Saturday, September 25, 2010

The loss of a good friend.

OK, that might have been a little misleading. There hasn't been a death, but there has been a loss, per say. When I graduated from Vanderbilt in 2004, my parents bought me a new VW Touareg. I loved it and have continued to for the past almost 5.5 years. (I got the car in December.) It is a very nice car, great interior, excellent sound system, heated seats, pretty big trunk space, built in window shades in the back seat, side mirrors that fold in at the touch of a button, a sun roof, etc. I loved the color: wheat beige. Great car. Only things about it that were not so great... gas mileage wasn't awesome and repairs were RIDICULOUSLY expensive and a bit too frequent. For example, I know that Josh and I spent at the very least a good $3,000 on repairs (not counting the new tires and brake pads!) in the last year alone. His 1996 Cutlass Supreme hasn't been in the shop SINCE WE GOT MARRIED 3.5 YEARS AGO! Red. flag.
Well, this Summer we grew tired of bleeding money, so we talked to my sister's soon-to-be brother-in-law, Robyn, who is a broker (can get you basically any car you want for a great price from auctions, etc.) and he shopped around for us. [PLUG: If you are at all interested in shopping around for a different car or buying one, you should definitely give Robyn a call! He can even sell your current car for you. He's great to work with and a nice guy to boot.] We initially played with the idea of a minivan because we could get it for a good price, lots of room, and there were even a few that were still under warranty! BUT, we decided that we didn't need that kind of space quiet yet and if we didn't need it, I wasn't quite ready to take the minivan plunge. Neither was Josh haha. It's not that I care about the stereotype... I AM a mommy! Not to sound completely horrible or superficial, but I don't find them cute in the slightest and if I have the choice, I'd rather drive something a little more visually appealing to me. It's a personal opinion. Please try not to judge. [I'm sure many people feel the same way whether they'd all like to admit it or not haha] Granted, there may come a time when that will be the best option for us and I will *happily* take the minivan plunge if that is what is best for my family [although my sights are on a Chevy Traverse or a Yukon type situation]. I've actually heard a lot of people say that they love theirs!
All that to say, we ended up getting a 2007 Chevy Equinox. Great car. Better gas mileage. Approximately the same room in the car (a little narrower and the slightest bit less trunk space it appears [def frustrating-we thought there was as much or more-oh well, we'll deal. it's not much less at all]. Cheaper repairs. Newer car. OOOOH the BEST part is that the seats originally were cloth and Robyn knows a guy who does leather seat installation for a good price, so we got new leather seats put in and the car feels brand spanking new!

I have to admit, I am having a little bit of a hard time with the transition. I'm REALLY excited about a new-er car with all of the above perks. I am so blessed to have a car in the first place. Please don't read any of this as being ungrateful. However, I am a sentimental sap, and when I think about the VW, memories flood my mind... Josh driving us on dates. Driving to my BFF Eden's bridesmaid luncheon at Cobb Lane and subsequently her wedding. Picking up friends and family at the airport. Trips to Nashville. Driving home from my aunt's farm and calling everyone to excitedly announce our engagement. Bringing Miley home from the Humane Society. Driving through the middle of the night to get to FL to be in my other BFF Joy's wedding. Tons of trips to the lake. We drove away from our wedding in the VW. We brought our babies home from the hospital in that car. These are only the high points that immediately spring to mind. However, it all boils down to this: the VW is a material, replaceable thing. Those memories will stay with me forever. End of story.
I don't always handle change well initially; Josh said he even expected that I'd have a little bit of trouble, but now I'm ready to make new memories with my new family of four in my new-er car.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Finally finished August.

Ok.... So I need to have another night where I just sit down and blog/add pictures like I did tonight so I can get September blogged. I've been making myself some notes so it'll be a quick one. The problem is that I have 100's of pictures to go through and choose which ones to use! Ah well. I WILL get caught up! I'm so close... Hope you enjoy August with the Gambles below.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

August...finally with pictures!

