Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Saturday evening in our house was spent decorating the Christmas tree and hauling out boxes with stockings, Santas, and the assortment of holiday decorations that I have purchased from Pier 1 in moments of impulse throughout the years. This was the first year that Silas participated in the process; the last two years we decorated the tree while he napped and surprised him with it upon awakening. He will NEVER let us do that again! This kid was on fire to decorate for Christmas. He unwrapped all items from the boxes and wanted to be the one to place them where they belong. Many of these items have since 'moved' from their places because he just can't seem to resist touching them, either. (Three times yesterday I replaced the two glittery Christmas trees from the nightstands in our bedroom, only to find that someone had moved them back again to the couch or dining room table.)

So here is my cute story: among our ornaments is a red metal bell that belonged to BJ when he was a small boy, and it is marked with his name. On Saturday night, I asked Silas what letters were on the bell and he replied. "B. (pause) J." I said, "That's daddy's name, B.J. This was daddy's ornament when he was a boy like you."

The next morning, Silas ran out to the Christmas tree and began removing ornaments at will, just so that he could inspect them again. When Silas pulled the red bell from the tree, BJ asked him, "What does the bell say on it?" Silas looked at the bell and replied matter-of-factly, "It says you, Jay-Bay!" And this is precisely what he is now calling BJ half the time.

My adorable two-year-old (who has also mastered a gorilla impersonation, by the way).

My littlest turkey-boy, just for good measure.  Since dairy is no longer an issue, this guy ate big-time on Thanksgiving Day--cranberries, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, bread, stuffing, corn, and pumpkin pie! Sparsity of teeth wasn't stopping him!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pics by Holly

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Wishing you all a happy day spent with loved ones!

May I sing the praises of Ms. Holly Hooper-Stover? On this day when we spend so much time reflecting on what we are thankful for, I would like to say thank you to Holly for capturing such beautiful images of my family. Holly is new to professional photography, but she definitely doesn't give herself enough credit. I am tickled with these shots of us, and now I will always be able to remember our family exactly as we are right now. Holly is located in Elk City, Oklahoma, but she quickly volunteered to drive to Oklahoma City for our pictures. I highly recommend her. Here are some of my favorites from that freezing morning (literally! 28 degrees at the time of the shoot!):


 Thank you again, Holly!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Yet Another Reason to Give Thanks

In my last post I lamented the end of nursing, which I presumed was coming because I made the decision to put dairy back into my diet believing that George would react to it. George has always thrown me curve balls, and his NON-reaction to dairy when I began eating it again was definitely one of the bigger ones he has thrown! My dinner on that first night consisted of a flour tortilla with queso in it, approximately ten chips dipped into queso, and an ala carte sour cream chicken enchilada with most of the sour cream sauce (but not all of it!) scraped off. It was enough dairy that even I felt nauseated afterward, which maybe isn't surprising since I have consumed zero dairy in the last seven months. There may or may not have been a large frozen margarita on my ticket that night as well. (Of course, I let that burn out of my system before I fed George.) All of this dairy, and not a thing from fussiness, no rash on the face, no Desitin required on the cute little buns, nothing! So I ate some dairy the next day, and then the next, and the next, and he kept repeatedly showing me that he just wasn't reacting to dairy anymore! So then I took it a step further and fed HIM foods that contained dairy, such as mashed potatoes and whipped cream (the good stuff), and still he has shown no problems! I am giving thanks that next week I can actually eat the Thanksgiving meal and Georgie can even have bites, and I am thankful that we can continue to nurse until George is ready to wean (within reason). Mostly, however, I am thankful that my son is not going to be dairy-allergic for life.

I have so much to write about, but I don't want to overwhelm readers with one ridiculously long post, so I will pledge to write a series of posts throughout November that will highlight things that have happened in our family; I'm seriously so behind. I'm the parent that still hasn't even posted my kids' Halloween pictures for all to see! A few quick updates though:

  • Our good friends the Marshalls came all the way from Massachusetts to visit our humble abode a couple of weeks ago, and we seriously had a major blast! We made sure to give the Marshalls some of the good things that Oklahoma has to offer, including delicious Mexican food, warm weather, a Thunder game (for BJ and Pete), and plenty of time with loved ones. During their visit we marked the one-year anniversary of the day that Sommer and Pete received the heartbreaking news of Owen's progressive brain disease, and we decided to honor Owen for the occasion by participating in a 5K and dedicating every step to their little guy. Som and I ran the whole way and finished in our personal best time, while the rest of the clan was a great cheerleading section. Pete even made fantastic Owen shirts for the occasion. 
  • At this point last year, BJ and I were pretty unhappy. I chronicled our unhappiness in this post a year ago and discussed that the Christmas season came early to our house as a coping mechanism for dealing with the greatest sadness that we have ever known. A year later, we know Owen well and are pleased to have gotten to kiss his cheeks so many more times than we ever expected; still, I find myself reminiscent of that intense pain. In a tribute to the last year, I am running yet another 5K (I run a lot of 5K's apparently) this Saturday through the park in Yukon, which will be decorated with the awesome Christmas lights display that will be unveiled just prior to the run. The family doesn't know it yet, but we are also eating at Alfredo's that night, just as we did a year ago when BJ's parents attempted to lighten our gloominess by taking us to dinner at Alfredo's and then driving us through the Christmas lights to kick off the season. What a year of intense highs and lows it has been for our family...
  • Which brings me to my last point of this post: the importance of this holiday season. As I told my friend Julie last night, my sanity is hanging on my ability to fully enjoy this season and engage with those I love. This Christmas season I am truly dedicating myself to time spent with loved ones, and letting frivolous details fall to the wayside. This means I will do less cleaning and more baking, less stressing and more Grinch-watching, more knitting, more fires, more hot chocolate, and more Christmas-light looking. Family and friends are welcome to drop in at our house at any time; I can't promise a spic and span house, but I can bet there will be some fresh baked goods lying around, two beautiful and hilarious children to entertain you, and hugs to be shared. The season is coming soon, friends. I can't wait to share it.