Shannon Falls, August 2012

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Today I am simply feeling misplaced.

I am not a military wife.

I am not a size 4, or even 10.

I am not pregnant with baby #2, nor am I still only a wife (meaning I could come and go as so desired, at least easier, before I became a mommy).

I am not certain about a couple things (decisions, not relationship worries).

I am not as involved as I want to be, yet in one sense I don't want to be involved more at all.

I know this doesn't seem like much to many, or all, of you, but there are so many thoughts jumbled in my head I fail to find the words to express them. And some issues I don't have the liberty to discuss yet. I once missed college terribly...that feeling passed. Right now I greatly miss friends and our former Sunday School class 6 hours away. Is it just me or does the Coast feel almost like a retirement community in a sense, not family-friendly? Told you I couldn't put my feelings into words. I am just out of place right now.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Snapshots

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry 1st Christmas, Hayden!

You didn't scream when we saw Santa, you woke up in the best mood Christmas morning, you really seem to enjoy your gifts, and you listened patiently as Mommy explained why we truly celebrate Christmas!

We have a busy day ahead, son, so just get ready to be photographed, videotaped, held, passed, bounced, tickled, kissed, cooed at, and played with. You're our busy little trooper!

We love you, Hayden! You're the best gift ever!
~Daddy and Mommy

Thursday, December 24, 2009


It's Hayden's 1st Christmas Eve, and at 5:09 tonight, he'll be 8 months old! Goodness!

We're also thisclose to crawling. He has all the power, he's just not sure how to harness it and make the legs and arms work together.

Hayden is an incessant jabberer/babbler, too! So we're working even now on words and vocabulary and pitch and different sounds. And he definitely talks with his eyes; poor thing, again just like his momma, he won't be able to hide his feelings or emotions from his face. No poker for us!

Tonight is the Christmas Eve service at church and then it's back to our house for pizza and dominoes. Tomorrow is Christmas morning spent just the 3 of us seeing what Santa left, then off to mom's for lunch and presents with the sister and brother-and-law, nephew, and grandparents (both sets), and finally more presents and family at our house tomorrow night with the Ainsworth crew. I'm tired already!


Friday, December 18, 2009

I Can't Touch?

Bless my baby boy's heart, he has his momma's sensitive nature (thus far). Hayden can't stand to be lying down anymore now that he knows what it's like to be vertical. He's not completely pulling himself up yet, so we caved and put him in this walker my grandmother gave us. I've read all this stuff that says walkers aren't good (for a billion and one reasons), but he loves it and has figured out how to navigate! I'm telling you, it keeps him happy, and therefore, we're happy! But I'm off on a tangent.
So he has the moving around the room thing down fairly well. Well, tonight he discoverd the tree and just how close he can get to it! He reached out to touch, and I told him no. It was more just to gauge his reaction. He pulled back and then tentatively tried it again, checking me out by cutting his eyes toward me. When I said no the second time, his lip bottom lip started quivering and he got this scared look in his eyes. Bless his heart, both daddy and I laughed, then I picked him up and consoled his little broken heart. Oh, how I wish I had filmed it! It was so precious.

These are some pictures our babysitter's mother took. They (Kara and Hayden) framed 2 8x10's for us for Christmas. I love my happy chunky monkey! I can't believe he'll be 8 months old next week--Christmas Eve. I am so ready and yet so not ready for Christmas at the same time because once it's here, it's done and Hayden's first Christmas has come and gone. Man, I'm so "glass-half-empty." Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tooth #3

Baby boy has tooth #3 breaking through on top. He bit down on my finger tonight, and boy, I felt it! We still haven't quite figured out crawling, but we'd rather stand up anyway!

Oh, by the way, does anyone have a good remedy for constipation? I'm having trouble getting through to the pediatrician (their line stays constantly busy and I have to call around my classes), and Hayden needs relief desperately. We started making some headway a few days ago, but now we're back to him barely getting anything out and his poor bottom is so tender and red. We've tried prune juice, Karo in the bottles like our ped. suggested, suppositories, and anything else we come across! Please help me help him!

