May 31, 2010

Matrimony & McDonald's...

Just a quick post with a few things we had fun doing last weekend... when, oh when will I ever be caught up to the here and now??

Last Saturday, a co-worker of mine was married. Jennifer & Nic had a beautiful ceremony at a private home in the Back Bay Boulevard area of Wichita followed by a reception at Gallery One-Nine.

Here are a few random pics from the pre-ceremony events:





Sassy and Little A definitely enjoyed the food and beverages while waiting to board the coach buses for the ceremony!



We spent the duration of the ceremony trying to keep Little A quiet. After the small number of fruit snacks I packed were long gone, I resorted to allowing Little A to play with my sunglasses and cell phone- she was hilarious!





Lucky for us, Sassy was completely enthralled with bugging the daylights out of sitting nicely with her preschool teacher, Mrs. B, and her daughter, Miss J!



Well, for most of the ceremony, anyway...



We got a blurry pic of the happy couple coming back down the aisle...



Sassy just had to sit up on the ledge for a quick picture on the way back to boarding the buses, in order to show off the rose petal she just had to have from the aisle...



We returned to the Executive Center for a pasta bar dinner... very nice! We ended up taking the girls outside to run around a bit, and so did everyone else who brought kids! For some reason, the climate control in the building was a bit off, and it was H-O-T.

Finally, it was time to head up to the 18th and 19th floors for the cake cutting and dancing! It was way past the girls bedtime at this point, but we had to stay long enough for cake, or we would have never heard the end of it...




Mommy and Little A took a quick self-portrait.



And, we were O-U-T.



All in all- wedding with 2 little ones- a huge success! Congrats Nic & Jennifer!


Sunday, we hosted a House Party Shrek 4 McDonald's party for some friends! We caught the earliest showing of Shrek 4, and headed to McDonald's for some lunch and to hand out all of the extra goodies we got from House Party. We had a great time. Thanks, House Party!!

Memorial Day.

Photo here

Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours.
-Wallace Bruce

May 27, 2010

Brush. Rinse. Repeat.

So, this is Little A's new favorite game...

She runs to the basement, tears into her Rose Petal Cottage, and drags the sink {which is as big as she is} out into the middle of the room.



She finds a Barbie hairbrush and begins to brush her teeth vigorously while leaning over the sink. It looks quite painful.

Then, she spits. Of course. What else is one to do after brushing their teeth, after all?

Spitting in the rose petal sink. Nice.

May 26, 2010

Summer Officially Begins!

That's right, folks...

School's OUT! Sassy had her last day of preschool yesterday, and she is SO excited that summer break has begun. Now don't get me wrong... she completely and totally ♥'s school. Nonetheless, she is pumped that summer is here.

I had no work scheduled for today, so we celebrated the start of summer with a trip to Great Plains Nature Center. Nana and Graycop came, too. We made sure to get a picture of Nana and the girls outside to place in the "Nana" picture frame the girls gave her for Mother's Day.



We also spent some time looking at the geese, talking about the sounds geese make, and adoring the cute, fuzzy little goslings!



Unfortunately, Sassy's flip flops began bothering her almost immediately, so we didn't even attempt one of the outdoor nature trails. We did enjoy our time inside, however. Little A was cracking me up- she wanted the visor on her stroller out, even though we were inside. So, this is the view Mommy got of Little A all morning:



Graycop advanced with Little A to the fish tank, while Nana, Sassy, and I listened to the storyteller read Eat Your Peas, Ivy Louise!

We went through the little museum. Little A was fascinated with the "dog" i.e. coyote on display.



Sassy ran straight to the table with all of the hands-on items- turtle shells, pine cones, snake skin, hooves, horns... you name it.



We spent a bit of time in the observatory. My Mom commented that she would love a room like this in the house for reading. I commented that I would love a room like this in the house for natural light and photography purposes!



Sassy posed like a princess:



Little A tirelessly made me a nervous wreck by going up and down and up and down and up and down the stairs... no railings, of course...



Have I ever mentioned that Little A has some of the most striking eyes ever?



I ♥ her eyes, but her tummy is equally as delicious!



We decided to grab some lunch, and Sassy was allowed to pick the restaurant for the stellar report card she brought home. I am always hesitant to let her choose, because she rarely eats, but she chose Buffalo Wild Wings and ate two entire chicken fingers. Wow!

