Friday, December 31, 2010
Surely, that is my own "only child" inner girl-child talking. Boys need things like that.
Caleb took to these like he did with puzzles. His gift was a Creator set where you can make three different cars from this one set. Last night he finished the first race car after working on it, on and off, all day.
Please excuse the crappy photos, taken with my phone. Our camera is being tempermental and works when it wants to, and I just don't want to buy a new camera until it completely dies.
This morning he and his dad sat at the table and transformed it into a Mario Kart type race car.
Tomorrow he is going to change it into a Jeep.
I think this year is the year of the Lego. I forsee tons tiny pieces in our future.
Any ideas on organizing all of these into their respective sets for storage?
Thursday, December 30, 2010
This seems ideal for our wallets as well as for the activities they have for the kids. If you know me at all, you know that "roughing it" means a hotel without room service, so we had to pick a place that had cabins with air conditioning and a bathroom. I refuse to hike it in the middle of the night to go to the potty.
So over Spring Break we will be heading to Waller to Jellystone Park! The boys are very excited about all the things they can do there, all with Yogi Bear. I mean, what more could you ask for? A pool, splash pad, serpent slide, mini-golf, petting zoo, fishing, campfires...the boys will have a blast.
I am super excited that our cabin has a full kitchen, a bathroom, a loft for the kids, air conditioning and heating, a screened in patio, and a fire pit. We can bring our cereals and milk, have sandwiches, roast hot dogs and marshmallows, and still go to the snack bar for goodies if we want.
Roughing it in style, that's how I do it.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Jansen started Kung Fu in January. In February, Caleb took a cooking class and an archery class. In March we took a family trip to Monster Jam World Finals in Las Vegas for Caleb's birthday. In April, Jansen took field trips in his final year of preschool. In May we found out Jansen had horrible allergies and asthma and ripped out all our carpet to be replaced with laminate. June saw us either at the library, the pool, or the Rec Center. July, Caleb broke his arm and we had to get really creative, but we still got to see the Circus. In August, Josh and I saw Kathy Griffin, we took the kids to the Astros, and my babies started Kinder and 2nd grade! Soccer season and piano began in September and my kids became Mario and Luigi for Halloween in October. November began with a "congratulations on your weight loss" trip to Cozumel for myself and Josh, and then was followed by my being in bed for the rest of the month after my Mommy Makeover surgery. December was very odd...trying to recover and feel "right" again, while getting ready for Christmas. This was the first year that I honestly did not feel the Christmas spirit at all. It was actually very sad. But I am sure that next year it will return again.
AND TODAY JANSEN LOST HIS FIRST TOOTH!!!
My goals for next year, having reached most of them this year, are more financial.
I want to build our emergency savings back up, since we reduced it by half when Caleb broke his arm.
We never paid off our last credit card this year, and actually gained one more balance....so I would LOVE to have both of those paid off.
And on a personal level, I want to start running. More specifically, I just want to be able to run anywhere from 1-5 miles non stop. That can't be that hard, right???
We have had a blast this year, but I feel like we over extended ourselves. Half of me thinks, we can't take money with us. And the other half thinks we are in a recession and we need to have savings galore. I want to meet somewhere in the middle, do my best, and have fun with the family.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
This winter season has been exceptionally sickly this year. I just don't understand what is happening. It seems like as soon as Halloween is over, my kids start coughing. And then we go through, "how long do I treat this with over the counter meds before we go to the doctor?"
Well, Caleb suddenly spiked a fever on a Saturday two weeks ago, so the three of us rushed to Urgent Care. He had a URI, and got some meds and was told he would be fine in a few days. He was fever free the next day, but still has a really yucky cough.
So the following Thursday, Jansen gets the same thing. More antibiotics and he will be fine in a few days. He had to miss his Christmas party at school and was totally bummed. But he is on the mend now, slowly getting his appetite back and fighting just the occasionaly cough.
