Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend Recap

It was quite the busy weekend around here.

I should start by saying that last Tuesday (at about 11:00pm) our washer decided that that spin cycle was an optional thing. I went to removed the load of my DH's work clothes (which he so conveniently needed to be washed around 10pm) and..... they were swimming. *I should also mention that our washer decided to do the exact same thing, exactly 1 year ago.* Having no choice (and while saying quite a few "choice" words), I became a human water-extracting machine. After 30 minutes of wringing out 6 shirts, and 6 pairs of pants by hand, I now had to empty the pool of water from the hand of course. Did I forget to mention that I was now the proud owner of 3 blisters (how did the women in the olden times do it?)? By the time I finished the chore, it was after midnight and I was not a happy camper.

With that story told, fast forward to Saturday. Wake up extra early to go to church for 7:30 (yes 7:30AM!!) mass. Some of my grandmother's coworkers purchase the mass in my great grandmothers name ( she passed away about 7 months ago at the age of 100), so I felt obliged to attend. After mass I headed to dear old moms house to tackle the MOUNTAIN of laundry. I started at about 9:30 and 12 (yes 12) loads later I was finished and headed home around 6:00. I was exhausted and ready for bed by this time, but dinner had to be made, laundry had to be put away, and the house needed to be picked up a bit before I could hit the sack.

Sunday was just as busy. For some reason, Olivia decided to wake up at 4:15 (yes, 4:15AM) and play/talk to herself until 6:15! She finally went back to sleep but in no time it was the usual 7:15 wake up to get ready to work at church from 8:30-12:30. Right after work it was off to brunch at my sister in law's mother in law's (confusing I know...). We went right to work getting things ready for my nieces upcoming, Halloween themed birthday party. Organizing an ENTIRE ROOM of Halloween stuff-check. Decorating the backyard-check. Decorate the front yard-check. Find costumes for DH and myself-check. Finish Olivia's costume-check. After all that, it was back to work at church for evening service. So what did I do at church you ask? Decorate our room for fall of course! After work, I headed home, gave Olivia a bath, put her to bed, took a nice hot shower and curled up with a book!

Now I am sitting here for a nice, calm, laid back week (and a repaired washer). I am also hoping to hear one way or another about the Mom's Panel....the waiting is killing me!!! Hoping everyone has a great week!

Here's a sneak peek at Olivia's costume...100% custom made!:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Back to Disney!!!

As the title indicates....WE ARE GOING BACK TO DISNEY!!! It just for a quick day trip, but a trip is a trip! Our niece turns 11 tomorrow so we are surprising her for a day at the park of her choice.

The plan is to call her right after she gets up to say Happy Birthday, and then casually ask if she would like to go to Disney for the day! I love doing surprise trips, and cannot wait until Olivia is old enough for me to surprise! I am secretly hoping she will choose DHS because when I go with my hubby he will not ride the good rides: Tower of Terror, RnRC... and she has never been there before so I think she will have a blast! It really will be her choice though...not like any Disney park is bad-it is all a win win situation!

Now the crummy part: I have been waiting almost a month to hear about making it to the next round of the Mom's Panel...and everyone seems to think that tomorrow will be the day the emails will be sent out! I will definitely be going crazy without being able to check my email and the Disboards until we get home tomorrow night!!!!!! I will be crossing my fingers all day, hoping for good news...what would be a better way to top off a Disney day?!

I'm off to finish up some last minute bag packing and then hitting the sack and hoping for a few hours sleep!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Well, we got back from the most amazing Disney trip yet, late Tuesday night and I am still exhausted!!!! Olivia was AMAZINGLY well behaved and only had one very minor meltdown (if you can even call it that), and she was so into everything we did! I will post a full trip report in the next few days (as soon as I finish unpacking everything.....)!

