Monday, May 31

Memorial Day Weekend

My parents came to visit for Memorial Day weekend. Charlotte and I picked them up from the airport on Saturday morning and it was play time until I dropped them off at the airport tonight. It had been over 2 months since they had seen Charlotte - the longest stretch yet.


It was a action packed weekend complete with a trip to the pool and attending both the Decatur Arts Festival and the Jazz Festival. Mom and I even snuck over to Lenox Mall and did a little shopping for baby brother. (It was so strange shopping in the little boy sections!)

Grammie and Granddad bought Charlotte her first sandbox this morning. She had a great time "making cupcakes" with Grammie once it was all set up. Here's hoping that the sandbox will keep her busy for many hours (well at least minutes) this summer.


After a yummy dinner at a "restrank" tonight, Char did a little puddle splashing.


It was such a nice, relaxing visit. I was sad to see them go. But, today kicks off summer - and I am so looking forward to what this summer will bring!

Friday, May 28


Your daddy and I saw you today.

We saw that you have all 4 chambers in your heart.

We saw that your brain looks to be developing the way it should.

We saw you move your hands and feet - you waved to us! The doctor counted your fingers and toes and told us you had 10 of each.

We saw your lips, nose, and eyes.

We saw your feet move from by your head to down by your little hiney.

We saw my blood flowing to you the way that it should be.

We saw that you are indeed our son.

We felt our hearts grow bigger.

We love you so much already.

Wednesday, May 26

Indoor Pool

After changing into bathing suits and slathering on sun screen we made it to the pool today just in time for thunder to boom. Pool closed. We hung out and played on the playground for a few minutes to see if the storm would just blow through. But, the clouds got really dark, the wind started to pick up, and everyone else was leaving. So, I coaxed Charlotte back into the car by promising she could eat her pool snacks on her "pool" at home. (a big blue quilt we put on the floor)


(please excuse the fuzziness of these pictures - I tried something new and let's just say it didn't work - and I'm too lazy to go back and fix it)

Turns out we had a pretty good time pretending to jump off of the side and swim around. And - bonus - I didn't have to get all wet and cold!

Tuesday, May 25

Summer Evenings

Judd gets home anywhere between 6:00 and 6:30. I plan to have dinner ready to go at 6:30 - sometimes it is more like 6:45. After dinner, we clean up and Charlotte announces that it is "POPSICLE TIME!" She grabs a popsicle and heads out the front door to the front steps to watch the cars go by and eats her popsicle.



The bath occurs immediately after popsicle time. But tonight was so nice out that Charlotte and I took a walk after popsicle time.


Either Judd or I give her a bath. Then we spend at least 15 minutes negotiating her into underwear and pajamas. (The child LOVES to run around naked.) A little Yo Gabba Gabba is watched.

We pour a cup of milk and she runs upstairs to pick out 2 books. Either Judd or I read her the books while she sits with us and drinks her milk. She then crawls into bed. We cover her up, sing her a couple of songs, then give her a hug, a kiss, and tickle. (She has added the tickle lately)

9 times out of 10 this is how we spend our evenings. It is a solid routine. There is so much comfort in a routine - especially one that involves popsicles, a warm bath, cuddly stories, and a hug, a kiss, and a tickle.

Sunday, May 23


Yesterday, Judd's cousin, Jen got married to Dennis. She asked me a few months ago if I would photograph the wedding. I nervously said "Of Course!"

Weddings are something that I don't want to do professionally - there is so much posing, once-in-a-lifetime shots for the couple, different lighting situations, etc. It is HARD. But, I knew it would challenge me and give me the opportunity to do something that I hadn't done before - with relatively little pressure. And, I ended up having a blast!


Everyone looked fabulous - especially Jen and Dennis. The weather held out and they were able to have the ceremony outside. The facility was beautiful.




And, no wedding would be complete without a few cute kiddos running around.

I could take pictures of Michael all day. The kid could be a Ralph Lauren model. Just look at how he naturally poses...he's gonna be a heart breaker. And if you could hear his little sweet voice and his southern accent - you would just want to squeeze him.


Then there are these 3 cousins.


Charlotte saw Lilly and Katie and just couldn't get enough of them. I was told she held Lilly's hand (or tried to) throughout the ceremony. When Char got wind that Lilly and Katie were going to go down to Grandmother & Grandaddy's house to spend the night, she ran to me and said, "I go to Grandmother's house too, OK Mommy?" I said, "No, you stay with me an Daddy." Well, while I was taking pictures, she worked into the heart strings of her daddy and grandparents and ended up going to spend 2 nights with her cousins, aunt, uncle, and grandparents - leaving Judd and I alone until Monday morning.

