Monday, April 30, 2007

What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger!

This Uhaul employee (in the white) was trying to bend the bumper back on this truck that the man on the far left had just bent to a 90 degree angle. He was pulling a Uhaul trailer (apparently for the first time) and made a sharp left turn in front of this truck nearly pulling the bumper clear off the front of the truck. The Uhaul worker didn't seem to mind and just attempted to bend the crimped bumper back. When he wasn't strong enough to do it he called for another worker to get another truck and ram it into the front of this truck until the bumper was fixed. It was quite a sight to be seen. Thankfully this gem wasn't our truck, ours was the one parked behind it with no brake lights. I only almost rearended Justin 3 times on the way home.

Justin with no brake lights, and myself with a haphazardly packed load in the pickup truck nearly caused major mayhem on I-10. I was cruising behind Justin when I noticed a large roll of 1/4" hardware cloth (that stuff archaeologists use) teetering out of the bucket that it was stuffed down in. Before I could pull over it flew out and unfortunately became tangled below the minivan that was traveling behind me. They very quickly slowed down and made their way to the shoulder. By the grace of God it didn't cause an accident and hopefully those folks were able to untangle the mess while calling me every name in the book. I attempted to get Justin's attention to let him know what had happened but when you're driving a Uhaul down the interstate with your windows down at 75 MPH it's hard to hear your cell phone RING!!!! I finally sped up next to him shaking my cell phone (calling him every name in the book). By the time we pulled over they were a good 5 miles behind us and we just prayed they were okay and not too mad at our foolishness!

With all the moving madness behind us, we're trying to get settled in and unpack a few boxes. It makes me laugh to read that my last entry was about "load 1". We thought the movers would get the rest in their 24 ft truck, but unfortunately we (Justin and myself) went back to Tallahassee on Saturday for "load 3". Which filled the 26 ft Uhaul mentioned above. Now we have 3 loads of stuff and no where to put it. We have been frantically unpacking, rearranging, and making trips to storage. Hopefully by the end of this week we'll feel a little more settled.

Thankfully Morgan feels right at home in her "rental house" as she calls it. We have 2 new baby pools and lots of stuff packed into our carport. I'm sure the neighbors are thrilled to see the "renters" are here. So far we have definitely proved ourselves to be typical "renters". We have turned the carport into a porch/patio. It's a sight to be seen! Works for us, not sure how the neighbors feel about it! Oh well! Here's a picture of MCS on her big girl tricycle!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

On our Way to "Dofin"

This is exactly what the pediatrician warned me against when moving with toddlers and small children!

Hi Paiger! She waves to you now and it will just about melt your heart!

Load 1 is ready to go! It's Saturday morning and the girls are still sleeping! We loaded up a 6 x 12 trailer last night with boxes and other miscellaneous things. I've scheduled movers to move us (Praise God!); we feared that all our "stuff" wouldn't fit in their 24 foot truck, so hence "load 1"! We're still not sure how we have accumulated so much stuff! But we have and now we have to deal with it this move like we have every other move. We've had garage sales and more garage sales but somehow I have a little bit of my grandmother in me and can't seem to part with a few unused items! Maybe after this move I'll be able to part with more.

Well, it's time to load up on some morning fuel, get the girls up and head to Dofin (as Morgan calls it)! I'll report on "load 1" and Justin's feel for his new house when we return!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Can't wait to move in!

This picture is old but I do love it. It doesn't necessarily
relate to the post but I thought I'd share it nonetheless!

We are moving in less than 2 weeks and I have a million trillion things to do but I just have to have a little therapy and type a blog entry! So much has been going on, I know there's no way I could possibly summarize it briefly but I'll do my best!

