Saturday, January 26, 2008

North Carolina

Nick and I made a pact with each other that we would take the kids to see snow this year. We have done this in all the years previous and some how Disney World seemed to suffice each time. This year *I* was more adamant about wanting to go too. I really wanted to go tubing and just be in cold weather in general. We usually take a yearly trip up to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, but this year decided to do something different.

My parents made the trip with us in a separate vehicle. They were making a stop in VA first to drop off some stuff at their vacation house. We split our drive on the way there so it wasn't so hard on the kids. We made it to Asheville, NC and stayed in a Hotel. We woke up leisurely on Friday morning and made our 2 hour trek to the cabin. I have to say splitting it up was nice, but getting back on the road for 2 more hours sucked. For me and the girls. Isabella's famous lines were of course " are we there much longer...this is taking forever". Over all the girls were really good. They watched movies, we danced, sang songs.

We arrived at the cabin and it was beautiful, up a steep mountain (which is my least favorite about getting there). The first thing we did was get into the Jacuzzi. My parents were about 4 hours behind us and we just lounged around and waited for them.

Me and the girls went out on the back porch for a quick swing. It was so cold, and we were all sharing a Dora blanket.

The master bedroom had a HUGE bathtub in it, like for 6 people. I swear the water runs different in NC than in FL cause Abby was enamored with the flow. Excuse the messy face.

We headed up to Hawksnest Mountain and went tubing. It was so much fun. Isabella loved the snow.

The "Angry Dwarf" was not so much impressed. She kept saying "I go in my carseat"

The many faces of Bella. She may or may not have just eaten some snow here :)

Abby was trying to hide her smile here...haha. She did refuse to wear a jacket for a little bit. She had on 3 shirts though so she was OK for a while.

Abby did warm up to the snow the next morning....briefly looked at it, touched it and went back inside.

I am not for certain who that is on that little tube down there, but I am sure it is someone from my family. Abby was not allowed on the tubes cause she was not 3. I really thought they were OVER priced too. It was $75.00 for 3 of us and we had a time frame that lasted for 1 hour and 45 min. Kinda silly huh.

The next morning we went for a hike up to Linville falls and it was breathtakingly beautiful. Poor Nick had to carry Abby the whole way up and down. She was being very cantankerous.

The loves of my life.

This is Randall and McNally. The *earned* these names too. Even with the help of a map and GPS they still managed to get us lost.

Our cabin. It was 3 stories and so comfortable. There was so much room for everyone and we never got in eachothers way . We will be back.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A post for Susan and her battle with IBC.

Thank You Lisa for posting about Susan.

When another woman suffers, I feel like I suffer from not being informed. I like to know what other woman's battles are. I do this so I can offer support, love, prayers, hope. What everyone needs when fighting for their life. They need a line of women surrounding them, pushing them, when each one differently can offer some words to get her through the day. Knowing the signs and symptoms could save your own life, or that of a loved one. We have the power as women to make a change, a difference.

Susan at Toddler Planet. Susan is a mom like all of us. She has two little guys that keep her busy and a husband she loves. Unfortunately Susan also has inflamatory breast cancer, an aggressive and often deadly breast cancer, and just underwent a double masectomy. Susan is a brave, brave woman who has so much to fight for, and a wonderful outlook on her battle. Do I know Susan personally? No. But I think we all know Susan in a sense. We know what it's like to be a Mommy and to love our kids like nothing in the world. To cherish all of those moments we have with them. We know that we want to watch our babies go to kindergarten, we want to help them recover from their first broken heart, watch them walk down the aisle, and watch them welcome their own babies into the world.
If you go to Susan's blog she has a link to Team WhyMommy. There she shares her story. She also asks for people to post it. To spread the word. If you are so inclined, "steal" Susan's post and help share her story. Please read on and learn more about the disease. And please pray for Susan.

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

P.S. Feel free to steal this post too. I’d be happy for anyone in the blogosphere to take it and put it on their site, no questions asked. Dress it up, dress it down, let it run around the place barefoot. I don’t care. But I want the word to get out. I don’t want another young mom — or old man — or anyone in between — to have to stare at this thing on their chest and wonder, is it mastitis? Is it a rash? Am I overreacting? This cancer moves FAST, and early detection and treatment is critical for survival.Thank you.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Go ask your dad...

