Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sweet Harvest

We had the most beautiful weather here this past weekend and may I say, took full advantage of it. We played outside a lot, did quite a bit of yard work, went out for ice cream and even managed to squeeze in a short visit to our local park.

But our favorite activity this weekend was without a doubt going to pick our own strawberries. Red, juicy, delicious strawberries. YUM! If you've followed this blog then you know we are big on going to Jones Orchard to pick fresh fruit. You can read about some of our previous fruit picking adventures here and here. This time around Jones Orchard actually came to us. They cultivated a pretty good size strawberry patch in Shelby Farms, which just happens to be really close to our house. So we all got ready for some good 'ol strawberry picking and off we went.

It's funny, as soon as we got there it seems everyone went off in different directions. Isabella and her Daddy went off on their own little adventure. You see apparently she's an old pro at this strawberry picking thing, so being around Sam was just holding her back. She was a girl on a mission!

Isabella and Scott hard at work.

Taking a short break to show me her bucket.

Sam and I on the other hand just hung out for a while ~ we ate lots of strawberries, walked around, played with dirt, took lots of pictures, you name it! He was loving the huge selection of strawberries readily available and I'm pretty sure ate more than most of us combined.

Enjoying a taste of his first strawberry of the day.

This boy took his picking seriously.


So we all left with bags filled with strawberries, which we are consuming like crazy in our house. Up next? Peaches, plums, apples and blueberries which should be ready and available for picking in June. I can't wait!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Has anyone seen my baby?

So we had an amazing weekend packed with all sorts of fun events, which I'll share with you guys later, but I seem to have misplaced my baby boy.

You see, this is what he looked like yesterday morning.

But then for some reason I felt compelled that it was time he had his first hair cut and this is what we ended up with.

This little boy looks like he's two years old or something.
Where's my sweet baby boy?!

I must admit, I didn't handle it quite as gracefully as I could have. When the lady was done snipping and cutting all I did was stand there and look at him. Don't get me wrong, I think he looks adorable. But I also think he looks like a toddler! And it saddens me how incredibly fast he's growing up and how quickly this is all going. And being that he may very well be our last child, I was kind of looking forward to enjoying his "baby" stage, but it appears he has other things in mind. So I better quit my whining, buckle up and enjoy this crazy ride he's taking me on.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Randomness Galore

So much has been going on around these parts lately, I honestly don't even know where to start. So please bear with me while I get all of my disorganized and random thoughts out. OK, here we go:

Sick Kiddos:
It has been just LOADS of fun around here with not one, but two sick kids.

Sam had a terrible virus that lasted all weekend long: vomiting, unbelievably high temperatures, aches and pains, non-stop whining, no appetite, crabbiness, not sleeping. And just for fun throw in a little lots of teething action, cause you know,... I wasn't going crazy enough already.

Isabella woke up yesterday morning with red eyes filled with gunk, so of course my first thought is "Great! She has pinkeye!"

We went to see my BFF yesterday (aka their pediatrician). Apparently with regards to Sam, the good news and the bad news were one in the same: he does not have strepp throat. It's good because strepp can be very dangerous for little ones, but it's bad because what he has is a virus that can't really be treated. Dr. Senter is optimistic that the worse part is over and that he is well on his way to recovery. Isabella on the other hand does not have pinkeye (YEAH!), but she does have a terrible sinus infection which we are currently treating with antibiotics.

I am happy to report that the entire family slept all night last night and that both of the kids are pretty much acting like themselves today.

They grow up so fast:
You have them in your home and do the best you can for them while they're under your roof, so that hopefully when it comes the time for them to spread their wings and fly they are well adapted individuals who can contribute to society. What in the world am I talking about, you ask?

Well, these two youngsters have gotten an apartment and moved out, on their own. Although my Dad is doing great after his heart surgery and we're still waiting another six weeks to start re-testing for transplant eligibility, they felt it was time for them to make a more "permanent" decision as to what their next move would be. So, for the time being that decision is staying in Memphis for at least a year and seeing what happens. And I couldn't be happier!

