Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Ramblings

Thanksgiving Thursday---these are thankful ramblings and I am not sure if they will all make sense---but this is the way my brain works at 7:30am sitting on the back porch waiting on Beau to do his business so I can go back inside.

I am thankful for Darron and Jackson and the fact that they are snuggled in our warm bed while I am up. I have the most incredible and loving hubby and son in the world.
I am thankful for the warm house that we live in. And that Darron and I are able to provide for our son.
I am thankful for coffee from my Keurig. More importantly I am thankful that Darron bought it for me at a benefit auction. I am thankful for all of the groups that he works with to support the efforts of so many worthy causes.
I am thankful for Beau---even if he is a still a puppy and we are still learning. He has brought joy to our house. And I am thankful that Jackson accepts him and loves him as his "brother".
I am thankful for my family. Without them, I would not be who I am today.
I am thankful for my friends. Those I see daily, weekly, and every now and then. For my friends on Facebook who I have reconnected with. I love each of you.
I am thankful for Washington Baptist Church. And Palmetto Elementary.
I am thankful for my Weight Watchers group and my QSA Bootcamp leaders and ladies. I am going to need you after I eat 2 meals today. And tailgate on Saturday.
I am thankful for my Savior---for his unconditional love and forgiveness that I need daily.

Wow---it is nice to ramble and reflect on how blessed I am.
What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I am wearing purple....

November 17 is Prematurity Awareness Day. Those of you who know us personally know why this day holds a special place in our lives.

The short version of Jackson's Journey:
My pregnancy was never supposed to happen (without fertility treatments at best). We got a HUGE surprise in June of 2004. This was the beginning of what would be a high-risk pregnancy. I had visits to my OBGYN every other week that included an ultrasound at every visit until 28 weeks. At this point everything was better than anyone could have hoped for.

4 short weeks later---at 32 weeks---we learned that baby Jackson had stopped growing. After many tests, 3D and 4D ultrasounds, a maternal fetal specialist (who had no beside manner)....we learned that Jackson's body was shutting down and we were slowly losing him.

It was decided that the doctors could take care of him outside of the womb better than me trying to carry him for any longer. After 3 long days at GHS, 2 rounds of steroid shots, and constant monitoring.....

Jackson Brice Meares was born on December 15, 2004. He weighed 2 lbs 11 oz and was 15 inches long. He spent 32 days in the NICU, including his first Christmas. Darron and I did not get to hold or touch him with a protective gown and gloves for 29 days. We brought him home on January 16, 2005. He weighed barely over 4 lbs, had a heart monitor, and supplemental oxygen.

Jackson is a healthy, spunky, almost 7 year old due to the grace of God, excellent medical care, and the efforts of the March of Dimes.

I am wearing purple tomorrow in honor of my Jackson and personal friends who have been affected by prematurity. (Brice C., Abby C., Bryce and Blake W., Ellis T.). I am wearing purple for all the children I have taught who were born premature. I am wearing purple for all my friends who are pregnant or will be pregnant in hopes that they are not affected by the things we were. I am wearing purple for all babies who born too small, too soon.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

bringing home a baby puppy dog...

This week we decided to add an addition to our Trio.
A gray standard poodle puppy.

A little background.....
Jackson has been talking about a sibling. All of his friends have siblings, he is lonely, a sibling could be his friend, etc.
Those of you who know our family on a personal level, know our (my) story. I was never supposed to get pregnant, Jackson was a preemie and weighed 2lbs 11oz at birth, and I had a hysterectomy 2 and half years ago at age 30. There is more to our story but I will save the details for a later post. Needless to say...a sibling is out of the realm of reality for us.

So we decided to get the next best thing...a boy's best friend...a puppy.

We knew we wanted a poodle because of Jackson's allergies and the fact that they don't shed all of the place. And we knew we wanted a big dog. Our 120lb lab, Buck, passed away almost 2 years ago. We are finally ready to start looking for a puppy.

I called a breeder my parents have gotten their Bichons from and guess what....
she had puppies that are 1 week from being ready for their new homes.

Without a second thought, we drove an hour to JUST LOOK.
"Jackson, we are JUST LOOKING at puppies. WE ARE NOT bringing one home. They may not have anything that we like. DO NOT GET ATTACHED TO A PUPPY."