I swear I have said this a million times this weekend. When Nick is home I just love to send the girls to him with their silly questions. Ones that I answer 100x a day. I just need to not think sometimes and veg out. This weekend was one of them. I think Nick caught on today.

Isabella: Mom, can I please go to Libby Lu's and get a Hannah Montana make-over again? I promise to take care of the wig this time.
Me: Go ask your dad.

Abigail: Mommy, where my shooooes at?
Me: Go ask your dad

Isabella: Mom, can I have a sleep over? I wanna invite 4 girls from school, well actually I already invited them. They said to give them an invitation, and were gonna have pizza, and ice cream, and were going to have a girls club that is only for girls, and watch Hannah Montana, and dance in my room. NO adults will be invited to my sleep over.
Me: Go ask your dad? Is this really a question. I mean it sounds as though she has it all planned out.

Abigail: Mommy, I hunggggyyyyyy.....
Me: Go TELL your dad.

You get the point. So this all comes back on me.

Isabella comes to me and says...

Isabella: Mom, Dad said I can go to Libby Lu's this week.
Me: OH really is he gonna take you?
Isabella: No, he said you would.
Me: Oh he did huh.

Abigail: Mom, daayeeee say shooess in car, go outthide.
Me: OK Abigail lets get your shoes.

Isabella: Mom, Dad said I can have a sleep over.
Me: Really Isabella? With all 4 girls?
Isabella: Yeah mom, he said anytime I wanted to do it.
Me: Wow that was awfully nice of him. Remind me when it is again, so I can make sure to have a girls night out... all night :)
I mean 5 girls (total) that is alot of little 5/6 year olds running around my house. See ya!

Smart man he is.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

You have to dance...

So for New Years I decided to have our annual party again. This time I made a "rule". You had to choreograph a dance, dress the part, and perform at the party. I was very excited about this cause Nick and I were going to go "old school" (for us anyway). Well my parents were on board right away. They thought it would be fun. My older sister Lindsay was prepared to do it too. Then came my younger sister...she was not for it at all. I was trying to be tough and tell her she can't come if she didn't do a dance and she said "fine I guess I am not coming". She can dance really well too, so I thought that was odd. Turns out Danny, my brother in law was the one who didn't want to do it. So I was thinking, OK well one is not bad. Then Nick said "I think you need to drop this whole dance thing" He wanted to invite his boss and his wife and said that no one was going to dance in front of people they didn't know. Well they are like family to us, but not to my I dropped it. I told my parents we're not doing it and I am not certain they heard me...LOL

They came early and called for us to come outside as they were pulling up. They circled the block to wait for us to come outside, and came back down blaring their music to some rap. My dad was driving and my mom in the passenger seat and then my grandma in the backseat.

Yes, that is braids in my moms hair. My Grandma braided her hair in like 20 braids. Honestly it looked like dreads from afar. I was cracking up.

My sweet innocent Grandma, being transformed into a was the funniest thing I have ever seen.

My Dad, Mom, and Grandma throwing up "signs" They each have some chains. My dad's says "Mac Daddy", my mom's says "Mac Mama", and my grandma's says "Mac Granny". My dad has a Mercedes symbol cut out of the top of a coffee can *I think*. My mom has a cross with bling. My parents are seriously the best. They made my night. They even did a choreographed dance. I do have pics of that also, but I may save them for my vault. Nah, who am I kidding :)

OK just a sneak peak. Ignore the Tupperware containers to the left, I was slacking on Christmas decorations.

Mac Granny...she rocked the house. She moves like she is 30.

The girls got into the spirit of dancing too.

We had a great night, good food, perfect company and wonderful wine :) Happy New Year.

Catchin' up...

The time has flown and Nick is reminding me to blog.

Our Christmas was wonderful. I think the kids really understood it more this year. I was excited cause Isabella was at an age that she took everything in and wanted to give more than receive. Here are a few shots.

So cute

That pink Teddy Abigail is holding Isabella bought for her at the school Christmas gift shop. Abby is in LOVE with this thing. She has to have it for bed, when she is hurt, sleepy...etc. She has never gotten attached to more than a blanket and every day she says "where my teddy?". I think it is so cute and it thrills Isabella to no end that Abby's favorite toy is what she bought her with her own money.