In other news (yes I know it is hard to believe that there is news in my life that is not related to Disney), Olivia had a follow up appointment at the doctor on Wednesday to make sure her, ear infections, strep throat, sinus infection and bronchitis cleared up after the course of antibiotics. Well, the left ear is still "horribly infected" (to quote the doctor), so she put Olivia on a stronger antibiotic (which of course gives her horrible diarrhea) and says if it isn't cleared up at her two week follow up we will have to start talking about tubes. Ughh. After everything we went through with Olivia being a preemie, I don't know how I will handle a surgery... Then after the surgery talk, she asks what kind of pets we have at home. None. Well then she is allergic to something because her eyes have shiners, she is a bit wheezy, and her nose is a combination of runny and stuffy all at the same time. So now she is also on an allergy medicine. Ughh. On the positive side, the allergy meds seem to be working b/c she is not wheezy and her nose is much better. I am crossing my fingers, toes (and anything else I can cross) that the ear infection will clear up so we don't have to do surgery!

Here is a quick pic from Disney....TONS more to come!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Off to spend some time with THE Mouse...Mickey of course!

Well, after months of anal planning and week of packing and repacking, we finally leave for Disney today!!!!!

All the suitcases are packed, food items packed neatly in our handy dandy reusable bags and Olivia is dressed in a Minnie shirt and feeling 100% after being super sick last week.

Now all I have to do is wait for Toby to get home from work...hopefully it's a short day for him!

I am SO excited to go and see Olivia's face when she sees her Minnie and Mickey, or when we spin like mad on the teacups (my LEAST favorite ride by far-darn motion sickness!)...I just can't wait!

I'm off for a quick lunch with my mom so Olivia can say bye to her Guma, and then we are (hopefully) off to the World!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A tale of summers past...

Summer has definitely (and obviously) changed since my college days and becoming a mom. As much as I LOVE being a mom, sometimes I wish I could go back to those carefree summers full of traveling and fun.

I would always take the first session of summer classes so I could get them out of the way and get on to the fun stuff: I spent at least 4 weeks every summer volunteering at camps for kids with Type 1 diabetes.

It all started when I was diagnosed with Type 1 when I was 11. It was August of 1993 and I had lost about 20 pounds in the last 2.5 weeks of summer camp, I was drinking literally gallons of water a day and using the bathroom every 15-20 minutes. My mom knew there was something wrong, so off to the doctor it was. After about 30 seconds he told me I had diabetes and off to the hospital for a week it was. I was totally miserable and in the "why me" phase for a few weeks until I realized that it could be worse-I could have cancer or something that was much worse.

The following spring I was invited to spend a week at our state diabetes camp. I was super excited to be able to spend a week away from mom, and be with other kids who knew exactly what I was feeling. I had an awesome week, and was looking forward to going back. Unfortunately, I wasn't ever able to go back. My brother and I ended up having to spend the whole summer (every summer until I was about 16) in Wisconsin with our dad, so camp was out.

I had always had fond memories of the week I spent at camp that summer, so while looking for volunteer opportunities during my freshman year of college, it occurred to me that I should look into camps. The first one I looked into was of course Florida camp since that is the one I had attended. I also knew some people who volunteered at Camp Kudzu in Georgia, so I sent in my paperwork to them as well.

After a few weeks of phone calls and emails, I was all set to go. I was doing 3 weeks of Florida camp and 1 week of Camp Kudzu. For Florida I was doing the Pee-Wee camp for kids ages 5-8, and 2 of the older kids sessions (for ages 11-14). At Kudzu I was only doing a week, but working with the 8-9 year olds.

That was the best summer of my life! Spending 24 hours a day with the girls was awesome! We did more activities than I could count, and had more fun that I thought was possible. Even though as counselors we only got about 4 hours of sleep a night, I was never tired (until I got home and slept for 20 hours straight)! Seeing camp from the counselor perspective was much different than I imagined. I never knew how much time and effort the counselors put in to making camp so amazing and making sure the campers didn't feel different or that diabetes was running their life.

After that summer, I decided that I would spend my summer volunteering for as long as possible. I did my camps all through college and for the next 3 years after I graduated. Then, in the summer of 2007 I was pregnant with Olivia so my camp days were over. That summer was pretty hard knowing exactly when camp sessions were going on and I was stuck at home. I know that I will definitely go back as soon as Olivia is old enough to go with me (probably when she is 5 and I can go back to Pee-Wee camp). Until then, every now and then during the summer I pull out old scrapbooks and pour over my hundreds of pictures and even dig out the book (yes BOOK-43 pages), I wrote as a college class project that documented just one week of the best summers of my life....

