Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Bit of a Tease

I'm under a major deadline at work all week so I don't have a whole lot of time to blog. I did, however, manage to download pics from the weekend last night. We also took quite a few more as last night was Family Treat Night at Baylor. Miss Tay had a fabulous time visiting one of the dorms, which was decked out in a Scooby Doo theme. She also made her own Scooby Snack on the roof :-)...

Here's a sneak peek at her costume. She got lots of compliments on it last night so she's now really excited about wearing it to our Fall Festival at church this evening. Lots of Halloween fun to be had this week.

I've also provided a look at my new hair color - those who know me well realize that it's just not fall until I fall back to my natural dark color so I guess it's officially here now, y'all!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In Which You Learn More Than You Ever Wanted

So I lied. I said I would downloads pics from the weekend last night but didn't. Blame it on all of the sinus medicine. Or the fact that it was time to take my acrylic nails off for a couple of days before getting a new set. Or the fact that I did a little additional hair coloring last evening. 

I do, however, have a treat (well, maybe) for you. I've seen this questionnaire floating around on several blogs recently and, because I have nothing else to blog about today (due to the lack of photos), I'm giving you a glimpse into my inner sanctum. Just remember, friends, that I never promised to be interesting. Only mildly entertaining.

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while your blogging?
I generally just enjoy iced tea or a Vanilla Diet Coke from Sonic. Sometimes a spot (or 12) of chocolate.
2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?
Hairspray. Did you expect anything less from me?

3. Beach, Mountains, or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?
Beach. Hands down.

4. What's your least favorite chore/household duty?

5. Who do people say you remind them of?
Um...I have no idea. Dave says Peggy Bundy but I don't think that's a compliment.

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying home with the fam?
Used to prefer parties and socializing but now I'm more of a stay at home kind of girl. That happened when I turned 30. Random, I know, but true.

7. What's your all time favorite movie?
I'm a huge fan of Grease. Grease 2 - not so much - just give me the original.

8. Do you sleep in your make-up or remove it like a good little girl every night?
I am the world's worst about taking my makeup off. Probably 90% of the time I wake up looking like a drag queen because I forgot to take it off. Again.

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?
So I used to be a pretty accomplished pianist. I can sing pretty well but don't do it in public a lot. I also have a near photographic memory, which is great when studying for a test but not necessarily when you need to actually retain information.

10. What's one strange thing you're really good at?
Spelling. Random, I know.

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?
He was the quintessential bad boy. And a cowboy, too. How could I resist? 

12. What is something you love to smell?
A good vanilla candle. And I mean a GOOD one. Not an imitation.

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.
The amount of time it takes me to get dressed, coiffed and put makeup on. It's a process that must not be deviated from, people!

14. When you have extra money, what's the first thing you think to do with it?
Go shopping.

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?
I come from a long line of loud laughers. And I do not disappoint in carrying on the family tradition. Nope, not one bit.

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Because I love to keep up with trends but am fairly cheap, I love Ross, Marshall's and Compass. If I'm looking for clothes for Tay I go to JCPenney and Dillard's if I'm looking for classics pieces for myself.

17. What's one thing you'd do more often if you had more time?
Relax and do nothing. Seems like I never stop these days.

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?
I go through phases - right now I'm being frugal. This, too, shall change...

19. Who is your favorite character of all time? 
Sandy from Grease - she just makes me smile!

20. Would you want to be famous?
Nope - from the looks of it, being famous turns normal people into crazy people. Ones who only hunger for more attention whether it's good OR bad. Not for me. Five years ago I would have wholeheartedly said 'yes' but my priorities have changed. And that's definitely a good thing.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Creepy Crawly Spiders

So it's Monday. And we had a really busy Homecoming weekend. Dave's finally recovering from H1N1 but is still very weak. Last week was, without sounding like I'm a whiner, exhausting with a sick hubby and a still rather dependent child. 

