Friday, July 31, 2009

Pictures & Prayers

I'm going to attempt to show off a few of our photos from our vacation, and our bahamas trip :)

Here's son and I in the pool- that's about as much of myself in a bikini that I'm willing to show on here ;)

How cool is this? Daughter, and my new underwater camera!

Son, in our condo (in Destin)-- it's rare that I get him to sit still for a pic, let alone smile for it!

Daughter,showing off her necklace and bracelet that my grandma got for her

The view from our hotel in the Bahamas- wouldn't you like to wake up to that everyday? Honestly I do have to say, that the water is much better from a distance. Freeport is quite north in the Caribbean- only 55miles off of the coast of Florida. So the water there, is not nearly as pretty as some of the other places we've been. But, it sure beats the Atlantic ;)

And, the kiddos..

Sometimes they do love each other! Don't let this picture fool you though ;)

I have a lot more pictures, but most would be boring to anyone that isn't family ;) There isn't much else going on here- I just wanted to send a quick shout for some prayers and positive thoughts coming my grandpas way. He's still in the hospital. They aren't sure what is technically wrong with him, but he's required 6 pints of blood thus far. He's totally conscious and everything, but they can't figure out where the bleeding is coming from. It was looking like he was going to go home without a diagnosis like he did in March, but all of the sudden they are concerned about prostate levels (PSA), and also that his bone marrow is not producing platelets, which explains why he keeps on bleeding- he's not clotting. He's having a CT scan tomorrow and we're not sure what they are looking for. He has THE biggest bitch of a doctor, and I'm having a really hard time convincing myself to stay here and not fly up there to beat her ass. I fail to see why people would ever want to go into medicine, when they completely lack compassion. She waltzed into the hospital room tonight, told him "You have a vein in your heart that is going to burst at any moment", and walked out. When he tried to ask her a question, she said they would talk Monday, and that was that. Does anyone closer to WV want to go and beat her ass on my behalf? Seriously, I'm having a hard time not making a phone call to let that woman have it BIG time. So, send lots of good thoughts his way because he surely needs them.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Reopening, and the Trip That Should Have Never Been

Before I go into details of what could have possibly been THE single worst trip of my life, I wanted to say that I am sooooo excited to be a part of a wonderful blog, Chic Chat! The ladies are awesome and have invited me to join in contributing to the blog with them. It's an all-topic, all- encompassing, everyone welcome type of place to be! We're re-launching the blog today, so come along, won't you? :) Just follow the cute little box below! :)


My trip, is quite possibly the single worst trip ever. Before this, I would have told you that it was my 3rd anniversary trip that would have taken that award, but by far this trip has taken first place.

It started Thursday, with a lonnnnng morning with the kids. I was finishing packing, and also trying to get the house cleaned, because I am one of those weird people who cleans before vacation. By the time 3pm rolled around and we backed out of the garage, I was exhausted and dreading the 5 hour drive.

We got about 2 hours down the road and my phone rang, it was mother in law. Come to find out, their flight is delayed, and not just by a little bit. By 5 HOURS. I was running on time, giving myself just enough time to get to the airport and greet them at their gate at 7:30pm. Now, they didn't even take off until 10:15 pm.

By the time their flight landed, and the taxi cab driver got lost and called asking for the hotel phone number, it was almost 2am when they walked into the hotel room.

Did I mention that we had a 4:30 am wake up call? Yep. Ugh. :/

Rewinding back, the car ride down with the kids was definitely an interesting one. We've taken them on several lengthy car trips, but this was my first one that I had done alone. It could have been a lot worse, but I was hoping it would have been a lot better.

We arrived at the hotel, exhausted and hungry. I called in pizza to appease us all, and realized that we had no milk for son. During this time, about 20 min after checking in, the fire alarm goes off in the hotel. It sends daughter into a panic because she thinks there really is a fire, and it also sends son into orbit since he has over sensitive hearing now with the tubes in his ears. Oh, good times. Incidentally, said fire alarm also shut down the elevator and it didn't work again the whole time we were there (which was only about 3 hours, mind you) but it meant that we had to carry our luggage up and down 3 flights of stairs.

