Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Ducks

Emily came over, so we picked up some lunch and headed to the park with the kids. It was cooler than we anticipated. I had told the kiddos not to worry about bringing a sweater as the weather said 70s, but alas, it was in the 60s when we got to the park. Oh well. The kids played for a bit and we headed to Walmart so I could buy some shoes and socks for Elias. He's outgrowing everything so fast. Then, we went to the pond to see the ducks. Zac and I used to bring James and Leah to the pond often when they were little, but apparently the water wasn't deep enough, so over the past few months it's been drained, dug up to make it deeper, then refilled. I'd have taken more pictures, but my phone died after only a few.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Dad

Note: Our Christmas story will be in a separate post.

Christmas morning started off fantastically. Everybody sat in the sun room, passing around and opening gifts. We had to put the cat in the kennel because he kept attacking the wrapping paper and gnawing on the tree bristles. I played holiday music on my phone and we hung out with my parents while the cinnamon rolls baked.

After an hour or so, Mom decided to head to bed. She was upstairs in the kitchen, so Zac and I decided to start picking up the paper scraps and neatening up. Dad grabbed an arm load of goodies and started heading up the stairs. There are only about eight. Not like the 18-20 that lead to the bedrooms. I happened to look up at the moment my dad was falling, straight back onto the floor from the 5th step. The thud still haunts me. He landed so hard the floor shook and he slid a few inches. I don't remember anything but the way he sounded - quiet, rhythmic moans with his breathing. Mom hurried downstairs and was shouting. Dad wouldn't look at us, wouldn't respond. His hand was grasping at the shirt I put under his head. Then we saw the blood. A small trickle coming from the side of his head. He started saying "Yes" over and over, quietly, while trying to sit up. I didn't see blood from his ears, but he had a deep gash near his left eye. Mom called 911 and we had to keep Dad from sitting up. He kept trying to push himself up. Mom left to get dressed and the paramedics arrived. They asked him questions, but Dad had no memory of the morning or falling. He didn't know what month is was, what day, or even which holiday. He kept asking what happened, "What's all the commotion about?" and was just so lost. The ambulance took him away with Mom.

Emily came over not long after they left and I told her what happened. Zac cleaned up the blood for me. We wasted time while waiting for updates. When Dad landed, he hit his left side, then his head. I think his glasses cut his face, unless it was the impact. He developed a subdural hematoma, which can absorb on its own. But, he also had a seizure and a mild concussion. He threw up in the ambulance. The doctors transferred him from one hospital to another and hooked him up to monitors and machines in the ICU. Emily and I packed a bag for Mom and decided to exchange gifts and hang around until Mom needed us to go to her.

When Emily and I arrived at the hospital, only one at a time were allowed back, so I went first and of course burst into tears when I saw him just laying there. It reminded me of his heart attack when I was little. He thought it was silly, but told me he felt fine, just tired. Luckily, a room became available, so he was able to move elsewhere. Mom and Emily were able to visit along with me. I hugged him and told him not to go yet. He spent the first night in his own room and did great. Tonight he's being moved to a recovery room. Hopefully he can come home soon. From what I know, his heart rate lowered too much when he was climbing the stairs, which lead to him blacking out. I don't remember him trying to catch himself, he just went backward. I can't get the image out of my head... it was like a slow motion movie and I was frozen. Poor James and Leah saw him fall. Leah freaked out and started screaming, James was in shock, and Elias started crying. It was just a horrible experience all around. Tomorrow, I'm going to take James and Leah to visit while Zac keeps Elias at home.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Tattoos, crochet, and holidays

I've got my voice back, though I'm stuck with an annoying cough. But at least I'm feeling better and it hasn't spread to any of the kiddos.

Most of the month has been spent crocheting Christmas stockings and getting last-minute gifts purchased and put away. We've put all the wrapped gifts in the sun room instead of in the den by the big tree. I just don't want the cat getting into the paper as he's been getting into the tree. He's quite the asshole brat.


Zac and I made a trip to Louisiana to visit some friends and family. Our original plan was to pick up Amber and bring her home so I could take care of her until she passed. Unfortunately, I was informed she had died back in August. I was devastated to say the least. She was 16 and I wanted to be there, but had no idea the whole time that she was already gone. Apparently, Zac's aunt posted it on Facebook, but neither Zac nor I check Facebook... I don't think I'm even friends with that aunt. I'm still sad, but getting through it. Having no closure is really taking a toll on me. So, there's that. I hate that she's gone.


Being in Louisiana was nice, aside from no cat. We stayed with Sean as always and were able to visit Zac's family. Mawmaw is doing well. Her hair is growing back since losing it from the chemo. We visited with Marie and the kids played with Francesca. Marie had an edible craft ready to make, so the kids made hot chocolate mugs out of marshmallows and other candy before exchanging gifts.


