Thursday, August 4, 2011

Two Years Old

Dearest Perron,

How could it be that you are already two years old.  In fact you are two and a month and a half to be exact.  The time has gone so quickly and your sweet spirit and hilarious personality continue to fill our hearts with love.  You have been VERY busy these past few months.  You have been talking up a storm and it makes it very hard to believe that just six short months ago you only had a couple of sounds and no real words.  I am sure you will be graduating from speech therapy at your upcoming annual evaluation.  I was talking to Meaghan this morning and it seems like there really is no word that you will not try to say.  Granted, we don't always understand what you are saying, but it doesn't keep you from saying it.  some of your favorites are:

pongo (piano)
lin (violin)
El Mouse (Mickey Mouse)
Kanzie (McKenzie)
Gabu (Meaghan)

 You will run around, climb up on things, jump off things etc and then yell careful.  You also love to say neato and yummo.  You love saying Hi (insert just about any thing here).  I frequently will hear Hi Mommy Hi Mommy Hi Mommy Hi Mommy over and over again.  You love to come grab my hand and tell me "walk" and lead me all over the house to wherever you have decided we need to go.  This morning while I was getting ready for work you came in to the bathroom and told me to "sit play" because you wanted me to come into your playroom to sit down and play with you.  I was happy to oblige.  You still LOVE Sesame Street and Elmo remains your favorite.  You can pretty much name every single character on the show and you could watch Elmo DVDs all day long if we let you.

In fact, you had an Elmo Theme birthday party at Gymboree for your 2nd birthday party.  You had the BEST time and were such a little ham.  You even were able to blow out the two candles on your birthday cake perfectly.  The candles are your favorite part.  You have had a lot of friends have birthday parties recently and before we go we always practice singing happy birthday.  At the end of the song you always say candles (which sounds more like congoles).  I have to remind you each time that you won't be the one blowing out the candles this time.

You are a very busy, rambunctious boy.  Which if evidenced by the number of boo-boo's that you accumulate on a regular basis.  Your biggest boo-boo to date is your broken arm.  That is right, you broke your arm three days before your second birthday.  You fell running around in mommy and daddy's room and broke your ulna.  You are such a strong, brave boy that we didn't even realize something was wrong with it for three days and it took five days to get a cast on it.  You are currently the proud owner of a red cast that goes up to your should.  In true Perron spirit, you have not let it slow you down one bit.  You still run, jump and climb as if it never happened.   You love pointing to your arm when people ask what happened and tell them "Boo Boo Cast".

You love to read and we spend a lot of time reading the same books over and over.  But even more than reading, you LOVE music.  I have never seen a child love music more than you.  You are constantly asking me to turn one of your CDs on.  You will say "munich, munich, munich (your word for music)" over and over until I turn it on.  Your favorite song is the choo-choo song from your Kindermusik CD and you could listen to that song 20 times in a row and never get sick of it.  In fact, I am quite certain we have listened to it 20 times in a row.  You love going to Kindermusik and your  music therapy classes.  You are the star of both of those shows.  You still love to conduct and always want to watch classical music concerts and gamma and ganpa's house.

Even though a tiny bit of the terrible twos have hit, you still remain one of the sweetest, most loving children I know.  You love to snuggle with mama.  You are such a happy boy and your sweet giggle is music to our ears.  You have grown into such a big boy, and your daddy and I love you so  much.  You will never be able to comprehend the true joy you have brought into our lives.  You are the best, most important thing we have ever done.

We love you!

Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Casa Crigler

After my months of blog hiatus, I am coming back to talk about a new project in the Crigler Crew's life.  Perron is doing fabulous and I can't believe he will be two in less than two weeks.  I promise I will do a post on him soon, but for now...on to our big new project.

The Crigler Crew is not that kind of expanding...rather we are expanding our house!  We began a huge construction project right after Memorial Day.  We are adding about 650 square feet of living space to our  main level and have dug out to create a two car garage.  Can you believe it!?!  A two car garage!  I honest to God have never ever parked in a garage in my entire life.  Literally never!  I am a little nervous because I am not known for my excellence in spacial judgement, so I am affraid that the Accord might have an inappropriate meeting with the side of the garage.  I guess we will just have to wait with baited breath and see.

I have the floorplan to post but its a PDF and I can't figure out how to convert it to a JPEG, so my description will have to do.  We currently live in a four bedroom , 2 bath 1950s ranch.  We will be taking it to a four bedroom, three bath house.  We are techinically adding a bedroom a because we are turning our current fourth bedroom (which is stephen's office) into a Jack and Jill bathroom to  connect the existing guest bedroom with the new bedroom.  Perron is getting a big upgrade in space and is moving into a much larger bedroom.  Stephen is getting a big down grade and is having to move his office into Perron's bedroom.  He will survive though.  :) Oh and did I mention that I am going to get a fabulous new laundry room that is big enough for a washer, dryer, full-size refrigerator, a utility sink and a mudroom area.  Yipee!  I know it is sad to get this excited about a laundry room, but seriously when does mommy ever get a space all to herself?  We are also adding a new family room/playroom in the back of the house too.  That means that I finally get a dining room in the room that is now Perron's playroom.  Another yipee!

