Saturday, June 30, 2007

Future Model?!

These are Abby's latest portraits. The photographers at The Picture People are now calling her "bubble princess!" The manager loved this last photo so much that she sent it to corporate headquarters for consideration to use in their advertising!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

7 Years and Counting...

Our 7th wedding anniversary is this Sunday. Seems impressive to me, but it becomes even more impressive when you learn that we have been a couple for 12 years. Now, that's a long time! We met as freshmen at the University of Florida, and, being the two tallest people there, it felt right that we begin dating. On and off again because Matt didn't seem to be looking for a serious relationship, but, when you meet your soul mate, it's just hard to say no!

It's not difficult to look at our life together and see that we are incredibly blessed people. Things have gone smoothly for us - the perfect wedding, the European honeymoon, the first apartment, first house, working and saving money, having two beautiful children and now raising them as best we can. Sounds pretty near perfect, but as any of you know - there are always bumps (some worse than others) along the way. What is great about Matt and I is that we always pull through it together. We are a team. We always have been and I know we always will be. Matt put it very romantically one time when he jokingly said, "honey, no matter how miserable I am - I'll never divorce you." I guess you had to be there... :)

Celebrating Father's Day this weekend was very fun for me because Matt is such a fantastic daddy. His children ADORE him and the feeling is obviously mutual. On Mother's Day I just wanted some time to myself - some peace and quiet. But, on Father's Day Matt was just as involved with the kids as ever. He has a career with a great work/life balance so the kids see him every evening and every weekend for lots of quality time - that is so important to him. He supports me being a stay at home mom and I can tell he truly believes it is what is best for our kids - never resentful of me not having a career outside the home. He generously allows me time away to go out with girlfriends, scrapbook, or he'll just suggest I go to my mom's house for the day to read a book - all by myself!! He plays so well with Drew and Abby - playing outside and reading them books and playing board games and making up silly games that they just LOVE! He calls every day to hear about how Drew did at school and he is so proud of every new thing they accomplish. Matt had a wonderful role model in his own father and I'm just so proud that he is the father of my children.

So, tomorrow we are having dinner at the Peabody (which is where we got married) and that was Matt's idea. Then, Saturday I get to have one of those glorious days of time away while I scrapbook with one of my best girlfriends. And, on Sunday (our actual anniversary) we are taking the kids to Sea World for some good ol' family time. Good stuff!

This past weekend I was on my way to a baby shower and I came out to say goodbye. I was wearing a dress (which I haven't done in a long time - thanks Anna for taking me shopping) and as I kissed Drew he looked worried and said, "Mommy, don't forget to marry daddy!" I took a moment to turn back around and look at his precious, precious face knowing he was remembering a picture of me in my wedding dress. I promised him I wouldn't forget as Matt and I exchanged that sweet glance of adoring parents. And, Drew, I would marry your daddy again in a heartbeat!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

All the Drama!

I brought Abby home from the hospital a few hours ago. Many of you knew she was there (and I thank you for your phone calls and prayers) and the rest of you probably won't be surprised to hear it because over the course of my children's lives you have undoubtedly come to the same conclusion that I have - as gorgeous as they may be... my children have ridiculously weak immune systems.

Runny noses are too simple for my kids - when they get sick, they get really sick. It all started when Drew was 10 months old. One ear infection turned to double ear infections with no relief for over 6 months! Next came repeated cases of croup, and finally last September we pulled him through the 6 week long illness (with a 3 day outpatient hospitalization) that resulted in an extremely resistant ear infection, RSV, and bacterial pneumonia. Ever since then, he has had several respiratory infections that led his doctor (just this past week) to finally declare that the poor child has asthma and this will continue to be an uphill battle.

And then there is Abby - never has had a single ear infection or anything similar to Drew's experiences. Whenever she gets sick, she spikes a fever, vomits for a few days and ends up dehydrated and in the hospital for IV fluids. Every stinkin' time. This was the third time, and it was definitely the worst so far - here's the story...

Her fever was 104.5 Sunday night and I was up with her all night. Monday morning was rough (I'll spare you all the gory details) but a trip to the pediatrician revealed nothing more than a stomach virus. She was feeling better Monday afternoon and then slept through the night. Tuesday morning she was much worse and couldn't hold anything down, so the doctor sent us to a pediatric clinic so she could get some fluids and get back to normal. Or so we thought...

The doctor came in and said that her labs revealed extreme dehydration (everything was abnormal) and she would have to be admitted to the hospital. We were there for about 4 hours while we waited for a bed to become available, and I commenced calling everyone I could think of to get the word out and the prayers going. I was very scared all of a sudden - I hadn't been all that worried, and now to find out she was so very sick - my heart just broke for her little body.

We finally got the hospital around 9 or so - I really can't remember, and my sweet, sweet friend Kari was already sitting in the waiting room with Krispy Kreme donuts. I felt so awful she had made the trip, but it really was great to have her there while we were being admitted. She said all the right things and made a fuss over Abby who, thankfully, quickly fell asleep in my arms. While Abby slept, we had time for some "girl talk" and now, as I look back, it probably really saved me because I would have felt so alone and scared for my little girl, but instead I had one of my best mommy friends there to keep me a little distracted - it just made the whole thing a little less scary and I know that was her intention from the start. What would any of us do without our girlfriends? Mine have saved me on countless occasions...

Abby slept peacefully, however, they came at 3am to tell me that her new lab tests still revealed severe dehydration and they were going to take us now (at 3am) for a CAT scan to rule out anything crazy. Abby was an angel, she was very cooperative (even though we had woken her from a deep sleep) and she didn't even cry when I put her on the exam table. She was so scared - I could see it in her huge eyes staring at me, but she never once cried. The lady told her she had to stay very still, and that little child never moved a muscle! Her eyes never left mine though - she was so brave - and that machine was pretty scary to me. The lab tech said she did better than most adults. We were back in our room by 4:30 and she slept until they came to check her vitals. Then she was MAD and she threw a complete tantrum. I really didn't blame her - everyone kept waking her up to poke and prod her. How do you explain that to a 2 year old?

Anyway, they got lots of fluid in her and by mid-morning she was feeling much better. A lady named Michelle came in for some "music therapy" and Abby loved her own private concert complete with puppets and musical instruments. Michelle played the guitar and sang, and it really seemed to lift Abby's spirits. We spent the rest of the day watching movies and she got better and better as she started eating and drinking on her own. The results of the CAT scan were normal (Praise God!) and the latest lab results were flawless - everything was finally back to normal. They wanted us to hang around for observation so we watched lots of movies and my brother and sister brought me lunch (thank you!) and spent some time with Abby. They finally discharged us around 5:30 or so and we hurried home to Daddy and Drew who were thrilled to see Abby!

It was such a relief when she started feeling better. I felt so helpless when she wasn't feeling well and it all must have been so scary for her - the hospital, the IV, the nurses, and the dreaded CAT scan. She really handled it all very well though - she is such a trooper, this little one.
It just ended up being a virus, but they had me scared for awhile that it could be something more since this same cycle of dehydration keeps repeating itself.
But, it seems that this is just the way my kids are - if they are going to get sick, they are going to make sure that we really know it! I guess I'll just have to keep making that plastic bubble I want them to live in bigger and bigger...