CaseyAndKelly.Com

Living Life in Texas

It’s hard to believe the regular football season is almost over.  In my fantasy football league, for some teams (like my husband’s) it already is.  This is week 14 of the regular NFL season and Sunday marks the start of the playoffs in our league.

This is only my second year of playing fantasy football and I keep asking myself why it took me so long to start.  I’ve seriously been missing out.  I love football regardless but the competitive part of me is even more motivated to watch all of the games since my livelihood in the league depends on it.

My Fantasy Football Team is named Queso Face and this is my pic!

Last year I entered the playoffs in 6th place of 12th and ended up finishing strong in 3rd place which is also a money spot.  This year our league upped the buy in so I’m hoping I can follow suit again this year as I’m in exactly the same place as I was last year going into the playoffs.  I was convinced when drafting my team that I was choosing such strong players and had devised a draft strategy that I thought would stack the odds in my favor.  Unfortunately, some players lose their touch, others are forsaken for newer blood, and still others are effected by injury after injury (I’m talking about you Michael Vick).

Sunday night we took Cakes to the circus for the first time!  Between family and friends there ended up being 15 people in our group and while the night started out hectic trying to locate everyone, we ended up having a great time!  It was also the first time my 71 year old grandpa and 66 year old grandma had ever been to the circus as well!  It was so much fun seeing everyone experience the circus for the first time and it was a really enjoyable experience for everyone.


My parents took me to see the circus when I was about 13 so I had gone before but didn’t remember it.  The only thing that stood out in my mind from that first visit were the elephants and tightrope walkers.  It really was amazing to see the feats these performers are capable of and the intelligence of the exotic animals.  I think the elephants and a guy balancing upside down with only his palm on another guy’s head were my favorite parts.

Cakes wasn’t particularly interested in the circus itself.  She really liked the hat my parents bought her, the nachos, and the lights.  I really don’t even think she noticed the elephants or anything else.  She made it to intermission without freaking out and when we went back for the second half, she ended up watching Sesame Street: Abby in Wonderland on my phone for the rest of the show.

Have you been to the circus?  What was your favorite part?

Wow, I’m now thinking I should have made some time to post this earlier because I’m sure I’m going to end up forgetting things.  Or at least written down what we did each day so I could remember.  I’m going to try to piece things together from the pics and see how that works out.
Friday night we packed up the truck with the dogs and Cakes and made our way out of town.   We left around 6:30 and stopped for gas and dinner before leaving.  We left the night before they were talking about releasing the floodgates in Louisiana, so when my husband saw signs on the 10 warning us about closures, he woke me up (we were expecting the road to be closed and forced evacuations – how do you get from Texas to Florida without driving through Louisiana?!).   I tried pulling up information about what was going on my phone from the news websites but no one was making mention of what was going on.  It finally occurred to me (or maybe my husband suggested it) to check Google Maps and look at the traffic and it was one exit that was closed – traffic was merging into one lane and even at 1:30a, things were backed up and it took 30 minutes to get off one exit and take the on ramp back onto the 10 at the same exit.  From what we could see there was a semi that had caught on fire on the overpass.
All pics were taken with my iPhone.
 
 Once we were past the freeway closure, I started driving.   My husband went to sleep but Cakes woke up in the stop and go traffic around 1:30 and didn’t go back to sleep until 5.  Then around 6, my husband woke up as the sun was coming up.  I was cruising along at 75 and this guy went speeding past us going at least 90, if not more. He got back in the right lane after passing me and went into the shoulder going through a small puddle from an early rain shower and started going off the road, he overcorrected and went off the road and into the heavily treed median.  Since the trees were so dense, we had to locate the car by the smoke pouring out of it.  We thought the car was on fire so my husband got out to help as he was calling 911.  We didn’t know where we were exactly (apparently only a few miles from the Florida border) but we waited with the other car until EMS arrived.  The driver said he was ok and neither he nor his passenger were hurt but that his passenger was handicapped and trapped in the car.  When EMS did arrive we filled out a form while they got out their chainsaws to start taking down trees because they couldn’t get to or see the car either. That was our good Samaritan deed for the trip.
The rest of the trip to Panama City Beach was relatively uneventful and we were pretty happy and relieved when we finally stopped for breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts at 8:30a (14 hours after we left).  
 
 

This isn’t the first time things like this have happened to us.  Does stuff like this happen to you on trips?  Or even at home?

Monday I noticed Cakes had a little bit of a runny nose but I wasn’t too concerned about it at first because it was clear snot, she didn’t have a fever and otherwise seemed fine.  Although she was also scratching the insides of her ear until they bled but she’s done this before without an ear infection just as a nervous habit.  But I remembered the nurse practitioner had encouraged me to bring her in if she had a runny nose just in case it was the only sign she was giving of an ear infection.  I let it go Monday and on Tuesday morning it was still running and even runnier so I made an appointment for that afternoon.

