Friday, December 23, 2011


I guess you could say I've had some writers block since my last post. It's really hard to come up with something after a post like that. Still missing my friend.

I suppose I could mention the cysts that have been rupturing about every 1-2 weeks since early October, or the fact that I do not think I've spent more than one consecutive week without either an upper respiratory infection, laryngitis, or a case of strep throat since fall break. (Thinking I may actually be experiencing strep again right at this moment which is why I am awake rather than sleeping at this awful hour of the morning.)

But still, these things seem so trivial.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


My sweet friend Christina went to the arms of her Savior on Wednesday night. She was only 3 years older than me with the most precious 5 daughters. Her youngest is the same age as Jude and her oldest is one of Jude's most favorite baby sitters. There are so many things I could say about this dear lady, but I am going to leave it to her husband, Christian. This is the message he sent out today:
To all who haven't heard, Christina Jones Hooker, my beautiful wife and perfect mother of my precious girls, very unexpectedly went to be with Jesus last night, after a hard 24 hour struggle.

These are hard words to say. First, thank you so much for those who prayed so fervently for her life. The preciousness of her life was greatly reflected in your outpouring of concern and grief.

We do...n't know why, but Christina suffered a severe heart attack Tuesday evening. There was no warning. One moment she was a happy, active young mother, and the next she was undergoing CPR for 15 minutes on the ER at Erlanger hospital. The doctors DID revive her, and fought to save her 24 heroic hours.

She lost that battle. She is so very much needed and missed, and though we do not blame her or God, an awesome person leaves an awesome gap in the lives of those they are closest to. Christina's friends and loved ones, please grieve with me and her children. We are facing something we can only heal with the love of God almighty and you, those who loved her. We are making arrangements at Wilson's funeral home in LaFayette, GA, and I will post om her account as more information becomes available.

Listen to me. Hold close what you have. Your wives, husbands, and children. Every fantasy I had that what is precious to me is too good to be taken was destroyed last night. There are NO guarantees. Every moment we have here is a gift. Live that while you can.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gotta get caught up

Have you ever gotten to that place of needing to do a load of laundry where you pull out a bathing suit bottom to serve as underwear?


Oh. Uh, me neither.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

They're out of control. . .

These companies are out of control.

Last week I received an e-mail from Gerber, "Your Pregnancy: Week 37." (Ha! If only I had ever made it to week 37!)

Friday I got one from Simlac, "Your Pregnancy: Week 34." (Now that one I did make. Passed even, delivering at 35.5 weeks. But that was 3 years and a week ago.)

Today I received a box in the mail. You guessed it: formula samples.

I am SO far from being pregnant it's not even funny. About 6 months after the boy was born, I developed a hormonal imbalance. We verified it with a salivary profile test. Then this past June (ironically, the month we had set to consider trying again) I started experiencing excruciating pain several days running every couple of weeks and it turned out to be rupturing cysts. Since July, I've been on the pill to keep the cysts away.

These companies are out of control.

I have a fake internet friend who I have TONS of respect for. She struggles with a severe and confusing case of endometriosis that has rendered her infertile. She has dealt with two very expensive and unsuccessful IVF cycles. She has also in the past few months received similar e-mails and even larger formula sample packages than I.

These companies are out of control. For me, the samples and e-mails are just mildly annoying. For her, they are extremely painful reminders of those embryos that didn't stick. These companies need to pay attention what they are doing.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Three is officially big boy. This week he decided he would use the potty for EVERYTHING as long as he's awake and that he wanted to move from the toddler bed to the "super big boy bed." (The old full from our guest room that we moved out when we got the king and put our queen into the guest room.)

This is three:

And 2. . .
And one and none. . .

Friday, September 30, 2011

What we do when no one is watching

I may or may not have licked a CD today in order to clean it while I was driving because it was skipping. It may or may not have done the trick, so I may or may not regret the decision. And I may or may not have been happy to get to listen to my CD uninterrupted.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

English. . .

