Sunday, January 30, 2011

Breakfast in bed

I woke up this morning at 9:45, and slipped out of bed. I was SOOOO happy to be able to make this for Ethan and serve it to him in bed. We spent some time snuggling and talking and went back to sleep for a little bit. It was so unbelievably nice to get a taste of "normal" for a change. Then reality called... I went to the gym to work out while he worked on homework, and then I met up with Emily at my favorite pedicure place, which was awesome. We checked out Menchie's Frozen Yogurt which was next door, and it was quite tasty! I had the Butter Brickle and Cake Batter (I couldn't decide between the two!) topped with some hot fudge. Delicious. We had a lot of fun talking about our trip to Mexico and decided we're going to indulge in some spa treatments while we're there, which I'm beyond excited about! I didn't do any last time because that would have meant time away from Ethan, but you can bet I'll be taking advantage this time. I will definitely be doing some sort of body scrub, and possibly a Vichy shower... we'll see!

I came home to find Ethan still working hard, and have started cooking dinner for us...tonight it is chicken breasts stuffed with broccoli & cheese, with salad and parker house rolls. It will be done in about 30 minutes and then we'll watch the latest DVR'ed episode of Southland. This week is going to be a fun but crazy week.... here's hoping I have the energy to get through it!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cinnamon buns and bacon...

Ethan took the day off of work tomorrow, and I am so unbelievably excited about this.

This means:

1) I get to sleep in with my husband. This never happens unless we're on vacation because he has Wednesdays and Thursdays off, and I have Saturday and Sundays off. So one of us is always leaving before the other. Someday we'll have the same off days...but until then, the days we do have where we can sleep in and lazily wake up next to each other are treasured by me.

2) I get to cook breakfast! I absolutely love to cook, and I cook dinner for us about 3-4 evenings per week, which just become the norm for us in the last six months....before then the only night we could have dinner together at home was Sunday night due to schedule conflicts. I NEVER get to cook breakfast for us. So tomorrow morning I'm making Ethan's favorite cinnamon buns (granted, they're the Pillsbury kind so all I have to do is bake them) and crispy bacon, which is kind of my specialty. I can make bacon super crispy without burning it - and Ethan loooooooves crispy bacon. I will probably make eggs too, because I'm not a fan of the cinnamon buns. I was raised on my dad's homemade cinnamon buns, so everything else just tastes like a lame attempt at it.

3) Ethan won't be as tired tomorrow and will be able to get more done, and we'll be able to go for a run together! Which also never happens. And the weather is absolutely beautiful and perfect for it this weekend.

My weekend has been nice so far....last night I was off at 8:45 PM (which NEVER happens...note the theme here...) and was in bed with Ethan by 10. I finished most of our tax return and am just waiting on one more document, which will be here in the next couple of days, I'm sure. We aren't your typical couple with the tax return...we put the whole refund straight into our retirement savings. We actually do this with any "found" or unexpected money.

This morning I slept in until 9 and then headed up to Buckhead to have my tire repaired, and then went grocery shopping. I think everyone was outside enjoying the beautiful day because the grocery store was a quick trip. I whipped up some apple cinnamon muffins for Ethan's breakfasts this week and hardboiled a bunch of eggs. I always do this on the weekends so that he has something portable for the following week since he doesn't always have time to eat if he sleeps until the last possible second...which he does often. I would too if I had to be up at 5:45 AM every morning. It's a miracle that neither of us drink coffee, honestly. I did some things around the house and then headed to Art of Touch, which is where I get massages. I've been working out quite a lot, so the massage was heaven. I bought a package of 6, and I can't wait to get my next one, which will be in 2 or 3 weeks. I try to spread them out.

Right now I'm at "work", babysitting for my Greek kids. The little girl is at a sleepover, and the 10 year old boy has a friend spending the night...right now they are playing Halo on the XBOX, so I'm merely here to be an adult presence. Not a bad way to make money...sit here and blog while being paid for my time. Ethan is working on his CPA exam prep homework right now, so I'm not missing out and am less of a distraction this way!

In other things....lots has been on my mind lately...I'm not one to go into deep and personal details about my life, but if you think of it, could you just pray for me? I could use clarity of thought and discernment for some upcoming decisions that have to be made. Thanks!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fun weekend....

