Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Play Date

A little background before I get into the play date blog . . . I’ve known my friend since high school. She was class of ’99 and I was class of ’98. We lost touch after I graduated. We ran into each other about 2 years after high school and caught up for a few minutes and really hadn’t talked until about 2 ½ years ago. We found each other on MySpace and reacquainted ourselves since so many years had gone by since we last saw each other. Another year goes by and now we both have Facebook accounts. We began talking more frequently through messages and comments on each other’s web pages. She has 4 children now and I, of course have the 3. Her children are 8 yrs old, 5 yrs old, 3 yrs old and her baby who will celebrating his first birthday in July.

Today my friend brought her kids over for a play date. We had just been to her house last week so the kids were all excited to see each other again so soon.

My friend is also a stay-at-home mom and can relate to the craziness of managing multiple children running through the house day in and day out. So, we’ve been making fairly regular play dates to give each other the chance to get out of the house and hang out with another grown up while our kids play together. It’s great for us because all our children are all close in ages so everyone has someone to play with. We take turns going to each other’s houses. Fortunately we live relatively close to each other so it’s not a terrible inconvenience to pack up our broods and travel far for visits. Our kids really seem to have fun playing together and even our babies, who are just a mere 4 months apart, are buddies.

The house is immediately filled with children running around and finding things to do. John and my friend's 2 daughters immediately get into the baby pool and play, my friend's oldest son and Tabytha go off and hang out and her 11 month old is stuck in the kitchen with me and my friend because Jessica was napping when they got to our house. I get lunch fixed for the kids, they take a break to eat and then get back to playing. By now Jessica has woken up and the big kids all go play in the girls room while my friend, her 11 month old, Jessica and I chill in the living room for a bit. After some indoor playing the kids all go outside to play. They play on the swing set, rollercoaster and moon bounce. I LOVE seeing the kids all playing together. Now, it’s not always perfect, there’s 7 kids running around, it’s not all fun and giggles every second. For example, John had one of Tabytha’s fairy princess wands and hit the 3 yr old on the head. I took the wand and made him give her a hug and kiss to say he was sorry. She accepted his ‘apology’ and things were fine. It gets kinda crazy with so many children together and my friend and I are WAAAY outnumbered but all the kids are good about listening to us (if the kids ever figure out they outnumber us almost 4 to 1 they may ban together in mutiny and trample all over us, lol.). But for now, my friend and I still have control and even though there’s a little scuffle here and there, in the end, everyone has a good time playing together. So, until the next play date Tabytha will be asking me everyday “Mommy, when are we gonna go to your friend's house for a play date again?”

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fun At A Friend's Birthday Party

