The Year that Santa Brought the Tree

I have a confession to make.

We did not decorate for Christmas this year.  We tend to have an all-or-nothing attitude when it comes to holiday decorating, and time just got away from us.  Forget about putting up three trees;  we didn’t even bother with one.  And that garland?  I didn’t even mention it to Tater Daddy.

To tell you the truth, we’ve been so busy this fall and early winter that the only thing I’ve really missed is the tree.  (Notice I used the singular form of the noun, because one tree suits me just fine.)  Tater Tot has missed it, too, and he’s said something about it several times.  Guilt got the better of his Daddy, and several nights ago he happened to stop by Walgreen’s.  The store had their Christmas trees on sale and he got a little artificial one, pre-lit and everything, for about $30.

We keep all of our Christmas decorations in a house on my mother’s farm, so we don’t have any ornaments here at our house.  Tater Daddy bought one box of 24 gold ornaments, and each of the boys had one he’d made at school.  Tater Tot made a Santa Claus face, and Small Fry made a handprint with white paint (or something like it).

Still, every night this week has been busy, busy, busy, and the tree didn’t go up.  We didn’t even tell Tater Tot about it because we didn’t want to disappoint him in the event that we weren’t able to put the little tree up.

Last night, we came home after spending the day with my mother and brother, then eating supper with our cousins.  I put the boys to bed (but not before Tater Tot made one last wish for a tree), and by 10:30, Tater Daddy and I still had about three hours worth of, er…, “jolly old elf” work to do.  When the hubs finally finished putting everything together and got things cleaned up, he headed to bed for what he wished could be a long winter’s nap.

I stayed up a little longer to finish wrapping a few presents, and it just didn’t seem right to have Christmas presents without a tree.

So when Tater Tot wakes up in a few hours, he’s going to find that Santa did, in fact, see that he’d been a good boy this year.  He’ll stumble upon a few things that he asked for and a couple of surprises, too.

He may even notice the scrawny little Christmas tree that wasn’t there when he went to bed the night before.


I’m Playing Along

I’m playing along today in Kelly’s “Show Us Your Life” carnival.  I love it when someone else thinks up something for me to do, especially when I have a bazillion other things to do.  Tater Tot’s birthday is Sunday, and his party (we just do a family thing for now) is tomorrow.  He will be three years old.  THREE!  He was a baby, and then I blinked twice and now he’s three.  Whew!

Back to the carnival.  Today’s theme is to show your wedding dress.  Tater Daddy and I got married in October 1994.  When my mother and I went shopping for my dress, I was determined to find one with a super long train and absolutely no bows.  Naturally, I chose one with a sweep train and a huge bow on my rear end, not to mention the bow that attached to my veil.

The skirt was plain with a beaded bodice, as was the look in the day.  Here I am with my Daddy.  It’s one of my favorite pictures of us.

With Daddy

Here’s the happy couple coming out the front doors of the church after all of the pictures had finally been taken.  And look!  Tater Daddy didn’t have any gray hair!  I guess fifteen years of being married to me put the gray right in him!  Haha!


So there you go.  Head on over to Kelly’s Korner and check out what other people were wearing the day they got hitched.  Feel free to play along.  Let me know if you do and I’ll be sure to head back over and check it out.

I’m off to pick up some last-minute things for Tater Tot’s party.  He’s really into Lightning McQueen and the Cars characters.  Kachow! Kachow!


There’s no denying the fact that when your little one starts smiling at you, you’re hooked in a whole different way.

there's the smile

I’d stay and blog longer, but there’s some mutual smiling that needs to happen around here.  

Of course, Tater Tot has been smiling for a while now.  Since I wasn’t blogging when he was a baby, here’s a picture of Tater Tot around the time of his first smile.  It’s also the point at which my heart completely melted, poured right out of my chest, and formed a pool right at my feet.  It was fabulous.

B's first smile

Come to think of it, it still is.

Cute B!

Hugs Remembered

Yesterday was the second Father’s Day without my Daddy.  I thought about him a lot yesterday, which means that I smiled at lot because of all the good memories.

If he were still here with us, we would have taken him out to lunch, I would have baked him a chess pie, and I would have given him a lot of hugs.  I miss being able to hug him.  Something about being hugged by Daddy made me feel like everything was okay.  Even if everything really were okay, he made everything okay-er.

I rooted around and found an old picture of the two of us hugging.  I’m guessing I’m about 17, so he would’ve been about 47.  I have no idea where we were, but I know that I loved him enough to hug him in public when I was a teenager.

Daddy, Me 80s

He was one man who did the Daddy thing right.

Feel the Burn

Small Fry is one of the few babies I’ve ever heard of who actually likes tummy time.

doing pushups

As you can see in the background, Hatchie is mighty impressed.  All 90 pounds of him.

