A Weekend Makeover

So a few weeks ago Ella decided it would be an EXCELLENT idea to draw all over the walls in a lovely generic red “washable” marker.

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Now, we have tried everything, no amount of soap and water, magic erasers, or good old fashioned elbow grease would make this marker disappear. Lighten it, yes, but it still stared us in the face. We made the decision to get rid of the horrid yellow color (yes, it was there when we moved in) and the red curtains and give our sunroom a little face lift.

Before:

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I couldn’t find any good pictures of the room with the curtains, so here are a couple of randoms just to show the color)

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Saturday the girls and I headed down to the city to get new curtains while Brad got the whole first coat up taped the room. So, after the girls went to bed, Brad and I got to it and started painting. Here is right after our first coat/bedtime.

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And then yesterday during nap time we were able to apply the 2nd coat and touch ups while the girls were asleep. And, as if on cue, as soon as I set my brush down, Aubrey was awake. So, we had to remove tape and clean up while trying to keep the girls out of the sunroom. Not my idea of fun! But in the end, totally worth it! I think it looks great, I love the way it turned out and the room just seems SO much brighter now!

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I LOVE IT!!!

It’s the little things people. Next up will be the girls bathroom, unless we randomly come in to a LOT of money as we need to replace the windows in our house. We want to remodel the bathroom, I would like to put in new countertops & backsplash in the kitchen, we need new flooring at some point in our office (thanks to the evil feline!). The joys of home ownership. Why can’t we be independently wealthy?😉

Next up I will try to finish up our vacation recap, we’ve been home 6 weeks and wordpress seems to be cooperating a little better the last few days! Then, once we’re caught up, we’ll talk weight loss. Yay! (sarcasm!)

Sleep Training…..

Since this post requires no pictures, i figured I would take a quick step away from our vacation recap to say…….

 

AUBREY IS FINALLY SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!!

It only took 16 1/2 months, but she sleeps!

The final straw started on June 16th, I had to work the next day coming back from a month of vacation. Aubrey woke up at about 11:30 wanting to nurse and I fell asleep with her on me. She is getting SOO heavy and so when I woke up at 2 AM with her still on me, my back was KILIING me. I decided enough was enough and I just need to bite the bullet. I put her in her crib, she immediately woke up and screamed for 3 hours. Just in time for me to get up and go to work. Yay!

Monday night 6/17, she woke up twice  throughout the night at about 2 am and 4 am and fussed for about 20 minutes each time and put herself to sleep.

Tuesday 6/18, she woke up at 4 AM and screamed for about an hour and a half. Again, just in time for my alarm to go off. ha!

Wednesday 6/19, she would randomly whimper throughout the night but never fully woke up.

Thursday 6/20, she slept from 8:15PM-6:15 AM, Hallalujah!!

Friday, 8:40-6:20.

Saturday 8:30-7:30!!

Let me tell you, I feel like a new woman! She has recently started going to bed at around 8 and will wake up anywhere between 5-5:45 AM. Don’t know what is up with this, but I’m not up 30 billion times a night and I’m not sleeping flat on my back with dead weight on top of me. I’ll take it!

So, now when I see this…..

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It makes me happy, because I know we’re both getting a good nights sleep.

Vacation 2013: Huber Winery

Hey Hey! WordPress is deciding to let me upload photos again! Maybe at this rate I’ll finish recapping our vacation before it starts snowing again!

While we were in Indiana we went with Brad’s mom down to a Winery that we both love for the day. Brad introduced it to me years ago and it’s where we got all of the wine for our wedding. It’s not just a winery though, it’s a fun family experience. They have orchards where you can pick your own fruit, a market with homemade breads, cookies, pies, picked fruit as well as a petting zoo, pony rides. The list goes on and on.

We got lucky that morning, we looked on their facebook page and actually saw that they had a Groupon going on. We bought our Groupon and were on our way.

When we got there our first stop was for our Pizza and drinks. Ella, who is ALWAYS up for pizza, was super excited. After lunch we headed over to get our homemade ice cream, I got the blackberry, it was delicious. Outside the ice cream/cheese area they had these little Cows, to say Aubrey was obsessed with them would be an understatement.

