A stumble the day before her pictures...

Is it just my child or do all children fall the day before they are suppose to have pictures made?  Well, it seems that Wilkins has fell just about everytime she has had her pictures made...I know at least 3 times for sure.  Tomorrow she is suppose to have her pictures made in the buttercups, which of course has been postponed twice because of the weather.  So I am wondering if I called the portrait studio and told them I needed to postpone because Wilkins has fell and bruised her chin what they would say...yeah right!
So Wilkins was running through the living room and I guess she tripped on a speck of dust (there was nothing in the floor).  She literally hit her chin on the end table and went to her knees.  She hit so hard that is sounded like a door slamming.  Of course, being my child, she is in shock for a moment and then starts to cry.  Except for when Wilkins cries she holds her breath until her lips turn blue so I have to blow in her face to get her to take a breath.  She only cried for a minute but it was those big tears that as a parent rips your heart out.  Then she just wanted her "bic" (blanket) and for me to hold her.  She looked up at me with her big blue eyes and in her pitiful little voice said "night night".  I asked her if she was sleepy and she said "no seepy".  So then I asked her if she wanted to go lay in the bed and watch Ni Hi Kalan and she said "yeas" (that is how she says it).  She literally laid in the bed for an hour and just watched tv.  She never would let me look in her mouth but because she has a little lisp I could see that she bit her tongue.  As the night goes on, her chin is getting more red and there is a cut on her chin with a little bruising!!  Go figure!
The one thing that I tell myself is one day when we look back at these pictures I will be able to tell her about the black eye she had in her 6 mths pictures, the black eye in her one year pictures, why she was crying the entire time in her 2nd Halloween pictures (Roseola and Ruebella=no trick or treating), and now her 2nd Easter pictures!  Oh well...growing pains as they say!
Speaking of Easter...my mom made me a skirt yesterday (actually two) and today I went and found a shirt for both in about 30 minutes!  Pretty excited about that, normally when I am looking for something specific I can't find crap!  Gotta find some shoes, earrings, and maybe a braclet that I saw that is super cute!! So after Wilkins' pictures tomorrow we are going to get a pedicure and finish up all the last minute Easter shopping!

Even though the next 4 days is going to be busy I am looking forward to it.  Thursday:  work at 5am, pictures in the buttercups at 345pm, finish all last minute Easter shopping.  Friday:  work at 5am, pictures with the cousins and live bunnies at 330, singing at Smyrna.  Saturday:  Kelsey's graduation party at Daniel's (Trenton, Ga), dye Easter eggs with all the kids at granny's, spend time with everyone.  Sunday:  church at 11am, eat dinner, Easter egg hung then finally relaxation until work at 10am on Monday.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend!  I know I will because I am not working so I am sure that I will have lots of pictures to post after Sunday!!  Hope you find the one egg that has lots of money in it!!


Pre- Wilkins clothes...

So I did it...finally!  I have so many clothes taking up so much space in my closet that I have been holding on to just hoping and praying that I will be able to fit into them again!  Not gonna happen!  Even though I am only about 10-15 pounds heavier now than before I got pregnant, my body is not the same shape.  I have finally accepted that.  So the only way I know how to come to grips with it is just to get rid of all the clothes that I can fit in but just don't flatter me anymore!  With that being said...I have cleaned out my closet.  Not only did I get rid of clothes that were to small but some that were too big (sigh).  I must say that I did keep about 5 or 6 pairs of pants in the back of my closet with the hope that I would lose the extra 10-15 pounds.  You don't understand....these are work pants!!  I absolutely despise buying any clothes for work because they all come home with some kind of grease stains so that is why I kept them.  Not only are they cute but I didn't wear them that much because they were fairly new when I started putting on the pounds.
This is really hard for me because I have always been small and coping with the fact that I will never get back to that size sucks.  I used to eat junk food all day long and never gain an ounce but now my weakness for junk food ends up being "junk in the trunk"...lol!!  I would love to join a gym and work out but when do I have time for that?!  I work 55-60 hours a week, a single mom, and I hate to ask my mom to watch Wilkins for another hour so that I can work out.  I mean my mom already has Wilkins the entire time I am at work so it isn't fair to tack on a few more.
So if I happen to lose the weight or tone up and need new clothes then I will just have to reward myself with new clothes!!  Sounds like a good plan to me... 
Spring cleaning is under way, yard sale is just around the corner, vacation is less than 5 weeks away, smile is spreading across my face just thinking about these things...


