Sep 28, 2007

Today's Friday Five was inspired by my good friend Amanda who will give birth to baby Ethan in December. When we had her baby shower a couple of weeks ago, she asked if I had any good advice for her. I thought it would be helpful to her to list the five baby products I couldn't have lived without when Camryn was a baby. If you have others to add, I'm sure Amanda would appreciate the suggestions!

1) Pampers Swaddlers Diapers

I haven't known a mom yet that didn't love these diapers for her newborn. I've found that lots of moms expand their options by the time their baby reaches size 2 and above, but for newborns this is an awesome diaper.

2) Huggies Disposable Washcloths

I got these as a shower gift and only started using them when I ran out of my Johnson's baby wash. I fell in love with them! They're so convenient and smell sooooo good!

3) Mylicon

When Camryn was crying, and we had tried everything under the sun to get her to stop, these were always a good thing to turn to. They really work!

4) Johnson's baby lotions

I still put lotion on Camryn almost every night before she goes to bed. It was always just a great way of soothing her, and any of these lotions smell so, very good.

5) Desitin

There's Balmex, there's Boudreaux's Butt Paste, and so many other brands. I've found Desitin to be my favorite. Camryn has never really had bad diaper rash issues but this does the trick when she has it. Moms differ on this one ... I think everyone has their favorite! I've also discovered Flander's Buttocks Ointment recently which is really good, too!

Sep 25, 2007

My Daughter, the Evangelist

Sunday evening before we left for church, I sat down to play the piano for a little while. I put the hymnal on the floor to get it out of my way. Camryn sat down and started flipping through the hymnal and “reading” it. When I was finished playing, I got up to go to the kitchen to make Cam’s supper. A few minutes later I heard her in the next room talking to the dog and saying this: “Gracie, c’mere, Gracie …. C’mere. Read Bible, Gracie … read Bible.” At eighteen months old, my child is already trying to win her first soul to the Lord!

Sep 24, 2007

Grandma & Papa's Visit

Camryn had a ball this past Saturday because her Grandma and Papa Burley came to visit. She was so silly and such a show-off all day because she had a captive audience. It was so cute watching her perform and love on Grandma and Papa all day. They were also the best in her eyes because they brought her a toy car! I have been wanting to get her a car for a long time because she loves pushing things around on the floor, and Grandma and Papa found a great girl car, complete with mommy and baby, that plays a cute little song. We had such a great visit with them. I've included some fun pictures below.

I've also included a couple of pictures of Cam's first ponytail. It looks a little rough in the pictures, but I promise it was really cute in person! She looked like such a BIG girl with her hair pulled back like that. And, let me tell you, she went to church last night and worked that ponytail! Everyone kept telling her how cute it was, and she just ate it up.

And finally ... a new blog for everyone to check out! Our friends in Georgia (Jason and Andy were roommates at Anderson College and are both music ministers now, and Michelle and I were at Winthrop together) just started a blog for their family. Go check out their super-sweet kids!

Playtime with Grandma
Camryn made sure everyone had time to read with her. First Grandma ...

... then Grandpa!

Camryn loves giving hugs. She gives really good ones!

So there were hugs all around!

Our first ponytail!

My sweet, sweet girl!

Sep 18, 2007

Poor Baby!

Yesterday after Camryn and I got home, she started whining and saying “change.” I wasn’t really sure what she was talking about … Change her clothes? Change her diaper? I asked her if she wanted her diaper changed, and she said yes. So, I put her on the changing table, and she started crying. I had no idea what was wrong with her until I took her diaper off and saw the worst diaper rash I have ever seen. She even had a couple of open sores on her bottom. I was livid because she had no signs of that whatsoever when I sent her to daycare yesterday. I called Jason in to look at it, and he wanted me to call her daycare and complain. After I calmed down and got her to quit crying, I started thinking about it. Even if they had not changed her diaper all day long, she wouldn’t have looked like that. I looked at her “Cuddle Gram” that tells us how long she napped, how many times her diaper was changed, what she ate for snack, etc., and saw that her diaper had been changed 4 times that day. Eventually, we saw there was sand all over her changing table and started to realize what was happening. When they have recess at daycare, Camryn heads straight for the sandbox. She loves playing in it and usually comes home with sand in her hair and shoes. She must have gotten sand in her diaper while she was in the sandbox and it caused the rash. I feel so sorry for her. She is really pitiful! I must have gone through a whole tube of butt paste last night!

