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!