Things I Want to Remember: About Amos

23 days since my last post.  I would feel bad about it but I’ve been too busy fighting freaking IMPETIGO.  It started with a scratch on Margaret Hannah’s nose and made its way through all 3 big kids.  No bueno.

Guys!

It was yuck.

But I’m here now, and that’s what matters.  Here to dish out a little mush about Gregory Amos Hamilton Ferrell (Or Gregree AaaaaaMOS Hamten Perrah if you ask him) on this fine Wednesday.

He’s pretty much just growing up like WHOA!  His vocabulary has exploded, he likes to pretend, and he’s out of diapers  PAH-RAISE THE LORT!

He replaces his D’s with G’s so when he says “Don’t do that” it sounds like “Gon’t goo that” and it’s the cutest.  Or “Ungawear.”  He wears those now, instead of underware.  But backwards.  Always backwards.20160925_174801.jpg

He doesn’t like when you mock him, either.

When he wakes up or we get home from the daycare, he says “I think I need sumptin’ to eat.” EVERY.SINGLE.TIME he walks past the pantry or refrigerator.  I’d be hungry all the time too if I kept deciding I didn’t like things I was eating just a few days before.  Inside either of those places lives 3 or 4 things he will consume, and it’s frustrating FOR REAL.  But hey, he’s pooping and growing like normal. He’s cool.

For now.

He doesn’t like to watch TV.  Only to sit all over you.

I don’t mind.20161022_084722.jpg

In his classroom, they’re learning colors and days of the week.  He is constantly asking if things are green and singing “Se-ben days in a week,” while he dances around holding up five and two fingers.  The best! Some days he has to sit in timeout on the playground because he collects acorns like it’s his job and throws them at passers-by.  And bites his sister.20160928_104130.jpg

He sleeps on the bottom bunk right by himself with his 4 blankets.  It’s never ok for Margaret Hannah to be on the bed with him either.

We have chalk paint on the pantry doors and a chalk board at kid level in the playroom that he always asks if it’s ok to go chalkin’ on.  That’s code for “Mom, I’m gonna bang on the wall and see how much chalk dust I create.”

He really likes to eat pistachios and cashews.  Not chicken nuggets or a potatoes.  Just the expensive nuts.  And party food.  ALWAYS party food.20161031_085744.jpg

Now that he understands that ABC’s isn’t just a song, he likes to call out letters and spell things.  Mostly everything is spelled A.M.O.S. or P.E.B.O.S.4, but you have to drag out every letter when you say them.  You get a high five if you just went back and read those letters in his voice.

He killed it as John Hammond from Jurassic Park for Halloween, too.  He didn’t let that walking stick out of his sight, and I’ve only found a few packs of skittles hidden in his bed.received_10207645855129025.jpeg

He’s also funny.  And he knows it.  AND he likes to keep toys in his underwear.  He’s a keeper for sure.img_20161015_215029.jpg

We love this kid so so much.

 

 

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Happy Birthday Amos!!!

Amos Ferrell!  The 4th is strong with you, boy!

I absolutely can’t believe you are two now.  Dad and I managed to get Hank & MH to Nana & Pawpaw’s after spending the morning putting up a rope swing, run by Churches for a COB, and head to the hospital 30 minutes away in record time the day you were born.  I waddled into the ER, and in between contractions, I told the woman at the registration desk I didn’t have it in me to answer the same questions I’d already answered on my preadmission paperwork.  I knew you weren’t waiting long!

We got checked in and settled by 3:45, and by 6 pm, all 9 lbs 11 ounces of you was in my arms!  You had dark hair like Marnana, and Hank’s HUGE toes, and we couldn’t have loved you more.10325725_10100578262200162_2758551993743633285_n

Except we do!

So much more now than we did that day.  You are funny and loving and oh-so-independent.  You love all of your blankets (banks) and seem to always be able to find a pacifier (pal) in a pinch.