Just a picture of a really sweet moment between Harrison and me.... I like to put my hand on the side of their face and they seem to be soothed by it. Sometimes they'll be deliciously precious and put their hand on top of mine :) Sigh... love. it.
8/5 joy/luke came to visit! we went to our 10 year high school reunion that Saturday 8/7/10. It was way too expensive, but so much fun to see everyone and catch up! The twins were a huge topic, of course, and it seemed like everyone was really keeping up with them through Facebook, which was very flattering!
8/6 The night before the reunion, we went to see some of Joy and Luke's college friends play a concert at Briarwood Church. They are the Christian band, 10th Avenue North. They are GREAT! I'd met a few of the members over the years before they were a band, so it was good to see them again. I met the lead singer, Mike, back in 2003 when I went to visit Joy at PBA during Spring Break. He's hilarious and so talented. His wife, Kelly, is another one of Joy's very close friends and former roomies. Anyways... that night, Jack Henry gave me a GREAT surprise! HE LAUGHED OUT LOUD! It was music to my ears.... Sigh :) I was changing his diaper (on a pew haha) and tickled his tummy just being silly and he looked me in the eye and let out the sweetest giggle!
8/7 The morning of the reunion, Harrison started grabbing some of the toys hanging on their play mat. I'd been waiting for that for a long time...after watching them just look at them for months haha...

Playing with each other on 8/11/10
On 8/14, the boys and I went to the lake for a day because aunt podge was in town. They were glad to see her, but not as much as I was :) The boys had both been cooing and stuff since June, but the main chatter box had been Harrison. That weekend at the lake, Jack Henry REALLY found his voice and has been chatting away since then! He will squeal and coo and it is soooooo sweet! For a little bit Harrison actually got quieter again, but now (9/12/10) they both chat a ton!

Waiting to get in the car to head to the lake!
(LOVE these gingham bubbles my mom's cousin "aunt marilyn" gave the boys)
JH alseep in Big Daddy's lap

Deep conversations with Big Daddy
On 8/16, the boys' 4 month birthday, they had their 4 month well baby appointment where we tried a new pediatrician, Dr. Dennis at Over the Mountain Pediatrics. We REALLY liked her! The boys weighed in at 14 lbs 10 oz (H) and 15 lbs 5 oz (JH). They were 24.75 and 25.5 inches long, respectively. The craziest thing about their weights is that they are 11 oz apart. If you will recall, when Harrison was sick before his pyloric stenosis surgery, he lost 11 oz that week. Strange coincidence! They did FANTASTIC with their shots.. funny story... mom and I stand back when they get their shots so they can't see us when they feel that pain LOL... We'd rather them associate that with the nurse haha.... well, when the nurse laid JH down, he looked at her and smiled! She said "ooooh please dont look at me and smile before I have to give you this shot!".... He is such a sweet boy :) They both really are.
Harrison likes to grab his paci out of his mouth, so a while back I started giving him a "dummy paci" for his hand to distract him from the one in his mouth haha
Snuggling with Daddy as a big 4 month old :)
Brotherly chats at the Ped office
"No way!"
"Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time..."
Impromptu photo sesh with Harrison at the Pediatrician's office. I love that beautiful smile!

After we got home, I tried to get a picture of the boys together to document their 4 month birthday. I had a bit of trouble b/c Harrison kept giving me the same shocked face and Jack Henry wouldn't look at the camera. LOL... It makes me giggle to look at it!
That night, Susan and Michael Bayliss, my God-parents, came over to see the boys and to learn their night time routines because they are keeping them for me one night a week this semester as I go to class from 5:30-8. Susan and Michael are two of the most precious and Godly people that I know. They are SOOO wonderful with the boys and it just touches my heart to see people who I love so much loving on my babies.
On 8/17 Aunt Podge came over to visit with me and the boys before she headed back to Texas to soon start classes. During her visit, JH gave us another little surprise..... he laughed out loud AT HER when she was talking to him! It was the first time for him to laugh at someone and apparently Aunt Podge was very funny that day! :)
That morning:
That night, I started my first class of the semester. I think I've lost my mind taking 15 hours at night while being a stay-at-home-mommy during the day...but I'm so ready to be finished w/ this new degree. I'll student teach in the Spring and be finished, thank goodness. God willing, Josh will still be making enough to fully support me and the boys, like he is now and that will allow me to be a full-time stay-at-home-mommy for a least for a few years. We'll see how it all turns out.:)

On 8/20 JH started grabbing toys hanging on their playmat, too! It is so neat to see the boys develop and grow. They are both hitting great milestones, getting stronger, and learning fast, but they do all of it in different ways and at different times. It is always such a good reminder that they are VERY different babies and reminds me to treat them that way, too. They are their own person and will develop at their own rate that is best for them.
Hanging out with Daddy being cute :)
That night we tried to go try out the new Mexican place at the Summit, Chuy's, and follow it up with Yogurt Lab, but it was a 1.5 hr wait, so we went to Flipburger (delicious) and 32 degrees since it was right there and the boys were growing weary.

