Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Amelia Vakay Day 5 - Beach trip!

Breakfast at MiMi's! So glad we bought a portable high chair to use this summer. It came in super handy.

MiMi, Aunt Kat and I took a little shopping trip down Centre Street in Fernandina Beach. Adam was kind enough to watch the kiddos for me.

We finally took a trip to the beach! I was trying to get a pic of Addie walking between her brothers but she was having none of it. She wanted DOWN. She took off, crawling on the sand like she had been a beach baby her whole life.

"Pick me up Mimi!!!" She finally had enough and was ready to get off the beach. We think she just got too much salt water on her face... she was D O N E.
We took a break from the beach and had a dinner picnic of cold fried chicken and pasta salad. Addie chowed down! I guess it's true what they say about salt water making ya hungry.
Catching up on gossip with Aunt Kat
I love this picture! Does this boy have his priorties straight or what?
My Gray! The first time he went to this beach he was 4 and I was pregnant with Jack. Crazy!
She was asleep before we pulled out of the parking lot. Tired girl!
What a wonderful day!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Amelia Vakay Day 4

We slept in again ( gotta love vacation) and took our time having breakfast and getting dressed. Addie was ready for her Aunt Kat and Uncle Mark to arrive!!

We all went to dinner at a local restaurant on the beach to sample some local seafood! The view was gorgeous. It was our first sight of the beach. Thankfully Debby had blown on through the night before.

Our view from our table.

After dinner, the boys couldn't wait to get their toes in the sand!

MiMi with Addison, Adam with Jackson and Grayson

Aunt Kat got her hands on Addie finally!

The coolest part of the boys day, I'm sure. They got to ride in MiMi's stang, Sally.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Amelia Island Time - Day 3

After a staying up really late visiting with MiMi the first night, we slept in as late as Addie would allow and then it was off to explore MiMi's house some more and snitch a little breakfast before it was ready to be served to the masses.

Breakfast thief!

MiMi's three grandbabies in the kitchen, helping her fry chicken!

Addison spent a lot of her time trying to convince MiMi to pick her up and MiMi was all too happy to oblige when she wasn't trying to fry chicken!

"MiMi, what is that thing with the long cord that you are talking into? I've never seen such a thing!"

The boys looking outside at the rain that was keeping us away from the pool and beach.

Miss Addie napped in our arms most of the trip. I soaked up those sweet moments of snuggle time.
That evening we had fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits and a salad. It was yummy!! The kiddos had a bath and I took some pictures of Addie playing in the tub. She looked so much like Jack at that age. I have pictures of Jack in the tub playing with a plastic cup as well. Check this out:

Addie age 13 months

Jack age 11 months

I think they do favor a bunch!!

It was a perfect first day of vacation after a long hard drive. I know the boys were a little sad they couldn't get out in the water somewhere, but for this Texas girl that loves the rain, it was a pretty great day. I loved the weather, the company and the food. It was wonderful being on vacation as a family of five. There was definitely a cathartic quality to being back in Amelia. The last time we had been there I had been pretty sick and then we had gotten home only to find out about Addie's hydro the Monday after we got home. Looking back now, I think I knew something was wrong. I know that sounds silly... but chalk it up to mother's intuition. I remember sitting on the beach our last day in Amelia, watching a little red headed one year old girl walk around the beach in her little bikini and instead of feeling excited I was pensive. Not sad, just not at ease about it. I think I knew. And then on the drive home the next day, Addie didn't move at all. When we stopped in Beaumont, I drank something sugary, despite my gestational diabetes, to see if I could wake her up and get some type of movement from her. So, being back in Amelia, full circle, with a thriving happy little girl was a wonderfully healing experience. Yes, Addie has hydrocephalus and yes we traveled all the way to Florida with her MRI disks and a local pediatric neurosurgeon's number in my cell phone. But she was there with us on our first vacation as a family of five and that's an awesome thing!

Day 4 coming up soon!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Our first family of five vacation- days one and two

We recently drove 1100 miles to and from Amelia Island, Florida to visit Adam's mom - MiMi!
We left on a Sunday morning and drove all the way to Crestview, FL the first day. We stopped twice in Louisiana - once for coffee in Lafayette and then again for dinner in Hammond at Raising Canes. It was a long drive but the kids did amazingly well. Even Addie. She didn't cry until the very last five minutes we were in the car. It was like she had car radar... she cried at the end of every leg of the trip, whether it was 7 hours in the car or 12. She was done right around the time we were done. So it worked out well for the most part.
We stayed at Jameson Inn in Crestview and had breakfast the next morning with Addie's hydro BFF Marley and her awesome mom Tina! We had met them back in December at Duke for Addie's second infusion (you can read that blog post here: Second trip to Duke ) and we were thrilled to get the girls together again and have more time to visit with Tina!
After we left Crestview, we drove 300 miles through Tropical Storm Debby. Well I say we... ADAM drove through it and the kids and I watched the rain. It was pretty awesome to watch that much rain, especially for this Texan girl. Adam did great driving through the bans and bans of rain, anywhere from light to downpour for five hours. I'm glad he has more experience driving in the rain than I do!
We arrived at Casa de MiMi around 7pm and she had hot pizza waiting for us! We scarfed down dinner and the kids wasted no time exploring her new home and making themselves comfy. Even Addie. She adapted like it was no big deal and was quickly crawling all over!
My three loves all buckled in and ready to go!
Taking a snooze through Houston
Accidental detour through Houston put us right by Minute Maid Park. My extended family are big Astros fans !

