No Love Lost

Wow. It's been a long time since I've posted anything; it's been that long since I've even checked for comments or looked at other people's blogs. I guess it is the season to be busy. But I want you all to know, I haven't lost any love for my blogging pals. I thought about you on Sunday morning at about 12:45 when I was cleaning up puke. And then I thought about you again at about 2 a.m. and again at about 3...

I was considering the fact that many of you who read my blog are moms or will be moms in the future. I was also thinking about all the blog posts I've read about sick babies or grandbabies. Honestly, I couldn't really relate. Until this weekend, I've only once had to clean up my own child's puke. But in the last 48 hours, I have truly become a real, honest-to-goodness mom. So many of you have reached this stage before me, even with children younger than mine. Just want you to know that now I'm a member of your club.

I have found myself to be grateful to be among you official mothers at this point in my career. Cole picked up on the concept of hitting the trash or toilet pretty easily as a two-year-old. I know that this would not be the case if he were much younger. Don't get me wrong. He rarely hit the can with the first heave of the spell (sorry for the graphics), but those that came after usually landed in the garbage can. I know that saved me a lot of mess. My three loads of laundry from this ordeal could have turned quickly to six or more.

More good news is that the only time he's felt bad in all of this is about 5-15 minutes before he gets sick again. Between those times (which has gotten to be every 3-5 hours), he feels fine: eating popsicles, drinking Sprite, watching Little Einsteins, and riding his bicycle in circles around the kitchen. But the trash can has lurched behind him wherever he's gone.

I'm writing, though, after sleeping almost the entire night in my own bed (I was in his floor the night before) uninterrupted. The only sheets changed were at 8:45, just after he'd fallen asleep. The next time he woke up was at 5 a.m., thirsty. So I'm hoping that he'll be in good shape today. Nurse Daddy will be on duty for the day. And another bit of good news, as if a boy on the road to recovery and joining your club isn't good enough: I was greeted by a two-hour school delay. How else would I get a chance to fill you in on my news?


Just when you thought...

Just when you thought it didn't get any cuter than that hiney in those Halloween leggings...just when I thought I couldn't be prouder of my little guy than I am...just when I thought I had maxed out on my love for him, here comes a story like this one:
I fixed chili for dinner tonight (irrelevant, but you know me). Gilbert had taken Cole over to his seat and I brought over his bowl, as well as a hot dog that I'd cut up for him. Gilbert was fixing his own bowl while I got Cole situated. Cole started saying, "Mom, pray? Pray, Mom?" It took me a minute to figure out what he was saying, but when I saw his hands folded, I got the idea. I told him to hang on and when the three of us sat down, we'd pray. He agreed, but he kept sitting there with his hands folded, so I asked Gilbert to come over so we could go ahead and pray. I expected Gilbert to come over and lead the prayer as usual, but instead he asked Cole if he wanted to pray. Cole agreed. I thought he'd sit there without saying anything, but I was wrong. As soon as we bowed our heads, this is what we heard: "God, [jibberish] food, [jibberish] hot dog, [more jibberish]." Then he lifted his head and grinned. I couldn't believe it. It was the sweetest thing I think I've ever heard, and trust me, living with this child, I've heard lots of sweet things. But I think this tops it. It's like I told Gilbert--each day I can't imagine that I'll be more shocked at his big boy-hood than I was the day before, but somehow I am. It's amazing.



Okay. I'm finally ready to share pictures of the house. I took some before we officially moved in but never got around to posting them. Then it looked so much better when we started to fix things up, so I intended to take more, but then we moved the real stuff in, and it was a wreck (yes, I took pictures of that for you to see but my camera somehow deleted them. Seriously. I promise). But now the downstairs is cleaned up and I took some more yesterday. Take a look. Our dining room and kitchen. I chose this color and I love it. Some of you know the drama that preceded the choice, however. Our very cool living room; my personal favorite. That's a painting of my grandparents' house over the fireplace, which I love. Our bedroom's pretty cool too (we painted it red) but considering the fact that the bed is never, ever made, and it has a quilt on it now that totally clashes with the color, I'll spare you the picture.

