Sunday, May 29, 2011

Charlotte is 18 Weeks!

Charlotte had her four month check-up last week.  She weighs 11 lbs 8 oz and is 24.5 inches long.  That puts her in the 25th percentile for weight and the 50th percentile for height, which is where she's been since birth.  She had to have four shots, but she handled them like a champ.
At four months, Charlotte is rolling over, sitting with assistance, and bearing weight with her legs.  She has discovered her feet and loves to play with them.  She also loves toys.  Her favorite is a plush spaghetti pot (she's playing with it in the pictures).  She is very vocal and laughs, mostly at her sister.  Everything goes into her mouth:  toys, hands, clothing and blankies, Joey's hair.  She is drooling a lot.
The doctor gave us the go-ahead to start her on solids, but we're going to wait until closer to six months or until she's not satisfied with her regular feedings.  I'm not looking forward to those diapers.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jack and Jill

Today is Nursery Rhyme Day at Joey's school.  She decided that she wanted to be Jill of "Jack and Jill."  Soooo....I whipped up a white pillowcase dress, braided her hair, found a pail for her to carry, and tied a "bandage" around her head.  I took a little artistic license with the bandage because the nursery rhyme doesn't indicate that Jill was in any way harmed, but she did tumble down the hill.

Here is a video of Joey reciting "Jack and Jill."

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Opportunities to Help

This is compiled from the UA Dialog and other resources:

In the coming days, volunteers will be required to have credentials in order to access the affected areas.  This will allow volunteer resources to be adequately and efficiently dispersed based on need.  To register to volunteer as an individual or for a church or agency, call (205) 248-5045. 

The missing persons list can be found here.  Go to to report a missing person. To report a missing person or report the whereabouts of a missing person, call (205) 248-4616. 

To register storm damage, call FEMA Disaster Registration:  (800) 621-3362. 

Text "FOOD" to 27722 to donate $10 to West Alabama Food Bank.  Your donation stays local.

The official Tuscaloosa Volunteer Coordinator is LaDonna Roberts. Call (205) 248-5045 for organized efforts.

To register to volunteer to help storm victims in Alabama call 211 (in-state) or (888) 421-1266 (out-of-state).
Temporary Emergency Services will need volunteers all week.  TES is at 15th Street and Queen City, across from Annette Shelby Park.  Volunteers are needed to help sort donations.  If you have a Truck or SUV, please come to help load and distribute items to those in affected areas.

Individuals wishing to volunteer can report to St. Mathias Episcopal Church on Skyland for instructions on where to volunteer and what volunteer needs are available. The general number for volunteers who want to pitch in on the recovery effort is (205) 561-4169. 

One of Tuscaloosa's biggest needs is Spanish translators. Call (205) 248-5045 if you can help.

Compassionate Coalition needs volunteers for debris cleanup, help filling out insurance and FEMA paperwork for elderly, disabled and low-income people.  (205) 561-4169 or (205) 349-2797

Need Help?
Samaritian’s Purse is doing free debris removal and putting tarps on people’s homes. This is being coordinated at First Baptist Church and services are all free. The contact number is (205) 345-7554.

Tide Loads For Hope is at University Mall.  Storm victims may wash two loads per day per family.

Duracell is at University Mall to charge electronics.

Home Depot is giving away plastic bins for those who need to vacate their homes.  

Elderly or disabled tornado victims, contact: Beth Blaylock (205) 292-3167

Dr. Canant on Watermelon Road is treating animals injured in the storm for free.

West Alabama Food Bank, 3160 McFarland Blvd., Northport, has comfort care kits available for pick-up and is accepting them for donation. 

Medical Professionals 
Nurses are needed in Alberta City.  Please go to Leland Lanes.
If you are a medical professional, please contact DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa or go there with your license to offer assistance (205) 759-7111.

Licensed Mental Health practitioners can call Valerie Cole at the national Red Cross office, or email at, or (202) 303-8621.  She will make connections and assignments directly. She is dealing with national scope, so be sure to tell her you are in Tuscaloosa or Birmingham.
Shelter Needs
St. Mark United Methodist Church, 1421 McFarland Blvd., Northport, (205) 339-5990  
Needs: nonperishable food, clothes, volunteers with medical experience.

Red Cross, Belk Activity Center, Bowers Park
Needs: clothes, towels, washcloths and socks.

Ramada Tuscaloosa, 631 Skyland Blvd., (205) 759-4431
Needs: water, diapers, wipes, clothes, blankets, towels, non-perishable items.

Other Donation Needs
United Way of West Alabama, 2720 Sixth St. No. 100, between Lurleen Wallace Boulevard and Capitol Park (205) 345-6640
Accepting: nonperishable food items, all clothes, tarps (blue or black), ladies’ hygiene products (to be distributed by the Red Cross), donations by credit card at (100% stays local).

West Alabama Food Bank, 3160 McFarland Blvd., Northport 

Accepting:  comfort care kits. Text "FOOD" to 27722 to donate $10 to West Alabama Food Bank.
West Alabama Chamber Foundation Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce, is accepting tax-deductible donations. Checks can be written to Tuscaloosa Disaster Relief Fund and sent to P.O. Box 020410, Tuscaloosa, AL 35402.  Call (205) 758-7588 for more information.