Addie had recently learned to drink out of a straw and I let her have a sip of my frappucino thinking she wouldn't like the bitter taste. Wrong. She loved it and tried to steal it from me!
Meeting up with Miss Marley and her momma at Cracker Barrel!

I love my iPhone! I was able to pull radar as we were driving and the GPS would show us exactly where we were. Smack dab in the middle of Debby!

Arrived at MiMi's house finally!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 19th!!!!

I had already planned on writing a little Happy Birthday Liza post today... because today is the one year anniversary of Addie's last shunt revision. She has had the same catheters since day one of life but she has had her valve one year today!! We are so blessed that she has gone one year without a shunt surgery!!! So as her shunt-aversary was approaching I was counting down the days and praying we'd make the one year mark! And here we are! Thank you LORD!

BUT little did I know as I was planning this little blog post to celebrate Liza, that I would also be posting a big big milestone!

Addison took her first official steps today!!!!!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!!!

Anna (her PT) was here and Addie stood up from Anna's lap and took two steps toward the couch without holding on to anything or lunging! It was an awesome moment and I'm so glad that Adam happened to be home for it so he got to see her first steps with us!

This was taken just a few moments after her first steps... Anna was trying to get her to do it again!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A week between!

We had a great week at home between our trip to my hometown and our family vacation to Florida. Therapies and one year pictures were the only things we had on the schedule all week! YAY Summer!

She's starting to play with her brothers. It's awesome to watch your children playing together for the first time!

Post one year portraits! She still had on one of her photo outfits!
We went out out to dinner after her portrait session. We ordered her a child's cheeseburger and she nearly finished it all by herself!
I love how she's starting to sit on her knees and squat more. Such a big girl!!
The only picture I thought to snap on her 13 month birthday. After taking sticker pictures for a year, it was strange to just snap a quick pic of her snuggling before bedtime...

The Housewife and the Pebble...

Long ago, in a land far far away.... maybe not so far, and maybe not that long ago but this story does go back a ways. One Sunday in June of 2010, Melissa, the boys and I drove to my brother's cabin in Blanco for an afternoon getaway. We turned down the dirt road, nearly to our destination, when a rock flew up and chipped the very lower passenger corner of the windshield. I heard it when it happened and sure enough by the time we went to leave, the crack had spread about six inches. As we drove home, we watched as it got longer and longer. We left the crack alone for months... it wasn't in the field of the driver's vision, we had a vacation in August then found out we were pregnant in October, it just wasn't a high priority. Finally in February of 2011, we called and had a glass truck come to our house and they replaced the windshield for us right here in our driveway. Pretty cool. I remember their warning to not touch the glass because it was setting and we didn't want to break the seal. K. Got it. No crawling on the hood of the car. Done.

Fast forward to December of 2011, Adam and I long term parked the same car in long term parking for 5 days while we took Addie to Duke for her second infusion. It had been really cold and rainy while we were gone and there was an inch of ice frozen on our windshield when we got back home. I drove with the windows down and the air blasting and the windshield wipers going as fast as I could to go pick up the rest of the family at the shuttle stop to load up everything and head home. It was midnight and it was cold and we were tired and we had two kids that were tired so we weren't exactly paying attention to the details like we normally would have been. So it was a bit of a surprise to us when after we got on the toll road we heard this sloshing noise in the front seat of our car. (I was sitting in the back with Addie) I thought maybe it was a water bottle or a soda that we had left in the car from our drive thru breakfast in the car on the way to the airport days before. So Adam reaches over as he's driving to grab whatever is making the noise, and informs me the entire front floor board is WET. Like sopping inches of water wet. Huh?? I thought maybe we had somehow not rolled the window up all the way. I had lowered the windows to help see out the mirrors as I was driving with ice on the windshield. I couldn't have swore that it hadn't been cracked before I lowered it. I couldn't have sworn that the seat belt hadn't been caught in the door the entire time and the door had been ajar. Who knew?

So I called our insurance company and reported flood damage from the recent rains. The chick claims adjuster informed me that there was no way it was from the rain. We'd only received .92 inches during the days we had been gone, obviously not enough rain to flood our car. That we needed to get it diagnosed by a mechanic and let her know it if ended up being something that insurance would cover, though she highly doubted it.

