Friday, February 26, 2016

Happy Thoughts . . . Friday Things

I need to focus on happy thoughts today so let's do a Friday favorites . . . since it's practically Saturday anyway!  Nothing terrible going on in my life . . . I'm just tired because of the dog.  I plan to write about that soon.  
My most happy news of the week relates to Amanda.  **Claps hands in excitement** I took her to get allergy tested last Thursday.  They did four panels on her back . . . these include the most common allergens.  I thought for sure she would have a dust allergy, but I was really worried she would have a dog allergy (gasp, the horror).  I'm not kidding you when I tell you that child has been sneezing her cute little head off this winter.  Turns out she's allergic to certain grasses but nothing else really reacted.  
The "control" is the big one on the bottom left . . . that just proves she will react.
Grasses are the bottom right . . . seems those are a trigger!
So, we went back yesterday for more extensive testing because what presented on her back didn't correlate to my description of her symptoms . . . she reacts this time of year versus in the warmer months.  

I had to slather her arm with Lidocaine an hour before her appointment and then wrap it in "cling wrap."  Since we had some time to kill and an Old Navy coupon, we did some damage to distract her until the appointment!
#1 is the control again!  The red is just dried blood (yuck!).
She got ten injections just under the skin, and we had to wait the standard 15 minutes.  She was way more freaked out about the idea of the shots than the actual shots.  Turns out she wasn't really reactive to any of the tests and as it stands, she does not have to do allergy tests.  Praise the sweet baby Jesus.  Seems her triggers are more due to the dry air and weather changes. Alrighty then!
Next up, I love to plan an adventure.  We've been pretty house bound taking care of our old dog, but I am making the time to take my mama to Nashville for 2 days in April.  I'm so excited!  I started booking stuff today and can't wait to have this one on one time with her.  
I think I may have finally figured out the Snapchat.  The fact that I just said "the" Snapchat may contradict that, but I'm feeling it for sure.  Sometimes I find myself swiping in all directions when I get confused, but I haven't accidentally sent anything yet so I call that winning.  My kids still don't have Snapchat so technically I'm cooler than them.  Boom.  So hit me up because I only have like 7 "friends" who actually post . . . @getzgirlonfire

Friends and handwritten notes that make you feel the love are always high on my list of immediate smiles.  
Sometime this week my oldest son slings a pink paper at me and says "Zach had to send a Valentine's card in Spanish so he sent one to you, and I sent one to his mom."  Never mind that it was like over a week late in the delivery . . . it totally made me giggle.  He's a "pain" because I always hear the gossip when I'm the driver, and I'll call him out on it . . . he knows I'm teasing.  And the P.S. is because whoever is being the biggest suck up to me when their friends are over is always "my favorite."  So they all will do nice things like open my doors, take my trash and give me compliments.  It's usually super funny . . . as in the *wink* he added at the end.  Those kids crack me up!
I also received a surprise happy in the mail recently.  You know how you have those people in your life that are like . . . well, your people.  My friend Lynn is totally a "person" for me.  She just gets me.  And I get her.  And it's such an awesome judgement free zone.  And she is so different from me in so many ways and so alike in others.  She's a great compliment to me for sure.  We haven't lived in the same city in 21 years, but it just doesn't seem to matter.  She just randomly sent me this "ZOMG, I'm gonna cry" kind of note and said she was just feeling me lately and needed me to know.  That's it folks.  That's what makes a lifelong friend.  If you don't have one of those people, then be one.  
Last thing . . . our last Girl Scout cookie booth is this weekend and then hopefully ALL the cookies will be gone.  I'm the cookie mom, and it feels like an invasion of space and time when it's cookie season!  I can't even stand how cute my little "cookies" are, but I'm ready to wash the cookie costumes and put them away for next year. 

It's late . . . if you follow me on Snapchat, you'll know why I'm tired!  Linking up with Amanda and 5 on Friday because it makes life more fun!  Happy Weekending!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My Sweet Kyle

Hey there everyone!  I missed you last week.  Hope you are well.  Nothing super exciting to report from the weekend except . . . my middle son had his 13th birthday party.  Woot.  

