Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HaPpY NeW YeAr!

Once again we are watching Mamma Mia! (does my husband love me or what) and just hanging out while ringing in the New Year. It's so hard to believe that 2008 is over and 2009 is just around the corner. We had so many dreams and hopes for 2008, some came true and some just never got the chance to be. So many memories, good and sad.

I'm going to go into 2009 with my head held high, a heart full of hope, and trust that better things are yet to come!!! From our family to yours, may all your dreams come true in 2009!

**I am grateful
1) a new year
2) new hopes
3) new dreams
4) new smiles
5) new memories

Monday, December 29, 2008

That unconditional, #1, completely smittin, head-over-heels kinda love.

There is nothing in the world that can possibly compare to the love you feel (or will feel) for your own child. Before Chase was born I often wondered what this "unconditional love" I had heard about really was. Don't get me wrong, I had love in my life. I loved Jeff and my mother and would give my life for them in an instant. Sure, that is unconditional love, right? Yes and no. I was always told that regardless of how much of a love it was for spouses and parents, the love you will feel for your child was different. It was a love so strong it could make you laugh and weep at the same time. It could make your heart leap and break in one single beat. It was so strong that it could make you stand taller than you ever had or bring you to your knees in a blinding flash. I pondered this. How could any love be stronger than what I already felt in my life.

When we did IVF#1 I knew I wanted a baby. When we found out it worked we were thrilled and I loved that baby, but I distinctly remember wondering when that love-of-all-loves feeling would kick in. The day my BETA dropped and we found out that 1) we were losing the baby or 2) we were losing a twin I realized just how much I wanted and loved our baby. We were blessed and despite losing a twin, Chase was OK. During the months of my pregnancy Jeff and I would talk and I would tell him that when the baby came, I would no longer be #1 in his life. He would laugh it off, tell me I would always be #1, and eventually the subject would change. As my baby and belly grew, I became closer to our unborn child and my love became stronger and deeper. However, I still wondered when that unconditional love would hit. Would it feel different? Would I know it? I thought about it a lot.

When Chase was born I was head-over-heels, 100%, completely smitten, totally in love with him. I thought, "this is the moment, I could never love him more than I do right now." However almost four years later, my love for him continues to grow every single day. It may sound impossible or stupid, but it's true. Every smile, every laugh, every stubborn moment, silly story, hug, or kiss makes my love grow. An unconditional, I would do anything for him, he's my #1, kind of love. And I know that his Daddy is the same.

Tonight I went to a visitation for a co-worker of mines 23 year old daughter. This was her only child, her bestfriend. Her daughter's death was sudden and completely unexpected. Only 9 short months ago this same woman also lost her husband very unexpectedly. My heart is shattered for my friend. I can only imagine the grief, the anguish, and the pain she is feeling right now. I lost my babies, but I cannot say that I know how she feels. I can't imagine raising a child for 23 years, loving it, nurturing it, and then having that child taken from me. I can't imagine it happening after any number of years, months, days, hours. My mother once told me that if you can make it through the loss of a child, you can make it through anything. God I pray I never have to experience that.

As I hugged J, I simply told her that I didn't even know what to say. What do you say to someone that has just lost their child? She told me that it was OK, just to make sure I hug Chase every chance I get because they are only here on loan from God and we never know how long we will have them. It was such a beautiful and sad thing. I couldn't help but cry with her. I cried because my heart aches for her as a woman, as a parent, as a friend. Yet in her time of sorrow, she was a light that reminded me just how much I have and how much I love. May our prayers we with her.

**I am grateful for
1) the love I have in my life
2) little wonders
3) heartaches (sometimes they make you realize what you have and just the things you don't)
4) we still have 6 days of break left
5) it actually feels like winter

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Better Late than Never

Just a quick note to say that if you were waiting on a Christmas card from us, they finally went out in the mail yesterday... oops! Turns out that I don't purchase stamps very often and since my last purchase they have gone up by a penny. Since you get purchase 1 cent stamps anywhere except the post-office (which closes very early in our little town) I finally gave in a bought a book of new stamps! Sorry for the delay, guess it's a good thing they said Happy Holidays this year and not Merry Christmas!

