Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween...

We had a fun day. We stayed at the house and both kids took nice naps. I had contemplated going down town to Trick-or-Treat on Broad but opted out since I was by myself and I really needed AG to nap. (And since we are really trying to 'control', or at least as much as possible, his CVS I wanted him to sleep and wake himself up.) Since we were having to tote Avi-Cakes I decided it would be easier if she wasn't in a costume this year since she is so little. We put on some layers and she wore her glow-in-the-dark skeleton pjs on top. AG decided to be a gorilla. One of his favorite books is Goodnight Gorilla and so it worked perfectly.  He was pretty cute...if I do say so myself! :) 

After a quick dinner we went to take pictures by our collection of pumpkins that we carved with our college crew. AG was super excited and began to squeal...this didn't go over well with Avi-Kate!

Pictures done and ready to get some candy!

Well, after a few houses AG was really getting in to it. I took him to a house and I should have turned around when I saw how it was decorated but live and learn. Well, we get up to the house and it's decked out...we ring the doorbell...delayed answering...out pops a man in a creepy mask...AG about jumps out of his skin and screams...the man immediately yells he's sorry and takes off the mask. Damage done. (sigh) We get back to Andy and all AG can talk about is that he is scared! So, we convince him to try a few more houses but each house he tells the owners how scared he is instead of Trick-Or-Treat. He had then had enough and told us he was ready to go see GrandMary because her house wasn't scary. So, we called it a night. Loaded up both kids into the Acadia. And away we went up the street to see our beloved GrandMary and Jack. :) Have I mentioned how much we love Mary?! Or how much we can't wait for AG to start Kindergarten?!

Andy was determined to capture our pumpkins at night...

Here's to next year and here's hoping that AG won't be scarred for life. :) If he is I guess we'll just go to GrandMary's and pass out her candy for her. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How big...

...of a family do you want?

When you are first married you frequently get asked when you plan to start a family. Then after your firstborn arrives you are then asked so when will the next arrive OR how many do you want.

So, here's the answer to how many kids do we want...

(And if you think this is my way of making announcement...guess again! I've been mulling a post like this since I was pregnant with Avi-Kate. I just decided to write it out tonight for whatever reason.)

The long answer is this:

When I was 8 my parents adopted my older sister, Misty. It was amazing and it continues to be amazing. I can't put in to words how grateful and richly blessed I am because of my older sister. Misty came to live with us when she was in college and I believe because of her  my passion for ministering to college students was born. So, just like some girls grow up dreaming and planning out every inch of their wedding from when they were little I have grown up planning out my family. My dreams have always included adoption.

Andy comes from a home with two older sisters. The thought of adoption had never really crossed his mind till we met. As we dated and fell in love he began to warm up to the idea. We knew from the beginning we wanted a large family. His only stipulation in the adoption equation was that we have our biologicals first.

Well, we now have two biological how many more do we want?!? We see ourselves with three biological children and then adopting our other child(ren). Yes, I'm not sure what our grand total will be. I do believe it'll be at least four but I'm open to more. Now, some people reading this are thinking we may have lost a few marbles. The real reason I'm not sure is because we are open to the possibility of a sibling set. The reality is that sibling sets are so much harder to place because most people only want one child at a time. So, when we get to that point, if we are presented with a sibling set we will take them. If we can keep a set of siblings together and give them a loving home it's a win-win. At this point we don't know where we want to adopt from. I think when the time is right we'll know. However, I do pray for our future kids already. With my last pregnancy I thought a lot about being pregnant. I asked myself if God doesn't see fit to bless us with anymore biologicals would I be content with that? And the answer is, yes. Because in the deepest places of my heart I have always known that I would not bare all of the children I would raise.

In addition to all of this we have our college students. We recognize that the opportunity to do what we do may not always be around and we are content with God's plan for us and them. I think that for right now it gives us the best of both worlds...we get to start our family and we get to adopt a whole crew of college students. This school year I have been reminded on a weekly basis how much we need our students and God has humbled me in showing me what an amazing ministry this is to our students. Last week one of our girls and I were chatting. With tears in her eyes she told me how grateful she was to be a part of all this and how she was looking forward to what we have planned for the holidays. When this all started several years ago I don't think we ever imagined how deep these roots would grow.

