Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Getting Haley prepared for Christmas 2011

Christmas this year has been soooo much fun already. Haley is more excited than I could have ever imagined and that makes me one happy momma. She loves watching all of the Christmas movies on TV and her favorites are Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and The Polar Express. Thank goodness for DVR. We watch one of these three almost everyday. I absolutely love The Polar Express and was shocked to see Haley enjoy it so much. She also loves hot (well luke warm) chocolate, you can't watch a holiday movie without some. 

She gets sooo excited anytime she sees a nativity scene, she loves to point out the mommy, daddy, and baby Jesus. She almost always gives the baby a kiss too which warms my heart. I am hoping that as she gets a better understanding of her own birthday and what that means that she will better understand the books we are reading to her at night explaining that Christmas is really all about Jesus' Birthday. She also gets excited to see a Santa Claus on TV. Even though she doesn't really understand what Santa does. I think we may take her for a visit to the big guy next week and see how she does.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Haley Turns 2!!!

Before I get all into Christmas here at the Dickerson household I want to post about Haley's second birthday.

I cannot begin to explain how fast the last two years have passed for me. It feels like last week I was sitting at my desk in the Human Resources office of a local community college waiting for Haley's arrival. Knowing that I had another two weeks until my due date. Of course she had other plans and I couldn't have been more pleased. Jason and I still talk today about the "Oh crap!" moment when you realize the hospital is going to send you home with this little breathing human and they trust you will keep it alive. She has really been the light of our lives over the past two years and the reason we strive to be better people ourselves.

For Haley's birthday this year, first thing in the morning was her 2-year well check-up at the doctor and a few more shots. Haley always does great at the doctor's office and we have been very fortunate that we have not had to take her in for any sick visits yet. After that her Nana and I took her to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast and a little play time. She always gets excited when we pull into their parking lot because she knows she will get to "Eat, and play....woo-woo-woo!". We did a very little bit of shopping and running errands before heading home and getting ready for her party.

We don't do big birthday parties around here. We invited the grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, and uncles over for dinner, cake, and ice cream. Haley gets a lot of hand me downs  from her cousin Olivia, so she already has everything she could ever want and then some. So giving ideas for her birthday and Christmas this year has been really hard, but we ended up with some great birthday gifts. I am so thankful for everyone coming to spend this evening with Haley and she has absolutely loved opening and playing with all the gifts this year. Jason and I have spent the past week playing basketball, having tea parties, picnics, reading books, and outside sliding. And I don't think we have had so much fun!! Happy 2nd Birthday Haley!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My favorite time of year!

I know I haven't blogged in forever but I am going to try to document just how much fun we are having with Haley this Holiday season. I have so much to give updates on and hope over the next few days I can touch on most of those events.

Christmas is here!! Haley is at such a great age and this year has already been more fun than I ever could have imagined. She has fallen in love with some of my favorite movies of the season including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and The Polar Express. We are trying to teach her about all aspects of Christmas. Both Santa Clause and Jesus' Birth. We plan on taking her to see Santa in the coming weeks and she has already been a huge help to mommy as I wrap gifts and make bows. She acts so interested in everything that is going on. We are so blessed!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Kitchen Remodel Complete!

After a few months of research, a little money, and two weeks of hard work Jason and I have finally finished work on our kitchen.

Kitchen Before.

Kitchen After.

Tile detail and a little better look at the countertops.
We have  spent the last two weeks painting our cabinets, painting our countertops, painting hardware, replacing the molding on top of the cabinets, and installed a tile backsplash. All of this for less than $500. Being a stay at home mom; a family living on a teacher's salary, I think we are very blessed in so many ways and I feel very blessed that we were able to complete this project and the huge difference it has made to our kitchen. I had always wanted to do something with our kitchen since we moved in but wasn't sure where to even start. After I had Haley and was home all the time I really started looking into our options on our limited budget. I have been kidding with Jason that stainless steel appliances would really bring the whole thing together. and he always remarks with, "That will be the first thing I tell the next owners of this house when ever we decide to leave." Ha, he is so funny.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Oh, what have I done!

Well I finally did it! I have convinced Jason to agree to, and help me paint not only our kitchen cabinets but the laminate countertops. (I am both excited and scared. I really hope it all works out.) I love the layout of our house. I love the large living room, and the fact that it is completely open to the kitchen area. I have never been a huge fan of the cabinets or countertops, but didn't know exactly what I could do with them either. We have never seriously considered replacing them because they are still very functional, and we wouldn't want to rearrange the kitchen so we are just trying to work with what we've got.

