Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas updates :-)

I fell asleep for a little bit on the couch earlier tonight due to being TOTALLY exhausted, and wouldn't you know that once I got back to bed, I was wide awake staring at the ceiling. So here I am, blogging away :-) Figured I might as well update since it's been awhile.

I'll start off with my last post... as I said in that, our friends' daughter J had to go back to the hospital last week. We ended up visiting her on Monday night, and she was ZONKED from Morphine...poor thing. We took her a little dog with a santa hat on that sings "Santa Baby," a coloring book, and a huge helium balloon shaped like a reindeer. She was in and out of sleep the whole time we were there. The next night she was spiking fevers and they found out she had an infection in her spinal fluid, so she had a PICC line inserted (an IV they put in if you're going to need one for more than just a few days), so she's been on antibiotics for that. The GREAT news was that she got to come home Christmas night. She just has to continue IV antibiotics at home for awhile, but she's slowly getting back to her old self.

I was so impressed with Children's Hospital though... they were awesome to little J. They brought paints and all sorts of activities for her into her hospital room, which she LOVED... and on Christmas night, while J and her mom and dad were all sleeping, "Santa" snuck in and left a little Christmas tree and a huge bag of toys for J. It brought our friends to tears the next morning when they saw everything, especially since they hadn't gotten alot of Christmas shopping done due to everything going on. She got barbie dolls, My Little Pony, coloring books, a magna doodle and all kinds of great toys. It really cheered J up because she was worried Santa wouldn't visit her!

J came home in the early afternoon Christmas Day. Santa and Mrs. Claus made a special visit to little J at her house on the 26th, once she was feeling a little better, so they celebrated Christmas that day. The good thing is that their other two kids are 2 and 1, so they really had no idea that they were celebrating Christmas a day late.

My sister-in-law, Alyson and I went over to see J and her family lastnight... she is doing great! All smiles and running around as if nothing ever happened. What a blessing! We ate dinner with them and played with the kids and their new toys for awhile.

So that's the story with J.

Now, backtracking a bit to Christmas Eve. We had a big get-together at my Grandma's like we do every year on Christmas Eve. We had a lot of laughs, a lot of food, and a lot of my uncle's homemade wine. (Which, of course, I had to sample every kind he brought.) Good times!! Russ didn't stay very long though... his brother and his wife flew in from Alaska, and he went and picked them up at the airport while I stayed with my family. So I didn't get to see my in-laws until Christmas Day.

Ahh, Christmas Day. Now THAT was interesting. It was pretty much go-go-go from the start. We went to mass at 9am, then came home for a few hours...I made us all breakfast then we put Alyson down for her nap. While she was upstairs, we opened up our presents to eachother. Russ got me a necklace that has a mother and child intertwined (kinda in a heart shape), with Alyson's birthstone in the middle. He also got me a dell PINK! My other laptop just died one day, so I had been using his... he's happy to have it back now! As for my presents to Russ, I got him clothes, some Dallas Cowboys stuff, a wallet, and a grab bag full of odds-and-ends things... nothing all that exciting. He's so hard to buy for, because he always seems to go out right before Christmas and buy whatever he needs...silly boy.

So after we opened presents, we THOUGHT it'd be awhile before Aly got up, but she didn't sleep long at all. We headed over Russ's mom's house to be with everyone. Russ's OTHER brother (the one who lives close to us) was there with his wife and kids, and we weren't sure how that was going to go. It went pretty well though. His brother was just his usual a-holish self, for lack of better words. As Russ says when it comes to him, "If you have low expectations where he's concerned, you won't be disappointed." Which he wasn't expecting much more from his brother. His brother got him a Santa Claus that stands on this little pedestal... you press a button and Santa goes, "Ho ho ho... I've heard you've been extra good this year, so Santa had an extra special present for you" then he turns around on the pedestal and pulls his pants down. Yeah... that was Russ's present from his brother. I call it the "screw you" present. Russ's mother was TICKED about that. Oh, and then, Russ's mom's husband's family has a tradition where you say a prayer for whoever got you the gift you're about to open... and when Russ's brother opened our gift, he just said a really crappy prayer, like, "Thank you for the love that is Russell, the generosity that is Russell" and was just totally smartassed about it. I SO wanted to say something but I kept my mouth shut. If they had been getting along it wouldn't have been so bad, but since they're NOT really close, it was totally a slap in the face to Russ. Guess it's just one of those "you had to be there" situations.

