Friday, June 27, 2008

The Climber

It is amazing what just one month will do! With each new step of independence Abby takes she developes a new found curiosity and need to explore. Abby is no longer content to sit, or even walk around, and play. She has developed a love of climbing. It began a few weeks ago. She was in the den playing with some toys and I ran to the kitchen to fix her some juice. Our house is small and you can see every room from every room. I clearly did not give Abby enough credit because in the few short minutes this task took, she had climbed on to the dining room chair and from there on to the top of the dining room table! I didn't even realize she could get in the chair and apparently neither did she. When I walked back in she was sitting on the table waiting for me with the biggest smile. She was so proud and clapped for herself as if she had just won a gold medal. As cute as this all is, it is becoming more and more difficult to keep her on the ground. She climbs on anything in sight. She loves to sit on the end tables. And it takes her seconds to scooch her little hiney up there.

Does this mean I need to strap her in to a harness and carabiner and set her up to scale the house? Stuart - if you're reading, let me know if 16 months old is too early for bouldering and climbing mountains!

With the summer Olympics just around the corner, I feel compelled to start her in gymnastics. Maybe I can live vicariously through her because, you know, I was supposed to be in the 2000 Olympics. Bella Karolyi told me I missed out by mere tenths of a point! Speaking of, I am so excited for August and all the gymnastics. We don't have tivo, dvr, or any other programs but I am thinking we need to install it for the month of August because gymnastics is my absolute favorite! And I don't want to push it on Abby but she seems to enjoy climbing and flipping around right now. I've looked in to some gymboree classes and need to figure out what age bracket to start her in; she's just on the cusp of two different ones and I think that would make a pretty big difference developmentally. I don't know, we'll see. For the time being I'll just let her enjoy herself and try to keep her from climbing the walls. Maybe I'll get her a helmet!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The death of my Melanocyte...

I apologize to those of you who won't find this interesting, especially when it has been quite some time since my last post.

Taken from Wikipedia...
Children born with a certain color may find that it gradually darkens as they grow. Many blond, strawberry blond, light brown, or red haired infants experience this.
A change in hair color typically occurs naturally as people age, usually turning their hair to gray and then white. More than 40 percent of Americans have some gray hair by age 40, but white hairs can appear as early as childhood. The age at which graying begins seems to be almost entirely based on genetics. Sometimes people are born with gray hair because they inherit the trait genetically. Some people use hair dye to disguise the amount of gray in their hair.
Two genes appear to be responsible for the process of graying, Bcl2 and Bcl-w. The change in hair color is caused when melanin ceases to be produced in the hair root and new hairs grow in without pigment. The stem cells at the base of hair follicles are responsible for producing melanocytes, the cells that produce and store pigment in hair and skin. The death of the melanocyte stem cells causes the onset of graying.

John and I decided to take a day off this week. Really, sweet John decided that I needed to get out of Birmingham and relax. We have a lot going on right now, and I promise at some point I will update this blog. But for now I will stick with Monday's trip to the lake. John, Abby and I packed up and headed to his grandparents lake house. John spent much of the day locked in the bunk house studying. Abby and I took a stab at swimming in the lake. The water was warm but dirty and Abby slowly took to it. I don't believe she has ever held on to me that tightly. And by our third visit to the giant bath, Abby relaxed and stopped repeating "all gone" (her way of communicating she was ready to get out!) and pointing to the stairs. Abby exhausted herself running across the lawn, gripping my neck, and climbing the staircase, what felt like a million times. She took two short naps giving me the opportunity to engross myself in a book and slip in and out of a nap or two myself! It was a great day. Abby and I just played together with no chores, errands, or responsibilities. Thank you babe!

But, on to the real reason for the post. We packed up and were on our way home. Abby was so tired she fell asleep before we made it to the main road. I was driving so John was sitting to my right. And then he pointed out the death of my melanocyte. There, standing out against the rest,in their wirey, coarse way, were 3 (not one) grey hairs! It doesn't upset me to be greying, I mean I do think I will probably color it. And let's face it, I knew I would grey early, my entire family did so it's in my genes. I just wasn't expecting it! Needless to say, I pulled all three of them! And yes, I have certainly heard that when you pull one, three more grow back in it's place. But it was an impulsive move. You don't leave your first grey hair. You study it and then scour the rest of your scalp! Now the decision to be made is, when I do move in to coloring my hair, what direction to go? I could stick to my original brown. OR, I could be daring! I could take on new colors and try out new identities!!! This could be fun!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Out of the woods and in to the

Two years ago, someone more needing than John and me I'm sure, stole good ole Rhonda the Honda. I was five months pregnant and we were visiting friend in Philly, PA. We parked the car a block from their house and went inside. The next afternoon we were casually strolling through the neighborhood and noticed Rhonda was not where we left her. John and I, in a state of shock, laughed through most of the ordeal. What could you really do? I'm not sure if it was the extra hormones racing through my body but crying just seemed silly at the time. (Three days later it felt like the only emotion possible. ) Nonetheless, we rented a car and headed back to Baltimore, unsure of what to do next.
God was already at work. Allison and Stuart just happened to be in Birmingham for the weekend and John's parents lovingly offered their 1994 Volvo until we could come up with a plan. They drove it back up and we gratefully excepted and lovingly drove the Swiss heater for 2 years. It was/is a great car and did exactly what we needed. The biggest problem was the air conditioner, which just didn't work. It didn't really bother us in Baltimore. The weather was cool and we needed heat more than air. But as you all know, you really need air in Alabama, cold air. Again, this was our only real complaint of the car until recently. I think the car must just be tired but it has been quiting. We will be driving down the road and everything just cuts off. You have to be patient and try several times but it will eventually crank back up. Friday however, it did this 4 times. Three of which I was by myself, at night, and it was pouring down rain.
So, after two years, we figured out our plan! Saturday morning we went to a car lot and literally gave the lucky salesman who decided to say hello our money. He laughed at us because as we each test drove the vehicle, all we could talk about was how great the air felt. We are now the proud parents of a 2007 Subaru Forester! She is beautiful, in that awkward so ugly it's cute sort of way! I love it! White with tan interior and an amazing air conditioner! John and I (mainly John) did a ton of research. We were looking for a safe car with enough space to tote Abby's gear, fuel efficiency with the ever rising gas prices, and checking account friendly! I think we found it. I'm still working on a name for her. I really liked Frannie the Forester but John wasn't a huge fan. If you have any suggestions please feel free to suggest away! I'll post pictures of our exact one as soon as we have some but here's the idea. Ours is white and obviously not as new looking.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Graduate

