Thursday, January 27, 2011

Before & After

January 2010 - Dr. Black's office

January 2011 - Dr. Black's office

This time last year we were sending our 6 month old into surgery for ear tubes. It was a minor routine procedure but regardless, this Momma still couldn't deal with the idea of sending her small little baby off in a nurse's arms to have surgery. However, she also couldn't deal with watching her little baby go through ear infection after ear infection for the first 6 months of her life either.

Luckily the surgery was quick and she recovered quickly and has been GREAT ever since.
This morning we spent back at the ENT's office for our yearly follow-up on her tubes. She received a clean bill of health, tubes are still doing their job and are secure, and nothing could be better! Such good news to hear since it's not uncommon for them to fall out and have to be replaced, especially when she's so young.

Addison is/was such a trooper through it all. Even when she was dealing with infection after infection and multiple doctor visits she never seemed to show discomfort. I remember her crying a little after they brought her out of surgery but within minutes she was asleep in my arms and has continued to be her happy self ever since. Luckily, we don't have to deal with earplugs and instead just have to make sure her ears don't stay under water too long. She hasn't had an ear infection since the surgery and hasn't ever complained when the doctor checks her ears out.

Although it was a difficult thing for me to watch/do, (especially since her ear trouble likely came from me since I had tubes when I was little) it was the BEST thing for her as well. It was quick and the pain/ear infections disappeared immediately. Thankfully, we were able to catch it all before it affected her speech development and balance, etc. I spent my childhood years visiting speech therapists and multiple doctors and dealing with awkward ear plugs.

I'm thankful that it all worked out like it did and that she is such an easy going baby and so happy despite what she had to deal with. She's such a little trooper! And if anyone needs advice on an ENT we have a great one!

In The Dark

This past Saturday night we spent in the dark - both literally and figuratively that is.

It was a double date that my sister-in-law, Sarah and I chose to keep our husbands "in the dark" about our specific plans for the evening. And of course we spent the evening, literally, in the dark.

We did this:

Sarah is always good at inspiring us to do the very un-typical dates of dinner/movie...which is what we fall back on most times we actually make it out on a date. But this time definitely spiced it up and gave us memories to last a lifetime.

We showed up at the restaurant and were immediately given the instructions. No removing our blindfolds at any point whatsoever. I realized how serious they were when they explained the process of if/when we had to use the restroom and how we would be assisted. Luckily they did let us remove them once we got to the actual toilet but then and only then.

After putting our blindfolds on in the lobby, we all formed a train and followed the waitress to our table. We were a bit tense and nervous but since we were only the 2nd party to be seated, we had time to acclimate to our environment. That is, until the rest of the groups came and the noise level reached an all new decibel. Apparently, everyone feels the need to overcompensate vocally when they lose their sense of sight. Can I tell you how much more uptight I felt when I couldn't HEAR my table on top of not being able to SEE?

The experience was great....the not so much. They served everyone the same meal and that also was kept a secret until afterward. I did eat duck and elk - two items I would NOT have consumed had I known. The first course was delicious, whatever it was. It could be that it seemed to take FOREVER before they fed us and I was starving enough to like anything. However, the remaining courses were....interesting. It's "froo froo food" which isn't always my strong suit. Which means small portions and a long time until you get them. At one point I was about to gnaw off a table leg for my 2nd appetizer. I was STARVING! The duck was bland and sat atop some STRONG tasting lettuce bed. The elk wouldn't have been so bad....had it been cooked! I knew it tasted mushy and slightly warm but I polished it off anyway (remember I was starving). While eating, I kept telling myself, surely they cooked it at least medium, surely right? Nope, the pics on facebook prove otherwise. It was next to raw - apparently fancy schmancy folks like raw game? I'll just stick to my chicken strips next time thank ya.

But again, the experience was hilarious and memorable. Our waitress sounded like Gayle King with her soothing voice and descriptive actions as she placed our hands on our water, fork, etc. My bathroom guide was just as kind explaining every step, movement, as we made our way to the facilities. Our dining comrades, although loud, were hilarious to listen to. And we managed to make the best of it as well.

