Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nana turns 60!

Today was Michael's mom's 60th birthday! We celebrated with a birthday lunch in downtown Greenville at 'Smoke on the Water'. If you've never been there, you're missing a treat. It's 'saucy southern food' by their own description, and it's really very good! (Only thing for you moms is that they do not have a kids hot dogs at this joint!)

We had the party room which had an all glass window onto the streets outside. Dianne didn't know we would all be waiting for her at the restaurant so she was surprised to walk in and find us there.

We had a great time eating with family and friends and then walked over to the Reedy River. It is beautiful down there with sooo many pretty flowers.

After everyone else left, the kids had been begging to ride the trolley since we first arrived. We finally flagged one down and the ride was so much fun! And most important, it was free!! It's such a treat to find something that is fun and free these days!

The trolley takes you all the way from the historic housing district around through main street and all the way down to the Greenville Drive stadium. It's a beautiful ride and so relaxing not having to worry about driving.

I think I enjoyed it more than the kids!!

It was a great day and we really enjoyed spending time downtown! It's such a fun, relaxed atmosphere down there.

Happy Birthday Nana...we love you!

(Oh, and Ton, we found one of the mice!!! Look in the slideshow for a picture of the kids with it...Ella Kate was just walking along and looked down to see it!)

Jake's "procedure"

Thanks to all of you who said a prayer for us on Friday morning as Jake had his little procedure done. He was a trooper who now declares "I never should have went to that hospital!" :)

He was taken very good care of and was in and out (of the OR) in less than 15 minutes. He's just about back to his normal self tonight!

Have you guys seen this neat tube thing?? They have one at each bed and it blows warm air for those way too cold hospital rooms!

Recovery room

Shrek at the Park

Two weeks ago, we enjoyed our second movie in the park. It was again lots of fun!

We enjoyed some good ole' Fuddruckers first and then headed over to hang out and wait for the movie. It was just as fun as last time...watermelon, football, popcorn, bug spray...yes! bug spray! Zachary went around putting on bug spray like he was addicted. It was hilarious. At one point we even caught them begging for a random man to put some on them.

And the excitement for the night...Ella Kate won a gift certificate in the drawing! She went super shy when they announced her name over the loud speaker but Michael carried her to the front to collect her prize - bowling for the whole family including dinner!! We've never been bowling with both kids but it will definitely be something we'll try.

Checking out the prize

Shrek III was great and the kids were totally into it. We even waited until the end to leave. Alvin and the Chipmunks is the August flick so we're really excited to see it!

Little Miss Sunshine :)

Football in the grass

Mr Jamie


Playing ball

Karson and Brynn

The chicks

Jake being serious

Brandon and Addie

Addie ... such a sweet baby!

The men folk

Light stick fun

Birthday Blowout

Jake's birthday party was a blast!! It's taken me this long to recover from it. :)

We rented a waterslide since this was the big number 5. It was the best money ever spent on a birthday. Hands down. The kids LOVED it. The adults LOVED it. We didn't regret one penny.

And the best part...I didn't have to plan a single game.

I am not a game planner. I could plan games all day but the kids would hate them and I would spend the whole party trying to force them to play loser games.

We had the slide all weekend long which was very nice. It worked out perfectly too...the kids played on Saturday and the adults played on Sunday. We really did!

On Sunday, Michael came up with the bright idea to add some conditioner to the slide since he thought we were moving kind of slow. We didn't agree with the slow part but he added it anyway. It worked. We slammed our delicate bodies into the bottom of the slide even harder.

And did I forget to mention that on Sunday it poured rain almost all afternoon. It was lightning though so we played anyway. It's hard to tell in these pictures, but it is raining the entire time! We only huddled under the tent for a short while before we were ready to slide.

I'm sure our neighbors really wonder about us now. Here are some pictures of "adult" day... I promise us girls did slide...LOTS. But you know that we would never allow pictures of the spectacle!

