Monday, May 31, 2010

Granny Dog

Georgia looks like a little granny in her scarf!

Favorite Things

These are some of my favorite things right now.  It's a random list!

1.  Benefit Gee that was Quick eye makeup remover.  I never feel like I get all of my eye makeup off, and I really don't wear a lot.  (Just eyeshadow, liner, and mascara - and not applied heavily.)  This gets it ALL off.  It's a little pricey - about $21.00 at Ulta, but comes in an enormous bottle and lasts a long time.

2.  Philosophy's the present.  You put this on after applying an oil-free lotion, wait a full two minutes, then put your foundation on.  It helps to minimize pores, and it's a miracle cream.  You will love it.  You don't need much, and it works really, really well.  You can also use it in place of a moisturizer, but I like to use it in conjunction with.

3.  This Puppia harness for Georgia.  She has a pink one.  Georgia has very sensitive skin, and we had an issue with her collar rubbing her fur off on her neck.  Nothing like a dog with alopecia.  We got her a harness for walks, and it's fabulous.  She looks a bit like she's wearing a life preserver, but whatever.

4.  Torani sugar free caramel syrup.  I use this in my iced coffee in the morning.  It's delicious, no Weight Watchers points, and is a quick easy way to make my coffee taste like a latte.  I buy mine at World Market, and it's $6.99ish for a large bottle.  It lasts a long time, because I only use a small bit for my coffee.  I'm sure it has about a thousand other uses, but I'm a strictly coffee girl at this point.

5.  Latisse, the eye lash growing miracle solution.  My mother-in-law gave me this a few months ago, and I didn't try it until quite recently.  I. Love. It.  I've noticed results pretty quickly, and it's super easy to apply.  It's prescription only, and a bit pricey I think.  I'm not sure what I'll do when my freebie runs out!

6.  The corn zipper.  We have been grilling a lot of corn on the cob, but I hate eating it on the cob.  Hate it!  I use this little gadget and it takes it off the cob really quickly.  It was a purchase from a fundraiser David did at school, just sort of to buy something so he could raise some money.  It's become one of the the tools I use the most.

Menu Monday

Here's what's cookin' at our house this week:

Sunday:  We had a cookout at my parents' house with lots of delicious food.  My mom loves to cook for people and always has a great meal.  We had lots of yummy appetizers, shish kabob, asparagus wrapped with proscuitto, corn, Asian salad, and "dirt cups".  

Monday:  We'll have Weight Watchers Southern-style oven fried chicken, grilled corn on the cob, and red potato salad

Tuesday:  Crockpot Black Bean and Cream Cheese Chicken, watermelon arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Wednesday:  Grilled turkey burgers, sweet potato fries, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday:  Grilled pizza, fruit salad

Saturday:  is my birthday!  The boys will be spending the night with my parents and Chris and I are taking a picnic to Arrington Vineyeards.  I have not yet decided what the picnic will consist of.

What's on the menu at your house this week?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Last Day of Kindergarten

Here's David on his last day of Kindergarten.

This was him on his first day.  I cannot get over how much older he looks now!!!  
He looks like a baby in this picture!

Kindergarten Graduation

I cannot believe David has finished Kindergarten.  Had anyone told me at the beginning of the year that he would have such a great year, I never would have have believed them.  Never!  Not after the start we had. . . However, David LOVED Kindergarten.  They had their graduation at the high school, which David thought was great.  He did a good job with his performance, although he didn't sing.  He did all of their little dances, but no singing!  
After graduation we went to dinner with my parents and let David pick where we would go.  His choice?

Nobody was surprised!  He was very excited to have graduated from Kindergarten, although I'm not quite sure he even really knew what that meant.  The graduation was cute, and it was just the right length.  Jack was getting a bit restless, but he did a great job.  We had a fun night!

Henry's Last Day of Pre-K

Henry's last day of Pre-K was bittersweet.  We LOVE his teachers, and we love the program. I had some reservations about it when we started, but it was absolutely the best thing we've done for him.  He had such a fabulous year, learned so much, and made some wonderful friends.  As did I - I am now friends with his teachers and another mom in the class, all of whom are so fun and such great women.