Anyway, Small Fry rarely fusses during tummy time and he’s working so hard to lift his little head and chest off the floor.  Of course, he loves being on his back and looking at himself in the mirror.  


His new play gym arrived a few days ago, and he boxes the toys that dangle like he’s a featherweight champion.  (The cow, by the way, isn’t part of the Tiny Love Jungle Play Gym.  It was one of Tater Tot’s favorite toys when he was a baby, and he gave it to his little brother to add to his new gym.  I know.  I had a moment right then and there.)  

Small Fry particularly loves knocking the stew out of the wind-chiming elephant.  

playgym 1

I suppose he’ll be asking for protein shakes and a little weight set any day now.

Recapping the Week in Pictures

I am wimping out again and using pictures rather than writing a real post.  As it turns out, adding a second Tater to the family is taking a little more of my time and energy than I originally anticipated.  Who knew?  (Somewhere, my friend, Diane, is howling.)

We went to the hospital late Saturday afternoon to pick up Small Fry.  Here he is all buckled into his car seat, ready for the ride home.  Am I the only one who doesn’t put shoes on babies in the summer?  Baby feet are so sweet.  Just look at them.  I can’t cover those sweet toes up!

I'm ready to leave the NICU!

After three weeks in the NICU, saying goodbye to the nurses felt kind of strange.  They were the ones who had been taking care of Small Fry around the clock.  We talked to them throughout the day, and would you believe that one of them turned out to be a very distant relative?  Small world.  I really thought we’d swoop in, get Small Fry dressed, and screech out of the parking lot on two wheels, but we found ourselves lingering a little bit to give hugs.  Before I knew it, I was crying a little.  Or a lot.  It depends on how you define the two terms.  I would have taken a picture of the nurses, but I could not cry and work the camera at the same time.  Oh, those NICU nurses were the best.  I don’t know how they do what they do.

Sunday was full of visitors.  Poopsie came early that morning and stayed until late afternoon.  She’s thrilled to have a new grandson, but you know that she and Tater Tot are as thick as thieves.  He wanted her to play with him, and that’s exactly what she did.  Here they are on the front porch swing.

Poopsie and B

Then they just started acting silly.

Poopsie and B are silly

About an hour before Mama left, Tater Daddy’s family came.  Here’s Pawpaw with his youngest grandsons.


Small Fry, being the 4-week-old that he is, sleeps a lot.  His expression doesn’t change much when we take his picture.  However, this one is one of my favorites.  It makes me think he’s not so sure about the nurses’ decision to turn him loose…

I need to rethink this

I took this before we went to Small Fry’s first visit to the pediatrician, where he was pronounced PERFECTLY HEALTHY!  I know I’ve already posted one similar to it, but  I lurve it and can’t help myself.

big brother, little brother 2

Later that afternoon, my dear friend, Kristi, stopped by on her way back to Starkville.  Here she is with her little fan club.

kristi and her fan club

Kristi is one of the most thoughtful people you’ll ever meet.  The last time she stayed with us, Tater Tot (and Duke, for that matter) fell completely in love with her.  She brought Tater Tot the most wonderful set of bubble wands EVER.  It’s a good thing, too, because they were the only thing that convinced him to stay here rather than going home with Kristi.

bubbles 1

bubbles 2

That just about covers the highlights.  Our weekend was pretty slow and laid back.  I hope yours was wonderful.

Small Fry Update

Small Fry is two-and-a-half weeks old, and he’s coming right along!  We think he’ll come home sometime this weekend, and we are ready for him to be home.  

Let me say that again.  


The crib is ready.  His little onesies and outfits are washed and smell like Dreft!  The swing is swinging.  His bouncy seat is waiting.  The car seat is in the car.  Bottles are washed.  Tiny diapers are anxious to cover a sweet little hiney.  Tater Daddy has been advised to tune out any crankiness I may spew forth.  I am prepared not to sleep until the year 2013 or later.  Poopsie is on alert to come and love on all of us, but mainly Tater Tot.  It’s all good.

Small Fry is gaining weight!  Hooray!  He only weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces when he was born, and he lost several ounces, so we’ve been working on getting those ounces back.  He’s almost up to seven pounds. He has had some, er, digestive issues.  Oh, y’all.  I’ve heard other mamas talk about the dreaded diaper blowouts, but (except for Tater Tot’s round with Rotavirus) I never had to deal with it.  That’s right.  Tater Tot never had a blowout.

Small Fry, on the other hand, is making up for  what I missed out on the first time I rode the mama-go-round!  Just visiting him in the NICU, I’ve been the recipient of three blowouts.  That’s okay.  I, myself, am a second child.  We’re supposed to shake things up a bit;  keep the folks hopping.  We can’t let them think they have it all figured out.  Where’s the fun in that?

Small Fry is just doing his job.

We’ll be happy when he’s doing it at home, though.

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