he's too cool.

He's a rock star within his own mind
His ambition has always been blind
He sang on the ship
A real power trip
A million autographs already signed.

Conforming you will never do
To yourself you'll always be true
To others you're strange
But please never change
And so we say "Jack, here's to you!"

I love you Jack! Happy 29.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Eggs Erroneous

Ok, I'm officially the worst mother ever. Today I made a huge mistake. I've had my share of worry moments as a mom, but I don't think I've ever been more terrified in my life than I was this morning. Here's what you need to know.

First of all, SB thinks she is all grown up. She thinks she needs to be eating anytime we are eating, and she thinks she needs to taste everything I eat. I've been giving her little bits of food off of my plate, soft things like a baked potato or a tiny bite of bread. She always really appreciates it, and we've never had any problems.

Today we had biscuit, sausage and eggs for breakfast, and as usual, SB was clawing at my plate like she hadn't eaten in weeks (it had been 2 hours) so I obliged her with a tiny bite of my fluffy scrambled egg. I remembered a friend of mine telling me that her little girl eats eggs for breakfast every morning, so I figured, what the heck. She proshated it so much that I gave her another bite and another after that. Maybe 4 bites, most of which ended up on the floor, as she sometimes has trouble landing the food from her fist to her mouth.

Immediately following breakfast, I had to run over to my parent's house to get SB's diaper bag, which had been left there the night before. I was gone for about 15 minutes, during which SB played happily on the floor while Jack hung out close by. When I got home, it was nearing naptime, so I scooped her up to rock her to sleep. One look at her tiny little face sent me into a panic.

Her face was covered in red splotches, her eyes were bloodshot and she was starting to swell up like a pregnant woman's ankles. I screamed for Jack to come look, and I ran for the Benadryl. Thankfully, we had just bought a bottle the day before, and I had just retrieved it from my parent's house. Thank the Lord.

I immediately called the doctor and took her to her bedroom to undress her and check for hives or some other sign of an allergic reaction. I was certain her airways were going to constrict, and I was praying with all my might that God would have mercy.

He did. I was surprised at how quickly the benadryl seemed to work. By the time the doctor called me back, the swelling was already going down and the red splotches were wearing off as well. She never acted like she was having trouble breathing.

I tried to relax a little; the nurse advised me to just watch her and give her benadryl every 4-6 hours. She was so sleepy, but I was terrified to put her down. So I just rocked her for a few minutes, then noticed that the redness seemed to reappear. I took her to the living room to show Jack, and that's when she threw up.

Jack was trying to reassure me and said, "it's ok, she spits up all the time." I knew this was different though, and sure enough, the real vomit started immediately after that. I really think it was the most awful thing I've ever experienced. She was gagging and choking and wouldn't stop. I was scared to death. Jack came to the rescue, holding himself together amazingly well while I was a complete mess, crying my eyes out in the middle of the kitchen.

He took her back to her bedroom to change her and clean her up; then I heard him yelling for paper towels. Her diaper was exploding. I was in complete panic mode. We cleaned her up as best we could; then Jack put her in the bathtub. Twenty seconds later, it was like nothing had ever happened (except for the huge mess in the kitchen and SB's bedroom). SB was splashing happily in the tub, the redness and swelling gone and no more projectiles flying out of either end.

I held her close the rest of the day, and she seems to be fine now. It was like she just needed to get those 2 tiny bites of egg that she actually swallowed out of her system; then she was fine.

Needless to say, we won't be feeding her any more eggs. I shudder to think how bad it would have been if she had actually eaten all 4 bites or if I had given her more. Thankfully I was pretty hungry this morning and therefore a little stingy when it came to sharing my breakfast.

Also, Jack was only home because of the weather (can't roof in the rain), and I have no idea what I would have done had I been home alone with her when it happened. I don't know how he managed to stay so calm, especially when he admitted to me after the fact how worried he was during this whole ordeal.