Friday, September 18, 2009

Is it wrong.....

  • That the extremely nice worker in the bakery knows Olivia by name and gets excited when we come in (almost daily) to do some shopping and Olivia gets her free cookie?
  • That when doing the dishes and I come across the ones my husband has not rinsed off (and are now terribly crusty with grossness), I leave them in the sink and wash the rest?
  • That I take any money found while doing laundry?
  • That I have let Olivia eat nothing buy orange sherbet and strawberry milk since Monday-yes she is sick & has strep, but still, is it wrong?
  • That I may have a not so nice "name" for a church!?
  • That I anally alphabetize all DVD's in the house (that is after categorized them into kids, Toby's wrestling DVD's and general) and get upset when (everyday) Olivia pulls them off the various shelves?
  • That sometimes I actually find it funny when Toby, makes, umm, "man" noises?

ONE week!!!...and Olivia is sick!

I cannot believe that I can now say we are leaving for 1 week for Disney!!! Poor Olivia has lost her play area in her room b/c it has been taken over by our suitcases, so now to get back at me she destroys the living room at least 5 times a day! Each day the stack of Disney stuff grows larger and larger. I made my way to the outlet mall today and popped in the Disney Character outlet store there to see if I could come by anything that we "really needed" for the trip. I found Olivia cute little Mickey necklace, a new shirt with the whole gang on it and a pair of PJ's..and my grand total was: $5.26! Gotta love the sales! I did online check-in right at our 10 day mark, so I am hoping to just pop in and out and head right over to Epcot and get the fun started!

Now to the yucky stuff. Poor Olivia is SICK!!! It all started Sunday night when she had a runny nose. I figured it was just because her 2 year molars are getting ready to come in, and she always gets a runny nose with teeth. We were at my mom's house watching the Packers crush the Bears, and she was running around with the dogs not acting sick at all. I took her to the doctor first thing Wednesday morning because she wasn't getting any better-just worse. Verdict from the doctor: double ear infection (one of the worst that she has seen), sinus infection, strep throat (that explains why she only wanted to ear orange sherbet and strawberry milk), and bronchitis!!! The doc said it was this bad because Olivia was such a preemie, her immune system functions at much less than normal (which we have known since she was about 3 months old and they did TONS of tests on her). So we left the office with 2 antibiotic prescriptions, orders to do her nebulizer 3x a day and let her eat whatever she wants until she feels better (even if it is only orange sherbet and strawberry milk).

Two days later, Olivia is feeling much better (except for the fact that now the lovely, antibiotic induced diarrhea has begun)! She has been really good at taking all the meds, and has FINALLY shown an interest in eating "real" food. The doc assured us that she was 99% sure Olivia would be good to go when it is time to head to see The Mouse! Yeah!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mickey's and Minnie's and Disney, Oh my!

Well, here we are, just 10 days from our Disney vacation!!!! I am unbelievably excited!!!! This trip has been in the works literally since the day we got back from our last "big" trip in February! I am now officially in "Ican'twaitI'mgoingcrazy"mode! My poor husband sure does put up with a lot when it comes to my guilty pleasure. I am now spending most/all of my free time going over our plans, rechecking ADR's, obsessively checking Disney related websites multiple times a day, etc..... I really don't think he understands that all the time and effort I put into our Disney trips is (in part) what makes them so amazing!
I have starting packing. Well, you can't really call it packing. After doing all the laundry last weekend, I pulled out all of Olivia's Disney related clothing and tossed it into her suitcase. When I made one of my (almost daily) trips to Target, I bought a pack of diapers, some Goldfish, and a new stroller fan, and tossed all that in Olivia's suitcase as well. On a shopping trip to Kohl's, I was checking out the clearance rack and came across an adorable pink sundress with the Disney princesses on it! The best part....I only paid $1.80 for the $28.00 dress!!!! By far, my favorite thing that I packed for Olivia is the Minnie dress I made her!! It took me weeks to get the dress just right (and even now, it is nowhere near perfect, but it will work), and my sister-in-law made some adorable Minnie bows to match, and Olivia has cute black Crocs w/ Minnie on them so she will look adorable (if I do say so myself)!

