Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mal's Musings

Mallory (after seeing that the gate leading from the playroom to the den had been closed back): "Happened this?"

Nana (seeing that Mal couldn't quite get into her desired position on the couch): "Are you having trouble?"
Mal: "I trouble."
Truer words were never spoken!

Mommy (anytime I give Mal something she wants): "Mal, can you say thank you?"
Mal: "Ah wekkum." (You're welcome.)
She has apparently decided that "thank you" is an unnecessary step & skips right to "you're welcome."

The princess sporting her newest do - the ponytail!

Just Beachy

Now that we've been back for two and a half weeks, I guess I'll post about our beach vacation. As I said in the post with our family pics, we ended up in Myrtle Beach, SC this year. It was a really great beach for kids because it was wide & flat, so they had plenty of room to run. Here's a glimpse into our week.

Ella, Belle & Jake staking out a good place to sit. Jake & Mal went almost immediately to this shelf because they're used to sitting on our green shelf at home. It didn't take their cousins long to follow suit.
Here are my little beach bums hard at play. Jake is making "beach soup" by adding sand to his water pail. Mallory, for whatever reason, thought it was fun to shovel lots of sand onto her crotch. So ladylike!
Could this kid be any more handsome?
Standing in a bucket is a great way to cool off.
Jake, Pops, Ella & J
Mal's version of a Marilyn Monroe pose
Looking up...
& down the beach
Cutie pie
Belle hard at work on her own "beach soup"

The view of our house from the beach. The twelve of us (8 adults, 4 toddlers) occupied one side of this house, but it could have held more. The people in the other side had 27!
Me, Karen, Rachel & Amy heading out for girls' night. The boys had a fishing excursion for their time away, but I don't have any pics of that.
I have so many pictures of this scene or one like it. Aunt Amy was so sweet to read to any kid that asked, & they asked often!
Chillin' with some Elmo before lunch one day
This picture doesn't look like much, but it was taken to document our embarrassing moment of the week. That would be when my son pooped in the pool & caused it to be shut down for 24 hours. This is the lucky guy who got to clean that lovely stuff out of the pool & shock it back into usefulness.
Yep, my kid is responsible for this sign. We bought cupcakes for the family next door as a peace offering to make up for their day without pool use. They actually thought it was hilarious & were very nice about it.
Can you tell the beach wore them out? Jake fell asleep pretty much every day at lunch, but this particular day, Mal joined him.
She didn't put her cookie down, though. A girl's got to have her priorities straight!
Nice shot of Belle being a typical two-year-old that may come back to haunt her in later years!
Again, Aunt Amy was a kid magnet!
Jake taking a stroll with Mimi
Hurry up!

Our last night there, Uncle Ryan went shopping & came back with all kids of obnoxious vacation souvenirs from the local beach store. In addition to shark's tooth necklaces & a Myrtle Beach graffiti hat, he got "I (heart) Myrtle Beach" shirts for the kids. We tried to pose them for a pic together, but we ended up with this...this...

& this! Guess they didn't like them too much!Our week was exhausting at times but so much fun. We are so blessed to get to spend this time with our family each year. Can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Status Report

Many of you have been so sweet to offer your advice & encouragement on getting my little stinkers back on their normal sleep schedule. Thank you so much!
I'm happy to report that I kept them in their beds until 7:30 yesterday & 7:45 today. Mal is definitely the culprit with the early rising, & she's still waking up around 6:30, but she's at least stayed occupied enough for me to not go in there. Poor Jake would probably sleep until 9:00 everyday if it wasn't for his sister!
Naps have also improved some, so hopefully we're headed in the right direction. Perhaps all the craziness around here lately with vacation, ear infections & Mommy's surgery was just too much for them.
I got lots of great ideas on all things related to sleep from your comments, so I'll keep those in my back pocket until I need them. We've also made it through our first 24 hours since my surgery without additional live-in help - yea!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

That's Why I Love Him!

There are many reasons why I love my husband, but days like Saturday remind me of one reason in particular: he's a total team player!

After a rather rocky start to our morning with a 5:55 am wake-up call & cranky kids, he decided to get them out of the house. But that's not all he did. He actually took them to Northpark by himself, hit up a sale at Baby Gap & scored lots of great deals & then finished off with lunch at Chik-fil-A. Is he awesome or what? I know it's not nice to brag, but I just have to on occasion. He's such a great daddy! Thanks, honey!

These are not the clothes he bought (which are super cute), but I did want to capture the kids in these cute new outfits on Sunday. Coordinating clothing just makes me happy!
When you asked Jake what was on his shirt, he would reply, "Lion! Rooaaaar!"

