Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fitness Challenge: Week 1

2.4 POUNDS
That is how much I lost during the first week weigh-in of my fitness challenge between my co-worker. We increased the money pot and now there will be a weekly $5 reward to the one who lost the most percentage of weight. I have recruited other co-workers, my boss's wife, and Steve. Everyone who recently joined has a very competitive personality. This will be a real challenge now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hmmm...Delicious!

There's no need to explain what has happened in this picture.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Don't Want to Drink the Salt Water

Steve finally pulled Bubble's tooth out. It's been wiggly for a week or 2 and was just hanging by a thread of gum. I hope the poor economy has not affected the Tooth Fairy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Who Told the Funny Joke

Mason loves to smile...especially at the ladies. We have been trying very hard to get him to laugh. The only time he laughed was while he was asleep. That was up until now...


video

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Wonderful Thing about Tigers

video

Tiger isn't the only one who loves to bounce!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fancy Dancy is Not So Smancy

The bottle is what did it for me. It wasn’t until I received a free sample of the Playtex vent-aire brand bottle that being pregnant finally set in. It wasn’t the morning sickness, swollen body parts, heartburn, Charlie horses, mood swings, baby shower, sonograms, or high blood pressure. Not even my expanding waist line help snap me into the reality of pending motherhood. When I received the sample, all I could do was to stare at it and hold it. It leaded me to visions of bottles, pacifiers, and refrigerator magnets littering our kitchen. I became obsessed with the bottle and knew this was the brand we had to buy. I got sucked into believing this bottled was miraculously engineered to prevent colic, decrease the amount of air Mason would suck in, and make Mason think he was getting milk from a boobie. Yes, the maintenance was annoying; you almost had to form an assembly line to put the bottle back together as it each had 5 pieces. Seven weeks into using the bottles, they started to leak. So much so that more milk would end up on the table then in Mason’s belly. The outside numbering started to fade as well. Playtex’s customer service was very nice and sent us coupons to replace the leaky bottles.

We are now using Nuby bottles. As you see on the right, there is nothing to them. It’s just a plain plastic cylinder. Let this be a lesson to us that I’m sure we will keep learning over and over again. Simple is sometimes better. We are using the same nipples and the new bottles are working great!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fitness Challenge

Someone should have told me I was delusional when I thought the baby weight would just melt away. Where did I think it would melt to? To the bed when I slept or in my shoes as the fat drained from my toes? Um, earth to Alicia, it’s time to come back to reality because it hasn’t melted anywhere. Ick, I feel so gross that I’m embarrassed to post this entry. However, it is what it is. I’m sure that I will sacrifice a lot more than my body shape as Mason and even Bubbles grow up.

I have entered into a fitness challenge with a colleague at work. This same challenge occurred between us and another colleague over a year ago and I won then. I’m determined to win again. Today, we weighed in and discussed our individual goals. Both of us will have different diet plans. For me, I will follow Weight Watchers until I feel comfortable identifying “good” foods from “bad” based on calorie, fat, and fiber. Because we are different body types and not the same gender, our weight loss will be calculated in percentages. This is a reflection of the Biggest Loser which I love to watch. To keep me motivated, I will blog about my weekly weight loss…or gain. I am still undecided if I should post a before picture or disclose my weight. I’m not really comfortable with either idea, but maybe I’ll change my mind once I get going and see good results.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

We Have the Need for Speed



I'm sure this comes as no shock to anyone; we are ALWAYS busy! There are soccer games and practice to attend, doctor appointments, playtime with friends, schoolwork, bottle feedings, YMCA free swim, school events, naptime, laundry, dishes, house chores, church, violin practice, grocery shopping, family fun time, etc, etc, etc.


On Sunday, we drove to Mom Mom Worthington's to drop Mason off for the night and into Monday. He loves staying with Mom Mom and Aunt Jessica (AJ). By the time we picked up Bubbles from her weekend with her Mom's family and drove to the Edgewood area, it was after 7 PM. By the time we came home, it was after 9 PM and time for bed. I knew we weren't going to have time for dinner. I didn't want to waste money we didn't have buying fast food and not eat healthy. So, we brown bagged it for dinner. Even Mason had his very own bag filled with bottles. I labeled each bag with a 2 word description to make it more fun.

