Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pacifier-free--Day 2.5

We've officially taken away Gannon's pacifier ("paci"). Since he's 3 years old now, I figured he really didn't need it anymore. The real question is if Mommy & Daddy "need" it!!! We tried to prepare Gannon a few weeks before his birthday. We told him that Swiper the fox (from Dora the Explorer) was going to come take his paci and give it to a baby that needed it. I'm not sure if this was a better route versus just having him throw them away himself, but that's what we did. I'll just have to explain to his therapist later in life that I told him a lie and cut him off cold turkey. Leading up to the paci removal, I kept asking Jamie if he was emotionally ready to give it up, since as parents, we depend on the paci, too! Sometimes the paci is the easy way to calm Gannon down in the car, it is always what helps him go to sleep. What are we to do without it? Jamie wasn't fully ready, and I'm not sure if I was or not. But, Swiper came and snatched the paci during the night Friday. We figured Gannon would wake up a couple hours later and not go back to sleep (assuming the worst). But, he slept until 5:00 and then went back to sleep fairly easily after Jamie told him it was gone. Last night he wasn't able to go to sleep without one of us sitting in his room for a while. He really does depend on it to help him drift off. Naptimes just simply haven't happened. He can't settle down. The good news is that he hasn't asked for it at all during the day! And last night he slept straight through the night without waking up at all---yippee!!

He's definitely and officially a Big Boy now. He's diaper-free, paci-free and ready for college....Not!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My birthday boy!

I can't believe my little boy is now a big boy...3 years old! Time flies, but he is still a sweet thing. He loves to snuggle in my lap, and he never hesitates to say he loves me. What more could you ask for as a Mom, really? I hope his precious personality stays, because he is such a treasure. He's still small enough to have natural wonder at the larger things, but big enough to let us know what he feels and wants. A perfect combination! Happy Birthday, Gannon!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Prince

Gannon says the cutest things sometimes. Today as we were driving, he was looking at a picture of me, and from the back seat, he claimed "when you got married, Daddy was your Prince." How sweet. :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Rusted Root rules!

I am a HUGE fan of the 90's band, Rusted Root. I discovered them in college (mid-late 90's), and was able to see them perform live at City Stages in Birmingham one year. I absolutely love their music, because it always cheers me up and makes me boogie. Today I listened to the album "Remember" and I was reminded of how much I love this song. I was priming the walls in our office at home, and I thought I was going to fall of the step stool from dancing so much! I finally gave in and decided to just get off the stool and get all my boogie out before resuming my task. I usually listen to their other album I own, "When I Woke," but for some reason I went with "Remember" today, and I'm so glad I did! Good times.

Really, click on the link and listen. It will make your day happy. ;-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The land of the new

I've experienced a few new things lately. Unfortunately, they haven't been good new things, but rather kinda not-so-great new things.

I had an MRI yesterday for the first time. I was quite nervous about this, since I'm a wee bit claustrophobic, but everyone I spoke with who's had one said it's not a big deal. Jamie had one on his knee, and he got to wear headphones and listen to his choice of music. Not a bad deal if you ask me. Well, I had to have a brain MRI, and it was not exactly a pleasant experience. My ENT sent me to the Open MRI place, so I thought that would likely be a good sign. However, when I checked in and the secretary asked if I was claustrophobic, that was a bad sign. I was already nervous about the fact that they would be scanning my brain, and what if they found something in there???? Something that's NOT supposed to be in there, that is (of course I want something to be in there...)?? For those of you who've had an MRI done, I certainly hope your experience was better than mine...I tend to think that I am the exception because I don't really like stuff like this.. However, I was okay laying down on the thing (she gave me a panic button). I was cool with the earplugs instead of headphones since I had already figured out that wouldn't be an option for me. I had decided I would do a little guided imagery to get me through it. The nurse put some kind of cushion-type things beside my ears to hold my head still, then she moved a cage-like thing around my head. Yeeks. Then she rolled me back into the coffin. That's what it felt like. I immediately began to take deep breaths and was able to calm myself down fairly well. I could even handle the loud sounds of the machine. This all lasted about 20 minutes I think. Then she rolled me out and said she had to give me a shot. A shot!!! What?!?! I don't like needles. The first thing I thought was that since it's for my head and all, she had to give me a shot in my head. I know I sounded panicky when I asked her for more details...where, why, how, etc. Once I found out it was just a simple shot in my arm, I settled down a little, but then she had a hard time finding a vein, and then when she injected the shot, it blew out the small vein she had found. If I had still been holding the panic button, I would have hit it. So she moves to the other arm and I inform her that I really am just a big baby with needles. Fortunately that shot took and she rolled me back into the coffin for more imaging. However, I was truly so shaken after the whole shot thing that I swear I was unable to keep my head still. All of my guided imagery was out the window (if there had been one). I just really hope I never, ever have to do that again. Even writing it now I can see what a baby I was, but what it comes down to is that I'm not a fan of the unexpected.

