Kerri, with a K

trying to be me

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Because this actually happened…

Um.  The Boy has gone totally insane.  Like really, totally, and completely insane.  Like, I have no idea what to do with this kid anymore.  Like, he’s so freaking smart that he may need to go to school now instead of waiting until he’s of age.

Not only is he walking, but he’s responding like a champ.  He runs to an open door immediately so he can both open AND close it.  Because we need help opening and closing our doors.

Today, we went to the beach, as we do most days when it’s hot.  The Boy had so much fun playing in the sand and destroying sand castles, although the ocean water is still a challenge.  When he was done playing, he understandably got a little fussy.  Noticing that we weren’t doing anything about leaving yet, he escaped and crawled a few feet away to where our shoes and Hubs’ tshirt was.  Boy picked up the tshirt, and started walking back to Hubs with the tshirt in the air, as if to say, all right, guys I’m done now.  I have your shirt so now we can go.

Um.  What???

He plays the piano.  It used to be banging with his hands and all the keys and sounded like banging.  Now?  He’s playing individual notes with individual fingers, and it sounds really nice.

Who IS this kid?  And NOW what do I do with him?  It’s like he’s two.  And he just turned one.

He answers questions with sounds and gestures.  Simple things like, do you want mumma to cut up your hot dog so you can eat it? Because that is a simple question that a one year old can answer.  And he handed me his hot dog.

I’m just saying.

I may be a little biased because he’s my son.  But he is awfully smart.



A Couple of Really Good, Albeit Busy, Days

Ugh.  I am so behind on the A to Z challenge right now.  But we’ve had a few really good days that have been keeping us busy that I haven’t really been around the computer to do anything.  I CAN blog from my phone, but honestly, I think it’s much easier to write with the computer in front of me.

Hubs had two days off from work in the middle of the week where we had almost nothing to do.  So we drove down to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  We go down a few times a year.  Actually, we went down when my parents came to town, but the last time before that was when MIL and SIL were in town after the Boy was born, so we really didn’t get that far because it was June and peak season.

It was nice driving down to Hatteras, and damned if it didn’t take all day to find the lighthouse.  We stopped at a plant nursery and bought a birdhouse and some plants for the backyard.  We did the front yard at Lowes later.  Then we stopped for ice cream, and I’m not kidding when I say I had THE best hot fudge sundae I’ve ever had since I worked at an ice cream place.  And then we ended up having a great dinner at a local place called Mulligans who had 1/2 price pizza (so we got 2) and a yummy cup of She-crab soup.

Thursday, we had an afternoon appointment, but we spent the early part of the day outside working in the garden and doing some minor landscaping.

And we finally had Easter Dinner.  There was every intention to have Easter dinner ON Easter, but Hubs had to work at 3am the next morning, and we had stuffed ourselves nearly silly with a late lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs.  So Thursday we had Easter dinner of turkey ham, mashed potatoes, mac ‘n cheese, and potato skins.  And lunch the next day was leftovers.

Today was a great day too.  And I have to say that this is one of the reasons that I love getting the newspaper.  We went to a car show down on the oceanfront that Hubs heard about on the radio.  Lots of classic cars, and the weather was beautiful, so why not spend the day outside.  Then we took off to the state park where there was going to be a reading of Dr. Seuss‘s the Lorax followed by a craft – which I DID find in the paper this morning.  The story was cute, but the Boy wasn’t overly interested because there were so many other things going on.  But the craft kept his attention.  They handed out blank puzzles for kids to draw their favorite part of the story.  Hubs and the Boy took on this project and we have a really cute puzzle as a souvenir.

The state park was beautiful otherwise.  We had the puppy with us, and she enjoyed the walk as much as we did.  And the Boy was so enthralled with everything around him.

So I finally got a chance to sit down at the computer and get some emails done.  And tomorrow Hubs will most likely spend most of the day sleeping because he has the overnight tomorrow night, and I’ll be getting more work done.  I hope.

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Newsletter: Month Ten

Dear Logan Mateo,

I can’t believe you’re 10 months old.  And in nine short weeks, you’ll be 1.  Every time I look at the calendar, more time has passed and you just keep changing and growing.  And you keep doing new things that make us laugh.  You really are my favorite little guy.

Last month we took a very long car trip to visit your Grammie and Papa in Florida, and you were really a trooper.  A 12+ hour car ride is hard for adults, but I can imagine it was much harder for you, as displayed every day now when you fuss more about getting in your carset than you used to.  But I suspect the more we do it, the easier it will be.  We just won’t be doing any super long car rides for awhile.

