Thursday, December 22, 2011

Deck the halls with boughs of Holly

last night, 3 years ago, i was pregnant. i was SO nervous about being induced. i was worried about loving another child as much as i love(d) kendal.

today is the day we celebrate the birth of holly. we knew her for 9 months before, but it was today, 3 years ago, that we got to see and hold her - and it took a lot of drugs and effort from the hospital staff (breaking water, constant monitoring, changing bed pads, etc.) to get her out! but not a lot of work from me. not even one hard push and the baby girl came right out. (i can thank kendal for learning how to push the right way, pushing out his big head was not so easy!) the doctor barely made it in the door and got washed up and gloved!

this morning, kendal couldn't stop kissing her. as a matter of a fact, we had trouble getting him dressed because he wanted to kiss on her. just like when she was a baby. he kissed her all the time. usually her feet, because that is where he would sit (she'd be in the bouncy seat, he'd be snuggled up underneath the feet part - holding and caressing her feet). things haven't changed too much in 3 years, except now he is allowed to (by us and her) kiss her face. and arms, and hands and legs and back and wherever (except butt, that's gross mommy!)

and just like the grinch, my (our) heart grew three sizes that day three years ago, when my holly was birthed (and i say my holly because she is a mini-me). maybe three thousand sizes. i wasn't even sure it would stay in my body it was so big.

happy happy happy birthday holly.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


i hate ruining surprises, but i can get a $10 credit if i show you what i made.

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, November 18, 2011

"what do you want for christmas?"

santa told me he's only bringing the kids 3 gifts this year.  i am pretty sure the elves have already made them 2, and i was asking the kids this morning what did they want from santa so i could figure out what to tell the elves to make for their 3rd gift...

first, i asked kendal.  he said "a dog.".  really?  i asked him if a stuffed one would be ok and he said yes.  he specified he wanted a big one with a long tail.  holly said it needed to be black, but kendal said green.  i told him there wasn't a such thing as a green dog.

next i asked holly.  she said "christmas"  i then asked her what kind of present she would want for christmas and then we started talking in circles.  basically, inside the christmas would be a present - that you open, and inside the present would be christmas.  she was no help.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nov 11 - 17 thankfuls

i can remember what i was thankful for!  i use a datebook.
friday, nov. 11th, i was REALLY thankful that my best friend of old times and her two boys came to visit us.  her boys and my boy, though hers are much older, meshed so well.  kendal loves friends.  he said later that night that they were his cousins.  so cute!  it was also GREAT to see her.  i never see her often enough.  i wish we were neighbors.

sat. nov. 12th, i was REALLY thankful to have the honor and pleasure of taking pictures of a gal i worked with at gymboree and her family.  they were some serious smilers.  beautiful as she is, she also has a very handsome husband, a GORGEOUS - mammasgirl oldest daugher, an adorable - daddysboy middle son, and just the sweetest and content (seems to be daddys girl) baby.  we had a great time, and i got to show her around dehart (she's also enjoys photography!)

sunday, nov. 13th, morning went off without a hitch.  i took pictures of my kids at joyner park - gonna use these for our christmas cards.  kendal had a little bruise on his forehead but i got him at angles that kept it hidden.  also, those glasses - well, lets just say i got some experience in with taking pictures of kids/people with glasses.  that isn't as easy as i thought.  they were somewhat patient and also, nathaniel got in a run after we got in our shoot.  the kids also walked one of the loops and got to watch their daddy run.  it was awesome.

monday, nov. 14th, i'm thankful that nathaniel made it through the day.  he wasn't feeling well but he didn't get sick at work.  that's the only problem with having one car - if he goes home, then i have to go home too.

same goes for tuesday, nov. 15th.  im thankful that he wasn't sick.  i worried all night where i'd park if he was still sick.

wednesday, nov. 16th, i'm thankful that i got an RSVP on holly's birthday party.  i know this is trivial but out of all the little people we invited, this was the ONE PERSON i was hoping could come!  so, yay!

today is thursday, nov. 17.  i had a stack of work on my desk when i got here.  i tried to stay off the internet all morning so i could get it done.  besides ordering 2 things from target (our internet wouldn't work last night), i've done that - and i got most all of it off! even though i did have a meeting...  yay!  that is a huge accomplishment for me.  you should have seen how much work it was!  now i have another huge set of tasks because those things just morph into other things... letters...

