Monday, December 14, 2009

Getting Closer

One of the many things I love most about Emma Kate is that she is not a greedy child. To be "an only child" (since Sissy lives in Florida) she is very good about sharing and not asking for much. Her daily request for candy is really the only thing I get tired of.
When preparing for our many meetings with Santa, she has only requested one thing, The Hungry Hipponapotomamous game. She sees the commercial while watching the only TV that she cares about, Sprout. And that, my friends, is the one thing she has asked for for Christmas.
The other day, I was trying to pry some more things out of her, when she looked at me and said "Mom, I already told you I want the Hippo game. And maybe some new puzzles. That is it, I don't need anything else."
Wow. To be humbled by a three year old is, well, humbling. This child has everything she could possibly need or want. Not because she is spoiled (because she is not) but because she realizes what most adults, including myself, sometimes forget. It is not about wanting more stuff, but being perfectly content with what you already have.
She teaches me something new everyday.


I hope you were all blessed by a Christmas program as good as the one I went to last night at our church, AUMC. It was amazing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cutest. Ever.

I know I am biased, but this may be the best Santa pic ever.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We don't do anything easy around here. We like to jam pack our every minute with at least three activities. You know, in case we ever thought we could possibly be bored. For example, Christmastime.
It probably was not necessary for me to go shopping on Black Friday, rush home, and get back to Auburn for the Iron Bowl. It was probably not necessary for me to go back out on Black Saturday to finish what I had started the previous day.
And it was probably not necessary for me to rush home last Monday, change Emma Kate, rush back to campus in the rain for her picture with Santa Claus, only to wait in line for an hour.
Like it wasn't necessary for me to rush home on Wednesday, bundle up Emma Kate, rush back to Auburn to meet up with our BFF's for the Auburn Christmas Parade, then race to the car, head to Auburn High to meet up with Mikey T to watch the high school basketball tournament, you know, just for fun.
Kindof like it was not necessary for me to plan to go to the Friday nigh Fite Christmas party (which rocked by the way!!), then Saturday to get mine and EK's hair cut (super cute) and then to Birmingham, shopping with MeMe, then to Calera where we met our BFF's again for the Polar Express, the nephew's Christmas program on Sunday (at our old church, which I still miss) and then back to Auburn that night so we could make Mike's dentist appointment on Monday and my very important work meeting Monday afternoon.
Yeah, it probably isn't necessary for me to live like this..........................

but it sure is fun.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My belated Thanksgiving Post

Since Thanksgiving was squeezed between a basketball game and a football game, we headed over to our annual Benton Thanksgiving at the Rhyne Compound. There is always good wine, then turkey, then champagne, then games, then naps. The kids always commandeer the golf cart, feed the catfish and this year even Jr. stayed awake (No, really. Rory, I promise, he was awake) to take them "arrowhead hunting."
It was a great, but short, visit.
Before Thanksgiving, MeMe and Hoppy passed through Auburn/Opelika on their way down to see Uncle Toddy and Aunt Margie in Ocala, Florida. We met them at Chic-Fil-A for lunch and a little play time.
Emma Kate had to wear her Auburn attire to show Hoppy how it is done around here.
It has been a hard year for us, to say the least. But, I know that I have so many blessings and Thanksgiving was a great time to focus on those, especially family. Oh, and by the way, did you know it was December!!!! Woohooo.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blog Slacker

I apologize. I have been a slacker. But I have a lot to post in the next few days, so get ready. First, let's backtrack.
The pneumonia is gone. Finally.
We are still working on potty training.
Emma Kate still sings 95% of the day.
We still miss MaMa everyday, but it gets a little easier everyday, too.
Now that we have gotten caught up. Here is what we have been doing:
I was off the entire week last week, pretty much because I have the best job in the world.
So we did what people in Auburn do. We went to Auburn University events.
This is the final season of Basketball for the Beard Eaves Coliseum. So, we are going as much as possible.

Basketball Season has started and is in full swing. Mikey T is an Alabama High School Athletic Association Basketball Ref and is still coaching his boyz, so we go to a lot of basketball. You know, for research. Well, he goes for research. I go because I love it and Emma Kate goes to spend quality time with her boyfriend.

And, although it was painful Iron Bowl outcome, it was one of the best Iron Bowls I have attended. Auburn fans love their Tigers and we can be proud that we did not perform like all of the sports media thought we would. The atmosphere in that stadium was so great, especially after the first quarter. Even if I knew the outcome beforehand, I still would have gone to that game, cheered as loud as I did and stayed to sing "It's Great to Be an Auburn Tiger" to the team after the last whistle blew. Here are some pics from the day:

Emma Kate did not like it when Alabama fans somehow managed to get into the Auburn Alumni Tent. She and Mike went home to watch the game, because although Emma Kate LOVES to watch football, we knew the game would be super-crowded and she would not have much freedom to move around. They were both asleep by half-time. Unbelievable.
So, that catches us up on life in post, Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Goodbye November!!!

