Saturday, August 30, 2008

This is what it look like when you are shopping at Hobbly Lobby and the lights go out:

This is what it looks like when the clerk is looking for you with a flashlight:

What a difference a year makes!
Every month, to mark Houston's turning another month older, I took a picture of him on the same blanket in his bedroom floor beside a sign telling his age. I had several friends do this-Chassidy, Rachel, Christine, Stacy-and I loved the idea. It is unbelievable to lay the pictures side by side and see the huge change in just one year. Even though he's just one, he looks like such a big boy now and is definitely gaining some independence, like going to the refrigerator and getting out his own yogurt. Stomping his foot when we're not fast enough (just like his daddy!). Wanting to get his own arms out of the car seat and not wait on mommy. Climb steps by himself-he doesn't want us holding his hand. I want to tell him, "Get back here. Stop being so big and let mommy have her baby a little while longer." But I'm also glad to see him growing, learning, and figuring things out on his own.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mistaken Identity

Back to school time entails many things like backpacks, crayons, scissors; but for me, it means time for my yearly TB skin test. I have done this for about 11 years now, since graduate school, and always passed with flying colors. Maybe a small red bump, but nothing major. Monday we had our TB skin tests. That night at home, it started really itching. I woke myself up at night several times itching and again that morning. By Tuesday afternoon at school, I developed this huge blister and a red spot about the size of a quarter. I showed the school nurse. She said not much we could do until Wednesday, just watch for streaking. I woke up all night and would turn on the lamp, no streaking. But by the time I got to school, the blister had burst and the bright red ring was about the size of an egg. Hard to see in the picture below, but not a pretty sight, especially not when you are being tested for TB.

So, off to the health department I go. Of course everyone at work was giving me a hard time. Hugh sang "You've Got the Funk" to me, but honestly, I was a little concerned. I mean, I was just in California you know. :) The nurse starts asking a lot of questions:

Yes, I've had these before. No, I've never had a problem with it. Yes, it itches. So she calls the school nurse. Long story short, we were given a control substance for TB that contains too much yeast, so my immune system was working extra hard to get rid of the foreign object. Needless to say, I went from the sickest person in school to the healthiest. Apparently, the bigger the reaction, the better your immune system kicked in to fight it. I don't have to be quarantined after all.

On a different note, it was nice to be able to visit with some of Hugh's brothers and sisters this past weekend, unfortunately under sad circumstances. Hugh's brother-in-law passed away so we were all together for the funeral.

This is Elroy, Dwight, Angie, Chad, and Hugh. What a group of characters!

So, so long from your TB free friend!! Well, actually, I have to get the REAL test next week.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Birthday pics at last!
I don't know why these turned out so small, but they are adorable none the less.
Thank you Dana for all your time this year capturing my little man's smiles. The pictures you have given us truly are priceless.
He found Saray's dinosaur and Dana started snapping away.
I love the look on his face here. During the photo taking process, it seems like there is no way we will be able to get a good picture, but there are always some in every bunch that are perfect. This is one of them to me.
The big 1!
I had just told Dana earlier I wanted to get a picture of him with his arms raised above his head. A few minutes later, he pulled through. With two fists full of chocolate cake.
Oh, yes. The thrill of chocolate!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rocky start........
I'll be the first to admit we had a rocky start to our first day at school. I thought I would try the cold-turkey no pacifier thing, but as badly as I hate to admit it, he's a pacifier baby and he's just not going to give it up yet. He cried until 10:30. It was bad, but after I took his pacifier to him, the day started to look up. He enjoyed playing outside, ate good, and took a good nap. All we can hope for is better tomorrow.

Mommy is right down the hall. I kept checking on him all day and so did some friends. Things were starting to look up by mid-morning.
The cutest backpack ever.

