Tuesday, February 26

The Great Paradox

I have to say that I am living the Great Paradox. There are days that Dan comes home and says, "How was your day?" And I begin to vomit gobs of negativity on him. Lately it was this: Daisy loves to ask "why?" This has been a pattern since August when Isaac was born. Some days when I am feeling great she gets the whole nine yards answer (betcha you wish you hadn't asked about Mommy's breast pads, huh?) then on lazy days or stressful days it's "cause I said so." (I am in fact becoming my parents.) But now the WHY's have come back with a vengeance! It's not just "why?" it's the arguing with my answer no matter what I say. Example: Why can't I eat more candy? Because we are about to eat supper and you will get full on candy and not want to eat. BUT MOM, I want candy...WAHHHHH! I WANT CANDY! [enter start of meltdown]. I mean it's to be expected that toddlers will do this. But when it happens on EVERYTHING from "why do we have to go to Publix?" to "Why do I have to get in the car?" to "why do I have to wear my seat belt?" to "why is Isaac crying?" to "Why can't I scream in the car?" and each are followed by a whining protest (...you get the picture) a mom can get weary. These questions are much more frustrating when you are trying to deal with a screaming baby too. The tension is heightened. And then I yell...and I hear myself yell and I think...I am one of THOSE moms. I have LOST MY MIND.
So here is the GREAT PARADOX...if at the end of my rant about how bad my day has been (and its been the same rant for the last week) Daniel said, "Sounds like you are miserable. We should look into getting you a job, getting out of the house and having someone watch the kids to making things better for you." I would scream "Are you CRAZY?!" Because I love what I do. I love being a mom. I love taking care of these kids NO matter how much I think I am going to lose my ever lovin' mind. I would not change my "job" for a millions dollars (well maybe...we have a lot of debt...hahaha just kidding). I am exactly where I want to be. This is my dream life. I have aspired to this my whole life! I AM CRAZY!!! It's just crazy. I mean its like I am in an unhealthy relationship. I complain about how bad things are and that my life is so hard and then I run back to it happily everyday. NUTS. I am nuts. I cannot explain it. There is no sense to be made of this situation. But I am so happy. They push me to the limits and for some silly reason I wake up each day and am so happy to go back for more. I am so blessed to be at home with my little Daisy and my little Bug. There is no thought of wanting to change my life as a mom (...except I do dream of a tropical vacation sometimes). :)
While I was complaining to my mom she made this point..."Now you know how God must feel." She made a great point...we do the same things to him with all the "whys" and whining and so on. And he loves us anyway (and even gives us Jesus!). Whew. He runs to us and wants to be with us. The Greatest Paradox...but I am so thankful for it.

Wednesday, February 20

This past weekend: Atlanta and Columbus

Since Dan was busy working so hard...the kids and I went to visit the Grandparents. It was wonderful as always! It is just so nice to be somewhere that everyone wants to hold and care for my kids as much as I do! It is like a vacation for me. The trip up there was about a 6 or 7 on a scale from 1 to 10. Isaac fussed off and on for about an hour and a half since he didn't wanna sleep. Daisy did well playing and watching DVDs (life saver= DVD player). Daisy and Isaac LOVE both sets of grandparents! Of course! Don't we love the ones who spoil us? :) When we get home we have to detox from Grandparent Land. Some sleeping issues but mostly the "whatever I want I get or I will whine" has to be worked out of ol' Dais. Don't get me wrong...if the grandparents want to do that when we are there, so be it! As long as I get to sleep late or take a nap they can play with fire and eat candy for hours for all I care. :) Not really. The grandparents are wonderful. They are so kind to respect the rules we have for Daisy and Isaac even if they think the rule is silly. Thanks Mom, Dad, Buddy and Maurine for a great time!

This pic and the one above it are of the family talking to Rachel (Scotts girlfriend that we LOVE) in Granada on the video cam via internet. It was so cool! I remember seeing movies when I was little talking about video phones of the future...and here we are! It was so good to see her and talk to her. Daisy is waving to her and she is waving back. (please excuse the blurry pics)

Columbus, GA Flat Rock Park

So, on the way back...not so fun.

