Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Upcoming Surgery

Our #1 little man is getting his nose cut off.

Well, not quite.

Though sometimes I feel like I'm going to wipe his nose off with as many times I've used a tissue on it. The boy has a yucky nose.

And smelly feet.

And a sweaty head.

And lots and lots of laundry.

For the last 2 winters, we had been in and out of the doctor's office so much that Mallory and Ethan would start adding it to the list of "fun places to go" because at least they get a sucker along with an antibiotic once a day for 5 days. We finally went to see and ENT back in February. He tested Ethan's ears and saw that they have fluid on them and that his adenoids were enlarged. Now, 4 months later, he still has fluid in his ears and his adenoids are still enlarged and his nose seems to get runnier and runnier, even on a daily regiment of Zyrtec.

It's just gross for me and it must be extremely annoying to him. And I know it's not good for my 2 year old to have sinus infection after sinus infection.

So, after much research we've decided to get his adenoids removed. The fluid in his ears are not causing him to have severe ear infections and his ear drums seem to be fine. But since he's "going under" for the adenoidectomy, the tubes are going in, too.

The surgery is for July 22.

I wish my boy wouldn't have to have general anesthesia, but I feel the surgery would help him out A LOT because enlarged adenoids are most likely the culprit of a very stuffy nose, so the he can breathe only through his mouth; snoring and trouble getting a good night's sleep; and ear problems. There is no guarantee that the surgery will improve these things, but there is a very good chance it will.

The ENT told me that Ethan's speech should improve quite a bit after the tubes are in, which doesn't make sense because the boy has a very impressive vocabulary and speech quality for a 2-year-old. I asked the ENT if Ethan will naturally turn down his volume with the ear tubes and he unfortunately said no. He also said that Ethan would have bad breath for about 10 days after the surgery too.


Bad breath and smelly feet. Such a lovely combination.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Counting it all joy

I didn't know whether or not I should post about this; I don't know why I've hesitated.

I'm feeling great sorrow and pain for my extended family today. In the wee hours of yesterday morning, while I was peacefully sleeping in my bed, my cousin, Char, and her husband, John, were struggling to save their 5 year old little girl who stopped breathing (without explanation) in the middle of the night. She did not survive.

It doesn't make any sense to me. My hope is in Jesus, though. I'm praying for Char. I'm praying for my sister, who is heading up to IL to be with her. Amanda was close to Char and her family and is feeling a great ache and will be ministering to them up north.

I've been hugging my kids a little tighter today, telling them I love them, and wondering what it would be like not to have them in this life again. The thought alone makes my stomach ache.

Here is a link to my sister's blog, where she posted a picture of Madison.

Everyday I live, I understand more about the reality of how hard life is. There is so much hurt and pain. There is also lots and lots of joy, too. I want to focus on the joy, though I am very aware of the pain. I pray that God will mature my faith to see joy in the trials.


Not the kind of joy that makes you want to dance a jig. The joy comes in knowing that God is control of all things, even painful trials he uses to mature my faith and draw me closer to him.

Pray for Char. Pray for John. Pray for their son, Zach.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Me and my littlest

I've been hangin' out with my little man this weekend as my older two are with Patrick visiting his parents in Charlotte. It's been quiet around here and I've had lots of time to work on projects around the house. I didn't get nearly as much as I wanted to get done, mainly because I was distracted by 23 pounds of cuteness.

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's the little things that melt me


Wrinkled Ankles. Aren't they just the cutest?

I think I'd keel over if I had 'em.

But on him, I melt.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Post-Surgery Update

So, when Mallory was able to see Doggie after he was in recovery, she wasn't too happy. I'd say she wasn't happy at all.

We needed another band-aid. A Peanuts one. STAT!

Then she took a nap.

Then we removed the wrappings. And guess what? Doggie's nose was all fixed! Well, it was fixed BEFORE the nap. I guess he needed a little more time to recover. Mal is the Doggie specialist. She nose best. Er...she knows best.

After a little kiss, all was fine with the world. And peace is now in the land.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


This post is about Doggie. Mallory's beloved Doggie had surgery today. We did schedule surgery for my #1 boy for July 22, but I'll talk about that in another post...

Doggie has had a broken nose for months now. Mallory had the audacity to chew off his nose several months ago and immediately shunned him for being nose-less, even though it was to her own doing. I was thinking it would be an opportune time to wean her away from this beloved lovey of hers, but Patrick wanted to teach her a lesson through this: that even though Doggie was hurt and was missing a nose, he was still the same Doggie. We shouldn't loose our love for something special just because they look different.

There's a reason why I married my husband...

Anyway, we put a band-aid over his nose and it worked beautifully. He's had Hello Kitty band-aids, Cars band-aids and more recently, Peanuts band-aids.

When Doggie gets a bath, the band-aid comes off, revealing his imperfection. She doesn't like seeing him without a nose, so the band-aid NEEDS to be there or she gets very distraught. Doggie with a band-aid is beloved. Doggie without a band-aid is not.