I now have the sinus junk that's going around. Today's better than yesterday because my sinuses aren't so full that my teeth hurt. We'll call that the good news.

The even better news is that I just scored this photo of the entire 4th grade class at Woodway Elementary. They're wearing spider web t-shirts that they made in school week before last. Aren't they cute?

Can you spot Tay? Hint: She's wearing a black shirt. And she's the only one with her arm in a sling.

Tonight I'll upload Fall Fest and Homecoming pics. So tomorrow should be prettier here in blogland. 

Until then, I'll be blowing my nose repeatedly.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Big Brother

One person who we don't talk about a lot on this blog is Tay's stepbrother, Logan. In fact, Tay also has a stepsister named Samantha. They live with their mom in a neighboring suburb of big ol' Waco and are quite a bit older than my little one (17 and 19 to be exact) so they are busy with their own work/school/extracurricular activities.

This past weekend, though, Logan came to hang out with us to celebrate Tay's birthday. Had had to work Saturday morning so he couldn't join us for the party but he did enjoy leftover pizza (and a LOT of it - teenage boys can put away some food!) and we enjoyed having him over.

One thing you need to know about Tay and Logan is that they fight like any normal brother and sister but they really like each other a lot too. Since they were in a loving mood (and Logan had just gotten all spiffed up to go on a date to the fair) I whipped out my camera to catch some sibling smiles.

Did I mention both have a propensity for goofiness?
Aren't they cute?
Tay loved having Logan over to play with (apparently she needs a break from us once in a while :-) and we are ecstatic to have pictures proving they love each other! Everyone wins...

Bring on the Birthday Party

Last Saturday, Tay invited several friends and our family over for a little birthday celebration. After altering our original plans to not include carnival rides, she chose to invite her three BFF's over for a pizza lunch and then we headed to the movies to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in 3D. 

It was a much smaller, low-key celebration than we generally have but I honestly think she's gotten to the age where she has certain really good friends with whom she wants to share these type of events. At least that's what I'm observing...the bottom line is that she had an absolute blast and that's all that matters :-)...

I offered to make her this fabulous 7-layer rainbow cake for her birthday. She declined but did request blue and green cupcakes. So the ones you see with green icing had blue cake and the ones with blue icing had green cake. Snazzy, huh?

Miss Aija (above) and Miss Morgan (below)

Cayla was visiting her dad last weekend so she couldn't attend...

Since she'd gotten her iPod Touch earlier in the week, she didn't get a gift at her party from us. She was so excited about the Webkinz and Littlest Pet Shop additions to her collection, though. This kid LOVES animals!

At the movies sportin' 3D glasses. This was taken just before they all dug into giant movie pickles. Oh, to be 10 years old again...

An Entire Decade

UPDATE: Dave does indeed have H1N1 and will be out of work (since he works in the NICU) for at least a week. He also got pulled over while telling me this because he was talking on his cell in a school zone. Thankfully, he only got a warning. October is usually one of my favorite months because it's Tay's birthday month but right now I sort of feel like crying... But, seriously, there are so many who have bigger issues that I need to just buck up and be a big girl so I'm now ending my pity party.

My precious, recently operated upon, baby girl celebrated her first decade of life last Monday. 

What type of mother would I be not to capture photos of her on that very special day?

Well, I'm not exactly sure but the words busy, frantic, exhausted, barely functioning on caffeine and overwhelmed come to mind. Coincidentally, that's how I would describe myself this month (originally I thought it was just a rough week but we're not staring down the barrel of Dave having H1N1 so I'm going with month) so it comes as no surprise that I actually almost let Tay's birthday slip by without photographic evidence.

That explains why she is in bed (the extra bed actually - it's not as high so it's easier for her with the bad arm) when these were taken. Yes, I had tucked the child in and then had to go back in and get her up.

A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.

Now please enjoy these pictures while I get a refill on my Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Isn't she beautiful? I think so too!