Let me give you some background. When Daisy was 5 months I traveled to Atlanta by myself with her. The trip there must have been ok. But the trip home was as close to H-E-double hockey sticks as I have ever been. (This trip was pre-car DVD player for us). She started crying on the south side of Atlanta. This was about one hour into the trip...and we had 4 left to go. She was screaming her head OFF. It was constant non-stop crying in a small enclosed Honda so that the sound was bouncing off everything and pounding in my ears. I was slowing going crazy. I started really getting frustrated. I pulled over several times to feed her (not hungry), change her (not dirty), play (she was game for that!)...she just wanted out of that car seat. Once as soon as the car started to slow on the exit ramp she settled. (I entertained the idea of driving 30 mph all the way home to maybe fake her out.) At this point I stared NOT liking her one bit. In fact we were no longer on speaking terms. No more attempts to sing to her, talk to her...I just cut her off (that showed her!...man, this shows you my clarity of thought at the time) Yes, she was my precious little baby...but somehow I forgot that. I wanted to wring her red-from-screaming neck. I called Mom and Dad and Dan multiple times to gain sanity. There was nothing they could do. She just had to cry. AND SO SHE DID. I was going absolutely BANANAS. The anxiety was killing me. Hearing your baby scream and being helpless has got to be one of the worst feelings ever. But at this point I knew she was just mad and not in need of anything but attention. I was driving with my elbows so my fingers could be in my ears. I was on the verge of tears. Then someone (mom?) suggested Daniel just start driving North toward me on I-75 to relieve me. Dan jumped at the idea and hit the road. Just about the time that my nerves were about to be completely severed from all the stress of 3 solid hours of all out wailing...Dan and I met at a McDonalds. I got out...slammed the door, took his keys and got in his car. I didn't care if they spent the night at the McDonalds. I was out of there. He said nothing (but did sort of smile) and went to check on Daisy who at this point was smiling OF COURSE cause we stopped. He was being all "poor baby" and sympathetic at this point which only heaped burning coals on my already HOT head. "Poor baby"?!?!? MY BACKSIDE! Poor ME! So, off we went. I was gaining my sanity back. The quiet car was soothing. About 30 minutes later on the way home my cell phone rang. It was Dan. I answered and could hear Daisy screaming...I said, "Why did you call me??? I can hear her screaming!" "I was just checking on you...sheesh...sorry." and we hung up. It took me a while to get over the experience. I forgave her later. :) We did start speaking again. :) But I don't think I ever traveled alone in the car with her ever again. :) (Daniel was my Superman flying toward me to save the day and the life of our child. I was so thankful that he was so selfless to do that for me!!!)

Till this trip....

Well it was ok until we were about 2 hours from home and Isaac started fussing. Constantly. There was a big storm chasing us down the highway. I was really hoping to out run the thing instead of having to pull over to wait it out with my happy crew. Isaac was not letting up. Anywho...I was going nuts. My mom called and I answered, "Hades, this is Melanie." She could hear all the screaming and so on in the background. I am sure she had a flashback. :) Luckily, my knight in shining armor rushed to my rescue (again...) in a silver Protege. He drove toward me and we met at an exit. This time I was not so mad. I was actually happy. SO happy to see him. I fed Isaac and the rest of Dans trip with the kids was not bad at all. But WHAT A MAN! He rescued me! And I didn't even hold a grudge against Isaac. I have really grown up. :)

I hope if you decide to travel alone your experiences won't be as bad as mine. :) But now you see how desperate I was to leave town with Dan being so busy? To subject myself to the same torture with 2 kids this time? :)


Baby Isaac is 6 months! He cut his first tooth on Valentines Day. And he has been sitting up really well! He is such a sweet happy baby. I think I am going to have to wean him. :( All my efforts to increase the milk have failed. Ugh. But I think it will be ok. He has been "talking" a lot. Well, it's more like screaming. But happy screaming. It's pretty funny. And now I can get him to laugh and really chuckle. I love it. At his 6 month check up he weighed 21 lbs 3 oz. He is 27 1/2 inches long. He loved the table paper and how noisy it was. He looked like a little Budda on the table. You just wanna squish him!!! We love this baby boy!!!!

above: Man clevege...or someone I know calls this Moobs (man boobs)
Is this the sweetest thing? Look at those CHEEKS!
This was a gift from our sweet neighbor Claudia to Isaac for Valentines Day. Isn't it so cute! She is so stinkin' talented!