The short answer is...

We want at least three, plus an adoption of some sort, and a house full of college students.

I'm humbled and amazed at the ways our 'family' continues to grow and multiply.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hmmmm..., this last week was eventful. After, we finally got things figured out with the GI doctor for AG I decided to cancel our Disney trip, sad, but okay. We'll be there for a whole week in March! It would have been too much to drive with kids and mom not up to par. We did Disney sick last December and while we still had fun I didn't want to add a four month old to that equation this go around. Plus, after sorting things out with the GI doctor I'm even more glad we didn't go. When we do Disney we are up and out the door early in the morning, take a mid-day break, and then stay as late as possible at night. Well, that wouldn't have worked with AG and his new medicine this go around.

On Tuesday, the doctor decided to put AG on medicine for the foreseeable future to help with his vomiting episodes. Now, it takes awhile to build up in his system which means he could still have an episode before it really becomes effective. Also, it can make the taker quite sleepy and groggy in the morning. Well, I gave him his first dose Tuesday night and he slept till 10:45 the next morning! Needless to say we skipped his nap on Wednesday in favor of an earlier bedtime. Thursday he woke up at 8:45 and was able to nap that afternoon. So, the rest of the week we have been playing with napping/not napping and trying to figure out what works best. All that to say I'm glad we are home and not away while we let his body adjust to this new medicine.

In other news...

-After changing out the planters on the front steps and filling them with fresh plants I commented to Andy that when I'm pregnant my gardening goes to pot. Literally. The front steps didn't get any loving this spring or summer...I was doing good to have stuff in them last fall during the first trimester with Avi-Kate. I'm happy to have plants and pots to freshen up the front of the house once again. Also, Andy is almost done with his projects on the front of the to come, soon!

-I picked up some odds and ends at HePo aka Home Depot today for crafting. I can't talk about all my projects since my extended family reads the blog and I'm working on some projects for Christmas but I will share, last week I mentioned the large volume of house plants now residing at 320 E. 11th Street. Well, some of them are going to be sent to loving homes aka family members. The rest I'm going to do something with. I have some old containers in various sizes, shapes, and types laying around. Andy and I are going to prime them and spray them with chalkboard spray paint. Hopefully, this little face lift will turn out well  enough that I'll have containers to use till spring rolls around and I can redesign things for life on the porch for the summer/fall.

-My sweet husband surprised me with a massage at a local spa and dinner out without the kids for my birthday. It was a wonderful treat...thank you Andy! :) Big thanks to our sweet college girls for taking the kids for the night.

-AG is ready for Christmas. Last week, he asked if we could go cut down our Christmas tree with Emma! I told him in a few weeks. Guess that answer wasn't good at HePo he found tiny potted trees in the garden section, picked it up, carted it over to Andy, declared it 'AG's Christmas Tree', and plopped it down on the flatbed cart. Add that to my list of things to pot this week. Oh, well it'll be cute with some lights on it in his room. :)

-We have family dinner next Sunday night with the college students. Chili night and pumpkin carving. Should be a fun night all together and we already have our last two family dinners planned for the semester. Thanksgiving and Christmas Dessert/Movie Night.

-I need to do a post about some of AG's favorite phrases these days. He keeps us laughing that is for sure.

Monday, October 17, 2011

And we are falling a part...

...sort of. Give us a few days and we'll be on the mend.

I suspect he has a sinus infection but he's yet to deem it bad enough to go to the doctor...we'll see.

I ended up catching pink eye in a round about way on Saturday...I woke up this morning and was frustrated because I had to not only spend the afternoon at the pediatrician but now take myself to the doctor with two small kids. While at the doctor, for the pink eye, they also diagnosed me with a sinus infection. The pharmacy was out of the eye drops so I get to pick them up tomorrow. So, I'm keeping my hands from rubbing my eyes by typing this post.

Complained of feeling sick and needing to vomit last night. I dosed him with Zofran and he passed out. I called Dr. Saripkin and talked with his nurse. She said she'd talk with him and get back with me what he wants to do. I'm still waiting to hear where we go from here.