My weekend has been fun, and I've been super productive. I'm not going to bore people with a long "this is what I did this weekend" blog entry since it wasn't that exciting. I've been spending a lot of time at the YMCA which has been awesome (getting bikini ready for April's Mexico trip!) and just doing things around the house (laundry, grocery shopping, etc.) I did order a new pair of Mizuno running shoes since my current pair is totally worn out. I'm going to start the C25K program over again since it's been awhile since I've run. My goal is to actually RUN in a 5k sometime this spring, maybe in March or April. In 45 minutes or less. I need to find one and just sign up for it so I don't talk about doing it and not actually do it when the time rolls around. 2011 is going to be the year I reach my fitness goals (again). I can feel it in my sore muscles....

Ethan has been very, very, very busy with homework for his Becker CPA prep. Busier than he was when he was in school taking 6 classes and working full-time. This isn't a bad just means that I'm throwing myself into this gym routine with a passion since it gives me something to do away from the house (so I don't accidentially distract him). It's working out pretty well for us...I am working late on the nights that he is in class, and our weekends are basically the same as they have always been. I'll be happy when he's finished with this CPA prep in July. I should look like a supermodel by then, right? Haha.

I'm also trying to figure out when to go to Charlotte to visit my family...right now it looks like the last weekend of February, but I'm not sure yet. Still trying to ascertain if everyone is going to be in town or not, and if it's a "good" weekend to leave Atlanta. I don't like to be away if my employers are away since I don't want the children with anyone but me. Call it my maternal protective instinct, it's just how it is. I trust my part-time staff, but it's one thing to have them working a few hours each day and entirely another to work 24/7 and overnight.

Friday, January 21, 2011


My friend Emily and I were having a playdate with our charges and talking yesterday morning. She had graciously brought me a cup of coffee from Starbucks as I was like the walking dead due to an absolutely AWFUL night's sleep. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I NEVER drink coffee....except in cases of dire circumstance. And staying awake to make sure the kids don't come to grievous harm qualifies.

Anyway, we were talking about how we need to go on vacation, and I said, "What about Mexico? I know a great place...." Before we knew it, the plan was hatched.... and today we booked our airline tickets and made our reservations! The airline was having a GREAT sale on fares to Cancun, and the resort was also offering 40% off their rates. I'm pretty familiar with the resort at this point and know how often they offer deals (which is not often) so we got an incredible deal. It's nice to go with someone and only have to pay my half - Ethan and I are married so there's no half between us.... I'm ELATED that I'm spending 800ish dollars for airfare AND 3 nights at this amazing gourmet all-inclusive resort. And save your breath....I'm not afraid of the drug cartels because I've been there and seen it myself - there's nothing to worry about. My grandparents (in their 70's!) went and rode around on a moped out on the roads. There are more police trucks out and about (yes, trucks, not cars) than police cars here, and NO ONE speeds. Remember: the media sensationalizes things. Sure, there have been murders. Of Mexican citizens that were working for the cartels. There are murders anywhere you go. End of story.

We'll be going from Thursday, April 28th through Sunday May 1st and are soooooo excited. The high will be 85 degrees, and April is one of the best months of the year to visit. We will be staying at the same place Ethan and I spent our 5th anniversary, but we'll be in a room with 2 double beds. I cannot wait to go to paradise again... I normally would never go on an international trip without Ethan but since we've already been there, it's fine with me. I won't be thinking "I wish Ethan could be here with me"...because he's already experienced it! I generally make it my policy not to go anywhere new with friends if he and I haven't been there together already. Obviously, work travel doesn't count.

I have the next two days off of work (sort of, since I'm babysitting a few hours tomorrow night for my Greek family...but that's so much fun I hardly even consider it work...) and I have lots of plans for my weekend! So many, in fact, that I need to get to bed so I have the energy to do them without the assistance of coffee tomorrow!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Letter to Symmes....

Dear Symmes,

A year ago today, I woke up at 4:45 AM in the morning and decided to check on you. You usually awakened around 5 AM wanting to be fed, and I thought I’d go ahead and beat you to the punch, change your diaper, and feed you while you were half asleep so you could go right back in bed. I wasn’t expecting to find you not breathing or moving. You were so very cold and your skin was gray. I couldn’t find your heartbeat either, and I thought that you were irrevocably gone. The next few minutes were surreal as I moved to perform CPR on your little body, all the while praying that you would breathe again. After what seemed like an eternity, I could finally feel your heartbeat in your chest again and hear faint wheezing. The paramedics came and we went to the hospital together. I couldn’t ride with you since they were working on warming you up and stabilizing you, so I sat in the front seat and just prayed. I prayed for you, I prayed for your parents who were trying to get back to Atlanta from New York, and I prayed for strength to make it through the day since I didn’t know what was going to happen. Never have I felt so helpless.

