Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July Update

Summer is quickly coming to a close. We are packing as many activities as possible in these next few weeks before Chuck heads back to school. Hooray that this will start his LAST year of law school!!

Leland - She has really grown up in these last few months. She loves everything that involves dancing or singing. I hope to find some sort of music class for her to be a part of in the fall. She loves to look at books, have us read her stories, or she reads to her dolls. She is a chatterbox and loves to talk.

The other afternoon Chuck was lying next to Leland while she was watching a movie. He said he was falling asleep and everytime he did Leland would shake him telling him to wake up. I later asked Leland why she kept waking Dad up while they were watching the movie. She said he was being too loud. When I asked what he sounded like she replied "He sounded like a hippopotamus!" and started cracking up laughing.

Everything in her world is a mommy, daddy, or a baby. If there is less than 3 of anything, one is lost or missing. For example, if she sees a horse all alone in a field she will say "Oh No! The baby lost his mommy and daddy." When she colors there is a "mommy crayon", "daddy crayon", and "baby crayon".

She is also set on having a baby brother (NO this is NOT any sort of announcement). There is no baby on the way, but whenever there is let's hope for Leland's sake it's boy. She will take toys and put them to the side to tell me that she is "saving them for her brother to play with." She has also started telling people that her baby brother is in her mommy's belly, which is obviously a little embarrassing. I have been trying to tell her that she may get another sister someday and she says "No, I only want a brother."

We have started playing some new games. Apparently she thinks she has grown out of Candy Land and High-Ho Cherry-O. She now asks to play Jenga and Scrabble. Obviously we don't really play Scrabble we just line up the letters and she asks me to spell different names and words. Jenga she's gotten figured out and it is hilarious to watch her face when the blocks fall.

Leland's ultrasound of her kidneys and bladder came back fine. The antibiotics having been working great. She will have one more test in a few days to make sure the infection is completely gone.

Lucy - is no longer a baby and has shot right into toddlerhood. She is walking all over the place and will climb on everything, luckily nothing too high yet. She is taking after her sister and loves to dance. If she hears music she will bop up and down or will come get someones hand to dance with her. It's pretty cute.

She loves to wear her daddy's hats. Her own hats while out in the sun, not so much, but loves her dad's. It's pretty funny when it falls over her eyes and she walks around not being able to see where she is going. Lucy also loves to wear necklaces and bracelets and "talk" on the phone.

Her hair in the back is growing longer and there is CURL!! What?!?! My 1st child has blue eyes, now my 2nd has curl in her hair. Genetics are so unpredictable.

Lucy is a tough little girl and puts up with her sister wrestling her to the ground. She is learning to hold her own quite nicely. I can only laugh when Leland starts to cry saying, "Lucy hurt me."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dinosaurs and waterslides

We had a fun weekend in Charlottesville. We stayed at my Aunt Barbara's house. Friday night Chuck spent the night in the Sleep Clinic. Trying to get a good nights sleep with monitors taped to his head, neck, back, arms, up his nose, and down his pants was nearly impossible.

Aunt Zebra (as Leland calls her) loves having the girls visit. She always pulls out lots of old school toys from when her boys were little. They are now in their mid to late 20s.

On Saturday we met our friends the Crofts for a Dinosaur story time at Ash Lawn-Highland. It was 2 ladies - one sang and the other was an AMAZING puppeteer. I've never seen so many little boys at a story time.

Afterwards we walked around the grounds where they had peacocks, sheep, chickens, and an amazing view of the mountains. All the kids needed to have their own peacock feather; luckily there were plenty lying around.

We then headed to the pool (which Leland calls the beach). They had a water slide, diving boards, and basketball hoop. We had a lot of fun.

Leland loved going down the water slide. Lucy on the other hand kept wanting to crawl in the baby pool which obviously didn't work that well.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

W&L campus pictures

It was gorgeous weather on Friday afternoon so we took a walk on campus and took some pictures. Chuck loves to take pictures and he does a wonderful job. One day I hope to buy him a really fancy camera, but for now we will stick to our fits in the palm of your hand and in your back pocket camera. I love that it is easy to carry around and still takes pretty good pictures.