I don’t have the patience to list how bad your eating habits are, but just know that Dad and I have real concerns that one day you’re going to wake up as a nutrigrain bar or a cup of peach oatmeal.  You’ve got to grow out of this.  I’d even settle for chicken nuggets and goldfish if it meant a little more variety at dinner.

As much as I’d like for you to get along with your siblings, I call it a success if we can make it through an hour with no one screaming at or pinching one another.  Your dad assures me this is mild multiple child behavior.  Evidently, it gets more violent and loud the older you all get.

Some of my favorite things you do right now:

  • you sleep through the night in your own bed 5 out of 7 nights a week
  • when dad gets home, you ALWAYS say “HEY DAD!” and run to him
  • any word that ends in a T you pronounce as a k like hot=hock and sit=sick
  • you can say Hank’s name very clearly, but you call Marnana Marn-aaaa
  • your vocabulary has exploded in the last month, and you repeat things over and over and over until we either figure out what you’re saying or just give up
  • you jump on the trampoline like a lemur with your arms above your head
  • you’ve discovered Mighty Machines on Netflix and ask for it every time the TV comes on
  • whenever anyone starts talking about the chickens, you immediately want to tell them about chicken poop

You’re working really hard on mastering all the new emotions toddlers experience as best you can, and it’s mean I’ve built a nice little photo album of what I like to call #amosthrowsafit on Instagram.   I don’t blame you, though, buddy.  If I could throw my head back and fall out in the floor to change the outcome of something, I so would.

I know you’re going to make an amazing brother to Porter, as long as he doesn’t want any of your banks, and I know that as long as you let Margaret Hannah mother hen you like only she can, life should be pretty golden for you.

We can’t wait to celebrate all the things you love this weekend (cookies, chocmilk, garbage and dump trucks, and birthday cake) with great friends.  As long as your promise to keep all of your clothes on while people are at our house, and you ALWAYS give such good kisses when you think someone is leaving.

Gregory Amos Hamilton Ferrell, you’re the best 3rd kid we’ve got!

-Love, Mom

36 Weeks & a Kindergartner

I’m 36 weeks pregnant.  To some that means “any day now!”  To me, that means another month to stretch my belly to it’s limits

I’ve carried all these babies to term, and while each labor and delivery date has gotten shorter, each baby has gotten considerably larger.  The last two were with no epidurals.  The last last one was totally medicine free. I don’t like to brag (yes, yes I very much do), but just sit with that a minute.

I had to go for a regular, weekly visit Thursday and a position ultrasound because I have a history of growing babies who prefer to live it up transverse (sideways) into the third trimester.  I haven’t been surprised at any of the other visits to find out baby Tobago has been hanging on to tradition like the others, but Thursday’s ultrasound was a little different.

There was some concern expressed over how far I am, and how hard it might be for the baby to turn head down like he needs to in such a short time.  If you’ve ever spent much time listening to any of my other birth stories, you know I’m not about that c-section talk.  I in NO WAY think sections are bad or make you any less of a mother than I am.  I just know what my body is capable of, and I like knowing all my options.

I’ve always appreciated my OBGYN’s patience with me, and his support of my choice to let things happen when they’re ready to happen.

But Thursday had me a little flustered.  The ultrasound tech went right into her little tisk-tisk voice while she was telling me how Porter was laying.  I came right back with that I still had plenty of time for him to move, and she just said “You’ll just want to be sure you talk to your Doctor about everything.”

He’s got plenty of room and fluid to still move.  Jumping to what the on-call calendar looks like is not apart of my plan, yet.

The doctor came in to talk it over.  He had a few good suggestions for things to try between now and next Thursday’s ultrasound and even told me to look up a website he knew I’d be interested in for other alternatives to rotate babies.  Spinningbabies.com if you’re interested, as well.

The funny starts when I decided the best thing for me to try was something called a forward leaning inversion.  Basically, you keep your knees on a higher surface like a couch or stairs, and then place your elbows flat on the ground in front of you with your belly tucked toward the surface you’re using as much as possible.