And since it's Halloween and my husband bought me a cool new camera as an early birthday gift, I'll share some photos of Cole's costume. This is the first holiday we've had that he's been able to really get into, and he's had so much fun. I can't wait until Christmas time.
I had to get a shot of that cute booty in those (ahem) leggings I had him in. Before he broke into the candy
And after
What a fun night!


Tagged, I guess

Well since I'm failing to post anything else productive these days...And because you don't even want to see pictures of the house in the condition it's in (yikes!)...I'll respond to being chosen by Carla to post in response to a tag of sorts. I think the rule is that you have to tag 10 other people, but I won't force anyone. Okay. Maybe I'll force a few of you. See the bottom of this post to find out if you're one of the lucky ones. Here goes...

1. Where is your cell phone? unknown
2. Where is your significant other? bed
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? precious
5. Your father? busy
6. Your favorite thing? boys
7. Your dream last night? forgotten
8. Your dream/goal? cleanliness
9. The room you're in? crowded
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? loss
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? content
13. Where were you last night? church
14. What you're not? tired
15. One of your wish-list items? maid
16. Where you grew up? Alabama
17. The last thing you did? Facebook
18. What are you wearing? glasses
19. Your TV? quiet
20. Your pet? nope
21. Your computer? adequate
22. Your mood? restless
23. Missing someone? girlfriends
24. Your car? Sienna
25. Something you're not wearing? earrings
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your summer? nice
28. Love someone? yep
29. Your favorite color? purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? recently

Okay. Forget it. I choose anyone who hasn't been chosen and thinks this would be fun to do. Enjoy!


Fog and Tunnels

It's 8 a.m. on Tuesday and I'm sitting in my classroom with no students. This is strange, considering the fact that usually my room is busy with adolescent banter at 7:20 each weekday. The issue today is the fact that we're on a 2 hour fog delay and I didn't get the message until I walked in to the school at 6:53 and noticed the usual people here at that time weren't here. A fog delay, you ask? Yep. Ridiculous as it may sound, when you teach in the middle of a corn field, fog is truly a hazardous thing. As I drove to work this morning I considered the fact that if we weren't delayed, we should be. So here I am. I've finished grading one set of papers, entered them into the computer, and decided to blog before I get crackin' on the next set.

We're in the house. Not completely. The duplex still has plenty of stuff in it, but the house is livable and we're doing just that--living in it. It's great. I do have a few pictures taken to share, but considering the fact that I have this unexpected time to blog, I don't have them with me.

The most blog-able news for a time such as this is the fact that Cole is in a "big boy bed." I foolishly failed to realize that about 20 months ago when I marveled and whined at my "big boy" for the first time, it would only get worse. Every day I'm amazed at how big he is getting. I'm shocked at all he can do today that he couldn't do a week ago. I find myself asking, "Did he just say that? He really did that?" It's shocking. And now I'm wise enough to acknowledge that it's only going to be more shocking tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day...

His big boy bed is actually his crib, converted to a toddler bed, which in our case means that he still has three sides just like the crib, but the front side is gone. The first night (which was also the first night at the new place) I put him in, continued with our usual routine, give kisses and cuddles, and walked out, closing the door behind me. Almost immediately (just after I got down the hallway), I heard the door open, and out he comes. I take his hand, tell him it's bedtime, and try to drag him back. He's crying at this point, but I tell him I'm close and tuck him back in. The crying lasts about 10 seconds and that's it. I don't hear another peep until morning, when he runs down the hallway to me, gives me a hug, and says, "I sleep!" I think he was really proud of himself, and I was really proud too.

The next night goes smoothly. He stayed in bed and slept until about 2 a.m. when I found him standing at his closet door. I put him back in, stayed with him for a couple of minutes, and walked out. Piece of cake. Until, according to Gilbert, about 7:45 yesterday morning when he started whining. Gilbert went to get him and couldn't find him. He could hear him crying, but didn't see him. Turns out he had crawled under the bed and tried to come out on the back side, which was pushed against the wall. He was curled under there with his blankie, soaking wet from a leaky diaper, crying. Gilbert says he was a little traumatized. Understandably so. Gilbert: "Did you go in the tunnel?" (UNDER anything is a "tunnel") Cole, whining: "Yeah. Tunnel." Poor baby.

