THANKSgiving 2014

After CJ’s scary trip to the hospital (story can be read here), it truly was a THANKSgiving for us.  Twenty-four hours after her release from the hospital we were packing for a trip to see my family in Oklahoma.  JD was less thrilled about this trip, since he had to stay home because he was not granted leave at work.  Boo.  And he was even less thrilled since CJ had just been in the hospital.  I was not thrilled because I would be making the 2 hour plane ride by myself (and plus I was sad to be away from JD for almost a week (JD was happy about missing the plane trip w CJ)).  Well, technically, CJ was with me, but I was missing adult help.

I think she's ready for a trip
This would be CJ’s 3rd plane ride to Oklahoma.  Her first plane ride with her very own seat.  Yes, she could still be considered a lap baby, but if I was going to have to deal with her by myself, then the child would have her own seat to jump in and not my lap.  I did make JD go in with us until we had checked in.  I just was not confident in my juggling skills to win that war with CJ (My money's on CJ.  JK babe...). 

In preparation for the trip, I bought a {hopefully} handy-dandy carseat/luggage carrier thing.  It looks like a rolling luggage carrier, but with this one you hook your child’s carseat onto the rolling luggage carrier using the latch system.  And then your (you don't like r do you?) kiddo gets to ride in their carseat while you wheel them around the airport.  This way they stay attached to their carseat and you have semi free hands to handle other stuff.  Bonus, CJ loved riding that way.  WIN for me!

Between security checks and boarding the plane, CJ handled it all very well.  I can’t say the same for the actual plane ride….My apologies go to the guy stuck by the window with CJ on the other side.  CJ wasn’t bad or mean to him, she was just extra curious….and extra hands on with him….again so sorry to whoever you are!  I downloaded a few Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cartoons for her to watch on the IPad, as I was told that was all the rage for youngins her age.  And she watched it for maybe 5 minutes….not exactly the result I was hoping for.  Instead she wanted to watch old videos of Sophie from when she was a baby.  Well, at least we had those. 

Window Seat!
My parents and cousin Addy were waiting for us when we landed in Dallas.  Ok, now that the 2 hour plane ride was over, we had another 3 hour car ride to endure before getting to my folks house in rural OK. 

We arrived on a Tuesday and were lucky enough to get to stay for almost a week.  A much needed visit and vacation time with my family. 

In addition to my family, I was able to catch up with some old friends.  One of my besties from college came by with her little girl, Kyli, who is just about a month and half older than CJ.  The kiddos got to run around and play outside since the weather was gorgeous, and Morgan and I talked about exciting topics like potty training and temper tantrums. 

CJ and her friend Kyli
Kyli and her momma {Mo}
checking out the 'old' fence
trying to swing

The rest of my trip was spent playing pinochle with the aunts and cousins.  Which I am still mad about, since I don’t believe I was ever on a winning team…And of course eating, eating tons of fantastic home cooked food. 

Family Pic Time!

I helped make it!
CJ sure enjoyed the feast
Elusive cousin Clint 
trying to run off the extra calories
Maemae & CJ
We headed back to Dallas on Sunday since we had a super early flight Monday morning.  Driving through Sherman, we had lunch at one of my most missed fast food restaurants, Taco Casa.  One of my other good friend’s met us there and got to meet CJ for the first time. 

The plane ride back to ATL was much easier CJ wise.  We had the only two seats in the row, so there were no other people for her to harass.  We were both super excited to see JD at baggage claim waiting for us.  Although, in my mind, he owes me big time….I see a girls night coming very soon!

Here's a few pics of JD and Sophie's Thanksgiving:

Helping make the sweet potato casserole
Not happy that we added WAY too many sweet potatoes and they were spilling everywhere!

VERY happy about the marshmallows!!

JD's idea of pumpkin pie with RediWhip

Hope everyone had a safe and blessed Thanksgiving! 


Before I get started on one of the more scary days in my life, I will tell you that everything turned out fine and CJ is back to normal CJ self.

Sunday, November 23, 2014, I wake up to a crying CJ.  She goes back to sleep a few seconds later.  Not too odd or out of the ordinary.  At around 8:30 am, she does this again.  Since it was past her normal wake up time, I decided to go and check on her.  As I pick her up, I immediately notice that she is not her normal CJ self.  While she is still whimpering, she is also very limp and lethargic.  The ‘morning CJ’ I am used to, usually throws off her blanket and jumps up as soon as she hears my voice.  Not this morning.   I carry her into our bedroom and she is still crying quietly and asking for water.  I text JD (who just happened to be working) and tell him that she is acting very strange and that I was going to call the doctor. 

