Tuesday, December 1, 2009

There's gone for good...

Tuesday Dec 01, 2009

There's gone for good...

and there's good & gone
There's gone with a long before it
Wish she'd been just a little more clear
Tell me - what kinda gone are we talkin' bout here?
-Chris Cagle

When we're talking tonsils & adenoids, we're talking gone for good this time. Yay! I am so hopeful that this means that the recurrent croup, congestion, cough, strep, and general sickness that followed our family last winter will be gone for good, too.

No big news from the hospital trip this time. Doogie Howser was on anesthesia duty, but decided we could go ahead with surgery this time. Jay was *frantic* when he woke up from anesthesia (and I mean, screaming out of control like a wild animal!) but the nurse gave him some good drugs that helped him settle down. He took a few good long naps in dad’s arms, mom’s arms, and now he’s headed back to dreamland in dad’s lap again.

He seemed to feel pretty good most of the afternoon, flirting with all the nurses while riding around in the cutest little red wagon. He’s still attached to a pulse ox and an IV, so we just toted the poles and lines up and down the hall of the hospital as we pulled the wagon. He thought it was great fun – and he’s looking uber-stylish in his Bugs Bunny hospital gown.

Derek and Jay are currently watching basketball. I must say that watching basketball from a hospital bed brings back some difficult memories of March Madness 2008. I vividly remember watching the ACC tourney @ Duke and wondering what taking care of a heart baby was going to mean. I kept thinking, “I guess he’ll never get to play basketball…” We’ll see – he’s officially clear to do anything he wants and I’m so grateful for that.

But today, I’m just grateful that surgery was as easy as surgery can be and he’ll be headed back to his old self soon.


Praise the Lord that all went well!

Posted by Lynette Rhodes on December 02, 2009 at 08:35 AM EST #

So glad that it went well! Grace was frantic like that when she woke up from her surgery too, but by noon, it was better, thankfully. Hope that this winter is much more fun and lots less coughing than last!

Posted by Erin on December 02, 2009 at 02:14 PM EST #

Yea Jay! What a trooper!

Posted by Bethany Watkins on January 07, 2010 at 09:38 PM EST #

Friday, November 13, 2009

You just keep me hangin' on...

Friday Nov 13, 2009

You just keep me hangin' on

You don't really need me
But you keep me hangin' on
-The Supremes

Faithful blog readers, I must apologize. My last blog post has left ya hangin' for over a week now, and that's no way to treat you! Life has been a crazy whirlwind this week of medical issues and kitchen renovation craziness, and I simply haven't made time to blog. I'll give you the medical update today and will post lots of kitchen pics this weekend.

So, in our last episode, Jay and Derek were happily singing away as I left the hospital. Jay was joyfully slamming the faux cast/IV line against the bars of his crib and appeared in no way to be as sick as he had been mere hours before.
Lesson #1 - Kids can turn on a dime - one minute seriously sick, the next healthy as a horse.

He needed no oxygen and had no other problems during the night, so the next morning our wonderful pediatrician sent us home. The next day, Thursday, he had been scheduled for pre-op to have his tonsils out. (TONsils, Ginger. Not NOStrils. I'm still laughing over that one!) I was assuming that having been so sick, surgery would be a no-go. But our Ped & ENT both agreed that the hospitalization incident is exactly why he needs the tonsils & adenoids out in the first place. He has breathing issues so frequently that we really should go ahead sooner rather than later, assuming he continued the upward trend over the weekend. Okay, we make arrangements to keep him home the rest of the week/weekend to keep him germ free & get ready for surgery on Tuesday.
Lesson #2 - My mom and my AJ are the world's best babysitters, and I owe them BIG time.

Tuesday, we head to the hospital for the big day. I thought that going without breakfast would make him (and therefore me!) incredibly miserable, but he handled it remarkably well. Got checked in, got the hospital bracelets, dressed in the gown - the whole 9 yards. About 3 minutes before he was scheduled to go to the OR, the anesthesiologist (we'll call him Doogie Howser) comes by and decides to call it off. WHAT? You're kidding me, right?!

Yes, without even looking at our child, without listening to his lungs, without listening to our explanation that he's as healthy at this moment as he ever gets, he calls it off just because he'd been sick the week before. He wanted to wait another 6 weeks. Yes, he expects the child to be fever-free for SIX more weeks! Ha ha ha ha ha. You've never set foot in a daycare, have ya Doogie Howser?

