Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Highlights Part 1

Yes, we survived Christmas-just in case anyone was starting to wonder. It wipes me out, but it was so much fun. We have really been enjoying this week-Steven has been home most of it and we all love that. Also, I have pretty much been eating non-stop since the week before Christmas. Just kidding. (Kind of) I have hit the gym and it hit me back. I seriously had some trouble sleeping last night because I was so sore. I guess that's what happens when you do nothing for an entire month.

Here are some highlights in pictures from my mom's camera. I will be back with the ones from mine.

After the Christmas Eve service

One present on Christmas Eve

Ellie is the fastest, then Luke, and well, Ada wants to do it all by herself so it was awhile before she saw hers. But she does not care. It will be done by herself.

She was determined to put on her nightgown by herself as well.
It was a Toy Story kind of Christmas!

The cousins had a Christmas Eve feast of macaroni 'n' cheese, mandarin oranges, and milk.

Well, okay, one more gift.

Trying out the hand on the hip pose. Can't do it without laughing.

Will be back soon...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A LOT Like Christmas

I know it's a little late to be changing up the blog for the holidays, but just go with it, please. That's kind of how things are going around here. Lots of last minute Christmas decorations, but I will have them up, even if only for Christmas day. It's looking festive around here, though, I have to say.

We are rapidly checking things off our list and adding a few things that definitely weren't on the list. And by that I mean another trip to the emergency room last night. Not for Andrew, but for Ellie. She fell down my parents hardwood stairs from close to the top, and landed (more like thrown) into a table at the bottom. With her head. So hard that it knocked the leg crooked. I was in the kitchen and heard it and knew immediately what I was hearing. There is no sound like it. I just wasn't sure if it was Ellie or Luke. Luke was at the top and was the only one who saw the entire thing. He was crying with his hands over his ears. I felt like doing the same thing, but obviously that wasn't what Ellie needed from her mom at that point. Her mouth was bleeding terribly. Really busted up lip. She was doing okay and acting fairly normal, except that about 15 min. after the fall, she curled up on my lap and fell asleep. Extremely unusual. So Steven called a doctor in our church and he said to be on the safe side, we should probably take her in. So we ended up at the ER having a CT scan. She was a brave girl. I think the whole thing really shook her up, though. She told me quite a bit throughout the night, "I love you so, so much, mom" It almost makes me cry to type it. So you just never know. An hour before we were eating pizza and enjoying a fire my dad had just made. Okay, that was last night.

Back to Christmas stuff. I will go in the order of the events.

Happy Birthday to Jesus at church last Sunday.

The children sang a precious song and did sign language for the chorus. You should have seen the parents (and the grandparents) and the camcorders.

This was just one day last week at mom's house. If mom's camera is around and Andrew is too, I'm probably going to be snapping pictures. Especially with this outfit. His shirt says
"snow cool".

These are some teacher gifts. This just about did me in. But I have recovered and am now ready to bake and make some more! This is peanut butter fudge from my friend Esther (thanks, Esther!) and it is the best and easiest to make. You don't have to use a candy thermometer. With three children, who in the world has time for that? I certainly did not have time for the peppermint cookies. You have to make the dough, then half it and add a lot of red food coloring to one half. Then roll it into a rectangle. The invert one on top of the other. Then roll that up. Then freeze for 4 hours. Then slice them and bake. Then make the icing to go in between. Then find celophane (sp?)-good luck with that-(my mom had some). And tie them up (which takes two people). See what I mean? Not worth it.

Now we're at Ellie and Luke's Christmas program at school. This brought out cameras and camcorders like never before. See Luke? See the little girl next to him? She is sobbing and running to her mom. So funny! You can't win 'em all.

Ellie is the angel on the far left. Have I mentioned that I went to this same school? We had a Christmas program then too-complete with Mary and Joseph, of course. I remember wanting to be Mary so badly. Then the next year, my sister, Laura Beth, got to be Mary. I thought she was so lucky. I think Ellie shared the same feelings about the role of Mary.
Can you spot Luke?