I’d already told Pat he had to be on standby since I can’t even seem to get off the couch these days without a little extra help.  I was laughing too much at just how hard it was to get my elbows flat to be able to focus on the type of breathing spinningbabies recommends you do while you’re in the position.  My sinuses got stopped up, my head was pounding from the rush of blood, and when you’re this pregnant AND laughing, well, having to pee is a given.

In the end, I was able to get it figured out for the 5-breath stretch needed, but I have not been interested in doing the inversion as many times a day as recommended.  I’ll call it a win if I can manage once a day.

I really just want to see this cutie when he’s ready.  Even if the way he gets here isn’t how I wanted.  Just don’t count me out of the natural game too soon.  I may march my self up to the only indoor public pool in town and teach Hank how to do a handstand if it means getting Porter to turn.  We’re giving it a few more weeks before any decisions are made.

And since my Mama Heart was already on edge a bit from Porter Position News, I felt like the ride to Dothan after our doctor’s visit was the perfect time to fully embrace ALL the feels that go along with having to register your FIRST baby for Kindergarten.

I’ve never felt like it would be a big deal to let Hank start school.  Pat and I have done an amazing job with preparing him for “big school,” and the time he’s spent at the daycare has made sure he’ll thrive when he gets there.  I’ve shaken my head at the mama’s that cry over the next step in their kid’s life.  I’ve even told myself how silly it really is to not want to embrace all the new things that come along with starting school.

Until it was SERIOUSLY my turn to send my child on his way.  I almost had a panic attack standing in the dollar spot in Target looking at summer supplies and individually wrapped snack food.

Like, how is he going to manage the lunch line???  Those tray’s get heavy!

What if he’s having a bad day?  Right now, he can just let me know when we all get out on the playground.  He gets to run errands for his teachers a lot, so he just stops by my room on his way to wherever to say hi.  That’s not going to happen anymore.

I can’t deal with this.

He’s still a baby!  One that has stinky feet, can eat 2 hamburgers in one sitting, and farts like a champ, but that’s irrelevant.  What is public school going to do to him?  Is he going to get bored and act out because he isn’t being challenged like his dad did?  Will he decide it’s all too overwhelming and get frustrated like he does when the bent puzzle piece to his Melissa & Doug Firetruck floor puzzle won’t fit?  There’s too many what ifs and OMGs to not get caught up in all the emotions those other mama’s were experiencing.

Shame on me for thinking I was above it!

I’m not!!! I need this boy to still be under my wing.  Or if not mine, at least Marnana’s. Sister knows she keeps a tight leash on her boys.

It’s just SO.MUCH.TO.DEAL.WITH!

And it’s not even May.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to make a coherent post come August about actually SENDING him to his first day.  Heck, this was just registration, and look how I’m handling it!

I will say I felt slightly better at his exasperation with me over being prepared on registration day.  He never lets me down when it’s time take a nice picture.img_20160414_083623.jpgBut then he finished up his screening, and came out with a weird, flashy toy, and the biggest smile you ever did see.  He told us about everything he was asked. How he knew his address, but couldn’t remember my phone number, but that’s ok since all those teachers see me on Facebook.  He knew how to count until the teacher told him he could stop, and he picked out some good rhyming words.20160414_082249.jpgHe’s ready, that’s for sure.

It’s just going to take me a little longer…

Adventures in TBall pt II

I’m sure you know by now that our experience with ball field life is like, nonexistent.

I think it’s awesome Hank has a chance to play and get a feel for this, but that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to share my feelings about this subculture of our town.

Ball is serious business in these parts, folks, and I had no idea.

Saturday had us at the Jamboree early.  Pat complained when I made him leave the house by 8:15 to be there by 8:45 for pictures, even though we only live 5 minutes from the fields.  When we got to where we were supposed to be, there were maybe 5 cars there, and Pat decided to create a narrative about that time we ALMOST didn’t get our son to his first Jamboree in time.  How we spent HOURS AND HOURS looking for parking, and how we were scaring him for life because we didn’t get there early enough.