**I am grateful for
1) a husband who is willing to put all the toys together!
2) Chase's hand is looking MUCH better!
3) still one whole week of vacation left
4) 2009 is going to totally rock
5) Winter (well what we get) is supposed to officially be here!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Update on Chase

I noticed that I said strep in the last post, but what I meant was staph. Apparently I was REALLY into Mamma Mia! ;o)

Since having a severe staph infection in 8th grade that landed me in the hospital not once, but twice and then with a port/at home antibiotics and home health-nurse for the next 6ish months I am really leery about staph infections. Not to mention what Jeff's cousin is going through with one right now. Staph can get serious fast and it is nothing to fool around with.

Since Chase's hand looked no better this morning we were off to the doctor bright and early. Of course his only wish was that they not pop it, but we all knew that was one wish that would not be coming true. Since there was only one pedi on today and a building full of sick kiddos we saw Amy, the RN, who rocks. She is one of those ladies that is just super friendly and is always there when you need her. I love our pedi's office and was glad they could fit us in. Much to my dismay Amy said that it does indeed look like staph and much to Chase's dismay it needed to be lanced and cultured.

It took a total of four of us to hold Chase down so that we could get it lanced and swabbed. That had to be one of the hardest things ever for me to do. I was at his shoulders/head and he screamed and begged for us to let him go. It quickly turned into pleading and big crocodile tears which just broke my heart. It'll take three days (so Monday) to get the results of the culture, but we are treating it like staph and he's on an oral antibiotic and a topical one. We will be monitoring it closely and if it takes a turn for the worse we'll head in immediately.

Thank you again for the continued thoughts and prayers for Doodlebug, I'm always so thankful for family, friends, and prayers!

**I am grateful for
1) TGIF!
2) Chase is on antibiotics
3) we were able to receive good medical care
4) Christmas was wonderful
5) prayers!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!

***Please note that I have not gone to proofread this before publishing because I was watching Mamma Mia!!!! I will come back later, please ignore typos!! :o)

Christmas Eve brought much hustle and bustle to the Larson household. We had goodies to make, last minute errands to run, a few gifts to wrap, a beautiful Christmas Eve Candlelight service to attend, and a wonderful family gathering for Jeff's side of the family. It was a wonderful evening full of family and celebrations. Jeff's cousin, Wade, is only a week older than me and has been battling cancer for quite some time now. He has gotten a wonderful report back that he is cancer-free, definitely a great thing to celebrate.

Chase and Kaden looking for Santa!
By the time we got home Duchess had arrived and we were all thrilled to see her safe and sound. If you heard about the plane crash in Denver, let me just say that she was originally scheduled to return on THAT flight but got a nonstop flight last minute and switched! Thank God, that is so very scary to me. We got Chase into his Christmas pajamas and put out our cookies for Santa and carrots for Rudolph, then tracked Santa on the computer before making our way to bed.

Ready for Santa and Rudolph!

Santa came!

As Chase fell asleep to a Christmas story by Daddy, we finished wrapping a few more gifts and all was put under the tree. I nibbled on carrots and then eventually Jeff made his way back downstairs for a snack of cookies and milk. ;o) We decided to put Spike the Dino together to place in front of the tree instead of wrapping him so that he could be charged and ready to play! I think we finally made it to bed around 1:00 and were back up around 7:00 to put on the turkey.

Chase actually slept rather late and was a tad grumpy upon wakening. However, that quickly changed when he we were coming down the stairs and he peeked around to see that big green dinosaur looking at him! The smile was priceless and I think had he only gotten that one gift, he would have been thrilled. He spent the next hour playing and laughing with Spike before even considering opening another present. Around noon my brother, his fiancee, her little girl, and Madison arrived for lunch and we had a very nice time. All in all it was a wonderful holiday. In a way I'm sad it's over because Chase loves it so much and all too soon the lights will come down and the tree will be put up until next year.

Chase meeting Spike!

Such big smiles!!

I do have one little prayer request though. A few days ago Doodlebug was crawling around on the floor when he scratched the palm of his hand. It wasn't anything bad, but it did break the skin. It was red but looking OK until about 6 hours ago. It has developed a huge puss pocket and a red streak down the center of his palm. We know not to pop it because as long as it's closed, it's sterile. However, after having a severe (as in life-threatening) staph infection when I was 13 and Jeff's cousin (a different one than above) having a severe one right now, this is highly concerning to me. We will be going to the Dr. tomorrow and I'm sure they will want to lance it. Please say a prayer that Chase will be OK and this will heal quickly and without any complications. Thanks!

