Friday, April 27, 2012


I think we've reached the point where Cade and Camryn are acting like siblings.  They are starting to fight with each other.  I figured there would be a few spats along the way, but I didn't think it would start this soon.  It started last weekend on the way back from Fayetteville. Jay and Cade went to the Razorback Red & White game and Camryn and I hung out with Nana.  Sunday morning Cade was sunburned, tired and crabby.  Camryn was tired and out of sorts because her routine was off.  Jay and I were tired and feeling like this was what we were driving.....
They were bickering with each other.  I probably wouldn't have believed it myself if I hadn't heard it with my own ears.  Cade has been bad about taking things from Camryn to hear her scream.  We've had to get on to him for it.  That afternoon Camryn started screaming and I told him to give whatever it was back to her.  Cade got mad and handed whatever it was to Camryn.  A few minutes later I heard "Gosh Camryn you're not even playing with it."  Come to find out that he hadn't taken anything away from Camryn.  She saw him playing with something from the toy stash he keeps in the car and she wanted it.  We had to stop at Wal-Mart in Neosho to give everyone a break.  Cade was really griping about Camryn always getting her way.  All I could do was laugh.  I kept reminding him she's only 10 months old.  I'm sure someday he will tell his therapist that Camryn got away with everything! 

Yesterday I picked up Camryn and then had to track Cade down.  He was with Jay who was handing out chicks for the county fair.  We had to hurry home and get ready for Cade's spring concert.  On the way home Cade and I had the following conversation

C:  What's your favorite thing about Camryn
Me:  That she is our baby
C:  What's your least favorite thing
Me:  Her obsession with putting cords around her neck (even scarier than everything in the mouth)
C:  Is that all
Me:  Yup
C:  Well I have a whole list of things....

His list went on to include normal kid stuff...dirty diapers, the cord thing, etc.  I thought the conversation was pretty funny, but in a crazy way it made me feel good.  So many years I longed for Cade to have a sibling relationship.  I spent years being so afraid he'd never have that bond with someone else.  You know where you can call and say one word to your brother/sister and they know exactly what the story will be about.  Or that can laugh with you over the ugly clothes you all wore on your 80's family vacations.  Or that when you are crying because the embryo transfer/adoption didn't work you know they are crying with you,etc.  I love seeing all of it with Cade and Camryn..even the fighting in the backseat because our car was too quiet for so many years.   I love getting a peek at them when Cade doesn't know that I'm looking.  He is down on the floor playing with her and cheering for her when she does something good.  It makes my heart so happy because a year ago I didn't know if I'd ever see it.  I will take it all (even the fighting) any day!

And on another note...
 Camryn snuck a few bites of Jay's ice cream cone last night.  She was moving too fast so I couldn't get a good picture of her, but she thought she was big stuff.

And our county fair chickens came home last night.  We didn't know if we were going to have a poultry show this year.  When I made the last post about Jay's rough time I forgot the mention the chicken problem.  Chick day was supposed to be Tuesday.  Either the end of last week or sometime Monday Jay got a call that there was a disease outbreak at the hatchery where the chickens were coming from.  It wasn't a danger to humans but the company didn't want the diseased chickens spread 85 ways across the county. Finally Jay was able to track some down in Stilwell Oklahoma yesterday.  He had to travel 3 hours both ways to pick up about 1000 chickens.  I called him once to figure out what we were doing with Cade and you could hear all the peeping in the back. I think he was a little tired of hearing it by the time he got back.  So the mammoth chicken growing begins.  I can hardly contain my excitement.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

12 years and 4 months later...

Twelve years and 4 months of marriage must be a timing where things start to fall apart. I should clarify….not our marriage, but the things we acquired in that time period. Right now my wedding ring is “in the shop” getting new prongs. That didn’t seem like too big of a deal. I decided to just get it done because I hadn’t been wearing it for fear of loosing a diamond and who knows what the price of gold will be in the next 5 minutes…..If I had known what was going to happen the next week I probably would've waited...

