Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas To All, And To All A Good Night!

We are very fortunate to get to celebrate with most all of our family members at one time or another throughout Christmas. Which does make a busy few days. We usually spread out the festivities, thank goodness (I wouldn't survive it if we didn't)!!

So, this was our "Santa Baby" before we went to Big Mama's on Christmas Eve. Big Mama's house seemed to get much smaller this year...either that or we have grown!
And here are the kids on Christmas morning at our house! Triston was not surprised to see what Santa brought him because he woke up before all of us and came in the living room and saw all the gifts! Oh, 8-year-old boys!!
Presley got Triston a field goal kicker toy. He used to have one and it broke so we thought a new one was in order!
Presley preferred eating the wrapping paper as to ripping it off!
But as you can see there is a trend here...she eats everything!
But when Poppa is here she cooperates! She got a new high chair from Nana and Poppa but I am pretty sure she did not open it the rest of the way!
Triston got this cool new beanie hat that has a mohawk on it. It is actually supposed to be turned around the other way but what fun would that be?!

We also went to Grandma and Grandpa's (Daniel's parents) yesterday and the kids got a lot of cool stuff there, too. What better time for one set of my rechargeable batteries to die but at Christmas time?! So, I did not get many pictures of that.
But today we are on our way to my grandmother's for our extended family to celebrate. My aunts and uncles and cousins (and their dogs!) will all be in town. So, we get to do this all over again!! And tomorrow...we rest!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Satan, you are not welcome here...not now, not ever!

Satan, I vanquish you from this place, from this family. You will not steal our joy this Christmas season. We will still celebrate with thankful hearts that our Savior was born.

So, go ahead, steal Daniel's job from him.

Weaken my dad with bronchitis and sinusitis.

Bring on the not-so-great results from the medical test my brother had. Put him in the hospital with pneumonia, just do it.

But you will NOT bring us down! Yes, we may feel weary. But the good news is the battle is already fought and won. And victory is on our side! You can test us with your trite bumps in the road but we have already conquered you.

So, just know this much you are not the Light of the World, or the Messiah, or the King of Kings. And no matter how much "stuff" you force upon us two days before Christmas you are not welcome here!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Baby that Never Cries...

...cried when she met Santa for the first time!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Couldn't Be More Proud


These people, of course


This team, for their first win!


My *ahem* masterpiece of a cookie pie for our Christmas party!

And last but not least...
Ok, ok, I know I still do not have any pictures of the Middle Devils. But I promise to have some before the season expires! But minues the coaches technical last week this season has been incredible so far. And just ask one of those players about "heart" and prepare to see some tears!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Feverish and Frantic

It was 12:00 A.M. central standard time. I was awakened by a small whimper, followed by a increasingly louder cry. I knew the cry from experience. It was a wide awake cry. It was a painful cry. So, I found my way down the hallway to the nursery. I went to retrieve my baby girl. Upon retrieval? Complete shock!

It actually hurt me to touch her. She was fiery hot. So hot, that even at midnight, I had to check to see what her temperature was. My lethargic little girl lay on her changing table and waited with me for the results. The beep sounded and there it was. If I had not seen it with my own two eyes I would still not believe it, 104.3. Her neck burned as it laid on the crease of my arm while I tried to feed my snotty nose baby.

The bottle didn't last long because she just couldn't breathe. So, I did as I have been doing the last few days, I laid her burning hot head on my shoulder and rocked her back to sleep. As I rocked, it broke my heart just feeling the heat coming from her, now, 13 pound body. So, I did as any mother in this situation would do. I began to pray.

I begged God to heal her. I pleaded with Him to protect her. I found myself wanting to reason with Him. "God you brought her through open heart surgery. She is Your child but give me more time to grow with her and learn with her. God heal her and protect her."

As I prayed it dawned on me. This is a "mother's prayer". Simple but sincere. Strong but vulnerable. Selfless but selfish. I wished and still wish for Presley to feel better. To not have pain or suffering. Just like my mom has done and still does for me, her only daughter. So, no, there is no more fever of 104 but, Lord please heal her and protect her.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Wonder of You

It was Monday night and I had already put you to bed. I looked at the clock and I told Daddy and Bubba that it had been exactly 9 months to the minute that we first embraced your beautiful face. It had been 9 months that you first graced us with the wonder of you.