I hope that every one of you had a wonderful Christmas and that all of your Christmas wishes come true!

**I am grateful for
1) a wonderful Christmas
2) wonderful celebrations
3) new memories
4) traditions
5) prayers for my Chase

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chase, You are My Miracle

A couple of years ago I came across a book written by Maryann Cusimano titled, "You are My Miracle." As I read it, I was immediately brought to tears and fell totally in love. It was so simple, yet it says so much. The mother explains to her young son how they complement each other -- "I am your hot cocoa; you are my marshmallow" and "I am your Santa Claus; you are my Christmas elf," for example -- and are better off with each in the other's life.

I wish nothing more for all of my friend's dreams to come true this holiday season and for them to have their own wonderful miracles.

Chase, I am your Mommy and you are my miracle. I love you little guy!

**I am grateful for
1) my miracle
2) the smiles I will see
3) Santa is coming
4) family is here
5) memories in the making

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Holidays!

**I am grateful
1) Christmas shopping is 99.9% done and will be completed by this time tomorrow!
2) Wrapping is also 99.9% of the way done!
3) Our friends Dusty and Brian have a new, healthy, baby boy!
4) no work tomorrow!
5) house is still pretty clean!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Let's just make sure he REALLY knows.

While Chase was thrilled to go see Santa both the first and second time this year, both times he asked Chase what he would like for Christmas and both time Chase eagerly told him he would like a Spike. Santa replied, "a bike?" and Chase would continue to repeat, "NO, Spike!!!" and it would go back and forth until I would finally lean over and inform Santa that Chase wanted Spike the Dinosaur, you know the one that is VERY popular this year. *wink*

Chase was determined that Santa needed to see his list and actually put a picture with the word. So when we went to visit the big guy for a third time (yes, you read that right) we took the list with us so he could actually see a photo. And yes, he did say "bike?" again when Chase told him "Spike." I think Santa may need a hearing aide.

**I am grateful for
1) Duchess REALLY is coming home tomorrow, darn snowstorm in CA!
2) we have cold weather coming again, I like it, just wish it would stay that way
3) all the Christmas lights that are up are beautiful
4) my grandmother had hand surgery and is doing well
5) Molly, she's a good little bulldog (not sure if I ever put her before or not)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

She's Baaaaaack (and no, I still didn't slap her but I should have)

Remember the bouncing aide that wanted to know if I was gettin' on the baby train and then proceeded to tell me that I needed to drink the water. Well you'd think she would have gotten the hint that I really didn't enjoy our little conversations and that really they rather pissed me off, but it turns out she totally didn't. I know, shocking.

I really do try and avoid her if I can, but sometimes I swear that girl can see around corners. This time she wanted to know if we would be doing that "IVF thing" again. Ugh, here we go again. I said that yes we were planning on it again in January and hoped that would be enough to satisfy her for this round... of course, it wasn't. She went on to ask if we would be "going" for twins again this time. I quickly explained that there was no "going" for anything and that we would transfer three if we were blessed with three to transfer and that if we got pregnant with twins we'd be thankful. There was no guarantee with the whole process and you never knew what you'd get. Again, not enough for her.

She also wanted to know if my doctor ever asked us to reduce when we were pregnant with twins. I almost turned and walked away, probably should have. I told her no, in neither of our pregnancies were we or would we have been asked to reduce. She went on to tell me about about a parent that did IVF last year and got pregnant with triplets and the doctor asked her to reduce and she didn't and she lost all three, etc. I cut her off to tell her that yes, that happened to be a friend of mine and I knew the story, didn't need for her to tell it to me. I never really did figure out her point, surely she had one, right?

The conversation ended with her telling me that doing IVF in January would give us an October baby, I just nodded and said we'd take it. Then she wanted to know why we didn't wait a month or two so that we could have a December baby. WTF, seriously? I just smiled and said we'd be happy with any baby, any time.

I'm sure glad that we're on break so that I won't have to get anymore news or advice from her for a while, I think my head is on overload.

**I am grateful for
1) Duchess comes home from CA tomorrow!
2) Christmas is almost here
3) house is clean, well cleaner
4) Christmas Break has arrived
5) Christmas presents are wrapped (well, most of them)

Tagged Times Two

I have not been a very good blogging friend this week because I am way behind on reading and commenting! Turns out I found two tags, so here goes nothing!