Waking up the next morning- or a mere 2.5 hours after we went to bed- was pure hell. The kids were exhausted, we were all grouchy, AND we were running late. Very late. We did make it on time though, to what I will forever refer to as the most in depth embarkation process in my life. We have been on many cruises, and this one was by far the craziest thing I had dealt with. It took over 40 sheets of my printer paper to print out all of our paperwork, and it took equally as much work to get on the boat itself. Whew.

For those that have ever been on an actual cruise, this boat is not that. It's merely a cheap way to get from the US to Freeport, and is often the method of transportation that the Freeport natives use to come to the US to shop. Everything over there is so expensive, that it's just cheaper to come over here and shop. Of course, there are people that use it for vacation purposes as well, because it's much cheaper than flying. So they do have activities, a casino, restaurant and gift shop on there. However, with that they also slow the boat wayyyy down in order to make money off of you. So while Freeport is a mere 55 miles off of the coast of Florida, they take 5 hours to get there. Plus at least an hour to get on and off the boat. Each way. OMG.

Once in Freeport, we were literally beat. We finally made it to our hotel at 3pm and checked in. We did manage to ask about an upgrade, a tip I learned while reading reviews of the hotel, and so we got an ocean front room for the same price. :) It was a gorgeous view! The hotel was far above and beyond what I was expecting, and the service, while slow, was excellent. But, after such a long and time consuming journey, we only had a couple of hours of beach and pool time before dinner.

Dinner was interesting- we walked into a restaurant that literally looked deserted. we later figured out that even though it was already 6pm, we were apparently early compared to when most people there dine. We unknowingly were seated in an area where local music was being set up to play, but it really added to the atmosphere. once they started to play, the masses of people swarmed the area and started to dance. By this point, daughter had fallen asleep at the table, and son was out dancing in the middle of the aisle (I'll try to post video of this at some point).

We ate our dinner, and woke daughter up to leave. As we are leaving, she literally just pukes in the middle of the restaurant floor. We were really shocked because normally she doesn't just throw up out of nowhere, and definitely not without telling me. It had to be from sheer exhaustion and traveling, because she was perfectly fine the next day. But, you can imagine my stress level by this point. Nothing has gone right, son is so tired and whiny, daughter has just puked, and I have lost what tiny bit of patience the sleep deprivation hadn't taken from me. We turned in early that night, for sure.

Waking up the next day, it was storming and so our actual beach and pool time was limited to about 4 We decided to walk across the street to a local market, just to do something in the rain.

Keeping in mind that the Bahamas do not typically have franchised things- they have no Walmart, no major chains of anything- I was quite surprised when we found a Hello Kitty (Sanrio) store in the market. Daughter loves their stuff. Ever been in one of those? It's not your $2 Hello Kitty notebooks that you see in Target- it is $50 charm bracelets and even more expensive luggage, with some lower priced things mixed in. I happened to notice a good amount of seats (maybe 15-20) lined up out in front of the store, looking terribly out of place. But, my brain was fried and I never thought that something might have been going on. Not wanting to have son tear up the whole store, I took a seat outside and let daughter go in.

Then, in a dream like scene out of a movie, a crowd of people come out the door in suits and dresses. Am I in the middle of a wedding, a funeral? Here, at a Hello Kitty store?? I finally decide that I have no choice but to ask if I am about to be a part of something that I shouldn't be a part of, and I learn that it's their grand opening at that very moment.

This could only happen to us.

Here I am, seated with my overly active and loud 2 year old, in the midst of about 15 beautiful and well dressed Bahamian people, about to take part in what appears- according to the program- to be a very lengthy opening ceremony. Complete with pink and purple ribbon cutting.

I decide at the last minute that I need to get out of there- I figured either way, I'm most likely being disrespectful, but I'd much rather see the ceremony from inside than to be out there having son cause a scene. But what I didn't know, is that when I ducked into the store, mother in law did not follow. I look back out a few minutes later, and here she is standing there looking around while they are singing their national anthem, and I officially am about to burst into fits of laughter. It could be a "you had to be there" moment, but it was by far the funniest point of the trip. it turns out that if we would have been able to stay, they were going to let daughter walk through the ribbon. Why? Because she's following in my shop-a-holic footsteps. She was the first customer ;) I've tried to find an article about it online, but I can't. Trust me though, you don't make this kind of stuff up. :) We were in a rush to get back to catch a taxi to the boat, otherwise it would have been really neat to see the ceremony and let daughter be in it :)

