Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How was your trip?

Sudden.... painful.... highly embarrassing....  In other words, just like always.

This morning I made a lovely impression on Caroline's teachers at school.  I was putting her down on the floor in the designated play space near the bookcases full of toys.  Her new thing is to try "walking" while I'm still holding her hands.  This time she practically took off "running."  I lunged forward to try and keep up with her, but clumsy people really shouldn't wear flip flops.

I tripped and fell forward.  Not wanting to fall on her, I tried to go to the side to avoid her.  So the lovely toy bookcase stopped my fall, along with a giant plush cube.  Caroline fell forward on her knees and was fine.  She just doesn't like to fall down (she won't even plop down on the floor... she very slowly lowers herself with purpose).

So she started crying.  My knee started to sting a little and my pride was wailing with pain.  The teachers just asked if I was ok.  I comforted Caroline until she calmed down, which only took like 15 seconds.

I left and wanted to crawl under my car when I got to the parking lot.  So I started thinking about the other times I've fallen.  Then I started realizing I fall a lot.... I mean, a lot.

There was the time I slipped on black ice outside of work and did one of those feet flying up in the air and landing squarely on my butt falls that you see in comics or cartoons.  My papers and drink went flying straight up in the air.  Took me forever to get up because I kept sliding on the black ice.  My hip was sore for 2 weeks.

During the same winter (in fact, the same day), I slipped while crossing the street... and my leg shot forward and I went down on one knee.  The rule of this day of horrible falls?  Stick to snow boots during the winter and forgo the cute shoes.

Then there was the time I was walking to IHOP late one evening with a friend.  She pointed out something for me to look at and silly me tried to walk and actually look at the same time.  I tripped on a raised piece of sidewalk and fell face forward.  Bloody palms... a scar on my knee that took over a year to go away... and a pride on life-support.

Sadly, these are just a few public falls that come to mind since we've moved.  There HAS to be something wrong with me!!

**all falls during Mardi Gras do not count towards my total fall numbers**

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Such a big girl!!

I'm always afraid that when we take Caroline out in public that she's going to be that screaming, unruly kid that ruins everyone's time.  But every time we take her out, I'm pleasantly surprised how she acts.

This past weekend was full of "firsts" for Caroline.  On Friday night, we went to see our favorite little guy Mason in his staring role as Berlioz in Aristocats.  The theater was in the basement of the preschool Caroline and Mason both attend and is quite small.  I thought for sure we'd be up and down with her during the production.

I guess when you plan for the worst, you are prepared for anything.  She LOVED watching all the kids perform.  And when it did get a little loud, she wrapped her arms around mine or T's neck, but kept looking back at the stage, not wanting to miss anything.

We all went out to dinner to celebrate afterwards and she did great in the restaurant even though it was WAY past her bedtime.  She crashed in the car on the way home.

On Sunday, we decided to take her to see Toy Story 3.  It was her first movie. Once again, we were prepared to be up and down with her.  We saw the IMAX 3D version, which was great... and loud.  So I wasn't sure at all how she'd do.  It's the volume of most things that bother her.  She loves to people watch!

The previews started and it was really loud.  She was squirmy... but we made it through.  With the help of Baby Mum-Mum, a bottle and a paci, she made it through the whole movie without getting up once.

I was so proud of her.  She is turning into such a big girl, and is usually game for whatever crazy idea Momma comes up with!  So is Daddy for that matter - which always helps.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Party time... excellent!

Last Friday, Steph asked me late in the afternoon if I wanted to join her and Laura out for Girl's Night!  Before I even asked T, I said "oh yeah... I'm there!"

You can read about the night and view the pictures on Steph's blog .  Yes, I'm totally stealing a post... but it applies to me too, so I think it's ok.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It never ends

The bad weather in Oklahoma has now reached a new high (or low, depending on how you look at it).  This morning, we woke up to loud thunder and the sound of a downpour right before I was trying to get into the car.