Besides playing in the rain, on Saturday night around 9:00 after Ella Kate went to bed, Michael, Jake and I went out for a slide. It was chilly!! It didn't take long to realize this was much more fun when your friends are right alongside of you acting like complete idiots.

Most importantly, Jake loved it and really enjoyed having all his friends over to enjoy it with him. Now it's time to do the bi-annual (birthday and Christmas) toy clean out to make room for all the good stuff he got!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy 25th Summer!

You are a true blessing in my life!! I am so thankful for the friendship that we have and the love you show me, Michael, and the kids each day. Have a wonderful birthday!

Here's a little laugh for you...

Smiling all the time

Ultimate hairdresser!

Martha (Stewart) at her best!

Makes us laugh with her Brynn & Addie stories

Eats less often than anyone I know! Is once a day even enough to count??

Rarely has a bad hair day!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Baby is 5

Today my baby boy turns 5. Sniff, sniff.

And what a 5 years it has been.

Jake...what can you say about Jake....

When Jake was a baby he cried a lot. A LOT. I mean so much so that all our videos of him are of crying. The doctor tried to blame it on reflux. I think it was his personality. He had things to say and places to go and we weren't cooperating. We kept trying to make him sleep and eat and that was boring.

But he sure was cute while he cried. He looked a lot like a skinny, old man when he was born. But soon afterwards, he fattened up and was just adorable. His nickname with Ms. Becky and Ms. Ashlee was 'Cabbage Patch'. In fact, one day I went through a drive thru and the lady actually asked me if that was a cabbage patch kid in the carseat.

Duh. Yes, I'm just pretending. :)

He must have smelled those good ole' fries and took a time out from crying.

He was a cutie though. And I'm not biased at all.

He is just like his mother. He has the same strong-willed, hard headed, determined spirit that I have. That can be good AND bad. I know from experience! Mimi says we just have to channel it right. :)

He can also be the sweetest little fellow in the world. He knows exactly how to crawl in our bed and rub daddy's back so that he doesn't have to go to bed quiiiiite yet. He also loves to sleep in...10:00 isn't unusual for Jake.

He is known for randomly professing his love for mom and dad. You just have to be sure it's not to distract us from what he's been up to in the other room!

He is tender and loving one minute and the next he's ferociously fighting the world. He goes srong 24/7.

We love our Jacob Michael Waddell. Even though he took about 20 hours of labor to get him here!

He was supposed to be Cole you know.... Up until the day he arrived. Jacob Cole I believe. We even had things embroidered with his name and initials. We had talked about naming him after Michael but Michael thought there were already too many Michael Waddells (there are about 3 in Woodruff alone). But when we got in that room and it was time....he decided he wanted his baby boy to have his name! Jacob Michael Waddell it was. And we would call him Jake.

Now I can't get more common than his name. For the first few years of his life, Jacob was the Number 1 name and Michael was the Number 2 name. It's okay. He's our only Jake. At least people won't wonder how to spell it. And they'll always have Waddell to mess up. Some folks seem to think Waddell and Waddle are the same! ;)

So our baby Jake will celebrate with a spider-man waterslide party today and lots of family and friends.

Happy 5th Birthday Baby'll always be mommy's baby!

I Love You!!

3 months

12 months

9 months

Just pretty baby blues...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Oh What Strong Will

4:30 yesterday afternoon and still no eating...

Around 3:00 I took Ella Kate to the grocery store and let her see all the different fruits and try to pick one she might like. I got an apple, strawberries, applesauce, watermelon.... The whole time in the store, she would see something she liked and say "I want that!" but then she would quickly follow it with "But I don't want to eat fruit first!" Hmmm... She knew what was going on! But she was choosing to just starve....whose kid is this?? Her mama doesn't choose to starve! :)

At about 4:30 yesterday I decided to call the nutritionist and see if there was something else I could/should do with my starving child. She said that this was making both of us overly anxious and making it a huge deal so we should try a different way. She's so sweet.