Because that’s what Pat likes to do.

Despite his flair for drama, we didn’t have to wait too long, and we had a prime parking spot. I doubt Hank will need any therapy from this adbenture.

Everybody looked so cute in their uniforms and hats!  The downside to all that matching is now we can’t tell whose kid is which from the other side of the fence.  I’ve been trying to keep up with numbers, but even that gets hard to do.  I’m keeping it simple by just keeping an eye out for #2.  That’s our boy!

Pictures went off without a hitch, lineup went well for such a big group of first timers, and the parade of teams onto the field was fun to watch.  I can’t say enough how sharp everyone looked in all the different uniforms.

photogrid_1460493330717.jpgThe only concern I had from the morning (which seemed to be misinterpreted as me trying to ruin all the festivities and ceremony of the day) was when a helicopter landed on the field behind all the boys and girls.  My mama heart stuttered a bit when I realized that it was INDEED landing on the field.  Directly behind my child.

My mind just kept replaying all the crash videos I’ve ever seen from those compilation shows on cable where helicopters get caught in drafts and become unbalanced.  One tiny motion that can cause total catastrophe.  It made me nervous, guys.  And I just can’t see how it’s wrong for me to voice my hesitation over something like a HELICOPTER landing so close to my kid in a civil way.

I worked super hard to get him here.  Like, 4 days worth of labor, at LEAST 100 diaper blowouts, and I even said goodbye to what normal boobs look like for his sake.

I still don’t feel wrong for questioning the event.  I’m not looking for commentary about either side of the coin, since I truly DO see both sides.  But I feel like it’s important that I not back down from my feelings.

I get it.  I do.

I understand how this was cool for a good bit of the crowd.  I’ve been told this happens in other places, and that’s great too. Somebody even mentioned how when they played football in high school, the life flight crew on standby would hover over the stadium to help dry off the field when there was a rain delay. I just didn’t expect other mama’s to feel like I was taking something away from this event.

In the end, Jamboree day was a success, and that’s what matters. I got to eat a hamburger from the concession stand (if you’ve never had a ball field burger, you’re pretty much missing out on life), Hank and his buddies played a great (uh… hilarious) first game, and I didn’t bother wearing my compression hoses for an entire 4 hours.  Winning all around, for sure.

I felt like this was also a safe place to list a few of the more important things I’ve learned in these few short weeks at the field.

  1. Snacks.  Like a lot.  For my kids, and other kids, and most importantly, for myself.
  2. Beach Carts.  Ball carts, maybe?  It would just make the world a better place if I could wheel that joker down to our spot, and be done with it.  I know others would like it as well.
  3. Eyeblack.  T Ballers love them some eyeblack.
  4. Bathrooms.  They’re too far away. Maybe that 1 case of drinks we sold for the fundraiser will help with the cost of a new one.
  5. Dirty Uniforms and multiple games in a week.  I have to wash Hanks stuff after a game.  In English: I HAVE TO DO MORE LAUNDRY

img_20160411_151528.jpg

I considered buying another pair of game pants, guys, I’m not gonna lie.

Since Saturday, our boy has had one other game, and it was against a team that had a few of his old preschool buddies on it.  When he recognized one of them, he just kept saying “I didn’t know you played T Ball, too!!!”

They all did great.  Hank played shortstop for 2 innings, and every time his coach told him to get closer to the pitcher, he bunny hopped.

I asked him after the game why didn’t he just stand up and walk a few steps, and he said it was just easier to hop.

Oh…Okay…

photogrid_1460493490994.jpgI also am learning the art of picture taking at the ball field.  Chain Link all up in the way, baby.

We have another game Friday night, so I promise not to spend another post on that.  Unless I do.  Because… …you know.  If you have any post suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comment section.  I’m all ears.