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After our ice cream, we headed down to the petting zoo. Ella was a little fearful of the goats still, so no pictures. Ha!

In the petting zoo area there were slides, ride on toys, and a playground.

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There was also, this pig. ha!

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And at the end of the day, Ella got to ride a pony.

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Her face, she’s so excited! Aubrey on the other hand, preferred cement animals that day.

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Such a fun little day trip!

Vacation 2013: Grant’s Farm

So sorry foe the delay! I have been trying to get this post up for 3 weeks but WordPress would not let me upload any photos! None at all!

And now, to top it off, after I got the photos loaded and my post written, when I went to format it deleted all of my text! Do not be surprised if I make a move again sometime in the near future! I am NOT enjoying wordpress!

Anyway!

On Road Trip day 2 back to Indiana, we stopped by Grant’s Farm in St. Louis. Brad used to go there when he was little and thought that if the weather and timing worked out, we should stop by as a nice break from the car for the girls. Well, the timing worked out perfectly and we were there by about 11 am on a perfect, warm, humid, midwest day.

Our first stop was to the Clydesdale Barn to see the Budweiser Clydesdales. They are gorgeous! Aubrey was mesmerized by them and Ella just was not in the mood to take pictures (this is the best face on her out of 6.)

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After our time with the Clydesdales we headed across the street to the tram that would take us in to the park. Both of the girls LOVED this ride and were amazed by some of the animals that were in this part of the park.

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Our first stop once we were in the park was to feed the goats. Ella was SUPER excited about this, until we made the mistake of letting her walk in on her own. These goats know what is coming through those turnstyles and so they SWARM the entrance. Ella FREAKED out. She was not a fan of the goats and boy did it take her a long time to warm up to them.

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Aubrey on the other hand, she loved them! She kept running up to new goats yelling “Doddy, Doddy!” (Doggy) and petting them all. Kid was in heaven. I can see though why Ella didn’t want much to do with them, they were the perfect stereo type goat; trying to eat my hair, our clothes. It was ridiculous.

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In the end, Ella warmed up to them enough to feed them for a bit. After her bottle was empty, she was over the goats.

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So, we headed off to something a little more her speed. The carousel.

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They both loved it and kept asking for more!

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We headed off to look at some shows. Ella would dance to the music and Aubrey would clap for all of the animals.

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And, I got to feed a camel. What can top that?!

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Overall, we had a great time. There was a $12 parking fee, but that was it for admission. We did not go on the official Clydesdale tour as that was OUTRAGEOUSLY priced, but you could walk through the barn area and see the horses on your own. The girls had a blast checking out all of the animals. It was the perfect little escape from driving. If you’re ever in the St. Louis area, you should definitely check this out.

 

Vacation 2013: Cassidy

I wanted to go back through everything vacation in chronological order. I’ve sat down quite a few times over the last week or so since we’ve been back and I can’t write about anything else until I talk about Cassidy.

I briefly mentioned in my Easter post a couple of months ago, about having to take Cassidy in that Monday morning to have a mass removed from her shoulder. What they removed was about the same size and shape of a dill pickle. For a couple of weeks afterwords she seemed to be feeling so much better; she wanted to play, she was actually up and active. It was great. She even started losing weight; we thought it was because she was being more active then the last few months.

As time went by, we realized it seemed like she was losing too much weight. About a week before we left for Indiana, she started throwing up a couple of times a day. We again chose denial and thought that it was since she was outside more now that the weather is nice, that she was eating grass and it was making her sick. She seemed fine on the road trip, a little slow in and out of the van but she was 11 1/2 years old.