The boat ride back was, well, hot for starters. Our air conditioning in our cabin wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't worth complaining over for a 5 hour ride. We sailed back through a storm, and it's felt a lot more on a boat like that then it is a big cruise ship. Thankfully, no more puking. Beyond that it just felt like it took forever, and once we pulled into port, I made a comment about how I felt like I was coming back from war. (No offense to soldiers, I don't mean real war, I mean personal war ;)) Upon pulling into port, we learned that my grandpa (a different one) has fallen ill and was put into the hospital while we were gone (his wife was the grandma that was on the trip with me). He is hopefully on the mend, but sadly I think that this past trip will be the last one my grandma makes, as she is now plagued with guilt for leaving him in the first place. I just wish our trip would have been much better, if it was her last then we definitely ended on a sour note- not on our terms personally, but just with a crappy trip.

The next morning, I dropped off my grandma, mother in law, and daughter at the airport. Daughter has gone back to WV to visit for a week or so, at which point I will pop a Valium and fly up there to get her ;) Daughter was trying not to cry- she wanted to go, but was still a little sad, just as you would expect a kid to be. Son and I made the journey home, and I was EVER so glad to be here. I've since talked to daughter and she's doing fine- I even called to ask her if she wanted me to sign her up for soccer this fall and she said yes, and gymnastics. But not dance. This saddens me greatly that my kid is already ready to take a break from dance! She does so well, but if it's not her passion then I cannot force her :/ Ugh, they grow up so fast!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sail Away, Sail Away, Sail Away

(Insert my drool here)

Aren't they beautiful? Ok, don't lie to me. These are two terribly hideous purses. However, what you may NOT have known, is that I am a lover of hideous purses. Acutally I'm just a purse whore in general. I've got my eye on these babies, and I've managed to convince husband to get me one of them. It's only a matter of time....did I mention that I am highly skilled in persuasive speaking too? ;) I get told at least a few times a week that I should be a lawyer. Mainly just because I like to argue, and refuse to lose ;)

I'm headed out again tomorrow for our Bahamas trip. Here's another fact for you- I'm all about the weather. I know that there is no way I would be smart enough to learn all of the science stuff about weather, but it's interested me for a long time. So, as I usually do before a trip, I go to the weather channel site. I also check out NOAA because they keep my anxiety at a low when hurricanes are approaching. I like to be informed. ;)

Well, you can imagine my surprise when just two days ago, the waters of the Caribbean were calm and still. Today? I get this.

Fun times, fun times. Oh, and trust me, it looks a lot worse on the weather channel than it does in my copied and pasted picture.

I'll be back Sunday, provided we get to the island to start with ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Home, if only for a minute

OK, so I hope that I am a little better looking than that lady, but that about sums it up. I am BEAT, big time, and the fun has only just begun.

Vacation was nice, we had gorgeous weather, and a great place to stay. Daughter had a blast, and son had a blast up until about Wednesday. Then he was officially over being on vacation, and it was hit or miss from there on. :)

We saw some HUGE sea turtles in the ocean- thankfully they were sea turtles. I have to admit that when you're in the ocean and there are several LARGE black shadows coming towards you, one has a tendency to freak out at what they may or may not be. But, one popped it's head up to let us know that it wasn't anything harmful, and so it was all smooth sailing from there.

I also bought THE coolest camera- I'll have to post some pics that I took later, but this is officially the best camera I've had, and I haven't even had a chance to really do a whole lot with it. I took lots of under water pictures of daughter in the pool, and a few in the ocean too. The water was a beautiful green color, nice and clear. It's surely to be even more clear in the Bahamas this weekend, so I'm hoping to put it to even better use then. Not only is the camera a normal digital camera, it's waterproof, shockproof, crush proof, and did I mention that it's just bad ass? ;) We have a huge paparazzi camera that we take, but I wanted a small one that I can tote with me in the car and feel ok leaving it in there without it being seen, and this one fits the bill :)

Other than that, not too much to report. I'm busy getting laundry finished up and RE-packing to leave Thursday, along with packing a totally separate suitcase for daughter, who will go right from the Bahamas to WV to visit. My parents were supposed to bring her back, but with the recent news of my grandpa, I will now be going up there to get her so that I can see him. Rest assured I want nothing more than to spend time with my grandpa, but beyond that, my visit will be very short. In all honesty, I HATE going "home" for many reasons and I don't know how long that will take to change, if ever. More bitching to come on this topic, I'm sure ;)

I'm also counting down- 68 days!!!!- until my girls cruise. Stoked does not even begin to describe it!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Travelin' Lady

If I'm needed, this is where you will find me. ;) We're headed out in the morning for vacation, and after all that has gone on in the last month or so- I desperately need it. But first, a little bit more packing, and the space shuttle launch (watching from the beach here) tonight.

