ANNOUNCEMENT! Active posting at this site has ended (no more picture room). Please continue reading Smith Stories at You'll be automatically redirected to the new site in "
"seconds unless you CLICK HERE!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Belly Report: One More Week!

Sammy is now the length of a leek (19 1/2 inches) and weighs about 6.8 pounds!  We are 38 weeks and 3  days :)  Sammy now has a firm grasp, and his organs are ready for life outside of my womb!

I really AM doing well still, but I think I'm starting to let down my guard since I know this will all end on Monday...  Friends have told me that it looks like Sammy has dropped, but I have just started to feel it.  So, he is constantly sitting on my bladder and making it pretty much impossible to bend over in any effective manner.  Even though he has dropped, my heartburn is still in pretty full force.  Nothing a little Zantac can't handle :)  I'm just still having such mixed emotions about my pregnancy ending and meeting Sammy, that I get weepy sometimes.  As if 39 weeks won't have been long enough to appreciate being pregnant--LOL

We enjoyed our last weekend as a family of three, and we are all anticipating my mom's arrival on Friday!!! WOO HOO!!!  I am not getting so cocky as to unpack all of Jackson's stuff that I've had ready to go in case we went into labor before my mom's arrival, but hopefully, everything is on track to go as planned!  Jackson and I did a lot of running around today to take advantage of some diaper deals/coupons and pick up a few other things.  Tomorrow Hallie is helping me sew an infant seat canopy to keep the sun/rain/wind out of Sammy's face.  Friday Jackson gets to play with Reagan down the street while I work on last minute stuff around the house before Mimi arrives in the evening :) :) :)

Flashbacks: I've Sprung a Leek!
Still Cookin'

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Talon Drive Block Party

We had an AWESOME block party a couple of weeks ago!  Our next door neighbor, Sarah, took these great pictures that I just had to share!
Jackson hanging out with Christopher--the only other little boy on the street since Levin was napping!!!  Oh, Baby Clay was there too, but he was napping for most of the time too :)
Hallie ordered this see-saw, and it arrived just in time!  Jackson LOVED playing on this with all of this friends--he spent the majority of the evening there.  He also asks to play on it ALL. THE. TIME!
Taking a little break with Daddy!  Jackson LOVED this yummy punch (so did I!)
There was quite the jump-rope exhibition going on, and Josh definitely made a good showing!  I think he even surprise himself ;)
This was the end result!
I must admit, I made sure to remind myself as often as possible that it was so nice to have just one child who was super happy as long as he was playing with his friends.  I cannot wait to meet Sammy, BUT I do know that once he's here, I will wish I enjoyed my time with "just" one child a little more...

Everyone had a GREAT time, and I think we are all hoping this is not just an annual event!  A couple people brought out grills to share, we all brought a dish or two to share, and then we just hung out in the cul-de-sac.  Aimee was BRILLIANT and sent her girls out with a basket of stamps and stamps pads to give "tattoos!"  The little kids were covered, and even some adults got in on the action.  There was plenty of chalk and bubbles, jump roping, see sawing, bike riding, Baggo, and general happiness.  The Wolfes were kind enough to park one of their cars at the mouth of the cul-de-sac so the kids could play in the street without us worrying. Jackson was wiped, and he went right down at bedtime.  As I was getting him ready, I heard Josh  come in and tell me he was taking his Baggo boards back outside.  The guys were playing in full force when I went back outside, and Josh even recruited some guys to carry our firepit and wood out front so we could share the fire we had planned for the backyard with the neighborhood!  People went in and out putting kids down to bed, etc., but we got a good fire going and enjoyed drinks, s'mores, and just relaxing.  It was SUCH a good time :)  We all know how lucky we are to have such a wonderful group of neighbors!  The adults blend together really well, but the kids (aged a couple months-12) also play so happily together!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Big Boy Bike!!!

 Jackson LOVES his trike, and he has only once said he wanted a different bike so he could go "super fast!"  But, we knew that this guy needed a bigger bike.  We finally made a decision, ordered said bike, and Jackson and I picked it up on Thursday.  Josh put it together Saturday morning, and Jackson got to try it out that afternoon--he LOVED it!!!
 Josh got him started in the beginning, but after a few tries, Jackson totally had the hang of it on his own :)
He was THRILLED to show his new bike off to Izzy and Mary!  Izzy just got a new bike the other day, so here they go down the street on their new Big Kid Bikes :) :) :)
Here is a little video of Jackson cruising down the street.  After this pass, we got Pax and took a walk.  Jackson did awesome on his bike, although he did get a touch tired at the end.  It was pretty warm out, and he must have been tired after riding up and down our street a bunch beforehand.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fort Fun!

