Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy 5 Year Anniversary to Us

That's right folks, Brad and I were married 5 years ago today and what have we done to celebrate you ask? Well, I would be happy to tell you all about the romantic, wonderful, quality time we have spent together, starting at 4:30am when we took sick, sweet, snot-face Avery to the Emergency Room at Putnam General Hosptial in good ol' Eatonton, Georgia, followed up by a high-class dining experience at McDonald's on the way home at 7am, and it doesn't stop there folks, we joined the rest of our family (thats right, its our Family Reunion Weekend at Reynolds Plantation here in Peachy-Keen Georgia) at The Lake Club only to watch my Uncle Dick go diving into the pool after Priya (she is 3 and fell in), and then we topped it all off with another scrumptious meal at McDonald's for a quick lunch before Brad and my Dad headed out for a cool 18 holes of golf, while my Mom and I manned the children, and my manned the children I mean MADE them take naps because they are both running on fumes.

Poor Avery tried to go down last night around 8:45pm, but ended up screaming until about 10pm, don't worry we didn't leave her in her crib, we tried to console her, but it was useless, she just screamed bloody murder. She slept from about 10-2, then woke up screaming again...we finally headed towards Putnam General around 4:30am.  After some blood work, a few tests (strep, RSV and the Flu) we were on our way home with a Rx for Steroids...awesome, some drugs that make my kid aggressive and angry, just what a mother wants while on vacation!

We arrived in Eatonton around 2pm yesterday after leaving Richmond around 3pm on Thursday, we stayed the night in Charlotte on Thursday and headed out around 9am, so it was a long day of car travel, filled with snots, coughing and naps...oh wait, just kidding on the naps part, no naps were had by the darling Turner Ladies.

It is great to see the whole family, but like I was telling my Mom, its so different having a 15 month old vs. a 3 year old. My two girls are the youngest, and the other kiddos are 3 (Mallory, Jason and Priya) and almost 6 (Matthew), and I honestly don't think I have had a full blown conversation with a single person since arriving yesterday, I am either chasing my children around (mostly Avery, Olivia has been great), or fighting with that pesky parasite that apparently decided to appear again just in time for the family photo session yesterday and dinner last night, so I was pretty miserable most of the afternoon and evening and barely had enough energy to follow my children around let alone try and multi-task and hold a conversation.

More to come later, just wanted to give a quick update. Oh yeah, and to my darling husband, Happy 5 Years of Marital Bliss...I adore you!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guess not...

So that parasite I was talking about, and how it might be the answer to my big ol' weight debacle....not so much. Its basically gone, not that it really was a parasite, but I like to just pretend it was, but either way, its gone and the weight is still here. SHUCKS.

This has been a super crazy week, work has me running in 934 different directions. Brad is out of town and I am busy packing up our entire house, getting Riley ready for a mini-vacation (he goes to the kennel on Thursday morning), and planning our route to Georgia. Thanks to my Dad for being a good route planner, I just don't have the time, I have delegated that task to him and he is a good little mapper outter.

I am very much looking forward to spending a few extra days with the girls and of course seeing our extended family this weekend, but I am NOT looking forward to the long drive and the hotel stay, traveling with these two little darlings usually isn't a peaceful endeavor, but we'll take each mile as it comes.

We gave Olivia her Bouncy House (early Birthday Present) over the weekend, she is madly in love with it and we are planning to bring it with us to Georgia, it will be perfect for the rest of the kids and will keep them busy so us Moms can have a peaceful conversation amongst ourselves.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Answer to my prayers....

Could a parasite be an answer to my prayers, a way of God telling me, "I will cut you a break, that whole diet and exercise thing is too much for you right now, you don't have a lot of time in your schedule right now to shop for healthy food, prepare that healthy food or work out, so why don't I just deliver a parasite to your abdomen and help you lose weight by having you spend a solid portion of your day in the bathroom"

I probably shouldn't be joking about it, but I honestly don't think I have a parasite, but that stomach issue I commented on over the weekend is still with me and going on a solid week of ickiness. Brad thinks I need to see a Doctor...I am generally the first one to sign myself up for a visit to the good ol' Doc, but I just don't feel like this stomach issue warrants a visit to our lovely campus Health Center, but if I am still dealing with this on Monday, my favorite medical professionals and I will be having a little tete-a-tete.

