Monday, September 29, 2008

We Take a Vacation... or, This Week on "ER: Orange Beach"

Our family had a looooong summer, and we decided a few weeks back to retreat to the beach for a relaxing, quality-time vacation. We arrived in Orange Beach ready for fun fun FUN! The condo we were staying in had great amenities, with a kiddie pool, children's fountain, multiple hot tubs & pools, and a clean private beach.

You might remember this place when we went last April... it was the scene of Eli's Great Elevator Debacle. Since then, the condo has been remodeled and redecorated - it was SO nice.

Go to our Flickr page to see all the photos.

The weather was perfect and the water was clear. Not a jelly fish in sight.

We frolicked in the sand and surf in the morning, took long naps during the day, and dined at beachfront restaurants at night. We took a night walk on the beach to search for crabs with our flashlights. After the boys crashed we watched the debates or caught the Alabama-Georgia football game. And slept the sleep of the dead.

Finn and Eli loved the sand the best. Any time they could find a hole to dig or bury their feet they indulged. There was a sand bar just a few yards out from the shore and we would wade out to stand in the shallow water there. Hotwheel Hubs heard there was a stingray migration and we even saw a "flock" of them from the balcony of our condo.

On Sunday it was time to head back home. We stayed until the very last moment - housekeeping was knocking on the door - and decided to visit the outlet stores on the way out. We lunched at Lambert's Cafe and headed to the stores. Both boys needed Fall clothes badly. Eli has surpassed Finn's hand-me-downs and he's too big for his brother's Fall clothes from last year, so I was looking forward to finding some killer deals.

That's when it went bad.

We were shopping when it happened. I was looking through the clothes and the boys were occupying themselves nearby, not even horsing around too much. Hubs was standing right there and couldn't prevent it from happening. It was a complete freak accident...

Finn fell and cut his arm on a clothes rack - it literally flayed a 3 inch flap of skin down to the layer of fat over his muscle. Caleb scooped him and I got a wet wipe to help stop the bleeding and we hightailed it the front of the store to find out where the hospital was. At this point I had not seen the cut and thought it was something that could be patched up with some Neosporin and a bandaid, but HH knew we had to go to the ER. Finn cried, but had already stopped before we got to the car.

After a 45 minute wait a nurse took a look and dressed the cut. We waited another 45 minutes for the doctor to see Finn.

The doctor was concerned because of the weird shape of the cut and how there would be no blood supply to the skin if they sewed it up. He took a gamble and put in 13 stitches. I won't go into the details here, but that was one of the hardest things I've had to do as a mom to date. It took three of us to hold Finn down for an hour - two nurses and me and the doctor to do the stitches. By the time it was over he was soaked from sweat and tears and slobber. He thrashed and fought the whole hour.

It killed me.

The ER doctor told us he didn't think the stitches were viable, and we needed to be prepared to undergo reconstructive surgery over a series of months. As of yesterday, our pediatrician said they looked good and were healing well so far. So... there's a big chance Finn won't have to do a skin graph and that we'll get the stitches out next week.

Waiting for the doctor.

Eli offers sympathy...

I'll post more as things develop.

Is it me, or is this condo cursed for us?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm Crazy... or, We Went Camping

Last weekend we experienced another "first" for the boys - AND for me.
We went camping.

I had been camping before, but never really did the tent kind. My dad shares a cabin on the mountain with my uncle and some of his friends, and growing up we would occasionally wrestle the four-wheelers up to the top and spend some time up there. It's no luxury pad, but has many amenities that a tent just doesn't have - a wood stove, bunk beds, sink, & outhouse. If dad brought the generator we would have electricity, and they keep huge jugs of water for washing dishes and drinking. So, I never really had to do the tent thing.

The botanical gardens hosted a Family Camp Night on their grounds, and HH and I thought it would be a good trial run for the boys. It was great! We pitched the tent close to the Japanese Water Garden in hopes that the fountain sounds would drown out any people noises and wake up the boys later that night. It worked pretty well except it made me want to pee the whole time.

We roasted hot dogs on sticks:

We made S'mores over an open fire: (a first for me too!)

