Little's Life

Little's Life

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Becomes Past Tense













Adios, 2011 - Come on in, 2012!!!!  We are SO ready for you!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hello Christmas....I mean Thursday, the 22nd

So Mister and I decided at 9:00 last night to open up all of our presents.  Not Little's, of course, he was in bed - but we're out of packages with our names on them.  Heehee.  Little can open his on Christmas Eve since we have church Christmas morning.  I've never been one who could wait patiently for Christmas morning.  It's not in my nature to wait til Christmas  AND I BLAME MY PARENTS.  Yep, Mom and Dad - my absolute inability to leave the gifts wrapped under the tree all the way to December 25th is all your fault.  See, in my house growing up, the traditional Christmas morning didn't exist.

Ours was a house of torture every Dec. 25th.  We were not allowed to wake up our parents.  We were not allowed to touch anything under the tree. We were not allowed to dump our stockings.  We were not allowed to spend all morning in our pj's basking in the after glow of shredded wrapping paper and new toy euphoria.  Nope, we had to practically sit on our hands until Mom and Dad decided they were ready to head to the tree - always after showers, always after breakfast, always after noon (ok, that part might be a stretch - it was usually more like 10:00 a.m). There were literally  HOURS of anticipation after we woke up.  And if Christmas fell on a Sunday?  Psssssssh - we practically had to wait til Monday to start.

Then finally - FINALLY - when Mom and Dad decided it was tree time we ran into it's needles and the blury and fury of present opening began!   Wait, no - that's not how it happened, of course.  Somebody, usually my brother, put on the santa hat and began handing out  1 present to 1 person and everybody had to sit and watch and wait for that 1 person to get finished unwrapping their gift before the next person got a turn.  And there were 5 of us, at a minimum, so present opening took fOrEvEr.  And when it was my dad's turn?  FORGET ABOUT IT.  You better hope one of the presents you already opened was a book so you'd have a way to pass the 24 minutes it took him to pocket knife open every single piece of tape on his gift and slowly, neatly unfold the paper.  Thanks a lot for teaching him that particularly agonizing trait, Grandpa.  I have become an expert at wrapping his presents with just 3 small pieces of tape.  So it was usually about 9 p.m. when we finished unwrapping gifts (ok, that might be a stretch, too).

So is it any wonder that I don't make it to Christmas now?  Heck, we did better than last year.  Last year we opened presents up as soon as they arrived in the mail!  I just can't STAND IT to not open presents.  I don't even care what's in them, I just need to set them free from their binding of tape and paper.  It could be a box of cereal wrapped in newspaper and I would be ecstatic to open it up (yup, that's actually happened before - my dad again).  Now don't get me wrong, my parents are not scrooges.  They just discovered a way to gleefully and giddily torture and exasperate their children 1 day a year while at the same time creating hilarious (sarcasm font) holiday traditions and memories. My husband has picked up on this and finds it quite amusing to set my birthday presents out on the kitchen table for an hour or two a day before my birthday just to drive me crazy.  He always puts them back away, though, because he knows if he forgets and leaves the house, then that wrapping paper will mysteriously vanish.  He won't do it on Christmas, though, because he's almost as impatient about it as I am.

So here I am on Friday morning, December 23rd with no presents left to open.  AND I LOVE IT.  I will never ever ever ever ever been a show like veggie tales....oh sorry - got my sentence mixed up with the theme song playing in the living room.  What I meant to say was that I will never ever do that to Little.  The Jones Family Christmas tradition of gift agony is dead to me.  The Palmer family tradition is to open your presents as soon as you can't take it anymore while understanding and accepting that you may end up with nothing left to open on the actual morning of Christmas.  Booyah.

I must say that there were some rather hilarious gifts this year, which I always appreciate.  There was a t-shirt professing the wearer's love for crossword puzzles

and a gift card that proclaims HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

 But the one that takes the cake (err tree?):   CAT BLANKET.

Cat Blanket Christmas Tree!

Oh Cat Blanket tree, oh Cat Blanket treeeeeeeeee, how lovely are your whiiiiiiskerrrrs!

I couldn't wait to show Little this morning.