True CJ Attitude
While I am on hold with the doctor’s office, she keeps falling asleep while sitting up, another very un-CJ like thing to do.  After I tell the doctor what is going on with her and that I would like to make an appointment, he says “Ma’am, you need to call 911 and have an ambulance take her to the hospital”….I froze, I knew something was wrong, but I had no idea it was that serious.  After I call 911 (barely able to hold it together), I call and text JD, as soon as I tell him I had to call 911, I start losing it and the fear kicks in.  What is wrong with my baby??  What happened??  As soon as those thoughts entered my foggy brain, I told myself that everything would be ok and said a quick prayer for strength for me and healing for CJ.  After that moment, a calm came over me and I was able to get CJ’s stuff ready for the trip to the hospital. 

The fire department crew was the first to arrive and began to assess CJ.  They thought she might be dehydrated, but that was crazy to me because CJ always has a water bottle and drinks a ton of water.  As soon as the EMTs arrived, they loaded us up and headed to the children’s hospital.  At this point, JD was still on his way.  CJ didn’t make a peep and was still very lethargic.  Not crying, not very responsive, just being very still but at least awake at this point.  As soon as we get to the ER, the nurses and doctors start poking and prodding her all over trying to determine the cause and how to make her better.  Again, she just laid there, she laid there as they were trying to find a vein, she laid there as they took multiple blood samples, she laid there as they gave her an IV.  Her temperature was below what is should be and that coupled with the fact that she didn’t cry or scream when they stuck needles into her, extremely worried the staff and me. 

JD finally arrived not long after we did to the ER, his face went white as he saw CJ lying on the hospital bed.  Her eyes were open and her face was puffy and flushed and she was still very quiet.  The nurses and doctors were amazing and supportive.  We had multiple doctors visit us to see this situation and to talk to us about her condition.  After she had been on the IV for about an hour, she started to perk up.  JD went and got her a popsicle and some orange juice.  She went nuts for the popsicle, she couldn’t get enough of it.  We were so happy to see her respond like that.   After a few visits from the doctors, they decided that she needed to stay the night for more observation and so they could get the blood tests results back to try and determine what had happened.  But they kept saying she was dehydrated.  That still didn’t sit well with us knowing how much she drinks water. 

After a few hours, we were transferred upstairs to a regular hospital room.  At this point, CJ was done (mentally) with having an IV hooked up to her and having to be tethered to a pole, she was not a happy camper.  Still, music to our ears.  We stayed the night and slept what we could with the every other hour nurse visits.  Surprisingly CJ slept pretty well considering all of her extra attachments.  The doctors made their rounds about 10:00 Monday morning and told us that they were going to release CJ.  WOOHOO!!! PRAISE GOD!!   But, we still didn’t have a reason as to her episode.  They told us to make a follow up appointment with her regular pediatrician the following day.  We finally got to go home around noon on Monday. We were so glad to get to go home, but still worried that we didn’t have a specific diagnosis.

feeling much better!
Fast forward to her pediatrician visit the next day.  I was not able to go due to work obligations, but I met with JD afterwards and he filled me on the details.  Turns out, CJ has ketotic hypoglycemia.  Wikipedia refers to ketotic hypoglycemia as “a common but mysterious disease of recurrent hypoglycemia symptoms with ketosis in young children”….awesome, mysterious and recurrent.  Fantastic.  It basically means she had low blood sugar and that caused her episode.  Her doctor is optimistic that she will outgrow this around 4 or 5, but says that she cannot fast or go long periods of time without eating.  It also seems to be common in ‘smaller’ children, and well CJ is about the same size as my 14 month old cousin.  It was so nice to finally know what caused this reaction. 

She was rather snot nosed the Saturday before the drama, so JD and I didn’t give her any milk since that sometimes makes the mucus issues more of a problem.  The doctor said that since she didn’t have any milk before bedtime that probably caused the episode. 

Thank you Jesus that it was not more serious and can be controlled by pretty much letting my child eat whenever she wants.  She now has earned that right.  (That statement will probably come back to bite me in the butt…uh oh….haha)  Relieved we have an answer? Yes.  Still worried when I get up in the morning and she is still asleep? Always. 

old CJ antics

so glad she's back to herself!

Does anyone have any experience with this disease??? 

Goin' Out West

Instead of tumble weeds and horses, we experienced sharks and bicycles. 

Key West that is.

only 90 miles to Cuba!
We started planning our adult vacation back in February of this year.  We always like to have a family vacation where we take the kiddos, but we also like to try and throw in a little grown up (some may question the grown up aspect (I'm the grown up one)) adult vacation as well.  While we would have loved for a secluded luxury resort, our budget just wouldn’t allow for it.  Instead, we picked semi local, no passport required and we get got to drive on the right side of the road vaca spot.

I had been to the Keys once before but JD and the other couple we went with had never experienced so called Margaretaville. 

We headed out on a Thursday morning.  Flew to Miami and then rented a car to drive to the Keys.  While the drive was gorgeous, next time I think I (we, there's two of us babe) will opt for the more direct approach.  Four hours of stop and go traffic with speed traps on every other (actually EVERY) key makes for a long first day of vacation. 

