Tuesday, June 30, 2009


And we have Ashley. It was a whirlwhind trip with great moments at the beach and pool, wonderful times at the dance competition, sweet moments between sisters and stressful moments trying to work out the summer visitation schedule last minute so that Ash could actually come home with us. I swear, grown ups really know how to muck things up. Anyway, there was also revelations that I am, indeed, now 32; Emma Kate's new favorite food is crab; I still have a blood-sugar issue; Emma Kate loves to swim; Ashley is an amazing dancer and we are completely spoiled for having grown up visiting the Gulf Coast as opposed to the Atlantic Coast. Don't get me wrong, a beach is a beach, and is still better than NOT going to the beach. But the dirty sand and the cars driving up and down the beach just didn't do it for me like the sugar-sand beaches of Gulf Shores, Destin, Seaside and PCB.
Anway...I have a ton of work piling up on my desk that I must address before I begin to share all the funny stories from the week, so I will leave you with a few pics and a video for now....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Watching the clock...

I am so excited I cannot stand it. In 24 hours, we will hit the road to see Ashley Fay. We have not seen the other 1/4th of our family since she left our house on Christmas morning, with a tear in her eye. Little Emma Kate was so confused. She woke up at 5:00 am to see the joys that Santa had brought and the sadness of her big sister and daddy leaving for the airport. That day was filled with such emotion for her and me. Part of me wanted to relish every minute of the first Christmas morning that Emma Kate "understood." The other part of me had an empty heart that longed for MikeyT and Ashley, wishing they could see Emma Kate's face as she played with her first doll house and ride her first big wheel.
Six months to the DAY later and we will be with Sissy again, except this one will be all joy. Emma Kate completely understands now that she has a sister and she talks about her daily. Every night she kisses the picture of her and Ashley that hangs in their room and tells her Sissy "night-night." Every night, she says her prayers and when I ask the question, "Who else are we praying for tonight?," the answer is always "......ummmmm, an' Sissy!."
As the day approaches, she talks about her more and more. She asks when we are going to get Sissy "to pick her up."
Ashley as Annie last summer

As for me, I will get to see all the people I love the most, together. Happy. In love with one another. There is nothing greater.
Recently, someone asked me what I wanted for my birthday. Nothing. On my birthday I will be at the beach, with my girls and my husband. There is no material possession that could beat that. An added bonus is that Ashley is the most amazing dancer that I have ever seen. She is talented far beyond her years and to see her perform is breathtaking. She is the dancer I longed to be my entire life and watching her is up there in my top 5 things to do, period. Emma Kate has not been to see Sissy dance since she was 8 months old (although she watches videos of her tumbling and dancing almost daily), so I cannot wait to see the look on her face when she sees her very own sister on that stage. I will take lots and lots of pictures.What will mean the absolute most to me, even above Emma Kate's reaction, will be seeing my husband with both of his girls. MikeyT is a great daddy and husband, but 1/2 of his heart is always missing. It lives in Debary, Florida and it is only truly whole when he is with the both of them. He gets to see Emma Kate every day, but rest assured that he loves both of these little girls exactly the same. He is a daddy of two--and on Thursday morning at 8:38 when we arrive to see Ashley's first performance, we will be a family of four.