So, yes... summer has officially begun. We've promised the girls that we would set up the little pool and sprinklers this weekend. Sassy is chomping at the bit to start swim lessons. She has her very first summer dance class this evening. My work schedule will become more stacked on certain days, but less busy each day to allow me more quality time with the girls. We have some fun things planned, some traveling to do, and we are excited!

Hope you'll stick around for the ride er, the recaps!

May 25, 2010

Test Day...

Here is some more info about Sassy and her recent VUR diagnosis:

Last Monday, we arrived at Wesley at 7:30 AM. Poor Sassy was not able to eat or drink anything past midnight Sunday evening, so she was a bit cranky. We got through the registration process, and were led back to ultrasound first. Sassy was very brave, and having her kitty Marie with her helped. After all, it is her new favorite guy.



She was very cooperative while they did the ultrasound of both kidneys and her bladder. She thought it was pretty neat seeing all of the images up on the screen:



After the ultrasound was over, we were taken to the pediatric floor of the hospital, and Sassy was given her won room. She was allowed to stay in her clothes, and within minutes, a child life specialist was in to visit her. I have been so thankful that Wesley employs CLS's, and we have had fabulous experiences with them each time we have been to the hospital or ER. The CLS brought Sassy a doll house to play with and a clipboard, crayons, and Dora coloring pages. She was in heaven:





Sassy's nurse took some time to explain what the VCUG procedure would be like, and a resident did a quick exam. The attending paid a visit as well, checking Sassy's vitals, explaining the sedation procedure, and going over any last minute questions we had. Sassy was starting to grow a bit antsy...



Then, Sassy got her dose of Versed. We were assured that this would make Sassy tired AND make her forgetful of the string of events that were about to transpire. I'd say we batted about .400.

When it was time to go to the scanning room, Sassy was loaded into a little red wagon, complete with a spot for her HR monitor. She was pretty pumped, although growing drowsier by the minute.



Once we got to the room, Tyler and I were allowed to stay with her at the head of the scan table. I found it very hard to resist the urge to whip out my camera in there... not because of anything to do with Sassy... but because the male nurse handed me a blue x-ray protective smock thing, and then proceeded to hand Tyler one of the leopard variety. Full out animal print. Awesome.

Without going into great detail, the actual test wasn't a walk in the park. Sassy had to get a catheter, which was no fun. Then, they basically filled her bladder with contrast until the point where they felt she couldn't hold it any longer. They removed the catheter, and asked her to expel the contents of her bladder onto the table. Yeah... right. Try getting a 4-year-old to pee all over the place. Not happening.

She was writhing around and crying and it was awful. Have you ever had to go to the bathroom so badly that it physically caused you pain? Lots of pain? I know I have, and that is just how Miss Sassy felt for what seemed like forever, but was probably 5 or so minutes. The woman doing the test commented on what fabulous bladder control Sassy had, and that she had never seen a little one hold it for so long. Finally, Sassy did what she was supposed to, felt immediate relief, and they were able to capture the shots they needed.

Of course, this is where it became apparent that there was indeed VUR present on the one side- her ureter and calyces into the kidney lit up like fireworks on the screen. Not.supposed.to.happen.

Sassy was cracking me up on the way back up to the room. It seems like the full effects of the Versed kicked in at about this time. She kept asking me if the wagon was going to take us all the way home. She was too cute. She got comfortable tucked into bed for some monitoring and cartoon watching.



After a few hours, all was well, and Sassy is none the worse for wear today. However... Versed acting as an amnesiac... I don't think so. She remembers everything, right down to the details. Oh, Sassy... what are we going to do with you?

May 24, 2010

Sargeant's Berry Farm

Saturday, Lynzee and I took the kids over to Sargeant's Berry Farm to pick strawberries. We had taken on the task once before, back in 2008, and the kids really enjoyed it. My Dad took a ride with us, and we geared up for some serious strawberry pickin'...

When we arrived at the farm, we were given buckets to collect our strawberries in, and we boarded the wagon that would be pulled by tractor to take us out into the field. The girls were ready...



Once we got to the field, we were given instructions about which rows to pick from, how to carefully avoid stepping on the strawberry plants, and so forth. The girls were really into it. Little A took off running, and the big kids promptly began to fill their buckets.