In school everyone equated brown bags to being an uncool thing. Gosh, were we ever mistaken! These brown bags are awesome!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rainbow Brite

For those of you who never knew why I called Morgan RB (Rainbow Brite), now you do. She loves color whether it's in her shoes, shirts, or make-up. Don't worry! The pink is only temporary so it won't ruin her pretty hair. Hey, her and Mason have the same hair color aside from the pink stripes. She sent me a few more pictures below of her transformation. Enjoy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Still Undefeated

On Saturday, the Bandits played against DSC United. There were rumors that this team was unstoppable and very good. The Bandits stood united as a team and managed to end the game tied at 4-4.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mason's Two Month Checkup

Mason's 2 month picture


I have to take a picture of him each month to add to his baby book. Ask me how much of it I completed? That's right. You guessed it, none!
Mason is now 24.5 inches long, which puts him in the 90th percentile. THANK GOODNESS! I don't want him to be short like me. He'll get beat up. As far as his weight, he is only in the 25th percentile at 11.62 lbs.
Poor little guy. He had to endure two needles and a liquid vaccine. But as usual, he was charming all the ladies there! We are going to have such trouble keeping the girls away when he gets older.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Let's Go Ravens, Let's Go

Thanks to Mom Mom, Mason caused a lot of commotion today wearing the Raven's jersey. It was all good commotion though. He was able to generate a crowd everywhere we went; church, Friendly's, and Walmart. I don't think Britney Spears could have generated such a fan following. HAHAHA! Now I'm just being that over proud Mother. Soon, I'll be spitting on napkins and cleaning Mason's face in public. What will be next? Ironing Mason's underoo's? By the way, isn't Steve handsome? He's my dreamboat.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Clash of the Bandits

Today, the Bandits played their 2nd real game against the Clash. The final score was 6-1 with Bandits leading the victory charge. Both teams played an impressive game. The Bandits were a little more aggressive and began to actually steal the ball from the opposing players. Will the Bandits continue their winning streak next Saturday when they play DSC United? You bet they will!

Monday, September 21, 2009

No Luck of the Irish Today

On Saturday, Madison played her first real game against the all girl team, the Shamrocks. Madison's team (Bandits) shut the Shamrocks down with a score of 8-0. No amount of four leaf clovers were able to save them from this beating.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Our 2nd Trip to Hershey Medical Center

Mason was such a good boy through the ultrasound, VCUG (doctor shoved a catheter up his private area), and giving blood. At least Steve and I have the official diagnosis:

  • He was born without a right kidney.
  • He has kidney reflux in his left kidney.
  • Based on a stage of 1 -5 (5 being the most severe case), Mason is a 5.
He will remain on his daily dose of Amoxicillin. We will need to notify his pediatrician and urologist should he start acting different which could be a sign of a kidney infection. If this should occur, surgery will be an immediate requirement. Mason will continued to be monitored by the urologist as some children outgrow kidney reflux by the time they are 1 year of age. If not, surgery will most likely be in Mason's future to repair his ureter which is spraying urine back into his kidney.

In 6 weeks, we are going back to Hershey Medical Center so a renal scan of Mason's left kidney can be done. The question now is Mason's left kidney functioning at 100% like it should since it's the only one.

We will keep everyone posted.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Our Decision

As a family, we have decided to treat RRF. We turned in all the dollar bills and coins we were saving in our money jar and we had $350. The sad part is that we were collecting our loose money in the coin jar for about a year now and we were looking toward using that money for a vacation in 2010. The good part is, we have money to place RRF in the hospital to get her started on the insulin, 100 syringes, and insulin. Dr. Cheek is only keeping RRF in the hospital for a day so we do not go over our $350 budget.

This money has now become disposable income and it still bothers me that we are spending it on one of our animals. The money could easily go towards Madison's and Mason's college accounts, school taxes that are due soon, or Christmas gifts. What I hope comes out of this besides RRF being okay is that we are teaching Madison that sometimes the value of a dollar doesn't matter. While decisions should not be reckless, they should be based on love and for the goodness of others. With that said, I will be the first to admit that I should really practice what I preach. Steve and I are trying; which is why we made this decision.

Monday, September 14, 2009

How Far Would You Go?