Yesterday I wanted to write a sentence that contained the word "led." Something to the effect of "This led me to believe" or something like that.

I blame it on being the Friday following the first FULL week I've worked in over three years because I just kept staring and staring at that word thinking it didn't look right.

I tried "lead" but that obviously was the present tense of the word I was trying to say, as in, "Where you lead, I will follow." So I figured I had the right spelling of the word I was trying to write.

Suddenly, I was left trying to think of the spelling for the stuff in your pencil. "Lead" right?

What the heck. See! This is why my students struggle with this language!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What might be overheard at bathtime. . .

Boy: Wanna see my penis?

Mommy: No thank you. We do not show other people our penises. Sit back down in the water, please.

Boy: Oh. Ok.
*Sits back down and plays with trains.*

That would be this boy:

So penis obsession starts this early, huh? Welcome to the world of raising boys, I guess. . .

Oh, and overheard from another room in the house would be this boy's dad laughing at the conversation.

(P.S. I can only imagine what this is going to do to the search queries on my dashboard.)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Swift Answer!

I was already up at 5:30am because of one of those migraines I get about once a year that won't respond to the meds and makes me want to be sick. When I opened my computer at 6:30, immediately a message popped up on Facebook from my BFF. "Are you there?" Something's not right, I immediately thought. There's no reason she would be hitting me up on Facebook in the 6am hour if everything was fine. (She later told me that she had the same thought when her mother called her a little earlier.)

I replied that I was. "My dad is missing." was her response. I was stunned. All I could muster was, "What??? When did this happen? What can I do?" He hadn't returned home from work last night and since there isn't a time clock for his job, there was no time frame for how long he had been unaccounted for.

Immediately I began an e-mail/text message blitz asking people to stop and pray now. I called Jeff at work. I called Linda who is overseas at a wedding. I called our prayer chain manager AND sent him an e-mail. I wanted Jenn to know that we were lifting her dad and her family up and surrounding them in prayer.

This family has not had an easy time of things in the decade and a half since Jenn and I were roomies back in college. Her middle brother was killed in a horrific car accident. Her mother has suffered with multiple health setbacks. Her younger brother was hospitalized with meningitis when our babies were 6 and 7 months old. Her grandmother is currently recovering from a stroke.

I must admit that as I began to pray, I was kind of throwing my hands in the air asking God what else they were going to have to go through.

It was around 10am and I was laying in the guest room trying not to throw up when Jude came in to tell me my phone was ringing. It way Jenn! This must mean news!

And news it was. Her dad had been found. He works in the forestry department and had fallen in a well in a neighboring county. I have no idea how they found him except to say it was the hand of God. The way they close up old wells leaves much to be desired and they do not keep very good track of them after they are closed.

As we were speaking, a rescue team was working to get him out of the well and then they would be heading to the ER to assess his injuries. We know he has a head injury at the least.

But he is ALIVE! And I am giving praise to God for his swift answer to our prayers!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

First Week Down

I had forgotten how exhausting the first week of school is!!! I'm talking more exhausting than new baby waking every 45 minutes all night exhausting. Especially those first two days after the students went home, I was nearly crawling home at the end of the day. (Super thankful for the friend who brought a tall barstool by the house today! Tuesday should be a LOT better!)

I couldn't be more pleased with my class make up. I've got one gifted class of 20 and one advanced class of 26. This is the type of student I am accustomed to working with. These are the types of classes I taught 4 of my 6 years in the classroom before Jude was born.

Then I have a new challenge as well. Two of my classes are what is known as inclusion classes. In each of these classes I have 14 average level kids and 4 kids who are higher functioning special ed, as well as a co-teacher who is certified in teaching to the specific needs of special education students. I am super excited about the possibilities for these two classes. With only 18 kids in the room and 2 adults at their disposal, I think we can reach these kids in a way that a traditional special ed class can not. My goal is to see all 82 of my little darlings (and any of the new ones that I know will come in since our population around here is pretty transient) meet or exceed on their state test. But more importantly, I want them to catch a vision this year for their full potential.

