Thursday, August 28, 2008

Myrtle Beach-we are home!



We are home-had a great time away, ate some good food and enjoyed the beach....its crazy that we had to drive 6 hours to go to Myrtle Beach when our "own" beach is only a 20 minute drive down the road-seriously we never go to the beach and we live here LOL.



We stayed at the Royale Palms (part of the Kingston Shores Resort) and it was super nice-the condo was bigger than the one we live in. We stayed on the 18th floor and had a awesome ocean front view. We got a 2 bed-2 bath condo b/c those were the only ones that had a oceanfront view like this. It was well worth the money for the view and the extra space. We even had a doorbell-I thought that was pretty cool.


View of part of our deck-it continued out to the left and wrapped around to the other side. Emma and I had breakfast out there one morning.


View straight down looking down at the many of the pools at the resort. Part of the pool had a real sand bottom and a waterfall. Pic taken on Monday, in the rain.


View of the building from the beach. Ours is the one on the left, the other one on the right is the Hilton.


View of the living room/dining room from the deck.


Gotta love the decked out kitchen-laundry room on the right. I love this kitchen!


Dining room/living room


We got there around 2 on Sunday, spent most of the afternoon at the waterpark on the other side of the complex (I forgot the camera a lot while we were down here) and then had dinner at a pizza place on the other side of town. We were almost in North Myrtle Beach so most of the stuff to do was about a 15 minute drive from us. Chad and I took her to a local park to "play" (ie to tire her out). This was followed by a trip to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store (which I had to go in b/c of the name) and for the fact we needed to stock up on snacks/juice/milk. Meltdown at the check-out line followed....

The trip to the park didn't work b/c she didn't conk out until 10 that night.

Had a little too much fun on this day.....

We went to Barefoot Landing, which was 5 minutes up the road from our hotel-and she rode a cow, the carousel and had a butterfly balloon made for her. I have her monkey harness on her in this pic-that way she can walk in crowds and we still have a good hand on her. I get some "I would never put my child on a "leash" look but then again, I used to give those looks....until I had a child who won't always hold my hand. And Emma LOVES the monkey and she loves having us "walk with her".


Snack time on the beach.


Checking out the waves with Daddy


At the Ultimate California Pizza place with Daddy


Where am I? Behind the camera. And Emma wouldn't want to pose with my anyway on this trip. This was a "da-da" trip. Daddy had to dress her, change her diapers, shower with her, walk with her, sit next to her, hold her hand, put her in her carseat, put her to sleep, cut up her food for her, ride on rides with her, walk with monkey with her, push her stroller and play ball with her. Mommy was left out in the cold most of the trip. I don't know if she finally realizes that Chad isn't around much ('cause he is working, making us money, putting food on the table) and by golly, she was going to get everything out of him on this trip. Chad had to take her to the bathroom with her b/c on the first night, she PUKED from crying so hard when he got up from the table to pee. I couldn't even push her stroller without her turning around and saying "da-da push". If I held her, she wanted daddy. If I tried to change her diaper, she would run, grab the diaper and give it to Chad. It was great :)

Our last night there we had dinner at Rioz, which is a Brazilian Steakhouse. It was the best meat I have ever had there. It's basically an all you can eat meat buffet (with an awesome salad/seafood bar) but the "buffet" is guys walking around the restaurant carving various types of meat at your table. I am butchering the description so you better check the link to see what I mean. They gave Emma mac and cheese, freshly baked nuggets, fries, polenta sticks, grilled bananas and mashed potatoes with cheese. The fries arrived before our drinks did LOL. It was the best meal we had down there.

It rained on Monday and then the rest of the week the weather was beautiful. I got some sun finally and was able to lay out by the pool for a bit without Emma in tow. The waterpark at the end of the resort was a big hit with Emma (2 slides to go down) and she had fun playing in the water. Forgot the camera of course :)




All in all, we had a great first va-cay with Emma. Now back to the real world :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Myrtle Beach

We are hopefully out of here without any drama tomorrow morning. Chad has to go adjust for an hour, and then pack up the car and we are off! We are going to drive 1/2 way tomorrow to Durham, NC to visit an old college friend, spend the night there and drive the rest of the way to the beach on Sunday. We are just about all packed up so all is left is the little odds and ends.

Surprisingly (big shocker here), we have a hard time finding someone to check in on what Avery, my niece, calls "cujo cat" because lets face it, when I am not here and other people try to make sure he is alive, has water and food, the cat goes nuts....so people tell me. My mil will check on the crazy cat only if my fil comes with her. Pungo spits and hisses all the way from the front door to the kitchen, where the food and drink are at. He about ate our friend Heidi alive a few years ago when we lived in Ohio (and he wasn't a year old yet) when we had to drive back to Iowa for Chad's graduation....after that, she didn't volunteer to watch the cat if we happened to go away. Why have a dog when you can have a cat like mine?

