Monday, June 30, 2008


So, a lot has happened in the little world of Jackson in the recent weeks.
Katie's cast came off!! Here is a picture of her heading in to get it taken off! Last Thursday , but she is still terrified of using her arm. The thing that was the most surprising about this whole experience? The skin cracking and peeling the day after the cast came off! I never really thought about the fact that we lose layers of skin every day, and she had the pleasure of losing those layers all at one time. Hoorah for us! The first day Katie refused to take off her sling, the second day Orwin asked to see her "pin holes" and she amazingly decided to take off the cast and have me unwrap her bandage. I was very impressed! We have not had the sling back on since. She has been in the "hot tub" which, of course does not have the heat turned on - who needs to be any hotter in Mississippi in the summer?!?!?!? Today we were able to go to her "boyfriend" Jacob's house to swim.

She is much better at using her arm in the pool. I don't know if it is totally the bouyancy of the water, or just that she has so much fun that she forgets to be so scared, but I do know that I don't care what it is as long as she gets more comfortable moving that arm around. We also have had a rash of sleepovers! Tuesday they tried to sleep over at Mia's Dad's house, but I got the call around 9pm that Katie was homesick. The next night they DID sleep over at Mia's Mom's house. Thursday night they slept over here. Friday we told them they needed a break from each other. Saturday they were asking again to spend the night, but we told them not yet. SO, guess what?!?!?! Yup, they are having a sleepover tonight. Our house won out, I think mainly because they were going to sleep in Katie's tent ... but Mia ended up sleeping in the bed, mainly because Katie would not stop talking.

Connor has made super huge leaps in baby development!! On Saturday the 21st he pulled himself to standing for the first time!! He is still too wobbly to trust on his own, but he is the master of pulling up now! Sunday the 22nd he did his first honest crawl! He has been commando crawling for a while, but he got up on his knees and crawled to Orwin. He also decided to make his first foray into "cruising" the couch! Definitely getting better with his fine motor skills. Today, while Katie was swimming Connor had a little swim, too. He LOVES the water! I just had him dangling his feet in at forst and he was kicking around happily, but when I let him get his arms in ... OH, HE WAS ECSTATIC! Splashing around, if I was not afraid of drowning he might have swam. We have definitely passed that point where babies instinctively hold their breath, so it is just going to have to wait. And we found a pacifier that he likes that can actually be purchased! I was afraid that I was going to have to tear the house apart to look for more of Katie's old pacifiers!

Chip cleaned out the garage! We can actually get to AND USE the exercise equipment that has been buried in there. I did get out and ride the bike for 6.5 miles tonight. I even hooked up some power rods and did some exercises on the BowFlex. There were some pics of me taken today at the pool, and even without being in my bathing suit I am sufficently disgusted enough to work out. Connor is eight and a half months old, it is time to stop using the "I just had a baby" excuse and lose this candy-coating.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Okay, there is no laughing at my artwork. I don't claim to be a good artist, but I am an artist just the same. I am trying to "own" the fact that I LOVE to create art. It is something that I don't really share, but I am going to try. I was keeping a "crafty" blog, but I have decided to just put it all together in one great big pile of me.
This had been sitting on my easel for awhile now, but I did not know what I wanted to put in the middle. The punched circles are all mothery type things, and I thought I was just going to put a mothery type quote on it. Yesterday I decided to do this ....

Connor is getting bigger and I am missing my wee baby! Not that I had a silhouette like this one :) Prego bellies just make me happy.
On the baby note, I did become a Great Aunt today!! Our nephew and his wife just had a sweet little girl!! I can't wait to meet her!

Monday, June 23, 2008

64 I have joined the minivan brigade

We traded in the 2003 PT Cruiser
for this 2005 Town & Country I have now completed the circle of minivan ownership in my family. Biggest brother has a Toyota Sienna, and my not quite as big brother has a Honda Odyssey. In the few days that we have owned it Chip has already succumbed to its charms. Who can argue with the ease of a minivan with kids?!?! Especially with the automatic doors! Chip is just worried that the doors will die in the open position :) We have already made use of the extra seating. On Friday we took Katie and her friend Mia to the movie, along with both little brothers and Mia's Mom. Still room for one more.
And I must admit, being able to hit the REGULAR gas button instead of the super-duper gas button was so nice!
Katie wants it to be HER car when she can drive ... I bet that changes! She wants all of her friends to be able to watch movies while she drives (that 6 disc DVD player is nice!). Yeah, like I am turning a teenager loose with 6 of her closest friends. Or even worse, just one boy .... grrrr!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

