Monday, July 29, 2013

So There's This Gallbladder...

A week after Memorial Day, I found myself up most of the night with a wretched stomach ache. The next night too...and the night after that...and, well, you get the idea. It went away after a week and I thought I was good. Then it cropped up while we were on vacation. So I bit the bullet and went to the doctor. 

Some blood work. A prescription. Still having pain. Abdominal ultrasound. 


Blast. So I was referred to a surgeon. "See what he wants to do" they said. Um...have they never met a surgeon? Of course he wants to cut me open. It's what they do.

So that's happening. Friday morning. I'll get to what I'm calling "The Fake Hospital" (because it's just a satellite office) at 9:30 in the morning and leave there sometime that afternoon minus my gallbladder. It's an outpatient procedure. They take your organ and just send you home. Weird. 

I'm slowly getting nervous about it. Partly because its surgery (whether they cut you wide open or just suck your gallbladder out through a straw, its still surgery) but partly because this doesn't guarantee a fix for my tummy issue. Doctors have to cover the butts now with the word "probably" - like this will "probably" take care of the pain in my stomach - instead of giving you real answers. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is the real issue. 

I'm pretty thankful that it's my gallbladder and not my liver again. My liver and I are coexisting nicely these day and I'd like to leave it that way.

Friday, July 26, 2013

High Five for Friday

Today I'm linking up with Lauren to share some of my favorite happenings from the past week.

1) I wore these super cute shoes to work on Friday. I've had them for a few months but don't wear them often so I get excited whenever the opportunity presents itself.

2) On Saturday we took Grant to the Hurricanes Summerfest and had a great time!

3) Also on Saturday we did one of our Family Movie Nights. I made stove-top popcorn (not jiffy pop, popcorn in a pot with oil and butter and salt and it was wonderful) and we watched the Smurfs movie. It was cute and Grant liked it...and it was only 75 cents from Redbox. Regardless of the movie, we love Family Movie Nights.

4) I felt like a walk this week so I busted out our very under used wagon and took Grant around the neighborhood a few times. It was HOT but it felt good to just get out for a bit of exercise. 

5) I made Grant try on the outfit I'm planning on having him wear to my sister-in-law's wedding at the end of August. Grant was less than thrilled with this idea. But he looks super adorable all the same in his little seersucker blazer...even if the hat is a little big.

Happy Friday! I hope you have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hurricanes Summerfest 2013

Last week sometime I got an email notice that the Hurricanes would be having a summer festival and I thought "What a terrible idea". I mean, it's JULY. In North Carolina. Every time I leave an air conditioned space for the sweltering heat and humidity of the outdoors I curse my decision to move here. 

But then I saw it was inside the arena and I thought "Lets go!"

So we did. Not for very long, we were a little lazy that morning getting going but it was worth the trip for just the couple hours we were there. 

Upon exiting the truck, Grant saw one of the few things they had stationed outside the arena which was a huge inflatable slide. Slides being one of his favorite things ever, he pointed and said "OHMIGOSH ITS A SLIDE! I need to go on the slide!" 

He always has to go backwards too.
He could have stayed on that thing until it shut down. And even though it was outside, it really wasn't too hot standing there. And if the slide was hot, none of the kids coming down had any complaints.

We managed to talk Grant into checking out what was inside. There may have been mention of a bounce house.

And there was a bounce house. But Grant seemed intimidated by the crowd around that one and didn't want to play there. So we walked and just happened to see the Hurricanes mascot, Stormy. Figuring there was no way he'd get near the giant pig ("Ice Hog"), Husband tried to ease him into it. When he set Grant down, Stormy crouched down too. And that's when Grant walked over to him with his little arms spread out for a hug which just about knocked us on our butts with shock.

Also, it was one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Ever.
Posing with Stormy!
We had passed a little slap shot station they had set up on our way to say Hi to Stormy. So after that little meeting, Grant told us he wanted to go play hockey and made his way over there. Grant was patiently waiting in line while kids who'd already had turns let other kids cut in line...which really pisses me off considering there a mom standing there acting like a 12 year old that thought the whole thing was funny. So I made a not-so-quiet comment about how Grant had two kids in front of him and now they've magically turned into four. Then a dad appeared and made the two boys who'd cut in front of Grant get behind him. Husband calls that "showing my NY side"...I call it "making parents teach their kids manners". So anyway, Grant had his turn at the slap shots and he did great.

He was serious about his hockey. I'm thinking we've got a little sports player on our hands (which isn't a bad thing...just an expensive thing).