We headed across the lake to see Jessie to get matching scorpion tattoos, which was also Zac's first tattoo ever. Together, they make a heart. Zac had doodled the idea years ago when we were dating, so in celebration of our ten years of marriage, it was time to do something special. I love them.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas Cantata

The Christmas cantata The Arrival was last night. I woke up with a sore throat on Saturday morning, but my voice had cleared up enough for me to perform my solo without any squeaks or creaks. Sunday morning, I was hoarse. I skipped morning church and sipped honey tea all day, sucked on peppermints, and willed my voice to come back.

I had lined up a back-up, just in case, named Andrea. She's a high-soprano with a crystal clear voice. Last week, I told her I was finding my voice cracking a bit, so to learn the solo in the event I couldn't sing it. Sure enough, two songs into the cantata, my voice shut off to nothing more than a whisper. She sang it beautifully, of course, but part of me was disappointed that I couldn't do it.

We ate junk food in the fellowship hall after the music. The kids filled up on cookies and meatballs and we headed home.

Today, I'm super raspy and drowsy from my concoction of elixirs. Hopefully, I'm better by the weekend. We're planning to go to Louisiana to see some of Zac's family for the holidays.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December

There are less than three weeks until Christmas. Holy peppermints, Batman. The last of my online orders came today, so I can get the gifts sorted and ready for the tree... the tree we have yet to purchase because the season crept up on us. Is it from being in my 30s? It seems like all the holidays just jump out of nowhere lately.

We purchased a few matchy shirts and had a family portrait with Santa done. I don't think we're sending out cards this year, but I dunno. 


Cheers.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sick

Elias has a cold. Leah has a sore throat and a cough. James just has a sore throat. It's been a lovely week so far! So much snot...

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Great, full.

A few weeks ago, I swallowed my anxiety and sent out a mass group invitation to family members via Facebook to come to Mom's for Thanksgiving. As the day drew nearer, more and more family declined the invite. In the end, our only attendees were Karen, Eddie, and Kylie, as well as Aunt Trish, Uncle John, Anna, Christina, and Christina's husband, John. Honestly, I was relieved to have fewer people to visit. Aunt Trish even made me my own stash of Bourbon balls, which are tucked away safely in my upstairs refrigerator.

Mom planned for she and me to cook together, but once she got started, she took over and I spent my time upstairs with Zac. I think she enjoyed cooking, though. It's been years since she's had the kitchen to herself.

My kids were super awesome well-behaved and sweet to Kylie. She's 14 now, so I know how weird it is to be stuck in the age gap between too-old-for-young-kids, too-young-for-adults grouping. And it was nice visiting with Anna and Christina. We're going to start planning another family get-together for the new year. Can you believe 2016 is almost over? I mean, I feel like this year went by in a blur.

The Christmas shopping is 99% finished, thanks to online sales. I think we may even go out and get a tree tomorrow!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Zac's Birthday

Zac made breakfast this morning, on his BIRTHDAY! And the new furniture arrived! I'll get to that in a bit though. We hung out around the house most of today, just being lazy lumps. This evening, Mom treated us to Fernando's (of course) and James mentioned Zac's birthday. Little did we know, the servers would bring out fried ice cream and have him wear a sombrero (lol)! It was a treat for all of us, honestly. When we got home, I gave him a gift of tabletop Foosball. I think the kids love it more than he does.


I went with Mom to Miskelly's earlier this week so we could pick out some furniture for the house (and the kids wanted to ride the carousel). Family is coming next week and we don't have a table big enough to accomodate, nor do we have a nice sofa. So guess what? We do now. Mom let me pick out what would look best, so we've got a huge sectional sofa, as well as a table that seats eight. EIGHT. It even has a little bench for the kiddos.

Oh, I almost left my handbag behind. I set it on a display bed while the kids were riding the carousel and got distracted with pushing Elias in the stroller. Suddenly, something felt weird and I realized my bag was all the way across the store. Luckily, it was untouched. Scary. I probably would've realized it later when I was buying snacks for the kids at the cafeteria.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

33

Another year older, though I feel as though I haven't aged since 25. The kiddos drew me up some cute cards, Zac and Emily both gave me macarons and Emily found some delicious lavender tea. James even cooked me up some eggs by himself. Such a sweet family I have. We spent the day at Hobby Lobby and running a few errands. It's been a super lazy day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Halloween 2016

Halloween sneaked up on us this year. Going to the Oaks threw us off and before we knew it, we had one day left to grab a few bags of candy for Trick-or-Treaters and last-minute pumpkins to carve. Part of me is glad the day is over, but the other part wishes it was still hovering. Zac worked overtime hours over the weekend, so we never got a chance to do much prep. He brought the kids to work with him on Sunday, which gave me some much-needed Me time. I was especially thankful to Elias for napping a good three hours straight.