I have a book and I rarely read it to you, not because I don't like it, but because it makes me cry when I do. It talks about the wonderful night you were born. It says things like, "the moon smiled with such wonder" and "the wind whispered the sound of your name" and "not once had there been such eyes, such a nose, such silly, wiggly wonderful toes" or my favorite "Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born." This book has such true statements as innocent and elementary as they may be.

I go back to that night. I remember the pain. I remember the fight. I remember the joy. I remember the pride. I remember the overwhelming love that fluttered inside. On that wonderful, marvelous night you were born.

You are uniquely you. You have big blue eyes that turn into that shape of a rainbow when you smile. You don't just smile with your mouth but with all of your 14 pound body!

You have a little button nose that gets so full of snot that Mommy could scream. But you do all the fussing for me when I have to get that snot out!

Not that that is the only time you fuss.

But did you know that I love to hear you fuss as much as I love to hear you laugh? I do, it's true. See, your fussing tells me that you have insight. You, my little 9 month old know what you like and what you don't. You know what you want and want you could stand to live without.

Your dark, full hair makes so many, so jealous!

You love to watch your feet dangle and wiggle and flip and flop. You don't need toys as long as you have your feet!

See, my girl, you are uniquely you!

I can't count on all my fingers and toes how many hearts you bless each day. I can't fathom how many smiles you encourage along the way. I can only imagine how many prayers are prayed for you, sweet girl. The lives you fulfill are endless. The love you bring is forever.

This and so much more, my daughter, is the wonder of you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Lurkey

As I mentioned, we had the Turkey Bowl last weekend. For those of you who don't know what that is let the pictures do the talking!
It was a beautiful day/night for some flag football. A few rain drops and out came a a rainbow!
We won the first game against some intense "adult" competition. But when we played this pink team, wow, we felt really old. They were young and several of us agreed that they ran circles around us. But we still won!!
It is not often you will catch me "in action" so enjoy! I did actually contribute with some catches and yardage this year!
The yellow team lost a few members in the 3rd game of the night. A collision that involved broken teeth and foreheads, ew! They are doing well now though.
Okay, Daniel is "warming up" but it really looks like he is wearing pantyhose and doing a dance!

Winner, winner, turkey dinner!!?? Yep, we won the Turkey Bowl. And literally, a somewhat cardboard turkey trophy. On top of that, we also won...Epsom salt baths!! Just kidding, but seriously, I could barely walk on Tuesday. They say the second day is always worse and they ain't lying!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pictures Would Be Nice

Let's not waste anytime here. We all knew this year would be better. The last few years we have seen it on the horizon but there was still something missing. Well, this year, we found it. Our Middle Devil's have stepped out on the court and gave us that missing link. 2-1 is where we stand and it is gonna get better.

Our...let me just explain that I include myself because I am part of the team. Well, unofficially I am! My brother (aka Uncle Buck) is the head coach of our middle school boy's basketball team. I wish I could tell you how many years he has been in this position but, frankly, I don't know! Sorry, Brian. So, as I was saying, our first game was Monday a week ago and we played one of the toughest teams in the county. They have all-around good athletes and these guys came out looking like high school kids. They were tall. We played them hard and came up short on the score board.

Secondly, we played another big-name basketball team in a nearby town and they are always well-rounded on the court. This time we played our hearts out and came out on top. The boys were proud of their accomplishment but still had some work to do.

So, that gets us to tonight. We played one of the top teams around. I can recall all of our games against The Cougars being really intense. Most of them leaving us with our head's hanging. This time we showed them what we were made of. I have to admit I got there late but when I saw the scoreboard I was beyond impressed. It read 27-8. And it did, indeed, get better. The final time I read the scoreboard it read 48-29. I mean the hustle I saw in these boys was incredible. And that is one thing that you can't coach. These boys know what they want and they go for it. I have seen a lot of good games out of the Middle Devils but tonight stood out as the best. And the coach had to say this, "I could not be happier with them right now." Ha, he didn't know I was gonna quote him!

As the title of the post says a few pictures would have been nice. But did I mention that I was toting a 9 month old (as of today!!) with all her belongings *read...junk* with no help from a husband! A camera was not on the list of things to take with me. But next time I will do better, I promise.

Go Middle Devils!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Slumps

It happens to everyone in all aspects of life. Professional athletes, writers, mothers, etc. Everyone experiences "the slumps". And, yes, yours truly is there. Right here. Right now. It is not that I have not had anything to write. I have. Lots. I have even mentally drafted a few posts and never got them down on "paper".

