Monday, December 15, 2014

Sensing a trend here

It never fails, in late November and most of December, I get crazy busy and therefore don't post much.  I guess it's understandable, work is crazy busy at the end of the year and of course, there are the holidays.  I don't even know what I have missed blogging out, so here are some bullets of the goings-on around here--in no particular order:

  • My older sister is thankfully (and amazingly) fine after hitting a patch of ice and ROLLING her SUV (several times).  Her Blazer was predictably totaled, but she escaped with some cuts and a black eye, for which we are eternally grateful.  It was extremely scary.
  • Tyler had his first toothache, which led to an odyssey of dental surgery on the day before Thanksgiving. Poor guy had to have four crowns, two fillings, and two sealants. The dentist says that his acid reflux is to blame and we'd been putting this off for a little while, so it needed to be done.  It was rough, his throat was SUPER sore (they had a hard time getting the breathing tube in apparently) and was super pathetic for days, but we go through it.  I hate the crowns, because you can see them when he talks, but I'm glad his teeth don't hurt anymore and I am hopeful that this work will hold him in good stead as long as he has his baby teeth.
  • AJ has also had his share of injuries.  He had a bruise on his cheek, multiple bumps on the head and one on his upper lip, just in the last two weeks.  He's always on the move and he is definitely my climber/daredevil.  
  • Adam also makes the injury list, after he sliced his index finger last night.  He was in the garage, opening the battery case on something he got in an auction and instead of hunting up a screwdriver (in the GARAGE, where we KEEP THEM) he used a knife.  Oops.  The doctor used some special piece of foam to close it and then gave him a tetnus shot (which he says hurts more than his finger does).
  • I think that concludes the injury list--Please let that be the end of it! Onto less negative stuff!
  • I'm still working the Canadian invoicing at work.  They are planning to start interviewing soon and I've been told to get a passport, so it looks like a trip to Canada is in my future!
  • I'm about 85% done with my Christmas shopping, but completely done buying for the kids!  I did have to spend about $25 more than I wanted on one particular gift for Tyler, because we waited too long and everywhere was out.  But  I got it!
  • I'm super anxious because they are switching RX companies on my benefits.  Remember this post where I wrote about my triumph over the RX company not wanting to cover Tyler's reflux meds?  Well I was supposed to be set, because the guy I spoke to said just to call him once a year and tell him the medication was still needed, and he'd take care of the approval.  Well, now this is happening.  And there has been some sort of hold up, and we don't even have our plan information yet, so I can't even find out if the medication will be covered or not.  I'm praying it is, this company is supposed to be better than the last, but I'm terrified it won't be covered at all and then I'll have to start all over again and go to war.  Ugh.
  • I am literally counting down the DAYS until I can get a new cell phone (42 days).  My phone was just a basic model, whatever they were offering for free after rebates. It probably could do with being reset, but it seems too much hassle when I don't have much longer to wait. Honestly I've been cursing it for at least 6 months anyway. It's slow and very buggy lately.  Hoping I can get a good deal on a galaxy (probably a 4, not the 5).  I cannot wait!  The Black Friday sales (the S5 for $0.99) killed me!
  • We finally put up the Christmas tree YESTERDAY!  We are total slackers.  BUSY slackers.  The boys LOVE it and Tyler even decorated his room too.  Pictures to come!
I've been reading blogs, but I've been a bad commenter lately!  Hopefully the busiest time has passed for now!  I'm sure I have more bullet points, but I can't remember them, so that's it for now!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Let's play a game!

GmaI saw this on facebook and thought it would be fun! Google your first name meme and click images and see what you get (For me, "Melissa meme")!  I was glad this one came up first, even with the misspelling (unless I missed a pun?) because the next few were pretty unflattering!  Link me in the comments if you try it!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

My life is so full of random events, here's a random update post about it.

Whew, so much to update!  I'm realizing this blog has become something of a personal journal (with a few readers/commenters, which pleases me to no end!  Hi Ladies! Thanks for reading and commenting!), but I think I'm okay with that.   I want to remember a lot of this stuff, especially things with the kids, so it might not be thrilling reading, but that's okay.

Where to start...let's see...

