Saturday, June 29, 2013

Chloe's Test

Yesterday Chloe had an upper endoscopy done at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. I think I blogged about her symptoms earlier, but here's a short recap - ferocious reflux...as in throwing up whole carrots and other foods several hours after a meal, breath always smelling like vomit, and most recently pain associated with this. 
Upon arrival to the pre-op area, Chloe was quickly taken back to a room and had all of her vital signs and measurements done. The doctor came in to go over the procedure and then the anesthesia docs followed suit. During most of this, Chloe was a mess of tears and begging to go home. 
Next came the child life specialist who went through everything with Chloe on her level and showed her pictures on her iPad of what everything would look like. Then she let Chloe pick out a coloring book to keep and some markers to use. Next her nurse came in and told Chloe she could color on the sheets! WHAT?!? So naturally, David and I started writing on the sheets and Chloe joined in. 
She was finally settling down...until she had to pee and I made her put her gown on in the restroom. She was so mad and started crying again because she said the gown was too ugly to wear! Haha!!! I had to fight to get it on her and assure her that the gown was a pretty color and all of the kids HAD to wear one. She finally put it on but was not happy about it at all and told me I could NOT take pictures of her. 
When it came time for her to go to the operating room, the surgical nurse gave Chloe a piggy back ride to the OR and that was it. She didn't look back for us, she was content to go with her and I was relieved...until we made our way to the waiting room where my nerves set in. I wasn't worried about her procedure, but about her being afraid before they got her put to sleep. I just couldn't bear the thought of her crying and wanting mommy and me not being there. UGH! 
Thirty minutes later though the doctor came in and told us that she was done. She took 4 biopsies to check for Eosinophilic Esophagitis but she said that the esophagus, stomach and small intestine didn't appear to have any damage to it. We will have definitive answers when we get back from our trip and will get our plan of care. It may be as simple as a dietary change or a change of medicine. 
So glad it is over and done with and Chloe is too!!! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's Officially Been ONE Month

Summer break has been in full swing for a full month now. In keeping up with documenting our weeks, here is what we have been up to for week 4.
I watched my friend Tracy's little girl every day this week. Her name is Kayla and she and Chloe are both 6 years old. They were at the same school this year, but had different Kindergarten teachers. The girls became friends when Tracy and I realized that we were both getting the same breast cancer treatment (Herceptin) at Vanderbilt and we had the same doctors and chemo nurse. We became instant friends and our girls did too.

So on Monday, I took the kids to my CrossFit gym with me and then because they were so well behaved there, we also went to Chick-fil-A for lunch and play time.
On Tuesday, I took the kids to Kids In Play. Brody's best friend, Carter, met us there so everyone had a friend to play with. We stayed for a few hours and then headed home to play some more.
Wednesday came and instead of making the kids sit through another CrossFit workout, I got up and went to the 0530 one and then took the kids to the free summer movie. We saw Mr. Popper's Penguins. It was cute and I think they all enjoyed it.
On Thursday I took the kids to wash the car, meet a friend at Starbucks for a quick Summer Refresher (my fave is Berry Hibiscus sub lemonade). I got some great time in with my dear friend Linda while the kids played on their iPads. Afterwards, I took them to the yogurt shop, Berry Bear for a treat. Then we went back to Kayla's house and the kids played while Tracy and I chatted.
On Friday, we did the summer reading program at the Library, went to Target and then met Tracy at Panera for lunch and to hand off Kayla.

It has been the best week. Kayla and Chloe really get along so well and are both such well behaved and just good little girls. Because of them, I have sang and danced to Taylor Swift more this week than ever. Those girls LOVE Taylor Swift!!! I see concert tickets in the future for them. Next week they are going to a camp together called Kids In The Kitchen and they are excited about that.

Brody and I have a busy week planned next week too as I get ready to pack and leave for Ethiopia. I will update again next week but just know there is a LOT on the calendar that isn't necessarily fun so I am going to have to come up with some fun little things to squeeze in for Brody.




Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer Break - Week 3

So we have just finished up the third full week of summer break...and technically it's not even summer for 4 more days. Anywho, it was a pretty laid back week that went on forever and ever. Very slowwwwww.
Chloe was in Outdoor Living camp at the YMCA this week. She learned to build a fire (well, stack the wood for a fire), shoot a bow and arrow, and she made a peanut bird feeder. She also got to swim every afternoon. She seemed to enjoy it but I don't think outdoor living is really her thing. Haha! On Thursday she asked not to go and I didn't make her and instead I took her and Brody to the summer movie program at the mall. We watched Hotel Transylvania with every other child in Clarksville who's parents are trying to find something to do. It was fun and a good deal. For $12, we got 3 movie tickets, 3 kiddie popcorns, 3 fruit snacks and 3 small drinks. Normally that would be somewhere around $50.

Other notable things we did this week were:
* Chloe and Brody had play dates with their sibling friends Zoe and Lawson. All went really well...until I heard a loud crash and then Brody and Lawson both yelled "That was awesome!!!" I didn't hear crying so I didn't even go see what was so awesome. They're boys so 'nuff said.
* Brody and I went to Liberty Park one morning and played
* I went to CrossFit 3 mornings
* Chloe won Camper of the Week - yay!!!


This coming week should be interesting as it will be the first full week that both kids are home all day long together. We have things planned though and I will definitely be busy getting packed and ready for our trip to Ethiopia.




Chloe's letter to her tooth fairy, Flossie. She literally LOST her tooth...


One of the views from Liberty Park which is on the Cumberland River




Brody has been trying all summer to climb up on this thing and he finally devised a way to do so. The only problem now is him getting down alone....


Superman....

Put the boy to work watering the garden.


Check out all these shoes that will bless the people in Ethiopia in just 14 days!!!!

Summer -Week 2- Still Surviving the Break

This week was awesome. Both kids were in Vacation Bible School every day from 8:45-12:30 and both of them had a fantastic time. I was curious about Brody because things always seem great to him until it's time to actually do them. However, on Monday morning, before the kid even came out of his room, he had gotten himself dressed and was ready to go...at 7:30. He was PUMPED! Chloe was happy to go too, but she is happy to go anywhere at anytime on any day. The theme of VBS this year was Colossal Coaster World and they learned all about Paul. It was so incredibly sweet to hear my kids get so excited to tell me about Paul that they actually argued about who would tell me first. This kind of fighting is awesome since they are fighting for a good reason. Haha!

Besides VBS though, on Tuesday I took the kids swimming after I picked them up. I kept it as a surprise so they were thrilled when we pulled into the pool parking lot and grabbed their bags and swim gear out of the trunk. We stayed for several hours and made it a fun afternoon. Brody had two of his school friends show up so he didn't want to leave even when we had to. Usually it's Chloe having the friends there but this time she hung with me in the pool and Brody played with Benton and Trenton by himself.

After VBS on Wednesday, we had a birthday party to attend. Brody's friend, Braxton, turned 4 so we went to Kids In Play to celebrate with him. Braxton is my best friend Erin's youngest son. She and I have been friends for 6.5 years now and she is the one who has the son, Kirk, who Chloe is super close friends with. Actually, had it not been for Kirk and Chloe, she and I wouldn't have met as we met at a mom's group when they were still only months old.

Thursday night the kids put on their VBS program for the parents. Last year, Brody refused to sing in it or even get close to the stage so I prepared myself for that to happen again. HOWEVER, he surprised me once again and got right up on stage, sang, did the sign language, and this mama's heart could NOT have been any more full than it was in those moments. WOW! And Chloe...my heart overflowed watching her. She is so dramatic when she uses sign language in the songs and it is beautiful to watch. Super proud of both of my kiddos. After the program they were both excited to show us their rooms where they had been learning all week so we took off and explored those with them and talked to the teachers for a bit. Both of their leaders told me that Chloe and Brody were the most well behaved kids and they had such sweet and kind hearts. Chloe's teacher went on to tell me that she is so respectful and caring and obedient. At this point, my heart was about to bust because that is all we really want...our kids to have good character and emulate Jesus.

