Saturday, December 31, 2011

Twenty Twelve

Here's to a most fantastic new year, from our family to yours. Happy 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas pt. III

I guess you can say that Christmas is a bit of a process in our house. It took us a day just to have the kids open 2 gifts each (actually, 4 gifts if you include their grandparent selections). Then we unveiled the sandbox and that pretty much did it for the day. Rain and suddenly dropping temperatures (what happen to last week's bike riding weather?) made us postpone the grand finale for another 4 days... but yesterday we finally assembled and rolled out the trampoline. And suddenly naptime is no longer an issue (let 'em bounce til they drop!). You know, between the sandbox, the trampoline, and the basketball hoop that they'll open from Lela tomorrow; you'd think we don't want our kids in the house anymore. Outdoor gifts in the dead of winter. What kind of parents are you, anyway?!

Christmas pt. II

The highlights: Jesus got some cupcakes, Lela came to visit, Daddy got a waffle maker, mommy got some boots, Naomi got a rattle, the whole family got a sand box, Justin got a robot that (despite being the only thing he asked for) I'm pretty certain he's a little scared of, and Jasmine got a medical kit that she has used on everyone in the house at least once. Evidently everyone is in good health... and we owe her a $25 co-pay each.

Christmas pt. I

You know you own a big dog when, instead of chew toys and bones, you buy your dog... another dog for Christmas. Yep. Tasha got a mini me for Christmas. Here you go, girl. Have fun. Walk him twice a day, and try not to eat him by mistake.

Okay, so we didn't really lose our minds and get a second dog. But Tasha did have a time trying to keep up with this crazy pup that wandered into our yard. I'm pretty sure she belongs to the neighbor's daughter who was in town for the holidays. And I'm also pretty sure that, two days later, Tasha hasn't caught her breath yet from her impromptu wrestling match. Somebody fetch that dog a bowl of water and an oxygen tank. Evidently, Tasha still has a few moves left in her tank.

Do It Yourself Sandbox

A few pictures from Christmas Eve. You know that times are hard when daddy makes you build your own Christmas presents.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Naomi VI

Naomi Janelle turned 4 months old over a week ago... but funny enough, delaying her "birthday blog entry" turned out to be a good thing. Had I written this on time, I would not have had a whole lot to write about since she wasn't doing a whole lot of particularly noteworthy things. Her day was pretty much eat, sleep, smile, cry, repeat cycle. And then... Bam. In ten days, she found her toes, started laughing, became ticklish, tripled her hand-eye coordination (whatever that means) and started rolling over consistently from tummy to back. It's like she got a tutor or something.

Just like her two siblings had at this age, given a couple of fingers to grab a hold of, Naomi has the same propensity to pull up and stand on
her feet every chance she gets. It's as if sitting or laying down is suddenly taboo. I'm guessing that she'll be on their same advanced crawl and walk schedule, too (which means it's time to install the baby gates). She is also continuing to transition from being driven by needs (eat, sleep, eat again) to being driven by will and desire. Now that she can independently touch, grab, play, etc.; it's clear that she knows what she does and doesn't want to do at times... and the frustration couldn't be more obvious when she can't reach something in her line of sight. Her sounds also changed. Seemingly overnight, her cooing turned into yelps and yells as she tries to make words and express her excitement. For some reason, that transition was really weird; maybe because it was so sudden. You'd think that I'd have this baby development thing down by now, but I swear it seems totally different every time. It's also obvious from the intent her eyes that she gets the whole communication thing now and, in her mind, the "words" that come out of her mouth are something that we should certainly understand. She'll coo and yelp at you for about 20 seconds, and then give you this look like, "you know what I mean?"

As for stats, she stacks up at 24 inches and 13 pounds (22nd, 31st, and 64th percentiles in length/weight/head; for those keeping score at home). She's still sleeping well. And she's abundantly responsive to stimuli (sounds, lights, etc.). With the way she spins around to meet your voice, you'd think that her head is on a swivel. One thing about being child #3 is that she gets wayyy more stimulus than either of them did. But she seems to be handling it all pretty well (i.e., it's not affecting her sleep or willingness to go to sleep). In all, if I had to summarize her world in just a few words, I'd simply say that she continues to be one super happy baby.

Monday, December 26, 2011

He Said She Said III

Come here oh-bee-oh. I have to find my oh-bee-oh.
Translation: we have no clue.

When I grow up, I want to be a baseball game.
Translation: baseball game = basketball player
This was after watching daddy huff and puff for 30 minutes in the student-faculty basketball game. Her Lela bought her a basketball hoop for Christmas... so we'll see if that helps her become a better (ahem) baseball game.

