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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Memaw, Last Day of School, and Jeb Video

Today is Grandma's birthday. She would have been 86. Looks old when I write it, but she was so feisty. Hilarious and feisty. Happy Birthday, Grandma. The girls sang for you today. I know you heard.

Today was also Belle's last day of school. She was able to wear her field trip shirt with fun shorts since they were going to be playing outside with water toys. She had so much fun. I now have a kindergartener!

Clearly I did the video all by myself since there is no sound. Hmmmm? Couldn't quite figure that out. Only a mother could love video of a little baby just laying there wiggling with no sound. Didn't stop me from posting it though, did it? Anyway, he's still a doll. Seriously, have you ever seen anything cuter? I love my little boy.

As an update, I totally emailed Target with my giraffe pool complaint. To date, Target has not responded. Curse you, Giraffe Pool! Additionally, we got a good report from our realtor on the showing but are still waiting for an offer. Still hoping...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Giraffe Pool

Ummmm... can you say discrepancy? We bought this pool for the girls at Target last weekend. Looks like fun, huh? Pretty big. There's like four kids playing it in. Maybe looks like four more could easily fit.

Notice the large giraffe head towering above the little girl, spewing out a geyser of water. (Her arms are even up in the air!!) Well, either that child is an elf or my children are giants because Belle and Dru literally have to lay down as low as they can get underneath the giraffe to get a trinkle of water on them. There is absolutely no spewing. And there's no way two more kids could even fit in this itty bitty thing.

$40. Yes, that's what we paid for this overabundance of giraffe fun. I have never seen such false advertising, but oh... we fell for it. Maybe we got the small scale display model by accident. Oh no... here is the kicker. I kid you not... I did not write this with a sharpie.

"NO DIVING." Hey parents, do not let your kids dive in this pool, and do not leave them unsupervised in the 4 1/2 centimeters of water. Thanks for the warning, all you manufacturers of the giraffe pool. I appreciate it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

House Praying

So, yesterday, I just had a feeling that a realtor would call us today, and guess what... I was right. Our realtor is bringing a couple by tomorrow at 3:45 to look at the house. We've had several people come since we listed it a few weeks ago, but I just feel really good about it this time. So, this is me tonight...(Minus the long hair and hideous grandma nightgown. Isn't church clipart the scariest thing you've ever seen?) And please feel free to join me in praying. Baby Jeb has now begun an official protest of his car seat, and the 30 minute drive between here and Springdale gets worse by the day. Not to mention, gas prices are eating us alive! So, I'm praying for a miracle tonight.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

We had a nice, but busy Memorial Day. The kids and me and Matt went to Russellville to see Grandpa, and as always, were busy the entire time. Matt worked cows, mowed the yard, fixed the oven, and took the girls on the 4-wheeler several times. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, and let me tell you... you just haven't truly cleaned until you've cleaned the house of an 85 year old man who lives alone. Wow. I'm trying to talk him into getting a housekeeper, but he keeps insisting he doesn't need one. I want to say, "Yes, but I DO!"

After we got home, I cleaned our house in hopes a realtor will call tomorrow and want to show it, and Matt mowed our yard while the girls played outside and ate popsicles. I love warm weather. There's nothing like sending the girls out with the threat, "If you open that door one more time, no more popsicles!"

I don't have many pictures from the weekend, but I'll share what I've got...

Happy baby

Already had a bath...

And last but not least, my hardened criminals. I'm not sure which one gets the cry baby award for the day. I just thought this picture looked too much like a mug shot to pass up the opportunity.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Brain Zaps, Sleeping Baby, KDO, and Bike Day

BRAIN ZAPS So for the past month or so, I've been convinced my brain was shorting out. I mentioned it to Matt a few times, but figured why should I talk about it when the inevitable result was my imminent death. I kept putting off getting on the internet in an attempt to self-diagnose because I tend to... self-diagnose with the end result almost always being cancer, leading to... death. But yesterday I bit the bullet and unexpectedly found exactly what I believe my problem is. BRAIN ZAPS. No I didn't make up the word. Apparently, these electrical shock sensations occur in the body (mainly in the head) when people stop using certain medications, namely the medication I was on after having Jeb and going through post-partum. Brain zaps. Not brain cancer. Not my imminent death. Whew!