Anyway, the rest of the day went well though... we ate dinner , talked with everyone for awhile, then came back to our house to meet up with MY parents. They TOTALLY spoiled us with presents. Even the dogs got two huge bags of presents. They were loving it. Alyson opened up all her presents (from us AND my parents) while my parents were here. She was more into the Christmas thing than I thought she'd be, which surprised me. She tried opening her presents once we coaxed her a little, but mostly it was me who was the present-opener. Aly got a babydoll, a baby stroller, a grocery cart, Dora bath toys, clothes, the Fisher Price Learn About Town, Fisher Price musical friends table, blocks, leapfrog fridge dj,pots and pans set, etc etc etc... she has enough toys to open up a store now.

The day after Christmas, I hung out with my sister-in-law K (the one from Alaska) while Russ and BOTH (yes, BOTH) his brothers went out to lunch together. From what Russ tells me, the lunch went pretty well. Later, Russ and I went to Cabela's with both brothers and their wives... a lovely family (Russ's brothers are both big into hunting, and Russ got this grand idea that he wanted to buy a gun. He ended up getting some huge gun (AK 17, I think???) like they use in the military. What for, I dunno. So he dropped some mad amount of money on this gun, and was all excited.

After all that excitement (yeah right), we all ate at Olive Garden. It wasn't as tension-filled as I thought it would be... it was good for all of us to get out together for a change. That was a first, actually. Russ and his in-town brother probably talked more over the past 3 days than they have in the past 3 years.

Anyway, onto yesterday... the 3 brothers had more male bonding time, and went out to their hunting land to practice shooting. They were all pumped to play with Russ's new "toy." So they did that for awhile while my sister-in-law K and I hung out, then we all met up for dinner. Pretty noneventful. (I'm trying to be short and sweet where the updates are

So all in all, it's been great that all 3 brothers have gotten to spend time together. Hopefully everyone can act civil and (gasp!) even become closer. We'll see. As Russ says, "If you go into it with low expectations, you won't be disappointed." I'm not holding my breath for some miracle to happen, but all this is a start.

So there are my holiday updates. Russ's brother in in town until Thursday morning, and I think they will be staying with us for a few days (they've been staying with his mom so far), so I'll try to update when I can. It's just been busy busy busy since Christmas Eve. If for some reason I don't get to update before New Year's Eve, I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL New Year! Be safe, whatever you end up doing for New Year's Eve!!

Next post will have pictures, I promise :-) Just have to get them into a slideshow since there are so many.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More sad news :-(

Another prayer request... :-( I found all this out about 7:30pm tonight.

Our friends' daughter J had to go back to the hospital tonight... she's started to have severe headaches and so her parents took her to Childrens Hospital in Pittsburgh. The doctor did some tests on her and discovered she has a spinal fluid leak which is causing the headaches. I guess this happens in about 10% of post-op patients who had the same surgery she did.

Little J had to go back into surgery tonight to drain the fluid... that was around 9pm. Russ and our friend Brandon went up there to be with our friends... I'd have loved to go up and see her, but Aly was due to go to bed at 8pm :-( So Russ is still there now... he just called about an hour ago and said that the surgery went well... she just has tubes and drains galore coming out of her. And what ELSE is sad is that she'll more than likely be in the hospital for a week, the doctor said. Which means she'll be celebrating Christmas in a hospital bed :-(

What I don't understand is that she was doing SO WELL yesterday. J's little brother turned 1 on the 16th, and our friends had a little birthday party at their house yesterday for him. I gave J a hug and asked her how she was feeling and she smiled and said "good." I asked if she was having any pain and she shook her head no. She was loving playing with all the kids, and was playing dress-up in all her princess dresses with the other girls. It's crazy how things can do a total 180 in such a short period of time.