ok, lunch break is over!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

photo challenges

this week's subject for the paper mama and i heart faces are both fall related. REVISION:  this post is now for the best faces challenge on i heart faces - week of jan. 9th, 2012!

yesterday, i took holly on a mini-shoot with the intention of capturing ONE photo (of many) for her birthday invitation.  one of those is perfect for this week's challenges.

the setting:  4:30ish pm at a dehart botanical gardens (central NC), the sun was setting in the trees, holly was sitting on a rock, she had a big red maple to her side, the bright sky was peeking through the trees, the "lake" (really it is a pond) was reflecting light up at her face - it just couldn't have been more perfect.  processed with florabella's musette action. 

 this photo was entered into the i heart faces photo challenge – (twice!)

 and thepapermama's photo challenge -
The Paper Mama

Thursday, November 10, 2011

november 10 thankful for

well, quite frankly, i'm still thankful for the popcorn. i ate a lot of it today.  i was also thankful to wakeup with both kids in the bed with me, kendal was in the middle even, snuggled up with me.  usually holly has that spot.  it was a lot of kid sugar for me!  too bad they were asleep!

november 9 thankful for...

i had another long field day today, just 10 hours alone of driving to pisgah forest (the town) and only 1 hour out of the car at the site.  great bunch of folks down there in transylvania county.  but, i sure missed seeing my kids this morning and after work.  BUT, what i'm thankful for, besides a safe drive there and back, was the HUGE TUB of palsie's caramel popcorn that the hinkles brought me today as a thank you gift for taking their pictures!  oh my goodness.  i ate it for supper last night.  wow.

i also brought a gallon size bag to eat at work today.

i'm gonna be eating a lot of popcorn this weekend too.  it is my absolute favorite in the world.  thanks lynnelle!

november 8 thankful for...

a small world.  had a field visit today to hickory and ran into a property owner that new my dad, and the contractor was from franklin county.  he knew my granddaddy, and even better -after i got home and asked mom about it, his dad and she grew up together.  it was fun talking about it!

November 7 thankful for

super supervisors.

Monday, November 7, 2011

photo challenge - black - iheartfaces

the subject of this challenge is black, and the focus of holly, and this photo, is holly's tap shoes.  toe - stomp is the move she's mastering here with the help of her instructor.    i think this is a perfect entry for "black"!

This photo was entered into the I Heart Faces photo challenge –

photochallenge - favorite from october - thepapermama

she's got her hands in her back pocket and she's out of focus but what IS in focus is what makes the photo rock:  an old barn and a bunch of four-wheelers.  she is a country girl in the making.  she's my holly.

The Paper Mama
the subject is "favorite from october" and if you want to see more, head on over to thepapermama's blog and take a peek!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

how my 4 year old came to wear glasses (farsighted, +10/+9.5)

how did i know he needed him?  i didn't. i'm still in shock that he has them.  the past week is just a blur to me.  i have 20/10 vision and my husband doesn't wear glasses either.   late this summer (when he was still 3), kendal started doing this "trick" where he'd straighten out his eye and say "look mom, there is 2 of you!" i thought it was just a trick- like crossing eyes (which he would occasionally do too, but on  purpose) and i never thought much about the eye straightening thing because i can do it too (if you can see those stereo/3D pictures - the wavy kind you have to stare at, not the kind with glasses - then you can straighten out your eyes too).  he was just doing it SO often (like every day) that it got me worried.  i didn't find much about it online, but i DID figure out that age 3 - 5 is when they should see the eye doctor for the first time.  so, i made him an appointment (for about a month later, that's when it fit in my schedule so i didn't have to take off work).  of coarse, he stopped doing the "i see 2 of you" thing.  so, i figured it was a trick afterall.  his appointment was at a regular eye doctor.