Hehehehe....30 mins later, a deposit paid, and an appointment to come next weekend and pick him up.....

We are in love with our new baby "Beau".
Registered name will be "Jackson's Bowtie Buddy"

My mother told me I spelled Beau wrong----the teacher in me knows that, but the Southern Belle in me doesn't care. His name is "BEAU".

I promise to post lots of pictures of Jackson and Beau next weekend.

Now for the work ahead----cleaning and puppy proofing our house so we can
bring home a baby puppy dog!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Never Forget or Always Remember?

I will ALWAYS REMEMBER where I was on September 11, 2001.
Not just on the 10 year anniversary...I think about it whenever someone mentions the Events of 9-11.

It was our planning period at Sue Cleveland Elementary. My grade partner and friend Amanda always listened to her radio during planning time. She heard about the first plan crashing into the World Trade Center and thought it was a joke. She came next door to my room to tell me and we turned on the TV to figure out what was going on. The first image we saw was the plane going through the second tower. Images began to replay on the screen. The only thing I remember is being confused. And numb. And fear.

Then reality set in. Our classes of 4th graders would return to our rooms in a matter of minutes. As a teacher our job is to teach but also to protect. In my confusion and disbelief and fear.... life went on in the safe little bubble of my classroom. My students had NO IDEA that the world had changed.
Parents began to pick up students. No recess that day. Everyone had bus and car duty. No adults talked about what was going on. Our job was to protect the children in our care until 3:00. I really don't know what I would have said to my students that day. I didn't understand the magnitude of what occurred.

It wasn't until I left school and heard the radio and TV reports---did I KNOW what had happened. I had no idea that a third plane had crashed. That all the airports were shut down. That my brother had been sent to the International Airport in Miami to cover the story. That I needed to go get gas in my car because prices were rising and it was being rationed. I had been in my bubble all day long. I almost think it was better that way. I could digest it all at once and try to understand the big picture instead of taking small bites through out the day. Darron was ready to turn off the TV and I was glued to it. Asking him a ton of questions----I am sure my students were at home asking their parents the same things.

Darron and I were startled awake by the sound of military helicopters and F-16 jets flying over our house in route to the Oconee Nuclear Station. (We would not find out until the morning where they were going and why). The sound of jets zooming over head is a distinct sound. One that brought fear and a sleepless night.

I prayed for the families who lost loved ones, I prayed for victims, I prayed for the ones who had not been found, I prayed for the leaders of our country, I prayed for the emergency workers in NYC, I prayed and prayed and prayed.

One of my favorite books is titled September 12. It was written by a group of elementary students and won the Scholastic contest and was published. The children wrote about how on September 12 they knew it would all be ok. (they had homework, and recess, and 2+2 was still 4). I read it every year about this time because...


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Super Mommy Saturday

Let me start of by saying I did something totally out of the realm of normal for me. And I am proud of myself.

Our Sunday School class had a tubing trip to Green River Cove planned for toady. We did not sign up to take Jackson because D and I had an auction (go figure) in Columbia tonight. On Thursday night, D and I decided that I really didn't need to go to the event with him.

Soooo...what did I decide to do. Take Jackson and join our SS class on a little lazy, easy, relaxing tubing trip. BY MYSELF.

I drove the hour and half, winding through the mountain roads. Several times I didn't think my bus of an Expedition was going to make it around the tight curves. Jackson kept telling me to "turn mommy turn".

I knew I was in for an adventure when the employee with overalls, a dirty hat, and no shoes asked "Just the 2 of you?"

I successfully got our tubes tied together, got J onto his tube, and hopped on myself for a little float down the river. All was going well until the steep, rocky, and rough patch of rapids.

Let's just say, we had a little wreck and Mommy got stuck. I had to gracefully fall out of my tube while holding on to Jackson so he and the tubes didn't float off without me.
What did Super Mommy do? Stood up, held on tight, waited on a Daddy with our group to rescue me. I dried off some tears (Jackson's...not mine), plopped right back in the tube, and continued our little adventure.

A few more bumps and rapids, some tree branches, a big get the picture....and we made it back to the parking area after a 2 hour ride on the river.

We had fun (I think).....but next time, WE ARE TAKING DADDY with us.

Super Mommy is hanging up her cape for a while :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fantastic First Day

Whew....I forgot how tiring the first day of Kindergarten is.
I must say that I think today was the smoothest first day of Kindergarten that I remember.

