Saturday, November 28, 2009

He's a Sagger

Normally, Brian and I enforce a strict no-sag zone around our house. But poor little Jackson can't help it if he's a skinny-minny! If I don't pin his pants up, this is what ends up happening!!! I guess they just don't think to make "slims" in baby sizes!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Flashback Friday

Thanksgiving 2005: Clayton ended up in the hospital with complications from RSV.
I'm so thankful his hospital stays are few and far between these days!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Give Thanks

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
Psalm 136:1

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

C is for Clayton

I can't tell you what a difference there was in our schooling last week! The stress level for me went down to almost nil and I think Clayton actually took in some knowledge since things weren't so abstract for him! The new system of Letter of the Week is working wonderfully so far. I hope the positive changes just keep on coming.

On the bookshelf:
Caps for Sale
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
In the Castle

Song of the Week:
Count Your Blessings

Bible Story of the Week:

Since you already saw our vocabulary words, I won't show them again, but by the end of the week, Clayton was able to tell both my mom and me even more words that began with C. Our math lesson for the week involved COUNTING his CARS and CLASSIFYING them by COLOR. Our science lesson included reading an animal book and finding all the animals whose names began with C. Our social studies lesson was about CASTLES. With Letter of the Week, each lesson is short but effective. Right up Clayton's alley!

For our field trip/extracurricular activity, we met with our homeschooling group to make Thanksgiving CARDS for some nursing home residents.
He only made a few cards, and even those were made under duress. The whole actvity was sensory overload for him. But the visit to the nursing home was a different story . . . he loved being surrounded by so many wheelchairs and was disappointed the next day when we couldn't go back!

On Saturday we wrapped up the week with an art project with waterCOLORS. Again, sensory overload, but he participated long enough to get his C made on the page. All in all, a good week of learning activities!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I finished my blog post yesterday and went in the bedroom to find Clayton and Jackson sitting snug together without complaint from Clayton. (He usually gets nervous with Jackson that close). I quickly wiped my tears away and enjoyed the moment the Lord had given me with my boys.

Monday, November 23, 2009

He's On My Mind

It all started last week when Brian and I were discussing Jackson's ears. Where in the world does he get them, we wondered?? I mentioned to Brian that I remembered looking at Shawn in his coffin wondering the same thing. Why do his ears stick out? I thought to myself. So to remind Brian, I went on a search for a picture of him from straight on that would show his ears sticking out a bit like Jackson's do. But instead of finding a picture, I just got sad and ANGRY. That's my usual emotion associated with Shawn lately. It just ticks me off so bad. I have no idea what stage of grief that is and why I've migrated back to it, but I'm there. Why did he have to spend his whole little life hooked up to all that crap?!!! Why did he have to live his short days in the enclosed environment of two NICUs? Why can't I have a normal picture of him instead of a picture of all this tubing, that just happens to have a little person somewhere in there? Ugh. It makes me ill to think how unfair it is. And yes, I am aware that life isn't fair.
And then on Sunday our choir sang at a memorial service at the hospital for kids who have passed away this year from cancer. I didn't have to do it, but I wanted to. It did come with emotional consequences for me though. Brian and the boys came along and it was extremely hard not to just break down and bawl. The only reason I didn't was because of Clayton (he would have gotten scared if he had known I was crying). Brian was doing his best to keep it together as well. I had to totally avoid looking at him while we sang our song because he was back there just about to lose it--it was so, so tough.

I'm also reminded of our loss since the holidays are coming on. I often wonder if anyone else at our family gatherings realizes I see an empty chair during our meals? I guess if they didn't, they know now . . . It's like year after year, my child doesn't get to make it back home for the holidays while everyone else's is there. And now that Jackson is here, it seems even more magnified in my mind. I guess when I'm eighty I'll still be missing my baby. It's just so opposite of what nature intended. A mother is supposed to mother. How do you mother a child who's in the grave?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flashback Friday

November 16, 2005

Clayton's first time at Wednesday night church. And in his pony walker, no less!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

All Around Good Day

Today was a good day. We didn't have to get up very early and Clayton only had two hours of therapy instead of three. That meant when we got home from therapy he still had energy left to actually enjoy school and even take a ride on his bike. We all three got to eat lunch together and play and sing together. We visited with the neighbors and got some great sunshine time. It's too bad we can't have days like this everyday, but with Clayton's therapy schedule, it's just not possible to do so much since he's so tired when he gets home.