SLEEPING BABY This is the second night in a row Jeb has slept through the night. Yesterday he woke up at 7:30, today 6:30. God is good! So is sleep.

KDO Yesterday was Estella's last day ever at Kids Day Out. So sad! I only have Jeb left to do KDO.Then


BIKE DAY Next week is Belle's last week of K-4. Again, so sad. Yesterday the K-4 students were able to bring their bikes and scooters to school. Belle was so excited and had a great time... except now she wants to "throw away her bike and get a scooter." Nice. A big thanks to all you scooter parents.
That's my family update. We still haven't sold our house but did finally list it. Lord, bring on the buyers!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman

My heart is aching tonight for a family I've never met and probably never will. I was driving Estella Dru to Kids Day Out this morning when I heard the news that Steven Curtis Chapman's five year old daughter was killed in a tragic accident yesterday evening. It may seem a bit weird that I could get so upset about an event I am so far away from and people whom I don't know. But though I've never met SCC, he has without a doubt been one of the greatest sources of comfort and strength in my life. I began listening to him in jr. high school when my life was, or so I thought it was, quite painful and difficult to muddle through. I would sit in my room for hours listening to my "tapes" over and over and just feeling renewed and gaining strength from his music like I couldn't find anywhere else. Even during Grandma's funeral... I had chosen a song called Unfailing Love by Chris Tomlin to be played during a slide presentation. I didn't really know the song that well, but while I was hurriedly sampling music the day before the funeral, that song just stuck out to me. I think the first time I listened to it the entire way through was as I sat in the service, and all of a sudden, at the end of the song, I hear SCC's voice. Apparently he joined Chris Tomlin on the track. I had no idea, but I sat there thinking... how fitting it is for him to show up here at this very moment in my life when he had been there with me through so many other struggles and in the depths of my desperation. And once again, just the sound of his voice, the familiarity, brought me comfort. Sounds ridiculously corny, I know, but I have often thought, if I could meet anyone in the world, it would be SCC simply so I could say the words, "thank you." I cannot imagine how many people feel the same way and how many lives he has touched with his amazing, amazing talent. Just in my little insignificant life, wow... what a difference he made. I would still love to tell him 'thank you', but for now, what I can do is pray for that precious family.

There are so many SCC songs that have meant so much to me over the years, but there is one in particular called Believe Me Now. I hope the Chapman family holds on to this type of hope.

So believe Me now
Believe it's true
I never have, I never will abandon you
And the God that I have always been
I will forever be
So believe Me now

Monday, May 19, 2008

Poor Decision Making

Am I horrible for thinking this is hilarious? (Don't answer that.) Poor Drusy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

3 months!

Jeb Sullivan is 3 months old today. (And his big sisters adore him.)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Blog Birth Announcement

Better 3 months late than never. Again, Mom-of-the-year...

Friday, May 16, 2008

For my future reference

May 16, 2008, Jeb Sullivan has his very first cold. Sniff. Sniff.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Our announcement that wouldn't work

Matt and I worked really hard on designing our own baby announcement for Jeb. I think it turned out really cute, but we just couldn't get anyone to print it right... the colors were always too dark. Anyway... I just ended up ordering some off the 'net but thought I would put the one we did here so our hard work wouldn't go completely unnoticed! Sorry, Jeb Buddy. We tried!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Incredible Mom

I know many of you will recognize after you read the first few lines that I, Matt, wrote this just by the seeing the first few grammatical errors, so please ignore all the mistakes. I just wanted to take a few lines and honor my wonderful, beautiful, smart, sexy (can you say sexy on a blog?), incredible wife, and unbelievable mother today (mother’s day). No other man on the planet is as lucky and blessed as I am. I am not that good at putting sentences together, so I thought I would just make a top 10 list of what I love about her.

1. She loves Jesus!
2. She loves me, Belle, Dru, and Jeb like nobody else.
3. She is a great wife and mom
4. She is undeniably beautiful.
5. She has the most compassionate caring heart of any person that I know.
6. Witty, funny
7. Great writer
8. Great cook and puts up with my picky eating habits
9. Manages all kinds of craziness (mainly 3 kids and a husband)
10. She is my best friend and the greatest part of me.