Like me, some of these kids may be the first in their family to ever even consider college, let alone graduate from college. Whatever it takes, I want to do to get them to understand that no matter where they're coming from, they have what it takes to achieve the high goals they set for themselves.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Little Sister

This girl! Thirteen years ago last month, I stood by watching her birth. Maybe the turning point in my life that would pave the way for my obsession on the topic now. But man! I can't believe she's 13 now!

This girl amazes me constantly. She's got bigger feet than me. She's almost taller than me. (Just wait till next summer!) She's a talented twiler and a budding tuba player.

In 4 days time, we'll bring her back home to Florida to get ready for her last year in middle school. Then the next time we pick her up to stay the summer in Georgia, she'll be gearing up to enter high school. I was only out of high school about 7 months when I found out she was coming and just over a year when she actually arrived.

But it's going so fast! And she's growing into an amazing young woman.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Not slacking for the sake of slacking!

This poor blog has gotten lost in what has been a furor of studying!

At the end of last school year, I was asked to come back into the classroom full time. This wasn't the first time I was asked, but it WAS the first time I didn't say "no" right away. I said, "I won't say 'no' until I've prayed about it." (Why did this never occur to me before?!) And then that day, Jeff came home with news of a 4% salary cut in his department. (We've made less and less from them every year since Jude was born due to different cuts.) Right then, I figured that God was providing an immediate response to those prayers.

As I was leaving the classroom, a new intervention process was rolling out for kids who struggle academically. I never had to bother learning about it since I was leaving. So now I am working on consuming as much information on the topic of the RTI (Response to Intervention) process.

Exactly one month from today, my first class in three years will walk in the door for the first day of school. I am going back into almost the same position I left. The only exception is, in addition to gifted and high regular classes, I will have one class that has RTI and special ed. inclusion students. This is sort of uncharted territory for me. (Thus all the studying!) I've had kids who needed remediation, and I spent the last year working half time providing targeted interventions for children like this one on one and in small groups.

I'm a little anxious about the idea of a whole classroom full of them, though. Because let's face it. My county doesn't get it that when you try to do these things, even with co-inclusion teachers in the same classroom together, you can't fill those classes to maximum legal capacity. I am confident I can make this successful with a class that is appropriately sized. Maybe 18 - 20 kids max. But all the RTI/inclusion classes I worked with last year had 24+

So we'll see how it goes. In the mean time, I have GOT to stop neglecting my blog!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It stuck with him

Wednesday night, Jude's second night in a big boy bed, he showed up in my room at 3am. I was like, "ok, here we go." and I brought him back to his room to nurse him and try to get him back to sleep. The room really stunk and all I could think was that he had a dirty diaper and since he could now get up and tell me, that's what was going on. But when I took his diaper off, it was just wet.

After he nursed, he begged to go in his crib. Shoot! We were failing at the big boy bed. I put him in there and grabbed the pillow off the toddler bed. It was soaking wet. At this point I turned the light on and saw where the smell was coming from. He had thrown up. But since the one and only other time he threw up he was only one, maybe one and a half, he didn't have a word for it and probably had no idea what was going on when it was happening.

When I got everything cleaned up with new sheets and a new pillow, he willingly went back to his "bo-boy bed" as he calls it. Well, maybe because in the mean time, he also threw up in the crib, so he made the connection that the bed had nothing to do with it?

Last night, Friday, we were reading Curious George books at bed time when he looked at me and said, "Judah cry." Of course I asked him, "Why did Judah cry?"

His response puzzled me: "Judah make mess." Well, we had just cleaned up, so I had no idea what he was talking about. "Where did Judah make a mess?" I asked.

"Judah spill. Judah spill mouth." (Well, actually he said "Judah pill mouff." but we'll not get into pronunciation now!)

