Family Alive

Brian, Kristine, Analise, and Josiah Toone

Archive for July, 2006

I love Ebay!

12th July 2006

Not only have I bought great things on Ebay, but when you finally dive in and SELL something, it’s an even greater “rush” to see your auction end than when you win:) My first Ebay selling experience came after I found a pair of Robeez baby shoes at a consignment sale for $7. These retail for $20-25, and never go on sale. Even on Ebay they were selling for no less than that price. When I put them up for sale, sure enough… they sold for $23 (not including shipping) and I made $16. Sweet!

Two weeks ago, I found a Pottery Barn Kids tote bag on Ebay that I thought would work as a diaper bag, now that our awesome pink Kate Spade knock-off tote/diaper bag is falling apart (and Josiah needs a more boy-appropriate color). The bag arrived, but it didn’t seem to fit my long list of requirements. Since it was brand new, with the tags still on, I decided to try listing it again on Ebay, in hopes of selling it for what I paid – $10.49. Lo and behold, the auction ended today, and it sold for $25.51! A whopping $15.02 of profit! WOOHOO!! I’ve decided I should go into Ebay-business:) It’s inspired me to finally post a few more things on Ebay that I’ve been meaning to sell.

Off to browse Ebay for something to spend my PayPal funds on…hehehe:)

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Catching up – Brian

12th July 2006

It’s like good ol’ times here at the Toone house. I’m home with Josiah while Kristine is at the dentist and while Analise is at the Mother’s Day Out program at Lakeside. Here’s Josiah in his fish swing covered in the blanket Anna and Hal made. Josiah being in the swing reminds me somewhat of when I was taking care of Analise and she would swing in the same swing while I was working on my dissertation! Kristine is the one taking care of the little one this time (and his big sister, too!) while I’m working or riding so I enjoy these times I get to spend with him.

Here is an update on the bike accident investigation and aftermath. First, about replacing my bike, I got a chance to test ride this Trek Madone bike from a friend at Cahaba Cycles. He is selling this bike in about a month, so if all works out and insurance will pay for at least some of it, then I may be able to purchase this exact bike shown in the picture above. Next, about the hit and run investigation, I just talked to the Birmingham police, and I was informed that a letter has been sent to the address listed for the owner of the vehicle. They are currently waiting to hear a response back. If they don’t hear anything in 15-20 days, they will send police to the house to find out answers that way. Stay tuned!

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A quiet Monday

10th July 2006

We had a laid back weekend, and it’s been a quiet Monday, as well. Brian is test-riding a super-fast-and-fancy bike to replace his that was pretty much totalled in the accident. I wondered how the bike can really be that much faster… isn’t it Brian that’s fast? Well, he headed out for a 3 hour ride yesterday, which he’s done before, and he knows well. He was home in less than 2.5 hours! I was pleasantly surprised, and he’s excited about the bike.

We had a wedding shower to go to on Saturday night, so Grandma Beverly offered to babysit mid-afternoon to give us a chance to hang out. Analise had a wonderful time playing at Grandma’s, as usual, and we relaxed at Barnes & Noble, browsing books about Alabama looking for fun things to do with the Hafflys when the come in just over a month (yeah!!!). Then we ventured to a new restaurant, Up the Creek Fish Camp and Grill. Brian said on the way in he wasn’t sure he was in the mood for fish, but there were so many options we eventually settled on sharing the Charbroiled Tilapia with Lobster Creole cream sauce. It was outstanding! Tilapia is very not-fishy tasting, the seasonings were great, and the cream sauce was the perfect touch. We also shared an appetizer platter of fried things – pickles, green tomatoes (neither of which I enjoy, but are AL specialties), shrimp, hush puppies and chicken tenders. It was a great meal! Then we headed to the shower for our friends Natalie and Shane, which was a great time to relax and catch up with friends. I had a great time, but I was so tired. Josiah was with us, but he slept nearly the whole time, including being passed around from one set of arms to another at the party.

