Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fitz says...


Some strange things are happening these days, and I wanted to tell you about them.  First, my mouth has been hurting, and then all of these hard things popped out and it quit hurting.  I guess these hard things are good, because they help me eat better, but I hope I don't get any more because it sure does make me uncomfortable while they are getting here!

Next, I have no idea what is going on lately.  My mom and dad took me to this fun place with tables set up and pretty balloons and other kids.  We ate cookies and drank lemonade and I was having fun playing with the balloons until my mom just picked me up and put me in this old man's lap.  He had a loooong white beard, glasses, a red suit and a big belly.  She just sat me on his lap and backed away!  I got so mad and I told her all about it, too, until she finally came and picked me back up.  I mean, what was I supposed to do??  I didn't even know that man!

Then, my mom and dad put a tree in our living room!  A tree, like the ones outside kind of, except it doesn't have any leaves on it.  It has sparkly lights, and pretty stuff hanging off of it, like balls, and snowmen, and even a picture or two of me!  They put a blanket under it, and some boxes with pretty paper.  I'm not sure why we have a tree inside the house, and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to touch it or not.  My ball rolled under it while I was playing and I cried and pointed at it for mom and dad to get it, and they just told me to go ahead and get it.  I crawled under and got it out, then rolled it back under there because that was fun!  This morning, I got brave and tugged on one of those dangly things hanging from the tree, but mom didn't get mad, she just laughed.

My mom also put these big socks above our TV.  They say "Daddy", "Fitz" and "Mommy."  I wonder why we need socks up there?  She put sparkly lit up stuff above those, too.  And my dad put lights on our bushes outside, and hung up big ornaments above the door...he said my mom "had a vision" of how she wanted them to look, and he made it happen.  That's pretty neat.

One other thing has been so weird this week.  My mommy can't talk.  She only whispers.  I heard her tell Daddy she has "laryngitis."  I don't know what that means, but I sure hope she starts talking to me again soon.  I miss her voice.  She usually talks to me all the time.  While she puts my clothes on, she tells me what I'm going to do that day, and who I'm going to see.  And she sings songs to me, like "Jesus Loves Me, " and "ABC's".  Maybe she'll start talking again really soon.  Daddy says it sure is quiet at our house right now!

I guess that's all I have to say for right now.  Come back soon to hear from Mommy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blast from the Past

My mom says she has a photo of me crying on Santa's lap when I was younger, just like Fitz, so on Thanksgiving Day, we looked through old photos.  We never found the crying Santa photo, but look at this Christmas one we did find:


I mean, how cute was I?!?

We also found this old family picture, that I love, of me, my mom and dad.  My parents were only about 20 or 21 years old in this photo!  Babies!


And again, how cute was baby Ali??

Don't you just love old photos?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Santa Photo 2012


I know I already shared one of these photos, but that was the one I took with  my camera.  These are the official, photographer-edited photos that we had made with Santa.


That Sunday, Fitz was the most ill I have ever seen him, including following surgery.  He was cutting 100 teeth, and nothing made him happy...clearly, not even Santa.

As a reminder, below is how happy he was about Santa last year:


and one more of this year...

I was pretty frustrated the day we (paid for) and took these, but who doesn't have one of these photos of their child crying with Santa?  I really think it's cute, and it will be SO cute when he's older!

We may try one more time this year to see if we get a cute photo, but if not, we'll take these!  Thank you, Jen Cowsar, for always doing a great job, even with difficult subjects!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving in Mississippi!

See Saw

We left early yesterday morning and set out for Jackson, Mississippi, to see our family for Thanksgiving.  We have always done Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family on the Saturday following Thanksgiving Day, and that hasn't changed, although we don't go to my Grandmama's house anymore, we go to my Aunt Shelley's house.  Fitz was in a great mood in the car, as long as Mickey Mouse was going, and his good mood continued once we arrived!

