A Letter to my Two Year Old.

Dear Hudson,

You are two years old.

August 12th, 2009 feels like yesterday, but also, like a lifetime ago. Since you arrived, so much has changed in such a wonderful way. I can hardly remember the young woman I was before I was your mother. I like me so much better now....and it's all because of you, and all the happiness you have brought into my life.

I have so much to say, and no idea of where to begin...so I thought I'd just start by sharing a few of the amazing aspects of you, at two:

Your signature phrases:
--"mmmmhmmm, awright." (yes, that's right)
--"oh boy oh boy oh boy!" or "oooooh, WOW!" (when you are excited)
--"bubbles, please?" "more, please?" "milk, please?"(what sweet manners you have.)
--"keycue!" "welcome!" (you always say thank you, and have recently started saying you're welcome.)
--"you okay, mama?" (you are very concerned...if I sit in the floor, or if I trip, or anytime anything is a little out of sorts. sweet boy.)
--"help-y!" (help me!)
--"a kiss?" (you love hugs and kisses from mama.)
--"Dada turn!" (It's Dada's turn.)
--"I gotchu Mama." (When I hold him. This is one of my very favorites.)
--"offway..." (this way...)
--"right dare, behind you!" (when you are trying to show me something)
--"aujooo!" (Bonjour!)
--"nite-nite! Love-ooooooo." (at bedtime)
--"hold us." "jump-up!" (when he wants us to carry him)
--"good job, Mama!" "good job, Dada!" "good job, Baby!' (he always offers praise when any of us do a good job at something.)
--"oh! cute!" (when something is cute)

Favorite Movies & TV shows:
+Alvin & the Chipmunks the Squeakwel
+Stuart Little 2 (which he calls "mouse")
+Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ("chee chee bang bang")
+The Jungle Book
+Follow that Bird ("bee bird")
+Max & Ruby ("MAX. roooooby")
+Dino Dan ("DeeDan")
+Yo Gabba Gabba ("babba")
+Peppa Pig ("pepppppppa pig! snort snort")
+Olivia ("eeevya")
+Team Umizoomi ("ooey-zooey")
+Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ("meeee-mouse")

Your favorite songs to sing:
+All aboard the Choo-Choo Train!
+Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
+Itsy Bitsy Spider
+Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes
+The Wheels on the Bus
+Rain Rain Go Away
+Adele's Rolling in the Deep
+anything by Bruno Mars
+You and I by Ingrid Michaelson
+Hey Soul Sister by Train

Favorite Books:
+A Cuddle for Little Duck
+Perfect Piggies
+I am a Bunny
+Goodnight Moon
+Curious George at the Zoo
+Any book about Clifford

You can count to 10. You can count backwards from 5. You can count to 6 in Spanish. You can spell your name. You can sing your ABC's. You can say "Je m'appelle Hudson." ("My name is Hudson" in French.)

You love to play "trains" & "tracks" and "cool cars". You love animals, and can identify most any of them and make their sound. You play a lot with your "barn" and "rocket", which is actually the barn's silo. You love taking a bath with "bubbles" and "toys". You have asked to sit on the "potty" many times, but have yet to actually use it.  You snuggle a lot with your "bay-ah's" (bears) and "onk-eee's" (monkeys). You sleep with your "Blumpy" (blanket) and a couple of trains every night. You love to look through books, and you like for us to read to you. You like yelling for our dogs at the door..."Lulu! Kota!" You enjoy puzzles and playing outside. You love playing ball, and doing guy stuff with Daddy. You love talking about all of your family members and their pets.

To sum it up: you are nothing short of amazing. You surprise us each day. You are beautiful and kind and smart and loving and you are a joy of a little boy.

Thank you for the best twenty-four months of our life, so far. Your dad and I love you so very much...in fact, our days are filled with more love than we know what to do with....and that is a wonderful feeling.

Hugs & Kisses,


Welcome to Small Town USA.

We drove over to our neighboring small town of Killen to enjoy their Founder's Day festivities.