All hail Cat Blanket!

 "nnungoh Keetee!  Amooow!"  Translation - Snuggle kitty! meow!

So have a merry Christmas, everyone!  Any way (and any day) you choose to celebrate!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Opinions, please!

I need your help!  Little and I have a few events coming up in the next year, so I've been working on his logo.  This will be the one constant design on all of his t-shirts, signs, buttons, etc that we use for Duchenne related appearances.  We'll be outfitting a whole team of folks in March for the PPMD's Run for our Sons event during the Little Rock marathon and we've been asked to appear on local broadcasting spot during the MDA Labor Day telethon in Little Rock for 2012, just to name a few (don't we sound famous?  Ha!).

I want a design that can go on many colors of tee shirts, that's why they are mainly just in black.    The motto for MDA is "make a muscle, make a difference" and that is why I've gone with a flexed bicep.  The DMD support ribbon is a lovely shade of lime green, as all the good colors have been taken by the more well known diseases (darn you, Lance Armstrong).  So there's the explanation for why I used the elements that I did.

What I would like from you, is to know which one you like best.  I'll add the photos here and I'd like you all to use the embedded poll to vote for your favorite.  Yes, they are a bit rough - I am not an artist, I did my best.  The final product will be given to a graphic artist who will make a presentable (and screen printable) version of it that I will have up for sale on products on my cafe press site.

So scroll on down and vote!  Feel free to leave me a comment explaining why you chose whichever design you did.

I've been working on designs for about 3 months and I've come up with quite a few that I thought were fantastic and Mister thought were garbage.  Pbbbbbbbbt.  So here are 5 that Mister didn't turn his nose up at.  Why yes, I did end that sentence with a preposition.  You can click on each picture to see a larger version.






Thank you all for your input!  I'll post the winning design once it's received some touch-ups from a professional. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We need a new goal

because we've met our "walking by his 2nd birthday" goal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 12, 2011, my baby boy took his first real steps.  ANDREW IS WALKING!

Mister was sitting there on the floor, trying to get Little to balance in a standing position and he just headed over to the couch!  All by himself - no prompting from us.  Little Boy just gathered up his courage and walked by himself!  He did it several times, then we let him walk back and forth between us for a while.  His longest walk was 12 steps.

After a few passes between his parents, he went for what was really important:

He's been walking short distances (mostly from me to the couch) for 2 days now and his balance is getting better and better.  He had PT this morning and when she walked in the door, I set Tot behind his walker.  PtHeather gasped before he even did anything,  When he pushed his walker across the floor to her, she screamed and clapped her hands.  It was so great to see how excited she is for Little.  I told her to get ready because we weren't done with the show, and I sat on the floor where Mister is in the videos.  PtHeather started tearing up before I even let go of him.  Tot walked to the couch and I think I actually heard fireworks going off in PtHeather's heart!  Andrew is usually pretty cranky during PT, but not today.  He was so happy to show her he could walk and passed back and forth between us dozens of times.  He even tried to stand up from the floor by himself (that'll be the new goal). BEST PT DAY EVER!

Now I can't wait to have him greet OtJennifer on Monday morning by walking across the floor to her!

Here's one from his second day was walking with an aide.

Now he tries to walk with everything that isn't nailed down.

So goal met with 5 weeks to spare!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

All Aboard!

The train is leaving the station.

Ignore the laundromat that is my living room floor.  I was in the middle of folding the laundry when we noticed he was eyeballing his train and getting gutsy so I jumped up and grabbed the camera, leaving behind a mountain of yoga pants and socks.

He's an old pro already.