Of course, following our "Dark" theme our next activity consisted of this:

It also was fun even though I spent half the time unknowingly shooting the gun at myself (yep, it was backwards). I'm not the most skilled when it comes to games. Plus, we were beat by small children who just walked and shot at us at point blank range - no fear. And of course, somewhere along the way our team didn't scan right and thus we ranked w/zero points after it was all over. Luckily we laughed enough to make it all worth our while.

Overall, it was a fun night that I won't be forgetting anytime soon! Definitely better than the usual dinner and a movie. Just next time, I'd like to view/approve the menu. :D

Monday, January 17, 2011

Who's The Boss?

Not only was I in L-O-V-E w/Tony Danza in my pre-pubescent years, I wanted to BE Sam. Tony was such a hunk (yes, even at 12 I could see this) and Sam was so cute and spunky. It was the rest of the cast that I could care less about. Especially Angela....she was annoying, not cute and not deserving of Tony.

But before I digress too deep into my baggage from my formative years let me inform you that this post doesn't really have a thing to do with the show: "Who's The Boss." This post is actually a platform to air a dirty little secret of mine....okay not necessarily "dirty" but a secret nonetheless.

Am I the only one who finds a twisted satisfaction in FINALLY being a parent and thus being the one in charge? Maybe it's because I was in trouble throughout 99% of my childhood (not really), or maybe it was because I had a bossy older sister (really), or maybe I just felt suppressed being surrounded by grown-ups who seemed to find satisfaction in squelching my dreams (???).

Okay, maybe it's none of those silly things and it's more of the fact I spent about 10+ years single and waiting for marriage and children and now I can't get over how fun it is to be the one to say the words: "Because I told you so!"

Honestly, Addison is really a well behaved child. She only has a few typical "toddler moments" so it's not really necessary to force the parent power on her.....but I like to anyway. ;-)

Mostly its the days where I decide the following:

  • "Hey! Lets have McDonald's for lunch! And Addison, you get a happy meal!! :D" - I can count on one hand - okay two fingers - the times I ever enjoyed my own happy meal at McD's. Mostly we were lucky to have a $1 whopper cut in half and even luckier if we got to grab 3 fries from the community bag.
  • "Let's go swimming....everyday!" - When I was little, I was half-fish. The only thing I lived for was the next swimming pool and could spend there if my parents ever let me.
  • "Listen to Mommy!" - Honestly, Addison is a good little listener but she is at the age where it takes a few minutes to decide if she is really going to or not. It's fun to be the stubborn one and win when she challenges me. Not sure if I should be getting this excited from "winning?"
  • "Lets go to Silver Dollar City...for no reason!" - Okay this one I've only done once or twice so far but it's all about to change this year since Santa gave us some season passes and I plan on wearing them out.
  • "It's nap time!" - An especially fun one since her nap time=my nap time. Gotta enjoy it while it lasts right?
Okay, in all honestly I did have a wonderful childhood. Even if we only got to dine on half whoppers every other fifth tuesday. My Mom wasn't really bossy: case in point, she'd let us soap up her linoleum floor so we could slip n slide around on it and "mop the floor" at the same time. And my parents tried hard to provide me with adequate swimming opportunities. Even my Dad would walk me down to the campground pool the minute we arrived, no matter the time of day, just by ourselves. And we grew up going to Silver Dollar City so many times I don't remember ever asking to go and not getting to.

BUT, they did make us take naps! (mean parents!) Only on Sundays though. And really all we had to do was lay down and count to 100 3x's before we could get up.

So, why do I find such joy in being the boss now? No idea really - it's just fun! The parent power is thrilling whether it's in the good times or the bad. Mostly, I guess it's just that I know that I'll always get the last word. Now if I can only train John to obey me as well as Addison does. ;-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rockin' New Years Eve

Ryan Seacrest wasn't the only one rockin' in 2011. The Hufford house was in full swing LONG before New Yorkers even started. (Yes, I'm rather upset at New York for not starting their party until 11:30 but that is a whole other story).