Little A may or may not have decided to sit on top of a strawberry plant. I wonder if that counts as stepping on the plants??



We made some great progress in our assigned rows! Little A may or may not have decided to eat some {dirt covered} strawberries right from the patch.



I may or may not have allowed her to do so for the sake of cute pictures.

Her face may or may not have ended up looking like this:



On the ride back tot he farm, LMB and LuLu proudly showed off their goods. I may or may not have asked the adorable little farm boy if I could take his picture while he shucked a basket of peas.



All in all, it was a success. We ended up with mostly ripe and edible strawberries, and the girls had a wonderful experience. We will definitely be back later in the summer for blackberries, peaches, and plums. Yum!

Dare you hop on over to MckMama's Not Me! Monday carnival today?

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

May 23, 2010

The Celery Song...

Sassy has been prancing around singing a new song that I presume she learned at preschool.

The funniest things occurs, though...

Half the time, she belts out, "I am celery. Tall, green, and crunchy!" to the tune of We Are Family by Sister Sledge.

The other half of the time, she sings "Look at me, I'm celery. I'm tall and green and c-r-uuuu-nchy..." to the tune of Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee from Grease.

Now, while both are hi-larious, I am positively befuddled as to how she can sing the song to both tunes...

Surely they didn't learn two versions at school, right?

May 22, 2010

All We Need Is...

We've got the strawberries...



We've got the shortcakes...



Now all we need is the cool whip!

More on Sargeant's Berry Farm to come...

May 21, 2010

Other people have birthdays around here, too...

It's true.

The girls aren't the only ones who celebrate birthdays around the SPH.

Although, you wouldn't know it considering the amount of effort that goes into birthdays around here unless your name is Sassy or Little A.

Anyway, yesterday was Ty's birthday. It was likely even more low-key than normal considering how busy we've been with Sassy's latest medical drama and Little A's second Heartspring hearing evaluation (more on that later. News = good)...

After work, we all went and had dinner at Playa Azul... Ty's choice... sort of. It was like pulling teeth to get him to name a place he wanted to eat at for his birthday. Whatever.

I tired to get a decent picture of Ty with the girls. Mind you, this is the first time I have taken pictures since Mother's Day. New record. For reals.



It went about as well as normal...



Afterwards, we headed home for some store bought carrot cake (Tyler's request) and some cupcakes for Sassy... did you really think she was going to eat something with the word carrot in the title?



Tyler got a gift certificate to Gander Mountain from my parents. As for a gift from the girls and I... that was taken care of a month or so back when Tyler bought a windsurfer he just had to have off of Craigslist. Hi, we live in the middle of Kansas. To think, he has an advanced degree...

The End. Happy Birthday Ty.

May 20, 2010

Sedated, Part II

I couldn't help myself. This video was from a bit later than the first, after some more of the sedation had worn off. Note- we did not tell her we would be going to Old McDonald's. Also, listen for Tyler's whisper encouraging me to try to trick poor, sick child out of the trip to Build-A-Bear that I so desperately promised her during the not so fun part of her diagnostic test. Men.

May 19, 2010

VUR.

I have some exciting things that I would like to be writing about, but I feel like I just need to get this crappy post out of the way first.

About a month back, Sassy woke up on a Saturday morning not feeling very well at all. She was running a fever and complaining of a severe headache, which she had never had before. We kept an eye on her throughout the day and pumped her full of Tylenol and Motrin in attempts to bring her fever down. I was on the phone several times with the nurse from Children's Mercy, discussing things to try next.

At around 8 pm, it was recommended that we bring her into the ER. She had a fever hovering very near 105 that would not come down more than a degree with meds. She still had this awful headache, which is scary to hear a (then) 3-year-old complain about all day. Like, a debilitating headache. She finally developed a nasty case of the chills that had her trembling for over an hour, which is when we made the call to bring her in.

Long story short- we thought it was going to be strep throat (Tyler had been diagnosed the day prior), but it turned out to be a UTI. She got some antibiotics, was feeling better within a day or two, and that was that.



Any time you go to the ER, they tell you to follow up with your doctor. So, a few days later, I called the pediatrician to see if they actually wanted to see her, and they did. We went in, the repeated the UA (clean) and I thought that was going to be that...