We had a great weekend here and got a lot of packing done. Sunday night Justin and I decided we needed to get out of the house. So we took the girls on a car ride and made a quick stop at Target. Justin was craving pizza so he decided to drop Morgan & I off a Target and he and Paiger were going to go pick up pizza. He said he'd feed Paiger while he waited for his pizza. As I was unstrapping Morgan from her car seat she was very excited and stuttered a little (she's been stuttering lately, it's almost like her mouth can't catch up with her brain). Anyway, she said, "Daddy, daddy, you are so silly, you can't feed Paiger because you're boobies aren't big enough!" We laughed so hard. We explained that daddy was going to feed her oatmeal. We all laughed and I took Morgan in Target and Justin "fed" Paiger while waiting for his pizza.

Morgan told GiGi this weekend that "Sometimes, I just call her 'little sis'! (referring to Paiger)" Yesterday, I was explaining to Morgan that the next holiday is Mother's Day (she has this new excitement for holidays and birthdays) and I asked her if she knew who her mother was, she looked at me with a very confident smile and in all seriousness and said, "Yes, GiGi!" I said, "No, try again?" She said, "Paiger?" Finally I gave up and explained that was her mother, she said, "No, you're Mama." :) I guess we'll call it "Mama's Day!"

Ok, back to what else is going on in our lives. The girls and I went to Dothan Monday morning to check on the status of our new rental house! Justin had to work this week and couldn't be with us. The renters were out over the weekend and I was able to get in and evaluate what furniture we would need and not need, etc. I also wanted to see if I wanted to paint any rooms. I know it sounds crazy to paint rooms in a rental house but I'm a "nester" and my color paint on the walls would give me such comfort. So, after Paiger's 9 mo check up we headed to Dothan.

Chance (my BIL (brother-in-law)) was in town and I told him just to meet me at the rental house. My MIL (mother-in-law) and SIL (sister-in-law) were also going to meet me there. They had the keys. So, I pull up with the girls and I'm greeted by my MIL, BIL, and SIL. I said, "well, how is it?" (Keep in mind, Justin and I did go through this house but the people were there, with all their stuff, and we didn't get a very good look!) They all explained that it was "Ok, for a rental house." They were being way too generous with that explanation. I walked through saw some pretty nasty looking rooms and bathrooms and thought, "Oh Lord, please help me!" I shed a few tears in the front yard and called Justin and said, "It's definitely going to need to be cleaned!" But I sucked it up and gave myself a little pep talk and said, "We're going to make it work, I just need to go buy some new carpet, vinyl, and paint".

My very nice and selfless BIL escorted me around town to have the utilities turned on, etc. We spent a fair amount of time at the Dothan Civic Center Utility Dept waiting to be seen to have the utilities turned on. We had to wait with about 20 people who were asking for "extensions" on their power bills. I didn't even know there was such thing and I think we both were in shock of what we saw. Words can't quite describe... one woman was there straight from the hospital with her newborn in her arms, she had her arm bracelets on and her slippers and winced when she sat down... I think the baby was born yesterday; needless to say, we saw some pretty rough folks. Chance said, "Next time you want me to go there with you, let me call my dr first and make sure I'm up on all my shots!" It was rough, sad and a good reality check all in one.

After taking care of the utilities I headed to the Carpet Barn Outlet to buy carpet, padding, and vinyl. The back room of the house is asbestos floor tile and I didn't want Paiger crawling on it. I took it back to the rental house and realized there was no way on this earth I could get the 12x12 carpet and the 12x25 vinyl in the house by myself. (Chance had already headed back to the beach by now). I managed to get it out of the suburban but couldn't lug it inside. Thankfully, Tommy came to my rescue. All he could do was laugh when he saw the house, he said, "You must really love Justin Stickler to live here!" We tried to be positive and figure out how to make it work. He lugged all the new flooring in for me and I gave him the grand tour.