If you could please say a prayer for her speedy recovery I'd really appreciate it! Also for my dad too... he's been having sciatic nerve and back problems, so the doctor sent him for an X-ray and found out that he has a lot of degeneration (break-down of bone)/arthritis in his joints and back. He's been walking around with a little limp due to all the pain. He goes tomorrow for an MRI, and I'm just hoping he won't be needing back surgery. His side of the family all seems to have these problems... his brothers and sisters and my grandparents. He's stubborn though and said he's not having surgery unless he ABSOLUTELY has to. So we'll see. For now, I'll be hoping and praying for GOOD THINGS and lots of healing....

We'll probably be going to Pittsburgh tomorrow to see Little J, so I'll update when I can. Have a good night :-)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The past few days... (Ok, so I couldn't think of a better title)

Just a quick update on the past few days...nothing very exciting to talk about, but that's just my life!

Yesterday Russ and I went over our friends' house (the ones whose little daughter J had surgery) and took them dinner. We were SUPPOSED to get alot of snow the night before, and so I wasn't sure I'd make it to the grocery store to buy food to cook, so I ended up ordering food to-go from a local Italian restaurant. And of course, we got NO snow. Oh well... I didn't have to cook, so that was nice :-)

J is doing better, thank God! I took a gift over for her... I got her a cute little puppy that sings "Jesus Loves Me" when you squeeze its paw, and a set of pj's with minnie mouse on them. (She loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.) She was laying around alot, but did come out in the dining room to have dinner with us. She's still in a decent amount of pain, but is taking alternating doses of Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Evidentally the narcotics she'd been prescribed were doing more harm than good, so she didn't want to take them anymore. Her incision is healing pretty well too.. the doc ended up having to shave a 1" strip down the middle of her head to her neck to make the incision, but when her hair is down you can hardly tell. She's a trooper I tell ya. It won't be long til she's back to her energetic little self.

It was nice to spend time with our friends, just hanging out and relaxing. We even split a bottle of wine too, with dinner... the first time I'd drank any alcohol in awhile! I had a few glasses, but it just tasted so GOOD! It was an amish wine called "Roadhouse Red" from Breitenbach Winery in Ohio. Click *here* to check out their website. The wines are FANTASTIC... especially their Frost Fire and First Crush....and strawberry...and peach....and.... LOL. Ok, it's ALL good. I highly recommend it. I always visit there when my cousin and I go out to Sugarcreek to do some shopping. We love going out there to visit all the little country craft stores since we're all into that.

But anyway... I got off track there.

Now to today... I went to a Christmas program at the school a few of my nieces go to. It was so cute. I think the kids all ranged in age from 3-5, and it was ADORABLE. Some kids would forget their lines and look at the teacher in front and say, "What NOW?" and one little girl paused in between lines, so the audience started clapping, thinking she was finished. She goes, "I'm not done," then finished what she was saying. LOL It was too cute. One of my nieces has some lungs on her... you could hear her and one other girl plain as day.

Alyson LOVED the program. I was hoping she wouldn't be fussy, so I came prepared with her sippy cup and lots of crackers, which of course she finished it all. My mother-in-law and her husband took turns holding Alyson, and Aly would stand up on their laps. We were cracking up because whenever the audience clapped, Aly would get a huge grin on her face and start clapping her hands too. I can't wait until she's in school programs... she'll probably be hilarious. She'll be the little girl up on stage looking at the audience and saying, "I'm not DONE." LOL