Tuesday, February 19

Dan is Done Defending...

Daniel did it! He successfully defended his thesis today! WOO HOO! The stress is over. (Kinda. This was a big stress. And there are a few medium stressors left...but they are later.) As many of you know, he has been working VERY hard on completing this thesis and this presentation. The last 2 weeks have been so busy for him. But today it paid off! I went to see his presentation today. He did a great job. He managed to make a dental research presentation pretty entertaining. (There were multiple areas where he was quite funny...and all those egg heads just sat there! There were a handful of people that snickered or smiled. Shame, what a shame! Get a sense of humor smarties!) It was something about watching the cervical vertibre mature and seeing if it's a good gauge for knowing when to attempt "growing the mandible" or putting force on it at just the right time to make it longer to correct a (class II or over bite) bite. That was not the funny part. But when Dan reads my brief synopsis of what I think his research is on...he is going to crack up!! :) Afterwards several of the 30 people in the room asked him questions...to which he replied amazingly. He was very cool, calm, collected, and full of answers. :) Of course to me it sounded a lot like, "Blah, Blah, Blah, mandible, blah blab blah teeth..." but I actually followed some of it. :) But he did a great job. Dan, now you can relax and start doing the dishes again. Hahaha...just teasing...kinda, no really, sorta, no seriously...take the night off. :) Thanks everyone for your prayers today!
On a funny note (there is always a funny note!) apparently you are supposed to bring/provide food for your thesis presentation. I think this is ridiculous since they are working so hard and stressing and the LAST thing they wanna do is feed the critics who are listening! Anywho...I have heard of people bringing things like a cheese and cracker tray, fruit, desserts, kinda appetizer-ish things. So I call my mom. We were thinking of some nice but yummy food. Then I talk to Dan. He suggests PB and J's with milk. Yes, folks you read it right. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches with 2% milk. I hesitated and said, "ok maybe...or I may think of something else." He said no, he really wanted to do that. So I said ok. I got up this a.m. and felt like I was on a mission trip in down town Atlanta making a mass of PB and J for a VBS lunch! But this time it was for a room full of doctors! Hahaha! And believe it or not the PB and J's were a hit! I made 30 triangle sandwiches (Dan wanted triangles...just the half not the quarters) and they went like hot cakes! Hilarious. Way to go Dan! Remember that for the next time you have to bring a dish to a nice event. :)

Monday, February 18

Happy Belated Valentines!

Happy Valentines Day...way late! I just wanted to share some pics.

We got a cute valentine gift from Mimimo. It was a valentine mother/daughter cooking set of aprons, oven mits and pot holders. Very cute. SO we had to make some valentine cookies! (break and bake of course)

Daisy's first dentist appointment. She did great! The office was so kid friendly. There were TVs in the celing and fun stuff everywhere. Dr Mixon was very nice too. :)

We went to the park with Rachel and Caleb.

Isaac ADORES his sister. :)

A few days later there was a tornado warning...so what do you? Go outside of course! :o) Our neighbors were all out on the playground enjoying the blustery day. We joined them. And when it started to rain we all ran for cover in a breezeway and played there. :) Don't worry. It never got any worse than hard rain.

Santiago, Ricky, Passiree and Daisy

Isaac and Kai

Claudia, Kai, Paula and Isaac

Daisy took it upon herself to don her bug boots and play in the rain. I saw her go in the house and the next thing I know..she is splashing in puddles. Ugh. I always used to wonder how moms would not know what their kids had been up to and then would find them in gross/dirty or less than ideal situations. Now I know. Santiago
Daisy and Santiago

soaking wet

Monday, February 11

Married Yet Single

The title of this blog was the name of a support group at a local church when we lived in Birmingham. Married yet Single was targeted at those women who were married to professional students (mostly dental, medical and law students). It was lovely! I attended several meetings where we did things girls like to do (talk, talk and talk). It was great. Cause while Dan was studying for his dental school classes in the evenings...quite frankly, I was bored. We didn't have cable. Just 7 channels of the main stations. I would watch Survivor with closed captioning on...reading and watching. (Jeff: Jenn your tribe has spoken. [adventurous music]...you get the picture.) I seriously think it made me a speed reader. :) And if there was nothing on or I was tired of the Simpsons...then what? :) I am sure this had a lot to do with why Rachel Warren and I became good friends. She was a "residency widow" (term stolen from a current "residency widow", Rachel Wagner, at my church now) with her hubby in med school. So we would always come up with plans to keep ourselved entertained. It was great to have a partner.