Future player checking out the feel of a locker :)
After that we just checked out some more stuff they had going on. Some of it was too big for Grant. Like the bull riding station he almost cried to ride on. It was nice because it wasn't too crowded so there wasn't a lot of waiting and it wasn't wall-to-wall people.

Grant loves to throw the football so he had to check out this station
They were also having their prospect scrimmage so visitors could go in and watch that too. We didn't. As soon as we walked in there, Grant started whimpering to leave. I'm thinking he was having flashbacks from his first hockey game. Or maybe he just didn't want to sit down and stop playing. Who knows. We stood at the deck area for a minute to watch but that was it.

It was definitely worth a trip out there. We've never gone in the past but knowing it was inside this year was a big incentive. Plus, much to my surprise, it was totally FREE. All the activities were free and they even had a little cotton candy station for the kids (well, adults too I guess...we didn't partake). I think it's awesome they do that for the fans! Grant had a great time and maybe he'll remember how much fun he had there the next time we make an attempt to get him to a game.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Visit to Boldt Castle

While on vacation I very much wanted to make a trip to one of my favorite places, Alexandria Baywhich always leads to a jaunt out to another one of my favorite places:
Boldt Castle on Heart Island (1000 Islands, NY)
The trip was very much to humor me because I know Husband and my sister wouldn't have put up a fight if I decided not to go. I used to go every summer for a day trip but I haven't been now since 2009 when my friend Jen got married at that very castle. 

I've done another post about this place. And maybe a little about the islands in general. I would so absolutely happily love to live there (the islands/area in general, not the castle)! Since I was little we've made regular pilgrimages out to that island (sometimes after a long boat tour of the islands). I remember going there when I was small and the place was almost a ruin. Birds flying around and the sun shining in from the holes in the roof. It was so gorgeous and sad. But now work is being done to finish the structures on the island. From what I've read, every structure was at one time finished except for the main building - the castle itself. My opinion? It shouldn't be finished. Ever. I think it gives the wrong impression to the people visiting that don't bother to read the little pamphlet they give you at the gate. BUT I won't get into that. 

Opinions aside, it was nice to visit again. It's a beautiful place no matter what.

Before a walk through the little town of Alex Bay and the shuttle ride over to the island, we parked for a bathroom break and so I could take some pictures of the nearby stuff. Aside from the above picture of Heart Island/Boldt Castle:

The small island to the front is known as "Mother-in-Law Island" and
the structure to the back is on Wesley Island and is the Boldt Yacht House.
Down the river from the castle is Hopewell Hall, formerly another
Boldt property. George Boldt died here and I think his daughter, Clover, 

lived here until she died as well (I may be a liar though).
My sis pointed out the anchor on the lawn of this
property and I thought it was neat.
Husband and Grant
So we took a shuttle out to the castle. We sort of figured Grant would freak out. It's a small boat and sits low in the water but he loved it! And we got to ride on one of the larger tour boats back to the mainland which he loved even more.

So pretty :)
A very exciting site for Grant!
I wanted to get a good pic of Grant at the castle and I managed
this one before my sister started getting him to make pirate faces.

The "Hennery" or Dove-cote (I think I read that 
this also supplied water to the island. Maybe.)
We walked around the outside of the house a little before heading inside (at first looking for the bathroom and then just touring the inside). It's been a while since I've really walked through the main house. It's self guided so you can take as long as you want :)

Ballroom (and Husband, Sister, and Grant)
Dining room (if I remember correctly, the Boldts
did own that furniture at one time)
Just outside the the dining room on the wrap around porch is a huge, gorgeous outside fire place. I took a picture of my Dad there in 2009 after the wedding (he was only too happy to pose) and this year we took a picture of Grant there too. It made me a little sad. It was my first time taking a trip to the Bay and to the castle without my parents.

And now back inside...

Billiard room
One of the upstairs rooms (I over heard someone talk about
how ornate their furnishings were and I wanted to scream
"They never lived in here!!!" but I held it in.)

From one of the 3rd floor balconies...just so pretty!
Grant sitting in one of the basement fireplaces
Me and Grant at one of my favorite places!
(yes his hand is in my shirt...I honestly don't know why)
Just a couple more shots from around the island:

The powerhouse
Another shot of the gorgeous outside.
And there it is. One of my favorite places and very possibly the most visited place on my list of favorites. I was so excited to bring Grant here. My sister figured he'd hate it (I think Husband thought so too). But you know what? He loved it. He loved the boat ride, he loved walking around the island and even loved wandering around in the castle. He wasn't a fan of the power house for some reason so we didn't stay in there long. But other than that, his first trip to Boldt Castle couldn't have been better. 