He entertained the whole family all day long...walking

Aunt Bonnie, Uncle Michael, Uncle Sam, Aunt Nedo, Aunt Shelley

and throwing a tennis ball with Uncle Sam...


He was fascinated with Sam the whole time!  We laughed and said it's because Sam is a Yankee and Fitz couldn't understand him, ha!  He would throw the ball at Sam, and when Sam threw it back, he would throw his head back and give a deep belly laugh.  So funny.

Aunt Shelley also has a swing set outside, and Fitz loved swinging, playing on the see saw, and sliding!


We ate too much food, laughed and had a great time visiting with family we don't see often enough!  


We can't wait to do it again at Christmas!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Day



We had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  It was very relaxed, and mostly spent hanging out at Tootsie's house with her and Uncle Zac, since Daddy had to work again this year.

When we got there, Uncle Zac surprised Fitz with this huge stuffed dog!  He just had to give it a hug:

We watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, played, and watched Tootsie cook.

We fed Uncle Zac some teddy grahams:



and played outside...


We had plans to go to get together with our friends, the Gandy's and the Siow's later in the afternoon, and wanted Fitz to take a nap, so when he started to get sleepy but refused to take one, we decided to ride him out the dog park to help him take a nap.

A good friend of mine from high school, Jenny, is the former director of the local humane society.  She entered a contest last year to have Beneful build a dream dog park, and won.  This was the first time I had been there, so once we were there, I sent her a text and told her how impressing the dog park is.  She responded and said she and Honey Belle, the dog that inspired her to enter the contest, were pulling in the parking lot!  Fitz has met Jenny before, but this time he got to meet Honey Belle, too, a canine celebrity!  They've been on HGTV's Desperate Landscapes, and everyone who comes to the park knows who Jenny and Honey Belle are!  What a great surprise!


We took a long route back to Tootsie's, trying to get Fitz to sleep, but we only succeeded in making Tootsie sleepy, ha!

I didn't take any pictures at the Gandy's, but Fitz had a great time playing with one of Ms. Pam's tennis balls, sampling food from my plate, and drinking out of everyone's cups.

We hope Daddy is off next year to enjoy all of the festivities with us, but we had a great time full of food, family and fun!  We hope you did, too!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful

I didn't participate in the Facebook "thankful" posts this year...not because I don't have a million things to be thankful for, but because I felt like I would be repeating the same things I'm always thankful for.  I have many, many blessings to be thankful for, and I'm so undeserving of every single one of them.  God still continues to bless us, even though all we deserve is death, for our sinful ways.  I am thankful for all of those "normal" things:  John, Fitz, Jesus dying for my sins, my home, my job, my family, food to eat, a warm bed, friends, etc.

But more importantly, I'm thankful TO God, the Father, who gives me these things even though I'm a sinner and don't deserve anything at all.  He gives me all these things because of His grace and mercy.  I praise Him today, and give Him thanks for all of those things, and more.

I give Him thanks for Fitz being ill all last weekend because he was teething, for that means he's healthy, and getting the teeth he needs as he grows.  I give Him thanks for Fitz whining at my leg right now, as a I type this blog post, for that means I have a sweet little boy who wants to be in his Mommy's lap.  I give Him thanks when John and I have arguments, for that means I have a spouse who loves me so much, and is willing to tell me how he feels about things, and listen to how I feel about them.  I give Him thanks when we don't have enough money at the office to cover the bills we have to pay, because I know He has a plan to bring that money in and show me how awesome He is, and because I have a nice office to work in, doing a job I love.  

I don't always remember to give God thanks and glory when things aren't going the way I choose, but I'm working on it.  Thank you, Most Heavenly Father, for blessing me abundantly with all of these things, and more.  Thank you for having a plan for me, and making it happen, and blessing me, even when I can't see that you're doing so.  I know You always have a plan to prosper me, and not to harm me, to give me Hope and a future.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Recap and Early Santa Visit

Fitz started out his weekend by going to bed at 6:15 Friday night!  Tootsie wore the boy out on Friday while she was babysitting!  He slept until 6:30 Saturday morning, and woke up in a pretty good mood. 