Flower Power:
Many of you might be sick of hearing about my love for Spring and all the beautiful flowers it brings with it. You're also probably hoping that I don't go on and on about the pretty spring flowers in our backyard, but you know what ~ I can't help it! And neither could you if you walked out into your yard one morning to find this:

Oh. My. Gosh!

Irises! Amazing doesn't even begin to describe them. They are huge and beautiful and purple and majestic and breathtaking. And they are mine to admire whenever I want, which just happens to be quite often. I mean seriously, wouldn't you?

Well, with all that's been going on I decided that I really needed to find some sort of release before my head exploded. And with the economy being they way it is and alcohol and tobacco being so darn expensive, I was left with no other choice than to once again turn to my beloved hobby: Scrapbooking. I've been creating in my spare time (lol) and I can't wait to share some of my recent pages. But that will have to wait. Time is precious and I have two napping kids so I better take advantage of this, get going and do something productive,... you know like catch up on my DVR shows.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our little superstar

Isabella's preschool Spring Program was today and she was so happy to be able to perform in front of all of us. Her Daddy took the day off and Tata and Papa Abu were able to join us. So she had quite a few of us cheering for her in the audience, which she was totally thrilled about.

Here's our proud girl as she was making her way to the stage.

Luckily she didn't have any wardrobe malfunctions this time around. Seriously, who can forget the ones from the Christmas Program? One of the two year olds took it upon herself to flash the audience this time around, thank goodness.

Isabella did appear to be a little bored/tired and distracted at times. I think I counted about 8 yawns during the fifteen minutes she was on the stage. She was also quite enthralled with the necklace that Tata made her and she was wearing. But when she did perform, she did it beautifully! She sang, she danced and she played the bells like an old pro.

Isabella concentrating on the bells.

We were all a little worried about Sam. As many of you know this boy dances to the beat of his own drum. He was a little antsy right before the program started and quite vocal and obnoxiously loud, but once the kids got up on that stage and started singing he was totally mesmerized and quite entertained. Of course, he had to prove he too has a knack for the bells and made sure to play them for everyone to hear.

Sam playing his own version of the bells.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So, what was your morning like?

Remember way back in December, January and February when two bouts of bronchitis darn near killed me? Remember that? Yeah,... I do. Vividly! Talk about good times. Anyway, I haven't really been myself since then. I've been having lots of problems with wheezing, feeling tired ALL the time, dealing with some killer headaches and even experiencing a few episodes of asthma attacks.

Well, this was all fine and dandy until a few days ago when I anxiously inhaled the last puff of my inhaler. For the last few days I've been thinking this asthma thing, which came out of nowhere at my old age, was just in my head. I was convinced that I was fine and that I would be OK without sucking the life out of an inhaler.

OK so let me just put it bluntly, the last few days have been a living hell! Apparently my problems are more serious that I let myself believe and although there are many things in my head that are absolute craziness, this should not have been one of them. I was up at 5:00am this morning, unable to breathe and wheezing like a maniac. Absolutely lovely! Yes, I was up, on the computer, looking up respiratory doctors in my health insurance network at 5:00am this morning. Luckily I found quite a few providers in my network and close to my home so by 9:00am I was speed dialing to get myself an appointment.

Mission accomplished! I had secured an appointment for 9:45am. So I got ready and ran out the door. I got to the office, signed in and took a seat in their rather nice waiting area. Suddenly they called my name. YAY! I could finally see the light, or breathe right, or something.

The receptionist cordially says: "Ms. Butler, there appears to be a mistake. Your appointment isn't until tomorrow morning."


I try to compose my oh so attractive wheezing self and say: "Oh! Well I made the appointment this morning and was told to come in to see Dr. X at 9:45am"

The receptionist responds: "Hmm, Dr. X doesn't even work today. Do you remember who booked your appointment?"

