Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mother's Day Weekend

*Editor's Note - I started this post Sunday night. My week has been so out of control, that I am just finishing it on Thursday!

I ended up having the best Mother's Day! The whole weekend was nice - but Sunday was especially relaxing.  The kids didn't fight like they did on Saturday. :)  We went to dinner on Saturday night with Keith's family. The kids were happy with their ice cream dessert!

Then on Sunday, they let me sleep in (sort of):

Then I came downstairs to this (and a special breakfast treat!):

The twins each made me a flower magnet with their picture on it. Connor made me a vase with three flowers in it. On the stem of each flower is something he can do for me (cook me dinner, give me a hug, help me with anything I ask).

We went to Family Mass at church, where there was a crowning for the Blessed Mother.  All the kids brought up a flower to the Mary statue - it was so sweet to watch. The kids behaved during Mass - perhaps it had something to do with the promise of donuts afterwards at Nana and Bumpa's house. My parents had all of us over after church. Then Keith and I took the kids to a local green house for vegetables, flowers, and I treated myself to a fairy garden. (Well, I bought what I needed, then put it together at home!)

This is what I worked on outside - I am doing a fairy garden out there as well. I also filled my pots with colorful flowers.

With my very boring and sucky diet these days, I requested that my wonderful husband grill me a steak. :) So we had that for dinner, along with a baked potato and veggies. YUM!  Plus there were leftovers.

All in all, it was a great day. :)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Five For Friday

This week started off great! Monday morning, I was on time for work - excited that this was the first week since the end of February where I did not need to use sick time for lab work or doctor's appointments. I treated myself to a Dunkin Donuts iced decaf coffee, half cream in celebration. Before work, I sent off a quick email to my kidney doc with my recent blood pressure readings.  (My bp is running high due to the steroids I'm on.)  I was super excited to share that my numbers had been down! 

And then the week went downhill from there. I was paying so much attention to the top number, I didn't realize that the bottom number still wasn't in the correct range. Which meant an email back from Dr. A stating that I needed to immediately start a super restricted low sodium diet. I had already changed my diet quite a bit when all of this started, so all my fun happy foods are gone.  Now there isn't much left.  The biggest decisions I've made this week are whether to have plain white rice or plain pasta with my unseasoned grilled chicken. Also, the right side of my brain is getting a math workout as I spend a lot of time calculating.... I can eat half my portion of Panda Express Orange Chicken (and white rice) for dinner, and that's only 335 mg of sodium, leaving me a special treat of one cheese rangoon (3 in a serving at 190 mg, let's divide, then add to 335, plus what's in this iced tea? I didn't realize it was flavored... let's add 10 mg to be safe...)

Oh! And I found another side effect of the steroids. I had read that in addition to making your face puffy, it can make the back of your neck puff up as well as you retain water. My sister so kindly pointed out that one side of my face appears to be fluffier than the other. OMG, she is right. And the other night, I had my hair up... and sure enough, I've got some sort of puffed-up humpback thing going on. It may or may not be noticeable, however, since I just won't wear my hair up, no one will ever know. ;)  As for the face thing, I am just excited that when I'm off the steroids, my face will slim down and people will just think I lost weight. Cue the compliments... I hope. ;) 

Anyway, there were some highlights to my week that I wanted to share. Because all in all, life is good. This week was just a downer week, which is okay.  You can't be positive all the time.

Look how sweet they are! Playing quietly together, building some sort of city for Keira and her my little pony friends. (Just kidding - I took the picture from inside the house so I didn't have to hear them arguing.)

There's my boy playing baseball. He loves it! This was right before he hit the ball and ran to first. 

I also got to go a date with my super baseball player. I treated of course, but he shared his cheese rangoon with me. ♥

And then I received this totally amazing gift in the mail. With no card! So I don't know who to thank. But I may have squealed with glee when I opened the box. Maybe. ;) Best present ever. (Sorry Keith - you are going to have to step up your Mother's Day game...)

I ended last night with this scene - Keith found me some vegan, organic, super "healthy" (only four ingredients) raspberry sorbetto. No sodium! Woo hoo! Add that to a book on the Tudors, recommended by none other than the world famous Anne Rice... I'm a happy girl!