Yes, I now have two teenage boys . . . the testosterone is overwhelming at this point.  

So I thought I would write about my Kyle so I can remember what a sweet boy he was when I want to crush him like a grape in high school.   

This guy.  Isn't he so cute?  
And does he remind you of anyone else?
It's those cheekbones.  Gah.  Cuties.  

I've decided to just put random Kyle photos throughout this post.  I could sit here ALL DAY and look at old pictures . . . however, it would send me down memory lane and most definitely make me cry.  So I'm just picking ones that I could easily find on my computer and won't stress out about finding the perfect ones.    
Okay . . . so about that Kyle.  He's sweet as sugar.  Except when he's not.  But mostly he is sweet.  

He has always kept us on our toes.  From the moment he came out, he's been a handful . . . but with the biggest smile.  He's my most impulsive child so I've always felt like I've had to keep a closer eye on this one.  Mostly just to make sure he was safe because there really isn't a mean bone in this child's body.  He for sure has a mischievous streak, but it's always layered with kindness.
Kyle is the child that will hug me when I'm sad and tell me it will be okay.  He will also get upset if he sees me crying . . . it's so sweet how empathetic he can be.  I can always see the concern for others when I tell him various news stories or sad tales of folks we know.  
Kyle loves an adventure!  He loves to laugh.  He loves to be a trickster.  He loves animals.  He loves to read.  He loves to play on his phone.  He loves to be outside.  He's just generally a happy boy.
He is super smart, but chooses to fly under the radar academically.  What I mean is that he will do the bare minimum to get by without me yelling too much.  His handwriting is atrocious so I was hoping he would be a doctor one day . . . but he says Engineer or Architect.  He has a creative mind and thinks outside the box when it comes to creating or designing so either of those careers would be great for him.  
Kyle is a good friend.  I know this because he still has the same group of friends from 2nd grade even though they haven't always had classes together.  He's now in the 7th grade, and they all still hang out!  I think it's partly because he's pretty easy going and is not a spotlight stealer.  He also gives some pretty awesome advice to his friends . . . I've read it for myself in his texts.  
He's a pretty good brother and an awesome middle child.  While he and Amanda don't always get along, I know he would do anything for her.  
And he and Ryan are so close . . . they are only 15-1/2 months apart and have just always done everything together.  
Speaking of always together, for years Kyle has had his twin lambs that he slept with, traveled with and generally carted around every where he went.  I will forever keep these little lambies to remember my Kyle.  
Kyle's favorite color is yellow, bright yellow, but he also loves some bright blue!  Most of his wardrobe is neon yellow and blue.  He'd love to wear "sweat" shorts every day, but I require regular shorts be rotated in the mix.  He prefers plaid shorts and almost never wears pants.  Like ever.  He refuses to wear jeans because . . . well, I don't know why.  He says they are uncomfortable.  I say he's crazy.  
Kyle is a serious carnivore.  He loves to eat meat.  And kind of a "fruititarian."  He will also eat some raw veggies, but if you cook a vegetable and it has the slightest "smush" about it, no way.  He will gag.  Same with textures like mash potatoes and ricotta cheese and beans.  Those are fun times at the dinner table, said no mom ever.  
He is a very athletic kid.  He's an excellent runner and has even won some 5k's for his age group.  He does track in the spring and cross country in the fall!
And speaking of athletic, he will be testing for his SECOND DEGREE (shouty, excited capitals) black belt in March.  So at 13, he will be a 2nd degree black belt in Choi Kwang Do.  That amounts to five and a half years of training, year round.  
He's also a Life Scout, the rank just before Eagle Scout.  He needs to figure out his Eagle project and finish one merit badge.  I'll be glad when this is over but am thankful for all his scouting experiences.  
So I tried to ask Kyle some "interview" questions . . . and while I've praised him for being easy going, he was not last night.  Hashtag tired teenager.  But here is what I got anyway . . .