And I can’t end this one without mentioning the man who takes amazing sports photos of all of the different things kids play in our town.  He’s a retired state trooper, and he NEVER lets folks down with getting great shots of their kids doing what they love.  Even before I had a kid on a team, I always went through all of the galleries he posted.  When I found Hank in his album from Saturday?  My heart was so happy.  I couldn’t stop smiling!!!  Hank was SO excited to see himself, and I can’t wait to put in my print request for that image.  Such a great memory!fb_img_1460255604089.jpgThank you SO MUCH Joe, for capturing one of his first throws in his very first game!

And if there are other things you would add to your own What I’ve Learned list, let me know.

Despite the saucy language, according to this “Ball Mom” I’ve got some great things waiting for me just around the corner.

Adventures in T Ball pt1

I signed Hank up for T Ball at the end of January.  Fully knowing that I’d be all up in the 9th month of pregnancy when his games were going on, ready for Tobago to say “What Up!” at any point.  Fully Knowing MH would be having tumbling recital stuff going on that month.  FULLY KNOWING Amos turns 2 that month.

Mind STILL lost. Chickens AND T Ball? We’re certifiable.

Also, did you know how much a 5 year old needs for ball?

You did? Oh, that’s cute.

Not me.

He had a bat and a glove.  We knew he’d need cleats, but I’d been keeping a check on some Facebook consignment pages for those, so I didn’t get them in time for the 1st practice.

But then, the week of everyone’s 1st practice rolled around, and my news feed blew up with all these cutie pie little boys decked out in ball pants, knee high socks, toting bat bags and fight necklaces (what the crap are these things???) asking for green Powerade.

So I flipped the heck out and went to Hibbets in the next town over to buy totally overpriced stuff he’s already outgrowing.imageBut gosh, he’s cute.

And yes, we are fully aware those are football cleats NOT baseball ones.  But this kid already has a funny little gate when he runs.  Think cat with tape on its paws.

That’s him.

So, in the vein of making sure he doesn’t roll an ankle, we went with the hightops.

The first practice was cute.  Lots of little boys with no clue showing off their shoes and gloves.  A few coaches learning how to reign in 10 little boys.  I can’t even begin to imagine what the season will actually be like.

imageEvery afternoon, Hank’s waited at the door for Pat to get home so they can head outside to throw the ball or work on batting.  We only had 3 6U balls (promise I’m not getting snooty with all this terminology, I’m still SO lost when it comes to talking shop) and they were both tired of running after them.

Necessity is the mother of invention, as well as coming up with ways to do the least amount of work with the most amount of success, if Pat has anything to do it it.

So he set up a batting cage the little kids LOVE to run after the balls in.  Hank’s current goal is to make the ball stick in the fence and Pat’s is to not lose his patience.  I think it’s going well.

Back to getting prepared for this adventure:

 

imageDid you know there were so many options for pants?

Again, I didn’t.

I thought you just picked a color and were good to go.  Except you’re not.  He got practice pants and game pants.  Belts and socks, and some other junk to fit in that brand new bat bag of his.

We even made a trip to Dothan to Academy to get his helmet, game socks, and Amos a pair of the cutest matching practice pants in all the land.

My wonderful, well behaved pack also managed to flip a buggy over.

Yes. Full on FLIPPED a shopping cart 25 feet from the front door of Academy.  Amos was in it and Hank and MH were perched on the back of it.  There was lots of screaming, and when they got up, they weren’t crying because they were hurt, they were crying over who got the credit for making it happen.

It’s a good thing I’m not easily embarrassed in public by them.  Pat on the other hand…

imageBut we survived it, so more baseball.

Hank had his own cheering section for the first night.  One little sister who just wanted to hop up and down bleachers, and a little brother who wanted to practice his scream for everyone.

We’ve got a lot of work to do.

imageAll week, he’s been anticipating his Saturday practice, and with the new clothes from Academy, he looked pretty cute for sure.

I’m not allowed to blog about how frustrated he and his daddy were when they got back, but I do know they went straight out to the batting cage to get ready for Tuesday.

I’m also not gonna lie… I’m going to do my best to stay sane for these 2 days a week at the field, plus game days when they start, on top of tumbling Mondays, and a prescription for anti embolism stockings and lots of rest per my OB.  I’ll let you know how it’s going.