Then our 1978 John Deere hand-me-down lawn mower decided to quit working. Actually it stopped working last fall but I didn’t concern myself with it. I’m weird that way. I want my house spotless but the grass could be as tall as the roof and I probably wouldn’t notice. Jay started messing with it in one of his shop classes. They had it almost fixed (with a $100 part) but it wasn’t quite there. He had to haul it to a lawn mower repair man last week. We got the word on it Monday…$300 to fix it. She’s had a good long life and mowed a lot of yards….we have decided to part company with her. Still not sure what we are going to do but we do know we aren’t fixing that one.

In the meantime Jay had been borrowing one that had belonged to his Granddad. That mower makes Jay look like he’s riding Camryn’s tricycle. I’ve never seen such a small riding lawn mower. It makes me laugh to watch him on it. The afternoon he brought it home I heard it starting and stopping a lot. I knew that couldn’t be good….one point I saw him trudging across the yard with the gas can. Later on I heard it running again for mere minutes. I stayed in the house and out of his way. It turns out the wheel fell off while he was using it. I’m sorry I missed it. The only thing funnier than seeing Jay on that mower would’ve been seeing him on it when he lost a wheel.

Then last week the truck started making a funny noise. It went to the shop yesterday. One Million dollars later I thought it was fixed. Until we heard another noise last night (totally different problem than the one fixed that morning). Jay had the bus barn guy look at it and the U joints were bad. He replaced them for Jay, which we really appreciated!!! We thought we were set. Then Jay called this afternoon and said the truck was fixed but Tom noticed something else that was wrong that he couldn’t fix. I asked Jay if it was going to be expensive. He said “I’ll just have to tell you about it later.” I take that to not be a good sign.

I also haven’t mentioned the huge dent that he put in the bed of it at convention last week. On Monday when we were talking about it and the lawn mower and noise #1 Jay said “it was a rough week”. Oh and I almost forgot the ear part of his cell phone also stopped working last week. The only way he can hear people is on speaker phone . That’s not annoying. Of course he’s not eligible for an upgrade yet.

I’m at the point where all I can do is laugh. We will survive all of this, we always do. God likes to keep things interesting!!! It might be cheaper to tell Jay to go buy some goats….we’ll just stake them out in the yard. I also may get him a bicycle….it’s not that far to Miller….

Mouth Swipe

This morning I performed mouth swipe #547 on Camryn.  Today's goodie was a piece of something (not sure what it would be considered...plastic maybe) that broke off of a light bulb when the lamp fell over during the night.  It was one of those new light bulbs with the curly center but the outside looks like a regular light bulb.  The outside part had actually broken a long time ago after the lamp was knocked over.  The light still worked so we kept on using it.  During the night Jay got up and knocked the lamp over.  He didn't realize that a piece of the broken cover was still attached to the part that screws in and that it had broke off.  I didn't see it on the carpet either.  Camryn was on the floor practically sitting on my feet.  I will admit I was engrossed in a news story about a couple that called 911 because their Great Dane had collapsed.  I noticed she was really quiet and had that look on her face.  I did the swipe and came out with the plastic piece.  I really didnt' know what to do.  It's not as sharp as glass so I don't think it cut her....she couldn't have had it in there for very long....I don't think she bit anything off of it....But it's just given me something else to worry about today.  And I missed how the Great Dane story ended.  I'm going to start hiring Camryn out.  If you've lost something tiny like an earring on your floor we'll turn Camryn loose.  She'll find it within seconds. 

Oh and all this happened around 5:30 am.  Really, it is not fair that babies put stuff in their mouth so early in the morning.  They need to give parents a grace period and not start that stuff until at least 6 am.

