Wednesday, February 29, 2012

God Bless Branson!

Arkansas has it's own little vacation spots, but everyone knows where to go for an awesome weekend getaway in this area - BRANSON! We used to go more than we do now (life happens) but we still make it up there about twice a year at least. I was so shocked to see the pictures of the tornado damage that occurred there overnight last night. It was heartbreaking to see. I recognized every place in every picture and video shown. I know they will rebuild, and it will take some time and it will not be the same, maybe even better in some ways. But, to see damage like that is just sad no matter where it is. Thankfully no deaths have been reported yet, so the major losses are just things and things can be replaced. Here is to my Branson memories and hopefully many more to come!

My prayers and thoughts are with all the victims of last nights tornado - not just those in Branson. I remember the scared and violated feeling I had when the tornado hit Clarksville and neither me nor my family received any direct damage. To see your town that way is hard. I hope the rebuild of the town of so many of my fondest memories goes smooth and quickly!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cheating on winter...

I was a hardcore winter person - I loved it when it is cold and I can bundle up and not have to show off my whiteness and be comfortably warm every day. Then I had Noah. I am not sure if everyone knows this or not but kids get sick in the winter. They cough and have alot of snot - for long periods of time. Then, they give it to their parents. Also, it is basically impossible to fit a warm coat and your kid under the straps of a carseat comfortably. Impossible. So, I warm the car up and put a jacket on Noah and rush him to the car and then rush him into the sitters house. It is hard not to feel like a bad mom when you are all bundled up and warm and your kid has a light jacket on - not to mention what other people think. So, as much as I am naturally a winter person, I am reluctantly giving in to nicer warmer temperatures being my "favorite". I am white, very white - and I do not like to tan. I don't like tanning beds and I don't like to get sunburns (it is like I can instantly feel the cancer on my skin). So, this new favorite season of mine is going to take some getting used to. Hopefully the summer will be mild like our winter - 70's!

We had a spring-like day last week and I just got the idea to take Noah to the park. He loves to be outside and our yard at home is very steep all around the house so it makes it hard to play much so we don't go outside a lot. He just kept running around and squealing with delight! It is so cute to watch. I went down the slide with him once and he loved it. The next time he did not want me to go down with him. Momma was not ready for that. He is only one year old! Nathan took him up the next time and just let him go (because Daddy's in general are a little less fearless like that) and Momma had a mini-heart attack, but Noah screamed "WEEEE" and ran off to do something else. My baby goes down the slide by himself. How did that happen. We played with pine cones, acorns, and watched cars go by. We didn't want him to get too hot because he still had a cough, so we only stayed about 30 minutes. Noah was not wanting to leave, but he eventually got over it.

There goes my brave boy going down the slide by himself!

It is blurry - but I got his first slide by himself!

Watching the cars go by :)

Headed to the car - it was a fun day!

I can't wait to let him run around outside like this on a more regular basis. Go away sickness and cold temperatures - my boy needs to run and scare his momma!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dear 15 year old me:

I heard the Brad Paisley song "letter to me" and it got me thinking. What would I want to tell myself or warn myself of? Would I even want to? I decided there were a few things that needed to be said. I know the whole "I don't want to change a thing because it got me where I am today" saying - whatever, if you change some things you may end up with even better things than you have now. It goes both ways. So, here we go:

Dear 15 year old me:

Just in case you don't believe this is 29 year old you - I know about the mattress and pillow tags you buried at the Barling house - FYI: it is not a "penalty under law" to remove the tags if you paid for the mattress and pillows.

I first want to tell you to stick with your friends - you will have a few close ones  but there is one who is never going to let you down and always be there and understand you - stay close to Cassie. She will move (you will learn she is a traveler and doesn't stay put long) but keep putting out the effort - it is worth it.

Don't try to move everything into your dorm room - you will not be there very long. Soon you will be on to living in the luxery of shag carpeting and a refrigerator that squeals constantly.

Don't worry about any boys - Nathan is coming right at the perfect time in your life when you need him and those other boys do not even compare.

Save your money - put $20 a week back for a savings, Social Security isn't looking too hot these days and you will be glad to have the cushion later in life.

Go visit Grandma Gunn. I know she is stubborn and can be a pain but she loves you and you will regret it a few years later.

MAKE your dad eat healthy and exercise - he has a bad heart and the earlier he starts this the better.

When your mom tells you not to go anywhere because of a snowstorm, listen to her. It will save you from anxiety attacks from snow covered roads later.

Your mom is your biggest fan - you can always tell her anything. Always.

Billy Jack will always hug you when he says "bye" - hug him tight each time. God needs him sooner than he needs us.

Do not give up on being a mom. You will have to work alot harder at it than most, but it will happen and it will be worth all the tears and frustration.