Monday, June 22, 2009

We survived the weekend

Whew. That is all I have to say.
No, really, I have a lot to say. We left for Alabaster Thursday after I got home from work, so we did not get in until after dinner time. We stayed up too late visiting with MeMe and Hoppy, but that was okay! The next morning, EK and I traveled to Mtn. Brook for the bridesmaids' luncheon and it was great. EK warmed up to the bridal party, put on a show and fell in love with her partner-flower-girl, Ashley. She was slightly confused about the bride being Ashley, the other flower girl being Ashley and her sissy being Ashley, but she managed. (She kept thinking sissy was going to walk down the aisle with her.) Anyway, Ashley tried on her flower girl dress and much to my relief it fit, except for a small alteration I had to make in the arms.
We headed over to Mountain Brook Club to visit MeMe at work an then back to the house. EK was dying to go swimming, so she and I headed for Hoppy's pool. We had a great time and I took her in to get a shower and nap before the Rehearsal.
Mike grabbed some Swimmer's Ear to put in her ears after her shower. He put some drops in the left ear and she was fine. When she leaned over for him to do the right ear, my mother's intuition crept in and I watched the drop-laced with alcohol--fall in slow motion into my baby's ear. The minute it hit the ear canal, Emma Kate grabbed her ear and screamed like she had just been stabbed in the ear.
See, EK may be a wild child, but she doesn't cry much. She never complains of being sick or hurting so we never know, outside of the occasional fever, that she is ill. She is super-tough and if she gets hurt playing or falls down on the concrete, she simply declares that she has a boo-boo, requests a bandaid and moves on. So, right away I knew this was more than a little alcohol sting. She cried in PAIN--grunting and holding her ear--wanting to be consoled (unlike her)--for forty-five minutes until she eventually CRIED HERSELF TO SLEEP. Another first for Emma Kate.
Keep in mind that we are 30 minutes away from needing to leave the house and head over to American Village for the Rehearsal. I was stressed.
I called our pediatrician who explained that they, too, felt is was serious and that we needed to give her a heaping dose of Tylenol and watch her closely. If she continued to complain we needed to go to after-hours in Bham. Stress X 2.
So, when she groggily woke up from her mini-coma, she said her ear was indeed hurting and began to cry again. Mike dosed her up with some Tylenol and luckily, once it kicked in, she was well enough to head out the door.
She ate up the sympathy at the rehearsal, but did a good job walking the aisle with Ashley and was doing a great job of being a cutie-patootie. We were aware after the rehearsal that she would not last the ceremony at the alter, so I was placed strategically near the bride's family so that I could catch her on Saturday when she made her bolt back down the aisle in the middle of the "I do's."Daddy and Ek pet the horses at the rehearsal dinner

Saturday we had to be at the church at 2:00 to begin pictures. She did well for afternoon pictures, but as the day wore on I could see that the excitement and heat were wearing her down. Her ear did not hurt anymore, but it was oozing, so I knew a Monday doc visit was in the works.

As 6:00 approached, I could tell the Mrs. Hyde version of EK was starting to shine through I and I was stressed X3 that the ceremony was going to be a disaster.
I left the bridal party at 5:50 and left EK in the hands of some very capable early education majors. I watched from my seat as each bridesmaid made their way down the as isle. I reached for my camera to video the event that was about to take place, however, it was dead. How ridiculous. My camera never dies and it is dead right as my daughter begins to take her first steps down the aisle. Boo.
Ashley and Emma Kate begin to walk past the rows of people ----and four steps in EK freezes. Ashely continues to head down the aisle, until she makes eye contact with her own mother who told her--with her eyes alone--that she'd better go back and get EK or there would be no cake for her at the reception--which she did.
She walked back, grabbed EK's hand and they proceeded to finish their walk as flower girls. I could tell right away the EK was looking for me and I tried to hide at first. She made it up to where the bridal party was standing, but looked right up at me and said....
"Hey mommy."
Everyone chuckled and luckily the wedding director was waiting to see what she was going to do before she opened the door for the bride.
Then EK said "Hey mommy, I wanna sit wit' you mommy, right 'dere," and she pointed her precious little painted fingernails at me. So I quickly got up, grabbed her hand and sat her in my lap. Just as we sat, Trumpet Voluntary began and the bride's beautiful mother stood. No harm, no foul. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWW.
Emma Kate sat like an angel in my lap through the entire ceremony and we didn't even have to use our pre-developed escape plan, which was Mike sitting near the side door ready for a pass-off.
After the 6:00 wedding, however, EK was done. She would have nothing to do with after-wedding pictures and just wanted to see MeMe and Hoppy. We made a quick jolt over to the reception hall, grabbed a quick bite of food and a glass (or two) of wine and headed home before they cut the cake.
The wedding was beautiful. The bride, the chapel, the reception--all perfect. The photographer was great and she took lots of shots through the day of EK, so I will post those as soon as I get them.
All and all it was a great weekend and now we look forward to Wednesday night when we head to Daytona to see Ashley Fay dance in her national competition and then BRING HER HOME WITH US!!! Yay!!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This is how we roll....