Some of my favorite comments from Dr. Howser:
"Pediatric anesthesia is my training and I've been doing this for a long time." (Um, that's why we're at a pediatric specialty hospital, buddy, because you've been trained in this. And I'm not sure how you define a long time, but I've been preggers longer than you've been in practice.)
"I don't think primary care peds really understand what we deal with as anesthesiologists." (You'd best not knock Dr. Nechyba, cause he understands taking care of kids - especially my little heart patient. He saved my baby's life when the so-called specialists didn't believe that he really had serious heart issues. Don't you even go knocking your medical colleagues to me.)
"If he were MY child, I wouldn't do an elective surgery today." (Save me the guilt trip, Doogie. There's nothing elective about this - we're trying to keep him breathing at night, which is kind of a critical issue.)
Lesson #3 - There are some fantastic, amazing people in the medical profession. And then there are some arrogant jerks who go into fields like anesthesia because there's big $$ there. We've now met docs at both ends of the spectrum.

So now we wait for surgery, part 2. Our ENT has assured us that we can reschedule when Doogie won't be on duty. We're looking at early December, assuming he can stay healthy that long.
Lesson #4 - In the wonderful, awesome world of parenting, you can never, ever, EVER expect anything to go the way you planned. And that's what makes the adventure so much fun.


Hey there! Morgan has Dr. Nechyba too as her pediactrician. We really like him and glad to hear that he is on the ball! Might bump into you at the doc's office one day (later than sooner ;).

PS - Common friend in Darren White... small world :)

Posted by Melanie Bennett on November 17, 2009 at 12:40 PM EST #

So sorry that the surgery was a no-go! Glad that you're able to 'work around' the particularly pesky doc. We also really had a good experience at the Blue Ridge Surgery Center http://www.blueridgesurgerycenter.com/default
and there were TONS of kids there first thing in the morning with Grace (well, okay only about 8) all in to have tubes or tonsils taken out. Hoping that this mess is over soon!

Posted by Erin on November 19, 2009 at 04:30 PM EST #

"And I'm not sure how you define a long time, but I've been preggers longer than you've been in practice." that is awesome, Jen!

Posted by Bethany Watkins on January 07, 2010 at 09:42 PM EST #

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I could stay awake...

Tuesday Nov 03, 2009

I could stay awake

Just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
While you're far away and dreaming
-Aerosmith, I don't wanna miss a thing

Nice, sweet romantic song, eh? No, for the last few nights we've been staying awake to hear Jay breathing, but it's not for any romantic notion that we just like watching his angelic little self sleep. It's because he is so congested that we're scared at any minute he'll stop breathing.

I mentioned a while back that he inherited my huge tonsils and that we'd be looking at surgery to remove them sooner rather than later. We were hoping said surgery (scheduled for next Tuesday ... ONE WEEK from today!) would help keep him from getting as sick during this winter's cold and flu season. We apparently missed our window of health for doing that. He started getting a cold in the middle of last week, and it just got worse as the weekend progressed. Then yesterday, he went to the doc and was diagnosed with bronchitis & croup. A steroid hit and some antibiotics - we're on our way back to good health, right? Apparently not so much.

He was really doing much worse this afternoon. I was home by myself with him, and his breathing became really labored. His fever spiked to 103, he was coughing constantly, and just couldn't catch his breath. Back to the doc ... then to another for chest x-rays ... and then off to the hospital for overnight observation. His 02 levels dropped pretty quickly, and given his history of heart problems, we felt it was better safe than sorry. Of course, just as soon as he hit the doors of the hospital, he seemed to be the picture of good health and was perking right back up. Why is it that the moment you walk in to a doctor's office or hospital, your kid (who moments before was on death's doorstep!) begins running around like a wild animal? Poor thing is just pitiful. I mean really, when I left the hospital, he and Derek were singing "Old MacDonald" while dancing on the bed. Jay had some potent IV antibiotics rolling in, and was busily using his new "glove" (the IV line is wrapped in major gauze/brace) to practice giving high 5's and knuckles. Next thing, he'll be banging it on the bars of the crib.

Because hospitals are breeding grounds for all kinds of germs, Derek and I decided it was best for me and the Cheeze Doodle to spend the night at home. Babe, I owe you one. Perhaps I'll make it up to you when we have a newborn who needs to be nursed in the middle of the night... every night. Maybe then we'll be even.

I don't know what to think. His breathing trouble this afternoon was really scary. And I would much rather him be there where he's under their care if he needs oxygen during the night or begins to have more serious problems. But I also wonder why a kid who is capable of dancing on the bed needs to be hospitalized. Auggghhh! I'm grateful that we don't have to stay awake, anxious and listening to him wheeze again tonight. And I pray that both of them get some rest. But most of all, I pray these stronger drugs kick in quickly and he's headed back home tomorrow.