Tootsie, Fitz and I went to a local dance competition hosted by my friend, Walter, and stayed almost two hours before Fitz was just absolutely done with it.  He was a little fussy, which we later figured out is because he is cutting several teeth right now.  We had lunch, then he took a 2.5 hour nap!  He woke up mad again, and fussed until we left the house a little while later.

We took him to Tootsie's house to spend the night, while Mommy and Daddy had a date night!  John and I had so much fun shopping around and eating out at The Cheesecake Factory...yum.  It was much needed alone time, and we appreciate Tootsie babysitting for us!  She said Fitz didn't fuss much, and went to bed about 7:00, his normal time.


This morning, we all met back up at church.  Fitz usually has fun playing during church and eating his snack, but he was not very happy today.  We were already outside during the first song of the morning, and even then he wasn't very happy, so we wound up going home before our prayer time, and ate lunch at home.  We gave him some Motrin and rubbed Orajel on his gums, and he took another good nap.


This afternoon, we had milk and cookies with Santa!  The photographer who did his Easter pics with the live bunnies, had Santa photos today.   She had it set up really cute with tables to sit at with milk, cookies and lemonade, elves to help direct everyone, and a really nice Santa.

As for Fitz?  These balloons were his favorite part.


He must have a whole mouth full of teeth coming in because he has been so ill today!  Hitting those balloons were as close as we got to a real smile.


I've always laughed when other people's children cry in their Santa photos, and now I've been paid back.  I haven't seen Jen's photos yet, but they probably won't be much better than this one I snapped with my camera:


Jen was really sweet and said we could try again a little later, but there were tons of other kids there, and Fitz was absolutely done with it at that point, so we just left.

We went to Target, looked at some toys, rubbed some more medicine on his gums, and went to our church Thanksgiving dinner.  At first, Fitz was very fussy again, but once we gave him some more Motrin and it kicked in, he was good to go.  I didn't get the camera back out, but he laughed, walked for everyone, and entertained our friends.  Whew!  It always throws us off so much when he's a fussy boy because he is usually so happy, so he has really thrown us for a loop this weekend.  Bless his heart.  I have no idea how it must feel to have all those teeth coming in at the same time, but I do know how it feels to have him frustrated and not be able to do much to help him!  Join me in praying those teeth come in quick, ha!

Overall, it was a great weekend, and we'll just keep dosing him up with Motrin and rubbing that numbing medicine on those poor gums!  And maybe try another Santa pic, ha ha!



Sunday, November 11, 2012

Jesus Calling

I've probably mentioned the devotional, "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young before, but it's worth more than one blog post for sure.  I'm sure I've also talked about my small church family before, and how much I love it.  We're a small group of around 30-35, and have mostly known each other for the better part of at least 20 years, more in some cases.  I think most of us have, at one time or another, done the Jesus Calling devotional.  It is a year long devotional, and I've done it twice.  I learn something new from it every day, even if I do it over and over again.

Our preacher was out of town this weekend, so he asked one of our members to fill in and preach today.  The man who preached said that when our preacher asked him, he started working on what God wanted him to say, and nothing really jumped out at him.  Then, God told him to just share some things that he was personally dealing with and learning in his own quiet time.  He shared with us several things from Jesus Calling, and said at the beginning of his message that he was going to share a few things with us, and then hopefully, someone else would share something they had learned.  

One of the recurring themes in Jesus Calling, that was preached today, is that God wants us to thank Him in all circumstances.  Our leader this morning was teaching how we should be thankful to God for what he's doing, even when we can't see it, or it seems like a problem to us.  As soon as that was mentioned this morning, I felt God telling me to share what He taught ME along those same lines, when I was pregnant with Fitz.  I blogged about it here at that time.  When I felt that nudge from God, I thought (and prayed in my head), "But God, you know if I talk about it out loud, I'll probably cry, and I don't want to do that today."  He answered, "Do it anyway."  I thought it about it the whole time the rest of the message was being preached, and thought, well, if he doesn't ask for others to share, I won't share, but if he does, apparently, God wants me to share.  Well, you all know what happened.  Of course he asked for others to share.