As far as I know, last night was fine. Oh. We did put a rail on the side of the bed in hopes that we would prevent any further tunnel experiences. He didn't wake up during the night. I'm not sure how his morning's been. I guess I could have been home to find out, if I'd anticipated that fog might allow me to sleep in just a little longer...


We're Hooooome!

It's official. We are homeowners again. After looking, looking, looking, and waiting, waiting, waiting, we've closed on a great house. It's nice. Not a starter home anymore. A "my kids can grow up here" home. I love it. We finalized things this afternoon and spent the rest of the evening scrubbing someone else's germs off light switches, doorknobs, baseboards, etc. and preparing for some church friends to come over tomorrow afternoon to help us paint (even though we haven't decided on paint colors yet). Then Monday we'll have the carpets cleaned and appliances delivered. We'll spend the rest of this month, probably, continuing to paint and gradually moving things in. We are so excited! I'll post pictures when I get some made.


I Know, I Know

Just wanted you all to see a performance of Cole's new favorite worship song. On the days we sing it at church, he sings it for the rest of the day.


How in the World?

How did it happen that I blinked my eyes and my baby boy was celebrating his second birthday?!? I can't believe it! We've been celebrating for the last week, with Gilbert's parents here last weekend and my family here this weekend. I'm pretty sad the official celebration is over. I guess maybe because that means he's another year older. He's my "two-year-old" and not my "almost-two-year-old." It makes me sad. I'm having a much harder time with two than I did with one.

I was telling Cole just before I put him to bed that at this exact time two years ago, I was probably in the labor/delivery room pushing. Which reminded me of a book I love, On the Day You Were Born. I read it to him and cried the whole way through. Truth is, I'm still fighting tears at the thought.

Here are some pictures of the celebration over the last week, including last Saturday's "party" at Dog-n-Suds, tools from Gran and Pawpaw, and enjoying gifts with cousin Mamie at the park:

"And as they held you close they whispered into your open, curving ear, 'We are so glad you've come!'"


Yes, I am Among the Living

I'm here, making my best attempt at treading water in this business we call teaching. Things are going well. Other than the fact that I have a handful of boys in one period who are doing their best to get under my skin, the days are bearable. I do find myself, however, thinking about how I'd love to be a counselor some days and not be in the classroom. Other days I like the classroom and am glad I'm there. I've been able, so far, to successfully leave school at school and not have stress about it at home. (I hesitate to even leave that sentence on there because I don't want to ruin my streak.) Today as I drove home and obsessed about those boys, I remembered that advice given by Beth Moore not so many weeks ago (and I'm paraphrasing, to some extent)..."If your job has grown stale, maybe you don't need a new job. Maybe you need a new business partner." And, "consider the fact that God knows more about your job than you do." So I prayed that he would show me the right way to handle these boys who have started things off on the wrong foot so very early in the year. By the time I got out of the van to come into the house, I felt better about it. Now if I can just remember that when I walk into the classroom tomorrow.

On a different note, Cole started daycare this week. I wish I had lots to report. I've been a little frustrated that I haven't been able to get the scoop from the teachers who keep him all day, but we can't drag it out of them. I do know that he didn't have a nap yesterday, but he did have one today. That's the most we've been able to get out of them. I'm trying my best not to be the unbearable new mom that I was when Cole attended Gatorland, but I do wish I could find out how his days are. On the positive side, though, it really isn't logical for me to pick him up in the afternoon (it takes almost an hour from my school to daycare to home), so I don't feel bad about not picking him up because I won't be missing out on making it home with the daily scoop.

He's the same happy boy though, so things must not be so bad. Gilbert said that when he pulled into the driveway this afternoon and told Cole that I was home, Cole said, "Mom's home! YES!"


In Good Shape

Home; first day behind me; no scars, scrapes, bruises to speak of; cute little boy cuddled up in my lap. This is the life.