 Scabby ear

I’ve been trying to explain to Cakes what we’re going to be doing before we do something.  So when I told her we were going to the doctor, she repeated me almost as a question.  Then she said ears and when I confirmed we were going to have her ears looked at she said hurts.  I asked her if her ears hurt and she wouldn’t confirm they did but kept repeating herself.  I still don’t know if she associates the doctor’s office with the otoscope and not thinking that having her ears checked is very comfortable or if her ears did, in fact, hurt.

Cakes was much chattier at this visit than she’s ever been in the past and I was really impressed with her social skills as well.  Maybe those trips to toddler story time are paying off?  The nurse practitioner tried to listen to her heart first and that never goes over very well.  This girl has got some lungs on her!  Once she was done she tried to take a peek in her ears and this is another thing that Cakes is not a fan of, so she screamed and thrashed around while I tried to keep her in a bear hug hold long enough for the NP to look in her ears.  The NP confirmed her ears were red but she didn’t see any fluid or infection – whew!  After checking her chart she said she was going to put her on a new medication (I think we’ve been getting progressively more intense as the ear infections have lingered) called Suprax and gave me a coupon (thankfully she did because even with insurance, I would have had to pay $225 versus $25).

I mentioned the other NP in their office had said before her last ear infection had cleared up that we might need to talk to an ENT if the ear infections kept happening or didn’t go away.  She said she agreed we should meet with one since this was her fourth ear infection this year.  I disagreed with her and said there was just the one ear infection but they considered each new medication because we were doing rechecks a separate ear infection.  I still disagree with this logic but agreed to make the appointment.

Today we headed to the ENT for a consult.  Cakes was a completely different child today and while she didn’t want to get weighed, even after being told stand there (it was a different type scale) she did really well.  This was the first time she has ever allowed anyone to look in her ears and nose and didn’t resist (read – scream and flail) in the slightest.  (With the exception of family, she prefers males to females and I wonder if this was the reason she was so calm and relaxed?  Her pediatrician and all of the NPs at the office are female.)

 This does not look like a girl with an ear infection.

The ENT said her eardrums were sunken back a little but that could be from allergies and assumes that she might not even have an ear infection and her ears were red at her previous appointment from all of the screaming.  He said if she did have an ear infection he doubts it would have cleared up with only the two doses of antibiotics Cakes had taken thus far.  He said it could allergies since there’s a lot of flare ups with everyone right now (my husband and I included) and gave me some nasal spray to try out in addition to continuing her on the Singulair.  Because her ears look fine and there was no sign of infection or damage, he said we don’t even need to discuss tubes and he’ll see her back in six weeks for a follow up to see how the nasal spray is working.

I can’t tell you what a big relief that is!  I know it’s a simple, routine surgery but it still is surgery and freaks me thinking about her going under.  Not to mention she loves baths and swimming and this would put a damper on our summer plans. I’m really praying that it’s allergies and we can get ahold of these ear issues.  She spied the suckersgoing into exam room so I’m wondering if that’s making a difference in her attitude – knowing that a sucker awaits her?!

Well, I attempted to Cakes to another toddler story time.  We showed up, at what I thought was, half way through but in reality was only 15 minutes in.  So I don’t forget the next time I attempt to go, toddler story time is an hour.  Cakes did much better this time and probably would have had the patience to listen to an entire story without grabbing other books had a rambunctious four year-old not commented on each line of the book. Cakes stayed seated in my lap reading quietly until craft time began.

When I asked her if she wanted to color she got up and started hunting down the crayons, eventually ending up with two baggies of crayons and nothing to write on.  I managed to keep her from writing on books or walls but when a hard surface (clipboard base) was given to her to do her project on, she immediately started coloring.  I asked her to stop but wasn’t to serious about it since it was obvious that other children had done the same.  Again, the librarian (different one this time) apparently doesn’t have much patience for two year olds like mine and freaked out.  When the paper for the art project came it became apparent this was not designed for Cakes and was for the parent to assemble and the child to look at (or destroy).  We had now been there for a half hour and Cakes had done so well being quiet and still-ish that she was ready to do laps around the library.  I took this as our cue to go and so ended our second trip to toddler story time.

I’ll probably try to return for half of story time but Cakes just isn’t into it.  She doesn’t particularly enjoy listening to the stranger read to her and none of the kids really interact with each other.  Do you think it’s worth it to keep going?  Should I take her back to the baby story time and see how she does there?  I just wonder if it’s worth the time and stress for what we’re getting out of it, ya know?!