I will tell on myself though and admit that I had forgotten that his P.T. was cancelled. Jamie (O.T.) texted me to tell me she couldn't wait on me any longer, she had to leave Clayton at the front desk. Meanwhile, I was sittin' on my tushie right here at the computer thinking I had another hour before picking him up! Luckily, he loves "helping" the front desk people and they like him as well. I couldn't believe I had left him up there like a little orphan child! Thankfully, he's pretty quick to forgive his forgetful momma!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Something Had to Give

I think I'm finally getting on top of things around here. Only a mild tornado follows me around instead of a full blown F4 these days! And I think I discovered the trick last week: I pretty much ignored all the message boards I visit and all the blogs I read. Amazing how much time those two things will eat up. I sit down at the computer only wanting to spend about thirty minutes catching up, and before I know it I've been there for two hours and it's time to go get Clayton at therapy. I love keeping up with my online friends, but for now it's best that I just keep my online time to emailing, researching, and blogging for myself and Kidz. Sooner or later I'll have time to actually get caught up with everyone again!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Switching Gears

Since homeschooling is all about finding what works for your child, there's bound to be lots of tweaking--especially during your first few years. I've known for the last couple of weeks that I was going to have to do something different for Clayton because what we were doing was not working for him. I personally loved using Before Five in a Row and small unit studies on different topics, but it was all overwhelming for Clayton. He simply wasn't ready for most of the activities that went along with those studies.

So I revisited my main goals for this year. At the top of the list was letter and number recognition, especially those letters in his name and the numbers 0-5. And today I began a new approach, loosely based on Katrina Lyybert's Letter of the Week. It's very simple, and involves lots of repetition, but Clayton almost always responds and thrives on simple routines. I'm hoping this new method will help get rid of some of the distracting material for him.

And here's an update on the handwriting dilemma: I bought him a dry erase board, and he is much more willing to at least try writing on this surface. I suppose the reduced amount of friction is much easier for him. We'll be using this a lot now that we are solely focusing on letters and numbers. He's already made great progress and just look at how great he did with "D" and "H":

The only drawback is he almost always has to draw on his shirt first, and dry erase markers are not washable like his other markers . . .

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dear Santa

With the holidays fast approaching, I thought I'd give our many santas out there some ideas on gifts (since some are already asking):

For Jackson:
1.Clothes: nothing larger than 6 months, considering some of the stuff he is still wearing is newborn size! (most are 3 months--we are having a hard time with pants. if they are long enough, they are WAAAAY big in the waist!)
2. The Everything Book by Denise Fleming
3. The Napping House by Audrey Wood
4. Shopping Cart Cover
5. Any baby toy/teether (he's already chewing on everything!)
6. Pajamas with feet.

For Clayton:
1. Clothes: He wears a 5T in just about every brand right now.
2. As always, iTUNES gift card
3. Leap Frog Scribble and Write
4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
5. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
6. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
7. Lifelike tool set
8. Alphabet/Number Cookie Cutter Set
9. Play dough
10. Pajamas with a separate top and bottom (5T).

For Ashley:
1. iPOD (hopefully Brian is reading this!) (and yes, I'm the only person on the planet without one!!)
2. A very LARGE external hard drive or back up disc or whatever you call them! 3. 50 mm/1.4 Canon Lens
4. Scotch Thermal Laminator (This brand is supposed to be the best for the money!)
5. As the Crow Flies by Jeffery Archer
6. Gift certificate to Merle Norman

For Brian:
It's a MYSTERY! He is very hard to buy for, so if I think of it, I'll probably be getting it for him myself!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A New Gig

We've got a new music place in our town that fashions itself after the Grand Ole Opry. It's definitely not the Opry, but it's a family friendly establishment where you can go and listen to country music and even dance the two-step if you like. Charlie, the bass player from our old band, is playing down there and has been bugging me for a while to come and sing. And although I still have my hands full with Jackson, I finally made it down there for an audition last week and sang on Saturday night. They like you to be a little more glamourous than I normally go for, but I blinged it up anyway and stepped on the stage.
I sang "Cheap Whiskey" (nothing like country!) and "I Fall to Pieces." I know I enjoyed myself and I'm pretty sure everyone else enjoyed it as well. I hope they'll ask me back again!

Monday, November 09, 2009


Our local homeschooling group went to a state park for a picnic and a hike this past Friday. We were really just going for the picnic at first, didn't think the trails would be wheelchair friendly. But then I read on the park's website that two of the trails were paved! We were able to enjoy the woods just like the rest of the group and Clayton had a blast! His favorite thing was carrying the walkie-talkie that one of the boys had brought--he loved listening to all the talking going on. So much so that he now has his very own set here. We've had to talk on them all weekend (I have mine right here at the computer!). The great thing is since it's hard for him to push the button to talk, Brian was able to set it where all he has to do is put his mouth up to the speaker and it detects him talking and sends the message anyway--how's that for handicap accessible?!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Flashback Friday

October 1998, North Arkansas

We'd been married over a year, but we look like kids!!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Toothless Grin

Jackson was pretty excited to try his first bites of baby food. I've been trying to give him rice cereal over the last few weeks, but he hasn't really cared much about it. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, were scarfed down when I offered them to him yesterday!

Monday, November 02, 2009

As Good As it Gets

My friend Rhonda was doing pictures last weekend, so I took the boys out to get a few shots. I should have known that with it being in the afternoon, Jackson wouldn't cooperate. But I tried anyway . . .

It didn't matter what Rhonda did behind me, Jackson WAS NOT going to smile. And of course, we had to take time out for every car that came by--Clayton (and Jackson, it seems) isn't going to miss seeing a car drive by:

I do have to say that Clayton was more than cooperative. He was all smiles because he loves his Rhonda.

But after several shots, the meltdown began--I decided to give up for this go around!