We went on a flashlight hike through the Enchanted Forest, a hay ride to see all the garden's scarecrows, and threw rocks in the pond (for MUCH longer than I would have liked). Everything was going splendidly...

... until it was time for bed.

Eli was overtired, and when he gets that way we just have to ride the tide until he collapses from exhaustion. Luckily, it doesn't take long, but it's pretty intense until then. There was much fussing and thrashing and throwing himself on the ground. HH was able to get him asleep, but had to carefully extract himself from the Eli Bear Grip in order to get to his own sleeping bag. Finn was happy as a lark and thought the whole thing was "super cool". We all snuggled into sleeping bags and passed out.

I slept really well and deeply, which surprised me. I woke up, all ready to pack up and get some breakfast. I checked my phone to see what time it was: Twelve thirty.

WHA??? You've got to be kidding me.

I looked over at Caleb, who was flat on his back, staring up at the tent ceiling. "That's how I felt thirty minutes ago," he said. "We're trapped in the night that will never end."

To make a really long story shorter, we got through it. Finn woke up around 1:00 AM, did a weird little sleep-walking monkey dance and fell back asleep. At 4:00 AM we woke up to the sound of a military drill exercise taking place on the base next door to the garden. It was difficult to get back to sleep after that, plus it started raining and it was cold. We packed up and headed back to the Hacienda.

Did the boys go back to sleep after we got home and they their own warm, dry beds to enjoy?

Did I make it to my meeting in Birmingham after 3 hours sleep?

Will we be camping in our backyard soon?
According to Finn, we will.

Are S'mores better over an actual fire as opposed to the microwave?
No question about it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Is That a Pumpkin In Your Pants?

Since recycling is the cool thing to do now, I thought I'd recycle an old post. This one's from Monday, October 02, 2006. Finn was not yet two and Eli a mere three months when I wrote it...

I love this time of year. Sweaters and sharpened pencils, the acrid tang of cotton defoliant in the air, the Halloween candy on special. From the back porch, I can hear the drums from the middle school marching band on Thursday nights whenever they play home games.

What is your favorite memory of Fall? What do you like most?

When I was very small my parents took me to the local Farmer's Market to pick out a pumpkin to carve. I must have been around three at the time, and when we got there a photographer for the paper asked to take my picture. They put the camera inside a pumpkin and took a shot of my three year old face peering in and smacking my lips. I wore denim overalls and they put me on the front page. Years later, I found about 15 copies of that page in the family photo chest.

My sister and I tagging along when my dad went dove hunting. Being on the dance team and performing at halftime football games. Falling in love with my husband while driving through Amish country (of all places).

What are your most vivid Fall memories? Leave them in the comments.


Funny story - yesterday this came in the mail from one of my aunts. She found it in her photos and sent it to me. How did she know I was planning to blog about it?

October 30, 1980
"Pumpkin Point of View"
Ever wonder what Halloween looks like to a pumpkin? If you are round and orange and you see little girls like Stephanie F. , 3, thinking about pumpkin pie and making jack-o-lanterns it's not a pretty sight. But it is an interesting angle with the camera inside the pumpkin shell. Stephanie is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen F.  of New Market, and the pumpkin resides, at least temporarily, at a stand on north Memorial Parkway.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In Which Craig Ferguson is Awesome

I puffy heart Craig:

"... Here's some good advice on what voting is all about, plus a dash of media critique of election coverage by mainstream media, delivered in a zexy brogue by talk show host Craig Ferguson."  -- MOMocrats

And fabulous Les Mis spoofs with Obama aides:

And, yes... I AM phoning it in lately. 

I'm taking a bit of a break and leaning on my "Guilt-Free Blogging" rights. Now that Big Fat Work Event is over, I'm reading books and playing with my kids and cooking and getting my house in order again. We're headed to the beach soon, and going camping this weekend. We're thinking of putting the house up for sale. We're trying to roll with punches at Hotwheel Hubs work. I threw a baby shower for my sister and am coordinating a wedding for my friend. I'm jumping back on the wagon and hitting the gym again. 

We're waiting with baited breath as this election unfolds. 