... can be so (a) noncomittal and (b) arbitrary with his thoughts. Here's an example of both in the same conversation:
What's your favorite color? All of them.
What's your favorite letter? D and Y.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sam I Am

While I wait for the kids to wake up to Christmas morning (can you say twilight zone? Every other day of the year we're begging 'em to sleep until 7) I got to browsing through photos that I never got to post due to a hectic December. One highlight that I came across was our Green Eggs and Ham breakfast 3 weeks ago. This was one of those things that we'd been meaning to do for ages (and actually got beat to the punch by Justin's preschool class) but just never got around to doing. Long story short, I guess you can say it was a success. Justin Alexander, who does not (will not with a mouse, not in a box, not with a fox) eat eggs actually cleaned his plate with a smile. Go figure. And Jasmine Olivia (who has no problem cleaning her plate of any content whatsoever) chose to eat her whole meal with her famous Mr. Potato Head "angry eyes" on display. In all, it was fun. Not sure if there will be an encore appearance for the green eggs and ham; but we can officially put this one in the been there done that category.


Wacky weather patterns brought us two 70-degree days this past week; which was more than enough reason to skip nap time and hit the great outdoors. Pump up the bike tires, blow the dust of the handle bars and buckle up the baby. We're going for a spin.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Pierced. Both mom and baby survived. Naomi forgot about the whole ordeal in about 4 seconds or so. Mom, on the other hand, is still in counseling.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Just as suggests, at 3-months-old (and 6 days), Naomi Janelle will smile at just about anybody; especially if they look her straight in the eye and talk to her. However, it's also obvious that she's beginning to sort out who's who in her life. Behind mommy, Justin definitely gets the warmest welcome out of the 3 non-milk-providers in the house... which is probably fitting since (even at 3 months) I'm already starting to see a lot of similarities in their personalities. But in the presence of anyone else, she'll search for any of us in a room and moves her arms in excitement or smile when she finds us... Which is reminiscent of yet another similarity between our first and third born children: They both loathe solitude.

In other news, she has also gained control (full control might be a stretch) of her arms and legs; grabbing what she can and pumping her fist and feet like a Jane Fonda fitness video (that's right... I said Jane Fonda... welcome to the 80's). Eating is still sporadic, but her sleep patterns have definitely settled down. I don't know the last time Venesa has slept this well at night. Welcome back, normality. We missed you.

If you talk to her, Naomi will also do what she can to hold her side of the conversation... but she won't say a word with a camera rolling (Can you say, Jasmine at 3 months... and pretty much for her first 2 years of life. The epitome of camera shy). And when placed on her stomach, she'll lift her head and shoulders mountain high, giving her a better view of what's going on around her (Reminds me of Jasmine being too noisy to eat at this month). But rolling over? Evidently that's for the birds. Or maybe she's just saving it so that I'll have something to write about at the 4-month mark.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Passing Through

The Colliers made us part of their road trip to GA, and Justin and Jasmine were thrilled to see an old friend from Virginia. They also pulled me out of semi-retirement and twisted my arm (just kidding... I offered) to take some family photos with their newest edition. And as I blew the dust off of my shooting techniques, that got me to thinking... Maybe Hartsville could use another family portrait photographer after all. We'll see what happens in the Spring.

With their 3rd photo session, they also broke the tie and officially became my most photographed family. I need to get them t-shirts or something. My official poster children.

The door is always open, guys. It was a pleasure.

Fire Dog

The things that this dog puts up with...

He Said She Said II

Jasmine @ 2
I ate my food off
Translation: I ate all of my food

My eye is skipping!
Translation: undetermined

Justin @ 3
My dungay hurts
Translation: dungay = stomach

Justin @ 4
Justin: Where are we going?
Mommy: Someplace fun! With a lot of toys and cool things to do.
Justin: Oh... Are we going to heaven?
Mommy: Not yet.

Friday, November 18, 2011

He Said She Said

A father/daughter moment that brought new meaning to the words, "brutally honest":

[Daddy and Jasmine driving to pick up a coworker on a Friday morning]
Jasmine: Daddy... where are we going?
Daddy: We're going to pick up one of daddy's friends from work.
Jasmine: But Daddy...
Daddy: Yes, love?
Jasmine: (in a very matter of fact tone of voice...) You don't have any friends.

Man... children are... brutal. I think I just got sucker punched in the gut. I felt like I should've come back with a "yo momma" joke or something. But instead, I took the psychological battle scar and kept it moving. And of course she had to repeat it, just to make sure I heard her correctly. And to remove any ambiguity, for the 2nd time around, she added the fact that, "mommy has friends... but not daddy." SMH... that was cold, homey. And thus was born a new blog category: Kid Quotes.


Venesa keeps a journal of what I call kid quotes. It's a compilation of all of those adorable, hilarious, or sometimes just off-the-wall and blatantly politically incorrect things that our children say. Most of them are either inside jokes, or simply things that only a parent could appreciate or even understand (like mispronunciations that you refuse to correct because it's somehow hilariously adorable when your child butchers the English language). After some thought, I've finally decided to keep a tally of them here as well. My thinking is, (a) who knows where that journal of hers will be in 10 years, and (b) these are the little things that will connect moments to fond memories as we get older and struggle to remember the details of what made this time in our live so enjoyable. One day I'll print and bind this blog of ours (been thinking of doing so for a while now), so I may as well pack in what I can. So I apologize in advance for adding a category that will likely have little to no meaning outside of our home. But hey... it's our blog. Sue me.