I had my polyp removed and it was massive!  I should have named it.  Yes they showed it to me. Yes it was gross.  The procedure was pretty uncomfortable, but only took 10 minutes or so. I was sore for a few days too.  They had to use two different medications/techniques on the site, so that was a little yucky for a week or so.  They'd also performed my pap and on Monday I checked the online system and saw a message to call the doctors office. Turns out my pap was abnormal, but when I talked to the nurse the next day she assured me it was because of the polyp (the cells simply didn't all look the same), and the pathology report was benign and my HPV test was negative.  I'll just need to repeat the pap next year (like normal).  So that's all good!

However, my period seems to be showing up today, which would be another 24 day cycle, just like two months ago.  A (our family "doctor"/PA) and I had discussed the short cycle thing and she suggested taking ovulation test to figure out if I'm just ovulating early.  I suppose it's possible that I am ovulating early.  I would seriously have to be ovulating around day 10-12 for this to be a "healthy" cycle though, and for a natural day 18-21 day ovulator, that seems awfully different.  Of course, that was pre-AJ, so who knows?  I guess I should get on Amazon and order some cheapies...

I took AJ for his 2 year check up.  I can't remember his height and weight, but she was happy with everything.  We've rescheduled his assessment with First Steps, since there are several sounds he can't make and he refuses to drink from a straw.  They'll come on the 17th.  When we were done talking about AJ, A dropped the bombshell--she's leaving.  We were both in tears over it.  I guess I'm not surprised--one of the great things about their practice is that they have evening and weekend hours and accept walk ins.  That translates to long days and evening and weekend hours. She has two kids, each slightly younger than Tyler and AJ, and she doesn't live super close to the office. Long story short, she wants to spend more time at home, so she's moving to an OB/GYN office in a town just to the west of Indy.  I completely understand and wish her nothing but the best, but we are going to miss her like crazy.  She gave me her email address and said to keep in touch.  Now I need to decide what to do.  I like the other providers in the practice, but not really enough to stay with them.  I'm going to look for family practices, I think, and probably closer to home (this office is on the west side. We were living around there when I started going and kept driving the distance from the southside because we loved A so much. It was sort of a pain to take the kids all the way up there for visits, though it was kind of convenient when I had appointments, since it's not too far from work on the north side).  It's overwhelming and I'm sort of doubtful to find a provider that I'm as comfortable with as I was with A.  I did tell her I'd like to be her patient at her new practice, even just for yearly exams!  I'd think even consider going there for OB care, if we have another baby, although that would depend on what hospitals they used.  Their office wouldn't really be convenient to work or home, but a certain amount of travel is worth it to me to keep in touch with her!

I also had my eyes checked.  The last few years, I've been finding places that offer something called OptiMap.  It's basically a fancy camera that can take a picture of the back side of our eye, without dilating the pupils with drops.  I hate having my eyes dilated.  However, my rheumatologist said that with the new medication I'm taking for the lupus-ish (remember, I'm not officially diagnosed), I really need to stick with seeing a true Ophthalmologist, and dilation is really the best way to monitor my eyes for any changes that could be caused by the medication.  The appointment was fine and the dilation was unpleasant but manageable.  The most notable part of the visit was when the nurse was confirming my information and I glanced at the computer screen and informed her that I wasn't Melissa Hyphenatedlastname-LastName.  She then asked if my last appointment was in January.  I said, no, I was a new patient.  It turns out, there was some mix up in there system and my file was intermixed with the file of ANOTHER Melissa LastName who--get this--has the SAME BIRTHDAY AS ME.  *Cue Twilight Zone Music*  Seriously, how weird is that?  Another person with my first AND last name AND birthday?!  Oh and her hyphenated last name, which I'm assuming is a maiden name, is a COLOR.  My maiden name was also a color, though a different color.  LOL mind spinning.  Onwards.

What else? Ugh this is what I get for waiting too long to update.  Oh, here's another super random LOL moment. Yesterday on lunch, I went to do a little clothes shopping for school clothes for Tyler.  On the way home from work, I was pulling things out of the bag to show Adam and I found a cordless phone.  Apparently the cashier had accidentally folded the phone up with the clothes and it ended up in my shopping bag!  I call the store (hoping they had a second hand set!) and told them about it.  The saleslady laughed. I said I'd drop it by in a day or two and she offered some in store credit if I did.  So random!  Lots of randomness lately!  Chickens and Dopplegangers and Wayward Phones!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween gave me the chills!