Well, she's had diarrhea (which has also led to a horrible diaper rash!) and excessive spit-up for the last two days. I suspected she might have a little GI bug. So, today I mentioned it while at the pediatrician. While doing her examination she asked if she had been drooling excessively the last few days too. Yep, but she's four months old...she's not teething! Wrong. My four month old doesn't have a GI bug because she's cutting teeth. Seriously?! And not just the normal baby's first teeth like the bottom front two or top two, rather, she's cutting her lower incisors?! I guess the ironic thing is over the weekend I noticed the two little white tooth buds when she was smiling but I convinced my self that it was silly to think she was cutting incisors this early. Oh, little girl! You are a mess and clearly have your own way of doing things already. :) And while we are at it you were 15lbs 14.2oz, 25inches long, and 42cm head circumference. You are also spinning around/scooting around on your tummy and you are close to rolling over. I can't believe how quickly you are growing up!

So, give us a few days and we'll be better...

Sunday, October 16, 2011


...I'll be making a phone call Monday to Dr. Saripkin. Yep, we had a minor CVS episode this evening.

From my research I really do think that sleep happens to be one of AG's triggers. Particularly, being woken up. In some cases when a person with CVS is woken up before their body is ready they can have an episode. The last three episodes have come after being woken up from his nap. This afternoon he went down a little late for his nap but not out of the ordinary. He was asleep by 3:30 and he normally goes to sleep at 3. Well, at 6:30 he was still out cold. Our neighbors up the street called and invited us to come join them for dinner at the last minute. In my gut I felt like I should have let him sleep but I really wanted to get out of the house for a little bit after this long week. Clearly, I should have gone with my gut. Well, I finally roused him and he just laid in his bed. And then he wanted to be held. His cheeks were flushed and he was very lethargic.  When I finally got him out of the bed I had to carry him to the den to get him dressed. When I put him down he immediately laid down on the carpet. We made it up the street and he didn't want to be there. He kept asking to go to AG's house. I sat down and was holding him at the kitchen table when he got sick. After he threw up we put him in the tub and afterwards he felt fine. For some reason I grabbed a pair of sweats on our way out the door so he had something clean to wear after we bathed him.

Now, for the moment I'm calling it a minor episode...he could wake up tonight and keep vomiting. But at the moment he threw up and then was fine. Not as long as his previous episodes/same intensity BUT the signs were all there and his behavior followed a pattern. Afterwards, Andy calculated how many days we went in between episodes...45days or a little over 6 weeks.

In addition we have to see the pediatrician on Monday for Avi-Kate's check-up. I look forward to chatting with her about all of this when we go. I'm off to go log all of the details so that we can begin to keep a record of everything. I'm curious to hear what Dr. Saripkin says and how he wants to proceed. If sleep is a trigger I'm curious as to how that is going to work with school and having to be up at a certain time/nap time.

I'm off to bed. Today has been a long addition Avi-Kate has had a little GI bug. Never a dull moment around here...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


...this last week was a whirlwind.

Here's the bullet points update on life:

Last weeks events
-Andy made it home from Miami on an earlier flight Wednesday.
-My dear friends Ginn and Julie both blessed me by helping me clothe my children for the visitation, 2 funerals, and the burial. Do to the whirlwind of events I was doing good to find something for me to wear. I was grateful to not have to try and shop for multiple outfits for both children. I really don't know how I could have done it. 
-I was in charge of putting together items that reflected who my grandmother was to be displayed at both the visitation and the funeral home in the mtns. 
-We spent the weekend with family and celebrating my grandmother's life. The kids were great despite the crazy schedule and enjoyed lots of attention. We also spent lots of time discussing both of our kids' fabulously red hair. :) Having a red head is like having a celebrity. I thought we couldn't go anywhere without being asked about it before when it was just AG. Ha. Well, regardless my grandmother would have been elated to have two redheaded great-grandchildren.

