Thursday, September 30, 2010

Princess Party, Family, Friends, and Croup.

We got home from the Compound Monday morning and we've had an eventful week so far; in fact, tonight was our first evening spent at home! And thank goodness we were home, because Mary Ella has croup. If you remember, she had her first episode back in April and it was pretty scary for all of us. We ended up with a trip to the E.R; I'm hoping that won't happen this time and keeping my fingers crossed. I wish I could video her coughing; it is amazing to hear a croupy cough; sounds just like a seal. There is nothing human about that sound. Makes it easy to diagnose.

Anyway, on Monday night we went to Madalyn's Princess Party across the street! Madalyn is our neighbor, obviously, and she's a girly girl for sure. It's a good thing, because her mama is expecting TWIN boys in December! Her party was just as fun as we imagined it would be - nuggets, pizza, smarties, cupcakes, and a search for missing jewels - what could be better? All of the neighborhood girls came dressed in their princess attire and it was the sweetest thing!

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Sam and Sara-Bentlee enjoying the party
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On Tuesday she went to school and napped and then that night we went to visit with MeMama, Grandaddy and Ace. MeMama cooked the perfect fall supper - home made soup and a chicken casserole to go with it. Mary Ella played and counted Grandaddy's tomatoes and helped MeMama arrange the perfect little bouquet from her flowers outside. Sam was his usual laid back happy self until around 7:30, then became really fussy; I think it was a combination of gas + bed time. He was happy by the time we left though so that was good. We are loving the cool nights and Tuesday night was perfect!

Yesterday was a lazy day for us; I had zero energy for some reason and we mostly napped and read books all day. Last night we enjoyed dinner at Iguana Grill in Hoover with my high school friends Leslie and Lauren and their men (and Lauren's sweet baby Brooke). It was a much needed get together and so good to see them. Although we all live in Birmingham we rarely see each other because we live in 3 different parts of town and all of our schedules are crazy. At one point during dinner I was holding Brooke and Sam poked out his bottom lip and started to whimper! It was so cute. I said, "Oh Sam, are you mad that Mama has another baby?" And Mary Ella looked at me and goes, "I mad too, Mama." HA! She's a hoot. We had a great time and I look forward to seeing them this weekend (plus my other 3 high school BFFs) at Mary Beth's shower. Yay for friends.

Today Mary Ella woke up feeling hot; I checked her temp this morning and it was only 98.1 but she kept saying her back was hurting, and then she'd say her tummy was hurting, so I figured she might be aching a little and I gave her some Tylenol. Around 5pm tonight her temp was 100.9 so I gave her Motrin. Then the barking and the stridor started around 8pm. I got out the Vick's humidifier and put her to bed around 8:15pm and went to check on her around 9pm and she was hoarse and still barking a lot; so we went outside and sat in the cool air for a while. Now she's in my bed because she cried when I tried to lay her back in her room. And the last thing you want to do when your child has croup is to upset them. Crying makes their breathing a lot worse and will in turn freak you out because you'll think their airway is closing. It's seriously awful. So I chose to keep her as calm as possible. She's on my bed with her blanket, her juice and some Nick Jr. I hooked the humidifier up in there so I just hope she gets some good rest. Prayers would be much appreciated! For Mary Ella to get well, for Sam not to get sick, and for me to remember to GermX my hands in between handling each child! I'm ready for Chad to get home! Can't say that enough.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Roll Tide!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pumpkin Patch, Yay!

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Today after lunch we decided on a whim to take Mary Ella and Sam to the Pumpkin Patch in St. Florian, just a few miles from where my parents live. If you are ever in the Florence area, this pumpkin patch is a great stop; their pumpkins range from 25 cents to only $10. I don't know about other places, but that's a steal compared to Birmingham prices! And they have any shape, color and size that you could possibly want.

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Anyway, we took the kids this afternoon. Mary Ella had just started counting the small pumpkins on this shelf...

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...when she suddenly squatted down and began to cry hysterically. I didn't know what was wrong but it was clearly a "hurt" cry, and soon enough we realized she was standing smack dab in the middle of a fire ant bed. There were fire ants all over her feet and inside her sandals. We took them off and they let us rush inside with her and run her feet under the water faucet. She was okay after a few minutes but I felt so sorry for her. Her feet had little bitty whelps all over them. They did agree to give us her pumpkin for FREE though, which was nice. Except that she picked one of the 25 cent pumpkins and would not relinquish it.

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Every time I said, "Ohhh Mary Ella, but look at theeeeese pumpkins! These nice, big, perfectly round and orange pumpkins! They are soooo prettty..." she would say, "I like little tiny pumpkin." And that was that. She got her little tiny pumpkin. (We did get Sam a bigger one but it cost us a buck. Oh well.)

