Sunday, October 28, 2012

Family Time

This is the second consecutive year that Tim and his family have come to SC to celebrate Mattie's birthday.  Even though they initially planned this trip to attend a wedding in Charlotte, we got lucky because the wedding was called off.  Thank you to the bride and groom for figuring out it wasn't gonna work because it certainly worked out for me.

I got to spend some much needed time with my niece and nephew whom I never get to see.  In just one year they both had completely changed.  Isabel is such a big girl now and a princess in training.  That's what daddy tells her anyway :)  TJ is a little pimp.  He looks so much like Tim as a boy it's scary.  Several times throughout the weekend I talked to TJ and it immediately took me back to 1984 at McDeeds Creek Rd.  Talk about deja vu.  Genes are an amazing thing.

This may not be the best representation as far as pictures go, but if I had the time to go through the billions of pictures we have I would no doubt find one that would be identical to the one above.

This particular visit was also really special because not only did we celebrate another birthday for Mattie together, but we also celebrated the upcoming births of two more baby girls to the family.  Tim and Ruth are due December 23rd (hoping to induce a week early on the 14th) and Todd and Barnes are due on February 15th.  Growing families are so exciting!  I'm even more excited that it's them and not me - ha!

We were on limited time since everyone was only in town for two days - we packed in some beach time, college football and threw a little party for Mattie.  Tim even tried out a few of his jujitsu moves on everyone (his new love obsession is MMA).  We sure are looking forward to the day that Tim and family decide that Chicago is too cold and head south!  I'm crossing my fingers that it's sooner than later...Evan and Mattie sure loved being with their cousins as well as their uncles and aunts.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Four Year Well Visit

Evan was a little late for his four year well visit - he turned four three months ago.  But the three shots he got today hurt just as much as they would have then.  He was given the first round of the flu shot and the DTap and Polio vaccinations.  He goes back in a month for the second round of the flu shot and the MMR and Varivax vaccinations.  Ugh - four year old shots are brutal!

Evan's current stats:

Weight - 43.8 lbs (80%)
Height - 42.5 in (75%)
Head Circumference - 21 1/2 in (95%)

Evan has finally started to plateau in terms of his measurements - well, except for that melon head!
His vision and hearing were checked and he seems to be doing both just fine.  I told him he could no longer pretend not to hear me. :)

I shared my concern with the doctor about Evan's toe walking and we decided together that he should visit with a physical therapist to see what their recommendations would be for him.  The doctor thinks some simple exercises would help a great deal.

My healthy, handsome boy...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2 Year Well Visit

I took Mattie to the doctor for her 2-year well visit today.

 Her current stats are as follows:

Weight - 32 lbs. 6 oz. (+95%)
Height - 37 1/2 in. (+95%)
Head Circumference - 20 1/4 in. (+95%) 

She also received a flu shot and the Hepatitis A vaccination.  She handled the entire experience like a champ.  I, on the other hand, did not.

After taking Mattie to the scale to be weighed, I walked back into the room and bent over to put her on the ground.  All at once, I felt my lower back pop in every direction possible and I immediately fell to my knees in pain.  I was sweating and felt like I could vomit right then and there.  Tears were streaming down my face, but I didn't want to scare Mattie so I had to suck it up.  My sweet girl was very concerned nonetheless and laid her head in my lap and rubbed my leg.  She knew I was hurt and tried her best to comfort me.  It was precious.

I did not let on to the doctor that anything had happened and walked out of there cringing with pain.  Cold packs and Advil better do some work - my brothers and their broods are coming into town tomorrow and I'm ready to smooch, squeeze and hug my niece and nephew - and the moms to be! :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Great Smoky Mountains

We changed it up a bit this year and decided to go west for our fall vacation.  There is nothing more beautiful than the month of October in the North Carolina/Tennessee Mountains.  We thought it would be a nice change from the sandy beaches of Florida.

It was a nice change alright - rainy and cloudy all week.  We got ONE nice day out of the entire week - but we got as much out of that day as possible.  In fact, we got as much out of every day as possible, despite the yucky weather.

We stayed in a beautiful cabin right outside of Gatlinburg, TN.  Driving up the steep driveway I thought to myself, "This is going to be so relaxing!"  I envisioned Robert and myself putting the kids to bed and relaxing in the hot tub that sat outside on the overlook deck.  The living room TV was visible from the deck so having Sunday night's NFL game on would be an added bonus.

SPOILER ALERT:  That vision did not become a reality.

Instead - we arrived at the cabin to find that it had not one set of solid pine, split-your-head-open-if-you fall stairs, but two.  So as we scrambled around trying to find a solution to this very serious problem, who do you think was trying to constantly go up and down each flight of steps?  Yes - the toddler...and very unstable-like of course.  After completely stressing ourselves out for about an hour or so, we finally just moved the loveseat right in front of the steps leading downstairs and found a leaf to the dining room table that we wedged between the spindles.  Tada!

We rallied the troops to get ready for bed around 8 pm and finally got snuggled on the couch around 8:30 pm.  We cracked open an adult beverage and looked at each other and smiled.   Ahhh...."finally," I said.  The hot tub was warming up and we were settling in for our first night of vacation...or at least we thought we were.

All of a sudden I hear a groaning sound coming from downstairs, followed by a wheezing/barking sound.  I rush down to find Mattie sitting up sounding like she was working very hard to breathe.  The noise was so frightening, I was expecting to her to be blue in the face when I turned on the light.  Her color was fine, but she wouldn't talk and her little chest was pumping as fast as it possibly could go.  We were freaked out.

Mattie has had issues in the past with cough and congestion when colder weather hits, but never anything quite this bad.  We attempted a steam bath and then a warm bath after that.  Every once in awhile she would show signs of joy.  Our confusion grew with every smile.  After about two hours of home remedies, we all laid down to see if sleep would be the answer.  That was a BIG negative.  Mattie struggled to catch her breath, which prompted her to sit up in the bed - laying down was not an option for her.

We finally decided to make a trip to the Emergency Room.  It was 12 am and we woke Evan up, got him dressed and we piled into the car.  We were lucky for a quick visit and the diagnosis ended up being croup.  She received a breathing treatment and a steroid and was breathing much better by the time we left.  I am so glad we made the decision to go to the hospital - even for just piece of mind.  That was a very scary situation that I never want to experience again.  We made it back home around 1:30 am.  Day one of vacation was GRRREAT.

****Oh, and Evan just reminded me that on the way to the hospital he tracked dog poop into Robert's car that he managed to smear all over our umbrella that we absolutely needed for the rainy, dreary weather the following day.  Awesome.

Despite day one, we did end up having a fun-filled vacation.  Robert had to work some, which put a little bit of a damper on things, but we made up for it with lots of activities.

We played putt-putt, raced go carts and rode silly rides...

 We spent some time at the Aquarium to get out of the rain...

We visited Dollywood and had a FABULOUS time...

We took a ride up the mountain on the Sky Lift...

  And we definitely did some lounging around...

We finished off our vacation with a night at the Wilderness Lodge.  This resort is very similar to Grey Wolf Lodge...indoor waterpark and play arena.  The kids loved it.  We will definitely plan to stay there again, but for a longer period of time.

I'm sad that vacation is already over, but I'm so happy that vacation is over.  Does that make sense?  Where to next year?