Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas....the crazy version

Taking 2 toddlers, one baby, a lady limping from residual Death Fever foot pain, and another that is 6 months pregnant to a place where you walk miles up and down hills in the cold and look at Christmas lights might sound like the recipe for disaster. It kind of was. But, a hilarious, fun filled disaster that I'll remember forevah!!!!

First off, Krystal drives one of those fancy, third row seat jobbies that I secretly crave. The only problem with a car with third row seats and three car seats? Three car seats is three car seats. Plain and simple. And my child bearing hips and Krystal's baby belly don't add to the mix to make it easier. So, just the meetup at Chick-fil-A parking lot to get us all in one car made me want to pee in my pants with laughter.

Then we ate at a yummy Mexican restaurant where Rylan entertained us with his love for everything south of the border (Rylan, we are German, baby!!!!). After filling ourselves uncomfortable full with too much Mexican (a language barrier caused me to accidently order cheese enchiladas with cheese sauce and cheese dip HELLO LACTOSE INTOLERANCE), we ventured on to Garvin Woodland Gardens. We shoved our kids in coats and hoods and into their strollers and headed on. We were so excited to get free cocoa, except you shouldn't have hot cocoa and push a stroller, you will get burned and sticky. And we both did.

Then there was Santa. Rylan and Harper were both excited and clapping and looking at the Big Guy and his wifey while we waited in line. but then we got to the front and "NOOOOOOO" was all that would come out of Rylan's mouth. After Mrs. Claus befriended him with a candy cane, he allowed them to take a pic while he sat at Mrs. Claus's feet. No lap sitting for that boy. Harper was also iffy about Santa, but warmed nicely to Mrs. Claus and even sat on her lap. I've got to say that Mrs. Claus's fur lined pink jump suit is less of shock to small children.

We had a fabulous time and minus me having to take a running start to get up the hills with the double stroller, Krystal almost passing out from low blood sugar (pregnancy induced diabetes is not fun, she told me so), Max puking all over me in Krystal's car, and all children crying at once out of tiredness on the way home, the rest of the day was fairly incident free.
The nice ladies put ice in some hot chocolate for this little boy
Happy Harper, waiting on her "hot meel" or chocolate milk
Some of the pretty lights, pics don't really do it justice

This is Max's "why and I here, I'd rather be breastfeeding" face.

This is Ry truly loving the Mexican culture.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Giraffe love and playdates

So, my last post involved bad pictures of beautiful children. Now I shall post cute pics of equally cute children.

One way to watch TV
Then it got real fun
And then, the giraffe fought back. Look at its smile.

We've been hanging out at Krystal and Harper's house a lot lately. Krystal has helped me out with some babysitting for my four million eye doctor appointments, she's had some playdates, and sometimes we just call her and show up at her front door when our other friends Kelly and Karsyn are there. Lucky for us, she and Harper are very hospitable.

Harper's toys are way cool
Kelly will kill me for posting this, but it cracks me up. This is her face after 2 phone calls and two texts from a certain lady causing some "mama drama."
Krystal snugglin' with Snuggly Max
Rylan decided to get in the walker. Like how it has made a speedo out of his pants? Baby Karsyn is trying to tell him she is a more appropriate size for a walker.
Post playdate

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ba Humbug

If you are wondering why you haven't received a Christmas card from the Qualls family, I'll give my explanation by way of photos. You'll get one if its the last thing my tick fever self gets done this season, dag nabbit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Autumn Harvest Soup

This is the most deeeee-licious soup. And healthy. Very healthy. I used leftover Thanksgiving turkey. We had it with garlic bread and it made for the yummiest meal. I could eat soup 365 days a year. Even this last summer, when I was 7 months pregnant, and the heat index was 115, I would eat soup for lunch all the time. I even made Chili in August. Rob doesn't have my love for soup. But, he loved this soup. Or, at least, liked it a lot.

Autumn Harvest Soup
*Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 ounces turkey or regular bacon or ham, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup chopped carrots
2 celery stalks, chopped
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf fresh parsley
2 potatoes, peeled and diced (If you use red potatoes, leave the peels on)
1 zucchini, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup to ¾ cup small pasta

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot until shimmering. Add the onion and bacon and sauté until the onion is translucent, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and stir, cooking for one minute. Add all the other ingredients except the pasta and simmer, stirring occasionally, partially covered for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the pasta and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Serve.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Getting back to "normal" life

I'm done feeling like a tick's red headed step-child. Just when I was getting this old bod back into shape and figuring out life with 2 little bitties, a tick pulled the rug (and carpet and sub-floor) out from under me. The awesome news is that its been 2.5 weeks since my body tried to pull a 103.7 fever on me and my eyes got a good check up this week. No more inflammation, and I get to start tapering the yucky drops I have to put in them. My feet still kind of hurt and I wear out easily, but I can definitely see improvement every day.