Let Nathan speed on the way to the hospital when you are delivering your first miracle - it is the only chance at an epidural you have got!

Invest some money in the Apple corporation - they are going places :)

Do not swim in the ocean - you are allergic to seaweed! It is rare, so of course it will happen to you!

Straight from here to the emergency room!

Do not go canoeing with Nathan. You two are the most incompatible canoe team ever. Trust me, it will save you from a two mile walk down the bank of the water later.

Your brother Eli has rough times ahead. You fight alot now, but you will become good friends later. He is going to need you alot over the next 10 years, try to be there for him starting now.

Gavin DeGraw is going to change your world - you will see.

Your life turns out good - better than most! You have some hard times ahead still, but you are stronger than you know. See you in about 15 years!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hanging up the whistle...

Well, my dad and I coached our last basketball games this weekend. By last I mean we are "retiring" from coaching. I use quotes around retiring because it seems so silly to say retiring, especially when it wasn't a paying job and I am only 29 so to retire from anything at that age sounds funny. Also, we didn't want the kids worrying about it all season and I was glad they didn't know until the end - some of them were very upset. I know alot of people are questioning this retirement, especially since we did not make a formal announcement, we just kind of brought it up at the end of the year. There is no big drama or secrets. So, to clear up any confusion and rumors, here is the truth:

About 3 weeks into this season Dad called me and said  he needed to talk to me. He went on to tell me how he really thinks it is time to retire. He works Monday through Wednesday then has to coach Thursday and Friday. Games every Saturday and then work his second job on Sunday. He had no time to relax or enjoy himself. He retired from his job he had for 25+ years about 3 years ago and was to start taking it easier then. Obviously, with that schedule he was not taking it easy. Dad loves to ride his Harley and his friends would always call him about going on a ride and he was busy. He wanted to take his grandkids to Chuck E. Cheese or to the park and wasn't able to find the time. This was wearing on him and he had to make the hard decision to quit. He just wanted more free time.

I started helping my dad coach 6 years ago. My dad had a heart attack in April 2006 and wanted to start coaching his granddaughters basketball team a few months later. I told him he could only do it if he let me help - that was I could watch him and make sure he wasn't overdoing it or anything. I totally got sucked in. I didn't have Noah then and was struggling with infertility and it really was helping me to be surrounded by other peoples kids all the time and helping them learn something. I continued on to help dad through my pregnancy and everything, I was hooked.

 Balancing family and coaching is hard. Whether you are a school coach getting paid for the job or just a volunteer at the local boys or girls club, it takes alot of time and effort. My dad coached for my entire life and more times than not it was not one of his kids he was coaching. So, dad missed alot of our things growing up. He made a commitment to those kids to be there for those games and practices and while I totally get it now, it was hard to understand then. If you have a child playing sports, you make sure and tell the coach how much it means to you that they take the extra time away from their lives and families to be there for your kids - it will mean alot to them. I decided that I was not strong enough for that lifestyle. I cannot leave Noah and any future kids we may have all the time to coach. It takes a special person to do that.

So, the word started spreading that we were leaving after this season so we made sure to find someone else to coach the teams we were coaching next year. We had 50 kids on our teams this year, there are plenty of qualified parents of those kids to coach. The kids kept complaining that they wouldn't bring gum and honey buns like we always did! HA! It is the little things I guess. There were alot of tears shed at that last game. I even had one of our players say that she is coming to dad's funeral when he dies! I think they think he is dying or something! I tried to explain to them that it was just time for us to go and we were going out on top so it was a perfect time to leave!

Thank you parents for supporting dad and I - it means alot. Thank you for sharing your kids with us - they are all very special to us! We are going to miss them all - some more than others :) - but they will still be missed. We are going to miss the old gym in Lamar - it is just an awesome historic building that we love. I know alot of people don't care for that building and to each their own, but we have the best memories in there. I am going to miss hearing "JESSIE'S HERE!" and getting a hug by all the girls when I get in the gym (5 minutes late of course) every practice. I am going to miss the car ride talks about life Dad and I had on the way to the away games. I am going to miss watching dad roll his eyes and yell "what are you doing" during the games - I laughed every time, which made him laugh. I am going to miss sweet Brady announcing that my buddy is here every time he walked in the gym. I am going to miss the beautiful Ginny drawing me pictures. I am going to miss Shelby's bear hugs every time she saw me. I am going to miss Colby coming 2 hours before his practice time so he could "bug me" (in his words). Most of all, I am going to miss watching these kids grow and mature in life and basketball and tell myself that my sacrifices had a little part in their growth.