Thanks to all our friends for keeping us in your thoughts & prayers!


Oh, poor Jay! I hope he is feeling better real soon!

On a lighter note... when I read the first sentence of the second paragraph, I read (keep in mind my slight dyslexia) "...that he inherited my huge nostrils..." and I had to just stop and think... "Jen doesn't have huge nostrils... does she??? She has such a cute slender nose... how could such a slender nose come with huge nostrils???"

So imagine my shock and surprise when I continued reading and learned that you were looking into SURGERY to REMOVE HIS NOSTRILS!!! What??? How will he breathe???

So - I reread, and quickly realized my mistake. I am so glad that you are going to keep his nostrils. I think it's the best decision.

Again - hope he is feeling better soon! I will say a little prayer. :-)

Posted by Ginger Nixon on November 04, 2009 at 11:06 AM EST #

Ginger, you are TOO much. You crack me up, and I seriously needed a laugh today. Thanks!

Posted by Jen on November 04, 2009 at 11:09 AM EST #

Ginger (whoever you are) you made my day,too!! That was a hilarious post and we all need that kind of belly laugh once in a while!! Jen, hope our little guy is doing better this morning. Can't wait to meet your friend Ginger, the stand-up!! Love, AJ

Posted by on November 04, 2009 at 11:43 AM EST #

Poor Fosters! I know it could not have been easy for you to leave your baby at the hospital! I'm so ready for everyone to be healthy!

Posted by Bethany Watkins on November 05, 2009 at 12:00 PM EST #

Saturday, October 24, 2009

If the house is rockin, don't bother knockin...

Saturday Oct 24, 2009

If the house is rockin, don't bother knockin...

If the house is rockin, don't bother - just come on in. (Cause we could use the help, people.)

Get your mind out of the gutter! I'm 5 months pregnant. The only reason our house is rockin' these days is that there has been a never-ending parade of construction activity for the last two weeks. You may remember that we'd started a remodeling project that will transform my craft room into a half bath, laundry room, and pantry. We figured while we're at it, might as well follow through with our plans to re-do our kitchen. And you know, while you're ripping out cabinets, might as well clean up the 1950's wiring while you're at it, right? Oh and those old cast iron pipes? Those should probably go too. And I hear those tankless water heaters are nice. What? We we would need new plumbing lines for the entire house in order to accommodate the tankless water heater? No time like the present! The multiple layers of linoleum representing each decade from the 1950's to the present gotta go. But I hear those old tiles might have asbestos in them. Now where to get asbestos testing done?

And so it goes. We've done a fair amount of remodeling prior to this project. I can sweat a joint (really!) and Derek has learned some pretty impressive carpentry skills along the way. And those past experiences taught us one rule ... that a project costs 50% more than you budget for and takes 3 times as long as you think it should. This project has been no exception. Plus there's the fun of trying to keep a toddler out of the mess. I know, I have a very strange sense of "fun."

But it's going well so far. We passed our electrical inspection, and plumbing/structural inspections should happen this week. Cabinets have been delivered and are filling our living room (floor to ceiling!). My favorite part? The GIGANTIC drill that the electricians used last weekend to drill through the studs. It looked something like this:

Then, today the plumber brought out one that was EVEN BIGGER! He used it to drill through the brick to fix our outdated outdoor spigots. (I'm still wondering how that's connected to the kitchen/half-bath project, but I quit asking questions.) These dudes do not play around with their tools. Tim the Tool Man Taylor would be proud. Arr, Arr, Arr.

Check back in at Christmas ... the goal was to be completely and totally done by then. If we can have Christmas Dinner at our house, I'll be pleased. If that Christmas dinner is another bowl of soup in the microwave & grilled cheese on the George Foreman grill, I will not be pleased. Cause Jan 1, we got to get crackin' on another nursery.


I can totally relate to this posting. And guess what! It is time again for us to do it all again, too. If only things would never need updating or better yet, never wear out. So, in another 15 - 20 years if your still there......
We will have to pop over sometime to see the remodel. I bet it is looking super. You have done such a great job with making that house a home, I bet it looks great.

Posted by Aunt Ali on October 25, 2009 at 02:46 PM EDT #

Hi there! Got your blog off of Facebook. Having the house under construction is tough, especially with kids! We just went through a kitchen upgrade and was without a cooktop for 3 weeks! Hope all goes well and the project turns out just how you wanted!

Posted by Melanie on October 26, 2009 at 10:14 AM EDT #

I am TOTALLY counting on Christmas dinner at the Fosters!! What a challenge this has been for you guys but what doesn't kill ya only makes you stronger!!Who makes up that kind of stuff.....?? Love, AJ

Posted by AJ on October 30, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT #

Please post pictures of the progress!