After the program with some of our best buddies from church.

These two are hilarious. Ella Rose came over to play the other night. I wish you could hear some of their conversations.
Okay, this next part should probably be its own post, but I am just going to keep right on going. Sarah's graduation was on Friday and I had been planning on going for awhile. She decided not to walk, but I so still wanted the trip to Auburn. Steven hung out with the boys for a night (woohoo for his first night with Andrew-even though he did call me after midnight to ask what to do with Andrew because he woke up) And Ellie and I went to visit Sarah. I didn't get a very good Auburn fix at all. (We got there late, and it was raining the next day). I did however, get to visit with some dear friends who I have known since childhood. The Baldwins moved to town when I was little (not really sure-feels like forever). Hope was a year older than me (in school) and Joy was a year younger than LB. We pretty much all shared our childhood (and all childhood toys). We have many of the same fond memories-especially at Christmas. So now we are grown with little girls of our own (and some little boys :) On Friday it seemed Ellie and Anna Beth picked up right where Hope and I left off.

Busy, busy.

I love, love, love Hope's house. She lives out on a country road right down the hill from her mom's house (which I love equally as much). There are animals, a pond, swings on all the porches, a garden every summer. I think Ellie and Anna Beth hit it off because they are both girl through and through. Here is Anna Beth's pink room with pink ribbon on her tree. (Can you see the white picket fence and the porch through the window?)

I think Hope is about to go crazy in her kitchen. (It's a temporary living situation) No dishwasher, not much cabinet space or counter space. And I completely feel her pain. But isn't it adorable?

And speaking of adorable...this is Charlie. His eyes are way bluer in person. The picture doesn't do them justice.
We sat inside and chatted and ate and baked cookies while it rained and poured outside. Then I went to her mom's house and took a nap with Ellie. When I woke up she had made a fresh pot of coffee and sat me down on the couch while we waited for Ellie to wake up. The day was heavenly and food for my soul. Thank you both, if you are reading this. Let's do it again!

And finally...our tree. The more I look at it, the more I realize how tilted it is. Oh well.
And the mantle. I decided to display our Christmas cards this way rather than the normal stack on the counter. So much better, don't you think? (I used decorative ornament hooks I found at Wal-Mart). See Ellie's pink stocking? Luke's is on the other end. I need to get a better picture of it. And I added one in the middle for Andrew, even though it will be empty on Christmas morning. Bless him.

It is almost midnight!!! I usually go to bed at about 9:30. I am feeling a little panicked. We have friends coming over tomorrow to decorate sugar cookies. Gotta go!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Since Last Time...

*Sorry to the fam-this post comes with no pictures"

What have we been doing around here since the Froot Loop garland, you wonder? Everything it seems. Christmas just comes in like a whirwind and all of a sudden it is here. I really do love it. The baking, the decorating, the gifts, the Christmas cards, the baking :) However, I am feeling the pressure this year more than ever to make it fun for my children.

Do you make gingerbread houses? I bought a kit-it was 5 miniature houses. I haven't done one in years. I made a big hype about doing the gingerbread houses to them. Fun activity, right? Okay, not really for kids. Especially the miniature ones. The little sprinkles and the tiny walls were hard for me to handle. Kind of a flop. I found myself up late one night piping out miniature little windows and itty-bitty chimneys. I guess it wasn't a total flop though, because the next morning Ellie says "Oh mom, I love it!

What else have we done?

-About half the Christmas cards are addressed. Stamps purchased, but are not on the cards. And not licked. Hate that part. Yes, I use a wet paper towel and wipe them, but I still hate it!

-Andrew's bandages are off. I hated that even more than licking the stamps. It was awful. Steven had to hold his arms above his head while the doctor slowly and carefully cut away the gauze while Andrew screamed and looked at me like, "what in the world, mom?". It made me nauseous. But I'm happy to report he is doing much better now. And we no longer have to worry about clogged catheters.