Favorite Subject:  Science because he loves his teacher.

Favorite Food:  Fried chicken (translate that to Chick-Fil-A chicken)

Favorite Restaurant:  Chick-Fil-A (see what I mean?)

Favorite Treat:  Swedish Fish

Favorite Sport:  Running

Favorite thing to do:  Play video games

One word to describe himself:  Fun

Favorite Color:  Yellow

Favorite Animal:  Lamb

And there you have it folks.  It was fun to write this and think about how Kyle is truly a blessing in our life.  He definitely challenges things, but that's really his job as a kid.  I cannot wait to see the man he turns into . . . I just don't want it to go by too fast.  

Here's a little birthday present and party montage for memory keeping!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Happy Hearts Day

This weekend was all about hearts and flowers . . . no seriously, they were every where. See for yourself.
Tulips are my favorite . . . since Amanda loves pink and helped pick them out, voila!  I would lose my crap if Getzy actually spent loads of money to send me roses . . . ever the practical girl.  But grocery store tulips.  Perfection!
Every year I try to do cute little things to recognize Valentine's Day.  And inexpensive things because it really is kind of a lame holiday.  For the ten days leading up to Valentine's Day this year, I taped a heart to every one's door with a reason I loved them.  I did it after everyone was asleep so they would wake up and find it.  
In return, everyone surprised me on Valentine's morning with a giant heart stating why they loved me.  D'ahhh.  How sweet is that?  Super sweet.  
I double dog love homemade gifts.  I can buy my own stuff . . . but when you make me something, it tells me that you had me on your mind and you care.  
I also got chocolates . . . from Kyle.  I asked why it only had his name on it, and he said because he asked Dad to get me some.  Stop.  I can't even.  
My ever creative Amanda also made me a heart and taped it to the foot of the bed.  Brilliant move actually.  Feel free to steal that one.  And just to be clear, I don't actually love her more than my other children.  It's what we say though . . . they tell me "I love you" and I always say "I love you more" back at them. 
Are you sick of the hearts yet?  Me either.  One more.  I watched Amanda's class for a Teacher Appreciate Week lunch and while I was there the kids all made this for me on the board.  Gah.  So sweet.  And I'm a tough "substitute" . . . so it was extra special!
After our fancy Valentine's meal of Chinese, we all sat down to watch a family movie.  We're all total dorks because we laughed until we cried at this movie.  Now we need to watch Grown Ups 2.
In other fun news, we attended a party with some of my most favorite people Saturday night.  We clearly act younger than our age, but that's the spice of life.  None of us feel old in our heads . . . well, until the next day.  We are so totally drinking lemonade, in case anyone asks.  

That about sums it up other than Girl Scout cookies arrived, and we filed our taxes.  Living like a boss.  Be jealous.  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Drop kicks to the gut . . . times 3

These kids.  They are always ripping your heart out.  All three of my babies gave my heart a pause this week.  Nothing serious, and not on purpose . . . for that I am ever grateful.  But still.  

So my Kyle turns 13 this month.  I took him for his annual check up as a happy, healthy boy.  Look at how cute he is.  We go to the "teen center" now and he has to fill out his own paperwork.  That's what I'm talking about, btw.  I'm not your secretary.  
He was funny with the questions . . . no, he hasn't started his period yet.  No, he hasn't tried drugs and alcohol.  Note - probably because he knows if that doesn't kill him, his dad and I would.  Any who, this is my Kyle the past two days.  Feeling like crap on the couch . . . obviously not at school.  
I was worried this would happen, but hopeful it wouldn't.  Before I tell you, this is not an opening for you to give me your opinion about what I should do with MY child.  You do you, boo.  Remember?

He got round one of the HPV vaccine around 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday.  By 6 p.m. that night, he had a 99 fever and a headache.  By 2 a.m., he had a 101.3 and couldn't sleep.  This happened to my oldest as well.  It scared me way more with him because he was the first one, and I had no idea that could happen.  Round 2 and 3 of the vaccine weren't a problem, it was just round one.  