Tabytha was at her biological grandparents house for the weekend and Charlie was in NJ to see his friend drag race his 6 second car. So, John, Jessica and I went to my friend's son's 1st birthday party. There was a moon bounce slide with a pool at the bottom of the slide, a clown to entertain the youngsters, a baby pool, swing set, playhouse and numerous other outdoor toys in the yard for children of all ages to play. There was also a cotton candy machine and popcorn machine along with juice boxes, hot dogs, party snacks and birthday cupcakes. You couldn't leave saying you were bored, that's for sure!
Now that it's summer time I keep John's swim trunks, a couple 'little swimmers' diapers and a dry change of clothes in the diaper bag. Shortly after arriving at the birthday party I take Jessica over to where my friend, her daughter and her son (the birthday boy) are sitting watching the clown. John is busy exploring all there is to play with in the yard and I could see him from where we were sitting. Well, about a minute after setting Jessica down I look up to see where John is. He's in the pool part of the moon bounce slide. Yup, he's still got his socks and shoes and street clothes on and climbed his way into the pool. I fetch him out and take him to an area of the yard where no one else was and get him out of his wet clothes and get his swim diaper and swim trunks on and set him free again to go play.
He had a blast. Jessica had a lot of people coo-ing over her and telling me how cute she is (which I never get tired of hearing, lol).
Time comes for all the kids to line up and take turns hitting a pinata and after all the kids have had a turn John realizes he's missed out so he goes over and he's allowed a turn. He strikes the pinata 3 times to no avail and puts his head down in disappointment, until everyone cheered for his efforts. Finally a big kid breaks it open and John runs away from all the kids jumping around trying to get candy. Once the crowd disperses he goes back to collect a few lolly pops and opens and eats two.
Two of my friend's brothers were there and one of them got John a cotton candy and he actually sat down and stayed still while he chomped down on the fluffy blue sugary goodness. John also took a few minutes from playing to munch on some popcorn and drink some of a juice box. Now it's time to sing 'Happy Birthday' to the birthday boy. John wasn't interested in that so he went to play while Jessica and I watched the birthday boy chow down on a green frosted cupcake. I forgot my camera but offered to take a few pictures for my friend (with her camera) of some of the kids playing around and got a couple pictures of her son with green frosting on his face so she could pass out cupcakes to the guests.
Jessica was an angel the whole time. She didn't fuss once. She enjoyed watching all the party fun and having people oogle over her. Jessi's friend (who's 4 months older then her) was also there with his brother, 2 sisters and mom. Jessi and her little friend laid together on the blanket I brought and drank their bottles together and 'baby talked' with each other.
It was a great afternoon celebrating a 1st birthday and being with friends.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Too Much, Too Soon?

For the past couple of months I've been letting Tabytha be more independent when it comes to breakfasts and lunches. She can get her own cereal, bowl and pour the milk. She's even toasted frozen waffles for herself and John. Tabytha can make herself peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or get a hot dog and heat it up in the microwave. No problems. She's recently started making her own instant oatmeal in the microwave with the tiniest bit of assistance from me with the milk and measuring cup.
Well. Today she wanted to make a grilled cheese sandwich. I said "OK". She got the bread, butter and cheese out of the fridge. Put the sandwich together and asked if she could put it in the toaster oven. I, again, said "OK". She's used the toaster oven before so I didn't think to stay in the kitchen and oversee her.
My mistake. About a minute after she puts the sandwich in the toaster oven she comes out of the kitchen and says the plates on fire. WHAT?!?!?!?!? WHAT PLATE??? I hurry into the kitchen and see that she put the paper plate she assembled her sandwich on IN the toaster oven and the heating element has now gotten hot enough and caught the paper plate on fire. I quickly turn off and unplug the toaster oven, go to the sink and fill a cup with water and open the toaster oven door and throw the water onto the blazing paper plate. In the madness of the paper plate fire I yell at Tabytha and quickly regret it. She's 7 years old. I'm suppose to be the 'responsible' adult and should have stayed in the kitchen overseeing her use the toaster oven properly. I should have done a better job instructing her on what to do and how to use the toaster oven to cook a grilled cheese sandwich, which she'd never done before.
After everything is under control I apologize to Tabytha for the way I spoke to her and yelling at her. I tell her if she'd like to try again another day I'd let her prep the sandwich, but I'd go ahead and cook it for her.
So. After all this, Tabytha has no sandwich. I tell her she can go ahead and make herself a peanut butter and fluff sandwich if she wants and that was fine with her. She made her sandwich, nothing caught on fire and she got to enjoy her lunch. (I may need a new toaster oven after this)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fun Day At The Hospital