you know the machine you put your nose up to and they figure out what your prescription is?  well, that machine said he was  +8/+8 (farsighted).  this was at the regular eye doctor.  she said that this was really strong and, though she said that kids have a hard time relaxing their eyes so he COULD be tricking the machine, he would need to see a specialist.  she also described other things that would be sorta "signs and symptoms" of a farsighted child and, well, i was pretty sure he was not tricking it all the way.  so we quickly got into a specialist (pediatric ophthalmologist) and, turns out he wasn't tricking it at all. 
here are some facts about kendal that, turns out, may be related to his vision and not his personality.  i should start by saying  kendal could see the moon, and see the tiniest ant on the ground.  to me, that meant he could see just fine. i could not be more wrong!!!  his eyes were working hard to see that tiny ant, and maybe the moon too!
1.  at 4 years old, he can easily take a 3 hour nap STILL, every day and still go to bed at 8pm and sleep all night.  his poor eyes and brain need the rest from all that work they are doing to focus.  
2.  though he can write and draw, he ONLY likes to do it large.  you know the little lined paper they use at school?  his writing is horrible.  i always chalk it up to the fact he is a lefty.  no.  it is more likely because he couldn't see those dang lines.  (farsighted - can't see up close, can see far away things better.)  
3.  he also is not good at coloring in the lines - compared to other kids his age.  i always just thought it was because he was a lefty.  lefty's are special by themselves... holly, his 2-3/4 year old sister, is a better writer and colorer than him, and she's 14 months younger. (well, she technically can't write ALL her letters yet, but the ones she does write she can write neater and smaller than him.  she also is way better with details, which is probably because she can see them and not because she is any smarter or brighter.)
4. he avoids writing by saying "i can't do it, please help me"
5. he memorizes books - like the i spy books, which had convinced me that he could see clearly, he truly had them memorized.  all 12 that we have.
6.  i could go ON!!!

so when we picked up his $300 twistable and bendable and non-breakable (supposedly) glasses yesterday, and first he was shy, then he was fascinated with his feet.  it was adorable. he said "i can see where i'm walking!" he's asked twice to take (the glasses) off.  but, he hasn't seemed to mind wearing them.  they haven't slipped any (or much) which is surprising because of how thick they are.  they are buggy on his face - i mean, they look like magnifying glasses on his eyes.  i don't know how he sees in them (far away).   i guess i just have to trust that doctor knows what he's doing.  no, i don't guess, i know he knew what he was doing.  (dr. jordan at raleigh ophthomology if anyone is interested.)  

kendal can see the moon.  so, he can see his feet and the moon.  two very important things.  another very important thing that it took me 2 days to figure out is that he is still kendal, just with glasses.  he still acts like a 4 year old (WILD!) - and even worse, now that he can SEE i think i need to get his ears checked because his ears have stopped working!!!

since he has gotten the glasses, he has stopped squinting, his eyes have opened wider than ever before, he has not stopped moving (i.e. moving faster than the speed of sound), he is counting everything,  and is talking about things that he has seen every day of his life like barns, trees, horses, etc.  last night, he wrote between the lines for the FIRST TIME EVER.  he still writes sloppy but that will take practice!

here are some (a lot) of pictures.  remember, his prescription was +10/+9.5 and his astigmatism is 0.5/1.5 at 90.  he looks adorable with them.  i wish i had noticed sooner, but i'm glad i made the appointment and followed the advice of the 1st doctor, and then was placed with dr. jordan.  i am 100% pleased with our results.

see how he is squinting with them off?

happy to see!

november 6 thankful for...

scooby snacks.  seriously.  i found them at harris teeter.  they are dog-bone shaped graham crackers.  i'm choosing to ignore the label too (hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oil!  i'm sure they are both genetically modifed too.  and, BHT!) and feed them to my kids.  this box will be SAVED and i'll refill it with healthy "scooby snacks" when these run out (i'll see if it works, anyway).  they LOVE THEM!

November 5 thankful for...

homemade pizza (by mom and kate).  even if it had sausage on it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

workable weekend

well, the glasses are working.   that's all we can ask for this weekend!  what also worked was the kids first trip to the movies (i thought that'd be a good way to "break in" the glasses - a big does of "seeing something" - and it was great).  we saw puss in boots and the kids not only loved the movie, the loved the MOVIES.  we'll start seeing movies from now on when they are suitable for my children.  we'll also buy puss in boots when it comes out on DVD.

another thing i just did was interview the kids about their daddy.  that's always fun to do.  i did it back in june for fathers day and i thought since it'd been 6 months, it would be fun to update it.  so, my questions are in black, kendal's responses are in blue, and holly's in red.  started this at 10:43 on a saturday morning.  took about 5 - 10 minutes per kid.