Will the person who taught the child this lip move please step forward? Admission of your sin may make me take it easier on you. Probably not but it's worth a try...
These were taken the day before her birthday with her present from me and Dave, Nana and Boppy, and Maw Maw. What 10-year-old doesn't need an iPod Touch? :-)
Yes, cheesiness does run in the family...and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dart Throwing Diva

On Monday, Tay's 10th birthday, we took our annual family trip to the Heart of Texas Fair & Rodeo. Our original plan for her party (which is tomorrow) was to gather her three closest girlfriends, buy them all wristbands at the fair, and let the girls enjoy the rides all day Saturday before enjoying the rodeo finals that night.

Needless to say, that plan went by the wayside right about the time she had surgery to repair her broken elbow two weeks ago. Her ability to ride any of the rides during our trip this week also went by the wayside but, in true Taylor fashion, she didn't let it bother her and found a new way to entertain herself.

She is apparently a dart throwing diva, my friends. She won three stuffed animals and a guitar (yes, that's right, a guitar) by flinging darts with her non-dominant hand. As I said on Facebook, heaven help her future husband. I mean, seriously, he should stay on her good side!

Anyway, after winning the first stuffed animal (a bear made out of material with money imprinted on him who she named Dollar), we stopped by to see a few of the animals there for the livestock show. 

Then she threw some more darts and won a bumblebee. She also played a duck game where she won a fish. She then made her first attempt at winning a guitar. This was much harder than the others as you had to throw your dart directly in the center of a star. The middle was orange and you had to be in the orange area (and they were sticklers, let me tell you) to win a prize.

First attempt was unsuccessful so we headed over to the rodeo...

...where we enjoyed the clowns a great deal. Tay has obviously been hanging out with Dave too much because she wasn't all that interested in the activities not involving bulls. Go figure, right?

We made it through team roping, single roping, steer wrestling, mutton busting, saddle bronc and bare back before she decided waiting around for the main event was just taking too long. It was lots of fun, though.

Next we headed outside for some food. Tay chose Chic-fil-a, I chose a Vitek's gut pack (which I'd never before sampled but will be doing again SOON) and Dave continued his pre-rodeo dinner of Miller Lite.

This is when Tay informed me she'd like to spend her remaining money playing the dart game where the prizes were guitars again. Against my better judgment, I agreed. And then began praying she would be successful because, let's face it, it's not all that great to be 10 and not be able to ride a single stinkin' ride.

On the VERY LAST dart of the evening, Miss Thang achieved success. 

Yes, it's a small guitar, but it's actually the perfect size when trying to play with a broken arm.

After picking up a snow cone for dessert, our last stop of the evening was the petting zoo. As you know, Tay absolutely adores animals so getting up close and personal with them was a treat. There was even a kangaroo!

And there you have it - a birthday trip to the fair. Tomorrow we're hosting friends and family at our house for pizza amd cake before heading to see Cloud with a Chance of Meatballs in 3D. I'm sure we'll have lots of pictures from that adventure (anything involving four 'tween girls is classified as an adventure, friends) to share with you next week.

Until then, go Bears - beat Iowa State! 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Imparting Baylor Wisdom...

One of the best things about being back at Baylor - as an employee - is the opportunity to interact with our students. They are, after all, the entire reason we're here. Why we do what we do. And, as some might say, are our bread and butter.

During the first six weeks of the fall semester we now have a class called University 1000 where faculty/executive staff have a chance to facilitate discussions with a group of freshmen about non-academic issues. Things like friendship and what role it plays in your college experience, the value of integrity, etc.

While I did facilitate a class last fall, I must go ahead and tell you that this fall's class was absolutely amazing. This group came ready to interact each and every week. They had insight well beyond their years. And, quite frankly, they were just so much stinkin' fun to be around I could hardly stand myself.