I am sure cujo cat will be fine, since we have left him alone this long before....actually, we have left him longer when we left to take Emma to Cincinnati this past spring and boy was the cat pissed when Chad walked in the front door without me :) Chad was trying to get over the nasty stomach flu and the cat was biting him all night. I am more worried about the neighbor's cat who we feed 2x daily (don't ask) so hopefully he won't camp out in our backyard waiting for food.

I am tired and now that the last load of laundry is finished, I am going to bed. I will try and post some pics while we are down there, but don't hold your breath b/c I can't seem to post pics while I am staring at the digital camera across the living room. Now add the vacation into it......so we'll see :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fantasy Football

I made a passing comment at lunch last week that I wanted to play FF with Chad (one of his patients formed a league last year) and he said no go- it was all filled up so maybe next year.

But then, today, a new league has been formed and now I am playing....LOL

I need a cool "girl power" name so when I win, it won't be forgotten :) I found "Victorious Secret" to be the best so far....

Obviously Chad and I have nothing else better to do (pack/put house up for rent/build new house/clean house/sell stuff) after our va-cay next week except worry about the draft.

Love the fact we have our priorities straight!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Traffic....Traffic.....More Traffic....Truck off bridge....

*Sigh* We spent about 15 hours or so in the Jeep this weekend. Our friend Jim was getting married in Bethesda, which is a suburb just outside DC. My parents live in Catonsville, about 30 miles north of there and was going to watch Emma for us while we had some fun living it up. Just zip on up there, drop her off and relax at the wedding.....NOT!

Leave VA Beach at 10:15 (b/c Chad just had to have the office open for an hour on Saturday). Get to the bank and realized he forgot his dress shoes. Backtrack back home, grab the shoes, get on our way. This is a bad omen-I check my bag to make sure I got my heels!

Traffic Delay 1: 5 mile back-up at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, one of two ways to get out of this place...we quickly jump off the interstate 64 and go down 264 to 164 to 664 and pick up the Monitor Merimac Bridge Tunnel....this was somewhat out of our way and not a big surprise-always a back up on Saturday mornings on the stupid bridge-tunnel.

Traffic Delay 2: We are back on 64, across the bay.....7 mile back up at Jefferson Ave in Newport News. Off 64 we go again up some back roads to Williamsburg and get back on 64. Traffic is still not cleared and we crawl up to Richmond at 40 mph. Count endless cars on side of road.

It is now almost 1:15pm....3 hours and we are finally in Richmond, which normally takes 1.5 hours to get to. Snarf down Chick-Fil-A and off we go around the city on 295N.

Traffic Delay 3: Sign reads...Major Delay at 295/95 split....off we go onto route 301 N to avoid 95 for the rest of the trip. If its bad in Richmond, DC will be hell and we would never make the wedding. We are moving, but there are lights, 55mph speed limit, little towns..ect. And I am driving and I am a lousy driver when it comes to speed LOL.

Finally cross into MD at 4pm....wedding starts at 4:30.....we decide that we are going to miss the wedding and make it our goal to get to the reception. We get off of 301 and onto 97 to head to my parents house. You guess it! Accident. But we get through quickly. I start to speed b/c I know these roads better than life itself. We arrive at my parents at 4:45pm (the wedding is shot, we are trying to make the reception at this point). Hurry up and change, I do my hair/make-up (mascara included) while Chad zips down dreaded 95 S (but no traffic) and we arrive at the reception at 5:45pm-one of the first people there. Nice wedding. Good to see all of our friends from our college days, which were about 10 years ago....has it been that long? We seem so old. And no one wants to dance :( It was different when we were back in our twenties with no wedding rings, no kids and lots of booze in our systems. We last until 9:30 and have to go home.

Time in Car on Saturday: 7.5 hours

Emma and Chad snore all night.....4 hours of sleep is what I get.

Sunday: We are out the door at 10am, grab some McD's and head down 97 to go to our college on the eastern shore to visit a friend. I am not anticipating anything big b/c in the 100 or so times I have made this drive over the past 15 years, I have hit traffic on a Sunday maybe 2 or 3 times and 1 major jam in 1996 or so on a Saturday morning trying to go to the beach.