So I thought that nothing get worse than Friday but I was so very wrong!!  I had to be at work at 5am again today and as I was driving up I noticed that the entire road leading up to my store was dark!  Needless to say, I unlock the door only to find that our power is out too!  That means more drama for me....yeaaaa! 
I call the electric company only to listen to an automated operator forever.  After listening to a bunch of different options a real live person finally comes on the line.  I tell her of the power outage only for her to tell me "Ok.  We have someone in route to that area to find out the source of the power outage and we will add you to the list."  ARE YOU KIDDING?  I don't think she realized how important it is that we open the doors at 6am to serve eggs and bacon to those committed guests.  I mean we have people standing at the door before we even open just to have good ol' southern cookin'!!  I don't completely understand this madness.  Who in their right mind is standing anywhere at 6am on a Saturday or Sunday when they don't have to...they choose to!  Absolutely the most insane thing in the world to me but let me tell you they do...I had to tell quite a few people that we weren't going to be opening on time and direct them to the next one despite the fact that there was a sign on the door stating the exact same thing.  I think that seeing a note on the front door saying:  "Due to the power outage we will not be opening at 6am.  Sorry for the inconvience but there is another one at exit 81B (Murfreesboro) and at exit 66 (Smyrna).  We will open as soon as we can."  just completely made these loyal guests stare in shock!  So they needed me to take time to walk all the way to the front door to explain to them what was going on because that note was just so CONFUSING! 
Anyway, our power ended up coming back on around 615am allowing us to open just a little before 7am which wasn't too bad.  So on top of the power outage and the late start I ended up being short about 4 servers that were actually scheduled but could have used about 6 more, down 1 host, had a SA (sets up all the food) that had to much to drink last night and was pretty much worthless, 3 of the servers ended up being late...so a wonderful start to the last day of a very eventful weekend.  Oh yeah...let's not forget that my GM decided to get to work extremely early (5am with me...which I hate someone messing with my opening routine and talking to me that early period!) so that he could finish his charts (which he was suppose to finish before he left yesterday).  And to top it all off my DM decided to show up around 1230pm to have a visit because I guess he thought that my weekend just wasn't eventful enough!  You think that those people who stand at the door before we open is loyal you should have seen the insane people who waited 30 and 40 minutes to eat today!  We were on a wait until almost 3pm...hello, go to a drive thru!!  So at least the weekend is over and I guess I can just chalk it up to everyone should have to experience this kind of stuff at least once in their 9 years.  I hope that I only have to experience it only this once and never again!!!
Now to enjoy my two days off...only to return at 5am on Wednesday to await the anticipated visit from the COO,  my RVP (regional vice president), and my DM again.  I can't wait.....just kidding I will be fine without this ever happening!!
I will let you know how it turns out...


Not my day...

Thank goodness Friday is over!!  Let me give you a run down of how my day went yesterday and why I am still recovering today!
Let's start with the funny part (at my expense) of my Friday afternoon! I went straight to get my hair cut and colored after work. I have been going to the same person for over 7 years and I really don't care what she does with my hair as long as she doesn't color it purple, pink, or any other crazy color. I don't normally care how short she cuts it either as long as I don't have to have my neck shaved because it will eventually grow out. But today I told her some specifics...I want my hair shorter (not touching my shoulders), layered some in the back (so it will be fuller), and a little bit longer on the sides. Other than that I don't really care what the color is or anything. Well, me being me, I don't really pay anymore attention after that because I am just not one of those girls who really cares what my hair looks like. I mean it is naturally curly so I can't really style it anyway so why should I, right? Wrong! I am talking and she is cutting and cutting (still not paying attention).  I am to busy talking about my upcoming trip to Disney World with the other hair stylist, who also loves Disney as much as I do, to really even care how much she had cut.  She tells me to flip my head over (normally she styles my hair straight), which I do. She is drying my hair while scrunching it with her other hand and who knows how much product she has already put in it! I flip my head back up only  to find myself looking like I have a fro...for real! And not only has she made my hair really, really big (as most hair stylists do) but she also has managed to cut BANGS! Not only do I have bangs now but she has straightened them with a flat iron. So picture this...Ronald McDonald with straight bangs, parted to the right side, angling down to cover my eye (annoying to say the least)! Needless to say I tell her I look like I have stuck my finger in a light socket and thank goodness I am going home and no where else! Of course, my mom and sisters were practically rolling on the floor laughing when they saw me...glad I could entertain!

Now for some more entertainment, again at my expense!  I have been to the tanning bed 3 times in the last week and have not been burnt one time.  In all actuality, I don't really think I have ever really been burnt...maybe a little red but nothing bad until now!  I go to the tanning bed last night and the girl working talks me into going to the "standup bed".  Not only is this the most uncomfortable thing in the world but I will never do it again.  You are literally standing in something like a capsule almost like being in a coffin except for the top is open and of course, it isn't dark.  So I am in this thing and I can't for the life of me get comfortable.  They have these two bars for you to hold on to so that your arms are not down by your side but I just couldn't fathom standing like that for 10 minutes.  So the entire time I am feeling rather awkward trying to find some way to place my arms without holding on to those bars.  I end up putting my hands on my hips and then realizing that if I do that then I am going to have hand prints on my sides.  Never did find a good way to stand but it doesn't matter because I will never do it again.  Especially after waking up in the middle of the night on FIRE!  I am not kidding.  Saying I look like a lobster is the understatement of the year...I couldn't get comfortable all night.  My skin is literally on fire and somehow I manage to get burnt under my arms which is unbelievable because I don't think I had my arms up but a minute or two.  Being burnt under the arms is the most uncomfortable thing ever.  It isn't that bad when I am at home and don't have a bra on but unfortunately I had to work today.  So with work comes stupidity.  I mean I had to state the obvious all day long when everyone asked me "are you burnt?"  DUH!  Finally, I just started making up some of the most absurd stories about why I was so red.  It was a very miserable day...I ended up going in the bathroom taking off my shirt, then my bra, and lathering up with lotion twice.  I was hurting so, so bad.  I came home stripped down and had my mother rub aloe all over my back which helped for all of 15-20 minutes.  Unfortunately, I couldn't even relish in the temporary relief because while my mom was putting aloe on my back Wilkins decided to pull her diaper off, which was dirty, and bring it to me.  Needless to say she managed to get it down her leg and on her feet.  So my mom stood her in the bathtub to go get some fresh wipes while I tried cleaning up the diaper she had dropped.  I guess my mom forgot that Wilkins can climb out of the bathtub because she came running around the corner, poop still on her leg and feet, and now smeared on the bathtub from where she climbed out!!!  FUN! FUN!  I went ahead and gave Wilkins a bath while I cleaned up everything else, finished lathering up with aloe only to realize I was miserable with clothes on period.  I don't know how I am going to make it through tomorrow with clothes on.  I still burn just sitting her with a t-shirt and panties on so if this doesn't get any better tomorrow is gonna suck and on top of that my DM is suppose to be there! 