She suggested that at dinnertime I feed her as she would normally eat and not make a deal out of it. Don't say a word, just feed her. Then we would start "hiding" fruits and veggies in her food in the days to follow. After we started getting them in her, we would try again to get her to eat them. She is making me a specific list of foods to puree and "hide" in the foods she willingly eats. All I have to do is send her the list of "preferred" foods. How exciting!!

I do agree that it's making a HUGE deal out of eating and that is not good for girls especially when eating can be such an issue later in life. BUT I really, really, really didn't want to give in.

It's just harder than you can imagine to see your baby lying there so hungry that she doesn't do anything but sleep and you are choosing to let her be that way. If I'd only known what I was choosing a few years back when I let this happen. Please new(er) mothers...learn from my mistakes!!

So I fed the baby dinner and she was back to normal. Mission Unaccomplished.

Oh, and thank you to all my good friends who called to check on the baby girl! It means so much to know you care!! :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


1:33 PM

You'll have to see previous post for explanation...

She's pooped from the struggle.... still no eating going on in this house. Except by me! :)

The Dunk

(Dunk is Ella's word for the garbage dump.)

When I was little I remember every Saturday being "dump day".

It was the highlight of our week.

It was a almost comforting to know the routine...daddy would gather up all the trash. We would all have to bring the different cans to the kitchen where he would fill the bags. Then we piled into the truck and left mom at home. Looking back, this was probably her favorite time of the week.

The fun part wasn't the trash. It was that we always got to stop by the store and pick a drink and a snack on the way home. We weren't big spenders when we were kids. This was really something special!

When we were very, very little we always went to Uncle JQ's store for our treats. My memories of this are very sketchy and vague but they're still there.

Fast foward 25 years and my children seem to be enjoying the same thing with their daddy. It seems that we have an inordinate amount of large trash items. You know, the kind of things that can't go in the local garbage dump.

What does everyone else do with these things??? Things that they don't allow you to put in your regular garbage pick up? Do you guys put them in anyway? Are we the only ones on a first name basis with the landfill crew??

Anyway, we have made several trips lately to the Welford Landfill. It really is a fascinating place. Not necessarily fascinating in a good kind of way either. It is absolutely astounding how much trash is there.

I think kids should take field trips there to raise their awareness of how much trash we generate. Perhaps adults should take field trips there too!!

I know most of you are strange. She took pictures at the landfill. So be it. My husband has already informed me that that was abnormal. So did the stares of the other people there dumping their belongings.

In reality, we have 2 little buddies that I would have invited to ride along if they hadn't been on vacation. I think their parents are quite negligent in not allowing them regular trips to see this site.

They happen to love the trash man and aspire to become one when they grow up. Their mom is very proud. She was ecstatic to find $5 toy trash trucks at our consignment sale. She wouldn't have been more excited if she found $5 Coach purses. :) That's a good mom for ya!
So, these pictures are for you boys....

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Jake wore his "work gloves" so he could get out and help

Who wears flip-flops to the landfill anyway??? EW!!

Who will win this one?

Ella Kate has never been a very good eater. I honestly don't remember how well she ate baby food...I think my life then was a baby-filled blur. I do know that as soon as she transitioned to table food, which was pretty early, she preferred breads and other carbs. After 3 years, her diet consists mainly of bread, macaroni and cheese, french fries, and pizza. Oh, and don't forget as much icing as she can lick off of a cake! I am so ashamed to say that she refuses to eat a single fruit or vegetable!!!

It's not because she hasn't been offered healthier foods. She just refuses to eat them and waits until the next meal for her ration of bread to get her by.

I know I have created this scenario by allowing her to choose her foods so early on. My mistake. Period. And now I am reaping what I've sown and having to teach her to eat them.

Not fun.

