Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving and Weekend Update

How was everyone's Thanksgiving?  Thanksgiving morning we woke up to Rylie's right eye swollen like someone had punched her in her sleep.  We called around (to her pediatrician and the one's that treat her at Emory) and decided on Benedryl and monitoring it.  Thankfully it lessened during the day...what a way to wake up on Turkey Day!  We spent the morning finishing off our lunch contributions (mashed potatoes and Jason's yummy Mac n' Cheese) and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, it's really just background music to our TG morning.

We went to lunch at my Nana's house around noon and I grabbed baby Elliot for awhile before anyone else had a chance to.  He is so amazingly delicious.  I'm pretty sure a bomb could have exploded 2 feet away and he would have continued sleeping.  Just look at this precious little man!

I love him more and more everyday!  Rylie had a ball playing outside in the leaves with my parents, Grandpa and Aunt Amy.  It was a beautiful (warm) day and she just wanted to sit in the leaves and play.

We had such a nice day eating and visiting with family.  It was low key and relaxed.  We went home around Rylie's naptime, all came home, took naps and woke up and went back to Nana's for a little more food and fellowship.  It was a great day.  Rylie even got close enough to Elliot to kiss his tiny little feet (if you know Rylie you know she loves how could she resist these tiny feet?).

The day after Thanksgiving we slept in (no Black Friday craziness for us) and we woke up to find Rylie's other eye (left one) swollen shut and the right eye was fine.  After talking to the after-hours nurse we decided we needed to find a solution to this issue.  My Mom and I went to 2 different acute care places that had 3+ hour waiting times (and they'd JUST opened) so we decided we'd hit the Pediatric After Hours when they opened up at 1.  When we finally got there 15 minutes early they were FULL up.  So my Mom let Rylie play out in a huge waiting area and I sat in the packed (germ filled) waiting room.  By about 3pm we left with a diagnosis of sinusitis and conjunctivitis (Not pink eye...this was all sinus related! She got Jason's sinuses apparently).  We came home and put her in bed and went to Target for her prescriptions and did a little Christmas shopping while we were at it (yay!).  Since my Mom had put up with our huge sinus ordeal all day with me (I thank God for her...what would I do without her?) I decided to make Potato Pancakes with all my leftover mashed potatoes.  If you have leftover mashed potatoes you MUST try this. If you're super weird about exact ingredient amounts then disregard my recipe and google one, when I cook I guesstimate.

April's Potato Pancakes

2.5-3 cups of mashed potatoes (these were the Pioneer Woman's recipe)
2 eggs
3 green onions chopped
1/2 cup milk (only b/c my mashed potatoes had thickened significantly)
1/3-1/2 cup flour
All purpose seasoning
Cajun Seasoning
(generous helpings of both of the above spice blends)

Mix all of the above ingredients. 
 Heat a cast iron skillet with olive oil (or butter). 
Drop potatoes by heaping tablespoonfuls into the cast iron and smash down with your spoon. 
Give it a few minutes until you can tell the sides are brown and then flip over.
Let cook a few more minutes and then let cool.
Serve with ketchup or sour cream.

This week I'll be focused on getting up my Christmas tree and organizing Rylie and Rowan's drawers.  Jason finally set up most of Rowan's room.  I think it looks great so far. I'm looking for some finishing touches...and then we'll add the essentials like diapers, lotion and all the other stuff you need in a little baby room.  I'm also looking for a space/rocket themed rug and maybe more art.  Besides that I have MOP's on Tuesday (hope I can make it), Rylie has school on Wednesday, I have an NST and OB appointment on Thursday and Rylie has a check up at Emory (in Atlanta) on Friday.  So it's another crazy week.  I hope everyone had a great and relaxing Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Three Things I'm Thankful For

Here are just three things I'm thankful pictures of course  =)

My baby

My amazing husband

I'm thankful I get to meet this little man soon!

