Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh the weather!

I know I can't say this enough, but I LOVE THIS WEATHER!!!!! It is my favorite time of the year. As Sam and I sat out on our porch watching the girls play wonderously (is that a word?) in their barefeet, we both said how we wished it would stay like this year 'round! We have done nothing the past week but stay outside and play! Poor Anna was covered in pollen last night - so far I guess she is not allergic! She got her first "strawberry" on her knees last night. She kept telling us that they were "boo-berries (she prefers blueberry to strawberry). Since Sam's family has a slight history in fainting at the sight of blood, as soon as I realized it was bleeding, Sam and I wouldn't let her see it until we got it somewhat stopped. She is definitely a girly-girl because she was starting to panic, but thank goodness no fainting! Poor Mary Mac still has dark circles under her eyes due to allergies, but she just loves playing outside that I guess we'll just keep dosing her up with her medicine and pray it doesn't get any worse! We are supposed to have rain here Wednesday so hopefully it will wash most of the pollen off and be done with it!

On another funny note, I keep forgetting to post one our favorite funny things that Anna says. She is talking up a storm these days and some things I have no idea what she is talking about - but she does! The funny word is her word for milk! She call is milk "nip". Now, I know what you're thinking and no, she only breastfed for about 1 month! We get so tickled at that because it is so appropriate - maybe she knows more than we think she does!!!!

A Mary Mac funny. . .she was singing yesterday (as she does most of the time) while Sam was changing her clothes after church to the tune of The Farmer and The Dell, but she was making up her own verses (again, as always - I think she's always going to go against the grain, out of the norm, but that's what makes her special) and she says a word that sounds like the "f" word. Well, you could just hear both me and Sam giggle under our breath but trying not to call attention to it. Regardless, she noticed and wanted to know why we were laughing. Don't worry, we didn't tell her! Another funny saying (well I'm not sure how "funny" it is) was in the bath the other night. I was doing something in her room while Sam was bathing them. I hear him asking her "Do you even know what that means?" So, curious me, I wanted to know what she said. She had told Anna to stop "freakin" out (or something along those lines but using that word). Oops! I guess I use that word more than I thought! I guess it's better than some other choice words that I could use!?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Blogger Issues and Birthdays!

I've been trying to upload the video of me and Mary Mac taking a horse back riding lesson, but I'm having issues. As soon as I can get it to work, I will post it. Meanwhile, I'd like to wish Sam, the most wonderful husband and dad a very Happy Birthday! His birthday was Wednesday and we have been celebrating since last weekend when we baked a big cookie cake for him. He got his birthday present on Tuesday because Mary Mac couldn't wait - I actually really surprised him for the first time EVER! It was a pair of boots that he has been wanting forever and would not buy for himself. We also had a little family cookout on his birthday and had a wonderful time! The weather has been awesome here so we have taken full advantage of it and played outside every afternoon and night. Literally, from the time we either come home or after Anna naps, we have been outside playing, coming in only long enough to eat dinner, and then out again until bath time. I love this time of year (aside from the pollen) because it is warm but not smoldering hot! Poor Mary Mac is paying for it though - her allergies are going crazy! She even told me yesterday morning that she needed to do a "fish face" which is our term for a breathing treatment (the mask looks like a fish) because her breath was stuck! Bless her little heart - at only 4 she already knows when she needs a breathing treatment! Can you tell we've been doing this for while? She has never been so happy to have a breathing treatment!

Gitty Up Bogie!

Just what I know you have all been waiting for. . .video evidence of me riding a horse! It was so much fun once I got over being nervous. The horse's name is Bogie and he is so old and BIG, but great for a beginner like me! Mary Mac had a ball taking a lesson with me. I'm not sure if it's a good idea for me to have a lesson at the same time because she was so distracted by watching what I was doing. But on the other the distraction may be good because she had to stay focused and keep her horse on the right track. She was so cute after the lesson after we had put Bogie back in his stall. We were walking to the car and she looked at me and said, "mom, you did pretty good - almost as good as me!" Gee, thanks! Oh well, maybe a few more lessons and I'll be up to her level! Ha! Oh, and by the way, I was sooooooo sore! I found muscles I never knew existed that day! It is also MUCH harder than it looks to "post" (up and down). It took a good 6 days to get over! I just hope Bogie recovered!




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Monday, March 09, 2009

Wish Me Luck!