I obeyed God's nudging, and shared that He taught me, when I was pregnant, that I should thank Him for difficult situations, because they are opportunities to trust Him even more.  Was I happy to hear that Fitz had a cleft lip?  No, but I thanked God for it because I was trying to be obedient to His word.  I try to apply that same thankfulness in other situations, such as when there's no money at the office and bills are piling up.  I thank God for the opportunity to trust Him, and wait hopefully to see how He's going to pull off bringing us what we need each time, and each time, He does.  Maybe not when I want Him to bring it, but He does it when I need it instead.

Is it easy to be thankful in all circumstances?  NO!  But God didn't promise us that everything would be easy or happy.  In fact, he promised us otherwise.  He said, "In this world, you WILL have trouble."  But he went on to say, "But take heart, I have overcome the world."  (John 16:33).  I'm not saying I have that down pat, and do it without thinking, but I have learned to automatically look for something to be thankful for when something happens, and I'm a lot more thankful than I used to be.  Just like I felt God telling me to share in church this morning, I felt like He wanted me to share this with those (few) of you who read this blog, too.

First, if God nudges you to share something with someone, or say something, just do it.  He has a reason for it, even if you have no idea what it is.  Second, try being thankful for everything that is thrown your way this week, and see how it works out for you.  God has a reason for it, and if it will ultimately bring glory to Him, it's worth whatever light and momentary trouble it is to you.  (2 Corinthians 4:17) God says it's a blessing to you and to Him, when you are obedient to His will, and His word, so give it a shot.  I bet He blesses you, because He certainly blessed me with Fitz, and I thank God for him every day, and I thank Him for making Fitz exactly the way He wanted him to be.  I'm thankful that God knows so much better about what I need than I do, and that He doesn't always answer my prayers the way I want Him to!  

I'm also thankful that our guest preacher was obedient to God by speaking about his own lessons this morning, even though it was a bit emotional and not easy to do.  It helps to know that other believers are dealing with the same issues as I am, and to hear what God is teaching other believers.  It also put the election into perspective.  We, as believers, should be thankful that Obama won the election again, because it gives us a HUGE opportunity to trust God more, and to see what He can do through unlikely people.  Ultimately, it will bring glory to God, and I can't wait to see how it happens!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cleft Clinic Check-up


Today, we had our six month Cleft Clinic Check-up at Children's Hospital.  We will have check-ups every six months to make sure his palate heals properly, and to monitor Fitz's speech development.  We left early this morning, picked up Tootsie and headed to Children's.  We got about halfway there, and traffic stopped.  Not one, but two wrecks on the interstate.  We altered our route and managed to get there only about 15 minutes late for our 9:00 appointment.  Lately, I've been praying almost daily for God's timing for the day.  I often have several different places to be at once, or close together, and things just seem to work out better when I depend on God to plan out my day, and time everything.  It certainly worked out well today, because we didn't have to wait any longer than those that were there on time.

Fitz had a snack right when we got there, and was enjoying watching all the other kids, when they called us back to check his ears.  I've mentioned before that we see everyone we need to see concerning cleft-related issues at the Cleft Clinic, which is such a blessing.  Since we had his second set of tubes put in place two weeks ago, this was his follow-up appointment for those as well.  Fitz was apparently not happy at his snack and people-watching being interrupted, because he bucked, kicked and screamed so hard that he gagged himself while the poor girl tried to look in his ears.  It made me hot and embarrassed.  As soon as she was done and we were back in the waiting area, he was fine.  Anyway, she said one tube looked blocked, so we needed to see the ENT while we were there.  No problem.


