Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Kennedy's turn....

So after Brady's bout with the stomach bug, it's now Kennedy's turn. She started throwing up in her bed at 3:00 a.m. Chris left for Orlando today and I'm just praying that I don't get it!

She heard me talking on the phone to her Aunt Susie and when I got off the phone she asked, "Mommy - is there really a bug in my tummy!??!" She sounded panicked. The idea of a bug being in her body was not settling at all.

I assured her that it wasn't really a bug... just a figure of speech. She gave me a blank stare and then climbed on the couch to watch a movie. That's how I know my child doesn't feel good... she feels too icky to ask more questions.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A mother's nightmare

After Thursday night, both of my children have officially been to the emergency room as infants. More on Kennedy's trip later, but first - Brady's trip Thursday night. He has always been a frequent spitter. He spits up quite a bit of his bottles, but I was slightly alarmed when he spewed so much and so far Thursday morning that it hit the back of the seat in my car. He started by just coughing, so I honestly thought he got a little choked and then gagged. The sounds scared me to death, so I pulled over, jumped out of the car, ran around to his side of the car, swung open the door to him soaking wet... but smiling. So I took him and Kennedy to school and asked his teachers at daycare to keep a closer eye on him. I never heard from school all day, but when I picked him up that afternoon - he'd been sleeping a lot more than usual and had skipped an entire bottle. Just 15 minutes later, he threw up in the car. So I decided it was time to call the pediatrician. I was told to give him Pedialite in small doses and if he couldn't keep that down, head to the ER because babies dehydrate much faster than adults.
You know where this is going. My mom (Nina) met us at the ER to help manage my sweet (but rambuntious) Kennedy. Chris was out of town, so I was flying solo on this journey. Nina stayed with me and Brady and then my dad (Papa) came to get Kennedy to take her to their house for a sleepover. We had no idea how long we would be at the ER.
It's funny how different doctors have different reactions. After two hours of being there, the doctor told us he wasn't dehydrated. He still had saliva in his mouth and was charming the doctor with his adorable smile. The doctor sent us home. It's better to be safe than sorry. And as a mother, the worse nightmare is having to rush a child to the emergency room for fear that he/she might be very sick.
When Kennedy was five months old, our ER experience was the complete opposite. She cried her eyes out while we waited FIVE hours in the middle of the night to see the doctor. They ran tests and came to no conclusion. They sent us home. The following night, after a healthy dose of Nyquil, my phone rang. It was the emergency room doctor saying our tests had come back positive for bacteria and to come to the hospital immediately so she could be admitted. Talk about being scared!
She stayed in the hospital for three nights... the longest three nights of our lives. She was hooked up to monitors, had an IV, had breathing treatments, nurse-administered suction treatments. It was a frightening experience and I sympathize for those parents who have chronically-ill children.
I thank God every night for my healthy children. They are truly gifts from above and if these two experiences in the ER are all we have to endure, I'll consider us the lucky ones.


Kennedy is already ready for Halloween! This year, she is going to be a pirate.... arrrrgh!

First boy birthday party

This afternoon, Kennedy attended her very first boy birthday party... and this isn't just any boy. This was Alex, the boy who Kennedy allegedly kissed - TWICE! She was excited about going and has been talking about it all week.

"When is Alex's birthday party?"

"When are we going to get his birthday present?"

"What are we going to get him?"

"Will there be other people there from my school?"

"Is it time to go to Alex's birthday party yet?"
The questions were fired at us ninety-to-nothing. One thing Kennedy definitely got from her mommy is her ability to talk... non-stop. I think Chris wishes she didn't have that trait of mine. Back to the birthday party: It was at a place in Bossier I'd never heard of called Planet Fun. Kennedy knew almost everyone there since all of her classmates were invited. In fact, I think little Alex might just be a little player. There were more girls at his party than boys!

Kennedy did a fantastic job of not telling him what she brought him through the whole party. We are teaching her that presents are supposed to be surprises. On quite a few occasions, she has announced to the whole party what was inside the giftbag she brought. But this time, she did great.... telling everyone that she couldn't tell what was wrapped inside her gift. But the minute Alex got the box in his hands.....

"Hey Alex, this is from me! It's a Ninja Turtle!"

Poor thing - she was so excited, she couldn't contain herself! The entire room errupted in laughter at her excitement. That's my girl! Always entertaining the crowd.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We miss daddy

Chris is on the road this week, in Orlando for business. I know he'd much rather be home with me and the kids, but it must be nice to have a small break from the normal (translation: hectic) routine. (He would NEVER admit that, though!) Deep down, I truly believe that he would much rather be lugging the kids to Bossier and back and having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or frozen pizza for dinner - just to be with us. He always feels guilty when he leaves town and I always dread it when he leaves.

