Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Kindergarten Christmas

Ryan's class had their Christmas party on Thursday, and man was it reindeer-riffic. Everything was Rudolph-themed, from the cute little obligatory Reindeer Hats:

(Look, Ma, No TOOTH!)

To Reindeer Bingo:


And much much more. I'd show more pics of the activities, but there's the pesky little matter of other people's kids in the pics and privacy and all that nonsense. Trust me, they had a great sugar-filled time.

One kid I can show you is Ryan's Love, Dillon. They don't know this yet, but his mom and I have already put a downpayment on a church and reception hall. Shh, don't tell...

What I really love about the two of them is that they really are just great friends. Sure, they write cards to each other declaring their love, and yes, they have been on some dates (family-dates, but whatever), but they've yet to reach that teasing, kissy-face stage in their relationship, and I, for one, am thrilled.

They goof off, wrestle, fart and giggle together -- just like Mommy and Daddy!

But I digress.

One more fun thing about this year's Kindergarten Christmas? Their teacher put together a "cookbook" from the mouths of our babes, where she asked them what their favorite food is that their parents make and then she had them tell her how they make the dish and she wrote it down word-for-word and voila, a new cookbook was born.

Here is Ryan's entry, titled "Ryan's Imposter Cake" :

"We buy it at a cake store and come home with it. Then we put it in the oven so it looks like we made it. Then I put icing and candy on it."

WTF?? She would say that. I'm not sure where she got the idea, but I have a feeling that it came from Shawn's birthday party, when we bought his cake rather than make it. I'm not clear on the whole "put in the oven & pretend" part, but it does have a nice ring to it...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Osi Maka, Help Us Please

Ryan lost her first tooth Sunday night. She came home with it loose on Tuesday or Wednesday and right then my heart palpatations began and Shawn has gone into perpetual sweat mode.

We do not want this child to grow up. Period. It's too much, it's too fast and we mean business.

"I can't believe my little girl is losing her first tooth," I whimpered to her on Wednesday.

"I'm getting big, Mom," was her just-a-tad-too-matter-of-fact-for-me-young-lady reply.

That was a low blow.

Shawn just got miffed at her, as though he was trying to summon all his energy to stop her growth with the sheer power of his "evil eye". Unfortunately, Ryan just rolled her eyes and giggled, and Shawn melted into a heap on the floor. I'm seriously frightened for him. (Can you even imagine her first period? I shudder. Please, God, don't ever let me write about Ryan's first visit from Aunt Flo. I shudder. Again.)

Anyway, the brilliantly prepared and generous Tooth Fairy left her a WHOLE DOLLAR and sweet Tooth Fairy Snowglobe with a tiny little hatbox on top to leave her future teeth in. I'm pretty sure this derives from the whole Princess&the Pea syndrome, but I could be wrong..

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Santa List

I'm sitting across the living room from my husband and daughter, watching them snuggle against each other watching a nature show. I haven't seen either of them so relaxed and at ease in such a long time. They are truly happy right now, and that's about the best thing I could get for Christmas.

*I'll go ahead and pass around the barf bags now.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Look & See

What's wrong with this picture?

(and who do you think is responsible?)

P.S. The blue & green yarn was Ryan's touch. We feel it gives the tree a certain je ne sais quois.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sniffles and shivers and sneezes, Oh my!

Yes, that time of year has hit our household, as is the case for so many families, and when this time of year rolls around, who suffers most?

The mom. That's right, I said it. You can belly ache and whine and complain about your chills or your 103 degree fever, or the fact that you are physically incapable of swallowing, or even that the 7 inch scar down the center of your chest is sore,but do not even try to convince me that you suffer worse than your caretaker.

Take my mom, for instance. There she is, all 57 years of her, struggling day in and day out to appease her bellowing man-child as he recovers from open heart surgery, fetching him this and that, getting up (and in most cases staying up) with him at all hours of the night, and how does he repay her? By making her watch hours on end of the hunting channel.

"I can't take it anymore, Amy," she whimpered over the phone yesterday. "All day long, there we are, just staring at men in cammo, sitting in trees whispering and pointing and counting antler points -- I need help!"

How I feel her pain. Ryan stayed home sick on Monday with a fever. A fever and NOTHING ELSE. A little runny nose, yes, and a slightly hacking cough, but other than the fact that the thermometer read 100.2 degrees, she was fine. Nevertheless, she and Jax and I pulled out the couch bed, geared up the tv, sat, slept and rendered ourselves sloth-like for the entire day. Out went my Spin class, my goal of cleaning and mopping the living room floor, and any desire to be productive whatsoever.

There was no reprieve for the weary yesterday, either, as Shawn came home mid-day with a raging case of fever and chills, sending him to bed and me to the computer to cancel a Habitat meeting scheduled for that night at our house.

Then it was on to trying desperately to keep the kiddos quiet, pulling out the couch bed and watching more tv. Dinner was microwaveable, no one had a bath, and mommy slept on the horribly uncomfortable couch bed. Slept is probably not the right word. Toss and Turn? Yes.

4:30 hit and Ry joined me downstairs, refusing the cough drops I fervently pushed towards her in an attempt to salvage the night. Finally, around 5:30 we fell asleep until Jax started his morning call for "Mommy!" at 6:20.

And now Shawn is upstairs, sleeping while the Penicillin shot hopefully gets rid of the Strep, Ry is at school, undoubtedly sniffling and hacking and spreading all kinds of yummy germs, and Jax is being loud. I've actually managed to clean the downstairs, take a shower, and write this, and next we're off to Subway for lunch and the store for some Emergen-C, cause if Mama gets sick, we're all screwed.

Am I right ladies??

