Sunday, February 19, 2017

Eric Church Concert

This weekend, Steve and I snuck away for another wonderful concert.  Eric Church returned to the BJCC and performed a double set (no opening bands, just him).  He played continuously for 3.5 hours, and was totally into it the whole time!  We met up with the Passarellas for drinks and dinner beforehand, and arrived on time for concert. 

Steve and I had terrible seats in the upper bowl, one in front of the other.  Neither of us were excited about walking up to the nosebleed section, so we decided to risk it, and sit in a couple of seats in the lower bowl near the Mike and Courtney.  We got kicked out, so we moved a little further down, only to get kicked out again.  We ended up sitting right behind the equipment table, but high enough to see over it perfectly and have a great view of Eric Church.  There were several rows that were empty, so Mike and Courtney moved over to sit with us, as did Cathy and Brian Browning and their friends.

It was a terrific night of singing and dancing, and it was that much better that we got to do it all in awesome seats with fun people around us.

What a show!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mercedes Marathon

me, Cindy, Candace, Kadie and Lindsey
Back in August, I joined the Service Guild....a volunteer organization that raises money and services The Bell Center.  As a member, you volunteer in a classroom with the same child every week for a semester.  My time didn't begin until January,  and I work with a little girl with Downs Syndrome.  It isn't my favorite thing to do each week (it is tough), but what a gift for these families with these children.  The kids either attend Tues/Thur or Wed/Fri for two hours.  Each child has a volunteer (me), a PT, OT, Speech Pathologist and Special Ed teacher on their team.  The employees put together a specific treatment plan for each child, and we all work together to help the child achieve their goals. 
before I took off

They have one major fundraiser a year, the Service Guild Gala, in March of every year, and several smaller ones.  One of the other ones is running for a child during the Mercedes Marathon.  They ask every runner to raise $100/mile, so if you run a full marathon then you strive to raise $2610.  I formed a team of five women, and we all tried to raise money.  We had a blast getting to know each other better, and fun training for our individual segments.  The race was Sunday, Feb 12th in the morning.  Cindy Bembry started us off with the first 6 miles, then me with 3 miles, then Kadie Fry with the next 6 miles, who passed it off to Lindsey Chitwood who ran another 3 miles, and then Candace Crouch pulled up the rear with the final 8 miles.  It was warm day (which I was fine with), but all of the serious runners were hoping for cooler weather.  I was able to run a little with Kadie, and then we both ran the final mile with Candace.  It was a long morning, but a very fun one.

Steve and kids came to support me
After my segment, but before Sara ran hers (the final 8 for her team)
Kadie and me halfway through!
We made it!!
not too shabby for some older ladies! :)
In fact, we had so much fun doing the race, we decided to enter another one.  Since we weren't all able to run together, we registered for the Birmingham Wine 10K, where they toast us with champagne at the end!  Now that is my kind of race!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Potty Training Our Baby!

multi-tasking....pottying and watching a movie
January 1, 2017, I woke up with a mission, a mission to potty train Walker!  So that morning we woke up and I put him in underpants.  I asked him what he wanted to drink, and gave him anything and everything so he would drink a lot and potty often!  Since I had to be home to care for Bennett and Preston, it was a perfect time to hole up and do it.  Walker set up his "office" at the kitchen island and we pretty much did not leave that area for two days. 

Walker stayed naked or in underpants for the first two days of the year.  He had a permanently stained red upper lip from all of the Gatorade he drank, but he did awesome with the training.  He only wet the front of the underpants a little a couple of times, right before he went potty, and never had a full on accident.  If he ever did leave the kitchen, it was right after he went potty, and only for 20-30 minutes.  He had a couple of problems with pooping, but he finally went on day 2 (he was so proud of himself), and once he did....he kept going!

Day 3, Bennett insisted on taking him to Target for his first outing.  She wanted to buy him a birthday present with her own money.  So we packed him a change of clothes, and went on our way.  As we were about to leave, she took him to the restroom.  Needless to say, he did great and continued to improve with letting us know he needed to go. 

Day 4, Walker returned to school.  I packed several extra pairs of underpants, a change of clothes and a pull-up in case he completely revolted, but he did fabulous!  No accidents!

watching a movie while still sitting on hardwood floors
Proud face after using potty at school!
We are almost a full month into the potty training now, and Walker has done fantastic!  He has had two accidents (both due to getting too busy and waiting until the last minute), but he has this!  If we are diligent to just ask him occasionally, he won't make any errors.  We are so proud of him!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Happy 82th Birthday Mimi!

Due to the snowstorm of 2017, everyone was pretty homebound over Mimi's birthday.  However, we were NOT going to let her birthday pass by and not celebrate the woman who goes out of her way to celebrate everyone else's birthday all year long.  So a week after Myra's birthday, everyone gathered at our house for a fun family dinner.

We catered in Taco Mama, and Michelle and Sara baked the most perfect cake.  We ate, drank, sang happy birthday and watched old family videos.  It was a great night reminiscing!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Young, Wild and Three!

