Friday, March 27, 2009

My boy

There is something different about being a mother to a little baby boy. I know there are the obvious differences, but when I look at Brady - there is something that just melts my heart. Maybe the way he pulls up in my lap until his face is as close to my face as it can be. Maybe it's that he has this adorable distressed look on his face when he sees me like he wants to get to me as fast as he can, but isn't sure how.
And maybe it's not any of those things, but the simple fact that having a baby in the house is so much fun. If my dear friend Kandi is reading this right now, she might disagree on the choice of word "fun"... she has a one week old at home!

But babies who can sit up, play, coo, laugh, splash in the tub are SO much fun. Even Kennedy has gotten into the action. She loves to hold him (although only for a few seconds because he is so heavy). She absolutely loves to splash in the bathtub with him.

While Chris and I are certainly DONE having children, these are the days I will try to hold onto. Once Brady gets Kennedy's age, I will have to rack my brain to remember the sweet sounds of "Dada dada dada"... and the belly laughs.. and the sweet snuggles at bedtime... and sneezing Cheerios out little noses... and all the little things that make me feel so loved without even hearing those three words.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Interview with Kennedy

Sometimes I find some cute things on Facebook and this "interview with your child" caught my attention. I wanted to see what Kennedy would say.....

1. What is something mom always says to you? Kennedy Lee! Go in your room!
2. What makes mom happy?For saying yes ma'am and no ma'am
3. What makes mom sad?I don't know
4. How does your mom make you laugh? Making silly faces, playing airplane, waving me around, and doing stuff to Brady
5. What was your mom like as a child? A little girl
6. How old is your mom? 21
7. How tall is your mom?I don't know (mom says "guess"). I really don't know
8. What is her favorite thing to do?Feeding Brady
9. What does your mom do when you're not here?Go to work and run
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?For cheering
11. What is your mom really good at?Running
12. What is your mom not very good at?I don't know
13. What does your mom do for a job? LSU
14. What is your mom's favorite food? Salad
15. What makes you proud of your mom? Cause I love you
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Kitty cat
17. What do you and your mom do together?We like to snuggle. We like to play.
18. How are you and your mom the same?We love each other.
19. How are you and your mom different? Cause we have different brains.
20. How do you know your mom loves you?You kiss me and hug me.
21. What does your mom like most about your dad? That he loves on you.
22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? To tan and work.

Monday, March 23, 2009


I have a major needle-phobia. It dates back to my childhood where my mother, bless her heart, had to hold me down to have a shot at the pediatrician's office. I was so sick and desperately needed the shot to get rid of this nasty stomach virus I had. I remember it very clearly!

You would think that after giving birth to two children (via C-section!) that I would have conquered that fear by now. Unfortunately, I have not. I am still afraid. My palms still sweat when I think about a needle being stuck in my arm... or my booty. It is this fear that has kept me from donating blood. When Amber was sick, I was determined to donate but the blood bank had enough in reserves for Amber to last her a while, so they asked that I wait a few weeks. Unfortunately, Amber didn't have weeks and she died before I had the chance to donate.

So when I organized Saturday's blood drive for my Team in Training group - I knew I was going to suck it up and donate. Our drive was in memory of Amber and I knew I had to honor her memory and suffer for just a second... after she suffered for weeks with Leukemia.

I stepped inside the LifeShare bus with a little apprehension, but overall - I was ready. But my heart was another story. In order to donate blood, your heart rate has to be below 100 beats per minute. My heart was racing with anticipation of the big stick, so at 108 beats - I was told to calm down and we would try again. The next time, my heart rate was even higher at 116 beats per minute. (Are you kidding me?? I get psyched for this and my heart rate is going to sideline me?? No... no, calm down Jennifer. Breathe deep....)

I laid down on the donor bed and closed my eyes. I took deep breaths and thought of Amber and how hard she fought for 28 days. I thought of people just like her who needed my blood to fight Leukemia and other diseases. My heart rate lowered to 105... still not the number in order to give, but it was getting there. I had ONE more chance to get it below 100 and if it wasn't right, they would politely thank me and ask me to come back another day. I was trying to not get mad about it... that would only raise my heart rate. More deep breaths, more calming thoughts. Last pulse check - 99 BEATS PER MINUTE! Just under the maximum number.
Now I was relieved, but extremely nervous. Iodine wash on my arm.... tourniquet squeezing the heck out of my arm... squeeze the ball every few seconds. The tech said, "OH! Look at that vein!" I'm hoping this means it's big enough for one quick stick and not multiple attempts, which is usually my history with these technicians.