New beginnings--again

Three new things I thought you might like to know:

1. My job is starting next week. I have a new faculty orientation tomorrow, I work Monday, and the kids come Tuesday. I compared my feelings today to preparing for a wedding. You think for a long time at the beginning of the engagement about what you want to do, and make some preparations for those things. Then, if you're engaged for a whole stinkin' year like we were, you wait for a long time, knowing that you're going to be bombarded with stuff to do the week of the wedding. That's how I feel. I've been laying low, trying to rack my brain for effective things to do, but now I'm at the bombarded stage. It's a little scary, but I'm not to the point of tears yet, which is a good (and surprising) thing.

2. We're about to be homeowners again. We found a house on foreclosure that we love, and God worked in the situation to make it better timing for us than we'd originally thought. We almost turned down the bank's counter offer because we thought it would happen too soon for us to get our new finances in order, but after we told the realtor we were going to turn it down, it became possible for us to close later, after I started getting paid. (Does this make any sense? I'm trying to spare you the typical long, drawn-out Kate version. Are you confused anyway?)

3. I've become a member of Facebook. I thought it was a bad idea, my sister convinced me otherwise, and now I find myself thinking, "What in the world made me think that I'll have time to do this? Is this going to mean the demise of my blog? (I'll work hard for this not to happen.) Am I too old-fogey to be this hip? Am I too old-fogey to figure out all this stuff?"

Just thought you might like to know what's new!


One of those melt-your-heart moments

My boy. I am SO PROUD of him! May I brag for a minute? He is so sweet and polite. He is really very good at pleases and thank-you's. Thank-you's especially. About a quarter of the time he has to be told that a thank-you is appropriate. The rest of the time, he does it on his own. It's not perfectly clear, but it's said in his own precious way, and everyone understands what he means.

Today we were in the middle of our usual morning routine. Gilbert had come downstairs for breakfast and turned on SportsCenter. Cole and I quickly followed. As we sat and ate our oatmeal, we watched along with Gilbert (an Encore of the Cubs sweep!). When Gilbert finished seeing what he was interested in, he changed the channel to Disney, where one of our favorite shows was on--Bunnytown. As the two of us watched for a few minutes, Gilbert cleaned up his dishes and started to make his way upstairs. When he was probably halfway up my sweet boy yelled, "Daddy?" When Gilbert responded he then said, "Thank you. Bunnies." Like he realized how thankful he was to be watching it and just had to show his gratitude. Talk about your heart melting. I'm talking puddle-status.


Good News

Well, two quarters, one dime, one nickel, and one penny later, the CD player has been salvaged. I think the guys at the audio place I called got a small kick out of my story, but they were willing to attempt to shake the coins out, so I took it in today. They warned me that often this maneuver would end the life of the system completely, but I was willing to give it a try. He told me he'd only charge me $10 to check it out, and if it didn't work out, a new audio system would be no more than $200. (I told Gilbert that would be my Christmas request.) But, thank goodness, we didn't have to worry to that degree. Wait. Let me rephrase that. I wouldn't have to worry to that degree. Thirty minutes after dropping it off, it was ready to go. He said it wasn't as easy as shaking the thing and the change falling out, but whatever they did, it works! Hooray! Just thought you'd like to know.


Take me out to the ballgame...

Take me out with the crowd...

Buy me some peanuts...

And Cracker Jacks (or cotton candy)...

I don't care if I never get back...

Let me root, root, root for the Cubbies...

If they don't win it's a shame...

For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out...

at the old ballgame!


I'm Married to a Man in His 30's!

Gilbert is 30 years old today! It seems sort of crazy, but I think I've been harassing him about this day for the past year, so it doesn't seem as crazy as it did a year ago. However, that means it's my turn to be harassed, because I'm not too far from reaching the official "30's around the corner" point myself. I personally think he's glad to have finally arrived at this point, because I think he's been hesitant for as long as he's been looking to be a pulpit minister to tell people he's in his twenties. Thirty just seems to have so much more...hmmm...clout behind it than 29 does.