I can't believe it!  I seriously cannot believe that my little, muscle diseased, motor delayed, beautiful baby boy is this close to walking.  I've been in tears for 15 minutes now because I've always had a seed of doubt in the back of my mind that maybe he wouldn't ever walk unaided.  But now - watching him take his first steps with his train and seeing how quickly he became comfortable enough to push it one handed (and steer!)and how balanced and coordinated he's real.  It's real now.  I believe and I can say with all certainty that HE IS GOING TO WALK.  And it's going to happen soon.  Our original goal with his PT was to have him walking by his 2nd birthday.  That's only 6 weeks away...........we just might make it.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


This is Peyton.  Peyton is the son of my very good friends Tanya and James.  We became friends when the Army moved Mister and I to Ft Campbell in 2009.  Peyton was just shy of 18 months old.  He was africkindorable.  Big blue eyes, blonde hair, and cheeks you could barely keep from smooching.  Tanya and I quickly became friends - it was easy.  It still is.  We are both the kind of friend you don't have to check in with on a daily basis.  We can go 2 weeks without talking then pick right back up where we left off.  Our friendship has always felt effortless.  Tanya was there for me whenever I needed when Andrew was an infant and Mister was in Afghanistan.  James, too.  He would come by the house every 3 or 4 weeks to check in on us and keep Mister's truck battery running.  Tanya never made me feel like I was burdening her if I needed her to watch Andrew, even at the last minute.  In fact, I'm pretty sure she liked it bc she was able to get her "baby fix" in.  Every now and then I would get to watch Peyton for her.  Such a doll.  He was an absolute delight to me because when I watched him, I felt I was watching Little's future.  Every move Peyt made, I would excitedly think about how one day it would be Andrew.  See, Little was born on Peyton's 2nd birthday.  It gave me an immediate connection to that beautiful little boy.  It also makes Peyton, Andrew's very first friend.

Peanut and Little on January 18, 2011 - Peyton's 3rd and Andrew's 1st birthdays.

More birthday festivities.

Taking Little for a ride on the train.  Little's not too certain about it.

With his Kool-Aid smile welcoming Mister back home from Afghanistan.

So I've known Peyton his whole life.  I've known how much his parents, brother, and sister love and adore him.  I know that the sun rises and sets for Tanya by Peyton.

So I know that right now Tanya and James are in more pain that I could ever fathom, because yesterday Peyton went Home with the Lord.

On Sunday, Nov. 27, Peyton fell into a swimming pool in Crestview, Fl.  Without going into all the details, I will tell you that he ended up in the NICU in a hospital in Pensacola.  The doctors did everything they could for him and Peyton fought valiantly.  He made it through the first night with stable blood pressure, heart beats, and was even breathing mostly on his own.  Unfortunately, the damage from the water was just too much for his little body to take and he passed away at 7:33 last night.

My heart is shattered over this.  It's not the same as when we lost Russell.  With Russell, I was consumed in a selfish grief.  How do I deal with losing him?  I can't believe he'll never barge through my front door again!  But this is different.  I love Peyton and I am devastated that he's no longer with us, but the brunt of my pain lies with his parents.  I don't believe I was capable of feeling it from this angle with Russell because I was not yet a parent myself.  But now, having Andrew, I can't mourn for my loss with Peyton, because the mother in me turns my emotions immediately over to Tanya.

I got the slightest shadow of what they're going through when the doctor told me I was going to lose Andrew, but right now I've still got him.  I know that the day will come (barring a new treatment discovery) when I will be holding my son's funeral.  But it's not today.  Lord willing, it won't even be 20 years from today.  So my moment of panic/terror/soul crushing pain was temporary.  It will never go away completely, but now it is like a dull ache in the bottom of my chest - the level of intensity has dropped.  I cannot imagine how horrendous it would be if that first hour of pain in knowing my son will die was magnified a million fold and immediately a continuous raw gash in my heart.  See, I have time to prepare myself as best I can for when Andrew's time is over - Tanya did not.  Tanya's and James's world has been gutted open and scattered around in front of them.  I am crushed for them.  We are not supposed to outlive our children.  No parent should ever have to go through what Tanya and James are going through right now.  I have cried and begged God not to do this for days.  I prayed and prayed for God to spare them this pain.  I have dropped to my knees in desperation and sobbed so hard I thought my insides had caught fire.  Tanya and James do not deserve this.  Peyton's 6 yr old twin siblings do not deserve this.  I would give anything to erase their pain and give them their Peanut back.