Monday, April 23, 2012

More Bull

I'm just pretty sure Camryn is saying bull.  She just sounds different when she sees a picture of a cow.  Of course we are all over exagerating the word bull whenever we think she is trying to say it.  I don't even know how to type it the way it sounds when we say it....maybe Bool.  That's probably as close as I'm going to get.  Anyway, I had a customer in my office today taking a balance sheet.  I asked him how many Bools he had and what he thought they were worth.  As soon as I said I was embarassed.  He probably thought I was a weird o.  I just went on like nothing had happened.  I'm just glad he knew what I said and I didn't have to repeat it. 

Friday, April 20, 2012


Camryn seems to love animals. Birds and Bulls are her favorites. I'm not sure but it does sound like she is trying to say bull whenever
she sees a cow.

Cade had a toy tractor catalogue that he loved when he was 4 or 5 months old. I had got Camryn an American Girls catalogue at the same age just to get some pics of her like we had of Cade, but she could've cared less. Then a few weeks ago Jay showed her a cattle sale we keep it in her toybox...

Tonight she spent a lot of time looking at the bull from the window

Then I remembered Cade had a
stuffed Hereford that I had put away. Cade got it out for her tonight and it was a hit.

A Camryn sized bull.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Busy, Busy, Busy

I don't ever want to sound like I'm complaining about having a baby.  That is never my intentions when I post.  Most of the times I'm using this as a way to either remember this life stage, talk through my emotions, or hopefully give encouragement to someone in similar circumstances that it is ok to admit to themselves it is hard. 

Following that disclaimer though I'm going to make a statement.  Camryn is a handful right now.  I think she may shorten my life span if she continues with her current antics. Maybe my memory is foggy but I do not remember Cade being in to stuff like she is.  I know he used to like to dig the DVD's out from under our TV.  That happened pretty much daily until Jay tied the doors together.  The only other incident I remember with him was eating (and scattering) a bag of BBQ chips when he was almost 2.  That was because we had no storage in our old house and we kept stuff like that in a microwave cart.  Don't get me wrong, he was a busy busy boy, but I don't remember him doing so many things that could hurt him like Camryn does.  Now taking him to the mall was a different story.  I ran constantly once he started walking, but at home he was a good kid.  It probably also helped that Jay and I could barely get the kitchen drawers open at the old house. 

Then there is Camryn.  Maybe it's my age...maybe it's that we had been in the same comfortable routine...but I believe destruction should've been her middle name.  I feel like one of those people that all of us mom's have rolled our eyes at and thought  do they even watch their kids?  Yes, I watch her all the time.  If she's not with me she is with Jay.  Occasionally we will have Cade keep her occupied while we cook or switch out laundry.  He's such a worrier though that he does a pretty good job of it, but we are only a room away.  When I went to buy outlet plugs the other day I saw all of the different safety things available....door locks, stove locks, refrigerator locks, toilet locks.  My first thought was a shiver of fear for the parents of the child who needed all that stuff....then I wondered if we might need it all by the time Camryn is out of toddlerhood. I did catch her elbow deep in our toilet one day after I stepped in our closet for 2 seconds to grab my shoes. 

I think I'm especially worn out today.  I don't think it has anything to do with Jay being gone.  The incidents that occurred the last two days would've happened anyway.  Yesterday morning I thought she was acting suspicious.  I did the finger swipe and found a penny in her mouth.  She had been right beside me all morning while I was getting ready.  I'm not sure where she found the penny.  This morning she crawled under our end table and got tangled in the cord.  It was draped around her neck.  She wasn't in any danger of choking, but it still scared me.  The electrical cord is now tied to the end table leg with some silver cording I found in my craft supplies.  That was after I found her sucking on my flip-flops. 