This morning Jackson declared after watching "Special Agent Oso" that he wanted to build a fort just like on Oso!  I knew this would be a wonderful Daddy project after Jackson and I ran to the grocery store.  Josh immediately jumped on this project and had the first prototype ready to go!
 Jackson pretended to be a turtle hiding in his shell for the first part of playing in the fort!  
 He was trying to stay in character so much so that he told me he didn't want books in his fort because turtles don't have hands to turn pages, they just have feet to dig in the dirt.
 This was our second attempt...
 Where's Jackson?
 Jackson LOVED playing in his fort!  He took his trains in there, read stories, and ate snack :)
This was the best attempt, followed by a whole different idea that Jackson can try out tomorrow...

Watching Josh build the fort and Jackson play in it made me think of when my dad would erect this crazy circus tent in our living room.  It was such a special treat to have it set up, and I remember Larry and I collecting all sorts of toys to bring in there to play with.  Such good memories :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Belly Report: Serious Counting Down!

My life is already full of cars, trucks, dinosaurs, and even more cars, but it REALLY hit me the other night as I was folding Jackson's new outer space bed sheets, that we are about to embark on life with TWO little boys!  And, I could NOT be happier :) :) :)

I am quite behind on my posting--not for lack of desire!  Whenever I sit down with the intention to blog and update pictures, I just want to veg!  I'm tired, but not sleepy tired--does that make sense?  It might be due to the fact that sleeping is pretty uncomfortable.  I'm doing my best to get enough rest, but sometimes it's the kind with my eyes still open.  I've been staying up pretty late because once I do go to bed, I don't have as many hours to wake up frustrated because I need to change positions AGAIN!  If I go to bed at 10, I am already really annoyed by 12:30 that I can't get/stay comfortable.  LOL  So, the recliner, DVR and I have been getting pretty cozy in the evenings.

Last week we were 36 weeks pregnant.  Sammy was about the size of a crenshaw melon (about six pounds and more than 18 1/2 inches long)!  He was also VERY busy building up the products of the meconium that will make up his first dirty diaper (he shed and swallowed most of the downy covering that covered his body as well as the waxy vernix caseosa that covered him for the last nine months).

As I type this, we are 37 weeks and 4 days :)  Sammy is about the same length as a stalk of swiss chard (a bit over 19 inches long) and weighs about 6 1/3 pounds.  If he was born now, his lungs would most likely be developed enough to not need much special attention.

I have covered the sleep issue, but other than that I just miss bending over all the way!  The standard conversation starter from other people tends to be, "How do you feel?  Done, I bet."  That is totally not true!  This pregnancy hasn't been quite as peachy as my first, mostly because Jackson has entered some challenging stages that I didn't account for.  Overall, however, I have really enjoyed being pregnant and am just a little sad already that this will be the last time I am!  So, as excited as I am to meet this little guy, I am trying not to wish away the next week and a half.  I am finally starting to feel better after two and a half weeks and three different antibiotics :/

Flashbacks:  Our Baby is a What?!
We Made It!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mother's Day Re-Do + Jam-Packed Weekend

On actual Mother's Day, all three of us were under the weather, so we just went into survival mode to get through the day.  We postponed our planned activities to this past weekend :)  Our tradition has been to go to the zoo on Mother's Day (we even kept this going when we were in New Orleans a couple of years ago!).  So, Saturday morning we headed off to the Zoo!  We had perfect timing and got to see LOTS of animals in action and a few animals we hadn't seen in our last few visits.  Jackson always is excited to head to the zoo, and he had a great time :)
The otters were fantastically playful, and Jackson LOVES getting right up to the window to watch their tricks.  He was more than happy to pose with the statue of them!
 And to give them hugs :)
 Watching the elephants.  The elephant area at the zoo is really nice, and the elephants were being pretty funny!
 My wish has finally come true: whenever Jackson saw an animal statue, he ASKED to take a picture with it!  YES!
 The pandas haven't ever been out when we've taken Jackson to the zoo, but Saturday they were!  You can see one just to the right of Josh's head :)
 Checking on the lions.  Now that Jackson has seen "The Lion King," we were able to tell him that the meerkats in the small mammal house were just like Timon!  He didn't seem that impressed :(  Jackson's new favorite animal was the clouded leopard.  He begged to go back to see him a second time before we left--that wasn't quite as impressive since he was just sleeping in a tree, but that's ok!

We came home from the zoo and Jackson took a nice, long nap!  When Jackson woke up, he had friends to play with right away!  Mary Jo, Mark, James, and Bobby came over to play and have dinner.  These boys were SO excited to see each other!  
What better to play with for two friends than trains, cars, trucks, and more cars?
 Bobby found a seat just his size!
 It was a gorgeous evening, so we ate outside!  Jackson and James got to be the cool kids and sit by themselves.
 Silly faces!
 A little time with the pirate table before it was time say, "Goodbye!"