What is it with Halloween?  I swear, at least 98% of the Halloween's in my life have either been either A-Freezing B-Raining and/or snowing or C-All of the above.  This one was a big ole C!  By the time we got home from work it was super cold and had gone from flurries to pouring rain.  We ordered a pizza to it would be a quick dinner and watched out the window for a break in the rain. We decided that since AJ really didn't know what was going on and also did not like to wear his costume, he would stay home with Daddy handing out candy while Tyler and I ventured out into the elements and hoped for the best.

Check out my little Mikey!

I love how his winter coat made him look all muscle-y

Waving in front of his face. Check out our no-carve pumpkins!

Trick or Treat!

Suckering Daddy out of more candy

In hindsight, we probably went the wrong direction for a good stretch of houses with their porch lights on (seriously, why are so many people Halloween scrooges?), but in the end, we probably stayed out an hour at most and only hit about a dozen or so houses.  One lady took pity on Tyler and gave him SEVERAL handfuls of candy so we "wouldn't have to stay out so long".  In the end, he decided he was done (and needed to go potty), so we doubled back and went inside.  Poor guy was wet up to his knees, but he had fun and got a good amount of loot!

I put AJ's costume (Tyler's recycled one from ages 2 and 3) on to try to get some pictures and he was SO not into it.  These were the best I could get

Choo Choo!
Hat coming off

Getting ready to rip this thing off

Sans hat--Where'd it go?
So all in all, we'll call it a win!  I can't believe how big they are getting.  I'll get to updates or content soon, but for now, here are two more pictures from the weekend.  Love my boys!

Sleeping Bug-a-Boo. You can't see it, but he had the most amazing wild hair here.

I can haz cheez ball? Yes I can!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pic of the week: The Wandering Chicken

I have lots of updates but for now, I just had to share this picture! Randomly, a chicken, was wandering around The parking lot at work today. I have no idea where it came from!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Where do broken blogs go?

I was re-reading a blog today, the blog of a dear woman who struggled horrifically with infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss. I found her blog a few years back and this is the second time I've gone and read it from the beginning.  She has an amazingly witty writing style, and says some of the funniest things I have ever read on a blog, even though her story is one of the saddest I have ever read (and I have quite the long IF blogroll).  She's endearing and honest.  She's British, and I happen to adore the accent and phrases used by the Brits.  Not to mention that while reading them I have a strong likelihood of thinking in a British accent.

I loved reading her blog.  And then something really terrible happened.  Something she couldn't truly talk about.  For a few months, she talked about it, while not really talking about it. I didn't mind, glad she was still writing at all, glad that maybe her many readers could bring her some small measure of comfort, ever hopeful for the day when things would start to turn around.

And then, about six months ago. She stopped writing, full stop (see, I use British phrases when I've been reading her).  No announcement that she would be stopping, no farewell.  Just radio silence.

And of course, that's her right.  Perhaps it all got to painful to put into words.  Perhaps the pressure of not sharing was too much.  Perhaps she started a new blog, for more anonymity.  She did not use her real name.  I tried poking around the blogs of a few of her followers, but didn't have any luck finding comments from her, in the hopes of finding a new blog of hers to follow for updates.  I tweeted her, but there was no response and no activity on her profile in as many months. 

I've thought of her many times since her blog when dark.  Obviously, I don't know her personally, I doubt she'd even remember any of my comments on her blog specifically.  She has oodles of readers and I doubt I ever said anything of note on her posts. I did nominate her for a blog award once, and she commented back thanking me, telling me that my answers were interesting and sweet.  I guess I'm not sure why I can't let go, not knowing what became of her.  It was a terribly dark time for her at the end, and it was preceded by several really dark years, really unfair.

I guess I probably have a whole slew of blogs on my reader that haven't been updated.  Some said goodbyes, some merely drifted away, but none has affected me as much as this one blog.  I like to think that she'll pop back in someday with an update, but the truth is, she very well may have closed that chapter of her life.  And I couldn't blame her for that.  But I'll always wonder.

So I guess I'll just continue sending my best wishes to her, out into the void, and hope that someday her life will be as full of light and good humor and all the good things that she deserves.  May, this humble blogger really misses you. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Updates and things

Updates!  With Bullets!  Just Because!

