Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nick Nack

I thought since August is ending I should write my birthday, bragging post about Nick since his birthday month will soon be over.

Wow, where do I start with our bouncy Nick? Nick truly was and still is a bouncing baby boy. The child has not stopped moving since conception and he brightens my day, every day, with his contagious smile. He kicked and moved so much in the womb that I have a spot just above my rib cage that is still numb to this day.

Nick decided when I was 6 months pregnant he was tired of the womb and was ready to see the world. I was placed on medication to stop the early contractions. I wasn't placed on bed rest, but I did have to alter my regular schedule a bit to make sure I didn't do anything that would push me into full labor. We were so excited to have a little boy since we already had a little girl... it was the complete package.

I kept him in as long as I could and finally at 37 weeks Nick could wait no longer. I was taken to the hospital and placed on a fetal monitor and was given medication again to try to stop the labor.

We continued this process for over 12 hours until they finally said "Let's go ahead and allow this baby to come." Seriously? We couldn't have come to this decision 12 hours ago? Once the decision had been made they placed me on Pitocin and broke my water...I mean if we were going to do this, then lets really get things going right? So my body went from no, no, no... lets wait a bit longer to go, go go... faster, faster, faster. It was fantastic!

I went into labor late on July 30th and he was born at 1:54am on August 1st, which also happens to be Greg's birthday and my birthday. Nick was the best birthday gift we have ever been given. Greg's mom called the local paper and presto we were instant celebrities in our community.

He was 3 weeks early but you wouldn't know it by looking at his cute little pudgy cheeks. Daddy bought him a Winnie the Pooh outfit to wear home from the hospital and I believe that was the cause of a very long period of loving Pooh. For some reason I called him Pookie... it just came out. Pookie then turned into Pook, which then turned into Dukie and now we call him Duke. Poor child, he has always answered to them all though.

Nick was a happy baby. He loved to smile and laugh..............

I remember walking into his room at night while he was sleeping and watching him sleep. Sometimes I would pick him up and hold him too. I loved it. Nick loved music, and still does to this day. He loved to be sang to and we sang to him a lot. His favorite song was Wee Willy Winky. He liked it best when his sister would sing it to him.

He especially loved his big sister. Oh how he loved his big sister......

He loved his sister from day one... she would sing to him and tickle him and make him smile and laugh all day long. Here is a video of her including him in her birthday tea party.

He still loves his sister very much... you won't find them cuddling with their arms around one another too much anymore, but they do love one another which pleases Greg and I to no end.

We found out at an early age Nick did not like his mother being taken for granted. It upset him if anyone referred to me as their slave.

Nick loved Batman and Superman. He called them Bat-a-hane and Super-hane. He would wear his cape everywhere including the grocery. He also had batman and superman figures he would carry everywhere with him just in case there was time to play while waiting at restaurants and such.

He also LOVED Pooh Bear aka Poof. We had several Poofs and we watched many, many hours of The Many Adventure's of Winnie the Pooh. I secretly loved every second of it because 1. My baby would sit on the couch with me and cuddle, and 2. I loved Pooh too and it gave me a legit reason to watch him. :)

Nick loved Cars (ca cars) and trains (yain yains) just like all other little boys. He would play for hours with his little Hot Wheels from the early age of 15 months. He would drive them very slowly on couches, carpet, tile and even mommy's legs and arms when needed. He also loved Brio Trains. He had a complete Brio Christmas one year and was able to stretch built train tracks all over our house.. he was in heaven.

Here is a small video of Nick playing with his ca cars.

Nick had his own language that only those close to him could understand. Leslie was the only person who completely understood him and she would translate often. Bread was piece of nah.... spoon was was pepem.....and the list goes on and on. I remember our first Halloween in our current home. We carved pumpkins and Nick was so incredibly grossed out by the pumpkin guts that he spent the entire time running around us saying "Is it ewww mama? Is it eww?" Here is a video....

When Leslie started Kindergarten, Nick and I had a couple years to hang out together just as Les and I had prior to Nick arriving. The only difference was Nick missed Leslie and couldn't wait for her to come home from school. Sometimes he would venture into her room and get into some of her things without me knowing......

Nick has been such a joy to be around from the day he was born. He always has a huge smile on his face and his goal is to make everyone laugh. Nick is shy, and at first may be quiet and sit off to the side a bit until he gets to know you... then he will be the life of the party.