I second guessed myself after Ryan's reaction, but I had done my research and pushed forward.  It's recommended at age 11 . . . I wait until 13.  You need to obviously do it before they are sexually active for it to be effective.  I read all the information online, talked extensively with his doctor, talked with my own gynecologist and based on a personal experience, decided to vaccinate.  

Eventually this vaccine could eradicate cervical cancer.  That, my friends, hits way too close to home.  Just before Getzy and I moved to Georgia in 1999, I went to see all my established doctors in the D.C. area.  Such a responsible girl, right?!?  

Within days of arriving to a new state, I got news that I had an abnormal Pap smear.  Say what?  I was 25, almost 26, and had no idea what that could mean. So I scramble to find a new doctor and have the test redone.  Again, abnormal.  I then had to have a cervical biopsy . . . that's always a good time.  That confirmed that I need to have a LEEP procedure to remove the precancerous cells from my cervix.  Luckily, that was effective, but instead of an annual Pap smear, I got them every three months for a year.  Then every six months and finally back to annually.  Thankfully I've never had a re-occurrence, but it's always a fear.    

Cervical cancer is caused by the active HPV virus.  Suffice it to say, I didn't pick it up from a grocery cart.  I most definitely was not a promiscuous person, but as they say, it only takes just once.  So you see, it's important for me to vaccinate my kids, including my boys so they won't one day be a carrier and subsequent spreader of HPV.  My gynecologist likes to remind me how lucky I am.  In her words, I was "this close," with her thumb and forefinger practically touching, to cancer.  At 25.

Update on Kyle . . . his fever has broken and he's currently on the couch sleeping.  I took him back to the doctor this morning after a rough night and made sure they noted my concerns about the vaccine side effects.  All is well.  And yes, he will receive rounds 2 and 3.  

Now what about Amanda?  At Kyle's check-up, I had to complete an allergy questionnaire.  It was super easy for Kyle . . . he is my healthiest kid.  He never sniffles or sneezes or wheezes.  I'm pretty sure he's not allergic to anything.  However, the whole time I was completing the paperwork, I'm answering yes in my head to all of it for Amanda.  

My sweet little girl takes a Claritin most days, when we remember.  Regardless, she is a sneezing, nose blowing, sniffling mess.  It's pretty bad right now, but it feels like it's all year long.  I've often thought I need to have her allergy tested, but I know what a process that becomes.  Ryan was tested and subsequently had five years of shots.  That's a serious commitment that I don't want to do again.  But I felt very convicted this week that I'm setting her up for a lifetime of health concerns if I don't address it now, no matter how afraid of shots she may be.  So, she doesn't know it yet, but she will be allergy tested next week.  We will see if and what she is allergic to and go from there.  
Latest pic of these two . . . too bad Amanda has her eyes half closed.  
Now my Ryan . . . he mentions that he has what I thought was an ulcer just under his upper lip close to the gum line.  He has his routine orthodontic appointment this week so I casually ask the doctor to check it out.  What he was supposed to say was that it was no big deal, and it was just some irritated skin.  However, he dealt me my third and final kick in the gut this week and recommended we take him to a gum surgeon.  
Apparently he has a prominent frenum that could cause his teeth to gap or even pull his gums away from his teeth later in life.  Thus, he needs to see a gum surgeon to determine if we need to have a frenectomy.  First available appointment?  April 6th.  Gah.

Stop the madness and hand me a margarita, stat.  I have seriously been eating my feelings this week.  
Chin up though.  Instead of rolling around in negativity about these 'this too shall pass' moments, I'm choosing to focus on some serious positive stuff that I have witnessed with these three this week instead.  

Ryan just cracks me up lately.  Last night he made me literally laugh out loud at just nonsense.  He knows how to lighten my mood and make me giggle, and that is a priceless gift. 

My kids know I will spot check their texts and social media.  Kyle gave some seriously wise council this week via text to a friend and was also a great listener for some folks that needed to vent.  He didn't insight conflict . . . just suggested that his friend take some time and space from someone.  I also notice that he doesn't usually take the bait if folks are trying to get him to spill secrets and for that I am ever so proud.  

