April 30, 2011

I had fun with Daddy

This morning my Daddy and I did all of my favorite Saturday morning things- ON THE SAME DAY! Mommy had a party for her friend Heidi, so I gave her a kiss goodbye and told her to have fun when Daddy and I left.

First we went to Krispy Kreme. I can tell you what we order without asking an adult- doughnuts on Saturday morning is a special treat! I eat doughnut holes, Daddy eats a kolache, and Mommy likes the sugar doughnuts. Today, I ate my holes and Daddy brought a healthy breakfast.
After doughnuts, we went to storytime and I got to see my friend Eva. It was a special day- they had dancers in the prettiest dresses. I tried to dance like them, too! Ms. Kit, who teaches storytime, thought I was pretty cute. Mommy, can you buy me a pretty dress, too?
After story time, Daddy and I went to the gym so that he could work out. I like when he goes to the gym because I get to see Sarah. She works in the kids area and is my favorite. I brought her a birthday card and a flower from story time. I know all of the names of the people that work at the gym. They know my name, too.

After Daddy worked out, we went to Chick-fil-A and I got to eat lunch with Daddy and play on the playground. I still won't do the big slide yet. I will when I'm a big girl.

It was a fun morning, but I'm tired. So, I'm off to read a few books and take a nap.

Bye bye!

April 28, 2011

Birthday Video

video

Marcus has always joked with me that I am a lexicon- I remember dates really well. I can name the birthdays of most everyone I know... even high school friends I haven't seen in 15 years.

We are always working with Abby- trying to teach her something and see how quick her recall is. We also ask her questions in reverse, like What does Mommy like? and then later, Who likes shoes? She continues to impress us with her ability to recall. We recently ate a restaurant and Abby asked "where is Katy and Ike?" because we ate there with Katy and Ike 6 weeks earlier.

In this video, she'll recall the month of 10 family members' birthdays! Sorry Tiffany, we forgot about yours- she knows it is "March like Mommy"!

April 26, 2011

Anaphylactic Shock

This is what life threatening anaphylactic shock can look like. This is my sweet baby girl covered in a rash, itching, with swollen eyes, after throwing up and receiving Benadryl, an EpiPen, and oxygen. She is trying hard to smile because Mom isn't succeeding at trying not to cry.
At this point, it is assumed that Abby got into nuts at school on Monday afternoon. She has a known allergy to peanuts and has Benadryl and an EpiPen on file at school in case this were to ever happen. She had labored breathing about 3:10 PM when they called us. While Marcus was on his way, over the next 10 minutes she got much worse.

Marcus took her to the pediatrician and they administered the EpiPen and oxygen. With a severe allergic reaction, tissues inside the body swell which includes the throat. She was having trouble breathing as a result of the allergic reaction and needed oxygen in her blood because she wasn't breathing normally for 30 or so minutes. Today, she is all better with the exception of still having slightly puffy eyes.

We met with her school this morning to discuss erring on the side of caution- give her Benadryl and call us if you see any signs of a reaction. If the EpiPen becomes necessary, call 911 immediately. We will also meet with an allergist next week and run a full set of tests to determine if Abby is only allergic to nuts (and somehow got into them at her peanut-free school) or if there is a new/unknown allergen that we will have to watch out for. I don't know which I prefer.... her school to have failed us or a new allergy for her to have.

The good side of all of this... God placed Marcus at home earlier than normal and closer to her school, Abby has a father with the pediatrician's number in his cell phone who thought enough to grab her diaper bag with the EpiPen in it, and a pediatrician with an opening in her schedule and the knowledge to treat her quickly.

Easter Egg Hunt #2

We had our little friend Madeline over to hunt easter eggs on Saturday afternoon. Madeline is also an only child and I knew both girls would enjoy hunting with a friend!
They had so much fun- hunting eggs, eating chocolate, getting sticky, swinging, busting cascarones on us, soaking themselves pouring water in the water table, and running around the backyard.

It makes me sad to think that Abby will likely be an only child, but having close friends that Abby sees regularly seems to bridge that gap which makes me so grateful.

April 25, 2011

Easter Sunday

I was SO excited for Easter to come this year! I hunted high and low for a dress for Abby and have just been dying to get her in it! Finally, the day had come!
We had a wonderful Easter with church, lunch with a big group from church, late naps, and a nice dinner at home. Our day started off terrible- Satan definitely wanted us to stay home Sunday morning. We were running late, had 4 meltdowns, and Abby got a splinter in her finger from our kitchen cabinets (what!) as we were leaving. I'm so glad we endured the morning because church was moving! The music team took one of my favorite songs and did it totally different, yet still amazing!
I was also excited for Abby to get an Easter basket! She is getting to the age where surprises are exciting and she has things she really likes which makes it easier to buy and better for her to receive. Her basket was filled with: pink bunny made of a chenille bedspread we bought in Charleston, play-doh eggs, her first slinky, bug magnifying glass, small bunny to throw with velcro paddles, Minnie Mouse DVD, new p*nties, and a few pieces of candy.
I hope everyone else had a wonderful Easter celebrating our risen King!