I'm thankful for SO many things but I don't have to leave my house to find 3 of the things I'm most thankful for!  God has blessed me with such a great little family.  A daughter that is smart and precious and is just my little side kick all day.  A husband that takes care of me, loves me and makes me laugh ALL the time.  And soon I'll get to meet my last little blessing, my little Rowan, who I think is going to be a rascal.  I cannot wait to hold my little man.  I could write a list a million things I'm thankful for but these 3 are my heart.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

This Weekend I Witnessed a Miracle

Hi! I'm an Aunt!  I'm not sure what I want Elliot to call me yet (Amy is Auntie to Rylie), but I do know that I love being an Aunt.  Friday morning Amy was induced and by dinner on Friday I got to lay eyes on my handsome and amazing nephew, Elliot.  Amy did such an amazing job.  Her body seemed to roll right through with labor until the very end (it got a little stubborn...I think Elliot wanted to stay inside...Mama's boy?).  I never knew how hard it would be to see my sister, my twin, in pain.  I remember being in pain with Rylie, waiting on my epidural (which never seems to come just when you're ready) and I had NO idea what was going on around me, only that I was gripping the rails on the bed and in complete shock of how bad this could hurt.   Amy did a great job, no complaining, just asking for a status update on where her epidural was from time to time.  Despite the blood and yuck that goes on with the birth, I never felt sick except during this part, watching my twin, friend, my sister, in so much pain and I could do nothing.  During the pushing process she was a trooper!  Never complained one bit...and Elliot made her work for it.  No whimpering or screaming or angry comments, just work from my sister!  After what seemed like an eternity of pushing little Elliot made his grand debut.

Much to my surprise he has adorable red hair!  Amy and Matt have reddish (strawberry blonde) hair, but not little Elliot, he is a true ginger and it melts my heart everytime I see his little soft head.  I'm so proud of my sister, and I'm proud of how calm and supportive Matt was throughout the whole thing.  Most of all I am SO in love with this baby.  I couldn't love him more than if he was my own.  I cannot wait to have Rowan and watch these two boys grow as cousins and as friends, hopefully Rylie will join in...or maybe just boss them around, you know she IS a princess!  Congrats Amy and Matt, you're going to be amazing parents and I'm so thankful you let me experience his arrival with you.  Now the journey begins!

I love you tiny boy and I'm so blessed to be your Aunt!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Five Things : Thanksgiving Edition

These days I feel sure that Thanksgiving and Christmas run together.  This didn't seem to be so when I was a kid, but now the way things are marketed and the way our culture is, it's like one big holiday party from November to January.  I'm not complaining, I'm just saying (has anyone else noticed  this?).  Hey, I'm sure I fed into it all when I started demanding that it's ok for me to listen to Christmas music starting the day after Halloween.
Example: Today I think I'll have to buy this album. Yes. I AM a Gleek.

Regardless of how it all runs together, Thanksgiving has always been special to me.  I remember huge Thanksgiving meals at my Pop and Mamaw's house in Mississippi and (also huge) fun filled Thanksgivings here at my Nana and Grandpa's.  When I was a freshman in college my Nana taught Amy and I how to make her famous IS the best.  That year we made it for everyone coming to my Mom's house for Thanksgiving and it was a hit, we've been making it since (this is the one about 10 years we haven't made it).
In the process of making dressing one year. We love it! Our pregnant selves 
just weren't up to making it this year =(

My favorite Thanksgivings are the ones at my Mom's house though.Tons of family, me fussing over all the food (worried somehow THIS year my dressing will be crap), eating, visiting, laughing, possibly talking a walk around the neighborhood afterwards.
Thanksgiving a few years ago at my Mom's...mass mayhem = I'm completely happy!
Would you just look at this plate of delicious goodness?

This year will be a much smaller crowd.  My Mom's side of the family isn't coming here, they're each doing their own thing this year and I'll really miss them, but here are 5 things I'm looking forward to...this coming week!!!

1. Becoming an Aunt!!!
I know it really has nothing to do with Thanksgiving besides the timing but by Thanksgiving I will be a first time Aunt and I couldn't be more excited.  I already love little Elliot Matthew more than he'll ever know and it just so happens he gets to come this close to Thanksgiving.  Well little guy, I'm already thankful I get to be your Aunt. Now hurry up and get here so I can kiss on you!

2. Food/Family/Fun
I don't care if you're talking about my Mom's side or my Dad's side of the family, they are fun and they know how to cook!  I'm constantly learning new recipes and cooking tips from know we'll be laughing off half of the calories we consume because we just have a great time together.  I really treasure these moments together listening to old stories, swapping recipes or parenting tips and just being with the people you know love you the most!

3. The Bulloch House
We started this tradition when my Pop was still with that was at least 16 years ago.  The day after Thanksgiving (give or take a few years in there) we always go to The Bulloch House for lunch and possibly some shopping.  It's in an old mansion and they serve the most ridiculous good buffet.  Like we need anymore food the day after Thanksgiving, but's our tradition.  We've spent many many years doing this and I simply adore it.  Some years it's a huge crowd and others it's just a few...but when we go I really feel like it's finally the holiday season.
It's even prettier decorated for Christmas.