It wasn't much longer before we were in a room in the back, and saw the Speech Pathologist.  Fitz said "bye-bye" for her (which he pronounces "nye-nye"), and babbled some as well.  She was a little bit concerned that Fitz is not saying more words than he is, but said that since he clearly understands everything we say, she's not very concerned.  She said she would go ahead and make us a referral for Early Intervention, which is fine with me.  I'm not worried about him at all.  He has done most things a little bit later than "they" say he should, such as crawling and walking, so I'm sure his speech will work out just fine.  He comes from a long line of talkers, and I'm sure he will figure it all out soon enough.

Next, we saw Dr. Grant, who performed Fitz's lip and palate repair.  He told us how cute Fitz is (we know), and how well his lip looks.  He looked inside his mouth and said his palate looks really good, too.  He confirmed that our  next surgery should be the nose surgery when he's at least four years old.  He said the cartilage is not strong enough to support a new shape until at least four years old.  Fitz laughed for him and clapped, and told him bye-bye.

We still had to see the ENT, who was not there yet, so we went to eat lunch in the cafeteria while we waited.  After lunch, Fitz was NOT happy.  It was nap time, and there was too much going on for him to take a nap.  Tootsie (bless her) walked him around and hummed to him, and finally he went to sleep for about 30 minutes or so.  He was much happier when he woke up, had another snack and visited with some of the other children.  They finally called us back to a room again at about 1:00, to see Dr. Real, the ENT.  While we waited on him, Fitz examined Tootsie's mouth.


Dr. Real said the tubes look great, and we were on our way!  Again, God's timing was perfect, and we made it out just in time for me to get to my dentist appointment at 2:00.  One of my crowns broke Tuesday, and I had to have it cemented back on.  Fun.

I picked up Fitz from Tootsie's house, where Uncle Zac was babysitting, met an old (and dear) friend who had a cute Christmas outfit and jammies for Fitz, ran by a couple of stores, picked up dinner and finally got home a little after 5 this afternoon.  It was a busy, but productive day, and Fitz was very well behaved, for the most part.  I couldn't have done it without Tootsie's help!

Again, I'm so thankful that we have a Cleft Clinic so near us with amazing doctors to care for our sweet boy, and so thankful that everything is healing properly and looking good!



Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting

I don't remember the first time my dad discussed politics with me, only that he did, and often.  He took me to see Ronald Reagan in Little Rock, Arkansas when I was five years old, and I remember it to this day.  He put me up on his shoulders so I could see over the crowd, and a conservative was born.  My dad didn't tell me that I was a conservative Republican.  He told me that he was one, and why he voted the way he did.  He put the issues into words a child could understand, and asked me how I felt about each issue.  My feelings about the issues led to him discussing with me that those feelings meant that I was a conservative, and should vote Republican.

As I grew older, my dad continued to discuss politics with me, particularly around election season.  I've always been opinionated about everything, and would happily share my political opinion with friends and classmates growing up, even though they weren't nearly as interested as I was in the process, and most of them weren't as educated as I was about the issues.  I vividly remember the 1992 election between George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.  I was in 7th grade, and we were discussing the election in my Social Studies class.  As usual, I was making my opinion known, and the reasons for it, and my teacher at the time (Coach Adams), told me that you should never let your religious beliefs affect how you vote.  Even at 12 years old, I was dumbfounded.  I was raised as a Christian, and my religious beliefs are the very foundation of my being.  I knew, even then, that your spiritual beliefs should affect EVERYTHING you do, and everything you are.  And I told him that.  My opinion on that has not changed.  I truly believe that if you are a follower of Christ, you should strive to be like Him, and do things as He would do them, even if it means you're in the minority.

I was so excited to vote when I turned 18, but could only vote in local elections because the next presidential election did not occur until I was 20.  But it was a big one.  That was the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore.  The one where the winner got less popular votes than the other candidate, and it drug on for several days before an official winner was declared.  I loved it that the first presidential election I got to vote in was such a big one!