April 24, 2011

How Great Thou Art

This weekend is about so much more than chocolate, plastic eggs and bunnies. I hope it is for you, too. This is the time we celebrate the risen King!
Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill (two of my favorites!) sang an old hymn this weekend. You can view it online here- it is beautiful and so wonderful to see someone in a public role open up the world to their faith. Thank you, Carrie!

My very favorite old hymn sang on TV- Faith Hill singing I Surrender All on Oprah. Amazing!

Happy Easter!

April 23, 2011

Abby Said What, Volume 2

While talking in her room before bed earlier this week, I was having Abby practice her counting so I would name things in her room and she would tell many how many of that item there were. We counted the birdies in her room, chairs, blankets, etc.

I asked Abby how many doors there were and she correctly told me two. So, I pointed to her closet door and asked her what was that door to? I was curious if she knew the word closet. In all seriousness she told me that door goes to her shoes.

She is my child after all!

April 22, 2011

Treats and Feets

After dinner the other night, Abby got to have an orange push-up. The only way to do an orange push-up with a 2 year old is outside, just before bathtime!

She had so much fun sitting on the patio with us eating her push-up. She told us exactly where to sit, right next to her, and she crossed her legs just like I had. Precious!
I just love these sweet little feet with their pink toes. We live in Crocs this time of year- they are great for outdoor fun, watering, and general popsicle stickiness. These are her "blue shoes". She asks for them or her "pink shoes" every day. Her feet are still tiny - she is in a size 6.

April 21, 2011

Egg Hunt #1

Abby had her first Easter egg hunt of the season yesterday morning. It was held at her school and in addition to candy, stickers were inside the eggs and a big hit!
Marcus joined her at the hunt this morning. It is always fun (and often embarrassing!) to watch your child interact with their teachers and other children. We definitely have a strong personality- she was crazy wild with excitement, had to be first in line, and like a bunny hopped down the hall to the hunt.
Once she realized what was inside the eggs, Marcus said she would open them, get the prize out and leave the plastic egg on the ground. Funny girl!

April 20, 2011

Charleston trip - the addendum

On Thursday of our trip, Anna had to run her program, while I had the day to myself. I decided to rent a bike from a bike shop, point the bike in a direction, and go.
I picked up my sweet ride (I splurged for the the extra $1 an hour for the hybrid, and not the cruiser. Cruisers don't handle curbs and cross country so well.
I grabbed a bite of lunch at the Mellow Mushroom pizza place, and headed out to Church street. I quickly learned why they call it Church Street....

The ride got better and better....
I got to see the coastal area...
Cobblestone streets...(again, very glad for the hybrid and padded seat)

a small park dedicated to Andrew Jackson's mother (also where PGT Beauregard is buried)
more churches.....
It was the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which started right there at Fort Sumner...looks like the South was ready to rise again..

About 90 mins in, I found a small little local deli/grocery store. I had a gatorade and moonpie, and started out again.

I can tell you I made terrible time on the bike...mainly because I kept stopping every half block to take a picture..the houses were awesome....most were 100-300 years old!


I was able to get back, turn in my bike and have my day out and about end with some time at the hotel pool.

Marcus


April 19, 2011

Plantations

We flew home on Saturday afternoon and had just enough pre-airport time to drive around the three plantations just north of Charleston. They all had tours that could take all day, so we didn't see much of them, but the entrance and the roads leading to the plantations were so beautiful!

We visited Middleton Place which had this outdoor garden market. It sold items for you to make a picnic lunch on the grounds, but also garden pottery, jewelry, herbs, etc. I loved the feeling of it and that it sold Sweet Leaf Tea brewed in Austin!
There were waterways like this through Middleton Place.
Don't you just want to go for a walk through this place? It was a beautiful day for a stroll through the gardens and a picnic lunch on the lush grounds.
My dream is to live on a street where the trees from each side of the road meet and canopy the street. I may have to move to South Carolina where this canopy effect happens all over. Loved it!
We realized how marshy the area is when we looked out on this "field" and realized it was green stagnant water covered in pollens and grass.
If you ever visit the area, be sure to look up Middleton Place, Drayer Hall, Magnolia Gardens, and Boone Plantation. So much history and so many pretty things to see!

