The House of Doo

The House of Doo

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Weekend Follow-up!

Oh this weekend went by way too fast.  It was fairly uneventful, but still, it was the weekend.  Saturday was just Colt and me.  Sometime in the middle of the night, Ryan woke up throwing up.  All. Night. Long.  Ugh.  Sunday was his only day off this week and he was sick.  :(  It was not a fun time.  I was afraid it was the stomach virus and that Colt and I would end up getting it, but we haven't so far.  I am hoping by now, 3 days later, we are in the clear.  Later that afternoon, Colt and I went to my dad and Judy's house to visit and go to dinner.  Every Sunday we do that.  I think we all enjoy it so much.  Colt loves his G-Daddy and Nana.  I love to watch Colt with them, it is extra special to see your child and your parents interact, you know?  Yesterday was Monday, but still technically our "weekend." We had a really great lunch at my cousin's house and got to spend some time with some of my other cousins.  :)  We don't do that enough.  I had a great time.  Then last night, we had friends over for dinner.  We also don't do that enough.  I'll share some of my recipes from last night. 

I made Famous Pork Chops, homemade mashed potatoes, roasted okra, and orzo. Also, homemade blackberry cobbler for dessert.  I've been making the pork chops for years and Ryan loves these.  I got the original recipe from here, but will copy it below.

Famous Pork Chops
  • 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers ( I use a whole sleeve!)
  • garlic salt to taste (more is better here)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 pork chops
  • 1/2 cup butter
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a shallow bowl combine crushed crackers, garlic salt and pepper; mix well. In a separate bowl beat eggs.
  3. Dip your pork chops in the egg batter and then in the cracker mixture. Place the pork chops in a casserole dish. Place chunks of the butter around the pork chops. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
The roasted okra came from Pinterest and it was AMAZING.  I was a little unsure, but it was a hit.  I don't have an exact recipe, but I took fresh okra, cut the ends off and then tossed it with olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and seasoning salt.  I spread it on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and baked it for about 20 minutes on 450, I think.  Seriously....good stuff!

The orzo came from a blog called The Cutting Edge of Ordinary.  It was also really yummy and I can't wait to eat the leftovers! 

This weekend also consisted of a simple craft for Colt's wall.  It was a 12x12 canvas that I painted with light blue stripes and painted a "C" to glue on top.  I originally intended to paint the canvas in a chevron pattern, but let's be honest, I got lazy.  I thought it would be smart to use blue painter's tape to create the stripes, instead of painstakingly trying to make the edges perfect.  BIG MISTAKE.  The paint bled under the tape pretty badly, so I had to actually paint my white stripes on.  In the picture below you can see where I have touched up the top two white lines. :/

I finally got it touched up and got the "C" painted the color that I wanted.  It should have been a very simple little project, but I got frustrated more than once.  I'm ready to move on to something new now!  Below is the final project.
 I think it's hanging a little crooked, but you get the idea.  I am pretty happy with it. :) 

I'll leave you with a few pictures from the weekend.  Enjoy!
My little Superman!

Showing off his new forehead knot.

Playing the piano!

Showing his stubborn morning face.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Guilty Pleasures?

Since yesterday's post was a bit heavy and serious, I wanted to change it up a little today.  I am going to list my guilty pleasures, no matter how embarrassing, for conversation's sake.  In return, I want you to list yours too, so we can all point and laugh.  Deal? 

My Guilty Pleasures:

  • Jersey Shore.  Or really anything to do with it.  It is a trainwreck and I cannot look away.  I know they are ridiculous and stupid, I just can't help but laugh.
  • Teen Mom.  I know, I know.  I just want to kick Farrah in the throat. You feel me?
  • Pickle juice.  I could drink glasses a day!
  • Dr. Phil.  I think he's probably a fake, but the fact that he makes millions of dollars just to speak his mind somehow makes him genius. 
  • Chick Lit.  Don't judge me.  Not gooey romance novels, but chick lit.  There's a difference.
  • Elton John.  Actually, that isn't anything to hide.  He's genius.