So after the program we drove around for a little bit looking at Christmas lights. One neighborhood had houses COVERED in lights... it was like each house was competing with the next. One had music playing and everything. It made me think... what happens if you live in a neighborhood like that and you want to decorate but not THAT MUCH? I'd feel obligated to have to make my house look like the Griswold Family Christmas as well, wouldn't you?! That would suck if you only want to put a few things up... you'd be all out of place. But anyway... I wonder about stupid things like that. Oh... and another thing we saw was a house where the people decorated their car in the driveway!!! That's a first for me. Now I have truly seen it all. The guy (I'm assuming it's a guy that thought of this) had those string lights (the ones in the plastic tube, like you can wrap around tree trunks and stuff) strung on the bottom of his car and around all 4 tires. It was uh, cooooool. Yeah. The most annoying things I saw though (and this is, and always HAS been,my pet peeve every holiday season) are the people who string a bunch of lights together, and one random string blinks while the others stay on. Please don't do this. Like if you decorate your bushes and one string in the middle of the bush is blinking and the rest aren't. The people RIGHT next to us have that problem ALL OVER THEIR YARD, and I get to see it EVERYDAY. And they do it EVERY YEAR. lol

So there's the past few oh-so-exciting days in a nutshell. Tomorrow I need to go to Walmart...I need both groceries AND a few more toys. I don't feel like running to fifty different places. It's bad enough it's supposed to be raining all day tomorrow and I'll have to drag Alyson out in it.

More (hopefully exciting) updates soon. Possibly dealing with that HOUSE!! (But I'm not getting my hopes up just yet.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

But I want it, I want it, I want it!!!! haha

Some of you who have been reading my blog for awhile might remember me talking about a house we wanted to buy during the summer time... the house is AWESOME, it's 4 bedroom 2.5 bath and is 2800 square feet, on over an acre of land, and is in a great neighborhood. Not to mention it's only 2 years old. If we got it, we would be living about 2 minutes away from the land Russ bought a few months ago. (He bought 10 acres of land for his business... he plans on putting a big building up in the spring and moving his office, equipment and everything out there.)

So we've talked with our realtor on and off about this house. We DID put an offer on it back in June, but the owner didn't take it. His way of thinking was basically, "I want this amount for the house and I'm not taking a penny less." So that was a big let-down. Russ just told me to be patient, because it's not like we HAVE to move, and we're not in any hurry.

So a few months ago, the guy dropped the price by $20,000, but is still not budging on the amount he wants for the house. The amount he lowered it to is the EXACT amount he wants, and no less. So we're back to THAT situation...the waiting game.

Fast forward to last night. Russ came home from a meeting with his banker, and had a big grin on his face. He said, "I think I'm gonna call J (our realtor) about that house... interest rates are down and my banker said I'll have no problem being financed for any amount." So I got ALL EXCITED again. Russ was planning on putting a higher offer than our previous one, but was only willing to go about $15,000 higher at the MOST. So he talked to our realtor, and J said that the owner had just been given an offer for only $9,000 LESS than his asking price, and he rejected THAT!! So evidentally this guy is in no hurry to sell his house. Either that, or his asking price is making him take a big loss already. So who knows. So I got all excited for nothing.... again. Russ and I just both REALLY want this house, but the guy is asking way too much for it, and it truly isn't considered "finished." The people were only in the house for a year and the guy got transferred for his job, so they had to hurry up and pack everything up to move. So there's NO deck on the back, and the LONG driveay is still gravel, which isn't allowed in the city limits. I just don't understand how they couldn't put a deck on the back of the house!! The french doors in the kitchen just have a piece of wood over them so they can't open, because it's a 2-story drop down to the grass. (And these people had little kids too!!)

Russ said that the driveway will be about $15,000 to do, and the deck (the one WE want) will be about $10,000. So with all those upgrades which the house needs, the owners asking price just isn't reasonable. So all we can do is wait some more. Our realtor said, "Well, the next people you'll probably be dealing with is the bank." (Meaning the owner will probably let the house get repo'd before he takes a loss on it... so evidentally J knows a little more than he's telling us.)

I just keep praying that we eventually get our dream house :-) At least we're not FORCED to move and we're content where we're at right now. I just know that once we have another baby, this house is gonna get real small real quick!

Well, I'm off to give Aly her bath and put her down for a nap. Have a great day :-)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Update and Walmarting

Just a little update on my previous post about our friends' daughter J. The surgery went well, though her first night post-op was rough. She was in a ton of pain and had to lay flat for 24 hours. (Which I'm sure is hard for a 3 year-old!) Yesterday was alot better for her, and today she sat up a few times and was looking out the window at the snow... and she's also off IV pain meds and onto pills only. So things are getting better day by day. Thanks so much for your prayers!!