But the truth is, it's mostly a mental thing for me. I can get myself all psyched up for being alone with the kids all week, but it's really not that bad. Don't get me wrong, it's extremely hectic without him there taking one of the kids while I tend to the other. But if I tell myself to calm down and deal with one thing at the time, it's manageable! Dinner can wait a few minutes while I change Brady's diaper. Kennedy can get her own juice. I can bathe Kennedy while the Brady sits in the swing.

But there is nothing like having my hubby at home. Kennedy will ask for him everyday until he gets home. Thursday at 10:00 pm can't come soon enough!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Hang in there Mom!"

I must have had a distressed/exhausted/overwhelmed look on my face this morning when I walked into Cypress Run to drop off my sweet kiddos.... because another dad took one look at me and said, "Hang in there Mom." I smiled, chuckled and kept walking in.

Maybe he just saw that I was struggling to hold onto both kids. Since cars were passing us on the driveway, I was holding Kennedy's hand to make sure she stayed close by.. and then I was also carrying Brady in his car seat. Bless his little heart - he was sleeping. So I'm hoping that's what prompted his comment because I certainly don't want to be one of those people who always looks like she's scouring.

Sure - I am tired, overworked, fighting a cold and a single parent this week... but I am trying very hard to look at the upside of things:
We are getting ready to move into our brand new house.
I have two healthy and wonderful children.
My husband and I have good jobs.
We are preparing for a visit from the LaPierre family in a few weeks.

So, note to self: Smile (or at the very least, have a pleasant look on my face).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Brady at 3 months

Here is my favorite picture from Brady's 3-month picture session today...

Two weeks... and counting!

In two weeks, Chris and I will have the final walkthrough in our new home! And less than a week after that - we will move in!
We went by today to take photographs and see what is left to do. They still have to install flooring, appliances, lighting and landscaping. I am getting more and more excited about moving in! It will be the first time since we moved to Shreveport that we will actually have our own home! Here's a sneak peak:

View of the living area with fireplace...
Chris and Kennedy going upstairs to see the bonus room...

Looking into the living room over the bar in the kitchen...

Kennedy gives a thumbs up to the progress of her new room...

View of the kitchen from the eating area...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Working Mommy Woes

This work week nearly kicked my butt and I am paying for it this weekend with a sore throat and major fatigue. It's always intense this time of year. On my plate right now: fall magazine, Chancellor's report, annual 5K that Susie and I are chairmen of, not to mention the daily tasks!?!

But in a brief moment of downtime, I had an interesting conversation with a co-worker that got me thinking about being a working mommy. With the challenges I have faced over the past year in my job, the question was posed to me: Would you leave LSUS to work somewhere else? Chris and I moved back to Shreveport in order to be closer to my family and to settle down. Funny thing is, I haven't quite felt settled since we moved here. Part of that is not having a house that we OWN, but that will change soon. I'll write more on that tomorrow.

But the work/life balance has been extremely difficult to achieve. When I am in a job I enjoy, I commit myself to it 110%. Honestly, I love my job at LSUS. It's the perfect job for me. But it was so much easier to commit 110% to a job when Chris and I didn't have children. Now, with two amazing kids, it's impossible... not to mention, it's something I really don't want to do. I want to spend more time with my family and less time working. I often brought my laptop home to catch up on work, but after having Brady - I have only brought it home twice and both times, I never got it out of my laptop case. Before I know it, my kids will be grown and I'll wonder where the time went. I don't want to answer that question with .... WORKING.

So how do women do it? Some are career-driven mommies and some are mommies who just happened to have a career. Which one am I? I leaned more toward career-driven mommy with just one child to take care of. But now I want to be mommy first, career second. But how can I do that when my job kicks my butt? The workload I carry is too much for one person... and I don't like to do anything half-ass. What's a working mommy to do?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Being a mom...

Five things I love about being a mother....

1. I love the way my kids heads' smell. Sound weird? If you're a mom, the answer is "no." I cannot help but smell their hair when I am snuggling with them. They each have a distinct smell. Brady still has the wonderful baby smell and Kennedy has a smell I cannot describe, but I love it.