I'll be back in town Sunday, only to turn around and head to the Bahamas that Thursday. But if you haven't guessed, I'm totally not complaining.

My only downfall to this trip? We're staying in a condo, and so I miss out on the hotel sized shampoos and all of that other fun stuff. Don't ask me why I love them, but I do. Enough that I have a small travel train case full of them ;) Seriously, stick me in the travel and trial sized aisle at Target and I can be entertained for at least an hour ;)

Happy trails...

Friday, July 10, 2009


It's quite possible that betrayed may be a bit too harsh for my title post, but I'm rolling with it anyhow.

I feel like we have been 100% completely surrounded by death and heartbreak the past month or so, I honestly don't know how much more my heart can take. First, it was the grandma of a childhood friend, who was kind of like a grandma to me. Then it was my dad's good friend, and then our neighbor. I still grieve- DAILY- for our neighbor, and honestly I think I will until the day someone else moves into that house, or we move off of this street. It's a constant reminder of how short life is, when I look across that street and see an empty driveway. It's terribly upsetting to take the kids out to play, and look over there waiting on him to bring his kids out like he always did, until I remember...

then came the passing of several celebrities. These really didn't affect me on a personal level, but I had already been cloaked in heartache for those that did for several days now, and so I kind of felt like I identified with those families more than I would have under normal circumstances.

Then, today comes. My mom calls to tell me that my grandpa is in the hospital. This is unfortunately a slightly frequent occurrence because he's had lung cancer and health problems that have resulted from it. For several years now, cancer free. She says that they are running cardiac enzymes to see if he had a heart attack, because he went to the hospital with chest pains. On top of other things, he has small vessel disease, and therefor cannot find a doctor to do stints in his very blocked heart. It's a scary situation, so any type of chest pain send them to the ER just to be sure. Mom mentions a PET scan, blood test, and headed home tonight, will call when I hear something new, etc, Bye.

Then husband calls. He's been out of town for a couple of days, and I notice that the conversation is strange. When he calls I tell him that I think I have figured out that I would like to go to NYC for our anniversary- given that a good friend of mine just posted her new NYC pics (Hi!) and I am just itching to go :) Husband seems very agreeable, and asks me several times "What else is going on?" and I respond with the normal chatter like "Oh, doing laundry.." , "Oh, unloading the dishwasher.." etc. Then husband says that we need to talk when he gets home, which is something that no one should EVER tell me, because I do not like delayed news, surprises, anything unexpected, or anything resembling any of those things. So I hound him until he says "Your mom called me today at 7:15 bawling her eyes out, and said that your grandpa had a PET scan and his cancer is back. She said for me to NOT tell you until we get back from vacation because she didn't want to ruin your trip, and that I HAVE to figure out how to convince you to go to WV to pick up daughter when her visit is finished from up there, I told her there's no way I can convince you to do that unless you know that there is a reason."

I am beyond devastated. My grandpa has had large portions of each of his lungs removed, and I don't see him doing chemo or anything like that. And even worse, with this feeling I have of NOT knowing what is going on, or what course of treatment they will take, or what the prognosis is, I can't even call anyone to ask because I'm not supposed to know. Not only that, I'm the ONLY one in the family that "doesn't know".

I understand that my mom thinks she was doing me a favor by not telling me, when I think quite the opposite is actually true. I can't count how many times I have heard her say that someone was sick and that no one bothered to tell her, and that she felt upset and can't believe that they would keep it from her, etc, and here she is doing the exact same thing to me. the EXACT same thing! In the grand scheme of things, a vacation is not important compared to knowing things about your family and being involved and prepared. I am a huge family person, no matter how far away, and to keep me in the dark is just so hurtful. And to call and burden husband with that information and expect him to be ok about keeping it from me just makes no sense. Now I'm in this horribly awkward position of knowing and being terribly upset, with no one in the family to talk to about it, and having to act as if I don't know when I do get told, so as not to damage the relationship between my mother and husband.