We may not be on the bench, but look in the bleachers. We will always be around somewhere. Good luck Warriors - we are going to miss you as much as you miss us!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Snowy Valentines

I had given up hope on getting any snow this year - the weather has just been so unseasonably warm (which I am not a fan of - I like cold weather!). I haven't been watching the news lately to catch up on the weather because we have been trying to catch up on our DVR shows so I had no idea that it was even predicted to snow! I actually saw it on Facebook! You can find everything you need to know of Facebook! I like the snow but I had ballgames an hour away on Monday that I was wanting to get over with so I really wasn't wanting to have to reschedule - but God had other plans. God wanted me to stay home with Noah and play with him in the snow! God knew I needed it :)

We only got a few inches but it was just enough for Noah, Nathan, and I to have some fun in! It snowed last year but Noah wasn't walking yet so he just kind-of sat around. This year was WAY more fun! He was a little hesitant about walking out in it at first, but then he just took off! I couldn't find his gloves (of all days) only his mittens so he wasn't able to pick up any snow - but he loved having it thrown at him. Nathan threw snow at him over and over and he would just squeal - it was so funny! Nathan would slide across the yard and spray him with snow and even slid with Noah - Noah was in heaven! It took us longer to get ready to go outside that we actually stayed outside. We only stayed outside about 15 minutes because we didn't want Noah to get sick and it was raining a little. He DID NOT want to come in! We had to bribe him with a snack and Mickey Mouse - works every time :) Nathan had to work some during the snow day, but it was really nice to just have a fun relaxing snow day at home.

The next day was Valentines day and there was still quite a bit of snow left on the ground, but the roads were all clear. So, I dropped Noah off at the sitters and he was the only one there! I really like it when he is the only one there - it is rare that he is so his sitter usually does special things with him. They all went to Stoby's for Valentines Day and had a really good time! Nathan and I went to Sweet Treats (as we do almost every day) and had chicken spaghetti - a personal favorite of mine, not so much of Nathan's - but he went because he is awesome like that. Since my ballgames had gotten cancelled the night before and moved to valentines night, I was glad we had went last Friday and celebrated Valentines day. We went to TGI Fridays and Nathan got me a new pillow and Noah got me a new jacket. I waited until Valentines day lunch and gave Nathan his gifts - a massage gift certificate and Noah got him some new sweat pants and shirt. I know some people hate Valentines day and think it is a made up holiday, but love is something to be celebrated. Yes, it should be done all year but I think there is no harm in taking an extra day to show someone you care.

We are bad parents - we didn't technically get Noah anything for Valentines day! Nathan got him a new movie last Friday and there is a new Christian kids DVD I want to get him that came out this week, my mom got him a basket of goodies and my dad got him a Valentines Mickey Mouse so he didn't do without. He is still young and doesn't know any different anyway, but I am making a promise to be more on top of things next year for him! He has his Valentines party Friday and I can't wait to fix up gifts for all his Valentines at daycare!

Hope you all had a great snow day and Valentines day! Even if you aren't in a relationship, you are loved my someone, celebrate that!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Catch-up! Ketch-up!

It has been a week since my last blog! I am ashamed! Let's catch-up! We have not been sick anymore thankfully! I still get queasy every now and then, it seems to be taking my stomach alot longer to get used to eating regularly again. Noah has been eating very strangely lately. He will eat like he is starving for 2 days, then want nothing to eat for a day. Then be starving again! It is hard because we try to stay consistent with him and make him sit in his high chair and eat, but some days he doesn't want anything. He is not waking up hungry when he doesn't eat much so he really must not be hungry! Maybe it is a phase. I just hope it is not a sign of future fights getting him to eat. He has always been a very good eater so far - never refused anything offered to him. Only time will tell! One thing we do know is the boy loves ketchup! I will give him his food and put a little ketchup on everything and he eats it all and even licks the ketchup off the plate! We try to lay off the ketchup in restaurants for this reason, that could be embarrassing!

I had a momma Super Bowl Sunday. Nathan's mom came and "kidnapped" (in her terms) Noah for a few hours that day after church and his nap. Nathan and I didn't have anything to do so at the last minute we decided to go watch a movie. Man On a Ledge was on and we had been wanting to see it. It was nice to sit and relax at a movie together. We don't do it often - not because of the lack of babysitters but because of the lack of movies that look like they are worth going to see! It is different when you have a kid to arrange a sitter and all that to go to the movies and the movie not be any good - it is a waste of a sitter. Thankfully this movie was good! When we left the movie we had to run to the parts store so when we got home the Super Bowl was almost to half-time. Noah came home during half-time and it was time to start his bedtime routine. So he ate, took a bath, and he gets to watch one Mickey Mouse Clubhouse before bed. So, once that was all over, so was the game. We didn't really care much for either team that was in it this year, so it was no big deal. It was one of my better Super Bowl Sundays honestly!