We arrived home after two uneventful flights and were surprised by sweet Abby who had stayed awake (is was 9:45!) with excitement! She lept into my arms and said, "I missed you so much. I had fun with Nana".

April 16, 2011

Bumble Bee

We are moving away from the diaper bag! Abby isn't potty trained yet, but it is coming and her well loved diaper bag isn't as necessary any more. She got this bumble bee backpack for Christmas and has such fun wearing it lately.
It is the perfect mini size for her!

April 15, 2011

South Carolina is Sweet

On Wednesday after breakfast we ventured into South Carolina for the second part of our trip. The part where I work and Marcus enjoys the city!

We are staying at the Charleston Marriott and I love their furnishings. The turquoise chair is to die for! And, the paisley carpet, mirrored walls, and funky couches are such a fresh change from standard hotels. We also stopped at the Carolina Cider Company. Loved the peach cider! We bought Marcus a jar of bread and butter pickles.
Charleston is so green right now! It is more urban than Savannah, but has just as much charm. The alleys are full of greenery, brick paths and secret gardens. It has a New Orleans feel.
We went into an old timey candy store- they had the biggest selection of Moon Pies, including double deckers. I bought a t-shirt! Anyone want an onion ring flavored mint?
The buildings in the downtown and historic district had so many stories to tell. The top right is the Daughters of the American Revolution. The bottom right "house" is a doctor's office.
We also toured The Citadel, South Carolina's military college. Every single building was white and castle-like. The campus was covered in students in uniform. The entire campus seems to center around a large green area that has historic military equipment (tanks, helicopters, missiles, etc.) along the outside.
In the middle, check out the home with the beautiful yard. I believe it is a faculty member/officers home. There were 20 or so of these with the name of the resident outside the front.

Tomorrow, we plan to visit a few plantations before we fly home to our potty trained princess!

Camp Nana

I don't think Abby Lu has missed us at all this week and we are so grateful for that! My Mom has spent the week with her and they've done fun things, but also kept Abby on her schedule! Our friends emailed us this picture from storytime Saturday morning. Little did they know it was Abby's first time outside of the house in p*nties!
We've talked to her 2-3 times per day and gotten daily reports! She has been a rock star on the potty, slept like she should, and had a few extra days out of school to play and shop with Nana. She tells us "have fun" and "see you Sunday" and has not once cried or complained about us being gone!

A huge thank you to Nana for taking such great care of Abby so that we could have a relaxing and wonderful vacation without worrying about her.

April 12, 2011

Road Trip

This morning we awoke early and had 9:00 AM spa appointments. I had a petite massage and a scalp massage while Marcus had a longer deep tissue sports massage. Afterward, we spent a good deal of time in the "sanctuary" wrapped in warm robes and towels while reading our books. The scalp massage was wonderful for my headaches, but it left my hair nasty for the day. I washed it, but pouring oil on my scalp was a mess!

Afterward, we got ready and headed to Forsyth Park. It is a famous 3 block park in Savannah known for its water fountain. It was amazing- it had rained that morning so everything was a little wet and super green!
We had lunch at a local non-touristy BBQ joint, Blowin' Smoke. Knowing the South treasures the pig and not the cow (like we do in Texas), we both had pulled pork. Yummy! I loved that fried pickles were a side item!
One of the fun parts of this trip for Marcus has been exploring the Southern beers. Since we arrived on Saturday, he has tried the following: Andygator, Sweetwater Georgia Brown, Sweetwater 420, and Moon River.

Since it was rainy, we changed plans and went to Hilton Head to explore rather than sitting on the beach in nearby Tybee Island. Hilton Head wasn't what we expected- it was like a suberb with an outlet mall, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and national chain restaurants. We finally stopped and asked where the beach was and tourist stops? We were directed to Pope Avenue and found the beach! Marcus bought a kite and flew it in the post-rain windy weather!
We bought Abby a hat which happened to fit Marcus and his itty bitty head! Abby needs a youth hat and it fits Marcus. ha!
We ate dinner at the Sea Shack, a locals place with the logo "not fancy, just good". It was just that- we enjoyed it! Afterward, we headed the 45 minutes back to Savannah for ice cream at Leopold's and then enjoyed an early night in for our favorite TV show, Biggest Loser.

Tomorrow, we head to Charleston for part two of our trip!