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A couple of days after we got there, we knew something wasn’t right. She wasn’t as active, wasn’t eating much, and didn’t really want to go outside at all. About a week in to our trip she started throwing up again and on May 26th, when we got back from she threw up and we just knew it wasn’t right. On Tuesday May 28th, we took Cassidy to a Veterinarian back home. They took some xrays and the thought of looking at them still brings tears to my eyes. Her whole left lung was pretty much non existent because of cancer. It was pushing on her trachea causing the heavy breathing. They said we had maybe a week before she started feeling like she was sufficating and not much time left with her at all. We were leaving for Myrtle Beach that Friday and we knew we couldn’t ask her to suffer any more. We took her home that night and loved on her the best we could. The girls got to say goodbye and so did we. The next day, it was like she knew that we finally knew what to do for her. She couldn’t lay down, it hurt her too much, but she was by our sides all day.

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We took her that afternoon for her last ride.

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They let us Bring Cody in with us and we got to say our goodbyes to Cassidy. As soon as she was gone, it was hard, but we knew we had made the right decision. She looked comfortable and at peace for the first time in a LONG time.

I remember bringing her home to Brad for the first time, how tiny she was and how much he loved her at that very instant.

I remember the first time we took her swimming  and we we picked her up out of the water to leave, she kept on paddling like she was still going.

She was completely the boss of Cody.

When I went in to labor with Ella, she was by my side until we left for the hospital. When I got in the tub to soothe my contractions, she wouldn’t let anyone else in there.

She was there when we brought both of the girls home from the hospital, boy did they love her.

Ella talks about Cassidy quite frequently, tells us how she’s in heaven.

Cassidy was an amazing dog, the best. It still doesn’t feel normal that we’re back home, and she isn’t here with us.

Cassidy at our Wedding, 10/7/2006.

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She LOVED the snow and loved going skiing with Brad.

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With Ella when El was just a week old.

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And a month old

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A couple from Ella’s first Thanksgiving.

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Aubrey has been obsessed with the dogs, pretty much since the day we brought her home.

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Here are the girls playing “Dr.” with her this late winter/early spring. She was SO good with the girls!

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We miss you Cass Girl!

12/14/01-5/29/13

I’m still here!

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Ha!

Sorry for my COMPLETE radio silence. We left on May 15th for our annual trip to Indiana which also included a secondary road trip to Myrtle Beach. We just got back to Colorado on Saturday, yep, we were gone for a full month!

I’m ready to get back in to my normal schedule and start blogging here again. I have SO much to catch up on and recap from our trip! I will get to those posts over the next few days, promise!

Tubes Day = My Nightmare

 

As I said on Friday, we got the call that we needed to be checked in to the hospital at 6 AM, so we decided to go down the night before and get a room.

Sunday morning, I woke to a foot of snow. Awesome! By the time we were leaving for the city the snow had stopped and the roads were a little snow packed but in great condition. We picked up Brad and headed over the pass and by the time we were half way down it was 55, Sunny, and the roads were dry. Nice!

We got down to Denver, got checked in to our hotel room and got some dinner. We headed out for Ice Cream to get the girls a little treat, and headed back to our room for the night.

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The Anaesthesiologist called just to see if I had any questions and kind of led me through things for the morning. She said that I would absolutely be able to bring Aubrey back and be with her while they  were putting her under. It was a gas and that most kids did not require an IV or breathing tube but with all of the viruses that go around it isn’t uncommon to end up with an IV.

Then our LONG night started. Neither of the girls would settle. Every time we laid Ella down she would be up and wandering around the room, trying to climb up on to my bed while I was trying to nurse Aubrey which would then un-settle Aubrey. At one point we just had the bathroom light on and both of the girls were up wandering the room just giggling. They both finally went to sleep at about 10:30!!! Of course I couldn’t get to sleep until about 11:30 as my mind was racing with the thoughts of the next day.

Aubrey woke at 2:50 wanting to nurse, this was great since the last time she could nurse was 3 AM! She went back down easily, but I didn’t. And, then she woke up at 4:15, couldn’t nurse, would not settle, and was miserable! At 5 AM I got dressed, got her dressed, and the 2 of us drove around Denver until close to check in time. Thank goodness for Starbucks drive thru’s! Ha!

We got to the hospital, got checked in, and waited! There was a wonderful play room in the pre-op area, and we took quite a few wagon rides.