The firs tag is from Dusty @ Crayon Mommy

1. Open the 4th folder in your computer.
2. Choose the 4th picture in the folder and post in in your blog.
3. Describe the picture.
4. Tag 4 people.

Baby Chase, just look at those cheeks!

I tag Randi, Holly, Katie, and Kristi!

2nd - Teresa tagged me with this one:

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about you (Teresa's were good, not sure I can even come up with 7!!!).
3. Tag 7 random people at the end, and include links to their blog

1) I was an identical twin, could you imagine two of me.... that's some scary stuff! My mom had no clue she was pregnant with twins until we were born, talk about a shocker. My younger sister (by 1 minute) was named Katie and tragically passed from SIDS at 6 weeks old. I think having a sister would have been awesome!

2) I met my husband through my ex-SIL. The first ex-SIL. I constantly tease him that he was trying to hook up with her, but we both know that's not true.,, I just like to ruffle his feathers.

3) When I was younger I was a total night-owl but now I would commit serious crimes to get to bed early (ok, not really but I could be seriously tempted).

4) I'm a total worrier, probably the worst one you have ever met. It's so bad that if I have nothing to worry about, then I'm worried about that.

5) I believe in miracles, like I REALLY believe in them. I think they happen on a daily basis and people are just too busy to notice them. I truly believe Chase is a miracle. I know every mother thinks that, but I still believe it none the less.

6) Growing up I always dreamed I'd move to Colorado. That would be my dream place to live, but I know I'll live my entire life in TX and have accepted it. Some things just aren't meant to be.

7) When I go to sleep at night I have to have one foot uncovered, it's a quirk but it's a must. Even when it's freezing, I always end up putting one foot out from under the covers. Love me, love my quirks. ;o)

OK, I tag: Dusti, Stephanie, Rhonda, Randi, Holly, Katie and whoever else would want to do it!

**I am grateful for
1) friends that tag
2) friends to tag
3) my blog
4) pink cheeks
5) goodnight kisses

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mental Sticky Note

Sometimes Chase does something that I never want to forget, but with time I know I will. I hate that. I hate that as the days go by my memories will slip away because life is so busy and full that I simply can't remember it all no matter how much I want to! So I've decided to start a new category to help me remember all these wonderful little things. Today will be my first mental sticky note. Here goes nothing.

~ When Chase is telling us to "shhhhh" he puts the tip of his finger on his nose instead of putting it over his lips. It's adorable and I will ask him to "shhhhh" me over and over again just to see it!

~ Chase loves to play with my hair by curling it around his finger. My Granny Kahla (hmmm, recognize a name there) used to twist her hair and I do it to. Must be hereditary.

~ You would always know when Chase was getting sleepy as a baby because he would play with his eyelashes (that boy has got some LONG lashes). Every once in a while he still does it. It's a dead give-away that the Sandman is on his way.

~ We used to say that Chase would suck on a pretend bottle in his sleep because he was always making the sucking sound and doing his lips like he was drinking from a bottle. He weaned at 1 year 2 months, but he still does this at night sometimes.

~ Chase can have an entire conversation in his sleep, but then again so can his Daddy!

~ When we are at SeaWorld MeMaw told Chase she wanted to ride the coaster with him because she was scared. He told her not to be scared, "he would keep her safe." He is such a sweet, caring little boy.

These are the kinds of things that I always want to remember!

**I am grateful for
1) 2 school days left until Christmas break (come on, you knew that was coming)
2) our Christmas tree
3) 2 weeks vacation to spend w/Chase!
4) we may have meds for our upcoming IVF donated to us, what a blessing that would be!
5) all the sweet things my Chase does

Monday, December 15, 2008

What is up with this weather?

If you want to live in a state that has totally unpredictable weather, then come to Texas! Remember less than a week ago when it snowed? Well last night at this time is was 80 out... tonight it's 39. Ugh! I wish it would just get cold and stay cold already! Poor Chase is back on breathing treatments thanks to up and down weather, but he does take it like a champ so I'm thankful for that!

This weekend was jam packed with activities. Duchess made a surprise pick-up for Chase on Friday and they spent the afternoon hanging out. Then Saturday we had Madison's first ballet recital. It was great and she did a wonderful job! As the proud aunt I can say that she was the ONLY little girl to do the entire routine. She is so stinkin' smart! I will post a picture of her in a ballet pose, but the camera is downstairs right now and I'm upstairs so I'll have to come back and do it. After the recital we had her 4th birthday party and the kids had a fantastic time. I still can't believe she is four, where does time go?