A few comments about my favorite TV shows that are closing out their seasons over the next few weeks:
Grey's Anatomy - haven't watched the finale yet, no spoilers please....
Private Practice - love, love, loved the ending, despite the Dell storyline, I love that Addison and Sam finally got together, I have been waiting for that ALL season long.
Castle - I am starting to get annoyed at the lack of Castle and Becket and the fact that it looks like they are "breaking up" and no longer going to be working together
The Good Wife - if Alicia and Will don't make out I don't know what I am going to do
Mercy - I kinda want Dawson and Chloe to get together despite the fact that she is dating the jock and he is a complete jerk, and yes, I know his name isn't Dawson, its Briggs, and of course I want Sonia and Nick to get back together and Veronica and Sands need to just get the show on the road, enough of this on and off stuff.
One Tree Hill - I love Quinn and Clay together, but seriously, that crazy Katie girl just shot them, and Haylie is pregnant, which is exciting, I was waiting for that to happen, and of course Julian and Brook are engaged, which is FABULOUS news, I think they are an adorable couple despite the fact that she always sounds like she is losing her voice and he needs a haircut
Gossip Girl - what was Chuck thinking sleeping with Jenny Humphrey? Good Grief Chuck, what an idiot he was, he and Blair were perfect for each other. Her best line of all time "Motherchucker" - LOL. So clever. AND what were Dan and Serena thinking smooching? They are both dating other people...who am I trying to fool, I love that they gave each other a little peck, but Nate, poor Nate...what is Nate going to do without Serena.
Brother & Sisters - I am 3 episodes behind and can't comment, but I have heard the Season Finale is a real doozie, so I can't wait to catch up
Desperate Housewives - I haven't really paid much attention to it this season, but I did catch the Finale on Sunday and boy oh boy was it a good one.

I am "liking" Friday Night Lights so far, but I hate to say it, I am NOT madly in love with it like I have been during previous seasons, I don't know what is wrong with it or me, but I think it will get better now that Riggins is going to help out Coach Taylor. Army Wives is holding my interest, its a great summer option. The Bachelorette is starting next week, and I have to admit, I am excited to see what they give Aly to choose from.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Giving Blood

(Warning: Strong Opinion Post)

Some people are terrified of it, some people don't do it, some people think about doing it, there are the people that give blood once or twice and then there are those people that give every chance they can. I am one of those people and I happen to be fairly passionate about it. I know it can sometimes be a touchy subject, the people who don't give it, that is their choice, but I have a really hard time understanding why people can't make that small sacrifice to save lives. So its scary, so you might pass out, honestly, who cares?

I was giving blood today at work and talking to the guy from Virginia Blood Services about my blood type, etc and he was saying that I was CMVNegative, which he explained means my blood can be given to babies and that right now in the Richmond Area there are two babies sucking up the blood supply, that blood supply is keeping them alive. I can't imagine how those parents are feeling, watching their little ones fight for their lives, but I sure can do my part and make the fight a little easier.  He went on further to explain that we have 400 people in the Richmond Area counting on the blood....DAILY. After you give blood with Virginia Blood Services you get a phone call a day or two later from someone whose life was saved by someone donating blood, the last few calls I have received have been little children thanking me for saving their lives and the lives of others just like them, its just a voice recording but it never fails, I have tears streaming down my face after the quick 20 second message finishes playing. (Smart move on their part to use little children)

This one hits home, no Avery didn't need any blood while she was in the NICU, but she could have, and just thinking about that breaks my heart, people live and die every single day because of the choice we make to either donate or not.

Here are a few stories:

Christiane Holmberg Potes
When I was 14, I collapsed at church one night with a terrible headache. I was rushed to St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond where they discovered that I had had a deadly brain hemorrhage. It took hours of surgery and the blood from 42 people to save my life. Today I'm married and have two children, and I work as a nurse. I'm a walking talking miracle, thanks to blood donors.

Amanda Fitzgerald
I am 15 years old, and I have sickle cell anemia. Each month I have blood transfusions at MCV Hospitals in Richmond. My parents and my sister go with me every time. Blood donors are my heroes, along with my father and mother. I'm sure your blood will go to someone who appreciates it, too.

Mark Lindsey
Several years ago, in my freshman year at the University of Virginia, I caught a flu that seriously damaged my heart. It ended my football career and after months in the hospital, I was lucky to receive a donated heart. The blood from nearly 200 people saved my life, and today I'm married and have a new daughter.