Sep 17, 2007

KWH Reunion

Saturday we had a KWH reunion at Sarah N's house. We had a baby shower for Amanda and Baby Ethan who is due in December. As always, we had a wonderful time together. We were missing a few girls due to sickness, travel, etc., but Sarah, Jenny, Amanda, and I had a great time catching up and hearing all about how Amanda is doing with her pregnancy. She looks beautiful! Camryn enjoyed having tons of attention since she was the only baby there this time around. It was so cute watching her walk around calling for Ethan. She was a little confused when we tried to explain he is still in Amanda's belly! Here are a few picture from our day. I just love these girls!

The Mommy-to-be

Opening the Pack 'N Play - her big gift from everyone

Amanda and Cam

Playing at the goldfish pond with Jenny - Sarah's backyard is gorgeous!

The girls - Jenny, Amanda, Me, Camryn, and Sarah N.

Sep 14, 2007

KWH Memories Continued

One of my favorite memories of Kate Wofford Hall would be doing our scavenger hunt during Staff Training. We took good ole Kate (the portrait that hung in our front lobby) with us wherever we went. One time, we were running from the Music building after taking a picture with Kate and the scavenger hunt item. Just as we were leaving, Public Safety drove by. Because we were running and looking sneaky, (we didn't want the other staff teams to steal our idea) Public Safety honestly thought we were stealing the picture from the building. We had to explain ourselves. Luckily we were all cute and convincing! That scavenger hunt was the best in my three years as an RA!

More fun memories are just all of the crazy stuff Chrissy did. Between riding around on her scooter and climbing in the box to pretend to be a cat, we were always having a good laugh with Chrissy.

I would NEVER trade my KWH memories for the world. I have made such amazing friends. From Twizzlers to bellybuttons, cornflake ice cream desserts (I need that recipe, Heather), Desk Duty and staff meetings, all of it will hold a special place in my heart ... and scrapbook! :-) We will also keep making more memories!

I remember carrying Kate around town for the RA scavenger hunt (it was about time she got out and about!) and worrying that we were going break/drop the portrait. I remember Jenny always having the craziest resident stories at staff meetings, including the guy the peed in the cup rather than use the hall bathroom (or go downstairs like he should). I also remember Amanda teaching us the choreography to the Britney Spears "Oops I Did It Again" video while having a mini dance party in the basement. I learned a lot about arts and crafts from the women of KWH, particularly the art of the paint pen, fancy lettering, and lots and lots about scrapbooking. We may not have been perfect RAs, but most of you were bulletin board superstars!

It's funny I didn't think I remembered that much until I sat down to write this, and I kept thinking of funny stories from KWH. I'll just leave you with this one memory of yet another failing on my part to do my RA duties: At the very beginning of the year, shortly after freshman move-in day, I was standing in the hallway on my floor waiting for the elevator. I heard someone coming down the hall and looked up to see a drop-dead gorgeous young man walking toward me wearing nothing but a towel (he'd just come out of the shower). My jaw about dropped to floor, and I just stood there in stunned silence that there was this hot mostly naked guy in my hallway. He said "hello" and walked into the room next door to mine, and I just got on the elevator without saying a word to him. I guess I should have written him or my resident up, but at the time I didn't even know where to begin. In hindsight I probably should have called you all up to join me in writing up the hot mostly naked guy. It would have been a good staff bonding activity :)

My favorite moments would probably go down as some mundane night watching Friends in Heather’s apartment or just laughing through a staff meeting with eight girls who ended up really making my college experience … some evening completely boring and wonderful.