I'm running out of steam.  The Jersey Shore one is the most embarrassing.  I need yours now...  Go ahead.  Make it worthwhile.  It might inspire me to come up with more.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Your body is a temple. Right?

I feel like there are so many things on my mind lately, so if this blog is a bit of a mess, please forgive me.  Maybe I should do this “stream of consciousness” style?  Eh, that has the potential to be a disaster. 

Yesterday, I found out that my mom has COPD.  For those who don’t know what it is you can go HERE.  Basically, she has chronic smoker’s bronchitis, which is the beginning of emphysema.  There is no cure and it will eventually kill you.  We don’t know what “stage” it is in yet, she will have the testing done in about 3 weeks.  Her husband, my stepdad, Allen, is currently undergoing chemo and an experimental drug for pancreatic cancer.  He is doing quite well, but what a tough hand to be dealt. At the same time, COPD is entirely preventable.  I am by no means a health nut or what have you, but please guys, take care of yourselves.  DON’T SMOKE.  Respect your body and the temple that God gave you.  It may be wrinkled, or chubby, or stretched out, or scarred, or not as “pretty” as you would like, but GOD MADE IT FOR YOU.  Just for you.  To live in and cherish and RESPECT.  Love it.  I hate my legs.  I NEVER wear shorts, even if it’s 110o outside, because personally I think my legs are hideous, but I need to get over that and love them.  At least I have them, right?  I need to remember that.

So.  On a completely different note…  I made bbq ribs last night.  Unbelievable, if I do say so myself.  We have leftovers and I cannot wait to have them again for dinner tonight.  Oink oink.  Want to know the trick to amazing ribs??  Boil them in saltwater for an hour before you put them on the grill.  They will be fall-off-the-bone tender.  Do it.  You can thank me later.

I can’t remember if it was on here or Facebook that I posted about Michael’s (the craft store) having blank canvases on sale for 50% off this week, but I am going to mention it just in case.  I plan on stocking up tomorrow, so be prepared for some crafty posts here soon.  I’ll try to keep it to a minimum for you.  I’ve got big dreams for these poor canvases, but who knows if that will work out or not.  Wish me luck!

Another topic.  Told you it might get messy.  Colt has been acting really strange lately.  I keep thinking he is getting sick, but then he doesn’t.  I think it is teeth, but he isn’t fussy.  Just weird.  I almost can’t explain it.  He’s clingy and snuggly and sweet, so I shouldn’t complain, but I just know something isn’t quite right.  He suddenly cries when we lay him down for a nap or at night, where he previously LOVED to go to bed.  He wakes up screaming and takes a while to be consoled.  Ryan and I often wonder if he’s having nightmares.  In the evenings it is the worst, almost like he’s getting anxious about going to bed.  It is breaking my heart.  Has anyone ever dealt with that in a child?  I mean, the kid has been through a lot for such a young age and I think it is very possible he could have nightmares about it.  Can anyone help? 

I hope this blog finds you and your family happy and healthy.  Please keep my family in your prayers.  Also, remember to take care of yourself.  Love on yourself and those you hold dear. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ten years already?

Yesterday evening, I met with our high school senior class president and another fellow Ridgeland High School Class of 2002 graduate to discuss and plan our 10 year reunion. It seems like it wasn't all that long ago, but at the same time, when I think about all the crazy things that have happened between 2002 and 2012, I can't believe I have fit so much stuff into those years. Most was unimportant, but fun at the time, and other events were life-changing.  Wow, what a road it has been.  I would say that I look forward to seeing where everyone is in life, but with the days of the internet, I pretty much know already.  Wonder what we'll have to talk about? 

Moving on... This weekend seemed busy of absolutely nothing.  Ryan worked all day Saturday, so Colt and I went to Panera Bread for a breakfast date.  We went two weeks ago and really enjoyed our little treat.  This time didn’t go quite as smoothly.  Recently, he has started to show out a bit, but I am not sure if it’s his teeth bothering him or the toddler coming out in him.  Could be a combination of the two.  I’ll be glad when all the teeth are in, though, I do feel like we don’t have it as bad as I hear it can be.  We are doing the Baltic amber teething necklace thing, and honestly, I am starting to believe in it.  I feel a lot better about giving it a shot and doing the teething tablets when we must, rather than pumping the poor kid full of Tylenol every day and night to keep him peaceful. 

