why gigi's pool?


Tuesday, August 26

let me tell you a little something about my children. they gravitate to grandparents like bees to honey. we have 2 sets of grandparents of our own-mine: meme & papaw and josh's: grammie & papa joe. we also have many others that we love a lot. for example, boo, belongs to this sweet girl, but we claim her as our own too. since they moved into their own home last fall, we don't get to see boo as often, but she has not left their thoughts or hearts. as fall and halloween start to fill the aisles, my children do not understand the connected phrase "boo!" if someone says it to them or we read it somewhere, they laugh and say "noooo, that not boo." or "boo is avery's grandmother." they do not comprehend. 

so, meeting amelia's grandmother was no different. before long, the heat and sun were too much for miller and his super sensitive ghostly skin. and amelia was dying to go see her gigi. emily let them both in and, after a while, the other girls went in as well. when emily went to check on miller and amelia, miller was wearing a borrowed t-shirt (because he was cold) and sitting in gigi's lap reading books. he was in love. the following week when we pulled in the drive he was so excited to see gigi while at the pool, he would stand at the back door periodically longing to go visit. after a while, we let him in and gigi got his t-shirt back out and started reading from a stack of books she had set aside for him-precious!!

on friday, before escaping inside, miller found emily's sun hat. he totally reminds me of curious george in these pictures.

what a cute little mess! thanks girls for all the fun! we miss you gigi!

gigi's pool 07.25


the next day we went to emily's mom's pool. we love emily and amelia and share lots in common with them-they also live in east memphis, amelia and carter are two or the girliest girls i have ever met, they think davis kidd storytime is a great way to beat the summer heat, emily is a professional chef and preschool teacher and josh would love to be a professional chef and i am a preschool teacher-ha! 

sister finds a float
brother crashes float
the greatest thing about the pool-the girls can touch the bottom! they love it! this is precious amelia.
kaitlin loved to spit the water out and i got a great picture of the action.
who doesn't love watermelon on a hot summer day!

we had such a blast that we did it again the next week and lots more friends were able to come, but guess who didn't talk a single picture that time-wah, wah!

another trip to the pool 07.24


Monday, August 25

on the last day of swim lessons, our favorite pool buddies invited us to check out the water at the germantown center. it started off rough because the crazy water park area is a little much even for big kids. for a brief moment i thought we were going to have to pack up and go home. then, jennifer suggested popsicles and then a trip to the big pool. during all of this distraction we also ran into some other preschool friends. by the end, we were exhausted and way past naps. it is all this fun that caused carter to look a little like a zombie on the last day of swim lessons.
carter in the kid area
miller found this mask in our friends' beach toys and loved it
too funny!
finally enjoying the spraying water around the outside
another toy out of the brown's beach bag

note that the only pictures are of my own children. somehow this summer i have had either the best or worst luck with the camera. i know, i know, josh, if i would learn a few technical things this would not happen. somehow the only picture i had of emma was blurry and i didn't have any good pictures of amelia, scottie or west. if you check out jennifer's blog linked above, she has several cute ones of the girls "laying out" and miller feeding emma like a bird. we will miss our summer swim dates!
is it just me or did the closing ceremonies of the olympics look like bellevue's singing christmas tree goes to china??

bathtub theology


josh overheard carter proclaiming the following truths to her mermaid barbie in the bathtub tonight: 

"always put God first. no bowing to idols."

preach it, sister!

no picture required


each week after church we spend the last thirty minutes letting our children run wild with all the other young children. they wander up and down the children's end of the building, climb stairs to the second floor and so on. this week was no different. josh and i were talking to some friends. as emily and i talked about who baby taylor resembled more, emily noticed that miller was up to something. as i looked up, miller sat on the floor trying to get his shortall over his sandals. he had slipped it off his shoulders and was proceeding to completely remove it. of course the hilarity of it all caused me not to correct the situation but get josh's attention so he could see what HIS child was doing. josh proceeds to help with the first conundrum-the shortall wrapped around his sandal. as he gets it undone and continues to talk to trey before redressing HIS son, miller does what any child his age would do-darts down the hall to the main area. so, there goes miller running through the building in a diaper and sandals. josh calls for him. of course, he keeps running. and running. i inform josh he will have to run after him. so, there goes josh walking, walking quickly and now running, shortall in hand after diaper clad miller. josh grabs him once in the main area and asks "hey, buddy, what are you doing?" "i wanna be naked!" miller responds. of course you do, buddy! of course you do! 

miller was quickly redressed and remained dressed until arriving at home. he is now "naked" as he likes, but in a more appropriate location. boys! what a mess!