On Halloween, the kids received their treat buckets from the Wicked Witch and we got started on making Octoberfeast. I gotta say, I'm proud of myself for getting everything prepped and ready within the time frame. Once the food was done, we went Trick-or-Treating around the neighborhood with Emily and Alex, then came home to relax. My comfortable shoes couldn't prevent my back pain, but it was a fun night. I don't have any pictures, but we dressed the same as we did for Ghosts in the Oaks, minus the hair dye.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Ghosts in the Oaks (last week)

Not far back, I purchased some tickets to Ghosts in the Oaks, a fund-raising event at City Park in New Orleans. It fell on the same weekend as the church's Trunk-or-Treat shindig, but in my experience with my own past of Trunk-or-Treating, this was a must. Zac got off work early on Friday, so we arrived at Sean's (and Kyle's, I guess, since they live together now) before the kids' bedtimes. Sean's friend, Lauren, was visiting so we played the Werewolf game a few times before she went home.

I forgot to bring my tea, so I struggled through a cup of coffee Saturday morning. It's crazy how much I loved coffee until I switched to tea. Now, I can barely drink it without making a face. We hung out with the guys and watched Daddy's Home. Zac and I live under a big rock in the woods, so we're unaware of any and all current movies that aren't animated or child-friendly.

We headed across the lake around 6ish, dressed in our costumes, getting a few strange looks from other drivers. I promised the kids they could color their hair, so Zac picked up some spray dye. Leah picked blue, James picked green, and I brought them outside for a spray-fest.


We made it to the Oaks and were greeted by a witchy cackle and a fog machine. There were carnival rides, so the big kids wanted to get started on riding things before Trick-or-Treating. Leah was more excited to try the "scary" rides than James was. They were both on the Rockin' Tug, but you can't see the very apprehensive James hiding in the shadows next to Leah. We picked out some mini pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, then went Trick-or-Treating through a storybook forest. James wasn't wanting to ride much, but I convinced him that trying new things was a good idea, so he, along with Zac and Leah, went on the Drop Tower (and he LOVED it!), but freaked out on the Music Express and I had to wave an attendant down to help him get off midway. Poor thing. Leah was in tears for what I thought was fear, but she was upset that the ride stopped. We ended with a carousel ride since Elias was too small to do much, and headed back to Sean's.


We went to Slidell on Sunday to meet up with Ashley, or Ash, and I traded some gifts with her. I hadn't seen her since 2010 at the kiddos' birthday party. Jeez. We walked around Michael's and I found some cute pumpkin things, then we parted ways and went back to Sean's. We stayed an extra night, instead of coming back to Mississippi Sunday night, we came back early Monday morning. The kids did their lesson, Zac went to work, and I unpacked all our things. Back to the grind.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Park

The weather has been so pleasant lately! We've been trying to get outside more, so we took the kids to the park behind the library on Sunday. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Dark and Light

It's been an up-and-down week. Wednesday was rough. Three years have passed since the miscarriage and I'm sometimes surprised how sad I still am, or not sad enough... I dunno. I cried and ate candy. Emily came over and brought over a beautiful anniversary gift for Zac and me. I also managed to snag another solo for the Christmas cantata at church this year.


Mom kept the kids Thursday evening, so Zac took me to Outback for dinner. Just us. I don't remember the last time we had a date without the kids coming along. More than two years, I'm sure. We had a fantastic server named John, who paid for our dessert. He was so kind. Zac and I were going to stay out a little later after dinner, but we were just so tired and wanted to get our pajamas on, hah! We've been married for ten whole years. It's hard to believe so much time has passed when it still feels like we just got together a few months ago. 


We finally went for a walk around the neighborhood with the dogs in tow. My knee is not completely healed, but I can manage without my crutches. Riding my bike is something I'm still unsure about, but the walking is nice. I don't think I've talked about my knee since it happened, but it's almost completely back to normal. I can stand in the shower, climb the stairs, and get around like usual. Going downstairs is a little awkward because of the sudden weight, but it's getting better. It's a huge relief to be off the crutches, though. Anyway, we took a walk and I collected a few leaves in different shades of color, as well as a perfect pine cone and acorn.


We went to Fernando's for dinner since the kids eat free on Saturdays. I forgot to bring baby food, so Elias ate his first enchilada. The kids were on their best behavior (as almost always) and we had a nice evening together without spills or quarrels or crying. Phew!


Sunday, October 9, 2016

Pumpkins Galore

We finally made it out to Party City to buy costumes for the kiddos. They've agreed to go with the Nightmare Before Christmas theme as Lock, Shock, and Barrel since Zac and I will be Jack and Sally (again). Bath & Body Works has everything pumpkin happening, so of course we stopped in to smell all the things. Even though it won't be hashtagged, the big kids insisted on being pumpkins anyway.


We woke up late this morning, but headed to church to meet up with the children's group and drove to a pumpkin patch about half an hour from where we live. We went on a hay ride and saw some animals. Leah really liked the "zedonk" and James liked the bulls. Elias wanted to pet the Bactrian camel and eat the corn from the cornbox. We had fun! Each of us picked our own pumpkins so the front porch is looking festive and lovely. It still needs some lights, though. If only autumn was permanent.