When I travel with more people, I try to rent a home or condo, most of the time it just makes sense $$ wise.  This trip was no exception.  We rented a cute little condo right on the ocean and next to the world famous Smather’s Beach (I still haven’t found out why it’s so famous….). 

Due to the island’s size and congestion, we opted to rent bikes for a couple of the days we were there.  Not to be confused with the hundreds thousands of Harley’s that were there for Bike Week. Yep, apparently we chose to go on our relaxing, quiet, beach vacation at the same time as every biker in the lower forty-eight (I NEED a flat black Harley Sportster). 

a local {amazing} home

search for the 'perfect' cigar (Found quite a few).

character everywhere

even better in person!

Anytime I travel, or really just anytime at all, I love to eat good food.  But I especially love to try new places and places that don’t exist in the town where I live.    We had sooo much good food on this trip that I am still working on the vaca weight gain.  Below are a few of the places we visit to get our eats on:

Island Dogs
Tijuana Flats – This was actually in Miami & JD’s fave, also this was quite possibly the reason our four hour drive turned into a six hour drive….. Def worth the extra time.
Pepe’s CafĂ© – breakfast – so good we had to go more than once
Two Friends Patio – another great breakfast joint
Hogfish Bar & Grill – another SO GOOD we had to go more than once
Sarabeth’s – eh….not too much to say about this place
Better than Sex – OMG – can you say desert (I never would have imagined that you would misspell dessert!!) heaven???!!!

favorite breakfast

Better Than Sex {dessert} And, no, it wasn't.
OK, so we did do more than just eat while on our vacation.  We also took a tour of Hemingway’s House and got to pet a few of his polydactyl cats.  Hemingway’s casa was not our only tour.  We also went on a ghost tour of Old Key West.  JD and I try to go on a ghost tour in every city we visit.  Not that we necessarily believe all the stories, but we find it entertaining and also a fun way to learn a little history of the place.

The Hemingway Home.  I now want a polydactyl cat.
tons of gorgeous flowers all over Hemingway's home
While Key West is not specifically known for its beautiful beaches, we did manage to find a favorite among the locals.  Bahia Honda was about an hour drive from Key West, but it did offer the best beach and views we could find.  It also has this old bridge that has been partially destroyed but also partially kept around to provide a sanctuary for birds.  While on the part of the bridge that was accessible, we looked down and see a rather large manta ray and a smaller one swimming along the coast line.  And since we saw those we thought we might see more if we kept looking… more manta rays…..instead we see a rather ginormous fish (SHARK!) swimming close to where we had a been a few minutes earlier.  I would like to say this was our one and only shark encounter, but then I would be lying. 

Bahia Honda & Bridge 

One activity we all wanted to do while in Key West was some kayaking and some snorkeling.  Luckily we were able to do both on one tour.  Since we opted for bikes as our main mode of transportation on the island, we almost missed our sailboat cruise.  Unfortunately, the sailboat was a little less of a 'sail' boat due to the lack of winds in the air…..but that also made for a super smooth boating....  On the way to the protected reefs where we would go snorkeling, they provided us with fresh fruit and drinks.  I’m not sure why, but that was quite possibly the best pineapple I’ve ever had.  So Good.

best pineapple EVER!
Ready or not!
Once we arrived at the sanctuary, the crew provided us with mask, fins, and snorkels.  They were amazing at helping us to locate fish and eels that were trying to hide on the ocean floor.  After snorkeling, they gave us kayaks and we kayaked around the mangrove islands.  During the tour, the guide would stop every now and then and show us some local flora and fauna.  On our way back to the boat, we spotted a couple of bonnethead sharks swimming in the area.  While they were not particularly large, they were still scary.   Although scary, that was probably my favorite memory of the trip.  And I even have it on video! (Check out Facebook posts from September)

mangrove island
{before the shark sighting}

We were told that the beach at Fort Zachary was also one of the best beaches in Key West and especially for snorkeling.  Since we considered ourselves pros after our one time snorkeling trip the day prior we thought we would show the other tourist how it was done.  With our newly bought snorkeling gear in tow we flip flopped our way to the beach only to discover it was about to rain and the ‘sandy’ beach was really pretty much just gravel.  Not what we had in mind at all.  We did try our hand at some snorkeling and got a few pics (those are still on the waterproof camera…in my dresser....not printed out.....) but our luck just couldn’t seem to get started.  So, we dried off and decided to tour the fort instead. 

Even though most of the fort was off limits due to deterioration of the buildings, it was still an impressive sight.

All in all our Key West vacation was a blast.  And we might go again, but I love an adventure and would love to check out another beach.

What’s your favorite vacation spot??

**This post was written right after our little trip, so say about 2 months ago!!** (Yes, I can be a slacker sometimes....)
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