Your Grammie and Papa absolutely LOVED you.  We went to the beach, and you stuck your toes in the Gulf of Mexico at Fort Desoto, but the water was a little overwhelming for you, so you and I played on the beach in the sand.  And then you ate the sand.  But you still had fun running around and playing with Grammie and Papa.

You also had your first ride in a swing in Florida.  We stopped in St. Augustine at a park that had a merry-go-round, which you did not love.  And you sat in the swing.  And you kicked your feet and laughed.  And it was your favorite thing.

And you’ve been doing more mimicking lately.  You laugh when we laugh.  I’m not sure if it’s a real laugh or a fake copied laugh, but it’s certainly funny.  And you seem happy about doing it.

Oh, and you’ve been waving.  I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’ve started waving.  You don’t wave to everyone.  Mostly to that awesome baby in the mirror, and to mom and dad sometimes, and if you’re in the mood, one of the nice ladies at Church.  And it’s so cute.

This last week, you’ve been doing something totally new and different and cracks me up every time you do it.  And you seem to enjoy it also.  You love the big pillows on our bed, so you try to pick one up, and pull it back on top of you as you fall backwards laughing.  This is the kind of thing I need a video for because I honestly die laughing every time you do it.

I have to say that out of all the funny, cute or amazing things you do, you are still a little ladies man.  In fact, all dressed up in your Easter suit on Easter Sunday, you found yourself a new girlfriend.  She’s older than you, but only by four months.  She held your hand, gave you a hug, and then kissed you.  I thought I’d have a few more years before I’d have to worry about you dating, but this was just plain adorable.

You’ve been so great and so adaptable, even when it’s been hard and we’ve been so busy.  Your dad and I had a real estate seminar, and we were able to work it out so we could go in shifts and someone could stay with you.  Only one day it didn’t work, and we needed a babysitter.  For the second time in 10 months.  And you were great.  It’s understandable that you were a little sad and wasn’t really sure what was going on, even though I talked to you about it beforehand.  You’re still just a little guy, and you’re still learning, and it was hard.  But your babysitter, A, loved you anyway.  And we made sure to thank her the next chance we got.  And you got her a cute little stuffed bunny to thank her, too.

So, your first Easter was a success, new girlfriend and all.  Oh!  And we played bubbles for the first time!  Meemaw sent you a box of great things, including a tshirt, some toys, and bubbles.  So, of course, we had to play with them.  At first you weren’t sure what to think, but once you realized that those crazy bubbles were getting away, they were so funny.  I’m not sure who was more excited playing bubbles, you or me.  I know I can’t wait to play bubbles again and I can’t wait until I can teach you how to blow bubbles.  I’m sure you’ll love it.

You’ve also been so great at the baseball games we’ve gone to.  Two in the last week.  The second was a hard game because it didn’t start until 7pm, which was awfully close to bedtime.  But we got there a little after 5, and kept you entertained the whole time.  You loved watching the Tides Band

And then bonding with Gramma sitting next to us when she gave you a french fry.  And then another.  You are quite the little charmer, and everyone you meet comments on how happy you are.  And I agree.  You never get sad or fussy unless there’s a really good reason.  Or you’re tired.

I know we keep you busy, and you do so well just going with the flow.  Logan Mateo, you are such a great kid.  And you’re so happy.  And I can’t wait to watch you continue to grow and learn.  It’s been so amazing so far, and you keep the surprises coming.



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I should be sleeping.  Or cleaning.  But I’m wide awake.  I have some annoying life insurance physical exam at 10:30 this morning, and I have very little interest in it.  But I’ll do it and get it over with.

Otherwise, I’m taking a short pause from the A to Z Challenge.  Just a post about babies.  Which I could have done two days ago, under the letter B, but I didn’t really think of these things until yesterday.

I have a son.  He’s almost 10 months old.  And he is the best thing ever.  And Hubs and I tried for nearly two years to conceive before the Boy blessed us.  And now I’m wondering if we should be doing it again.

A friend of mine back home, who was pregnant the same time I was, just announced that they are expecting baby #2.  I couldn’t be happier for them.  I wish them all the best.  But it got me thinking about whether I want to do it again.  I guess deep down, I would love to have another child.  And if God wants to bless us with another child, so be it.  I won’t be upset.  But the question is: are we supposed to have another child?  Maybe not now, but someday?  I don’t want to put any silly limits on myself with age or time between kids and whatnot.  And if it happens, that’s the way it was supposed to be.  But is it supposed to be?  I know we won’t know until we know.  And we haven’t been trying.  And we’ve talked about waiting a little bit for the Boy to get a little older.