Now to how my Friday actually started:
I had to be at work at 5am only to find the manager that had closed the night before was still there!  Always a bad sign!!  The hood cleaners had came and usually they are done by 3am at latest but this time they managed to mess up our ANSUL system.  For those of you who do not know what that is...it is like an automatic fire extinguisher.  If the grill or something was to catch on fire it would automatically put the fire out and shut down all gas from continuing to go to the grill.  Well, somehow they managed to trip the switch causing the gas to shut off and in turn managing to shut down all of our ovens, 2 of the 4 kettles, and most of the electricity in the back of the kitchen.  The other manager let me know that the people who are coming to work on it would not be able to be at our store until 7am...not good!  We are suppose to open at 6am.  So I get on the phone and start calling all of our employees, telling them not to come in until 7am.  In the meantime the guys get there and let us know that this was going to be at minimum three hours, which puts us now opening (if we are lucky) at 10am or 11am!  I told the other manager to leave because he had to be back at 3pm and began making calls again letting the employees know to enjoy the rest of their morning off.  I then sent the 7 or 8 employees that were there home and told them to call back around 930am.  So here is where it gets real fun...I can't manage to get away from the phone because everyone can't imagine why we aren't open and of course, I am the only manager working.  (Should be two managers on a Friday morning but my GM decided not to come in at 5am like he was scheduled.)  I have been on the phone with my district manager numerous times by now and he is unhappy that I am by myself considering the crisis we have going on.  He lets me know that my GM told him (DM) that he had worked until 330am...NOT! (LIE #1)  He most certainly did not work...in fact, so far everyone that I have talked to that worked on Thursday didn't even see him in our store.  Either way the drama continues...the guys working on our ANSUL system let me know that the 2 parts they need can't be located and their branch manager is trying to find what they need.   Of course, there always has to be that one person at the home office who calls to tell you that it is just a breaker tripped and wants me to go flip the breaker.  I do that and surprise, surprise, nothing happens which I let him know.  I then tell him that the guys working on this told me that while they were filling up the third tank a pin shears and has never had this happen to him.  Not only does the pin shear but it is an odd pin and it is going to be extremely hard to locate another one.  The guy from home office lets me know that a breaker was tripped to begin with and now that we let these guys screw up we are in deep water.  Of course, he knows what it is because he isn't anywhere near our store nor has he looked at it but because that is his job he is automatically right.  WRONG!  Just like a man to tell you what is wrong without actually knowing what the crap they are talking about. 
Then I receive word at 10am that the branch manager has located the parts...in Louisville, KY!!  This takes two and half hours from Nashville and then two and half hours back.  Add on about a 45min-hour drive from Nashville to Murfreesboro and then at least two hours to work on it after the parts are received, that puts us opening at about 530-6pm!!  UH-OH!  A decision needs to be made now on whether to bypass the ANSUL system or wait until it is fixed.  Bypassing the system means there is no fire protection other than the 5 or 6 fire extinguishers we have hanging on the walls.  Not bypassing the system means not only do we miss all the breakfast sales but then the lunch and part of the dinner sales on a Friday.  Needless to say we bypass the system and my GM gets there around 1030am and we open the doors at 11am with a handful of employees.  Ended up being a pretty good afternoon, got a lot of praise from my DM on how I handled the situation, got lies #2, 3, and 4 from my GM and who knows how many more. 

And so I live another day to tell of the fun a restaurant manager/full time mom can possibly have....


RAIN=no pictures in the buttercups :(

Rain, rain go away...PLEASE!!  So I got Wilkins' dress from granny and I love it!  It is white with yellow smocking and butterfly sleeves.  Wilkins was suppose to get her pictures made today at the Sam Davis Home in the buttercups at 11am but the rain ruined all plans!!  So now weather permitting we have rescheduled for Saturday at 5pm...let's hope the rain goes away because I can't wait to get these pictures.  Because of that we decided to head to Cool Springs Galleria and just wonder around...not really shopping but just looking.  Unfortunately who really goes to just look and not buy.  I have tried that several times but it never happens.  I usually always come back with something for Wilkins.  Buying for girls is just so easy as you mothers with little girls know.  I ended up buying her 2 pairs of jelly shoes and 2 outfits along with sunglasses. 
I did manage to buy some material for mom to make me two skirts...one for Easter Sunday and one for the singing on Good Friday.  Yellow and Blue...I started with yellow for Wilkins' Easter dress and now LeAnne and Haley have ended up buying their kids Easter outfits that happen to be yellow and blue.  Funny thing is LeAnne and Haley always try to avoid getting their kids the same colors because on Easter they try to match their kids.  I find it absolutely hilarious because not only are all of us going to match but mom and dad are also wearing yellow...HOW FUNNY!  The best part of all this is we are not telling Bradley before because he would probably refuse to wear his so I can't wait to see his face on Easter Sunday when he walks in the door and realizes that we all match!! 
Well, I have to be at work at 5am, work a long day with people that drive me bananas, then get my hair cut and colored at 3pm.  It's going to be a busy day!  I had brought some evals home with me to write for some of my employees and that didn't happen so now I am going to have to try to get them written tomorrow at work which is absolutely impossible most of the time.
Let's hope the sunshine comes back and stays until after Easter...I don't want a cold or rainy Easter!!