For our last class, which actually was held on Tay's fateful accident day, I asked the group to meet me at the Judge Baylor statue in the middle of campus for a group photo. While I'm rather certain it was not the first of its kind for many in my group (had lots of legacies), I do know these are photos I will treasure for a lifetime.

They are a fabulous group. See?

I will never forget the discussions we had during our visits together. And, no, I don't think the candy I brought each week was the reason they were so willing to chat about deep topics. :-)

Sic 'em, Class of 2013!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Week of Recuperation

Last week was rather interesting, to say the least, as we tried to figure out a new normal for Taylor. We are so fortunate that this is a temporary setback but remember we're dealing with a 'tween so a few moments of drama were certain to arrive :-)

Overall, though, she did tremendously well. This cheesy grinning girl (she was on pain meds when this was taken, y'all, cut her some slack) has not complained AT ALL and has been such a sweetheart throughout this entire process.

On Tuesday, a special delivery from Tay's dad arrived. She was thrilled to get these beautiful flowers - they certainly brightened her day!

Boppy also came for a visit on Tuesday (did I mention we all basically just caught up on sleep Monday?) and brought white roses along for the ride. Aren't they beautiful?

Nana and Boppy also brought a cute stuffed kitty and a plush dog to the hospital. She named them Muffin and Gilbert (after my parents' animals) and they kept her company while she was inpatient.
This was the name tag waiting in her room that her sweet nurses made upon admission. She thought it was really cool of them to do that and insisted we bring it home. We, of course, obliged.

On Wednesday afternoon a sweet surprise arrived on our doorstep as Aunt Erica, Uncle Ben, Aadin, Nanna and Paw Paw sent her some awesomely delicious cookies. They are one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth. And that's saying something because, as you know, I'm a fan of food. Particularly sweet ones.

We had lunch with Davey on Wednesday as well. Tay and I both needed to get out of the house and the hospital was hosting a book fair so it was the perfect excuse for the little one to get a couple of new books. And a screaming chimpanzee who flies through the air. You turn your back for a split second and something like that ends up on the pile, right?

It is hilarious, though.

Thursday morning brought another surprise as Nanna dropped off a High School Musical 3 bear who had been made and decked out at Build-a-Bear. It is adorable and kept her company on the couch for the rest of the week.

We also made a trip to Wal-Mart for groceries that day to help Tay continue to build stamina. It was highly successful and then we all took yet another nap that afternoon. It's amazing how long it takes your body to recover from lack of sleep and then getting up around the clock to give pain meds.

Friday was cold and rainy and rather lazy for the Bowers' household. Dave made chicken 'n dumplings (Tay had been asking for them and we were going to pick up the ingredients the night she was injured) so we ate those all day and just chilled. It was awesome :-)

Saturday morning we met Nana and Boppy for breakfast at IHOP, purchased Tay's birthday present (an iPod Touch that had a short in it and had to be exchanged on Sunday), and watched the Toy Story double feature in 3D at Galaxy 16. It was super fun and was a good way to get the little one out for a while.

Tay and I had very good intentions of going to church Sunday morning but just didn't make it. We, instead, baked candy brownies for both daycare and her 4th grade class for her birthday, exchanged her iPod Touch, downloaded lots of songs and a couple of videos onto it, caught up on laundry, cooked dinner and I finally got back into workout mode.

So there it is - Miss Thang's full week of recuperation :-)...

Thank you for all of the prayers, kind thoughts, emails, Facebook messages, etc. After my initial breakdown on Friday evening upon learning she needed surgery, I felt nothing but a sense of peace for the remainder of the week. There's no doubt in my mind this was directly caused by all of the prayers lifted up for our family and I truly can't thank you enough.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tay's Hospital Stay

So I've already told you about Miss Taylor's hospital stay...but here is the photographic evidence :-)

She slept like this - completely OUT - for hours. With her leg propped up and her hand up so cute by her face.

