Sunday, September 9, 2012

Photo Book

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I got a notice from Shutterfly that the style of photo book I created back in 2009 of my family's Florida vacation, was being disconntinued and that if I wanted to order it, I had until Sept 10th!  Yikes.  Truly, a no-brainer, and I'm embarrassed to say that 3 years to the date (!!!) I still hadn't printed pictures of this amazing family vacation - complete with my sister Joanna and her family AND my mom & dad.  Thank you, Shutterly, for that kind (and expensive) nugde to get these photo books printed (yes, pictures of our family vacation span two-101 page photo books!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

St. Patty's Day Carnival

Lovey has worked every Saturday since we've moved here, and I recently learned he'll be working every Saturday from now on (boo-hoo).  Sadly, we'll miss him on our weekend adventures!

I took the girls to the "family friendly St. Patrick's Day carnival" @ the Martin Luther King Park in Five-Points on Saturday.  Aunt Velma was nervous for us since Five-Points is typically a rowdy college scene, especially on St. Patrick's Day, but I assured her that we'd be OK @ this venue.  Luckily we were and we timed our departure just right since the later we stayed, the more skin, beer, and Topsy-Turvy people we saw.  Eek.

Throughout the week we watched a few short video clips, courtesy of the History Channel, about St. Patrick's Day.  They were a great refresher for me since I had forgotten/didn't know much about Saint Patrick.  He was from Great Britain, but went to Ireland to preach Christianity. He used the clover leaf (but the Irish called it a Shamrock) to explain the Trinity: The Holy Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.  The whole park was saturated with clovers and as we waited for our horse ride, Mary-Gail exclaimed that it was just like in her movie (History Channel) and the clovers were for Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost!

Riding the horses was Mary-Gail's first priority.  The horses' manes were braided so beautifully, and they had sparkle glitter on their behinds.  This made both Mary-Gail and Becca erupt in laughter.

Carnival bouncers were next.  Made me miss our Little Tikes bounce house we left in UT for the little twins, Tenley & Quincy

I LOVED watching Becca & Mary-Gail move through this Obstacle bouncer.  It was the exact one we went to a couple years ago when we joined JoJo @ her kiddies @ their school's carnival.  I wish all the kiddies were with us Saturday to do the Obstacle bouncer again

Everything about these two exude laughter and happiness. Love 'em. Love 'em lots!

Lunch included PB on bagel thins, string cheese, green grapes, Doritos, and Capri Suns

Another absolute "have to."  Mary-Gail was incredibly patient (albeit a little whiny) given the fact that we had to stand in line for over 30 minutes!  This gal was the only face painter at the carnival.  She charged $5 per face painting...she made B A N K!
She kept smiling @ my Mba-Gba (really, who can't smile when they're around Mary-Gail?), but this gal kept cracking up while she was painting pretties on MG's face.

Pretty princess lips?  Oh Yes!

Adding the gold glitter...

The gal asked if She could take Mary-Gail's picture!!  (to add to her portfolio)  Of Course!
(the black & pink chicken-scratch on the gal's arm was from her daughter, who was there practicing her painting skills - on her mom!)

Mary-Gail "lost" (purposefully removed and threw on the ground) one of her earings while we stood in line.  They were new too! 

Oh...WOW.  My little beauty w/her princess mask and princess glitter lips

Becca opted for the same face painting, and why not?  It's super cute

Mom, are you done taking pictures of me yet?

Becca's model-lip pose

I asked Mary-Gail what she was talking to the girl about afterwards. She said she told the girl that her hair was beautiful, and that she really liked her green necklace.  But Mary-Gail also told me she wanted to make sure the girl had her three tickets to go on the ride.
The guy monitoring this Castle bounce house was a real dud, but his shirt was lively:
it read, "Best. Dad. Ever."

Having a great time on the swings!  They blew me kisses every time they went around. 
I was covered in kisses!

Jurassic Park bouncer complete with dinosaurs! This one was three tickets and was soo worth the wait in line.  The kids got to play for a little while (about 3 minutes) before they were rounded up and exited.  Do you know how many times these littles scaled the wall and slid down in those 3 minutes?

Throughout the whole day, Mary-Gail & Becca were worried that their pretty princess masks had come off.  They didn't believe me, (so typical) so I snapped a couple pictures of them @ the M-store to prove it to them (I sometimes turn into a 5-year old too).

Mary-Gail wanted everyday to be St. Patrick's Day.  I told her that every time she found a clover she could remember her fun adventures.  And then she added, "We can remember Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost too!"  Oh thank you, Mary-Gail - I am doing something right.

Saturday was a super day!  We came home completely tuckered-out and sunburned!  Who gets sunburned in March?  Well, if you're in South Carolina, and it's 84 degrees, and you're outside all day w/o sunscreen, YOU do.  Needless to say, I stopped by Walmart and snagged SPF 110 sunscreen - not going to let this happen to us again.

P.S. I think my mom said the weather in Utah was windy and cold @ 50.  That's the kind of March weather I'm used to...

I'm going to re-think my life...