Does anyone remember RRF? We had to rush her to the hospital last winter after she attacked herself and ripped off her tail. He tail was amputated so only a small portion remained and her overactive reproductive system was removed. As of this past Saturday, RRF has been diagnosed with diabetes. The level of committment needed to keep her glucose levels regulated seems a little extreme. Insulin would need to be administered twice daily; each being 12 hours apart. She will need to spend the first few days of treatment in the hospital so Dr. Cheek can begin the insulin shots. Normally, this would require RRF to remain at the hospital for a week, but Dr. Cheek can work with us and only keep her for 2 days since money is an issue. Money is a BIG issue! The insulin and needles are not that expensive when averaged over a 4 month period which is how long the materials should last with each refill. RRF would then need to stay at the hospital for a day every 2 weeks until she is regulated. During that day visit, her glucose would be tested every few hours. Dr. Cheek explained that this is unsual in a cat as young as RRF since diabetes usually does not occur until middle age. Steve and I found RRF last summer in the woods and while I'm not an animal expert, I don't believe she was anymore than several weeks old during that time.

We will need to tell Dr. Cheek of our decision; whether to treat RRF. If left untreated, RRF will continue to get progressively worse and become so sick, that any type of treatment would be too costly. It's been a tough decision. I know some of you are thinking "it's just a cat" and yes, from an outsider's viewpoint, RRF is "just a cat". But to us, "she's part of the family" even if I think we have too many animals. I am torn as I believe Steve is although he keeps telling me that a bullet will only cost 25 cents. Not funny, Steve! My practical side says that we cannot afford to keep RRF healthy. We are paying medical bills relating to Mason's delivery that the insurance did not cover and we will be paying on them for awhile. On top of that, we do not know of Mason's potential condition of kidney reflux and how severe it is for his age. My emotional side says that we cannot euthanize RRF unless we have at least tried to give her a chance at a healthy life.

How far do you go? At what point is the effort not practical anymore? How much will you sacrafice for an animal? Do you listen to reason or your heart? What if this was your pet?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

All Work and No Play

Mason is making sure Mommy stays focused on school work.
Mason taking a little break from all his hard work.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Our Musical Genius

Bubbles is playing the violin in school this year. Watching how she cleans the violin, stands in positions, and knows the notes is so amazing because she's only attended 1 class. She must practice everynight, but she loves it. This clip is Madison playing "Twinkle Little Star".
video

Friday, September 11, 2009

United We Stand

To all those who lost their lives that tragic day, rest in peace!
Never forget - September 11, 2001
In God we trust
United we stand

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ride Like the Wind: Part III

Okay, this is it. Here is my final attempt at displaying a video of Bubbles riding Steve's mini motorcycle. This video also shows Jasmine riding Red (Steve's smallest 4 wheeler) since her and Mom Mom spent the day having fun with the family.


video

Sunday, September 6, 2009

First Overnight Away from Home

While Bubbles was spending the weekend with her Mom, Mason spent Saturday with Mom Mom. It was so strange not having him around. There was a point when Steve and I were sitting at the kitchen table and I looked behind him thinking Mason's swing was there. I didn't realize how much Mason keeps us alert and always on guard. I found myself so relaxed because there were no baby related chores to perform. Having Mom Mom watch Mason allowed us to spend some alone time together as we rode bikes, watched a movie, had takeout and a few beers, and got a good night's rest. I missed him very much and I'm glad he's back home now.

Who knew a barely 2 month old needed so much stuff?












Mason watching the animals go round.











He loves to people watch.














Mom Mom makes Mason so happy.












He was pooped Sunday night after a busy weekend of being adored by Mom Mom and Aunt Jessica.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ride Like the Wind: Part II

As promised, here is a video of Bubbles riding the mini motorcycle.

video

Did you see her? If you squint really hard and follow the silver circle moving in the background, then by golly, you do see her. I will post Ride Like the Wind: Part III on Monday so you can see a better video.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ride Like the Wind: Part I

Tonight was the first time Madison rode Steve's mini motorcycle and she did AWESOME! I'm entitling this entry as Part I because I did a very stupid thing. Every video I captured of Madison, I wasn't really recording until I thought I hit "stop". When in reality, I hit "stop" to film Madison thinking I hit "record" and then "record" when I was finished filming Madison when I thought I hit "stop". Sound confusing? It does to me and I didn't realize my mixup until all the videos were of my dress and feet. So I will post Part II Tuesday night after I film Madison again.