After living in this house for 16 months, we’re finally getting around to fencing in our entire property.  As one of our contingencies for purchasing this house we asked the entire lot (back part) be fenced.  The builder agreed to fence only the part that was sodded.  It’s still a really good size but we’re missing out on the additional space the other half that’s unfenced would provide.  And, we’d rather get it fenced in before neighbors start encroaching on our property lines.

Lowes just delivered all of our building materials and we’ll be picking up the tool rentals and get started on it tomorrow.  It’s going to be a big job.  This part of Texas sits on limestone so there’ll be a lot of jackhammering to start just to get the posts in place.  Thankfully my dad and some friends have agreed to help so hopefully the job goes a little faster than it would have otherwise.

Do you have any home improvement projects you’re working on or that are on your to do list?

Life has been busier lately.  I don’t know how much of that is due to the warmer weather and how much of it is my family moving to Texas.  I’m sure it’s probably a little of both. Recently I’ve felt like I’m always racing against the clock, trying desperately to accomplish all of the things I want/need to do and never feel like I complete quite as many tasks as I had hoped.

I’m a master list maker and try my hardest to stay organized and focused but even with lists in every direction I turn, it just doesn’t feel like enough.  While I try to get everything done, evaluating the importance of each task really need to take priority.  I value blogging and the opportunities I’ve been provided and friends I have made but I don’t want to forsake my family in the name of blogging.  I just really need to make more of a concentrated effort to prioritizing my to do list.

You’re probably asking yourself where this is all coming from.  I’m having a really difficult finding a balance.  In the last two weeks, I’ve missed posting twice and feel so much guilt because of it.  I’m really trying to make posting a priority each day but sometimes it just doesn’t come together and life doesn’t allow for it.  I need to stop beating myself up because in the long run, it really doesn’t matter.

The migraine I had in February was just the first of many headaches I’ve had recently.  Too many to count but at least once daily, usually lasting all day long.  Since my eyes have been checked and I’ve had an MRI, I have to wonder what the cause is.  It could be one or a number of things but I’m my guess is it’s a combination of allergies and stress and I’m not really sure how much longer I can tolerate it and keeping up the same pace.  So now begins my quest to pace myself and really focus on what’s important and do other things as time permits.

How do you balance blogging and home life?  Have you ever had to take a step back to make your life less stressful?

Last year I started taking Cakes to the library for story time to get her used to socializing with other kids.  When we started going, she was around fifteen months and in the baby (0-2) category.  We were going a couple of times a month until she hit the throwing books phase.  She’d stand in front of shelf and just start chucking books over her shoulder until she found one she wanted.  Between the book tossing and running around the library like a mad woman, and the fast approaching flu season, after Halloween I decided it was best to hold off on story time for a while.

When we got inside, I started wondering if I got the age group confused as most of the kids looked to be at least 3 and several had to be 4.  I checked the calendar that was on display and sure enough, I was in the right place and this was story time for 2 and 3 year olds

The librarian started with a song and then would alternate between reading (longish) books and singing other songs.  In total, she read four books and we sang countless songs.  She had a hard time staying seated for the songs and stories and I had to battle with her the entire time and try to give her her own little story time to keep her seated.  After trying for so long, I finally let her go exploring the rest of the children’s section since it was sectioned off and she couldn’t escape.  Just when I thought the session was over, craft time began.  I was able to call her over to color for a few minutes before she wanted to start running and exploring.  I’d guess our time at the library was twice as long as it used to be and the kids were way more mature than Cakes.

I recognized one other little girl from our baby story time and her mom and I got to talking afterwards.  She commented on how different it was than baby story time and I, of course, agreed.  She told me that her daughter had a hard time focusing for the entire period, so she often would show up half way through to make things easier on her.  I think I might take her suggestion and ease Cakes back into the library with half sessions a couple of times a month.  She desperately needs the socialization and to start learning how to follow directions.

How is it already March?  I feel so old saying things like that.  Growing up, I used to hear adults say that time goes by so fast and not wish for it to move any faster because it’ll be here before you know it.  I didn’t believe them at the time.  I wanted to skip the boring stuff and get right to the good, grown up stuff.  Now that I’m here, I know exactly what all of those people were talking about.  So here we in March and I’m just baffled two months of the year have already come and gone.