I have 23 great kiddos. We are going to have a great year. I think I am going to love being back in the Kindergarten classroom.

Jackson had a fantastic day in First Grade.
The highlights (according to him) were having 2 recess times and making a 100 on his addition paper. "Mommy, I was supposed to use these animal crackers to count and add. But I can do it in my head so I just did it my way"
And so it begins....look at Mrs. Mims, you are going to have your hands full this year.

Overall, Day 1 was a SUCCESS!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Look out 1st comes Jackson!!!

I can't believe that Jackson starts 1st grade tomorrow.
Seems like yesterday I was dropping him off in daycare with Mrs. Phyllis.

He is excited and a little anxious.
He is scared of the new classroom and making new friends.
He is excited about having Mrs. Mims, going to the big playground, and sitting on the risers in music.

He picked out his own clothes (an orange shirt...woohoo). He wanted me to make sure they looked ok so he new friends didn't think he looked dorky.

I am praying that he has a good day. Change is sometimes difficult for him.
I am sure that Mrs. Mims will see some of his nervous, "I am uncomfortable", habits this week.

But I am also sure that by Friday, he will have settled into a new routine. In classroom full of love, laughter, and learning.

Let's just hope that 1st grade is ready for my boy.....Ready or not, here he comes.

Pictures Promised :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

All good things must come to an end...

I go back to work on Wednesday. Jackson starts school on August 16.
We are both ready for a "normal" routine (I think Darron is more ready than we are for us to be back on schedule). Life is easier for us when we are in a routine.

WOW...what an awesome summer we have had.
Family beach trip in June
Lake days with the family
Swimming, swimming, and more swimming
Disney World for 4 days
NAA Convention in Orlando for 4 days
Family movie nights
Play dates with friends
Being lazy and staying in our pjs until lunch time (yes we did that more than once)

This was the summer of no regrets.

I am very lucky to have a hubby who owns his own business. He had lunch dates with us, took time off to do special things with us, and let us come to work with him.

As summer ends and school begins, we are excited about the remaining months in 2011 bring.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mmmm Mmmm Good

Mondays are now my Mmmm Mmmm Good days.

I love to cook. I wish that I had more time to cook the way I wanted to.
I wish I had a huge kitchen and state of the art appliances and cookware.
I do the best with what I have.

In the summer (because I have more time) I cook a lot more. Real meals---meat and veggies and bread and sometimes dessert.

Mondays are now dedicated to my love of cooking. Recipes I love, things I have concocted, and failures in the kitchen.

Today I made pickles. Jackson is grossed out because "It stinks!!!"
This is something that I helped my grandmothers and my mom do growing up.
I wish I had an old time recipe for pickles---mine from works just fine.

Today I made 1 jar of pickled okra, 1 jar of pickled green tomatoes, 4 jars of dill pickle spears for Jackson, and 3 jars of hot dill pickles for D and me. Mmmmm Mmmmm Good :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 2011

This year hasn't been the "perfect father's day".

No special meals, no being lazy letting Daddy watch golf or baseball all day, no playing in the yard, or going to the lake.
No special things that we do to "honor" our fathers.

What I have seen today is true love for a father.
Darron's daddy was taken to the hospital on Friday and stayed until Saturday evening. After a rough night at home, he was taken back to the ER this morning. We left church early so that Darron could go back to the hospital to be with his dad. He and his brother both spent the morning and most of the day in the ER. At the time I am writing this we have no updates on his condition. Maybe GI, maybe pancreas, maybe liver.

Jackson did get to spend a little while in the pool with Darron once he got home. And we had pizza for dinner together in the den watching golf. Nothing special. Jackson understood that Daddy needed to be with Pappy Jack today.

Being a child means that you have to return the favor. When we are little our parents are the ones who take care of us when we are sick. As adults, the roles reverse. We go to the ER and wait and wait and wait. There is nothing that we can do. But just being there is our way of showing our love.

God has truly blessed me with an amazing husband and father of my child. He has blessed with a great dad. He also blessed me with an incredible father-in-law 11 years ago.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Our Garden

This is the 4th year the we have had a garden.
The 1st year, we just helped Pappy Jack with his and picked what we wanted to.
The next summer I decided that I could plant, grow, eat, freeze, and use the veggies all winter.
It is work, but well worth the effort.