Overnight, I got hella-sick. I got into the doctor this morning and was told that I am wheezing and it sounds like I have more fluid in my right lung than the left. So he sent me to get a chest xray. I left there with a shot, three meds, and a puffer, hacking and coughing, and killing my poor stomach, which is still very sore from my tummy tuck 5 weeks ago. Looks like OVERNIGHT I developed Sinusitis, a URI, an ear infection, and bronchitis. I feel like poop!!! Needless to say....this will be an uneventful week in our house as we all struggle to get better. We just pray Josh doesn't get it.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Time consuming, but a really fun project to work on with the kiddos because there are a lot of things they can do to help. They can unwrap all the Hershey Kisses, they can sprinkle all the colored sugar on the cookies, and they can place the kisses on top. So their teachers are getting cookies decorated by them!
Anyway, here is the recipe on the bag...
* Hershey's Kisses
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
* 2 cups flour
* 1/4 tsp. baking soda
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 2 Tbls. milk
* red or green sugar crystals
* Heat oven to 350 degrees.
* Remove wrappers from the kisses
* Beat butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until well blended.
* Stir together flour, baking soda, salt and add alternately with milk to the butter and sugar mixture.
* Shape dough into 1 inch balls.
* Roll in red or green sugar crystals
* Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.
* Remove from oven and let cool about 2 minutes.
* Press a candy piece into the center of each cookie and allow to cool completely.
So there you have it. They are super tasty, and fun for the kids to make. Festive holiday fun!
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Anyway, Jennie hosts this party...tons of food, a chocolate fountain, baskets of Christmas balls, ribbon, fabric strips, garland, wrapping paper, tags. She supplied it all. We just showed up with an empty tummy and a handful of gifts, and got to wrapping. I only had 4 more presents to wrap..and now that they are under the tree, I feel sorry for all the previous presents.
I just don't think that much about the outside of the present. Each present gets wrapping paper, a bow, and if you are lucky, a tag. But these are so beautiful...I don't want to give them away now, because my tree will go from feeling like a Glamazon to a red-headed-step-child. I am sorry in advance beautiful tree.
On another note....ugh. When I wrap presents, no matter how well I try to measure things out, I always have these little strips left. I hate to throw these away but I never wrap something the size of a mosquito....
So I decided to make a wrapping paper scrap mini wreath for Caleb's tree.
Now that I made it, Jansen is begging for one. I found out that an old scratched CD makes the perfect template for this. I just made it exactly like I did my book wreath a couple months back...little strips, hot glue and ribbon. Baby steps back into crafting...and it was my favorite price....FREE.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Let the festivities begin.....
My family breaks up Christmas like crazy. On the week before, my in laws like to have Christmas with just us...them, my little family, and my nephew. Then on Christmas Eve, my little family goes over to my parents' house for breakfast, and then back to my in-laws for the rest of the day to celebrate with one side of the extended family (divorce you know). Then on Christmas we have Santa, then we go over to my mother-in-law's parents' house, then we go to my mom's side of the family, then we go to my father-in-law's mothers' house (divorce you know). And then finally, the day after Christmas we go to my dad's side of the family.
We, let me rephrase that, I get to bring a dish to almost all of them. The plan for Christmas Eve is to make some awesome sounding guacamole...thanks for the recipe, Faith!!! I am making broccoli, rice, and cheese casserole for my mom's, and desserts for my dad's. Right now I am debating on the desserts. I can make fudge, cookies, cupcakes, triple chocolate fudge cake....just not sure yet. But I need to figure out something soon so I can hit the grocery store before it gets holiday crazy!!!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
For the last two years, my tree has been just like I envisioned. I haven't bought any new ornaments and I (or the children) haven't broken any either. I pretty much told the kids if they broke any of Mommy's ornaments I would throw away all their presents. It worked, but they might be pyschologically scarred...
Anyway, this year, the boys have collected a good amount of homemade ornaments, which I cherish by the way. They are finally old enough to decorate and maintain their own small trees. We had some cute patio trees that I purchased about 3 years ago when we moved into this house. They were gorgeous on our patio, but because of the slope and the wind, would never stay standing.