On a side note: I'm so SICK of rain! And it's so hot and humid, not like Christmas at all. In fact, it's downright depressing! Today the fog never lifted and it rained during lunch, so the kids did not get to go outside at all. And they sure could have used the break from the school building!

Oh, and did you know it's the teacher's fault when a student has missed too many days and she can't be exempt? Yep, I caused this young lady not to turn in excuses and thus, she has to take my exam (note the sarcasm). Hate it for ya. Deal with it. And I have another young man who does nothing in my class because apparently I'm not funny like his English teacher last year so I don't hold his attention. And at some point the school "messed" him over (he had an alternate word) so he basically refuses to do anything. See you in 8th grade again next year, kiddo.

So this whole post was really just to let you know Hayden has his third tooth coming in--front and center. Well, maybe just a little to the right, but you get the idea! Chomp, chomp!

Going to make our first visit to Santa this weekend! Hoping for a happy visit!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Could It Be?

Could it be that Hayden has FINALLY figured out that sleeping through the night is a good thing? He was asleep by 7:30 last night, and it is currently 6:45 AM. Hmmmm. So why am I not asleep? Because I was worried something was wrong and because I am too conditioned to be up in the 5 o'clock hour for work! Rain is coming down outside, so maybe the weather is playing a part. Or maybe it's because David finally helped me let him fuss himself back to sleep for a few nights. I tell ya---people offer all these tips and suggestions, which some work and others don't, and I kept reading about letting him cry himself back to sleep. But it's so hard to do! Listening to your child cry rips at a mother's heart. David usually just slept through it. But at 7 months, we definitely knew it wasn't hunger (he hasn't woken up to eat in months), we know his hurting cries, and we know his "I just want attention!" cries. So my husband helped me leave him alone. And maybe it worked. We'll know so much more for baby #2, and I am so thankful Hayden is such a happy, joyful, healthy baby. Even with the mistakes I have made, he has been resilient and adapted and still loved me through it all! Might I finally know what it's like to sleep 8 hours again?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Card

So tonight we tried to get family pictures taken for our first family of 3 Christmas card. Easier said than done! I hate the way I look in pictures so to find one with all of us having decent expressions and Hayden at least looking was a challenge. But here are the 2 (if I remember correctly!) we used to create our card:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shopping Cart

Today we reached another milestone: Hayden riding in the shopping cart! Since we had to change to a convertible carseat before Hayden was sitting unassisted for any period of time, I could never go shopping with him by myself. Someone had to accompany me to push him in the stroller while I pushed the cart or vice versa. However, today, no one could go with me to Target, so I thought, "Shoot! We have to try it at some point and see where we stand!" So off we went. I strapped him in well, shoved my jacket next to him for extra cushion (he was leaning because he was pretty tired), and around the store we went. Hayden got fussy only when we stopped so I could look at something! I know he loves being up and able to see everyone and everything. I also know we're not ready for an hour-long shopping trip like this just yet, but I would definitely say today was a success! What a relief!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just Getting Started

While we can't wait for the years to come when Santa really makes a visit and Hayden really gets into the swing of Christmas, it's also very nice that nearly all of his gifts are hanging out on our loveseat and he has no idea. David and I just started shopping for him this evening. I think we snagged all of his big items, but we still have stocking stuffers and smaller knick-knacks to purchase. We're really focusing on manipulatives and books; I read to him the other night and he just got still. I'm glad he enjoys reading and being read to. There are a few things we especially want to find, like a Santa plate (so we can leave out cookies and carrots/reindeer food Christmas Eve) and a Polar Express book. David wants to read him Polar Express and the Christmas story every year, so we're working on establishing those traditions now. I've told my parents that if anyone (like the aunts/uncles/ grandparents) asks about clothes, we would prefer gift cards rather than actual clothes. I know people understand Hayden is a big boy, but at the same time, I don't think they really grasp how difficult it is to clothe the boy! Even his 12 mo. onesies barely snap because they're too short! And we can no longer do "footie-pjs" because they're basically too short no matter the size, it seems. But I digress.