Mother's Day and Baby Dedication

Jeb Sullivan on dedication day
Jeb and Mommy at U of A
Daddy and the Jebster
Jeb sporting his best "I'm being dedicated" face

Today was a really fun day for us. Jeb's dedication this morning was really nice. The girls went on stage with us and did great. After church we celebrated Mother's Day with Matt's mom and grandma, then just our little fam (me, Matt, and the girls and Jeb) went to the university to take some pictures. A few came out pretty good. Surprisingly enough, Dru was the star performer. After pictures we went to Kobe for dinner because Mommy was craving sushi, then to Maggie Moo's for dessert. It was quite the day but very very nice for me. My husband is the best.

Estella Dru sporting a rare smile for the camera
Classic Belle pose
Again, Estella being surprisingly cooperative

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Punching the Florist

Does anyone remember those Valentine's Days when you didn’t have a significant other and the florist delivery guy kept showing up with flowers for every single person in the room but you? In your rational mind, you knew you wouldn’t be getting anything… no roses, no daisies, no chocolates… but every time the door opened, your heart skipped a beat anyway. Just maybe…. Then of course, he walked right past you to the girl doing the “Miss-America-I-can’t-believe-this-is-for-me” face and just like that, she became so special. You tried to play it all cool like you totally didn’t care and weren’t in the least bit bothered… it was just another day… no big deal. Then you went home and cried all night?

Well, I had one or two of those Valentine's Days, I’m not afraid to admit, and they sucked! Around the sixth time the door opened and the florist dude walked in with yet another arrangement not for me, I wanted to knock his head off. Well… these days, my sad and lonely holiday of self-pity is Mother’s Day. This will by my third Mother’s Day without Grandma, and just like those old Valentine’s Days, I started dreading this holiday weeks ago. The past two years, I have volunteered my services in the nursery at church so I won’t have to sit through the service and any and all talk of mothers and daughters. (And you know it’s bad if I volunteer for nursery. Really really bad.) This year, however, we are dedicating Jeb that day, so no hiding away for me. Stink!

There are days when I want to yell to the sky (and I have many, many times). Hello? I’m just a young mom! I need her! I’m not ready to be by myself in this! And of course I know I’m not literally by myself, but there is just something about not having your mom that brings about this unshakable feeling of loneliness. That one person who thought you were the most beautiful, smartest gift God ever made… who thought you hung the moon… who would die for you in an instant... who lit up when you walked into a room no matter what... and pretty much lived in your shadow your entire life is no longer there, and no one else wants or needs the job. It can be a lonely place when you reach for the phone and realize the person you have always shared every detail of life with no matter how minuscule (and who sincerely cared) isn’t there to answer. And of course, after nearly three years, the pain lessens a bit, and life goes on, but you just seem to be left with this big empty hole in your heart that no one can fill and you know will not be made complete again until Heaven and you see her again.

I’ve shared this with some of my closest friends, but I’ll write it here as well. I have given birth to three of the most precious children on the planet, and each time, the moment of their birth was amazingly beautiful… absolutely surreal. One moment I was without them, and the next, here they were, perfect and beautiful and ready to live. And I cherish those moments so very much. But, maybe a moment I cherish even closer to my heart is the moment when Grandma died. I was holding her hand and whispering in her ear as fast as I could, as many things as I could think of before it would be the end… I love you so much; thank you so much; you look so beautiful… I don’t know if she could hear me. But that instant when the nurse said, She’s gone, there was a power in that room. It was beautiful and pure, almost like for the briefest moment, God opened the doorway to Heaven to take her in where, just like my babies, she was made beautiful and perfect and ready to live. It was just indescribably beautiful, and I was there.