Monday, May 4, 2015

A Letter to the 17-Year Old Me

Dear Me,

Hi! This letter is from you, only 20 years older. Sure, 37 sounds really old right now, but to be honest, it's not that bad. Well.... it wasn't that bad up until March 2, 2015. Can you believe it's 2015? No there aren't any flying cars or robot takeovers...yet. 

Overall life is pretty good, by picture-perfect Facebook standards (Facebook - it's a computer thing. Remember that crappy PC your parents have in the basement... it gets a lot better!) Anyway, in 20 years, you will married to a totally awesome tattooed guy who builds you things, but spends way too much time training for Ironmans. ;) You will live in a nice house, although when you get married and start looking at 3 bedroom forever homes, think twice, and splurge for a four bedroom.  You will be blessed beyond belief with a beautiful little boy in 2006, and then in 2008, you will receive the surprise of your lifetime (unbeknownst to you, twins DO run in your family!).

In October 2014, you and your husband will finally get a chance to get away, back to where you took your honeymoon. Enjoy every moment in New Orleans - it's the last time you will be alone with him for quite sometime! Even movie dates are pretty hard to come by with kids!  In February 2015, you will be blessed to have a family vacation (complete with Nana and Bumpa!) to Disney World. Take lots of pictures because you will spend lots of time looking at them when you get home and remembering all the special moments you had together.

But that brings me to March... and the news isn't that good. The very first thing to remember is that it's not cancer. But that kidney transplant you kind of always knew in your heart that you would need - well now is the time.  But as you deal with everything, just keep in mind that the part of yourself that grew dormant after becoming "Mommy", starts to come back.

As you are faced with a constant reminder that life is really too short, and that we may not always have tomorrow;
As you push aside the things you love because you think you have to because you need to be super-mom;
As you stare down into those sweet little faces, crying out for you in the night because Daddy just won't do;
As you snuggle on the couch, watching an seemingly endless stream of mind-numbing kid shows (and later, sadly find yourself singing kid songs even though you are all alone in your car);
As you struggle just to get through bedtime with the kids because you are so totally exhausted but still have loads to do.....

Always remember this - you are doing a fantastic job! I'm not sure how this adventure will turn out, but just know that you are the luckiest girl in the world. You've got these little cuties to live for:

Just a few more things:
  • Dump Nick after a year, because year 2 sucks with him
  • Get that tattoo on the fairy on your back - because now you can't
  • Finish your damn novel and send it to a publisher
  • Your kids get a lot of fevers - don't worry about the 1st or the 500th high fever
  • Oh and - after Colin's first stay in the hospital, tell the ped he has illness-induced asthma and get him on the right meds before the next two hospital stays!

Friday, May 1, 2015

What Do I Want for Mother's Day?

It's May, which means Mother's Day! So I'm putting together a list of ideas that my husband can get me.  Keith - you're welcome. ;)

Actually he already bought me something, and then forgot to hide it in the garage. So I will let you guys guess what it is based of my list. It's something I've wanted for a few years. And since I know what I am getting, he should probably pick up something else to surprise me with, right? LOL

I need a comfy chair for our deck. :)

Jewelry - you can't go wrong with jewelry. And this locket from PennyJules is so gorgeous!

By the way, I have a few of her pieces. Great quality,
beautiful jewelry. I highly recommend her etsy shop!

This desktop calendar for my desk at work. It's already made, just sitting in my Shutterfly account, waiting for someone to order it. (While you are there, pick up the magnet set I made from our Disney trip too!)

And for my big time dream list (because it's wayyyyyyy to much), this beautiful Kate Spade bag! (Maybe I will make this my "hey I finally got a new kidney" purse once I have my surgery!)

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Disney 2015 - Day 3

Better late than never! ;)

One of the things that I love about Disney are all the things to do. Not just the parks, but the many other fun things that you can do when at the most magical place on earth.  The last time we went to Disney, we had full days at all the parks, and no time for anything else.  That really didn't work for my family. My kids like their downtime.  So on day three, we made plans to do something totally different.  My parents, sister, and her kids chose to rent a car and drive to Clearwater to see a famous dolphin and check out the beach.  My family stayed behind and made a day of checking out the other things Disney has to offer.  After a relaxing morning and breakfast (it was nice not having to rush to get to the bus!), we walked down the path to Port Orleans - Riverside, the other resort nearby. 