Today my mom and I took Alyson out to run some errands. I picked up Aly's pictures from Sears (which have been in for a week but I never seemed to be able to make it to the mall...), then we went to Walmart for the last of my Christmas shopping. (My first visit to walmart during this christmas season... I try to avoid the madness of Walmart at all costs during the holidays!!) I just basically needed bags and bows and wrapping paper, but of course I ended up buying lots of things not on my list...because really, it's WALMART. I've found that I can not stick to a list when I go to walmart. I always end up buying fifty million other things.

But anyway... after walmart I brought my mom back to my house and she helped me clean up my spare bedroom. We took a lot of things from the spare bedroom, along with Aly's outgrown clothes and toys, and put them in the crawl space in Alyson's bedroom. I've been wanting to do this FOREVER, but her "big girl bed" is blocking the door to the crawl space, and I can't move it by myself to get back in there. So we did that tonight, and now Aly's room is nice and neat now without her jumperoo (which she hasn't used in 8 or 9 months)and other outgrown stuff sitting out. She's all ready to pack her new Christmas toys in her room! Oh, and when I was in the crawl space, I discovered all kinds of wedding gifts I had completely forgotten about. I found a whole pots and pans set, vases, photo albums, a waffle iron, a coffee grinder, a bar glass set, a casserole dish set, candle holders, and all kinds of other fun stuff. It was like Christmas came early, only with already-received wedding gifts. Or something like that. lol

So that's about it for now. Just wanted to update real quick, mostly about little J. She's supposed to be home either late Monday or Tuesday, so I told our friends that we'd come visit her as soon as she's up for visitors. I'm going to take dinner over there, and I bought J a few little goodies today... a comfy pair of pj's she can relax and recover in, along with a cute little stuffed bear that sings "Jesus Loves Me"... it's too cute. I can't wait to see her and give her a big hug. I'm just so glad everything went well for her and that she seems to be recovering well.

Nighty night!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Prayers needed!

To anyone who is reading this, I have a favor to ask... a prayer request.

Good friends of ours have a 3 year-old daughter, J, who was just recently diagnosed with infantile scoliosis. (Abnormal curvature of the spine.) Her spine had a 40 degree curvature to it, so she's had to wear a brace 23 hours out of the day for the past few months. As a result, the curvature luckily has decreased to 30 degrees.

J had an MRI to see what exactly was causing the scoliosis, and the results weren't great. She has a malformed cerebellum (that's the lower part of the brain) which is protruding through the hole in her skull that leads into the spinal canal. She also has a large pocket of fluid in her spinal canal around her spinal cord. As she is growing, that space is getting smaller and smaller causing the scoliosis.

Needless to say, our friends then had to make an appointment with a pediatric neurosurgeon to discuss their options. They were told little J needs to have brain surgery.

The surgery is taking place tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at 11am. I know you don't know who this little girl is, but please say a prayer for her for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery. Her family and friends (including us!!) have all been on pins and needles wondering how she will do with the surgery. Supposedly most kids who have this type of surgery done are able to go back to school within 1 week, so hopefully she is back to her sweet energetic self soon!

Thanks in advance for the prayers.

Monday, December 8, 2008

"Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas look much better upright!"

Well, I hope everyone had a great weekend :-) Mine was pretty busy! Friday I went up my Grandma's house for a birthday party. My cousin and his kids were in from MD and were staying at my grandma's... most of the family hasn't seen them in years, so my uncle had a birthday party for both the kids (his grandkids) while they were in town. It was nice to see everyone! Alyson played strange with everyone for awhile, but started warming up to everyone a little later in the evening! She still would only come to either me or my mom. She DID go to my aunt though... she probably thought my aunt was my mom, since they're twins!