So. Yesterday morning John woke up with Croup. So, I call his doctor and get an appointment in 45 minutes. So, I pack the kids up in the car and realize I left the TV on. So I run back in the house, turn off the TV and hurry back outside to get John to the Doctor. Only, instead of a smooth exit, I step wrong and land sideways on my left ankle. I go down HARD. I let out a loud yell and wriggle around on the front porch for a minute or so. Tabytha makes her way out of the car to see if I'm OK. I look at my ankle, which has now swelled to the size of a baseball (no exaggeration, it REALLY was the size of a baseball). I have Tabytha go in the house and get my crutches and she gets back in the car and I make my way to the car. On the way to John's doctor I call my mom and tell her what happened and that after John's appointment I need to get to the hospital for an xray but have no one to watch the kids. She lets dad know what's going on and she's on her way with Bethany and Hannah.
I get to the doctor's office and Tabytha goes in to ask one of the nurses to help bring Jessica in while I use the crutches to get into the office. One of the nurses comes out to the waiting area and looks at my ankle and puts an ice pack on it. About 10 minutes later it's John's turn to get looked at. His doctor, a visiting doctor and 2 nurses come into the room (John has a bit of a reputation). He has croup. Nurse 1 tries to get the pulseox monitor on his finger. John's not having it. He's getting worked up, crying, squirming, coughing and gasping for air. Nurse tries to put it on his toe. Not having it. He's really upset, trying to breath and wanting OUT of there! FINALLY, we get the monitor on his toe long enough to get a faint reading of his oxygen and heart rate. It's not good. Oxygen level was at 79%, heart rate was really high, but the main concern was his oxygen level. He wasn't getting enough. Doctor has a nurse call 911. While we're waiting for the ambulance to arrive I'm finally able to get John calmed down and resting his head on my shoulder. Doctor gets a nebulizer treatment started and tapes it to my shoulder where his head is resting on me. The ambulance gets there and brings the stretcher back. The female EMT holds John long enough for me to hobble over and get on the stretcher to hold John. My legs get strapped down, John snuggles up to me again with his head resting on my shoulder and they take us out. As we get up the hallway my mom shows up in the doorway. She made it in the nick of time. I leave the diaper bag and my car key and she gathers up Tabytha and Jessica and make their way to the hospital.
In the ambulance my cell phone rings. In the midst of the chaos I hadn't called Charlie to let him know what's going on. I answer my phone. He tells me to turn the radio down and I tell him it's not the radio. It's the ambulance siren and EMT on the walkie next to us. He got upset and started yelling for me to tell him what was going on and what's wrong with John and he's on his way and I should have called him. Long story short. We get into the hospital and get wheeled back to a room in the ER. The EMT tells the nurse it's a "2 for 1 special. Child has croup and mother has injured ankle". I tell them to treat John first and worry about me later.
My mom finds her way to the room John and I are in. The steriod shot John got in the Doctor's office is working and the oxygen is taped to my shoulder blowing in his face to help him breath. He's getting better. John's still clinging to me which is fine. I'd forgotten about my ankle and as my adhrenaline rush from fear for my son fades the pain in my ankle floods to the top of the list. I burst into tears. Mom tells me it's OK, she's here now, everythings gonna be alright. I ask her how Tabytha and Jessica are doing and she assures me they're fine. Bethany's got a handle on everything in the ER waiting room. There's a play corner that Tabytha and Hannah are playing in and Bethany is entertaining Jessica. I finally start feeling more at ease and can start relaxing knowing my mom and sisters are here to help. John dozes off on my shoulder. He's exhausted from the mornings events at the doctors office. He's resting comfortably against me. Charlie calls my cell again. This time my mom answers and he's really upset because he doesn't know what's going on with John so mom trys to calm him down and explain to him what happened and what's going on now. Until this phone call he was unaware that I was injured also. I didn't tell him because my injury wasn't keeping me from breathing like John's croup was doing to him. I'm not sure how much time has passed but it's FINALLY my turn to get looked at. A nurse gets a wheelchair for me and wheels me to xray. She takes 3 xrays of my ankle and sends me back to my room. MORE time goes by. Mom goes to check on the girls and Charlie finds his way to the ER room John and I are in. After awhile the ER doctor comes in and says my ankle isn't broken or fractured, just badly sprained and John's oxygen levels are back up to 100% and he and I are allowed to go home. I get a brace for my ankle, Charlie gets John and I hobble my way out.
Mom and Charlie pack the kids in the car, I get in the driver's seat and Charlie takes mom and Bethany in his truck and we go back to the doctors office for mom to get her car. Everyone gets in their car/truck. Charlie goes to get John's medication and mom follows me home to help bring the kids in the house.
Once home, Mom and Bethany get John and Jessi into the house, Tabytha and Hannah go out back to play and I limp my way in. We get settled in and mom does what she does and begins straightening up my kitchen. I'd been gone all day and didn't get any housework done. We left the house a little after 9am and it was now about 3:15pm. The day was gone and my house was a mess. I didn't even care. John was doing better, no major meltdown from Jessica while we were at the hospital and Tabytha and Hannah had fun in the waiting room playing together. My ankle was throbbing, but I was fine. I took an ibuprophen and mom, Bethany and Hannah got going.
Charlie took over 'zoo keeper' duties for the evening. He tended to all 3 kids, cooked dinner and tended to me while I was keeping my ankle elevated.
I'll never be able to express how grateful I am for my mom and Bethany for dropping what they were doing and coming to the hospital to help me in my and John's time of need. Charlie took today and tomorrow off to let me rest my ankle before taking back my full time 'zoo keeper' duties.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend Update