Nick is smart, sweet and has the biggest heart of any 14 year old boy I know. He is creative, funny and genuinely cares about every one's feelings including all our animals. He is sensitive and he loves babies; he is going to be a wonderful husband for one lucky girl someday. :) Nick always has a hug to give and I have never made dinner for the young man without him saying "thank you mommy, that was really good."

I thank God every night for Nick when I go to bed. Nick keeps me on the lighter side of life. Just when I start to get too serious Nick bounces into the room with a smile to say "Yea, what now mommy?" He is a breath of fresh air when my day becomes stagnant and I love him more than words could ever express. Happy 14th Birthday my sweet Nick Nack.

Our first pre-school field trip

Looking super cute on his 5th birthday at the pool ( I am a tad biased I know)

This is how Nick would smile for the longest time.

I loved this outfit on him..

Nick being Nick

Monday, August 24, 2009

McGuffey Lane, cook outs and parades.

Friday night I attended a McGuffey Lane concert at the Fraze with my family and good friend Linda. It was fantastic. I grew up listening to McGuffey Lane albums (picture above) with my mom; she and my dad loved McGuffey Lane. My parents would see the band when they came into town as often as they could and my mom taught me a dance to one of their songs when I was in 7th grade.

McGuffey Lane originated in Columbus but traveled around nearby cities to play as well. My dad said when they played at the local bars the line would be so long that they had to wait for people to leave before more could enter due to fire codes.

The concert was great and I wish I would have taken my camera so I could show you some clips of their songs. 3 of the band members have passed on but you would never know it by listening to them sing. They brought back 3 of the original members and they did a great job performing. This was their first time at the Fraze and I think they were surprised by the number of fans who came out to see them; they nearly packed the place.

My 4 year old niece Maya wanted to come along too. She was excited to attend an "anadult" (adult) concert. :) She has listened to McGuffey Lane with my brother so she knew some of their songs. She was such a good girl and she truly enjoyed the concert. At the end she brought out the rock star in her and sat on my shoulders waving my cell phone from side to side. She was a lot of fun.

Here is a clip of them singing one of my favorite songs. (click here)They don't sound nearly as good as they did Friday night. They brought back the rest of the original members for the Fraze. We hope to attend their concert again if they happen to come back to the Fraze next year.

The next evening my dad invited everyone over for a cook out. He has worked really hard on his deck and landscaping recently so he decided to have everyone over so we could all enjoy it. He smoked ribs, chicken, beef brisket and pork tenderloin in his smoker. It was soooooo good. He also made baked potatoes, smoked baked beans, pasta salad, brownies and Culver's custard for dessert. My grandma made her yummy fruit salad too. It was a good eating.

As dinner was winding down my dad told us all to stay on the deck and get ready for the parade. We all wondered what he was up to; you never know with my dad. He and Maya disappeared for a while and then reappeared driving my dad's riding mower through the back yard gate..... here is the video.

My dad never ceases to amaze and surprise us; he loves to do this kind of stuff. He mails the kids cards all the time with a picture of his face cut out pasted in the return address spot on the envelope and typically there is something creative inside the card as well.

I cannot tell you how many times my dad has surprised us with gifts, nice cards and letters out of the blue for no reason at all. He is awesome and I love him very much. Not just because he gives us gifts, but because he is the best father any daughter could ask for. He has such a big heart and he loves to show his family how much they mean to him. I only hope he knows how much he means to us.

After the parade my dad turned on the hot tub and he and Nick sat in the bubbly water for a while.

Maya decided to run into the house and get a back scrubber to wash their backs...

Between the bubbling of the hot tub and the flicker of the fire from the fire pit (which we now own) I could have fallen asleep. It was a nice relaxing evening spent with people I love very much.

We are very blessed. We plan to have a cook out with Greg's family in a couple weeks for his mom's birthday.... we are blessed with many people to love and spend time with.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Fry Guy

(For those of you who do not recognize the little green guy above, he is one of the fry guys from McDonald's).

August 16th was the Fry reunion. The Fry family is my family on my grandmother's (my dad's mom) side. The reunion has always been held the 3rd Sunday of August at the Ohio Caverns and we look forward to it each year.

First of all, if you have never been to the Ohio Caverns you should go; it is a neat experience to tour the caverns and buy a bag of dirt. We have toured the caverns a few times during the Fry reunion through the years, but now we purchase bags of dirt instead. The dirt is purchased to sift through to find fools gold and gems.

We eat lunch under a big shelter up on the hill where there always is a slight breeze coupled with the fragrance of good home cooking. It makes for a very relaxing afternoon with good food, good company and beautiful scenery.