April 11, 2011

Food and Friends

We slept in this morning and then headed across the river for our Foody Tour. It was a 3 hour walking progressive lunch. We ate a little something at a handful of local places and learned about them as we went. We had (in this order): chocolate truffles, cupcakes, green olive and cream cheese sandwich, shrimp and grits with collard greens, cornbread casserole, and bread pudding. The tour can have up to 20 people... it was just us and the guide. A private tour- she knew everyone in town and each place we walked in, she chatted up the servers, hostesses, and we had tables immediately. Lots of fun- I'd highly recommend it!
By the way, we did not try the Tobacco Truffle. Weird- we were told is tastes like a cigarette in chocolate and is best after a few shots. No thank you. I did try everything on the tour- shrimp and grits is wonderful. Collard greens, not so much.

We saw some famous people on our walk. Savannah Dan (in seersucker) is a walking tour guide known around the city. He reminded me of a young Boss Hogg. Loved him! Marcus is posing with Johnny Mercer who wrote numerous songs and is from Savannah.
After all that walking and eating, we came back to the hotel and lounged poolside for a few hours. The sunshines and amazing pool have been the nice surprise of the trip. So relaxing!

We took the water ferry across the Savannah River to dinner tonight. We ate at Belford's in the City Market area. It was wonderful- Marcus had a Kobe beef burger and I had their award-winning (from Southern Living) crab cakes.
I have drank sweet tea each day thus far and Marcus has sampled many of the local beers.

Everywhere we go, Marcus and I have joked we've seen friends we didn't know we have. Everyone here is so friendly- we've loved talking with strangers. So many people have good things to say about Austin also! I can't wait to tell you all about the house I have fallen in love with and we have visited daily. If only I were wealthy :) It is my dream house, for sale, and is currently 1/3 of the original list price. Amazing!

Tomorrow is our last full day in Savannah area. We are spending the morning at the spa and the evening at the beach. What a way to spend a Tuesday!

April 10, 2011

Sunday in the South

Marcus and I learned on our first full day in Savannah that "the south" is a culture and not a location. We do not live in the South, we live in Texas and that is an entirely different place!

Our first day in the South, we did what a good Southerner does, we went to church. We had looked online and selected the First Baptist Church of Savannah. I have a naive view of religion, I will admit. I thought the service would be similar to our church- some music, a large choir, a mix of families, a preacher with a Southern accent, and an invitation and offering. This Baptist church was in the most beautiful building with floor to ceiling windows, old wooden pews, and a small choir and large organ on the balcony of the sanctuary. There was a hand bell choir, readings from members, a female Reverend, Catholic style robes, bells chimed at the worship hour, fancy hats and Spring dresses, and hymnals. We were welcomed by members twice our age with the most Southern drawl.
The service had the most reverence I've seen. We thanked the Catholics, affirmed our beliefs vocally at the start of the service, and said the Lord's prayer. Marcus is intrigued and wants to research the relationship between Baptists and Catholicism.

After service we walked a few blocks for Sunday lunch at The Lady & Sons, Paula Deen's famous restaurant. Oh, the goodness! Her sweet tea with lemon and mint changed me. I will begin growing mint next week. It makes it so much better!

Sunday lunch is buffet only. We waited less than 10 minutes to be seated. They bring around "hoecakes" and garlic cheese biscuits. Hoecakes and cornbread like pancakes served with syrup. Our lunch included fried chicken, roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, creamed corn, lima beans, collard greens (on my plate but I just couldn't!), mac and cheese and sweet potatoes. For dessert, banana pudding and a walnut gooey butter cake.
After walking around a little, we went back to the hotel and lounged by the pool. It was perfect weather- about 80 with a breeze and no clouds in the sky. Our hotel is on the Savannah River- so the breeze is a constant. We had a few cold drinks, read our book, and watched a garden wedding nearby.
We left the pool late afternoon, got dressed and met Jake our big black horse for a carriage ride. It was our first ever and just wonderful! Our tour guide asked what we wanted to know more about- Marcus told her he wanted obscure facts and we got them!

Our favorites:

Savannah is the most haunted city because it was built on top of numerous cemeteries. Thousands of bodies are beneath the homes, shops and restaurants in the historic district.

Henry Ford's model showroom was in Savannah. He stuffed seats with the Spanish moss hanging from the trees of Savannah, until the chiggers came out!

Signs of money back in the day are still evident- a red door was a sign that your home was paid for, brick and rod iron were signs of money, and because of a door tax, large windows lead to private balcony.
Jake dropped us off at Broughton and Bull, a restaurant named after the 2 corners it resides on. My lasagna was amazing and Marcus loved his shrimp spaghetti. Our cheesecake afterward was more cake like and tasted wonderful. We've had a wonderful day!

Tomorrow, a food tour of 8 local sites for lunch and shopping and walking the historic district. We have left dinner open, so we'll see where we end up at the end of the day!

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