Ok, this month has really stunk. November has a way of doing that in our family for some reason. Between the pneumonia and MaMa and a whole bunch of other stuff, it just plain stunk. But, in all that, there were celebrations.
Emma Kate turned three. Mom had a birthday. One of my favorite peeps in the world, Matthew has a birthday TODAY! He is five. How in the world five years have gone by since he was born, I have no idea. Then again, I cannot remember a world without Matthew in it. Life is funny that way.
So, amongst all that sickness and pain, we have had laughter. Mostly, from this stinker.
Three has brought about a lot of personality, not that she was lacking at all.
She sings. ALL. THE. TIME. Any words can be turned into songs. Melodies are also popular; one long rendition of War Eagle, Carryin' a Bumble Bee, Head and Shoulders and the theme song to her favorite tv shows are not rare.

And, she is loud. Very loud! She yells all the time. We are trying to teach her the difference between her outside voice and her inside voice. To this point, we are unsuccessful.
But, she does keep us laughing. It is so funny to hear a three year old vocabulary grow. I will try to remember to post the funny EmmaKateisms.
She is also into "I can do it." Like any three year old, she has had a sudden burst of independence and that has caused much laughter in our house. Her favorite is dressing herself.....
Yep, that is going well.
All and all we are ready to move on past Thanksgiving and into Christmas time. We already have a lot of fun things planned for December and hopefully it will be all smiles all month!

Ella Grace and Emma Kate at school

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thank you...

I would like to tell everyone thank you for your thoughts, calls, emails and prayers. It was a hard week, but we got through it.

On Tuesday, November 10 my sweet MaMa passed away with my two uncles, my mom and I by her side. It was a very touching moment that I will blog about some day, just not today.

Ann Kennedy Gallagher was an amazing mother to five, grandmother to 16 and great-grandmother to eight (I think that is correct?). She was a wife for 58 years. Her first born was born TODAY (Happy Birthday Mom!, but I won't say what year).

I have blogged about her before, but I cannot stress how giving, kind and humble she was. She is already greatly missed, yet I am comforted in knowing that her sweet spirit can now be with me every minute of every day.

Emma Kate knows that her GiGi is in Heaven. She said she wants to go there, too and asked if PaPa went with her. I explained that PaPa stayed here to watch Emma Kate grow, but that eventually we will all live in Heaven together. Friday night she was taking a bubble bath and I told her that her bubbles looked like a cloud. She told me "It does wook wike a cwoud. Yike the one that GiGi lives on in Heaven with God and Jesus."

Prayers are still welcome for my family, especially my PaPa who spent his first week without his wife since 1951.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Singing Happy Birthday with a Lump in My Throat.

Three. That is how old my baby girl turned yesterday. At 6:19pm to be exact. I, like any mother, will never forget every detail of the day she was born. Since I was running a fever and my blood pressure suddenly shot up, she came into this world at 35 weeks. I ended up with bronchitis and she ended up with reflux and lots of allergies. It was the beginning of the hardest and most daunting 18 months of my life. It was also the day that my heart started beating outside of my chest. Now, Emma Kate is a healthy and happy three year old. She is kind and loving, funny and loud, and always doing one of the following three things: "reading" her books, singing very loud-not just songs but thoughts, random words and a historical accounting of her day up to that point, or talking. She is never quiet unless she is sleeping. She is very intuitive and HATES when anyone is sad. And there was a lot of sadness this weekend.
Emma Kate Sunday (her actual bday) having a breakfast cupcake

I wasn't sure how much of this to put in blogland, as it is painful and sad, but I want those who love and care for me and my family to know that we are okay.
Late last week, my mother called me at work to tell me that my sweet Ma-Ma was back in the hospital. Over the last three years, she had been in and out of the hospital--usually brief stays--for fluid on her brain that caused her to act oddly and sometimes even non-responsive. She was having another one of those episodes and my mother left her school and headed for the hospital in Selma. On her drive there, she was told that it was much more serious than her previous "episodes" and they were airlifting my MaMa to Birmingham.
I wanted to drop everything, hop in a car and head North. But I still have pneumonia and I wouldn't be able to see her. And, it is EK's birthday weekend, with things planned for Friday, Saturday and Monday. So I stayed. Since we are a LARGE family, there were text messages and phone calls and IM's and facebooks. Constant receiving and giving of updates on MaMa's situation.
I will not go into much detail, but my MaMa suffered and aneurysm and chances of full recovery are very slim.
We stayed in Auburn and tried to proceed like normal. Danny, Melinda and the kids came Saturday for the Auburn game/birthday party. Our friends Paige and Graham came, too. We cheered for Auburn and opened presents and ate cupcakes and blew out candles. All the time, our thoughts were on MaMa and PaPa and Mom.
Matthew, Emma Kate, Sean, Jospeh and Sweet Laura