We saw a cute parade with furry mascots and peewee football players, John Deere tractors and horses with buggies, a rolling tribute to Muscle Shoals music and a pink cadillac with a fake Elvis in the front seat. 

 It was fun. And it was as American as apple pie. I love a parade.  


Hudson Swims.

Hudson had his 2nd swim lesson last week.

He's very comfortable in the water...he loves to jump in and splash and play in the fountains.

He doesn't so much like the "lesson" part. (he didn't want to kick his legs. he didn't want to hold on to the float and swim. he didn't want to wear a floatie. and he especially didn't want to blow bubbles in the water.)

It's pretty safe to say he'd rather just have fun. 
& thats okay with me.

--Here's a little film I made of his time at the pool--


Scenes from this Week #2

1. Well, that's one way to get to the marshmallows in the Lucky Charms.
2. Rain ahead.
3. I caught a virus and spent 3 days at my parents house so they could help me watch Hudson. Daddy sent me flowers and Hudson a Scooby & balloon.
4. Being at Gennie & Grandad's is very relaxing
5. Pacey is all dressed up for Hudson's birthday.
6. Home again!
7. Hudson loves snail mail!
8. First morning as a two year old.
9. Singing a little bit of Itsy-Bitsy Spider.
10. All aboard the Choo-Choo Train!
11. My Little Mozart
12. Doll Face.
13. Wild Man. 
14. A Pirate's Life for Me!
15. TV Time is very captivating.
16. Ant-hunting.
17. We were sitting in the Jeep, and Hudson says "seatbelt?", so I buckle him in. Then he says "Mama's turn" and points to my seatbelt. What a sweet boy.
18. Cherry-Orange Icee by the riverside.
19. Beautiful Boy. 
20. Hudson meets Dudley.
21. Hudson getting some birthday presents from cousin Henrietta.
22. Fresh baby out of the bath. 
23. "Catch, Mama!"
24. Exploring.
25. OPI Baguette me Not...an old favorite.
26. All ready for our family portraits.
27. Photo Time!
28. Waiting....
29. Date Night! Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It was good!
30. Goobers are great.
31. Just hanging out in my jammies. 
32. FLASHBACK! Little Hudson at 6 months old...back when he was a drooler. :)


Scenes from 1862.

It's no secret that our town holds a treasure trove of historically influential places. Pope's Tavern was once a tavern and inn, and later, it served as a military hospital for both Confederate and Union soldiers during the Civil War. 

I always get an odd feeling when entering this structure. It's as though the air hangs heavy....inhabited by memories of times gone by, restless spirits, and a lingering sense of sadness.

**Little Known Ashley Fact: I'm really frightened by dummies....of the mannequin variety. You know, plastic people. Not when they are in department stores modeling clothes, of course. But, in settings like the one you see above, they really creep me out. I often times can't even be in the room with a dummy. Oooh, they give me heebie-jeebies. Maybe I'm afraid that they'll suddenly come to life. That would really be scary. 

Do you have any irrational fears?


Ants Go Marching.

{LISTEN: Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band}

When all the little ants are marching 
Red and black antennas waving 

Hudson loves to go outside and look for ants. There are a whole bunch of them that live on a tree in our front yard. They are the big black ones...the kind that always steal picnic baskets in the cartoons. 

Hudson says "ANTS!" and picks them up with his fingers. He holds them for a second, inspecting them closely. Then he places them back on the tree, as carefully as a 2 year old possibly can. Sometimes the ants survive, and sometimes they're not so lucky. 


Roam Around & Around & Around

Last week, we met my parents in Decatur for lunch and an afternoon of aimless wandering.

We found ourselves at the following locations: a little restaurant rumored to serve the best smoked barbecue in all of Alabama, the oldest standing bank building in the state, an abandoned train depot, a bed & breakfast where outlaw Frank James spent a few days in 1881, and quaint historic streets that still have remnants of bricks and rails that once facilitated the long-extinct downtown trolley. 

And we got to see a train in action, chugging down the railroad tracks....which our little guy loved a whole lot. 

Sometimes aimless wandering is a wonderful thing to do. I highly recommend it.