Monday, April 28, 2008

The Red, Red Rose

If you read this blog often you might be good and tired of Disney stories.

If so, I apologize and you may skip this one. However, I warn you, it's way cool.

We have passes to the Disney parks and we go at least once a week. Magic Kingdom is probably our favorite, but Hollywood Studios is a close second. It's my favorite place to go when Matt can't join us because it's not as crowded and it's not as overwhelming that I'm outnumbered by the children.

Stop it. I'm not scared.

Just practical.

Anyway, we ALWAYS see the Beauty and the Beast show. It's just good theatre. I love it just as much as the kids do, and I can't say the same about other shows or rides at Disney.

Sometimes it takes everything I have just to hold it together on the 435th showing of the Carousel of Progress.

Moving on...

We love Beauty and the Beast. But, we always leave envious of one little girl - the girl chosen to receive the rose from the Prince at the end of the show. We have never known how she is chosen - we just know that Abby always asks, "Why can't I get the rose, mama? I really, really want the prince to give ME the rose." Drew backs up his sister with equal passion, "Abby is a princess. Abby needs to get the rose. Let's go sit up front so my Abby can get the rose. And then I can hold it. Right? Right?"

My friend Marci and I have gone to great lengths to have our own little princesses chosen for this great honor. We really did dress Abby and Sherilyn like this on a trip to Hollywood Studios a few months ago.

And we might have even had them perform some key dance scenes from the show on the sidewalk outside the theatre.

Marci and I don't even worry that we are totally responsible for any setbacks to the feminist movement. Our girls loved to be twirled by their Prince.

Still, no rose. Some little girl in a High School Musical Shirt took the honors that day.


Well, we were there a little over a week ago and Abby was proudly wearing her new Belle shirt courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa. A cast member approached us and asked Abby if she would like to meet Belle and the prince at the end of the show.

You could have heard a pin drop. My daughter didn't say a word. I could tell the lady was about to give up on Abby and a possible case of stage fright when I hurried to reassure her that Abby would LOVE to be part of the show. So, the cast member handed us a ticket to receive the "red, red rose" and sit in the front row for the show.

Here she is calling Daddy to tell him all about it.

A practice run before the big show.

Okay, here comes the video. Let me preface by saying that Abby kept expressing concern that the Prince would take the rose back right after the show ended. She wanted to make sure she could take it home with her and "keep it forever on my wall...and show it to Sherilyn next time she comes to my house."

Most of the little girls we have seen have taken the rose from the Prince and then they stand there for a few moments soaking up all the glorious attention from the royalty.

Here goes nothin'

Did you see her bolt out of there?! My girl wasn't going to let anyone take the rose away from her! She was totally serious about getting that rose after all the times she had watched other girls living her own personal dream.

As soon as she sat back down she looked at me with big eyes and said, "Oh no, mama. I forgot to say thank you."

She cracks me up.

What a fun day! Off for more adventures...

Friday, April 25, 2008

...And Then He Woke Up

His fever had returned at 103 and he was refusing to drink or take any Motrin. He was burning up and his lips had cracked again and begun to bleed. I called Matt in a panic and he insisted I take Drew to the emergency room - enough was enough. Thankfully, my wonderful friend Danielle was able to get Abby from school and keep her all afternoon.

My friends are the greatest.

We made it to the ER and a triage nurse saw us right away. His fever was up to 103.5 and I heard her tell another nurse that we needed a bed before the two people in front of us. She called our case "severe."

We were in a room a few minutes later and got everything started: they took blood, started the IV, took Drew for chest x rays, and gave Drew some Zofran for nausea. We settled in with the portable DVD player expecting only to stay for a few hours of fluid.

The doctor came back in and said Drew would need to be admitted to stay overnight. The lab work had come back and revealed severe dehydration. His carbon dioxide level was 13. Apparently, 22 is normal and anything under 18 they begin to worry. Drew was going to need fluid all night in order to restore appropriate hydration to his little body.