But for the sake of not putting your blog readers to sleep, how about the evening I was on call and was notified that my resident had taken it upon herself (which was very unusual that year for any of the girls to try and solve their own problems) to call Dr. DiGorgio (the Winthrop University president!) at 10pm on a SATURDAY NIGHT because she had ants in her room. No call down to the front desk for ant spray. No trip out to Walgreens for some Raid. Just call old Anthony and see what he's up to Saturday evening and if he has any ant killer in his pantry.

My favorite memory from Wofford Hall is the morning of the 5 AM fire drill! As the RD, I was in charge of planning periodic fire drills. One particular week, I planned my fire drill for 9 PM, and let my RA’s know when it would be so they would be prepared. Somehow on the night of the drill, word started spreading among the residents that there would be a drill taking place. They hated being interrupted by the drills, and thought they would outsmart us. So, 10 minutes before my drill, one of the RA’s called and told me the residents knew about it, and told me I should look outside. I went to the front door and saw about 100 of the residents already sitting outside waiting for the fire drill to go off. I was furious! I immediately called the drill off and planned revenge. If they were going to ruin my fire drill, I would show them! At the next staff meeting, I somehow convinced my RA’s that a 5 AM fire drill would be appropriate (to this day, I’m still not sure how I got them to go along with me!). I would give them all wake up calls, we would do our drill, and then we would go down to the first floor kitchen and have a staff breakfast. That was really the BEST fire drill! That loud, shrill, grating alarm went off at 5 AM sharp, and 400 girls marched past me in their PJs out into the chilly morning air glaring at me as if they would kill me in my sleep later that night. It was GREAT!!! When the drill was over, my staff gathered in our staff room for a breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, grits, and bacon, and we laughed all morning long about how mad the residents would be at us. Believe it or not, I don’t think any of them tried to get back at us … although I wouldn’t have blamed them if they did!!!

Sep 13, 2007

KWH Memories

Well I have a ton of memories, more funny than sentimental! Of course, you know it has to do with pumpkin muffins …

It was my first year being an RA on the 4th floor of Wofford Hall, and I was trying my best to study amid all the noise on my hall and outside the building. On a typical weeknight, there was one mousy looking guy that would drive up in front of the building, park, get out of his car with it still running and rap music blaring, and attempt to pick up chicks. This had been happening quite often, and frankly I was getting tired of it! I didn't want to call Campus Police again, and I was ready to take matters into my own hands! I remembered that my mom had made me these weird pumpkin muffins, and I didn't like them so I stuck them in my freezer. You know - just in case I started to like them another day! Frustrated and ticked off, I stomped over to the MicroFridge, grabbed the bag of muffins and geared up for battle. I hid behind my curtain and chunked one muffin out of the window. I listened intently and didn't hear any reaction from below. So I thought "Let me try this one more time!" I then threw another one below, until I heard, "Ow! That hurt! What was that?" I sheepishly started to giggle to myself thinking I finally got someone’s attention! I then heard a girl proclaim "Ahhh haaa - You just got hit in the head with a muffin!" I peeked down below and saw the guy rubbing his head looking up and looking pretty embarrassed. I wiped my hands and thought to myself that I had accomplished my task because soon after that, he got in his car and drove away! I HEART WOFFORD TIMES!