Normally when I leave for work, the weather has generally let up by the time we get to school.  So lucky for me, the times I've had to deal with torrential downpours at school, where there is no covered drop off, have been few.

Hearing the rain, I grabbed my "rain shoes".  My rain shoes are a pair of crocs, that don't look like crocs, but are still very much made of rubber.  Perfect for sloshing through feet of water... oh yes, I said feet.

Anyway, we left the house early because I had a physical therapy appointment at 7:30.  Normally if I leave before 7, I can get Caroline dropped off and to PT on time.  Not even close today.  First, it was raining very hard.

It took me forever to get just to Choctaw (the town directly west of us - please refer to your Oklahoma City metro maps).  At the base of the overpass, one of the lanes was blocked off - full of water.  It took me almost 30 minutes to get almost a third of the way through my trip.

I got to Oklahoma City and sat forever at the light where 23rd St (my daily route to work) crosses over I-35.  Right after I got through, I heard they closed 23rd St. right there.  Then as I'm approaching the Capitol, I hear "23rd St closed at I-235", which is right after the Capitol.  So I'm making alternate route plans when a cop zooms past me and then blocks off where I was going.

So my internal GPS was working on route #3.  It finally was dry enough to get us to school, but no parking spots close to the walkway that is covered.  Caroline had been asleep but woke up when lightening hit so close to us that it caused the stop-lights to start blinking red. 

I took the majority of the rain to keep her dry (yes, I know an umbrella would have been nice, but it's not always practical when juggling baby, keys, diaper bag and anything else I have with me at one time).

I finally got to work, almost 2 hours after I left my house.  So now it's time to get back out in it.  School has called and said I have to take Caroline to the doctor because her eczema is too bad.  I need a note.  Don't even get me started!

So I'm braving the roads again in "record setting flash floods".

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Caroline!

As promised, complete details of Caroline's first birthday party!  We went with a theme of pink and orange with bits of green.  And I'd like to take full credit for all the ideas, but they were not mine alone.  Back in March, Stephanie sent me a link.  She said, "Wouldn't this be so cute for Doodle's party?"  Yes... yes it would!

Claudia helped me design the invitations.  She also created the custom monogram at the top.

Then I added the pictures on the back.

Plans started in basic details in March, but with work, it was hard to focus right away on the minute stuff.  I sourced all the things I'd need to recreate what I'd seen from our inspiration party.  I decided on a menu.  Then I started on the execution in full force when we got back from Baton Rouge in May.

I started by buying all of the pink and orange paper I could find in Oklahoma City.  Literally.  I bought out Michael's and Hobby Lobby of their loose cardstock.  But in the end, with a lot of help from Dad and T, the result was the precious backdrop for the cake/sweets table.

The cake topper was a custom made design by my friend Leah.  Leah has her own Etsy shop, CuteNation, if you'd like your own cake topper.  It's now a permanent fixture in Caroline's room.

Stephanie was kind of enough to sew the custom table runner for the cake/sweets table.  The pink color really popped off the white tablecloth and helped tie in the backdrop.

I made the Happy Birthday banner myself with a color printer and ribbon.  I also had 8x10 prints of all her monthly pictures made and mounted them on scrapbook paper to make additional banners.  Caroline loves looking at herself... and she stared at these the moment I put them up.  She loved them!

There was a welcome station for people to write notes to Caroline.  I'll take those notes and put them in a scrapbook for her, along with a picture of her taken with the guests.  I'll add the scrapbook pages with her monthly pictures to the book.
Also there was a bucket with thank you gifts.  It was a picture frame with 2 pictures of Caroline from her 1 year portrait session, wrapped with pink or orange tissue paper and tied with the alternating color ribbon.

The menu was fairly simple, I think.  My dad made a jambalaya and my Mom made white beans.  Then we had the basics - fruit tray, veggie tray, cheese, crackers, chips, dip.  For dessert, I made a 3 tiered cake with each tier being a different flavor.  The top tier was a vanilla and raspberry dobos torte.  The middle tier was a lemon layer cake and the bottom was a chocolate butter cake with a chocolate ganache frosting.   I covered all 3 tiers in fondant, rolled as thinly as possible, to provide a cohesive look. 