Traffic Delay 1: See flashing sign.....delay at exit 27.....about 10 miles from the bridge. We should have turned around and scraped the visit right then and there b/c we were at the 97/50 split. 50 would have taken us back to DC and down 95. But we press on and then WHAM! Sitting in traffic at exit 27, right before the Severn River Bridge. But we are moving, slowly and decide to wait it out. An hour goes by and we have not made it to exit 29, 2 miles away. The bay bridge is still 8 miles away. At this point we decide to turn around, scrap the visit (b/c that is the ONLY way to get to Salisbury without going back through B-more, up 95 N and down 301....about 5 hours out of our way). Turn around at exit 29 and head towards DC. ***It turns out a truck had run-off the bride and fell 40 feet into the bay at 4am......perhaps if we wern't listening to Barney's trip to the zoo we would have heard about the backup from hell on the radio*****

Traffic Delay 2: No traffic at all through DC.....no traffic heading into Virginia and then we hit #&$^$ Springfield and lo and behold a sign flashes ....8 mile back up......expect delays. Off we go on the back roads again. Thank GOd for our GPS in the car.....we would have totally been screwed without it. At some point we decide to try out 95 S again and we get on right before the IKEA store. Got on 95, got off 95 and had lunch and shopped at IKEA so poor Emma could see something other than the back of our heads. Got food, got coffee, got a new stuffed cat and some stuff for the office. 2 hours later, back in the car we go.

Traffic Delay 3: And now it is POURING outside, we get on 95 and.....oh you guess it......accident b/c of the rain but after about 15 minutes, we are moving through the rain. On the other side, I think I counted a 15 mile backup.....that just sucked for those drivers trying to get back home in the storm that turned the sky purple (I wish I would have taken some pics).

Traffic Delay 4: We get on 64 E and all was good. I was checking the 511 info line for delays and couldn't find any. We get to the split with 664/64 and see a sign......3 mile backup to bridge-tunnel.....freak.....are you kidding me?????....we take the long way around again! And then.....the gas light comes on-we don't even have enough gas in the damn car to get home. Off the interstate, get gas and hauled some ass to get back home. Fed Emma some turkey and cheese in the car to calm her down.

We finally walked in our front door at 7:45-Emma is finally free of the carseat!

Time in car on Sunday: 7.75 hours

Total round trip time: 18 hours

I cannot believe how many cars were on the road this weekend-even through these little towns there were cars everywhere! And the traffic jam at the md bay bridge....holy cow it was at least 20 miles......they only had 1 lane open to get across the other span of the bridge. All these cars had to go through the toll plaza and then merge into 1 lane, cross the stupid bridge and then you have all these cars flooding the towns on route 50 trying more likely to get to the ocean before summer is over. If we sat there, it would have taken over 6 hours for a 2 hour trip to Salisbury. Thank the Lord we turned around. The driver of the truck did not make it....looks like he ran into on-coming traffic, lost control of the truck, crashed through the concrete barriers and fell 40 feet off the bridge into the bay. It was a horrific accident and who knows when the other bridge will open back up.

Did I mention we had fun at the wedding and Emma was a perfect doll for my parents? I pray that our trip to Myrtle Beach in 2 weeks goes a little smoother!

Monday, August 4, 2008

GI update

Waiting....we just love to wait at the GI's office. Arrive at 9 (early for once), appt at 9:15, wait about 1/2 hour to get vitals and into a room, wait another 1/2 hour for Dr.Kobak to come in, have a 1/2 hour appt re-hashing the previous 3 months of pooping/eating/developmental stuff and finally at 10:45, we were out of there, almost 2 hours later. I except this so I came prepared with snacks, toys and lots of milk in her sippy to hold her over.

Emma loves Dr.Kobak and was making lots of conservation with him today, which is rare for her to do with all the doctors that she sees. I think out of all of them, he is the most laid back one and always reassures me that I am doing a fantastic job raising her and addresses every single one of my questions.

I thought he would would totally flip out over the daily enema thing but once I told him the story on how we ended up there, he was perfectly fine with it. The less we stress about poop, the better off everyone around here is. He also told me to not worry/stress out about the whole potty training thing either-though he agreeded that we could save some trees if we got her to sit on the potty after the enema LOL-we go through about 200 diapers a month just for collecting the enema solution. His advice is if she is scared to sit, don't push it and when she is willing to sit on the potty for a longer time, then start trying it more and more often.

I thought this time we would be scheduling the esophageal dilation but....no. He wants to see her in November, see how things are going and get an upper GI in early December. He said as horrible as this test is for us, its a heck of a lot less invasive than taking her back to the OR and doing a dilation that may not really need to be done. If the UGI shows the same size stricture, then we'll wait another 6 months and repeat the test unless something changes. If the stricture is larger, well we'll be booked for an OR in the second week of December. He doesn't want to put her to sleep unless she has to. I like his approach and he never wants to rush her to the OR unless something absolutely needs to be done-hence repeat the test to see if things really have changed. If not and she is doing fine, then we spare her from being put to sleep for the almost 15th or something time-its hard to keep count.

Next year, this is the year we drop down from every 3 months to every 4 month visits with GI and the year after, 2x a year and then 1x a year. Kind of like our dilation schedule LOL. I have a feeling most of her specialists will be seeing her at least 1x a year until she is 18. I have traveled a lifetime's worth of visits to our childrens hospital so any decrease in appts is a good thing.

I am beat-massive migraine so I am off to bed-yay for a good day. Oh, she is 34 inches and 25.8 lbs...2 lbs and 2 inches since her visit in May.