On 8/21-8/22 Gigi and Papa (Josh's parents) came to visit and we got to go to Chuy's and Yogurt lab :) Not only did she show up with quite a loot for the boys, but Gigi also took us shopping and got the boys some good Fall/Winter clothes at Belk! It's nice being the only grandbabies in the family, isn't it? :) That weekend the Gambles were also learning about the boys and their schedule because they will be here for my cousin Rachel's wedding weekend to keep Jack Henry and Harrison for us because I will be REALLY busy with Bridesmaid stuff like luncheon, nails, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, after party, brunch, makeup, pictures, wedding, reception, etc! Whew... I'm tired just thinking about it but SO excited b/c it'll be a really fun weekend. I love Rachel and I love weddings!
Hanging out at Chuy's during dinner
BEAUTIFUL sunset after shopping! What a blessing.
The weekend they were here, Harrison started this random leg-pushing when he was in his bed. It seems somewhat developmental... at least he's building strength, I guess! Unfortunately, like most babies, ours like to practice their "tricks" while sleeping at night (and nap time) so that new trick cost us a few hours of sleep in the nights to follow, but it's OK. We are incredibly blessed to have healthy, wonderfully developing babies. That in itself is worth a few hours of missed sleep here and there. GOSH I love those boys so much!

On 8/27, my mom and I hit the Birmingham Area Mothers of Multiples consignment sale. We got some good stuff---another pack n play (since the boys now need two), some baby gate/play pen, clothes, bible song CDs... that might be it.

The next night, 8/28, was my cousin Rachel's couples shower. That was the night that the boys had their 1st non-family babysitters! Some of our best buds, the Byingtons (Katie and Cullen) kept JH and H for us and we really appreciated it! I did not worry about them one bit and knew that they were in great hands. That night we decided to give the babies some rice cereal in their bottle to see if they would sleep better and they did~! They slept through the whole night! Unfortunately, it wasn't the beginning of an every night thing, but they have been sleeping better in general. :)
Discussing what fun stuff they were going to do with Aunt Katie and Uncle Cullen.
8/29 was a really big day for the boys and for me. It was their first time in church nursery! Now, let me just say... I have been "leaving" the babies since the moment I gave birth to them. (unfortunately b/c of NICU stay).... so leaving them to go run errands, etc. has never been the issue. The issue for me as a new mommy is WHO I leave them with, which I feel is a very valid way to feel, especially as a new mommy. Well, on August 29th we decided to go ahead and put them in the church nursery! It was a fantastic experience. My BFF Eden did a good job reassuring me that it would be a positive experience, reminding me that the people in the nursery were volunteers who wanted to be there to see the babies and love on them.....unlike some of the daycare/preschool workers I'd observed in various development and learning centers over the years who were just plain mean to children and even babies. Thank goodness the nursery workers wouldnt be that way.
My friend Heather P. made these GORGEOUS bubbles for the boys. Every gift means a lot to me, but I have to say that the hand made stuff means the most b/c people sacrificed their time to spend it making a gift for me/my babies. It touches my heart.

Brooke G, the head of the preschool ministry at Dawson, had already gotten in touch with me about the boys' information, so they were already set up in the computer and their teachers were ready and expecting them when we showed up. It made for a very smooth transition and I cannot thank them enough. The boys did GREAT! There were no tears for them or me! haha... I have to say. I love my boys with every ounce of my being and then some times infinity plus infinity. That said, it was nice to get a break to worship w/ Josh while knowing that the babies were in the nursery being loved on and made over by the sweet ladies in there!

That afternoon, I went to a linen shower for Rachel and when I got back, we gave the boys some cereal on a spoon for the first time! It was clearly not a very successful venture haha.... but they've gotta start somewhere to learn how to swallow food correctly! They'll get it figured out soon, I'm sure.:) We didn't keep it up regularly, but practiced a few times in preparation for starting for real in September.
Harrison's first bite
Apparently rice cereal is HILARRRIOUS! haha.....
8/31/10 Waiting for Big Daddy and Mimi to come over and keep them while I went to class. I think they were watching Go Diego Go or something. It's JH's favorite. (Everything in moderation, don't worry!)
Well, that's August with pictures. Whew! Stay tuned for September.