This year, they became Caleb and Jansen's trees. Each child pulled out all their handmade ornaments, and got to purchase one package of new ornaments of their choice. Surprise...they chose Monster Jam. :) They each took a tree into their rooms and started decorating however they saw fit. Caleb was excited that he got to have a tree just "so", just like Mommy's.
So here is Caleb's finished product...
Jansen's finished tree....(with all the ornaments in one big glob)
And as well, today I started some holiday baking. On the agenda was chocolate peanut butter fudge and white chocolate and brownie cookies....
Here are all the ingredients you need for this super easy, fool-proof, delish fudge.
Here is what it looks like in the fridge...
And here are the cookies...
Both of these are for my cousin, because she so awesomely and generously cleaned my house for me the other day. I just can't sweep, mop, and clean the bathrooms yet. What a blessing!!
In case you would like to make this fudge...here is the recipe I use:
3 Minute Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge
1 1/2 cups chocolate morsels
1/2 cup sweetened, condensed milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon water
Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on full power for 30 seconds, then remove and stir. Heat again for another 30 seconds, then stir again. Mixture should be smooth by this point, but you may need to microwave it 1-2 more times in 30 second increments depending on your microwave. You can also melt this mixture over a double boiler if you do not want to use a microwave.
When mixture is smooth, pour batter into a baking dish and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes or more. When ready to serve, cut into squares
Dear Lord, please don't let me eat all of it before it goes into the Christmas tin....
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Up next, holiday baking!!!! My fave!
Friday, December 3, 2010
This year I turned 30 and was always told to get your weight in control by big, bad 30, because it is so much easier to gain weight in the years after. This was the year. So in April, I started a mission to lose 30 pounds. Long gone are the dreams of being my college weight (actually, maybe not). I changed my eating habits and started exercising, mainly walking at the track across from my kids' school. It was too easy to put on some sweats, walk them to school, and hit the track all before 8:00. By the end of the summer, I had lost about 35 pounds and things were starting to shrink. But I became frustrated because that weight loss only translated to losing 1 dress size, because my stomach was actually getting worse!
My stomach was so stretched out by gaining so much weight with my boys, and I had a protruding umbilical hernia that was awful. I had been begging my husband for years to get a tummy tuck knowing that it could make a dramatic difference. After losing the weight, my husband agreed to make a consultation with a plastic surgeon to see what could be done.
At my consultation the doctor assured me that if I wanted to lose a little more weight and sculpt my hips and thighs, it could be done. But if I was looking to tone my stomach or return some volume to my breasts, it could not be done without surgical intervention. He began to draw on my abdomen and literally lifted two handfuls of skin away with his hands claiming that "all this could be gone". He couldn't promise my all my stretch marks would be gone since I did have many above my belly button, and I would have to lose a tattoo I got several years back. The hubs and I discussed it, and we decided to go ahead with it.
3 weeks later, I was being operated on. Now, I didn't take any before pictures but the doctor did. So I will post before and after pictures after my Final Recovery visit in March. And I was in a way too fragile mental state to actually take pictures immediately after the surgery or in the two weeks out. But this is 3 weeks out, and I feel 100% better. I have lost about 5 pounds so far from this surgery, and the doctor assures me that I am still very swollen and stand to lose more weight over the next 2 months.
The first couple of days I was in and out. We don't have a recliner so I slept in our bed with a ton of pillows under my head and back and a wedge pillow for my legs. It was fairly comfortable, but a recliner would have been perfect. By the end of the first week, I hobbled into the PS's office for a check-up and to remove my right drain. Most unusual feeling ever, follow by about 2 seconds of sharp pain. Each day I would struggle to get out of bed and pull off the binder to take a shower. After the shower all the dressings had to be changed and each time I would curse that extra drain in my left side that kept falling and pulling the stitches.