The flip-flop licking and the cord incident happened before 6 am. Even though she gets up a lot before 5:30 am today seemed doubly nerve wracking.  I really wasn't ready for her to be awake quite that early.  In fact I was at my desk and didn't know a customer was in the waiting area with a baby.  When I heard it cry I jumped a mile and panicked about where Camryn had crawled off to.  It took me a second to realize it was not Camryn crying and that she was safe at Stacy's.  Yes, it's going to be a long day.  And tonight Cade has baseball practice....what am I going to do with Camryn for at least an hour in cold, wet, 50 degree weather?  She will terrorize every square inch of the car I'm afraid.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

State Convention, MAP Testing, Field Trip and Memory Loss...

Jay left for State Convention yesterday.  I left him with some parting words Tuesday evening, after he mentioned they dropped from 8th chapter in the state last year to 13th this year.....I don't want you whining, crying, sniffling, pouting, moping, etc after this convention.  Every one has their off years and this may be your off year.  I'm also sure Jania would concurr with that statement!

I realize that doesn't necessarily sound encouraging, but you have to learn to speak his language.  He and Lyle get a little down when things don't quite go how they hope.  Actually, I'm surprised I hadn't heard more about it before this.  They didn't qualify as many teams for state as they normally do.  They still can't complain because they qualified plenty...just not as many as normal.  He is a perfectionist with his teaching (which is a great quality in a teacher) but sometimes it can wear on him (and me). He and Lyle are great teachers, no matter what happens the next two days.  I hope he remembers that.

One thing I'm not pleased with though is that Jay is gone the week of MAP testing.  Cade is a wreck every year with the dumb things.  Someday when I'm in charge I will get rid of these ridiculous tests.  The only thing I've found they do is stress out the teacher who in turn stresses out the kid.  Every year Cade is afraid he's not going to move on to the next grade because of these things.  Really, what purpose does that serve.  When I tried explaining to Cade that this is really more of a judge of how good of a teacher Mrs D is, thinking it would make him feel better, it made him more anxious.  He said "she is a great teacher."  Now he's worried he won't do as well for her.  We're a ball of nerves this week.

His only homework this week has been to get a good nights sleep, eat a good breakfast and get to school on time.  All potential areas of failure for me this week(at least is his mind)....Last night he didn't get to bed until after 9 because I didn't realize how late it was....this morning he stressed me out because he was worried I wasn't going to get breakfast fixed....while we were eating he panicked about what time it was and was afraid he was late. 

But things were going well this morning.....until the last 3 minutes before we walked out the door.  All of a sudden he remembered his field trip slip.  It is not due until May 4th and it has to be turned in with $15 cash.  One problem we encountered when I transferred to Mt Vernon is that our bank is not here, but it is too much trouble to change banks.  Most of the time it's not a big deal but it can make getting cash tricky at times.  I just haven't got it all together to get the cash and turn everything in.  But there is still time...plenty of time.  Cade freaked out because he couldn't find the permission slip.  I told him it was in the house somewhere (I actually said it more confidentily than I felt).  If we couldn't find it we would get another one.  Then he tried to tell me that Mrs. D wouldn't give him another one.  I told him that dad would go to the school and sign it there if he needed to.  Cade informed that Dad wasn't here right now.  I lost it....I yelled at him.  I told him that we still had 2 weeks and we would get it taken care of.  Man, I hate it when I yell, but he was nagging me.  Then I was mad at myself because I thought this would be one day where we would get out the door calmly.  I could hear him sniffling as I put Camryn in the car and I was thinking you just wait until you have kids!!!! You will feel bad for nagging me this morning! 

I did apologize for yelling at him but he had to remember that we would get it taken care of.  We haven't missed sending him on a field trip yet.  Of course I did leave out the part of how I forgot to pay the electric bill Monday and didn't think about it until Wednesday.  I would've paid it earlier but I couldn't find the bill and then I fogot to call them last Friday.....He doesn't need to know that I might not remember the field trip until two days past time.  I'm a little concerned about his spring concert next Thursday...I've put reminder notes in my phone and calendar at work.  Everyone said going from 1 to 2 kids would be hard....I just didn't realize it would be this hard on my memory.  I feel like my brain is a jumble and I'm barely scrapping by with remembering everything I need to do.  Please tell me this will get better????