Mary Mac has really gotten bitten by the horse back riding bug in the past couple of weeks. We had to take couple of weeks off from her riding lessons due to us being out of town and then trying to play catch up at work. I had almost decided that she was maybe getting over this phase and ready to move onto a new activity (yea, right). So, a couple of Sunday's ago I asked her if she wanted to go back to her lessons or if she wanted to try something new. She pitched a small fit at this suggestion and said she wanted to ride that day. At her past few lessons prior to this, she was not really making any progress and we couldn't seem to keep her focus and attention on her lesson - not suprising since she is only 4 1/2! So, I told her that we would go on Monday (keeping in mind that we had already paid for 2 more lessons) and then see what happened from there. Well, Monday was the day after the snow and it was FREEZING! But, she did great! She still just walked around, walked over the ground poles, trotted a little, but she stayed focused. She was so excited and had a renewed joy for riding again, so we went back on Wednesday for her regular time. There was so much going on at the barn that day - a brush fire, no power, horses going crazy everywhere - that I just knew she would not be able to focus. Wow, did she shock me and her trainer Carly! Not only was she not distracted, but she finally got the hang "posting" all on her own without Carly even really asking! For those of you not familiar with English riding, posting is when you stand and sit on the saddle in a controlled way as the horse trots! It was unbelievable - we were so excited and SHE was so excited - it just clicked!

So, back to the point of this post. In the midst of all of the riding excitement, Mary Mac has convinced me (yes, the one who has never learned to ride a horse) that I need to learn how to ride with her. Wish me luck . . . we are taking our first lesson together today. Sam and my parents think this is hilarious! So hilarious that they are ALL coming to watch and bringing the video camera. Stay tuned b/c you may just get a laugh out of this one!

Friday, March 06, 2009

PRAISE GOD!

Sorry for the length here, but for those of you who are interested in the details:

In case you haven't already heard, we got a great report yesterday at Anna's cardiologist appointment! Thank you all for all of your kind words and prayers! He does not want to see her back again until this time next year (unless she starts showing symptoms of any problems, which he does not expect to happen). YEA!!!! I love Dr. McMahon, but has taken me a long time to get to this point. I think the reason for this is mostly my fault and totally not anything he did. I was in such denial at our first appointment with him when Anna was only a couple of weeks old that I took his blountness to be a little raw on a mom of a child with a heart condition. As we have been to see him many times now, I have realized that it is his blountness that I totally appreciate since we are dealing with a potentially very serious problem. Just to give you a glimpse into what our visits are like: they take us back the first time to weigh, measure, and get an EKG. I thought the EKG would be awful this time around b/c she is now so aware of what is going on, but she was such a big girl and was so still; we then wait again until they call us back to this tiny little exam room that is taken up mostly by a huge Echo/ultrasound type machine; we get her undressed again and he watches her as she interacts with us, listens to her heart, feels her chest with his bare hands, then he lubes her up and scans her little chest and abdomen with the wand to see her heart from every angle possible. During all of this he never really says anything or talks much except small talk with us and her about how she's been growing/developing: does she act "normal" (whatever that means), has she had any other health concerns, etc. During all of this, Anna did so well and just talked to him (me having to translate, of course) - the whole time thinking, I hope they a few tricks up their sleeves when she decides she's had enough. Then he flips the lights on and says, "well . . ." and gets straight to the point! Fortunately, this time, he said that the measurements, pictures, and EKG all looked better than this time last year and that she was apparently "growing" into her abnormal valve!

On another note, as I said the other day, we did take MMC with us this time. I tried for several days to prepare her for what they would be doing to Anna and what she would see, hear, smell, feel, etc. (yes, my nursing days were coming back to me). She kept telling me that she did not want to go, but that she wasn't scared! We picked them both up from school and MMC did not say 2 words the whole trip to Bham. Sam and I couldn't decide if she was tired, getting sick, nervous, scared, or what! Well, we decided it must have been a little fear b/c when we went into the exam room she was in Sam's lap, but would did not want to watch what they were doing to Anna. We finally got her to turn around and see that it was ok and that Anna was not being hurt. She actually had asked me in one of the conversations prior to yesterday, "Is the doctor going to go inside and touch her heart?" Poor thing - that was how her sweet, innocent, 4 year old mind had processed it all! But, as soon as we were done and walked out of the exam room, her whole attitude and demeanor changed and she was her normal self (again, whatever that may be).

Needless to say, we had a long and tiring day, but in the end, it was another GREAT day!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Adventures In Target