**There has been one highlight to all of this, though. In preparation for Daddy's Day of Rest, I explained to the kids that he was feeling yucky and had chills, so we needed to try to be as quiet as possible.

The quiet part never really sunk in, though Jax has been continuously asking Shawn, "You got Chili's Dad? Chili's? You got Chili's Dad? Chili's?"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Next we'll be singing Kumbaya around the fire...

Click to play Christmas+Card+2007
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Wanna share the love this Christmas? Check out these cool sites we used to send ecards, adopt a wildlife animal, and help people across the world. -- instead of presents from Mom and Dad, Ry and Jax used the money to adopt an animal!!!

oxfam -- Thanks to smilebox, we were able to save $$ on cards this year, and used the savings to buy a goat for a family in Africa. Who knew???

There are so many more sites that are wonderful to visit this time of year -- Feed the Poor, Save the Children, us, won't you??

Friday, December 7, 2007

Big Daddy Update

So Dad's been home a few days, and is slowly getting better. You can hear it in his voice, which is nice because all we've able to do lately is telephone.

Mom was able to take off the rest of the semester at school, so she'll be with him night and day, and will therefore need every prayer in the book to keep her sanity. Y'all help a hot grandma out, okay??

Dad is still fighting some nasty coughing fits, which cause horrible chest pain for which he's been prescribed Vicodin, but refuses to take because he doesn't like how groggy it makes him feel. That was until yesterday morning around 3 am, when it got to be too much, and rather than take his customary 1/2 pill, he took 2. Needless to say, he slept like a baby.

He and mom continue to be an inspiration to me -- just this morning as I was huffing and puffing and"oh-God-I'm-gonna-barf"-ing my way through Spin class, I just kept thinking of them and how hard they have had to work lately to get healthy, and it totally kept me going.
(There's no way I would want my kids to be put through the same shit we were!!)

See? Silver Linings everywhere...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mama Said

So you know how you've got those days where you lay on the couch all morning with your 2 yr old watching SpongeBob, Thomas, and Scooby Doo then take a 3 hour nap, wake up and clean the whole house?

Me neither.

The "clean the whole house" part, I mean.

Here's hoping your day was as productive as mine!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy Birthday, Baby

Today my husband turned 30. Life is SWEET!! I am so glad he was born. He makes everything better. You know how there are people you meet and you wonder how life ever went on without them? It's like that, with a cherry on top.

Plus, Big Daddy went home today, so December 4th, 2007 has officially been named my favorite day of the year thus far.

We're all feeling a little sluggish, though. Shawn's passed out on the couch (it's 8:25), the kids are asleep, and I'm pretty close to convincing myself to leave kitchen cleanup for the morning. Who knew 30 was the new 60?

We'd planned to trim the tree to celebrate Shawn's birthday tonight (low key, after the surprise party we pulled off for him this weekend), had an early evening peak:

, and this is what we're left with:

Saturday, December 1, 2007


So yesterday I got a call from Ninny about 4:30 pm saying that Dad was having Kidney failure and I needed to come to the hospital. In tears, I ran out the door, shouting at my neighbor as she stood there dumb-founded.

Praying and crying, I rushed through the late afternoon drizzle and then I hit THE TRAFFIC.

I don't know of any city anymore that doesn't have horrible rush-hour traffic, but Austin's is notorious, especially around, oh, 4:30 on Friday afternoon.

Let me just say, it's a good thing that the emergency wasn't quite as severe as I'd thought, seeing as how it took me an hour and a half to get to the hospital.

I hate not being able to be there all the time. I'm having flashbacks to my sophomore year in college when I received the call that he'd had another heart attack, but not to worry, he was doing fine and I should come home in a few days. They left out the part about him having to be "brought back" on the operating table, but whatever...

Anyway, when I finally did arrive, Mom took me aside and told me that he was experiencing acute kidney failure, something not altogether uncommon after the procedures he's just had. They put the catheter back in, and will be doing an ultrasound later today to make sure there's nothing more severe going on.

I calmed down after hearing that, but my concern is mostly for his inability to sleep because of the severe back pain he's experiencing. He had major back surgery when we were younger, which came with all sorts of complications like blood clots in his lungs and other fun things. The girls and I can still remember the ambulance pulling up to our house to take our screaming Dad back to the hospital -- the pain was that bad. Not something you want to hear when you are 11, 9 and 7 years old.

The pain now is mostly due to having to lay on his back constantly, not being able to roll over and alleviate any of the pressure from his 290 lb frame. (We don't call him Big Daddy for nothin') The screams aren't quite as heart wrenching, but the groans and moans and prayers to Jesus leave much to be desired. My heart goes out to him and my mom and sisters, who've been having to witness his discomfort around the clock (my time will come -- Sunday night, he's all mine).

Pain meds weren't working, just keeping him groggy, so they stopped giving them to him, which meant he slept not at all on Thursday night. Not ideal for a recovering heart patient. They gave him muscle relaxers last night, but I talked to Mom this morning and Ninny told her that he didn't sleep much either. This, I'm worried about.

Anyway, after Mom and I discussed his situation last night, we headed back to his room, where we found him sitting up being force-fed by Lea Ann and bitching up a storm. This made my heart soar. Anytime he harasses Lea Ann is great, but this was even better -- he was acting like himself again, and pretty soon all 5 of us were cracking jokes and laughing, wheeling him around the halls and embarrassing ourselves with our inability to keep our voices down, eliminate curse words from our sarcasm, and operate his wheelchair/IV.

It was so much fun. I'm hoping he'll feel well enough to have a short visit with the kids this morning, though the mere thought of Jax slamming his head into any part of Big Daddy makes me cringe, a feat he will more than likely at least attempt.

Perhaps we'll wait.