Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My First Call to 911, Christmas, Etc.

What a difference a day makes. Billie Holiday taught me that one. The truth of the matter is that a second can make a difference. A breath can make a difference. Boy, can it make a difference.

On the 17th, we got a call to pick Cullen up from school a little early. Since I had the following week off, I was completely fine with starting my break a little early. Cullen didn't really have a fever, but he wasn't acting like himself. We got home, and James headed back out to pick up some to-go dinner from Chili's.

I put Cullen in his high chair to get started on his dinner and walked across the kitchen to cut up some grilled chicken. As any mom knows, silence isn't that golden. It's usually a sign that something is very wrong. Cullen went completely silent and started shaking. Three seizures later, I had James headed back home with no dinner to take us to the hospital.

I was proud of myself for keeping it together while grabbing clothes for Cullen and his favorite toy to toss in the car. My hope was to have Cullen in the car seat and be waiting in the driveway when James pulled up. During my moment of togetherness, Cullen stopped breathing. His little face turned blue and his eyes rolled back in his head. And then I lost it.

I called 911. They put me on hold. On. Hold. Are you kidding me? When they finally answered the phone, they told me that it would be better if I just brought him to the hospital rather than sending an ambulance. Seriously? Why did I even call them? If I ever get shot, I'm skipping the phone call and getting in the car.

Luckily, James had the forethought to call the hospital and let them know we were on our way. After an excess of projectile vomit and more tests than I could count, they told us that Cullen had the flu. His fever got too high, too fast. No big deal. The doctor told me it was no big deal. Clearly, that guy doesn't have kids.

After a follow-up appointment with Cullen's pediatrician, we are looking at putting tubes into his tiny little ears. Cullen and I have a mother/son appointment with the ENT on New Year's Eve. Lucky us. We're hoping that stopping the ear infections will decrease the fevers and decrease the likelihood of repeat seizures. The nurse at the hospital asked if Cullen was our only child. She made me realize that I'm not strong enough to go through this again and again. Only time will tell.

We recovered from the drama of the seizures and packed our bags for South Carolina. Christmas was still coming, and we had plans. Cullen was a great sport about the long drive, and we made great progress. The trip there was split into two days so that we could stop to visit my grandmother. She had been in the hospital since October, and this was our first chance to actually visit since she was three states away.

The visit was incredibly tough, but I had no idea I would be so glad to have made it just two days later. Late on Christmas Eve, my grandmother passed away. Mammom was 87 years old and beautiful inside and out. She was tough and cheeky. She told it like it was. She made me cry. She taught me how to cook and how to knit. She taught me to value the priceless things in life. She taught me to be honest. She taught me the value of a hand-written note. Up until the very end, we exchanged snail mail letters every single week. I saved so many of them, and now I wish I had saved so many more. My life was blessed by her presence.

Christmas day was tough, because the adults in the house knew the sad news. Christmas day was beautiful, because the kids did not. There were toys everywhere and lots of laughter. Christmas is magical with children. My baby is a blessing. Truth be told, my life is full of blessings. Too many to count. I am one lucky girl. Below I have a picture of Cullen enjoying his Christmas lunch of ribs while still in his pajamas. That kid makes me laugh so much. And sometimes, I make him laugh.


Friday, December 17, 2010

I'll Be Home For Christmas

Maybe I won't be at my home for Christmas, and maybe it won't be my parents' home, but I will be with family. I think that's all that really matters. In just a few days, we'll be packing up the car and heading to South Carolina for Christmas at my brother's. I am SO excited, and I can't wait to get driving. I'm probably crazy to be so excited about a road trip with a toddler, but I'm sure it will be totally worth it!

I've completed all of my Christmas shopping. I've wrapped all the gifts. I'm almost done gifting anything that won't be gifted on Christmas day. I think I can officially enjoy what's left of the Christmas season. After one last day of work, I will have 9 glorious days with family and friends.

I hope everyone is making the most of their Christmas time and remembering the reason for the season.

xoxo Ashley

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sick of Being Sick

Cullen missed school every single day last week. It was frustrating to have to pay for something we weren't using, but such is life. At this point, he seems to be doing just fine, but he's really catching up on sleep. He has been sleeping 11-12 hours each night plus a couple of naps tossed in during the day. I love that he's such a good sleeper, but it's sad to see him go to bed so shortly after we get home each day.

Of course, James and I ran ourselves ragged while Cullen was out of school trying to keep up with our work. It was tough and exhausting, but we made it through the week. Now we just have to make it through the next week and a half, and we'll be to our Christmas break!

As seems to be the case in our house, James and I both got what Cullen was dealing with. For anyone who is keeping track, that's 4 weeks straight of illness in our house. My fingerprints are rubbing off from the use of bleach and cleaners. I feel crummy, and so does James, but we're both trying to keep it together through today and tomorrow. Then it will be the weekend, and we can pseudo-relax.

I hope everyone else is keeping their family safe and healthy. Christmas will be here before we know it!

xoxo Ashley

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thankful for Thanksgiving

 Thanksgiving was just a little bit busier than usual this year. We had lots of company, lots of food, and a running toddler. It was overwhelming to say the least, but we really enjoyed getting to spend the holiday with people we cared about it. And, of course, we got to eat a lot of good food. And who doesn't enjoy that?

After an incredibly busy Thanksgiving day and weekend, we got to kick back and relax on Sunday. Except we never relax. Pretty much ever. James' boss had given us free tickets to the Renaissance Festival, so we decided to check it out. It seems to be such a big deal each year and neither of us had ever been.

So we drive the long drive, we sit in traffic, and then we get there. All I wanted was a turkey leg, and I walked away realizing that a turkey leg, some life lessons, and a weak daiquiri were all I was going to get.

Life Lesson #1: We won't be attending the festival again. Never.
Life Lesson #2: Crotchless panties shouldn't be worn in public. I'm so glad Cullen isn't old enough to ask.
Life Lesson #3: There are some weird people in this world, and I've found their meeting place.
Life Lesson #4: Don't buy mixed drinks from someone wearing a princess hat.

I could go on all day, but I think #2 explains why I won't.

Needless to say, Cullen enjoyed some turkey leg. I call this one "Cullen leg and a turkey leg." His new habit is to lift his leg no matter what he's doing. Funny kid.
On a less positive note, Cullen HATED Santa. Let's hope things go better with the mall Santa. Can't wait. 
As if our day at the festival wasn't long enough, Cullen decided that the ride home would be a good time to throw up. Everywhere. Hours of cleaning later, the car is mostly scent-free, and Cullen seems to be on the mend. He's been home all week so far. Here's to hoping for a better tomorrow!

xoxo Ashley