The Gang's All Here!

The Gang's All Here!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Old Stomping Grounds

The kids and I had a wonderful trip to Virginia! The kids were GREAT in the car and other than our last leg of the trip, (that was ugly, between Stella's headphones running out of batteries and Simon screaming most of the way - poor kid has an ear infection) they really were awesome. It was fabulous having a chance to catch up with friends and family (and sorry to those I missed, there's just never enough time!). I finally got to meet my nephew Nate, who is seriously the happiest, cutest baby ever. The kids were really excited to meet and play with their newest cousin. The weather was also perfect so we spent the majority of our time outside, which is my favorite place to be. It was just like the Virginia summers I remember from growing up. We took the kids to an apple orchard (tons of fun, by the way!) and I was struck by how beautiful it is back home. It's amazing how much I forget by not being there. As often as we made fun of Winchester (That would be "Funchester" and "Fred-neck County" to those who are local) growing up, it really is a beautiful place. Why did we call it Funchester? Because, back in ancient times (or the 80's and 90's) there was NOTHING to do there, hence the name. I'm proud to say that Winchester has come a long way since then!

Some highlights of our trip included a fire truck ride (my kids minds = blown - they were beyond excited), swimming at the "Pirate Pool" or as Stella pronounces it, Purt Pooool, and shopping. Oh, my children are masters at shopping. I'm not sure if Toys R Us knew what hit them. They were also introduced to Sweet Frog, which is a very yummy FroYo place. Stella just "naturally" assumed that we should eat there everyday. Left to her own devices, she may have actually been able to talk my parents into it! One of the other really cool parts of going home, was having my kids meet the kids of my good friends from back home. It was so much fun to see our kids playing together, a new generation of awesomeness :) I think the part of our trip that brought me the most unexpected joy, was stopping at JMU with the kids. Stella was VERY excited to see where I went to school. She charmed everyone in the bookstore and managed to keep up a very spirited one-way conversation the ENTIRE time we were in there. Where does she get that from??? It was a beautiful day, so I decided to hoof it over to the quad with the kids which was so worth it. I was so excited to have them with me and be able to show them such an important part of my life. And, can I just say WOW, I can't believe how much campus has changed! I hadn't been to JMU in about 10 years (way too long, I know). Campus is as beautiful as I remember (probably more so), but it just seemed so big!

I'm still having car drama, but we made the trip without any huge issues. Stay tuned to see how all of that plays out. I made the mistake of going to Target today and ran smack into the Back-to-School madness. I completely forgot that most of the schools around here are back in session beginning next week. How is it already August?!?! So, much to Stella's dismay, she ended up in the cart too because Target was completely out of control. I couldn't even park where I normally do...madness I tell you!

On Friday I meet with my oncologist and then I have a pre-op appointment with my plastic surgeon. I can't believe my surgery date is almost here!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Death by Minivan

I know, I know, the title of this post is overly dramatic and whiny. You can also probably tell just by reading the title that this is going to be rant and not a rave. So, here it is and you're welcome in advance ;)

It's been a crappy week since I last updated the blog. Steve's car was in the shop while we were at the beach (I won't even attempt to get into that mess, let's just say the car needs some serious work) and of course it wasn't ready when we returned. So, like any normal return trip for the beach (NOT), we swung by the airport so Steve could pick up a rental car. He was hoping for some sort of earth friendly vehicle that takes diet gas (aka: good gas mileage). On a side note, both of our cars are gas guzzlers to the extreme. He thought the rental would be a good experiment to see how much money we could save by driving a car with better gas mileage. Well, those rental cars are like a million dollars a week, so he ended up with a Dodge Charger. Man, that thing was ugly. It was a neon blue color with racing stripes. Finally, the middle of last week, we picked up his car and he decided rather than shell out $1,000 to have the mechanic fix his car, he'd do it himself. Wonderful...

That brings us to Friday. On Wednesday, I went to start my car and all hell broke loose. The check engine light came on along with about 45 other indicator lights (not really, but it felt like it). Steve checked the codes and assured me I could drive it safely and without doing further damage. There was something wrong with the emissions system pump (or something like that, I don't really know - car mechanics are really not my forte). On Friday morning, I went to start the car, which it did, but not happily. As we started to drive through the neighborhood, I noticed that I had the accelerator almost floored and we were going less than 25pmh. Obviously not a good sign. I guess whatever was wrong with the car threw it into something called "limp mode" which is basically a protective mode to prevent you (me) from doing further damage to the car. Awesome. So, Steve drove home from work to help me drop off the car at a different mechanic, play musical car seats (one of my MOST favorite games! oh, and holy freaking cheerios, by the way, it was like someone set off a cheerio bomb in my car) and pick up a rental car. Our second rental car in the same week. And oh, what a surprise he had for me...

Steve rented a minivan. He claims it was because we "needed the room" and he thought it "would be fun" to test it out. It's no secret regarding how I feel about minivans. First of all, I would have been happy with a sedan, especially given that I wouldn't have the rental that long. Secondly, Steve rented that thing just to torture me. I could go on, but I'll spare you! The kids were fascinated by the "magic" doors, especially Simon which was pretty funny to watch. Other than feeling like I was driving a cruise ship all weekend, we survived and I now have my car back ($3200 later but we won't go there right now). So between piloting a cruise ship, taking care of a husband who wasn't feeling well (ladies, you know what I mean here), and trying to accomplish what Steve and I normally get done together on a weekend by myself plus entertaining two toddlers (I want to play with DADDY, not you, MOMMY) and two wildly out of control dogs, I am pretty sure I had a taste of the 7th level of hell. Yup, pretty sure when it rains, it monsoons around here. If anyone would like to share a bit of this awesomeness, you just let me know ;).