Brian’s at work right now, I’m about to head off to fold some laundry, Josiah is asleep, and Analise is snacking next to me. I feel like we’re doing pretty good today:) This week is a little busy with dentist and doctor’s appointments, getting ready for VBS at church next week, and school for Analise on Wednesday. We’ll keep you posted, and hopefully, I’ll find some time in the next day or two to post a couple cute pictures from yesterday.

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The Honest Truth – after 4 weeks

7th July 2006

I’ll be truthful here. Adjusting to two kids is hard. I’m trying to take it moment by moment, and we are doing pretty good, I’d say. But it is overwhelming to be needed so much. That’s one thing about having kids… you have to give up so much of “you” and “your time”. It is definitely worth it, and as they get older, there’s more down time for you. But right now with the addition of #2 to our family, it feels like between the needs of the two of them and the daily needs of life (meals, dishes, laundry), there’s nothing left over for me. And when Brian is so sweet and offers to take care of them so I can go out and get coffee or whatever, I’d much rather nap, or I get caught up on other things I’ve got to do and before I know it, my window of opportunity to leave has disappeared. That’s the other thing I’d forgotten about having a newborn… there is NO multi-tasking when you have a floppy little baby nursing every 2 hours. You can just sit, snuggle your little one, and make mental lists of all the things you’d like to get done (like writing thank you notes and sending out baby announcements). And two hours later, you find yourself in the glider rocker again, nursing, and the list is the same. I know it’ll improve. I have to be honest, though, and say that adjusting to 2 is HARD. I’m surprised so many venture to have a #3 (or #4 or more!!! Amazing people…)! But then there are the quiet moments like I just had: Josiah dozing, snuggled in my arm, and Analise curled up next to us on the couch. It IS all worth it. Above photo:Our first photo of Analise holding Josiah. We got about 10 pictures, but this is as good as it gets. She was very gentle with him, but when she was done wanting to hold him, she just sort of let him go and sort of dropped him. Thankfully, he was resting on my leg, and I had my hand right there. Below photo: Snuggled up on the couch with my sweet little ones after the patriotic celebration at Brian’s parents church.

All in all, we’re doing pretty well. I’m tired, of course. The sleep deprivation is catching up to me. It wasn’t so bad at first, maybe because my body remembered it from not-too-long-ago with Analise. But we’ve been well taken care of. We’ve had friends from church bring us delicious meals a couple days of each week. Josiah’s 4 weeks old today! He’s awake more, with his sweet wide blue eyes. Analise is doing great. She’s learning to be patient with me when I have my hands full with Josiah, and I’m learning when I can set him down and help her. It’s a balancing act – literally! Below photo: A thoughful Josiah resting on my arm – his favorite place to rest – at the patriotic celebration.

One little side note I have to relate… today’s the first day in about 9 months that I’ve worn non-pregnant non-elastic waist pants:) Small victory, gotta celebrate it. I’m only 7 pounds over what I weighed when I got pregnant with Josiah (still a few more over where I was before A, but we’ll take things one step at a time). Below photo: Anlaise got a new (used) bed! A neighbor of a friend gave it to us. It’s in great condition, and it’s got a dollhouse/bookcase headboard. It’s low to the ground, and we’re hoping that by August or so, she’ll be ready to try sleeping in it. Here’s a picture just after we got it set up, as she’s invited “everyone” (stuffed animals and Josiah) to join her on the bed.

Ok, for the blog-reading faithful, as a reward for listing to my honesty, here’s some pictures of life in the Toone house. Slight disclaimer – they’re not the best, but I think most of you (particularly the far-away grandmas and grandpa!) don’t care and just want to see glimpses of the cute little ones. Below photos: Analise enjoying the baskets of clean laundry. She wanted Josiah to join her:) Lastly, we’re having a hard time keeping Josiah’s pacifier out of Analise’s hands. She thinks her stuffed animals – particularly Ernie – need something to suck on.