My other Disney "news" is that this year I applied for the Disney World Mom's Panel. This is something I heard about last September (about a week after the application period had ended). This is an AWESOME, online question and answer panel made up of 15 mom's and 1 dad who answer just about any question a person could have about WDW. All someone has to do is email the question, and one of the Mom's/Dad answers it. I am so passionate about Disney and everything it has to offer, I thought I would give it a try and apply! The process seemed easy enough: answer 3 100 words or less!!!!! For those of you who know me, I am quite the talker, so getting my answers into 100 words was quite a challenge!

Last Thursday, I got up when Olivia did, fed her breakfast, then put Dumbo in the DVD player to keep her occupied and out of my lap while I filled out the application. 9:00am came and the questions were posted:

1. In 100 words or less, please tell us about yourself and your family.

2. In 100 words or less, what makes you a Walt Disney World expert and what is your number one tip for families who are visiting the parks for the first time?

3. In 100 words or less, tell us about you. Do you have a special talent or expertise (e.g. write a blog, are a food or wine expert, speak a second language, travel internationally, etc)?

The first two questions were pretty easy, but that third one threw me for a loop! I ended up just writing from the heart, and came up with, what I think are, 3 pretty good answers. Now the waiting begins...I don't know how I will be able to stand it!!!.... Oh yeah, 3 trips to Disney in the next month and a half help!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quick catch up!

Well, since it has been over a month since I last posted, I figure I should post a quick update as to what we have been up to.

July seems to have just flown by! I can't even say we did much of anything, just enjoyed each other's company! I did celebrate my birthday on the 24th with my family and a YUMMY homemade banana cake from our resident cake expert-my mom, beautifully decorated of course! I got some nice new kitchen gadgets that I have had my eye on for a while! It is funny how things really do change as you get older. As a kid I was so excited to get a new bike, new doll or the coolest new toy out there. Now a collapsible, silicone, over the sink colander does it for me!

At the end of the month we took a girls only vacation! My mom, Olivia and I set out on the road for Georgia! My best friend and her daughter Abby and her mom (my mom's best friend) moved up to northern Georgia a few years ago, and we try to make it up there about once a year. This would be Olivia's first trip up there, so the long car ride would be interesting! We left on a Wednesday morning at about 7:00 and made it up there right around 5:00 that night. Olivia was totally amazing in the car!!! She looked at books, watched a few DVDs, played with her dolls and did lots of jibber jabbering! We had the best time those 5 days, and I hated to come back home! Olivia and Abby had a super time playing together, even though Abby is 2 years older, and Olivia still asks "where's Abby?" at least once a day. One of the highlights was being able to take Olivia to the Cabbage Patch hospital and see all of the babies (and of course buy her a few things too)! Other than that, we just hung out, shopped and was heavenly! I hated to leave, but it was easier knowing Karen and Abby were coming down to FL in October for some Disney fun!!!

After our vacation, it was back to life as usual. Our September Disney trip is getting closer by the day, so I am of course in full planning/getting excited mode-which I know is driving Toby totally nuts! I can't help it that I am totally obsessed with everything Disney, and spend lots of time checking out various Disney websites daily (well daily when my computer is working). Oh well...more on the Disney trip/Disney stuff next time!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Disney Obsessed...Bring on the madness!

As I sit here and write about my Disney obsession, Olivia is walking around the house with Minnie ears on, a Minnie doll, and the contents of her clothes basket that contain "Mimmie".....

As most of you know, I am admittedly TOTALLY, COMPLETELY, 100% OBSESSED with Disney and anything to do with going there. I am in full planning mode now for our September trip to "the World"....

I actually started planning this trip THE DAY we got back from our February trip. This time we are staying at Pop Century. I have never stayed here myself, but have toured with friends. I have done so much research I have made some very specific requests: 70s building #6, ground floor, king bed, mini fridge and noted that I would like a late check-out. We are staying for 4 nights (that is all I could get Toby to agree to b/c he is unfortunately not as Disney obsessed as I am and did not want to spend his whole vacation at Disney). We got 4 day park hopper (PH) tickets (that we are going to upgrade to seasonal passes (SP) while we are there), and best of all the dining plan FOR FREE!