My mom is in town for a few days and has taken Mallory and Ethan out to run errands. I took advantage of Doggie's solace and decided to have surgery.

We'll see what Mallory thinks. I honestly have no clue what she'll think. Do you think she'll like it?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Don'tcha just wanna...

Kiss this:

And pinch this:

And while you're at it, sweep my floors?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Baby's Daddy

I'm a blessed woman.

I'm married to a real man who gives me real love, even when he's seen me at my worst and at my best, and chooses to still love me at my worst and my best. Even on days like today, when I seem to have lost my brain since I gave him a Happy Birthday card instead of a Happy Father's Day card. See what he get's to live with???

But because of him, see what I get to live with?

He's a good great daddy. And our chillin's think so too.

First he gave me her.

And then along came this booger.

And then this one.

Nothin' could be finer.

Love ya, P. Happy Birthday Father's Day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vacation - Part 2

Our second full day in Pigeon Forge started out on the wrong foot. And if any of you have traveled with small children you may already know that if the day starts out bad, it will probably be like that all day, which was true in our case except for one or two little gems along the way.

We stayed at All Seasons Suites, which was right off of Dollywood Lane. Our hotel room was situated very nicely for a family of 5 on a budget. The hotel was ranked #7 on, though now it looks like it's #8. With a brazillion places to stay in the Pigeon Forge area, I really wanted to find a place that was recommended. I had some specifics I needed met and did a lot of research to figure out what kind of place would suit our needs. Some of our needs/wants were:
1. Close proximity to Dollywood
2. A room with a kitchen (or at least a fridge w/ freezer)
3. A separate bedroom
4. Free breakfast
5. A nice pool

And even though I've stayed in Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge at least 15 times, I've usually stayed at the same place, give or take a time or two. I would have loved to stay here again, but the hotel wasn't close to Dollywood and if we had a room with a fridge/freezer we'd be paying like $200 a night. So, hence my research. The place we found met almost all of our needs/wants. The place was a little dated and the bed was VERY firm, but all in all it was a nice place, very clean and it was extremely convenient (Food City was about a half a mile down the road!). That all said, Evan was sleeping in a pack n' play that we moved from room to room depending on whether or not he was taking a nap (bedroom) or was down for the night (living room w/ the kids). Ethan and Mallory shared the pull-out sofa bed. They all did pretty well with the arrangement, though I don't know what I would have done if I didn't bring my noise-maker alarm clock with me for Evan's sake! Evan slept through LOTS of digitized thunderstorms!!!

The night before our trip to Dollywood, Ethan woke up about 4 times throughout the night and the last time I just let him stay in bed with us (around 4am). Ethan is a pretty loud sleeper as well as a roly poly, so needless to say, I didn't go back to sleep. Then Evan woke up at 5am and chose to be up for the day. So, I attempted to transfer Mallory into the bedroom so Evan could be awake without disturbing her. Well, the transfer failed. We were all up at 5:30.

Needless to say, it was a crazy morning. With crazy kids.

We headed off to Dollywood and got there with everyone else who was going to the park that day. Lots of people. Everywhere. And it was hot, though not as hot as going in July or August, I suppose, so I shouldn't complain too much. We swapped out our online-passes to our real season passes once in the park and made a bee-line for the steam train.

Why, you may ask? We had been talking up the steam train to Ethan quite a bit during the days leading up to vacation. Ethan was very excited about riding a steam train. Evan was really tired and I figured it would be a good opportunity for him to nap during the 30-minute train ride and I could sit down while holding him (he's a bigg'un). Patrick suggested we ride in the front so Ethan could see the engine. So, we board with great anticipation for our ride.

Then the whistle blew.


And guess what? Evan didn't like it one bit. Cried. Cried and cried. Like a baby (go figure).

And guess what again? Ethan didn't like it either. He covered his eyes and ears, buried his head in Daddy's chest and was still as a toad playing dead. Who's idea was this to ride in the FRONT? Right next to the whistle? I shouldn't give Patrick a hard time, though, 'cause I thought it was a great idea, too. At first.

And guess what AGAIN? We had to endure the screaming baby and the scared toddler for the entire ride because the nice Mr. Conductor-man wasn't going to stop the train for anyone.

Welcome to Dollywood.

Thankfully the Merry-go-round was a hit.

As well as the flying elephants.

That's all we really had time for, since the kids were tired (from the crazy morning) and hot and sweaty. We had planned to go back the next day, so we didn't mind cutting the afternoon short. We all needed rest!

I took Evan in the pool in the afternoon while the kids slept, after which we headed out to dinner at one of my favorites, Applewood.

The kids were OK, but they just don't like going out to eat, mainly because they are not used to the food, I would say. I usually get "intense", which is a nice way of putting it, when the kids don't eat while we're out. If I learn to iron out my wadded panties, I think I'd have a better time. One day I will, but it will most likely be when all of my children are NOT UNDER THE AGE OF 4!

We did get a picture in front of the gazebo (or "gazoober", as Mallory called it).