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Cycling Fun

6th July 2006

Kristine’s dad brought us a cool bike trailer when he came to visit us last week. So far we’ve gotten Analise it into twice. The first time she was shreiking because she didn’t want to wear her helmet even though she really really wanted to ride in the trailer. Today she was a little more compliant and wore her helmet so she got to enjoy a fun ride with me all the way to the grocery store. It’s about 1.5 miles each way with lots of hills. We had fun, but it was hard work pulling her up the hills. Analise was quiet most of the way to the grocery store, but then she had so much fun at the store I didn’t think I was going to be able to get her to leave. I bribed her with the promise of snacks and then she was quite talkative on the way home and had fun rearranging her bear beside her as we were riding.

Also, I went for a bike ride the other day and took a video of the climb up Shades Mountain which I do on my commute home from work. For some reason, the audio is “off-speed” so my voice sounds high pitch and a little bit fast. It’s too big of a file to download, but you can probably stream it using your broadband connection by clicking the picture below:

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Pacifier or Thumb?

3rd July 2006

This is my dilemma. It seems that both my babies are intense “suckers”. They need to suck to go to sleep and comfort themselves. Honestly, no offense to those who use them, but I just hate pacifiers. I don’t like how they look like a plug. But it takes a while for babies to learn to get their thumb in their mouths. Analise didn’t start sucking her own thumb until about a month or 6 weeks old. We tried a pacifier – in desperation – with her, but she would suck so hard it would just pop right out. We didn’t have the patience to keep putting it in, especially when we were trying to get some rest, too. She sucked on my pinky when she needed to, and eventually found her thumb.
Now, I know that thumb-sucking is a hard habit to break. I suppose we’ll deal with that down the road, and maybe I’ll change my opinion. But pacifiers seem so hard to keep track of and to keep clean (yes, thumbs are hard to keep clean too, but I feel somewhat less in control of keeping them clean… doesn’t make sense, but I can’t explain any better!).
But in desperation these past few days, I’ve been using a pacifier with Josiah. Thankfully, the hospital sent us home with 2. It’s definitely been needed, and I’m sort of resigning myself to him being addicted to it, though we have a “thumb sucking lesson” each day as I try to loosen his tight little fist to get his thumb free to suck. He prefers my finger to his. He’s grudgingly accepted the pacifier for the moment.
Anyway, the end of this story is kind of funny. (Besides the fact that God is teaching me not to make up my mind about how I’m going to do things ahead of time!) Yesterday, I found 2 tiny ants inside Josiah’s pacifier. GROSS. No idea where they came from, and it looks impossible to get in there. I’m baffled. Anyway, I wasn’t going to use it again, of course, and we had lost the other. We managed through the night, but today has been a struggle to get Josiah to comfort himself. Thankfully, Brian just came home with not one, not two, but three pacifiers. Guess we’re on board the pacifier boat for a while. I’ll keep you posted…

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3rd July 2006

Well, I started a blog on Thursday and again on Friday about how we’re managing on our own (since my mom left on Thursday – have I mentioned that yet? I can’t remember…), but most of it is null by now. There have been ups and downs, good moments and bad moments. Let’s just say that I’m praying often for grace and patience. It’s definitelyl easier when there are as many adults around as children… or more!
Josiah is as handsome as ever. I’d post pictures, but my brain is a little foggy right now, and I should go grab a quick nap. He has been awake more, which is nice, since we get to see his handsome blue eyes looking at us. But he’s had frequent tummy aches after eating, and I feel bad that I can’t make him feel better. He needs to burp for a good half an hour after eating, and I feel like it’s not leaving me with much time that he doesn’t need to be held. He also seems to be startling himself awake very easily. Today he’s not slept much at all, so I just tried swaddling him to see if that’ll help. At night, he’s very restless in his bassinett in our room, but he’s sleeping really well in the Boppy pillow or the swing. We’ll figure things out… I remember that we struggled a bit when Analise was about 3 weeks old, but adjusted pretty quickly. *fingers crossed* that the same happens here.
Ok, gonna go grab a rest, and maybe I’ll come back when I’ve got something fun – like pictures or a sweet/funny story – to relate.