An event filled weekend for us. Charlie took Tabytha to a local "water park" to have a 'daddy/daughter' day Saturday. Well, the water park turned out to be a bust. Charlie and Tabytha were excited when they got there and their excitement was soon squashed. They weren't allowed on the water slides because Tabytha had in earrings and Charlie wouldn't take his wedding band off. Charlie didn't have anywhere to put Tabytha's earrings or his wedding band so they stayed off the slides. Charlie tried to play around in the deeper end of the wading pool and was quickly told to settle down. So, after about 2 hours of floating around not being able to play they headed home. Tabytha didn't think it was all bad and she was happy to have some alone time with her daddy. Saturday evening a small thunder storm rolled through, but I already had plans to grill outside. So, after the rain passed I went out and got the grill going and put hefty trash bags on a couple of the deck chairs and Tabytha dried off the kid picnic table and we enjoyed some grilled chicken, ribs and corn on the cob on the back deck. Charlie filled the small pool John got for his birthday and Tabytha and John played around in the pool for an hour or so. It was a nice relaxing evening with the family.
Sunday was a busy day for us. It was Charlie and my niece's 2nd birthday. (Charlie's sister's daughter). The birthday party was at 2pm. I put John and Jessi down for early naps so they wouldn't go without a nap completely before we needed to leave for their cousin Shelby's birthday party. Got all the kids packed up in the car and headed to Aunt Faye's. We made a quick stop at the Outlet Center for Charlie to get a pair of sneakers real quick then we made our way over the bay bridge. Just before we get on the bay bridge Tabytha tells us her tummy was upset. We figure she's just hungry and tell her it won't be long before we get to Aunt Faye's house and she can have a burger or hot dog when we get there. Just after we get off the bridge Tabytha gets sick. She covered her mouth with both hands trying her best to keep it from getting all over the car. I pulled over under and overpass, put the emergency flashers on and got out to help clean her up. She got it all over the front of her and some found its way onto the back of Charlie's arm and shirt sleeve. Well. Now the car has a bit of a stink to it and it was warm day and Charlie didn't want to smell like vomit and I didn't want Tabytha running around smelling like it either. We cleaned her up the best we could with the baby wipes and headed right to the new Target in Annapolis to get Tabytha a change of clothes and Charlie and clean tee shirt. I hadn't been in the new Target in Annapolis and was blown away by the building when we came to it. It's the Target shopper's "Mecca". It's massive. I've never seen anything like it. It's a 3 level building with a parking garage. So, we find our way into Target and Charlie gets a shirt and Tabytha picks out an outfit. We pay and finish our 'journey' to Aunt Faye's house. We finally get there around 3:30pm (an hour and a half late, and 2 1/2 hours from the time we left our house). Charlie and Tabytha get changed and cleaned up a little bit more. Luckily we hadn't missed much of Shelby's party. The party was great. There was good food, a moon bounce for the kids to play on and a field outside of their backyard fence for kids to run around and play. We brought a blanket for Jessica to lay/crawl around on, John kind of did his own thing and kept to himself for awhile and Tabytha played with some of the other children there. Although we were late getting there we didn't miss Shelby opening her presents or the beautiful princess castle birthday cake Faye made. Shelby got a lot of wonderful gifts. We got her a personalized Sesame Street book and a battery operated bubble blower (all the fun of bubbles without getting the bubble soap all over you, lol).
So, despite the 'obstacles' during our drive to and showing up late to Shelby's birthday party, everyone had a great time celebrating our niece's 2nd birthday and spending time with family.
We love you Shelby and we're so glad we were able to celebrate your birthday with you sweetie!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Vacation Has Begun