We checked out the pool, although it was still a little cool to swim.  The kids played at the playground, then we headed back to our side.  I really wanted to check out the Animal Kingdom resort, so we hopped on a bus to head over there. We got off at the Animal Kingdom, then onto another bus that took us to the resort.

It was amazing! It was lunch time, so first we ate at the quick service restaurant in the hotel. Then of course, my kids had to check out the playground.  It was a little small for them, but they never let that stop them.

Afterwards, we walked to the Savannah. That's right - a real savannah on the resort! It was cool to see the animals up close. There was even a staff member there to answer questions.

We also explored the hotel before hopping on the bus to take us to Downtown Disney.

When we finally got back to our resort, it was time for the pool!  There was an awesome water slide which the kids loved.  And as long as we were right at the bottom to catch the twins, Keira and Colin loved it as well.  Life jackets are provided which was nice too.  So no pictures of us in the pool since we were with the kids the whole time. After we were done, I did let them slide into the hot tub for a few minutes, and then made Daddy take the kids back to the room for snacks, while I had a few peaceful minutes alone. ;)

After lounging and watching some cartoons (they loved the Disney short animations that played on one of the channels), we walked down to the the campfire! That's right - they serve s'mores before supper!

Then we walked back to the Riverside resort for dinner.  Options were pretty much the same for the kids, so it wasn't that big of a deal.  The kids were really looking forward to what came after supper.

A movie in the park!

Towels are provided to lay out on, so we grabbed a few and spread out. Keith even surprised me with a cool drink from the bar. :)

Someone had to do some work while on vacation.
All in all, it was a great day! A nice relaxing break to the busyness of the trip.  I know it's hard to plan in downtime, especially when you spend so much money to do to Disney World and want to really get your money's worth, but this special, non-scheduled day was one of my favorite memories.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Review: Gone But Not Forgotten

A mother’s work is never done.
Not while Sunny has a ghost of a chance.

Her sister and brother-in-law, Honey and Bert, are good people, no worries. Sunny’s twins will have a loving home with them in Mossy Creek, a warm-hearted small town in the mountains of Georgia. But Sunny, a San Francisco voiceover artist before the accident that killed her and her husband, has bad memories of Honey and Bert’s unpredictable, autistic son, Jeremy. Will he harm her babies? Sunny’s not leaving until she’s certain they’re safe.

My Review:

This was a short, but very sweet read. Not what I would normally pick up, but I am a big fan of Sabrina Jeffries.

Sunny, mother of twins, passed away in an accident. But she cannot let go of her children until she knows they are safe. Her memories of her autistic nephew, Jeremy, are from years before, and she is afraid for what the future will bring as her sister and brother-in-law take on her twins to raise. Jeremy was so unpredictable in Sunny's mind, but things have changed. Can Sunny open herself up enough to see the real person inside?

This is one of those stories that makes you cry, I will warn you now. But the take-away is worth it. I definitely recommend this one! Ms. Jeffries truly writes from the heart on this one!

Find it on Amazon here!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner

I haven't had a girls' night out in forever. Much of my life the past few months have been focused on my health, as well as some school issues we are having with one of the twins. Work is especially busy this time of year. A couple of weeks ago, I saw that our local movie theater was going to be showing Dirty Dancing, so I texted my sister and we made plans to go with another friend of ours.

The theater is one that does dinner and a movie, in really comfy leather chairs. However, this was part of their classic movie series, so we were seated in the special event screening room. I assume it's what they use to show staff new movies: an intimate room with 8 or so big leather couches. I tried to take a picture, but this swagalicious girl kept photobombing me.

#swag #yolo #icky
(I don't know what those hashtags mean,
but my 10 year old niece uses them a lot,
so we (her mom and I) like to bug her by pretending to be cool.)

There was a whole wall dedicated to Marilyn Monroe:

And of course the food was great! I haven't had movie popcorn or cherry coke since I got sick, so I treated myself. :) 

Eye candy - the cute movie projectionist (not sure of his real title) had an awesome Irish accent.

Super fun night had by all!