1.  How old is daddy?

2.  What color hair does daddy have?

3.  What color eyes does daddy have?

4. What does daddy like to wear?
shirts and pants

5. What does daddy like to eat? (last night, daddy ate a salad and a hamburger)

6. Is daddy smart?  (they both said yes). How do you know?
goes to work.

7. What does daddy do at work?
looks at computer
R-R.  (then she said) E-B-O at work.

8. What does daddy always say/tell you?
go potty
talk about grandpa

9. What makes daddy  happy?
(she smiled and pointed at her teeth)

10. If daddy could go on a trip, where would he go?  Who would he take with him?
on a boat, me.
i don't know.  i don't know.

11. What do you really love it when daddy does?
when he goes to work.  ( i questioned that - but he explained it meant because that meant daddy comes back after work.)
go on the ship (she was probably stuck on #10, we will be taking a cruise soon)

12. if you could give daddy anything, what would it be?
a present.  (what would be in the present?)  a bear.
a present.  (what would be in the present?)  open it.  (what would be inside the present if you opened it?)  a bird.

13. What is your favorite thing about daddy?
that he goes to work and looks at a computer all the time.
shower. (daddy was in the shower)

14.  Is there anything else you would like to say about daddy?
can i go play now?
can i go watch tv now?

Friday, November 4, 2011

november 4 thankful for...

today i am thankful that it is FRIDAY and am looking forward to a great weekend with a child that can see.

friday five

five things i can do to waste time in my new office building
1. look out the front window (at the people walking along jones street)
2. look out the back window (at the people walking in and out of the church)
3. look down the entryway (at people walking in and out of the building)
4. mosey around and look busy (much easier to do here)
5. print to a far away printer and go find it (sorta like i spy for printers). 

i live a cat's life.  except i get paid to do it.  (i really do work.  i got a lot done this week - even if i DID do all of the above things!)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

top ten thursday

ok, so really it is thankful thursday, but since i'm doing thankfuls already, i'm gonna switch and do a "top ten thursday" since i can think of 10 things i hope for about tomorrow.

top ten things i hope will happen to kendal after he gets his new glasses tomorrow
1. obviously, i hope he will be able to see up close!
2. he won't stand so dang close to the TV.
3. he will be able to read without holding books close.
4. he won't furrow his brow (which will lead to early wrinkles on his forehead).
5. he will be able to see how beautiful his family is.
6. he won't be afraid of what his family looks like! (maybe i should fix my hair tomorrow!?!)
7. he will like love his new glasses.
8. he will want to write.
9. he will not get tired and grumpy (i.e. tired eyes).
10. he will be a happy new boy getting to see the world up close to him!

November 3 thankful for...

today, i'm VERY thankful for a friend (who is also a mother) that privately shared a very VERY personal story with me last night to help me feel better and not alone.

thank you, you know who you are.  you have no idea how much it meant to me!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2 thankful for...

today i'm thankful for friends and family who let us go trick or treating at their house a day late.  it was raining here on halloween so we couldn't go - not only were the kids sorta sick, they are also just too small for cold+wet.  so, we had a few friends and family who let us come to their house.  it was awesome, and just the right amount of tricking and treating.  :)

thanks to the hinkles, the bradleys, and to mamaw and granddaddy!  you really made  nov-o-ween special for the cutest mermaid and robot in town!

what i want wednesday

what i want today - healthy eyes for kendal

kendal is such a special child.  he has never had a regular doctor and i don't know why i thought this would have been any different. thus far in his short four years, he's had an orthopedist (for his toes), a neurologist, a radiologist, a urologist, another orthopedist (for his ankles and knees), two orthotist, at least three physical therapists, and now a ophthalmologist. 

last week, we took kendal to the eye doctor and he was immediately referred to a specialist, we didn't even finish the exam, the doctor said it wasn't worth it because with his vision, there was "nothing they could do for him in that office"  - i thought about how maybe there was a reason that i grew up with a best friend with bad vision. 

he tested really bad at that regular eye doctor so today we go to this one for more tests - the kid may have horrible vision! or, supposedly he could have been "tricking" the  machines (which is unlikely he could be tricking it that much - his prescription could possibly be as bad as a +8 in both eyes!!!!)  I pray that he was tricking that machine.   kendal's specialist appointment is today.  his eyes will be dilated today. 

at least he doesn't have allergies (we saved that one for holly).