Today was Tabytha's last day of 1st grade. Summer vacation has begun. Her teacher had given her a book as an 'end of school year' gift. She brought home her 4th quarter report card and received the equivalent of straight "A's". (K thru 2nd grade don't get actual letter grades, i.e. "A", "B", "C". . .ect. . . until 3rd grade). Back in April Tabytha received the "Student Of The Month" award for her class. At the award ceremony when Tabytha received her award her principal said Tabytha was nominated by her teacher because she's polite, kind and always looks for the student who doesn't have someone to play with so no one is ever left out. (When I heard that I got choked up). Tabytha also received a 'Certificate of Recognition' for her "positive attitude toward learning". She loves to learn and read. When something exciting happened at school she'd stay excited until she came home to tell me all about it. She's excited to learn new things and share everything she's learned when she gets home. Tabytha started the school year learning to distinguish which number is bigger or smaller then another number and ended the school year being able to add and subtract 2 digit numbers. She couldn't tell time at the start of 1st grade and now she can look at the clock and tell me what time it is (whether I asked to know what time it is or not, lol) She began the school year reading at a 1st grade level and ended the year at a beginning 3rd grade level. School has always been 'fun' for her and I've always done my best to encourage that. I still can't believe sometimes that Tabytha is 7 and in elementary school. Where have the years gone??? It seems like just yesterday I was watching her take her first steps. I blink and now I'm watching her get on and off the school bus at the end of our driveway. If I blink again I'm afraid I'll be waving goodbye from the front door as she heads off to college. She had an excellent school year and we'll have a super fun summer. Charlie is taking her to celebrate the end of the school year by taking her to a local water park for a 'father/daughter' day.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Party at the Zoo

Things were pretty hectic at the zoo over the weekend. We had about 35 people here for our son's 2nd birthday party. It was a cookout. We grilled burgers and dogs, had beans, chips, a veggie platter, and birthday cake. My MIL brought potatoe salad, my mom made 'pigs in a blanket' and fruit salad served in a carved out watermelon and I made crab dip and cheddar/bacon dip.
Charlie expanded our penned in area in the backyard for our kids to play in and it was nice to have it done for the other kids who were here for the party. The kids all enjoyed playing on the moonbounce, the swingset, slide, play house, rollercoaster and riding toys.
When it came time to sing "Happy Birthday" and blow out the candles John shouted "NO" in protest to the singing. He also didn't want to blow out the candles, which was fine. However, he had NO problem eating a piece of his birthday cake and chowed down! =) Being only 2 years old he didn't grasp the concept that all these people at his house were here for him. He spent the whole day playing and having fun. A couple times we tried to get him to take a break to open his gifts, but he didn't take the bait until Charlie called him up to the deck and began opening a present to show him there were actually things inside the wrapping paper. He tore through the paper to find gifts like a Transformer Mr. Potatoe Head, a Monster Truck, a Big Rig, a Little People tractor, clothes (which he quickly tossed aside looking for more toys), a foam baseball bat and ball and more. . .Grandma and Granddaddy got him a Step 2 Picnic Table w/ umbrella that seats up to 6 children and 'Uncle' Howie got him an inflatable pool.
All in all, the day was a success. It was a day full of lots of yummy food, wonderful family and great friends to celebrate 'baby' John's birthday.
(On a completely different note, among the birthday celebration for John, our little angel, Jessica, began crawling! At barely 6 1/2 months old she's figured out how to put getting up on her hands and knees together with moving forward! Very exciting and milestone filled weekend)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Happy Birthday John!