I finished my basketball season up - we went 45-3 for the year! I am very proud of all our players! That is an impressive record! We still have the tournament this week and next, but all our teams are going into the tournament ranked 1st so hopefully it will stay that way! I love coaching these kids, but I am ready for a break. It seems like the season always lasts 2 weeks too long. I just start losing steam and I get mentally "done" before the season is over. I love getting to spend the time with my dad too, and I will miss it shortly after it is over.

Nathan is about to start softball season again. I have to admit I was not happy about. I LOVE that he has a hobby that he likes and it helps keep him in shape, I just hate that it takes up so much time. Honestly it seems like it takes up more time than it does if you sit down and figure it, it just feels like alot. Thankfully we have lots of supporting family that watch Noah sometimes so I can go cheer him on! Noah is to the age now where he doesn't want to sit down for anything, so all I would do would be to chase him around if he went to the games with us. Ready or not - it's softball time!

Here are a few things going on with Noah at his sitters I want to record to remember. She sent me a text this week that said she asked Noah if he went to the bathroom and he reached down the back of his diaper and pulled some poop out for her! HA! Well, she asked! We are still toying around with potty training but waiting on his speech to get a little further so maybe he will understand better what is going on. Noah has also been getting in more time-outs at daycare lately. That is SO embarrassing! I know all kids do it, but still, when your child acts up to someone else, it is embarrassing. This week he was kicking the girls in the back when he was sitting behind them! I have no idea where he even picked up on this! Nathan and him wrestle at home but no kicking or real hitting. He has never hit anyone out of anger that we have seen. Where do kids learn this stuff? He has also been having some big meltdowns lately. We have just been ignoring them and trying not to give them attention so maybe he will quit. I know people probably think we are just lazy, but spanking him for throwing a fit will just make the fit worse. Time out in an unfamiliar place doesn't seem to work either. Hopefully we are not doing this all wrong! I am hoping the fits are just a phase and he will do better once he can understand what we are saying better. All he understands right now is "no" and that isn't what he wants to hear!

Now then, I believe we are all caught up!  I promise to do better and take more pictures too!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Survived!

I knew it was only a matter of time until it happened, but I was not happy to see it finally here - WE GOT THE STOMACH BUG! It was awful! I got a phone call Friday that Noah threw up at daycare, so I went and got him. He was acting fine, but then the diarrhea started. He still acted like he could care less, just playing and watching tv. Thankfully, he is a tough guy. Later that night Nathan tried to feed him an olive (which Noah likes) but apparently that set Noah's stomach off, so as I am cooking dinner he projectile vomits into the stove and falls in it! I was standing there with my mouth open and Nathan said "that was awesome! Just like off tv!" and he went and got a broom and started mopping it up - all while still eating olives! GAG! Anyway, that was the last of it for Noah. He was fine all night and the next day.

The next morning I had basketball games and left Nathan and Noah at home. Noah was fine all morning. As soon as I got back from my games I started feeling a little sick. We all 3 went to Russellville to pick up a part for Nathan and I barely remember this trip. I laid down in the seat the whole time - I knew I had the bug. I sent my mom a text and asked her to please come get Noah because I wasn't sure if we would be able to handle the bug and him. I am SO glad she did. I started getting sick when she got there to pick Noah up and didn't stop until 1:00 a.m.! We laid around on the couches and watched a movie, pausing it for whoever had to run to the bathroom - it was ridiculous. Nathan seemed to handle it better - he was sick, but he just got it all out and done and was over it! I wish I was that lucky! He was doing dishes, cleaning the bathtub, and went to the store while I laid around trying to get my strength back. Nathan did an awesome job of stepping up and helping out - I am one lucky gal!

Noah ended up getting sick again on Monday at daycare (I think he likes getting to take an extra bath at daycare and me picking him up early)! This time he threw up on one of the girls there - I felt so bad. Thankfully, the other moms at my daycare are awesome and just said "it happens". I'm new to the whole sick thing, so I was afraid they were going to be mad! So, I had to go back and get him and keep him out until today. We all think he just overate on his weak stomach, so hopefully he will be there all day today. I did have fun spending some extra time with him at home the last few days though. We played with his tent he got for Christmas - I had forgot about it since it collapses and I had put it under the couch, sad huh? He had a blast! I am glad to be back in our routine again though, hopefully for awhile.


Such a sweet boy!

So glad he is all better!

How does a mom avoid catching what her baby gets? Honestly when Noah didn't feel good on Friday, there was a point where I could tell his stomach was bothering him and the only thing that made him feel better was to lay on my back and lay him stomach to stomach with me - so we were face to germy face. I have a feeling I am going to be catching alot of things from that sweet boy over the next many years!