Click on the pictures to make them larger.

We have seen some great pictures of the campus and want some to print large and frame. I think Chuck got a few that are worth framing.

The Colonnade

Lee Chapel

Friday, July 25, 2008

200 Have and Have-nots

I've had 2 friends do this recently and thought it was fun to read. So I'll give it a go.

Go through the list and BOLD everything you have done. Quite the list but fun to think back on your life. Try it!

1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby's diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula
10. Said "I love you" and meant it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (from the beach looking onto the sea)
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster
31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
33. Adopted an accent for fun
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files
48. Ever worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
51. Gone scuba diving
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don't
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
67. Bounced a check
68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes
92. Read The Iliad
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office (Does Elem. School President count?)
98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all fours
106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe
113. Buried a child
114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco
118. Played in a band
119. Shot a bird
120. Gone to an arboretum
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train
123. Brought an old fad back into style
124. Eaten caviar
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant
127. Published a book
128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in an historic place
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise
132. Made a hole-in-one
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Run a marathon
136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa
142. Sang a solo
143. Gone spelunking
144. Learned how to take a compliment
145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted
148. Written a fan letter
149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
151. Ran away
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss
154. Sat on a jury
155. Lied about your weight
156. Gone on a diet
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem
159. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox
160. Gotten food poisoning
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers
167. Ridden in a limousine
168. Attended the Olympics
169. Can hula or waltz
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator
172. Had a revelatory dream
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
175. Saved someone’s life
176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
178. Laughed till your side hurt
179. Straddled the equator
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hostel
184. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union
187. Donated blood or plasma
188. Built a campfire
189. Kept a blog
190. Had hives
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
196. Know CPR
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible
198. Found a long lost friend
199. Helped solve a crime
200. Commented on a friend's blog today.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Add another

Add another Drs visit to our list...this will make 7 for the week. Leland's urinalysis came back showing possible signs of kidney infection. Tomorrow morning she will have a ultrasound of her kidneys to check for signs of inflammation.

I am glad that they are not making her wait 'til she has another urinary tract infection to get an ultrasound. I'm sure things will be fine. If she does have a kidney infection we have caught it very early. Usually children with kidney problems will have high fevers and high blood pressure, luckily Leland has had neither.

We have only had a week dealing with Dr appointments, tests, and on the phone with our insurance company. It is tiring. I want to give a big HUGE shout out to my sister-in-law Charise (WOOOHOOO) who has dealt with this for the last year and half so that we could have sweet Cole apart of our family. I have gotten a small taste of your life this week on a very small scale. I love you. Thank You.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Growing Up

If I keep my baby in 6-12 month clothes, will she stay that size forever?
My baby is growing up too fast.

Doctors! Doctors!

Warning: Long post for documenting purposes

This is apparently our week of Doctors visits. Lucy's burn is healing a lot quicker than I thought. Last Friday, we went to our pediatrician to make sure it was healing and was not developing any type of infection. It is doing fine and does not need to be wrapped in a big bandage that much anymore.

Monday morning, I had an eye doctor appointment. For the last 6 or 7 months, I have had a bump on my eyelid. After it's 3rd appearance, I decided I needed to check it out. I have had a chalazion on my eye. Nothing serious. It's sort of like a sty or huge zit on the underside of my eye lid.

I have had a skin tag on my eye since high school, or earlier, that the Dr. thinks is the root of my problem and why the chalazion will not just go away. The skin tag is creating blocked tear ducts so my eye may not be able to properly wash the infection out of my eye. I have to now decide if I want the tag cut off my eye. Needles and cutting on my eye just does not sound fun to me.

Sunday night Leland started to complain that it hurt when she would pee. Now, when I say complain, it got to the point of screaming and gushing tears. It was very sad. She went to bed and woke up at about 11:30pm crying that her back hurt. So Monday afternoon, I took her to the Dr. to learn that at the very least she has a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Since she has complained of her back and stomach hurting they are running tests to check for a Kidney infection.