I have to start shopping for David. I have some ideas, but my husband doesn't know what he wants Santa to bring him so he's no help! And normally, he guesses every year what I've gotten him. It never fails, he reads my mind. Thanks to Hayden, all of the immediate family members we would shop for are taken care of.

Upcoming events: We have a family Christmas picture to take, a first visit to Santa to make, and lots of goodies to bake! Merry Christmas, all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Joys of Mommy-hood

Sigh. I love motherhood. I do. But tonight I was fortunate enough to experience one of the downsides of motherhood: baby constipation. Yep. You heard me. So guess what I got to do? If you're thinking it involves a "pill" and a place where the "sun don't shine," you'd be correct! Fun times. Bless his heart; Hayden was just screaming and shaking because it hurt so badly to go. It's been like this for a day or so; I wanted to see if it would resolve itself, but no such luck. We've tried prunes, prune juice, cutting out rice cereal and bananas, and anything else that we can find! Hopefully, we're on the downhill slide!

Recent Pictures

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Happy 7 Month Birthday, Hayden!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

6 Month Pictures


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Random Thoughts...

Hayden can completely put himself to sleep, and usually, it's with very minimal, if any, fussing. This is WONDERFUL. He may not, however, stay asleep all night, but it's improving.

Today we went to Mobile for our nephew Devin's birthday party. On our way home, we passed another birthday party taking CHECKER'S. No lie.

I am joining a gym soon. I'm tired of feeling ugly and still being stuck in my maternity pants. Boo for hating what you see in the mirror.

I have a fantastic husband. It's the little things I observe in other couples somedays that make me extra thankful I married David. I've always known he was perfect for me, but there are just those moments that make me even more aware how special he truly is.

My house is a disaster. I can't stand it, but it's not getting thoroughly cleaned until we're off for Thanksgiving; guess I can wait another week to deep clean.

My Sunday School class and I are planning to do Christmas for one of my students. I can't really share his circumstances, but I can't stand it. I can't stand students not having what they need, especially a decent, warm meal. If Christmas came and went and there wasn't a gift under any tree for me, I would survive and be completely okay. I have everything I need, but I can't say the same for a good number of my students.

We have an adorable son; his laugh is infectious. He can sit up for minutes now; he can't go from lying down to sitting up just yet, but he sure does try!

I want to go see a movie; I can't remember the last time David and I went to see a movie.

I also think we're putting up our Christmas decorations this week; we would have done it tonight, but we got home later than hoped for. David asks about every other day when we're putting everything up. What a change from times past!

I told you this was filled with random thoughts. Sometimes I just need to put them down somewhere.

I want to bake. But then I'll eat it. That's a no-win.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

6 Month Stats

Quick stats update:

Weight: 24 1/4 lbs.
Height: 30.5 in.

Both in the 95th percentile and still completely in proportion. YES!

Hayden's right on target with motor and sensory skills, rolling over, holding head up, etc. Dr. Bristol was very pleased.

He did great with his shots; new nurse gave them and she was a little slower, so he really felt them. Got cool blue camoflauge bandaids again and a new mini rubber ducky at the end, which dried his tears instantly. That was pretty funny. Forget mom comforting him; the duck did it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Forget

With all the worrying and stressing I do about finances, I tend to forget how blessed my little family is. I'm sure that sounds so cliche, but true, nonetheless.

Today I heard about the homelife of a student and I honestly, truly teared up. My son goes to bed every night with a full belly. Even if I don't want what is in my pantry, I have food. I'm not even close to doing without. But I have students who are--daily. School is their only escape, and for many, the only place they get to eat. Awful.

It's not just food they deal with either: drugs, abuse, etc. I know it happens, but I see more cases of this type of thing than last year. It breaks my heart. Why do people reproduce if they're not going to properly care for their children? Guess that's an age-old question, and one that's not likely to change anytime soon. Oh, it breaks my heart. If I had $15 bucks in my pocket and nothing else, and both Hayden and I needed food, I'd go hungry in a heartbeat. No question. He's more important. Always will be.