Sorry - I lied. I guess it is not just downloading pictures that delays my posts.
Last weekend we took a trip to Baltimore for John to graduate. For those of you who are confused; here's the deal. You graduate law school from the school you took 2 of your 3 years. So John was just a visiting student at Cumberland but has a degree from UB. We had such a great trip and I am so proud of John. The last three years were not the easiest but he stuck through it. His perseverance and dedication paid off. He was able to ignore my constant requests to not study and go do something fun! I was more supportive his first year. I would read cases to him just so that we could be in the same room and talk! For about a week straight I would lay on the bed in our room and read some book, I'm not sure if it was fiction or not but I read his novel out loud while he painted our bedroom. But as time went on I became increasingly more bored with statutes and the Blacks Law Dictionary. So to everyone who said that the wives deserved a round of applause for making it through 3 years, I say nope; it was all John!
Speaking of the ceremony. It was a lot different than I was expecting. They are graduating from law school, a very poised profession. But in my opinion the ceremony was far from professional and that surprised me. And I'm not sure if it is a northern thing or just Baltimore but the Valedictorian definitely threw up a power to the people during her speech! It was awesome!
In all seriousness, good job babe! I know it was not easy by any stretch of the word. You were tested, broken, and beat down in such a draining manner but you accepted the challenge and made it to the end. And you came out of this with so much more than just an intense knowledge of the law. I am proud of you! Now on to the BAR!!! WaHoo!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame....

I have been sufficiently reprimanded so be prepared for several posts in a row here in the next few days! I apologize to those of you who hang on my every word an pine away for intellectual insight! Just kidding! The real reason for my infrequent postings is due largely to the untimely manner in which I download my pictures. I prefer to post with pictures because my words are not enough. I like to show off my sweet family. And when it takes me two weeks to sit down with the camera and download, it therefore takes me two weeks to sit down and post. But one of the first things I did yesterday was download all pictures so we are ready!

Last weekend we had a great time. Abby had a big weekend full of new and exciting events. We started off with a trip to the Barons Baseball game. Abby sported her pink Orioles jersey for most of the game! She had a blast because there were so many kids there. It is amazing to see her focus on all of the children. I think she could sit and watch them for hours. It was a late night though and she was very tired. The last hour of the game she sat in my lap and propped her head up on my shoulder. She was too tired to hold up her head but fought to stay awake to watch the excitement. As for the actual game, I have no idea what went on! I'm not sure if we won, what the score was, and to be honest, I don't know who the Barons played! But it was fun and I am glad we went.

The next event in our exciting weekend was a trip to the Farm! It was family day at my parents church and one of their members lives on a farm in Vincent, AL. It was great because there was a big open space for Abby to just run! Again, there were kids older than her that she loved to sit and watch. She also got to ride on a tractor! Pops was driving and to be honest I was very nervous! Needless to say, I had a death grip on Abby during the hay ride. But she was able to look at dogs, cows, and goats. My dad was very excited to show Abby the goats because about a year ago he helped castrate them! That may be inappropriate to say on here but oh well!

It was a fun weekend and I feel certain Abby enjoyed herself. It is still amazing to watch her grow and learn with each day. She is becoming such a big help and eager to copy John and I. At the farm we were loading up and I was helping my dad transfer drinks from one cooler to another. Without any prompting, Abby walked over and started picking up cans from one cooler and putting them in the other! We walked by the cows and she started moo-ing! Children are amazing and I love her more each day!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fun in the Sun!

I love it outside and so does Abby. It is wonderful living so close to the park. Abby loves it! Especially when there are other kids around. The most recent trip was during a Joy League game so there were plenty of other kids to watch. But Abby had plenty of fun playing with dad. Her favorites were the slide and the tunnel. I know this is a short post but I really just wanted to put up pictures of Abby having a blast!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's a GIRL!!!

No, no, no, I'm not expecting so don't let your mind go to that place! I'm just so excited that Abby has hair long enough to put in bows!!!! This is a big event for me. I should finally stop getting the question, "how old is he?" John and I have discussed this and never thought it would irratate us for people to get our child's gender confused; but it did. I shouldn't let it because I rarely can tell if a baby is a little boy or girl. Which is why I often refer to them as, little one, baby or something similar. So to be able to put a bow in Abby's hair without the help of toothpaste is very exciting. Now we just have to figure out how to make her like it! Right now she trys to pull it out every time but usually if you can sneak it in her hair while she is focused on something else, it will stay for a good while!

I am also happy that I can finally post some pictures on here that give her a more girly look! I was starting to notice that all of her pictures on her were a bit ambiguous. She had on nuetral pajamas and blue t-shirts. So here are some pictures of my little girl!
You can see she wasn't really feeling it at first!!