Monday, August 3, 2009

Last Little While, Part 2

Yep. It's the same day as part 1, but I seem to have the big mo- on my side, so here's some more highlights.

After the trip to Amelia Island, we enjoyed some time at home, but wanderlust caught up on Memorial day. Jack took in the simple pleasures and we also got to experiment (for one night) with having *four* kids. We babysat for our friends Julie and Brian after they had done the same for us the weekend before. So Ruby and I squeezed in a night out.

Jack also discovered the wonders of legos. In supervised play, we rigged up a fascimile of the tractor and pick up set our neighbor, Mike Birch, uses in his landscaping business.

Ruby also discovered a new passion. She is now making and marketing (with the help of Full Bloom Mother's Center (, wet bags -- these cool little bags for wet cloth diapers. She's having some real success and I'm very proud of her.

Freeman and Jack also had some good times in the Thomas the Train tent Uncle Tony gave jack a while ago.When we did decide to hit the road again, for my day off on Memorial Day, we went to Washington, GA, east of Athens, had a nice lunch in the historic Washington Square, and then visited the Robert Toombs House, a Georgia State Park. Ruby and the kids were *very* good sports about this one, especially since they spent most of the time in the yard (Ruby and Freeman watching -- Jack running off pent up energy) while I heard the historic lecture.

And finally, I just had to put in some more of the great pictures Ruby took at Amelia.

Last Little While, Part 1

Dad writing here. So, it's been a while since we last posted. A lot has happened, as most of you know, and things have been pretty hard, with a lot of ups and downs. But I thought I'd take this chance to highlight the ups and put up some pictures that capture our good times together, as we are grateful to have them. Included are trips to the beach, trips to the mountains, and a trip to a boring old Civil War-era historic site (also, there was some sittin' around at home). Is there a theme? Well, not so much, except that we roam around a lot and seem find joy in doing so!

This will probably take a few days, so I'll do it installments. In addition, I should also note that we've found the picture uploading features on Facebook pretty nifty and easy to use. So if you aren't Facebook Friends with Ruby and I, you might consider giving it a whirl.

In May, we went down to Amelia Island. It was our first trip since Papaw passed away, but we made the most of it. All in all, a good start at healing. Jack particularly enjoyed the water slide down by the beach and could scarcely be torn away from it to do, well, much of anything else. Maemae managed to lure him with quite a few options, though, including a sleepover! Recently, he's made mention of wanting to go have lunch on Club at the Ritz. This is not a good sign, as far as Dad is concerned (tho' Maemae is delighted).

In the beginning, Freeman was not at all sure about the ocean. He was cool as long as he was hanging out with Maemae or Mama, but eventually.....

He was a little worn out by all the excitement.

Whatever his misgivings about the ocean, however, Freeman was pretty fond of the beach and, among all of us, was the least insensible to sand in his pants (good thing, too).

At the end, I don't think anyone was completely ready to come home and we were (and are) so grateful to Mamae for having set up the trip. Even so, we were on the road again soon after, as I'll mention in my next installment.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A lesson learned

I am ever so proud of Jack for overcoming his social anxieties and jumping right into the childcare at the local YMCA. He has been having a great time playing ball in a walled off area of the childcare area where he and the other kids are allowed to let things ricochet to their hearts' delight. Meanwhile, I've been training for a 10K in July.

Today Jack was having so much fun that he neglected to eat the animal crackers I had sent with him. On the way home I figured he had to be starving from all the play, so I handed him the whole bag (which held about 3 days worth of snackitude) so he could eat some in the car. I figured that he'd only have time to eat a few by the time we got home. I even congratulated myself for a moment because it feels so nice to be able to hand a bigger kid a baggy of snacks rather than the snack traps you schlepp for younger ones.

