Thursday, July 16, 2015

Vacay Past Due

In July of 2007, Bub the hub and I went on a vacation to Charleston, South Carolina. Two short months had passed since we discovered that our first baby bub was on the way. No one else knew yet. I was as sick as a dog, but still managed to carry away some good memories. Charleston really is a beautiful city. We stayed in a fancy hotel and I got my fill of the historical landmarks that made me want to visit again in the first place.

Unfortunately, my extreme pregnancy sickness prevented me from taking very many photos... I just looked back and counted twelve total from the entire trip, with ten being of flowers/buildings/waterways and other nonsense. There is this one gem.

Not entirely sure why I had to have a pic with hub and a pirate statue, but glad there is at least one human photo to remember the trip by. There are no photos of the two of us at all! Granted, I was throwing up about 5x a day and did not feel super attractive. But STILL. 

Now that I go back and really look, I have very few pics from the entire pregnancy (did I mention the nausea lasted six months?), other than my baby showers. The only really acceptable shot I have of the two of us is this one we took in the under-construction nursery. I love how I am dressed in my low key work attire. And how young we look!

SO, the point of that whole story was to say that we never could have imagined that trip would be our last alone vacation for the next 8 years. We never could have imagined any of the things that came with Avery's birth, of course. After she arrived and went through brain surgery after brain surgery, it was so hard to think of ever leaving her alone with caretakers that didn't minutely understand all of the special things she needed. Not to mention the fact that she had a strong distrust for non-parental units in her early years. And so we put it off and put it off.... and then Baby Bub came along and it got pushed even further off the table. 

This isn't to say we didn't travel as a family. Avery had traveled with us to Rhode Island, Arizona, New York and Florida by the time she was three. We've taken family trips now to California and Hawaii as well. I'd say that our children are well-traveled bubs, actually. 

Dreaming about an alone trip has been a constant though. I think we started talking about it seriously when Avery was three, but the realities of her challenges always made it seem insurmountable. Every year I would tell myself that THIS would be the year that we would get away, and every year we failed. Now, of course, she is seven years old, fifty plus pounds, almost as tall as me, needs total assistance for mobility, is quirky as ever and having more seizures than she's had since her surgeries AND NOW WE ARE FINALLY GOING TO GET AWAY!! Not because it is the best timing in the world, or any of the logistics are going to be easy, but because we need this break to recharge and hopefully pave a way for future getaways.

This feat will take no less than five caretakers for Avery (not including all of her teachers at school), a few more to help with Maddie, and medicine/meal/clothes/transpo plans like you have never seen! But it will be worth it. It will be worth it when I get to sleep here:

and look out here

and relax here

and walk along here

and chill here.



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 4th Party

My mom (Nana) and her twin sister had a birthday bash on July 4th this past weekend at the Barndo! We were celebrating a little early this year, but it was a great excuse to combine festivities. Here is the invite I made for the party.

Aren't those twinkies cute?

It was nice to see our family, eat DElicious food and catch up with old friends. I think the twins had a pretty good time too. They are still adorable, of course.

Here is my Aunt Kay below with her grand kids. Maddie had the greatest time with her second cousins. They are so sweet and patient with her. She follows Katie (the oldest) around like a puppy dog.

And here are the red, white & blue cake pops and 
cupcake that I made for the party!!

Good thing that cake pops are not a quick endeavor because they are super addicting. I probably could have taken care of all of them myself, but I controlled my sweet tooth and created this cute display instead.

Aren't we festive??

After the party we broke out the fireworks and glow sticks. My camera was acting funny in the pitch dark, so this was as good as I could get, but all the kids sat on the back of the golf cart and watched. Maddie is on the far left in her cousin Mackenzie's lap. Fire works were a first for her! She also tried her first sparkler. She had so much fun. And so did we!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Belated Father's Day

I'm only a few.. four days late with this post but you know how it goes! We celebrated Bub the hub all this past weekend, and hopefully he felt special. He should definitely feel special about getting to sleep in both Saturday and Sunday... I'm not gonna lie, I reeeallly look forward to my Saturday morning sleep ins. For me to donate one means I must reeeally love you ♥.

Both girls got crafty and made the hub some cute art for his office. Maddie and I also picked out a new Aggie grill cover for him, and made him a coupon for a new wallet. One of Maddie's favorite pastimes is picking out greeting cards. Seriously, she could stand there all day and go through them all. She was pretty excited to pick this monster one out for daddy.

On Father's Day, and every day, we appreciate Bub the hub to eternity and back. He keeps us all grounded, and his patience astounds me. Maddie's first question of the day is always, "is daddy here?" I'm sure it would also be Avery's if she could verbalize. He's an amazing father and he's all OURS!!! love you, babe.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Modified Atkins

We've officially been on Avery's new diet plan for two weeks! What an education. I actually had it in my head that my girls' diet was in the somewhat healthy range. HAHAHAHAHAHA

Little did I know how many carbs they were really eating every day. Eye-opening! And I thought that giving up juice and milk would be super hard, but it really only took Avery a couple of days to adjust to the flavored water. Now I think she is drinking more liquids than ever, which we have always struggled with, so that's a positive. Negatives are the delicious weekly meals she had to give up: Saturday lunch at Chick-fil-a, Freebirds burrito and Daddy's yummy spaghetti. Really, she's been handling it like a champ and we've only had a couple angry and annoyed meals. 

Gone are the Amy's cheddar bunnies, yogurt raisins and goldfish snacks. CHEESE is our saving grace, and I am trying to get used to serving her so much protein. The modified Atkins diet is all about fats, so we are soaking up small amounts of approved veggies in butter and making cream sauces for her meats.

The new diet has already affected Maddie's food as well, even though she's not technically on the diet. She started eating celery! And she hasn't had french fries in more than two weeks either... because I am NOT going to make Avery smell or watch her sister eat them, that would be cruel! Little sister has not been too thrilled about this but hasn't put up a huge fight either, thank goodness.

Last week I did a little research on low carb treats and came across a very low (almost no) carb pasta on Amazon. So I ordered it of course! 

Shirataki pasta--- it comes in a little baggie filled with water
and it's apparently made from plants

It cooks up a little transluscent and needs drying...

The final product is a little gummier than real pasta, but it does the trick and Avery really seemed to enjoy her faux pasta with a tiny bit of sauce and lotsa cheese! I tried to get some post dinner pics with lil'bub but she was not in a big smiling mood. It was the very end of the day, but I still thought she looked like a little bit'o'sunshine, even with the get-the-camera-out-of-my-face expressions :) 

One half smile for mommy and daddy

She continues to have one seizure pretty much every day, but they are short and she still recovers quickly. We're hoping another week or two on the diet and we may see some changes.

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