They did a really cute little performance where they sang some songs and showed a slideshow of several photos throughout the school year.  I think we were all crying by the end.  It was really, really sweet.
 Henry did a great job with his songs, and he was a very good boy.  After the show we had an ice cream party with the other pre-K classes, and it was so funny to see Henry with all of his women.  Apparently he was quite a little Cassanova this year!  All of the little girls wanted to have their mom take a picture of them with Henry!  I was cracking up.  We had a fun afternoon and will miss his teachers and friends!

Friday, May 28, 2010

My New Toy

This is my new toy - a MacBook Pro.  I. Love. It.  Seriously, I am a converted Apple lover.  I am unnaturally obsessed in love with my iPhone.  And now my MacBook.  And now want an iPad, but don't really even know what they do or why I need one.  I just want one.  Steve Jobs, I love you.  Does he have a wife?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Heart

I love these faces.

Thankful Thursday

Jack and my dad at David's Kindergarten graduation. 
I love this picture. 
 And Jack loves his Grampy.

What a Week!

Jack and I had quite a week at Vanderbilt.  If your child has to be in the hospital, that's the place to be.  His official diagnosis was severe dehydration.

The first couple of days he had a fever that would not go away, so they did blood work to determine if he had an infection, which he did not.

His blood pressure was extremely high as well for the first few days, and he received fluids via IV for the first four days we were there.  He was a sick little boy but is much, much better now.  I spent the night with him every night but Thursday.

We had a brief due for work on Friday that I had to come home and complete, so Chris stayed with him Thursday night and brought him home on Friday.  We were SO excited for him to be home and for all of us to be together again.

The hospital is so great about having activities available for the children who are there.  They have child life specialists who come to the child's room with toys and games, bubbles, etc. if you can't leave the room. There are music therapists who come around and play music in the room and bring instruments for the child to play.

We saw Scooter, who is a three legged therapy dog.  He was SO cute.  Jack absolutely loved him.  He got into bed with Jack and let Jack love all over him.  Jack kept saying, "I love you puppy."  It was so sweet.  And Scooter's owner was so patient and kind. A volunteer came to our room one night to sing to Jack - he was a man named Chris who is just a volunteer at the hospital and he goes around to the kids' rooms with his guitar and sings to them.  (I mean, we do live in Nashville!)

On Wednesday there was a woman from the Nashville Zoo who came and brought a "big kitty" as Jack said.  I forget what the actual breed of animal was, but it essentially was a big kitty.  Eating raw steak.  Clearly that was not a "come to your room" presentation - there is a performance area in the hospital where larger performances take place.  If your child can't make it down for that, they performances are broadcast on the hospital TV channel in the patient rooms.

On Thursday Jeff Allen came with another singer named Karla and performed for the kids.  They came with a group called Lollipop Theater, which brings movies and other entertainment to children in hospitals.  They were really engaging and good performers.

They both sang a couple of songs and then the audience "helped" them to write a song.  People yelled out things they don't like (Jack said, "Takin a baf!") and they incorporated some of them into a song.  They sang the song while the kids played instruments and sang along.  It was recorded on someone's MacBook and they are sending copies of the CD to the kids who were there.  Jack was really into this.  He was singing and dancing in the audience.  Later when they asked if anyone wanted to come up on stage and help he was the first one up.  In the lap of Jeff Allen.  That's not quite what they had in mind, as the other children all gathered around the steps of the stage with Karla and the children's instruments.  Jack stayed in Jeff's lap the whole time, singing, dancing, and being adorable.  We had to sign a photographic release at the start of the program if we consented to our child's photograph being taken and possibly used for promotional materials, etc.  There was a Vanderbilt photographer there as well as a photographer from Lollipop Theater. Both of them approached me during the performance and asked if I had signed the release.

Vanderbilt also has some great play areas and outside spaces that we took advantage of when Jack was feeling better.

 They really thought of everything when building this facility - the play areas are fully enclosed so the children can't get out, but also locked so nobody can get in unless entering from the hospital.  Jack loved the fish pond and all of the statues in the garden.

There was a man fixing a pump and Jack asked him like 40 times if he was sleeping, as he was laying down to fix it.  The outside areas are such nice, relatively quiet (as quiet as they can be in the middle of the city) and private areas.  Jack and I were both dying to get out of that room and get some fresh air and those areas afforded us the opportunity to do so.