Since then I have seen several of my friends deal with the death of a mother, and each time, my heart literally breaks for them and I try to be better for them... more accessible… a better friend… more interested in their lives. I don’t do a great job, but hopefully they know that I’m here. So, that would be my appeal to the world. You can never ever take the place of someone's mom, but if you see a young woman, especially a young mother, doing life without her mom, just love on her. She can front with the “I’m ok” face all she wants, but I promise you, her heart is breaking every time the metaphorical florist deliveryman passes her by. She wants to feel special, too. Believe me... I still want to knock him out, metaphorical or not. And finally, my gosh, if your mom is here, love on her like every single day will be the last. Sometimes I try to imagine what I would do if God gave me just one minute with her here on Earth again. Can you imagine, just 60 seconds? Some might think it wouldn't be worth it, but one minute to me... wow... words couldn't begin to explain what I would do for one minute. If you have your mother, you are so very very very very blessed. Know that and don't waste not one day.

And even though I am without her these days, I still feel like I am the most blessed daughter who ever lived. I had thirty years with her, and while I wasn’t ready to let her go, I do know that God knows best (even though we’ve fought it out a few times, and He always seems to win—I think He cheats). And I’m still a daughter. It’s just that now, my mom lives in Heaven. And as Belle says, that’s so cool. Not to mention, I am blessed with the most beautiful, smartest gifts God ever made in Belle, Dru, and Jeb... all of whom hung the moon... all of whom I would die for... and God help me if I ever stop lighting up when they enter a room. So, this year I'm going to try my hardest to trade in my pity party for a good day. I think it will be a good day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Woo Hoo! Baby Kennedy #4!!!!!!

For those of you not from NW Arkansas and unfamiliar with Zach and Erin's story, go to their blog and check it out. I have cried a million times this afternoon just looking at Baby Y's sweet little face. Jeb cannot wait for his best friend to get here all the way from Africa! This is one post I won't apologize for! I am so happy and excited for Z and E. We love love love you guys and are already crazy about this little guy!

Sorry 'Stella!

So, the girls came in while I was writing and asked to see "our pictures" (aka blog). So, I pull it up and notice Estella Dru is pouting. I ask her what's wrong, and she tells me that there are too many pictures of Belle and not enough of her. So, Mom-of the-Year here feels horrible. I try to explain to her that it was Belle's birthday week, so Mommy took lots of pictures of her. It was a useless conversation. So, I let her go through all the pictures in our photo library and pick any one she wanted of herself to post. I knew which one she would go for, and here it is... Her all-time favorite. It's me and her when she had just turned one. So, I'm either going to have to work on my Mommy egalitarianism or else keep the girls off the blog! (Sorry for the two back-to-back posts!)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

More of Belle's Birthday

Belle had a great birthday. On the 30th, Matt took her to breakfast then the park before school. He also ate lunch with her that day. I brought up petit fours and little gift bags for all her friends. That evening we went to Build-A-Bear Workshop, then dinner, then the park again. On the way home, she told me that "it was her best day ever." Then on Saturday, we had a little family party for her at Matt's mom and dad's (Gigi and G-Pops). She got lots of presents and had a great time. She has referred to herself all week as "the five-year-old." Again, I can't believe she's five. Anyway... here are some pictures from Saturday.With her Cabbage Patch Kid from Granny Hilda
Webkins from Aunt Sarah and Gigi and G-Pops
Her Princess Belle cake (of course)
Blowing out her candles (notice we're holding back the pigtails)

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST... Tomorrow begins what will be known in the Slaughter house as "Countdown to Florida." We are going to Destin (our favorite place to be) the week of June 14th. Granted, I only gained 20 pounds with Jeb (as opposed to 55 with the girls; can somebody say 'moo'), but as all you women out there know, there is just something that happens to your body in the months after giving birth. Well, I have a little over a month to do something about that and look decent in a bikini. I am crossing my fingers for 10 pounds (at least) by June 14, and I feel like if I write it here for everyone to see, it may actually give me more incentive and motivation. Matt will be doing this with me, and I'm hoping he can go for 15 pounds. (When he WANTS to, he can shed weight a lot faster than me.) So, anyway... that commences tomorrow. I already hid the evil, evil Milk Duds.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Finally... rest.

Let it be known that on April 30, 2008, Jeb Sullivan Slaughter, age 10 1/2 weeks, slept through the night. Can I get a hallelujah!!!?!!