Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The "after"

We had a great time at the hair salon last night! I brought plenty of food, which kept Miss M quite content during her styling.

After a relatively uneventful 15 minutes in the chair, my sweet thing came out with an adorable little "bob":

I love my style, too. What I don't love is posting a picture of myself, but I feel obligated now, so... just don't look too closely at all those WRINKLES!!! Yikes!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Do's

This evening, my daughter and I have a double-date at the hair salon. How fun!!

It will not be her first haircut. Since birth, my girl has had a full head of hair, and her Grandma has been her stylist until now. She gets her bangs cut every couple of weeks, but it's finally growing past the "manageable" stage. It is so long that I pulled it back into a pony tail last night. A rather long ponytail. Before long, I'm going to be piling it on top of her head in one of those "chip clips" like I do with mine every morning.

In other words, it's time to do something!

So, I went online today (like I normally do when I'm trying to find inspiration for my own hair) and searched crazy websites that I normally do not find myself purusing. I actually typed in a search for "Suri Cruise". After looking over the images for a few minutes, I realized I was so saddened by the constant glass house that poor little girl lives in that I wasn't even looking at her haircut. So, I navigated away to the Duggars website on TLC (I figured that was the easiest way to find about 10 different toddler looks in one visit).

I narrowed down my selections for her, then moved on to choose my new "do". I printed up a few looks to show my stylist tonight. After reviewing the images I chose, I might be putting undo pressure on her. Celebrities, Brazilian supermodels... poor lady is my hairstylist, not my fairy godmother.

But a girl can dream. And having a little girl to share these experiences with is a dream come true!

Me... Before (Pigtails?!?! In your mid-30's, this isn't a good look)

Miss M... Before (Pigtails when you're a baby, now that's adorable!)

Stay tuned for our "after" pictures...coming soon!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kindergarten Lesson, Part 2

More things we're learning in Kindergarten:

1. You can tell a lot about what your kid did in school if you just send them there in a pristine white uniform shirt. (i.e. what color markers he used on his project, what he ate for snack and lunch, how rough he was on the playground, etc.)

2. White uniform shirts are the least popular among parents.

3. If you casually mention you don't like the Star Wars book your child checked out of the library last week, you can be assured he'll bring home a completely different choice the next week. A BIGGER Star Wars book with scarier pictures... just because he thinks you need to give it a second chance.

4. You should only keep a five-year old home from school if they are really sick. Tired and "sorta sick" only lasts about an hour. After that, you have an active sidekick all day long who's used to doing 15 activities per day, rotating to the next one every 45 minutes.

5. When moms get tired and "sorta sick", it takes a lot longer than an hour to turn things around.

Happy Monday! Hope you all learn something new this week, too!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Lemonade Stand

I had run out of excuses not to do it.

For 2 months, my son had been begging to set up a lemonade stand in our driveway, and I was less than enthusiastic about the idea.

I am not a sales person at heart. I don't like asking for money (even a quarter toward a glass of that sweet summertime staple).

So, when Drew said he wanted the lemonade to be "FREE!", I finally gave in.

He made the sign.

I made the beverages.

We lugged a table and chair outside, along with a cooler for ice. We set up the pitcher, cups, and an umbrella for shade.

Then we waited for our first customer.

A big shiny silver Mercedes drove past our house first. I could tell the driver was slowing down to read our sign. A few moments later (he'd apparently circled the block), he pulled up again and rolled down his window.

The shy smile on my son's face was priceless, and I wondered for a moment if he was about to chicken out on the whole deal.

"How much, son?" the man asked.
"It's FREE!" Andrew replied.

"You can't give away lemonade! I'll take 2 glasses. And this is just a donation. One for you and one for your little sister."

Drew poured a couple of sloppy cups and handed them through the car window to the man and his passenger. He took the two dollars and (with urgent prompting from his momma) thanked his first customers profusely.

We sat back down in the shade of our umbrella and discussed his first "sale" of the day. We practiced two new words: "Customers" and "generous" - because he'd certainly just experienced both.