She had a great birthday yesterday with her friends at daycare. We took her to the HOT Fair last night for a little celebration and she went back to school today. At lunchtime I picked her up and took her to a follow-up appointment with the surgeon.

We didn't see the doc who performed her surgery and I was seriously less than impressed with this one...but that's another story. The good news is that her x-ray looks great, the break is healing and she's now just in an Ace wrap and sling for the next four weeks. Just like her surgeon told us she would be...of course, that's after I had to have a firm discussion with the one she saw today who wanted to put her in a full arm cast.

It was stressful and I truly almost lost it a couple of times but I'm choosing to focus on the fact that she is doing well, she did not end up with a cast and we're moving forward in this little adventure.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Monday, October 12, 2009

To My Daughter On Her Birthday


I've been kind of dreading this day for a few months as it marks a milestone for you - measuring our age in double digits! It's just further proof that my baby is growing up way too fast and that time is indeed precious. 

What I did not anticipate is that only 10 days before your 10th birthday, you would have been admitted to the hospital for your first (and hopefully last) major surgery. I would be lying to you, baby girl, if I said that experience didn't rock my world. But, thanks to the grace of God, it was rocked in a positive way.

You see, as your mom, I know you're one of the most kind-hearted, compassionate little girls around. You hurt for your friends when they're sad, have never met an animal you didn't like, and always make time for your own Puppy Posse. You never fail to stop and give someone a hug when you see them crying and always tell me 'I love you' at least 5 times a day. You still want to be tucked in at night, request multiple hugs throughout the day and only wanted 'Mommy' when you were in the hospital and at home last week while you recovered from surgery.

And did I mention that you're funny? Because you totally crack me up each and every day. Many times. You're bright and smart and think about things in ways that totally baffle me. You're very mature for your age and almost always have a smile on your face. (Those 'tween hormones are rough but they don't get you down too often.)

What I did not realize is how tough you are, my dear. When we picked you up from PNO and your arm was broken much worse than we ever dreamed, you just wanted to go home and go to sleep. You wouldn't accept pain meds in the ER and we had to make you take them at 2am so you could rest before surgery the next day. That means you went 5.5 hours with NOTHING to help you get more comfortable - everyone was amazed!

You were anxious and scared going into surgery but you never complained. You just wanted it over with (and can I just tell you that we did too?) so you could move on with your precious little life. You didn't need a lick of morphine after surgery (the nurse said this NEVER happens) and went straight to oral meds. You did your post-op breathing exercises like a champ and everyone taking care of you was again amazed with your progress.

You've not complained once about this situation - not even about being unable to get back in the gym until January. While it broke my heart to watch you hurt, little one, it seems to have barely been a blip on the radar for you and, as I type this, you're celebrating your birthday with your friends at Play & Learn.

I love you, Bugga, and can't imagine life without you. On this, the mark of your first decade on Earth, know that we love you unconditionally, will always be here for you, and continually learn from you. Each and every day.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What a Weekend!

As some of you already know, we had an very unexpectedly busy weekend. Dave and I received a call from Tay's gymnastics coach about 45 minutes after we dropped her off for Parent's Night Out last Friday. Tony said she'd twisted her elbow while on the uneven bars and then fell, landing on the same arm she'd twisted.

We picked her up and it was immediately apparent something was very wrong with her arm. The elbow joint was crazy swollen and was filled with fluid. She refused to move it and was carrying it with her opposite arm.

Mom's intuition kicked in and I just knew we HAD to head to the ER. It was Friday night and we knew it'd be a long wait but something just wasn't right. We got to the hospital about 7:45pm and finally got called back 2 hours later. After seeing a PA, who ordered x-rays (during which she SCREAMED - this just reconfirmed that something bad was up), we waited around for another 1.5 hours before he came back to let us know the verdict.

It was broken. Badly. She was instructed not to move it at all - like that was going to happen anyway - while we waited for the trauma/orthopedic surgeon who'd been called in. I'd been chatting with my mom back and forth during this entire ordeal. She and my stepdad decided to head up after hearing ortho had been called in.