But the thing is, I hate the questions.  I hated the questions when I was single about when I was getting married.  And the ones when I was married about when we’re having kids.  And now that we have a kid, the questions that ask if we’re having more.  I think it’s a terribly personal question, but people love to ask anyway.  And I don’t really have a polite, classy, diplomatic response.  I usually answer, “we don’t know yet,” or something of the like.

I guess what I’m saying is that I would love to have another baby, but if it’s not meant to be I won’t be upset because that is the way it is supposed to be.  But if we end up being blessed again, I know I’ll be over the moon.

I just don’t like the questions that put you on the spot.

Also, I think I’m feeling a little pressure because both my parents mentioned it the other day.  In a very direct, very obvious way.  I told my mother that I didn’t want any more, and that one was enough, and she was sad.  But my default mode when dealing with my mother is to not give her any hope, because she WILL take it too far.  And then it’s sad if I have to let her down.

I don’t know.  Just a few things I’m thinking about.

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Newsletter: Month Nine

Dear Logan,

Today, you are nine months old.  Funny as it is, you have been here in the world on the outside just as long as you were on the inside.  It’s funny to think about how fast time has gone by.  And you’ve done nothing but amaze me in your short time with us.

Yesterday you finally decided that you liked your sippy cup, and now you won’t let it go.  A week ago, you wore your first real pair of shoes and sandals.  You don’t LOVE them.  Frankly, I think you give me dirty looks every time I put them on your feet.

But you’ve been moving leaps and bounds.  You eat anything we give you, and I hope that continues as you get older because I want you to be a foodie, not a picky eater like your mom.  Onions?  Yuck!  Sadly, though, you are allergic to strawberries, although I hope that will pass because they are just so yummy.

I can’t believe how much you’ve changed since you were born.

You are turning into such a handsome little boy.

And you have such a big personality.  But it’s no surprise given who your parents are.

You love food, standing, trying to walk on your own, playing in your room, reading, and playing at the beach.  The next time we have a beautiful day, we’re going to get you some beach toys so you can REALLY play.

You also have finally taken a liking to the rocking horse you got for Christmas.  You used to be afraid to ride it, and now you try to climb it on your own.  You’re a little risk taker.

And you still love playing the piano.  You play every chance you get.  And you can’t get enough.  And there’s that cute way you turn and smile looking for approval for the awesome song you just played.

Every day is a new day with you, kiddo.  There’s always something new that you do or try.  And holy potatoes are you talking up a storm.  You’ve got a very clear “Mum-mum-mum” and “Da-da-da.”  It cracks me up because it seems you know what you’re saying when you say it.  But that could be coincidence.  Who are we kidding?  You’re brilliant!  You know who you want to talk to.  When you’re cranky or sad or want Mumma, you know how to call her.  And it’s so great.

What about those crocodile tears?  You’ve mastered the art of being a big, fat, faker and it is hysterical.  Because while you’re a pro at pretending to be sad because you didn’t get your way or someone told you ‘no,’ I’ve become quite adept at determining which cries are your real cries, and which ones have nothing but fake tears.  And you know I know, but you try anyway.

And then there’s that adorable way you smile at everything.  You are such a happy kid, it’s amazing.

It’s hard to picture my life without you in it.  And every day with you is so much fun.  And I honestly can’t wait to see what you come up with next.



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The Journey

I’ve been thinking a lot today about how we ended up in Virginia.  There were so many things that had to happen for us to get where we are.

Actually, this was prompted by a sales visit we had today with a security company.  The sales woman was asking questions about why we moved here, and if we had any family in the area, or were military.  Those are never hard questions to answer, but I always wonder what people are thinking when I tell them our story – about how we got here.  And it’s such a great story, I think…

Hubs and I had reconnected and started dating again at the end of 2008.  He had mentioned that an old friend of his was the principal of a school in Sacramento, and offered him a teaching position at his school.  Of course Hubs wanted me to go with him.  So we started dreaming about all the things we could do in California, a place I would love to end up in someday.  In January of 2009, the plan for Sacramento started to fade.  There were budget issues, and as luck would have it, Hubs’ friend was transferring to Washington DC.

We started thinking of other ideas that involved warmer climates.  The company I worked for at the time had just procured a company in Boca Raton during the previous year, and were in the middle of transitioning products and staff.  I talked to my boss about a transfer to that office.  I got all but the official thumbs up, and my boss was excited to see this happen.  Hubs and I started making plans.  I found a few apartments to look at once we got down there and started doing research for things that he could do for work.

Months and months went by and our plans progressed.  We were set to leave on a Tuesday in late July.  We said goodbye to our church and most of our friends.  We had a going away dinner with my in-laws.