For the next hour and a half, we sat on the driveway and talked, poured lemonade, took a couple more donations here and there from some "generous customers", but mostly just gave away our drinks for "FREE!". We met new neighbors and reconnected with some we hadn't seen in months. We watched the chocolate Drew brought outside melt in the hot sun.

And after 13 customers were served, we packed up our lemonade stand and called it a day.

I don't know what my beef used to be about Lemonade Stands.
After our experience this past weekend, I have a new outlook:

"If Life Hands You a Sam's Club-sized Canister of Countrytime mix... Make Lemonade!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kindergarten Lessons

(otherwise known as Drew's answers to "What Did You Learn In School Today?")

1. You must keep all 4 feet of your chair on the ground. No one wants to bump their head on the first day of school!

2. Some girls just want to be left alone.

3. Some girls just want to be your friend.

4. Some girls will inform you that you're their boyfriend. If you don't even know what a boyfriend is, that's ok. The girl probably knows.

5. Library books must be kept away from water, dirt, food, pets and little sisters.

6. "Hola" is the Spanish word for "hello".

7. "Underarms" is the Spanish word for "armpits"

8. The clinic will give you an ice pack if you scrape your knee.

9. The clinic will also give you an ice pack if you bump your head on the playground.

10. The clinic isn't really the best place to go if you have back pain (perhaps you should just sit against the wall).

11. If one of your classmates is having a hard day, the whole day will be about that kid for everyone.

12. Every mommy in the whole world sends money for Friday slushies.

*disclaimer - these truly are his answers to what he's learned in school. Fortunately, not all the events have happened to Drew personally. Unfortunately a lot of them have...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Well, He IS learning something...

"What's a city council, Mom?"

This is the question I got from my five-year old as we were driving down the road the other day.

"What did you ask?"

"A city council. What is it? What does it do?"

"Umm...." I begin with a brief explanation of local politics then pause.

"I just have to know, buddy... where in the WORLD did you learn that? Is this something you're talking about in school?" (I'm hopeful... after all, he's in an excellent school this year and really is learning a lot after only 3 weeks).

"Oh, I saw it on Phinease & Ferb the other day."

And they say television is a waste of time.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Those Florida Bugs

It's been said that the bugs here in Florida can grow to be outrageous in size.

For instance, look what I found flitting around my driveway the other day:


I mean, that is just ridiculous, right?


Good thing I have a brave bug-catcher around!


Friday, September 3, 2010

Things were going so well...

Things were going so well yesterday morning.

After waking him from a sound sleep, I reminded Drew that he was not going to school, but we were to spend the day at All Children's Hospital for his follow-up MRI and second appointment with the neursurgeon (about his recently diagnosed Chiari Malformation... a malformation of the base of his brain).

He got dressed calmly and seemed at peace with what lay ahead. Knowing full well that our little boy did not like needles (Drew made a lasting impression at the radiology center we went to in July when it took four adults to hold our panicked, screaming child to the gurney while they inserted an IV for sedation), I was pleased that he seemed so emotionally stable.

We made small talk in the car as our family of four traveled south on the interstate toward the hospital. And while we checked in and completed paperwork, Drew enjoyed an episode of Phineas and Ferb on the waiting room's television.

Things were going so well...

And then our son's name was called. I stood up to take him back while Daddy offered to stay in the lobby with Miss M. As we passed through the enormous double doors that led down a stark hallway, I heard the distinct whine of panic setting in. By the time we got to a room, Drew was in shambles. Sobbing hysterically, he began clawing, clinging and begging. The sweet nurse tried to reassure him. I tried to redirect him. Nothing worked. So, between his hysterical pleas to go home and his 587 questions about what the nurse was doing every time she moved a muscle, we managed to get an IV needle placed and taped to his arm.

Because of a backup in the MRI lab, we were sent (Drew in his little scrubs) back out to the lobby until a machine became available. This was a good time to regroup with Daddy and Megan and calm down a bit. The baby was toddling around the waiting area, as doctors, nurses, and hospital staff oohed and ahhed over her pig tails and chunky thighs.