Although she's being so polite about the whole thing, I'm getting a little irritated because really WHO CARES who booked the appointment? Now my breathing is becoming more difficult, but I try to remain cool and I say: "No, I really don't, but I'm sure she said today. You see I wouldn't be here otherwise. Is there any way I can be seen by any other doctor, one who might actually be here and have an opening maybe?" I'm really not trying to be ugly, but seriously!

"No honey!' she says "The only available appointment is the one for tomorrow with Dr. X."

Well, Isabella's Spring Program is tomorrow morning and I wouldn't miss that for anything so I say: "I can't come tomorrow morning. Do you have anything at any other time? Preferably today, but I'll take some other time tomorrow."

"Yes!" She kindly responds. "The next available appointment is for May 20th".


I want to yell "Are you kidding me?", but instead I say "Ma'am, I'm having a really hard time breathing. I have to see someone soon. I can't wait that long."

"So, would you like for me to cancel your appointment for tomorrow?"

"Yes, thank you." I say as I take my wheezing self right out of their office.

By this time I am no longer irritated or annoyed. Now I'm downright pissed! So I call my mom and explain the situation and tell her that I'm coming home to call some of the other providers and hopefully find someone who would see me, PRONTO!

I'm walking towards my car and to my surprise it's not there. As a matter of fact, the parking spot is available. Wide open. Empty. I stand there and look around.


I think to myself that maybe I didn't park here exactly so I start walking around the parking lot looking for my car. Nothing! Now I'm starting to panic, so I press the panic button on my key chain waiting to hear the alarm go off so that I can locate my car. Nothing! It finally hits me: Oh my gosh! My car's been stolen. So I call my mom and tell her then I call Scott and tell him and then I don't really know what to do next. Do I call the police to report it? Do I walk back inside the building to talk to security? I'm dumbfounded! So instead I keep walking around the parking lot looking for a car that I KNOW is not there. This entire time my breathing is becoming more and more laborious, almost impossible.

After a few more minutes of feeling, looking and acting like a choking idiot I walked over to a man who was sitting in his parked car. I told him my car had been stolen and asked him if he'd seen anything or anyone suspicious. He was so nice. He got out of his car, asked me where I had parked my car and walked over with me to look at the empty spot. Then he asked if I had come in the front or the back.


"There's another parking lot?" I asked. To which he ever so kindly replied, because by this point he understood he was dealing with a challenged individual who apparently was also quite the heavy breather: "Yes, if you came in from Poplar Avenue (which by the way, I did), you're probably parked in the front lot". After apologizing profusely for bothering him and feeling like an absolute MORON, I walked back into the building, crossed the foyer and walked out the front door.

By now I reached a point where I could not breathe. Scott had left work and was already on his way to meet me, but he didn't have his cell phone on him so I couldn't call him to explain what had happened. I called my mom as I walked to where I remember parking the car, which just happened to be parked right where I left it. DUH! In between wheezing, gasping for air and coughing the most dry, horrendous cough ever, I tried to explain that I had found the car and was on my way home. I could barely speak and she begged me to go back upstairs and ask those people to help me, give me an inhaler, "for crying out loud they have samples!", she said.

I was sweating profusely, barely breathing and feeling like I was pretty close to passing out, but I went back upstairs, walked over to the receptionist and managed to ask her to please help me. Apparently, I wasn't a very pretty sight since one look at me was all it took for them to sit me down on a wheel chair and get that entire office in motion. Something tells me I'm not their "average" patient.

My body oxygen level was at 86% which is low since apparently 92% and higher is considered normal. My blood pressure was 165 over 100, and I've never had issues with high blood pressure. So needless to say they immediately hooked me up to an oxygen machine, gave me a breathing treatment, took a couple chest X-Rays and gave me a steroid shot to open up my airways. One of their doctors saw me and a while later I walked out with two different inhalers and a prescription for some additional steroid pills. Scott arrived right before I was seen by the doctor and was there to make sure I was feeling OK and was able to drive myself back home. Trust me after all those drugs, I was feeling just fine. Very tired physically, but my breathing was no problem.