I want the safest environment possible for me, David, and Hayden (and whatever future children we have). Whatever it takes to accomplish that I'll do. I wish more parents were willing to do the same.

On a positive note, for all the bad this post has been about, I do have those few parents who go above and beyond, so sorry to be uber-negative. It's just trend to focus on the bad more than the good. I need to do something to reward those classes/students who deserve to be rewarded. Those students don't get praised often enough.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I am...

EXHAUSTED. There's no other word. Between workshops, trainings, a baby who won't sleep through the night, teaching, church activities, a funeral, and just life, I'm tired. And I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I can't get ahead in anything; shoot, I haven't done stuff (paperwork) that needed to be done 2 months ago! There is so much I want to do and update around my house, but I either don't have the energy or the time to get it completed. Hayden has started throwing little temper tantrums, testing his boundaries. Do you know how much fun it is to discipline a 6 month old and then have him ignore you? He knows what's going on, I'll give him that. Smart little booger.

Okay, well, I still have stuff to do before our babysitter arrives and I leave for work and more meetings. I rather enjoy today's meetings, though. Only 3 weeks until Thanksgiving break; teachers haven't had a break (for us, anyway) since Labor Day. We're very much in need of one!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday for a Six Month Old

What better way to spend a lazy Saturday than with a big ole bottle of juice wearing my Bama gear and relaxing in my rocker watching football? Happy 6 month birthday to me!

Half a Year

Our "baby" is 6 months old today! We're finally starting to get some sleep (last night was an exception, however), and he can roll almost completely roll over, hold his own bottle, and scoot. Two teeth are in and more on their way. He's wearing 9-12 month clothing easily, and he loves to yell at the dog. Hayden can't stand to be lying down now that he knows what it's like to sit/stand up. He's quite close to crawling, just hasn't figured out the mechanics yet. We are going to have one very busy and vocal toddler down the road!

Recent pictures coming soon! We still need to find a local pumpkin patch for some fall shots.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Not A Baby Anymore

Our almost 6 month old resembles a little man, not a baby anymore! We even purchased him a convertible carseat today. How can he be half a year old!?

Monday, October 12, 2009


Why do we expect of others what we are unable to do ourselves? For instance, we had a day of training today. As typically stated, teachers make the worst students. This was very evident today as "professional" after "professional" could not keep his/her mouth shut and pay attention during the presentation. You know, it's one thing to be discussing the material being covered. I won't even go into detail about what I heard today. Just shut your mouths, listen, and we can get through it all much faster. Do people still not realize this? Nope. Nope, they don't.

On a positive note, we were done earlier than expected and I came home to a baby in a happy mood. I can hardly believe he's nearly 6 months old. We're so close to being mobile. Don't dare remove his bottle or pacifier from him if he wants it. He'll grab it back from you. And don't lay him down if he wants to sit up; he'll fight you tooth and nail! I love and loathe his independence! He looks like a little boy, not a baby!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


So the new bkgd-- I hate Halloween and love the holiday season, so I went ahead and got ready for Turkey Day! Fall is great, when it finally gets here!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Making it....

Please no one take offense to this, but I definitely understand why God intended for parenting to be a two person deal! David is having a fabulous time at Catalyst, and I'm a single parent until basically Saturday morning. I miss my husband! He's wonderful at playing with Hayden, and it's such a relief to have an extra pair of hands. Everything seems so much more ominous, too, being alone. And the dog barks at everything, so at midnight when she goes beserk, I go beserk! But really, things are going fine.

On a school-note, I had to give two 0's on 9 weeks tests today due to cheating. Sigh. Now these students will fail.

The students are out Monday for "fall break," but we teachers have a work day. Bummer.

Hayden is so close to rolling everywhere! And he's teething pretty badly, so it's drool-city and he's fussy and not his normal self. But tonight he laid on the bed and cooed and laughed and yelled and just had the best time. I love those moments.