It is 8:30 and both of my boys are in bed. Early night for lights out at the Walker household.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What you have all been waiting for....
pictures from our LA trip.
Laguna Beach was breathtaking. We drove here 3 times in addition to spending one day here swimming. This beach was actually rockier than the others we could have gone to, but it was also less busy so we chose it. The water was actually colder than we had planned, but the sun was warm and we enjoyed it.
Me at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I know, Britney Spears was not my first choice, but we were rushed to leave and I actually recognized her name, so I grabbed a quick pic. It was still awesome to see the Kodak Theatre (all you American Idol) fans and the Jimmy Kimmel Live Studio was right across the street.
Happy Anniversary! We went to Huntington Beach while mom kept Houston and had a nice dinner out on the pier. It was in the mid-50s. We packed jackets but didn't take them with us. Sure could have used them.
Houston loved playing in the sand after he got used to it (and got it all out of his mouth). He let us cover him up, he scooped sand, and is definitely a people watcher. Not too fond of the cold water.
The end. This picture says it all and needs no caption. Quite possibly my favorite of the trip, for sure of the beach.
Til '09 California. We already look forward to In-N-Out Burger, Tommy Burger, California Pizza Kitchen, Sprinkle Cupcakes, shopping, the beach, and more sunny fun!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I'm back, jet lagged, and in denial......
This is the last time I will say it, but California is AWESOME! I'll quickly recap the last 3 days we were there. On Friday we drove to Santa Monica to the pier. We ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and kicked butt on the trivia in the restaurant. That pier is significant because Forrest runs from Greenbow, Alabama, to the end of the Santa Monica pier, stops and then runs cross country to Maine. It has an amusement park on the pier, neat shops, and good milkshakes. That night we went to Downtown Disney and ate at ESPN Zone. Another yummy meal. On Saturday we went to Costa Mesa to the swap meet (NOT flea market) and brought back some neat goodies. We ate at California Pizza Kitchen (the waitress told us she rents a 650 square foot one-room apartment for $1,350.00 per month. You're right, James. Nobody can afford it out there!). We watched the Olympics and turned in early. We got up bright and early on Sunday for the San Diego Zoo and down to the harbor. We came home Monday.
Now to the jet lag part. On Tuesday Houston and I slept until 11 and napped from 130-330. Hugh was sweet to do laundry while we napped. I still haven't recovered. My suitcase is still zipped up in the floor and so is my computer (that's why there are no pics, but it is on the to-do list.)
Now to the denial part. My fun little summer is coming to an end. I had a meeting today at work and thought it was going to kill me. I yawned all through it-I am definitely still not adjusted. Houston and I start school Monday. Thankfully he will be right down the hall from me.
Dana, thanks again. We had 1 year pictures tonight. Promise to post pics soon.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Interesting Facts......
1. We are 5 miles from Disneyland but we don't get the Disney Channel on our hotel TV.
2. There are 28 Walgreens within a 12 mile radius of our hotel.
How, you ask did I know fact #2? We were up at 4:00 this morning looking for one because Houston woke us up crying with a fever. Up this morning, fever gone, and he's playing. Hopefully it was just teething.
To recap Wednesday:
Mom and I took a tour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Our first stop was Hollywood: we saw the Hollywood sign in the side of the mountain, the Kodak theater where American Idol finals are held, the Jimmy Kimmel Live Studio, the Chinese theater, the Hollywood walk of fame where stars feet and hand prints are as well as their names in stars in the sidewalk, and the places where several movies were filmed like Superman and Sister Act 1 & 2. Fun!!
It was then on to Beverly Hills. More interesting places were the Viper Room (where River Phoenix died), Phil Donahue's home, the Roxy where John Belushi ate his last meal, the home where Frank Sinatra died (on Foothill Drive by the way), the club where the Osbornes go for entertainment, Rodeo drive (we found a $60,000 watch! yikes!), the store where in Pretty Woman she asks if they work on commission and they say, "Yes", she says, "Big mistake.....",where Lindsay Lohan lives (hen she's not in rehab as our tour guide said), where Baywatch was filmed, and several places where Hollywood Homicide was filmed (never have seen that one).
We went later that afternoon/evening to Venice Beach. There were interesting things all around, some cool, some not so much. For the cool: we saw where White Men Can't Jump was filmed, the beach was beautiful, and we saw Muscle Beach. James, where were ya??
For the NOT so cool: there were weird people everywhere-a woman walking around with a snake around her neck, a man on roller skates wearing a turban playing the guitar, a woman on a loud speaker saying there was a doctor on the second floor ready to write anybody who needed it a prescription for medicinal marijuana, homeless folks, and it smelled horrible in the bathrooms (needless to say we changed Houston in his stroller and holding him in the air).
That night was our anniversary so mom kept Houston at the hotel while Hugh and I went out for dinner. We ate at Huntington Beach pier, walked along the beach (ahhh) and drove down to Laguna. Fun day for sure.
On Thursday, we had a much calmer day. We went to Laguna beach and hung out for about 3 hours. Our first steps on the beach Houston falls face first in the sand and comes up gagging with a mouthful. He learned his lesson early and he didn't try to eat sand (on purpose) anymore. He eventually got brave and loved wading in the water. We had fun but came home with more sand than we had planned. That's the one thing I hate about the beach. That night Hugh and I ate at Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney and watched the fireworks.
This trip has been so amazing. I told Dana James must be crazy about her to give up California for Arkansas. I told Christine the same thing-you gave this up for Arkansas?
Anyone who is interested can organize my going away party cause I wanna stay!
Promise I'll post pics later, just haven't had time to download them all. We have awesome one for sure. More later.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Our Story