While Mary Ella took her "little tiny" pumpkin all over the rest of the patch to look at all the decorations, I fed Sam a bottle in the shade. Even though it was probably only 80 degrees, I guess it was too hot for him, and after he ate he threw up nearly ALL of it. He spits up but has never spit up that much. I was covered in it and so was he, so we left after that. But it was a fun day despite the insect attack and spit-up episode! Enjoy the pictures! (Oh, and see my post below for a couple more pics.)

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The only thing that would've made the trip better (besides ant repellant and an enormous spit-up absorbing bib) is if Chad had been with us. We miss you Daddy!

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Pumpkin Patch Excitement, or lack thereof.

Clearly, 3.5 months old is the perfect age to introduce your children to the pumpkin patch.

They could hardly contain their excitement.

(Mary Ella, 2008)
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(Sam, 2010)
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Whew!

Not really sure where to start because I'm so behind! And we are just entering into our busiest time of year so I don't think it'll get better. But that's okay with me; I'm spending quality time with my kids and am currently in survival mode because my husband is in California for a MONTH! So you can see why I haven't had time to blog. (And this week I haven't had a computer either.) I actually had to go back and look at my pictures to even remember what we've been up to... and here's just a tidbit...

We watched Alabama football on TV and sported our team gear.

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We looked for Sam some Bama gear but I still can't find anything that's "baby" enough and not too big boy. (I'm a fan of babies being babies - can you tell?) So he's sporting his elephants, just not in crimson and white yet.

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We joined a small group called "Baby Praise" that meets on Wednesday mornings. It's for Moms and their kids and they sing songs and let the kids worship and dance. We met Maci Rose and baby Carter there - Carter is one day older than Sam and Maci Rose is about 3 months older than Mary Ella. They had a lot of fun.
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We said goodbye to Chad almost 2 weeks ago now and although it's made my job a lot harder, I wouldn't trade places with him. He may be in sunny California but he hasn't seen much of the sun due to the intense training he is going through. This training is for his new sales job and "intense" is about the only word I can think of to describe it. He's exhausted. So I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you said a few prayers for him - for refreshment, energy, and A+'s on all his tests. :)

While Daddy is gone we are heading to the Compound for the weekends; I say weekends, but it's more like Thursday through Monday. It helps the time pass and gives us lots to do to keep us busy.

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This past weekend we were joined by Addie Jane and Jack, which made for even more fun.

I accidentally ran over a small snake when I pulled into the driveway; the kids were fascinated by it; me, not so much. I'm not a fan of any snake. Especially a small snake. Because I know its Mommy is probably nearby.

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On Friday we took the kids to Trowbridges and enjoyed bottled cokes, chicken salad sandwiches, chili dogs and of course ice cream, then headed back to the Compound for more fun.

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Grandaddy let the kids play around on the tractor.

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He also showed us his apple tree out behind his shop. This tree hasn't produced apples in years, but this year my grandaddy decided to get some bees; they are way in the back of the pasture in one of those beekeeper boxes (they are called "supers."). And sure enough, those bees helped to pollenate the apple tree and we had LOADS of apples this year! Thank you, bees! (We also have some delicious honey.)

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I also took some pictures of my cousins Courtney and Annsley, just for fun.

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That night Grandaddy cooked fried chicken, mashed potatoes, English peas, his home made biscuits, and slaw for the entire compound. His fried chicken recipe is like all his other recipes: simple. Soak your chicken breasts in buttermilk for hours, or overnight if you can. Get a brown paper grocery sack, fill with flour, and season the flour with salt and pepper. Throw your chicken breasts in the sack and SHAKE. Meanwhile, heat your vegetable oil in your fryer until it reaches about 300 degrees; don't let it get past 335 or so. Fry the chicken until it's nice and golden brown and rises to the top of the oil. Yum, yum.

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I'm back at the Compound now and tomorrow we're having a big Compound yard sale. So come on out! E-mail me for the address if you wanna come! Happy weekend everyone!

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Day of School

Mary Ella's first official day of school was last Thursday. She woke up excited and ready to go. I wasn't sure how long that excitement would last, but to my surprise, she did great. She went right to her teachers and didn't even tell me goodbye! I was a little sad but so thankful, because as you probably remember, last year was a nightmare! When I picked her up she was playing and when she saw me she got teary-eyed because she was so exhausted. The teachers said she was fine all day and played "hard." I'm so proud of my big girl! Here are a few pictures.

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