Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Summer is officially OVER tomorrow. But at least the Olympics are just getting started... Are you as obsessed as we are?!!? Our family LOVES the Olympics! Grady has caught the fever from Josh and me. We had an Olympics party on the night of Opening Ceremonies... My classroom theme this year is "Going for the GOLD!"... more to come on that later!
Oh my! Tomorrow my baby girl starts daycare! I have been at home with her for over 4 months... so she and I are both a bit spoiled I guess. On one hand, I am itching to get back to work. My mind has been full of ideas that I can't wait to try and my living room and dining room are covered in school things I've been painting/drawing/cutting/gluing, etc! This is the normal for me this time each year... ask Josh if you don't believe me. He needs a support group for husbands of teachers. ha.

But on the other hand, I am so sad about leaving my baby girl! There have been NUMEROUS days that I have been so ready to get out of the house and talk to adults and just get back into my classroom... But I have also enjoyed getting to spend so much time bonding with Baby V. I didn't get that precious time with Grady-man. He turned out just fine, but I felt like the worst mother in the world at the time. However, things were out of my control and you just do what you have to do. This time, I feel like I got to enjoy it more and I just feel better, too. When I went back to work with Grady being so little, I was still a hormonal, emotional wreck! ha... But we are all good now! Life is crazy with two, but we are figuring out the routine. Now we will probably need LOTS of prayers this first week or so as we figure out the routine with me going back to work and Vera going to daycare and poor Josh having to deal with BOTH kids by himself in the mornings! ha ha. So add us to your prayer list!

Oh, I'm probably going to cry in the morning when I have to drop this precious girl off. I will get to go with Josh the first day tomorrow, but after that, he's on his own... Better him than me... I would cry every morning!

Doesn't she just make you smile?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Catching up on July

I am behind on posting things for July...

I blame it on the incident with the lizard.

Oh, and by the way... in case anyone cares, Rufus has a brother. Yeah, another one! But thankfully, he is not in my house. I have just spotted him hanging out just outside my garage. I think they are twins. I know he is plotting a surprise attack on my house.


So here is my "catch-up" post:

Look who is standing up (wellllll, with us holding her up of course!) But she is so strong and LOVES to stand up with our assistance. Most of the time, she is craning her neck around to see what Grady-man is up to. I swear this girl will be walking and crawling and EVERYTHING so much faster than her brother did!

Grady and V. so enjoyed getting to see their cousins Gavin and Samantha on July 4th! We went swimming, went on a boat ride, and had a fish fry!

Little V. thinks she is so big, sitting up in her bumbo chair! Gives her a great angle to observe G-man!

Grady takes every opportunity he can to steal kisses and hugs from Vera!

Found this picture of G-man when he was about Vera's age and just learning to sit in the bumbo.

My, my...how you've grown, little man!
If you haven't taken your kiddos to the MS Museum of Natural Science to see the dinosaurs, you should go. Grady liked it... was a little scared of the T-Rex, but other than that, he had a great time.

Biggest surprise of July....


Well, Susan and I knew she was coming. We talked to her about a week or so before she came. But she decided to keep it a secret from Mom and Dad. They have birthdays within a week of each other, so we usually celebrate on a weekend in between. Jenny arranged to fly into Jackson on that weekend. I picked her up and we drove to Yazoo. To say Mom and Dad were surprised is an understatement! They were speechless! It was the greatest surprise ever and we are so glad we didn't blow the secret for them! Vera and Grady SO enjoyed spending time with Aunt Jenny! We miss you already, Jen!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

4 months old!

Vera is 4 months old today! Where on earth does the time go? I cannot believe she is growing up so fast... (doesn't every parent say that like 1,000 times in their kids' lifetime???)

She is holding her head up so well... we are going to get some of Grady's things down from the attic this week...like the jump-a-roo and the high chair. She is sitting well in her bumbo seat and is so alert all the time. She watches Grady like a hawk...which takes some serious concentration because he is ALL OVER THE PLACE! But she follows him with her eyes as he is all over the place and it is just to fun to watch how fascinated she is with her brother. I hope they will continue to get along as good as they do now. I am still worried about payback for the way I treated Susan when she was born... hmmm... time will tell, I guess.

Here are some pictures I took today of little 4 month old girl! She smiles ALL the time and is teething like crazy (hence the hands-in-mouth that you see!)

p.s. I am in love with girl clothes... aren't they just SO much cuter than boy stuff??!!?!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

To Catch a Lizard, Part 3

Ok, I know all of you are sitting on pins and needles, just waiting to hear the latest newscast and find out the status of Rufus the Lizard, intruder at the Hammer House!

Let me PROUDLY ANNOUNCE that Rufus has been captured!!!!!!

After 6 long and very torturous days and nights of uncertainty and fear, Rufus has been returned to the wild. He no longer roams my bathroom and bedroom, scaring the socks off me at all times of the day.

We are reptile-free!