Up to this point in Daniels orthodontic residency I have been so spoiled. He is home most nights at 5:30ish and works NO weekends and no call. But I said all that in the above paragraph to say this, I have found myself there again. Daniel has to defend his thesis (for those of you in the Cagle family that means he's reeeal smart and has to prove it) on Febuary 19th. He has warned me several times that this time was coming. I think I was in denial. But he has to work like CRAZY to get it all done. When he told me "work late" I was thinking he would be late for dinner, maybe after the kids had gone down. When he said "work late" he MEANT till 10 or 11 or later if needed. Took a while to settle that little miscommunication. :) But now we are full fledge into it and I am in CAMP TANGLEWOOD with 2 kids...alone. What does a mom with 2 kids who can't go a day without adult interaction do??? MAKE PLANS! I have yanked these kids all over Gainesville hanging out with whoever, whenever. Rachel Wagner, the friend I quoted above, has been a big part of my sanity. We have gone to parks and each others houses. We have dinner planned tomorrow...since dinner can be lonely with just our kids. The conversation is just not as satisfying. :) Another coping mechanism I am using is family! This week we are hitting the road on our debut tour as "Melanie Jones travels alone with 2 kids!" I am so desperate that riding in the car alone with the kids for 5 hours is worth it to me. Cause once we hit Grandparent Land it will all be worth it! HA! :)

But Daniel has been working hard. I am proud of him. And only one more week and a day! You can do it Dan!

(I know I get NO sympathy from Rachel Warren or Wagner who deal with "on call" schedules and so on ALL THE TIME. I recognize you both and those like you for your hard work and preserverance...I don't know how you do it!)

SO that is what is going on with me. :)

Now on to the kids...

Guess who did this?

Isaac is getting bigger. He is starting to giggle more and its so stinkin' cute! He smiles at everyone that looks at him. He is so happy. Right now he is a major booger head. He is snotty and it gets all crusty. And when I go to get those boogers out...you would think I am stealing the very breath from his lungs! He fights like crazy! I have never seen anything like it. Then he looks at me with wide eyes and a furrowed brow like "Why do you hate me, Mom?" Why do babies do that? And while I am on a rant...why are the snap up pj's like a stinkin' jigsaw puzzle? I mean why do I get done snapping him up and have extra fabric with a lone empty snap when I get done? Even if I think I have started from the feet and worked my way in? It doesn't help that he is doing "the bicycle" with his legs while I do it either. I have one outfit that is adorable (hand-me-down from baby Gap) and it has a funky extra snap in the crotch. I have to be really awake and up for the challenge for him to wear that outfit. But back to him...he is just so precious. He has a dimple in his right cheek that I love. Now he is going to sleep well at night. When I turn out the lights and turn on the sound machine he will lay his little head on my chest and suck his fingers. I just sway with him for a few minutes before I lay him down. I love that time.

Daisy at the library

Daisy has become quite the little dare devil-ette. She has bruises all on her legs and arms. She attempts crazy stuff on the play ground. The last time one of her "attempts" failed she was sobbing. I held her and hugged her and she pulled back and started blabbering something amid the crying. "Ma-(sob) MA! I (sob, sob) sink (sob, gasp, sniff) I did (cough, hair brush back, sob) sompin' DANGEROUUUUUUS!" (sob, wail, sob). So funny. Glad it was a self taught lesson. I hate to deliver those speeches while she is hurt.

Oh, and it's still Christmas in our house...Daisy still loves to sing, "Sumpity, sump, sump, Sumpity, sump, sump look at Frosty go!..." :)

Thursday, February 7

Mommy Brain

It happens to the best of us. You are a with-it, organized, responsible woman one day...you get preggo and OUT THE WINDOW it goes! I seriously blame my kids. My mind could not be more distracted. It is going in a billion directions. I recently received a fwd from a friend with an article claiming there is research/proof that pregnant women become more forgetful. Yes, and after pregnancy...it continues...at least with me it has. I hope that at some point I will get my brain back. But for your entertainment, here are some examples of my Mommy Brain...