Of course, as with all construction projects, there have been some surprises along the way.  The first one was a big surprise.  We were supposed to begin the construction process on Monday May 2nd.  As many of you know, the events of April 27th changed that start day slightly.  While we were spared the damage seen in Tuscaloosa and parts of Birmingham, our neighborhood took a direct hit from an F2 tornado in the early morning hours of April 27th.  We live in an area of very mature oak and pine trees and there was severe damage and one death in the neighborhood.  We were blessed beyond measure because we did not have any damage to our house, but it definitely slowed things down.  Especially because we needed to have six large tree removed from our yard before construction began.

The second surprise is that we apparently have an active spring that lives underneath our deck and wants to drain directly into the new addition.  That was an exciting discovery. When they first hit it we assumed it might be an old field line and thought it would eventually drain dry.  Well it has been six weeks and we are still draining water at a steady pace.   Maybe we can start bottling it and selling it to help fund the addition.  That would help a lot since we have been seem to be spending money like its water.  No pun intended...unfortunately.  :)

The third surprise isn't really a surprise per say, but I guess it is more the extent to which it has happened.  Our yard is DESTROYED!  I expected the back yard to be bad, but we have a mountain of dirt that takes up half of our back yard that is over 5 feet high in some places.  It is going to take a lot of work to get grass back there again!

Stephen has been sweet enough to be taking pictures of the process.  Unfortunately he was so focused on taking pictures of the house before we lost the trees, that he forgot to take any pictures of the back of the house pre-construction.  Oh well, you will just have to use your imagination.  The sweet hubby spent his lunch hour yesterday taking pictures of the interior framing so I will share that next time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hear and There

Yes, I purposely used the word hear instead of here in the title.  I am not great at grammar, but give me some credit.  I wanted to use the word hear, because we are finally starting to hear some real words out of little Perron.  He now has six words that he can use pretty consistently.  I know he is not nearly caught up to where he should be, but we are very proud of him.  He can now say mama, dada, uh oh, up, ball, and grandma. 

We have been calling my mom Grammy since he was little little, but he somehow has picked up on his own variation of the word grandma.  He now calls my mom gamma (pronunced gam-maw).  I hear it ALL DAY LONG.  He brings me the phone and says gamma...he points to the door and says gamma...he sees a car and says gamma.  Sometimes he just says gamma gamma gamma over and over again until I cave and call her to put her on speaker phone.  That boy LOVES his gamma. 

He says up and it is so cute because it frequently sounds like pup.  He is starting to get good at associating up with wanting to be picked up.  We are working on having him say it every time he reaches for us.  We will see how it goes.

He also has a huge fascination with all things basketball (he is his daddy's son).  He is constantly throwing basketballs around the house.  He loves watching it on TV and will stand in front of the TV screeching and pointing to make sure you are watching whenever it is on.  He is going to be in heaven during March Madness.  I am afraid we are going to have to DVR some games so he still has something to watch when basketball season is over.   Anyhoo, that leads to his latest word addition.  Ball.  He just started saying it yesterday.  Stephen has watching Alabama in the NIT and clear as day he said ball. He kind of draws it out, so it sound longer than it should, but it is so cute.

Hopefully with all these new word additions it will open up he language a little and he will quickly add more words.  His speech therapists has talked about getting him in this language intensive that she runs through his early intervention provider.  It is like a modified Mother's Day out where he would go every Friday for an hour and a half and have on-site therapy.  She is coming this Friday so we will see when he is going to start.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Railroad Park

Birmingham has recently been blessed with two things.  One was a weekend of warm weather right in the middle of winter (which is ironic seeing as now it is iced over outside).  The other was the recent opening of Railroad Park in downtown.  We went for the first time this past weekend to have a picnic and enjoy the nice day and I was TOTALLY impressed.  It is right in between Southside and downtown Birmingham and I really think it is going to do great things for the rehabilitation of that area.  Perron is obssessed with choo-choo's so he thought it was awesome because an active train line runs right on the edge of the park.  I honestly felt like I was in a much bigger city, with a vibrant urban center when we were down there.  They are doing a lot of development next to the park, including building a new baseball stadium for our minor league baseball team right next to the park.  We are so excited to see what happens to the area as it continues to grow.  For now though, it is still a huge asset to the community and we will definitely be going back quite a bit in the spring.

While we were there Perron got to go on his first picnic and enjoy big open spaces to run around in.  He was so precious.  We took some pictures and I am finally going to get some photos posted up here.  I bet y'all were starting to forget what he looked like.  Don't worry...he is just as precious as ever.  Enjoy!