I decided to visit a pediatric nutritionist for some help. I must not be the only one interested in visiting one because we have literally waited 8 weeks for our appointment! We went yesterday and the nutritionist and the dietician (not sure if there's much difference!) were both very nice.

We got some great suggestions and guidance on where to start with this "journey". One of the first things they said to do was not allow her to drink anything other than water (and 2 cups of milk) each day. They said she was satisfying her hunger with tea or other sweet drinks so that she didn't have to eat the healthier foods I was offering her.

My child will honestly just not eat before she will try the fruits or vegetables that she is given. I've tried not to make it an enormous battle because I know that will backfire on me as well. She is VERY strong-willed...not unlike her mother! :)

So, basically, the plan is to force her to eat by making her very, very, very, very hungry.

Her previous pattern was to choose not to eat at dinner because she didn't like what we had and she would go to bed hungry. She then would get up and eat a breakfast fit for a large man! She would eat 3-4 waffles plus a cup of chocolate milk every morning.

All this background to bring you to our day...

I took away her sugar drinks yesterday. She did not eat a big dinner last night.

This morning I placed a single blueberry on her plate.

It is about a centimeter wide for crying out loud!!

You would have thought I asked her to eat a live bug!!!

I also fixed a plate full of blueberry pancakes and even told her she could have syrup this morning with them!! Syrup is only for special occasions in our house because they make such a mess!

She looked at the pancakes and she looked at the blueberry. I think she did a toddler eye roll. :)

She laid on the floor and cried for a while. I tried to ignore her and when she told me she wanted pancakes, I calmly reminded her that all she had to do was eat this one blueberry and she could have them all!!

No go.

It is 12:27 PM and the blueberry is still sitting on the plate.

She has told me that she is starving and that her tummy hurts really bad.

But she won't touch the blueberry.

How long does this battle of wills go on????

When she passes out from hunger do I secretly stuff food in her so she won't think she's won. Then she'll just wake up and be a little less hungry and we can start this song and dance all over???

Do I hook her up to iv fluids so she doesn't starve to death and hold fast to my promise, "You are not getting any other food until you eat this blueberry" ??

I know her and I know her mom and this could be a LONG day....

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Dr Ben

Recently we all made our biyearly trip to the dentist. It was thankfully a very peaceful visit! The kids both let them clean their teeth...yeah!! Jake did extremely well!! This was his second official cleaning and he hopped right in the chair and did not move a muscle. He even let them use a fluoride tray in his mouth for the full minute and didn't swallow a drop!!

This was Ella Kate's very first trip. She was okay at first but started to be a little skittish when she tried to floss her teeth. She wanted nothing to do with that floss...probably because (shame of all shames) no one had ever flossed her teeth before!! The hygienist tried every flavor they had but she just hated it. So in order not to scare her, they just backed off and let her get up. After she stood up, the hygienist (wonderful, wonderful girl!) talked her into letting her clean her teeth while standing up. So she did eventually get each little pearly white polished.

All in all it was a great trip. We love our new dentist office!

I do have to add...Jake had a cavity about a year ago at his first dentist visit. At that time he had to be sedated to fill it which was a dramatic ordeal in itself! At this visit, they found a problem with the previous filling that had caused a cavity to form in the crack between the filling and the tooth. :( So, we scheduled yet another filling. We decided to try it in the office first without sedation for several reasons - he does really well in the chair and it's also about $400 cheaper!!

I was so proud of my baby boy....he got in the chair and didn't flinch the entire time they worked on him. He sat and had his filling without even a numbing shot! Wow!! Sometimes I just want to squeeze that little face....

Ella Kate has her teeth cleaned while standing...

Mr. Thirsty is the favorite!

Wearing the cool shades..

Getting "bibbed" up

Ready to clean!

Jake does his fluoride treatment

Ella Kate cleans baby Dora's teeth with the electric toothbrush :)

Jake wears the shades

Ready to clean!