On top of that, it is November. Nearing the anniversary of Mike's wreck and the thought of a loved one in an Neuro-ICU this time of year puts a lump in my throat. Saturday, as I watched Alabama v. LSU, I thought of my in-laws and I watching the same game, 6 years ago in the UAB waiting room while we waited for the next 15 minute visit we got with Mike every 4 hours. Then I thought of my mom, in a waiting room with the Alabama v. LSU game playing on some TV in the background as she waited for the next 15 minute visitation with her mother. Makes me nauseous just to think of it.
Emma Kate and her GiGi (my MaMa) August 09

I had ups and downs all weekend. I was so excited to see the pure joy in EK's eyes when she got to hang out with her cousins, or how proud she was to tell you that her "birfday is Nowember eigths and she is free (three). "

Emma Kate at her school Bday "Party" on Friday
I do not think I would have smiled the entire weekend without my little Emma Kate. Even though my heart is so very heavy today, it is also full because of my little "free" year old who prays for her GiGi (my ma-ma) every night.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Good, The Bad and the Pneumonia

Let's start this post out with the cutest lil' Alice in Wonderland you have ever seen. I wasn't sold on the Alice costume, but Allyson talked me into it last minute since Mary McKinnon was going to be Cinderella and Ella Grace was going to be Dorothy. Suddenly, my bumble-bee didn't quite fit in. And since Emma Kate doesn't have the hair to pull off Snow White, we went with the Alice costume. When I got it in and slipped it on her, she was instantly Alice. Then Monday, our dear friends Alicia, Trae and Ella Grace had a sudden, tragic loss which took them out of our Thursday night-Halloween plans. Auburn moved Halloween to Thursday since it was a home game on Saturday and it would just be too dangerous and crowded for kids to be walking the streets.
Then Tuesday, I started coughing. And running a low fever. I ignored it. Wednesday, the coughing was worse. The fever was higher. MikeyT and Mom begged me to go to the doctor, but I just wanted to go to bed. As the night went on, the breathing got harder. I agreed to be the first one at the doctor on Thursday morning. After a miserable night, I was at the doctor's office at 7:00 am. First one to see the doctor. After checking my blood, giving me a flu test (have you had that? My sinus cavity has been violated), two breathing treatments, a chest X ray, a steroid shot and FIVE prescriptions, I was sent home with a diagnosis of PNEUMONIA.
I refused to let a lil' pneumonia keep me from being with my family and friends that night for Auburn's Halloween, so I 'roided up and sucked it in. We spent maybe an hour downtown and had a blast.
The girls were precious, though a little overwhelmed. Their outfits were a hit and people kept asking if Emma Kate's hair was real? Then we headed to our annual-Halloween-dinner-pizza-spot and had a nice relaxing dinner.

And. Then. I. Was. Done.

Pneumonia let me have that night, but that was it. It kicked me in the buttocks and didn't let me back up until today, which is still questionable.
I cried--hard--as I sent my baby girl, her Alice costume, and my husband to Alabaster. I was going to miss her birthday surprise Friday night at MeMe and Hoppy's. I was going to miss my nephews and baby niece trick-or-treating with my little Alice. I was sad. I was sick. I was miserable.
But, it was best. She needed to celebrate and have fun with her MeMe and Hoppy and cousins. She needed to visit with our Beck and Vic who were visiting MeMe and Hoppy. She needed to have fun. And she needed to be as far away from my germs as possible.
Emma Kate did indeed have a big birthday surprise, a big-girl-bike from MeMe and Hoppy and a Barbie cake with the barbie inside! Then she went trick or treating with Joseph, Matthew, Sean and Baby Laura. I hear they had a blast and I cannot wait to see the pics!!
My mom took excellent care of me. I rested, slept, and drank fluids all weekend. I ached and fevered and whined. And my family had lots of fun eating birthday cake and trick-or-treating.
I thank my in-laws, my brother and sister in law, my niece and nephews and Beck and Vick for taking care of my hubs and lil' Alice and I thank my mom for taking care of me.
Now, I am ready for EK's real BIRTHDAY weekend and I WILL BE HEALTHY for this one!!