Until we saw the doctor. Dr. B asked several questions about the course of the day she was sick, and he concluded that based upon her high fever, complaints of headache, and lab results, it was his belief that she actually had a kidney infection.

OK, a bit more serious, but she was fine now...

However, he explained a disease called vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) that can often present itself with repeated UTI's/kidney infections. Quick anatomy lesson- we each have 2 kidneys with two ureters that travel down and attach to the bladder. When we urinate, there is a valve that prevents back flow of the urine up the ureter to the kidney. In people with VUR, that valve does not work properly, allowing urine to travel back up the ureter carrying bacteria, which leads to the kidney infections and eventually kidney scarring and possibly renal failure. Scary.

He explained that he wanted to order an ultrasound to rule out VUR.

OK.

So, when I went to set up the appointment for the ultrasound with the nurse, after a brief discussion, I came to the realization that an ultrasound was not all he was ordering. Sassy also needed a VCUG, which at her age, required sedation. Ick.

All this information was a bit hard to digest. I expected none of this going in. We went ahead and scheduled the diagnostic tests, and then I spent the next weeks debating whether they were necessary. I kept telling myself that it was all very extreme for one diagnosed infection. I came very close to calling it off, but decided that up until this point, I have always trusted Dr. B, whether I loved what he had to say or not, and this should really be no different.

Well, we went in for the tests Monday, and I'm sure you can see where this is heading...

Sassy has been diagnosed with Unilateral Grade III VUR. She has been placed on an antibiotic regimen to prevent breakthrough infections, and we need to follow up with a pediatric nephrologist to determine if we will proceed with surgical correction or attempt the antibiotics for a year in hopes that she will grow enough to improve the function of the valve. We just don't know yet.

I am so thankful that we proceeded with the test, and that she is only affected on one side. This should mean that, regardless of any damage that has been done to the one kidney over the past 4 years (hopefully none!), in theory she should have one bright, smooth, shiny kidney in there. I will go into more detail about our day of testing at a later time, and also keep you all posted with what happens next... as soon as I know anything!

Thanks for all the nice thoughts and prayers for our Sassy! Keep 'em coming, please!

May 18, 2010

Sedated.

Sassy had to go in for a diagnostic test yesterday morning (more on that when I acquire the capacity to write it out... sorry we've been MIA...) so I thought I'd share a little video of her "smiling" for a "picture" while still feeling the sedation. Hee hee.

video

Poor thing. Funny, but a little pathetic at the same time...

May 13, 2010

The Great 8...

I was just enjoying Whitney's post 8 is Enough, and thinking to myself how I would answer. So, I was trilled to see I had been tagged! A blog game... sweet!

8 TV Shows I Like to Watch

1. Glee
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. The Biggest Loser
4. Top Chef
5. Project Runway
6. FRIENDS (I own all the season's on DVD and watch them regularly)
7. American Idol
8. Any MTV reality show that I am clearly too old to be watching...

8 Favorite Places to Eat and Drink

1. The Cheesecake Factory
2. HuHot
3. Sumo by Nambara
4. Sonic... hello Rte. 44 Diet Coke during happy hour...
5. Lou Malnati's
6. Wonderbar... oh, how I miss you.
7. Portillo's
8. Cafe Northwest, Ames, IA

8 Things I Look Forward To

1. Taking the girls to Disney World someday.
2. Learning more about my camera.
3. Bastian & Nicole moving back to the States!
4. 4th of July in Chicago with my family.
5. Meeting my nephew Tucker in person!
6. My Spa Day!.
7. Mommy & Sassy trip to Cape Cod this summer.
8. Beginning to write a book.

8 Things I am Passionate About

1. My daughters.
2. My family.
3. My fantastic friends.
4. My work- Parents As Teachers.
5. Photography.
6. Blogging.
7. Reading and learning.
8. Shopping.

8 Words or Phrases I Use Often

1. Seriously?!?
2. No-No.
3. Teeth are not for biting...
4. Inside voice, please.
5. Sweet dreams. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite.
6. Relax.
7. Probably not...
8. I'll be right there...

8 Things I Have Learned From the Past

1. Being a Mom is the greatest.thing.EVER.
2. Having great women friends is really all it's cracked up to be.
3. There is nothing as refreshing as having a GREAT support system.
4. The grass isn't always greener...
5. Things worth having are worth the effort.
6. Enthusiasm and a positive attitude can carry you miles...
7. True generosity rarely backfires.
8. People can do things that you'd never dream them capable of doing- good things and bad things.