To keep myself accountable for my resolutions, I’m going to do a monthly progress report.  I read something during the holidays that the best way to write up resolutions (or goals, if you don’t like the word resolution) is to split it up into four parts – personal, family, home, and finances.  Here’s how I’m doing on my resolutions three months later.
PERSONAL
  1. Run a 5k.  Done! 
  2. Stop biting my nails.  Fail – I haven’t even tried.
  3. Make my blog successful and start hosting giveaways.  I think the making my blog successful part will always be a work in progress.  I’m kind of baffled by all of the giveaways I have already hosted and have planned – exciting stuff!
  4. Win more giveaways.  This one isn’t working out so well.  I won way more giveaways in December than January and February when I did my Giveaway Challenge combined.  Entering giveaways takes a lot of work but you definitely get rewarded!
FAMILY
  1. Potty train Cakes.  I haven’t even started.  She’s still really only interested in standing in her potty or wearing it on her head.  I’m not entirely sure she’s ready but it’s still a goal.
  2. Get pregnant again and have a full-term fatty.  This is still a work in progress too.  I *finally* got my blood work results back and all is well.  No red flags were found.
  3. Plan at least one vacation.  Dates still haven’t been decided but we talk about our beach vacation all the time, so I don’t think we’ll be backing out of this one.
  4. Socialize more.  We actually socialized quite a bit more than I originally thought.  We went to a monthly dinner with about a dozen friends and their kids, a baby shower, and another party last Saturday.  Good times!  This is definitely an ongoing thing for a couple of introverted homebodies!
HOME
  1. Stick to a cleaning schedule.  I was so not consistent with this one in February.  I need to get back into it though.  The weather is starting to warm up and the bugs are out.
  2. Stain the fence.  Tax refund money has been deposited, now just waiting on my husband to get some time off from work.
  3. Get gutters installed.  I need to start getting estimates on this one.  I’d really like my husband to be here when they’re done though, so that might take some planning.
  4. Fence the entire property.  Again, this has to wait until my husband schedules some time off.  He’s getting ready to hit the cap for his PTO (again, he hit it in December too) so hopefully these will be checked off next month.
FINANCES
  1. Purchase a new to us car.  Done! 
  2. Pay off car as quickly as possible.  We’ve decided not to pay it off as quickly as possible since we’ll be using our tax refund to do some things around the house.  It’s not paid off yet but I did make five months worth of payments in February so we’re a little ahead of the game.
  3. Get all legal wills and documents in place.  They’re all printed and ready to be notarized but are still in the envelope.
  4. Open Cakes a 529.  Done! 
Did you make New Year’s resolutions?  How are you doing on keeping yours?!

Cakes’s favorite toy is her Marge Simpson doll.  I got this at Burger King in the late 80s/early 90s as part of a promo they were running.  As you can see by the pics, she loves this thing a little too much and it’s getting pretty dirty.  Cakes gets very distressed sometimes if she doesn’t know where Marge is and will ask about her until she can see her again.  It’s sweet but at the same time, I didn’t know if I could successfully wash Marge without ruining her.  And if I did ruin her, Cakes would be a mess.  I found another brand new Marge doll on eBay last night and went ahead and ordered that as a backup in case this one doesn’t make it.  It’s kind of funny but this whole scenario of having a backup in case Marge was lost or destroyed didn’t occur to me until watching Toy Story 3 for the twentieth time.

We had a busy weekend before the house emptied out.  My parents arrived on Friday morning and got to spend a couple of days with us while they were house hunting.  Their trip was a success and they put a contract on a house that’s about two hours away from us.  It’ll make for a very manageable day trip and give Cakes the opportunity to spend more time with them and my grandparents (who live with my parents and are also moving south).  Cakes just adores her Nana and Papa and I can’t wait for them to be around all the time!

Cakes playing with Nana and Papa on the slide.

After breakfast yesterday, my parents headed back to Colorado while my husband left town on a business trip.  It’s just me, Cakes and the dogs.  I’m not exactly alone nor do I have an empty house, but it’s just not the same.  So far this is the first full day without anyone that I can carry on a conversation with.  My conversations with the dogs are entirely one sided and those with Cakes are mostly one sided with one and two word sentences thrown in there.

I’m no stranger to my husband traveling for business.  Early on in our marriage, after getting out of the Air Force he traveled around as a contractor for the government.  He was usually gone for four weeks or so at a time, home for a week, and then gone again.  He did that for almost two years.  Luckily, I had college classes to keep me busy and I got so used to him being gone it was an adjustment to have him back home.  I’d get up to get a drink or a snack and fail to offer to bring him back something too.  And the travel wasn’t all bad, I made a couple of trips to Vegas with him and used hotel points to have a week’s vacation at an oceanfront resort in Maui!  But that was a long time ago.

Maui – 2005

And that’s before we were parents and when my parents were only 10 minutes away.  Now my parents are 15 hours away and we have a 2 year old.  I have so much respect an admiration for the single parents and military spouses out there that do it all and never get a break.  Or the time their spouse is gone is longer than five days.  I know I’ll survive and have plenty to keep me busy – a race to train for (my 5k is this Saturday), blogging, maybe a little shopping to do, and house cleaning.