Meares Family Garden 2011
All of this isn't mine---just the first 3 rows
My mom and Pappy Jack (Darron's daddy) planted the rest
Mater Sandwich Tomatoes
They grow short and wide---perfect for slicing for tomato sandwiches

Bell Peppers
Garden Salsa Peppers---My favorite thing we planted this year!
Green Beans (these little guys aren't doing so great in the heat)

Okra Okra
Jackson's Cantaloupe Patch

I told J if all his cantaloupes grew, he could have a Cantaloupe Stand
and sell them.
He scooped the insides out of a cantaloupe
and planted ALL OF THE SEEDS in one area.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Summer Theme Song

There's 68 days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
This year the Meares Family has no trouble
Finding a good way to spend it

Like maybe...
Seeing a ballgame
Or swimming all day
Or spending a week at the beach

Discovery Island water park
Not having kiddos to teach

Helping with auctions
Or in mommy’s classroom
Or locating “ears” at Disney

Eating at Chick-Fil-A
Seeing Cars 2
Or driving each other in insane (I hope not!)

As you can see
There's a whole lot of stuff to do
Before school starts this fall

So stick with us 'cause the Meares Family
Is gonna do it all
So stick with us 'cause the Meares Family is
Gonna do it all!
(Daddy! Mommy and Jackson are having fun again! )

Thank you Phineas and Ferb for the song inspiration. I am sure that I will be seeing a lot of you this summer. Enjoy your 104 days...I wish our break was that long. :)

Happy Summer from the Meares Family Activities Coordinator!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Love according to Jackson

Jackson and I were riding home from grocery shopping today and
he asks me what I thought was the most random question ever...

"Is FlossyMae right handed?" (I have changed her name to protect the innocent)

Me: "I have no clue"

J: "Well if she is, then Uncle David should make her his girlfriend again."

I had no idea what he was talking about.

Like I have to do a lot with Jackson, I started to put the pieces of this random puzzle together.

Jackson reminded me that we (him, because I wasn't paying attention) had just heard
the opposites attract song on the radio. (Thanks KidsPlaceLive)

Ahhh...The pieces began to fit together. Left and Right handed people should be together.
And Uncle David is a lefty.
Jackson loves FlossyMae and wishes he could see her more often.
He reminded me today that he thought she was right handed because the summer she went
to the beach with us, she threw the football with her right hand.

The kiddo never stops amazing me....

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

So you think you can dance???

Jackson (and his class) performing the "Hand Jive"

Kindergarten Graduation

Jackson did an incredible job this morning. I was a little worried when he walked out on stage. I could tell he was a little nervous. But the music started and he lit up. I promise later to post the video of him dancing. Too funny and cute not to share.

I still can't believe that Kindergarten is over. It seems like only yesterday we were starting.

This year was filled with more ups than downs. Jackson has grown and learned so much. He received an AR award for earning 10 points in Accelerated Reader. Mrs. Ellison chose him for the PE award.

My heart is smiling today. I am one proud mommy. I love you Jackson....Keep on dancing and soarin

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wimpy White Boy Syndrome

Wimpy White Boy Syndrome----that's what the NICU doctors and nurses called it.
Statistics show that white males weighing less than 3 pounds thrive less than any other race/gender combination.

Wanting to know everything that I could at the time---I read and goggled everything that I could get my hands on. I wanted to know what to expect from this tiny peanut.

Yes, he went through years of speech, occupational, and physical therapy. Yes, he was almost 16 months old before he walked (with the assistance of a gait trainer). Yes, his only words at 2 years old were dada, dudu (mommy), bubu (Buck our dog), diaper, and hat. Yes, he was 19 months before he had any teeth.

HOWEVER---Jackson (and the Lord above) didn't believe in Wimpy White Boy Syndrome.

Jackson will graduate from Kindergarten tomorrow. He loves to read, can memorize math facts, and loves geography. He can carry on a conversation with anyone. He can out run me and round the bases in a ballgame with speed. These are just a few of the milestones that I once doubted we would ever reach like normal kids.

Jackson and I say, "Wimpy White Boy Syndrome----Guess you experts and statisticians were wrong at least once"

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Are you smarter than a Kindergartener?

Jackson and Darron were working in his Brain Booster book tonight while J was taking a bath.