Anna and I met one Tuesday night as we volunteered @ the NICU.  I think it was in April or May 2011.   Anna had a 27-weeker (me too {times 2}) and she was expecting her second child (sadly, me not).  We helped gather the gifts all the while talking about our experiences in the NICU - her little boy stayed 100 days; Becca & Mary-Gail stayed 86 days;  our hardships before, during, and after NICU life. Anna's little boy, Caleb, was almost 2; Becca & Mary-Gail had turned 4.  Caleb was struggling with eating, throwing up ALL his stomach contents, and not gaining weight. I had experienced that with Becca & Mary-Gail too.  Or had I?

Anna said Caleb was scheduled for a visit w/the Pediatric GI doc @ Primary Children's Hospital in SLC.  (Just the mention of that hospital still makes my heart palpitate and goose-bumps appear).  He was already on the elimination diet to see if he was allergic to certain foods, but he might have to have surgery on his bowel for suspected enterocolitis.  Anna said her sweet Caleb was still in 12 month clothes...

We talked for over 2 hours, Anna and I.  We had just met earlier that night, but having preemies and sharing worries and stresses over our super-special children fused an instant connection.  I was sad we had to say goodbye, even though I remember it was well after 1am and Anna had to drive 30minutes to get home, but I was sure I'd see her next Tuesday to hear how Caleb's appt went and what they were going to do.

However, I didn't see Anna again.  My last night volunteering @ the NICU in February 2012 I asked about her, but our Coordinator hadn't seen her either.  My heart was worried for her, for her little Caleb, and for her (then) pregnancy.  BUT, Anna found me!  She ran a random search on the Internet for Preemies and pulled up my blog; we're connected again!

I have to link Anna's post here.  For one, because I truly thought I understood her plight with her non-eater.  I mean, Mary-Gail was next-in-line for a NG-tube because the little turkey refused to eat.  I remember telling my pediatrician I wanted to return her to the NICU and have her hooked up on a feeding tube!  And two, as a shout-out to all those mothers (and fathers) who struggle with their little ones' needs, who hover over their children when a simple cough can easily turn into bronchitis or pneumonia (which is what I'm facing now with Mary-Gail),  and for my brother, Josh, who has two beautiful daughters who have Type I Juvenile Diabetes (both were diagnosed when they were just three years old!), I hear you.  Anna does too.

Visit Anna's post about Caleb here and here and here 

Our new house...maybe? Not until Friday...

This is our new home...maybe.  I say "maybe" because we're supposed to close on Thursday, March 22, 2012 @ 3 pm EST.  We were supposed to close on Wednesday, March 21, but Tony is out of town for training, so we had to push the date back a day.  However, the bank said we were "stalling" and wanted to move the date up to today, Tuesday, March 20.  I said if they wanted to move the date up, we could move the date to Monday, March 19 and close then.  But the bank said that that day was "too early."  Really?

So, we're supposed to close on Thursday; however, just today the bank called Tony (again) and asked him to substantiate three more things (again). Plus, they needed his check stub from the advance FedEx gave him in February.  Really?  Really?  Have they ever packed up and moved TWO THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED THIRTY-SIX MILES across the entire country?!  Everything we have is in a storage container sitting in hot-lanta; we have nothing with us, except our suitcases and toothbrushes.

Well, it's a good thing it's only Tuesday and we have less than 48 hours to get the bank this information...again. And it's a good thing that Tony will be coming back from his 3-day training in Tennessee tomorrow, so he'll be able to get right on getting that stuff to the bank...again. He actually told the banker that if we don't close on Thursday: "my wife will come down there with a butcher's knife and chop your head off."  Tony said the banker just laughed.  He doesn't take me seriously.

Post-Publish edit: Tony said the bank has delayed our close until Friday...something stupid like the bank has to have the closing paperwork a full 24 hours before the close date.  Really?  This the the FOURTH home I've purchased, and I've never heard of that before.  Does anyone have a really, really, really sharp butcher knife?

We do have a few good things going for us: I already got the carpets cleaned on Monday (Whitehall Carpet Cleaners and they were super!  Thanks Angie's List!).  The littles and I cleaned the kitchen and 1/2 bath today.  Tomorrow we're going to clean the laundry room and the 2 bathrooms upstairs.  By Thursday I should have the master bedroom and the girls' bedroom cleaned, and by Friday we should have the movers here unloading our furniture and boxes!  I'm hoping to get the garage floor painted and pebbled before Friday too - we'll see how well that goes.

Becca & Mary-Gail were so excited to watch a show while I worked in the bathroom.  Mary-Gail exclaimed to Becca, "Becca, Becca!  It's not even Friday yet and Mommy's gonna let us watch a show!  Wa-hoo!"  That's Mary-Gail, doing her "wa-hoo" kick in the picture above.

(Oh, and Carly - we're still using the old pillows you let us have for our road-trip here. 
We're making good use of them, right along side our bathmat)

Kemp Kuties on the Charleston Pier

Kemp Kuties on the Charleston Pier
September 2007