  • Daisy has reminded me several times (accidently...not knowing I had forgotten) that I needed to punish her.
  • Isaac will be fussy while I am fixing dinner. I will tell Daniel when he gets home from work, "I don't know why he is so fussy! I mean, he has been like this for 30 straight minutes. This is not like him. I hope he doesn't have an ear infection. I wonder if he is tired..." After exhausting all the possible not-so-obvious options Daniel asks as gingerly as possible, "When was the last time he ate?" My eyes get big, I slap my forehead and start running toward the poor starving baby apologizing. UGH (...this has happened more than once..please don't call the authorities).
  • I almost burned my house down (see the post "where there is smoke").
  • I have been driving down the road and noticed Daisy's chest strap is wonkey (crooked and just not right). Then it dawns on me I have not finished buckling her into her car seat. Once she even said, "MOM! YOU FORGOT MY SEAT BELT!" This has happened more times than I can count on 2 hands. I am just not safe! I have asked Daisy to help me remember to buckle her in!
  • I seem to have problems at the bank. I attempted 3 separate times to cash some checks. First, I arrived and couldn't find my ID. I had pulled it out at the light just before I turned into the bank...but when I arrived POOF it was gone! I parked the car and searched for 10 minutes KNOWING it was in there somewhere. (Didn't find it till my 3rd attempt of looking after I got home. It was under my seat...but it was NOT there when I looked the first 100 times). Second, I didn't have Daniel sign the checks written to him (thought with a shared account it didn't matter) that I wanted to cash. Third, they were signed but since he was not in the car with me I could not cash them. (In my defense I am part of a generation that uses cards, online accounts, atms and so on! Rarely checks and hardly the real bank!)
  • One more bank brain fart: I went to get the cash for the month and everything went smoothly...until I arrived at Walmart and realized I had swiped the tube carrier. It was just chillin' in the passenger seat. I imagined the lady on the speaker as I initially pulled away, "MA'AM! MRS. JONES! You have our....oh well." I had to take it back...so embarrassing!
  • I have attempted to put water in a bottle with NO drop in pouch. (Meaning it is running through a tube of a bottle and spilling out the bottom).
  • I was having one of those no-plans, everyone-still-in-their-pajamas, dishes-piled-high-like a-Jenga-game, house-looks-like-an earth-quake-has-shaken- everything-we-own -to-the-floor days. I was looking rough and greasy. I was in my pj's and had not showered. I was feeding Isaac and Daisy was watching TV laid out on the cough with legs propped up and hair a mess...when there was a knock at the door. "Who could that be?" I thought. It was not maintenance, they knock much louder. As I peeked through the peep hole I saw my friend Heather....THAT I HAD CALLED MONDAY TO SET UP A LUNCH APT WITH AT MY HOUSE SO WE COULD HANG OUT TODAY! I gasped and blushed before I even opened the door and glanced behind me to see what she would be greeted with...yuck. All I could do was apologize profusely. She was so kind. She had bought us lunch to eat. I quickly threw the kids down for a nap and we had a nice visit. It was SO embarrassing.

Really the list goes on and on. But you just have to laugh it off and be thankful your children are still alive! I still have "mama's eyes" going for me...I can find ANYTHING (just like my mom used to be able to do) except for my stinkin' ID at the bank. :)

Please join me in this and comment on your "Mommy Brain" moments. :) Surely I am not alone!

Tuesday, February 5

Socks, Shoes, and Friends

This is many random pics grouped into one post. Bear with me... :)

Isaac's new favorite game at 5 1/2 months is "take off my sock, drool and chew on it til mom puts it back on my foot soaking wet." It's pure entertainment for this baby. Thankfully he does not walk or this would be sick! And thankfully it has been 82 stinkin' degrees as our highs here in FL recently (is it really February???). So taking his socks off is a good idea. :)

Daisy just got some new shoes. Her "sparkly shoes" are some of her favs. She has already worn through the sparkles by crawling on the concrete with them on. They were 12 dollars at Target (...grrr Target). But that is what her "fun money" is for!

