Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Photos from Thanksgiving

Xander & Ee-oo

At Mimi's house

David, Xander & Granddaddy flying

Kaitlyn, her rudolph nose, and her gingerbread house

Patrick and his gingerbread house
The Foil family

Making gingerbread houses

Monday, November 29, 2010

Six Years

This past Saturday, David and I celebrated our sixth anniversary. Six years! It's so hard to believe that we've been married that long! A huge part of me feels like we've been married our whole lives, but in so many ways it feels like I just walked down the aisle a couple of months ago. That's how much I love him - so much that I'm excited to greet him when he walks through the door at the end of the day, I get chills when I see him across the room, my heart is full when I watch him playing and wrestling with our son before bed each night, and I look forward to every single day with this man that I married.

I'm so blessed to have him as my partner in life - someone I can trust, count on, laugh with, cry with, share my joys and my sorrows. We have such a good time together! Now we get to raise our child together which has shown me a whole different side of my husband. I have absolutely loved watching him with our son. He's an amazing father! Xander is so excited to see daddy at the end of the day. It's so sweet how he runs to the door, calling out for him. This is just one more blessing that I didn't count on. I always knew David would be a great dad, but I didn't know that having a child with him would make me love him that much more. And to see his love for our child just melts my heart.

Six years together and I love David Little more today than I did the day we were married.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Today Xander, David and I will take a trip to Murfreesboro, TN, to visit Grandaddy and Nana for Thanksgiving. We will be joined by Erin, Nathan, Kaitlyn and Patrick, my aunt Karen and Cheryl, and many of my stepmom's family.

I wanted to take this time to mention the many things I'm thankful for. I am thankful for Jesus, without whom nothing in this life would matter. I am thankful for my beautiful family - my amazing husband who has stood by me through the best and the worst times, my sweetheart of a son who brings joy wherever he goes. How is it that a laugh can be so infectious? His certainly is! I'm thankful for my mom who has always been there for me and continues to be an amazing influence, mentor, and friend. I'm thankful that both mine and David's mom have such an amazing relationship with Xander and that they care enough to want to spend time with him. How glad I am that I get to send Xander to them while I'm at work and not to a daycare. I'm thankful for all the people I'm surrounded by daily who love me and have my best interest in mind. I'm thankful that David has a job, even if we don't know how long it'll last. I'm also thankful that I have a job, and not just a job, but one I enjoy. I'm thankful that I get to make a difference in the lives of young people in Charlotte by introducing them to books and literacy. I'm also thankful that I get to work part-time so that I can spend the majority of my time with little Xander. I'm thankful for my many friends. They're such a support and encouragement to me.

I'm sure I could name so many more things that I'm thankful for, but these are foremost in my mind right now. I hope everyone has an opportunity during this holiday season to give thanks. Thank God for the many blessings he has given us. And take a moment to say thank you to someone who's really touched your heart over the past year. Everyone be safe and have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Work - ECRR Part VII

We have reached the final pre-reading skill of the Every Child Ready to Read model. It is called Letter Knowledge. Letter Knowledge means knowing that letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds and recognizing letters everywhere.

Here are some tips on how to help your infant or toddler recognize letters.
1. Help your baby and toddler see and feel different shapes as you play. (Say, "The ball is round.")
2. Read alphabet books.
3. Point out letters on toys, food boxes and other objects around the house.
4. Talk with your toddler about what is the same and what is different between two things.

Here are some tips for your 2-3 year old.
1. Help your child see different shapes and the shapes of letters.
2. Talk about what is the same and what is different between two things.
3. Write your child's name, especially the first letter.
4. Make letters from clay or use magnetic letters.
5. Point out and name letters when reading alphabet books, signs or labels.
6. Read alphabet books with clear letters and pictures.

Here are some tips for your preschooler (4-5 year old).
1. Write your child's name.
2. Make letters from clay or use magnetic letters.
3. Point out and name letters when reading alphabet books, signs or labels.
4. Show your child that the same letter can look different.
5. Write words that interest your child (like "dinosaur" or "truck") using crayons, magnetic letters or pencil and paper.

Remember that knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children figure out how to sound out words and how to say written words.

Recently in my story times dedicated to Letter Knowledge, I have been reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. I happen to have the actual tree (made of felt) with letters that have velcro on the back. I give each child the first letter of their name (I have at least 2 of each letter, just in case) and when I read out their letter, they get to place it on the tree. They love it! It gives them an opportunity to be unique with "their" letter and also helps them practice listening. The majority of my kiddos know the first letter of their name, so this helps reinforce their knowledge. I've also been reading alphabet books like Alphabatics by Suse MacDonald, Alphabeep by Debora Pearson, Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman and K is for Kissing a Cool Kangaroo by Giles Andreae, to name a few.

The director of one of my sites took a video of me signing the alphabet with the kids. It's not the most flattering of shots, but it gets the point across. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Date Night!