  • Adam's mom was released from the hospital on Friday! And what's more amazing is that her kidney function has returned!  I'm shocked but very grateful.  I haven't spoken directly to her or Adam's stepdad and he never thinks to ask the right questions, so I'm not 100% sure she's totally off dialysis or not, but either way she's doing great. She did so well with physical therapy at the hospital that they decided she could go straight home instead of to rehab
  • I had my second appointment with my rheumatologist last week. From what she told me, I have some features of lupus, but since it has such a wide spectrum of severity she doesn't seem to classify it as full blown lupus.  The main thing is for now my bloodwork looks pretty good and I feel okay most of the time and it could stay like this forever, so they'll just keep an eye on things and we'll see how it goes.  My bloodwork showed low white blood cell counts (it always is) and although my sed rate (indicates inflammation) was higher than in the past, it was still within normal ranges.  The only other thing that was high was my carbon dioxide level, but since she didn't say anything about it when she called (I viewed all the results online later) and it was only 2 points above normal, I'm guessing it's just borderline and not a problem.  I do have to go back to give a urine sample, which I couldn't give last week because of my lovely monthly visitor (see next bullet).
  •  Last weekend I took Tyler to the school playground to play with his friend Lorelei and her little sister Lexi AND to have some time to chat with Lorelei's mom.  Fun was had by all! :)  Oh and I attended my second PTA meeting.  How weird is that? I'm a PTA mom!
  • In the last week I have had one car in the shop for a bad sensor (our van, the third time since we bought it that we have had that problem), one car for body work (from getting rear ended.  Did I mention that here?  If I didn't, yes we got rear ended, no major damage, no injuries, but a new bumper is needed, so there you go), a new battery on our lawn mower (new to us and annoyingly temperamental so far), and two rental/loaner cars (see cars in shop!).  So things have been hectic!
  • I've also been struggling with filling in for someone at my company.  IN CANADA.  So yeah, that's different.  I think after about 2 weeks, I finally get the gist, so hopefully it will go smoother now.  Still not sure why the powers that be didn't train me while the girl was still working here, she did give notice!
  • Lady-stuff sharing (you've been warned)...My period is all out of whack.  First of all, spotting.  For awhile now, on and off since AJ was born and then consistently the last few months, I've been spotting for a few days before I get a full blow period.  This is annoying, especially since my periods are a full 5-6 days NOT counting spotting, but I didn't think that much of it.  Also, this year I'd seemed to gotten into a somewhat predictable routine of a short(er) month and a slightly longer month.  Like one month would be 27-29 day and the next would be 31-33 days.  I've followed the pattern since about November of last year.  My theory is that my longer cycles are coming from the ovary attached to the twisted ovary (the left one, I think, incidentally the same one that didn't fill during my HSG).  My doctor noted that during the surgery looking for endometriosis years ago.  However, this month should have been a "long" month, but I started spotting on CD22 and full blown AF showed up two days later, resulting in a 24 day cycle.  In all my years of tracking my periods (basically since the fall of 2007 when we started TTC Tyler) I have NEVER had a cycle that short.  Then I thought I was done around Friday midday but NOPE!  Saturday evening I was suddenly bleeding again.  It never got very heavy, but another 3 days of spotting followed.  I called shenanigans.  And my doctor.  
  • I went to see said doctor yesterday and apparently I have a cervical polyp, which is causing the spotting in between periods.  So yay.  She told me to call my OB/GYN (My doctor (well, she's a PA) does my yearly exams typically, but for this I need to see a true OB/GYN) and schedule to have it removed.  She said these are usually benign and not a big deal, but it should come off.  I called my OBs office today and found out that she has left the practice and now works in McCordsville, with is about 35 minutes from home and work.  That's not going to work.  So I asked to be scheduled with Dr. A, who I've only met a couple of times, but she did my C-Section, since she was on call at the time and she seemed nice enough. Amber faxed over a report and they'll call me to schedule. Apparently these are usually done on a "procedure day" which is typically the first Wednesday of the month, so for now I'm assuming that'll be happening next Wednesday.  Seriously what's up with my body?   It just doesn't seem to work right!
  • As for the short cycle, we aren't sure what that's about.  Amber encouraged me to talk to the OB, especially since we are considering trying to conceive again.  They may decide to prescribe femara right out, instead of struggling against short or irregular cycles.  She said some OBs will do this and some won't. So we'll see.  I guess it's officially time to make that decision.  I don't know why I'm having so much trouble committing to it.
I'm sure there is more, but I can't think of it now and really that turned into quite enough!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Headwounds and blowouts

If you clicked on this blog post, you deserve a prize!  Probably the most unappealing title I've ever used, but that's motherhood for you!  I wonder if I'm going to survive AJ's toddler years, that kid is always falling down, tripping over things, and hitting his head!  He's finally starting to walk while holding someone's hand, and Saturday he fell in the parking lot of a restaurant.  Adam didn't have a tight grip on him and he scraped his head and lip, poor guy.  That one didn't concern me too much, like I said, he bumps his head a lot!  He looked a little rough and he cried for several minutes, but after that he was fine. 