Saturday, I took Alyson up to my mother-in-laws to see all my neices and my nephew! All Russ's brother's kids had spent the night over there Friday night, and were staying most of the day Saturday too. Russ originally told me he didn't think it was safe for me to drive up there due to the snow coming (they live in an area where the county won't really treat the roads with salt very much.) I felt bad, because I had gotten all ready to go, and so I told Russ, "Well YOU call your mom and give her the bad news, because I'm sure she and the kids are looking forward to us coming." So he called her and when I got on the phone with her, I could hear the kids say, "Aunt Betsy's not coming????" So I felt bad and told Russ I'd go, but that I'd just keep an eye out on the weather. I ended up staying over there for a few hours, and by the time I got ready to leave, EVERYTHING was covered with snow. It took me twice as long to get home, but I made it. It was worth it though, to see the kids. They all loved seeing Alyson, and were playing with her all afternoon. They all wanted to take turns holding her... it was too cute! They had made cookies right before we showed up, and lemme tell ya, Alyson LOVED those cookies. :-)

Now onto Sunday... Russ, the lucky boy that he is, got to go to the Steelers/Cowboys game at Heinz Field. While I was envious, I wasn't jealous of the fact that he'd be freezing his boys off while I was sitting on my couch in our warm house!!! He bundled himself up with a gazillion layers of clothing and said he was sweating by the time he got ready to leave the house... but by the time he got home he was happy he'd put that many layers on...he said his feet were freezing!

Unfortunately for him, but FORTUNATELY for me, the Cowboys lost. (Yes, I married a Cowboys fan, despite the fact that my WHOLE family, myself included, is a bunch of Steelers fans!!) The guy he went with is a Cowboys fan too, so they were both bummed about the game. I enjoyed it though!!

So while her daddy was gone yesterday, Alyson decided to get into EVERYTHING. She was climbing on chairs, climbing on tables...and.... knocking down the Christmas tree. Yes, knocking down the Christmas tree. I was in the kitchen and heard the ornaments clinking around, but figured she was just trying to squeeze between the couch and tree in order to reach the end table (she likes to grab whatever she can off the top of it.) So I peeked in the living room to see what was going on, and it was like slow motion... the tree came toppling down and she just barely got out of the way. It scared the crap out of her, and I just stood there with my mouth open. You always think, "Noo.... that won't happen to ME!" and low and behold, the tree comes down. I didn't want to yell at Alyson, because I mean, would she really know what was going on?! She was screaming and crying I just picked her up and put her in her highchair to get her away from everything. I tried tipping the tree back upright (wishing Russ was home to help me!!) but while I was underneath it, I didn't realize one of the legs on the tree stand had folded back underneath the stand, so the tree fell right back over again, this time on top of ME! Well, Alyson saw it falling and screamed even more, poor girl. Finally I realized what the problem was and unfolded the legs of the stand so the tree would actually STAY UP. Fortunately, not many ornaments broke...just two, and most of them actually stayed on the tree.

So that was yesterday's action. Aside from that, I just finished up my outside decorating (in less than 20 degree weather with minimal feeling to my fingers!!), and then *tried* to relax. I just kept an eye on Alyson....AND the tree :-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Feeling better now :-)

Thank goodness I'm feeling better today!! I couldn't keep ANYTHING down yesterday. Russ decided he was hungry for breakfast food at 6pm, so he went out to eat since I was in no mood to cook. I told him to bring me back pancakes because I *thought* I'd be able to tolerate them. No such luck. I got through the day yesterday on one little bowl of applesauce and about 3 cans of diet mountain dew. Fun stuff.

Today was good though. I'm still not 100% but I feel MUCH better. I could actually think about decorating for Christmas again. I turned the Christmas music channel on tv, put my window decorations up, and then decided to tackle decorating the christmas tree. I have the tree pretty much all done, but can't seem to find my tree skirt. I have SO MUCH STUFF sitting out in my spare bedroom, it's hard to tell where it is until I start putting things away again. It looks like I'm celebrating every holiday up in my spare bedroom... all my different decorations are sitting out because I want to put everything back in the bedroom's crawl space in a SOMEWHAT organized My everyday decorations are in one corner of the room, my fall stuff is on the bed, and all my christmas gifts and christmas decorations I haven't yet put up are somewhere in the middle. My husband doesn't dare look in there or he'd throw a He's such an anti-clutter person!! Not that I'm a messy person, I'm just not as neat-freakish as he is. I tell him, "Hey, at least the room's not like this ALL YEAR! Give me a break during the holidays!" I told my mom I'm going to hold her hostage one day next week so she can come help me organize my spare bedroom.