When we got to the hospital, I saw your feet kick up from your warming blanket and was so relieved that you were moving. You hadn’t moved at all since I had found you other than the rise and fall of your chest when you started breathing again. We went into a room, and several nurses started to work on you, inserting IV’s, drawing blood for labs, wrapping you in blankets, and asking me questions. I held your tiny hand and refused to leave your side. I wanted to be with you when you opened your eyes, because I didn’t want you to be scared since we were in a strange place with bright lights and lots of people you didn’t know. Your great grandmother came, and so did your great aunt and your grandfather. I had to leave you with them to speak to a police investigator, which is routine in cases like these. The investigator asked me a lot of questions, which I answered patiently. I just wanted to leave and get back to you and when he finally finished, I sprinted back down the hall. The nurses informed me that you were going to be moved to PICU, and I insisted on coming with them. I was not leaving your side again until your parents arrived, no matter what. The doctor in PICU was very nice, and told me that it looked like SIDS had almost claimed you, but that they would be doing more testing to try to further ascertain what had caused you to stop breathing. (We still do not have a definitive answer, just possible theories) You had awakened at last and looked very confused, and you were so hungry, but we couldn’t feed you because of the loss of blood flow to your stomach. All we could let you have was sugar water on a pacifier. I couldn’t stand watching you lying all alone on such a big hospital bed, so I told the nurses that I wanted you moved into my arms immediately. It took a little bit of work with all the wires and IV’s, but with a few extra pillows under my elbows, you were soon snuggling in my arms sucking your sugar water pacifier. You fell asleep, and I remember wondering how I was ever going to be able to put you down or let you out of my sight again. Your parents arrived shortly afterwards and were so relieved to see you and hold you. We all thought the worst was over, but two days later, you started having seizures. The doctors thought that it might be from the oxygen loss to your brain but they couldn’t be sure. The seizures caused you to lose your sight, and you couldn’t see us anymore. I spent a lot of time in the hospital rocking you and holding you. I was determined that even if your sight didn’t come back, that it wouldn’t stop you from anything. I would have done whatever it took. After 9 days in the hospital, they sent you home with your apnea monitor and on anti-seizure meds. I had to take you to the hospital quite a few times to have your blood drawn so we could see if your medication level was high enough to keep you from having seizures. You never cried when they stuck you. I always held you in my arms and you would smile when you heard my voice. We started OT and PT, and I took you to all your appointments and therapy sessions. Over time, I noticed that you were starting to see objects again by the tracking of your eyes. I gave you quite the workout every day…. 5-10 minutes of therapy every hour you were awake. You were (mostly) a good sport and did everything without fighting me. You started crawling at 5.5 months of age. Literally crawling…across a room. It was amazing to see. You “graduated” from OT at 7 months because you were no longer in need of their services. You also started walking at only 10 months of age. The day you took your first steps I cried. Knowing that you didn’t have severe cerebral palsy as a result of what happened to you was a relief. We won’t know the full effects of the oxygen deprivation for a few more years when you start learning to read and write. One of the things that you stubbornly refused to do was clap your hands. I worried about this, I lost sleep over it, and tried to figure out why you would not clap your hands. You had no problems smacking toys together. One day you were with Ethan and I, and I was snuggling with you. I asked you to clap your hands, just like I did every day, with a little demonstration….and you smiled at me, and clapped your hands for the first time. I cried again and then laughed at your stubbornness. I bet you knew how to do it all along and were secretly clapping in your crib!

You turned 1 in October, and you are now 15 months old. I love watching you grow up. You are so funny. You are mischievous and are always finding new ways to get into trouble. When you’re about to do something you know you aren’t supposed to, you sneak a quick glance my way to see if I’m watching. If I make eye contact, a sly grin grows across your face as if you think that will distract me enough to not see what you’re trying to do. It makes me laugh every time. You are so determined and when you want something you will stop at nothing to get it. This trait has served you well in your therapies! If you can’t figure something out or you need help, I hear your little voice pipe up with “Hep!”, which is your way of asking for my assistance. You are a little snuggler when you want to be, grabbing my legs, looking waaaay up and demanding in your little voice “Up!”. I love when you decide you want to be picked up to snuggle with me for a few minutes. You tuck your little head right under my chin and it feels like you belong there.

This morning when I went to get you from your crib, you stood up with a big smile, just like you always do and waved your empty bottle at me. After breakfast, we played with your brother and your sister, and I asked you for a kiss, just to see if you would give me one. You did… and that’s the first time you’ve ever responded on your own to a “Kiss?” request. Of all the days that you would choose to do that, it was the most special one you could have picked. Even though I’m not your mom, we have a special bond because of what we’ve been through and survived. You’ll never know just how much I love you, sweet baby boy.

Love always,