But I know that's not possible.  I know that Peyton has gone to Heaven to wait for the rest of his family.  Peyton will never again know pain, sadness, or fear.  He is surrounded by God's glory and peace.  My wish now, is for some of that peace to fall on the Bullocks.  My prayer is for God to take Tanya and James by the hand and lead them toward a place of healing.  That He help them comfort the twins as they try to wrap their sweet heads around a life without their baby brother.  This will be the hardest road any of them ever have to walk down and I ask that you all pray, too, that God wrap His Almighty arms around them as they start on this new path.

Mister doesn't like anyone to know the has a heart, but he's been captured by this family, too.  James is one of his closest friends these days.  In fact, he's dropped everything and is on his way to him right now.  Tanya, I wish I could be there for you physically, too.  It's too much for Little so I can't.  If you thought for 1 second that I wasn't there bc I don't care enough, that would crush me.  You have such a special place in my heart - all 5 of you do.  And I've given Mister strict instructions to pass my love on to you and my smooches onto the twins if he gets to see them.

Friends, please keep this family in your prayers.  Pray that God will lift them up and light their way.  I am saddened to my very core, but I'll be ok.  Please don't worry about me, but center your prayers to Him around Tanya, James, the twins, and the rest of the Stewart/Bullock families.

Peyton Stewart Bullock
January 18, 2008 - November 28, 2011

Rest in peace my sweet P.  You will be missed so very much.  In 2 months, on January 18, on Little's birthday cake, there will be an extra candle, a special candle - lit just for you - and will be that way every year on your shared day.  I love you, baby boy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ah Lawdy, Lawdy

Happy Thanksgiving, Tot fans! We had ours a few days early with my parents and my Pappaw. I hadn't seen him since Turkey Day '09 when Tot was still in my belly. It was nice to finally introduce them to each other.

If you know my Pappaw and know how he feels about his Cee-gars, you understand how hysterical this picture is and why my mom is cracking up (Isn't that right, Leesburg Church of Christ? - Yeah, I know you're reading this. :)  Don't be shy, you can leave comments on here and on his Facebook page.  That goes for all of you silent Tot Fans!  Let me know you're reading, thinking about, or praying for us - I luuuuuuuuuuuurve comments and it's heartwarming every time someone comes up to me and says they read this blog.  It's nice to know I'm not just writing this for myself.  So hit the "follow" button over on the right or "like" his facebook page!)  Wow, longest parenthetical aside ever.

But speaking of silent Tot Fans - one came up to me on Sunday and told me of something amazing, unexpected, and and so, so gracious that she is orchestrating in January concerning Little!  More on that when it gets closer to the date but it's AWESOME!  I never expect anything out of others (other than immediate family) for Little, myself, or Mister so when someone interrupts their regularly scheduled program to bless one of us, it blows my mind.  I cried halfway through the service!  Then my dad decided he'd sing alto with me on one of the songs and the tears were switched into laughter.  Laughter in church! Gasp!

Ok so........Thanksgiving, the January thing....what else, what else.... oh!  I have pictures that prove Little One is starting to look like me!

And thus was born my fear of clowns.

This next one has nothing to do with Tot, I just love it.  It's me and my brother, Brian.

The other thing is that I finally got a moment to myself.  For the first time in 22 months, I had a weekend away!  No Little, no Mister - just me and my bff since 6th grade, Brooke.  We went to the Razorback game in Fayetteville, AR against Tennessee.  It was a blast.  And soooooooooo overdue.

I'm hiding a heart monitor under that big ole sweatshirt.  I had to do a home monitor for a week and that was the last day.  I've also had an EKG, a stress test, and an Echo in the past few weeks to get some baseline stats just in case I am a DMD carrier.  Echo technician said I had a "textbook heart".  So all's well!

Before the game we searched Senior Walk for my name.  I graduated in 2005 but my name was nowhere to be found on that sidewalk.  I don't know what year I'm listed on, but we found it on the ground in front of the music building, right before the street intersects with Dickson St, facing Brough.  Best sidewalk on campus as far as location - every single person that attends U of A will walk across my name at some point.  So many feet (and prolly spilled coffee, spit, gum, maybe worse...) will land on my name.