Lastly . . . it's not a secret that Amanda and Kyle can mix about as well as oil and water.  Sometimes those two make me crazy, and I threaten to have them share a room if they can't get along.  Well, knowing Kyle had a miserable night and was sick on the couch this morning, Amanda went over to him before she left for school to hug his shoulders, kiss him on the head and tell him she hoped he felt better.  She didn't know I was near or listening.  I just about melted into a puddle.  
I called Getzy after I dropped her off and told him that although it sometimes feels like we are losing the day to day battle with these kids, we are most definitely winning the war.  My heart is full.  May each and every one of you have a blessed and healthy weekend . . . I've got all the feels today . . . and I don't mind it at all.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Confesh Sesh Time

Let's get to it . . . time to admit my shame.  
Y'all.  If I ever got pulled over, in an accident or even had to get out to save a stray dog during morning school drop off, I would die of embarrassment.  I probably should care more, but I really don't.  I'm a night owl and then up half the night wrestling with the ever re-adjusting dog in the bed so I'm not wasting a minute of my sleep to get up and make myself look presentable to drive the kids to school.  I literally roll out of bed, zip on a coat (because well, no bra), put on slippers, rinse my face and put a dab of moisturizer on (because it's the winter and skin care is no joke), put my hair up in a clip and go get my kid up.  Bam.  So yes, I'm making an actual choice to look a hot mess.  Not to worry, I come home, shower and put on real clothes.  Most days, anyway.
I hate eating breakfast.  Anyone else?  No, just me.  I mean I like breakfast foods . . . just not when I first get up.  I like to sip on my coffee and check my social media and blogs and not chew anything.  I make my kids eat, and it brings me pleasure to make them something, but I'd rather pass.  I'm making protein shakes lately to sip on after coffee trying to force myself to "eat."  
Which brings me to this counting macros business.  OMG.  It's so much work.  Thinking and weighing and measuring and recording and eating all the protein.  I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I'm so darn lazy.  I'm still trying though . . . progress, not perfection.
I feel like I've been doing a good job at biting my tongue lately.  I'm like silently high five-ing myself several times a day it seems for just not telling people how I really feel.  In the end, it's not worth hurting some one's feelings.  I don't have to agree with your choices or actions, just my own.  You do you, boo!
Can we talk about bloggers who make nothing but lists of advice or "top 5 whatever" posts?  Or ones where I can't find their actual writing from all the ad content?  Or ones that have to many sponsored posts so they get free stuff?  Or all they talk about is one subject and don't share any real life thoughts?  Well, I have started un-following blogs in my feed like that because I don't want to waste my time when there are so many folks out there sharing their life and experiences.  I like it when folks are real.  Tell me about your life and occasionally throw in a list or sponsor post or workout update but seriously, not all the time.  I feel so rogue . . . did I really just say I un-followed some blogs?
Geez, nothing super revealing today . . . just a few of my thoughts.  Hope you have a happy hump day . . . I'm counting down the days until this weekend because we get Winter Break next week.  No alarm clocks for me . . . squeee!

Linking up with my other friends who are confessing today!  
More Coffee Less Talky
My Blog

Monday, February 8, 2016

Weekend out

Some weekends feel more relaxing than others . . . this one treated us pretty well.  We had just the right amount of activity to keep us from being bored . . . that's the way I like it!  Linking up with Bianca to share the love.

The middle school Winter Ball for the 7th and 8th grades was held this weekend!  The theme was Hollywood Nights and I must say, it was fabulous!  
Look at my boys.  I die of love for them.  Those statements tend to annoy the crap out of me because duh, we all love our kids.  But sometimes you just need to say it.  So there.  I love those blue eyed charmers with all that I am.  