Below is Steve riding the mini motorcycle. It was the only successful video of the evening.

video


Instead of watching his Papa and Sissy ride the mini motorcycle, Mason is watching the back of his eyelids.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Take Time to Smell the Roses

Aren't these roses gorgeous? My sister, Jackie, sent me 2 bunches of them. I didn't have a big enough vase so I must keep the bunches separate so the vase stays balanced. I believe each bunch has 24 roses. I don't care about the quantity, but I wanted to give the credit that is due to Jackie for sending them. THANK YOU!
On August 29, 2006, Jackie received a kidney from me. Each year of the anniversary, she sends me flowers to thank me. It should be me thanking her because I was able to be a part of something wonderful. Why did I do it besides the fact that she is one of my big sisters whom I love? It's simple. Jackie deserved what we all got to do everyday. For most of us we do it sometimes without thinking and sometimes over thinking. What am I talking about? Making decisions. Jackie's life was limited which meant her decisions were limited. Her life was based around her kidney disease. Simple pleasures such as sleeping in, drinking milk, and vacationing were made difficult. It wasn't fair. She didn't deserve to live that way. Jackie deserved to make smart decisions, along with the careless ones, just like the rest of us.
If I had the option to undo history having gone through it, I wouldn't have changed my decision to donate a kidney. She is a wonderful person and truly one of a kind. I am blessed to have her as a sister.
What have I learned from the transplant experience? To live my life. To love the simple moments because they are the ones that bring the greatest joy. The world teaches us it's all about your clothing label, how fast your vehicle can go from 0 to 60 MPH in 30 seconds, bra size, and that it's not what you know that will get you ahead, it's who you can sabotage to get there. Love teaches us how to joyfully sacrifice ourselves for another's happiness whether it's to give into an argument, allow some else to win the race, or donate your last dollar. God loved us so much he sacrificed his son.
It shouldn't be how many people you know, but how many people you actually love. It shouldn't be how smart a child is at 1, but how many times he runs to you for a hug. It shouldn't be the bigger the diamond, the more he loves you. It should be about his simple gestures and him always wanting to be in your presence. It shouldn't be about fighting time, but about loving yourself enough to be okay with all the flaws.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mason's 1 Month Checkup

Here is a picture of Mason at a little over 1 month:

Steve and I took Mason to the pediatrician today. He now weighs 9 lbs and 4.8 ounces and measures 22 inches in length. We must start forcing Mason's head to turn to his left and while it's turned in this direction, massage his neck muscles. The pediatrician said it's common in infants to favor only one side. If an infant would continue to turn his or her head to one side, the muscles could stiffen. The pediatrician said the name of the condition (is it really even a condition?) so quickly, I did not understand what she had said. I'm thinking the name is "tortacolitis", but I have not had the time to research anything. On a funnier note, Mason peed all over the pediatrician. Boy, she reacted with lightning speed. Me, I just always sit and watch Mason spray everywhere because it's hilarious and I can never stop laughing. Mason received his 2nd dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine. He was a good baby and only cried for a few seconds.

The pediatrician gave us a few tips on how to prepare Mason to sleep through the night:

-Make evenings as boring as possible so he doesn't make himself excited (he's only 1 month old; he's not doing that much!)

-Don't feed Mason to sleep (then he would never get fed in the evening because he can look at the bottle and fall asleep!)

-When he awakes at night, don't turn on any lights (I would break a bone stumbling around in the dark half asleep trying to prepare a bottle!)

-Nightime should only be for feeding; do not change the diaper (Goodness, even when Mason's diaper is changed twice a night, he still pees everywhere. If his diaper wasn't changed during the night, he would flood the house!)

-When Mason is done feeding in the middle of the night, put him back into his crib even if he's awake. This means no rocking, swinging, or talking (I should have asked the pediatrician how long do I allow Mason to scream before picking him up!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's Back to School Time

GOOD LUCK BUBBLES AT NORTH HILLS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are going to do wonderful in the 4th grade. You are going to make so many friends and your teacher, Mrs. Monday, will absolutely love you. Daddy and I love you to fruity bits and juicy pieces!

Monday, August 24, 2009

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Growing

The pictures above are veggies that will soon to be ready for picking, with the exception of the tomato. We have a few tomatoes which we need to pull now. We planted the garden with the intent to eliminate the extra money being spent to buy some veggies at the grocery store. Needless to say, our garden is a late bloomer so we've had to buy our veggies. Except for spaghetti squash; I refuse to pay the high prices which I've seen to be up to 3.99 a lb. Don't get me started on cucumbers; they are 85 cents now which is ridiculous compared to the 50 cents I only paid during spring time.

The pictures below are tomatoes that Steve picked. The mystery has been solved...the veggie sliced in half was a spaghetti squash and not a watermelon. It did not have a chance to mature. It appeared the pesky animals chewed it off from it's vine.