I did not account for traffic. It took us about 25 to 30 minutes to get home rather than the normal 10 to 15. After about 20 minutes it occurred to me that I wasn't getting the running commentary on what cars could be seen from the back seat. Still driving, I awkwardly reached from the driver's seat towards the back and asked Jack to hand me the bag of animal crackers. As crumbs audibly fell from his mouth, he barely managed to say, "I caaayunt!" Imagine Scarlett O'Hara saying "I can't!" with about 15 animal crackers jammed in her mouth. Then imagine the victory in Scarlett's voice as she sputters "I haaayuv to haaayuv the animal crackers!" -- knowing full well that you have no power to wrest them from her. You get the idea.

I am such a good mom.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Various and Sundry Things

Things around here have settled into something pretty manageable (on most days anyway).

Jack is spending most of his afternoons naked from the waist down. I spend a lot of time spot cleaning. Stickers and M&Ms are instruments of bribery.

Freeman is a wonderfully giggly boy, given to taking mere catnaps during the day. At least he's not usually very crabby about the daily sleep deprivation. Jack just won't leave me and Freeman along long enough for me to get the baby down for a decent nap. As soon the little one nods off, the big one comes tearing through to announce loudly that the baby is not asleep. "Really?" I respond, through gritted teeth.

In my graduate studies, I read woefully little about child language. Jack's big thing now is messing with voiced/voiceless distinctions. He loves to switch voiced/voiceless sounds for their voiced/voiceless counterparts (e.g. [d] for [t], [b] for [p], [g] for [k] and vice versa). It's so cool to watch phonology happening right in front of my eyes.

Both boys are sweet to each other. They are not always sweet to their very tired parents, but the good outweighs the bad (I write as Jack crowds into the desk chair and screams at the top of his lungs in my ear, "I'm not talking loudly!"

Here are some recent pics:

Jack with his 'hummus beard'.

Freeman sporting some super cute flipper slippers.

A couple of very typical Freeman faces (he's now a little over 5 months old)...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Again Jack!

We are all finally over the various ailments that assailed us, so Papaw and Mae Mae came over to more officially celebrate Jack's Big 3 point 0. Mama's addiction to Food Network shows in Jack's birthday cake, a tribute to his LOVE of monster trucks. The boy was well pleased, but hesitant to let us eat it. Eventually, though, he was happy to pull off a tire (in reality a Hostess DingDong) and chow down.

Happy Birthday, Big Jack! We love you, Kiddo!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Freeman Gives Jack a Run for his Money

I just saw a Christmas Pic that Aunt Katie snapped of Freeman. I'm not so sure that Jack retains the title of Cutest Basham Chamblee Boy in a Christmas Pic. What do you think?

Happy Birthday Jack!

Jack's actual birthday (January 6 or 'Janjuary 6' according to him) was a pretty low key affair. Everybody but him was at least a little sick (Mama and Lola were a lot sick, Papaw just got out of the hospital, plus it was the middle of the week), so we couldn't do much more than a few hurriedly wrapped matchbox cars and a recipe for "Emergency Chocolate Cake" from America's Test Kitchen. I thought the recipe name was pretty apt given our recent run of bad luck on the health front. Interestingly, it has mayonaise in it rather than butter and eggs.

We hope to have a bit more of a festive occasion this weekend, but Jack seemed to really appreciate what little we did do to celebrate his birthday so far.

Best Christmas Pic

The award goes to Jack, at least based on the few pics that were actually taken by our camera. We were insanely busy with travel and kid juggling and baking baking baking and then Jack got pneumonia and then the rest of us got sick too. Unfortunately, we kept forgetting to take pictures. I know that Uncle Tony and Aunt Katie snapped a few so maybe they'll submit another nomination. After finally reviewing the Christmas time pics on our camera Mama votes for this one of Jack helping us decorate the Christmas tree before the craziness of the holidays really began. I love the look on his face. Almost every night since the tree went up he has spent at least a few minutes on the couch with Mama and/or Daddy just gazing at the tree. It was a real sanity-saver when he was so needy with the pneumonia and restless with the prednisone.

This is my favorite recent pic of Freeman. With the shirt from Maemae, the leggings from Aunt Kathy, and Jack's old sock rattles, he looks like a lot of his toys. This shot reminds me of the Where's Waldo books.