Spill mouth? Ooooooooh! He was telling me about the night he threw up. Poor baby! If he was still talking about it three nights later, it really must have made an impression on him. He's destined to be like his mother, I'm afraid. I have a mortal fear of throwing up. And all the puking I did during pregnancy did nothing to "cure" that fear!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I am officially a blog slacker

Working half time has definitely eaten into my motivation to blog when I can just zing something up on Facebook in a second or two that I usually don't have to proof read! But this calls for a blog post:-)

I lost my camera for about a month (really, I didn't lose it. It was in my doula bag, but I just forgot it was there!) And for about the month before that, I didn't know where my USB cable was. So I hadn't posted photos of Jude in some time. When I finally got my act together, some of my Facebook friends mentioned how they couldn't believe the change Jude had made from baby to little boy in such a short period of time. And to be honest, neither can I!

There are just so many things. We had planned not to try potty training until after he turned three because I've heard so many parents of boys harping on how boys are ready later, no sense trying until three, yada yada. But he started showing interest on his own when he was less than two and a half two years, three months, and seven days to be precise). These days, at two years 7 months, and three weeks, he is completely day trained. He still wears a diaper to nap and to bed, and he always waits until he has that thing on to poop. Can't wait until he gets that down!

He sat for a hair cut last week without completely freaking out. I know the hair dresser being completely entertaining and also letting him wear these didn't hurt either:

Last night he slept the night through in a toddler bed without begging to go back into his crib.

But today was the real kicker. We went to the fountain to play in the water and another little boy came along about Jude's size, but obviously an older three year old. (My kid is the same size or taller than a lot of three year olds we know.) And instead of shying away from the other kid, Jude engaged in play with him. They splashed each other, sat by each other in the jets, and played more games of chase than I can count. I wish that I had gotten a photo of them together, but I didn't even think of it until the other boy had left. So this is all I got:
What can I say? My boy is growing up faster than I'm ready for, but on the other hand, this will make it easier as I contemplate going back into the classroom full time next year.

Monday, March 7, 2011

My child. What can I say? He loves to laugh. He loves to make people laugh. He loves to make himself laugh. So when I was trying to get him to sing his ABC (which to him apparently means A-B-C-H-Thomas. . .) why would this be any different.

If you watch the video, you'll notice the exact moment where he figures out where the little camera is built in to the computer and the effect that it has on the screen when he moves closer to it. Personally, I think he just likes looking at himself;-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Haven't done this in a while! My Husband Rocks!!!!

I haven't done a MHR post in over a year. Not because he doesn't rock, but just because my desire to write just hasn't been that high in the past year.

Nevertheless, my husband ROCKS! Yesterday. Valentine's Day. Traditional a day that's never been that big of a deal since my birthday comes two days later. But yesterday. . .

I left for work before either Jeff or Jude had woken up for the day and was about half way through a lesson with the group of kids I meet with for reading intervention, when in walks my little man with a rose. Followed closely by his daddy, of course. They hung around for a while, until I was done working with my group, so then we got to have a nice visit and Jude drew me a picture.

Then I came home to find a clean kitchen AND all the carpets vacuumed. Additionally, Jeff washed and folded almost all the dirty laundry.

I'll say it again, my husband rocks:-)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I have been singing this song to Jude at bedtime some nights for a while now, but it's only been the last few nights that he has seemed to take notice.

I'll get to the part "when I fall down You pick me up. When I am dry You fill my cup." and even though he is nursing, I can hear him smile. (If you've ever been a nursing mother, you know what I mean by hear!) then I get to the end and he stops what he's doing: "gin, mommy?" And every time with out fail, on the second go around, when I sing the part "fill my cup" he stops and repeats, "fill cup."

I love the legacy songs like this will speak into his life over the years and especially that he's picking up on them so early.

Monday, January 10, 2011


How do you celebrate your two year old making it to the potty to go peepee? Well, by letting him wear Thomas the Tank Engine undies, of course!

Although that was short lived and since it was bed time, he was back in a diaper after about 30 minutes. And we haven't gone on the potty, since. But hey. Small victories:-)