By the second week, most of the sharp pains were gone, and severe soreness had set in. There was no chance I was sleeping, and the mental game began. I had the second drain removed, and although that phsyically made me feel better, my mind was playing tricks on me. I had incredible self-doubt, crazy frustration, hopelessness, my swelling was ridiculous, and I was totally upset that I wasn't healing as quick as I thought I would. But by the third week, I was able to drive on my own, and the doctor was happy.
The reason I decided to post the pictures ( I am fully covered), is that I have literally had 6 people ask to see it because they were thinking about doing it themselves. They had tons of questions and needed to know what they might be getting into.
So without further ado, here are some post-Mommy Makeover 3 weeks:
This is a front view of how low the scar is.
The side view. I couldn't really get a picture of how far back it goes, but it does go pretty far back.
And this one is up close. I still have a lot of stretch marks but they were reduced by about half. Most of the swelling is in the middle part of the incision, just to the left and right of my new belly button, which the doctor assures me is healing well...
I am slathering on the Mederma, just to reduce the redness of my incision, even though it can be completely hidden by undergarments, thank goodness. Not that I am going to be out wearing a bikini or anything...that just isn't me. But I still want it to look as good as it can be.
Anyway, there you have it. My 3 week update. Hopefully by 6 weeks, it will be better, and then in March, I will post the before and after pictures.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
But this is one of those train wreck things that is so incredible, I just could not take my eyes away from it. Now I seriously realize why I have been such a basketcase and was in such pain.
Total craziness! Enjoy your lunch everyone....
Monday, November 29, 2010
Oh, I have a love/hate relationship with this binder. I think I need to wean myself off of it, because I feel so vulnerable with it off. I am going to switch to spanx or some different kind of control top something. He said I don't have to sleep in it, but if I am going to be up a lot (buying groceries, cleaning, etc) to wear it to reduce the swelling. He also cleared me to begin walking at the track again, although I am supposed to wear a binder and start off at only 10 minutes. Today I did go out by myself to grab a couple Christmas gifts and to go to the bank before the doctor and I am way tired. Good thing I don't have to go anywhere until tonight!
I was encouranged by the PS's attitude and by his happiness with my progress. Asked all the questions I needed to and now it is just a waiting game. I can't wait to be able to buy a few new clothes and bras! WOOHOO!!
Ok, so now I am done with my plastic surgery rants since my whole life for 3 weeks has been wrapped up in it. Gotta get back to ME!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I really had to get up several times and walk around. By the time we walked all the way back down the ramps and got to the car, I was in pain. My stomach was very swollen and my incision was aching. But it was worth it, because my Texans beat the Titans 20-0. That's right folks...a shut out!!! Yes!!!
Coming home today I was confronted by all my anxiety. I so look forward to tomorrow, because even if I don't feel like it, I am going to get back into my normal Mom-routine. I am going to get up early with my kiddos, make breakfast, sign papers, make lunches, pack backpacks, oversee teeth brushing and showers, set out clothes, walk the kids to school, do a little Christmas shopping, wrap some gifts, finish up laundry, cook dinner, go to the doctor, and take Jansen to piano lessons. I don't care if I swell up, for my own sanity, I have to get back to my active lifestle. I am still not sleeping, which that in and of itself makes me dread bedtime, and I am still a little emotional. The only way to change that is to do my best to make myself feel normal again...even if I have to fake it for a little while.
Light at the end of the tunnel? I may see a tiny spark WAY off in the distance!! Oh how I hope this Tylenol PM works tonight.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Do I feel a little better? Yeah. Can I sleep without taking a pain pill? No. AGH!
I have a list of questions to ask my PS on my next appointment on Monday, now that I am fully in my right mind and everything is healing.
This Sunday we are headed to the Texans game at big, bad Reliant Stadium. Originally, I thought this would be no big deal since the doctor said recovery time would take about 2-4 weeks. The game would be almost 3 weeks out. But what I didn't anticipate was the fact that results will take 6 weeks to 3 months and maybe more. Which means I may not be able to fit into anything for the game. I did brave a pair of jeans....I tried on a pair of jeans that the week before surgery, I could take off without undoing the button and the zipper. Yesterday, I barely got them over my hips and at least got them buttoned. Can you say SWELL HELL?????