Anyway, my mom has always been good about making an issue of monumental birthdays. For example, she thinks turning 25 merits an extra special gift. I guess some of that rubbed off on me, because even though we were pretty broke last month, I really wanted to do something special for Gilbert's monumental day. I mean, you only turn thirty once, and these big birthdays only come every decade or so. So when I found out Coldplay was going to be in Chicago, I couldn't stand it. I whipped out the credit card (which is normally only used for major, critical things--doesn't this qualify?) and bought tickets. That was in the first half of June. And here's the really exciting part--I mean, I'm shocked. I kept them a secret until yesterday afternoon, when I went to see him at the office, had him open the tickets, and said, "It's tonight. We're leaving right now."

I had lined up a "slumber party" for Cole with his good pals the Andersons (Thanks, guys!), cooked up a story about something we were doing last night so Gilbert wouldn't make plans, and the surprise was on. It was so exciting, and he had absolutely no clue what I was up to.

Let me just make myself clear. I absolutely, totally STINK at surprises. I either can't stand the wait and have to tell, or I can't make decisions on my own, so I have to ask for input. But I did this totally without Gilbert's help! Woo-hoo! I did get a help from Mandy to work out some details, and I got the elder's permission to kidnap Gilbert from the office early, but I am really so proud of myself. (By the way, I decided I was going to post a factual, objective account of Gilbert's birthday celebration, but I couldn't help myself. I had to pat myself on the back. Sorry.)

I hope he understands, though, that he shouldn't expect anything else like this at least until his 40th. And even then I may still be worn out. I mean really. My energy's gone.

**By the way, the concert was GREAT! If you've ever seen Chris Martin perform on t.v., let me just tell you, he has every bit as much energy live in concert. We had a really, really great and memorable time.


What an Awful Mommy

Just look at my poor baby's face.

I put him on the bed to watch cartoons so I could take a shower before we left for a wedding. I knew I should have checked on him. I thought about checking on him. I called out to ask if he was okay, but I never actually, physically opened the shower curtain to lay eyes on him. When I finished and finally opened the curtain, he had Gilbert's razor in his hand. He was smiling. Not mischievously. Just smiling like he was glad to see me. It wasn't until I started the, "Oh, my goodness! Are you okay? We don't play with Daddy's razor!" that he even considered something might be up. I checked him over for blood. I checked hands, and then I noticed a small spot of red on his cheek. I calmly told him we were going to go clean up his boo-boo. It wasn't until I started cleaning that I realized how long it was and that he had a little nick also on his lip. Then the tears started. Not his. Mine. He said, "Sad, Mommy? You okay? You okay?" Then he started kissing me. The more tears I cried, the more he kissed. He nuzzled his face against mine while I washed his cut. It was the sweetest thing.

I needed my blogging family to tell me stories of ridiculous parent blunders that resulted in injuries so I didn't feel so bad. I for sure didn't want to drag him to that wedding so I could tell over and over the story about how I took a shower while my two year old played with a razor. But I did. And I don't think anybody scowled at me like I thought they would. A few even shared stories of their own mistakes. So I guess I'm over it. Until next time I look at that sweet, marred face. Which will be, like, in the next 10 seconds.



I just want you to know that this boy has taken at least twenty cents worth of change and stuck it in the CD player of my van! Oh, I was so thrilled to finally have a CD player. I've never had a vehicle that had one, and how short lived it was. I know this is nothing like having a gallon of paint poured in my kitchen floor, but I'm sure this is just the beginning. It's going to be a long road until the light at the end of the two-tunnel. And rumor has it, three's not a whole lot better.

And like I said...twenty-five minutes after completing this post, I'm here to tell you about a new shenanigan. Check out these pictures...

Can you tell what he's done when he woke up from his nap? Take a closer look...

I came in to get him up, and I get the cutest, "Hi!" I figured he was up to something. Then he picked up his stripped-off diaper and waved it at me. Like I said, it's gonna be a long road...


More Pictures from Gran's

I can't tell...do you think he's had fun?