Things were going so well...

And then a familiar odor caught our attention. I tried to pawn diaper-changing duty off on my poor husband (after all, Drew and I could be called back for his MRI at any moment), and it almost worked until I realized that I had neglected to pack a single solitary diaper in my bag. I had formula, bottles, wipes, a change of clothes, various toys, several snack selections, and a few good books, but NO diapers.

So, I sent Daddy to the gift shop where he said he'd seen several baby-related necessities early. He was sure that they'd have diapers, too. "Size 4!" I called out after him, and then turned back to tend to my 2 kids.

They were busily playing together near the big wall recognizing all the important benefactors of the hospital.

Things were going so well...

Until I noticed a little something on the floor next to my squatting toddler. "Oh NO!" I thought. "It can't be!" But it was. The contents of her diaper had exceeded it's capacity and were now contaminating the pristine, sterile floors of the hospital's busy thoroughfare.

I quickly grabbed wipes and began to clean up the floor and my child, fervently praying that the deliverer of diapers would be back soon. At that exact moment, I looked up with relief to see my husband walking back toward me. The relief quickly disappeared when I noticed that he was empty-handed.

"They didn't have size 4. They had size 5 diapers with overnight protection. Do you think that will work?"

A few hours later, I realized how close my husband came in that moment to losing a limb. Surely he could surmise from my position on all fours, wiping the floor with baby wipes and holding my 23 lb toddler awkwardly upside-down over one shoulder that pretty much ANYTHING would be better than the current situation. I think I actually responded with, "Size 5 will be fine!"

Once the baby was cleaned up and changed, we went back toward our waiting room where we listened to some beautiful piano music and watched a little more t.v. Drew had settled down nicely with all the distractions of the lobby.

Things were going so well...

And then our pager went off, summoning us back to the MRI station. Within milliseconds, Drew was a basketcase again. Hysterical, sobbing, clinging and clawing his way up my body, he challenged my deepest resolve to maintain some semblance of authority and order while speaking with the kind, sympathetic anesthesiologist. Seeing what a mess my child was, she asked me to carry him to the doors of the imaging room and hold him while they administered the sedative that would put him, mercifully, into a deep sleep. He clung to me, all the while asking the doctors the same questions over and over again... shouting them directly into my ear as I did my best to hold him still. I couldn't see if they were anywhere NEAR getting the medication pushed through the IV, but I finally felt his little body go limp. I breathed a sigh of relief as I handed him over to the wonderful staff so they could take pictures of his spinal cord and brain.

And I headed out to join the rest of my family in the main lobby. We had several hours to kill and enjoyed a nice quiet lunch at the cafeteria, followed by a walk through the gift shop (I can pretty much find a reason to shop anywhere at any time apparently). Then we let Miss M have the run of the corridors. She took full advantage of the wide open spaces, stumbling around while carrying my cell phone up to her head. She was adorable and an amazing distraction as we waited.

Drew came out of his anesthesia like a champ. A loopy champ who'd maybe been hit around the head a little too much, but a champ nonetheless. He got Gatorade in the color of his choice and a Coca Cola flavored ICEE when we left the radiology department. We made perfect time in order to get to his appointment with the neurosurgeon.

Once we arrived and checked in with neurosurgery, we were immediately ushered back to a room where Drew was offered a root beer flavored lollipop (his favorite!) by an incredibly nice physician's assistant. It wasn't long until the doctor came in to speak with us. We caught him up on Drew's symptoms since we'd seen him last and let him know that, despite some headaches, frequent urination and tingling in his extremities,

things were going so well.

Unfortunately, Drew's MRI images (taken only an hour before) were already up on the doctor's computer screen. And his findings were, in his words, "Worrisome" and "Concerning". The bottom line was that our boy needs surgery to correct his Chiari Malformation. And he needs it relatively soon.

We received a lot of details about what his malformation was affecting, how it could best be resolved, and when they would like to get it done.

We are looking to schedule the surgery sometime between late September and early November. And after about a six week total recovery period, we are really looking forward to things going well again sometime soon!