I can sit on the floor without being afraid!

I can go back into my closet again!


Life is good!

Josh caught the little sucker this afternoon...guess where? In my bathroom of course! I think the little guy camped out in there the entire week. Probably too afraid to venture out of there after the screaming fits he heard from me the very first day we met.

Now he is residing in my backyard up on the hill behind our house. Josh asked if I wanted him to kill it. I was reminded of the fable of the Lion and the Mouse. I decided that killing it would just be too awful, even after all the pain he has caused me this week. So he is free!

Yea for Josh!

And YEA for no more lizards!!!!

Now I know you all are going to rest better, knowing that I am safe and sound again. (Dad, stop rolling your eyes!!! ha!)

Friday, July 6, 2012

To Catch a Lizard, Part 2

For all of my blog readers who I am SURE are SOOOO interested in the status of the lizard hunt at the Hammer house... ha ha...HE'S ON THE LOOSE!!!!!!!

Ever since the appearance of that darn lizard, and my complete fear of his whereabouts in my house, Josh has been telling me, "Don't worry. Quit worrying, I'm SURE he is long-gone by now. He probably crawled down the drain in the bathtub or something. You would have seen him by now, Julie. That was Monday..."

Every time Josh would say that, I wanted to believe it so bad, but was still just not sure that was the case. I have tried to go on and live life normally and to quit looking around on the floor and walls every time I enter another room in the house... or to actually take my shoes off during the day... or to quit opening the drawers in the bathroom and kitchen so fearfully, expecting to see a lizard lurking there! AGH! But like I said, in the back of my mind, I just KNEW he was still here and I could not help myself!

So last night when we were getting ready for bed, that creepy little creature made his appearance again and I freaked out as usual... I was SOOOOO right and Josh was SOOOOO wrong! I just KNEW it! I know lizards! So much better than Josh.

We were in our bathroom and I had just washed my face and brushed my teeth (of course even though I am clad in my pajamas, my shoes are still on at this point thank GOODNESS!) I took my contacts out and was about to put on my glasses when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye by the bathtub. Now if you do not know me well, you may not know that I am blind as a bat without my contacts/glasses. Can't see anything! So to say that I noticed something (the darn lizard!) just proves the fact that I can spot those horrible creatures anywhere!!! I quickly reached for my glasses and when I had clear vision again, my fear was confirmed. In .5 milliseconds, I was up on the bathroom counter, gasping and pointing. Josh was taking HIS contacts out (WHAT ARE THE ODDS!!!???) and in case you don't know him very well, HE IS MORE BLIND THAN ME!!!! So he couldn't see the lizard because he had a contact in route from his hand to the case. AGH! And as fast as that darn lizard is, he crawled into a crack behind the baseboard and the wall before blind-man could get his glasses on! AGHHH!!! SO Josh has yet to actually see the lizard. We did find a piece of his tail on the floor close to where I spotted him. Just before taking his contacts out, Josh had picked up a wicker hamper that we have in the bathroom and moved it to the corner of the bathroom. We think the lizard must have been hiding underneath it and when Josh picked it up, he squashed the lizard's tail. AGHHH!!! So now he is a midget lizard, which makes him even more scary and fast!

Now, I am back to being hesitant again about everything. We had to barricade the bathroom door again last night, and Josh was asleep and snoring in 3 minutes while I lay awake thinking about that lizard getting wrapped up in my hair again! AGH! Will I ever rest again!???!?!?

To be continued.....

(Let's pray for a happily-ever-after ending...and SOON!)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

To Catch a Lizard

I have a problem.
A BIG one.
I do not think it is curable, either.
If you do not want your opinion of me to be changed, then don't read any further...otherwise, you may think I am completely insane.

I have a phobia of some sort that I have had my entire life.
I am TERRIFIED of lizards.
Yes, lizards.
I do not think Josh realized the extent of my fear until yesterday....

He knew I didn't like lizards, but now he KNOWS exactly how much I do not like them.

Ok, so let me back up to why I do not like these horrible creatures... When I was growing up, for some reason we always got lizards in our house! AGH! I remember one time (probably when the fear first began), one was in my parents' bedroom and my dad was trying to get him out. He got in the drapes and Dad was swatting at him, trying to knock him on the floor. All three of us girls were standing on their bed, screaming and squealing and going nuts. Dad tried to reach out and get the lizard and when he grabbed him, his tail fell off and he scooted away. This made for another round of hooting and hollering by the three of us from our post on the bed... By now, the lizard was crawling on the floor. Dad reached again and when he got the lizard this time, the darn thing BIT him. So at this point, I was totally freaked out and didn't want to see one of those horrible creatures ever again.

No such luck.

