Trip to Birmingham

Sam and I took a quick trip to Birmingham Sunday after church and spent the night with B and Pops.  It had been over a month since we'd seen my mom and step-dad, so it was a much needed trip for us.  Sam got to see his cousins too.

Here we have Sam and Anne Madison "taking a nap".  Avery has her spot just out of the camera's view on the couch.  
This is the best picture these kids have ever taken!  Notice they're all smiling, looking at the camera, with their hands in their lap.  That's hard to do...  But still, don't they look like they're up to something?
Pops got some good time in with his two boys: Sam and Kole.  He's looking forward to when Luke gets here and the boys outnumber the girls.  :)


The Local Mall

We made our way to Parkway Place Mall today just to get out of the house for a few minutes.  For the past few months they've had this big jumping area located in the food court.  (Just like my opinions of character dining at Disney World, I find this a little distracting while you're trying to get your kid to eat.)  But today it worked in our favor.  Sam kept asking to jump, which he hasn't done before because we thought he would be scared.  Ron told him he could but he had to eat his chicken nuggets.  He stuffed them in his mouth and was ready to go.  
Once he was strapped in, they raised him up to jump some.  He did ask to get down at the very beginning but we ignored that request and he began having fun.  He stayed up there for several minutes and had so much fun....full of smiles.
I was in the jumping area with him, so I got to see everything close up.  Ron had a different vantage point from outside the railing and said he looked like such a big boy instead of our little baby.  Wow, they grow so fast!  After we got down and started leaving the mall Sam looked tired.  I asked him if he was and he said "Sam jumped; Sam sleepy".

Fun Times with George

I have recently realized that Sam has learned and is continuing to learn many life-lessons from Curious George.  As we watched George carry around his piggy bank today, Sam decided he wanted to get his out.  So we got out Sam's hand-painted piggy bank that he made while on vacation in Florida and began putting pennies in it.  He made a point to count right along with George, which of course I thought was adorable.

He makes references to George a lot.  We saw some hot-air balloons while we were on vacation and he said "Look Mommy, hot-air balloons like George's".  When he got his chest x-ray in the E.R. I told him to make sure and smile big for the camera (which Ron reported to me afterward that he did say "cheese" and smiled big).  He wasn't scared of the x-ray machine because he remembered that George got an x-ray when he broke his leg.  There have been a lot more learning lessons from George that have left my mind, but I'm sure you get the idea...  :)  Who would have thought a cartoon monkey could teach a child so much?


busy, busy...

It's been a busy few days getting back into the swing of things here in Huntsvegas after visiting Mickey Mouse.  We've been sick, tired, and grumpy (that one is Sam's doings...) but happy to be home.  Sam's been grumpy; it's hard going from getting whatever you want in the land of Disney to coming home to normal life where Mom and Dad won't let you eat in front of the TV or have ice-cream before your meal.  (Yes, we let him have dessert before dinner a few times in Florida.)  Vacation is all about having fun along with a few necessary guidelines.

I loved being in Florida and getting to blog everyday.  It's like therapy.  You get home and quickly realize your time is taken up by playtime with Sam, family time at night with Ronzo, washing clothes, cleaning house, cooking, and occasional resting.  So back to the wonderful world of being a housewife where things aren't as exciting as Disney but much more rewarding!


Disney - Day 4

So, I'm a day late on recapping day 4...but here is a quick summary.  We woke up leisurely yesterday and left the resort by 10am headed for the Orlando/Sanford Airport.  The airport is somewhat small (about the size of Huntsville) but a lot easier than flying out of Orlando.  Even more reason to fly from there is that Allegiant Airlines has non-stop flights to Huntsville for only $19.  Yep, seriously.  After our almost 11-hour car ride (spread over 2 days) to Orlando last weekend, we decided Sam and I would fly back while Ron drove home.  This first picture was of Sam watching Toy Story and eating lunch at our gate while we waited to board the plane.

Sam found a kindred spirit at the airport named Jacob.  Jacob was pushing a little carry-on suitcase of Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, so they ended up watching the movie together.  It was priceless.