Then on Friday we surprised the kids with an overnight trip to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Mammoth Cave is the largest cave system in the entire WORLD. There are over 400 miles of this cave!!! We spend Friday night in Bowling Green just shopping around and then playing in the hotel pool. Saturday morning we woke up early, had breakfast and headed to the cave. We took the New Entrance Tour which was about 2 hours long. The kids did awesome and had very few complaints. We climbed about 250-300 feet underground and then toured through about 3/4 mile worth of the cave. It was absolutely stunning! It was a little chilly, and it was a little taxing on the legs climbing so much, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. As a matter of fact, David and I are going to find a sitter to stay with the kids overnight sometime and we plan to go back and do the 4-5 hour tour. We ended up getting home Saturday evening and were spent. Kids fell asleep relatively quickly and early...and so did I.

Now for the pictures of our time at the cave.

This is looking down further in the cave




The Niagara Falls portion of the cave. It really was gorgeous - pictures do it no justice

And because I asked the tour guide to snap a family pic, I'm posting it even though it the quality is crappy. Oh well...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer Break - Week 1 (full week)

This week was a fun one for sure. On Monday, which was Memorial Day, David and I took the kids to their first minor league baseball game. We saw the Nashville Sounds play against Albuquerque. Let's just say it was quite an experience. Chloe was fascinated and asked 8 billion questions and read the program to find each player who was up to bat so she could know their life story. Ha! Brody was less than interested and into the second inning asked "has the game started yet?" He only cared about cotton candy, slushies, and hot dogs. Haha! Never mind that it was 90 degrees and we were sitting in full sun. I admit it was kind of miserable in the heat, but our seats were great...right along the first base line and only 3 rows back. It definitely made me miss the games that David and I used to go to when we were dating and first married. We lived in Columbus, OH so it was nothing to drive to watch the Cincinnati Reds play. We also were very into the Columbus Crew professional soccer team and had season tickets to them. Those were some fun times and I hope to replicate those with our kids when they get a little bit older.

funnel cakes and cotton candy for the game




Tuesday thru Friday, Chloe was at the Austin Peay University Soccer Camp. She went every day from 8:30-3:00 and had a blast. She worked on drills, skills, and then played a 3 on 3 game at the end of each day. They also had a chance to swim for an hour each day which she really liked. The big games were today though. It was tournament style and her little 4 on 4 team made it to the final game...and then lost by one goal. We will for sure be attending this camp again if she is still as into soccer next summer as she has been for the past few years.
While Chloe was at camp, this week, I took Brody swimming, to the library, to run errands, and then we just spent some time at home playing and watching movies. We had a great time this week and he was such a good boy. Up next week is VBS for both kids. They are excited about that.

last day of camp. Go Chloe in your Hello Kitty soccer socks!!!



Austin Peay University Soccer! Go Govs...


if you look at the kid on the front row with the socks over her knees looking left, go up a row and there is a red head kid. Go up another row and directly behind her is Chloe.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Sweet Deal

Check out this awesomely (is that a word?) sweet deal! I have 3 of these large utility totes and use them for hauling groceries in the house, taking things to the soccer field, taking things up and down the stairs in my home, storing my craft supplies, hauling laundry around to be put away etc... Seriously don't know how I ever lived without one...or three. Ha!
For the month of June, these large utility totes are only $10 if you spend $35. And this is for EACH $35 you spend. You can obviously choose any pattern, but you may want to take note that this cute flip flop (fun flops) print will not be available for this tote after June. How adorable would this be at the beach or pool? PERFECT!!!

Go to My website and you can place your order easily! And if you have any questions, email me at kellyblevins04@yahoo.com.