Saturday night we made our way to the hospital to visit my nephew's (OK, he's not really my nephew, but I claim him!) new baby boy. His name is Hunter and he is absolutely perfect. He is so long and sweet, I could've loved on him forever! His Mommy looked great and you can tell his Daddy is very proud. If you read this, congratulations Cody and Kiefer!!!! We went to see them again on Sunday and take a little gift and he was pretty tuckered out. Nothing like holding a brand-new sleeping baby, so sweet! ;o)

We also went Christmas shopping on Sunday and all I can say is I must be a Grinch because there were way too many people in the stores and I did not enjoy it one single bit! Fortunately we got about 85% of our shopping done and the remainder can be done in one stop (maybe two) so other than wrapping, we are done. Every year I say we're going to get our shopping done ahead of time and it never happens. Perhaps next year.... yeah, who am I kidding?!?!

Hope everyone else had a fantastic weekend as well!

**I am grateful for
1) 3 1/2 more days of school until Christmas Break!
2) another busy weekend
3) Hunter Scott has arrived and is perfect!
4) Christmas shopping is almost done
5) Christmas cards are in (now just have to address them, ugh)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I actually think that little green fella is pretty smart.

As I made the fateful call to my RE's office this afternoon to notify them of old Aunt Flo's arrival (early I might add, this stupid miscarriage has me all whacked out) so that we could get dates down and schedule my first shot of the season - IVF #5 - it dawned on me that I really had no excitement. Is that normal? Perhaps I need to go back and read about the other IVFs. Maybe I was just too fearful. What if it doesn't work? What if it does work and we lose the baby? Is the time right? Should we do this now? Should we wait another month? ACK!!!! I couldn't help but think of how I really do feel the fears of the what-ifs has a hold over me. I need to shake it. I need to push all of that away and let this cycle be it's own.

Of course thinking of fear made me think of Star Wars. Both Jeff and Chase are Star Wars junkies. The movies, the Clone Wars cartoons, they could watch them all day, every day. Fortunately for them, I don't really mind Star Wars and actually kind of think that Yoda is pretty smart and even cute in his own little way. I started remembering things he had said and thinking to myself, "this is some good stuff!" Seriously, let's take a look:

1) “[Luke:] I can’t believe it. [Yoda:] That is why you fail.” - If I don't believe this cycle will work, it will fail. I must believe, have faith, have hope. It WILL work, I BELIEVE this.

“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.” - I know my fears and I will name them and banish them.

3) "
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. - I have lived this. My fear led me to a dark, dark place. It led me to anger. It led me to hate. It led me to great suffering.

4) “Do or do not... there is no try.” - We will do this. I will do this with 100% of everything within me.

Yep, he's one smart little green fella!

**I am grateful for
1) we have a plan
2) I know I need to believe and leave the fear behind
3) a fresh cycle
4) tomorrow is TGIF
5) Duchess is coming to spend the night tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Only in Texas

Mere days ago you could go outside in shorts without giving it a 2nd thought and yet tonight it is snowing... what is up with that? Don't get me wrong, I love it. I'll be the first to say that Texas gets entirely too hot and I wish our winters were more, well like a winter. I can't remember the last Christmas that was actually cold enough you needed a jacket and you could probably count the number of days in the winter that require you to actually deice your windows on one hand! I like the cold. I like the snow. I like when it's blustery and you have to wear a sweater, drink hot chocolate, and curl up under the blanket to snuggle. I would take winter over summer any day! It just blows my mind that one day your sweatin' it up outside and the next day your looking at snow flurries! C-R-A-Z-Y!

Chase has loved it. Last year it actually snowed in March on his birthday, but I don't think he really remembers it. Tonight we went outside in our coats, hats, and mittens to jump around and play. Chase even threw a snowball (albeit a very tiny snowball) at Daddy in a Snowball Fight! We'll just say Chase won. Too bad this doesn't happen more often, I have a feeling we could get very used to it (although I'm sure those of you who do get it more often are shaking your heads at me right now)!

I know it's hard to see, but those little white spots are snow! Click on the pics to see them bigger! Chase was so excited!!!

This is actually ice and snow, but it still shows you how cold it is!