I mean think about it, those are just 3 stories and all of them gave me goosebumps.  I think about the people my blood is going to help, I wonder if those people are going to go on and change the world, if one of them might be my sweet Olivia's future husband, or to a sick medical student working on cancer research, or to even the teacher who might make all the difference in Avery's life, you never know the impact something like this could have on someones life. I think about it a lot, and honestly, I wish the people who don't take the time to give did too...

Happy 4th Birthday Dear Zackary

Saturday we joined our neighbors in a celebration of Zack's 4th year of life, Olivia's best friend/boy friend had his Birthday Party at a local park, and just a small note, it was hot as all get out on Saturday, so God Bless the fact that Insley got there early and snagged the little covered pavillion. I was not prepared however for the girls to spend the majority of their day in the "beach" aka The Sand Box. Had I known that I might have opted for no sunscreen, because as a Mom of two small children I know, sunscreen and the "beach" aka sand, don't go over so well in the whole clean up department. But I opted to protect my children from those harmful UV/UB rays and inturn felt the wrath of the sand - ICK.

(Oddly enough, she spent most of the time sitting in the sand, yet the two pictures I am choosing to share has her standing up)

(The Birthday Boy)

Zack had a John Deere themed Birthday Party. The boy is CRAZY about tractors, his favorite colors are green and yellow and that is just the beginning. The cakes Insley had made were adorable, too bad I was a bad friend and didn't snap a shot or two of those gems.

(And who is this beauty....Sweet Baby Campbell of course)

(LaLa enjoying her cake)

Next up is Juliette's Birthday in mid-June and then its time for Olivia's Big Day. We are still debating whether to invite her entire class, its one of those all or nothing things, and her class is 16 people, and adding those to the mix would make for a big party kid-wise, which would mean lots of favor bags, etc. Also, the parties we have been to of her classmates have been hosted outside of their parents home, so I feel a bit strange about inviting all these strangers to my house. Is that odd? Meaning, should I not be feeling that way? Is it normal? I don't know, this is my first party where I wouldn't know the guests. You guys tell me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Safe and Sound

I am back, safe and sound, and oddly enough the trip was very uneventuful, outside of Jeff almost being eaten by a Tiger...long, but funny story. Note to self, Tiger's are not big fans of camera flashes!

Our Corporate Security Office at work gave us a travel briefing about staying safe in Managua and how dangerous the area can be, which begs one to ask "Why in God's Name do we have business there if its so dangerous". Based on my 4 day experience I didn't see any of the danger they speak of, but our trusty driver and host Javier kept us safe, we would point to a Casino and ask "S'Okay Javier?" and he would just say "No, No, No" and shake his head. So I am guessing we could have seen danger had it not been for Javier, who by the way, I wanted to pack up in my pocket and smuggle him home with me. I could just picture it now "Olivia, Avery, meet Uncle Javier"...he was adorable and so sweet...and very prompt, always on-time.

We had some delicious food while there, I think I might have had Filet for the first 3 meals...and then I think I got a small dose of Food Poisioning at TGI Friday's. I can't be certain, but after eating there I thought I was going to die and its been lingering every since and that was Thursday Night.

On our way to Managua, we had a small layover in Guatamala City, Guatamala, word to the wise, if its on your list of places to see, you might want to re-consider.  I know, I know, that might be a tad premature, all I saw was the airport and the surrounding area, but lets just say it isn't in the running for any wonder of the world. Ick.

It looks like my team is going to be traveling quite a bit in June, but with my personal travel schedule being so busy on the weekends it looks like I will get out of most of the trips since they usually extend into the weekend hours.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hola Managua

I am off, to Managua, Nicaragua tomorrow morning on a 7am flight. We fly from Richmond to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Guatamala City, and then from Guatamala City to Managua, and we land at 3:11pm, local time, so that would be 5:11pm est. I will be back on Friday around 5pm. I am feeling a bit frazzled having been out of town the week before last for a few days and having had a very busy weekend, I haven't had a chance to reground myself and get back into the swing of things. I have been far less than the Mom I would like to be for Olivia, losing my patience with her every hour on the hour, however tonight is an expection, we had a great night together and as I type she is upstairs singing at the top of her lungs, and that great night we had is going to go down the tubes if that little Madonna upstairs wakes up that sleeping beauty in the room next to her....Olivia's middle name will be mud, no longer Merritt.

Brad's Mom, aka the girls Bina is going to come up and spend a day or two with Brad and the girls. Brad is a very lucky guy to have such a supportive Mom who is willing to drop everything and help out when I have to travel the globe to bring home the bacon.

I will fill you in on my travels when I return, I am hoping to get a few good photo's, but they are calling for storms and 100 degree days for the rest of the week, not ideal touring conditions if you ask me.