63 Father's Day ... finally

I did not mean to leave it this long. I assure you, Chip is a wonderful father, but our family seems to be wearing me out lately. Poor guy ended up mowing the lawn and working out in the yard. And being the great dad that he is, when it was time to go to eat, he let Katie pick. I can't get enough of the way our kids look at him. Connor lights up every time his daddy is nearby, and Katie loves a good snuggle with daddy (even if she is in trouble). All those years ago, when we were just starting out I watched Chip interact with a baby in the row behind us at an Ole Miss football game and I knew he would be the wonderful father he is today.
These are the flowers Katie picked for her Daddy ...

and just another moment caught between father and son

Happy Belated Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

62 Happy Ma-Pa Day!!

In our family we do not make that distinction. My Mom was both to me for, if not my whole life, as long as I can remember. She did all the things a father is supposed to do. She gave me unconditional and endless love. She kept a roof over my head, and spoiled me much more than she should have. I may not have thought so at the time, but looking back she outdid herself. As a selfish child I did not think twice about all the sacrifices she made for me and my brothers, but now I SEE! You know why I did not think it was anything special? She did it without complaint (for the most part) Everything she did seemed effortless at the time. Now I see how hard she had to work to make it appear that way. That is all it was, the appearance of ease. She bent over backwards and worked so hard to provide for us. If I had only known at the time I would have been a much better child. I would have said THANK YOU! And I would have told her I LOVE YOU! more often. I am trying to make up for all the missed opportunities now. Mom, I love you! Thank you for being my Ma-Pa!
Besides, no "father" would let you do this!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

61 - time goes by

Life in the Jackson household has suffered considerably since Katie broke her arm. We have spent countless hours bobbing and weaving to her beck and call. Her ability to do things varies with the project and with who is available to help. Sometimes she is super self sufficient, sometimes she is helpless as a baby. She still has not worked up to sleeping in her own bed, though we are now sleeping in Chip's room instead of the living room. All the time spent laying on the couch wreaked havoc on her hair, and she has spent most days with a peacock tail of tangles. Today I detangled her for, hopefully, the last time. We are on the mend, and she rarely mentions the pain anymore. The worst time of day is bed time. As soon as she is not being distracted she remembers that her arm is broken. She has learned to write and draw pretty darn well with her left hand. Maybe she will be ambidextrous by the time that cast comes off in two weeks. She did have her first follow up appointment last week. The xray showed some bone already starting to form, and they rewrapped her cast - she opted for pink this time. Afterwards we went for yet another trip to Build-A-Bear for another friend (she got a gift certificate for her birthday).

Connor will be 8 months old tomorrow!! Connor has not slowed down. He has learned to commando crawl, but he has not managed to crawl with his tummy totally off the ground. To be fair it is a pretty good sized tummy. I had to creatively weigh him today, but not sure how accurate it really is. I weighed myself holding him and not holding him ... the difference was 22.6 lbs. Connor wants so badly to walk! He wants to stand all day, and he will try to take steps when you hold him up. He is also trying to CLIMB! Our dining room chairs are ladder-backed, and he tried to climb them the other day. He got about three rungs up before he could not reach any higher, and then he tried to jump to get to the next rung. He also will try to crawl into his walker, though he does not want to be in the walker. STILL NO TEETH! We went to another opthalmologist for a second opinion, but mainly to get one who would actually be helpful AT ALL! Our new guy was great, very nice and great with Connor. His staff was so friendly and sweet. The difference was night and day!! If you need an opthalmologist in Memphis, TN I would recommend Peepers!He was definitely worth the drive. We did not learn anything new, at least diagnosis wise. Connor has congenital Horner's Syndrome, which in the long term should pose no problems with his eyesight. Actually having someone explain it to me has set my mind at ease.

Hopefully life will slowly return to normal. I might have more than 5 minutes of "me time" at a stretch. Eventually we will be able to watch our shows and clear out the Tivo. I might be able to enjoy my new books at length.