Poor McKenzie

So for those of you that don't know us in real life (which let's be honest, might be like one person reading this blog), we have a precious fur baby that was our first child.  Stephen's "Aunt" ML gave her to us after Stephen and I  had only been six dating six months.  That was seven years ago and she has been a huge part of our family since that time.  Last year she had to have TPLO surgery on both of her back legs.  Basically she blew out both of her knees and had to have her  knees rebuilt.  They go in and cut the leg bone and create a less severe angle to the bone and then put a plate and a bunch of screws in and re-attach the ligament.  If you are dying for a more scientific and accurate description you can check it out here.  It is a very difficult and expensive surgery and the recovery is tremendous.  The rehab process is 12 weeks and it is very demanding on Stephen because she basically has to be almost completely immobile for 6 weeks and then can only be walked on a leash for another six weeks after that.

After she had her first knee done, she blew out her second knee literally within five minutes of coming off of her 12 weeks of rehab.  It was only a partial tear at the time so we did another 12 weeks of rehab, hoping we could strengthen the area around it without surgery.  Unfortunately that did not work as planned and she ended up having to have another knee surgery and 12 more weeks of rehab.

Fast-forward to Friday a week ago.  I noticed on Friday morning that she was limping and would occasionally not put one of her paw pads down.  We didn't think too much of it because we thought she might have hurt her paw pad running around.   On Saturday she was not acting any better and we could not find something wrong with her paw pad, so Stephen took her in to the vet.  The vet thought she might have sprained her ankle or have an infection in her ankle joint.  She sent us home with some anti-inflammatories and said to bring her back if she wasn't getting better.  Well, she didn't get better and at times is was getting worse so Stephen took her back in last Friday.  The vet observed some new tenderness in the knee but couldn't determine what it was and wanted us to see our specialist.

We took her in on Monday and got the bad news.  Apparently the ligament that holds her knee cap in place had stretched and her knee cap was sliding in and out.  That meant more surgery.  Boo for all of us!  She had the surgery on Tuesday and got to come home yesterday.  She is pitiful, but hopefully will be feeling better in the next couple of weeks.

Here is the kicker(s).  Kicker number one.  MY POOR WALLET.  I am not going to tell you what we have had to spend on her legs over the past 13 months, but sufficed to say it would have paid my car off.  Kicker number two.  The rehab from this surgery is still twelve weeks.  To make matters worse, because the bone wasn't cut she feels much better much faster so keeping her calm will be a challenge.  Kicker number three.  We have a very active 18 month old in the house who doesn't understand why he can't "pet", pull, poke, jump on the dog.

It is going to be a long 12 weeks.....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What's Going On

So, long time no talk.  I can't believe I have turned in to such a slacker about this blog.  It has really gotten to the point that something has to give and the blog has been the thing to go.  However, this has caused me a tremendous amount of guilt, so I am going to try to get back on the bandwagon.  I love reading other people's blogs and I love having all the memories that I am able to capture in my it is time to get more diligent about it.

So, what have we been up to all these many months.  Basically everything and nothing all at the same time.  I guess that is how life is.  Work has been going well for Stephen and I.  He is gearing up for busy season, but things shouldn't get too bad.  I continue to get to enjoy my Friday's off with Perron and try to make the most of them.  I am truly blessed to work for such a flexible company.

I have really gotten into sewing as a new hobby.  I have always been fascinated with the concept of sewing, but never really tried doing anything about it.  The thought of making things that you can actually use in your house or wear is really appealing to me.  I took my first lesson before Christmas and I am back at my second class right now.  If all goes well, I will be able to make Perron's Easter outfit this year.  so far so good.  I will be really proud if it turns out alright.  I am absolutely OBSESSED with fabrics and have really been buying entirely too much of it right now.  As Stephen would say, my raw inventory is way up and my finished inventory is...basically non-existent.  Hopefully that will all change soon.  I have three very good girlfriends that are all pregnant with their second child right now, so I will have plenty of people to be making for.  In fact, one of our friends just found out she is having a little girl, so I will be in a frenzy of onesie dress making soon.  I am really happy and hope I can stick with it.  I have a terrible habit of getting really interested in something and thing dropping it like a hot potato.

Stephen and I are in the middle of a dilemma over what to do about our house.  We LOVE our neighborhood and the area of town we live in, so we were hopeful that we could add on.  We had plans drawn up for a lovely addition and were one step away from breaking ground before the ca bosh  got put on our plans.  The appraisal that we had done came in well below what we needed it to be to feel comfortable moving forward, so we had to put our plans on hold.  Right now we are waiting until spring.  At that time we are going to meet with a real estate agent and have them show us properties that are in our price range and have all the things we want. We will also get the realtor to take a look at our plans and let us know what she thinks the house is worth currently and what it would be worth if we moved forward with the addition.  After those steps are taken, hopefully we will have some clarity on how we should proceed.  I don't want to move, but we definitely need more space one way or another.