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Being 10 months old is hard work....

...because there is so much to do!  Right now my biggest job is to make sure that nothing in the house is where it is supposed to be.   When I'm not digging in the plants I like to clear off tables and shelves.  If I find anything on a table within my reach it is tossed on the floor.  I really consider it an obsession.  I'm not satisfied until everything on the table is around my feet and everyone is scrambling to make sure I don't pull their drinks off.  It's quite fun to see three people jump around like they have ants in their pants.  But it is hard work!  A girl gets hungry with all that destruction.  I had to learn to multi-task....

Friday, April 13, 2012


We are currently having a battle of wills in our house.  Camryn wants to play in the dirt....we want the dirt to stay with the plants.  Since she doesn't know the concept of No yet we've been doing a lot of dirt sweeping.  She is so fast that you can move her to another room and she's back and in the plant before you can get the broom back in the closet.  Last night Jay decided to work on teaching her no with some light hand smacking.  She smiled the first couple of times, but then we thought he finally got the point across to her...until 10 minutes later and she was back in it.  As soon as it warms up these plants are going outside.  It's hard enough keeping the kitchen floor clean without adding in intentional dirt.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


If I had to pick my favorite holiday it would be Easter.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas (the decorations are my favorite), but I really love Easter.  As I’ve gotten older and have realized more and more what Easter represents for us it gets better and better every year.  Because of Easter we have Salvation…even though we don’t deserve it. 
I also have a lot of great Easter memories.  Some of my fondest are having a Fowler dinner after church.  We usually went to Aunt Helen and Uncle Laverne’s, but a few times we had it at our house.  I remember hiding eggs for the younger kids in Helen’s front yard.  I’m sure my memory is faulty and I’m only remembering the good times, but I mostly think those Easter’s were warm and sunny….Poor Cade has had more egg hunts in the cold and rain!  But Easter has always signaled the start (hopefully) of warmer weather and sandals!  And I’d be lying if I didn’t say I enjoyed getting a new Easter dress.  Usually the shopping trips included my mom, sister and Grandma.  At the time I know we would all get frustrated with each other, because they were usually marathon days, but I wish I could go on one of those trips just one more time.  I ordered Camryn’s Easter dress online and it wasn’t quite the same….
I also have some not so good memories of Easter.  Easter was the first holiday we had to survive after our first adoption loss.  After we were matched in 2010 one of my first thoughts was I could finally buy another Easter outfit.  When Easter came and we didn’t have a baby it was hard.  I look back at those pictures and I looked and felt miserable.  It was a really hard day.
Then 2011 came around and it was a much better Easter.  We were trying to take lots of pictures that weekend for our new profile books.  I felt happy because I just knew our baby was getting close.  It’s weird to think about that because I just had a feeling, but it was hard not to get discouraged because we had so many no’s during that time period.  But I thought this new profile was the answer….So we staged a ton of pictures! 
Here we were Easter Sunday 2011….April 24.  Can you believe that in 5 weeks and 5 days our lives were about to be forever changed?

Here is a picture of Cade’s 2011 Easter “outfit”….

 Here is his 2011 Easter basket

How things changed by Easter 2012.....

The Easter baskets....

The Easter outfits

I guess for me Easter will always remind me in more ways than one that God works miracles even when we don’t deserve them.  I can’t thank Him enough for these two blessings! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Losing things...

...or maybe it's my mind I'm losing.  It's hard to say.  At this point I feel it could go either way....