It's raining yet again. What happened to Sept. and Oct. being our dry months?! We had CruiseFest at FBC Biloxi, but as soon as we arrived, it started pouring. So we got a little, okay, a LOT wet, trying to get back into the truck!

Mom and I have been walking the Biloxi/OS bridge. Excellent workout and it will be even nicer when fall finally arrives!

And finally, I am so thankful to have a Target! I could have bought so much tonight, but I refrained. Hayden's really into monkeys, and I nearly bought everything I saw with one! I'll wait until I can take David and then we'll decide what to get! Christmas is just around the corner!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Longer School Year?

While there may be many positive benefits to US students spending more time each day and/or more time each year in school, I would just like to say, Mr. Obama, try walking in the shoes of a teacher first. There is no way I could manage another 3 hours every day of school; no way. I'm there almost 10 a day as it is. Then there is still work that needs to be brought home in order to be finished. I recognize that other careers probably require even more work (though I'd be the first to argue that teaching is one of the most demanding jobs available).

I've known many parents to complain about having to deal with their children at home (Hello! They're your kids!), but try dealing with 80, or 160, daily. I bust my butt to provide the best teaching I can to my students. Yes, I'm still learning better methods and better presentation, but it's a never-ending process. If we're in school longer each day, when am I supposed to be a mom or rest or do anything else? What about a longer school year? By the time it's all said and done, yes, we might get roughly 2 months off in the summer. But talk to nearly any educator, and you'll find they've spent that time furthering their own education, working on lesson plans, or completing professional development. Maybe I'm abnormal in that I spend my summer/holidays working on work. But with my schedule now, the only time I'll have to devote to my Master's is in the summer. Take that away, and how do you expect me to become even more qualified to do my job? Nope, Mr. President. Nope. Test scores. That's all it ever seems to be about.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What a Monday, Pt. II

I failed to mention the severe amount of punishment work I had to give a fella because he called a female student a f--. Yep, one of those days.

What a Monday

My Monday?

Classes that are normally great were horrendous.

Hayden slept very little last night. My longest stretch of "rest" was 2 hours.

I was supposed to have the WINGS teacher come give a presentation each period, so I planned for that. She only made one class. I had to scramble to fill the 30 minutes she was supposed to take.

We had 2 fights: one at break, one in the boys' bathroom.

I was repeatedly handed more paperwork or had meetings scheduled without my input. Meetings=no planning period. And I can only stay so late after school because our sitter has another part-time job.

I nearly chained a boy to a desk just to keep him seated! It blew his mind.

Our 2 behavior-issue kids were finally both at school. Joy. Imagine what you will about them. It's probably true (sadly and unfortunately).

Another male student told a male teacher he was something really bad. I won't dare repeat it.

Yet another male student brought beer to school and got caught. Because he bragged. And has apparently done it before. Heeeeellllll-ooooooo! Yeah, and I had just bragged on him at lunch. Heavy sigh.

Kids whined all day long. Not that that was much of a change.

What else? Oh, my gradebook program decided to become possessed and wouldn't work.

The internet on my laptop will not stay connected so I can't use it as a resource...for anything.

Planning to be out for 2 days in a training workshop on thinking maps; not looking forward to the stacks of paper that will await my return.

I'm missing something, but I think you get the idea of how my day went. If it was possible, I'd be in bed now. Maybe Hayden will go down easily tonight and stay asleep---for a few hours. He wakes, not wanting to eat, but he just stirs and then gets himself worked up. Not sure how to get him to stay asleep; I think it's just one of those things. He's made so much progress and continually grows by leaps and bounds. This too shall pass, and one day I know I'll miss these nights. He's become quite the cuddler and will hug me around the neck--esp. if he's overstimulated or tired. I couldn't imagine life without him. He watches tv only if music videos (esp. Sunday mornings on Gospel Music Channel) or football is on. I'm honestly not kidding. He holds his own bottle and can play in his exersaucer. He would almost rather put himself to sleep now and can't stay to be lying down now that he's working on mastering sitting up and rolling completely over. His two front bottom teeth are in and he's thinning up. He's incredibly strong. I could go on and on.