Last week I had another type of test called an eCog. It stands for a long word I can't remember, write, or pronounce. Basically, the technician hooks you up with an electrode on the forehead, puts wires in your ears and you have to lay completely still with eyes shut for 30 minutes while the wires transmit loud, hammering sounds into your ears. It wasn't horrible, since I did get to just lay there somewhat peacefully for half and hour, and there were NO shots involved. It was just different.

I'm being tested for Meniere's Disease. You can read more about it on the link, but I've been having symptoms for a while, and my grandfather has it. I currently have hearing loss in my right ear, and it will progressively get worse if I do have Meniere's. I go back to the ENT today to get my results from both tests and for a definite diagnosis. The good news is that, although it is incurable, usually a low-salt diet is great for symptom management. So, if I do have it, I will likely be starting a new diet soon. Yum.

Anyway, I really respect those in the medical community, not only for being so educated in what they do, but also for putting up with those people like me who don't make their jobs any easier by being pitiful. :) My hats off to all of the doctors and nurses out there!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The goofiest let-down ever

Otherwise entitled, "finding cruel and unusual forms of punishment in the depths of my closet."

Today I was cleaning/organizing the house. We have lots of stuff just laying around, and I've finally decided to do something about it. So, I was relocating things from the dining room to our upstairs closets. I found some extra space in the waaaaayyyy back of my closet. You know the spot: where you put all of your clothes that are too small, but for some reason you keep them just in case.

Well, once I put the box of stuff in the floor space, I decided to poke around a bit in these forgotten items of clothing. It mainly consists of bridesmaid dresses and/or formal dresses that I wore somewhere back when I went to formal events. I counted a total of 4 bridesmaid dresses and 2 or so formal gowns. Now, what posssessed me to do what I did next is beyond me. Maybe it's because I thought it would be fun; maybe I knew that the kids were occupied elsewhere so I had a few moments of personal indulgence; maybe I was just experiencing complete and total insanity, but I decided to try on some of the dresses. The first one I chose was a dress I only wore once to a formal wedding. The wedding was about 2 months after my own wedding, so I was still lookin' good. It was a size 4. SIZE 4!!! Yes, I do remember those days, though they are long gone. Yeah, well, I put this dress on my size __ body and it did not fit. It barely fit over my hips and I couldn't budge the zipper. On to dress #2: a bridesmaid dress I wore about 2 1/2 years before my own wedding (I've been married a little over 9 years..). The tag said size 3/4. The style of the dress was such that I was able to put it on with no problems, but I couldn't zip it. Not even if I sucked everything in. Dress #3: another bridesmaid dress, worn about 1 year after marriage. This dress rocked--it was a size 8 (did I really grow that much in 1 year of marriage???), and it even had a built-in bra (a necessity back in that day)! So, I got this dress on fairly easily, but due to the largeness of the bra cups--that's what I'm blaming it on anyway--I couldn't zip it all the way. I looked at another bridesmaid dress, also worn about 2 1/2 years before my own wedding, and recalled that when I wore it I could hardly breathe, so I didn't even take it off the hanger to try on today.