I love exercising my right to vote, and I love that we have that right in the United States.  I'm thankful for my Dad teaching me about voting, and politics, and raising me up right!  People fought, bled and died for us to have that right, and if we do not use it, it could be taken from us.  I urge all of you who read this (I know that's not many, ha!) to get out and vote.  Vote how you want to, but just vote.

I'm praying today that God's will is done, whatever that may be.  I know that God can use any situation to bring glory to Him, and that He works for the good of those who love Him, and have been called according to His purpose.  I know He can use even unlikely people to bring glory to His name.  I know that He will be the KING sitting on the throne in Heaven, no matter who wins this election.  I pray for His grace and mercy on our country, which is so undeserving, and has turned against Him time and time again.  I pray for His will to be done on Earth today, even as it is done in Heaven. 

Get out there and vote!  And pray!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Neighborhood Friends



I told you recently how much Fitz loves to play outside these days.  After his afternoon nap today, he wanted to go outside, of course, so out we went and we drew a crowd!  At first, it was just a couple of girls from the neighborhood, who were excited to see a baby.  They helped Fitz play with his toys and giggled at his babbling.

Then, a few more came...


See that tiny ball in front of Fitz?  They had so much fun letting him throw it to each one of them, and he had fun throwing it to them, too!  He would just look around and grin at each one of them.  They played Duck, Duck, Goose for a little while, and wanted to know if they could "goose" Fitz.  I told them he wouldn't know what to do, so they goosed me instead, ha!  

It reminded me of when I was younger and we would just roam the neighborhood until we could hear Mom yelling at us to come inside.  I hope Fitz always has neighborhood kids to play with, no matter where we live, because if he enjoys it now, I know he'll love it when he gets older, too!

Thanks for coming to play with us, come back anytime!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saturday...according to Fitz


Today was a really fun day!  It must be a special day, because my mom and dad played with me all day, and didn't go to work.  We left our house and drove so long that I fell asleep.  When I woke up, we went to a restaurant I had never been to and ate lunch.  I ate some onion straws, garlic cheese biscuits, a grilled cheese and some curly french fries...and drank a lot of my mom's drink.  It was yummy!

Then, we went to this neat place called a zoo!  I had to ride in this weird stroller that had a steering wheel because my mom and dad forgot my stroller.  They also forgot the camera, but my mom had her phone, thank goodness.  It's not their fault they were forgetful...they had an eventful morning.  When mommy came to get me out of bed this morning, she picked me up, then yelled for daddy to come help her.  I had no idea what she needed help with, but it must have had something to do with my messy diaper because mommy put me straight into the bathtub, before I even had breakfast!  It's not my fault it went all the way up my back to my shoulders, and got on my sheets, bumper pad, pajamas, and mommy's clothes.  Mom says I must be cutting a tooth!  While mommy gave me a bath, daddy put all my stuff into the washing machine, opened my windows and sprayed something called Lysol everywhere in my room.  Then, I finally got to eat breakfast.

Anyway, back to the zoo.  My daddy helped me feed the giraffes!  I was shocked to see a real live giraffe after only seeing the one in my Noah's ark before!



The giraffe had a really long tongue, and he licked our hands while we were feeding him!  He was so big!!


Some of the animals were having nap time and I couldn't see them, but I did see some geese, sheep, deer, a cougar, spider monkeys playing, and something weird called a Patagonian Cady.  I loved watching them all play!  Then, we went into a fence called the Parakeet Cove, and saw lots of little birdies playing!  One even landed on my mom's hand and I touched it!


Those little birdies were flying everywhere around us!  One landed on my mom's head and made her squeal and I giggled really loud!  It was so funny!


We went back home after the zoo and took a short nap.  When I woke up, we played outside some more.  It was a perfect day with my Daddy and Mommy!  I can't wait to see what we do tomorrow!