The bottom line: Asthma. That darn bronchitis messed me up pretty good, don't you think? Now that I'm feeling much better, we've managed to have a good laugh at me and my craziness. Thank goodness I wasn't a total ass to the receptionist when she told me that I showed up on the wrong day and offered to reschedule me for May 20th. Imagine what that poor man in the parking lot must have thought of me. Also, thank goodness I didn't actually call the police,... could you imagine? How embarrassing!

Scott seems to think that maybe the low oxygen levels had me somewhat confused and disoriented. I'm just glad that everything worked out OK in the end.

So tell me, what was your morning like?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderfully blessed Easter weekend. I can sum up our Easter weekend celebration in one word: BUSY! Phew, in two days we managed to cram in 3 Easter egg hunts, lunch with friends, dinner with friends, an unbelievable service at Hope Church and Easter dinner with my family. We played a lot, we laughed a lot, we ate too much and I can't even tell you how tired I was when I went to bed passed out last night.

Saturday morning we met up with Hudson, Isabella's best friend, and his family to enjoy the Easter festivities at their preschool. We all had a great time. The kids played, went hunting for eggs and then we all ended up at Chick-fil-A for a yummy lunch an even more playtime. Needless to say, Isabella didn't even fight me before nap time and that NEVER happens around here. Can you say worn out?

Isabella & her best friend, Hudson.
Can't you just feel the bond and the love between them.
I tell ya, they are adorable!

Isabella hunting for eggs.
Sam walked and walked and walked. The boy NEVER tires!

This is what I get when I try to take a picture
of the two of them together these days.

After naps we got ready and went to another friend's house for another egg hunt, a visit from the Easter Bunny, dinner, drinks, and uninterrupted adult conversation. Luckily we had beautiful weather, so the kids spent most of the time outside jumping on a trampoline, riding bikes, playing with silly string and getting super dirty and extra tired.

Sunday morning we woke up bright and early to find the Easter baskets the bunny had left for us. The kids absolutely loved them. Isabella couldn't pick just one favorite, but the white bunny was definitely a winner. Although Sam also loved his blue bunny and literally showered him with wet drooly kisses, his favorite was without a doubt the chocolate. YUM!

Checking it all out!
Bunny love.
If you look closely you'll be able to see the evidence
of the wet kiss he just gave the bunny.

After enjoying our baskets and all the goodies, we went to church and then came back to do our annual Easter egg hunt. While the kids took their naps I myself laid down for a bout an hour and then prepared the rice that I was supposed to take to Easter dinner.

The only picture we have of Sam in his Easter outfit. Sad, isn't it?
He was snotty and cranky and unwilling to cooperate.

Our little Vanna showing us one of her favorites

Easter dinner at my brother's was a lot of fun. The food was delicious, the kids got totally jacked up on sugar (joy!), Sam bumped his head on a wall pretty badly, and then we came home.

Super fun weekend, surrounded by awesome friends and family, filled with laughter (and tons of sugar). Who could ask for anything more?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Puerto Rican? Really?

Almost eleven years ago (on 4/26/98), while I was a working professional in the wonderful city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I walked into a K*B Toy store to purchase a gift for someone. Who, I really don't know (most likely it was for my nephew who was almost one at the time). But what I do know is that as I was perusing the store I came across what Mattel called a "Puerto Rican" Barbie. And it just happened to be on clearance for the bargain price of $12.99. Apparently "Puerto Rican" Barbies were not very popular in Wisconsin,... who knew? Anyway, she was the only one on the shelf and as you can imagine I had to get her. Not because I still played with Barbies, but because I knew that I'd probably never find another one like her and that someday I would have a little girl that could play with her.

I guess I should explain that growing up I was a HUGE Barbie fanatic. I had hundreds of Barbies and accessories and I loved, loved, loved playing with them. All the cool cars, houses, boats, you name it! I could entertain myself playing with them for hours and hours. Secretly, I am anxiously awaiting for Isabella to really get into them so that we can play together, though I suspect that probably won't happen for a few more years.