Well I have so many memories about KWH! Sometimes I can't remember which year they occurred. Some of the memories are ones I probably shouldn't share now that we are all grown up! I remember Heather cooking lasagna for us in the first floor kitchen. It was so good! I have used her recipe ever since! I remember Amanda coming downstairs asking everyone if their bellybuttons stink! I remember the RD before Heather going out with the Public Safety officer, and some of us followed them around! That was HILARIOUS! I still can't believe we did that! I remember making the HUGE quilt as a community builder. That was a good one! I remember doing the time capsule the next year and making the magazine of my residents on the 8th floor, Penthouse Playmates. It was really cute! I remember hanging out with residents until all hours of the night, and then hanging out with RA's. I remember faking many walk-throughs. Honestly I don't remember doing many of those! I remember Sarah handpicking and doing everything she could to get Teresa to be her replacement. Thanks Sarah! Great choice! I remember baby Kyle, end of the year parties, getting in trouble with JT, eating in the cafe, doing bulletin boards late into the night, watching Jessica scrapbook, modge podging in Jess's room, going to Denny's ...the list could go on forever. My Winthrop years were some of the very best of my life. I credit those years to Kate Wofford Hall and all of the good times! (Oh yeah, did I mention the shower flies I lived with for 4 years! - loved them, too!)

I don't have the best memory but I do remember... Chrissy doing something funny at most every staff meeting. Christmas party December of 2000 down in the basement, basically one of my last nights in KWH. My favorite memory most of all was when my parents and I were driving away from Winthrop after Graduation. I turned around and saw all of y'all running towards our car. I jumped out, thinking that I had left something, but I think it was that I had not had a chance to say goodbye to one of you. We had a group hug and Jenny said the sweetest prayer! I just remember thinking what a special group y'all were and how much I was going to miss y'all. I am so thankful to have had such a wonderful experience as an RA at KWH. I feel most blessed to have gotten to know y'all and still have you as friends!

I have many happy memories from Kate Wofford Hall... it so hard to pick just one! I have been trying to think of just one in particular and my thoughts jump from Amanda's stinky belly button to pumpkin muffins to Chrissy jumping out of box like she was a cat! A very happy memory I have was after the Residence Life banquet at the end of the year, and we were all in our Hawaiian attire, and we all got in the bed of Farmer's truck and drove around campus and local areas surrounding campus ... I just remember being happy that night and thinking to myself that I am so incredibly thankful for these girls!! I am so thankful that Sarah N. got me another application to be a RA (after I threw the first one out b/c I thought the list of responsibilities was outrageous!!) and dropped it off at Phelps so I could fill it out. Being an RA truly shaped who I am now... and my semester with you ladies was by far my favorite and most fun semester! I HEART each of you!

Sep 12, 2007

Kate Wofford Hall (Part 3)

After RD training when the RA's showed up, I finally met my girls, and everything clicked from that moment on. I had three incredible veteran RA’s who knew Wofford Hall inside and out and the greatest new RAs who were just as lost as I was about the job. Kenyatta, Chrissy, Jenny, Amanda, Jessica, Sarah N./Teresa, Sarah D., and Melissa (I can still name everyone in floor-order!) made up my staff team. There are certain things that stick out in my mind about meeting each one of them: for example, Sarah D. reported for duty wearing a bikini top and jean shorts. Jenny kept calling me Miss Lussier and said “yes m’am” and “no m’am” to me (even though I am only a year older than her). I walked onto the 2nd floor and thought someone had ransacked Chrissy’s room because her stuff was such a mess you couldn’t even see the floor (it didn’t change the whole year!). I then walked off the elevator and onto the 5th floor and caught Jessica kissing her boyfriend.

Our first big activity was to compete with the other staff teams in a scavenger hunt during RA training. We had to find each item and take a picture with it. The staff team that had not only the most correct pictures but the most interesting pictures would be the winner. We decided to take the huge portrait of Kate Wofford that hung in our front hall (a major piece of school property!) and haul it all around campus to include in each of our pictures. Not only did that experience bond us, but we won! That began a year of weekly staff meetings that we always made so much fun, crazy residents, nightly walk-throughs (for those RA's that actually did them!), lots of laughing, a little bit of crying, crazy residents, lousy pay for all the work we actually had to do, parties in an empty 8-story hall after the residents left for Christmas and summer, more crazy residents, fun with the Richardson staff (our next door neighbors – the 400 resident boys’ dorm!), bulletin boards, broken elevators, marijuana busts (I have a nose for it after living in that hall for 2 years!), sorry desk staff, hall socials, the birth of the KWH sorority, and yes, more crazy residents.