Sunshine and Pigtails = HAPPY :)

What a beautiful day it turned out to be?!  When I went to work at 5am this morning it was so, so cold.  We even had a fire going at work which I have come to hate!!  A fire is nice when you can curl up on the couch with a good book, not when you are running around making sure everyone's eggs are cooked JUST RIGHT and their grits and gravy are HOT!  But as the day went on, and all 5 of the district managers that had set up shop for about 3 or 4 hours decided to leave the sun began to come out.  It started out as a very hectic day and it wasn't looking to good for me trying to get out of there before 4.  For some reason around 1:30 things just started falling into place and I bolted at 3.
When I got home Wilkins, who had supposedly been going to sleep, was standing in her bed being silly.  The sun was shining so I grabbed her out of her bed and said "who needs a nap anyway?" 
Her hair was so frizzy and tangled...it really did look like a rat's nest!  So I decided to see if it would go in pigtails and it did!!  It looked so cute...I love it!  With her new little hair do, her red bouncy ball, and her pink cozy coupe we headed out to savor the warm weather! 
Of course, she loved being outside and probably would have stayed outside for hours on end.  I was surprised when she looked up, pointed, and said "sky".  I didn't even know she knew what the sky was but she must have learned it from Nick Jr.  Some of those shows are completely stupid but she is learning a lot from those shows.  Most of them try to get the kids to repeat what is being said and teaches them to pick up after themselves, etc...  No more knocking Yo Gabba Gabba, Dora, or Ni Hi Kalan!!
Anyway, back to the beautiful outdoors... her little red ball bounced right over beside a patch of irresistable mud.  Wilkins just had to reach down and touch it but when I said no she decided that it wouldn't hurt to just tap it with her toes!  Wrong...tapping it with her toes turned into running around in it!!  But do you really know any 2 year old that doesn't want to experience the thrill of playing in a little mud?!  I sure haven't met one yet!  Her little size 6 foot also manages to find a puddle of water to step in soaking her little canvas pink polka dot shoes!  So not only does she get to play in mud but then she gets to truly enjoy being outside...BAREFOOT!  Watching her walk in the grass with no shoes on was kind of amusing...she kept tip toeing!  I ended up taking her over to her Aunt Haley's and Uncle Bradley's so she could play with Lucas and Logan.  Haley and I left the three of them with Bradley while we went to get some hotdogs to grill out.  Ended up being a pretty great afternoon of just enjoying the beautiful weather.
So here is Wilkins with her very first picture with pigtails!  Ain't she a beauty?!  Needless to say not taking a nap was a good idea at the time but by the time we got home mammy had made her an outfit.  Wilkins wanted no part of trying on anything because she was so tired...of course, we made her do it anyway, tears running down her cheeks and her belly.  I then tossed the little stinky thing in the bathtub, washed her up including her hair and then just let her play in the bubbles.  I then thought that I would torture her some more (not really) by blow drying her hair (which she despises).  I lathered her up in some good ol' baby lotion (after all she is only 2 and I love that smell), put her pajamas on, and then a little more torture!  Her nose drives her nuts and as much as she hates the dreaded "booger sucker" (as I like to call it) she also hates to be stuffy.  She comes to me, points to her nose, and says "nose" in a very whiny voice so we get out the "booger sucker".  While I was cleaning out her nose she held on to her little suffed Pluto and literally fell asleep in the floor!!  She was wore smack dab out!  I will probably regret it in the morning because she was out at 7:30pm so that means she will be up super early!  Oh well...we enjoyed the day which was completely worth it!!  Can't wait until Thursday when she gets her pictures made in the yellow butter cups at the Sam Davis Home.  Let's just hope that granny has got her dress smocked by then...I just got her the material and thread to her yesterday!! 


Cornbeef and Cabbage...YUK!

My day started out with getting up late for work, rushing to get a shower and get ready to Wilkins standing at my legs with her arms wrapped around them, crying when I was trying to leave for work.  Then to make matters worse my battery was dead so my car wouldn't start so my mom had to take me with Wilkins to work.  It wasn't a nice peaceful day that I walked into either...I stepped in the door and started running.  It was all about "cornbeef and cabbage" today!!  Who knew that so many people would want this stuff...disgusting!  This stuff takes 50 minutes to cook and it was selling like hotcakes literally!!  I am sick of cutting up cabbage, potatoes, and stinkin' carrots!  I will not be sad if I never work another Saint Patrick's Day...and that was just a part of my day.  It was a horrible day at work and was so frustrated when I left.  I stopped and picked  pick up Wilkins and all starts to look up!
I was sitting here watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyUpWwYYyjM which is a video tribute to Layla Grace from someone and Wilkins was in her room playing.  I guess she heard the music and came running screaming "mommy dance", "mommy dance".  So I showed her Layla's picture and she said "baby" and now it is just playing over and over while I am typing this.  And Wilkins is now holding her Pluto stuffed animal while she is dancing and singing (going around and around is her dancing).  As I sit her and type this and she is right her dancing I have tears running down my face.  I am so thankful for my little girl.  My horrible day has completely forgotten now because she is the reason I continue to work a frustrating job.  She is the reason I can put a smile on my face and can deal with all the stuff I do.  If for no other reason than to make sure she has food to eat and a roof over her head I will continue to go back day after day.  So again I say, thank you Layla Grace for helping me see the bigger picture and for helping me find the positive side of things including my job.  One more day and I get to spend a day off with Wilkins...


Balloon Release for Layla Grace...