But back to the tree... I knew it was going to be slightly more interesting this year with a toddler running around, but jeeeeeeeeeeeeez! It was exhausting! As soon as I brought out my two big storage containers of tree decorations, she was ALL OVER THEM. She pulled out my beads, which instantly got completely tangled...needless to say, they're not on the tree now. And you know how the round glass ornaments have the little detachable part that fits inside the top of them that holds the ornament hook???? Yeah... she got into one bag of ornaments and pulled ALL THOSE OFF. They were all sitting on the floor beside her. So I didn't put AS MANY ornaments down low on the tree... the ones I put down there are ALL non-breakable, and since we have an artificial tree, I bent the end of the branch down over the ornament hooks so she can't pull them off. She tried for awhile, but eventually gave up. (ONE POINT FOR MOMMY! WOO HOO!)

Oh, and while I was decorating the tree, she decided to start a new trick... my little monkey has graduated from crawling up on the dining room chairs to crawling FROM THE CHAIR ONTO THE TABLE. I had to pull her off of there like fifty gazillion times, then finally she spent the rest of my tree decorating time in her highchair having goldfish crackers and milk. I now have to keep all chairs completely pulled away from the table so she can't get up there. I'm sure it won't be long until she realizes, "Hmm... all I have to do is push this chair over there....." She's a quick learner, I tell ya.

Well, I'm gonna finish watching the Rockafeller Christmas special! (I'm SO into the Christmas spirit, I can't help it... I absolutely LOVE this time of year!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What a day...

Well, it's a good thing I got all my fall decorations taken down yesterday and got the inside of my house decorated for Christmas (minus the tree)....because today I am a MESS!

My husband went to bed lastnight around 9pm or so because he knew he'd have to go out working in the middle of the night since it was snowing. Close to midnight he came down the hallway looking like death, carrying a blanket and pillow and laid down on the couch. He was moaning and groaning about how his stomach was "a wreck." He said, "Yeah honey, dinner tasted great, but it just wasn't the same coming up the second time around."

At this point, I felt fine... I was tired, but other than that everything was great. Then it was like BOOM, it hit... my stomach felt funny and I ran in the bathroom to greet my dinner for the second time around. Not fun.

So we were back and forth at this for awhile, then we laid down for awhile. Around 2am, Russ woke up to go to work and said he felt "a little better" but that he had thrown up again. I said, "Yeah I'm getting that feeling too..." and he said "Oh, believe me, the second your feet hit the floor you'll be running to the bathroom again." Which, unfortunately, was exactly what happened.

So we decided that the only thing that could have made us sick was the dinner I made, since it was the only thing we both ate that was the same yesterday. That was about 5:30pm or so, and we started getting sick around midnight. Dinner tasted great though, which is what I don't get. I made stirfry, and am always VERY careful to cook it thoroughly. I mean, the day I bought the meat for it, it went straight into the freezer, so it's not like I let it sit out long. The veggies I used were a bag of frozen ones, so no problem there... so I dunno.

So today I woke up headachy with an upset stomach but that was it. It felt more like a bad hangover than anything. (Not that I've, uh, been hungover at I just feel worn out, and so does Russ. But what has me wondering is that I all the sudden started feeling chilled and checked my temp... 99.3. Not an especially high fever that I normally get with the flu, but not my normal 97.6 either. And THEN I started getting achy all down my neck into my lower back.

Needless to say, I have NO IDEA whether this IS food poisoning, or a mild case of the flu. Grr. I've been online looking up the difference between food poisoning and the flu, and what I've read says that food poisoning gives you bad stomach cramps, etc... which I haven't had.