I am sorry my posts have been few and far between. I have been uber-busy at work (I thought summers were slow in higher education!!), I have been serving as a non-emergent shuttle for various family members (but I love them, so its okay), I have been sewing the dress Emma Kate and a friend will be wearing this Saturday night when they make their premiere as flower girls (yes I am terrified, more on that later) and I have been trying to explain that, while Sissy WILL be here very soon, she is not going to be here tomorrow (which is tragically difficult to explain to a two year old.).
But, we have been enjoying the summer heat this way.....
I also have tons of funny EK stories to share, as her little personality continues to amuse us daily. Back two weekends ago (you remember, the weekend o' basketball) Unc and I were driving EK home after a FULL day (sunrise to 10 pm) of gymnasium bleachers, buzz beaters and ref's whistles--not to mention way too much concession stand candy (can you say 4 pounds of Skittles???). MikeyT had stayed behind to watch some team that we were playing...blah blah blah, I get exhausted just thinking of it. But, I digress.
So, Emma Kate's new thing is driving around Auburn with her window down. She asks for it every time we get into the car. In addition, she demands that we listen the the T.I. cd (thanks Unc and Daddy, my daughter is now a hip-hop princess) so she can G-ride down College street.

(This is what it usually looks like..the head bobbing, the finger knockin' until, of course, she is distracted by some moo-moos)

This particular night, she got was she asked for. Window down, TI blaring, full-on G-Ride through the loveliest village on the plain. We would fit right in with the students, if only I didn't have a CAR SEAT and a GROWING ROOM magnet on the back of my car.

When we stopped at a red light, I did my normal mommy check to see if **fingers crossed** EK had managed to fall asleep in spite of our speakers booming. Instead, she had removed her shoes, un-buckled her bottom latch of the Lazy-boy of car seats and looks like this.....
Feet out the window!! I feel like this is a foreshadowing of her at 17 on the Strip at PCB. Scary.
"Laaaaaaid back, with my mind on my money and my money on my mind." Anyone remember that gem of a song? Thank you Snoop Dog.
I, like any "Mom of the Year" candidate, whispered to Unc to search the Mary-Poppins-carpet-bag--that is my purse-- and locate the camera. He did---and THEN I re-buckled her seatbelt.
So, this is how we roll. Word.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

For the Love of Basketball

In case you are wondering why I haven't been posting much, we have been doing a lot of this....

No really, it controls our life. OK, maybe that is an exaggeration, but we had back-to-back weekend tourneys. The above picture was in LaGrange, Georgia and the mighty-mighty Raptors came in second. I have a gazillion pictures from this past weekend; the Auburn Raptor Classic was here in Auburn. Mikey T and Unc coached and Emma Kate and I kept the gate and worked concessions. It was a fun weekend which included a devastating loss in the Championship game for the mighty-mighty Raptors.

I keep forgetting my camera, but the game went like this...

And we were all....

And Mikey T was like...........

And then he got a...............

It wasn't pretty.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The more things change.....the more they stay the same.

This oldie-but-goodie is Mikey T in '94. If you look closely on this pre-digital gem, you can see that Mikey T is playing basketball with a large, purplish growth on his right elbow. During this church-league basketball tournament in Tennessee, he braced himself during a fall to the court with an extended arm. It hurt, but you can't let a little pain hold you down when it comes to basketball, right? So, he played the remainder of the tournament and the arm grew and grew. When he returned to Alabama, and was finally convinced it was time to go to the doctor, he learned he had fractured his elbow and was put in a 90* cast for four weeks.

Fast forward to June 2, 2009. That same Mikey T was playing that same game of basketball and braced himself for that same fall to the court, yet with a different arm. That same Mikey T believed in that same fashion that is was no big deal. The elbow turned that same shade of purple and grew into the same size.
Last night, after a quick discussion with a neighbor-slash-ER nurse, Mikey T and I (along with persuading from mom and Bean) decided it was ER-worthy, since the nurse said, "All that bruising this long after the initial injury could mean a loss of circulation."
So, we left EK with BEAN (who just returned from a mission trip on the Amazon and was in need of some EK time anyway) and we headed to good ol' East Alabama Medical Center Emergency Room.
Ahhhhhhhhhh, yes. EAMC ER. The site where I almost lost my foot to a flesh eating bacteria in '99 (that's a whole 'nother post) and the site where we have spent all night watching grown men try to pry my two year old's arms above her head to do a chest Xray. Now it was Mikey T's turn.