In other words, we're doing the real world thing for a while. 

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Standing on the Shoulders of Blog Giants

I love it when I'm blog hopping and I find something that screams at me - something I wish I had written because it put into words exactly how I feel about a particular issue. 

Check out these posts from other blogs that succinctly sum up my feelings toward the election and some of it's related issues...

Miss Zoot wrote: 
I have never found myself more emotionally invested in an election in my entire life. I’m not sure if it’s my strong belief in Obama or my extreme irritation with Bush - but the two together? Have turned me into a passionate Democrat this year. I found myself on the verge of tears several times yesterday as I read woman after woman discuss why they wouldn’t vote for Sarah Palin. I’m so proud that we have come so far as women that we not only have a female VP candidate, but we can actually choose not to vote for her. We’ve come so far as a nation that - in my opinion - it’s actually the all-male ticket that I feel will fight for the women’s issues I care about most.

Then MammaSphere compiled a list of Alaskan bloggers who have some pretty striking evidence against Palin... No matter which way you lean, I'm just sayin - we all know media's a bit sketchy these days. I've been getting a LOT of good information from blogs and overseas. 

Mommypie's great You Tube posts: 

If this one doesn't floor you, then you are made of wood.

In other (fragmented) news... 
Anybody going to BlogHer Reach Out Tour? I'm pretty close to Nashville and would love to go check it out and see what the fuss is about. Super Woman can't make it and Ms. Kelby is hosting a contest to give away some tix - who knows? Maybe I'll get lucky! 
Maybe YOU will!

Boy Briefs, the Hodgepodge Version

A recent conversation with Finn:

Finn: "I gonna be Inyanna JONES for Halloweeeen. Eli gonna be a penguin 'cause he likes ice and its COLD."

Me: "Oookay... what is Daddy going to be?"

Finn: "A banana."

Me: "...... really?"

Finn: "'An you gonna be Panna Montanna. 'Cuz he a good singer and he rocks." 

Is this a compliment or an insult? 
And how do you even know who Hannah Montana is? ...YOU'RE THREE!! 
We also have a bit of a pronoun problem we need to work on. 


Overheard last week in response to meeting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

High School Kid: "Whoa. That's a lot of denim."


So Nebraska might be experiencing a population burst. 

Having trouble with your angsty teen? Tired of worrying about curfews and underage drinking and premarital sex when it comes to your 16 year old? 

OMAHA, Neb. - Nebraska’s new “safe-haven” law allowing parents to abandon unwanted children at hospitals with no questions asked is unique in a significant way: It goes beyond babies and potentially permits the abandonment of anyone under 19. 
While lawmakers may not have intended it, the month-old law raises the possibility that frustrated parents could drop off misbehaving teens or even severely disabled older children with impunity.
“Whether the kid is disabled or unruly or just being a hormonal teenager, the state is saying: ’Hey, we have a really easy option for you,”’ said Adam Pertman, executive director of a New York adoption institute and a frequent critic of safe-haven laws.


All you parents out there probably discovered this fantastic treat a long time ago, but I have only recently found them out. Whole grains, natural ingredients, low-fat, gluten-free. And whose going to turn these down with a name like Pirate's Booty? 

My boys liked it so well we had it for dinner tonight with apples, bananas, and cheese. Can you tell I'm still recuperating from the work week? 

Friday, September 5, 2008

#110 - Here's your cue, KAJ

#110 - Here's your cue
Originally uploaded by domesticat
It's over!!! We did it!! I can't be more proud of my board, the staff, and the event committee. I have that warm & fuzzy exhausted feeling you get when a major project is finished - plus wine helps.

I think I said "I love you" and "thank you" about a zillion times last night and today, and probably will a zillion more times next week.

I meant every one.

Photo credit: domesticat is a photo goddess!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Holy cow, I'm busy. I passed myself on the road three times today! But KAJ is here and I got him settled. Hopefully he'll spend tomorrow resting and adjusting to AL time. 

I'll check in with ya'll next week and let you know how it goes tomorrow. After then I hope to take some much-deserved time out of the office. 

Here's the latest media on my event for the record...

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