My PS wants me to wear the binder for one more week and then switch to some kind of tummy control undergarments. So on Sunday, I think I am going to wear my Spanx since they go from mid thigh to just above the abdomen. That should give a good amount of compression in all areas of concern. And I am going to rest all day Friday and Saturday, and then all day Monday. Sunday will be a big day.
I am starting to feel some sharp pains under the skin as the nerves are regenerating. I only have soreness when I sit for too long or stand for too long. My chest is very sore, almost more sore than my tummy.
Tomorrow when Josh wakes up, we are going to start Christmas decorating. I think the only thing I am going to do is the tree and the mantle...I am just not up to doing much more than that. And bonus, Josh gets to go into the attic this year and get everything down, not me! Silver lining!!!
Here's to falling asleep before 2:30am!! Please oh please let me fall asleep before midnight!!!!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Yesterday, I got my last drain out and the doctor says my incision looks fine. He wants to see me in a week, keep wearing the binder, and stay a couch potato for one more week. I admit, I am going stir crazy!!!!!!!
I have cried all day long. All day. No, not some of the day, all day. On the phone, in the shower, putting the kids to bed, Josh going back to work on graveyards, to my mom on the phone, getting a little walking in....I have cried...and not just like a little blue....like hard core, headache inducing crying. In fact, I am literally crying as I write this and it is 8:45 at night.
I admit, I am not hurting as much. Soreness is the issue right now. I am slow to do things, still not standing up fully straight, still not sleeping. Now is all this emotion coming from the narcotic letdown (no longer taking the pain pills)? Is it coming from being stuck in the house for 2 weeks? Is it coming from lack of sleep? Maybe unachieved expectations??? Which in my head, I realize that I cannot expect to see results for several weeks, to several months, even up to a year in some cases.
So today, I cry over my selfishness, stupidity, my complete inability to get anything done, my binder that pinches my skin when I attempt to sleep, the bruises that are still left from hip to arm pit, my sore chest, my swollen incision that goes almost completely around my body, my legs that I haven't shaved in 2 weeks and don't forsee being able to shave them any time soon, my inability to fit in ANY clothes other than my husbands', my inability to put on shoes, over a body that is not my own, and to the feeling that I may never gain back my sanity or ability to be a mom and wife.
This is like all the things that they don't tell you when you get pregnant...these are the things they don't tell you in the surgical consultation room. You will feel like a crazed lunatic. Every thought or feeling that you can ever imagine, you will have.
And I can't wait to write the post about how wonderful I feel, how great I look, and how everything is back to normal.
Friday, November 19, 2010
At this time, I can't really think about anything else other than staying in bed and trying to sleep. I cannot wait to get back to the school, get my house cleaned, start on some Christmas crafts and decorating, and getting out of the house!
My surgery looks successful for being only a little over 1 week post op. My stomach is flat, minus the swelling around the scar, the breast augmentation turned out great, but my hips and thighs look so big. The nurse assures me this is swelling from the surgery and in a couple of months it will be gone, but seeing the flatness of my tummy vs the curviness of my lower half really motivates me to get back on my healthy eating habits and back to the track. The doctor assured me that exercise can reshape my lower half, whereas there was nothing that could have been done for my torso short of addressing it surgically.
Thanksgiving is next week, a holiday I traditionally cruise right over. The part I look forward to most is...the Day After Thanksgiving. While other crazy people are camped out in front of Best Buy for Black Friday, I am always comfortably at home decorating my house. That is our tradition. And do you know why? Because I am already finished with the bulk of my Christmas shopping. I buy a little all year long so that I don't have to charge something I cannot afford.