-Christmas tree is up. It took about three trips to Home Depot before we finally brought it home. (They kept having a very poor selection.) We finally just picked one. It is a little slanted, but beautiful, nonetheless. Everything is on it except for all the gold balls. (We ran out of hooks)

-We put those little candles in all our windows. Steven broke one, Ellie broke another.

-Andrew is officially crawling. This takes us to an entirely new phase of making sure he doesn't put stuff in his mouth. As I am typing, he is holding two smarties wrappers and just ate a leftover smartie that he found. He seems to really like it. I have also found a Barbie shoe, a play nickel, and a tiny little rubberband in his mouth. And today he was holding a ladybug in his hand.

We haven't done this yet, but we are about to take all THREE to mom's house so that Steven and I can go to our young married class's progressive dinner tonight. They are all spending the night with her. This is my first night away from Andrew ever. I hate to say "what a treat!" But, What a Treat!

I pray you are enjoying this Christmas season. Are you enjoying beautiful Christmas music? I hear such powerful words of hope and of the gospel playing in stores, restaurants, and other public places. And I find it so sad and ironic that people are walking around literally hearing the one message-the only message that they so desperately need to hear, and they don't even know it.
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny,
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow, One more hospital visit, and Froot Loop Garland

We woke up to a little surprise this morning. Just a little dusting. And it was gone just a few hours later.

Speaking of surprises, on Thursday night at about 11:30, Andrew woke up screaming a little harder than usual. After several minutes, it occurred to me that I should check to make sure his catheter wasn't caught, or pulling or something. It wasn't. However, his diaper was completely dry-the same one I had put on him at 6:00. And he had nursed a few times since then. His catheter wasn't draining. So....I basically panicked and yelled for Steven to call an emergency number.

Sidenote: After I had Ellie I had to wear a catheter for 2 weeks because my bladder was swollen shut from pushing for three hours. I know. Fun, huh? After the first week, I went to the doctor and they took it out and sent me home. I was still not able to go on my own, so after a few hours and extreme discomfort I had to go to the emergency room to have another one put in. So, Thurs. night I was having flashbacks and could feel his pain.

We called mom and dad, they rushed over and we RUSHED back to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, he was fairly calm and once they got us back to the room, I took off his diaper to look at it. I could see something at the tip of the catheter, and started trying to get it out myself. (very sanitary) I easily got whatever it was out. Immediately, a little drip, drip, drip returned. So thankful, but couldn't believe we were going to pay $300 for something I fixed myself. We got back home at about 2:30.

Because of all the hospital/surgery events of the past week, we're a little behind on our Christmas decorations. But thanks to mom, Ellie and Luke are ready. She bought them each a little frasier fir for their rooms. ($15 at Wal-Mart) Today we made a little something to add to the trees.

A box of these...

A piece of this...

A few bites along the way...

And ta-da!
Who doesn't love a Froot Loop garland?

You can't beat it. Cheap. Easy. And the kids loved doing it.

And here are their trees. Ellie picked colored lights. Luke picked blue.

They need a little more work. I would like to try some popcorn garland, but I think you have to use a needle and thread. So that would just be a project for me.

I feel a little worn out already from the decorating. Can I call the two mini-trees a decorated house and be done?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Andrew's Surgery

I really don't have much blogtime right now. I have a mile long to-do list and can't even really get to it because Andrew requires some extra attention right now. But I did want to report on Andrew's surgery.

Everything went very smoothly. After we shipped Ellie and Luke off to my parents house on Monday night, Steven and I tried to make ourselves go to bed early because we had to be up at the wee hour of 4:00 on Tues. morning (in order to leave the house @ 4:30). Andrew's surgery was scheduled to begin at 7:30 and we were told to be at the hospital at 5:30. Andrew slept the last 15 min. of our trip to the hospital, but after that was awake up until they took him back to surgery. That was one of the main things I was dreading-all of the wait time with an empty stomach and not much sleep. But he did surprisingly well and after about an hour and a half of walking him up and down the hall, and about 30 min. in the pre-op room, the nurse carried him off. :( Not fun, but really, that was a blessing, because he was starting to get pretty miserable by that point.