4. Decorating the Christmas Tree
Yes, I know this post is about Thanksgiving, but we almost always decorate our tree the day/weekend after Thanksgiving.  This year should be QUITE interesting.  Rylie is MUCH more mobile than she was last year and she has quite the fascination with one certain toy....the ball.  So much so that she has thrown our little decorated pumpkins numerous times.  She's got quite an arm on her and hey...they just look like orange balls to her, why can't she throw them?  I'm just worried about her pulling off every little ball shaped ornament and throwing them (w/ that awesome overhand throw she's got going on).  Despite my worry I'm SO excited.  Decorating the tree as a family with my kid(s) is the kind of stuff I dreamed about doing as a little girl.  We'll crank up the Charlie Brown Christmas cd, sip hot chocolate and start playing dodgeball...errr...decorate the tree!
Rylie in front of our tree last year.

5. Yes, I'm a dork...the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
I'd be lying if I told you I watch this with a giant amount of interest but I LOVE having it on while I'm gettin' my cook on on Thanksgiving day.  This year I'll be making The Pioneer Woman's Creamy Mashed Potatoes. I salivate everytime I see the recipe in her awesome cookbook.  But having the parade on while I cook that morning is absolutely essential.  Yes, the performances my musical artists are pre-recorded, yes there will be 100 school bands I've never heard of and yes I DO watch it in part in case a giant Elmo balloon type thing gets away and starts floating over Manhattan like a giant red Godzilla.  But to my Thanksgiving, this simple tradition is essential.
He looks innocent now but he may soon turn into Picachu-zilla!!

I hope everyone has a fantastic week.  I'll definitely be posting more about Thanksgiving but I had to do my 5 things list because these things have just been on my mind.  Now I'm off to get a shower and get my Rylie girl to school.  Have a good one!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Check Out My Pantry Makeover!

Look at this mess!!

My cute little (old) house was blessed with a pretty decent pantry.  It's got several deep shelves and goes floor to ceiling.  The bad thing is that it easily gets filled with so much stuff that we have NO idea what's in there.  I can't tell you how many times I've nearly unloaded the whole pantry just because I was looking for something small like...cinnamon!  After scanning several organizing blogs I decided to just jump in and tackle the pantry.  First I unloaded everything onto my kitchen table.
Wow...that's alot of food!

As I unloaded I tried to organize the food into groups, this was much harder than I thought it would be.  I ended up also throwing a whole pile away and making a pile for the food bank.  Next I cleaned out the shelves and added pretty black and white cushioned liners.
Pretty, right?

Then I started loading the cabinets back up, organizing them in baskets.  Admittedly I this took me a few weeks because I had to go back to Walmart and get extra baskets and a spice rack and Target for another roll of liner.  I also decided to Mod Podge labels onto the baskets.  In my after pictures you'll see them (although they were still drying so I've yet to actually label my baskets).  Here is the grand before and after.
It may be hard to see the before...but it wasn't organized...AT ALL.

I even added a stacking shelf for my canned goods!

So it may not seem like much, but to's quite the accomplishment!  This week I'm going to tackle Rylie's room.  She has tons of toys and books that she no longer plays with (that Rowan will love), so my plan is to purge her toys and reorganize her play area.  Hopefully in the next few weeks we'll have all the elements ready to put Rowan's room together too (it's still a mess).  I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! Thanks for peeking into my pantry!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Speed of Life

Wow...the speed of life seems to be picking up around here lately.  Since I've had Rylie life seems to fly by anyways but it definitely ebbs and flows.  This week it seems to be flowing.  Amy is less than 2 weeks from a baby which is SO exciting!  I cannot wait until Elliot is here and I know she can't either.  I'm 10 or less weeks until a baby, I say "or less" because Rylie was a week early so you never know what will happen with this little guy.  I had a 29 (almost 30) week 4/D ultrasound done on Friday to get some cute face pictures of the little man and he cooperated pretty well!  How exciting!  I'm sure he'll change plenty more by the time he's fully cooked in 10 or so weeks but for now I totally think he looks like Jason, or definitely more like Jason than Rylie does =)  Here are a few shots we got of him (sorry for the quality, because of our crazy life right now the scanner is down in the basement so these are photos of photos).