So, Judd and I had a relaxing night out last night. We are headed to brunch this morning, then maybe to lounge at the pool this afternoon. Then tonight - the finale of LOST!

Wednesday, May 19

The Music Class

On Tuesday we wrapped up our last week of a 10 week session at The Music Class. To say Charlotte loved it would be the understatement of the year. I have been listening to the "Pony Collection" CD non stop in the car for the past 10 weeks. She knows She sings the class "welcome" song to all of her baby dolls on a daily basis.

I told her on the way to class this past Tuesday that she would need to tell the teacher what her favorite song was. There was a lot of "Ummmmms" and "Hmmmmms" from he back seat, but she managed to tell me her favorite(s) a few times. One of the songs usually changed, but the one that remained constant was the "scarf song". (For the scarf song, the song that plays is usually different from week to week, but the fact that she gets to run around the room "dancing" and waving scarves remains the same.)

I hadn't taken the ol' camera to music class until Tuesday - it is just too hard to manage the camera and a jumping, singing, dancing 2 year old. But I just knew I had to capture her expressions in the class - the ones that I have had all to myself the past 10 weeks. While I didn't get to capture each different face she makes throughout the course of the 45 minute class, I managed a few. Don't you wish you could hire a photographer to come to all of these little events in life?





I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for an activity. The teachers were really professional and Charlotte learned so much.

Monday, May 17

Sunday, May 16

The Perfect Day


Do you ever have those days when everything just feels right?

Our Saturday started out with Judd taking Charlotte for a trip to the "donut store" where she got to pick out a donut with her Daddy. Later in the morning we packed up and went to the pool for a couple of hours. (We recently joined one of the community pools around our house so Charlotte and I would have a place to swim this summer.) Charlotte took a three hour nap that afternoon - swimming wears you out! Judd's parents stopped by for a visit. In the evening, we had dinner outside at a "rescronk" where Charlotte ate an entire bowl of spaghetti. We drove to the square in Decatur, got our ice cream, and listened to the band playing in the gazebo.

It doesn't sound like anything out of the ordinary. In fact, to some of my peers it sounds downright boring. But, to me, it is living a small dream.

About 8 years ago, when Judd and I went to the square in Decatur on a Spring evening for the first time - we witnessed a band playing in the gazebo, and families eating picnic dinners on the lawn. Kids were running everywhere with dirty feet and dirty faces, but huge smiles. I'll never forget that night - I knew then I wanted to live here and bring my own kids down to the square on nights like that. You know those magical late spring/summer nights?

I felt so lucky to hold Charlotte's and Judd's hand last night as we walked around the square. 8 years ago I had a glimse of what my life could be, and now I am living it. I have a great house in the part of town I love and a family that I love more than anything. It all just feels right.

Friday, May 14

A quiet cup of coffee


She said, "I wanna watch Yo Gabba Gabbba on your phone." Rather than deny the request like I have the last 20 mornings she's asked me, I said, "Sure, go get your headphones."

She looked at me amazed - I could just see her thinking, "Ha! my incessant asking finally paid off." She turned and ran upstairs to get her headphones before I changed my mind

I plugged them into my phone, settled them on her ears, checked the volume to make sure it wasn't too loud, and turned on Yo Gabba Gabba.

I sat back, turned on the Today show, and drank a cup of coffee in peace.

Yes, I feel guilty for doing this. No, I won't make a habit of it. But I sure did enjoy the 15 minutes it lasted.


Tuesday, May 11

Sweet Baby Jacob

I spent the last day and a half getting to know my nephew. How did I forget just how sweet newborns are? How good they smell?

Jacob is about as sweet as they come. Loves to cuddle. Loves to sleep. Loves to poop on Aunt Carrie.

I stole him for a few minutes to take some pictures while Sally napped yesterday.

DSC_1022 copy_1




Sally and Andrew seem to be settling into parenthood quite nicely. Sally surprised me with just how calm she is. I remember being a nervous wreck my first week home with Charlotte - but Sally just seems to roll with the punches. I hope the next few weeks go smoothly for them as they all adjust to being a family of 3.