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Brad and Ella made it to the hospital at right about the time her surgery was supposed to start, the Dr. wasn’t even there yet, and Aubrey was getting screamy because she was so hungry. But, about 5 minutes after they got there, so did the Dr. then it went warp speed. He talked with us for just a minute told us how the procedure was going to go, that it takes about 6 minutes, 7 for a LONG procedure, and he would be out to see us in the waiting room as soon as the procedure was done.

I got lovely space man suited up and walked my baby girl back to the operating room. I had to lay her on the table and let them put the gas mask over her face. I think this is the most helpless I have ever felt in my life. They said she was actually amazingly easy for a 14 month old. I gave her a kiss and headed out to the waiting room to meet up with Brad and Ella. We were out playing and when we hit the 10 minute mark, I started feeling a little nervous but knew that there are other factors involved. When we hit the 20 minute mark, I was panicking inside. This 6 minutes most procedure was trying my patience. Finally, 22 minutes after I left my baby in an operating room, the Dr. came out. Tubes were placed, the left ear had still been horribly infected and they removed a lot of fluid. The right ear was clearing and had been relatively dry in comparrison to the left. Then, I saw his face change. When they had given her the pain meds her vocal cords seized. They had to place a breathing tube and an IV,  they used the breathing tube to regulate her breathing for 10 minutes. She came off the breathing tube fine.

This is the worst I have EVER felt as a mother. The thoughts that go through my head, just thinking about her back there, I can’t think them. They scare the hell out of me.

My baby girl is a trooper though, by the time they had her wheeled to her room in the PACU, she was already awake, and signing to eat. Ha!

Before the Dr. had even finished talking to us, the Anaesthesiologist had come out to talk with me about it to, and since Aubrey was awake we were able to talk while walking back to see her. I heard her crying while we were walking back to her “room” and when I got through the curtain, her nurse was rocking her and she started screaming, “Mommy, Mommy.” and reaching for me. The nurses were joking that there was no need to check out hospital bracelets, this kid knew who she belonged to. Ha. This little outburst was all adrenaline though, as soon as she started nursing she was fast asleep.

We had to be in recovery for an hour, about 40 minutes in to it she was really waking up. She noticed the IV in her hand and was angry. She started chewing on the end of it and then I had to start holding her arms down because she was trying VERY hard to rip it out of her hand. They got the IV out and we were discharged. They sent her on her way with a sippy of milk which she downed in no time. When we got to the waiting room she was so excited to see her daddy and Ella. Thank goodness is was time to go home!

I know this was LONG, and probably boring to most of you. I needed to get ALL of this out for my memory. This was the longest day of my life, and to top it all off, we got home just in time to hear about the explosions in Boston.

Many prayers go to everyone in Boston, these heartless acts have GOT to stop.

The Goings On

Where did I leave Off? I believe a Pink Eye diagnosis for Ella.

Luckily she was diagnosed on a Monday so she was home with Brad on Tuesday and Wednesday and would have PLENTY of time to get rid of the pink eye. Pink eye, yes, the hacking cough and yucky congestion that came along with is? Not so much. I worked from home on Thursday and kept Ella with me. During my lunch hour we went to the pool hoping that the steam would clear her up and then she wanted “Chinese Soup” for lunch so I figured that was a great plan since soup is excellent for colds. After nap, she was looking and sounding better. When we went to pick Aubrey up from daycare though, she seemed pretty snotty. By Friday morning, her eyes had the pink tinge to them, thankfully no goop yet. But, my situation was flip flopped and I sent Ella to school and had Aubrey home with me.

We went to the Dr. during my lunch hour and sure enough pink eye with a side of ear infection. At least, at the time, it was only one ear instead of a double. I knew we had our follow up with the ENT on Tuesday but, I called to let them know about the ear infection diagnosis just so they would be on the same page. I knew this meant they would reccomend tubes and I was still a little uneasy about it.