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Welcome to 1996

I don't really have anything specific to talk about today, so I thought I'd just mention some of the random happenings around here. Let's see, where to start...

So, remember last summer when I fell down the steps carrying Simon and broke my iPhone (for the second time)? The light came on and never went off. Well, it was still on as of the 1st of July. Totally awesome, right? Steve and I were finally eligible for upgrades to our phone at the end of June. I was trying to hold out for the release of the new iPhone (rumor has it that it will be coming out at the end of the summer). Steve decided to stray from his iPhone and switched to that Samsung Galaxy something or other. He hates it... but that's a story for another day. Lesson learned, never stray from the mother ship, aka Apple. The good news in all of this is that I was able to switch to his iPhone. This is fantastic for many reasons including the fact that the light does not stay on. I can also use the phone like a normal person and no longer have to have all of my calls on speaker. I know all of you are really appreciative of that little tidbit of information! I can also get through the entire day without having to charge the phone multiple times. The only downfall to the whole phone switcheroo circus is that somehow, when we moved my data it sucked all the megabytes or gigabytes (or really, whatever the hell that stuff is called, I have no idea). So, I can't use my phone for anything other than phone calls unless I'm at our house. I hadn't realized how dependent I've become with texting. I feel like I have no contact with the outside world. No one answers their phone anymore! No more data for me until July 13th. I feel like I'm living in 1996 all over again... Nonsense I tell you!

We spent a nice, relaxing July 4th at the Hinman Compound in South Carolina. Somehow, the weather gods were on our side and we had gorgeous beach weather every day. The weather gods are very angry with Atlanta, it's poured for days here. The vegetation is starting to rot because it's been so wet and humid. One nice part about it being so rainy is that we haven't had crazy heat. I'm sure that will be here for most of August, but it's been nice to not have had Code Red days here yet.

I'm finally feeling better and I'm so thankful for that. There's nothing worse than feeling like crap in the middle of the summer. I don't have too much going on this week. The kids and I went to the pool this morning which was fun. They both love the water and it's so neat to see them become more comfortable with each trip to the pool. I have treatment on Friday and then sometime before August 2nd (which is when I next see my oncologist) I'm due for another PET scan. It's hard to believe it's been 3 months since the last one. We have a busy couple of weeks coming up including our summer trip to Virginia. The kids are excited and so am I!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hot Mess

It's been a busy, hectic week. I also managed to get sick over the weekend, which was super convenient and awesome. Steve had a tiny (TINY) cold when we left Ireland. Stella picked it up a few days after we returned but was better within a couple of days. Then, of course, Simon had it - and by that time it had manifested itself into a lovely cough. Luckily, it really didn't seem to phase him. I also (stupidly, mind you) assumed that I was in the clear given that I have been with Steve on our trip and then survived both kids having a cold. Oh no, silly, silly me. I started with a sore throat sometime last week that turned into a runny nose (read: faucet - so annoying). But, I felt okay, so I assumed it was just allergies. Then, on Saturday I sounded like I had smoked 40 packs of cigs, always a lovely sound. FYI, I've never smoked a day in my life, it makes me so sick... Anyway, I felt fine, so I went about my day in my normal 140mph. All well and good until I woke up Sunday feeling like I was going to die. It was ugly people. I was coughing like I had the plague and I just felt generally crappy. I didn't have a fever, but my body was just radiating heat, and still is.

All that to say, I finally dragged myself to the doctor today. I'm happy to inform you that I actually went to a REAL doctor, not a "doc in the box" AKA, CVS Minute Clinic. I really liked her and will be keeping her on my staff ;) Anyway, she diagnosed me with a sinus infection and bronchitis. What?!?!  Who gets bronchitis in the summer time? This girl, apparently. Ugh, it sucks, but she immediately skipped to the good drugs, so I'm already in love with her. I'm happy to be reunited with my old buddy Levaquin, so hopefully I'll kick this junk in the butt and be feeling better ASAP.

I need to be feeling better ASAP because we're heading to the beach tomorrow to celebrate the 4th with the Hinman crew. I need to be on my "A" game. And no, of course I haven't packed yet because I've just been trying to survive the past two days while Steve has worked. It'll all get done, because it has to!! We're looking forward to seeing the family and relaxing on the beach- if the weather cooperates. They're calling for up to 8 inches (yes, I said 8!!) of rain here between Wednesday and Friday. Nothing says Happy Independence Day like flash flooding and severe thunderstorms...

In other news, I scheduled my next reconstructive surgery. I'm going in August 20 which, ironically, is the first day of school for the kids, Yes, I know, horrendous planning on my part, but actually, they just announced the first day of school yesterday for my kiddos and I already had my surgery planned. Never fear, my parents will be here to bail us out of that mess. It's not ideal, but we're going to make it work. I also was remembering that my first surgery was one year ago today. Wow, what a difference a year makes!!