At that point, my mom came with dinner, some extra things we would need, and moral support. We were moved upstairs at 10pm, the doctor came in at midnight, they checked Drew's vitals at 4am and they took more blood at 6am. Each interruption resulted in awful tantrums from Drew - he had had enough and he let everyone know it. He was tired, he felt awful, and he could not get any consistent sleep. It was a long and frustrating night with no new information. They could not figure out what was causing this so they finally concluded that it must be viral.

My mom came again this morning to help and they disconnected the IV around 10am to see if he could start drinking on his own. They were ready to discharge him, but he still didn't look well to me. His eyes still had that vacant stare they get when he is sick and his lips were still scabbed and bleeding.

I was finally able to get him to eat a little applesauce and he continued to take sips of water. He began to look a little better and talk a little more so it looked like he was beginning to feel better. They discharged us around 1pm. He was able to walk out holding my hand (rather than me having to carry him) and he enjoyed exploring the hospital. There was a huge castle that he described as "amazing, really amazing" and a train display at which he observed, "I can't believe they know I like trains so much they bring it here for me!" He delighted in calling people on the way home to tell them, "I coming home! I finally coming home!"

Have I mentioned how much I adore this kid and the hilarious things that come out of his mouth.

He seems to be doing well. He's eaten a little and been drinking some juice. I gave him a bath and he's watching his favorite movie. We're hoping that a good night's sleep will help him feel much better.

I cannot thank you enough for your good wishes, prayers, and support. Specifically, my mother in law who came to stay and help us this week, my mom who helped at the hospital and here this afternoon, Danielle who watched Abby yesterday, my sister who babysat Abby this morning, and the many other friends who have called with sweet words and generous offers of help - Matt and I appreciate all of you so very much. It is a great feeling to know we have so much support and such wonderful family and friends. We are so blessed.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

He Sleeps...

I just took this picture a few minutes ago. It is the middle of the day and this boy doesn't nap anymore. However, it's been a rough week and he's got some catching up to do.

He came down with a fever late afternoon on Sunday. He was so miserable that we just ended up putting him to bed at 5:30.

I won't go into all the details of the week. Some are repetitive and some are just unpleasant. Suffice it to say there have been very high fevers, vomiting, a double ear infection, two trips to the pediatrician, and one trip to Night Light Pediatrics for IV fluids.

He has mostly been sad and in lots of discomfort. Yesterday (Wednesday)was the first day that he ate anything since lunch on Sunday - and that was only a little bit of applesauce. He didn't drink at all Monday or Tuesday (which was why he needed the fluids) and is still only taking in small amounts of water. The fever cycles with the Motrin doses and I just can't believe how hot he's getting each time.

My heart just hurts for my little boy. As the mommy, I hold him as we wait for each appointment and soothe him when he cries. I plead with him to be brave and I whisper how much I love him while they take blood and hook up the IV. I comfort him when he can't sleep and worry about when he will feel better. I press a cool washcloth to his face and change his sheets as he sweats through them. Sweet daddy even uses a medicine syringe to get him to take the water that he doesn't want to drink because he is afraid it will make him sick.

We get glimpses of our funny boy as each fever breaks and he feels better for an hour or two. He amuses us with the cute things that he says and does. After several hours of IV fluids, he was feeling better at the clinic and he had the nurse giggling at his sense of humor. He grew to like "this funny doctor place" and asked if we could come back every night so "my arm can drink instead of my mouth."

We are all praying that he will get much better as soon as possible. We want him to be healthy and happy.

And, for heaven's sake, we just want to sleep through the night!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Magical Day!

Grandma and Grandpa have been waiting patiently to be featured on the blog. Seems like a trip with the grand kids to Disney World is a perfect opportunity!

We had such a great day. The weather was fantastic! We all needed sweaters in the morning and the high only reached 70. It was the last "cold front" Florida will see for many months, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect.