The boys are getting excited for the holidays and I think even the hubs is this year. Since I have been stuck in bed for over a week, I have been watching TV a lot....Christmas commercials galore!!!! It's rubbing off on my family and getting them in the spirit.
Woohoo. Give me another week and I will be good to go! And I HAVE to be better for the Texans game on the 28th!!!!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Going in to this, I knew there would be pain. So Wednesday, I walked into the surgical suite a little nervous but overall excited for this opportunity. I had written down everything Josh needed to know about how to handle both house and kids, and went blissfully to sleep. It all happened so fast that I didn't have time to be nervous. A few hours later, Josh otook me home and gave me all my meds and for the next two days I drifted in and out of consciousness. When I got up to go to the restroom, I was greeted with the same pain that I felt with my spinal surgeries, only to a slightly different degree. I am wearing a compression sports bra, an abdominal binder, and thigh high compression stockings. Mummified.
Josh has been extremely wonderful. This attentive side is something that is new for me to see in him. He has slept on the couch, keeps snacks and drinks at my bedside table, sets the alarm for all my meds, helps me up and down, and has taken care of the boys and their extracurriculars. Such a blessing for him to be so supportive and helpful.
Today was the first day I got a good look at everything. And it looks grizzly. I got myself up and slowly started a morning shower, which took me an hour from start to finish. I pulled off all the binders and bandages and this will be a big scar. But my hernia has been repaired and even though everything is still bruised and swollen, my stomach is flat. The doctor said that he took 5 pounds of loose skin from my abdomen. That is incredible to me. My drains should be removed by Thursday, if not earlier, and honestly...that will be one of the biggest blessings. Everytime I move those drains pull against my skin.
Anyway, I am overall sore, sleepy, and yet encouraged. I can't wait to get back to a normal routine, play with my boys, put up the Christmas decor, start walking again, and buying a few new clothes. Laying in bed is frustrating..... Yay for new beginnings!!!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Not so nervous about the pain or even the actual surgery...more for the results, which I know will not be 100% for a couple of months. I am hesitant to take my own "before" pictures because I just don't want to be reminded.
The nurse took about 20 pictures at my pre-op, so I am sure if I wanted to get some of those, I could.
I have purchased my Anti-embolic panty hose (which I will be wearing to the surgery), my binder, all my meds, hydrogen peroxide, neosporin, paper tape, pads, sports bras....and have picked out the jammies, socks, and my glasses...all of which I will be wearing to the doctor tomorrow morning. It will be total sexiness...maybe I will take a picture of me in the room.
I wonder if they could just knock me out now and let me wake up on Friday....
We had a good time, saw things we had never seen before, and both agreed that we will not be back on a cruise for a while. The only other cruise we had been wanting to take is the Disney Cruise. We have been waiting for the newest ship to premier sometime in 2011 and for the children to be just a wee bit older to enjoy everything that the Disney Cruise can offer. Shooting for sometime in 2012....if the world doesn't end by then....
Does anyone really believe that craziness??? Not me.
AND I won 2nd place in the cruise TV Trivia game. HOLLA!!!!! I am full of useless info! :)
Anyway, without further ado....the obligatory pictures of our trip to Cozumel.....
Cindy, my mother in law, and I on the Lido deck
Josh and his dad
Hitting the bar when we got on the ship
Getting our BINGO on
Going out the first night
Dessert....molten chocolate cake
sunset on the balcony
beautiful sunset in the Gulf of Mexico
Our ship...the Carnival Ecstacy
Captain's Dinner night
My in laws for the Captain's dinner
my shoes...I love them
drink of the day...some tropical coconut thing
My father in law's birthday
a frozen chocolate drink that was my favorite!!!
Cruising some more...
the beaches of Cozumel
How gorgeous is this?! I cannot believe there are places on earth this beautiful!
my toes in the white sand
swinging in my hammock after walking up 132 steps to the top of a lighthouse...and then back down
more hammock action
the view from said Lighthouse
said lighthouse, the first modern lighthouse on the island
riding the dune buggy around the island