Friday, September 30, 2011


The word "busy" doesn't even start to describe the way our life has been recently.  Up until last weekend, I seriously think I have been out of town about 10 out of the past 12 weekends.  We've been to the beach (twice), to a wedding (Jack's first), a 30th birthday party, a bridal shower, and then hosted a bridal shower and a baby shower.  Not to mention, all the while I've been busy during my (spare) time helping to plan our Buddy Walk, which I can't believe is already almost 2 weeks away!!!  Oh yeah ... and did I mention that I'm training for my first half marathon that I am supposed to run on November 13th!?!?  (We'll see how that one actually pans out!!!)

Our little jailbird

Look at my teefers!

Ready for story time before bed

While I've been busy party planning, our little Jack has grown up before our very eyes.  Jack started CRAWLING about 3 weeks ago and has been on the move (and getting into things he shouldn't) ever since!  He does this cute little crab crawl and puts his left foot on the ground to propel his body forward.  It's not a traditional bilateral crawl on both knees, and I've been hoping it won't affect his muscular development, but our PT said not to worry, that a lot of typical kids crawl that way too.  And I must say, our little buddy is SOOOO proud of himself for crawling!  We've been working on it for what seems to be months now, to the point that I had just about settled on the idea that he might not crawl at all.  Well, once again ... he fooled me!  Now, I can't get him to stay still for anything ... feeding, getting dressed, diaper changes.  Whatever room we're in, Jack seems to crawl straight to the most dangerous place in the room, including electrical cords and our brick fireplace.  And, then when I tell him "no" or "let go" he just laughs at me and keeps right on doing it.  I have to turn my head so he doesn't see me laugh with him, as not to encourage this behavior, but it's too funny (and something a lot of "typical" kids do, which makes me secretly happy).  This kid is all BOY, and man, is he stubborn!!!  (No clue where he gets that from.)

A glimpse of Jack's devious smirk

Crawling to knock over the tower of cups

Soooo proud!

Jack also pulls up to stand on a lot (but not all) surfaces now.  Couches and other upholstered furniture are difficult for him, because he can't seem to get a good grip on the soft surfaces, but I know that it will come.  And, he seems to be close to cruising.  As part of our PT homework, we've been working on taking steps to walk behind toys while pushing them across the floor.  I have to keep watch so he doesn't fall, but he's almost mastered this. 

Another area that continues to blossom is Jack's speech.  With the help of our Speech Therapist Jill, Jack has learned some animal sounds that he can say on command now.  I ask him, "Jack, what does a puppy dog say?" (while signing "dog"), and he says "woof."  Actually, it's more like a repeated "woo, woo, woo," but still.  He also says the cutest "meow" that sounds like "mow" (rhyming with "wow") and "quack" that sounds like "cack."  He's learned to sign "elephant" when I ask him, while blowing a raspberry to make the animal sound ... it's too stinkin' cute for words!  I seriously think my heart melts a little each time Jack "talks" like a kitty cat.  We're so very proud of our smart little boy!!!

In other news ... we went to the beach over Labor Day weekend and finally got to meet Jack's new cousin Zack!  Robert's brother Chris and sister-in-law Alice joyfully welcomed sweet Zachary William Hickling into the world on August 9th.  (Alice's due date, believe or not ... amazing, huh?  That hardly ever happens.)  He is the cutest, snuggliest little thing.  Jack was a little indifferent towards Zack mostly, but we can't wait for them to grow up together, and we know they'll be the best of buds!

Awwww ... baby Zack feet!

Welcome to the world, sweet Zack!  We love you!

Four generations of Hickling men

A couple of weeks ago, Jack went on his second airplane trip, this time to Connecticut for his very first wedding!  It was the beautiful wedding of Robert's cousin Tom, and Jack had a great time with his extended family.  And my, did he look HANDSOME!!!

What is it about little boys in Polo shirts?!?!

"Head, shoulders, knees and toes"

Getting some Aunt Nancy love

... and playing with Aunt Susie

All tuckered out after 2 hours of his first wedding ...

... so, naturally, like any good parents, we put him to bed.

But, wait ... this doesn't look like a crib!

That's because it's a ... (wait for it) ...

(Yep, we're officially those parents at the wedding who let their baby nap in the coat closet of a ballroom venue
while they partied on the dance floor a couple more hours!  Come on, now, don't judge!!!)

After he woke from his nap, Jack caught the attention of a certain beautiful blue-eyed brunette he'd been eyeing earlier ...

... so, naturally, he asked her to dance!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

3 years ago today

A much younger couple then

Three years ago today, I said "I will" as a pastor asked me if I would commit to Robert through thick and thin, til death do us part.  We had already weathered storms together, including the death of my father in 2004, but on that day, September 6, 2008, we had endured yet another ... this time, literally.  Hurricane Hanna struck the NC coast the night before our ceremony which, I should probably add, took place at the NC coast.

But, as always, our love, respect and faith in one another carried us through that trial, as it has through others ... and as it did less than two years later when our Jack was born with an extra chromosome.  We again looked to one another for strength and resilience at that time, as we still do to this day when the going gets tough.

Happy 3 Year Anniversary to my dear husband Robert.  Together, I know we can weather any storm.  You are an amazing husband, best friend, father, provider, and giver.  I am so lucky to be able to call you my husband, and I look forward to many, many more wonderful years together, regardless of what kind of weather tries to stand in our way!