When I arrived back at my MIL's house (who had the girls) I got a call from Justin saying the power company called our house in Tallahassee and couldn't get the power on at the rental house for some reason. I tried to call but they were closed. Later that night as I laid in bed talking to Justin I just kept telling him I didn't know what to do about this house. I told him that it was just really dirty and the floors were bad, etc. He had called Mr. Frumin (the landlord) earlier that day and told him I was disappointed with the condition of the house and he told us to call a cleaning service. Keep in mind, Mr. Frumin left for a 14 day cruise to Europe just after speaking to Justin. I told Justin I just didn't know what to do... so, he asked me, "Darby, can we make this work?!" I said, "Of couse we can make it work!" So that was that and I went to bed thinking, "the decision has been made and now we're going to stick with it and make this thing work!" I woke up at 6:30 with Paiger and we snuck out early to run to Lowe's to get paint and other carpet materials. I knew if I was going to make this work I'd need some stuff to help make it work. I bought 5 gallons of paint, carpet knife, carpet tape and a vinyl knife. I came back to the Stickler's house and GiGi came out of her bedroom with this lovely piece of paper. She had been in her room writing down all the pros and a few cons to the house on Kent. I told her that was great and that Justin and I had discussed it and that we were going to make it work. I explained that I already went to Lowe's got the paint and that I was going to run over there to drop it all off.

I called the utility company at 8 and was explained that the wires coming into the meter box were melted and not to code. He told me they were sending an inspector to inspect the electrical wiring of the house at 10. I rushed the girls over to Tami's and I met the inspector. The list was rather long and complicated and the repairs didn't seem minor; one said, "Replace and move inside panel to meet code". I know from past experience, moving an interior electrical panel is not a quick task. He also told me I couldn't use a microwave in the house. I was quickly thinking maybe this house wouldn't work after all. I took some photos of the house and went to my SILs house to use her phone book. She said, "there's a house right over there for rent, let's go look at it!" So we did. And it was a dream come true. It's ugly outside but I don't care at all. The inside was clean with brand new carpet and new paint and it had 2 very nice clean bathrooms. So, I proceeded to sign a lease and I've never been so relieved!! I emailed Justin the pictures last night and he couldn't believe that I actually considered living there. And now that I look at them I wonder what I was thinking too. I was just trying to be positive... maybe too positive! Praise the Lord for providing a way out! Here are pictures if you are so inclined to see the disaster. Be sure to see photo comments for the full effect.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Moving (part I)

I managed to pack up one cabinet in the kitchen, then I turned around and saw this! I guess an empty cabinet was very tempting to a two-year old. Unfortunately I didn't make it much further than this. We plan to kick into high gear this weekend and pack up most of what is in our house (hopefully!). I'm really tired right now but I wanted to share some pictures of the girls. I put Paiger in an outfit that used to be Morgan's. Every time I put Paige in Morgan's clothes I can't help but think that it was yesterday that Morgan was wearing them. I put the pictures together in an album (click link below) just for fun... check it out and see if you can tell who's who!?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Nappy, Gnarly Highchairs

For the full effect of these pictures I suggest you click on them.
There are some things in life that I think about fairly frequently. Things that are thought provoking but not necessarily of any substantial value or deep meaning. One of these things is the nastiness of highchairs. We have one that is supposedly easy to clean, however, I think that is a huge false marketing scheme. It comes with this large slide-on tray that collects stuff (you know, bits and pieces of chewed up baby food, cheerios, and slobber) and doesn't fit in the dishwasher. It has this "snap-off" tray that fits on top of the "slide on" try but small bits of that chewed up food collect in the cracks where it "snaps on" to the bigger "slide on" tray. I think the only way this highchair would be considered "easy to clean" would be if we had a drive-thru car wash in our backyard that I could throw it in and let it ride through on the tracks. The nastiness of our highchair, thankfully, hasn't seemed to bother Paiger in the least. As you can see by the pictures above she feels right at home in her highchair. Her favorite thing to do is get a mouthful of food and then chew on the highchair where you see those little red buttons (that's where the slide on tray is supposed to go). Perhaps if my child could keep her food in her mouth and not in her hair and all over her body it would no longer be a problem. This highchair also came with a washable seat cover. As you can see by the picture I have chosen not to use the washable cover because I prefer not to wash it after every meal. If anyone knows of a highchair that doesn't have really small nooks and crannies that collect food particles and other bodily fluids please let me know. I'm at a loss for what to do. My child must eat; she's not big enough for the barstools or "big girl" table yet and she's outgrown her Bumbo... so anyone with an idea please let me know.... for now we'll just continue in our nastiness! If you ever happen to drive by 2343 Kilkenny Dr and you're looking for our house you can just look for the highchair that frequently sits on the front sidewalk after being sprayed down with the hose nozzle. Perhaps this very introspective blog entry has brought me to the conclusion that maybe the problem isn't my highchair but the small child that sits in it! :)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter Weekend