Posted by Bethany Watkins on November 01, 2009 at 07:46 AM EST #

I hear ya cuz! We have been dealing with our 1947 home... painting the outside which has only made the cracks in the concrete more noticeable... fixing our broken heater, which of course broke when the high was 27 degrees... cleaning up the flood from our water heater... it is always something with these houses! At least our only toddler is our dog, and she doesn't cry when you make her stay in the other room! Good luck! I cannot believe how busy you are. It makes me tired just to hear about what all you are doing! See you in 3 weeks!

Posted by Aunt Jamie on November 01, 2009 at 08:35 PM EST #

PS. your last post about your anniversary made me think of a baby boy name "Sullivan" after the place where you guys met! You could call him Sully or Van for short! :-)

Posted by Aunt Jamie on November 01, 2009 at 08:37 PM EST #

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You say it best...

Tuesday Oct 13, 2009

You say it best

when you say nothing at all.
-Allison Krauss

Eight years ago today, I married the love of my life. Can you believe that? (The eight years part, not the love of my life part. It's obvious to anyone who knows us that only for true love would anyone put up with my craziness.) How does eight years go by so incredibly fast? And how can it be that it's only been eight years when I truly can't remember or imagine life before Derek came along?

Since this is an NC State-hosted blog, I'll tell you our how-we-met story. Short answer, we met at NC State. But it's actually a little better than that. For many years, the 11th floor of Sullivan Hall had been all women. Other floors were co-ed, but the 11th been girls only. For some odd reason, in the fall of 1996, Housing had assigned one suite of fellas in the midst of the ladies floor. You should have seen these guys on move-in day! We'll just say they were pretty pumped about their odds for meeting girls ... 8 of them, 64 of us. To show their floor loyalty, they participated in all of the girly hall-sponsored activities, including step aerobics. Now that is desperation, my friends! (The mental image of my hubby attempting step aerobics still makes me giggle.)

In all seriousness, they were very good neighbors to us. They walked us to the library after dark; they put up with a lot of giggling; they helped us carry heavy things down 11 flights of stairs. In fact, after hauling my laundry basket down the stairs, Derek sat with me on the front steps while waiting for my mom to come pick up me (and my mountain of laundry). Seeing such a nice boy who waited with me for my ride, she immediately decided that he was the one for me. I suspect she also checked out his high school grades, given her easy access to his transcript, but she won't admit to that.

Me, it took a little more convincing than a good GPA and willingness to sit on the steps of Sullivan with me. He was a great friend, but was he really the one? He was so quiet! But sometimes, you don't need words to get your meaning across. Sometimes, you say it best when you say nothing at all, and that became our first dance song at our wedding.

Turns out, mom really does know best. We spent some wonderful time together in college and finally decided to get hitched while he was in vet school. In fact, he actually proposed at the NC State bell tower since (his words) "This is where we met and fell in love." Awww. Our Wolfpack roots run deep.

Happy anniversary, babe. I love you and can't wait to spend another 58 years together.


Happy Anniversary, Guys!

Posted by Ginger Nixon on October 13, 2009 at 10:19 PM EDT #

Congrats re: 8 years! That is really something to celebrate these days with so many divorces! We are coming up on 33 years on November the 27th...it seems like just yesterday...I am SO very thankful for a great husband, my best friend he is! My love for him has grown and changed over the years to a very deep abiding love. I am also thankful for our happy marriage for our three children and their security and stability in their futures.

It sounds like, from what I hear from your mother that your hubby is AWESOME! I wish you both many years of love and wonderful children!
By the way, in reference to cheeze puff being a little boy...I adore my boys, both so very special and I would not trade them for anything in the world. Then number three, our princess (she thinks she is) Anne...we were blessed with an assortment and are so thankful for each of them...such wonderful people they are to us!

Congrats again!

Posted by Lynette Rhodes on October 14, 2009 at 03:07 PM EDT #

I love you guys and will always think of that day with a big smile. What fun we had on the Raleigh Trolley!! I'm grateful for your friendship and so thrilled for Jay and Colby Jack! You're the best!

Posted by Katrine on October 16, 2009 at 08:23 PM EDT #

Had a great time at your wedding! First time I'd had wine and we all know how that's turned out! You guys sure do know how to throw a party!

Posted by Bethany Watkins on October 19, 2009 at 05:57 PM EDT

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

Tuesday Oct 06, 2009

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...