splash class


Friday, August 22

*warning: longest post ever, i needed to get it all down before i forgot.*

in july (07.14-17 & 07.21-24), carter took swim lessons for 2 weeks. it is quite possibly one of the best decisions and worst experiences i have lived through as a mother. all summer long when we went to the pool i would tell josh, "she is scared to death to be in the water." we knew we had to get her in lessons this year (she was too young for most places last year) and had been looking at available options. we were originally going to go to the ymca, but they have 20 children in a class and i wanted something more personal. i found a teacher online who teaches classes at pools in various locations throughout the city. splash class just happened to have a cancellation 2 weeks in a row at their germantown location in july. it would give us 2 weeks before we went to the beach. perfect!

now, if week 1 had gone as well as signing up to take the lessons this would not be such a long post. day 1 i tried to prepare her in advance by telling her we were going and looking at other blogs of friends whose children had taken lessons this summer. the terror set in immediately and she talked about it all day. meme tried to tell her how much she loved to swim and while we saw a brief glimpse of hope, she was not happy about the lessons. we got there and she sat on the top step but participated in everything. ms. shelley used positive reinforcement with all the children and did a great job of helping alleviate their fears. but, some fears are greater than others! carter whimpered through most of the first day expressing her dislike of the situation but still participated willingly when it was her turn. day 2 was not good from the second she asked me if she had to go back. she would cry every time she thought about it. when we talked about it, she explained that she was "scared" she would "go deep, deep in the water". i tried to explain that mommy and ms. shelley would never let this happen, but how do you calm such a rational fear. she cried though the entire class. she pulled the "i have to go poopoo" card to leave the pool area. she cried even harder when i made her go back. other parents started to stare and even comment out loud about her behavior. but, she still did everything willingly. that night, i was overwhelmed and apparently so was carter as she cried out hysterically several times in her sleep. josh and i discussed how i felt this was necessary to overcome the fear, but we didn't want her to be scarred for life. everyone we know has vivid memories of their own swim lessons experience, so apparently it is traumatic for all. let me also say she was not the only one who cried, or was scared, but she was the only one on week one of lessons and the only one who was hysterical. days 3 & 4 went similarly. i tried to focus my comments on the positive after each lesson and then before the next lesson would remind her of ways to improve the negative. i seriously stayed near miller most of the time while keeping an eye on my tearful child. she pulled the potty card everyday even though she went to the bathroom before we left home and everyday had a legitimate need to go. by friday, i was exhausted, cried every time i thought about the fear i saw on her face and how truly scared she was. the parents would openly talk about how they didn't understand her behavior until i couldn't take any more and calmly explained, "she is scared to death. literally . just look at her." the other mommies took notice rather than just judging her and they were stunned at how scared she obviously was. they all commented on the obvious fearful face and violent shaking and began to cheer her on when she did well. the next morning we went to the pool with friends and i got to work with carter on her new "skills". she wanted to do everything just like ms. shelley had taught her. and, she wasn't afraid. relief!!

week 2 she was excited to go-thank God! i didn't think i could take anymore. as a mother, forcing your child to face their fears is horrible. i was an emotional basketcase-so sad that she was afraid, wanting to console her, wanting to yell at the hysteria, encouraged at her accomplishments, upset at others' comments- the emotions were endless. her teacher even commented on how improved she was. all the pictures below are from week 2. i thought doing an afternoon class was a smart idea. but, we would go do things with friends in the morning, come home to take naps and i would have to wake up at least one if not 2 children to go the splash class. hmmm . . . maybe we will think that over better before next year.

picking up sticks in warm up.
longing to be in splash class too. he loves the water and wanted to be with "sister" so bad. next year, buddy!
waiting with her noodle on the side.
her favorite-the back stroke with noodle.
now, backstroke without noodle.
waiting at the steps after taking her turn.
waiting at the edge of the pool for her jump. she shivered every time because the deep end was in the shade-even in the ridiculous heat we were having.
putting her toes exactly where ms. shelley told her on the diving board.
walking out after finishing her jumps. she stuck her tongue out so much during the weeks. i guess it was to wipe the water off her face. i thought it was too funny!
greeted by daddy. she was so excited he got to come watch her! carter had asked josh to come that morning and it was the only day he could even try to make it. so he agreed. i had already planned on bringing the camera because he had an engagement session the next day and i was afraid to just take pictures the last day. i let him watch carter while i took pictures. we were able to stay and watch everyday because the pool was in a huge yard and the seating area, deck and playground were far enough away that it didn't bother the kids during the lesson. miller loved to play on the playground so what a blessing i didn't have to occupy him each day for two weeks.
the only girl in week 2.
blowing her bubbles and swimming with very little assistance.
reaching the other side. bless her heart. you can tell how much it took out of them to make that swim from one side to the other with out any flotation device or hand for support. also, most of them reach for the ladder as they see it approaching and go under because they quit swimming.
the daunting slide. she looked so tiny on the climb up, but even tinier as she sat anticipating the ride down. it had to be at least 9 feet tall. i was so proud of her. it made mommy nervous just to watch.
she survived! and received her certificate. it is amazing how much she learned and how much she loves the water now. we went to the beach 2 weeks later and she wanted to live in the pool. 