I am so thankful for the care Jack received, the thoughtfulness that was given to us, and the care that we got while we were there.  The people who work at Vanderbilt truly make the experience a good one.  Everyone is so attentive and considerate, they were all fun and silly with Jack - it really is the best place to be if you have to have a child in the hospital.  (Although I do wish I had that night view from my house!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We're Back

Back at the hospital, that is.  Jack had a terrible night Sunday night/very early Monday morning.  He and I were up essentially all night.  He was highly irritable, crying, inconsolable, not drinking, etc.  I called his pediatrician on my way to work Monday morning and they got him in right away.  Chris brought him while I went to work.  And hour after I got to work we were on our way to the emergency room at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.  He was admitted yesterday, and we were finally in our room at 6ish last night.  He was moderately-severely dehydrated when we got here, had a 103 degree fever, refuses to take any food or liquid by mouth, and was hooked up to IV fluids.  He's still refusing any meds orally as well, so he's only getting Tylenol suppositories for pain.  They're not cutting it and his doctor won't give him anything intravenously.  That irritates me.  He will not be discharged until he's eating and drinking voluntarily, so I just sent Chris home to get me some more clothes, make up, etc.  Thankfully I have my computer and am able to do some work.  I was out last week from Wednesday - Friday, so I'm WAY behind.  Pray for my boy - he needs it!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Jack's Surgery

Poor little Jack had his tonsils and adenoids removed and tubes put in his ears on May 12.  He woke up in such a good mood that day, ready to "go see doc doc".  We had it done at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville by the same doctor who did David's three years ago.  Dr. Jay Werkhaven is our ENT, and he is fabulous.  He comes highly recommended, and I've been more than satisfied with the care he's provided for the three procedures he's done on our boys.  He's friendly, efficient, and explains things thoroughly.  If you live in the Nashville area and need a pediatric ENT, I recommend him without hesitation.

After we checked in, Jack changed into his hospital jammies and played for a bit. 

All of the doctors and nurses thought it was a riot that he wore his UT hat the whole time.  And  I mean the whole time.  As you can see, even while being wheeled into surgery.

The procedures took about an hour.  When we were able to go back to the recovery area, I could hear Jack before I could see him.  He was NOT happy.  The poor thing had a very difficult time coming out of the anesthesia, and he was really upset.  He did calm down pretty quickly once I got back there, and I was very glad.  He was still pretty pathetic looking though.  And still wearing his hat.  What can I say?  He's a true Big Orange fan.
We were moved into his "room" pretty quickly.  One disadvantage to having the surgery done at one of the country's premier children's hospitals is that the hospital constantly is at over 100% capacity.  As a result, they've changed what used to be pre-surgical rooms into patient rooms.  It was about the size of a large walk-in closet and shared a half bath with the room next to ours.  However, it was adequate. 

He was very irritated at having the IV in, and he did not want to have it checked.  Ever.  Nor did he want to take his medicine.  The nurses we had - Sarah and Cindy - were amazing.  And Tony, the care tech was incredible as well.  Tony was with Jack before surgery, in recovery after, and was with us when he was moved to his room.  He even brought Jack a Toy Story coloring book after his surgery.  He was so attentive to everything and anything we could need.  The care we received was fabulous. 

Neither of us slept well the night we were at the hospital.  Jack was uncomfortable, there are near constant interruptions for one thing or another, and it just sort of sucks being in the hospital.  Jack was up nearly all night, which just compounded his discomfort. 

I was very glad the next day when we were discharged around 11:30.  We came home and promptly ditched the medicine they had prescribed.  Why?  Because Jack just spit it all over the face of whomever was administering it.  We tried Tylenol meltaways.  No luck.  The boy has had to have Tylenol suppositories.  Whatever works.  We went from this:

To this after we figured out how to get the medicine into him, and how to keep it there:

He is by no means back to normal.  Not even close.  He is still hurting and uncomfortable and has breath that will knock you out from across the room.  He's not drinking much and eating even less.  But he's fever free, and watching more television than he has ever watched before.  He's resting and getting lots of attention.  And all of this will be worth it next winter when he doesn't have strep throat for three months.