A few months later, we were still sloshing despite taking a clean dry towel with me to the car every single morning. Where was this water coming from? I could not get it dry. It was starting to warm up again, things were starting to smell like a wet dog in our car. Ugh. So I did what any desperate housewife would do and took a knife to my problem. KIDDING. Kind of. I did take a box cutter to the carpet, ripped out the soaked insulation like stuff under the carpet and put more towels underneath  to see if that would dry it out and it helped but didn't completely fix the issue. It was suggested again that maybe it was a continuous leak, not an event from the rain and that we should look further into the mechanic causes of water leaks. I googled. I'm a googler. I'm a good googler. So I found heater core leaks and AC clogged drains. We took it to our new found mechanic and he couldn't find any leaks. All the usual suspects were working fine. And he spent hours looking over everything.  He said he would be happy to look at it again if it ever started leaking again. Great....

So we brought our wet dog.... er I mean our car back home and waited. I finally decided to inspect things futher on my own and discovered a panel under the carpet. I cut the carpet OUT, and sure enough there was MORE water underneath a panel sitting in a well. Finally we had a dry car. 3 months LATER. The smell gradually got better. I tried to leave the windows down to air it out when I was reasonably sure it wasn't going to rain.

Until it did rain.... a week ago Sunday. And I was driving home from the Hydro Angels support group and noticed water running into the floorboard again. IT WAS A LEAK! I was right. HA!  But my rightness didn't help the confusion of what the heck was going on.... so I googled again, this time including rain in the search engine and low and behold... there was a simple little answer to someone else's posed question asking the fellow wet dog owner if they had had a windshield replacement. *FACEPALM* How did I not think of that?! How did I not stick to my guns that Yes, in fact, it was related to the RAIN? I want to call that chick claim agent back and yell at her.... ".92 inches is enough!!!!!!!!!! .92 inches is ENOUGH! EVERYTHING is bigger in TEXAS !! .92 inches is enough!!", And then sob as I say over and over "I was RIGHT I was RIGHT .... I was RIGHT!" But I'm not someone that yells much... so I won't. But just typing it was cathartic so thanks for reading that little fit I just pitched.

I dug through and found the receipt for the windshield replacement, called up the chick and she asked if we could bring it to them instead of them to us. Sure, Adam's off today we'll be there in a bit. I tried to explain the magnitude of the damage to her over the phone but when she told me that could fix it in a day, I knew chickie wasn't picking up what I was putting down. So we get over there and I try to explain it to the dude that was working there and I knew once again, not clicking. So I asked him if he would like to accompany me out to the car so we could discuss it. I could tell on his face he was thinking "silly housewife, leaks are for men" but I wanted someone to appreciate the wonder that is 8 months of water damage in a car in the Texas climate. MMkay?

Dude walks out with me, and I open the passenger door and Dude goes from California surfer boy tan to a nice shade of puce pale in 10 secs flat. He blanched. That's the only way I know how to describe it. He was very careful to not come out and say it was from a windshield leak but he was talking it thru, all the steps they were gonna have to take to fix it... they generally just clean the carpets when this happens but genius me cut the carpet... so it was a bit trickier, he'd never seen that much water...  we had a LOT of rain last week... 3.35 inches (TAKE that! Insurance claim chick) and there was a good 3 inches of standing water in the bottom of the passenger floorboard and that was after a good 6 towels worth of soppage. He said the glass shop owner would call me after they figured out if it was caused from a windshield leak.

9am this morning I was woken by the glass shop owner and yes it was a leak in the windshield ( I was relieved that we finally had an answer and part of my subconscious was sobbing again " I was RIGHT.... I was r-r-r-rrright!") They had priced new carpet and a new carpet kit for our car is only (AHEM ONLY?) $311. They will be glad to provide the labor for us.... I had already priced that out at our local body shop and knew it was about $400 worth of labor alone... if we would pay for the carpet since I had cut the carpet. I don't blame them for my box cutter ways. I do wish they'd realize I never would have had to cut the stupid carpet had they not screwed up the windshield install but hey what can ya do? I do kinda blame the mechanic and the chickie claim adjuster for not asking if we 'd had a windshield replaced in the last year or so... it took a desperate googling housewife to find the answer on the internet but again.... what can ya do? I TRY not to sweat the small stuff. We have a newly sealed windshield that hopefully will not leak. And we will have brand spanking new carpet in the whole vehicle in a few weeks once the carpet comes in and the owner gets back from vakay. Overall, I'm pretty happy.

Moral(s) of the story: Small pebbles can be more expensive than diamonds and googling housewives rock! (ha get it, ROCK? )
I had driven in the rain for five mins when I looked down and saw it coming into the floorboard again. If this is the water level after five mins, you can imagine what it looked like after 6 days and 3.35 inches of rain.