Everyone was much happier when we headed back to the hotel per Mallory's PERSISTENT requests. On a side note, she asked to go back to the hotel every time we left the hotel (no joke). She liked the hotel. A lot.

After some pool time, the kids hit the hay. They were pooped.

It was shortly after the kids went to bed when Patrick noticed the rash.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

David and Goliath

David and Goliath, originally uploaded by Melanie.

Here's today's bug picture. Are you tired of the bugs yet? I'm actually enjoying playing with bugs.


Well, in my pictures, that is. Generally speaking, I don't like bugs.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Lily Bug

The Lily Bug, originally uploaded by Melanie.

Here's another picture of a bug I took on one of our blooming lilies in the front yard. If I think pictures all the time, I might as well take 'em, eh? I'm (or I guess I should say "we're"...though I don't know who "we" are...) assigned bugs, so here to I go...

Bugs, bugs, bugs!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Proof of Life - Egypt's breakfast

Wha? Huh? Egypt's breakfast?

You heard me.

My daughter has unusual obsessions. Doggie, Pink Shirt, Police Car, Orange House, Norway, United Kingdom, Green Blanket...

The list is long and each story is unique.

Her newest obsession is the Egypt sign I made for our VBS this past week, in addition to some smaller signs of "Peace" and "Hope". Anyway, on this particular morning, Mallory was feeding Egypt some breakfast (bean bags that are stored in an Oatmeal can). Once she was done serving..."him"... some breakfast, she put the "food" away.

This is what I saw when I opened the fridge.

Oh, my girl is a hoot. I wonder what the next obsession will be...

The Bee

The Bee, originally uploaded by Melanie.

I've never, ever, ever submitted a photograph for a contest. And I'm not really in any major contest, either...just something fun. I've decided to try and explore more with my photography and today's the day I start.

I shot this bee the other day in Patrick's beautiful butterfly garden. The bee was trespassing...sampling some of the butterfly's nectar.

I caught him red-handed.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to taking (and maybe entering) more pictures. And more pictures.

And more pictures.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mr. Attitude

Ethan's been a bit of a challenge for me. We're in a full onslaught of the dreaded "terrible 2's". And Ethan is a pro. He's mastered crying, The Dead Drop, "No", and several other tactics that my sweet little girl never tried to do. After parenting a Hard-Headed-Leather-Butt, I feel like I can conquer anything, though I hear that parenting in the teen years are just dandy.

Sometimes he can be cute in all this two-terribleness.

Super cute.

This morning I was getting Ethan ready to head out the door and we were battling him getting dressed. As I was putting on his shoes when I said "Alright, Mr. Attitude. Let's get these shoes on!". To which Ethan responded, "Mommy, I not Mr. Attitude! I am Ethan!"

You sure are, son. You sure are.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Evan is 7 months

It's been a trite long while since I've picked up my beloved SLR. I miss it. I miss it a lot. Along with my 22.5 lbs, 30" long 7-month-old I have to carry, the gear I have to schlep around is another 50 lbs and counting. My bags (and my back!) just can't handle my Canon. There have been so many moments, so many pictures I've ached to take and my trusty old point-and-shoot just doesn't do the trick. Well, it's been taking pictures OK, but the pictures are just OK.

So, I dusted Canon off this week. She and I have re-connected just a bit. I did take Evan's 6-month pictures, but all I did was load them on my computer and I don't think I've even looked through them *choke* *gasp* *sniff*.

My older two cause my head to spin and I locked them up in their rooms yesterday and demanded they take a nap. Well, not really. But I was a hair shy of doing a nappy dance (no pun intended...) before Ethan drifted off to dreamland and Mallory just stayed quiet. Me, Evan and Canon had some time together. And I've been learning some new PSP tricks (that's Paint Shop Pro; I'm boycotting Photoshop...for no particular reason). I've had lots of fun in my spare time. Wait, did I just say spare time????

Evan is a sugary, sweet little boy.

Coy, too.

Which rhymes with boy.

And he likes to play with toys.

He's pure joy.

Okay, enough of that.

He sucks on his bottom lip quite often as if he's wishing he had his pacifier in his mouth.

He looks at me like this when he wants to be picked up. Or, at least that's what I think he's asking me with those big brown cow eyes of his. Because whenever he does look at me like this, I pick him up. And kiss his squishy cheeks.

And then I melt.

Friday, June 4, 2010

VBS Bound!

I'm up to my eyeballs in VBS stuff. With my kiddos being sick (yet again) and my fridge on the fritz, it's just snuck up on me. I'm teaching the 4-year-olds this year and am super stoked. I've been doing lots of coloring, planning, pasting, and praying. We start on Sunday, though I have lots to do before then. So, I may be taking a little hiatus. I don't know when I'll get the chance to post again.

I still have lots to do with VBS, but that's not going to keep me from spending an evening out with one of my girlfriends for a little R&R mixed with a cocktail. I'm looking forward to girl-time!!! It's been MUCH needed over here! Tomorrow is the Blue Plum Festival, which I HOPE to be able to enjoy with my family, but like I said: Eye balls. VBS.

Ready or not, Egypt, here we come!