As for my strep, I am feeling so much better! I can swallow and drink again... yeah!!! My left ear/throat area are still hurting, but the right side is well on the road to recovery. It feels so good!!! Both of my guys are holding steady, so I'm hoping they are good! We have my niece's first ballet recital and 4th birthday party this weekend and we certainly won't be missing that!

Have a fantastic evening, we'll be snuggling and enjoying the winter evening!

**I am grateful for
1) the snow
2) everyone is home safe and sound, those icy roads can be scary
3) snugglin'
4) antibiotics... soooo much better
5) all the well wishes that were sent my way, thanks!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I was afraid of that.

Being a teacher I'm exposed to all kinds of little germs. Good news is that for the most part I stay relatively well other than bronchitis every year (but anyone one who's had it knows that once you've had it, you are very prone to it). Usually I can spot the signs of a sickness pretty early on and can combat it. Friday night in San Antonio I felt a tickle in my throat and immediately thought of Lisa who'd just been diagnosed with strep throat days before. Definitely not a good sign. Saturday I was feeling OK so I thought perhaps I had gotten lucky, but by Sunday night I knew it was the case. Monday was awful. The fever, swollen lymph nodes, chills, sore throat, then the puss. My Dr's had me swing by for a swab and sure enough, strep. I was afraid of that. I crawled into bed around 5:45 and didn't crawl back out until this morning. Chase was a wonderful Dr. and went with Daddy to pick up my antibiotics and delivered them before returning downstairs to play and let me sleep. I'm pretty sure I could have kept sleeping this morning, but I forced myself out of bed and into the shower. I did make it through the day, but had to skip the Christmas party this evening. I will say that the right side of my throat is feeling better, but the left side and my neck are still miserably sore. I sure hope these antibiotics kick in soon! Even more so I hope the boys don't get it!!

On a side note they are actually expecting snow flurries here late tonight/early morning... what is up with that? No wonder everyone is sick, one day it's 78 and the next it's 45! Crazy Texas weather!

**I am grateful for
1) 7 1/2 school days until Christmas break!
2) Jeff and Chase are showing no signs of strep
3) winter (I love the cold, but not the rain with it)
4) my friend Courtney's pregnancy - she'll know I'm talking about her... I haven't had a chance to email you back, but I will!!
5) did I already say 7 1/2 days until Christmas break? Cause I'm REALLY thankful for that!!! ;o)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fun Times (and no I'm not being sarcastic)

MeMaw and PawPaw asked us a few weeks ago if we had this particular weekend available because they would like to take a trip and it just so happened that we did. As a wonderful treat they took us on a trip to SeaWorld in San Antonio, TX! As an added bonus, Uncle Chad (Jeff's younger brother), also joined us.

We headed to Houston Friday afternoon to pick up Uncle Chad and made it San Antonio around 7ish that evening. The drive was much more uneventful than our recent MS trip and for that I was very thankful! The hotel was wonderful and Chase was thrilled when he saw Shamu's mug on the elevator doors.

With our crazy Texas weather we had been a tad nervous that it might be a little chilly on Saturday, but it turned out perfect. We started out bundled, but within the hour it was ideal. Not cold enough for a jacket, not hot enough that you were sticky and sweaty. SeaWorld was all decorated for Christmas and despite the fact that it was too bright to see the lights it was beautiful. We watched Shamu's Christmas Miracle Show, road Shamu's roller coaster, watched the Beluga Whale's show, fed the dolphins, posed with the famous Bud.weiser Clydesdales, fed the sea lions, posed for more pictures, visited the penguins, and caught the walrus and sea lion show! It was definitely a fun filled day!

To end the evening we drove to the Riverwalk and ate dinner before walking around to look at the Christmas lights. We had hoped to take the boat tour, but it was so crowded they ran out of tickets before we were able to get ours. Chase was disappointed, but I'm pretty sure he had a great time regardless! Just check out these pictures, there's no denying it!

Feeding Time

Group Shot

Famous Clydesdale

Aquarium Wreath

MeMaw, PawPaw, Chase, and Shamu


I hope everyone else had a fantastic weekend!

*Also a special birthday shout-out to Aunt Stacy and a HUGE thank you for watching our baby girl, Molly, while we were gone (and not to mention the other pets)!!!

**And, please send prayers for my friend Lisa's mom. She is very sick and will most likely be having surgery tomorrow. Thanks!