We are day three into this process and so far we still have a huge mess on our hands. I am hoping to complete the cabinets today and start on the countertops tomorrow. I have already decided on what phases two and three of this kitchen remodel will include. I will post some pictures once completed but I wouldn't dare take a picture of the way it looks right now. What is it about home improvement projects that seem to be well contained into one area yet the entire house seems to be a mess? I will probably be spending just as much time on cleaning after this is done than I did on the actual project itself. I will leave you with a before picture.
Kitchen Before

Friday, June 24, 2011

SUYL - Singles....My Big Brother Kelly.

Today I am linking through Kelly's Korner. It is Show Us Your Life Friday - Singles. If you are coming from Kelly's Korner, then welcome. I know there are a lot of posts to look through so I will keep this as short as possible.

I would like to take this time to tell about my single big brother Kelly. Kelly is 29, and lives in Central Kentucky. He is a Probation and Parole Officer and is very proud of the work he does.

Playing Church Softball.

He is a great guy that loves all sports, and plays softball and basketball year round. He is a fan of UK basketball and football, Reds baseball, and Bengals football.

Kelly with our Grandmother.

When not playing or watching sports Kelly enjoys spending time with family and friends, eating, and listening to music.

Kelly at Family Christmas Party.

Kelly has been a great brother to me and deserves a great down to earth girl. I am hoping everyone in Kelly's Korner will help match this great guy with a great girl.

Monday, June 6, 2011

18 Months already??

Haley is 18 Months already?! I can't believe how fast time has gone by or how grateful I am that I am able to be at home with her each and every day. As sad as I am about her growing up so fast, I am also very happy because I have not missed any of it. Anyone who had visited our house in the first twelve months of Haley's life can attest to the fact that I enjoyed every minute possible with Haley. They can tell because my OCD about the cleanliness of my house had gone to the wayside. I didn't vacuum the house everyday, I didn't scrub baseboards, I only shampooed the carpets twice. Anytime I thought about cleaning I thought of how fast other parents said time would go, and how I should enjoy this time with her while I can. I took all that advice to heart and am so glad I did. My OCD about the house is back, but has had a major tone down. I love this little girl more than anything in this world, and look forward to all the fun we will have this summer.

Four years and counting!

On May 26th, Jason and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.

I cannot believe I have been married to this amazing man for four years already. Then it really blows my mind when I think that we have been together almost 8 years in all. Time has gone by so fast, and only faster now that we have Haley. I can only imagine what it will feel like as we hit those milestones of 25th anniversary or 50th! I wonder if it will still seem like time is flying by us.

One of the things I am very proud of is that we were married in the same church as my parents, my grandparents, and many other family members of mine. I love my church so much and growing up I always dreamed that my wedding would be here.  Following are some more pictures from our very special day.

For our anniversary Jason and I always get all dressed up and go out to eat at the same little romantic restaurant in downtown Lexington. The Metropol always shows us a good time and this time they didn't disappoint. They have expanded and had a gentleman playing the piano in the background. It was just simply wonderful. I look forward to many more great years with Jason.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

You just can't reason with a toddler.

I am quickly finding out that you just can't reason with a toddler... (they are almost as bad as husbands)

Jason was off work today so I took full advantage. It is always so great when he is home. I get a chance to relax and sit back a little bit while Haley gets some one-on-one time with her daddy.

We had lunch gathered around the coffee table today. Jason gave Haley her first taste of some spicy food. Now, it wasn't real spicy, but I am sure to Haley the spices on it were enough to catch her attention. She immediately started spitting it out. Then she grabbed Jason's fingers and tried shoving them into her mouth in an attempt to let him know to get it out. She then made the move of going over to our recliner and shoving her face into the cushions licking the fabric...haha. Poor thing. She was so caught off guard she didn't know what the heck that was. I tried getting her to take a drink of her juice, but she was not having any of it. It wasn't a few minutes after I explained to my 17 month old about spicy food and how drinks help that she tried another bite, only with the same results. I explained it to her again that taking a drink of juice is always a better option than licking the cushions. Finally the third time was the charm. She took one more small bite and immediately started drinking her juice. She had such a look of excitement like she had figured it out, she had beat the spices that time. It just amazes me so much how quickly she will pick up on things or how well she will listens. It is as if she says, "I will listen to what you have to say Mommy, but I am going to figure this out on my own."

