Sunday, January 20, 2013

SNOW DAY! Alabama!!  It was beautiful!  We got a "winter storm warning" early that morning (I have to admit that I was skeptical).  It had been raining for days. Seriously, like 4 inches in 4 days, so snow was a very welcome change.  By mid morning small flakes were falling, but melting when they hit the saturated ground, but it kept falling and actually began accumulating.  The kids were ecstatic!  E was running from window to window, dancing and pointing.  H wasn't quite sure what to think, as this was her very first time seeing snow.  She giggled and fed off of her brothers excitement.  So, I bundled the kids up and we headed outside (E said we "have to have mittens on to play in the snow", no clue where he got that!).  We caught snowflakes on our tongues, kicked through the grass and tried to make snowballs, thought there wasn't much on the ground at this point.  The grass was lightly covered and it was starting to fall faster, so the kids got cold quickly.  By the time we were done eating lunch, it was really coming down!  Huge, beautiful, snowflakes, so quiet and soft.  By this time I couldn't even see the grass and it was still coming down!  Dr. M came home early, as classes were canceled for the remainder of the day, (until 10am the next morning) and he wanted to play in the snow with the kids.  He and E built an awesome snowman (that E appropriately named "Frosty").  Dr. M said students on campus were worried about the snow and calling it a "blizzard" and "white out".  I don't think the city owns a snow plow, but put a little sand on bridges and overpasses.  We only got a few inches of snow, but I could hear sirens all day, assuming that these southerners don't know how to drive in this weather.  The snow tapered off by 3pm and stopped by 4.  The sun even came out and started melting it by 5.  By the time we went to bed, very little was still on the ground.  The next day was a beautiful, sunny, almost 60 degree day and all the snow was gone by Noon.  Almost as if it never even fell.  Guess that's how it works down here.  Beggars can't be choosers...I'll take the wonderful snow day we got and look forward to it's 2-3 years :(

19 months!

Little miss Harper is ALL of a 19 month old toddler...running, laughing, climbing, fussing and babbling!  She's a handful, that's for sure, but she's so stinkin' cute!  This little girl is sassy.  She's not saying a whole lot, but will do whatever possible to get her point across...pointing, "ah, ah, ah"ing, yelling and climbing.  She's very busy these days keeping up with her brother.  She still insists on doing whatever he is doing, which includes using the potty (yay!).  I have the feeling she's saying more that we think she is because we just can't understand her.  She clearly says mama, dada, bull, shoe, sock, nana, nose, elbow, eye, hair, diaper, okay and "heyago" (here ya go)...among other things.  She knows a handful of body parts and can point out things in her books.  Her 11th and 12th tooth just came in (next to the middle bottom ones), but she still has a pretty big, CUTE gap between her front teeth.  Her hair is getting so much longer and, honestly, a little out of control.  I have no idea how to tame curly hair.  Her bed-head is a serious blonde afro some mornings.  Lately she's been demanding to wear a bow in her hair, which helps the taming process, but it's still pretty funny.  She's a cutie!  Her eyelashes are super long and eyes are still a beautiful, clear blue.  She's still underweight, but growing in height well.  At her 18 month well-check (which happened to be just a couple days before she turned 19 months) her doc recommended that we do some detailed blood-work on her to check for things like, Crohns, inflammatory bowel  disorders, Celiac's and other issues that may be causing her slow weight gain.  She's still taking reflux medication, but we've been cutting back on it recently.  Her favorite food right now is a whole one a day.  She's obsessed!  Lately her appetite has been great and her mood and spirit has also been great!  I know she's feeling better and loving life.  She's a super sweet girl who still loves to snuggle.  She still sucks those two middle fingers on one hand, while the other hand is in her belly button (she's a little obsessed with belly buttons in general, not just her own).  She's one sweet little girl!  I'm going to include her 18 month stats here because she was so close to being 19 months:
18/19 Month Stats:
Weight - 18lbs 12oz
Height - 31.5in

Sunday, January 13, 2013

National Champs...again!

Well Bama did it again!  They are the BCS National Champions for the second year in a row.  This is their third title in four years and 15th total!  Apparently this is a big deal.  Dr. M is relishing in the fact that he works at the number ONE football school in the nation (second, only, to his Jayhawk basketball, of course).  Since the game started at 7:30 pm, we decided to have a couple friends (our neighbors) over here to watch the game.  We put the kids down early and enjoyed the snacks, beer and company while we watched the (not very exciting) game.  We even celebrated with a little champagne!  ROLL TIDE!

New Year's Eve, birthday and the ER...

That's right...H and I spent over 53 hours in the hospital, on New Year's and New Year's Day.  When we got back from our Atlanta trip, H seemed to be doing better.  Her spirits were up and she hadn't thrown up since that morning, but things went downhill quickly that night...and the next morning she was even worse.  She couldn't keep anything down.  The afternoon of the 31st (my 35th birthday) we decided to take her into the ER.  She was dehydrated and just wasn't herself.  This was our FIRST trip to the ER (for either child) and our very first experience with the stomach flu!  To our surprise, after a bag of IV fluids, they admitted us for the night, for observation and more fluids.  Dr. M and E visited us that night and brought my birthday presents and a piece of cake....but I could tell Dr. M wasn't feeling 100% either.  That night, he got what H had...stomach flu.  The next day, he was feeling better, but I started feeling bad and by that evening, I too, was throwing up.  On top of everything, H still wasn't back to normal, so they decided to keep her for a second night.  The good news is that it turned out to be just a 24 hour bug for Dr. M and I and E never caught it!  Poor little was so sad seeing her with her IV splint and in her little hospital gown.  She was so sweet and so sad.  Thanks to our wonderful friends and neighbors, we had three nights of soup waiting for us when we got home on the 2nd.  This season, in particular, seems to be a bad one for the flu...I'm hoping we stay healthy for the remainder of the winter...