The past month has just been so hard, on my heart. Not in health, but in spirit. I know now more than ever, that we have so much and so much to be thankful for, but I am just mentally spent. I am physically suffering. My stomach is sick, my chest is tight, my emotions are just out of control. And I think, understandably so. Right now I just want to be so far away from all of this, and it seems like every time we turn around another thing has gone wrong.

So for those of you that do, please say a prayer or kind word for my family. I can't tell you how good or bad things are, because I am in the dark and totally clueless. But I can assure you that to think or pray kind things never hurts, no matter the circumstance.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Firework-ed Out

I've spent some time recovering from company, as I tend to do. It amazes me how much upkeep my house requires- something that I realize each and every time I have company, as when they leave it looks like a tornado has blown through.

Speaking of, we had 4 water spots and 1 tornado up the road last week. Aside from seeing an alligator (which I fully accomplished and care NOT to do again, thankyouverymuch), a water spout is next on my list. From a safe distance of course. How did I miss 4 in one day? Ugh. One even piddled around at husbands work, apparently it stayed on the river for over an hour. But he had already left for the day. One day I'll see one people, one day I will. Oh! And speaking of rivers, we have quite a big one here- it by far chumps any river I've seen in WV. 3 miles wide at some points!

Anyhow, moving on. We had a nice holiday weekend- saw fireworks twice, and decided against a 3rd time because frankly, we're all just pooped. I spent the day cleaning house and my legs are ACHING. Typically this means storms in the forecast, though the aching legs are new to me all over again- haven't dealt with that since my pre-teen years.

In other fun news, I crossed one thing off the list of my total body tune up that I've decided I desperately need- an eye appointment. Now of course this is of no excitement to those of you who are reading, but my prescription has stayed the same going on about 5 years now. Who else can say that one thing in their life has been completely constant for 5 years running? ;) I surely can't say it about anything else around here. ;)

I also marked something else off of a list- if you were a reader of mine back at the new year, you may recall my list of pseudo-resolutions. #5 on my non-resolution resolutions list is by far the most difficult and still most daunting, to this day. May 28th (or 29th? Can't remember) marked our one year anniversary of moving here to Florida, and other than a few people that I've met through association like daughter's Girl Scouts, I have no friends here. Wahhhhh! (I do have to give myself props though, because I have halfway accomplished #s 1, 2 and 4 as well. So for that, I will not beat myself down over not even trying #3 ;) )

It truly is my fault- I know that I'm a totally likeable person, I'm funny and super easy to get along with. But when I join a mom's group and then sit here and refuse to go to meetings, that kind of makes it hard to meet people. We'll call it a transition period ;)

so anyway, 4th of July we went to one of husbands coworkers for dinner and drinks. I have to say, it's always nice to get out and socialize with people, and we get along well with them anyhow. I was asking about the moms group that the coworkers wife is in, and she invited me to a playdate that she happens to be hosting. This is a BIG score for me, because now I get the comfort of being in the house of someone that I already know, and she is new to the group too, so that makes it a little easier on both of us :) Said playdate is tomorrow morning, 10am. Quite early for my tastes, because I'm not really a fully productive and functioning member of society until at least noon, but I'm going to try it out for the sake of playdates for my children, AND so I can make a friend or two for the love of Pete. Come one people DAMNIT be my friend! ;) What is it about showing up in a room full of unknown people that freaks me the hell out? ;)

Oh but wait, there's more. As if one playdate wasn't enough, we're headed straight from that playdate to another one. It is with a mom that I already know from Girl Scouts, so no big deal or freak out there. Then I'm headed back home, to get ready for a Girls Night Out with another mom from Girl Scouts at my favorite restaurant. 3 activities on one day? Yep. Just call me the overachiever ;) Actually this week kicks off our very busy July, in which we have already painted and redecorated daughters room, and will be taking at least 3 (possibly 4) trips, and squishing a trip to see a shuttle launch in between. Starting next week, I will only be home 5 out of 19 days. I'm definitely looking forward to the break and a small step out of reality, after all that has been going on here lately. I only dread the laundry that will have to be put up afterwards ;)