Our first ever picture together, October 1998.
Today, August 6, 2008, we celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary. Let me clarify that we dated 6 years before we got marrid, so I feel like I kow this man inside and out. Here's our story: We met in June 1998, I was in graduate school at ASU working as a scorekeeper at the softball park and Hugh had gotten finished playing ball and moved to Jonesboro to go to ASU where his brother was the athletic compliance officer. The first time I actually saw him was when he was umpiring behind home plate and I filled in for a team as catcher. Needless to say, he talked my ear off. Imagine that. Then it was my turn to bat and he called me out at first base without even moving from behind home plate. Bad move for a guy trying to pick up a girl. We said goodbye and went our separate ways. We saw each other every night that summer at the ballpark. One night we were at the YMCA playing basketball and he wanted to impress me by dunking. He dunked alright, but landed wrong on his knee, tore his ACL, and he's been gimp ever since. Fast forward to 2004 (since this isn't a therapy session) and Hugh and I decide to take the plunge. We didn't want a big fan fare, we had no attendents, only our closest friends, and we did nothing traditional. I entered to the march of the Queen of England and we played "I Feel Good" right after we said "I Do". A lady in isotoner slippers married us (for real) and a man named Doug handed us a roll of film when it was over so we could get our pictures developed. We didn't even have a wedding cake. But I wouldn't take any of it back for anything in the world. Let me tell you what I know about Hugh.
1. He doesn't like to clean the house. But he is great at washing and ironing clothes.
2. He will do a favor for anyone who asks, anytime.
3. He is great playing with Houston.
4. He likes mowing the grass.
5. He has some of the funniest one-liners.
6. He talks more than any person I know. About 4,000 minutes a month just on AT&T's waves.
7. He loves sports, his family, and staying up late.
8. He supports my crazy hobbies and encourages my girly friendships.
9. He is more patient than I could ever dream of being.
10. He laughs when people get hurt.
11. I've only seen him cry twice in 10 years: once when his mom died and once when his son was born.
12. He has ugly toes. And he snores.
13. He is a loyal friend and husband.
14. He has eaten dinner with Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, and George Brett.
15. He has 14 of his own baseball cards.
16. He likes his steak well done.
17. He is married to the woman of his dreams. :)

Wedding Day, August 6, 2004

Eureka Springs, August 2004

So, here's to many more years together. Many more laughs. Many more cries. Many more tough decisions. Many more dreams. Many more days to share.

I am proud to be your wife.

I love you, Hugh.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I have arrived........
in southern California and I love it. First, let me say, hold on, pics are coming soon and I have some AMAZING ones. Now, let me tell you things I have forgotten within the first 24 hours of my journey:
1. Houston's carseat at LAX airport. Yes, big mess. Hugh had to ride the bus back to get it because we didn't have our rental car yet.
2. Houston's diaper bag when we went to eat at In-N-Out Burger (holla, Dana). This would not have been a mess except he poopied during that time. At least it was a nice day to eat outside.
3. Houston's stroller. Hugh had to leave the ballpark, drive it all the way back to us, and then go back to work. Maybe this light California air has done something to my brain.

I have not, however, forogotten how to have fun. Like I mentioned, when we got in to town (Monday) we ate at In-N-Out Burger at Dana's suggestion and it was awesome. Greasy burger, cheesy fries. You can't go wrong. Later that afternoon we drove the Pacific Coast Highway from Laguna Beach to Long Beach. We stopped at Heisler Park in Laguna. The view was awesome, the water pretty, and the homes were fabulous. Words can't describe the view those people must have each day. Breathtaking is the closest I can come up with. Today (Tuesday), after our stroller was delivered, mom and I jumped in the car and I DROVE us to Huntington Beach by MYSELF (with the help of one little friend named GPS). We had no problems getting there and ate at the world famous Huntington Beach Municipal Pier at a diner called Ruby's which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Eat your heart out to all you fish taco lovers. I had the real thing today. We people watched for a while and then walked down Main St. where they were having a street festival-lots of fresh fruits, veggies, flowers, face painters, musicians, clothes, jewelry, etc. Tomorrow (Wednesday) we are off to Hollywood to see the stars, Malibu and other touristy places. Check back for pics soon. Having a blast and as they say here (and mean it) Mahalo.