Saturday, May 22, 2010

The best 2 years of my life

Patrick and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary on May 17th. It's hard for me to believe it's already been 2 years! We've had so much happen in our lives in the past 2 years - our beautiful daughter was born, we got new jobs, moved to Tennessee, expecting a 2nd child - it seems like we've been married forever (and I mean that in a good way.) It's been the best 2 years of my life.

I've had several friends ask me what marriage is like. Many people have no idea what to expect, or maybe they've watched way too many Disney movies where Prince Charming swoops in and rescues his damsel, then they ride off into the sunset. Marriage is a wonderful union of 2 people before God, but it doesn't stop at the altar. It's for better or worse.

Marriage is:

1. Having your best friend with you forever. I love waking up every day and seeing my husband's face, knowing that he loves me for all that I am.

2. Learning how to live with each other's habits - the good and the bad. Each person has habits that he/she has grown up doing, and have never really thought about. I reuse paper towels after I dry my hands, so the kitchen counter is constantly littered with balled up paper towels that drive Patrick crazy. On the other hand, Patrick has a perpetual pile of clothes that he leaves on the bedroom floor. I have had to learn that no one has ever died from a sock on the floor, and that throwing away paper towels once in a while is probably a good idea.

3. Inside jokes. Over the years, we've had our share of inside jokes that we tease each other about, or little sayings that only we understand. It adds an element of fun to marriage.

4. It IS ok to go to bed angry sometimes. Not every argument needs to turn into a fight. Some nights, all you need is a good night's sleep to wake up and realize that what you were arguing about before was really kind of stupid.

5. Always saying "I love you." We tell each other "I love you" every day. I love you means "I love you through everything, and I'm not going anywhere."

6. Sharing your stuff. Marriage means sharing not only your physical possessions, but your past, your dreams, your victories and your mess-ups. It can be hard to do and sometimes it hurts, but it's an essential part of giving yourself to another person.

7. Knowing that someone was made for you. I know that Patrick was absolutely made for me. A friend and I once made a list of things we wanted in our future husbands. After Patrick and I started dating, I wasn't sure right away if he was "the one," but I prayed about it and felt like he might be. I sat down and took out that list and started comparing him to the (64-item long!!) list of things I wanted. He met all but 1-he was hairy. I decided I could live with that.

Marrying Patrick was the best decision of my life. I love him more than anything, and I look forward to many more years together.

An Alabama wedding

These past few weeks have been busy busy busy! As the weather gets warmer in Tennessee, our weekends seem to have more packed into them, which is ok by me.

Last weekend, Patrick, Haley, Todd and I piled in the van (a.k.a. the Swagger Wagon) and took a road trip to Alabama to see our friends Matt and Rachel get married. I've known Matt for a little over 2 years. He was in the same group of friends that Patrick was in when we lived in Virginia, and I have a lot of great memories of all of us having bbq's and movie nights at Patrick's bachelor pad not that long ago. After graduating, he moved back to Alabama to be closer to family, and ended up meeting his fiancee (now wife) Rachel. Happily, a few months ago Matt accepted a job where Pat and I both work, and he now lives in Tennessee - and will, of course, be bringing Rachel with him after they honeymoon in Aspen.

I was really excited about this wedding because it would be the first one Patrick and I attended since our own wedding 2 years ago. There's just something magical about seeing 2 people so in love, nervously standing before each other, giving their hearts to one another completely. Love is a beautiful thing. It made me think of the long wait that I went through to get to my wedding day, only to have it fly by in an instant when I myself was standing before my husband, sliding a ring onto his finger.

The wedding was gorgeous. Rachel and Matt had chosen black, yellow, and white as their colors, and the whole wedding had a very fresh, "springy" feel to it. The flower girls were adorable in their little white dresses and daisies in their hair, and of course Rachel was radient. We were also glad to have a few of our friends at the wedding as well, especially since many of them hadn't seen Haley since she was a tiny baby. We all shared a row at the back of the church (in case I had to escape with a whiny toddler.)

Since we didn't want to leave Haley alone while we stayed overnight in Alabama, she came too and was a perfect angel throughout the whole wedding - up until they were reciting their vows and she started saying "oooooohhh," which seemed hilariously appropriate. She kept herself entertained with an assortment of board books, toys, and an iPhone - which she loves playing Bejeweled on. She's going to be the reigning champ by age 3. She sat through the whole wedding and then it was onto the reception. Without a solid nap in between, Pat and I wondered how she'd do since the reception would undoubtedly go until late evening.

The reception was held at an art museum in Mobile. They had gone all out with personalized decorations like monogrammed aprons for some of the people serving food, and personalized coffee sleeves and goody bags for the favors - a cookie table where guests could choose from an assortment of homemade cookies. My favorite thing was the cake which, of course, carried out their yellow/white theme perfectly. And yes, it was as good as it looked.

After making it through several rounds at the buffet, toddling around the entire art museum, and the cake cutting, Haley promptly collapsed on Pat's shoulder in exhaustion at 9 pm. We were just glad that we made it through the whole night without any major freak outs from a little girl with no afternoon nap. We missed the dancing, but hey, I'm pretty sure the people there weren't ready for our sweet dance moves anyway. Oh well, maybe at the next wedding...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

8 Weeks

I started a tradition of posting belly pictures every 4 weeks when I was pregnant with my daughter, so this is week #8 to start us off!