Sorry for the most interesting post, but I'm just kinda confused and bummed here. My relatives are coming in at the end of the week, so I'd hate to be sick and miss out on seeing them..and most of all if this IS the flu, I definitely don't want Aly to get sick.

If anyone has any experience with food poisoning, let me know if you think this is what I have. Being a nurse, you'd think I'd know, but they're just so similar which has me completely baffled.

Alright, off to TRY and lay down a bit.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Goats, shopping and cheesecake...what could be a more perfect weekend?!

Hello :-) I hope everyone had a nice, relaxing long holiday weekend! Did anyone go out and do lots of shopping on "Black Friday?" I told myself I WAS NOT going to go shopping that day because I didn't want to have to get stuck in the crazy hectic crowds, but my husband decided he wanted to go out and have a "family day." I wasn't husband rarely suggests we go out shopping!

We decided against the mall though. I figured that would be TRULY nuts. We went out to dinner at the Pittsburgh Chop House, then just decided to go to Sams Club. The crowd there wasn't any different than usual, in my opinion. Aly started getting a little tired and fussy at Sam's, so we just called it a day and headed home (after I made Russ sit in the drive-thru line at Starbucks for 15 minutes because I was totally craving a caramel mocha!!)

Saturday when I woke up, fully intending to take down all my fall decorations and start decorating for Christmas, Russ says to me, "Let's spend time together today. I got all my paperwork done, and it's not snowing... I'm not busy which is RARE, so let's go somewhere!" I had lots of house cleaning and laundry to do, but I gave in and figured that the cleaning and laundry will ALWAYS be there, so what's another day putting it off!

We decided to head to Wheeling and went to the Good Zoo at Oglebay with Alyson :-) I was just upset because we didn't make a final decision on where to go until we had left the house, so I didn't have my camera with me :-( Oh well, I'm sure there will be a next time soon. Alyson was a LITTLE interested in things... they have a huge model train exhibit downstairs and she really liked watching all the trains go around, and the little planes flying around above the train tracks! She also liked looking at all the fish and birds....she'd just stare at them with her mouth open! Next we went outside and strolled her around to see the animals. We went down to the barn and saw a donkey, pig and barn owls, then went over to see the goats and llama! The goats were the funniest things. You can actually walk inside the gate to interact with and feed them, and it was hilarious! They didn't want anything to do with us while we were inside with them, but once we got outside the fence and bought some food for them, they were ALL OVER US. They practically tried crawling over the fence when they knew we had food. That's what scared Aly... she was in her stroller staring at all of them, then they started jumping up and sticking their tongues out to get the food Russ had. We were both cracking up, but Aly didn't see the humor in it.

After the zoo, we went to the Olive Garden to eat... which I have been craving FOR-EV-ER! Olive Garden is like a treat for me.. we don't eat there very much. Afterwards I decided to splurge and bought a piece of raspberry cheesecake, which Alyson had no problem helping me with. She picked up a spoon and started sticking it in the cheesecake so she could feed herself. The poor girl wanted NOTHING to do with her chicken fingers and fries, but she was all over that cheesecake. mother like daughter.

So it really was a great family weekend... until we got home yesterday. We quickly found out why Alyson was fussy during dinner and on the way home... she wasn't feeling well, and let us know that by puking on the living room carpet. Not once, but twice. I had JUST changed her into her pj's and had her all ready for bed, then she got sick all over herself, AND all over Russ. I felt so bad for her, she didn't know what to do. Needless to say, she went STRAIGHT INTO THE BATHTUB. Poor thing. Luckily she was fine this morning... no fussiness or anything during church, and she ate a decent amount for breakfast. I was REALLY hoping she wasn't coming down with the flu. That'd be the first time she's been sick... she had a slight sinus cold when she was 5 or 6 months old, but nothing since. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Well, I'm off to bed. It's already way later than I planned to stay up. I just got all into this Britney Spears documentary on MTV. It's pretty interesting, I have to say! Portrays her in a totally different light than the tabloids do.

But anyway... nighty night.