Beautiful Boy

Before you cross the street,
Take my hand,
Life is just what happens to you,
While you're busy making other plans,

Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy

-John Lennon

So, the secret's out - we're gonna have another bouncing baby boy! The most wonderful news is that he seems to be healthy from the top of his head to his 10 tiny toes. Because of Jay's heart defect, this little guy has double the risk of congenital heart disease than he otherwise would have. The risk is still small, mind you, but enough that we want to test to be sure there are no heart defects or other problems to be concerned about. We'll have a fetal echocardiogram in another few weeks to get a more in-depth look at his heart. (I have a crush on Jay's cardiologist, Dr. Milazzo, so I'm stoked that he'll be doing it!)

But all looks fantastic. His aorta has a beautiful "candy cane" arch and his heart seems to have none of the kinds of problems that would send him to our good friends in the PCICU. (Not that we don't love those surgeons and docs at Duke, mind you, but we'd rather stay out of there if we can.) The only slight concern they had is that this lil' guy is already off-the-charts big. And they weren't tremendously worried about that. Me on the other hand ... I am tremendously concerned. Having delivered a 10 lb 4 oz baby the "old-fashioned" way (ahem) is absolutely, positively, most definitely something I do not want to repeat. Did you hear me docs?! Induce early, or give me a c-section, but I'm not pushing another 10 pounder!

So, back to the boy thing. I'm not gonna lie - I was hoping for a girl this time. Sorry, kiddo. I know you're gonna read this someday about 10 years from now and say "What?! You wanted me to be a girl?!" Yes, son. I am sorry to confess it to the world, but I was hoping for a daughter. And it's not just because baby girl shoes are cuter (though they are). I mean really, have you walked down the baby shoe aisle at Target lately? Not only are there twice as many girl shoes, but they have sparkles! Red sparkles and flowers and bows, oh my!

No, shoes weren't the real reason I wanted a girl. I want a girl for me. I know that's selfish, but the most special, the most influential people in my life have been women - my mom and my Appie. (To those who weren't lucky enough to know her, Appie was my mom's mother - one of the most amazing women I've ever met. We shared a relationship that is much closer than most girls and their grandmas, and I miss her every day.) My girlfriends play a hugely important role in my life, and I believe that there is a bond between women that is unique and special, and I selfishly want that for myself and my daughter.

But you know what? I never had a sister. I ended my last post with the phrase "If life doesn't give you sisters, you find them." And I am pretty sure that the same thing applies to daughters as well. If life doesn't give you daughters, you just need to look for them. Every girl needs a "bonus mom" who she can go to when she needs to talk junk about her mother. (Yes, Mom, I sometimes talk junk about you.) And I'm pretty sure that my friends would be happy to loan me their daughters to do a little shoe shopping and giggling and dressing up in feather boas for tea parties.

The truth is that there are wonderful things about boys, just like there are wonderful things about girls. Yes, I wanted one of each so that I could enjoy both. But I am thrilled that Jay and this little guy will have each other as brothers - because that's a bond that is pretty amazing too. Who knows? There may even be a third Foster child in store down the road. But if baby #3 is also a boy, I'm gonna trust that I was just meant to have boys. (I don't think I could risk being any more outnumbered than that!)

And really - I'm pretty sure I'll never again have to take out the trash or mow the lawn... Just start calling me "The Queen."


HA! I totally get the "cardiologist crush", or even "swooning over the surgeon". Our poor husbands...

Anyway, so glad to hear things are going well with baby #2!

Posted by Joye on October 06, 2009 at 10:11 PM EDT #

If you need a baby girl fix, call me...I have enough to go around!

Posted by Cynthia on October 07, 2009 at 01:19 PM EDT #

What a sweet post! You make friend #3 who is currently pregnant with boy #2. What are the odds? Little Colby Jack just wants to live up to his nickname! ;-)

Posted by Ginger Nixon on October 07, 2009 at 02:24 PM EDT #

So I will tell you what the Pediatrician told me after son number four....Boy oh Boy oh Boy oh Boy! Never let anyone tell you boys aren't the best! Yes you will be Queen and I am proud to say you will remain so. Now daughter Elise likes to think we share the throne but reality is reality....we don't. And when life is short on daughters you get the good fortune of daughters in law that are as close as the real thing! Congrats on boy #2 God is Good! xoxo Susie

Posted by Susie Hoffman on October 07, 2009 at 11:55 PM EDT #

As the mother of 2 sons (one of which is your husband) let me add that thru your sons you will be given "special daughters". I have been wonderfully blessed to have you and Mandy in my life and a part of our family. You are a great wife and mother and a mother couldn't ask for more for her son. I love you. Jane

Posted by JANE FOSTER on October 08, 2009 at 09:28 AM EDT #

Monday, September 28, 2009

But I know I'm a lucky man...