Drawing with Children By Mona Brookes

I might even be able to create something of my own. Maybe I can learn to write and draw left handed, too :)

I did get to have a Girl's Night Out with my friend from across the street. She had bought two tickets to the Jewel concert at the Memphis Botanical Gardens, but could not find a babysitter. So she invited me to go while the hubby stayed home with the kids. I did try to offer to watch the kids, but she was ready for a girls night!! I prepared Katie for it, but she still threw a fit and cried inconsolably when it was time for me to go. Chip said she cried for a long time and she only calmed down when he told her I would bring her a Happy Meal on the way home *blech*! We had a great time (even if I did think about Katie crying the whole time). Jewel was awesome, as you would expect her to be. We cheated by taking pictures of the big screens since we were so far back. The camera police were not stopping anyone though! The night was not too hot, the traffic getting out was nothing ... it was fabulous all around. A good night and a good concert with a good friend!

Monday, June 2, 2008

60 Katie Go Boom

I put the waterslide up for one last hurrah before it got packed away on Thursday. BAD IDEA! Not 15 minutes later I heard the most horrible screech. I looked up to see Katie hurrying to me with her arm DANGLING!! and I screamed even louder! It was one of those screams you hear in the movies, blood curdling and absolutely distraught! I did not know what to do first. I dialed 911. Our crappy phones have been giving us fits, and they did not make this experience any better. I had Connor on one hip screaming because he knew something was wrong. And of course Katie was crying, though she really was very strong and brave ... I would have been inconsolable, but she was pretty calm considering. Well, the 911 operator said she could not hear for static, then my phone started to beep which it does before it loses signal, so I had to run inside to the wall phone. I had to leave Katie sitting on the deck stairs. Once I got the information (totally garbled I am sure because I was scared out of my mind) to the operator I was able to put the phone down and go get Katie. Orwin came over to sit with Connor (who was still freaking out) while I got Katie in the ambulance ... which did come very fast! The EMTs were fabulous. They were very nice and gentle with Katie. I tried to tell Katie how brave she was being, but she got very agitated about the word "brave". I could not leave Connor, so I had to follow the ambulance. All this time I was thinking that she had dislocated her elbow. After we got to LeBonheur and they had her x-rayed we saw how bad it was. The bone was snapped in two! It was totally separated, directly above her right elbow. She had to have surgery to get it set and in a cast, she also has two pins to hold it in place. She picked out a blue cast, her new favorite color! Katie really was such a brave girl through this.

So, now that I read through this I see that I have not said what happened. One of the other little girls slipped and either pushed or pulled Katie somehow. Katie went right over the wall on the slide. From the look of her break she must have tried to catch herself. She fell from about 5 to 6 feet up. I am just so thankful that it was not worse! The day of her party Katie tumbled over the same side, but she did not get hurt. One of the other girls tumbled over the wall on the other slide without getting hurt. I know this girl did not mean for Katie to get hurt, but Katie is still mad at her. She probably will be until she starts to feel better. I hope she does get past it, but Katie has been known to have a stubborn streak and a long long memory.

DO NOT BUY THIS SLIDE!!! It was from Sam's Club and will be going back as soon as we can get it boxed back up.

Connor was awesome through this whole experience. He is such a good baby! I don't know how I would have survived this if he was as high strung as Katie was at that age. Chip was there for some of it, but he was not there for the first 5 hours because he worked until we found out she was going to have surgery, and he left twice to go pick up food and supplies. I should have done the pick up run though. Chip somehow did not get her box of test strips in the bag ... and Katie asked for her square Hannah Montana lipgloss. He brough back a square container that had lipgloss and she freaked out. The second time he came back with a Hannah Montana microphone shaped lipgloss ... and she freaked out. I tried to explain to her that he is a boy, and boys don't wear make-up so he did not know ... but she was not convinced!

And I did not have a camera. In two runs he did not bring it back. I did not ask for it, but you would think he would know by now that I NEED MY CAMERA.

When we woke up Saturday morning Katie refused to take her pain medicine. She said it made her feel weird. They sent us home with a prescription for Loritab. All day Saturday it was like Katie was in detox. She had mood swings, totally irrational behavior. She had crying jags that she could not explain. When I asked if her arm hurt she said yes, but not as bad as her head!!! She won't even take Tylenol because she is afraid it will make her feel the same way. She totally won't believe us when we tell her it won't.

She is one strong little girl!! She is smiling and playing with her friend Mia right now. She still won't get off the couch, but she is being entertained. We have also been trying to draw and color with our left hand. Anything to keep her occupied. She has had a fairly steady stream of friends through the house. A bunch of them have made little cards for her. I just hope they don't become bored with her as the weeks go by. The doctor said that it should only take 3-4 weeks before her pins can come out, and hopefully they will not have to re-wrap her after that. Six year olds heal fast.