Of course when we woke up Tuesday there was NO new snow at our house but about 6-12″ in Denver. It took us 3 hours to get to our appointment and as soon as we were on the outskirts of the city, there were wrecks and cars off the road EVERYWHERE. (It confuses me that snow can do this when we live in COLORADO!) Anyway, we were very careful getting there. We saw audiology first where we were told that it was now a double ear infection and the fluid in her ears was causing a slight hearing loss but just 1 step below normal. Awesome, so even on the strongest antibiotics that they could give her, her other ear got an infection too.

We then went in to see the ENT and yep, both ears infected. The antibiotics weren’t touching it. When I heard that not only had the antibiotics not even been helping the already infected ear, let alone her 2nd ear was now infected too; I became much more at peace about the tubes.

I got a call from the Dr.’s office this morning and we are to be checked in by 6AM on Monday morning. Her surgery procedure is scheduled for 7:30. (I cannot think of it as the S word or I get all emotional.) I might be able to go back with her for anesthesia and hold her while she’s being put under. As soon as she’s under and I have to go to the waiting room they say it will be about 15 minutes for the actual removal of fluid and tubes and then up to 30 more minutes for her to wake up. Then I can go back with her in recovery.

My big concerns and what I am asking for specific prayers for are, she is not able to nurse after midnight on Sunday and no clear liquids after 3:30 AM. For a girl who wakes up several times a night still to nurse, this is not going to be pretty. Pray that she can nurse at midnight and be content until surgery! Also, please pray that surgery goes smoothly & quickly!!

I’ll update when everything is all said and done and we are back home on Monday.

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Easter Monday (Finally!)

As I said before, we had our Easter on Monday while we were all off together. We were pretty pressed for time, unfortunately. We had an appointment for one of our dogs who needed to be dropped at the Vet before 10 AM, and an appointment for our car at 10 AM. On top of that, Ella had yucky goop eyes and I needed to make an appointment for her in the day somewhere.

The girls got up around 7, I wish it could have been later. =)

we looked through their baskets and then of course did our egg hunt. Our Easter bunny was super considerate, since he knew we were busy that morning and wouldn’t have time for it to warm up, he hid our eggs inside. Thanks Easter Bunny!

The girls had a blast looking for the eggs, although every time Ella would get an egg she wanted to open it to see what was in it. Ha, girl is candy obsessed. After the egg hunt we had breakfast, more Easter Pancakes for the girls, and then we were off!

While we were on our way to the appointments I called an got Ella a 1:20 appointment to have her eyes looked at. We dropped Cassidy off at the vet, she had to have a mass removed, and they said she would be ready to go by about Noon. Perfect!

We drive across the street to drop off the car. When we made the appointment we were told that it would take MAYBE a little over an hour, but not much. When we get there at 9:55 they tell us to come back at about Noon. Great, no car, a 15 minute drive time from home, and it’s now going to take 2 hours. Awesome.

We walked to the library and had some fun, we killed about an hour, checked out a couple of DVD’s, Ella is OBSESSED with Dispicable Me. Such a cute movie! Anyway, then we walked to the other end of town and grabbed some lunch. By the time we had walked back to the car place it was 11:55. We get there, and wait, in a FILTHY dirty waiting area, with two old dogs for an HOUR! By the time our car was done and we could leave, it was already 1 O’clock! I had 20 minutes to get to Ella’s appointment that was 20 minutes away, and we still had to pick up Cassidy! (Not to mention, I was PISSED that our “MAYBE a little over an hour” project took 3 HOURS!)

We jump in the car, pick up Cassidy, who looks like Frankenstein with all of her staples, and haul butt to the Dr.’s office. Thankfully we were only 10 minutes late. As soon as they see Ella they start lysol-ing everything she has touched. Ha! Pink Eye, let me say, if you have never tried giving a 3 year old some eye drops; it’s my own personal hell.

After the Dr. we were finally able to rest a bit, thank goodness as I was OVER it!

The girls had a blast though, that’s all that matters.

Here are our pictures from Easter Morning….

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(In the Golden Egg the Easter Bunny left the girls a note on where to find their special prize. New car DVD players!)

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Now, there is more to the story of what the heck has taken me so long to post Easter pictures. But I will talk about that soon, this is already long enough!