I recently had a friend Christy Holstein come thru town. She was on her way to Orlando to see family. I have not seen her in forever! I was so glad she came by to visit. She brought Daisy a birthday gift (see? no one listened to the "no gifts" thing....just kidding Critty!) of lots of fun Mardi Gras dress up stuff. And Isaac got a cute singing Leap Frog. We also got a King Cake to celebrate along with all of LA this week. :) Thanks "Critty!"

I had to post this pic of our preacher, Eric Brown, feeding Isaac a bottle! This is ministry at its finest!! Not only can he feed a baby, but I am telling you...this man can preach. And on top of that he is a great friend. He has helped me on several occasions. Not only the time when he came and got me and Daisy @ Publix when I locked my keys in my car AFTER having bought a huge cart full of groceries... (Dan was taking boards) but he also helps by cleaning up the toys in my den after the kids have gone to bed! He knows my friendship love language is "helping." Hahaha...just kidding.

And we got to hang out with Micah, Amy and Nicolae Johnson Monday night for dinner. We met them at Cici's. (Once we got mobile we really went for it didn't we?) I just realized we didn't get a great pic of Nicolae looking toward the camera. But trust me ya'll...he is adorable. :)
(do you see that crazy lady behind Amys head? what does she think this is? The Today show?)

The Sante Fe Zoo

Since we had so much fun the night before at the gymnastics meet...we went out the Zoo the next morning. (Don't you love the posing above?) Daniel packed us a picnic. We went to Sante Fe Community College where there is a teaching zoo. The first time we went we didn't have high standards. We thought Daisy may see some deer and a few gators. But we were very impressed. You take a guided tour through the zoo by a SF student. There were all kinds of animals. They have monkeys, reptiles, eagles, hairy pigs of some sort, deer, peacocks, lemers, gators (of course!) and BHS (big hairy spiders...eeeewwww...I did NOT look) and more. Now...it's no big city zoo. But it's certainly just as fun for Daisy and therefore perfect for us! (They also hold a "Boo at the Zoo" event for Halloween. It's a ton of fun.) It was a gorgeous day.

We're MOBILE again

For a while there, the Jones family was pretty home focused. It was just easier to get everyone in bed and not mess up bed time. While that is still true MOST of the time, we have become bold in our new "2 kids house hold" and have braved the public after bedtime. :) Some of you are laughing cause this is how you normally do things. Pipe down YOU. This is new for us. Cut us some slack. So we decided to go and do some fun things. Daniel and I had some "turn back NOW while you still can!" moments making the whole evening a little touch and go...but we made it. Friday night we wanted to go to the Chinese New Year Celebration held in a theater on campus. I know what you are thinking..."Why? You are not Chinese. Did you not have enough fun on Jan 1st?" The answer is: because we live in this cool town where there are all kinds of fun cultural celebrations available to everyone. And on Jan 1st, we all went to bed early having just traveled back from ATL that day. Anywho...we were all excited to go. I picked up Dan from work and off we went. But when we got there, found a parking spot (huge deal!) and unloaded the kiddos (also huge) and walked the long distance to get there (not that big of deal) the free tickets were all gone...the theater was full! And we were 40 mins early! :( That was a downer. The second big downer was that they were all out of the free Chinese food they advertised on the flyer. So we went to Whataburger. It was at this point Dan was like, "Well, maybe we should just go home." But my thought was..."Do you think I got both kids dressed, in the car, bags packed, MYSELF SHOWERED and so on just to eat at WHATABURGER??? No, my friend. We are finding some plans." :) So we went to plan B...which was a Gator Gymnastics meet. These are lots of fun. The O Connell Center is almost full with fans. The music is fun and the fans cheer almost as loud as at a mens basketball game! As we were looking for seats we saw some people from church and sat with them. It was good times. Daisy got to see "Ala-bur-ba" or Alberta (the girl gator mascot) as she is known to everyone else. We had fun and decided our outing was worth it.

Daisy getting the full frontal face hug from "Alaburba". Glad it was short! We mighta lost her from lack of oxygen! (Looks like the other girl is having a moment with Alberta!)