Angel Baby

Your baby is not a baby anymore when:
-they bail out of your arms when they want to walk like a big kid
-they yell "turn it up!" from their car seat
-they crack jokes
-they remove their diaper (full of poop) and bring it to you
-they grab your face and tell you (very specifically) what they want
-they climb down from their high chair with no help
-they can sing tracks from the "Slumdog Millionaire" soundtrack

You guessed it, Penelope has done all these things recently. My baby is no longer. Just wanted to make sure I put on the blog, on the record, that Penelope has been an angelic baby, a gift from heaven. Before she hits 2 in November I am taking the opportunity to tell her (when she can one day read this) that she is my Angel Baby and I love her very much. But she is really a little girl now and I'm not saying that she will cease to be an angel, but the baby has left the house. She dances, eats, and communicates like only a little woman can. Her toddlerhood has begun to rear it's ugly head but I'm hoping to do it up right. You know..."unspare" the rod and "gratefulize" the child.

Here are some pictures from this past week. Jackson had fun making her a little royal bed, Libby had fun dressing her up, and she danced (whasup homey?) with Cash like crazy in the bathtub. (He was in the bath pics too but was naked and Cash's physique is not for the faint of heart.) I caught her reading books in her crib after nap. And I snuck a photo of her sleeping. I hate to seem like I'm bragging about my kids, so if you've made it this far, thanks for loving Penelope too!


Cheering in the Rain

Last night we went to the Florida State/Jacksonville State football game. My parents were given tickets and my Dad wanted to take Jackson for his birthday (which is in 2 weeks). I agreed to go, even though I have been on a football game fast for quite some time. It was nice to return to my cheerleading roots and cheer on the Seminoles. They needed it, seeing as how they were losing pretty much the entire game. They managed to squeeze out a win, literally, because it was extremely wet; it rained the entire first half.

Our friends the Mitchell's and Walworth's were able to go as well, and we attended the Janek's long standing tailgate party and sat with them too. Jackson had a great time and I had de ja vu with my Dad as we used our trusty free and excellent parking space and walked into the game on the same path we walked on many times my freshman and sophomore years. Score!

F-L-O-R-I-D-A S-T-A-T-E....Florida State, Florida State, Florida State, WHOOOOOO! Go Seminoles!

Wife of the Year


And with this terrible face, Julie Elizabeth Alley wins Wife of the Year. In this shot, Julie was yelling at her husband to put away her expensive camera because it was beginning to pour down rain. At the same time, Julie was trying to get on her rain jacket so as not to get completely drenched. Sorry, Jimmy. Thanks for asking me to bring the camera. And for carrying it for me. And for flirting with me at the game. I love you!


Home's Cool

Well, I have survived the first week back of "Alley Home's Cool." I'm pretty pooped. But I need to share some pics from the week, especially of Cash's first day of preschool. The morning of his first day my mom called to wish him a good day. I called him to the phone: "Cash, there's someone on the phone for you!" Cash: "Is it Mrs. F.?" (his teacher) How cute that he thought his preschool teacher would call him an hour before school just to make sure he was on the ball. He sure was. He was Mr. Happy that's for sure.

That same morning he took his breakfast smoothie to his room and declared he was going to have "a drinking party." I sometimes write these things I don't want to forget down and also as fuel for the blog. I jotted down "a drinking party in my room" on an index card and put it next to the toaster, for I knew there would be other one liners that day. Later in the day Jackson found the card and sought me out to ask what it meant. (Anything involving the word "party" Jackson must be informed of.) I explained it to him and so he decided to find Cash and tell him he was ready to organize the "drinking party" in their room. So a sign was made for the door and Jackson gathered the necessary refreshments and cups. I was invited. (My first drinking party--YES!) I came in to the red solo cups and everything. I took a drink of my brew (H2O) and stood there with Jackson as we drank. I couldn't resist. I said, "So, come here often?" and he says, matter of factly, "Yeah. Cash has this party every day from (pauses to glance at the clock) 1:24 to about 1:40." So there you go. What better way to kick off your first days of homeschool than with a drinking party?

Sometimes people ask me how I get anything done with my older student when I have little ones running around. I don't really stress about it because I just think about all the other home school moms who have gone before me. I figure if they made it through somehow I can too. But it is definitely a challenge and causes many many many interruptions. Penelope spends most of the day doing this like this:

So, there you go. That's how I get things done. I allow my toddler to tattoo herself with markers. After Jackson, they've all done it. It's a rite of passage. She also eats them, though, which is unique to Penelope. I'm not going to analyze why this is. I've also been trying to get a shot of Penelope on top of the dog for a while. Our dog Bella lies around a lot and Penelope will go over to her and plop down right on top of her like she's a pillow and the dog doesn't even bat an eye. It's like nothing happened. She's a very tolerant dog and I think has a soft spot for Penelope because she's the same height and I do catch Penelope sharing her snacks with the dog sometimes.

Today I taught an art class for some home school friends of mine and we had fun and got dirty. I didn't get any pictures because it was too busy! Afterward Jackson made a movie with some of his buddies and this is how I caught him reviewing it later in the day. I think Jackson's current hairdo (he's begging us not to cut it) looks like Jim from The Office. That's what I said.

We wrapped up the week tonight when Libby got to get her first library card. I let them get it when they are in Kindergarten. She wrote her name on the back like a big girl and was so proud. She got a free bag and filled that thing up to where it was so heavy she could barely carry it. She reminded me of myself. You can only get 50 items, Libby!

And one last pic: Cash and Penelope--the new school. Stay out of trouble kids, and you just might learn something around here. If you're not down with the educational route, there will be a drinking party every afternoon...