So that's probably enough for now, right?
NO!  NO IT'S NOT!  I just realized I never posted his Halloween pictures!  How could I neglect to share the world's cutest sock monkey with my readers?????????? For shame!

All I said was to put the candy back in the bowl for the Trick-or-Treaters!

So a belated Happy Halloween and a punctual Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I know I just posted like 48 hrs ago BUT.........

And yes, his shirt does say "My mommy is exhausted"!

Monday, October 24, 2011

They've got a thing they call Radar Love!


Mister and I just completed the trek to Choudrant, LA and back this morning with 15 minutes to spare before Little's occupational therapy appointment.  Exhaustion - totally worth it.  One of my favorite couples on the planet got married this weekend - Jacob and Rachel Parks!!!!! (formerly Jacob Parks and Rachel Yates)

Oopsie, wrong photo!

Much better.

The weekend started on Thursday...errr technically Friday morning for Mister and I since it was almost 1 a.m. when we got to the lodge.  The lodge was bananas (b-a-na-na-s).  It had 7 bedrooms, each with their own bathrooms on 2 floors with a full kitchen, 2 story wrap around deck, and a driving range with a putting green.  Not too shabby for a groomsman's gift, eh? 

Friday consisted of golfing for the guys and brunch for the gals.  I believe the food was delicious, it certainly looked it, but I'm not positive since the migraine I was fighting off killed my taste buds.  I do know there was a chocolate pie involved that I devoured, dulled taste buds be damned. 

Afterwards, T-Parks and I kept it classy on the driving range.

Rehearsal was next, followed by dinner at one of Rachel's parents' houses. 

They have a patio to die for.  Absolutely beautiful.  After stuffing ourselves with bisque and jambalaya, the toasts began.  And then they ended.  Or so I thought.  Because all of a sudden Mister was standing.  After a mini stroke, I grabbed his arm and hissed "There are grandparents here!" then continued choking on my rice.  He managed to embarrass both the groom and his parents without actually going into the inappropriate details of which he was referencing, so I say well done.  NAILED IT!
And I thought this guy's was the toast I had to be nervous about.

 Me, Lindsey, and Tiffany - we all left our baby boys at home for you, Jacob.  Love us.

Wedding day started off with some WPS as the hogs beat Ole Miss and some really sweet close up shots of Lindsey and I.

So on to the main event.  Somehow Sam managed to finagle his way into walking the parents of the groom down the aisle.

It was such a beautiful wedding.  Even the staff of the country club hung out on the balcony and watched it. 

This is our attempt at a nice picture.

What you don't see in the background of this one is Jacob running over to steer Sam back into the library where he's supposed to be with the rest of the wedding party.
This is Sam refusing to dance into the reception.
Other groomsmen did a better job.

Mr and Mrs Jacob Parks!
And now for the story of the kiss.  Not the "you may kiss the bride" kiss, but the "'re not my wife" kiss.

Mister was enjoying the festivities and came up behind my friend Katy, swooped in from the side and laid one on her.  Katy thought it was just her husband, Mitch, so you can imagine the shock on both of their faces when Sam started to pull away and they realized they were not each other's spouses!!!!!!

Definitely the funniest thing that happened all night.  Thank goodness they had a photo booth to commemorate that moment forever, via reenactment.

I should have rethought the dress.  It looked great in the mirror but it photographs somethin' awful.  It was a little too big so I look like a fatty Mghee - like I dyed a camping tent and zipped it around me.  Oh well.

And this was me by the end of the night.  Taking those boots off was the smartest decision I made all night.  Don't hate, you know you want my socks.  In fact I had a song and dance to go along with them.

My socks are bangin'
My socks are bangin'
I can sliiiiide in my socks, I can sliiiiiiide in my socks
My socks are bangin'  mhmmm
My socks are bangin!

And I must clarify - although the pictures make it seem as though I helped Rachel blow out the bar tab, I did not.  I had 1 - that's ONE- drink the whole night.  Yay responsibility.  That's what having a kid does to you, especially one with special needs.  Turns you into a buzzkill.
So Jacob and Rachel, Mister and I are so very happy for you two and wish you all the best life and marriage have to offer.  Thank you so much for including us in your weekend!  SALUT!