Sam got his own seat on the airplane and wore a big-boy seat belt.  This was his first time to fly and he seemed to enjoy it almost as much as the movie he was watching.  (Thank goodness for portable DVD players; we watched Curious George on the plane.)  While the plane was making it's way up in the air, Sam was most impressed with all the trees.  "Look Mommy, trees." he kept saying.

We were home by 2pm (thanks Melanie for the ride home...) and managed to have an uneventful afternoon.  Ron made it in about 9 last night and we're all glad to be home.

Today has been very trying...Sam has required tons of attention and has wanted me to hold him constantly.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a little more normal.


Disney - Day 3

Before we move on to day 3, we have to finish up with what we did on the night of day 2. We headed to the resort's craft room for a fun time of painting piggy banks. Sam instantly was drawn to this. He didn't waste any time painting. He had so much concentration that his tongue was contorted and sticking out pretty much the whole time.
In typical Sam fashion, he all-at-once put down his paint brush and said "All done". The employee facilitating pointed out there were still some unpainted areas on the pig and tried to insist we paint them. I told him I didn't want this project to be parent-tampered in the least bit. Then it wouldn't be Sam's work of art. So we left it just as it was...which was really hard for the OCD part of me. :)
And this was the finished project. Ron and I agreed it's one of the ugliest things we've seen but that's what makes us love it so much. It's Sam's abstract art!
Our friend Hank Campbell lives in St. Pete and drove to Orlando to visit for the afternoon. He and Ron have been friends and running buddies since their days together at Hoover High School. The Hankster is always fun to have around...
Sam really enjoyed his company. By the end of the day, Sam was reaching for his hand to hold, playing with his beard, racing him down the hallway, and even saying to Hank what is usually reserved for only Ron and me: "Hold you". So being good 'ole Uncle Hank, he obliged and held him while walking to the car.

Sam's fever has been gone for the last 24 hours, although his cough is still hanging around. But overall he's doing tons better. Of course that's what happens now that it's time to go home. After the 11-hour drive down here, we decided that Sam and I will fly back to Huntsville tomorrow instead of driving with Ron. I'm looking forward to getting home quickly and hope that Ron's drive by himself doesn't seem like forever. We've had so much fun on this trip and enjoyed every moment, even the difficult ones. That being said, I think we're all ready to get back to Huntsvegas where things are a little more normal.


Disney - Day 2

It's late and I'm tired, so this will be a short update. Day 1 ended with a wonderful nightcap at Magic Kingdom. After a hurried drive and Monorail ride, we got to the park right as the fireworks began (8 ET). After the 15-minute show (which Sam loved), we rode a couple of rides. Ron went to Space Mountain while Sam and I rode the tea cups and elephants again. The lines were short, so we were done around 9. We enjoyed watching Sam fall asleep in the car on our way back to the resort. He's past the age of sleeping in the car with ease, so there was an innocence about it that we welcomed.

We went to the Disney Live on Stage show at MGM Studios this morning. Sam was mesmerized seeeing all his favorite characters.

He also got to meet Lightning McQueen and Mater from the Pixar film Cars. They sounded like the real-deal with their roaring engines and he even got to touch McQueen's lucky sticker.
We rode an open-air bus from our car to the park's entrance which Sam thoroughly enjoyed.

The next group of pictures are from our breakfast this morning at the Contemporary Resort. It was a fun way to eat: character dining. I told Ron whoever thought of this idea was brilliant and stupid at the same time. We're going to get one of the most distracting things in the world (Mickey and friends) and put them right in the middle of an important part of a child's day (eating a meal). As you can tell by my remarks, Sam didn't eat a thing. He was too happy seeing all the characters.

Sam literally just leaned and hung over his highchair waiting to see his pals.
We got to meet Quincy from The Little Einsteins. How fun!...
Sorry this update didn't have much substance. I'm going to bed to get some much needed sleep. We're not going to the parks tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have some time to post a good update tomorrow night. Wednesday will be activities around the resort and some outlet mall shopping just down the road. Good night all...