Its bad that it takes a setback to make you appreciate things. Like being able to take care of your kids and cook dinner and grocery shop. But, I do. I appreciate being able to bathe and dress and cuddle with my kids. At the worst of the Death Fever, I couldn't even hold Max, now I can carry Rylan around. And I grocery shopped last night for the first time in 3 weeks. And I busted out some Autumn Harvest soup last week (recipe to come) and some yummy Apple Stuffing Pork Chops last night. Appreciative I am.

I have a habit of waiting until life's got me down to start wanting to do things. Like, when I was on bedrest, all I could think about was how I was going to do exercise videos every day when bedrest was over. Did I? Not so much. When I broke my foot last year, I wanted to start a walk to run program immediately. Did I? Nah, I got pregnant instead. So, during my Lyme's Disease infestation, when my legs hurt so bad that Rob was helping me out of bed, I kept lamenting about the fact that I wouldn't be able to squats or lunges ever again. Since I was in a habit of squatting or lunging before my tick bite? No, not really. I'm not really known for my athleticism.

Its been decided it was Rocky Mtn. Spotted Fever. I need a tshirt that says "A tick went to the Rocky Mountains and all I got was lousy Death Fever."

Here are some pics of crazy Rylan wearing his Buzz pjs playing with his Buzz, and lets be honest, probably watching the movie.

Friday, December 3, 2010

2 months and still precious!

You are having to restain yourself from jumping in the computer and kissing those cheeks, aren't you?

Max is now 2 months old. He is a smiling, googling sack of snuggliness. He loves milk, a soft chest, and to be swaddled and placed in the swing. Please do not leave his arms to their own vices, they have a mind of their own and if not contained, no sleep will happen.

Belly issues are better, but not great. His belly is an angry place somedays and I have pretty much decided that the new IN look is to have one or more spit up stains on your shirt..Poor kid.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2 year birthday and Death Fever

Only 16 days late, here are pics of Rylan's 2nd bday. We had it at a park, on what has turned out to be the coldest day of the fall, so far. You just can't plan these things. But, the skies were sunny and the kids were happy, so we all bundled up and had a good time.

I guess the word got out that Rylan enjoys Toy Story. Alot. Like, when he gets up in the morning, he yells "BUZZ!!!" instead of "mama!" these days. He received Toy story pajamas, bowling set, books, Buzz Lightyear action figure, Memory game, coloring book and many many many other Toy Story things. And he loves them all. "Buzz and Woods" are good friends. He also got a "doggy bank" that barks when you put money in and some cool new clothes.

Seriously, we only needed to provide Rylan with leaves and sticks and he would have been happy.
This is Chloe, my old roommate, Alicia's daughter. She kept telling Rylan "open the bag with the dinosaur, there is a toy in there." Incidently, it was holding Chloe as a newborn that inspired the "Rob, its time to have a baby" talk 2 years and 9 months ago.
Rylan's awesome Elmo cake. Rylan loves Elmo. He calls this red furry friend Elmo, but he also calls Nemo "Elmo", so I didn't know which one he loved more, so I gambled and got the real Elmo. He liked it.
Check out the spread of presents!
The fam minus Max. He was too cozy being cuddled by grandparents to take part in the pic. Who can blame him?

Thanks to all that came and helped us celebrate Rylan's birthday.

Now for the not fun, after party. I have had joint pain since Max's birth, but it has been blamed on water weight that I gained in pregnancy. A week before Rylan's birthday, my friend noticed I was wincing as I went down the steps outside my house, and the day of his birthday I commented that maybe I needed to get myself checked out, maybe I had some kind of arthritis. Well, on November 17th I went to bed with really bad pain that had me limping. I woke up at 11pm and could not walk and had a 102.6 fever. Kind of scary. And no husband wants his wife to wake him from a stone dead sleep saying "I think something is wrong with me." But, that's what I did. And so began DEATH FEVER 2010. About 3 times a day I would spike a high temp and not be able to walk, then as the advil or tylenol kicked in, I'd be able to walk and stop the fever shakes. Then my eyes turned red. I could have been in the move Twilight at this point. Then my teeth started hurting when I chewed. Yes, this is the weirdest illness I've had to date.

It turns out, I've been bit by a nasty tick. And that little sucker (pun intended) was a real pisser, excuse my French. I say this, because 2 weeks later and I still have only slightly conclusive tests as to what was wrong with me. They have narrowed it down to that I either have Lymes Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. And the original symptoms (slight joint pain, low grade fever) was attributed to being very pregnant in the hottest summer of my life and then post partum.

So, Rob took a couple days off to care for me, then drove me to Mountain Home to stay with my mom and dad. They have magic Death Fever healing properties and my kids adore them and I think they might like them too. The knee and feet pain and red eyes were caused by lots of inflammation that is mostly under control now. I am putting steroid drops in my eyes 8 times a day and dilating them every night (hello, bad vision) trying to stop any damage being done. I am on killer antibiotics that did a number on my stomach. But, I'm alive and I can walk and carry my sons and see pretty well, which is something that one takes for granted before a tick bites them in the butt.

I was just about to do a blog post about surviving life with a 2 year old and a newborn when I got knocked on my bootie by Death Fever. Life with Death Fever and a newborn and a 2 year old is way harder. After I get over it, we'll get right on that other blog post.