So the other day, I saw this segment on the Today Show showing them making this recipe for Classic Lasagna and it looked so yummy that I decided, why not? Also, the night before, we told Mary Mac that if she cleaned up the playroom (and it was a disaster) that we would give her $5 for her work. She happily complied and we gave her the money and she put it in her piggy bank. After I picked them up from school that day, I decided we would try and tackle both tasks at the same - groceries and a toy (boy, is she like her mom or what? the money was burning a whole in her pocket already). In a side note, is it bad that we give her money to help instill a little money sense in this tough economic time and then put it in her piggy bank (I deposit this into her bank account every so often) and not actually spend her money? We do only let her spend the amount of money she earned AND she thinks it is her money from her bank. Anyway, so while in Target, we are riding around to the grocery section (in one of those fancy 2 bench buggies) when all of a sudden Mary Mac comes sliding right out onto the floor on her back. She is in total hysteria (more embarrassed than hurt)! When I asked her what happened, between tears, she blames Anna for pushing her out. I honestly have no idea at this time who did what - my mind was focused on groceries, getting out of there before pre-naptime meltdown, and they were both content with their little "prizes" (yes, Anna got one too even though she didn't earn it - she is only 2 and we will do the same for her one day). As we all start to calm down, Anna just simply looks at me with those huge brown "angelic" eyes and grins and says, "Mommy, I tish her!" It took me several times of hearing her before I realized that she was happily admitting that she had indeed PUSHED ("tish") Mary Mac out of the buggie with her feet. Oh my, what a little devious thing! I know, this is only the beginning! I profusely apologized to Mary Mac later that I let Anna get away with it, but I was so in shock!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Beware. . .post overload

I apologize for the overload of posts and pictures and videos in one day, but since we've been out of town a lot lately, I have not had time to upload them all and post them. Hope you enjoy - there are some really funny ones and then some that are just for my memory!

Eating Tips from the Collins Family

Here is yet another video of Anna at dinner time. Thank goodness, unlike Mary Mac, we have never really had much trouble with getting Anna to eat. She is a bit of a snacker, but she normally eats pretty well! But, I guess she has watched us trying anything and everything to get Mary Mac to eat that she decided she would do it to herself. In case you can't tell, she is feeding herself and making her spoon like an "airplane"! Too cute! She makes us laugh more and more everyday! And I am proud to say that we (as a family) eat dinner together at our kitchen table every night of the week, so this is not an unusual occurence if you were to peak into our windows each night. I don't think many people can say that these days, but this is one of those things that my parents did and I am determined to do as well. It is a great time to hear all about their day and really learn things about your children that you may not otherwise know. Now, granted, it may only be Hamburger Helper (that which I am not proud of, but resort to on certain days), but we eat together!!!!!


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Anna's Check-up

Stay tuned. . . we go back to Anna's cardiologists Thursday for her annual (hopefully still annual) echocardiogram and check-up. We would appreciate any and all prayers that she will continue to do as well as she has and that we will not have to come back for at least another year or longer! My prayer is that her little body and heart will continue to grow and adapt to her defect and she will not have to have surgery to correct it! Just fyi. . .she has pulmonic stenosis, which basically means that the valve leading from her heart to her lungs is thickened and does not open as fully as it should. We have decided to take MMC with us to this visit. We have told MMC about Anna having a special heart, but we think that she is old enough now to somewhat understand that at some point Anna could have to have surgery and we don't want it to be sudden (in her eyes). We also have tried to tread that thin line of not making Anna's heart an issue, so that Anna and MMC don't think she is really any different than anyone else.

Dancing Girls

I just found this video on my camera that I had forgotten to upload and it just makes me laugh out loud! Poor Mary Mac has very little rhythym (sp?), but by golly, Anna can keep a beat even at the ripe old age of 22 months (notice how serious she is even when Mary Mac tries to distract her - she just does right back into her dance). I took this video one random Friday night when we were having a family night at home and just turned on the music really loud in the kitchen and POOF, the girls just started getting down! It was one of those spur of the moment things that just makes me smile from the inside out to watch our sweet angels having such unabandoned fun with nothing but little music. It's amazing what music and dancing does for our souls! By the way, please excuse the song, I know it's little much for the little ones to be dancing to, but it just came one and we went with it! Also, I apologize if Anna's "moves" are offensive to anyone - NO, I did NOT teach her that! I have not a clue where she learned it!


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Snow 2009











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So for those of you who have been living in a cave the past week or so, yes, this is our yard here in the deep south this past weekend! Can you believe it? We certainly could not! We had a ball! I'm not sure who had more fun -the adults or children? It was perfect, though, because it was snowing when we woke up and it was enough to make snowmen and snow balls and sled! Then, when we were all tired, wet, and cold, the sun came out and it all was melted by late afternoon!

Meaning of my playlist

This past weekend while helping my Papa get back on his feet after surgery (p.s. thanks for the prayers; he had surgery to remove the cancer in his mouth and we are waiting on the pathology report to give us the "all clear"), we were talking about some of our favorite songs. It didn't dawn on me until then that I had never given you fellow bloggers insight as to why I have the songs playing on our playlist. I guess most of you think it's probably just random, but there is meaning to this madness. Each one of the songs playing has some sort of meaning to me and/or my family. They either remind me of someone or the words mean something, etc. - you get the idea! For example, Sweet Pea: that is what many of us called Mary Mac as her nickname when she was born (and some still do); Wild Horses: you guessed it, because of MMC's love of horses; Daughters: such sweet words for parents of daughters. So, now you all know! Does anyone else choose certain songs for their playlist for a reason?