Anyway, we are all fine now. Just a crazy, scary day. I have to give thanks to God for taking care of my little girl today. It's good to know that He is in control, especially when we are so helpless. I believe He intervened on our behalf today. I'm so grateful.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Stamps: The New Diamond.

Some say, 'A diamond is forever.' I say to you, nay. That's just what the jewelry companies want you to think. If you really want forever, buy her a Liberty Bell Stamp.

In case you haven't heard, the cost of mailing a first-class letter will increase another cent on Monday. We're up to $.42 big ones now. This just in from my father, who, after reading my last post, was kind enough to share with me this recent experience.

He went in to pay his gas bill on Monday (see, I'm not the only one who doesn't mail a check every month. Some of us prefer human interaction). But I digress. He actually had a check for his bill, which is much more convenient than paying with cash. Or so one would be inclined to think. This is not the case with Atmos Energy, as they sent him and his check packing. You can no longer pay by check at their office. The machine is not equipped to handle checks (or change for that matter).

So, according to dear old dad, this required another trip across town, to the post office (which may or may not have stamps. please see here.) and the additional expenditure of $.41 in order to mail his check to some other office in some other city that apparently has a special machine that is equipped to handle checks. Or else they have special employees who can process your payment.

The post office did have stamps in stock that day, to his delight, and he asked to purchase some. This is when the lady informed him that postage would be increasing on May 12. Starting Monday, stamps will cost $.42, unless you have the liberty bell forever stamps, which have magical powers and are worth $.41 and $.42 at the same time. How special. These things can be worth whatever you want them to be. I think I'd like mine to be worth at least $.82, so I can cut one in half and use it on 2 letters. But only until Monday.

This was very interesting news to me, so I fired myself right over to the post office to get a first hand look at these enchanted stamps. I asked the young attendant for a roll of stamps, hoping this would prompt her to inform me of the imminent price increase and tell me about the supernatural stamps. She began rummaging around underneath the counter. My heart palpitations told me for a moment that they might be out again, but she finally produced a couple for me to peruse.

She still hadn't given up any information, so I decided to go for it.

Me: "Did I hear that the price of stamps is going up again?"
Her: "Yes; it's going up on Monday. They'll be $.42."
Me: "So these stamps won't be any good anymore, starting next week?"
Her: "Well, you can buy one-cent stamps and just put one of those on next to it."

pause. then finally, it all came out.

Her: "Or you can buy these liberty bell stamps. They're forever stamps, which means they'll always work, no matter how much postage goes up."

I looked at the pretty American flag stamps on my left and then at the "forever" stamps on my right.

Me: So I can buy either one now, for the same price, except one of these won't work anymore starting Monday, but the other one will always work? Hmm. That's a tough decision. I really like these flag ones, but then again, I suppose the purpose of the stamp is to mail a letter, and since the flags don't do that anymore, and I'm no philatelist, I guess I'll go with the forever stamps.

So now you know, America. This is your last chance to get stamps for 41 cents. We've got the government's promise that these magical stamps are always gonna get the job done, no one-cent stamps required. And we all know the government doesn't lie.

Thanks to all of you who expressed such deep concern for me while I was having such a hard time getting my bill paid. No, we weren't short on cash, I just couldn't get the people to take my money. Finally, on my third trip in, with the baby on my hip, I was able to work it out.
The machine was working, and I had the right amount ready for it. There is a convenient scanner where you can just scan your bill, and the machine knows how much you owe. It does not, however, know who you are, as it asked for my name, my birthday, my social security number AND my phone number. What the heck? I just want to give you some money, not take out a mortgage! After confirming my identity seven different ways, it took my money and ten minutes later, I had a receipt: proof that I had conquered the machine.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Meet the Parents Flight Attendant

Hi, I'm Earth. Have we met?

So a girl walks into an office building. Stop me if you've heard this one. She just wants to pay her gas bill, so she walks up to the woman sitting behind the counter.