Sunday was another story though.  We went to my Dad's apartment to hang out. AJ was already tired, it was close to his naptime when we got there and I figured he'd fall asleep and take a nap while we visited.  Trouble was, he started asking for his paci, which he likes to have at naptime, and we realized we didn't have one with us.  Since we only live about  minutes from Dad, Adam went to get one.  We decided to walk to the playground on site to distract AJ from his lack of paci.  Well, he went racing down the sidewalk.  I caught up to him and turned him around and he started back toward my dad and Angie and of course, he tripped.  He really smacked his head that time.  UGH it was awful!  Right away, he had a big bruise and a goose egg on his forehead.  I was really nervous, just at the size of it.  He stopped crying after about 10 minutes, and by that point, he was completely worn out and falling asleep, which only made me MORE nervous.  We took him back in the house and laid him down and I decided to call the nurses line.  They were very nice and after asking lots of questions, assured me that it didn't sound like anything serious, but to watch him closely, make sure he'd rouse every so often and call back if any symptoms she mentioned showed up.  He woke up from his nap a while later in a very good mood and even went to the playground and ran around for awhile, acting no worse for the wear while I hovered over him nervously. 

His head looks better today, though it's still pitiful to see my little guy bruised.  We checked on him during the night, just to be sure (yeah I'm paranoid, sue me) but he doesn't even seem bothered by any of it.  Man, this rough and tumble stage is tough on the mama!  I felt so guilty that I wasn't holding on to him, even thought I know this happens all the time and I can't always be holding onto his hand.  I'm just glad he's okay.

The kids both had fun, mostly playing with my dad's dachshund's Oscar and Charlie.  Then we went to Steak N Shake for dinner.  While we were waiting for our food, Adam suddenly discovered that AJ had a MAJOR blowout...seriously, it was the kind you normally would just put the kid in the bathtub!  Oh it was horrible.  We took him in the bathroom (yes both of us, I'm not kidding, this was a two person job!) and cleaned him up the best we could. Then I left Adam to do that actual diaper change and I ran around the corner to buy him a new set of clothes, since both his shirt and jeans were not at all wearable at this point.  15 minutes later I got back, pulled his new shirt on him (he looked funny, sitting shirtless in his high chair, we had an extra set of shorts, but no shirts in the diaper and learn!) and ate my somewhat cold dinner and rewarded my stressed mommy self with a hot fudge sundae too! 

Ah the day in the life of parents!  Never a dull moment!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Top Dog

First of all, thank you for the prayers!  My mother in law is doing better.  Her liver function is continuing to improve and she seems much more alert and is awake and talking and even making sense lol.  Her kidneys are still a major problem, but dialysis is proving effective for now.  The doctors will wait about a month and then will determine what "state" renal failure she has.  We continue to pray for improvement on that!  For now, thought, we're thankful that she's improving!  I really appreciated the prayers and well wishes!

It was a crazy week last week, but not without it's high points!  This little man was awarded the position of "Top Dog" at school for his class last week!  Their mascot is a Bulldog and each week one student is chosen for good behavior, participation, whatever, to be the Top Dog and last week it was Tyler!

Top Dog!  So proud!
He just melts my heart.  He proudly pinned his ribbon to the curtain in his room.  I think the teacher may have chosen him in part to bolster his confidence, and I'm sure this award will make it way to all the kids, but I'm still one proud mama that he got it so early in the school year!

Thursday was back to school night!  Tyler was so excited to show us around the school and we were surprised and happy to see how many little friends he already has!  Walking through the halls we were constantly hearing "Hi Tyler!"  We also got a chance to meet his very best friend, a little girl named Lorelei, and her parents.  Lorelei immediately hugged Tyler!  She's such a cutie.  She has a little sister and little brother too.  Her mom and I exchanged numbers and have already been chatting  a bit about the goings-on in Kindergarten!