After that year, Sarah N., Sarah D., Jessica, Melissa, and Chrissy all graduated and moved on, and we gained Crystal, Mel, a different Jessica, Kerry, and Mary. Although nothing could come close to that first year, we created a whole new year of memories with the new staff. I will never be able to explain how important these girls were and still are to me. My graduate school years were definitely different than most because of my involvement with Residence Life, but to this day, I am so thankful for having those girls in my life. I love it that we still share a very special relationship and are still so involved in each others’ lives. For the next two days, I have invited some of them to be guest bloggers to share with you some of their favorite memories from Wofford Hall. I could never begin to relay all of the crazy, outlandish, unbelievable moments and situations we shared over those two years, so I thought it would be fun to have them help! Tune in tomorrow!!!

Sep 11, 2007

Kate Wofford Hall (Part 2)

Suddenly, I was hearing all these new words – incidence reports, socials, hall meetings, hall council, staff development, desk staff, on-call nights, desk duty, master keys and retainer keys, purchasing cards, etc., and I was overwhelmed!! I was in charge of an 8-floor building and 8 RA’s, and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I was about to begin a rigorous graduate program, and I had signed up for what was turning into a full time job! Teaching assistant didn’t sound so bad to me anymore! At RD training, a very sweet girl named Carla who had been an RD for 2 or 3 years was assigned as my mentor, and I don’t think I would have made it through those first few weeks without her answering my endless questions.

So, what was my job all about? Well, let me start with the RA’s first. They were in charge on their hall. They were there to handle any problems or situations that came up with their residents, just as you would expect. However, the girls were also in charge of creating monthly bulletin boards for their hall, planning periodic hall socials, planning building-wide socials, being a member of a Residence Life committee (along with RA’s from other buildings on campus), having a duty night each week in which they had to do three walk-throughs of the building (which I recently found out they NEVER did!!) share a duty weekend each month with another RA, work desk hours at the font desk of our hall, post hours in which they would be in their room available to their residents, write incidence reports on their residents when they got in trouble (fights, drinking, drugs … you name it – the residents did it), stay late and come back early to open and close the building before holidays and summers, attend weekly staff meetings, and complete “other duties as assigned” which they always "loved." All that on top of actually being a student and trying to live a normal college life! My job was basically to be a support for my RA’s. I had to attend a weekly staff meeting with the other RD’s on campus, the AD’s, and the Director of Residence Life, then share that information in the staff meetings within my building. I also had to work desk hours, have an on-call weekend two months per semester (for the whole campus), review incidence reports, and try to keep up with everything going on in the building. I had all of these responsibilities and not a clue what I was doing! However, I was about to meet my RA's ....

Sep 10, 2007

Kate Wofford Hall (Part 1)

During this week, I’m going to do a series on my experiences at Winthrop University as the Residence Director of Wofford Hall. I’ve had this post planned for a few weeks now and have been so excited about it. My time in Wofford Hall was really one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had. The girls I worked with (the RAs) have known about this series for a while now and have helped me with some of the writing. As we’ve shared some of our memories with each other, I’ve remembered so many things from those 2 years that have made me laugh and smile. I hope you have as much fun with this as we have had!