Other than that, nothing much else to report.  I promise to be better about blogging and will do a fun picture post soon so everyone can see how big Perron has gotten!

18 Months

Dearest Perron,

Where has the time gone?  How could 18 months of our life fly past so quickly.  It seems like just yesterday you were a tiny newborn in my arms and now you are a vibrant, rambunctious toddler running through  my house.  I have meant to capture you at every month like i did for your first year, but life has gotten in the way.  Working and raising a baby and trying to still be a decent wife, friend and human being takes a lot of time!  So I am going to take this half way mark to your second year as an opportunity to  reflect on where all you have been these past six months.

You started walking right around fourteen months and by fifteen months you were completely mobile and ON THE GO.  You have yet to slow down.  You took your first real steps on the night of the Alabama vs Duke football game.  Isn't that the way it should be in the south...major milestones marked by college football events.  :)  We were over at our good friends the Taylor's house and Ethan must have inspired you because you just started to take steps.  We were so proud of you and surprised that you got on the move at such a young age.

You can now climb proficiently pretty much anywhere you want to go.  You have a Little Tykes slide and you love to climb up the ladder, stand on the top and raise your hands in the air.  Quite the little daredevil.  You can also climb up and down the step to your playroom and to our room very easily.  You still need to hold on with one hand, but you can easily maneuver up and down.

Speaking of your playroom, you loving being in there and playing with all your toys.  You are such a good independent player.  You can entertain yourself for quite a while looking at books and playing with your toys.  You developed a fascination with all things Elmo about three months ago.  You LOVE him, which we find ironic since you have never watched even a second of Sesame Street.  The love affair all began with your Elmo bathtub spout cover and just grew from there.  You love Elmo books, pictures, toys, basically anything Elmo.  Santa brought you a Hokey Pokey Elmo and Grammy and Grampy got you an Elmo camera for Christmas and they are two of your favorite toys.  Daddy and I have all of the songs and sayings memorized.

Speaking of Christmas, we had a great holiday.  You loved Christmas even though you did not truly understand the concept.  What you did understand was that you were getting tons of presents and attention and you TOTALLY loved that.  We got to stay in Birmingham and spend christmas with mommy's side of the family.  It was really nice, especially since Aunt Diana and Uncle Trae got to come up to celebrate with us.  You got showered with gifts.  You got a bit riding pony and a wagon from santa.  You love bouncing on your pony.  You will squeal and bounce up and down and then stop and pet its mane and give it a hug.  You are such a sweet boy!

You can imitate several phrases now.  When we tell you to ride 'em cowboy or to ride the pony you do this uneven hopping thing like you are riding on a horse.  It is hysterical.  You can pretend to wash your hands when people ask you to.  You rub your belly in a circular motion whenever you like something or someone tells you something is yummy to your tummy.  You also will pretend like you are swimming in the bathtub, but there is a small catch.  Instead of laying in the water and swimming you stand up and paddle the air like you are swimming.  HILARIOUS!  We definitely have gotten some of these little tricks on the camera.

You are not really talking yet, but you are getting some help with that.  You started speech therapy last month and we really like your therapist Ms. Meredith.  We are hopeful that we can get you going soon.  Right now you can say da-da and ga-ga with much proficiency, but that is about it.  I am dying for the day when you will regularly call me mama.  You have started saying it a little bit here and there, so hopefully you will start soon.  The therapist says you should say anywhere from 18-20 words at this point, so we have a little catching up to do.  We know you will get there soon though!

You continue to be quite the busy boy.  You go to classes at the Zoo, Gymboree, Kindermusik, and story time.  Ms. Meaghan takes such good care of you and makes sure that you are happy and entertained during the day.  You are such a sweet boy and whenever we take you anywhere you are constantly waving at people and smiling your cute little smile.  You definitely are a out ladies.

You are still on the small size, but mommy pulled out the first pair of pants you ever wore and let's just say it was eye opening.  You wear size 12 to 18 month clothing.  We have just had to move your shirt size up because you were starting to look like you were wearing crop tops.  The pants are pretty big in the waist, but you need them for the length.  That is because you are in the 40th percentile for height and only the 8th percentile for weight.  Mommy took you to your 18 months appointment and you weighed 22 lbs and 2 ozs and were 32 inches tall.  You went from the 5th percentile in weight to the 8th and from the 20th percentile in height to the 40th percentile.

Your daddy and I are constantly saying we don't know how we produced something as precious and as beautiful as you are.  You truly are the light of our lives.  You have a beautiful, sweet spirit and an absolute joy to raise and be around.  We love you more than life itself!


Mommy and Daddy