Nothing says misery like large crowds and a high of 90.

Drew and Abby were so excited to sit with their grandparents on the rides. We went on all of our favorites and hardly waited in line all day.

Here they are in Fantasyland. We had a little incident on It's a Small World and I almost had to throw down with the people behind us. My father-in-law sat down in the boat and commented that this was his favorite ride. We all relaxed as the boat ride began and then the kids behind us starting "shooting" Drew (because he was wearing his pirate hat) with rather loud toy guns. As if that wasn't enough, they kept shooting and shooting and shooting at EVERYTHING on the ride - not exactly feelin' like the happiest place on earth at that point. Finally, I turned to their mother and said something like, "Do you mind...?" She put an end to it, but I'm sure it would have continued if I hadn't said something. You just kinda wonder about some parents...

Anyway, back to Fantasyland and all the happy thoughts!

Next, we went over to Toontown to meet some characters. We ended up picking the longest line ever, but I think the pictures turned out cute enough to warrant the longer than normal wait time.

After lunch, we headed over to Tomorrowland and rode all the favorites - Buzz Lightyear, People Mover, and Carousel of Progress.

We lined up early for parade and got a great spot on some benches in the shade. We had ice cream and popcorn to make the wait go by more quickly. The parade was Grandma's favorite part and I would have to agree with her. I do so love me a parade - all of the singing and fairy tale characters make me positively giddy with delight!

Our last stop was Adventureland. We rode Pirates of the Caribbean and didn't even wait in line thanks to some good timing! We also flew on Aladdin's Magic Carpets...

and then went on the Jungle Cruise. Towards the end of the ride the lady asked if anyone had any questions. Drew raised his hand and asked, "Can I drive the boat?"

And, a day with the grandparents isn't complete without souvenirs!

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mama, You're A Genius!

The little gems keep flowing right out of Drew's mouth. Matt was even there to witness this one during breakfast the other morning. Drew was so pleased with our reaction to his comment that he often calls me a genius now throughout the day just to get me to laugh. It works.

And, he's right.

But that's neither here nor there.

Moving on... I just had myself a mini-vacation. Matt took the week off from work and suggested that we each take 3 days to "get away" from chores and childcare. It took me all of 3 seconds to decide what I wanted to do.

After church on Sunday, I left for my dad's beach condo.

By myself.

Because I'm an introvert like that.


I read two books, scrapbooked 35 pages, took 3 naps, walked on the beach, sat by the pool, and got lots of takeout.

For those of you who know me, the beach is really not my thing. First of all, there's lots of sand. Also, there's lots of sand. And the sand gets everywhere. And it's usually very hot and then the sand sticks to you. So, to sum it all up - I'm not so much a fan of the sand.

But, the sound of the ocean...totally my thing. I kept the sliding doors open the entire time so I could listen to the ocean as I read or scrapbooked. Mid-day, I was lulled to sleep by the crashing waves. As I stared at the vast expanse of water, I saw dolphins swimming close to shore when the tide was high. I walked on the beach in the morning and collected seashells for my kids in their favorite colors. I only talked to Matt and the kids (and it is so much fun to talk to those kids on the phone these days...they are like little adults) and spent the rest of my time alone. Silence. Re-charging my batteries.

I came home in time to see the kids before they went to bed Tuesday night. Abby latched her arms around my neck in a gigantic hug that seemed endless. I couldn't get enough of their hugs and kisses. I had really missed them and I know they missed me. I told them I had a surprise for them and Abby immediately yelled, "Is it seashells, mama? Did you bring us seashells?" She was right. They loved looking through the shells and seeing which ones I picked for each of them. Drew said it would be a great "decoration" so the bowl of shells sits on our bookcase for everyone to see. For the rest of the night they would come up to me with a sly smile and say they had a surprise for me and hand me one of their books or toys. It was sweet.