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

top ten tuesday

top ten things i hope i don't forget to pack for our cruise
1. migraine pills.
2. passports.
3. soap.
4. toothbrushes.
5. underwear
6. hairbrush.
7. face lotion.
8. hair conditioner.
9. swimsuits.

November 1 thankful for...

Though this is totally selfish, i'm thankful that in less than 30 days, i'll be cruisin' in the Bahamas - with my HUSBAND and KIDS!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vegan,Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Bars

I get emails from VegNews magazine and this was one that came a week or two ago.  I instantly knew I wanted to try it- and I did this morning.  It was SO easy to make.  i even made my own oat flour using whole oats in my blender.  I also only used 1 cup of chocolate chips in the recipe i made today.  the next time i make it, though, i will use a little less sugar and let it cook a little longer.  mine was still sorta soft in the middle.  they are like cookie bars.  YUM!

What You Need:

3 cups gluten-free oat flour (make your own by grinding rolled oats in a blender)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup canola oil, plus more for pan
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon gluten-free vanilla
2 cups allergen-free chocolate chips

What You Do:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin with baking powder. Add oil, sugar, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients, one half at a time, and stir to combine. Mix in chocolate chips.

3. Pour batter into pan. With damp hands, press batter to evenly fill pan. Bake 18 minutes, and cool completely before cutting into bars.

Friday, October 28, 2011

friday five

five weird things that happened in the last 24 hours

1. in the spirit of "green", i tried to ride the bus from my office to nathaniel's office yesterday afternoon but it FULL!

2. holly wore black halloween socks instead of pink tights with her blue tutu to dance.

3.  i drank a glass of milk.  real cow's milk, too.

4.  kendal woke up happy and holly woke up grumpy!

5. i joined twitter.  not because i want to "tweet", but because i wanted to win a contest and wanted 2 extra entries.

bonus:  last night, i dreamed i went to the kohls in elizabethtown, KY and spent $500 on stupid stuff.  when i got to fort knox, i turned around and took it all back because i realized #1 i didn't even like the things i bought, and #2 i'd need that money for other stuff.  it is the end of the month but i'm really not even close to being broke though. i'm really proud of myself for saving probably $50 this week by not eating out! (shout out to nathaniel for helping me by making my lunches.)

thankful thursday - mermaid and robot

today is friday, but yesterday i was thankful for the hallelujah festival at kendal and holly's preschool church!  they had SUCH a blast!  it was our first trunk or treat and it was the perfect way to start the "halloween" season!  they loved wearing their costumes & eating candy (just a little bit)!  kendal wanted to wear his robot shirt to school the next morning.  too bad it had sucker on it!

thanks also to gymboree for great costume ideas, even if one of them is PJs!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You Pick Three

Please help me pick 3!  Only 3.  Which are your favorites?

1. DeHart Lake

2. The Kiss

3. Mine!

4. Purple

5. Scout

6. Willie the Worm

what i want wednesday


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

top ten tuesday - things i love about my new green office


1. the views. i love the look of the building itself, but i also love the view out of downtown raleigh!

2. the green wall outside!

3. the counter in the bathroom - made with recycled glass!

4. the NC shaped tiles outside on the patio.

5. the wavy bench downstairs (of coarse, this photo is surrounded by our moving totes, but you get the idea!).

6. the dry erase board in my office ROCKS!

7. no dust.

8. the wood all over the building is recycled.

9. the atrium (almost like a cruise ship!)

10. not being in a basement anymore! (i get to climb 3 flights of stairs every day!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

manic monday

i can't believe that it's a monday and i haven't anything to complain about.  i just had a great 3 day weekend with my family, the kids were super wonderful, minimal sister-brother arguing, they ate what we fed them, no potty accidents - had a blast everywhere we went.  i mean seriously, nothing to complain about!

i'm gonna have to force this one.  hum...

this morning, i sit in a new office.  it is really bright in here.  i prefer a darker room.  maybe that'll be my manic for the day.  that's really all i can think to whine about right now.  just too dang bright in here.  it's beautiful, though. 

i love downtown raleigh!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

two words.

photos from a walk around the yard today after lunch.  me, mom, kendal, holly, and maggie.  i thought it'd be fun to have 2 words to describe each one.

afterlunch jog.

overripe crabapples.

for mamaw.

smile, mags!

yesterday's trophy.

ready-to-cut okra.

okra blooms.

turnip greens.

greenleaf lettuce.

back pockets.

country girl.

runs fast.


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