I can't believe I didn't get any pictures from the rest of the weekend :(  Sunday I redeemed one of my coupons for 24-hours off duty!  I didn't plan super-well though, and I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself.  I did sleep in a bit and go to the grocery store by myself.  LOL  Josh and Jackson took a fun walk in the woods and had lots of fun playing :)  After Jackson's nap we headed to a couple furniture stores in search of new couches!  We think we may have settled on a set...  We also went to Qdoba for dinner to round out our re-do of Mother's Day the day before--it was DELICIOUS!!!

Monday was wild and crazy!  We started the day off bright and early with a check-up at the doctor (everything looks and sounds great!).  We had a few moments at home before the Bascoms arrived.  Josh and David left to go golfing with Stuart and Rick, and Sarah and I loaded all three kids in the van to make a run to Michael's and then Chik-fil-a for lunch :)  Everyone did technically nap, but it was not a great nap for anyone :(  We did have a few moments to sit down during naptime and learn how to make ADORABLE hair bows from Rachel!!!  Obviously, we won't be needing those accessories HERE, but I thought it would be fun to learn how to make them and give them as gifts!  We DO have plenty of little girls in our life!  We had invited the Sacbibits and Rooneys to come over for dinner once the guys were done golfing.  In the span of about 15 minutes Sarah packed her gear and kids up to be ready to go as soon as the guys got back, Karen, Kiera, and Owen arrived, Rachel and all three of her kids were leaving to go back to their house (only to come back a bit later to join us for dinner!), and the guys showed up!  It was quite challenging to keep track of who was coming and going--phew!  I think everyone had a great time--the kids definitely did :)  Josh grilled some delicious burgers and hot dogs, and then we had lots of yummy sides to go with everything!  Unfortunately, it rained ALL day (including during golf), so we had to stay inside for eating and playing, but it was still a good time.   After everyone left, Josh and I were chatting and realized neither of us could believe our doctor appointment had been the same day--LOL!  Phew!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Haircut Twins!!!

I cannot believe that there will be a third one of these guys in my life SOON!!!  Josh and Jackson usually have matching haircuts, but this is the first time I can remember them getting them the same night.  We had planned haircut night for Monday night so that they would be freshly cut for when this baby comes, but it ended up being quite the extended activity since the almost-brand-new clippers wouldn't work correctly!  Poor Jackson went first and the clippers just ripped his hair out :(  Josh was nice enough to show him it didn't hurt, but it turns out Jackson knew what he was talking about and they ripped Josh's hair too.  So, each of the boys had a fun little stripe or two running through his hair...  Josh tried to fix them, but in the end I ran out to pick up a new pair so we could finish the job!  In the end, everything worked out just fine--it was just the longest haircut session ever!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Birthday Weekend

We had a really nice long weekend...I felt like my birthday was celebrated for extra days :)  It actually started last Tuesday when Josh arranged for a few girlfriends and me to go out to dinner.  It was SOOO nice to have that to look forward to and to do--just what we all needed!

Jackson and I had a nice day on Friday since Josh did have to work.  We ran some errands and then I collected on my free sandwich from Firehouse Subs :)  Friday night Josh made us a yummy dinner of cheddar-brats, roasted red potatoes, and salad.  For dessert we got to enjoy the delicious lemonade cake Hallie made for me!  It was such a sweet surprise when she brought it over!

I didn't realize until minutes before Josh got home that he had changed my decoration in the kitchen to this sweet Subway Art about moms!  I thought it seemed like longer than usual between him going downstairs and his car starting, but I didn't think much of it.  Turns out this is what he was working on--what a wonderful surprise!