We stayed home this year for the first time and cooked. We usually go between Mimi's and my parents house. I have to say it was a bit boring and mundane staying at home. I just love the noise and tons of family around and the movement of houses. I actually missed that. Nick I am sure will disagree with me on this. We still had my parents and sisters and their children over our house to open gifts and have a small lunch, but it was just not the same for me.

Here is a shot of all the kids. There are 7 total. You see Abby trying to bail out of the picture. They are in order of oldest to youngest. There is Christian who is 12, Isabella 6, Gabriel 5, Hailey 4, Grace 3, Anna 2 and a half, and Abby 2 and a half...but 5 weeks younger than Anna.

All in all it was a nice relaxing day, I think I even got a nap in...which has never happened before.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Sickness x 4

Isabella started the whole thing :) She got sick with this yucky virus and was vomiting for 2 days. It was mainly at night and she spiked a fever at the end. She was pretty easy to take care of. She made it to the bathroom, layed down when I told her to rest. When I would say no food or drink she understood. Pretty easy.

Three days later Abigail started vomiting. Hers started in the afternoon, but then quickly got on track to nights only. Like midnight only. Nick and I were getting up at midnight for 2 nights and giving her baths, washing her hair, blow drying it (can't go to bed sick with wet hair to boot), changing sheets. Well as you can imagine, at that point she was wide awake. Not happy by any means, but definitely not tired. Nick would decide each night that he would take this chance to cuddle our other wise independent non cuddly child. So off he went for 2 nights into the guest bedroom to sleep with her. I have to say that is the first time in that child's 2 and a half years of life that she has slept with anyone. Fine with me though, I get enough demands from her saying "hole choooo meeeee" (I think she is trying to say "Hold you me?") all day to last for a while. I would mosey back to bed and go to sleep.

So New Years Day Nick had a headache, which is not unusual for him. We went to Breakfast, took the girls to the park, then headed back home. He layed down and there he stayed. He was feeling nauseous, headache, just needed to sleep. The girls and I headed off to my sisters to dinner (black eyes peas, collard greens, ribs and chicken), we left Nick at home to rest. My Brother in Law Danny asked me when we got there where Nick was. I said at home, he is not feeling well, he may be getting what the girls had. I then proceeded to say " I never get sick, I haven't had a fever in years, haven't thrown up in years, everyone always gets it but me". When we got home I got the girls in bed. Nick was looking worse and worse as time went on. I decided it would be best that I take up camp in the guest room for the night. There was no way I could sleep in our room with him if he had something contagious. Into the night I kept periodically getting up to check on Nick, get him water, phenergan, washcloth, whatever he needed as he rid this virus from his body. Around 4 am, as I lay back down I get this queasy feeling...I think to myself "please NO, I never get sick" sure enough the vomiting bug has found it's way into my body. I say screw it, if I am going to be sick...I am going to lay in a bed I am comfortable in and be sick.
Nick and I woke up in the morning and in the world are we going to take care of these girls like this. I mean I could not even hardly move, Nick was slightly more agile than me but not by much. Isabella was of course understanding. Abigail on the other hand... not so much, it was just another day in her life. I called around a little and no one could help out. Isabella kept calling her Mimi (my mother in law) on her new phone and giving updates. I am sure they went something like this " Hey Mimi...whatcha doin? Mom just threw up again...can you come get me? Guess what phone I'm callin ya from? Yep Hannah Montana...Okay Bye" next call "Hey Mimi...Whatcha doin? Dad is throwing up too. Abby really wants you mimi...when do you get off...I am so bored and I wanna get outta this house mimi, I don't wanna be sick again...Please Mimi. Guess what phone I'm callin ya from? Yep, Hannah Montana. Bye Mimi." I guess at some point Mimi started feeling really bad and got off work around noon and came and got the girls. She kept them both till around 6:30 and I swear Nick and I slept the entire time. Matter of fact Nick started feeling a bit better and got up to get them ready for bed and I stayed in bed. I started running a fever of 102 and did not move till about 7am this morning.
What a weird virus that was. Nick and I have never been sick like that at the same time as each other, and we never want to be again.
I think it was the inevitable, we were going to get it no matter what and it just so happened to be on the same night. I was just about 6 hours behind Nick.

We had a wonderful Christmas...and an incredible New Years. I have the funniest pics from New Years. Tomorrow hopefully :)