It was a great day and I love all the sweet little moments she gets to have with her daddy. Thank goodness I am never far from my camera so I can catch these moments. I know we will cherish them forever, and I am sure we will cry over these when she becomes a teenager and wants nothing to do with us. Until then, she loves us, and I know by the way she looks at us as if we are the coolest people in the world.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Mom I want to be!

Mother's Day and Father's Day are right around the corner which gives me a bag full of mixed emotions. I am constantly questioning how I can be a better mother for Haley, and constantly keeping my eyes out for good role models to learn from. Growing up I have two friends whose mother's I admire the most, and who have made lasting impressions on me. These two mother's couldn't be more different, and yet they are a lot alike. Both Susan and Gina have devoted as much time as possible to their children and have really taken active roles in who their children have become. I am a firm believer that a child's behavior is a direct reflection on the parenting they have received. And I think it is all based on open communication, not only between the mother and child, but the family as a whole. The best way for a family to support someone through a rough time is to be involved completely in what the details are to a certain situation. Keeping no secrets.

With this said, I am a firm believer in family dinners. I think it is a good time to get the whole family around one table and talk about what is going on in each other's lives. Jason, Haley, and I try to make sure each and everyday that we are together for dinner and enjoy that time together as much as possible. Since Haley is only 17 months old at this time I think Jason and I are still trying to figure out what kind of parents we will be. We have discussed tactics for teaching money management. Money management is something I was not raised with, but Jason was. So it is interesting for us to talk about how we have learned our money management skills and how we will instill these qualities in her.  Another topic we find ourselves discussing often is that of discipline. Again, Jason was raised in a very strongly disciplined home and I was not. Thankfully I didn't need a lot of discipline...lol. I do want Jason and I to be strict parents, and I think starting off with this early on will help Haley learn the limits of us as parents. Learning early on that there are consequences both out in the real world and within our home to everything she does.

I am always looking for ways to make a positive impact on her life and have seen many negative things to show how not to do things as well. I guess only time and a lot of prayer will show if we have succeeded in raising successful self-sufficient children.

I also want to add....since I have not advertised that this blog exists and Jason is the main follower I want to add that Mother's Day IS coming up soon....a mani/pedi would be greatly appreciated!!!!  I love you honey.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Weekend

What a great Easter weekend we have had here at the Dickerson House. We started our festivities on Friday when Jason's parents and sister came for dinner and to play with Haley. We grilled out, colored eggs, and just enjoyed each other's company. I love it when they come, and I know Haley does too. Here are a couple pictures from that night.
Haley and Grandpa. Given just a short amount of time I think Haley can cause anyone to lose their voice. All she wants are books read to her. She will bring me book after book after book everyday.

Haley and Grandma. I love this picture!

On Saturday Jason, Haley, and I went to the annual BLUE/WHITE UK Spring Football game. Since Jason played football for UK there is an alumni lunch that takes place before the game itself. These events are always such a great time, we get to catch up with some great friends and past teammates of Jason's as well as talk with and hear stories of some of the older guys that played at UK. It is always neat to see them all talking together and to see just how things have changed over the years. It catches me off guard every time to see how everyone has had such different experiences within this one program, but then again the program has had a lot of changes itself.
Easter Sunday was a wonderful day. We attended a great church service in which we were able to be witness to eight people who have come forward to be baptized and show their devotion to the Lord. Although it has been a few years, each time I see this I reminisce back on the day I was baptized and how proud I was. I also look forward and think of the days when I get to watch my children take this step of faith. I know I will cry my eyes out.  

We also did an Easter egg hunt with Haley at my mother's house. She is so darn cute. She had such a blast and didn't quite understand what the basket was for. Each time she would pick up an egg Jason would ask her if she wanted to put it in her basket and she would immediately say. "No!". Shake her head and move on to the next one. She got to the point where she was carrying six eggs at once all tucked into her arms.

I am starting to find out that the perfect family pictures I would like to get from time to time are no more. Haley refused to cooperate in the picture this year. I finally had to put my hand up her dress to tickle her belly for the slightest smirk.

This is a comparison of us from Easter last year. I cannot believe how much Haley has grown and changed over the past year. We have been so very blessed to have her in our lives. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Forever my fur-babies! The best dogs in the world.