I have wanted the seasonal passes for a while now, but we just never had that much money laying around with no other purpose for it. I added the PH tickets since we are paying about $20 weekly for the trip they will be paid for in August, but we couldn't add the SP and pay as we go so we will just upgrade for a few bucks when we get there. We are planning to go back for the holidays to see all the decorations so the SP will work out well, plus we can go back pretty much whenever (except for the busiest time of year-but I don't want to go during the madness anyway)!

Disney has recently instituted the 90 day reservation window, meaning that 90 days from your arrival (and the first 10 days of your stay if you are staying on property) you can make all of your sit down dining Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) up to 90 days ahead of time. The ADR name is a bit deceiving to those who don't do their research. All an ADR means is that when you get there, you will be given priority over the walk-ins. This usually isn't an issue, and I have always found that we were seated quickly with not much of a wait. This also means that you have to plan where you will be and where you will want to eat more than 3 months before you get there! Well, I did do that planning! I started out getting the park hours to decided which park I mainly wanted to visit on which days and thought about where we would like to eat after that. After deciding where we were going to want to eat, we then made backup plans in case our first choices were not available (good thing too). The real madness began when I got up at 5:30am on Sunday morning to begin making reservations online at 6:00am...yes 6:00am! I wanted Teppan Edo (at EPCOT in Japan) (Dinner), Chef Mickey's (breakfast), Cape May Cafe (dinner), Planet Hollywood (lunch) and Whispering Canyon Cafe (dinner). Well, I didn't get exactly what I wanted. Teppan Edo was totally booked so I took Cape May instead. Chef Mickey's was totally booked so I took Cape May character breakfast instead. I did get Planet Hollywood exactly when I wanted, and then got Whispering Canyon (not at the time I wanted or the day, but I took it anyway. Chef Mickey's was the ONE reservation I really wanted!!!! I was on a new quest to get it one way or another. So I was calling the dining number and checking online multiple times a day, but with no luck. So I posted online to a Disney related chat board and a lovely lady didn't want her Chef Mickey, so I am now the lucky owner of a Chef Mickey's ADR for 9:50am on 9/27 (the day I wanted)!!!!

This is only the beginning of the madness for our trip, but I will leave it at this for now.....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Well, it's been a little while since I've posted so I thought I would give a quick update.
Olivia started back with swimming lessons last week. She has been doing them since she was about 6 months old, so in her mind she is an old pro and should be able to do it all on her own (did I mention she is pretty darn independent?). Her instructor thought she should be moved up to the 2 year old class since she has the hang of kicking and moving her arms (now if she could just stay above the water while doing both). She really is quite the little fish-she will even try to swim in the bathtub!
Last week Olivia also got another double ear infection/pink eye diagnosis. This is the 2 time in 3 months, so we are hoping this doesn't continue and lead to tubes. She was not acting like she didn't feel good at all. No fever, no ear pulling, just rubbing her eyes, and waking up with the lovely crusty eyes. The worst part is trying to put drops in her eyes 3 times a day....what a joke! Hopefully we will be over the ear/eye stuff for a LONG time!
I think that is about all going on for now...I will be posting about my new money making idea crafts/clothing/hair bows.....etc

Saturday, May 16, 2009


A few months ago Toby was sitting on the couch without a shirt on and Olivia climbed up onto the couch to be with her daddy. She was pointed to all kinds of things and as she pointed, Toby would name whatever it was (it was a cute little game they were playing). She started with pillow, couch, blanket, then moved on to leg, arm, head, eye, belly...etc, then she came to...nipple. Toby said nipple like it was nothing and then out of her little mouth, plain as day came "nipple". It was pretty darn funny and now she can clearly say nipple and point to her own (or anyone's for that matter).

About a month after that, she was playing the same game with me. We had named a few body parts and then came to booby. Once again, she repeated "booby". We of course thought this was oh so cute.....we were wrong....

