Thanksgiving Morning Tears!

Every year on Thanksgiving morning, I shed tears. But not because I’m sad.

On Thanksgiving Day in 1992 and 1993, I had the huge honor of dancing as part of a group in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. With that, came a week of fun in NYC with the group. It was truly the most amazing experience.

The first year, there were 5 of us from Westfield (I think) that went. And almost as many parents! That year we opened the parade and literally the 5 of us were front and center! I vividly remember having to be out on the street in position around 5am. It was FREEZING and raining. A great combination for gals from Georgia! Yes, I said 5am. And you are correct in thinking that the parade doesn’t start until 9am. It was a LONG wait! And in very thin uniforms. Oh well. We were so excited we got over it really fast. They said “Let’s have a parade” and our music started. We danced and were done. It was totally the most thrilling thing! Later that day, the Westfield crew went and had Thanksgiving lunch at Tony Roma’s. And then we had a dinner cruise around Manhattan that night for Thanksgiving dinner. It was the first time I had “stuffing” and I thought it was disgusting. I couldn’t wait to get back to some of Grannie’s dressin’!

The second year, it was just two of us (I think…somebody correct me if I’m wrong). We actually marched in the parade. We had to line up at Central Park really early. Not quite 5am, but EARLY. It wasn’t so cold that year but it was neat because Stevie Wonder was on the float in front of us and when he appeared to get set up, we just all started singing “I just called to say I Love You”! And he turned and waved at us and blew us a kiss! Even though he couldn’t see us 😉 That year we marched along the parade route and when we got to Herald Square we danced. It was thrilling, but not quite as much so as actually opening the parade. It was neat to see the millions of people lined up along Broadway watching the parade, coming through Times Square and just the sheer hugeness of everything!

I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to be a member of those parades. But mostly I am thankful to my parents for (1) letting me have the opportunity to dance – in classes and at school and (2) for somehow finding the funding to allow me to go to NYC. Hindsight tells me that it wasn’t cheap! Granted, it was my Christmas gift both years, but still…that’s a lot of money to spend on a 16/17 year old who doesn’t have a job and is pretty demanding! (yes, I just called myself demanding)

Thanks Mama and Daddy for giving me those great opportunities! Even if I didn’t act grateful then, I am extremely grateful for all you did to afford me those memories.

And tomorrow morning at 9am, I will be sitting in front of my TV crying out of sheer excitement for all the kids, teens, adults, balloon handlers, performers, band members, dancers, cheerleaders, float drivers, clowns (ugh), and even Santa Clause. It will be a moment to remember! And my husband will make fun of me for crying, but that’s OK. He can’t understand!

Happy Thanksgiving. Be thankful for ALL that you have every single day!

In spite of the final score…

Henry and I had a blast!

Jason and I were planning to go to the Auburn – Georgia game like we always do, but when gametime was at 11:30 central we decided it wouldn’t be so much fun! Plus, he could go camping with the boys and he had missed it the last few years. So we decided that he would go camping and Henry and I were going to ride over to Auburn and goof off.
So Henry and I got our “tailgate” stuff together: banana sandwiches, cheetos, popcorn trail mix, cookies, juice boxes and water. Yummy (rolls eyes). We left early Saturday morning…like 6:30 (5:30 AU time) and headed over. After we had to stop like 3 times for bathroom breaks, we finally got to AU, parked and headed to the place we were meeting friends. We met up with my friend Jana from college and her hubby and son. 
Here’s Henry enjoying is juice box in a coozie! His idea, not mine!!!

We went to Tiger Walk. That was the first time I have ever been. The band played, the cheerleaders cheered, Aubie and the players and coaches paraded down the street. It was pretty cool. Henry didn’t get to see anything except Aubie’s head, but that was ok. 

We hit the bookstore and came out with a stuffed Aubie and a Tiger Monster Truck. Just what we need! But it was a hit, so whatever!
We went to where Jana’s dad was tailgating and we ate and Henry & Clem ran around. Clem is 2 and he really thought Henry was a big boy. He wanted to do everything Henry did. And Henry thought Clem was a pretty cool cat! He wanted to push the stroller (sorry, Jana!) and show him all kinds of stuff.
The game started and we hit the road. Got back home in time to watch the last quarter. Unfortunately, Georgia won again. And I had to change Henry back out of his orange & blue into his red & black. 
But all-in-all it was a great day. Perfect weather. Good friends. Good kids. GREAT atmosphere. There is no place like Auburn!

It only took a year and a half

It’s official. My four year old is FINALLY potty trained. And it only took a year and a half. Yes. I’m serious. A YEAR AND A HALF.

One of my favorite all-time quotes is from the 1995 comedy, Tommy Boy, one of Chris Farley’s most wonderful acting endeavors ever (feel the sarcasm). Anyway, I can’t tell you how many times I watched that movie in college.
Set the scene: Big giant Tommy Callahan gets off the plane from college, where he finally graduated and is greeted by Richard Hayden (played by David Spade). As they gather Tommy’s “suitcase” which is a couple of garbage bags wrapped around his stuff with duct tape holding it together, they have the following conversation:
Richard: So, I hear you finally graduated college…in just a shade under a decade, too…alright!
Tommy: A lot of people go to college for 7 years.
Richard: I know. They’re called Doctors!
But even though Tommy wasn’t the fastest or brightest thing in the world, he somehow managed to figure out a way to save his father’s company from devastation.
That’s how I feel about this potty training thing. I knew for sure that I could just make it happen. In one week. It could happen. So Spring Break 2007, I started. Dumb idea. I have lost SO much sleep over this. He has been doing #1 in the potty successfully for probably 8 months now. #2…different story. It doesn’t matter WHAT I did, nothing made him want to do it.
But on Nov 1, one day before his birthday, he woke up and announced to me that 3 year olds poop in their pull-ups and 4 year olds poop in the potty. And that he needed to go potty now.
And he did. And the rest is history.
So to paraphrase another famous Tommy Boy quote, “let me tell you why I SUCK as a potty-trainer”. It wasn’t in my hands. He had to decided on his own. I guess that’s part of his spiritedness.
Moral of the story: even though things sometimes take a long time, they WILL happen. And something good will probably come of it. Henry felt empowered and he knew he was in control and he did it on his own time.
Now for nighttime…sigh!

Happy 4th Birthday Henry!

I’m only a day late. My baby turned 4 yesterday. It’s nearly impossible to believe that he could be as grown up as he is.

When I was pregnant with him, I was such a bundle of nerves I didn’t allow myself to “get attached” like a normal person would. I was so afraid of what could happen that I didn’t give in to my feelings. But that didn’t change the bond that he and I have now. That little boy has every ounce of my heart and I truly cannot imagine my life without him. As bad as he is sometimes, every single second is amazing!
Friday he had his Celebration of Life at school. It was so neat. Here are a few pictures from that.

Saturday we had his birthday party at Lane’s. They were having their fall festival at the Corn Maze. We thought it would be fun to have it out there. They had bouncy things, a hay ride, their playground of course. I got there before Jason and he said when they pulled in, Henry proclaimed “Is this all for me?” and was so excited that there were so many people at his birthday party. 
The kids had a great time. They bounced and bounced and bounced some more. Played on the playground, then we went on the hayride. They loved it! Henry had requested a Transformers cake. So we ate that (thanks for all the blue icing, by the way) and then he opened his gifts. The kids decided to play some more after that. 

After the party was over, we headed home to watch Georgia get STOMPED by Florida.
I can’t be too catty, though. Auburn got stomped, too!
Happy Birthday, Henry!
We love you lots.

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