Lethargic woman at desk: "What do you need?"
Girl: "I'd just like to pay my gas bill, please."

The woman points to a little machine in the corner of the lobby. "You have to use the kiosk. How are you paying?"

"With cash."

Tsk tsk. She shook her head, as if this was such a strain on her already busy day. Never mind she was just reclining in her swivel chair when I walked in.

I am the girl in the story, in case you're just now figuring that out.

Her: "How much is your bill?"

Me: "Thirty-one dollars."

Her: giving me a doubtful look "Thirty-one dollars exactly?"

I sighed and examined the bill. "Thirty-one oh three."

Her: "You'll have to put $32 in there. It don't give change."

Hmm. That didn't sound right. "Ok well I don't have exact change here."
I patiently waited for her to make change for me. She just stared at me. Finally, "Well, I guess you'll have to go to the bank then, and get change."

Excuse me? What are you doing here? EARTH TO THE OFFICE WORKER!!

No one else was in the office. I didn't feel my request to pay my bill was too much to ask of her. She just looked around as if I wasn't even there.

Apparently, this woman wasn’t into the whole “customer service” fad that’s so popular with other businesses. I was so confused. I saw a money box sitting on her desk, and I wanted to ask her why she couldn’t just take my money and give me change. I didn’t want to be impolite though, and I figured if she could have done that, she would have, so I kept my mouth shut and hoped the bank wasn’t out of money.

I returned half an hour later to once again try my luck paying my bill. When I walked back inside, I felt like I was in that scene from Meet the Parents where Ben Stiller is at the airport trying to communicate with the incompetent airline clerk.

The same lady was reclining in the same swivel chair, and though I had been gone for less than 30 minutes, she acted as though she had never seen me before.

Her: ”What do you need?” her standard greeting, I suppose.

Again with the whole routine. I told her I wanted to pay my bill; she asked how I was paying. I said cash; she pointed to the machine and again gave me the shpill about how I needed exact change for it.

I turned around to see a man working on the money taking machine. I turned back to the customer service expert who informed me, “He’s workin on the machine right now.” So perceptive. I asked about how long that should take and she shrugged. “I dunno. Shouldn’t be too long.”

Again, I wanted to ask, can’t you just take my money? I have exact change here, but then again, I didn’t really sense an “I’m on top of things and can be trusted to take care of your money for you” kind of aura emanating from her.

I also had to wonder what in the world she was getting paid to do, if not assist customers with their heating bills. Just sit there in case someone came in to have their heat turned on? In May? Brilliant. Also, 2 other ladies were taking it easy with their feet propped up behind their desks. Very efficient.

I just stood there for a minute, wondering what to do, as there was no waiting area or anywhere to sit. In an effort to rid herself of me, I suppose, she handed me a sheet of paper.

It was a lovely list of all the convenient ways you could pay your gas bill. Online, over the phone, through the mail. You could even set up an automatic draft from your checking account. Like heck I'm giving a gas company access to my checking account. Those money hungry hungry hippos take enough of our money as it is. No more. Emily Redwood is saying NO!

Unfortunately for me, Jack's most recent customer had paid in cash, so I was paying bills in cash. And the only way to pay our gas bill with cash is to come in and feed it to the machine that won't take change. I think that's what Claude meant when she said "It don't give change." The machine that was currently out of order.

I finally gave up and left. SB was ready for a nap, and I couldn't wait any longer. I have to pay our light bill too. I hope they'll take my money.

Monday, April 28, 2008

No News

I have nothing of interest to report today. However, here I am blogging anyway. Just finally got around to updating the page. Removing the music, changing a few photos and deleting the concrete man poll that's been there for weeks.

I was a bit disturbed that two of you suggested I burn down his house. That's a bit much for ruining one night of sleep, don't you think? Some of you need help.