Yesterday we (me, Wilkins, Haley, Lucas, Logan, and Tanya) went to the park to release balloons in honor of little Layla Grace.  It was very important to me to do this because Layla has really helped me realize the important things in life.  Being apart of this has made me cherish motherhood so much more.  So with that said I am going to do what I can to help spread the word about Layla Grace and Neuroblastoma.  Starting today, I am working 10am-10pm so I don't know how much I will blog this week because I am gonna be lucky to keep my head on straight and spend the "extra" time with little miss priss aka Wilkins!      

Speaking of Wilkins...can the "Terrible Twos" start before she turns 2? I am thinking she has already entered that phase because she has so much energy and has been getting into everything. She has been so wild. It's like her whole personality has done a 180 in the last 3 weeks. I don't know if I am ready for that...I thought I had a couple more months for that. So on top of the terrible twos we are also trying to potty train. I am not sure that Wilkins is ready for this but we are definitely going to try. We got rid of the pacifier in January so now the big obstacle is using th potty instead of the diaper. Truth be told...I think that Wilkins is just too lazy to use the potty. During the day she will go to the potty but at night she doesn't do so well. This kid sleeps until at least 9:30am and sometimes 11am. If I go wake her up before then she will use the potty but if I don't then she is sopping wet when she decides to get up. Sometimes she lays in her bed for hours in the morning after she has woke up and just watch cartoons. I am telling you she likes her sleep. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I enjoy the fact that she sleeps late but sometimes she makes me lazy too. :) That's okay though!!

Well...off to bed I go.  Gotta a long week ahead of me!



Ok so I need some help...I am completely stupid when it comes to the settings and layout of my blog!!  I have been trying for days to put tabs on my blog.  I can get the tabs there but I can't figure out how to move my stuff to those tabs!!  Such as "Archived"...how do I get my previous posts to be under that tab??  I have read all the stuff they say do but I just don't get it!!  Someone please help me!!  This is getting to be so frustrating...I see everyone else's blog and no one else seems to be having any trouble with it.  I am begging for someone to please help me...if I have to I will let someone do it for me!!!  DESPERATE!!

Pennies for Penny....Neuroblastoma again?!

So I had never heard of Neuroblastoma until a little over a month ago when I was sent an invite to the group "Praying for Layla Grace" and now I am hearing about it everywhere.  I was reading someone's blog and someone mentioned that "Penny" had just been diagnosed with Neuroblastoma so I followed the link just to read about it.  This little girl isn't even a year old.  This isn't fair.  I am absolutely done with this disease.  I want to do whatever I can to help fight this!!  I don't know whether to be angry or sad.  I don't know how Shanna or Carina is handling this.  This is so unfair...I have a hard time reading about this and I have tears running down my face as I do so how are they living this nightmare?!  Please everyone donate what you can whether it be money or just taking the time out to read about little Penny and little Layla Grace and spreading the word.  I don't want to hear of anymore children having to go through this torment...they are just babies and they deserve to be running around without a care in the world.  They shouldn't have to be poked and prodded nor should they have to be scared.

"Stay strong, stay organized, stay focused. She is scared and me being scared and crying will only make her more scared so, I have to be strong. It is what it is and we have to learn how to deal with it and move forward. It seems silly to say but Aaron and I go in opposing waves. When he is upset and in the “why” frame of mind, I am strong and focused. When he is strong and focused, I’m a mess. It helps most of the time but there are times when we both breakdown. Needless to say Penelope is a trooper. It breaks my heart to see her in pain and many times I just get up in her crib and snuggle with her. I want so badly just to hold her in my arms while she sleeps without the cords and the pain. I want to see her walking and talking. I want her to smile and dance with Elmo and get giddy and tickled when she gives him kisses and hugs. I want to have her Sesame Street 1st birthday party at the park like we planned."  Penelope's mom...Carina

Please share this with everyone you know...http://www.pennies4penny.org/


Still have Layla on my mind and in my heart...

It is absolutely amazing to me how much of an impact this little girl has had on me.  I literally check everyday to see if there are any new tweets, messages, etc and today I got to hear Layla's dad talking on one of the local radio stations in Texas (http://www.krbe.com/  Laylasupdate).  This family is abolutely amazing.  I don't think I can express in words how much they have touched me and continue to touch my heart still.  It is very humbling to hear people like them speak about their experience and how they are handling it. 

I find myself still continuing to tell Layla's story.  I am a manager at Cracker Barrel and as you can imagine I come in contact with tons of people on a daily basis.  It seems like just about everyday I have told about Layla and her amazing family and then wrote down on a piece of paper how to read about it.  Just today I was talking to one of my good friends, who happens to also be a manager, about Layla and how much it has affected me.  I was literally in tears in the office telling him about her and how we never think that something like that could happen to us.  I bet the Marsh family never expected this to happen to them and in the blink of an eye the whole world flipped upside down.  I know I have said this a million times but I truly mean it...I don't know how they handle this with such strength, courage, grace, and diginity.  The words written and spoken by both Ryan and Shanna are put into such a way that just pulls you in and feel like you are a part of their family. 

I will continue to tell their story and help them raise awareness for Neuroblastoma.  Layla will always hold a special place in my heart.  Each time my frustrations start to surface with my own 2 year old daughter I will take a deep breath and remember Shanna's post: 

"The house is quiet. I am able to go through the motions of laundry, dishes, cooking and picking up without interruptions. But I WANT interruptions. I WANT Layla to be under my feet asking for cookies. I WANT to hear her playing with her toys. I WANT to take 45 minutes to unload the dishwasher because she keeps trying to help. For every time I uttered the words “I just can’t get anything done with these kids under my feet all day” I am eternally regretful. The days that I looked forward to naptime so I could get a grocery list made, or finally fold all the piles of laundry…I regret those days too. If I could do it all again, I’d enjoy EVERY SINGLE WAKING MOMENT I had with her. I would never wish for her to sit still or take a nap or go to bed early. I would never look forward to the days when she could sit through an entire episode of Dora silently. I would treasure every second with her."