I am so thankful for date night! Since Xander was born David and I have tried very hard to do something together at least once a week with just the two of us. We've done many things - from staying in after Xander goes to bed and playing a game (our favorites are Hand & Foot and Sequence), watching a movie or TV show at home, going out to dinner, movies, dessert, bowling, etc. Now that we're back in Charlotte as a family we instilled Thursday night date night. I love it! It works out so perfectly. Xander spends the night with his Grandma on Thursday nights, so we get free babysitting and an opportunity to spend time alone together. Awesome!

What we do for date night is directly related to what gift cards or coupons we have, so we both ask for gift cards to movies, restaurants we like and other activities for our birthdays and Christmas. We don't have much money, but we want to make sure we spend quality time together. I'm truly thankful for this time with my wonderful husband. I hope we're able to do this for as long as possible. It means a lot to me that I get to spend such good time with David.

Tonight will be the first date night we've had in two weeks due to the fact that we've been away from each other over the last two Thursdays - the first from my appendicitis and the second when Xander and I were in TX for my papa's funeral. We haven't quite decided what we're going to do tonight, but I'm sure it will be enjoyable. I'm thinking a nice, quiet dinner might be in order. Yay date night!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Big Papa

Here's another picture of my Papa with my mom, Xander and me in August 2009.

The past 2 weeks

On Monday, October 18th I had my appendix out. I had not been feeling well all day on the 17th. My stomach hurt and I couldn't really pinpoint what was wrong, but I didn't feel right. That evening I started throwing up, but thought I just had a stomach bug. The next day David had to go to work, so I called Ame to come help me out with Xander. She drove to Charlotte and hung out with Xander all day while I attempted to sleep and rest upstairs. I came downstairs that afternoon so she could go home and mentioned that I couldn't get comfortable with the pain in my right side. She was a little concerned and said that it sounded like when she had appendicitis 27 years ago. We ended up going to the emergency room and arrived there a little before 7pm. They admitted me right away, took a blood sample, urine sample, started an IV, gave me some pain meds, had me drink contrast fluid, took me to have a CT scan and after all that confirmed that my white blood cell count was over 20,000 and that my appendix was perforated. Ame had stayed in the waiting room with Xander, my mom had driven down from Mocksville, and David came straight from work. Mom and David stayed with me until they took me into surgery around 11pm. Ame took Xander back to her house to put him to sleep for the night. Since my appendix hadn't actually ruptured and was only perforated they were able to do the surgery laparoscopically. I woke up from the anesthesia around 12:30am and they took me to my room. Mom and David were there - I told them both to go home and get some rest. The next morning David came back to the hospital, but my mom stayed home with Xander. My dad flew in from Nashville and spent the day with me in the hospital. David had to go back to work that afternoon, so Dad drove me home when they released me that evening around 7pm. I spent the rest of the week in Mocksville at my mom's house so she could take care of me and Xander. I'm so thankful to have my family close by!

On Saturday, October 23rd my dad and Karen drove in from Nashville to stay the weekend at Erin's - a trip we had previously scheduled. David, Xander and I stayed at Erin's, too, and we were all able to enjoy the weekend together, despite my recent surgery.

David, Xander and I drove home on Sunday night. David and I were in bed that night when my mom called around 11:30pm. I knew it was strange for her to call so late, so I answered the phone right away. She told me that my grandfather had passed away that evening. He was 93 years old and had been in the hospital that weekend for pneumonia and a kidney infection. I immediately started looking up flights and trying to figure out what I should do. David doesn't have any sick or vacation time since he's working a contract position, so there was no way he could come with me. I finally decided to take Xander and fly to TX on Wednesday morning, the 27th. Erin flew with me or I wouldn't have been able to go. I was only a week post-op and my child weighs over 30 lbs, so I definitely couldn't have done it alone.

The visitation was on Wednesday night and the service was Thursday afternoon. It was beautiful. Xander and I couldn't stay too late on Wednesday - it had been a long day and he was very tired. Thursday we met a good portion of my family - around 50 people or so - for lunch at the church. About 15 minutes before the service I took Xander and rocked him in the nursery. He fell right asleep and I was able to slip into the sanctuary for the entire service. I was so thankful for that. It was a nice service that paid good tribute to my grandfather and allowed me to say goodbye. Xander woke up just as we were exiting the church and we drove on to the cemetery. The graveside service was very short and Xander did beautifully. He even leaned in and kissed me unprompted 3 or 4 times and gave me some hugs, too. I guess he knew I needed some extra love. It was a gorgeous fall afternoon and I appreciated that Isabel showed up at the cemetery for the graveside service.

I loved my Papa very much. He was very elderly and frail and had lived a long, full life. I'm thankful that he's no longer suffering here on earth. I am so glad that he is now with our Lord and Savior. One of the things I never want to forget about my Papa is that when I told him I loved him he never told me he loved me back - he just said, "I do you, too." I'm so thankful that we got to visit with him in August of 2009 when we took Xander for his first trip to TX. I got some great pictures and even a couple of videos while we were there. I'm especially glad that "Big" Papa got to meet Xander - he loved little children and I hope that Xander brightened his day.

I do you, too, Papa.