His last night of being 2 years old!
It is really hard to believe that Walker is 3 years old!  Time continues to fly by with him in tow.  I feel badly that I don't document his milestones as well as I did with Bennett and Preston, but I want to try and summarize him in a blog post today because he has changed so much in the past year, particularly the past 6 months.

Walker is FULL of personality!  He makes a ton of faces (much like his older brother).  He is very expressive with his face, mannerisms and voice.  He stomps around, yells back at us and his siblings, puts on dance shows spontaneously, sings along to all of his favorite pop songs on the radio, and is by far our most defiant child.  He has a very strong personality, and when he is adamant about something, he tries his hardest to attain it.  Of course he has learned a lot from Bennett and Preston (and us), but he doesn't let much get in his way.  He will push furniture around to reach something he can't quite get on his own, sneak something and then run and hide, climb inside of the fridge, dig in the cupboards, or do whatever else he needs to do.

Happy 3rd Birthday Walker!
Walker spends hours in his "office."  Every morning he pulls out bags and bags of crayons, markers, gel pens and paint along with coloring books and paper and "works."  Since school has been out, he has spent countless hours at our kitchen island.  He can draw a few letters (W, E, P, B and O), several shapes (square, triangle and circle), and knows all of his colors.  He is OBSESSED with sharpie markers!  Sadly, his daddy got frustrated with his lack of potty training, and took them all away until he is potty trained.  But his Mimi has bought him every single color of sharpie, and he loves to go there and play with them for hours.

Like most toddlers his age, Walker repeats a lot of what we say.  However, he has said a lot of clever things on his own that we get the biggest kick out of:

1. while watching the DVR, if the cable flickers, he gets frustrated and yells that it is "scratched," like many of the DVD movies he watches
2. whenever something doesn't work, he says "it must need batteries"
3. instead of saying "I'm mad at you," he used to say "I have mean eyes"
4. another obsession of his is "lipstack" otherwise known as chapstick
5.  he hates talking and not having the attention solely on him, so he says "look at my eyes" when he thinks we are distracted

Due to all of the surgeries of his family members, it ended up being just Walker and I for the majority of his birthday celebration, but he didn't seem to mind.  He awoke to orange juice and donuts, got to choose where we spent a couple of hours (he chose "Let's Play" inside gym), and he colored and snuggled with me a lot.  That night everyone was up for ice cream, so we ventured out for one last rendezvous.  Though he didn't open any presents from us (we plan to celebrate him at 3.5 years old), he truly was okay with the way the day went.  Walker knows that he is loved.  And he is correct, we all love him and he truly completes our wild and crazy family.  We love you buddy!!
Walker's smile says it all!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Call Me Crazy

At the beginning of December, the writing was on the wall that Steve was going to need hernia surgery.  We definitely wanted to cash in on getting it done in 2016, since we knew Preston was having his tonsils taken out and our deductible would be hit.  But what we didn't know was Steve needed a bilateral hernia repair, and Bennett also needed her tonsils and adenoids taken out!  Rather than try and stagger all of the surgeries and their recovery times, we decided to schedule them all the last week of the year. 

So like the crazy person that I am, we scheduled Steve's surgery for Dec 27th.  Sadly, we needed to wake up at 4am, so we could be at the hospital by 5am.  Thankfully, Myra and Big Lou kept the kids for us.  His surgery went well, but we didn't make it home until lunch time.  As expected, he was sore and tired so he went straight to bed.  Meanwhile, Sara, JM and Shell were wearing our kiddos out that afternoon at Urban Air (right before Bennett and Preston had to be sedentary for 2 weeks).  They had a blast, and came home exhausted!

The following morning, I awoke early again to get Bennett and Pres to Children's Hospital for their surgeries.  Walker stayed with Myra, and Steve stayed home recovering from his own procedure.  We were slightly worried for what was to come since we had heard the older the person, the worse the pain.  However, they both did GREAT!

Preston did awake in a lot of pain, and immediately started crying.  However, Bennett controlled it all much better.  We were home by mid morning, and I put them to bed with their Daddy where they all napped the afternoon away.

The next couple of days ended up being my nightmare since I was pretty homebound, having to wake up every 4 hours to give medicine (which prevented me from self-medicating with wine), and having to listen to whining and crying from my kids because of their pain and not being able to help them....but Beckham ate it all up.  If the dog can't be outside walking, then he wants to be in bed snuggling someone, so it was a dream come true for him.

Sadly Walker's 3rd birthday fell right after everyone's surgeries.  Though he is too young to truly realize what was going on, and what he may be missing out on, I felt a little guilty so I tried to celebrate him.  Fortunately, as the days continued, the kids continued to improve, and were itching to return to school as soon as they were medically released.  All in all, they did so well and rebounded very quickly from what I thought would be so much worse.  Praise be to God!

all of my patients with my "helper"