The Dr. decided she needed to have a shot of antibiotics to quickly get it into her system. She was ready for her shots and was holding on to her sucker tight that she would get when they were done. Sadly, 2 nurses came in each with a needle. Apparently, they did not have any syringes large enough to hold the full dose, so they would need to inject one in each leg at the same time. It was so hard to have to hold her down and pin her arms while they gave her the shots. I'm getting teary just thinking about it again.

The rest of the night Leland said it hurt to walk, so we carried her around the house. Luckily this afternoon she went to the bathroom for the first time since Sunday night without crying. She has an appointment on Wednesday morning for a check up and to go over the initial test results for Kidney problems. Hopefully they will come back fine and we will not have to do anymore tests or the rectal sonogram that was mentioned (ouch!).

Friday, Lucy has another appointment to check her burns.

Also on Friday, Chuck has to spend the night at a sleep clinic to check for sleep apnea. He was diagnosed with allergy induced Asthma earlier this year. He has been on several different medications and inhalers trying to get it under control. He does not sleep well and does not feel rested after a full night's sleep. Sleep apnea runs in his family so it is likely that he could have it.

Hopefully this week meets my quota for Dr's appointments and we can take a break for a while.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fair Time

The past few days was the Rockbridge Regional Fair. Some of the things we wanted to watch, like bull riding, were earlier in the week but we had forgotten about. I was bummed, but decided to still check it out on Saturday afternoon. We wandered around for a while mostly watching the horses.

We arrived at the Kid's Tractor Pedal Pull just as they were about to start. Leland was so cute on the mini tractor. The total length of the track was about 40 ft. Leland pedaled her heart out for 10 ft 3 in. The little kids in their chaps, cowboy hats, and John Deere t-shirts were so adorable. I love living in the country. Chuck wants a big belt buckle so bad. I'm not sure I will ever see him in Wranglers in boots though.

It was fun to see all the exhibits. Leland's favorite were the roosters. Tonight while Chuck and Leland were talking to Papa & Grammy on Skype, Chuck sent them this picture.

Papa says, "Which ones do you like best - the chicks in the front or the chicks in the back?"

Leland replies, "Papa they're not chickens, they're roosters!"

1st for Everything

Last week, at 29 years old I experienced a "1st" - My 1st speeding ticket. This marks only my second time ever being pulled over by a police officer, the first at 19 while home from college. I have never even been in any type of car accident.

On my way home from NC I was stopped for driving 71mph in a 55mph zone. It was on a 2 lane divided highway, that is very easy to go too fast on. I was in my last stretch of the long journey home with 2 restless little ones.

There are many things I should have done differently:
1) I should have told the cop that I have never had a ticket and begged for his forgivness instead of sitting in silence.
2) I should have changed our license plates to VA a long time ago. Not that this is a big deal, but I think cops are more likely to give tickets to out of state drivers.
3) I should not have been in the left lane cruising along when there was no one in the right lane.
4) I should have used the cruise control.
5) I should not have been speeding.

Now my dilemma is whether or not to just pay the $141.00 fine or appear in court and ask for the ticket not to appear on my driving record. My court date is Thursday Sept 25 at 8:30am at a courthouse 1 1/2 hours away. So is it worth a 3 hours drive round trip and about $35 worth of gas and court fees to TRY? The jury is still out.

Note to my NC family: Prayer for Judgement is only an option for NC residents.

Friday, July 18, 2008

50 Cents!

I love a good yard sale so my mom and I stopped at 2 yard sales last weekend. We got a lot of different toys for the kids to play with while we were at her house. Mostly riding/push toys for outside. I picked up these 3 items that I have been trying to find for a while now for a
TOTAL of 50 cents!

The barn and keyboard where a quarter each. The kitchen was actually FREE with the other riding toys my mom bought. I love that this kitchen is actually double sided. There are doors on both sides so more than one child can play at a time. I had to do some rearranging to get everything to fit in my car for the ride home, but we made it. A good wash with the hose and Clorox wipes and they look like new.