We had a delightful weekend in Dothan... once we got there! We intended to leave Friday evening but instead didn't get out of town until Saturday morning. We arrived just in time to hunt Easter eggs. I accidentally forgot the girls winter snowsuits, boots and earmuffs so they had to freeze in just their street clothes! I'm not sure I've ever felt a colder Easter weekend. Morgan loved the Easter egg hunt this year and was definitely more into it this year than she was last year. PopPop played "Easter Egg hider" and we think he may have received a pink slip already. The eggs were placed in the most hazardous & precarious of locations. I thought by the end of the hunt we'd have to set up a first aid tent to dress all the hunting wounds. GiGi promised to hide them next year and to not place them in the rose bushes and sago palms, both of which have razor-like thorns. Thankfully all the egg hunters survived with just a couple battle wounds.

Saturday night Morgan and Judson dyed Easter eggs and had a blast. I'm so sad that I don't have any pictures of this event... they're on Kathie's camera and I will certainly have to see if I can get the copies. They were so funny in their aprons and no shirts. Both took the job very serious and did wonderful. We had a variety of colors and they all turned out beautiful. We may just have to make a tradition of it!

I always think (for some reason) we can get to church on time. I figured if we're up before 8 for a 10:15 service there's no way we could possibly be late... I'm wrong every time. The girls enjoyed their Easter basket and we enjoyed Krispy Kreme doughnuts. We heard a wonderful message @ First Pres (when we finally got there) of the joy we can find in the empty tomb. It was a wonderful message of hope and encouragement. We arrived home shortly before all the cousins. GiGi prepared a wonderful Easter lunch and the kids all enjoyed Easter baskets from GiGi & PopPop.

We made it home around 9:30 last night and we're recovering from an action packed weekend. The girls and I went to playgroup this morning and shortly before we left Little Rager started vomiting. When I got her home she continued and ran a fever. She's down for her nap now and I'm hoping she'll be better after her nap. I hear her stirring so I better run!

Here's a link to our pictures from this weekend...

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Update on Baby Newell

I just got a new update on baby Hunter. He's doing better but they're still at Shands. Many of y'all have asked about him and here's the latest (see email inserted below). Please continue to pray for Holly and Nathan. I know they must be so tired and ready to be home. Please pray for continued healing of little Hunter's body and that God will provide Holly and Nathan with confidence and peace when they bring him home.


Again thank you all so much for your prayers and thoughts. Hunter is still at Shands but doing well. He is off all the IV's but he still has a Center Line in his chest that they will be removing tomorrow or Saturday. They say there is always a possibility of an infection when removed. The only other thing holding us back from bringing him home is his feedings which should improve once the pain medication is out of his system which should be Saturday. So if you would please pray that there will be no infection and that he starts to eat better allowing them to remove the feeding tube. Thank you!