This post will only make sense to those pet lovers out there. I always remember having a pet growing up. As a child we always had a dog in the house and I was always bringing kittens home from who knows where. Never fail, I think every single cat or other animal I brought home was named Molly. Fast forward to college, Jason and I had been dating for about two years and he asked his parents for a dog for his birthday. We took a trip down to his hometown for a little family celebration and much to my surprise his dad had looked around a gave Jason a 3 month old Black Lab. Cutest thing and full of so much energy. When Jason asked me what I wanted her name to be, of course I offered up Molly. So little Miss Chevious Molly she was.
This is a picture of Jason, Molly, and me just a few days after getting her at a Fourth of July party in 2005. She was such a good dog. Although I am sure we did, I don't remember having any trouble training her. Of course Jason and I had bought a couple of books and videos on how to train dogs..lol. So we were well prepared. It wasn't even a year after we got Molly that we had decided to get another dog and had set our sights on a Golder Retriever puppy. We were very fortunate to have found a breeder in Jackson, Kentucky, the Anderson's. The couple that we got in touch with will forever be considered friends of mine. I remembered that Jason and I didn't have enough money to cover their full asking price and all I remember is how they stressed over and over that they just wanted their dogs to be in good, loving homes. Jason had emailed them some information about himself and me, and we were able to work out a cost that worked for all of us. We took a trip to Jackson to "pick out" which puppy we wanted. It came to us so easy, there was one male puppy that liked to snuggle up to Jason's chest when he would hold it. This was our puppy.
The day the puppies were released by the vet as being ready to go to their separate homes we got a call from the Anderson's. Jason and I immediately jumped in the car to go pick him up. We couldn't wait to bring him home to Molly. We named him Handsome Hank. As you can see in the picture above Molly was a great teacher of all things dog for Hank. She was surprisingly gentle with him and let him bite and pull on her ears all the time. So it was life with two dogs. I am still not sure if Hank ever really learned how to ask to go outside on his own, he just always followed Molly.
This picture is from 2006, it was part of Jason and mine''s Engagement pictures. It is funny how the dogs have such different personalities. Molly has always been more laid back and well behaved, while Hank was into everything and always had to be the center of attention. I am laughing in all of the pictures we took with the dogs. We would get Hank to sit down and every time we tried getting him to lay down he would lay down and then immediately roll over, belly up to show everyone his goods. He was so proud of himself.
This picture was Halloween 2010. My three little dogs..ha. There was a lot of worry about how the dogs would do when we brought Haley home from the hospital. A lot of un-needed worrying. They have been great with her from day one. Haley climbs all over them, and gives them hugs and kisses all the time. I am so glad we have so many pictures and videos of her with them.

This was taken February 2011. Unfortunately this is where our story takes a turn, this is the last family picture with both dogs. In December 2010 we found out that Hank had bone cancer and would only have a few months left to live before his pain would become unmanageable and we would need to put him down.  That day came soon after this picture was taken. It was by far the worst experience of my life. I wish I never had to do it. Then in the following days I had to listen to Haley running all over the house looking for him, mostly each morning and after each nap. At 14 months old, I didn't realize how much Haley's day revolved around him.  At this point it has been less than three months since that day and just as we think things are coming to a new normal for our household. This week we learned that Molly has very large tumors growing in her liver and spleen. The specialist we took her to told us we would have maybe "weeks" with her. Could this really be happening? I ask myself all the time and the truth is Yes, it is. I can't believe it, but it is. I guess in the large scheme of things, the two of them really do belong together. So I ask you to give a little extra love to your pets, let them know you need them. Over the past week I have received many words of support, even some cards and flowers. But there is one friend who sent the following that always seems to bring a tear to my eye and peace in my heart, so that is what I will end this with:
The Rainbow Bridge
inspired by a Norse legend

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart, Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We have so much fun!

There have been a couple of occasions where I have let Haley pick out her clothes for the day. I will get a couple of outfits and lay them out letting Haley tell me which one she wants to wear. My grandmother keeps telling me that I am really setting myself up and that I shouldn't do this, but I always think it is interesting to see what she picks. I like to see what her tastes are, or maybe try to see what it tells me about what her mood is for that day. I probably try to read into it too much. Anyway, over the past couple of weeks Haley continues to bring me her penguin house shoes and her cat snow suit hat, ... and it looks adorable on her.
At least for now she doesn't really go out of her room in it and she seems to understand that we do have to put on an actual outfit before leaving the house. As for now though, she has a blast doing this and I cant wait to show her these pictures one day when she is older.

I did break out some little dress up clothes that I had bought about a year ago from the dollar section at Target. She loves these too! She is such a little princess. I always thought it had to be taught to stand in front of a mirror and swing your hips to see your skirt sway from side to side, but apparently not. The first time we put one of these on her, it was the first thing she did. It was so darn cute and I wish I had caught that moment on video. She had such a big smile on her face. I hope these pictures help her to remember all the fun we have together.