We got the good fortune of having dinner with my dad and Judy, both on Saturday and Sunday nights.  Saturday, we grilled steaks at our house and they were excellent, if I do say so myself.  Sunday, we went to Cracker Barrel with them and our dear friends, Jody and Lauren.  We live only about 10 minutes from my parents, but other than work, don’t see them much in the summer, thanks to the family business.  I have a love/hate relationship with that place.  I love it because it has always put food on my table, a roof over my head, and helped me get through 6 years of college with no student loans.  I hate it because it takes a lot of family time away.  You would think you’d get your fill of each other while working together, but the attitudes we have at work are not really conducive to a good family environment.  Haha.  Anyone who has worked with their family can probably attest to that.  Needless to say, I am thankful for the business my grandparents and parents have built to support our family and am thankful for what we can now do for Colt through what they have built.  I am forever proud of it. 
I realize this blog post had no real point, but hey, most things I think don’t have a point.  I’ll do better next time.  ;)  I’ll leave you with this little ray of sunshine…

Friday, July 20, 2012

Starting the day with a heavy heart.

This morning as I was lying in bed listening to the thunder, I decided to turn the news on to see if the weather should keep me out of the shower or not (you know your mama always told you to stay out of the shower when it was lightning too!) and instead of weather found my tv screen filled with people running and flashing police lights.  My heart is broken for the people of Aurora, Colorado today as innocent, unsuspecting moviegoers were selfishly murdered by a gas-masked gunman.  I will never understand what goes on in someone's heart or mind to make them do such heinous things.  I pray God can somehow provide comfort and strength for the affected families to get through the hard days, weeks, months, and years ahead.

So, moving on to lighter subjects.  Would anyone be interested in me putting recipes or occasional crafts or anything on here?  I love to cook and try new recipes, but don't want to make it solely a "cooking blog."  Maybe make it a once a week or biweekly thing?  I am also getting a little braver and attempting some of the things I have pinned on Pinterest.  It is making me feel very artsy-fartsy, but it may or may not be what I had for dinner last night.  Some of my friends and I did one of those classes last weekend where they teach you how to do a painting and you can bring drinks and snacks and make it a little party, if you want.  Some places they call it "Sips 'N Strokes" or something like that.  This one, here in Chattanooga, is called ArtsyU and it is in the same strip center as Provino's, near the Rave theater.  I had a ball and cannot wait to go back.  We painted peacock feathers that night, which wasn't really all that appealing to me at the time, but I ended up loving my painting.  Maybe I just love it because I did it, but I am pretty proud of it.  If you are even slightly interested, DO IT!  I would recommend that place and our teacher, named Debi. 

My peacock feathers

My friend, Lauren and I also decided to make some wreaths we saw on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and I'll post the picture of mine below.  It was super easy!  We bought some cheap grapevine wreaths, a wooden initial, and some cheap silk flowers at Hobby Lobby.  As soon as Colt took a nap, we went to work and even had time for a nap after we finished!  That's what I call a crafting success! 

Don't look too close, you can see where we got paint on the door handle when we painted our ugly black door...oh and Roxie.  You can see Roxie. ;)

Anyway, does this interest you guys?  I don't want it to be too frou-frou because I am so not that way, but do like easy, cheap things I can do myself.  Crafts or meals.  I like to watch Rachael Ray cook and all, but half the time, I have no idea where to even find the ingredients she uses, you know?  Let me know what you think!  Thanks to those of you reading these so far!  I am excited to try something new!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Quick "Thank You"

I don't think I have given enough credit and thanks to the wonderful people we are blessed enough to call family. They have made so many things possible for us and Colt. From days and days of free babysitting, to clothes, toys, boxes of diapers and wipes, free meals, prayers, support, paying at least a dozen medical bills off, and most recently, encouraging us to do more for Colt's eyes and making it financially possible, particularly my Dad and Judy. So thank you, Dad, Judy, Kim, Chad, Carolyn, Pawpaw, Diane, Mom, Allen, Grandmama, Papa, Grandma Billie, Grandpa Phil, Amie, and everyone else I know I have forgotten, from the very bottom of my heart. I know I can never repay you, but would if I could. We love you all dearly and thank God for you every day.