Not bad for a garden which everyone ignores, never gets watered, and it is littered with weeds.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Sleeping Babies

Steve was the one who got up with Mason throughout the night. It was the first time I did not have to get up for feedings or diaper changes. Mason woke at 4:30 AM this morning and did not go back to sleep. Look what has happened to the early birds by mid afternoon. What a bunch of sissies!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Let's Go Bandits, Let's Go!

Isn't she a cutie patootie? Bubbles is playing outside soccer on an all girls team for the first time. Earlier this year, she played for YMCA on a co-ed team and I have to say that I thought the boys were too aggressive for the girls. Now normally I do not like to sound sexist, but it was true. There was one boy in particular that you just wanted to punch in the face because he kept hogging the ball from his own teammates. He must have missed the Barney episode on sharing.

Bubbles is playing for the Bandits and she is number 77. Mason and I was not in attendance due to the heat, but Bubbles said she had a great time. As an over planning stepmom, I made sure to pack the allergy medicine, tissues, allergy eye drops, water bottle, soccer attire, and the umbrella in case she needed shade. Yes, I will be the first to admit I go overboard with the preparation phase of any event or trip. However, in my defense; have you seen the Discovery channel show, "I Shouldn't be Alive"? After watching that show, I'm glad I overpack. My overpacking will help save us if we ever get stranded and must survive without rescue for 10 days.
Bubbles really likes playing offense. Steve captured Bubbles team, which only consists of 11 girls in the pictures below:


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our First Family Photo

Here is the first Fowler Family photo. I can't seem to size the picture correctly. I made several attempts to upload this picture as a gadget in our profile. However whenever it uploaded, Bubbles was caught off along with half of Steve's body. Does anyone know how to size the photo so it will fit in our profile section? I would like to shave off the left side, but not the right.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rub-a-Dub-Dub


Mason can now get a real bath and he actually likes it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Indiana or Bust

Steve, Mason, and I left early Friday morning to drive to Greenfield, IN. What's there you ask? A whole lot of nothing except for a little girl named Bubbles who missed her Daddy and was ready to come home. For the past 2 weeks, she has been in MO visiting Oma along with cousin Blaize. Mason did very well and was only cranky for the last hours driving to IN and driving back home. As a side note, I was greatly dissatisfied with nursery water, which is advertised as being able to be mixed with formula for infants. We did not have a way to boil water while at the hotel. All it did was cause a lot of gas and a belly ache for Mason. I dumped most of the gallon out as soon as we arrived home. We arrived in Greenfield on Friday evening and had dinner with the kids and Oma and Don, Steve's stepdad. Greenfield served as a halfway point for everyone and it's also only 20 or so miles away from Indianapolis, which is where we spent our day on Saturday at the zoo. Steve and I did not take many pictures. It's weird because going to attractions like a zoo in the past, I would always have my camera out and ready for those photo moments. On Saturday, the camera never entered my mind unless Steve asked for it. I was too concerned about Mason staying cool and also whether or not Bubbles or Blaize were running anyone over with the stroller. There were a few close encounters with other zoo visitors, but no one was injured. The weekend was fun, but I was extremely glad to arrive home last night even if it took another 2.5 hours to unpack and put everything back into its place. I'm finding that as I get older, my favorite place to be is home.
No, this is not a picture of the Loch Ness Monster. We could not get any good pictures at the dolphin show, but if you squint you can recognize that they are indeed dolphins.
Blaize was scared of the ostrich exhibit.
This bear was chewing on a bone which seemed as big as my leg. What did they feed him; a dinosaur from Jurassic Park?
This was my favorite exhibit of all at the zoo. He was such a good boy even though it was sweltering outside.
Everyone was able to pet the elephants after the show. All I wanted to do was get inside an air conditioned building. Thank goodness we saved the aquarium for last. It was very refreshing.
The dog sharks had eyeballs like humans. It was so weird looking.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In a Land Far, Far Away

Okay, so the U.K. is not that far away, but it makes for a catchy title. My work's international representatives from the U.K. sent Mason a care package. They sent Mason a t-shirt that reads "I'm the little brother" and a chimeball. For me, I was sent some hand lotion which smells very nicely. I was debating whether or not I should keep the wrapping paper since it did come from a foreign land. Then I realized I was being a dork and only I thought it would be a funny gesture so I did not keep it.

The picture of the package was later used to send to Bubbles since she is in MO.
Now I know that I'm not the only one who wraps like this!
No translation required!
The presents are greatly appreciated by Steve and I.