Friday, June 20, 2014

James is THREE!

We celebrated James' third birthday over a few weeks time.

There were presents:

(clothes modeled here)
There was cake:

James had cake too, of course, but didn't make this glorious of a mess, so Reese earned the photo op.

There was singing:

In retrospect, we could have let him get a tiny bit closer to the candles.  Maybe next year.

There were friends and family that helped us celebrate James in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.  Lots of love for this guy across the tri-state area.

James is into cars (McQueen!), trains (Thomas!), tractors and trucks (no cartoon names come to mind immediately).  We're just getting started with potty training.  His favorite foods are non-real-food items such as nutrigrain bars, chips, and cookies.  

He's an introverted quiet type-guy.  (Is that redundant?)  

He loves to "fwim" (read: swim).

He has an affinity for his blanket, especially the tag on it.  Or actually, tags on anything.  Shirts, towels, etc.

Based on the number of times in a day it happens, I have to assume James enjoys crying.

He just moved into a "big boy bed" (twin mattress on the floor).  And when I say "just", I mean today.  He's slept in it a few times here and there, but we just rearranged rooms and put Reese (in a pack and play her whole life) into his crib in her room.  No turning back now!

James, you're a great kid!  We're lucky you're ours!

Parenting is Tricksy

We have a freshly turned three year old son.  Based on his words and actions, he thinks the world is here to serve him and fulfill his every need and whim.

This has GOT to change.  With a quickness.  Before his sister gets the same idea.

The parenting game is changing.  It's less about keeping the child alive and more about shaping this little human into someone compatible with other humans.  Hoooboy.  I know people say things like "Just when you think you've got it all figured out, the rules change!"  Let's be clear.  I don't think I have it all figured out.  In fact, I'm positive I do not.  Every day when I learn something new, I'm usually learning a new thing I didn't know I didn't know.  If that makes any sense.  So for the rules to change in this parenting game which I'm still a novice at, seems unfair.  I shouldn't have to move up in difficulty levels, like a video game, until I've mastered this level, right??

TANGENT:  Tonight I felt like I was living in a video game. Probably Zelda.  I was trying to kill a fly with a fly swatter.  That stupid fly would not die.  I made contact with it at LEAST four times, with no success.  The thought went through my head: "This is like one of the bad guys on Zelda when you're getting to the end of the game and they take forever to die.  That was this fly.  He took SEVERAL of my Zelda hearts away and he still didn't die.  Dangitall.  Meanwhile James is at the dinner table saying "Getchoo fly!  Momma getchoo fly!  'Ere it comes!"  That's better than Zelda.  I don't think they have cheering sections...

Anyhoo...back to parenthood...  I want to raise responsible, highly functioning, positive contributors to society that possess discipline and integrity.  I have some of those attributes.  I'm a very responsible person.  I have integrity.  I am not the most disciplined of individuals.  I dabble in discipline-ville.  I do not live there.  People say more is "caught than taught" when it comes to kids.  They will do what you DO more than they will do what you SAY.  This concerns me on the discipline-front.  Not too sure they can catch intermittent discipline.  And actually, now that I think about it, if it's intermittent, it probably isn't discipline.

Aw dang.

Those of you older, wiser, more experienced, or younger, green and more vocal and opinionated, what say ye??

Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope...

Sir James and I, his servant

Roof Troubles

On May 23rd here in Columbia, South Carolina, we had one doozy of a thunderstorm.  Awesomely, it included golf-ball sized hail.  My car was in the garage.  Scott's car wasn't**.  It sure took a beating.  Although it didn't show up well in pictures, it looked like the car had chicken pox scars all over it.  Maybe you can see the one in this photo?

(look at the door handle, then up and to the left a little)

The right side mirror was busted, too.

After a phone call to the insurance company, a visit to a body shop for an estimate, and a week in the shop, the car is looking much better.  No more chicken pox!

We also had a rep from our insurance, USAA, come look at our roof, deck, and fence.  He said other than lots of dents on the aluminum vents on the roof and downspouts for the gutters, the roof looked great.  Based on his assessment, the work that needed to be done to fix the dented vents wouldn't even add up to our deductible.  He was convincing, seemingly thorough (up on the roof for several minutes), talked in detail about the type of shingles and the age and when we should think about a new roof (about 5 years from now).  

Phew.  Our roof was fine.  I felt relieved.

Over the next few weeks, however, three of our neighbors have had their roofs assessed by their own insurance people and are getting new roofs due to the hail damage.  


This makes me question the information I received about our roof. All of our roofs are approximately the same age, within a few months of each other.  To the untrained eye, the roof materials seem to be the same.  Our houses are on a cul-de-sac and therefore all face slightly different angles, which could matter in this equation, depending on the direction the hail was pelting down and such.  

This week I called a totally random roofing company to have them come take a look.  The guy was up there approximately 3 minutes. He came down and said yes, there is hail damage.  He recommended a new roof.  I told him what the insurance adjuster said.  He offered to meet with the adjuster at the house and walk the roof together to see if they can agree on the work that needs to be done.  I like that idea.  This is the direction I'm heading in at the moment.  It's all I know to do.

Here's the thing:  I don't know who to trust!!  Obviously the insurance agent is looking out for the best interests of the insurance company.  They don't want to pay for a new roof if they don't have to.  Then the roofing guy comes out, looking out for HIS company's best intere$t, and recommends a new roof.  


Do any of you have good family friends or someone you trust implicitly that could come make a really objective recommendation?!  Because making the roofing people and the insurance people take lie detector tests seems a little extreme, but I've pondered that option...

**Sadly for our friend, Jason, his car was at our house getting pelted along with Scott's.  Had Jason been at home, this wouldn't have happened.  So very, very sorry Jason!!