Even with cats on hand at all times, we always had tons of lizards around. I remember opening up a drawer in the kitchen one day to get silverware and a lizard was in the drawer. About had a heart attack. Seriously. Remember another time, taking out the garbage...when I went to lift the lid off the outside garbage can, there was a lizard hiding under the handle and when I reached down, it crawled over my hand. OH. MY. GOSH. Don't think Mom was able to convince me to take out the garbage again EVER after that. If she made me, I always kicked the can really hard before lifting the lid to try to scare the lizards away if they were lurking under there. AGH! And probably the WORST memory was one early morning when I was leaving my room, on the way down the hall to the bathroom to take a shower...still dark outside and so not much light at all in the hallway. There was a lizard on the floor that I totally did not see and I STEPPED ON THE DARN THING!!!! Again, an almost heart attack.

My fear didn't get better as I got older. When I lived with my friend Katie in Clinton in an apartment on the second floor, I used to see lizards all the time, hanging around the foot of the outside stairway. I would park my car and start for the stairs to go up to our apartment and then see a lizard on the steps. I would turn around and walk all the way around the building to the back side and go up the other stairway just to avoid it. This happened all the time. I know, I am a complete dork.

I can spot them anywhere. Josh makes so much fun of me for that. He says I can spot lizards faster than anyone ever. Probably so. They just dart out in front of you and totally freak you out because you don't know where they are going... AGH! And they are so quick! AGH!

Ok, so... on with the story...
Yesterday while Josh was at work and Grady was at school, I happened upon a lizard that was lounging out on my bedroom floor. To say that I freaked out is an understatement.
a lizard...
in my house!
It's one thing if they are outside...I can totally avoid them, run away, or just go inside to get away from them. I have done all of the above numerous times. But INSIDE MY HOUSE is a COMPLETELY different story!

I immediately called Josh and jumped on top of my bed to watch where the lizard crawled, reciting his every move to my poor husband on the other end of the phone. I watched as he crawled into the bathroom, slithering around on the tile like a little snake. I really think Josh thought I was the biggest wuss ever. He asked me like 5 times, "Do I need to come home?" but I said no. He told me to just catch him. Yeah right. ME??? Not a chance. He told me to go get a shoe box and trap him. Uh, that would involve getting off the bed and getting my feet close to him. I don't think so. He told me to get the broom and sweep him outside. Hmmm...I know how fast they are, so that would NOT work at all! He told me to "barricade" him in the bathroom. Now this, I might could do. I would need a towel to jam under the bathroom door. So I ran to the laundry room to get a towel (couldn't get one from the bathroom because I'd have to pass the lizard!). But when I got back, he was nowhere to be found. GREAT, just GREAT! So now I had to spend the rest of the day wondering where in the world that darn lizard was. I sat at the breakfast room table for like an hour, watching my bedroom door to see if I saw him come out, and every now and then, I tiptoed into the room to glance at the bathroom floor for a glimpse of him... but no lizard in sight. I think my heart beat like 90 miles an hour the whole afternoon. So when it was time to go get Grady from school, I got ready to put Vera in her carseat and realized that it was in my room, on the floor. AGH! I ran in there really fast to get the carseat and shook it like crazy in case there was a lizard inside. Then, I saw the ugly little creature in the bathroom again. So I slammed the bathroom doors and jammed the towel under the doors to try to "barricade" him until Josh got home to rescue me and catch him. Heart is practically beating out of my chest. Seriously! Needless to say, when Vera and I went to get Grady, we ran as many errands as I could and tried to stay out of the house. In the car on the way home, I decided to warn Grady about the "problem" in case the little booger tried to "unbarricade" the bathroom door. Grady decided that if Mom doesn't like lizards, then he doesn't either. Hmmm....

So when Josh finally gets home, he goes straight to the bathroom to try to "catch" the lizard... buckets, brooms, and Grady's bug-catching net in hand. And where was my child in all of this excitement? On the bed, squealing with me, of course! ha ha. He was all talk, telling Josh he was going to help him catch the lizard, but when the bathroom door was opened, he squealed to get up on the bed with me!

After LOTS of searching (Josh searched every cabinet, hamper, shelf, EVERYTHING in the bathroom, bedroom, and closet.) still no lizard. And he searched again after supper. And again before bed. Still no lizard. Oh my gosh, the thought of him crawling up in my bed and getting tangled up in my hair while I am asleep FREAKS me out!

We shut the bathroom door and "barricaded" it again before we went to sleep...and this morning, still no lizard in sight. I have been wearing shoes all day long. Still have shoes on and it's 11:15 p.m. Still looking around on the floor around me every 5 minutes or so. I know he's got to be here still. Josh thinks he crawled down the drain in the tub or something. Not me. I know he is just lurking around, waiting to jump out and scare the life out of me. So if you hear that I am in the hospital with heart failure, now you will know why.

I need serious help.

But not from this brave little soul...

Monday, July 2, 2012

More Backyard Fun

Look how light her hair is getting! I think she is going to be a blondie like Grady...
getting sleepy...

night, night, V.

notice the busted lip and chin from a playground accident at school...

Grady's make-shift backyard splash pad, courtesy of Josh!