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Okay, I'm sending out a distress signal. For those who may have insights into dealing with toddler sleep habits, I need your ears please!
For the better part of the past two weeks, the kids have started waking up much earlier than normal & refuse to nap even one minute more than an hour and a half. At this point, you may be skeptical of my distress, but hear me out.
Our normal routine for the past few months has been that the kids go to bed around 8:30 & sleep until about 8:00. (Please don't hate me for their late rising!) They would also take a nap that I considered acceptable once it hit the 2-hour mark. Some days, it would go longer.
Their waking time has been creeping earlier & earlier since my surgery & hit an all-time, ungodly hour this morning at 5:55. What to do? I certainly want to fix this in order to get more rest for myself & Justin, but honestly, my bigger concern is that they're getting WAY less sleep than they should.
The manner in which they wake up has also changed. Rather than talking & playing in their beds before hollering to be set free, they go from absolute silence to deafening screams in 0.2 seconds. Once up, they're cranky & irritable.
I'm at a loss as to what to do since I will once again be flying solo during the day time starting on Tuesday. HELP!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Say Cheese, Please!

Last year, we started our annual tradition of a week-long beach vacation with Justin's family. Our first one was in St. Simon's, Georgia, & the plan this year was to head to Ft. Morgan, Alabama. Those plans changed two days before we were set to leave when oil from the BP accident reached the Gulf coast.

Thankfully, we were able to find a house to hold all of us in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina & adjust our plans. Though the oil was inconvenient for us, we have been careful to remember that this tragedy is changing the way of life for many residents there, & we should all keep these people in our prayers.

Another annual tradition during our vacation is to take family pictures on the beach. Next year, we definitely need to take them at the beginning of the week, rather than the end as we did this time. Mal was fighting a double ear infection, so she refused to smile for most of the pics, & all the kids were a bit worn out from our busy week. We did get some good ones, though!

The whole family
Mimi & Pops with their grandkids
Mark, Rachel & Belle
Taking a little stroll along the beach
Our part of the Chamblee family
The sick little lady really just wanted to cuddle.
Mommy & her sweet girl

I don't have the pics of Ryan, Amy & Ella because they were taken on Ryan's camera. He has much more important things to take care of right now than vacation pictures. Our nephew, Jackson, was born yesterday morning, six weeks ahead of schedule. Everyone is doing well now. I'll post a pic of him soon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

These Boots are Made for Walkin'

I know you've all been dying to see gross foot surgery pictures, right? No? Well if not, then you might want to skip this post. It's all about feet!

Here are my pathetic, deformed feet on the morning of my surgery. See those giant knots where my big toe meets my foot? Yeah, those aren't supposed to be there. And, in general, toes should go straight out from your foot, not diagonally.
Anyone who knows me well knows that having to go all day without food or water before my surgery was quite possibly the most traumatic part for me. I set my alarm for 4:50 that morning so I could get up & eat some dry toast & drink water before my 5:00 am cut-off. Yes, it's pathetic but true.

We had to wait a while for the surgery to get started since they were running a bit behind, but once we got going, that process was a breeze. I just remember being rolled out of my room & then waking up half a second later in recovery. Thank goodness for general anesthesia! Once I woke up, I was overjoyed to be given water!
The jello they made me eat didn't make my tummy too happy, though, so we had to hang around a few hours while they got my nausea in check. You can barely see me over my moon boots!
Once home that evening, my sweet husband hooked me up with some IceDream from Chik-Fil-A, so all was right with the world. If this isn't high fashion, I don't know what is!
To make my "old lady who has bunions" profile complete, I even got to bring home a lovely walker to help me get around. I totally didn't mind how ridiculous I looked, though, because without this, I wouldn't have been able to get up at all. My other accessories in this pic are my nerve block pain pumps slung over my shoulders. Each leg had a tiny catheter threaded behind my knee that was connected to one of these bags, which held a ball full of numbing medicine. I had a little dial for each one so I could adjust the level of numbness in order to control my pain. These lasted for three days & were awesome, though I was definitely ready to drop my extra baggage when they were empty.

Oh, and there were also oral narcotics involved. Not that you would have guessed that by my dazed expression! Overall, the pain hasn't been too bad. I had one evening of shooting pains & muscle spasms that I didn't know if I'd survive, but it thankfully only lasted a few hours.
Okay, here's the only gross picture I'll include. These feet do not, in fact, belong to the Bride of Frankenstein. Instead, this is what my feet looked like yesterday at my post-op appointment. I hadn't had the boots off in a week, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Dr. Cook said they're doing great, & I'll get my sutures out next week.
In between napping, watching old seasons of 24 & reading, I've also had some great cuddlebugs who aren't quite sure what's wrong with Mommy. Luckily, the fact that Mimi & Nana have been here has kept them thoroughly distracted.
As of Saturday, I rid myself of the pain pumps & the walker. Yesterday's big accomplishment was getting to take my first actual bath. Don't worry, there are no pictures, but it was certainly a hilarious occasion as Justin lowered me into our tub while keeping my feet, wrapped in Target bags, propped over the edge. Thanks honey!

Today's monumental event was actually getting to wear shorts. Up until yesterday, I couldn't remove my giant boots even to change clothes, so I had to stick to dresses & skirts. Like my summer look?
So many of you have been praying for me & my family over the last week, & I want to say a heartfelt thanks. We've still got a ways to go until we're back to normal, but recovery is going better than I had expected, so we're thankful for that blessing!