We also had peanut butter truffles, oreo truffles and carrot cake pops if cake wasn't your thing.  We rounded out the menu with homemade pink lemonade.  Caroline's cake was a carrot cake.  She was just too cute when it came to eating it.  At first she just looked at me like "Normally you don't let me put my hands in my food and now you want me to?  What's the catch?"  But she caught on and really enjoyed it.

After opening gifts and playing with them, she finally gave in to all the excitement and went down for a nap.  It was a wonderful party and I only cried a tiny bit while people were singing, "Happy Birthday".

You can see all of the pictures from her party HERE.  Stephanie's husband Nick was our party photographer so I didn't have to worry running around with my camera.  He's also taken a bunch of her monthly portraits and our family pictures.

A big THANK YOU to everyone for their help and for everyone who made the trip.  I know it was a long way, but we really appreciated you being here.  For those who couldn't make it, I hope the pictures show how much fun she really had!!

One Year Ago... Part 2

A little after midnight, they came to get me.  They gave T a lovely paper jumpsuit to wear and said they'd be back to get him.  I was sleepy... very, very sleepy....

The wheeled me to the operating room and after a few minutes I just closed my very heavy eyes.  I must have drifted off to sleep.  The next thing I remember is T coming in the room.  I heard his voice and opened my eyes to find him.  He held my hand.  The anesthesiologist was talking to me.  I remember that I liked him.

I could feel movement, but not pain.  I could hear the doctors talking.  I remember thinking, "you know, I can hear you.... "  I remember the anesthesiologist telling me to tell him if I was feeling sick. 

I felt like I was going to be sick.  So I said I was going to be sick.  And then I threw up all over T and the doctor as he was giving me the medicine to keep me from getting sick.  I did apologize though.  T was wearing that fancy paper jumpsuit... so it's not like it ruined clothes or anything.

A few minutes later I hear, "we have a girl!  born at 12:33 am"  Then my doctor says "you weren't kidding about that heartburn, were you?"  She had a head full of dark hair!  They carried her around so I could see her and I couldn't see any white in her eyes... and she was covered in goo... I thought "that's not my baby... that's an alien baby... where's my baby?... oh wait, they are expecting you to smile... so smile..." I smiled.  Let's remember I was under the influence of drugs...and Tylenol can put me to sleep.

They asked where our camera was.... we didn't think of a camera... so the anesthesiologist took pictures with his phone and sent them to us.  They weighed and measured her - 8 lbs, 1 oz, 22 inches long - and then bundled her up.  T took her back to the room while they finished up with me.  That took forever.

I finally got there and it was smiles all around and I got to hold her.  And there she was... my doodle. 

My parents left to get some sleep.  It was almost 2 am.  T crashed.  I just held and looked at my baby.  She ate and looked at me with her big eyes.  I was falling asleep while holding her and the nurses offered to hold her while I slept.  I said ok.  And I slept.

They moved us to a room about 5 am.  It was much smaller... and hot.  It would be home for the next 4 days.  I was released on Thursday morning, but Caroline had jaundice... and it would start 24 hours of pure torture for me.  We were finally released on Friday to go home.

We got home late that afternoon and I took a nap.  It would be a little more than 18 hours and we'd be back in the hospital.  This time for me.  Another 48 hours later, we would finally be home for good. 

And then in a blink of an eye, a whole year has passed. 

Happy Birthday, Caroline (my doodle)!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

James Louque Falcone

Baby Jay and Momma

One Year Ago...Part 1

One year ago today.... right about now (8:20 am), I was running late to make my doctor's appointment.  It was a Monday and my first day that I wasn't working.  I had the appointment, then I needed to go to the grocery store. 