Akron, here we come!

My second blog post, yay!  They may be lengthy (bear with me!) since I probably won’t update daily due to the fact that I only work on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and Comcast and I hate each other at our house, so our internet is on hold.  Comcast is, in my personal opinion, the Anti-Christ and the root of all evil.  I am on strike. 


Yesterday, I finally got the call from Dr. Hertle’s office in Akron.  We have an appointment for Colt on September 12th.  That gives us a little less than two months to prepare and figure out how we will get there, where we will stay, and how much it will cost.  Obviously, we have two options on the HOW to get there: drive or fly.  The drive is about 10 hours according to Mapquest, which means with a toddler more like 13 hours?  I don’t know what person in their right mind would strap a kid in a carseat for that long.  On Monday, Colt and I went to visit my mom and stepdad, Allen, in Villa Rica, which is about 2 ½ hours from where we live.  I was so prepared, I felt like SuperMom.  I bought a cheap portable DVD player, took a few of his favorite DVDs, books, and toys to entertain him on the drive.  It was a disaster.  SuperMom was uncaped.  I will never do that trip without Ryan or someone else to help me entertain him again.  He just wants to run, not be strapped down!  Who can blame him?  Well, me, for one, running is torturous, but I don’t count.  All that to say, there is no way I will drive that far with him.  No way.  Not happening.  I have found decently priced plane tickets from Nashville (2 hours from here) to Akron, so I guess we’ll do that.  My sweet, wonderful, amazingly, generous Pawpaw has offered to help us pay for plane tickets.  If you see him out, give him a hug.  I adore the man.  I guess that solves that travel issue, though flying with him could be disasterous too.  Think drugging him with Benadryl would make me a bad mom?  ;)

I also have a really sweet friend that I worked with years ago whom has offered to give us an employee discount at a hotel near the hospital.  Thanks, Matthew.  I owe you.  Then we’ll rent a car (I need to look up coupon codes or something for that!) and we can rent a carseat without having to take one on the plane!  That would be wonderful.  Yesterday, I had a (few) huge meltdown(s) and freaked about money and how much it will cost us, but God is taking care of it and putting my mind at ease.  Funny, how He knows how to do that.  ;) 

Now I am most anxious about what the doctor has to say about Colt’s eyes.  His nystagmus has gotten quite a bit better since his surgeries but isn’t gone.  Sometimes, when he has control of one eye and it is looking straight ahead, the other eye drifts to the side and when that happens, I see his nystagmus in only the uncontrolled eye.  That really bothers me, for some reason, but maybe it is normal?  I really have no idea. 

Moving on.  Recently Colt has learned how to take DVDs out of their cases AND put them in/take them out of the player!  Geez.  He has become obsessed with "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and we have watched it countless times over the past few days.  I, for one, hate the Christmas season, but watching that movie over and over has made me ALMOST look forward to Christmas.  Yikes!  I assure you though, if I see it a few more times, I might revert back to my old Grinchy ways.  It also stormed a few times yesterday (which I love!) and I got a cute picture of Colt “hiding” from the thunder, I’ll attach below. 

Sorry for another long post.  I have always been a “talker.”  ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In the beginning...

