Yup. My friends know me.

I have pretty awesome friends. Not bragging, just a fact. They have laughed with me, cried with me, loved on my kids, loved me through the good and the bad. One of my best friends in H-town (whom I pretty much met the first year we moved here and we have just lived all sorts of life together - she ROCKS), gave me the most kick-a Christmas present.

For the past few months, we've instituted mommy playdate/happy hours most Thursdays - our hubbies both work long hours and we are SAHMs, so we are DONE by the end of the week. Our kids are now at that perfect age where they can actually play together, entertain one another, and we live only 7 minutes apart. It's awesome.

(Disclaimer: HH playdates do not begin until after the respectable hour of 5pm, we have a max one drink limit, and most of the time is spent corralling the children, and over the chaos, just trying to catch up with some girl talk. It's all very responsible and respectable-like.)

Anyway, she knows my love language.

Here was my present:

Basically a wine sippy cup for Mommies.

Are you kidding me?

It's so perfect, I can't even tell you. I'm not going to lie - it was put to good use the other night when the kids needed to burn off some energy after their naps (and after 5pm) until Daddy came home. We usually play in the front because of the shade & all of their toys/bikes are out there. But glass & kids don't mix. Vino2Go? Perfection. About 5 minutes into our playing, Ryan's basketball nailed my sippy cup. Spilled wine, yes. But no glass. YES. 

(And I do realize how classy I must look in my yoga pants & baseball cap standing out in my front yard with my wine sippy cup, but I.don't.care. :) ) 

Anyway, my affinity for wine has been well-documented with all of my friends --- even if we go to a Mexican restaurant, I go for the wine. I haven't been able to stomach the smell of tequila and 'ritas since LSU freshman year. And so even friends whom I haven't seen in awhile apparently think of me when they see cool wine related products.

 ie: my friend P posted this same exact link to my FB page today and said "thought of you". ha. Great, I'm THAT wino :) Not sure if I am proud. But I'm impressed that my friends know me so well. (I don't really want to write another disclaimer, but all imbibing is pretty much responsible and adult-like. I have been over 21 for 11+ years now or something like that.)

I do think it's a great product for tailgating, boat rides, or wherever your adventures take you :) You're welcome. (And no, I wasn't compensated for this post - just wanted to share. Click on the link above if you're interested.)


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When It All Seems a Bit Unfair

Most days I'm ok, like really ok, with this heart thing. I feel like I made my peace with it long ago, maybe even before Quinn made her entrance into this world. I've always said I can deal with most anything, if I know what I am facing. And so, we've just taken this journey step by step, day by day, and now month by month. And that's what we all have to do right? Sick child or not. Just keep stepping forward.

Yet I have to laugh when people say I'm strong.

I am SO NOT.

I am a wimp. I am a worrier. I am always anxious before any appointment.

If I give off the appearance that I'm strong, it's because of one of 2 things:

1. I'm either faking it
2. God is intervening for me and carrying me when I need it.

I choose option 2, by the way.

But no matter my faith that God is with us in this journey, there are still moments where the breath is almost knocked out of me in thinking about Q's disease. And it is almost always at a time where I would least expect it. It's much like the grief process in that I suppose. When I lost my dad, for weeks I would be fine and then all of a sudden I would be hit with an ocean of emotions - maybe just triggered by seeing a University of Texas horns bumper sticker or a special song.

It's the unexpectedness that is so difficult.

Yesterday was a tough day. The tears came fast and furious. And completely out of the blue.

I had finally scheduled the twin's flu shots. It seemed we were never healthy enough during November or December to get them and we finally had a break to get them taken care of. My only dread in taking them was just dealing with two upset toddlers by myself, but it's been done before. So off we went.

When speaking with the nurse, she told me they were eligible for the flu mist versus the shot. Oh, fantastic! I was pumped. And then she said, "well, as long as there are no egg allergies or asthma history." "Nope, none of that," I said.

Then, "Well, wait, what about heart problems?"

(Never mind that the nurse hadn't flipped open Q's chart yet, which really is like a book)

"Oh, yes. No mist for heart problems or cardiac abnormalities. So we'll just give Ryan the mist and Quinn the shot."

My heart sunk.

It seemed unfair.