ETA: After all the birthday and hospital talk...I realized that I didn't even take time to reflect on the past year.  What a year it's been!  So many 'firsts' for both our kids...H turning into a toddler, E into a little boy, me into a true 'home maker' (I kinda like it!) and Dr. M into the family support.  Moving into our new home, expanding our friendship circles and truly settling into our life here in the south.  2012 was great in so many ways, but also brought with it grim news in the form of cancer to two very loved family members and two adored pets.  I guess that's the ebb and flow of life...each year has it's ups and downs and unique memories, but the "C" word is really hard to hear and something we won't forget.  I'll admit, however, that Dr. M and I have resolutions to...lose weight, cut out sugar, join a CSA, buy a minivan, visit more state parks, go camping, drive to missouri, visit the beach, start running again, plant a garden and do some serious landscaping in 2013...we're two weeks into the year and I can tell you now, we haven't done one of those things yet....but we WILL, I promise :)  The start of the New Year also means that I will begin "working" for the first time in over three and a half years.  I'm babysitting a couple of my friends babies three to four times a week.  Not exactly my dream job, but the extra income will be nice and I'm happy to be able to help out my dear friends.  We have an amazing family, amazing life and amazing love between ALL of us.  I know 2013 is going to be absolutely AMAZING!


A couple days after Christmas the four of us packed up and headed to Atlanta to see Grandma and Grandpa D!  It's just a short 2 and a half hour drive from here, so the kids slept and Dr. M and I had some time to chat.  That afternoon we did a little shopping at Ikea and then hit the hotel early (the kids think staying in the hotel is soooo fun, we had to allow a little wild time in the room before bed).  The next morning we met Grandpa at the hotel early, took the MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) train to downtown Atlanta.  E thought the train was SO much fun, especially when we went in the tunnels.  Apparently we weren't the only ones to plan a trip to the Georgia Aquarium over Christmas was PACKED!  I mean crazy packed!  We managed to squeeze our way through the whole place, seeing the 4D movie, the dolphin show and petting the stingrays.  It was amazing!  E was in heaven.  His face was glowing the whole day, which was long, but the kids were troopers.  After a dip in the hotel pool, they were ready for bed! The next day we met Grandma's sister and her husband (Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Jean), opened presents, visited the school where she works and had lunch together.  That afternoon, when we got back to the hotel, H began to feel sick.  She threw up in the room and had a fever.  We met everyone for dinner, but she still wasn't feeling well.  She did okay that night, but got sick again the next morning as we arrived at Trader Joe's (we stocked up!) on our way home.  Poor little H hasn't ever been that sick...(more about this in the next post).  It was so good seeing Grandma and Grandpa D, we hadn't seen them in about 9 months, so it was a much needed trip!  I have a feeling we'll be heading back to Atlanta in the near future, now that we know how close it is (we need our TJ's fix after all!).

Christmas (twice!)

We were very fortunate to have Santa visit us TWICE this year!  Once when Grandma K was here and again when Grandma and Grandpa W came see us.  Seeing the kids' faces light up at the glowing tree and packages twice was priceless.  E really got into it this year.  This was the first year I think he actually understood the whole 'santa' thing and he loooved opening the "number boxes" (advent calender) each morning.  On Christmas Eve we even sprinkled "reindeer food" on the lawn so Santa could find our house and left cookies, milk and a carrot out (for Rudolf).  He was really into the Christmas TV shows, lights, decorations and stories this year.  We had so much fun with this.  Harper just wanted to do whatever her brother was doing, so if he was excited about something, so was she.  She was very good at opening gifts on her own (if E didn't beat her to it) and loved all the excitement...the toys, the snacks, the music and lights.  This was our first Christmas in our new house.  I had fun decorating with what I called "thrifty decor" - going to the christmas tree lot and getting free tree clippings which I placed on the mantel, made a wreath out of and placed all around the house.  We decided not to decorate our (fake) tree this year and actually placed it on an end table to keep it out of reach of little hands, which worked perfectly.  As always, the fall and holiday season seemed to FLY by this year!  I love this time of year and try to savor every smell, sound and twinkling light despite how quickly they are all gone.  We stayed busy with all sorts of activities and went to the city nighttime Christmas parade, the old-fashioned Dickens festival and friends holiday parties.  I even had a girls night and cookie exchange over here!  We also went caroling with the neighborhood kids, which was a very magical and emotional experience that I know we are all looking forward to next year (we love our neighborhood!).  E was a very handsome shepherd in his school christmas performance this year and did such a good job singing!  Dr. M and I made it out for a much needed date night and went ice skating by the river and a drink.  The four of us even went to a candlelight church service Christmas Eve.  It was a magical Christmas with our family, friends and kids.  So many amazing gifts, thoughtful and beautiful cards and time with friends and family....until next year....

Merry Christmas to ALL!!