I have no idea where to begin this blog, but I guess I will start with the brief (but probably not really) summary of my life and how I got to my current position in life.  I was born to my mom and dad in November of 1983, which I have no memory of at all, but I am sure it was great.  Ha.  My parents got divorced when I was still a baby and I have been with my daddy ever since.  Long story and not public blog appropriate.  It was only my dad and I, living very humbly in a trailer on my grandparents’ farm.  It was this way until I was two weeks shy of the ripe old age of 7, when Dad married my stepmom, Judy.  I gained 2 stepsisters, Amie and Misty, who were already grown (well, Amie was a senior in high school, so we lived together for a year.)  I’m going to go ahead and skip to college, where I attended and graduated from Jacksonville State University in Alabama with a degree in Communication/Public Relations.  For a year and a half in there, I got a little lost, moved home, hated it, and promptly moved back to Alabama where I belonged.  It took me six years to graduate, but hey, I got there. 
I met my husband, Ryan, in my church youth group while I was in high school.  I am three years older than he is, that doesn’t make me a cougar, right?  ;)  Ryan went to Georgia Southern University to college and we were 5+ hours apart.  That made for an interesting relationship/engagement.  After getting engaged in July of 2007, we FINALLY got married in October of 2009 on my grandparents’ farm and it was the most beautiful, wedding I could have imagined for us. 
Our wedding day

Then, only 5 months later, we found out we were expecting a baby!  When we found out, I cried. Funny, I will NEVER forget that feeling of sheer terror!  I was supposed to be responsible for someone else?  I couldn’t even take care of me!  Scary!!!  While I cried, Ryan ran around our apartment, jumping on the furniture and screaming so loud that our neighbors heard and knew before anyone else.   After a long and very fat pregnancy, by emergency C-section one cool October day, our precious, magical little boy, Colt Thomas was born at 37 weeks, weighing 8 pounds and 6 ounces.  He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and still is to this day.  I am so stupidly smitten and head-over-heels in love with this child.  Yes, I am That Mom.  My kid does no wrong.  Just kidding… sort of.  ;) 
Newborn Colt.  Look at those cheeks!

Colt has had his share of obstacles, but nothing too scary and for that I am eternally grateful.  At around 4 or 5 months old, we noticed his eyes were shaking side-to-side, really quickly.  A lady we knew said “My grandson’s eyes do that.  It is called Nystagmus.  You need to call his doctor right now.”  That scared me, so I immediately went home, called the pediatrician, made an appointment for the very next morning, and googled “nystagmus.”  Don’t ever do that.  It will terrify you.  Anyway, I will try to make this short, but we got him in, found out the diagnosis was correct and were sent to a pediatric ophthalmologist a few weeks later.  A lot of people are born with nystagmus, but sometimes when people acquire it later, it usually has a cause, such as a brain injury or a brain tumor.  We knew he hadn’t had a brain injury, so that left the other.  We got an MRI scheduled at Vanderbilt University within a week to find out what was going on.  That was really hard on us because they had to put him to sleep for over an hour to do the test.  Having to pass my precious 5 month old over to people I didn’t know but knowing they were going to stick him with needles, stick tubes down his throat, and run hour long tests on him was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  BUT his brain was perfectly normal!  Praise God. J  They still don’t know what caused his nystagmus, but we’re dealing with it.  He didn’t walk until 18 months and now at almost 21 months still isn’t talking.  Colt also has strabismus, where his eyes do not line up.  They used to cross in, but we have had two surgeries and now they go out too far.  It is terribly frustrating and I am currently trying to get him in to a doctor in Akron, Ohio, who is supposed to be the best nystagmus/strabismus doctor in the country.  At around nine months, he even wore glasses for about five months to try to straighten his eyes and it was the cutest thing I have ever seen!  They did not work, nor did the patching of his eyes, so now we’re waiting, trying to figure out what to do next.  We obviously have a few more surgeries to go, but hopefully this doctor can minimize those. 
Colt's glasses. ;)

Hanging out on the porch

Now my husband, Ryan, and I work together (yikes!) at my family’s ice company.  I only work 2 ½ days a week and the other days get to stay home with my boy.  I like to cook, read, go to concerts, watch baseball (Go Braves!) and college football(Go Dawgs!), shop, and recently, do crafty stuff.  Thanks to my obsession with Pinterest for that one. 

I will keep you guys updated on how Colt’s eye stuff goes and our journey through life with this blog and I SWEAR, I will not post another blog this long. I was right, not so brief.  If you made it to the end, congratulations.  If you didn’t, well….thanks for giving it a shot.  ;)