8 Places I Would Like to Visit/See

1. Hawaii
2. Scotland
3. Ireland
4. Germany
5. Seattle
6. Thailand
7. Japan
8. Amelia Island

8 Things I Currently Want/Need

1. A Diet Coke.
2. A dinner plan.
3. A maid.
4. A vacation.
5. A winning lottery ticket.
6. A magic pill that would allow to to never require sleep.
7. A minivan.
8. A nap (lest #6 comes true).

8 Bloggers I Tag

1. Shannon
2. Sarah
3. Mae
4. Renee
5. Monica
6. Sherry
7. Ashley
8. Anyone else who cares to join in the fun...

11191.

11191.

It's my new favorite number.

Last week, just before Mother's Day, one of my favorite bloggers (Jennifer aka MckMama) tweeted about an awesome Mother's Day giveaway hosted by several bloggers over at The Blog Frog and sponsored by Alice.com.

The super duper grand prize was free house cleaning for a year, so you can be sure that captured my attention!

In order to enter, I had to hop around to several Blog Frog communities (it's like a giant facebook/message board platform for bloggers and readers) and leave comments on the Alice posts. It took about 5 minutes. And then, in true Heather fashion, I pretty much forgot about it.

Until yesterday.

I received an email from Lori of The Thrifty Mama cluing me that I had one a prize. There were several other prizes to accompany the super duper grand prize, including the one I won- a SPA ESCAPE!

I could hardly believe my eyes! As the details unfolded, I became more and more excited. Long story short, I have won the "A Little Bit of Everything" spa package at the Beau Monde Spa & Boutique + gratuity. All I have to do is show up. My package includes a 1 Hour Relaxing Aroma Massage, Yonka Classic Facial, Spa Manicure and Spa Pedicure.

YES!!!

I felt pretty lucky at this point. Even luckier when, as I hopped from blog to blog to thank those involved, I learned that I was entry #11191. The winner for the house cleaning was somewhere in the 34,000 range.

Needless to say, I am very excited to schedule my spa day. I've never done anything like this before!

Feel free to take a moment and stop by all the wonderful bloggers and organizations that made this Mother's Day giveaway possible and that encouraged me to give it a try:

MckMama
Alice Blog
The Blog Frog
The Thrifty Mama
Tatertots & Jello
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Faithful Provisions
Hoosier Homemade
The Happy Housewife

I'll be sure to share about my experience once I have my SPA DAY!!

May 12, 2010

Mother's Day

Another Mother's Day behind me. It's hard to believe that this year marked my FIFTH Mother's Day celebration. FIVE. Wow.

Tyler asked me what my ideal day would look like, and I said one word- RELAXING. We have been on the go, on the go, on the go non-stop lately. Birthdays and work and garage sales and recitals and...

I could go on awhile, but I'll spare you.

So, I pretty much stayed in bed until around noon. The girls made cinnamon rolls and served them to me... in bed... with orange juice. I caught up on some DVR. Sassy and I watched Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Sqeakquel while Little A napped. It was, well... relaxing.

After, I finally decided to force myself in the shower so we could actually go do something. We decided to visit Botanica with the girls. They were offering free admission because of Riverfest and Mother's Day. A small part of me wanted to get some fresh air and see the plants and flowers. An admittedly larger part of me was dying inside just a little knowing that we had not had any Mother's Day photo ops previously throughout the day.

Hey, I'm just being honest...

So, we trekked on over to Botanica. It was a cool and cloudy day, just like the last time we visited. Which makes me laugh a little, since the first time we ever went to Botanica with Sassy, it was approximately 108 degrees out. For real.

We only had about an hour in the gardens before they closed for the day, but we were able to fit lots of fun in.

Smelling Flowers:



Little A Showcase:



Sassy Showcase:



My best Mother's Day gifts:



Some more Little A:



And, no trip downtown would be complete without a stop at The Donut Whole. Spoil dinner... eh. You only live once.



We did finally return home and Tyler made beer-can chicken, baked potatoes, and corn on the cob for dinner. We put the girls to bed and relaxed, watched The Blind Side, and called it a day.