But I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. I am coming back around, slowly but surely!

Like I mentioned it is not the lack of material it is the lack of motivation. Material like Triston's first year playing basketball or my new job or the jewelry party or Daniel and his strange rash (on his face!) or Presley and the rigged Cutest Baby Contest! Whatever it may be I have lots to tell. And in all honesty will probably never get around to it all.

However, there are some things that I must get around to like my brother's basketball season starting on a good note and the Turkey Bowl (explanation to come). So, hang in there with me as I get my head out of the fog and begin sharing with you again.

For now, let these pictures of the "for real" cutest kids hold you over!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What Have You Been Up To?

I know that is what you have been asking yourselves about us. We have been busy little bees. But for the first time in a month or so it has been a good busy, you know, all fun stuff!! Fun, fall stuff at that!!

The last few weeks have been full of parties and gatherings and events and treats!! My favorite...the treats, of course!!! To see one night of fun we had go here and then another night is over here. At least one of us had our cameras (and the time to write about our adventures)!

But I did take my camera with us to do some trick or treating Thursday night. We took the kids to the Trail of Treats that they do on the green way in town. This is the second year we have been and Tris loves it.

My brother and Presley...we have decided his name will be Uncle Buck!!
Triston and his scary ghoul costume
My lil' lady bug givin' her Bubba some suga!!
Daddy and our lady bug!
Aren't they just the cutest pair?!?!

Then on Saturday, Daniel and I met up with some friends and headed to Knoxville. We had a blast!! We ate and drove, and drove some more, and ate again, and watched the Vol Walk and the Pride of the Southland Band, and then it was game time!! Did I mention it was raining? Well, it was raining. (Even though the husbands who thought they were meteorologist said it wouldn't rain!!) But we survived it and we won, woohoo!!

Me and Daniel before having more food than we ever needed...thankfully, we walked it off!
Daniel liked what he was seeing!!
Our Vols were pumped!
Yes, we were wet and yes, we were cold...but we were smiling!!
They were really into it, huh?!

We arrived home pretty late from the game and hit the hay immediately. I am hoping that this week will give us some more rest than last week did.

However, I must admit I am a little nervous. I start my new job tomorrow. And I am not so worried about where I am working as much as I am actually performing to the best of my ability. Before leaving dentistry I was pretty good at my job. But it has been a year and a half and I am not so confident in my skill level. I am sure it will come back but it is nerve racking at this point. As far as leaving my old job, that wasn't so hard. I was chomping at the bit to get out the door on Friday and when I did I felt no regrets! I will miss the friendships I had with some of my coworkers but I am glad to get back to what I love! I will let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Watch Your Mouth!

*Disclaimer* There are religious/political views from others, not me, in this post that may or may not offend anyone who may or may not read this post. I just wrote it I did not say it. And for those of you who know me well, I did not write what I thought about the ones who said it or about what they said in general. Got all that. Okay, get on with reading!

I have every intention of revealing to you, my captive audience of five, my feelings and fears and what not of re-entering the dental field next week. But for now I will let you in on the woes of my corporate career that I encounter on a daily basis.

Like today when the talk of Chick-fil-a for lunch began brewing shortly thereafter began the talk of Chick-fil-a being closed on Sundays. I support Chick-fil-a for closing on the Sabbath and giving their employees the day to rest or worship or whatever is it they please. I did not vocalize my opinion. But in this vast pool of culture that I work in there are other opinions that began to surface. Like one who announced that he bans himself from supporting the fast food chain because they choose to close on Sundays. Or how about the one who said, "I cussed Jesus when I went to Chick-fil-a on a Sunday and found out they were closed." I am just going to move on from that comment and not even let you know what I thought about it! You can thank me later.

Then there was my superior who informed us that Catholics can "sin" so much because Jesus knows that they have it "right" and so He allows them to do those things without consequence (i.e. drink, smoke, cuss, kill, etc.). This is added to the fact that he constantly reminds us that the Catholics were, of course, the first Christians. So, you draw your own conclusions!

These are just two of the examples from today alone. Combine that bit of knowledge with the following idioms that are much more recurrent than the above...

Ol' Hook=the significant other

Um, well, as I sit here and think of the wild and crazy things I hear all day every day I think I should refrain from sharing an effort to keep a PG rating!