Of course, we also got to meet and talk to all of Tyler's teachers.  Of course, I'd already met his main teacher, Mrs. M, but we also got to meet the assistant homeroom teacher, the art, music, PE, Spanish, and Library staff. They all had great things to say about Tyler. They all remarked about his trough beginning but said he's doing great now and is a really sweet little guy!

A prize for completing all the Back to School night tasks--It's a pencil that says GO BULLDOGS!

Fooling around in the cafeteria

Showing off his work--and not looking at the camera with his eyes!

 He's doing so great!  Unfortunately, the poor guy is sick as a dog again!  The doctor says it's viral, so we're muddling through, but he's been home both days this week. Hopefully he'll be up to going tomorrow!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Prayers needed

I'd like to ask my few readers, as well as put it out there for the universe as a whole, to pray for my mother in law. 

She was admitted to the hospital on Monday with kidney and liver failure.  It was apparently caused by acute acetaminophen toxicity.  She has been living for years with chronic pain from a car accident.  She had fallen at home on Friday but seemed okay and after her husband moved her to the couch, she remained there, pretty incoherent until he decided to call for an ambulance on Monday afternoon. 

As of now, her liver function is improved, but her kidneys still aren't functioning.  They started her on dialysis yesterday.  She tolerated it pretty well and is talking more today, although she's still not making much sense.  They had thought that was mostly due to the medication still in her system and the overall build up of the toxins, but the dialysis should help clear that out.  If not, it's possible there may be some sort of brain damage.

The doctors say there is still a chance her kidneys will come back, but it's not likely.  This is going to be a huge blow and unfathomable change for the whole family.  Neither she nor her husband are working and they don't have medical insurance so we aren't sure how things are going to go in the coming weeks and months. 

Any positive thoughts and prayers would be appreciated greatly!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Another suitcase in another hotel

Points for recognizing the Evita reference (however lose a reference it was, lol).  Last week was another work trip, this time to Chattanooga, TN.  We don't have a location there, so we stayed in a hotel with a conference center.  I hadn't been to Tennessee since I was little (I've been twice, I think. Once to meet my great-grandmother when I was maybe 5, and again a few years later for her funeral) so it was nice to go back. 

I decided that instead of flying this time, I'd drive to Elizabethtown, KY and pick up the two invoicers who work there and then we'd continue on to Chattanooga together.  I rented a car in town and drove the 2.5 hours to "E-town".  The drive down was fairly uneventful, aside from one nasty stretch of construction where the pavement made my car make a noise.  I didn't realize what it was and thought maybe I had a flat!  That wasn't too much fun!  Neither was the nasty cold I brought with me. I sounded funny, my ears wouldn't stop popping and over the course of the week I probably went through 500 tissues.

Ford Fusion--not a bad ride.


Welcome to Kentucky!
I picked up Nova and Mari Lynn and let Nova take over driving.  I was happy to relinquish that duty, as I really don't enjoy driving in unfamiliar areas.  We had lunch at IHop and the drive passed quickly.

Dinos!  Wish my boys were here!
Pretty landscape
We got into Chattanooga and checked into our rooms. Nova and I had adjoining rooms that shared the crummy feature of an air conditioner that failed to keep our rooms cool.  Seriously, the entire trip my thermostat never read lower than 70 degrees and that was in the middle of the night.  They sent an engineer up and he just said the unit was blowing at 65 degrees so it was running fine.  Whatever.  After we got settled, we went down to the bar and grill and had dinner and drinks and hung out with other coworkers as they arrived.  After dinner, Nova and Amberly (from Missouri) and I took a shuttle downtown in search of ice cream.  We wandered for hours trying to find a place with milkshakes for Amberly.  Finally we found an amazing little shop where they mix your favorite toppings with vanilla or chocolate. I had chocolate ice cream with M&Ms and marshmallows.  It was DIVINE and worth the walk, even when we got back to the shuttle stop and realized it was right next door to Ben and Jerry's!
Thank you sir, may I have another?
The next day, I woke up early (4:45 am) and couldn't sleep, so I worked on my laptop for awhile.  After breakfast we started the conference with our group, the Invoicing Associates.  It went well, but I was a little distracted part of the morning, because I'd gotten a call from my mom saying that Tyler had cried most of the morning about going to school.  You guys, I had no idea it would be such an adjustment for all of us!  I sent an email to his teacher to check in and did my best to focus.  Luckily, she emailed me back and said he'd cried when he arrived, but had been much better since then, so that made me feel better.