I continue to be impressed with the children's center at the hospital there. The doctors and nurses were very thorough in explaining exactly what would happen after they took him back. And pretty much the first thing they said would happen was knocking him out. Before they tried to get an IV in him!! So glad to hear that.

So then we just waited, but with several updates from the nurse throughout the surgery-which ended up being about 2 1/2 hours. Everything went as planned and then I was able to go back to recovery and see him. Soooo good to see him and hold him. He was very groggy and hungry. They let me nurse him right away and he fell fast asleep. He had a shot for pain that numbed him from about his waist to his thighs (kind of like an epidural :). So they informed me he wasn't in any pain at that point, just feeling yucky from the anesthesia.

It really didn't take long for us to leave after that point. They give us medication instructions and took his IV out and we were set.

We were at home by about 2:00. Not bad. They told us he would be pretty sore and grumpy and they were right. The first time I opened his diaper, it made me a little nauseous. It looked ROUGH. He has a catheter in that he will wear for a week. It comes out the top of his diaper and goes into another larger diaper to collect his tee-tee. A little difficult to change, especially now that he is feeling a lot better and tries to grab the catheter.

Alright, so these are a lot of details-sorry, but some of this blog is for my records. I forgot my camera, so mom brought hers. Mom and Dad came to the hospital after they got Ellie and Luke off to school and then they headed off to Auburn for Sarah's senior show. {Congratulations, Sarah! She's almost an Auburn alum.}

Right after I nursed him. O-U-T

Kinda nice to hold him while he sleeps. Don't ever get to do that anymore. Notice his little hospital gown. Awww.

His little IV band-aid and gauze.
Getting a little juice from our friend, Lanna. She so kindly came and brought Steven and myself plenty of Starbucks treats. (Remember what time we got up?)

Because mom and dad were in Auburn, Ellie and Luke spent the second night with some of our dear friends from church. They had their first Chuck E. Cheese experience and apparently loved it.

So last night was our church's Christmas dinner. I didn't think I would be attending this year, but mom graciously insisted that I go and she stay with Andrew. She also sent me with her new camera.

We love our church family. So grateful for them! Here are some highlights from the night. Thanks mom, for letting me go.

Beautiful tables.

Ellie and Luke obviously enjoyed it!

Ellie loves these girls. Aren't they cute? And so sweet.

I have a few more things I could tell you, but you probably don't care (that is if you are still reading at this point) and this post has taken me FORever. So hope to be back soon with pictures of a house decorated for Christmas (we're about halfway there).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

With a Grateful Heart,,,

We "celebrated" or ate our Thanksgiving meal last night because Sarah and Kate left today to go back to Auburn for the Iron Bowl. I'm afraid that game will not be something for Auburn fans to be thankful for. (Not trying to be negative, just realistic, although I would love to be wrong about this.)

Our meal truly was a feast enjoyed by all.

I have some more things to blog about involving Andrew's upcoming surgery. Nothing scary-they tell us it is a simple procedure. He has hypospadias. It has to do with his urethra not being fully developed. I will let you look that up for yourself if you like, but careful, you may pull up some pictures you don't want to see. The surgery will be very early Tuesday morning. We spent the better part of the last two days at the lab in Huntsville trying to get a urine sample from him. Not fun. Anyway, I will be back with lots more on this event.

As for today, it is Thanksgiving and God's Word tells us that in all things we are to give thanks. I pray that I will always have a grateful heart. For now, it seems to be fairly easy because the Lord has blessed me and my family so very abundantly. I pray that when the trials come, I may be found faithful in those.

Have you ever read Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation? I heard part of it on Moody radio today. I looked it up. You should too. Right here. It's amazing. A sad reminder of how far our country has strayed from the ideals and values of the Godly men who once led this nation.

If I don't return before Tuesday, please say a prayer for my baby boy (and Steven and me). I'm sure he'll be fine, but I am not looking forward to them taking him away into surgery. :(