Disney - Day 1

What a day we've had so far... It started very familiar to the past few days; Sam waking up a little earlier than usual and throwing up when we tried to make him take his medicine. Sorry for the candidness, but the blogging world is all about the brutal truth. Ron somehow talked him into taking his Tylenol around 8:05 am; this gave us just enough time to make it to our resort lobby and catch the bus to go to the Magic Kingdom. (Ron was standing firm: We weren't getting on that bus until Sam took his medicine.) We arrive at the gates at 9 after a fun ride on the Monorail. Obviously, if you're going to Disney World you have to meet Mickey. So we went to the back of the park where he hangs out and waited in a very short line. Ron had been preparing Sam for what he was going to say when he met Mickey: the magic words. If you have ever watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the Disney Channel, Mickey says the magic words to get the clubhouse to appear. Sam is always saying the magic words around the house, so we walk up to Mickey and Sam said "Meeska Mooska Mickey Mouse". (I must be honest, he actually said Mooska Mooska Mickey Mouse but that's close enough.) Mickey gave him a high-five which suprisingly we got on film thanks to the nice people in line behind us.
Our family picture with Mickey. It was so adorable watching Sam. He was so pumped to meet his favorite character in the world. (Notice his hand on his waist...how cute.)
Here's Sam sitting all by himself on the boat ride through "It's a Small World". He enjoyed that ride a lot more than "Winnie the Pooh's Adventures". Although they were both a little dark, Pooh's ride had a few more scary parts.
Other than the sun in the background, I thought this was a precious snapshot of our family. We took this picture of ourselves while riding the bus out to the park. It was 8:30 in the am, and you can see in Sam's eyes that he's not feeling great...poor little guy. But he perked up once we got to the park.
Our first ride was on the Mad Tea Party. Sam enjoyed the tea cups spinning. Ron wanted to spin our tea cup (lime green one, I might add) but I told him he'd be cleaning up after me if he did. I didn't think I could handle a lot of spinning at almost 6 months pregnant.
Sam and Ron rode the race cars together. Sam enjoyed that a lot even though he was so short he couldn't see over the steering wheel. They changed sides mid-way through their racing adventure so he could see.
I had the enjoyment of riding with Sam on "Dumbo the Flying Elephant" (also notice he picked the lime green elephant, or ephinant as he calls it.) When this ride was over, he said "Again please, Mommy, do it again". Safe to say he had a blast this morning.
We had a very quick lunch at one of the restaurants in the park and made it back to the parking lot for our 12:15 bus ride back to the resort. Sam has been asleep for a couple of hours...we told him Mickey wanted him to get rested up before seeing him again tonight. Ahh, the powers of Mickey's persuasion. :) We're going to dinner with a family from Huntsville then making our way back to the Magic Kingdom for a couple of rides and the fireworks show.

We'll keep you posted on our trip...