Love in Christ. Nathan, Holly, Nate II and Hunter

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Chocolate Easter Bunnies

It must be nice to be a grandparent, great grandparent, aunt, uncle, neighbor or friend... you can send chocolate bunnies, suckers, jelly beans, Butterfingers, M&Ms, and more jelly beans to 2 year old little girls and not have to be the one to tell them they can't have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Don't get me wrong, these Easter baskets are so much fun. And such a delight to watch Morgan open with great anticipation. However, reasoning with a 2 year old over why we can't eat chocolate bunnies and jelly beans for every meal isn't the easiest "motherly" task. The video below may seem insensitive, but I can assure you this child is well cared for and her "valid and legit" meltdowns are not usually handled in a way such as this (ie. recorded on video and posted on the Internet)!

For example, this dear child today got scared by a loud noise and ran into my lap crying. She told me that only a jelly bean would make her feel better. Don't worry I didn't buy it. Is my child pacified by candy... oh no, she's turning into her mother already! Anyway, I put a hold on the Easter candy today because of poor behavior at the park yesterday (don't worry she didn't pull any of that mean boy stuff). The only way she would get a jelly bean today was if she teetee'd in the potty... unfortunately she didn't get a jelly bean today (did I just say that?)!

With all of that said and in complete seriousness, I know that none of you all gave my child this candy with the intentions of hurting her or her teeth, but because you dearly love her and care about her and for that we are so grateful. It is a treat to see her open these baskets and boxes and get so excited and ask me over and over, "Is this one from Mimi!?""Did Mom and DaddyBoy send me this? Oooh look Paiger, this one's for you!" It is so fun to watch and I managed to take a few pictures of 2 of the 4 Easter baskets she's already received. I'm feeling much better about not having anything put together for her for Easter... it seems as though they both are pretty well covered.

The link below is to pictures I took this afternoon. We're in the middle of drought and it's only April... bad for the grass but good for time outside in the afternoons! Enjoy the pictures & enjoy the video!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Speaking of Breakfast in Bed

Erika scrounged up this photo. That's me on the left and her on right. Looks like my mom might have been better at "breakfast in bed" than I was... I'll try again sometime.

I took some video of the girls this weekend and thought I'd post it for the grandparents (and whoever else wants to see). My parents saw the girls in December and they both have changed so much since then. I thought a little video of both would give you a taste of where they are now! Hope this works... I'm still a rookie!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Breakfast in Bed

Morgan is intrigued with stories. She'd much rather hear a story of my past than be read a book she's heard a 100 times. One story she's heard a couple times is the story of "breakfast in bed". I tell her how Nana would often wake MommaSissy and I up with breakfast in bed. She always says, "Can I go!" That's her way of letting me know that she thinks that's a good idea! This morning I thought I'd surprise her with breakfast in bed. I blended up a quick smoothie and brought it to her with all her animals, babies, and of course her new flashlight. I think the thought of breakfast in bed was more exciting than the breakfast itself. After the first sip she said, "Can I get some water instead?" She's such a squirrel... who'd rather have water than a smoothie!? Oh well, I tried!

Justin went with me to the doctor this morning and Aunt Gaye came over and watched the girls (what a blessing!). The doctor was probably in the examining room with us for 30 minutes which made us feel so good and not rushed. She listened to every concern we had and answered every question we had to best of her ability! She didn't seem alarmed by my low EF percentage (or low heart squeeze), which made me feel a lot better. She told me that my racing heart wouldn't cause a heart attack, nor would any kind of palpitation. She's going to get us into the cardiologist in the next couple weeks and hopefully we can get everything figured out before we leave Tallahassee. It is already considered a "preexisting condition" so our next challenge will be with the insurance companies. We discussed anxiety and it's effects on the heart. I explained how the heart palpitations definitely cause me a great deal of anxiety but now we're going to try and figure out if they are a result of anxiety! We explained to her where we are in our life right now; moving, two young children, starting a company, etc and she said all of this could be a contributing factor to some of heart stuff but not necessarily the low squeeze percentage. She's going to try to get me in to see one of the 2 cardiologists who read the first echo cardiogram. Thanks for your prayers and we'll keep you posted!