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Thursday, October 25, 2007


Ann Catherine is going through a couple of phases that every two-year-old goes through.

One is the habitual use of the word "no."

The second?

"Why?" No, not why are you asking. But the question, "Why?" You know, the one your child asks you incessantly day and night.

In the last few days, she has started asking me "why" 20 times a day. Tonight's conversation while we were getting ready for bed went like this:

"Ann Catherine, be quiet."


"Because Lily's asleep."


"Because it's nighttime."


"Because it's not daytime."


"Because the sun is down."


At this point, I was at a loss. And I pulled out the phrase that my mother always used, and I swore I never would.

"Because I said so."

That didn't really satisfy her, but she dropped it anyway.

This whole "why" thing really makes you feel incredibly dumb as an adult. Inevitably, Ann Catherine will ask me "why" about something and I'll realize, I have no idea what the answer is. I mean, you think you're a reasonably smart adult, and then your two-year-old trips you up.


Because those two-year-olds are a lot smarter than you think.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Sweet Reunion

Something very special happened this weekend.

Ann Catherine got to see Marcy.

Marcy was one of Ann Catherine's primary nurses in the NICU. We had never met Marcy until June 1st, 2005. After that day, she became a very important person in our lives.

She was the one who went and got my mother to tell her Melissa had passed away.

She was the first person I saw when Chris took me to the NICU on June 2nd to see Ann Catherine. I will never forget it. She was at Ann Catherine's bedside taking care of her. We met and she explained to us what she was doing. Ann Catherine was so critical. She was less than two pounds and was on a ventilator. I was tired, scared and confused.

At that moment, Marcy said something to me and Chris that we never forgot. She said, "Don't you worry until I start to worry." We remembered that during our entire NICU stay. If Marcy wasn't worried, we didn't worry. And Marcy never worried.

Marcy was the one who told me one day, "You're going to give Ann Catherine a bath today." Ann Catherine was only 2 pounds and I was terrified. "No, I'm not," I said. "Yes, you are," she replied. "You are her mother and you are going to give her a bath."

I did, and while it was scary, it was also absolutely amazing.

Once we left NICU, Marcy would babysit Ann Catherine for me. One time last summer, Marcy came to keep Ann Catherine and I complained that every time I laid her down for a nap, she would wake up crying. That afternoon at nap time, Marcy found a little lamb on the floor. She grabbed it, handed it to Ann Catherine, rocked her and put it to bed with her.

To this day, Ann Catherine sleeps with "Lamby." It's her security.

Marcy and her husband live out of state now, but they came to Tuscaloosa for the Alabama/Tennessee game. We caught up so she could see the girls.

On the way to Tuscaloosa, Chris and I told Ann Catherine about Marcy. And it hit us, how strange that Marcy was such an integral part of Ann Catherine's life, but AC doesn't remember her.

Marcy cared for Ann Catherine - loved and rocked her when I wasn't there. They had quite a bond.

She may not remember Marcy now, but we'll make sure that she knows all about her. And about how this wonderful stranger came into our life at the most unexpected time - and became a cherished friend.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

An Afternoon at Tate Farms

If you haven't been to Tate Farms, you are missing out!

I'm serious. Even if you don't live in Huntsville, it is worth the drive.

I've heard people talk about it for years, but this was the first time we had ever been. We never really had a reason to go until we had kids. The year Ann Catherine was born, she was so premature that we didn't take her many places until she was about nine-months-old. Last year, I was eight months pregnant and didn't feel like going.

But this year was just perfect! Our girls had the best time, especially Ann Catherine. Lily sat in the Corn Crib and rode on the hayride, but was really too young to know what was going on.

Ann Catherine - on the other hand - was the perfect age. I would have loved to have known what was going through her mind as we went from place to place on the farm. Her little feet never stopped moving!

First, we let her pet the animals - a bunny, goats and pigs! She wasn't the least bit scared. I posted some pictures above of her petting the animals.

Then, we put her and Lily in the Corn Crib. That's exactly what it is - a giant bin filled with corn (amazing what you can come up with on a farm!) They loved that.

Next, we went on a hayride to the pumpkin patch. She was so excited about this, because she has a Barney video where Barney and some kids go to a pumpkin patch. Once we got there, we got off the tractor and picked out some pumpkins - one for our house and one for Mimi and Poppy's house. Then once we got back to the main area, we let her pick out two "baby" pumpkins for her and Lily. Chris is going to carve the big one and we'll put them all on our front porch.

It was truly a perfect day. The weather was perfect, the scene was perfect. There is truly nothing I enjoy more than a fun day with my family. I absolutely treasure these moments with my kids.

To learn more about Tate Farms, click here. And if you have children, GO! You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Where's Lily? There She Is!

We have a nightly ritual at our house. After dinner, the four of us go into the playroom and we play (while watching "The Wiggles" - Ann Catherine's latest fad.)

Ann Catherine has a princess tent in the playroom that my parents bought for her. And Lily absolutely loves it. She'll crawl in there as fast as she can. I'll say, "Where's Lily? There she is!" and she laughs so hard she gets the hiccups. It's one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

Now, for one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Lily and Ann Catherine will crawl in there and Ann Catherine will say, "Come on Daddy!" And yes, Chris will crawl into the princess tent. How the three of them fit, I'll never know. The girls cackle and laugh so hard when he comes in there. It's just hilarious.

I'm sure Chris never imagined he would hang out in a pink, princess tent. It's amazing what a daddy will do for his little girls :)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

No, I'm not confused.

Yes, I realize it's not November.

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving.

As most of you know, my husband is Canadian. So, we get to celebrate two Thanksgivings at our house.

Tonight we had a turkey dinner. Chris also cooked corn, green beans, mashed potatoes and bread. And to top it off, the girls at work called and sang him a very shaky rendition of "Oh, Canada!"

Here are some pictures from our Thanksgiving feast. We'll do it again next month!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Jerry Hayes or Jeff Fisher?

I'm writing this to shame Jerry into visiting more.

We were in the den last night and Ann Catherine pointed at the TV and said, "Mommy, there's Jerry."

I looked up and started laughing.

"Ann Catherine, that's not Jerry. It's Jeff Fisher."

Jeff Fisher, as in, coach of the Tennessee Titans. Same moustache as Jerry - and not quite as handsome - but a whole lot richer.

"No, Mama, it's Jerry!" she said, this time pretty convincingly.

What makes this so funny is that just the other day we had the TV on while we were cooking dinner. While Jerry was reading a story, Lily grabbed the remote control...and changed the channel!!

Chris and I told Jerry it was because he didn't visit enough. Sweet little Lily won't even watch him on TV anymore!

Jerry, I hope I have sufficiently shamed you into visiting the girls. Dinner is served at 5:30 p.m. But we'll put yours in the oven and keep it warm 'til you get here :)