This is the story of an RD, 14 RA’s, and a little place called Kate Wofford Hall …

Back in the spring of 2000, I was in the middle of graduating from Anderson College and deciding which graduate program I would attend. Factored into my decision of which school I would choose was where I would live and what I would do to earn money. Each school to which I was accepted had assistanceships through their individual psych department, but the thought of being a research assistant or a teaching assistant was not high on my list of interesting jobs. Plus, I had to worry about where in the world I would live and had no idea how I would pay for it. The head of the School Psych Dept. at Winthrop mentioned to me that there were jobs available through the Residence Life Department as the person in charge of one of the residence halls – a Residence Director. That definitely piqued my curiosity! I didn't know what it entailed, but I found out it paid more money than one of the department jobs AND I would have a free place to live ... the RD apartment in the residence hall, which was not glamorous by any means, but it was FREE! Plus free meals! I don’t even remember the application process; I just remember the next thing I knew, I was in the middle of an interview with Julie, Renee, and JT, the three AD’s (Area Directors … you eventually learn all of the Residence Life lingo!).

Let me say up front, I had NO experience and NO qualifications for this job other than the fact that I lived in the dorms at Anderson College. I was not involved in Residence Life in the least at AC and why they ended up hiring me at Winthrop, I still don’t know. All I am sure of is that the Lord had a hand in that hiring and knew the girls I would meet through this job would be just what I needed in my life at that time. I don’t remember what they asked me in the interview, except the one question that I stumbled on. But suddenly I was hired, and I was the new Residence Director of Wofford Hall, a girls’ dorm that housed 400 predominantly freshman women. I was expected at RD training a week before my psych program actually started, and I was NERVOUS!

P.S. Happy Birthday to me!! :)

Sep 7, 2007

I've Been Slack

I have not been a very good blogger this week. It just seems the week has flown by, and there hasn’t been enough time to fit everything in. Maybe it has something to do with having a vacation day on Monday and that throwing the rest of the week off. Or maybe I’ve just been slack at blogging because I’m rushing to get in bed every night to read a few chapters of Harry Potter instead of sitting at the computer to write. Yes, I know I am way behind the times on that one, but I just started reading the series a few weeks ago, and now I’m hooked on Harry! I’m only on book 2, so I have a long way to go.

However, starting next week, there will be blogging in abundance! My dad, sister, and brother-in-law are coming this weekend, so I’m sure there will be plenty of pictures to share. My birthday is right around the corner, so I’ll share all the fun that comes along with that. And, the best part – starting next week I will be doing a series of blogs on my time at Winthrop University as the Residence Director of Wofford Hall. I have a whole week-long series that I have had in the works for a while (yes, I know I am a big ol’ nerd for planning my blogs in advance), but it’s going to be awesome. Complete with guest bloggers and all! So ... see you Monday!

Sep 4, 2007

Labor Day Weekend

We had a fantastic Labor Day weekend! We started off on Friday night with the Worship Choir Banquet. We had so much fun. Good food and great fellowship with people we love so much. The Worship Choir members are the biggest supporters of Jason's ministry, and he loves the time he spends with this group. The banquet is just his (and my!) way of showing how much we appreciate their dedication and hard work each year.

Saturday was girls' day! Camryn and I spent the majority of the day shopping for clothes (our favorite pastime!) and spent time together Saturday night while Daddy went to the Furman game to work in the press box, which is one of his favorite pastimes!!

Sunday night we had our friends Allen, Kelli, and Alyssa and Sarah Ellen and Jeff over to help us finish up the choir banquet leftovers. Our new friends Stephanie and Thomas, who recently joined the church also joined us, and we can already tell they will soon be special friends! We had such a great time laughing and joking (and eating!), and the girls had some great girl conversation as well. Camryn loves it when we have a full house, and she was wide open until 11:30 pm that night when she finally went to bed!

Monday was very special as well. Beth's family came over for a cookout, and we went up to the Anderson University campus to walk around, see the new library (which is sooo impressive!), and reminisce for a while. It was so nice to be back on campus with such good friends and remember all of the good times we had there. Here are a few pictures from our trip to campus.

First time on the swings at Anderson University!

The story is that the first person you sit with on the swings is the one you will marry ...

Family picture on the swings

Taking a break from walking. It was hot!

Just Me and the Boys

Another family pic in front of the pretty new fountain

Playing around on the columns

Having so much fun!

Playing football with "Uncle" J to end the night