This one post struck a nerve with me and has resonated with me since the day I read it.  As mothers, I think that we all have these thoughts.  As readers of this blog, I think we are all realizing the importance of embracing everything, even the moments when we are at our wit's end.

I continue to pray for the entire Marsh family and friends daily.  The vision I have of Layla now is spinning in circles with her arms held out wide, palms up, head back, smiling with no pain or worries, in a field of wild flowers with all the other children God has taken home.


Today and Yesterday...

Today I went to work, yesterday I went to the park.  Today I tried to keep busy, yesterday I tried to play.  Today I kept getting distracted, yesterday I kept getting distracted.  Today and yesterday my mind keeps remembering Layla Grace Marsh.  I can't seem to shake how much this little girl has shaken up my whole world.  Don't get me wrong this is not in a bad way.  It definitely has made me open my eyes and be a better mother.  I can't imagine what life would be like without Wilkins.  I wonder if I could bear the burden as gracefully as the Marsh family has.  I know God had/has a plan for this family and this little girl.  Through her, people all around the world have come together to unite.  She has made mothers be better mothers, brought faith to people that had lost all faith, been an inspiration to the uninspired, brought hope to the hopeless, brought tears to the eyes of many just by being.  I am so glad that through her mother's words I got to know this little girl.  I got to hear of the strength and courage she displayed while battling this horrible disease known as Neuroblastoma.  I will always be grateful to her family and their words for it has had a huge impact on my life.  Thank you so much Marsh family...for your words.

Our day at the park...


A little piece of my heart...

Wasn't exactly sure what to title this post because I am not exactly sure what I am going to be typing.  I am just kind of at a loss and just need to get my thoughts out of my head.  I am so bothered by the loss of Layla Grace.  I can't get it out of my head not that I want to forget it but I can't seem to move on from it right now.  I don't even know this little girl but my heart is continuing to break everytime I read or hear something else about her.  I look at Wilkins and I see Layla Grace and how easy this could have been my child.  I don't know how the Marsh family is coping with this loss.  I believe in God and I believe he has a plan for everyone but I just can't fathom this.  I want to do something.  I want to help somehow.  I know there is really nothing that I can do but pray and try to keep her legacy alive by telling others about her story.  I know that I can honor her memory by making the most of every moment I have with Wilkins and my family. 
I don't know that I wouldn't be angry with God for taking my little girl from me if I were Layla's mom.  I don't know what emotions I would be feeling.  I know how I am feeling so confused right now.  Why does God have to take this little girl whom has done no harm to anyone but let mean people live?  This little girl didn't even get to go to school for the first time, her mother will never get to see her little girl go to school for the first time.  I know that I am not guaranteed any of these things either but I do get to have another day with my little girl.  Why? Why do things like cancer exist?  Why do little angels like Layla Grace have to suffer?  It isn't fair!!  I will continue to try to raise awareness about Layla Grace and her fight against Neuroblastoma.  Everytime I start to complain about something that Wilkins does, I will try to stop myself and just remember how lucky I am that I have Wilkins. 


Rest in Peace little Layla Grace 3/9/10

Wilkins and I have been cleaning her room this morning (I have been cleaning, she continues to play and drag it all back out), I normally dread this but I am really enjoying just spending this time with her.  I just found out that little Layla Grace passed away this morning and it just kind of stopped me in my tracks.  I don't even know this little girl but I started to cry.  This little girl and her family has had such a profound hold on my heart.  I have been more aware of the important things since I first heard about her and less worried about the little things.  I normally worry about money, bills, my job, when am I going to be able to get my car fixed, etc. but these things just seem so trivial in the grand scheme of things.  These are things that can work themselves out but the relationships I have are things that need time and attention.  Relationships need constant attention or they will unravel over time.  My little girl, family, and friends are the important things in life not the everyday troubles that we all worry about.  So in honor of Layla Grace I am going to make it a point to not stress over that kind of stuff but put all that energy into the most important things...relationships.

I have been truly touched by you, Layla Grace.  Though I have never seen your beautiful smiling face in person or heard your little angelic voice you have changed my life and I am sure many others just by reading your story.  You have touched so many in your short 2 years than I have in my 30 years.  I hope that when I leave this earth I will have touched and impacted just a quarter of the people you have.  Your story and legacy will live on through all of us.

I know you are free of all pain now and can enjoy being a 2 year old like you should have been able to her on earth...rest in peace little Layla Grace.


My Little Girl...
I love black and white pictures.



These are the moments that I am simply thankful for.

I just got through reading the blog about Layla Grace and I can't help but savor all the little things now.  I can't imagine going through what her family is going through.  I don't know that I would handle a situation like that with such strength and grace like her family is.  They are literally sitting and waiting for their baby to be taken away from them forever. 

As I sit here and type, the tears are running down my face.  I am so thankful that I have a healthy little two year old.  A little girl to drive me absolutely batty sometimes.  One that just spilled a whole bottle of water on the couch or one that has gotten my camera and now I can't seem to find it anywhere.  I am simply thankful that everytime I go in the bathroom Wilkins says "brush teeth" and everytime I let her.  I don't know what I would do if I had to sit by her bed and just watch her to wither away.  I can't even imagine what it would be like to sit there day after day wishing it was all a nightmare and willing my little girl to live, knowing there is absolutely nothing I can do for her.  I wished I understood why things like this happen but I don't.  I know God has a plan for everyone but I don't know how you can take a baby away from their mother so soon.  We are suppose to go before our children.  We are the ones who have gotten to live our lives.  Layla is just a baby.  I only hope that she is not scared and that there is no pain.  I wished there was something that I could do but I know the only thing I can do is pray. 
And so that is what I will do and what I will ask everyone I know to do. 