Around the House:
-I'm attempting to regain the chaos that is the house these days. Throw in last week's events and a mountain of laundry plus a bunch of freezer cooking and that's where I'm at.
-Freezer cooking. I've been trying to take one day a week to put away a few extra meals in the freezer. Sometimes that is me doubling or tripling what I'm cooking for dinner. Other times it's me making a ton of chicken to be prepped for other meals. Or making breakfast food to be put up. The last few weeks I've been stockpiling baby food for Avi-Kate because solids are just around the corner. Last Tuesday, I made a bunch of chicken and chicken stock. My plan was to put up all the chicken over the next few days, however, that plan flew out the window. So, I've been doing chicken meals now trying to get it all put up. In addition to that, we also came home with a ton of food so I've been getting creative on ways to make things do double duty. For example what do you do with 2 gallon Ziploc bags worth of Chick-fil-A chicken? Throw together several chicken parmigianas with ingredients you have on hand (hooray, for stockpiling/couponing!) and put them in the freezer.
-I need to figure out what I'm doing with all the house plants I came home with from the funeral...I have lots of houseplants already and thankfully they spend from May to October out on the screened porch. It really might be jungle this winter and in 6 weeks we'll add a Christmas tree which requires even more shuffling. So, again I'm not really sure what I'll do. Meg, Caro, and Mis you may be receiving some new house guests...don't say I didn't warn you. I think I'm most excited about the crotons that were in the baskets. I've wanted some for years (yes, I love to garden and I get excited about plants!)
-I have a few odds and ends projects that I'm mulling and need to work my free time. Ha. Whatever that is...

-Busy, busy, busy with work.
-Wishing he had more free time to complete some of his projects he's started.

-Trying to get over this sinus crud that I've had for over a week.
-Worn out. Ready to go on vacation and have a few days away as a family.

-A mess. Never still. Quite funny. Has the temper that comes with being redheaded. Learning lots about boundaries and limitations these days. 
-Tech savvy. I'll be honest I'm not sure if I should be proud or worried about how tech savvy he is...he can navigate an iPhone without batting an eye. He has now figured out how to navigate the family desktop. For example he makes the dock appear, locates Safari, pulls up YouTube, and opens a playlist of favorite videos he's starred. This is all from his own exploration. Andy and I haven't taught him anything. For awhile we would minimize Safari but he's since figured out how to pull it back up. So, it's not uncommon to find our mouse hiding in the kitchen cabinets when Mom doesn't want AG to mess with the computer. 

-Four months old! Crazy!
-She has her check up on Monday. Due to everything that happened last week I haven't taken her four month pictures, yet. Soon enough. 
-She's getting big. Her body control is fabulous. I sat her in the high chair for the first time tonight while we ate dinner. She loves being included and hates being left out.
-She LOVES her big brother. She finds him comical and loves to smile/laugh at him. 
-Once I have pics and her trip to the doctor I'll do a four month post on her.
-Oh, and her hair is coming in and it's the same exact shade as AG's. She has this one piece on the top that is curling up and refuses to lay flat. We might have a curly headed child...I'd love it. As a baby my hair was a mass of curls all over my head.

-Adjusted to life with two kids. Takes it all in stride...when he doesn't want to be bothered he disappears to our room.
-Has started playing games with AG. Tug of war with a rope. Fetching. (Which should be noted as a big deal b/c Samson has never been a big fan of playing fetch due to his breed make-up. So, the fact that he plays with AG is quite endearing.)

-We leave in a little over a week for Disney. We are getting away for a few days to celebrate my birthday. To say I'm excited would be a huge, huge understatement. After the last few months I'm ready for some quality family time at the happiest place on earth.

-Thankfully, AG hasn't had an episode. I was fearful that everything going on last week would trigger an episode. Praise the Lord it didn't. Although, we had a moment of panic driving to my parents on Friday. AG was crashed in his carseat dead asleep and suddenly woke up in a fit of coughing and then passed back out. Usually, he starts coughing in his sleep right before he vomits. Ever so grateful that it didn't happen. I know that eventually we'll have an episode till then we wait. I'm also looking forward to chatting with the pediatrician on Monday at Avi-Kate's appointment about this since I haven't seen her since we got the diagnoses.

I'm sure there are lots of other things I should mention but at the moment I can't think what they are. :) For now, I'm grateful for all that I'm learning these days...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hey, it's okay...