Sunday, May 9

Happy Mother's Day



I enjoyed a nice dinner out with the hubby last night, was given a gift certificate for a pedicure, and some special people made me cinnamin buns and coffee this morning. So far, a great Mother's Day. Judd is going to Rome this afternoon and I'm flying to Baltimore to visit my mom and of course, "Baby Birm Jacob" (as Charlotte says). Char is headed to her Grandmother's for a couple of days of spoiling.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the Moms out there - hope you have a great day. A very special Happy Mother's Day to my mom, mother-in-law, and the newest mother in our family - Sally.

Friday, May 7

Can You Buy Fun?

Yep, you can. It comes in the form of a blue inflatable pool and costs about $7.99 at Toys R Us.





This one just cracks me up - love how she's holding the hose.


Remember last October when we had our backyard completely sodded? Well, rather than trying to maintain the yard ourselves, we decided to just hire the guys that did it to do our regular lawn maintenance. The backyard is awesome. Yesterday while she was playing in the pool, I just sat in one of the patio chairs and stalked her with my camera. It is almost fully shaded in the afternoon whih is perfect! It is like having another room in the house. Last year, we had to have the pool in the sunny, hot front yard where everyone that drove by could see us.

The backyard cost quite a bit more than the pool, but it was definately worth all of the fun we will have out there.

Thursday, May 6

Baby Birm

Jacob Andrew Birmingham came into the world last night at 10:33pm after a whirlwind 7 hour labor from the time of Sally's water breaking until he was out.

He is big boy weighing 8lbs 6oz and a length of 22".

I spoke to Sally this morning and she sounded tired but very happy!

Congratulations Andrew and Sally!

Tuesday, May 4

Because I Don't Want to Forget

1. The way you say "Polka Dot". You say, "Pok a lop". You pretend to take them off of your pants, or books, or wherever polka dots may be and ask us if we want to eat them. You expect us to "eat" them and then have disgusted looks on our faces and say they "Taste like poopies". It cracks you up every.single.time.

2. "Restaurant" is "Rescronk".

3. When I ask you to "scoot" over, you usually reply with, "You want me to scoop over". You get your "t's" and "p's" mixed up sometimes.

4. Today when I was wiping the crumbs off of the table after your lunch, you said with a sigh in the tone of your voice, "Here Mommy, I help you, it is a wittle hard".

5. You know what the "chinin nunuks" store is (Chick-fil-A) and when we drive by you get a light in your eye and say, "We going to chinin nunuks store?" Last night your Daddy corrected your pronunciation of "chicken nuggets". You began to say it correctly. I was surprised to feel a pang in my throat. Thankfully today you went back to saying "chinin nunuks". It is the little things that remind me you are still my baby.

6. You love to eat steak, but your pronounce it "snake".

7. I love it that when you get to the verse in "You are my sunshine" you say "You make me happy when skies are great" rather than "when skies are grey". I don't correct you - I think it sounds better that way.

8. You think potty humor is hilarious. I expected this knowing your father. You think it is so funny when someone "poots", especially when it is you.

Monday, May 3

Zoo and Other Things


Friday morning we headed to the zoo with Allison and Marshall. Judd and I got a yearly pass to the zoo a few weeks ago which allows me to take one other adult and up to 3 other kids with us for free! So, if anyone wants to head to the zoo - just let me know! Other great things about the zoo - it opens at 9:30 am, parking is free, and you can bring food in - so no need to buy lunch there. Even if you aren't into seeing the animals, there is a petting zoo, a couple of playgrounds, a train ride, and a couple of other rides.

Friday morning we got there about 9:45 and were right behind about 20 school buses letting kid after kid after kid out. It was CRAZY for the first half hour or so. I was so busy trying to keep Charlotte from being knocked over by 5th graders that it was hard to enjoy it - but then we got into the groove and had a great time. Marshall and Charlotte loved seeing the animals and then enjoyed taking a break for lunch.



After lunch we headed to the petting zoo. Charlotte loves to grab a brush and brush all of the animals.


However, Al snapped this picture just as Charlotte thought it would be a good idea to brush her own hair. (YUCK! Luckily we haven't found any lice yet :) )


The rest of our weekend was a good. We headed to the lake on Saturday for Judd's cousin Jennifer's wedding shower. We had yummy homemade ice cream and cake - both of which Charlotte could NOT wait to eat - then headed out on the boat for a nice boat ride on Saturday afternon. I would have pictures of that - but I realized when I pulled out my camera on Saturday afternoon that I had forgotten my memory cards a home. Guess the pregnancy brain is starting to kick in!!