The woman that took them also informed me (as you can probably see) that the umbilical cord is up mighty close to his little face and neck.  Sometimes this is a problem and sometimes it's not.  At 30 weeks along it probably comes on and off from that position because there is still some room in there (he's about 3 lbs 5oz now.  As he gets bigger and more wedged into the birth canal this could be a problem so she urged me to call my doctor on Monday just to let them know and to make sure he keeps up his ninja moves.  Sunday I had a panic moment because he just wasn't doing all his Bruce Lee moves as usual and nothing I did (ice water, sugar, moving around, laying still...ect) seemed to help.  He finally gave me a few kicks and I felt better.  My nurse said he should be just fine and that we'd discuss it on Wednesday (today!) at my regular OB checkup.  After discussing it with my doctor today we decided that for now we're staying put.  No NST's twice a week.  There are no signs that Rowan is in distress and he's been moving great the past few days.  He said that I change my mind at any point and have weekly or bi-weekly NST's just to make sure our boy is fine.  Otherwise I'd see him again in 2 weeks (I should have a nephew by then!!).

Rylie is doing really well post surgery.  She acts completely fine but her eyes are still quite red on the outter white portion of her eyes.  Last time it was red on the insides (they operated on the inner muscles last year) but was only red for a week or so.  We're just over  a week post surgery and hers are still quite red but I do think they're improving.  We're really working on wearing her glasses (which should help keep her alignment) but of course she prefers wearing the ones with the old prescription, so it looks like we'll be getting new lenses in those soon. Whatever works, right??  Today was her first day back to preschool and her teachers said she had a fantastic day.  When I got there she didn't even want to go home, she wanted to keep playing!!

Being silly at the bookstore yesterday  =)

Well I hope everyone is having a great week!  I got a few more Christmas gifts today but am SO behind on my Christmas shopping.  Help!!  I have to get a move on.  How is your Christmas shopping going?  Do you shop online mostly or hit the stores?  Please tell me I'm not the only one this behind on shopping!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Five

Yay! It's the weekend ya'll!  I'm still spending lots of time with Rylie-bug at home this week.  I wanted her to recover at home for a few days before we get out in that cold wind. We definitely do not need to get sick on top of recovery from surgery. Rylie amazes me with her resilience every single day!  Yes her eyes are completely bloodshot and puffy and swollen, but she's her same cheerful self (most of the time).  Thanks for the continued prayers for her recovery!
A day and a half after surgery she's looking pretty darn beautiful!

I think today we'll venture out to Target to get supplies for a full on pantry look out for a before/after post on that (if it goes as planned).  We also have a 4/D photo session today for our precious little Rowan!! I hope his hands are in his face the whole time (or his feet like Rylie's were in her 4/D photos).  Now onto today's post.

Have you ever been to the website ?  It's just a website that provides 5 questions on a theme each week to post onto your blog/journal/FB or whatever you want.  I love stuff like this and so I thought I'd share one (I just picked today's Friday Five questions).

Friday Five: Pack it In

1.  How far ahead do you begin to pack for a weekend trip?

Since I had a baby packing has become a whole new monster.  I used to  still take time and over pack and organize my bag but now it's worse.  For a weekend trip now I'd start my packing list on Thursday and spend Friday getting it all together and organized.  We just went up to Emory over night this week and we had 1 suitcase but about 6 other little bags.  Welcome to motherhood =)

2. What was your most recent purchase of a six-pack?

As far as beer goes? I've never bought any but when I was sick a few weeks ago I ran in Publix and bought a little six pack of mini-Sprite Zero's and they were so good!  They were a few ounces less than a normal can which was perfect since I can never drink a whole can anyways.

3. What do you look for in a good everyday pack pack?

Well the mommy version of a back pack is a diaper bag and in a good diaper bag I look for a little bit of style, lots of pockets and something mid-size that's washable. I just had to pick out a new diaper bag because all of the ones I had for Rylie were super-girly and lately I haven't been using one for her anyways, she generally needs juice a snack and few books (which fit in my purse). All Mama's know, we need lots of pockets!

4. Among people you know, who is the worst pack-rat?

I know several pack-rat's, none that are even close to Hoarders level...but a few that like to keep things "just in case".  My husband is one of them.  Our basement could furnish an entire different house.  He does try to organize it and purge it from time to time, but still...we have SO much down there!

5. How do you know when it's time to pack it in each evening?

Generally we go to bed around 10pm on weeknights.  We'd love to stay up until around 11:30 or so but Rylie goes to bed around 8:30 and on weekday mornings we wake up before we need our sleep.  This little boy in my belly will change all of that in about 10 weeks, but we'll gladly take the change in plans to get our precious boy!