So, today anything went. I was parenting two small kids by myself, running on less than an hours sleep due to hearing that my grandmother had passed away, and trying to get all the lose ends wrapped up before leaving for ATL. So, when my child consumed the following for lunch (while I was running around cooking all the meat I picked up this week on sale at the grocery store so that it won't go bad before we return!):

-Colby Monterrey Jack Cheese slices
-A package of Chick-fil-A croutons he rummaged out of the pantry
-And a handful of Lucky Charms

I gave myself a pass. I told myself that today it was okay. I also told myself that it was fine to let him watch The Little Mermaid and Cinderella for the 1,001 time because they are his current movie obsession. Thank heavens it wasn't the Disney Vacation Planning DVD although if he'd asked for it I would have let him because I was trying to juggle so much.

Here's hoping that tomorrow's lunch is better and that I can get some sleep tonight...

Keep a-Goin'

When I was pregnant with AG Me-Me would tell me how much she prayed that he would be a boy and that she wanted him to have red hair. (Particularly the same shade that my dad's was as a little boy.) He not only is named after his granddad but he also has the same fiery red hair. When we took AG to meet Me-Me all she could talk about was his hair as she lovingly stroked his head. She even called him Mr. Red...

Tonight my heart aches. After I put the kids to bed I began to work on finalizing our Disney plans for my birthday. Andy is in Miami for the night and I got on a roll...I looked up and realized that it was 1:30 and I should head to bed. (Yes, even with two kids I'm still a night owl!) As I was climbing in the bed I received a text from my parents that my grandmother had passed away. My sweet grandmother is finally home and whole. She was diagnosed with Alzheimers when I was in college and so this has been a long time coming. Due to the disease, she has been 'gone' for years now despite being prepared for the end I wept. Tonight I will cling to my favorite Psalm as I attempt to also happens to be Me-Me's favorite, Psalm 121. 
And in the days that follow I will Keep a-Goin'! We'll all Keep a-Goin' because that is what she would want. The following poem was Me-Me's favorite. And as her memory began to fade she could still recite this. I will forever cherish her very animated rendition of this in my memory. 


Author: by Frank L. Stanton (1857-1927)
If you strike a thorn or rose,
Keep a-goin'!
If it hails or if it snows,
Keep a-goin'!
'Taint no use to sit an' whine
When the fish ain't on your line;
Bait your hook an' keep a-tryin'--
Keep a-goin'!

When the weather kills your crop,
Keep a-goin'!
Though 'tis work to reach the top,
Keep a-goin'!
S'pose you're out o' ev'ry dime,
Gittin' broke ain't any crime;
Tell the world you're feelin' prime--
Keep a-goin'!

When it looks like all is up,
Keep a-goin'!
Drain the sweetness from the cup,
Keep a-goin'!
See the wild birds on the wing,
Hear the bells that sweetly ring,
When you feel like singin', sing--
Keep a-goin'!

My Dearest Me-Me,
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart thank you for all that you did for me and my sisters over the years. Thank you for sweet moments. Thank you for wonderful celebrations over the were always a wonderful hostess. Thank you for a chance to be young in the mountains because there was no where else we'd rather be. Thank you for teaching us manners and how a lady should act...M and C do you remember the cassette tapes of songs about manners? Thank you for Snoopy fishing poles. Thank you for bath time and drying each individual toe while we sat in your lap. Thank you for bedtime stories...I'm sure Caroline would also say thank you for insisting she sleep on the trundle bed so that she wouldn't fall out of the bed and hurt herself, even at 10 years old.  Thank you for loving Misty as your own because you knew to us she was and is our big sister. Thank you for always supporting our endeavors. Thank you for giving my sisters and I a wonderful appreciation of the arts from an early age. Thank you for trips to Chick-a-lay on the corner. (The Chick-fil-A at North Druid Hills.)  Thank you for always including books for my library each birthday and Christmas. You will be happy to know that AG already dearly loves Ira Sleeps Over...funny thing is he doesn't like to read the new copy I have...he insists on reading the well loved and very worn copy you gave me when I was little. Thanks for my love of red...your signature color was and is still my favorite. Thank you for Chocolate Soup and London Fog. Thank you for Varsity trips in our Chocolate Soup and London Fog. Thank you for all these things and countless more. You were an incredible and amazing grandmother. Generous with your time and love. We are forever grateful. 
Love, Katie-Girl