After the meetings, we were joined by some of the Business Team, who would be joining us for meetings on Wednesday and the group caught a couple of shuttles into town to a great little brewery.  I had sangria and a Bacon Cheeseburger with BBQ sauce and it was really great.  When we got back to the hotel and I had a quick Skype session with the family before going back down to the bar to hang out with some of the group.  Then Nova and I hung out for a bit before bed.

My Invoicing Sista, Nova

Wednesday was our joint meeting day, so we met in a larger room after skyping and breakfast.  I presented two topics by myself and another with a partner and I felt like it went pretty well.  We wrapped up around 3pm and rushed upstairs to change for our "TeamBuilding" event.  We went to the Tennessee Aquarium, which is really nice and boy, did I wish the kids were there. Tyler would have loved seeing it and AJ would have lost his mind over all the "FISHIES!", he's sort of obsessed with them right now.  If he even hears someone say they are going to Walmart, he starts yelling about fishies!

Outside the Aquarium


Great view of the Tennessee River

See the boat by the bridge?  We took a ride on that later!

Piggyback Turtles!

A whole family?  Or are they the TMNTs?

This guy was FREAKY, swimming with his mouth open. He's a Paddlefish

Pet the Stingrays!

Bad pic of the butterfly garden

Nova kissing up


Some MAJOR crab action
After the aquarium we walked down to the river and took a ride on the Southern Belle.  We ate dinner on board and mingled a little bit.  As we approached the dam at the end of the river (no pics, my phone was almost dead), they waited until the very last moment possible to turn the boat, shutting of the engine and basically spinning it out until we faced the way we came, it was wild.  Once we'd turned, the breeze kicked up and it was really nice.  We had a great conversation with one of the sales reps from North Carolina too.  Once we got back to the hotel, I packed most of my stuff and Nova and I hung out before bed.  At this point the only way I could be cool enough to sleep was with a wet washcloth over my face.

The Southern Belle
 The next morning, I actually slept to my alarm (5:30 am) and I really didn't want to get up.  My alarm is the same as my text message sound, so when it went off I actually said, "Please be a text...ugh not a text." I drug myself out of bed and Nova and I stumbled downstairs.  She smokes, so we went outside first and then our keycards wouldn't work to let us back in the backdoor.  We had to walk all the way around the hotel and go in the front.  We stopped at the desk to tell them that either BOTH of our cards weren't working, or their card swiper wasn't.  They reprogrammed both keys to my door (not sure why) and we stopped at the Starbucks for coffee and headed back upstairs.
Had to snap a pic of the chandelier for my mom

When we got there, my stupid door wouldn't open.  Both lights were flashing and when we went BACK down to the desk, they said the batteries were probably dead.  *facepalm*.  They gave us a new card for Nova's door and we were able to get back in, finally.  We finished packing and got dressed and I skyped with Adam and the kids and then we headed out.  The drive back to Etown was fine, we stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast (and I got a few souvenirs at their shop) and Pizza Hut for a quick lunch and then I dropped them off back at their office and headed for HOME!

Unfortunately, there is a lot of construction in Southern Indiana right now, so the drive home was not as uneventful as I would have liked.  By then I just wanted to GO HOME, so dead-stop traffic was not fun.  I'd got a few miles and then there'd be more construction.  This went on for quite awhile and put me about 45 minutes later than I'd thought.
One of my least favorite views.
 Finally I did get back to the car rental and Adam was waiting for me and I could go home and see my BABIES!

And added bonus, Nova and I did a clothing swap and she has AWESOME taste!  New clothes for free!

Over the weekend, we made our yearly trip to the State Fair, tired as I was!  It was fun, a little rainy at times, and somehow we ran out of time (and energy) and I didn't get to sample all of my favorite foods this time.  I toyed with the idea of going back, but really didn't have the funds for it.  Ah well, next year.

Tyler in his little poncho!

AJ riding in style

My boys!

Checking out the campsite

Every picture I took of them (about 5) was blurry!

It was Purdue day!  Checking out the Boilermaker Train!