**I am grateful for
1) two weeks until Christmas break
2) sales, Lord do I need them for all the shopping I have yet to do
3) a fantastically, fun weekend
4) an awesome MeMaw and PawPaw
5) our own bed, it's always nice to be back in it

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Armadillo Eggs (a.k.a. sausage wrapped stuffed jalapenos)

Before I even start I'm going to warn you that these are awesome, but quite warm! We lot hot in the Texas, so they are perfect around here. They can be a challenge to make when you are first learning, but they get easier with time and are oh so worth it!

Armadillo Eggs

1 large can of pickled whole jalapenos
1 block cream cheese (or other filling)
1 box pork shake and bake
2 pounds sausage
2 cups Bisquick
6 eggs


1) Cut a slit in jalapenos and de-seed (you may want to use gloves)
2) Stuff jalapeno with cream cheese and then close back to original shape
3) mix raw sausage and Bisquick together
4) grab a handful of sausage mixture and wrap around jalapeno making an elongated egg shape
5) roll egg in egg
6) cover with Shake N Bake
7) Place on cookie sheet (can be lightly oiled)
8) Bake on 350 for about 30 minutes or eggs begin to crack
9) Enjoy!

**I am grateful for
1) only working a half day tomorrow!
2) we are going to Sea World this weekend
3) this weather is awesome (but boy that wind was cold at recess)
4) two weeks until Christmas Break
5) Chase is registered for PreK at the most awesome place! (but that is a whole post in itself)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Operation Santa Claus Picture 2008 (OSCP2008) - retitled because what was I thinking?

If you were a reader of our blog last year at this time, then you know that our visit with Santa (OSCP2007) did not go very well. Actually, that is putting it nicely. If you would have asked Chase, he would have told you that our visit was nothing short of pure torture. Seriously, if you weren't a reader then, you should go check it out.

This year we were all the wiser and being the clever parents we are decided that surely there must be some way to convince our 3.75 year old that the old man wasn't as bad as he seemed. I mean come on, he sees you when you're sleeping, he shows up one night out of the year, breaks into your house, eats your cookies, drinks your milk... how could someone like that be bad?

After much thought we decided that bribery would probably be the best answer. OK, it was the only answer we could come up with but why mess with what you know works? For weeks we have been telling Chase that Santa was coming and that we would get to go see him. We also said that maybe Santa would have a special present for Chase if he would be willing to take a picture with him. This really peaked Chase's interest and he agreed to the picture as long as he could stand by Santa and not sit in his lap. Hmmm, understandable, who likes sitting on the laps of old men? Wait, maybe you shouldn't answer that. Needless to say, the deal was made.

We decided that tonight was the big night and ventured over to Santa's cottage. Chase was full of excitement and grinning from ear to ear. This part was kind of like deja vu of last year and I was not going to be fooled again. When we arrived I took Chase to the tree and Jeff ran a little errand when Chase wasn't looking. All was good.

After a few shots by the tree we made our way into the cottage and you would never believe what was waiting for Chase. It turns out that Santa DID have a special present for Chase, who would have ever guessed? Chase was all smiles, but was a little hesitant. He really wanted that present though, so want quickly overcame hesitation. Chase was one happy little fella and totally impressed that the big guy was really there in person.

They had a riveting conversation about what Chase would like for Christmas and as usual the top four were the ones he told Santa about. Thank God he is getting all four! The conversation went on to include Chase's age, had he been good, was there anything else he wanted, what a big boy he was, etc. Chase even gave Santa a hug, which completely shocked me! Too bad I didn't get a good pic of it. I must learn how to take the delay off on the camera, I knew I should have kept track of that owner's manual!

Of course being the season of giving, you can't actually take pictures with your own camera unless you plan on giving to the whole Santa operation by buying one of their pictures. So, being the poor people we are we bought the cheapest package and still ended up paying 16 bucks for 1 picture. At least it was a good one. I'll try to scan on my school printer, but to be honest it really resembles the one above where he is standing by Santa. As luck would have it the computer crashed so while we were waiting for them to fix it we went back out to the tree for some family shots.

I have to say that even though OSCP2007 did not go very well, it was a memory that I will always cherish. However I'm finding that even though I never think it can, it just gets better and better. This was our last pic of the night and when I look at it I can't help but smile. This is the perfect picture of one happy, little boy!

I am such a lucky girl.

**I am grateful for
1) the season
2) a great night
3) Santa
4) that big 'ol tree
5) another year