Now let me be honest here, in my opinion "Puerto Rican" Barbie doesn't really have much of a Puerto Rican flair to her. Yeah she has dark hair, brownish eyes and semi-tanned skin, but that's about it since her features and measurements are the same as ALL the other Barbies out there.

Don't you agree?

Anyway, guess who found this Barbie that has been stored in a closet ever since we moved to our house almost five years ago. Yep! Isabella found her and immediately wanted to play with her. Of course as soon as I took her out of the box the first thing she asked was "What does she do?" To which I replied: "Absolutely nothing!". The look on her face basically said "Then what's the point?" Too funny! Like I said, we're still a few years away from really getting the Barbie concept.

Aww, doesn't my half Puerto Rican daughter have SO much in common with "Puerto Rican" Barbie? Right!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Let the hunting begin

Today we went to the first of the many Easter Egg Hunts of the season. We met up with a few of my girlfriends and their kids at Cedar Hill Farm and had ourselves a good ol' time.

First, we went on a hay ride that took us to this huge field where the children got to "hunt" for their eggs. I use the term "hunt" loosely since the eggs were just laying out all over the field. But the joy these kids felt finding and counting their 12 eggs was priceless. Even Sam had a blast playing with the eggs.

Afterward, we took the kids to the pony rides, to the chicken show, to lunch, back to the pony rides and finally to the playground.

A funny thing happened while we were there this morning when Isabella came across this little bird.

The bird was just standing there so Isabella got close, and then a little closer. Well, the bird started "talking" to Isabella and everyone thought it was the cutest thing ever. You know, Isabella "the bird whisperer". Since the bird wasn't really flying away we thought that maybe it was hurt and unable to move. But then I noticed that the bird was spreading its wings and its tail as far out as they could possibly go. And it was "talking" louder and louder.

Suddenly I realized that this was not necessarily a friendly conversation so I got closer to examine the situation. That's when we saw the 4 eggs. Apparently this specific type of bird lays its eggs on the ground/gravel. So, as it turns out the bird was pretty much telling us off and trying to scare us away. Luckily she was so protective of her eggs that coming after us and attacking us was not an option. And thank goodness for that since that was one angry bird.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Now we're movin'

Do you remember this?

This is the Scooter Isabella just HAD to have for Christmas and Santa just HAD to bring to her so that she could ride it ALL the time because she so totally LOVED it.

Right,... Well, after a couple of attempts at riding it she got totally frustrated, gave up and stored it in our garage.

I'm happy to report that after a few months, it once again made its way out of the garage and finally saw the light of day.

She's now riding it like a pro and even challenged her daddy to a race as soon as he got home from work a couple of days ago. Although she still struggles and falls every now and then, she gets up, shakes it off and gets right back on.

You know what, I think she finally loves it as much as she originally thought she would.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Heaven help us!

Yes, the inevitable has occurred,... Sam is walking! Well, he's pretty much walking. He takes lots of steps and then falls. He gets up again, takes lots of steps and then falls again. But he's all about this walking thing and suddenly he is ALL over the place.

We got to practice our walking in our front yard yesterday and I was lucky enough to catch him in action:

Look at him go!

I also managed to capture some of the not-so-graceful falls:



This one I call the Michael Jackson!

I have a confession to make: Isabella had absolutely no interest in walking until she was about 15 months old, so in all honesty I was not expecting, or ready, for Sam to start walking at 12 months. I thought I still had some time,...

I have another confession to make: Although intellectually I know the difference, I was not quite prepared for how unbelievably different boys are from girls ~ so much more physical and so much more busy and so much more wild. Seriously!

OK, one last confession, I promise: Apparently our house was NOT baby proof, like AT ALL! I can't even begin to tell you all the stuff Sam gets into that Isabella had absolutely no interest in. I've always wanted to simplify and get rid of so much of the clutter in our house and because of him this dream of mine is quickly becoming a reality. Although I wish I could have done it in my own terms, and timing. Oh well, no time like the present,... right?