The return of LOST was a huge success, except the stupid DVR didn't record it like it was supposed to do. Thankfully, we watched it in real time, so we didn't miss a scene. For those of you who have never watched this show, please go rent season one right now. Watch the first episode, and if you are not hooked, you are weird and we cannot be friends anymore. For the rest of you normal people out there, you are going to love it.

Also, The Office is back, for those of you who have been in a coma the past few weeks and did not know this. Jack and I have finally caught up on that, plus Survivor, 30 Rock and Idol. All the shows we missed while he was out of town.

Hooray for Mary Beth, who stayed with me last week to keep SB and me company while Jack was at his conference. MB, we had a blast hanging out with you. Please come back soon so we can make that chocolate cake!

I helped host a wedding shower this weekend, which went very well. I only wish I had a picture of the huge mud river my mom and I got stuck in when we arrived. It was a lovely sight: unloading the back of her car, carrying beautiful silver and glass trays across an 8' wide mud swamp while balancing on a wobbly 2x4 in high heels. I'm glad that's over.

Since I don't have any pictures of that, here are a few of SB, since she's way cuter anyway.

Fresh from the tub

Daddy's home!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's the Final Countdown!

Hooray! Lost is back tonight. 10/9 central. On ABC. I'm counting down the hours.

I. Can't. Wait.

Please enjoy this little tune I've added just for today to celebrate the return of LOST.

Lost - Season 4

How can you not love this show??? New episodes return TONIGHT!!! Please do not call me as my phone will be turned off. I'm not even waiting until it's over so I can fast forward through commercials. Tonight, 9pm. It's go time, people.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Oh, I'm sorry. I thought this was the post office

I had a very important business letter to mail today, but alas, no stamps were to be found in our office. So off I went to the post office. To purchase stamps, of course. And guess what. They were out of stamps. As in, they didn't have any. at the post office. they were out.

Hello, Ma'am. I just need a roll of stamps, please.
I'm sorry we're all out of stamps. Can I help you with anything else?
Oh, sure, I'll just have a pack of Marlboro Lights, then.
I'm sorry, we don't sell those here.

Oh, no, I'M the sorry one. I forgot this was the post office. You don't sell cigarettes. You sell stamps. I'm so sorry to trouble you. Please go back to doing nothing.

Why were they even open? That's right, readers, your tax dollars are hard at work, paying people to sit in a store that sells stamps, but guess what...they don't have any stamps.

To their credit, I suppose it is a good thing they are still "at work" today, in case you really need to mail a letter but your mailbox is broken. Also, all the little blue mail receptacles located around town are also broken. In that case, they can help you. That is, as long as you already have a stamp.

Otherwise, you're out of luck today. But, according to the post office lady who was ever so helpful, they are hoping to get a shipment in "sometime." you know, today, tomorrow, next month. whenever they can get enough stamps on the box of stamps to send them to our post office.

Friday, April 18, 2008

You can do better than that!

I've always enjoyed watching local television ads and was overjoyed when I discovered this gem last night during idol.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Whew. What a weekend. We left last Friday for Colorado to visit Jack's dad and celebrate his birthday. It was SB's first plane ride, and I was more than a little nervous about it. Everyone told me she would sleep the whole way (not true) and that I should just dose her up with some sleep aids before we left.

I just didn't feel right about pouring tylenol down her throat when she wasn't sick at all, so I just tried to coordinate nap time with take off time. Worked like a charm...until the drink cart came down the aisle. By landing I was wondering why in the world I had not given her any tylenol. She was pretty good though; it was just hard to keep her happy in such a small, confined space. It was definitely the smallest plane I've EVER been on.

Anyway, we made the trip fine, and had a blast in CO. SB got to see lots of snow, which was exciting for all of us. We even got to see a little bear at Bear Lake.

Oh wait, that's just SB.

After a long weekend, we said goodbye to the snow and headed home. Before getting on the plane, I pumped SB full of Tylenol and held a sleeping baby all the way home.

Happy Birthday, G! Thanks for a fun weekend!