Anyway, we started our own party on time and had a blast doing it. I must admit, our party was thrown together due to a last minute cancellation of our wonderful hostess who was under the weather w/her little family. I guess it just goes to show, a party can still be fun with random food, no decorations, and dishes that were hardly matching. Luckily our guests were all family so there was no need to impress....they have to like us anyway ;-).

We started the festivities and dined on delicious food. Cheeseball and crackers, veggie tray, pigs in a blanket, pop, and candy & treats. We won't mention my contribution of pork and beans. A new recipe that really left me disappointed. :(

Addison loved having cousin Dave over to play but mostly enjoyed mooching food off of Aunt Josie and Grandma Jean's plates. Apparently it tasted much better than her own plate.

The real fun started once we busted out Rock Band 2 and worked our mojo. I never knew how much mojo Papa Joe and Mama Jean had! ;-) We ended the night early with a couple rounds of Buzz Word and all went to our own own homes and beds to ring in the actual new year. Thanks for the fun family!! Glad to know I married into a family that knows how to get their groove on! Even if it does take a few minutes to warm up to the idea. ;-)

Josie and Bart on guitar, John on drums, and Joe bringing it all together with an impressive rendition of "Burnin' Ring of Fire."

Addison and David were our little "Go-Go Dancers." If anyone in the family has rhythm...these two do!

And Mama Jean wrapping up the evening singing "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." She sounded great, even sporting her pre-bronchitis symptoms! ;-)

Pre-Christmas Celebration

**I actually have a good excuse for this post being so late. Since my dear sister-in-law, Colton, was such an avid picture taker, I had to wait on her to send me all her goods. And boy did she! I got LOTS of pictures but for your sake, I'll only show you a few.**

We were miraculously able to get the Bell side of the family together for the weekend before Christmas. It was chaotic but a blast and we were so glad we could pre-celebrate the holidays with each other. It's always so fun when we can all get together. Needless to say, I think my Mooma was in heaven!

Friday: Most of us were able to make it to celebrate Natalie's birthday at Texas Roadhouse. Thank heavens uncle Quentin was smart enough to call ahead so we could fight our way through the huge crowd blocking the entrance. It was crazy busy but the food and company was still worth it.

Saturday: Mooma Bell (aka Grandma Bell) was gracious enough to take everyone out to breakfast for their previous year birthdays. (Can you tell that we enjoy eating in my family? ;-). We mixed it up a bit this year and decided to eat at Hemingway's in Bass Pro, instead of our usual Shoney's. It was definitely a nice change. The food was better (and cheaper!), the ambiance was better, and the boys and kids LOVED being able to shop/play in Bass Pro after they ate.

Then we all ran our errands and laid around relaxing for most of the day. The boys shot their guns and worked on John's truck, the girls gabbed, and the kids played. It was nice to get so much done with so little effort. That evening we held our annual present exchange. The cousins all loved exchanging with each other and also enjoyed Grandma Bell's gift. And afterwards the adults got to enjoy some fun of their own by playing "Dirty Santa" and stealing each other's gifts. Apparently my family is just too nice or maybe we can't follow rules but hardly anyone stole each other's gifts. Leave it to Kyle to break the trend and steal my own Mother's beloved gift!! ;-)

Sunday: We went to church and came home to dine on our delicious Christmas dinner. Before long we were all headed home in our different directions. Can't wait until we can do it again!

Kayley, Ashlyn, and Addison cheesing. The bigger girls were SO good with taking care of (spoiling) Addison with attention and being at her every beck and call.

Me, Garrett, Kayley, Cora, Preston & Ashlyn cheesing it up after our delicious breakfast at Bass Pro. Can you tell these cousins love and adore each other?

The boys shooting guns. John took the liberty of modeling his manly pink earmuffs for Cassie.

John, Alexa, Cassie, Me, and Natalie (and Brady) modeling while we gorged on our Christmas dinner.