JHPF

James Henry Patrick Ferrell, born October 7, 2010, after 37 hours of labor.  Ya’ll, I’m not even gonna lie.  I watched The Business of Being Born before I had him and went into that delivery room a week and a half over due with a birth plan.  A ridiculously ambition birth plan.  Not everything in it was as pretentious as it seemed.  I mean, it’s not like I asked them to save the placenta so we could plant it under a tree or anything.  It was just simple stuff like breast only, no pacifiers, gentle soothing music played during labor, no one but the parents allowed in the room at any time,  blah blah blah.  I can’t even read the whole thing now without cringing so hard internally.

Now that I’m on kid # 4, it’s like I’m practically on OBGYN at this point, and they pretty much just come right on out on their own, birth plan or not.  We don’t need no stinking birth plan at this stage in the game.

So, back to this kid.20151007_070727This is Hank.  He’s 5 going on 30 and has the sweetest old soul I ever did see.

He also really likes gravy biscuits.

phone pics2 1032He really loves the beach. Who doesn’t?  He’s been making trips to some of our favorite spots since he was a whole 4 months old.  Many major milestones have been reached by the gulf.

2012-03-26_15-14-06_766He loves his daddy something fierce. The two of them just seem to get each other in a way this mama isn’t able.

When Hank started talking, he never used the word ‘to.’  He used ‘the’ every time he should have used to, so he would say things like “I got the go poop” and we fell even more in love with him because of it.  Pat especially loves asking all of us in public if we have the poop.

Hank thinks the food in the house comes from the grewcery store and could listen to musgick all day every day.

I get a little aggressive when people try to correct him.  He’ll figure it out one day.  Leave that boy alone.  For now, the kids know we go to the grewcery store most Mondays, and every day at nap, we turn on the musgick to help us fall asleep.  It’s what we do.

10.6.12 phone pics 3452Right before Hank turned two, he started noticing fire trucks.  It started out like most other kid fascinations with sirens and the like, but once he discovered Fireman Sam on Netflix, he was all in.  His 2nd birthday was at the fire station, and we have an app about fire trucks from around the world that he loves.  He’s still got the fever, all these years later.

IMG_20131005_164259_686Now, this may seem a little silly, but the Feral Ferrells are wild enough without caffine.  They don’t drink soft drinks unless it’s their birthday or we’re at the beach.  I know.  You probably just rolled your eyes.  Like, who the crap does she think she is with that no Coke rule?  I’m so glad you asked.

I think they’ll be faced with enough poor choices in their sweet little lives that I don’t have to add another one in the mix to trip them up.  Plus, I aint about that meltdown over not getting what you want.  Making a Coke a special treat has worked for us.  I’m not preaching for you to do it also, I’m just saying.

So when it’s getting close to Hank’s party, he makes sure we don’t forget the tiny Cokes.  He’s pretty funny to watch with one.  He smells it and savors it and knows it’s special.  It’s why “so&so brought a Dr Pepper for breakfast today!  Why can’t I ever do that?” has never been asked in our house.  He knows when he can have a Coke, and breakfast is not it.

IMG_20131020_150410_811He also rarely misses nap.  Like, no nap club means witching hour is out of control at our house and might result in a child being put in the dog crate on accident or something.  We don’t miss nap.20150414_191511He’s the best at being a big brother.  Until he’s not.  He makes sure everyone has what they need, always wants to bring them each a sticker from the Doctors Office, and misses them something awful when they aren’t around.

Unless you mess with his stuff.  Then he acts like a big brother.20150411_111106 I could totally keep going about our cool first kid, but I’ll spare you.  He’s a thinker, that boy.  And getting to see his mind working as he gets older is a privilege.  Except when he insists on finding out the answer to where Chicken eggs come from.  He knows “from chickens” but can’t wrap his mind around how some can be eggs you eat and some can be new chickens.  Then I’m all like “go ask your daddy.”