2. I love watching Chris with each of them.

Earlier this week, I heard Kennedy laughing so hard she could barely breathe. I walked in and Chris and Kennedy were rolling around on the floor, laughing and tickling each other. It was a precious moment. And when Chris changes Brady, he gets him to give HUGE smiles. You can tell Brady is in awe of his father... already!
3. I love how my friends adore my kids, almost as much as I do. Many of our friends in Shreveport don't have kids yet, but they welcome my children with open arms. Kennedy loves seeing Aunt Susie and Uncle Ford, Becky and Brian, Eric and Amber, Kandi and Sneed.
4. I love raising our kids in the same town as their grandparents. Nina and Papa get to see the kids every week and I am extremely grateful for that.

5. I love the pride I feel when I tell people I have two children. Deep down, I don't feel like I'm old enough to have kids, but I graduated college almost ten years ago! The sense of pride I have when I say I'm a mother of a 4-year-old girl and a 3-month-old boy makes me smile, even just sitting here typing it. Being a mother gives me a sense of accomplishment ... more than my career... more than any monetary object. I am truly blessed and thank God for these two wonderful gifts.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm not 21....

Sometimes when I am around my Phi Mu girls for a while, I feel like I'm 21 again. This weekend was Recruitment for the chapter I advise at LSUS. I spent many hours with the girls over the past several days and I had a great time. We held Meet 'n Greet, Philanthropy, Preference, and Bid Day - all well-planned parties!
The girls did an amazing job and I got to know some of them even better through this process. But I WILL say that while we had a great time, I am absolutely exhausted. My weekends are usually spent doing a little laundry, grocery shopping, relaxing with my hubby and two kiddos - but there was none of that this weekend. Chris graciously watched the kids all weekend while I pretended to be 21 again. But with bloodshot eyes and a headache the size of Texas, reality has set in - I'm NOT 21... I'm 31. And I really don't wish to be that age again. I may be a little older, bit I'm also a little wiser, and extremely proud of where I am in my life. Thank you girls for a great time this weekend... and GO PHI MU!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Two new tricks

Brady has learned two new tricks!

1. He can roll over! When he rolled over for the first time last week, I thought it was a fluke. But since he's done it twice since then, I think he's officially hit that milestone!

2. He can spit up and pee on me at the same time. Review exhibit A:

As I was getting ready to give B a bath last night, I got him naked and picked him up... when low-and-behold - I felt a warmth on my shoulder. Spit up. Nothing new. But then I felt a warmth on my stomach. Yup! He peed on me! I'm sure he'll enjoy seeing this picture when he gets older....

My beautiful niece

My niece, Lauren, is absolutely beautiful! This is her one year picture....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New Outfit

Our friends, the Welchs, gave Brady this cute monkey outfit at the "Sip and See" this summer (or as Papa - my dad - called it, the "Drink and Look"). Seeing Brady in overalls this morning made us all stop and adore this cute little boy! Dressing boys is fun, too!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sunday Traditions

The LaPierre family has started our fall family tradition - Sunday afternoons and the NFL! When I hear that jingle on Fox, I know fall is here. You wouldn't know it from the temperatures outside, but hearing the football announcers and seeing my husband giddy tells me that it's that time of year.

Since Chris has another "man" in the house now, he has someone to share this sports passion with. So I decided this weekend that we would start a new tradition.

The girls can do crafts......

....and the boys can watch football!
But with Tom Brady's questionable status, the boys might have a rough season ahead! Stay tuned....

Friday, September 5, 2008

"Freckles and Cheese"

Kennedy says some of the funniest things. I try to remember to write them down and tonight, when we decided to order pizza for dinner - she said one of my FAVORITE things.

Mom: "Hey sweet pea - how about pizza for dinner?"

K: "Yeah! I looooove pizza! Can I have cheese pizza with freckles and cheese on top?"

Mom: "Of course!"

"Freckles and cheese" gets me every time. You know how cheese browns on top and it makes those slightly brown spots? To Kennedy, it looks like freckles. So every time we have pizza, she asks for cheese pizza with "freckles and cheese" on top.

No damage

We escaped any major damage from Hurricane Gustav. The brunt of it hit Baton Rouge, where my brother is right now - attending LSU. He is still without power. So is my other BFF Shelley and her fiance Rick. They are planning their wedding, so this storm did not have the best timing. But I guess there is no good time for a hurricane! My thoughts are with them and the rest of our neighbors to the south as they deal with the recovery.

Here are the blushing bride and her bridesmaids...


I'm not sure how I would make it through my day-to-day job without my BFF. When our boss starts driving us crazy, we just get a little silly and then laugh it off. Once of those instances:Our husbands think we are nuts... but I think they learned to ignore our crazy behavior. So me and my BFF will continue to act like teenagers, make silly faces, and laugh at absolutely nothing. But isn't that what enjoying life is all about?