Monday Sep 28, 2009

But I know I'm a lucky man...

I have days where I hate my job
This little town and the whole world too
And last Sunday when the Bengals lost
Lord, it put me in a bad mood

I have moments when I curse the rain
Then complain when the sun's too hot
I look around at what everyone has
And I forget about all I've got

But I know I'm a lucky man
God's given me a pretty fair hand
Got a house and a piece of land
A few dollars in a coffee can

My old trucks still running good
My ticker's ticking like they say it should
I got supper in the oven, a good woman's loving
And one more day to be my little kid's dad
Lord, knows I'm a lucky man

Got some friends who would be here fast
I could call 'em any time of day
Got a brother who's got my back
Got a mama who I swears a saint

Got a brand new rod and reel
Got a full week off this year
Dad had a close call last spring
It's a miracle he's still here

But I know I'm a lucky man
God's given me a pretty fair hand
Got a house and a piece of land
A few dollars in a coffee can

My old trucks still running good
My ticker's ticking like they say it should
I got supper in the oven, a good woman's loving
One more day to be my little kid's dad
Lord, knows I'm a lucky man
-Lucky Man, Montgomery Gentry

I don't usually post the lyrics to the entire song, but I heard this on the radio the other day, and it's so true. We should all remember how truly lucky we are. Plus, I couldn't pick a favorite line. Sorry if my last post was a little whiny (some might argue a lot whiny!) I think I just needed some whine to go with all this cheese I've been consuming lately...

I spent last weekend with my girls ... a group of women I've gotten to know over the past few years who are truly the best group of friends that a girl could have. When times are tough, these girls are there, with a meal, a shoulder to cry on, a Chick-fil-A milkshake, a hug, or a crazy mother-in-law story to make each other laugh. And this weekend, we laughed so much I seriously thought I might hurt myself. They are some of the funniest people, and I can't remember a time when I had so much fun or laughed so hard. They helped pull me out of my whiny funk, and I am grateful to each of them. If life doesn't give you sisters, you find them.


jazz hands> sisters that you earn ROCK

Posted by TOJ on September 28, 2009 at 05:06 PM EDT #

Jen so many sweet messages today. Thank you so much for inviting me into all of your lives, it has been a wonderful place to be.
And TOJ- way to work in a jazz hand shout out!

Posted by Crystal on September 28, 2009 at 09:17 PM EDT #

What a great song - and what a reminder to us all!! I love your comment about finding sisters - you gotta have to survive!! Love ya, AJ

Posted by AJ on September 29, 2009 at 07:31 AM EDT #

Love the quote about if life does not give you sisters, you find them! Very true!

Posted by Bethany Watkins on October 04, 2009 at 07:42 PM EDT #

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Takin' care of business...

Sunday Sep 20, 2009

Takin' care of business...

Every day!
Takin' care of business
Every way
Takin' care of business
It's all mine
Takin' care of business
and workin' overtime

Do you ever get that overloaded feeling where you think you just can't do it anymore?

Well, I woke up with it on Friday morning (at 5:30!) and haven't been able to shake it. I have a million things running around in my mind, and I just can't seem to focus on anything or be productive toward any of those things that are overloading me. I've got too many choices of new kitchen cabinets, too many plumbers in the Raleigh area to pick from, and too many gas range options to even consider. There's just too many options! And all those options lead to worries. I am officially a worry wart. I worry about my friends, about money, about making an A in my class, about falling behind at work, the health of my babies, my own health. You name it, I will dwell on it until I've worked myself into a stew.

This should have been a nice, restful weekend. But even a weekend with nothing planned is NEVER long enough to do all the laundry, dishes, pick up all the toys, do the grocery shopping, and do my reading for class. I'm not trying to do anything crazy ... I just want to take my kid to the park. Watch a movie with my hubby. Flip through a magazine. Heck, I even went to Target on Saturday evening for a little retail therapy. Even that just made me more overwhelmed by all that I ought to be doing. Walking down the aisle with brooms just made me wonder how long it has been since I've swept the kitchen. (Hint, it's been weeks. Possibly even months. Sorry, gross I know.)

Most of my closest friends work either part time, have summers off, work from home, or are stay-at-home moms. I am so insanely jealous of you women. When you are doing your laundry in the middle of the day on a random Wednesday, appreciate how lucky you are. When you walk from your home office down the stairs to eat lunch in your own kitchen and then toss the dishes in the dishwasher, be grateful that you don't have to spend your whole Saturday doing a week's worth of dishes. If you have EVER taken you child to the pool, the museum, the park, or the airport to watch the planes fly over on a weekday, thank your lucky stars.