So, what are some of your answers to these questions? Have you ever tried a website like to get your creative blog juices flowing?  Have a great weekend ya'll!  I leave you with this image of Oliver...stick your head under the pillows and relax this weekend!  LOL. I love this dog!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rylie's Surgery Update

Yesterday my baby had surgery.  The plan was to be there at 8:30am and 2 hours later we'd be sending our baby back to surgery...headed home by lunchtime.  This is not how things actually went.  We got checked in at the hospital, Rylie got her ID bracelet and we settled in to wait for our room.  

Just as we got settled in and all took turns getting coffee (Rylie couldn't have anything, food or we did this in a side waiting room), someone came in and said we'd have to book it over to Rylie's doctor's office at Emory Eye Clinic to get some final measurements on Rylie's eyes.  While I'm SO glad that Rylie's surgeon is thourough, this was major.  Someone from Children's was nice enough to walk us through several buildings, up and down several elevators, across the street and through a tunnel to Rylie's doctor.  Rylie was SO cooperative and sweet during all this. I was beginning to feel weak because it was nearing 10:30am and all I'd had was coffee.  After we got the measurements we found out that Dr. Lenhart was delayed a bit because of an emergency surgery so my parents kindly let Jason and I go get breakfast when we made it back to Children's.  As we headed back downstairs to the cafeteria I had visions of grits, bacon and biscuits in my head...turns out the cafeteria was closed already so I had to settle for their cafe.  A pumpkin muffin, fruit cup and a latte it was for me.  We headed back upstairs and found my parents headed back to a room with Rylie.  We let them go eat breakfast and got settled into Rylie's room.  Put her gown on, got all her stats taken, got Rylie occupied and figured we'd be moving along soon.  Not. So. Much.
Reading, walking around and putting on her cool surgery hat!

I'd do anything to get this girl to smile!

Let me just tell you.  This was a day full of delays, one after another.  We'd have someone come in and get our hopes up and then we'd find out something else came up.  A one hour delay turned into a total of 6 hours.  Rylie was SO good.  Much better than I would have been if I hadn't had anything to eat or drink all. day.  She was obviously a little weak and irritated at times but generally very pleasant.

Wandering the halls trying to waste time until surgery.

Finally around 3 or so they came in and gave Rylie something to calm her down as much as possible.  Looked like Tylenol or something but believe me, this was no Tylenol.  She laid back in my Mom's arms and stared off into space.  She'd giggle a the ceiling and babble nonsense words.  LOL.  Thank God she was relaxed because we weren't, we were hoping they'd give the room a around of that medication!  At 3:35 they came and took our girl back.  We were sad/nervous/hopeful/exhausted all at the same time.

Here is our girl headed back to surgery with her blankie 
and her new turtle Papa got her from the gift shop.

As soon as we composed ourselves we headed down to the cafe for coffee and a snack (my coffee was actually a strawberry slurpee that Rowan seemed to LOVE).  We settled in for more waiting and finally got our baby back to us around 6 or so.  She was grumpy and WAY sleepy (understandably so).  They wanted her to wake up and eat/drink but that really wasn't happening.  They monitored her for awhile and finally took off the oxygen and took out the IV an let us get her dressed and take her home. 
Papa holding my poor doped up baby.

 We had a long 2+ hour drive with a sleepy baby.  She'd wake up from time to time (barely cracked her eyes) and drink and eat a few crackers.  We got home and it was almost 10pm.  Amy and Matt were here (they picked up my Oliver so he didn't have to stay at the vet for another night).  I was SO glad to be here, exhausted from the day and all the emotions I'd kept in check and quite overwhelmed.  I had a mini-meltdown and felt much better.  Hey. I blame the pregnancy hormones and exhaustion.  I put her to bed with her new favorite stuffed turtle, she cried for 15 seconds and went straight to sleep.  Today she seems to be doing very well.  She's her normal chill baby self.  
I woke up to this smiling face. She's groggy and her eyes
are bloodshot and swollen...but she's smiling!

Playing, watching her reading movie and toddling around the house with a babydoll in hand at all times.  I am SO grateful for all the people that prayed for us and continue to keep her in their prayers.  I'll give her eyes a good few days to heal and then we'll start the real work.  Glasses and patching.  Glasses will help keep the eye alignment and patching will keep her using her least favorite (weaker) eye.  That's the real work.  Please pray that we'll be able to keep up her eye therapy routine and that this will be the last surgery!  I'm SO proud of Rylie, she is such a strong little girl and so resilient and SO blessed to have such an amazing family (and set of friends) that love and support us through this.  Thank you!!  Stay tuned for many more Rylie updates and keep her in your thoughts and prayers.  Much love!