Best part of my day? Coming home earlier than normal to my almost 5 month old, though he's been asleep for 2 hours--since before I got home. I've had 2 hours of "me" time--checked my email, worked on a meal list (we're trying to plan for about a month at a time and grocery shop that way--save time and money), got supper started, and looked forward to my wonderful husband coming home. The sleeping baby is beginning to stir. I need Hayden time!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Open House

The most refreshing thing I heard tonight at Open House? Mom: "So? How is he?" Me: "Well, we seem to have some issues staying in our seat." Mom nods, but I hear dad in the background to ___________, "Son, do you need a reason NOT to be able to stay in your seat?" Thank you, dad.

Another mom: "How's he doing?" As I struggle to find something positive to start our conversation with, she asks, "Give me the truth, please." Open Pandora's Box.

Different note: Hayden giggled at me this morning as I entered the room to tell him goodbye. Best sound in the world to exit by.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Barely There

How in the world do you get to a point in your life where you're so comfortable that you can wear hardly anything in public? I'm watching bits and pieces of the VMAs being rerun, and I'm just appalled. Some people really should have just worn their underwear; that's what their "outfits" amount to. I worry all day long about my students getting a glimpse of anything of mine, and others parade around with boobies, booty, and belly hanging out. I'm sorry, but I find it gross. Leave something to the imagination. I tell my students--you don't want to see mine, I don't want to see yours. So far we've found a happy medium, at least in that respect.

Modesty is not only an ornament, but also a guard to virtue.” Joseph Addison

Keep it covered! Guys, I'm talking to you too. There, I feel better.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


My baby boy will be 5 months old in 12 days, and he is quickly learning independence. He holds his own bottle the majority of the time, he has mastered giggling/laughing, he can sit briefly on his own (before he falls forward, causing him to be unable to breathe!), and his two bottom teeth are clearly visible and breaking skin. Wasn't he just born yesterday???

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I'm having one of those days where I feel simply ugly. I hate my body, my hair, my breaking out face, etc. And unfortunately, I don't want to do anything to fix my perception of myself at this moment.

Maybe some AL football in about an hour will cheer me up.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Many Faces of a Four Month Old

In the process of uploading more, Blogger went bananas and I was too frustrated to wait on the others to upload. Just check out my entire album on Facebook!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Our Greatest Gift

As I was putting our son to bed tonight, I was nearly moved to tears looking at Hayden. David and I enjoy our baby boy so very much and can't wait to experience all of life with him. Every day I see students whose parents either never wanted them or who find their children a mere inconvenience. My heart breaks for these kids. They act out in order to gain some sort of attention--usually it's negative, but someone is still focused on them for that amount of time.

I will never understand why people have babies when they either aren't ready or don't even desire them. So many couples crave being able to hold their own child and are unable, while others have children they do not want. I'm not saying this is the case for all of my students, but more often than not this year I've been told that "so-and-so's" mom repeatedly tells her she doesn't want her or his folks don't care what's going on in his life and we'll never see them. I witnessed an exchange between my principal and a sweet young boy that broke my heart today. Unfortunately, I can't give details because anyone can read this, but I will say that watching my students makes me realize how much responsibility I do have and how badly I do not want to mess up raising my son. I am so grateful to have a husband who desires to raise our children in a Godly home. I also do not have to parent alone!

Every night before bed I tell Hayden I love him and how special he is. Every night. I do tell my students I love them (especially when I'm the most frustrated) because I want them to know that no matter what I do care for them. Some of them never hear positive words; how tragic to be constantly belittled and to know you are not wanted. If a student feels safe in my room and if he/she hears encouragement only for 55 minutes a day, then at least I've given him/her that. How great a gift to be able to bear and raise children (even if they're not your biological children--adoption is an amazing gift as well); I only wish we all felt the same way.