Friday, December 31, 2010

One Word Resolution

Happy New Year (almost)! Scott and I were talking about New Year's resolutions last night. The entire discussion consisted of simply one word - survive. I start school exactly one week from today. As excited as I am to start on this new journey, I'm terribly nervous, too. We are not quite sure how we will juggle Scott's demanding job, my accelerated school program, the kids, the house, the errands, and everything else. We are simply resolving to survive. We are also adopting a good friend's motto - done is good. In our time-starved new world we probably won't do everything well, but simply getting them done is good enough.

We hope your Christmas holidays were wonderful. Ours was a chaos of flying wrapping paper, but tons of fun. We enjoyed Christmas Eve dinner at home with Nana, followed by dessert at the Melting Pot. From the amount of chocolate on their dresses, you would have thought the girls dunked themselves in the fondue pot. It was worth it, the dessert was delicious. Then, it was home to prepare for Santa.

We were up bright and early to reveal all the goodies Santa left. Santa (and Nana) did not disappoint as our playroom is one again over flowing. The big gift of the year was a keyboard for the girls. Piano lessons start next week, so I went ahead and bought some ear plugs. I think we will need them.

It is a good thing the kids opened their gifts quickly, because we needed to get out of town before the snow. We cleaned up, loaded up, and were on the road by 11AM. The snow was falling 30 minutes later and it was a blizzard by the time we got to the mountains.

After 4 hours driving in the snow, we were thrilled to arrive at the toasty cabin. We unloaded and then celebrated Christmas all over again - how lucky are we??? With a lot of snow on the ground and 20" more on the way, there was no question about it being a White Christmas.

Since the roads were bad, we didn't leave the cabin. We sledded in the white powder. Marcus and Emily played endless games with the kids. Mimi made delicious hot chocolate for all of us. We even hosted our own version of Minute to Win It - thanks to Scott and lots of random household items.

When the snow stopped it was time to hit the slopes, the girls went to ski school, Mick went to the little kids' camp, and Scott and I rented snowboards. The conditions were perfect, which is much more than I can say about my snow boarding skills. I hadn't been on a board since 1999 - yikes. I may not have hit the terrain park, but I got down the hill. I had a great time, though my back side is still bruised. All of the kids had fun and the girls picked up a few ski skills, too.

While it many regards it was a wonderful holiday, it was quite sad too. Scott's grandmother took very ill and passed away this Thursday. Poppa traveled to be with his mom and the rest of the Harrell family. Scott is traveling to her funeral tomorrow. We will miss Grandmother Harrell deeply and send our love and prayers to Grandpa Harrell and all of the family.

That is life in the stroller lane.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cookies, Milk and Purell

Santa is due in less than 2 days. This year we are leaving him a plate of cookies, a glass of milk, and a bottle of Purell. He will need it after a visit to our germ-filled house. It is usually one of the kids, that kicks off the germ-passing, but this time it was me. That stomach virus - it made the rounds. I was the first casualty, followed quickly by Mick, Scott, and Sarah. Jaley was the only one to escape, she may be injury-prone, but she has the best immune system. As soon, as I thought we were in the clear - Mick was down again - this time an ear infection.

While will offer Santa a little Purell during his visit, it seems that we are all on the mend. Maybe if we are just a little (lot) lucky, we won't be knocked down again during this cold and flu season.

We are expecting snow on Christmas night, which is very exciting. It will be not only the kids' first White Christmas, but mine too. Growing up in Florida, we usually had the air conditioning running full force at Christmas. The only thing white was the ice in our tea as we tried to cool down.

That is life in the stroller lane. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our Very Own Traveling Circus

Monday was vet day. I hate vet day. It isn't the actual veterinarian, he's very nice. It is the process of getting the cats to the vet. And while every vet day is a zoo, Monday was a full on circus.

Tennessee was snowed in and Scott's flight home was canceled. While he wasn't flying anywhere, I was here in NC flying solo. Getting three kids ready in the morning wasn't the problem, it was getting the two cats corralled.

Epy, in most regards, isn't the sharpest cat of the bunch. But when it comes to hiding, she might as well be Einstein. When I am lucky enough to find her, she is faster than a greased pig.

We were 20 minutes to departure and the hunt began. Armed with kitty treats, I started searching the house. My first find, under the Christmas tree, was soon a fast escape on her part. Over the next 20 minutes, I ran up and down, in and out, but couldn't catch her. The kitty treats were long lost and it was past time for Sarah's bus. Finally, with the help of Sarah wielding a roll of wrapping paper, Jaley making noise for distraction, and me lodged half way under my bed, I caught her and got her in the cat carrier.