The Longest Day Ever

The longest day ever began @ 5:45 2/9/08. I awoke and I was immediately overwhelmed @ the tasks before me. Just the day before we had done 8 cases @ Crestwood, and had 2 other inpatients, all of whom needed to be seen and taken care of, notes written, dressings changed, prescriptions written...all of which was completed by 7:30. There was a quick stop by the office, TOC 7:40-7:50 then off to Huntsville Hospital to 1st assist on my 17th case of the week. Before scrubbing I had 3 inpatients to see, 8 discharge summaries to dictate, and 14 history and physicals to dictate, all of which needed to be completed before I headed out of town for Orlando and the House of Mouse. My last stitch thrown @ 10 am, I had one hour to rush to the gym and get in a quick workout (8x800meter repeats in 2:27 w/ 2 min. recovery - total of 8 miles w/ a warm up and cool down). I made it home in just enough time to pack my clothes and the van w/ all our STUFF (12:30pm). Penny had a pretty busy morning herself. Sam had woken up early and b/c of a worsening cough, Penny had tried to get him some cough syrup. This made him gag and puke all of his breakfast on the floor. So, besides the packing and last minute chores, she got to mop the kitchen floor, ridding it of vomit.
We finally made our way southward @ 12:45 and had a pretty uneventful trip, all the way to Cordelle, GA, about 2 hours south of Atlanta. Sam's cough had gotten worse in the interim and we began to get a bit worried b/c he, for the first time since the cough started, felt febrile. We attempted to go to bed about 9:30 EST, but Sam was having none of it. He was extremely irritable and his cough had reached that "Oh my gosh, he sounds HORRIBLE" level. About 1:45 he woke us up for the 10th time coughing and gagging, so I got up and to my dismay, he had become extremely warm, to the point that with the cough, audible congestion, and fever, I got pretty unnerved. So, finally @ 2:30 am.....we headed to the ER. I mean, what do you do? You're kid is sick, you're in the middle of nowhere, and to be honest I was scared. Only thing to do, trust in God, and your local medical professionals to get him better. The staff @ Crisp County Regional Medical Center did a great job, but typical to any ER visit we were there until 5:45 am. Fortunately, no RSV, no strep, and no pneumonia on the chest x-ray. Chalk it up to a virus, treat the symptoms, and proceed as planned. We managed to catch a wink and head southward by 10am (the following day) and make it, in once piece, to Mouseville by 2:30.
We're thankful for opportunities to get away, and certainly, we hoped to make some wonderful memories during this vacation, but we've gotten a little more than we bargained for thus far. I guess we're re-defining "wonderful."
The good news: Sam is feeling better and his temp is down, although his cough is still pretty nasty, I think he'll make a full recovery; our resort is AWESOME! (details to follow); Magic Kingdom tomorrow (it's going to be mousetastic); we survived the longest day ever.


Last night

Some of you may have heard me talk about the football pool I was in during the fall.  Ron and about 10 of his co-workers picked 5 college football games every week to include in this challenge:  The Pick 5.  (I know, what an original name.)   So the rules were simple:  you pick which 5 teams you think will win, and you get a point for each one answered correctly.   Considering how much I love football, I got in on this competition the first week.  I noticed after a couple weeks that my name was never  included on the results sheet Ron printed out and took to the hospital.  So I asked him about this.  He said even though I was playing, I didn't really count since I didn't work at the hospital.  I begged to differ...so they voted.  They took a vote on whether or not I should be allowed in their "club" and the answer was yes!  Everyone agreed.

So that you can better understand why this challenge was important to me, I'll share some embarassing tidbits about my level of achievements.  Ron and I were cleaning out our attic a few years ago and came across our boxes of childhood memories.  Each of our moms were nice enough to save some things that were important to us.  I had 2 boxes filled with random stuff, including 2 awards.  The only two awards I ever got in my life:  Most Outstanding Home Economic Student (1993) and Most Outstanding Choral Student (1992).  Ron had 4 boxes.  3 of those boxes were filled with nothing but awards and trophies.  I'm not kidding.  He looked at all he had won, then looked at me and jokingly said "2 awards is all you got?".  Ha Ha...  I can take it from Ron, 'cause I know he was just being funny.  But this shows you why I like to win...

At the end of the 13 week season, it was clear that I was the winner.  By 4 or 5 points, I might add.  No one was close!  :)  But Ron had some bad news.  My win wasn't legitimate to them.  They decided that I didn't count; some guy named Marty was getting MY first place trophy!  What?!  After weeks of sulking, Ron brought something home for me.  My trophy!  Funny thing is?...Marty bought it for me.  I guess he couldn't live with the fact that he robbed me of one of the few things I'd ever win in life.  So this small little trophy has it's own place on our fireplace mantle.  Yep, I'm serious.  I'm going to bask in the glory of it for just a while before I box it up with my other 2 awards.  :)  
Last night, I went with a group of girls from my church to Connors Steakhouse for Ashley's birthday.  We had so much fun!  The food and company was great.  We followed it up with a movie at Monaco Theatres (so swanky); we saw the chick-flick 27 Dresses which was a funny movie.  Happy Birthday Ashley...I'm glad you were born!