Chuck is giving Leland piano "lessons" on the little keyboard. She mastered Hot Cross Buns the first night.

More NC Fun

We had so much fun in NC visiting everyone. We stayed one night with my Dad before heading down to my Mom's house. Leland enjoyed playing with my lil' sis Layni. Lucy loved the little TV and figured out how to turn it on all by herself.
We were at my mom's house for 7 days. We had so much fun. We enjoyed the pool which is the first for us this summer. Leland only wanted to be in the big pool. I kept trying to get her to play in the little pool with Nick, but she wanted to be a big girl. When she did go in the big pool she never even got off the stairs. She had fun though and still says that the big pool was her favorite thing about the whole trip. The kids also spent a lot of time in the sprinkler and slip-n-slide.

We visited the NC Estuarium in Washington, NC. It is an educational center about the coastal waterways. It is a fun place to visit. I especially love Washington. I would LOVE for it to be our next place to live. Population wise (10,000) it has more people than where I live now, but it has a smaller downtown area. Things I love about Washington: 1) it is on the water, 2)the closest major city (Greenville, home of East Carolina Univ.) is only about 30 mins away 3) Close to family. I will be focusing my job search for my husband in that area.

In Washington, there is an awesome boardwalk that we walked along a few times. We saw lots of boats, turtles, frogs, a momma duck with 2 ducklings, and a great view of the river. We also had to make a stop at the ice cream shop. I love a good storytime so we checked out the library storytime and made butterflies.

I want to live here! Quiet coastal town on the water = Heaven!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Crofts come to visit

On Saturday, July 5, Tyler and Cecia Croft came to visit Lexington for the day. They live in Charlottesville, about an hour and 15 minutes northeast of us. It was lots of fun to have them here while the McBrides were here too.

We started the day at Boxerwood Gardens. It was very peaceful to sit and relax in the natural setting while the adults chatted and the kids played. Tyler and I got caught up in playing in the creek with the kids. Here are some photos of the kids playing.

After Boxerwood, we went to get homemade ice cream at Sweet Treats. Then we went to see Lee Chapel on the Washington and Lee University campus. We took the obligatory picture with General Lee and the historical Confederate flags.

Hale was especially interested in Traveller's grave and the student tradition of leaving gifts at the grave to provide for Traveller. Students believed that if you left Traveller a gift, you would do well on your next exam. Originally, carrots and apples were the gifts of choice, but eventually, the tradition evolved into leaving coins. If you leave a penny, it should be left tails side up because Abraham Lincon is on the other side (not really meant to be as disrespectful as it sounds). A quarter (Virginian George Washington and namesake of the school) or nickel (Virginian Thomas Jefferson) is to be left face up.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Family Pictures

While we were here in NC, we took some family pictures. All 7 grandkids ages 8, 6, two 3 yr olds, 21 months, 19 months, and 13 months. You would think it was crazy and chaotic, but it was surprisingly smooth. We went to a place called Portrait Innovations. I'm not really in to taking my kids to a studio for pictures, but I loved this place. We had 3 guys just helping our group. They were awesome. We took 99 pictures!!
All the children were cooperative. We only had 1 crying child, which was my Lucy. The guy who was trying to get the kids to look at the camera and smile had a stuffed bunny "kissing" all the kids noses. You would have thought the bunny bit Lucy's nose off. She lost control and was not the same after that.After much deliberation about the attire, we decided to go with each family in one color shirt and everyone in khaki shorts. Of course my girls both had solid pink shirts, and of course I did not. My sister graciously let me borrow her pink shirt. I HATE pink, I have always hated pink and now I have a professional picture so that all will see me in a PINK shirt. I am a good sport and tried not to make a big deal about it, but my sisters thought it was pretty hilarious.Just to make it worse they made me lay down on the ground sprawled on my side for a picture. We all thought the guy was kidding when he suggested it. Luckily most of my body is cutoff so you can't tell.This is my favorite. The pose was MY idea. My mom was out with the kids and did not see us take the picture. she cried when it came up on the computer screen when she was reviewing all the shots.