It started Tuesday night.  I got out our Pampered Chef can opener (which is a bit tricky to use anyway) and I started at it for a moment.  For the life of me I could not remember how to use it.  I think it was because my brain was shooting around all day and I had a hard time stopping one thought so I could concentrate on the task at hand (at least that's what I'm telling myself).  Finally after a few seconds of staring at it I remembered.  It reminded me of what I've heard about how to tell if it's Alzheimer's or just regular forgetfulness....Everyone misplaces their keys at times...but when you find your keys and you don't know what to do with them is the difference.  I'm not exactly sure how my problem fits in there...the can opener was exactly where it was supposed to was the using of it I had the problem with.  But I did remember....eventually....

Then Tuesday night I set my alarm clock on my phone like normal.  When I woke up Wednesday morning I discovered that my phone had gone dead during the night (thanks to Cade).  I remember being in bed, reaching for the phone and seeing the black screen.  I have no idea what happened to my phone after that.  We've taken the sheets and quilt off the bed, we've looked under and behind it.  The phone is gone.  I've even vacuumed my car looking for it.  No luck.  In a last ditch effort to find it I even called the library to see if I had put it in the book drop when I dropped off some books yesterday morning.  No luck.  I was kind of 50/50 on that one....I was sort of hoping they did have the phone, but then I was relieved to find out that I didn't actually stick my phone in the book slot....Tonight I have plans to clean the house.  I'm wondering if Camryn has horded it away somewhere.....I really don't have a clue. *** as a side note here because it cracked me up...I went to Springfield to get groceries last night.  Jay let me take his phone and he stayed home with the kids.  When I got home I asked if he happened to find my phone.  He said he really hadn't had much time to look because he had been under the "Tyrannical Rule of Camryn" for most of the evening.  She is pretty hard on her dad when I'm not home in the evenings. 

While at lunch I vacuumed out the car and then I went through the car wash.  While I was waiting on it to be done I decided that would be a great time to clean out my wallet.  It was looking like it had been ransacked. Again.  While doing that I saw my library card.  On the way out of the car wash I threw the trash away and felt somewhat pleased with myself and put together.  My wallet and my purse no longer had 50 million receipts with pieces of gum that had fallen out of the wrapper stuck to them.  I ran to the library to check out a book for this weekend.  While I was in line I discovered I didn't have my library card.  I sat down behind a lady using a computer to search through my purse and wallet.  I'm sure I got on her nerves.  In the silence of the library there was me taking every card out of the slot in my wallet and searching through them.  You know that sound.....I never did find my card.  I'm wondering if I threw it away at the car wash.  For about 10 seconds I seriously entertained the idea of going back to see if I had.  But then I remembered I am in slacks and heels and the car wash is right on the main Mt Vernon street.  I really didn't want anyone to see me with my head in the trash can at the only car wash in town.  A person has to have some limits.  Besides, I scared the Mt Vernon residents enough vacuuming with pants that kept creeping down and a shirt that kept creeping up....

 I need a vacation - I'm so glad I took off Friday and Monday.  We are going to spend the weekend together, which we have not done since the end of January.  I think my brain is maxed out.  All I can think is if I'm this crazy with my personal stuff what have I done at work....thank goodness I only deal with loan applications and not something more important.  Like a doctor or a nurse!  I might have forgotten how to use a front of a patient!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Almost chicken time. Again.

A few seconds ago I got an email reminder about some 4-H stuff….Trash Pick Up is Sunday the 15th.  Also, I noticed that Jay Shepherd is holding a poultry meeting at 6:30 before the regular 4-H meeting on the 17th.  I wondered why in the world he would’ve scheduled such a thing the night before he leaves for State Convention.  Then I realized that it is April.  We will have baby chicks coming to live with us in a few days.  Looking at the calendar they sure better be waiting until after April 21st.  Surely they will….Jay wouldn’t trust me to be left alone with them while he is in Columbia…..  Here we go again.  That crazy look he gets will come back.  I’ll see credit card charges to poultry companies in Arkansas.  There will be several phone calls a night to his dad.  I’ll be asked to turn off the heat lamps at lunch….while wearing a dress.  Yes, it is April isn’t it.