Thursday, May 27, 2010

More Zoo

Here's the rest of what went down at the Zoo the other day:

The Wolves.  Check out this guy's horrible underbite, which I didn't even notice until I looked at the photo at home:


Frolicking in the Old Faithful replica:

Naked old men.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Feeding the Birds

The Zoo had a members-only-feed-the-birds-for-free event this past weekend.  Free being the operative word, the Chockleys were in.

Once they figured out that the goal was NOT to BANG on the birds with the feeding stick, things went pretty smoothly.  They got pretty good at the slow and steady movements required to attract and keep the birds on their sticks. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Coach Pitch

It's baseball time again, except this time the ball isn't resting oddly on a plastic contraption-- it's being THROWN AT Connor.  (A girl from last year's T-ball team said "Oh, no-- I'm not playing next year if they're going to be THROWING THINGS at me.)

Connor is getting pretty good-- a couple of hits, and some good fielding at shortstop.  I don't think baseball will replace basketball as his favorite sport, but if he happens to get good and make me rich as a baseball player, I'm all for it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I'm sorry, but I've just been around too many cute babies lately. I can't keep these pictures to myself! Meet Jackson, who had me eating out of the palm of his hand within minutes of our first introduction. Thanks for your hospitality!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More About Maisy

Maisy was due on May 3. That day came and went with little or no fanfare, as Carrie was stuck on bed rest and really not allowed to get excited. By the end of that week, Shannon and Carrie had a house full of grandparents-to-be, a mild case of pre-eclampsia, and instructions to either go into labor over the weekend or show up Monday for an induction.

So they spent all of Monday, May 10, in the hospital, with Carrie pumped full of pitocin but not making much progress at all. Apparently the baby was too big to really move down the birth canal. She just sat there, in absolutely no hurry at all to come out. They finally gave up and sliced Carrie open. Maisy was so big that they had to use the vacuum thing to pull her out, despite the easy access afforded by the C-section. She was 22 inches in length, and a robust 10 lbs, 6 oz. I'm starting to think they miscalculated the due date, and that Maisy should have come out sometime in March.

That Monday, while family and friends in Memphis waited (not so) patiently by the phone, I got a text from Carrie's best friend, Dee. She was coming out of her skin, and about ready to hop in the car and drive up there. "I'm going up Friday," I replied. "Come with me!" She texted back to say that she was in, and a girls' road trip was quickly planned. I'm so glad I had Dee to keep me company- that trip is about 750 miles each way! We drove up Friday, fought over who got to hold the baby for the next 24 hours or so, then got up early Sunday morning to come home. My butt was numb by the time Sunday evening rolled around, but it was totally worth it!

Can't wait to see Maisy, Carrie and Shannon again soon. We love you and miss you!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ten Spares

It's an oddity.  Not really an impressive game, but getting a spare in every frame of Wii Bowling is just... weird.  Did you know that if you get ten spares, you STILL don't break 200?  Anyway, here's how three generations of Chockleys throw it down.

 Good form.

 Nine frames of spares down, so the tenth is crucial.  Takes the brainpower of two Chockleys to map out the final pickup.

 The windup.

 The anticipation.

Ass kickery.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Competitive Connor

Connor is not what you would call a "good sport" or "humble" or "someone who can handle it when he's wrong/he loses/he doesn't know somethng." I firmly believe you have to teach your kids what they are and are not good at, and how to be comfortable with both, in order for them to have a healthy self esteem. We're, uh, working on it. But sometimes I just have to laugh.

Last year I bought Connor a Mother's Day-themed shirt with a big foam finger that says "Mom's #1 Fan!" He told me it was stupid (it is) but wore it on Mother's Day anyway. This year I passed it down to Chloe (the fact that it fits her is another story altogether) and Connor was incensed.
"So you mean now I'm not the #1 fan? I don't want to be your #2 fan! She can't have that shirt."

A few days ago I had a last-minute wardrobe change before work. On the drive in, I suddenly realized that perhaps my brightly-colored undergarments might have needed a change too. When we got out of the car, I turned to Connor in desperation.
"Son, can you see my underwear?"
He looked kind of confused, so I tried to clarify.
"Can you tell what color it is when you look at me?"
Never wanting to admit defeat, even when it's the desired response, Connor quickly guessed, "Uh, pink?"

Tuesday morning I got the kids together to tell them the news that their cousin had been born overnight. In order to give them some context for her amazing size, I explained to them that a lot of babies are maybe around seven pounds, but not my two. Connor was almost nine pounds at birth, and everyone said, "What a big baby!" Then Chloe was born, weighing more than nine pounds, and everyone said, "That's REALLY a big baby!" Then I went on to explain that Maisy is almost ten and a half pounds! And that she has a bunch of dark hair, and big cheeks like Chloe, etc etc. Chloe was appropriately charmed, and oohed and aahed about how she can't wait to meet Miss Maisy. Then I noticed Connor was looking at Chloe in disbelief. His response to the big news?
"So you're telling me that she," (pointing at Chloe), "was bigger than I was? No way. No way she was bigger. I'm totally bigger than she is. You're crazy."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Last weekend we went to Nashville to celebrate Mother's Day and Chip's birthday. It seemed a weird place to do any celebrating, considering the death and destruction caused by the recent floods. Fortunately my in-laws were spared any damage, and that in itself was something to celebrate.

My in-laws live in a very hilly neighborhood. While their street became a river for a while during the storms, no one really had to worry about flooding inside their homes, which are mostly up the hills on higher ground. Unfortunately, they did have to worry about falling trees and mudslides.

Several of their neighbors had significant tree damage. One woman had recently completed a large renovation project on her house. In the blink of an eye, all that work was lost as a tree crushed her kitchen, garage, and two cars.

Another family in the neighborhood- early 30s, with a one-year-old son- had their house knocked right off its foundation by a massive mudslide. From the street, it didn't look like anything had happened. But if you ventured up their steep driveway and into their backyard, you could see the devastation. While we were nosing around and taking pictures, someone from the power company showed up to shut off their power. "This house is coming down," he said. The family and their furniture were gone, but I doubt their mortgage is.

We saw a lot more scenes like this in the little bit of driving around we did. It is going to be a LONG time before Nashville is back to normal. Don't forget about them, folks.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Baby girl was born at 11:46 p.m. (eastern time), clocking in at a whopping 22 inches and 10 pounds 6 ounces!

I plan to take 40 gazillion pictures when I get up there this weekend, then post EVERY ONE of them here. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Party at the Palmers

Team Chockley almost drove each other nuts cooped in the house this rainy weekend. But we made it, all of us single-minded in our ultimate goal: Charlie's Birthday Party, 3:00 Sunday afternoon.

Charlie's adorable brother, Henry. Beth and I stopped birthin' 'em in 2006, but crazy Cathy kept going.

Charlie's awesome cake. Seriously y'all, Costco knows how to make a birthday cake that feeds a million people, is affordable, and tastes awesome. (For the record, Connor couldn't be bothered to eat non-chocolate cake.)

My kids spent most of their time playing soccer in the carport (interspersed with begging me and Chip to play soccer in the carport). They had a lot of energy to run off!

The birthday boy. I appreciated his approach to opening gifts- he took the gift from each guest as they arrived, then immediately dropped to the floor and ripped it open. That's how it should be done!


Here's hoping all your wishes come true, Charlie! Happy birthday big boy!