Amen, Sister! You keep preaching and I will keep turning the pages!!! I totally understand your feelings, as I feel the same way each and every day. Hope your pregnancy is going well!

Posted by Emily Moore on September 20, 2009 at 09:47 PM EDT #

LOL! I was just thinking today (and, I think, last night at some point when I wasn't sleeping) that I'd need to take the whole week off of work to get just the laundry and housecleaning done. And, yes, I spent my Saturday -- or at least a nice little chunk of it -- doing the dishes that had piled up in (and around) the sink. Did I get laundry done? Nope. Wonder what I have that's almost clean enough to wear tomorrow....?

Summer's so over. :( But you're right -- I'm very glad I had one!

PS -- 8 + 89 is not a simple math question after the afternoon I've had with a cranky, non-napping child.

Posted by Amy on September 20, 2009 at 09:56 PM EDT #

Boy, ain't it the truth! No matter what end of the stick you are holding, it seems like the short one. If you are stuck at home with a crabby, whining youngun with no money to do anything, you wish you were at work, convinced that if you had a little more money, you could enjoy life more. But if you are stuck at work with a bit of money but not enough time to do what you want with it, you wish you could stay at home and get some stuff done. How do we get to the point that we are doing what we really want to do? Just look around and see what good things are coming to you in the life you have right now. It's all good! And keep in mind that little poem and remembering to have fun with your babies, cause they don't keep! (And dirty houses do keep!)LY

Posted by Lala on September 21, 2009 at 10:39 AM EDT #

Perhaps some additional perspective from the been there did that gang will help you feel better. No child or spouse remembers how many dishes were done, floors swept even how many A's you get. They don't know the difference between fun on a weekend or weeknight. They will remember you were fun whenever possible, caring and so full of love that life was good. Give yourself a big hug Jenn, you amaze me every time I check in on you. Jay is a delight to behold and you and Derek are a great couple. And your Mom is sooo right, when you are at home with no money for even little things the grass looks greener. Been there done both.
Just take a deep breath and know you are loved.

By all the important people in your world.

Posted by Susie Hoffman on September 22, 2009 at 03:38 PM EDT #

I say Ditto to all the above comments - you DO have a lot of balls in the air right now but "This too shall pass" once you have made some of your more pressing decisions, especially about all your construction issues!! I was just telling some of my buds this week how amazed I am with all you have going and how well you are handling it - and you ARE handling it quite nicely, I might add!! How can I help? Love, AJ

Posted by AJ on September 23, 2009 at 11:01 AM EDT #

Lala is right!! It seems the grass is always greener on the other side. I wish there was a magic equation to the balance.

Posted by Lisa on September 25, 2009 at 08:36 AM EDT #

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What's the buzz, tell me what's-a happening...

Saturday Sep 12, 2009

What's the buzz, tell me what's-a happening...

What's the buzz, tell me what's-a happening
Why should you want to know
Don't you mind about the future
Don't you try to think ahead
Save tomorrow for tomorrow
Think about today instead
-Jesus Christ Superstar

Good song, from a great musical. And good lyrics to remember - live in this moment and enjoy exactly where you are today. So, here's the buzz from the Foster clan.

First, a big thanks to LaLa for serving as guest blogger last week. As you've no doubt noticed, it's getting harder and harder to fit in time to blog these days. What's keeping me so busy? Oh yeah -- kitchen remodel, a high-energy toddler, full-time work, grad school, Mount Laundry (which is growing by the day!), and growing a person. Any one of those could wear a girl out.

No big news in the pregnancy world. I've definitely stared to "pop" and have given up almost all of my pre-preggo clothes. Unfortunately, I'm not quite big enough for most maternity clothes, but too big for my own stuff. I'd like to thank my friends in the College of Textiles (or whoever it was!) that thought to put spandex in ALL maternity clothes. I mean, even the jeans are stretchy, and not just in the belly. Ahh, comfort. Room to put more cheeseburgers.

I'm at 15 weeks, which makes ColbyJack/CheeseDoodle/Baby#2 about the size of an apple. S/he has fingerprints already! Isn't that just incredibly amazing? I'm finally starting to turn the corner on the constant nausea, and it's about time. I go back to the doc on Thursday and I'll report back if there's any news. But so far, all is well.

Jay is as cute as ever and learning more words every day. We started counting last weekend, and finally quit counting when we hit 100. That's a pretty huge vocabulary for an 18 month old - mostly nouns, but a few adjectives (hot, cold) and a few verbs (go, help). I really ought to pull out my old Language Development textbook. (I used to know this stuff!) My favorite new word - "Guggle" which means "snuggle." He likes to guggle before he goes to bed, which he NEVER used to do as a baby.