What to Expect When You're Expecting is fond of the produce-fetus comparison, and tells me that Baby #2 is the size of a large raspberry right now. That's pretty incredible considering he/she started out as a microscopic ball of cells and will end up the size of a small watermelon.

I have my next ultrasound in exactly 2 weeks, and I'm excited for my husband to see the baby for the first time and hear the heart beat!

Mother's Day

Nothing says "Happy Mother's Day" like a bouquet of flowers and a box of gourmet cupcakes, wouldn't you agree?

Not to mention that my wonderful husband made me french toast for breakfast, took me out for lunch, and later made me grilled filet mignon for dinner. It was a great 2nd Mother's Day :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Freak out moment

I had a total parent freak out moment today. It was not pretty.

I told you earlier about how my daughter likes to play with all the stuff in my bathroom drawers. Well today, I was getting ready to go on a mommy/daughter shopping date while Haley played with the contents of my bathroom drawers at my feet. I finished putting on my make up and, since Haley was happily playing on the floor, left the room for no more than a minute to get something from the kitchen. When I walked back into the bathroom, I found Haley sitting on the floor with an open bottle of glucosamine/chondroitin supplements laying on the floor, and one slightly gnawed on pill in her hand. She had gotten into one of the cabinets where the forgotten supplements had been stored months ago. My first thought? FREAK OUT.

The supplements themselves are to lubricate joints. I bought them awhile ago to help my sore knees because of all the running I do, and I only had a few left in the bottle. Apprently the bottle is not child-proof, as I learned the hard way, and Haley zeroed in on it like a kid in a candy store. I have never had her eat anything potentially dangerous before (besides the odd crumb of food or piece of fuzz she finds on the floor here and there), but I knew this could possibly be a very dangerous situation. I wasn't sure how much of the supplement she had eaten, but I was pretty sure she hadn't swallowed a whole one since the pills are humongous.

All I could think of was to get whatever she had eaten out of her, so I ran over and scooped her up and stuck my finger in her mouth to try to get her to gag. She very quickly went from happy girl, to screaming confused girl. She gagged some, but not enough to get anything out. By that point, Haley was also freaking out because she didn't know what she had done to deserve a finger down her throat. I set her down, calmed her, and looked at the pills. From what I saw, it looked like she managed to gnaw off the end of one pill (roughly 1/4 of a pill). This was a good sign because it didn't seem like she ate an entire pill. I read the side of the bottle and, while it didn't warn about poisoning from the supplement, it clearly stated "keep out of reach of children." Yeah, too late for that.

While I didn't think there was too much danger because of the small amount she ate, I just couldn't be ok with "thinking" she was ok, I had to know. And that is how the Poison Control Center became my new best friend. I dialed the number and blurted out "My 14 month-old ate part of my glucosamine supplement, is she going to be ok???" to the nice, calm lady on the phone. She told me not to worry, glucosamine is not toxic and wouldn't cause her any harm. I was so happy I wanted to kiss the Poison Control rep.

All of the fear and anxiety instantly melted off the minute I heard my daughter was going to be ok. I added the Poison Control number to my contact list and hope that I never have to call them again. My daughter may be thankful for me this Mother's Day, but I'm more thankful for her.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sick of being sick

This is what our life has been full of for the past few months. Medicine droppers. As you can see, we've started quite an impressive collection of different shapes, colors, and sizes of droppers to give Haley medicine. It began with an ear infection and it all went downhill from there.

We first noticed something wasn't quite right with our daughter when she became unusually whiny. She's a very happy baby, even when she's sick, so it was extremely unusual that she began whining as much as she did. Me being the parent that shrugs most things off as just having a "bad day" decided that she was just tired. My husband, who is quite the opposite (he made me ask the pediatrician if Haley's hiccups were normal when she was a newborn) talked me into taking her in for a check up. It turns out that my poor, newly minted 1-year old had a double ear infection.

Haley had never had an ear infection before, so I knew it was only a matter of time until they found her, especially with the history that my husband had as a child - multiple ear infections, 8 sets of tubes, and several surgeries. No worries though, they'd give her some medicine and everything would heal up I thought. A week and one antibiotic later, we were back to visit Haley's pediatrician only to find out that both ears were still infected. Fast forward 4 more antibiotics, an allergy medication, several bad diaper rashes, 3 shots, and a partridge in a pear tree later and my poor baby still has yet to shake the double ear infections, and now she has pneumonia from all of the drainage. This poor girl can't catch a break.

To her credit, she is a trooper and she handles things better than I would if I had a double ear infection, allergies, and pneumonia at the same time. It amazes me how much such a little person can put up with and still keep a smile on her face. I just hope she doesn't have to put up with it much longer. She has an appointment with a specialist on Monday to look at her ears and decide whether or not she needs to get tubes put in. At this point, I just want whatever will make her feel and hear normally again. I just wish it hadn't come to tubes, even if thousands of other children across the world have been in her same tiny shoes.


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