That Monday my boss told me that the board met on Friday and denied my transfer, and that I no longer had a job.  I packed up my desk, and had many sad goodbyes.  Hubs and I kept going as planned.  We didn’t tell anyone the plans had changed.  As far as anyone knew, we were still going to Florida.

We packed our car and started driving south.  We finally got tired of driving in Norfolk, Virginia, and decided to stop for a couple of days to see what there was to offer.

Almost three years later, we’re still here.

I love telling that story to people because it shocks them.  Everyone expects us to be military or to have family here or some other ties, but we don’t.  Most people are impressed that we could have taken such a risk and have everything turn out okay.

It’s funny.  There are two funny answers I like to tell people BEFORE I tell the real story about how we got here.  The first is an old I Love Lucy joke: We ran out of gas and stayed here.  The second is when we got here, we thought it was hot enough so we stayed.

Since we’ve been here, we’ve gotten married, we had a baby, and we bought a house.  For having absolutely nothing when we got here, I think we did alright.

When I really sit and think about all the things that have gotten us to this point, all the crap, all the drama, all the questions and uncertainty and instability, I really think everything has helped shaped me as a person and had a serious impact on my life.  Life isn’t about the endgame.  It’s about the journey, and all those moments that get you to where you’re going.  And, boy, has this journey been worth it.

What is the biggest risk or gamble you’ve taken?  What was the consequence or reward?  Was it worth it?

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Newsletter: Months Four through Eight

Dear Logan:

I’m sorry I have not updated in a few months, but I’m sure you understand.  So much has been going on in life.  Your dad and I bought a house for you to live in.  And we’ve had several trips back North to save money on hotels.  Oh yes. We were living in hotels for a few months trying to get you a house.  But we’re done, and your dad and I are better people for it.

And now you have your own room.  And your puppy.  And your kitty.  And a backyard for when you get old enough to play in the backyard – which, let’s face it, may be sooner than we think.

But so much has happened with you between newsletters.  You’ve grown and changed so much.  You learned to crawl, and eat real food, and now you’re even learning to stand on your own and walk.

And you are so interested in music.  I think you always have been, but it’s so much more interesting now.  You love the piano, and you try to play it whenever possible.  You have your own little red piano that you got from your amazing Godmother, and you love playing that.  But when that’s out of reach, you’ll do anything and everything you can to get to the big piano and bang on the keys.  Your Godmother gave you all kinds of toys that her kids used to play with, and you love those just as much, and you discover a new toy every day.  One day it was blocks, and the next the bongos.  I wonder what it will be tomorrow.

You’re so determined now.  If you want something, you go get it.  Or you try like hell until either mom or dad stops you.  And you’re spending more fun and play time in your room, and you love it so much.  In fact, today, while dad was watching you, you crawled into your room and back out with a block in your hand.  I was so impressed and in awe of how smart you are.  You wanted that block, and you knew where it was and how to get it.  You are just so smart.  I can’t wait to see what else you’ll come up with.

Of all the cute things you do, your dad and I are especially amazed at your love for the piano.  Today, you were miserable and sad, perhaps from being tired, and dad put you on the piano bench so you could play, and instantly you were cheered up.  You were so happy to be so close to those keys, and to be making noise come from them.  And then you did something amazing, that may have just been a coincidence.  You heard “Happy Birthday” on the TV show we were watching, and you played two notes from the song.  You matched pitch perfectly.  Your dad almost fell on the floor, he was so proud.  It might have been purely coincidence.  And even if it was, I think you’ve got something special, and I can’t wait to see your talents flourish.

The other day, we started a growth chart for you on the kitchen wall.  Since you can stand almost on your own now, I figured it was time to start measuring and creating a memory of it.  I found a cute idea on Pinterest that involved not only putting down your age and height, but also what you want to be when you grow up.  You’re still too young to tell us, so we just wrote down “musician.”  You hear that?  No pressure.  Wink, wink.  Nudge, nudge.  I can’t wait to measure you again and again, and watch you grow.

It’s amazing how much you’ve done in eight months.  You’ve been so busy for a little guy.  And I have so many pictures of you, it’s hard to decide which ones best show you off.

In less than a month, we’ll be taking a vacation to Orlando and St. Petersburg to visit your aunts and uncles, and Grammie and Papa.  This will be your first real vacation.  I can’t wait for everyone to see how much you’ve grown and changed since they last saw you.  And I can’t wait for everyone who hasn’t met you yet to meet you.  They’re just going to fall in love.

Logan, you are the most important little guy in my life, and watching you grown and change and learn has been the best time I’ve ever had.

And I promise, I won’t wait so long to write your next letter.  Better late than never, I guess.