He's got a bit of a cold which makes it tough for him to sleep, but he's surviving. He went to the ENT this week because he has unfortunately inherited the McLean tonsils, which means that they are freakin' enormous. He's going to have a sleep study to confirm, but we're probably facing surgery sooner rather than later. I'm not going to worry yet. "Save tomorrow for tomorrow. Think about today instead."

Have a great week - hug someone you love!


When can we get some pix of the renovations?

Posted by Bethany on September 19, 2009 at 10:00 AM EDT #

Thoughts on names...
Luke - A bit on the biblical side. I picture him in a robe and staff, going out to minister to the masses.

Ben - Franklin comes to mind. An inventor, scientist, statesman and ladies man. (Ben Franklin preferred older ladies...said they were more grateful. Early idol of Bobby Riggs.)

Drew - Dennis might like this one. Better than "painted" or "wrote".

Greg - Shorthand? Unreadable handwriting, but at least he could read his own.

Zack - Destined to be last in line through first and second grade, until last names come into play.

Dylan - Wierd songs

Russ - I know a guy named Russ. Nice guy. Bald as an egg by age 40.

Brent - A constant reminder of Dennis' address.

Reid- I know a guy named Reid, too. Bald as Russ. Rides a Harley-Davidson. I think the wind took off his hair.

Other names to consider:

John, Peter, Paul, Mark or Exodus...keeps the biblical context going.

Leonardo - captures both the inventor and artist in the same moniker.

Aaron - gets a better place in line.

Elvis, Mick or Ringo - better music, less strange (ok, maybe Mick's has some oddness)

Heinz, Oakland, Bloodworth or Salisbury

Harry - self evident, may encourage him to ride a Honda

Just a few ideas...

Love you, kiddo


Posted by Mike Perry on May 24, 2010 at 10:40 PM EDT #

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Who let the dogs out?

Saturday Sep 05, 2009

Who let the dogs out? Fuf fuf fuf fuf fuf fuf

This week I requested to be the guest writer on the Torquil blog, because I think that Jay is the cutest, funniest, smartest baby on the face of the earth, and I am completely and unequivocally unprejudiced in every way. I am just his completely unbiased grandmother, aka, Lala. I realize that the Dog Song used as the title this week was used in the past, when Jay’s croupy cough won the title. But I could not resist repeating it, for reasons to be explained below.

So just to keep you up on what Jay is doing these days, I wanted to share the fact that his verbal skills are increasing exponentially. He can repeat virtually anything you say, so it is very important to use only polite language in his presence. He can repeat anything, and does so happily, unless you try to get him to talk on the phone. He loves a phone almost better than anything, and talks to a blank phone with quite a chatty little charm. “Hallo? Butta, butta yaba, dadee, dubba dubba. Byebye.” But put a phone up to his ear with a real person talking to him, and those little lips purse all the way to his throat! As you desperately cue him to say “Hello, Mama”, he just grins and gives you the silent treatment. Then as soon as you hang up, he reaches for the phone and is back with “Mommee, Hallo!”

He is putting together small phrases and using terms at the right moment, too. When he sits down in his high chair, he holds out his hand and says “Ameen” to indicate that it is time to hold hands and say the blessing. And he has learned that to demand “MINE!” (sounds more like my-een!) does not work nearly as well as a sweet little “peas” to indicate “Please hand me that”. In fact, he has learned that “Help me” is a pretty useful phrase when he cannot do something alone. Even the way he says his name, Jiy, is awfully cute.

But my very favorite is the animal sounds he makes. Of course, he learned that a cow says MOO as soon as he began to move his lips. And I think he actually calls a sheep a BAAAA. But puppy is his favorite animal, and when asked what a puppy says, he replies Fuf, fuf, fuf, with no sound at all. (Thus, the title of this post.) I guess his WOOF sound has only partially come in, so the Woo part of Woof is left off. But it is so fun to get him to do it, I cannot resist asking him all the time. He probably is thinking, why can’t she remember what a dog says? I tell her all the time!! He does not seem to distinguish between a little yap yap yappy dog and a big BOWWOW dog. They are all fuf fuf fuf to him. Soooo cute!!

Untitled from Jen F on Vimeo.


How cute can you get? That is adorable. I will teach our kindergartners the sound for the letter f is not a fish but a fuf as in the sound a dog makes.
And wouldn't you know the theme song for our class is Who let the dogs out? But we sing Who let the Dobb's out? Since Ms. Dobbs is a dog lover we changed the theme to her room to puppy dogs! You made our Saturday LALA!

Posted by robin on September 05, 2009 at 08:22 PM EDT #