FoodPARA, Snow Hinton Park, corner of McFarland and Hargrove 
Accepting:  ready to serve food 

American Red Cross numbers for help or donations (205) 827-2681, (205) 827-3113, (205) 619-7181. All money stays local.
Imagination Station Child Development Center, 400 McFarland Blvd behind the Northport Diner, (205) 886-5611
Accepting:  backpacks, folders, crayons, paper, girls and boys socks and underwear. 
Victory Christian Academy, Columbus, MS
Accepting:  bottled water, toiletries, diapers of all sizes, hand santizer, pillows, blankets, baby food, baby formula, baby bottles, Tylenol (children and adult), and cash (make sure you tell the office it's for tornado victims).
Image Makers, 2518 University Blvd. (205) 366-1986. Official dropoff station for United Way.
Accepting: personal items, snacks, pillows, bottled water, blankets, nonperishable foods.

Valley View Baptist Church, 8820 Alabama Highway 69 S., (205)752-0977
Accepting: clothes, cash to be distributed by State Baptist Disaster Relief.
Alabama Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Agency,
Accepting: Money for local relief and rebuilding churches.
Capstone Church, 1907 University Blvd., (205) 366-1581 
Accepting: nonperishable foods, water, diapers, baby food.
Tuscaloosa Academy, 420 Rice Valley Rd. N.
Accepting: clothing.

Mellow Mushroom 
Accepting:  non-perishable food items, bottled water and hygiene products for tornado victims.
Tuscaloosa Flower Shoppe, 2208 University Blvd, (205) 758-3065. 
Accepting: water, canned goods, diapers, children's clothing, etc.  Drop off between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

TourismCARES, 1305 Greensboro Avenue

Accepting:  canned goods, money, clothes, etc. They are working with the local Red Cross and United Way.

Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter needs pet food, newspaper, blankets, towels, cat litter and volunteers.  Take Joe Malisham Parkway to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, which crosses 35th street.

The Humane Society needs leashes, pet food and foster homes. Call (205) 339-3331 for more info or go to 3201 Main Ave. in Northport.
Childcare for Volunteers
Calvary Baptist has provided emergency childcare for volunteer workers and also people in desperate need.  Check with them if you need childcare.  If you bring an infant, please bring formula, diapers, and wipes.  Food for all other ages is provided.

Blood Donations

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers will be collecting blood at NorthRidge Fitness Monday - Friday from 10:00am - 6:00pm. Donors must be at least 16 years old (16-year-olds must have parental consent), weigh 110 lbs, and show a photo I.D. For questions or more information, call (205) 943-6000.
UA interim, summer and fall classes will begin as scheduled.  All summer youth programs will begin as scheduled.  Out-of-state students in need of housing call (205) 345-7559.
The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama is setting up multiple emergency business assistance centers in Tuscaloosa for businesses that have been displaced or have issues stemming from the storm. Businesses should call Stacey Gann with the chamber at (205) 758-7588 for a needs assessment and placement.  The centers include free phone and internet service, computer usage and basic office essentials.

Businesses in need of warehouse or storage space should call the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority at (205) 349-1414.

Some of this information may be out-dated.  Please let me know if you know of something that should be added or removed.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Joey Recites The Pledge


Charlotte and I volunteered at Temporary Emergency Services this morning for as long as she could stand.  The amount of donations rolling in is staggering.  They need your help if you are looking for a place to volunteer.

Toiletries are needed.  Think about what you use on a daily basis.  Those are great items to donate.

NEW underwear for all sizes and genders:  toddlers, children, adults.

Diapers, wipes, baby food, formula.  Any baby item.  Let's keep those babies happy. 

If you make a donation, your generosity is appreciated, but PLEASE:
Sort and label the items you are donating.  This helps get your items to the victims more quickly.
Do not donate old underwear.  Nobody wants it.  Seriously.
Donate clothing that is in season.  A winter coat will not do any good in 80 degree weather.

Visit for donation drop-off points
Call 211 (within Alabama) if you are looking for a place to volunteer.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Help Tuscaloosa

As many of you know, a devastating tornado tore through the Southeast on Wednesday, April 27, and decimated highly populated areas of Tuscaloosa.  Entire neighborhoods have been reduced to rubble and sadly, this was a very deadly storm and the death toll, right now at 39, may still rise.  More than 1,000 people were injured and 458 are still missing.  My family is fine; our area was untouched by the storm.  But so many survivors have lost their homes and all of their possessions.

This disaster has shown how awesome Tuscaloosans and our neighbors are; the number of volunteers is so overwhelming that some are being turned away.  The community has a long road ahead and there will be a need for volunteers and supplies for some time.  If you are in Alabama and would like to volunteer, call 211 for more information.

Items are needed immediately for victims and volunteers.  Some of you are far away, but if you would like to make a donation, I can provide you with contact information for reputable organizations.  I can also accept any donations to deliver to the appropriate places.

These are some things that are needed:

Bottled water, non-perishable food, can openers

Baby Products:  diapers, wipes, baby formula, bottles, pacifiers, blankets, clothing

Personal Hygiene and Health Care:  toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, lip balm, feminine products, sunscreen, bandages, medicines, etc.

Clothing:  all sizes, socks, new underwear

Bedding, towels, washcloths


Monetary donations are also needed.  You can text "FOOD" to 27722 to donate $10 to the West Alabama Food Bank.  Text 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross.  Make a donation via credit card to the United Way of West Alabama.  Send gift cards for victims:  Target, Lowes, Home Depot, department stores, etc.

Any help will be sincerely appreciated by the Tuscaloosa community.

Links from The Tuscaloosa News:
Want to help?
Before/after satellite photos
The storm's path

Tiny Dancer

This girl loves to dance!


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