Next up, Buford. Catching him wasn't the problem. He is 14 and mellow. The problem is that we only have one cat carrier. Now, the conundrum. How do I load the kids, do the school drop offs, and have a cat loose in the car? I figured I would learn on the go. With Buford in my arms, I drove down the street steering with my knee. I see a few parents walking back from the bus stop and know we've missed the bus. Then, my luck turns, the bus is still loading. I stop the car, Sarah slides the door open, hops out, and slams the door. Sarah out, Buford in - success at the first drop off.

Next up Jaley's school. This is trickier, I have to get Jaley , Mick and myself out of the car, without letting Buford escape. Bufor, was still confused from the ride, so we managed to slip out of the car. We drop Jaley and then back in the car again. Buford, is prepared this time. He is ready for the escape. Somehow, I manage to toss the baby in and slip myself in and grab Buford by the tail before he jumps out. He is screeching, but at least he isn't on the loose 6 miles from home.

We are off again. We are at the vet and, of course, the closest parking spot is a mile away. Another conundrum. Who do I unload first? The cat or the kid - 'cuz I can't carry them both. I choose Buford and lock him in the bathroom at the vet - I didn't even ask permission. I just put him in there and shut the door. Then, I run out and get Mick praying that no one saw Mick alone in the car for that 90 seconds. I manage to carry Mick and carrier with Epy in it - remember her. She has been stashed in the cargo area of the car for all these stops.

After a quick visit with the vet, the assistant kindly helped me back to the car and made sure neither cat nor child escaped. I arrived home two hours later and $250 poorer. Good news, both cats are healthy. Better news, my traveling circus won't need to make the rounds for another year. Like I said, I hate vet day.

That is life in the stroller lane.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What a difference a year makes!

It was a year ago yesterday, I had my last surgery. I wasn't sure if it was a cure. Heck, the docs weren't even sure if it was a cure. But it was. Here I am a year later pain-free. So as holiday blessings go - that is a wonderful one.

One year later, what are we up to? Well, I spent yesterday in bed with a stomach virus. Unlike last year, I was recovered in 36 hours. Scott saved the day and took care of the kids. I have the best hubby.

Today, I'm off to a holiday tea with my girl friends. The girls are out Christmas shopping with Nana. Mick is resting since he seems to have caught the stomach virus from me.

Tomorrow Scott is off to Tennessee to visit his grandparents and wish the Harrell side of the family a Merry Christmas.

Basically, life is back to the regular routine - a little bit of passing germs, a little bit of running errands, and a lot of fun. Like I said, what a difference a year makes. How nice!!!!

That is life in the stroller lane.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Great Advice

One of my best friends recently shared this life tip with me. "Never regret anything that once made you smile." That sure takes the edge off of a whole bunch of choices in my teens and twenties (and a couple recent choices too). May it do the same for you.

And when I'm not philosophizing with friends, we are busy around here. It is glamorous stuff, like a recall on the Mazda last week and a recall on the Toyota this week. Add in a new garage door opener and it's a trifecta. Don't all the machines in my life realize this time of year is already busy even if nothing is breaking down.

What else is happening? Jaley and Sarah are counting down to Santa. The closer we get, the longer their lists get. Too bad that Santa has already finished his shopping for the Harrell kids. I guess they will have to wait until their birthdays.

While Santa has yet to deliver on my wish for a sleeping baby, he is definitely trying. The no-soy and no-dairy trick is definitely helping. Mick is only up 1-2 a night, which is infinitely better than the 4-5 times a night we were sometimes averaging. Sleeping aside, he seems to be feeling a whole lot better. And that makes me happy!!! Trying to figure out food issues with babies is so darn tricky, but we are hoping this may be a solution.

That is life in the stroller lane.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How can it already be December?

How can we already finishing 2010? Wasn't it New Year's just a couple of weeks ago? I can't believe just how fast this year has passed, but it has. Here we are 11 months into 2010. The kids are year older and as much as I hate to admit it, so am I.

I guess I better slow down and enjoy December or the entire year will disappear on me. In that spirit, we are off to go sledding today. No it didn't snow - though, ironically, it may later today. The town brought a snow maker to a local park and has covered a hill in fluffy, frozen fun. We have our sleds ready and are bringing a couple of friends along.

I hope that you are getting a little Winter Wonderland in your neck of the woods - even if it takes a snow maker to get it.

That is life in the stroller lane.