The next day we took them to Disney with Matt's parents (pictures coming soon) and today we were back to our normal schedule. It almost feels as if I never left.

But, I did. And it was good. And I thank my husband for recognizing that I needed that time away to feel refreshed. A break from the daily fight to keep two little people alive and well.

I loved those few days to do my favorite things, but I love the people that I missed so much more.

So, even though today we had a tough's good to be home.

In fact, it's great.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I've Got To Remember To Write That Down.

Anyone with children has certainly uttered this phrase more than once. And I am no exception.

One of the things I so love about scrapbooking (and now this blog) is that it's a way to document the little things that happen in our lives on a daily basis. I spend more than enough time feeling tired, stressed, and frustrated. However, I also know that I am the mama of two of the sweetest people on the planet, and I want to remember all of the details of their personalities as they grow up.

I know that I will look back in many years and long for these days and wonder where my babies have gone. I love knowing that I've written so much of it down that I should be able to easily re-create the memories in my head...along with the help of the myriad of pictures I take almost

Even Matt, who used to roll his eyes when I pulled out the camera, has embraced my passion for photos of the kids. He's much more patient as I take shot after shot, and he even encourages me to pull out the camera in situations when I wasn't even planning to take pictures. Plus, he got me a super-fancy camera for Valentine's Day that has totally rocked my world.

Nothin' says love like way-cool technology.

All to say, I thought I would share some of the sweet things that have come out of my firstborn's mouth over the past few weeks. I have diligently written them all down so I can even get the wording correct. Grammar and 4 year olds aren't always best friends, you know?

And, to avoid having to come up with any more clever transitions, I'm going to present this in a handy list format!

Give it up for the list format!


1. While he was eating breakfast one morning, "Mama, I love you so very much on this spinning earth." Later on, "I sure am getting dizzy from all this spinning on the earth."

2. Again, over breakfast, "Mama, I sneezed in the night and no one was there to say god bless you. Don't worry, I say it to myself."

3. As I was comforting a crying Abby, "Wow, mama. Thanks for taking care of my girl."

4. Soon after an episode of Dora the Explorer, "Oh no! Swiper try to swipe Jesus from my heart." Giggles. "Don't worry mama, Jesus is always safe in my heart."

5. And just last night as I climbed into bed with him for snuggle time, "Thank you for doing me all the things today." I said, "Your welcome, Drew. What do you mean?" He said, "You know, all the things you do for me and take care for me. You're the best mom ever. Ever! Ever!"

And, he just walked in the room and said, "Mama, I just need my snuggles now." I happily obliged and then covered his face with kisses. He laughed uncontrollably saying, "All right, all right, that's enough kisses!" I made a sad face and he said, "Okay, mama, you can kiss me as much as you want."

Who could say no to this face?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

3 Years Ago...

our sweet, sweet Abby Grace came into our lives.

Today, she is 3 going on 12. She's beautiful, smart, funny, loving, sassy, adventurous, joyful, and full of energy.

She thinks her birthday was this past Saturday because that's when we had her party. It was hard to explain that her birthday was actually on a different day because she was SO, SO EXCITED THAT IT WAS HER BIRTHDAY AND ALL OF HER FRIENDS AND FAMILY WERE COMING TO CELEBRATE AND GIVE HER LOTS OF PRESENTS! AND THEN THERE WAS GOING TO BE CAKE - A PRINCESS CAKE! AND WE WERE GOING TO EAT THAT CAKE AND THEN OPEN THE PRESENTS! DID WE FORGET TO MENTION THE PRESENTS AND THE CAKE???

We decided to just go with it and let her turn 3 a few days early. Today is her actual birthday though, and I couldn't let it go without acknowledging what a blessing she is to me and our family.

We didn't have any cake today, but I think she enjoyed her Mickey ice cream bar at MGM Studios...

Happy Birthday, sweet princess.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I Sense A Record Deal In Her Future.

We had us some church in the car on the way to Epcot this past Sunday.