On Saturday, Jackson and I made our usual Wegman's run, and then we hung around the house for the rest of the morning.  During naptime Sarah and I were talking over plans to get together Sunday when she had the brilliant idea to invite us over for a last-minute Cinqo de Mayo dinner!  That sounded like an excellent idea to us, and we headed to Leesburg as soon as Jackson woke up from his nice, long nap :)
This was the first amazing thing that happened while we were at the Bascoms: Jackson not only LET, but also WANTED Stella and Hokie to sit by him and snuggle!!!  Every other time we have been there he has acted terrified of their dogs.
The second amazing thing that happened was Jackson not only tried, but LIKED the cucumber Sarah put on his plate!!!  WAHOO!!!  Sarah and I staged this picture to include both of the new exciting things in Jackson's life :)
Jackson was thrilled to be sitting with BOTH doggies, Maddie, and a video :)
After dinner, Brodie tuckered out pretty quickly.  The "big kids" got to stay up and have dessert with us!  Sarah chose coconut cake, mojito sorbet, and mango coconut ice cream to continue the Cinqo de Mayo theme she started with tacos for dinner!  Everything was SO yummy, and Sarah even put candles in the cake and I enjoyed "The Birthday Song" :)  Jackson's face was PRICELESS when Sarah brought out the cake and he realized he got to sing to me!  On Friday, his little face crumpled when he thought he had missed out on singing to me!  He was a little sad waking up from his nap, but when he came downstairs he asked when my party was and all my friends were coming.  I thought he was referring to the baby shower from a couple weekends ago since the house looked pretty clean again!  LOL  I told him the party was over, and he just started crying!  It was so sad, but luckily I figured out that he meant my birthday party, and I told him we could definitely have cake and sing that night!  That cheered him up--phew!  Back to Saturday night, Jackson did AWESOME!  He not only happily stayed up until almost 10pm, but he also laid down for bed at Sarah and David's and then went right back to sleep in the car--LOVE how cooperative he was for yet another fun night :)

On Sunday, I got to sleep in AND was woken up with breakfast in bed :)  Unfortunately, I also woke up with a wicked bad sore throat :(  I was out of sorts most of the day, but we did manage a family walk down to the creek behind our house to collect more rocks to decorate our fire pit.  Jackson and I also took Pax for a neighborhood walk while Josh mowed the yard.  I was still feeling well enough to go ahead with our plan to eat at Red Robin, so we did that as an early dinner.  As we were driving back home, I felt my ear stuffing up, and it just got worse throughout the night.  By bedtime, it hurt pretty badly, and my throat had gotten worse :(  I didn't feel like doing much, so it seemed silly to not have a fire like we had planned!  This was the first one Jackson was at this season--he LOVED it!  It was actually really relaxing to sit out and relax...with a mug of hot tea--that helped my throat a lot momentarily!
Watching Daddy get everything started!
SO excited to throw in his own little sticks!
LOVE this little face :)
Daddy had the brilliant idea to read bedtime stories around the fire!  
LOVE my two (soon to be three!!!) boys :) :) :)

Monday was still the weekend for us since Josh had his compressed day.  Luckily since I had to go in to the doctor about my throat and ear.  Full-blown ear infection :(  Luckily, I can take Amoxicillin while pregnant, but my ear infections get pretty bad pretty fast, so it's taking a while to work.  Josh was SO helpful!  He had quite the list of things he wanted to check off this weekend, and he did his best to include Jackson in as many items as possible.  Jackson LOVES doing special projects with Daddy :)  My birthday weekend officially concluded when we used my Dairy Queen coupon for my birthday--nothing better than ice cream for medicinal purposes :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

AWESOME Gift Idea!

Jackson's Great-Aunt Jeannie and Great-Uncle Wayne sent an awesome box home with Josh when he was in Covington and Staunton mid-March: a box full of Happy Meal toys!!!  Jackson was ECSTATIC with his special box of new toys!!!  It was a really good haul too :)  He loves to get out his special toys, and he will sit and play with them for quite a while--there are definitely some new favorites in here.  I will definitely try to remember this once our kids are out of the Happy Meal toy phase so we can grace a little boy or girl with this fun surprise!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Jackson has gotten the hang of the weekend in the sense that that is when Daddy stays home for a few days in a row!  That's what really counts, right?  ;)  Not this past weekend, but the one before that, we headed into Prince William National Forest through the main entrance...  Our backyard includes these woods, but there aren't any official trails very close to us.  Josh and Jackson have gone trouncing around back there, but I am much more of a marked trail appreciator...
Last Sunday was absolutely gorgeous!  Jackson had such a fun time running in the woods and exploring.  In the picture above picture he is doing his Buzz Lightyear move--such a ham!
Daddy saw some great photo ops when we got to this little stream with a small waterfall, but Mommy just had a few heart attacks...
Riding the waterfall ;)
We took Pax with us too!  He loved all of the new smells--we will definitely have to get him out with us more often!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Preparing to Be a Big Brother

Jackson wanted to sit with his feet up just like Mommy while we read stories (pretty sure mine were swollen at this point in time).  In order to accommodate this we had to pull the coffee table all the way up to the couch and use two pillows :)
When wearing his fire hat, Jackson likes to be referred to as Fireman Jackson :)
This is by far my favorite picture of Jackson getting ready to be a big brother!!!  He was on our bed watching some TV and found the freshly laundered Ergo carrier we got for the new baby.  He looped it around his head and stashed Momo and Waxie Bear Doggie in there!  He sat and watched a whole TV show like this :)