I need to explain the title of my post a bit. I did not know any of these sweet, wonderful people until I started attending the reunion at least 7 or 8 years ago. We laugh each year at Gregory because everyone at the Fry reunion not only knows him, but treats him as if they are HIS family. I understand they are his family through marriage, but they all talk to him more than they talk to me or my dad. It is hilarious! For example my grandmother introduced us to one of her cousins this past year. When she got around to introducing Greg her cousin said " Oh I know him, he has been attending for a while now". She didn't say that when she introduced me or my dad, or anyone else for that matter.

Our first year attending the reunion Greg was asked to pray for all of us before eating..... it is still his job to this day. :) Greg now knows more about the Fry family than I do AND Paul, my grandmother's cousin, told Greg last weekend as we were leaving to email him if he needed anything. I seriously can't take him anywhere. :) My dad started calling him Greg Fry by the end of the afternoon and that is how he got his name "The Fry Guy".

Here are some pictures of our afternoon this year as well as some pictures of previous years at the Fry reunion.

This year:

This is my sweet cousin Grace... she is soooo cute and sweet. I couldn't take enough pictures of her.

It doesn't get any sweeter than this....

Years past:

If you are looking for a unique place to have any reunion the Ohio Caverns is a great place. Call ahead to reserve tables and enjoy a great afternoon of family fun.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I am not as old and frail as I thought I was.

Turns out I am not disintegrating as quickly as I thought I was while on vacation. It appears as though Greg and I had some sort of bug that affected our equilibrium.

Sunday night prior to our vacation we had dinner with really good friends. She made my favorite meal on the planet Coco's Pasta. It was soooooo yummy; I didn't eat anything all day long to heighten the anticipation of the meal. I really did eat more than I should have but didn't think anything else about it. That night I woke up at 1:00am and I was violently ill, I haven't been that sick since I was pregnant with Leslie. It was awful. I actually passed out while laying in bed. The room was spinning and I was cold and clammy; it was the weirdest feeling.

I was fine the next day but did feel a little sensitive to motion but not bad. We had a vacation to plan for and I didn't have time for illness so I passed it off as having bad eggs the morning prior.

I never once thought about my sickness contributing to my motion sickness while driving to Florida... it was long gone out of my mind. In fact, I didn't think of it again until Greg started describing his "motion sickness" after leaving Disney Quest. It really should have raised a red flag for me because Greg typically doesn't struggle with motion sickness, but we were in a virtual EVERYTHING park so I truly thought he had had enough. He described himself as feeling cold and clammy and on the verge of passing out. Greg has NEVER passed out, never even been close to passing out.

Well, after we arrived home from vacation I have since talked with several people who have had the same experience recently. Some have thrown up some haven't. I have no clue what it is but I have to say I am thrilled to know I can now take vacations without having to drug myself with Dramamine and sea bracelets. I didn't need either of the two on our ride home so it makes perfect sense.

Bring on the roller coaster and road trips.... I think I will still pass on elevator rides though. Why push it? Besides, I doubt panic attacks are in the list of symptoms from this illness. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

The life of Murphy

Murphy missed us while we were gone...I can't say he missed us A LOT because he was ridiculously spoiled by our neighbors. Janice and Pat live across the street from us and they are huge dog lovers. I thought I was a big animal lover until I met her.

They have a Lab named Dottie, and Dot is their baby. She pretty much gets whatever she wants when she wants it. Murphy was treated the same... if not better. He slept on their bed with them, he slept on the couch/laps while they watched TV, he was given table food (which he NEVER gets at home) etc.... Pat and Janice are saints and we are so very thankful to have them as friends and neighbors. They took great care of Murph and we never had to worry about him once. Plus, we knew he too was getting a vacation.... a vacation away from being a dog. He has had the same reality check as we have had coming home from vacation. We are back to work and the daily grind and he is now back to being a dog again.

Life is so rough for Murphy. He now has to eat his own food and sleep on the floor. He is slowly adjusting. Yesterday he asked to go outside so I let him out. He did his business and immediately banged on the window with this look of "Well, I am done now... let me in this minute" on his face. I left him out there for another 15 minutes just to show him he is back in position on the totem pole and he isn't above me on that pole.

He is such a stinker.... here are some pictures of he and Greg after we arrived home on Sunday. The pink squeaky toy is the new toy we bought for him while we were gone.

This is a video from our new camcorder... I was testing it out to see how easily it would load to the Internet.. Murph kept a close eye on me .

Obviously the video works... yay!