a day with daddy 07.05


Thursday, August 21

since my parents moved back and i don't have a nursing child, i have been wanting to go to garage sales and estate sales with my mom on saturday morning. this is something i grew up doing with them and enjoyed as i got older. as many of you know, josh and i have a love for old homes and we love to find things that could have been original to a home this age and meld it into our decor. this is the first time i have gotten to go since i had children, so that meant a morning entertained daddy. 

josh decided to take the kids to mcdonald' to get a diet coke as we were out. after getting them dressed and loading up the car, he changed his mind and grabbed his camera as they headed to mud island. this is something they had never done-how fun!

here they are on the ride across.
"hey, look, we live right there!"
then, they got to get their feet wet. i love in all of these pictures how cute miller's reactions are and how he keeps looking at his sister's feet.

look at his curled toes!

a side note: if you shop with me and you are looking at carter's shirt and thinking something isn't right, you are correct. josh rarely dresses our children. on saturday mornings, he takes them to the grocery store in their pajamas. carter is allowed some freedom in choosing her clothes as she is quite good at it. on this day, she picked this outfit and after putting her shorts on, asked her daddy for help. he said there were too many strings and he didn't know how to tie it. ummm, not like that! so, instead of tying it on her shoulders, he made it a halter! look at the first picture again to see how he corrected the problem of "too many strings". i couldn't help but laugh at his attempt. and now, we have all these precious pictures as a memory. in a decade or so, i am sure we will harass him about the time he tried to help carter get dressed. just wait!

happy 4th of july . . . in late august!


Wednesday, August 20

pitiful, seriously. you don't even care about these events, do you??

our fourth of july was very laid back with yard work and a cookout with my parents. then, at dusk, we headed out to watch the germantown fireworks with the tillmans.

fyi, this is what happens to you at our house when you are non-cooperative! we post a picture of you on the blog with your face covered up! and honestly, at our house, most pictures of our two children could have at least one face covered. why is it impossible to get more than one child to do the right thing in a picture??
here carter is waving her flag during the fireworks. notice miller is not in this picture. that is because it was past his bedtime and he was only happy in mommy's lap. as i said before, one of them always has to be non-cooperative. oh, well!



Tuesday, August 19

okay, if blogger will cooperate, we will try to post all of july this week. so, look for several posts in the next few days. we have a very busy next few weeks and we still have to post our vacation pictures. 

below is a self portrait carter drew in sidewalk chalk (07.01). i love that my kids love to create things. i also think it is funny when they make themselves look like they are from the fluorescent 80s, complete with ray bans, jams and zipper shoes.
these are a couple of pictures josh took on a rainy day with a rented fish eye lens (07.09). carter loves puddles and can't wait to bust out the rain boots, coat & umbrella on a rainy day.

note to blogger:

you make me sad when you refuse to cooperate while i am trying to catch up on my family's weblog. 

disgruntled in memphis, tn

i {heart} the olympics


Saturday, August 16

since i was a little girl, i have looked forward to the olympics. i hated the four year wait and was ecstatic when they made the change to two years. as a child, i would sit for hours and watch gymnastics, diving, swimming, track, skiing, ice skating, etc. i have vivid memories of being on vacation in oklahoma and watching gymnastics and wrestling. this past week while in navarre, we watched the opening ceremonies and day one before heading home. carter was delivered during a track and field event during the 2004 olympics (fyi: her delivery was unexpectedly quick and i even said as i was pushing, "this is surreal. the olympics are on." to which my doctor replied, "would you like me to turn it off?" umm, not a priority, just not what i had pictured before having my first child.)

i can easily say, i am riveted by watching others excel at their sport. who doesn't remember mary lou retton, keri strug, flo jo, jackie joyner kersey, greg louganis, michael johnson, and on and on and on? who can watch these games and not feel pride in their country and admire those who achieve for others? i have felt no different in 2008. we have introduced the games to our children watching them jump and run like the ones competing. we have waited with bated breath for final scores. we have sat on the edge of our seats and rejoiced with the phelps family. how amazing! to have such talent and appear so poised. to be such a team player. to observe his precious mother and sisters rooting him on each step and tearfully watching at each medal ceremony. to see him search for her in the crowd, throw her his flowers and crawl through the stands to hug and kiss them. precious! history in the making. how could you not love the olympics!

the pool again 06.27


Thursday, August 14

my plan was to post through july before leaving for vacation last week, but i did not even finish june. this is it-i think . . . we went to the pool with school friends. the camera died almost immediately and i didn't even get a picture of miller.
carter thinking about joining everyone in the pool. this is before splash class which changed her outlook on being in the water.
claire collecting rings. this was the last time we went to the pool with them before her baby brother was born.

emma found this crazy boat in the closet. how funny that she is sitting on the concrete in her bleepin' boat.

okay, so i will be posting a lot this week because i know several people who are dying for pictures from the beach. plus, i need to get caught up before the craziness of carter's birthday and back to preschool. 


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