With Daddy on the slide!
WHEW!  I'm tired just remembering all that!  It was a great, very busy week!  Tyler's doing much better at school, getting more excited about things and more confident.  I think he's even made his first little friend, a little girl who's been helping him across the "shake shake" bridge on the playground!  Thursday is school picture day and I can't wait to see his sweet smile!  Next week is back to school night and he's excited to show us around and talk more about what he's been doing.  He's already doing better with a pencil and working on letters and writing his name.  We read every night and he's recognizing more and more words!  And last nights homework was about volumes and he had a great time in the bath, pouring water to and from different containers!  :)  So proud!

AJ's doing well too, starting to talk more, though it's very hard sometimes to know what he's saying. We have our evaluation with the speech therapist next week that I'm keeping since it's already on the calendar.  We'll see what they say.  Right now, he YELLS everything!  Not mad, but just yelling each word like he thinks he won't be heard otherwise!  He's such a character!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

First Day Of Kindergarten!

I can't believe it, but my baby started kindergarten last week!  He's getting so big and I'm so proud of him!  It was a rough week for him, though, harder than we'd anticipated.  Since he's never been in daycare or preschool or anything, he's never really been anywhere without a family member.  He had moments of missing us and also moments we didn't predict.  He was anxious and worried about random things, like breaking instruments in music class or getting put in time out.  Poor guy was putting a lot of pressure on himself! 

Tuesday was the first day.  He was really excited!  Adam and I took the day off work so we could drop him off and pick him up and I'm really glad we did.  We got up, made his lunch, got him dressed (so cute in his khaki shorts and polo shirt!) and took lots of pictures.

Check out the Turtles Backpack--It's almost bigger than he is!

With Gaga

With Aunt Chall

So big!!! :*-)

Love this picture!
After our photo session it was time to go!  We drove to the school and Adam and I walked him into the school. He did great, finding his classroom pretty easily, meeting his teacher (Mrs. M), and putting his things in his cubby.  Daddy had to go back to the car because we'd forgotten the bag of extra supplies, so we went on and found his desk together and he got settled in to color a little while the kids were arriving.

Here we go!

So Brave!
Meeting new friends!

Sweet Selfie

Silly Selfie!


His own cubby!

Still working on holding the pencil right

It was hard to leave!
He did great, even when it was time for us to leave!  He was brave and happy!  And I made it out of the classroom before I started crying.  I was happy and so proud but also worried for him.  The first day was a mixed bag. He had good moments and was bubbling over about it when he got home, but he had a few moments where he missed us too. 

The second day was rough.  Mrs. M called me and said he'd just been having a bit of a sad day.  He missed us and he seemed insecure and cried easily.  Thursday was much the same.  Unfortunately, Friday the sore throat he'd been complaining about had turned into sneezing, congestion, and a sore throat!  We took him to the doctor and they checked him for strep, which luckily he didn't have, but he had to stay home instead of going to school. Over the weekend, he continued to talk about being nervous. We talked a lot about it and it seemed like most of it was being afraid of getting in trouble or doing something wrong.  Bless his heart, he was so worried about that!  We assured him that getting in trouble is okay and happens to everyone, but that the things he thought he was going to get in trouble with just weren't really bad things (such as playing tag in gym--he thought that playing tag was hitting, which is against the rules).  We told him that if he did get in trouble, that was okay. That we'd talk about it and it was okay and we'd just start again.  Seeing how much he was struggling, I left a message and sent an email to Mrs. M. She was kind enough to let us stop by the school today and the four of us talked over all of it again.  Now Tyler says he isn't scared at all!  I'm so relieved and hopeful that this week will go much smoother. I know it's going to take time for him to be totally comfortable and to stop missing his family. But I'm just glad to know that his teacher really cares and is being patient with him.  Boy, this week I've seen just how much he is like me!  Easy to cry and can't always hold back the tears, sensitive and sometimes insecure.  And he is just so sweet, he melts my heart.  I know he's going to do great, we just have to get him used to the routine.

Unfortunately, I have to disrupt the routine already!  I have to go to Chattanooga tomorrow for work. Adam's a trooper and between him and mom, I'm sure they will handle it fine, but I'm definitely feeling the Mommy Guilt!

I'm so proud of my baby boy!  He's getting so big and he's so smart!  LOVE HIM!!!

I'll leave you with the very first picture Tyler did in Kindergarten.  It's pretty darn good in my humble opinion!
A work of art!