Now, part of me was truly laughing throughout this experience, but later on I reflected on the pure insanity of keeping these things in my closet. Do I think that I will EVER wear them again? No. Do I think that any member of my family will ever wear them? No. Will I ever even be a size 4 again??? Not likely. I should probably do what several other former bridesmaids and I have discussed before, and take our "collection" to a nice consignment shop. Seeing as how I've had these dresses in my closet for over 10 years now, we'll see how quickly I get to that... For now, they will hang in their sacred spot of glory in my closet.

Long live the teensy-weensy-crazy-colors-long-forgotten bridesmaid dresses!

Goodwill Hunting Part II

The last time I went to Goodwill, I got a really great deal. Since it has been a while since I visited other than to make donations, I thought I'd go check out Goodwill again today. I didn't leave disappointed.

Here is what I got:

2 collared shirts for Jamie
a pair of winter boots for me
a pair of shorts for Gannon
a blouse for me
a full-size BRAND NEW backpack for Gannon

All of this for about $18. Can you believe it??? The backpack alone probably retails for $15, the boots for at least $40, the shirts for probably around $40, etc etc. What a great bargain! I'm washing it all now, since it is Goodwill and I'm sure many things come from smoking homes.

I'm still a fan.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Beech Mountain getaway

My family of in-laws just had a wonderful weekend on Beech Mountain in western North Carolina. I have never been to this particular mountain before, but it was beautiful. The drive up was great once we got off of the interstate, as far as scenic views goes. The road we took went through eastern TN, which is the area where my paternal grandparents used to live. I was fairly familiar with this area, as my grandfather loved to take us driving in the mountains nearby and go hiking. So, as we drove through Johnson City, Elizabethton and then over Roan Mountain, it felt almost close to home. :) Then I saw a sign pointing the way to a Rhododendron Garden, and I had lots of memories from that, including the joke we used to always make about how to spell rhododendron.

Anyway, we proceeded up to Banner Elk and Beech Mountain. We weren't really prepared for Beech Mountain to be so large, or for the rental house we were staying at to be at the top of it (the ski lift was right out the front door!). This is a place that my mother-in-law rented...a 6 bedroom house for all of the family to squeeze we didn't know what to expect. I have to say that the views from the house were lovely, and the temperature was unexpected! I had packed clothes in anticipation of summer weather similar to Huntsville...not 60 and 70 degree temps! It was a pleasant surprise, though, and we all enjoyed the break from the heat, regardless of needing a blanket while sitting in the house sometimes..

Beech Mountain is a quaint little town, and they had a small arts and crafts show while we were there. Jamie, the kids and I took a little excursion to Elk River Falls on Saturday. This included a drive back down the mountain and into the nether-lands of western NC. Quite an experience. It was threatening storms on our drive there, but we pressed on and finally arrived at the parking lot for the trail to the falls. It was packed! There were people everywhere, so we set off down the 1/4 mile trail to the falls. It was pretty steep in several areas and it also began to thunder a bit. We eventually saw the top of the waterfall, and decided to proceed down a very rocky/root-filled trail to the bottom for the view. There were LOTS of youngsters on the outcropping of rocks at the top of the falls, and we heard sounds of apparent jumping off the falls. We reached the bottom and walked out to get a good view of the 60-foot waterfall. There were some really intelligent teenage girls standing at the edge of the falls, looking to jump off into the water below. I took a few pictures, we admired the beauty, and then it began to rain. We decided to head back immediately (along with everyone else), and then the sky opened up and the rains came down! Melody was wearing her brand new dress that her Monna (grandmother) had given her, and we all got drenched. By the time we reached the car, Melody was bawling about getting mud on her dress AND she had to go to the bathroom. Luckily, I had beach towels in the back of the van so we got mostly dried off. By the time we got the kids situated and calm, the sun was out and the rain had stopped---gotta love summer storms! It was a great adventure!

All in all, I thought it was a nice way to end the summer before school begins. Melody and Gannon always have a blast playing with their cousins, and it's good to hang out and play games all weekend. I learned how to play Crazy Canasta, and Balderdash is always a favorite! NOW I am ready for school to begin!