Flood of 2010

In case you haven't heard, Nashville has flooded.  As in, boat down the middle of the street flooded.  It is the single largest disaster to hit middle Tennessee since the Civil War.  It is being reported to be the largest non-hurricane disaster in U.S. History, creating over a billion dollars in damage.  Hundreds, possibly thousands, of people have lost everything.  Everything.  Houses, posessions, cars, pets.  Everything.  And it happened fast.  People went in to the mall to go shopping.  When they came out their car was under water.  And I don't mean there was a big puddle.  I mean under water. 

Chris and I went to the Jimmy Buffett concert.  The next day the arena the concert was in had a foot of flood water on the very floor Jimmy had been playing on.  How did this happen?  It rained.  A lot.  Nashville received record breaking amounts of rain in a 48 hour period, and there was no place for the water to go.  The Cumberland River flooded it's banks.  The Harpeth River flooded.  Rivers and streams flooded.  I cannot put into words the devestation this has caused.  The Opryland Hotel - a huge destination area for weddings, conventions, proms, dinner, events, tourists, et cetera - is closed.  And will remain closed until at least Christmas. 

While all of this flooding was taking place, David and Jack were spending the night with my in-laws at their house, an hour from our house.  We left to get them at 7:30 Sunday morning.  Their basement was flooding, trees had fallen on their garage and a storage shed.  The cap for the chimney blew off and water was coming into the house through the fireplace.  They had no electricity.  And they had two-thirds of my children.  It took us three hours to get there and 5 to get home.  It was the scariest drive ever.  We had to turn around because roads were flooded over.  We had to drive backwards on the interstate because waters spilled over the concrete medians onto the other side.  We had to drive over trees that had fallen on single lane roads where we had no cell signal.  And no idea where we were.  It was terrible.  But we are all safe, and our home and belongings are safe.  That is not the case for so many people. 

People are living in tents and RVs, with family and friends, and shelters are overflowing.  People are having to rip their houses apart, down to the studs, to see if there is anything salvagable.  They have to put their belongings in garbage bags on the curb to picked up by the garbage truck.  They have no flood insurance, because they did not live in a flood plain. 

While I'm not turning this into a political discussion, I will point out that Obama hasn't been here.  Why?  Maybe because he hasn't had to.  Because We Are Nashville.

Never have I been so proud to live where I do.  People are not complaining; they are volunteering to help.  People are not crying about what they have lost; they are helping their neighbor save what can be saved.  People are not stealing and looting; they are donating.  People are not running away from the problem; they are running to help.  It makes me so sad to see what people have lost.  And so proud to see what we, as the greater Nashville community, will gain because of this.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bring it On Tooth Fairy!

Henry lost his first tooth!  This is also the first Simpson child tooth lost - big times at our house!  He lost it at school after he bit into an apple and "it got weally wiggly, and so I pulled on it.  And do you know what?  It just came white out!"  The Tooth Fairy brought him $5.00 and sprinkled fairy dust in their room.  And David wanted to rub the fairy dust on his body.  WHAT?!  Henry was very, very excited.  And I was very excited that it happened at school, because I feel like loose teeth are creepy!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Under the Big Top

We had big plans for Saturday night. . . so did Mother Nature.  We had made arrangements for David and Jack to spend the night with Chris' parents in Fairview, TN.  Their house is an hour from our house.  Henry spent the night with my parents.  And Chris and I were headed to Jimmy Buffett in Nashville.  This was the first time Jack had slept at someone else's house, so you can appreciate how excited we were for our date night.  It. Was. Pouring.  And I don't mean just raining hard.  I mean POURING.  As in, road closures, cars floating down the interstate, taking us 2 and a half hours to make what should be a 30 minute drive to Nashville. 
We were determined to get there though!  And, finally, we did.  We took some creative back roads.  And saw some interesting things along the way.
Like Dairy King.  Under. Water.  Look at the upper left corner of the photo.  That's a car, under water.  There's also a junkyard in the back of Dairy King.  Totally under water.  This was on Saturday afternoon.  We got 7 more inches of water the next day.  You can imagine how this story goes. . .
We FINALLY made it to the concert.  We had great plans to eat dinner by ourselves, sans children, before the show.  That didn't happen, so we got McDonalds on the way home.  Whatever. 
The show was awesome, of course.  We had fantastic seats, and a wonderful time.
Unfortunately all of the photos we took were with my phone, so they're not exactly prize winning.  Regardless, we had a great time.  Thankfully we were able to get home safely and relatively quickly.  That, my friends, was truly the calm before the storm.