 I will also learn from this.  I will learn to not sweat the small stuff.  When Wilkins starts pulling all her clothes out of her drawers or colors all over her little kitchen I will not make as big a deal out of it.  I will be thankful that I have her clothes to fold and put up again.  I will be thankful that I am cleaning the crayon marks off of her kitchen for the 3rd and 4th time because at least the crayon marks are being put on there every single day. 

I know this is a little bit of a sad post but at the same time it is a very eye opening one.  I am simply thankful that I have Wilkins.  I am simply thankful that me and my family have not had to endure something so painful, so scary, something that we do not understand. 

Please continue to pray for Layla Grace and her family


Why do we have to work when the sun is shining?

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a law that said when the sun is out you don't have to go to work if you don't want to?!  I sure do wish it were true.  Here I am on the verge of having to hop in the shower to get ready to go to that dreaded place, WORK!  I guess I think that if I just keep putting off the inevitable then it won't happen which we know is not true.  All it means is that I will have to rush to get ready and get to work right on time.  Then that will start my day off on the wrong foot because there is nothing more I hate than feeling rushed.  Which is funny because when you have children you are always rushed. 

Then when I get to work my employees will get on my nerves faster than they already do.  I don't understand why I have to repeat myself over and over throughout the entire shift about the same old little things.  How many people can walk over a piece of paper before stopping and picking it up?  You would be surprised!  EVERYONE!  Did you know that if you leave a towel laying on a counter whether it be wet or dry, it is a health code violation?  Do you know how many times a day I pick up a towel or tell someone else to do it?  I would say probably 100-200 times a day...RIDICULOUS!  Do you know how many of my employees "forget" their belt or "forget" to iron their uniform?  At least 5-7 employees a day...RIDICULOUS!  These are employees who have been working there for years but yet the expectation is and has been the same the entire time.  I know I have one child but when I go to work I feel like I have adopted about 50 misfits!!!  Don't get me wrong they are not all bad and I do enjoy working with some of them.  Some of them are a pain in my butt that's for sure.  And for those few I have to put on that "fake look of concern" and act like I care what they are saying all the while I am thinking PLEASE SHUT UP!  It is those nights when I can look at my MAC card (schedule) and see that there are plenty of cooks, servers, hosts, cashiers, and dishwashers that are capable of handling their jobs without me holding their hands that I take a LONG sigh of relief.  And here's the thing...before I left work last night at 12:30am I looked at my MAC card for today.  There was no sigh of relief.  In fact, I imagined throwing my hands up in the air in frustration!

So adding to that frustration...the sun is shining which makes me not want to go to work even more!!!   Okay, I think that I am done venting for now.  And maybe since I got all of this off my chest I will be able to get a shower and wash all the negative thoughts away.  And just maybe my night will not be as bad as I have envisioned to be!!  Everyone cross your fingers cause here I go...


Can a girl have too many shoes???

This is the five newest pairs of shoes for Wilkins...aren't they cute?  I know this is insane but every little girl needs all colors and kinds of shoes right?  Here's the thing...she has 55 pairs of shoes!  Some she got from my neice (hand me downs) and some bought.  Some she can wear now and some are a little bigger to wear later.  The thing is she loves to wear shoes...in fact, the pink polka dot shoes she wouldn't put down at Target.  She kept calling them her "bickey shoes" (Minnie Mouse) and she actually wore them all afternoon until it was time to go to bed.  And as crazy as it sounds I love shoes, we buy shoes first and then match an outfit to them.  HELLO...my mom sews and my granny smocks so I rarely buy clothes unless it is just too cute to pass up or play clothes.  This is her closet and yes I am a little OCD when it comes to the closet.   

You see the yellow shoes?  Well, those are probably going to be her Easter shoes.  My granny is going to smock her a white dress with yellow stiching and butterfly sleeves.  I am so excited and can't wait to see it.  I love yellow especially for spring.  I will definitely post some pictures of the dress. 

So, in conclusion, I am sure that we spend way to much on shoes but we definitely get good use out of them.  I pass them on to my cousin, Amanda, for her little girl to wear.  When I get them back I decide which ones I want to keep (in case I have another little girl or maybe Haley??) and which ones I want to sell.  The bad thing is the shoes are pretty cheap right now ($7-$25) but as she gets older they are only going to get more expensive.  So 10 years from now I will probably be kicking myself in the butt for all this and all of you can remind me when I am blogging about how much money my darling little girl is spending on shoes!!!


JUST PICTURES...bathtime!

Cracker Barrel guest brought me to tears...