Sam and Me at Lunch

Some days Sam and I have lunch and it's a little boring.  Today wasn't one of those days...for some reason he was cracking me up.  Maybe it was because I got very little sleep last night.  Whatever the reason, he had a few one-liners that made me laugh.  OK, so 2-year-olds don't really have one-liners, but you get the idea.  My nose was running, so I took the lazy way out and decided to wipe it with my sleeve.  (Before you judge, I had already predetermined to do laundry after lunch, so I knew the shirt was about to be washed.)  I told him "Sam, this is the improper way to wipe your nose."  He said "just like Daba Dee".  Somehow in his mind, he's reckoned to the fact that Baba Dee, Ron's grandmother (whom he calls Daba Dee), wipes her nose on her sleeves.  That's so funny to me...'cause she doesn't.  She is a lot more proper than that.  

So I quickly realized this was going to be a funny lunch.  I got out the camera, and started shooting.  This first pic is of him saying "cheese" while eating a french fry.  I can't resist taking pictures of his chipped tooth...it's so innocent and adorable to me.

Next, I wanted to get a picture of his boo-boo, so he posed for me...quite still I should add.  What I thought was going to turn into a black eye was more of an abrasion.

This next picture is one of his favorite things to do: Silly Eyes as we call it.  He laughs at himself just as much as I do, so he's always up for it.  He can't resist the attention.

I tried it today and let him take the picture.  (I did have to help him hold the camera a bit.)  Making that face hurt my eyes so bad I saw dots for 5 minutes, you know like when you look at the sun or something.  I guess next time I won't try so hard.  

I wish I could remember all his one-liners ...maybe next time.


Recapping our week

It's been a while since I filled y'all in on our exciting lives.  So here it goes, in no particular order.
Sam cleaned up after himself again today.  Notice the orange bowl in the sink.  He was eating a snack while watching TV...I was at the sink washing dishes.  He walked over to the kitchen and threw the bowl in the sink saying "Here you go...".
Sam got a "shiner" tonight, as Ron calls it.  Notice that while his left eye has a boo-boo, he is still able to cock that eyebrow over on the right eye.  He can give attitude, even at 2.  He was playing in his room, rather excitedly, and fell right in to the metal part of his bed.  He cried, I almost cried.  I was glad Ron made it home 5 minutes later to give him some love while I went and composed myself.
Ron stuck a little soccer ball under Sam's shirt.  He came running to me to give me a hug...belly to belly.  Of course it was cute enough for a picture.  He pointed to both of our bellies and said "baby".
This is Sam with Emma...a friend of his at Mother's Day Out.  They hug goodbye most days, so I'm beginning to wonder if they're more than just friends.  Just kidding...I know he's only 2 years old.
This is usually what I find when I'm picking Sam up at MDO.  The last 15 minutes of the morning, the kids have to go sit on their mat for quiet time.  Sam talks rather fondly of quiet time and "Sam's mat".
Sam and Ron bonded over their manly Gatorade the other day.
Sam showed us that he's getting better at chewing gum.  On our way to Jackson, MS he chewed a piece of gum for 30 minutes.  I kept reminding him not to swallow it...but what happened?  He swallowed it.  Still, 30 minutes ain't bad.
Grandee and Pappy bought Sam a new laptop computer for Valentine's Day.  He has really enjoyed playing with it.  While the computer has 30 games for him to play, his favorite is the Music Box.  He especially loves singing along with the "Farmer and the Dell".

That was a super-quick update on the past week.  It's 9:45 and I'm tired...so that's all I got.  We'll write more soon...maybe I can get Ron to add his brilliance to this blog before long...

9 days...

Wow, so it's been 9 days since we've posted anything.  I'm so sorry to the few of you that actually check our site periodically.  I've taken pictures over the past week with the intentions of posting them and telling the stories behind them, but haven't actually done it.  I promise, tonight I will update you all on our hectic life over the past week...with some pictures.  The topics that might be included: Mother's Day Out, Gymnastics, our trip to Jackson, MS, the nice old lady Ron and I met today, my love of HGTV, Sam's new computer, and more.

Until tonight...