I'd been feeling awful, but I was 9 months pregnant.  You're supposed to feel awful, right? Friday had been my last day at work.  I just simply couldn't do it anymore.  I made the 8:30 appointment thinking I was going to still be at work.  What a mistake... since I was now running late because I'd overslept.

I threw on the only thing left that I could wear - a black cotton dress that hit me at the shoulders.  I wedged my oh-so-swollen feet into my crocs.  I brushed my dirty hair back into a pony tail and off I went.

Got to the doctor's office.... went through the routine... got on the scale and cried a little... chatted with the nurse... tried to elevate my feet while waiting for the doctor so my cankles didn't get rolls.... The doctor finally came in.  She took my blood pressure again.... and through her sweet smile she said, "ok, you're having a baby today."

I stared at her.  "Excuse me?  I have errands to run."  Nope... change those plans... your blood pressure is too high... so you are having a baby today... in fact, you're going to the hospital right now. 

So I called T and said "it's time... she's sending me to the hosptial now."  Called Mom and Dad and Leslie with the same conversation 3 times.

I checked out of the doctor's office.  Ran into some people from our birthing class and chatted with them.  I walked slowly to my car.  It was almost surreal... I wasn't going home again without a baby.  Drove myself around the block to the hospital and valet parked.  Checked myself in and they were waiting for me.  The walked me right to my room and I changed into the gown.

I hadn't eaten breakfast and I was hungry.  Should I eat?  Can I eat?  They hooked up the pitocin and other stuff.  I turned on the tv and waited.  T got there and we waited some more.  Contractions came and went.  And then they came and came. I was trying to breathe through them, but I couldn't catch my breath.

I had decided that if I did anything, I'd do the epidural.  It was less impact on the baby.  And when I couldn't breathe and the contractions were coming so fast, I couldn't take it anymore.  I got to 6 cm with nothing... looking back, I think I kind of wussed out.  So it was time for the epidural.  That took an hour.

But I finally got some relief and I rested.  They made me lay on my side, which made my heartburn go through the roof.  I got cranky then.  I finally drifted off to sleep.  I don't know how long I was alseep.  Poor T was perched on a little stool right next to me the whole time. 

My boss came by to check on me.  I remember talking to her but not the details.  It was getting late, although I had no idea on the timeframe.  I just know the lights were more dim than when I got there.  My mom got there.  The doctor came by to check on me.  Apparently, I'd finally made it to 10 cm and it was time to push.

They readied the room.  My mom went to the waiting room.  T and I had agreed ahead of time that he'd stay up by my head and just cheer me on and help how he could.  The nurses had other plans.  Apparently it was a busy night and they were short handed.  The doctor told T to grab one of my legs.  A nurse took my other leg and so we began.

I pushed for at least an hour.  And I would make some progress, but not a lot.  Apparently the baby's head was stuck.  My bloodpressure was finally under control and the baby was fine, but no progress was being made.  I was worn out and the epidural was wearing off.  We took a break and discussed our options.

Little did I know, the doctor pulled T aside and said we should do the c-section and we need to make a decision soon on it.  I was ok then but they were still worried about my blood pressure.  He and I talked and we made the decision to do it.  I was so tired.  Mom came back in the room.

They redid my epidural and I was quickly relieved of the pain.  We had to wait for a room because they were both being used.  While we were waiting, Dad got there.

It was late... and the calendar clicked over to the 9th....

Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm baaaaaaack!

I know that I've been spotty with the posting the last month... but trips and funerals and party planning takes it toll on you.  Oh and there was that little thing called work that actually fills my days.

So in the coming week, I'll have a full party recap - right down to the ridiculous detail of Caroline's custom designed monogram on the menu cards.

But for now, the most important thing is the birth of my new nephew!  The Louque girls finally have a boy!!  James Louque Falcone (aka Baby Jay) was born today at 12:40 pm (Halifax time, of course).  He's 7lbs, 7 ozs and I don't have a length yet.  Momma is doing fine.  That's all the details I have right now.  When I have a picture, I'll definitely post it!