I just feel it is appropriate to say...Watch your mouth!! But in this case, it would be a waste of time!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin and My Punkins'

Fall is my favorite time of year. So many "greats" of fall! As I drive down the road I am just in awe of God's incredible creations that present themselves in fall. For me, seeing the orange and red leaves on the trees makes each day worthwhile. It is just bliss!

Speaking of bliss, tonight was full of it! We have so much fun when we carve our pumpkin each year. Granted Daniel does all the work with the knife but we still feel a part of it, even though we truly do nothing! Triston did help pick out the design this year. And he did a great job if you ask me! Presley got to see all the craziness and there is just no telling what she thought of it all.

I have to brag on my hubby's handy work. He did an amazing job! Didn't he?!

I have to also give props to the best pumpkin gutter there is...

Then of course there is our punkin' that is almost as big as the pumpkin (snotty nose and all)!!

And for memory sake, here is one of our past pumpkin creations with a lil' cutie posing!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Now, That's Just Being Greedy

This is exactly how the conversation went...

Me: I know it is so much better that Presley is only waking up one time a night but man am I ready for that first time she sleeps all the way through! It is still hard just to get up that once.

Daniel: Really, you think? At least it's not once every hour anymore.

Me: I know. I am just ready for a full night's sleep.

Daniel: Now, that's just being greedy!


Did my husband really just tell me that I am being greedy for wanting to sleep a full night's sleep? I know I didn't hear that right. He must have meant something else, right?! Because no one in their right mind would tell me, a sleep deprived mother, that she is being greedy for wanting more sleep!!!

I hope my sarcasm burst out of your screen! Because I know what he meant. He was trying to make me appreciate the fact that she is not waking up every hour on the hour. When this conversation actually took place I thought nothing of it. But as I was lying in bed that night (not sleeping) I started thinking about it and it dawned on me how silly his comment really was!!

So, let this be a lesson to all of you who do get to sleep the entire are being greedy!!!

For the Last Eight Months

I always hear parents say they wish their child would stop growing so fast or they wish they could just freeze time. Wait. For. It. I am not one of those parents. I cannot tell you how excited I am that today my baby is 8 months old! I am equally excited that Triston and I carry on such adult conversations now that he is 8 years old! Don't get me wrong I love holding my baby girl and I know those days will be gone sooner than later. Trust me...I can't hold Tris anymore!

But how many happy dances do I do a day when I see Presley doing new things. Ya know, big girl things! It is not so much bittersweet for me. It is just plain-o sweet! Bring on the growing up. *Don't bring on the so-grown-up-I think-I know-everything though.*

So, as of today Presley...

~Is 8 months old.

~Weighs 12 pounds and 10 ounces and is 24 1/4 inches long.

~Has no teeth, but surely working on them.

~Has received her first haircut, but not professionally!

~Sits up on her own.

~Prefers solid food to a bottle anytime.

~Likes apple juice better than white grape juice.

~Would rather be in her walker than anywhere else so that she can throw all her toys on the floor.

~Only wakes up one time each night...hopefully that will change to zero times here soon!

~Laughs at everything her Bubba does and will not take her eyes off the dog!

Whachu lookin' at?

I'm always up to something!

Good night kisses!!

Wanna see my scar?!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's Settled Then

Well, without too much deciding on my part my dilemma has been resolved. My boss called today to inform me that he spoke too quickly and could not follow through with his offer. Okay, no he didn't say it like that. But that is how I heard him! I blame him for nothing, except putting me on a roller coaster that was really unnecessary. Other than that things are happening just as I had planned them to originally. I will be leaving my current job next Friday to return back to dentistry. I think it is fabulous that I get to have a whole day off of work each week to spend with my kiddos and clean and well, just do nothing!! Now, if I can just find some scrubs that I still fit into we will be good to go!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Personal Predicament

So, I tend to steer towards the "this is what my kids did, aren't they cute" side of blogging more so than the "this is my intelligent insight on the problems of the world today" side. And, well, must to your dismay I am still not going into what I think the problems of the world are!! But...I am going down a different road than normal. I am letting you in on a little personal predicament I have been in the last few weeks. Maybe we can blame this as why my writing has been on freeze-frame lately.

So, I have this job, right?! I got this job when Daniel and I decided we would like to start a family. Before I got this job I worked in dentistry. I was/am a registered dental assistant. I loved/love that job. But...big but, I needed medical insurance and it is a rarity to find a dentist who carries insurance for their staff. So, we prayed and God opened some doors. And He pushed me through the door to this job that I have now.