Last week while I was shopping with Olivia, she was on a major booby kick and kept on poking my "booby" and (quite loudly) saying "booooby"! As if this wasn't bad enough, she was trying to lift up my shirt to really get my booby. After I got her to stop that we were ready to check out so we got in line and I picked her up. Now this is where it really went down hill. There was a um, well, larger-type man standing right behind us, so she pointed (well, pretty much touched) his "booby" and proudly yelled "ooh, booby, booby".

The poor man quickly turned about 3 shades of red, and left the line. I turned the same 3 shades of red and tried to apologize to no avail. We were both mortified, and Olivia was quite proud of herself for finding someone else with boobies!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A look back...

I was just thinking how quickly time flies! My little baby is now 18 monts old! It is our "walk season". We started with the JDRF walk (which I have done almost annually since I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just after my 11th birthday) in late April. This year we decided to do another walk that was just as near and dear to our hearts: the March of Dimes walk.

As most of you know, Olivia was born 8 weeks early. I was terribly sick, and was taken by ambulance a hospital an hour away from home that was better suited to take care of my needs. After being there less than 24 hours, my kidney's shut down and that is when they decided that it would be better for both Olivia and I that she be delivered immediately. Within a few hours I was prepped for a c-section since Olivia was breech. I remember being terrified, not caring about my own health, just thinking it was too early for Olivia to come. It was about 9:00pm when they came in to tell me that there was one woman ahead of me and then it was my turn. I told them that I would refuse the surgery until after midnight. You see, my grandpa, who was like my dad to me passed away on November 11, 1999, and if they waited until after midnight, Olivia would be born on November 11, 2007,and in my mind that would keep her safe because grandpa would be her guardian angel looking over her.

My wishes were granted and Olivia was born at 1
2:55am on November 11, 2007. The best thing was that she came out crying and breathing on her own. Toby was allowed to cut her cord and hold her hand while they were cleaning her off and examining her. She weighed in a 1820 grams (4lbs) and was 16 3/4 inches long. I was only allowed a quick peek before they took her to the NICU. They told Toby that he and my mom could come see her in about 2 hours, they just needed time to get her hooked up to anything she may need and thoroughly evaluate her. In that time, my insides were put back in, I was stapled closed, and taken to recovery.

Exactly 2 hours after her birth Toby and mom
went to see her and took her first picture (since Toby forgot to bring the camera into the O.R.). Olivia was doing amazingly well. She was always able to breathe on her own, she was just on CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) to keep her lungs open and clear. When she was about 2 days old she became our little smurf after being put under the blue lights for jaundice. That lasted about 3 days. Then on Friday November 16, we were finally able to hold Olivia!!!Since this post is already getting long, I will try to wrap it up. After a few setbacks (heart murmer, an air bubble in her intestines, a minor infection, 2 spinal taps, and many xrays), Olivia was deemed healthy enough to come home on Monday December 5, 2007 after just 3.5 weeks in the NICU! She weighed 4lbs 8 ounces and was just a tiny little peanut, but we were SO happy to be able to bring her home. After I was released from the hospital a week after Olivia's birth, we made the hour long drive EVERY day to see our little princess, so to be able to bring her home and be able to see her whenever we wanted, and hold her with no tube connected was the most amazing feeling in the world.

We were told that since Olivia was 8 weeks early, we should expect her to be behind developmentally and be smaller than other kids until she is about 3 or so. Apparently Olivia did not hear when the doctors told us this because she is not behind on a single developmental skill! She was walking before her first birthday, and meeting every milestone a "normal" baby should. We could not feel more blessed.

Today she is 18 months old, 22lbs 7 ounces and 30in. We have started potty training, she talks a mile a minute, loves to read
books, play outside, swim and she definitely has her daddy's appetite!

When we took her to one of my favorite places, Disney World, I just thought how lucky we were to even be able to take her. There are many babies born just as early and sadly don't make it. This is why we decided to walk for March of Dimes-for our little miracle, and hoping that someday all preemies, will have just as good chance at life as a baby
born full term.

Hello, My name is: Erin

Wow, me, blogging...that is the last thing I would ever do! Some of my friends seem to think that my seemingly boring life is interesting enough to blog about, so I thought I might amuse them for at least a little while (if for no other reason to prove to them that I really am not as exciting as they think I am). So we will see just how long this will last....anyone want to place bets?