A Week in the Land of Crawfish and Family

I wanted to put together a little photo-journal of how we spent our last week. We took our first double-digits trip with Cole to Louisiana to visit Gilbert's family. Actually, with the exception of Italy, it was our first double-digits trip since we've been married. By double-digits I'm referring to 12 hours. We were nervous and had the idea of stopping to stay somewhere overnight if we needed to, but we made it the whole way without stopping for more than about 45 minutes. And that was only once!

We left at about noon, eastern time, on Tuesday and got there at a few minutes before midnight, central time. With the exception of Cole waking up an hour before arriving at our destination in tears, saying, "Mommy! Hold! Hold!" everything went extremely smoothly. Let me just show you what fun we had...

Happy as a clam in the car. This is almost six hours into the trip and we hadn't stopped one time. We hadn't even busted out the DVD player yet! Check out that "car-seat hair."

Gilbert's also happy as a clam, drumming on the steering wheel to the tune of a little Coldplay.

Wednesday night we had fried catfish, compliments of Gilbert's cousin Ronny, who is a great fish fryer. Cole loved it.

Cole "playing" Playstation with another of Gilbert's cousins, Ty.

Napping on the way to Gilbert's dad's parents (we stayed an hour and a half from there at his mom's parents) on the 4th. And yes, that's a cell phone on one ear and blankie on the other.

Having fun with the water hose.

Cooling off even more in the ice chest.

Getting ready for a boat ride on the lake with Daddy and Paw-paw


Waving to fellow boaters.

Four generations of Kerrigan men (plus Mike's mom)

Being spoiled with pure sugar lemonade straight from the can in honor of being in the presence of grandparents and great-grandparents

Ready to hit the road for more spoiling with grandparents. Cole went home with Gilbert's parents to south Alabama.

And I think they're having fun...

The only thing missing from the trip? Zio Randy.

And here's the greeting Gilbert and I got when we re-entered the Hoosier state:

Welcome home!


Thank You!

I just want to thank you again for the prayers you've offered on behalf of my job search. They worked! I got a surprise call from a principal on Wednesday about a job I didn't know about. It was posted as "Communications," so I didn't pay it much mind. The principal had seen my application online and decided to call me about coming in to interview the next day. I didn't post anything about it, frankly because I was sick of posting about this subject, but I'm glad to tell you that I got a call from him today saying that they want me for the job! I still have to do a second interview with the personnel dept. at central office, but he says it is rare for someone not to make it from the principal's recommendation to actual employment. This is an eighth grade position that will require me to teach mostly writing and to work with the eighth grade English teacher in splitting up grammar and vocabulary duties, which is almost exactly what I was doing at Drakes Creek just before we moved. I'll also be working with another teacher as a speech coach there. I am relieved and so grateful for the way you have helped me to petition God to move in this situation. I am so blessed by you all!


An Assortment of Cole-isms

I know you're ready for it--a post that has nothing to do with my job search. As thankful as I am that you're interested (and I wouldn't blame you if you weren't interested anymore), I'm sick of talking about it. So, I thought I'd lighten the mood by sharing with you just how funny my child is these days.

The boy loves "buggies." He loves to look at them, watch them crawl on his hands, carry them to the toilet to flush them, and use his legs to make tunnels for them. When he does this he says, "Tunnel!" In this picture he's discovered bees.

Yes, he's still a paci boy, and I'm not fighting it. He'll only be a baby for a little longer. Maybe I'll start battling that at two, but we've still got two more months until then (sniff, sniff) and I'm going to let him be a baby until then. The last few nights he's wanted to wash his paci before bedtime so that it will squeak when he sucks on it. If it isn't squeaking, he's not satisfied.

This boy loves to play ball. He loves every part of it--the throwing ("Mom, catch!"), the batting ("Hey, batter, batter...swing!"), the running ("Running!"), and the watching. When he sees baseball on t.v., no matter who's playing, he says, "Cubs!" If you ask, "Cole. Who plays baseball?" He'll first say, "Daddy," then "Cubs!"

He prefers his green beans straight out of the can these days. (I know, my mom and others of you are cringing. "He'll cut his hands!") This is the way he likes them though. Cracks me up. Tonight he dumped the juice all down his shirt.

You just can't help but love this boy!