I found out I was pregnant about 3 months after starting this job. Gulp! But I had/have great insurance and I had/have a flexible boss!! This boss tolerated my tardies due to the beloved morning sickness. He tolerated early departures due to doc's appointments. 9 months passed and he very graciously allowed me to take a little extra time for my maternity leave. He was very sensitive to the fact that my newborn baby was headed down the road to open heart surgery land.

So, there arrived open heart surgery time. And that same boss pushed me out the door and said don't come back til your ready! So, here it is 5 weeks later and I should be returning to work next week. He has allowed me to work from the comforts of my own home since we arrived home from the hospital.

Now, here is the predicament. I have this desire to be back in dentistry. This urge has been burning inside of me for months. I prayed about it and decided if God opened a door I would follow through until He shut that door. He opened some doors alright, and quick. I had an interview with a dentist last Monday. I did a working interview on Wednesday and was offered the job on Thursday. This job would allow me to be off every Friday, be back in the field I am passionate about, and still provide Presley and I with medical insurance. It seemed it was an option I could not resist.

Until, that is, today when I went to turn in my two-week notice. I presented my boss with my notification and he was shocked. He immediately began asking what he could do to make me stay. He said I could have Fridays off there, too. He was discouraged to not be able to match the pay. But he threw this out there and I heard it..."I will let you work from home permanently." Huh? What's that you say?

Ideally, I would stay home with my babies and not work at all. But our mortgage has to be paid somehow!! So, now I am faced with this dilemma. Do I stay or do I go, now?! Sorry, I am slipping!

I have done it all from pro/con lists to budget breakdown and I am just distraught. It seems the offer is too good to be true, but is it? Oh, decisions, decisions. I just can't figure out the right answer. But I am glad I am not alone in this process. I am trusting that God will lead me through the right door yet again.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Where Did She Learn That?!

Okay, someone needs to fess up! Who taught her this noise? It goes on for several minutes at a time and she thinks it's the funniest thing ever. Well, we think so too!! We think it sounds eerily similar to a scene in Forrest Gump! Whatever it is and wherever it came from you have to admit it is utterly adorable!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

But I Don't Wanna *whine*

Maybe it's the weather

Maybe it's my hectic schedule

Maybe it's the lack of brain cells

Maybe I just don't wanna!

I can't seem to force myself (not sure I would even do it if I got paid to) to write a blog post these days. I have a lack of motivation, lack of things to talk about even though I am busier than ever, lack of strength in my fingers to type, lack of whatever may bring about a new blog post!!

I hope this leaves me as quickly as it has found me but for are loved (whomever you are that reads my blog!) but I just don't wanna write anything today and maybe not even tomorrow!! But when I do feel like writing will be the first to know, hehe!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The New Normal

Today was a big day in the O'Neil household. No, it was not nearly as big as a month ago but big enough for me to feel the need to write about it!!

We had our follow-up appointment with the surgeon today. It has been almost a month since Presley's surgery. Dr. C was very impressed with how well she is doing. She is eating two more ounces each feeding and has added one more feed per day. Woohoo!!! Her heart beat is just as normal as can be. Amazing!!! She weighs, wait for it...12 pounds and 2 ounces. But let me just tell ya, she looks fatter than that! Can I just say how excited I am to hear all this great news!!

And this great news leads to happy endings! Because, now we can stop the medication she has been on for the last 6 months! And we can start mixing her formula regularly now!

I am so thankful for Dr. C. She may not have the best bedside manner but she can perform an open heart surgery with the best of them. I am thrilled to start this new routine with my baby girl.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bubba Bear

Have I mentioned before when we found out we were expecting lil' miss Presley that I had an underlying fear of my blended family? Well, I had one...a big one.

Triston was seven years old when we told him he was going to have a baby brother or sister. Of course, initially he wanted a brother in hopes for a little play mate. But Daniel and I figure this little sister thing is probably better for him!

So, let me take this time to introduce to you the best brother in the world. Okay, I know you have already been introduced to him but I gotta brag on my boy!

Yesterday at school, Triston got to pick a prize out of the treasure chest in his class. Ladies and gentlemen, that means that he had a good day! It's a rarity...but too much to explain now! So, he picked out this cute little guy...

...and no it was not for him. He picked out a prize for his sister. It was the first thing he showed me when I picked him up. He was so proud. He exclaimed, "I got something for Presley!"

Therefore, this is me, taking a dose of humility for ever thinking this boy could be a "bad" big brother.