This is a book I bought thinking we could use it over the summer while school was out.

I am in awe that Jackson could complete the State Riddles page. There were some that even I didn't know. I will admit that "I am not smarter than my Kindergartener"!!!

Here are some of the riddles he was answering. Once you figured out the answer, you had to name the 2 state abbreviations that made up the word.

Hot stuff that flows from a volcano
LAVA ---Louisiana and Virginia

Boats like Noah had
ARKS---Arkansas and Kansas

More than several
MANY---Massachusetts and New York

Seriously....I cannot believe that he knew the state abbreviations. Even when Darron told him the answer to the riddle, he could name the states.

Are you smarter than my Kindergartener?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bye, bye baseball!!!

Today was the last day of baseball for Jackson.

The team played their first game and 9:00am and WON!!!!!
The 2nd game was at 10:15. We lost....but they play hard against the best team in our league. I couldn't be prouder of our boys.

Jackson went 7 for 7 today. He scored 3 times. He had 4 stops with throws to 1st for an out. He almost caught a pop fly but the ball decided it didn't want to stay in his glove.

I am so proud of my little Yankee. What a ball player you have become.

The boys (and coaches) are already talking about Fall Ball. Bat Mommy is going to miss baseball too but I am ready to hang up for t-shirt (and cape) for a few weeks.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy 30th Birthday!!!!!

May 15---My baby brother David's 30th birthday. (not sure how this is possible since I am still only 29)

In honor of your birthday, here are 30 reasons why you are my favorite brother:

1. Mom and Dad told me that I couldn't take you back when you were born
2. You never complained when I made you play dress up---thank goodness for you we found that old suit
3. We always had the most original dog names thanks to you---Chopsticks and Peetee
4. Even though you tried, you never hurt me beyond repair
5. "Underwear Man"
6. You always pretended to be scared of Santa even though it was just me who was afraid so we could camp out on Christmas eve
7. Of all the places you to take me in Miami, you took me to one with underwear hanging from the rafters and a beer pong table
8. Laughter beyond measure
9. Secrets that we will take to the grave
10. A partner who can help me handle BJ and HJ
11. For getting me Dale Jr's autograph even though it wasn't the most professional thing to do
12. Because I knew as much as you love to talk, you would do great things with that talent. I am proud of you.
13. For bringing me lunch at school on the days you breezed in and out of SC
14. WCJB and March Of Dimes walk in honor of Jackson
15. For walking with us this year at the MOD event
16. AND wearing a sticker
17. You are a great Uncle D-Ham---Jackson loves you
18. Keeping your end of a bet when you lose
19. And not rubbing it in too bad when you win
20. For allowing me to be there for you during the death of 2 of your greatest friends
21. For never judging how cluttered my house is
22. Or how I dress my child
23. For thoughtful gifts on my birthday and Christmas
24. and playing along with all the gag gifts through out years
25. Calling me for advice---it means a lot that you trust me that much and value my opinion
26. Memories at IOP that we continue to make
27. For being in my wedding and loving my husband like a brother
28. Babysitting (and not corrupting him too much)
29. For always supporting me and loving me unconditionally
30. Because God made me first and therefore gave me the job of being a big sister to the best little brother in the world.

I love you D-Ham and wish you a life of love and laughter.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Great day to be a Tiger Mommy!!!

So proud of our friends Lucas Glover and Jonathan Byrd. They are playing great golf at the Wells Fargo tournament today.

Jackson and Jonathan at the Masters in April.

I don't have the picture of Jackson and Lucas--when I find it I will post it.

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers. The greatest and toughest job I have ever had is being a mother. I thank God for blessing with the gift of motherhood. Jackson is an amazing gift.

James 1:17 "Every good and perfect gift is from above"

I have to thank Jackson's teachers for helping him make a great gift and card.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The beginning of something new

As much as I love Facebook, I need a break.
I love sharing the always humorous and sometimes serious things that are a part of being Meares Mommy. What I don't like is what some people share. Things that rub me the wrong way, things are not meant to be hurtful but are probably taken the wrong way. Therefore, I need a FB break and I am taking one.

I am going to use this blog to continue to share the antics in my life as Meares Mommy. There are days that I think I need a cape. My new Bat Mommy shirt is the closet thing I have.

Family and Friends---please continue to visit this site. I promise to keep posting pictures and Jacksonisms :)