The Strawberry Patch - Mother's Day Style

(Brad and Avery just after we got off the Hay Ride that brought us out to the fields)

(Olivia ready to help)

(Olivia actually helping...take note of this, I don't think I EVER helped my Mom, I just complained the whole time, ate Strawberries and ruined my shoes)

(Notice Avery helping herself)

(This sure is yummy Mommy, so yummy, I need to double fist)

(Let me help myself to another)

(Not a flattering picture, but this one is for my Mom to prove that people can change, I actually helped this time)

(Kid on the loose)

(Now how are we going to cover up the fact that she was eating on the job?)

(Someone was showing off on the Hay Ride back to the farm)


(Avery wanted so badly to get in the Bouncy House with Olivia)

(Cute Monkey)

(Not so cute anymore, considering she stole my delicious Strawberry Shake)

(Brad and his Strawberry Shortcake and Olivia with her Ice Cream cone)

(Avery trying to help Brad empty the dishwasher)

And after a lovely Mother's Day with my family, there is nothing I would rather be doing than cleaning up the house after our two little hurricanes finish wrecking havoc. Does anyone else's house look like this EVERY SINGLE NIGHT after their children go to bed? I mean seriously, all the pillows are off the couch, its a disaster area.

Mother's Day at The Boathouse

Brad and the girls planned a perfect Mother's Day for me, starting with Brunch at The Boathouse, too bad the wind was so strong it could have carried Avery away, sitting outside on the water is one of my favorite places to dine in Richmond. Before being seated we fed the ducks and geese, man are those things friendly, they basically came right up onshore and sat in Brad's lap...have I ever mentioned that I hate birds? Oh and I did forget to mention that I may have found a few favorite drink...a Raspberry Bellini (sp?) - delicious.

(Brad and Olivia feeding the ducks and geese)

(Clearly someone was enjoying herself)

(Even I got in on some of the action)

(Not a great photo by anymeans, but we have so few of the girls and I, I just had to post it)

(Look at that handsome Husband of the Year)

(You can dress her up, but you can't expect her to act like a 3 years old too soon for Miss Manners school?)

(But boy oh boy, she sure is a pretty girl)

Avery...the computer geek.

(Avery loves to climb and sit in chairs, she also loves to climb on, stand on and fall out of chairs)

(You might ask yourself what has Avery been up to these days....the answer is easy...following in her GaGa's footsteps...being the cutest little computer geek you have ever seen)

(Hard at work)

(Showing us that cute little grin)
Side Note: I kinda think she looks like my friend Dana's neice in this photo

Happy 5th Birthday Riley Duke of Fenway

Riley turned 5 on April 27th, so in honor of his birthday we had a cake made for him at Three Dog Bakery, he loves their treats and we get him a cake from there every year. What a lucky pooch he is.

(Riley's Cake from Three Dog Bakery)

(Riley posing in front of his can't see the drool, but he is dying to take a bite)

(There is he, digging in)

(Then he realized taking it all down in one bite might not be the best idea....but after a second thought, he ended up going with plan a...the one bite plan)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Back to Life...

It almost doesn't seem fair, that our lives just go on after something so tragic and so sudden stops you in your tracks. I'm not going to lie, for a few days I couldn't shake that numb feeling, then it went into sadness and heartache, and while I was at home there were lots of tears, but also a lot of laughs, and now that I am back in the swing of things here I am feeling a little worse for wear. The first few days back in Richmond, I had a hard time getting out of bed, and found myself crawling back into bed as soon as the girls were down for the night. I felt so bad that my life here was just going on as though nothing had happened back home, and I felt so guilty for leaving my dear friends grieving for their lost loved one, I felt like there was more I should be doing, that it wasn't right for me to be playing outside with my girls and devouring Turkey Club Supermelts from Friendly's (clearly not a part of my Operation Bridesmaids dress action plan).

But then I stop and think about what Jill would have wanted, what something like this should teach us, and I am ashamed of myself. I should be living life to the fullest, taking it all in, being the best Mom,Wife, Friend, Daughter I can be, all the things that I know she would give anything for a chance to do for just one more day.  As a man much smarter than me said, I need to take this mess and make it a message, take this test and make a testamony out of it...

I do hold the girls extra close for several extra moments at night before I give them their goodnight kiss and I am forever grateful that I brought Avery along for the trip to Northfield, just being able to snatch her up and snuggle her close was therapy beyond words.