Two seconds later, my blood was pumping. It hurt for a second and it ached a little while he got the needle situated in my arm because the blood flow kept stopping. But overall - my experience with giving blood was a positive one. I plan to donate regularly now.
Every day in our area, patients need 470 units of blood components... such as red blood cells, plasma, whole blood, etc. Statistics show that one out of every three people will need a blood transfusion during their lifetime. What if that was me or a family member? I feel a huge sense of pride in knowing that someone in this area will continue to heal because of my donation. I hope you consider becoming a donor, too!

Monday, March 16, 2009

26th Birthday

Today would have been Amber's 26th birthday.... so it's been a somber day. I went out to her grave and placed some photographs of her and her friends. Yesterday, Susie and I went out there to clean up the area and spruce it up with bright pink flowers, her favorite.

It's hard to believe it's been four months since our friend passed away. I remember her memorial like it was yesterday... but as time goes on - we continue to heal. I pray for Eric. Kennedy prays for Eric every night, for God to give him a big hug.

Eric has become part of our family. Susie, Ford, Eric, Chris and I are like brothers and sisters, spending all our spare time together. My kids love their "extended family" and now I know that God's plan for me is to be here, in Shreveport.

When Susie and I were at Amber's grave, we talked about each other's funerals. It sounds morbid, but honestly - we were giving each other a check list. We told each other to make sure we looked good in our final moments on earth. We agreed to make sure we were dressed our best, wearing our sorority pins (Phi Mu and Sigma Kappa) and flattering colors. We also agreed that even though it would be extremely difficult to visit each other's graves - we will force ourselves to go and "visit" each other. It will be our duty to make sure our final resting place is always well-kept and dressed with flowers.

This is what best friends do. It's what Susie, Shelley and I will do for each other. It's how you honor the memory of someone you love. And while we know the physical being will no longer with us, but the spirit will always be...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tee ball

Nina and Papa bought Kennedy a tee ball set for her 4th birthday last summer. It's been hanging out at their house, just waiting for K to come play. My parents finally brought it over to our house so she could actually use it this spring and last weekend provided the perfect weather for learning to play. Her sweet daddy showed her how to hold the bat and explained in detail how to stand, how to "keep your eye on the ball"... and Little Miss Adventurous hit the ball the first try!

I hope she plays outdoor sports in school because it's great activity and she will learn sportsmanship - something she is already having a very time with. I played a little softball, but definitely played tee ball. I remember the pictures of me playing and poor Kennedy looks a little like me then.

But she most definitely needs to learn sportsmanship. She must win every race; she must beat us at every game; she is already extremely competitive. Now I don't know where she gets that from. Ha!

I think it's time she learn what it feels like to lose. I'm betting her little brother will give her a run for her money when the time comes!

Hannah Montana concert

Now don't get the wrong idea from the title of this post... I did not take Kennedy to a Hannah Montana concert, although I'm sure she would like it. SHE put on her own Hannah Montana concert at home! We got her all dressed up, microphone in hand, Hannah music blaring and she rocked it out!

But before the concert could begin, she gave me specific instructions:

Kennedy: "Now mom, you have to do what Papa did when I gave a concert."
Mom: "What's that?"
Kennedy: "You have to scream for me to throw my jacket."
Mom: "Oh... okay."
Kennedy: "And then when I throw it to you, you have to do what Papa did... hold the jacket up to your face, smell it and yell, 'I'll never wash this JACKET!'"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Wedding

It's funny how I view weddings differently now, in my 30s as a mom of two children, than I did when I was in my 20s. I haven't been to a wedding since being the matron of honor in Susie's wedding, which was five years ago. Ironic really, since the wedding I was in this weekend, Susie and I were both co-matrons of honor for our best friend Shelley.
She was radiant. Completely... totally... blissfully happy. Her new step-daughter Kate Douglas was thrilled to be a junior bridesmaid. Susie and I were honored to be by her side.
Rick beamed when his bride walked down the aisle. He "got low" with his daughter and new wife at the kickin' reception. It was a fun-filled weekend and I will never forget it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Too Busy to Blog!

I love blogging, but these past few weeks... I have just been too busy to blog! I have so much to talk about, but no time right now. I hope to have a lengthy post this weekend. On the agenda? Shelley's wedding, St. Patrick's Day parade coming, Team in Training fundraising, big changes at work, Brady's growth, Kennedy's behavior, spring in the air... I could keep going... but like I said, no time.