She already has been through so much and now a shot while her twin gets to have the mist.

Yes, I know it is JUST a shot.

But to me, it was representative of their health differences.

And no matter what I do to keep things equal with them, treat them the exact same, or buy them the same amount of gifts, I can't make this equal.

Of course, I wouldn't wish a CHD on Ryan for the world. And I'm sure when Quinn gets older, she wouldn't want that for her brother either.

I just want them to be equal.

And I can't do that.

For a crazy moment, I considered letting them both have the shot versus the 2 different versions.

But that didn't seem right either --- if Ryan could have less pain, then he should have the mist.

Ryan went first as the nurse laid him on the table. Squirt, squirt and he was done. Not a tear shed, just a sniffle as the medicine ran down his throat.

During that entire time, Q was literally pulling on my leg screaming "My turn, my turn! I next, I next." So afraid that she was missing out on something cool.


Then I put her on the table and she promptly laid down just like her brother.

And then out of nowhere, she was jabbed with a needle.

Her face erupted with the unfairness of it all and I felt she was glaring at me. I know she wasn't, but I felt like I did it to her. Again. I'm usually the one with her during these painful things so I consistently feel like the bad guy.

In true Q fashion though, she did recover quickly. We scooted out of there, sucker in hand, and got in the car.

Then she said, "Mommy, leg hurt. My leg hurts." with the saddest voice. And then I looked at her brother, happily sucking on his lollipop, not even a care in the world.

That's when the tears started.

The ugly cry.

I tried to hide it from the kids --- they don't need to see that. But I was just so sad. Sad for Q. Sad for me that I couldn't explain it. Sad that their situations are so drastically different.

And the ugly cries pretty much continued the rest of the day, as they tend to do. I called my mom and cried to her. The unfairness of it all. The helplessness I feel. I can't take this away and it kills me. I can't make her heart better. All I can do is trust in God and pray that He continues to bless her doctors with wisdom and compassion.

I know that Ryan will have face his own sort of trials and tribulations one day. It may not be health related but he will have his own issues, as we all do in this life. But for right now, at the ripe age of 2 1/2,  the difference is so prominent and pronounced.

So yup, most days I'm good with this thing. We're already 3 years down the road if you count the time since utero that we knew about the condition. And we've survived. And we'll continue to do so.

But I don't think I've seen the last of the ugly cries. And that may be ok, too.

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Word of the Year

I've seen a little bit about this going on in the bloggy world and it just spoke to me. I'm not so much a resolution girl. I like to make plans and follow through but I don't particularly care for setting myself up for potential failure. And it's bound to happen if I put down a well-meaning list of goals. Rules (like our house rules) are one thing; promising to drive thru Sonic less and run more (or at all) is another.

So I like the idea of one word to define my year and my attitude.

I have to admit I sat down and had to really think about this one.

If you know me (or have read this blog for any time at all), you know that one word is VERY difficult to me. Hell, one paragraph is difficult for me. When I get word limits for my magazine assignments, it almost causes me to break out into a sweat because how can they tell me to write only 1,000 words when the article NEEDS at least 1,200. Well, it may not need 1,200 but I don't edit myself well. I guess that's probably why I don't make the big bucks. 

Anyway, yes, the one word - see what I'm talking about? Already off on a tangent.

Word for the year: 


When I think of what's coming down the pike this year - the birthdays, the birth day of some special babies, the celebrations of marriage, and who knows what else, I just want to cherish.

More days that I care to admit, I run through the motions, just trying to survive, get the job(s) done, take care of the kids, get dinner on the table, and make it to dinner without my face falling flat on the table. I want to be more PRESENT and CHERISH every.single.moment. (except if we have a repeat of stomach bug 2012 in which case I will skip the cherish part). 

My biggest fear is that I will look back on these years of being home with the kids and regret that I didn't live more in the moment. I live and die by my planner and in many cases, that is my sanity, but I also want to take some time to just roll with life. Take up friends on those last minute dinner plans or playdates. Run down the street in the rain just because we can. Strip down the kids and paint really messy things because screw the clean up. Know what I mean? Cherish these innocent moments. In 2 1/2 years my kids will start school. If those 2 1/2 years fly by like these, then I will blink and it'll be here.

So cheers to cherish. Every single day.

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