We have a lovely spot in our neighborhood community that is always the gathering place for fancy pictures.  Here is the 8th grade representing . . .
And one of these lovely ladies was Ryan's date to the dance, but we will keep some things a mystery!  She also may, or may not, be his girlfriend.  Winky face.  Hint:  she gorgeous, sweet, funny, smart, kind and has long hair.  Oh wait, that's all of them!  
Now up, the 7th grade squad.  These boys . . . they are so much fun!  
There is a huge group of 7th grade friends and lots of them came for pictures.  I just loved seeing all of them dressed up and looking so nice!  One of these cute girls was maybe asked to the dance by Kyle . . . but that doesn't seem to mean much at their age because they mostly just hung with their friends.  
And so it begins with me having to let go.  Kyle rode with friends to the dance.  I drove Ryan and some of his friends but was given strict instructions not to stay.  I had to drop off food so I slinked around for a bit to see what was what.  

I left, as instructed, even though I wanted to stay.  A song that Ryan downloaded earlier that week came on in the car, and it was playing at the dance.  Give it a listen . . . it's kind of appropriately titled.  
I started to tear up thinking about my kids growing up.  I'll always remember that moment in the car as a turning point in my life with those boys. 

It's not easy to let go, at least for me.  Sometimes the tighter you hold on, the more they want to run.  I'm trying to be cool though and strike a balance.  Like letting another mother pick up my oldest from the dance and drop him off at a party.  And then going with Kyle to Steak 'n Shake after with his posse and sitting at the mom table on the other side of the restaurant.  I'll get there.  I really don't have a choice, do I?

We had to divide and conquer on Friday night so Getzy took this little nugget to her Mardi Gras themed dance.  Amanda totally busted out the mask I got her a few years ago in NOLA . . . who knew it would come in so handy!!  
Saturday was slow and steady.  Lots of lazy and a little shopping with a friend.  I always ask the kids to join me but most of the time it's a no.  I tell them they are all dumb . . . when my mom or dad asked me to shop with them as a kid, I jumped at the chance.  Everybody knows you'll get little treats if you come along.  You'd think they would know that by now.  Luckily my friend Michelle agreed to tag along to keep me company.  That's why I like her best.  

The boys went to a birthday party Saturday night and Amanda went to hang out with her sweet little friend which worked out perfectly for Getzy and I to go to a friend's house for game night and dinner.  I brought the game. 
Ever played this?  It's so wildly inappropriate you just have to laugh.  So my friend Deb makes the announcement that I brought the game and will explain.  I not only explained it, I added a disclaimer that it in no way reflects on my life or beliefs.  Yes, it's that bad at times.  

So round one starts.  Everyone (like 18 adults) is eyeballing their cards and it's like a weird sort of uncomfortable silence in the room.  So the Card Czar starts reading the fill in the blank statement and adding in every one's answer.  Some awkward giggles.  A few groans of displeasure.  And some "what even is this game?" comments.  Yeah, I was sweating it because everyone is looking at me like I'm a heathen for even owning the game.

We press on and people realize it's all in good fun.  Turns out, none of us have laughed that hard in a long time.  We managed to go through every answer card in the deck and had to end the game or repeat answers.  There are several versions so my friend says she will get the next set of cards.  It was such a fun evening . . . the food, game and friends.  Thanks Deb for hosting!  

Sunday was spend lazing around and then prepping for the food frenzy that is the Super Bowl.  Getzy was in charge of the chicken wings . . . not too shabby!
Garlic Parmesan - Mystery - Buffalo
Between us and one of other family, we had wings, meatballs, pigs in a blanket, cheese dip, sausage balls and some fruit for good measure.  So ridiculous.  I was rooting for the Broncos because of Peyton Manning possibly retiring, not that I really cared about either team.  Gasp.

Side note for this weekend . . . my oldest got his Eagle project approved by our Troop Council.  Now he just has to get approval from the District, and he can get the project started.  He is building a white board and seven benches to create an outdoor classroom in his school's courtyard.  He has all his other requirements completed so once this project is done, he will be an Eagle Scout at 14.  Not too shabby.  So proud of him.  

There you have it folks . . . life in the fast lane.  Obviously.

Did you do anything fun besides watch football this weekend?