Did I mention the ER was crazy busy on Friday? We had a really good experience considering the traffic volume and saw the surgeon in only 30 minutes. He was very nice and we like him a lot even though we weren't crazy about what he had to say. You see, Tay's elbow was broken approximately 1 inch above the actual joint. The bone was broken in two and was unstable.

Surgery would be required to fix it. She would be admitted immediately and would have surgery on Saturday morning. WHAT?!?! This is what I was screaming in my mind. And my man, who has worked in healthcare for 23 years and is never surprised by anything that happens in this arena, lost all of the color in his face and was absolutely shocked. Me? Well, I stood behind my crying child, stroked her hair and began crying myself.

Dave let my parents, who were getting the little one some food from McDonald's since she got hurt before they ate at PNO, know what was going on and they raced to the ER so she could eat before going NPO after midnight. Then he took my quickly scribbled list and went home to gather our necessities.

A tech came in to put a splint on Tay's arm and brought her a teddy bear, who Tay named Ace, who also had a splint on his right arm. We smuggled her food into the room in my purse and sat back waiting for a room.

I'm really not sure what time we got to the room but I think it was about 1am. She had to get an IV put in, which went surprisingly well, and then she kicked Dave and my stepdad out of the room after getting a bit of morphine.

On a side note: this kid is TOUGH. She refused pain meds until we told the nurse to give them to her at 2am because she was really anxious and scared. We needed her to sleep so it seemed like the logical solution. My mom sang her to sleep and we spent our first night in the hospital.

Neither Dave nor I slept more than 30 minutes so Saturday was a really long day. They came to get her for surgery about 9am and we were all able to go with her all the way to the OR. Her surgeon chatted with us before taking her back and said, after consulting with a pediatric specialist, that he'd decided to just put a plate in her arm as it would be more stable and would heal faster.

We were fine with whatever he thought was best but I must admit to being really upset about the 6-inch scar on her arm. I've since gotten over that and just decided to buy stock in Mederma. I might suggest that you do as well if you're looking for a sound investment. :-)

She came through surgery with flying colors, came out of the anesthesia with no issues at all (thank you, Jesus!) and spent most of Saturday sleeping it off. Which was just fine with me! Late that evening she woke up and wanted to watch Baylor play football (what can I say - the girl has her priorities straight), walked the halls several times and began eating again.

Every doctor, nurse and tech we had was absolutely phenomenal and we could not have had a better experience. We are incredibly blessed to have been discharged Sunday morning and will be following up with her doc on October 13, the day after her birthday. She can't return to school until next week and won't let me out of her sight so it looks like I'll be working from home for the duration.

If I'm being honest, I have to tell you I was really upset on Friday evening. This was my baby. She was going to be cut on. Her birthday was 10 days away. She just wanted to go home and go to sleep, for crying out loud!

But you know what? As I stared at her in that hospital bed with tears streaming down my face, I thought of my friends who are watching their kids battle cancer and others who said goodbye to their children this year and won't see them until Jesus comes again. In that moment, I realized how superficial and silly I was being.

Those parents would do anything to nurse their child through a broken elbow that required surgery. So I have decided to simply be thankful that I have the opportunity.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Long and the Short Of It

Like this picture?

I think it's fabulous - they call it "The Long and the Short of It."

On the left you'll find Brittney Griner, who is 6'8" tall and is the newest Lady Bear. Her arrival has been highly anticipated as she is a 4-star recruit, was one of the top (if not the actual top) recruits in the nation, and did I mention she can dunk?

Oh yes, my friends, a female dunker. Awesome!

On the right you'll find one of her teammates. I'm not sure what her name it but do know that she's 5'6" tall (not 4'2" like I originally thought when seeing this photo).

Does that lend a little perspective? :-)

Sic 'em!