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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Getting Over the Funk

Sorry I haven't blogged in a week. The stomach bug made a visit to our house.

We all got it in some form or another. Lily and I were over ours in 24 hours (Chris just got a "smaller version" of it and was only down for a night) but it took poor Ann Catherine about 3 days to truly kick it.

It's so sad when your child has the stomach virus. She kept saying, "Mommy, I'm so thirsty." Then I would give her something and she would throw it right back up. And she just couldn't understand why she couldn't have more.

The hero in all of this is my mother. Ann Catherine and I got the virus within hours of each other, so when the morning rolled around, I was so sick I couldn't get out of bed. There was no way I could have taken care of her and Lily. Chris called my mom and she came over and took care of the girls for me during that day. I can honestly say I don't know what I would do without her. I feel so sorry for moms who don't have their own moms close by. I know I can call her, and without hesitation, she's there - even knowing she might get sick too (which she didn't by the way. I guessed she has built up decades of "mommy immunity.")

When Ann Catherine finally started feeling better she said to me one night, "Mommy and Mimi took care of me." It's true. I couldn't have done it without my mom.

Isn't life strange. Even after our kids are grown with kids of their own, we women continue to take care of them.

It's why God made women so strong. There are a lot of people counting on us.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Daddy's Little Valentines

When I was a little girl, I could always count on getting something from my daddy on Valentine's Day. If he gave my mother a box of candy, my sister and I would get a smaller box. If he gave her a dozen red roses, we both got 3 red roses.

It was such a powerful statement. It said to me that my daddy was the first man in my life, and he would be there even if those snotty-nosed little boys weren't.

I told Chris about this after Ann Catherine was born, and I told him that he should always give the girls something for Valentine's Day. They should always be able to count on something from him.

He has truly carried through on this. Every Valentine's Day, he gives the girls something. Yesterday, he gave them both a card and some candy (Ann Catherine got a box of chocolates with Belle on front, and Lily got some peeps shaped like a heart.)

It just touches my heart. I want Lily and Ann Catherine to always know that, no matter what, they will always have a man in their life.

And his name is Daddy.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Adventures in Potty Training

I write this with a gigantic smile on my face.

Ann Catherine is potty trained!!

Seriously, if you had told me five years ago that a two-year-old using the potty would have given me so much joy, I would have laughed.

Let me preface this post by saying, I consider myself a pretty laid-back mom. I don't force my kids to do things until they are ready. Ann Catherine didn't walk until she was 16 months old, and it truly didn't faze me. I figured she would walk when she was good and ready.

Same with potty training. I'm not one of those moms who started working on it as soon as she turned two. I figured she would let me know when she was ready.

The last few weeks, she had done just that. She had all the classic signs: she could hold it for hours at a time, she would tell me she had to go and she did the little dance that is a dead-on signal.

I blogged on here a few weeks ago asking for your advice. And I realized that the best thing for Ann Catherine was to make the jump into wearing big girl undies. We had been talking about it for months and she really wanted to wear them.

The delusional mother in me thought for some reason that as soon as I put those "magical" undies on, and my daughter had a few accidents, voila! She would be potty trained.

Not so.

We started wearing them on a Saturday, and she had accidents all day long. I mean Same thing Sunday. Monday I let her wear them to school. Same thing - accidents all day. I called my best friend on the way home from daycare that day (Olivia, I know you are laughing reading this) PANICKING that Ann Catherine was still having accidents.

We tried it all. Candy, stickers, 'you make Cinderella cry when you tee-tee on her' - everything. Nothing fazed Ann Catherine. There was no reward worth using the bathroom for. I couldn't understand it.

After seven days of this, I was so tired of cleaning up puddles and washing clothes each night. I was ready to throw in the towel. But we kept on.

In watching her and talking with her teachers, I realized something. It's not that Ann Catherine was having accidents. She was CHOOSING to have accidents. She would sit on the potty for 15 minutes and hold it, and then go have an accident.

That's when I realized it. My two-year-old daughter needed to be in control. She was going to potty on her terms, and no one else's.

The Sunday after the Havoc game, it just clicked for Ann Catherine and she did it. I looked like the biggest idiot, jumping up and down, dancing and screaming because my child had used the potty.

We haven't had an accident in 5 days, and we only had that one because I was gone and Lily was sick, and Chris was taking care of both of them and couldn't help AC in time. Lately, she just tells me she has to go, takes off for the potty and does her business. It really is a beautiful thing.

I really wouldn't wish potty training on my worst enemy. For one week, I was as miserable as can be. But she did it! It's just one more hurdle that I'm glad - no make that relieved - that we have crossed.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Oh, What a Night!

I don't know if I have words to describe what happened Saturday night, but I'll try.

As most of you know, Saturday night was Melissa George Night at the Huntsville Havoc game. The players wore jerseys trimmed in baby blue, bearing the logo of the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund. After the game, they auctioned off these game-worn, autographed jerseys to fans. In addition, the players used pink sticks during warm-ups and auctioned those off as well. People also brought items for the Neonatal ICU, as well as monetary donations to Melissa's Fund.

When it was all said and done, we raised more than $65,000 for Melissa's Fund!! $65,000!!!! Chris and I are still floating. It was just a fantastic night and Huntsville Havoc fans once again proved that they are the most generous fans in the world.

I went into this jersey auction wondering what would happen. Last year's jersey auction was just so amazing and raised $54,400. It was the first year we had ever done it, and I wondered would we be able to match, or surpass what we raised last year?

Chris and I just wanted to raise enough to purchase one Giraffe OmniBed (they cost around $35,000). After the auction, as we were packing up, I said to Chris, "Oh, my goodness. We just raised enough to purchase TWO beds!!" I couldn't believe it.

Most of you have heard me talk about these Giraffe Beds. They are state-of-the-art beds for the most critically ill premature babies - those who weigh less than two pounds, just as my daughters did. When we first started Melissa's Fund, the NICU didn't have any of them. Once we purchase the two from this auction, that will bring the total that we have purchased for the NICU to seven. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. It is because of generous donations from people across the Tennessee Valley.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the fans who took part, whether you purchased a jersey or stick or made a monetary donation to Melissa's Fund. The babies in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit have a better chance of surviving because of YOU. I can't thank you enough. And to Keith Jeffries, Kevin Walker, Ashley Balch and the rest of the Havoc staff, thank you for making this happen and for all the hard work you put into it. You guys are the best!

One of the highlights of the night was when Ann Catherine dropped the puck with Chris. The picture above shows them together. (To see more pictures from the jersey auction, click here. WHNT has created a slideshow.) I just believe with all of my heart that Melissa was so proud of her at that moment. And I think she's very proud of what happened Saturday night.

I know I am.