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Hit and Run

1st July 2006

I was the victim of a hit and run accident on Friday on my way home from a meeting at Birmingham Southern. Fortunately, I’m OK. The first picture above shows what is left of my bike. The front fork was sheered in two cutting through the bicycle computer wire attached to the front wheel. Fortunately, I think I was airborne as soon as the car hit my front wheel and my leg may have hit the car with a glancing blow because it is the sorest part of my body. I did a complete flip as I saw the ground spin 360 degrees before landing flat on my back cushioned by a loaded backpack containing shoes and clothes from the meeting I had just been to at Birmingham Southern University. I also somehow managed to bruise both sides of my other leg which never came into contact with the car.

So what happened? That’s the second picture. I was riding my bike on Montevallo Rd heading south in the direction pointed by the green arrow. I was riding with the flow of traffic several feet from the shoulder as I had just passed through an intersection and wanted to be as visible as possible. (Note: if you ride too close to the shoulder, this reduces your visibility to motorists who are typically looking at the center of the traffic lane for cars.) The car which hit me was traveling north in the direction pointed by the red arrow. The yellow arrow indicates the entrance to a Shell gas station. This is where the accident occurred. The car traveling north must not have seen me or must have assumed that I was going to yield to him as he was making a left turn into a gas station. I don’t know. Judging by the angle and speed with which he was trying to enter the gas station, it was clear that he was trying to cut in front of me (or perhaps a car behind me?) to get into the gas station. I was going about 20mph and the car heading north was going possibly the same speed. I had no time to react. I didn’t even see him until his car was coming almost head on into me in my lane. I knew that he was going to hit me and there was absolutely nothing I could do but tuck and roll as soon as I was flying through the air. I remember several things very vividly about the moment of impact and the first 30 seconds afterwards:

  1. Seeing the driver and the car coming almost straight at me in my lane
  2. Hearing one or two people screaming close by in the parking lot of the gas station simultaneously …
  3. … as I was flying through the air and seeing horizontal flip through 360 degrees
  4. Being conscious and waiting for the moment of impact with the ground
  5. Assessing whether I was hurt instantly after impact with the ground
  6. Getting up almost immediately and approaching the car which hit me to find out what on earth had just happened
  7. The driver mouthing the word “sorry” through a closed window
  8. Finally and most importantly, 1D3303Y, the license plate number of the car as he drove off

The gas station was full of people, and three different people actually saw the whole thing. A young man and his mother (I think she may have been the one screaming) were first to reach me, and then another man named Paul who saw the accident dialed 911 and handed me the phone so I could give them the license plate number right as the guy was practically peeling out of the gas station. Paul stayed with me until the police came to make sure I was OK and to let me use his cell phone to call someone to come pick me up. He even called me later that evening to make sure I was OK. Paul, you are awesome. Thanks so much man!

When the police came, they took down all the information and said a hit-and-run detective should be contacting me shortly. The policewoman seemed to think that because I got the license plate number, they should be able to track down the person and hold him accountable for what he did.

I first called Kristine to let her know I was OK and to see if she could come pick me up, but she had never been to this part of Birmingham, and it wasn’t exactly easy to give instructions on how to get there. So she suggested I have my dad come pick me up. I called him and he came over, but by now it was rush hour traffic and it seemed like it was forever before he made it. Paul had already left, so I had to ask a couple people at the very busy gas station if I could borrow their phone to call and direct him how to get here in case he was lost. He made it and we made it home.

So right now I’m not sure if my bike is fixable. At first glance, it looks like at a minimum the front fork and front wheel (and bike computer) need replacing. That will cost at least $500. But the rest of the bike needs to be examined very carefully to make sure there aren’t any cracks or stress fractures caused by the impact with the car. My insurance company has already told me they won’t pay for any damages to my bike because “it’s not a vehicle and even if it was it would have to have its own policy.” I’m very disappointed with them, even if it is impressive how quickly they got back to me after we called them yesterday.

I got my Specialized Allez into working condition and rode it this morning. I felt pretty good, but cut the ride short when my left leg (the one that hit the car) started throbbing and feeling all the bumps in the road. Here’s some pictures from the ride.

View of Samford University from Hwy 31 at the
crest of Shades Mountain

View of Ruffner Mountain from the same spot

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