Two years ago today, at 8:22am, my son entered the world. It was a beautiful moment for Charlie and me. Well, I was a little 'out of it' because our son was born via c-section and I was heavily medicated.

Our son's birth was a scheduled c-section so June 5th, 2007 my day began at 4:15am. My c-section was scheduled for 8am and we needed to be at the hospital by 6am (to fill out paperwork, draw blood, get me hooked up to IV's and such). So, having to be at the hospital by 6am meant we had to leave by 5am. I got up to shower before we left and Charlie and I went to the hospital. We got there around 5:45am. Already it felt like the longest day EVER! I had blood drawn, got set up with IV's and finished up hospital paperwork within an hour after getting to my hospital room. So, Charlie and I had an hour to wait before it was our time to go to the ER. I tried to close my eyes and get a little more rest. FINALLY, it was time to go to the OR for the section. I had to have a Spinal and Charlie wasn't allowed in the OR while that was being done. It hurt SOOO bad and he wasn't allowed in to hold my hand. After about 5 minutes of poking to find the 'right spot' the anesthesiologist got the spinal in and my lower body began getting numb. I was positioned on the table and Charlie was allowed in. I turned my head to see him and hold his hand but no sooner did I turn my head then the wave of neausea come over me and I had to turn my head back to the anesthesiologist to get sick. Spinals and I don't get along. Getting sick when you have no feeling below your rib cage is a challenge to say the least.

So, avoiding a few graphic bits of the story later, the Doctors have opened me up and they're pulling John out. I hear one Doctor say "Wow, he just keeps on coming, doesn't he?". That's it. John's finally OUT! I hear him cry and I begin to well up. I manage to turn my head to look at Charlie and see he's a little teary eyed too. Charlie goes to the area in the OR where the nurse cleans him up and Charlie finishes cutting the cord and sees the nurses weigh and measure John all while I'm getting cleaned up and put back together. John weighed in at 8lbs 11.5oz and was 22 inches long. He was perfect. Charlie never left his side from the moment he was born until we were all together again in our hospital room. If the nurses needed John for ANYTHING Charlie went with them. Charlie also changed John's first diaper, gave John his first bath and gave John his first bottle (after I had given nursing a try for a couple days).

It's now June 5th, 2009. My 'baby' boy is now 2 years old. His birth seems like just yesterday and seems so long ago all at the same time.

Happy Birthday Bubby. Mommy, Daddy and big sister (and baby sister) love you sooo much!!!

Newborn John

1yr old John

2 yr old John

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


This Friday our son, John, will be 2. It's hard to believe. I wonder where the time went sometimes. But, here we are. The week of our son's 2nd birthday. Earlier in May I placed an order for two personalized Sesame Street books for John. I gave a little bit of information and the people who make the books put John into the story as one of the characters. One book is titled "John Discovers the ABC's on Sesame Street" and the other book is titled "John Helps Elmo Count". The order came pretty quickly and the books have been here for a couple weeks now. Last week I ordered John a 'rollercoaster' from Toys 'R' Us. It was a little more expensive then I thought it would be, but after reading the 17 customer reviews of the product, I was convinced it was worth the price. EVERY single reviewer gave the rollercoaster a "5 Star" rating for fun. So, I ordered it and yesterday I received it from UPS.

Charlie isn't going to be home Friday (John's actual birthday) so, since we had John's gifts already we went ahead and set up the rollercoaster last night. He loved it! He didn't seem as interested in the books, but that's ok with me for now. His attention span isn't that great and for now he just wanted to play with his new toy.

We're having a birthday party/cookout for John this weekend and I think all the kids that are coming will have a lot of fun taking turns on the rollercoaster, along with the moonbounce we have, swing set and play house. It's gonna be a hectic day, but I'm looking forward to it.