So one day last week I was in the dining room talking to guests when I hear a child crying.  As I walk to the front of the dining room I notice at the big round table is a little blonde haired, blue eyed girl screaming bloody murder.  I am talking about a piercing cry that has all of our guests turning in her direction.  The man and woman with her looked to be in their 50s and so I assumed that they were her grandparents.  Much to my dismay they couldn't calm her down at all so I started trying to talk to her.  The man said she is mad because they gave her little brother (also blonde haired and blue eyed) a drink of her milk.  The little boy, whom I later heard him called Jake, was right the opposite of this little girl.  He didn't hear her.  He just kept smiling.  Also sitting at the table was another little girl and boy (both blonde hair and blue eyes too).  They looked to be about 4 and 5.  As the little girl continues to scream with no end in sight, I continue to talk to the lady.  She says that the little girl does this all the time and there is nothing they can do but let her.  They just make sure she is in a safe place to where she can't hurt herself or anyone else.  I am really bothered by this but I can't do anything really.  I go out into the gift shop and find a toy to bring to the little girl but the lady quickly informs me that she should not be rewarded for acting like this.  The man then gets up to go pay the bill so I walk out with him and casually mentions "So you got your hands full, huh?".  He says, "Yeah but they are not ours.  They are foster kids."  So we continue in this little conversation where he lets me know they are all siblings.  He asks me if I have a nice, quite home that needs some children.  I let him know that I have a little girl myself but I do know someone that has been looking into adoption.  He told me that the children were up for adoption or would end up going back to "the home". 
As I went back to the table, the older little girl who had not said a word the entire time, came up to me and got my hand.  I bent down, her sad little blue eyes looked at me and asked "Are we going home with you?"  At that moment my heart broke into a million tiny pieces and all I wanted to do was wrap my arms around her in a big hug and say "Yes".  The lady gave me a card and let me know that they have had these children for a year and a half.  She told me that they had been abused and that is why the 2 1/2 little girl cried like she did.  Sometimes she cried for 3 hours at night when they put her to bed.  I told them bye but I could not get that one sentence out of my head..."Are we going home with you?"  I went to the office and literally started to cry.
I am not sure how people can become foster parents.  I really admire people who do because I know that I would get to attached to the children and it would be to hard to let them go.  I can't help think that if this had been a younger, more nurturing couple that the little girl would not have been screaming the entire time they were there.  There was no affection from the man or woman towards the children which I can only imagine is the only way to keep your heart from being broke.  But at the same time, those children that I saw needed love and affection from someone.  I wished there was a way that I could have taken all 4 of those beautiful children home with me.  I only hope and pray that a very nice, loving couple comes along and surrounds them with love and affection.

Where does all the time go??

I feel like it was just yesterday that Wilkins was born but here it is two months and she will be TWO!  On Tuesday I told Wilkins to throw her pacifier in the garbage and she did.  She slept all night without it but of course she is spoiled rotten b/c her mammy and Aunt Haley let her have her paci all day Wednesday.  So we did it again Wednesday night but this time I got smart and hid all of the pacifiers.  I kept them just in case she started sucking her thumb but she did not so now they are really going in the garbage!!  Bye bye paci!!
This has been a really long couple of weeks...I was the lucky one to have the weekend off when the weather was beautiful but guess where I spent it?!  Oh yeah you guessed it...I had 5 whole days off and I literally spent it holding a whiny baby, changing dirty diapers, sucking out a snotty nose, and dishing out some serious cough syrup.  I was on Wilkins schedule...I slept when she slept and I was up when she was up.  I got absolutely nothing accomplished that entire time.  Then it was back to work for EIGHT straight days!!  Yes I was literally scheduled EIGHT 12 hour days...I WAS SCHEDULED 96 HOURS before I had a day off.  Needless to say I scooted out early as many times as I could which ended up not being too many. 

As I sit here and gripe about this and that, my mind drifts to this little girl, Layla Grace.  This little girl's story absolutely breaks my heart.  She is just a couple of months older than Wilkins and has cancer.  She is literally withering away like a little flower in front of her parents eyes.  I find myself checking her parent's blog all the time to check for updates.  I have now joined the dreaded Twitter just to be her follower so that I can get updates when I am not at home.  Reading about her and how much her mother wishes that she would be up running around getting into everything like 2 year olds do makes me stop and just be grateful that Wilkins is coloring all over her kitchen.  Or that she just spilt my entire cup of grape kool aid all over the floor and that she is constantly pulling all her toys out.  As much as I want to just throw my hands up in the air and say "Calgon, Take me Away", instead I say "Thank you Lord for my healthy little girl".  I can't imagine what these people are going through and I don't ever want to.  I can only imagine how scary it is...I was terrified when Wilkins was in the hospital at 6mths old with RSV hooked up to IVs.  So if you happen to read my blog please check out hers:  http://www.laylagrace.org/.

Where are you Amanda?  This really bothers me.  Amanda Brown was a friend of mine growing up and her grandmother just died on Saturday.  On Sunday, we drove down to Alabama to go to the wake only to hear from her brother, Larry, that no one has heard from her in over three years.  This has really been weighing heavily on me.  I don't understand.  How do you not know where your sister, daughter, neice, grandaughter, or friend is?  She used to be all these things to so many different people.  I know that Amanda would want to know about her grandmother.  Sis Maude raised her since she was 5 years old...we used to run wild at their house.  What if she is in jail or worse...what if she is dead herself?  This is horrible.  I can't imagine not knowing where either one of my sisters are.  Wherever you are Amanda I hope you are ok and I just want to say I met your daughter and she is the spitting image of you.

While at the wake on Sunday I did get to see a little miracle walking...Kensley!!  Yep she was walking and she looked so good.  I ran into lots of people that I grew up with.  It is really sad that you always see old friends and family only when someone dies.  Too bad we don't make time to see each other more...always wait until it is too late.  The real adventure of the night was going to some Mexican restaurant on Sand Mountain!!  The fact that it is in Ider, Al should be the first red flag...the second red flag was that a white man owned it while 3 guys who were speaking spanish in a southern drawl was cooking and serving the not so great food!!  Stay away from this place.  We had fun but the food was horrible!

Off to bed for me...I will try to be better about posting but it is a little hard working full time as a manager, being a single mommy, and getting ready to go back to school.  Until next time...