I took a lot more pictures but I figured you'd been subjected to enough.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

4th of July - 2013

After the 4th of July parade in my last post, we headed over to my Aunt Betty & Uncle John's house for a cook out. When we were growing up that's where all our 4th of July's were spent. It was always so much fun and it was great to do it again this year.

Look at that view!

Contemplating a jump into the water

I wanted to get a shot of us all drew myself in since I was behind the camera.
There was socializing to be done, baby Alex having his first 4th, and my sis's sweet dog Lennon to play with:

And there was also a potty trained toddler ingesting lots of fluids to keep track of...

It's always great to spend a holiday with family and it was nice for us all to sit down together over a yummy dinner (followed by yummy dessert!). And to talk and spend time was just a really nice day. And that rain that hit us during the parade never came back :)
Enjoying one of the marshmallows I made (he ate at least 6 that day)
He was in and out of the water all day, he had so much fun!
Grant always loves his Lennon play time!
In my previous post I mentioned that my dad's brother, my Uncle Kevin, drove up to spend the 4th with us. We speak on the phone often, but I hadn't seen him since my dad's funeral...which meant he hadn't seen Grant since he was about 5 months old. It was great to see him and spend time talking with him in person but I was super excited for him to spend time with Grant. And Grant took to him like glue. He absolutely loved him and it was so fun to see these two together:

As you can see, it was a great day and great holiday together. Unfortunately, it was our last day of vacation...but what a great way to end it!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

4th of July Parade

  So last week was vacation for us. We once again decided to visit my family in NY during the 4th of July so we could go to the parade and enjoy the holiday with family. There will be many more vacation posts (including one about our holiday in general) and I guess I'm starting with the end of vacation and working my way back but I wanted to get a post up about the parade (this year's theme was Dr. Seuss). I so look forward to the parade!

The parade starts at 1:00 which meant Grant had no nap that day. With the promise of fire trucks, tractors, and candy being thrown at him I didn't have much hope of a nap anyway. He had been telling people all week that he was going to the parade. He was so excited.
So excited!
To top off the day, my Uncle Kevin (my dad's brother who I talk to on the phone but haven't seen since my dad's funeral) came all the way from Rochester (4 hour drive) to spend the 4th with us! It was great to see him and spend time together and Grant was absolutely attached to him.

Grant and Uncle Kevin (also, someone gave Grant a popsicle on arrival)
So, the start of the parade. We hear the church bells indicating it's 1:00 and then we hear the fire whistle/call/horn thingy that is basically across the street and quite loud.

Clearly, Grant wasn't a fan.
We got him over it pretty quick though.
Waving at the motorcycles starting the parade.

Here it comes!

One of my favorites! The Norwood Brass Firemen
Being led by the Cat in the Hat
Grant loved all the firetrucks (new and old)
And of course anything like this
Also a big fan of any floats tossing candy (nothing quite
like a tootsie that you pick up off the street)

Lots of creative stuff this year!

Most (if not all) of the local fire departments march in
the Norwood parade and they always look so nice!
I think this one might be my favorite fire truck

The Original Yanks Drum & Bugle Corps! Another
one of my favorites to see and listen too!
At this point in the parade, the rain that had been holding off for at least 45 minutes decided to let loose and I put away my camera. Then we had a choice: stand in the rain and watch the rest of the parade or sit in our vehicle that was blocked by traffic and go nowhere. So we stood in the rain and that was definitely the better option (although from that point on all tootsie rolls were soggy). The next two pictures I managed to snap with my phone when the rain let up some.

This was what I was willing to stand in the rain for! I love
to hear the pipers. I overheard my sister telling my uncle that
one of these guys was the one who played Amazing Grace at both
my parents funerals - I'm not sure I knew that.
So we stayed till the end and were rewarded with a sunny holiday for the rest of the day. With traffic kind of crazy for a small town after the parade, we weren't going anywhere for a while. The Original Yanks were doing an encore after the parade in the park so we went over there to listen while Uncle Kevin took Grant to the playground (which he'd been eyeing all through the parade).

They really sound great!
After 2 popsicles and 2 [small] lollipops Grant needed to burn some energy!
So that's that for the parade. The rain put a damper on my picture-taking, but you get the idea. Hopefully you can tell from these pictures what a great parade Norwood puts on and why we so look forward to going! 

More pictures from the 4th coming soon
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