As we reminisced about the LAST time Mikey T's elbow looked like this, we heard the horror stories of the patients all around us. Like the girl next to us who was there shopping for pain meds or the one-legged man across from us whose good leg was on the "fritz." Or sadly and painfully, we listened to the story of the young mother who gave birth to a ten pounder five short weeks ago, only to find out she had 20---TWENTY---kidney stones and was going to have to pass each and every one. Um....OUCH.
So, we finally saw the doc, who confirmed her suspicions with an X-ray of Mikey T's purple arm. The verdict?

So, into the 90* cast the left arm goes for approximately 4-12 weeks. Try taking care of a wild 2 year old with that!! Or try coaching 11 year old tournament basketball!! Or try driving!!
I will say that our hospital stay was the best date we have had in months. We laughed, a lot--at each other, at the situation, at the other patients, at the nurses. We made people laugh- like the nurses and other patients and each other.
It is kind-of sad that we haven't had a grown-up date in so long, that we actually enjoyed a trip to the ER to get Mikey T dressed in a temporary cast.
So when he gets his "permanent" cast on next week, I am going to be the first one to sign it, like I was in '94 and it will say something like "ALT -hearts- #20" just like it did in '94.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Big BandAid

A few weekends ago, we were at MeMe and Hoppy's house to visit with Uncle Todd and Aunt Margie. Emma Kate has an obession with bandaids and she was going around fixing everyone's "boo-boos" with Disney Princess Band-Aids. MikeyT told Emma Kate he had a BIG BOO BOO on his leg and needed her to fix it. Suddenly, her eyes light up and she takes off down the hall. She returned with this......

which she had retrieved from MeMe's bathroom. She had already torn the backing off and walked right up to daddy and stuck it on his leg.
"Here is a big bandaid for your big boo-boo, Daddy," she said.
When we stopped crying from laughing so hard, we explained that those needed to stay in the bathroom and she should stick to her Princess Bandaids.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Red Rock Sedona VIII?

My grandparents have lived all over, but they retired like 20 years ago to Tyler, Alabama. They bought a bunch of land and my business-man-grandfather became a farmer. They don't farm anymore, but they still have "the farm" and mom, Emma Kate, cousin Courtney and I headed over there Saturday to visit my Ma-Ma and Pa-Pa.
Emma Kate loves the farm. There is a lot of green grass to run around on, a big pool, and PaPa always pulls out a huge bag of toddler legos for her. We usually head over to the Rhyne compound, which is an even bigger farm, so that my Aunt Beckie can ride us around the big town of Benton, Alabama on her golf cart and EK can feed ducks, horses, catfish and see lots of cows. We didn't have time this visit, but she did ask.
This was the first time this year it was warm enough for us to swim and Emma Kate had a blast.
Everything is bigger at the farm and I am sure to Emma Kate, as it was to me when I was younger, everything is HUGE at the farm.
The pool is bigger.............

The grass is bigger.................. The porch is bigger................ The DOG HOUSE is bigger.................... Why is the dog house that big? Let me introduce you to Red Rock Sedona VIII. I don't really know if he is number 8, but he is at least 8. When my grandfather moved to the farm, he got his first Rodesian Ridgeback and named him Red Rock Sedona because of his color (and because Red Rock Sedona is just a cool place, too). We called the first one Red. When Red passed away, PaPa got a second one.....and we called him Rock. When Rock passed away, he got another. At first we thought we would call him Boulder or Stone, I cannot remember. But Rock just stuck and since then, every subsequent dog at the farm has been called Rock.
Emma Kate LOVES Rock. She loves all dogs and has no fear of them. Rock is ginormous, but Emma Kate puts him in his place. He tried to eat her pretzel stick, but she pointed THE FINGER and told him no. That is all it took.
Then they sat and had a long talk.
Then she saw his manhood from behind and explained to me that he had poo-poo. I just changed the subject, not quite sure how to explain that one.
The she examined an old wound (I think it was a snake bite) and told him he needed a band-aid. Then she played tag with him.
After a long day of swimming and playing with Rock, she laid in the grass for a nap.
We love the farm. I forget how much we love it, especially in the summer and vow to go there more this summer. It isn't just the farm we love though, it is the folks that live there too that are pretty darn great!