Labor Day in Port A

Happy un-official beginning of Fall y’all. Today marks the beginning of Fall in my mind. We had an absolute blast today goofing off. Our Labor Day started off meeting my Stroller Strides girls and their families at Fajitaville on North Beach for lunch and fun. As per usual London saw the beach and couldn’t get enough. Most of our morning was spent trying to pry Wee Man out of the water. After lunch we decided to take a trip to Port Aransas and act like total tourists. We shopped at all the kitchy stores, ate cupcakes, sipped iced coffee and drove along the water.

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No road trip would be complete without a mini dance party from London in the backseat.

BUH BYE Summer, Hello Fall!!!!

Say Cheese!

My dear friend Kelly with Kelly Lea Photography  is doing Back to School Minis on Sunday, September 21st from 6-8pm. She was such a gem and asked if London could be one of her models for the promo pics. As expected she hit it out of the park with these photos. She’s kickass in everything so it was a guarantee her pictures wouldn’t be anything short of phenomenal.

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Kelly found a grungy old school desk and refinished it in a funky teal. The end results of this photoshoot still have me in awe!

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When we moved to Corpus Christi I was so worried we wouldn’t find a photographer we loved as much as did Edlin with E.M. Photography. While nothing can and never will replace my Edlin love we are feeling very at home with Kelly. It means so much knowing such talented people who adore our little guy. We’ve got family photos coming up in October with Kelly so the search for outfits for that has commenced.

Is it Halloween Yet?

This will without a doubt not be the most fascinating post but I am so excited for Halloween I cannot stand it! So since this is my blog I’ll do as I wish and right now I wish to share my Halloween excitement!!!

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Seriously though does it not make you anxious when you notice it’s almost September, which means it is practically October?!?! I’m not a huge Pumpkin Spice Latte girl but I am huge on ghosts, candy corns and everything black. Ahhhh black…..it’s my favorite hue in all the land. Fortunately my family allows me to let my crazy show even more this time of year. One of the girls at the store asked if we would be decorating for Halloween. This question was answered with “Do you know Morgan?” LOL I guess it’s pretty evident that Halloween and me go hand in hand.

Lazy

Lately I have been so freakin lazy.

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One main example is my lack of initiative when it comes to working out. I took the month of July off practically due to doctors appointments and well August hasn’t been so hot. I’ll wake up to my alarm and think….Nah I’m good. This wouldn’t be such a problem but my fat pants aren’t feeling like fat pants anymore. They are feeling more like day to day pants. Maybe my relationship with my stretchy yoga pants isn’t the healthiest thing I’ve encountered in a while.

Poor London has had to suffer with seeing his Mommy pant-free and bra-free way to much recently. The kid is not going to know what’s going on when I actually get dressed. Today for example I haven’t even brushed my hair and my teeth didn’t get brushed until well after the noon hour. My hottness level is clearly off the charts today. I did manage to get out of pajamas and I did put on a bra today. Sexy Mama over here!

A good thing is my little partner in crime is now well versed in Netflix, Psych in particular. He dances around the living room every single time the theme song plays.

Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster would be so proud. Some may say this is poor parenting on my part but when one digs deeper they see that by watching every episode of Psych a child’s sarcasm level rises, their ability to solve various crimes increases and their love for pineapples is enhanced. That sounds like a total parenting win to me. Heck, London can even operate the remote controls accurately. His fine motor skills are impressive.

By 4 o’clock my guilt hits and I throw in a load of dirty clothes into the washer and try and pull the house together. For instance right now I’m trying to find the motivation to get my happy butt off of the couch and into the kitchen so I can feed my family. That guilt has miraculously faded now though and I’m thinking that once dinner is done it’s back to my sofa sanctuary to partake in some more Netflix!

Surf, Sun & Sand

Days like today remind me how truly fortunate our family is to live where we do. We started our Sunday off by going to church as per usual then afterwards we packed up the whole fam damily and headed to the beach. It’s extremely cool being able to spend the day at the beach and then drive 15 minutes and be home. We took London to the beach for the first time on Father’s Day and he wasn’t quite sure about it. The past few times he has really enjoyed it. Today he was a beach bum professional. Had we not forced him to slow down we’d probably still be there right now. We got to the beach around 1:30 and left at 4:40. London didn’t stop playing until we left. Once he did slow down he immediately crashed. My little water baby had a fantastic day and so did we. Wee Man’s new favorite activity is finding seashells and putting them in his red bucket. He was covering so much ground that he even had some very pretty girls, older I might add, bringing him shells to add to his collection. It was too freakin’ cute seeing London socializing with everyone today.

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After grilling, wave hopping, seashell hunting, splish splashing and getting a tan London was exhausted!

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Seriously, it’s insane that this is our real life! How did we get so lucky to spend our Sundays like this?!?!?!

Our First Budget

My Hubby and I have been married since May of 2011 and living together since February of 2010. We’ve moved twice, had a kid, traveled a lot and shopped til we dropped. One thing we’ve never done is actually sit down and set a budget.

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I know what you’re thinking, “WTF?!?! How can they just now be setting a budget?” We’ve always just paid our bills as they come and spent when we wanted to. We’ve never really had a money problem but we’ve noticed our savings dwindling and couldn’t believe the amount of money we have gone through in the last few months alone. So tonight while prepping a crock pot meal the “B” word came up. It is high time we acted like responsible adults and got our sh** in check. We decided to sit down right away while it was fresh on our minds and just bite the bullet. Initially we thought we’d see a measly amount of moolah left over after our bills were paid, ugh, bills. Bills suck! It never seems too terrible when you are paying a $50 bill here and there but when you add them all up…

Being an adult sucks in the realm of paying bills. On a surprising note though we discovered we have more than plenty left over after factoring in our bills, household costs and even weekly spending money. Yes, we factored in mandatory mad money. When we sat down I think we both figured that we were broke as a joke. The heavens parted and angels sang alerting us that it wasn’t too late for us to begin an adult relationship with money. We are actually feeling super pumped up now that we’ve got a budget written out. Knowing exactly what we’re working with helped bring a level of peace. We know what we make in total each month and we now know what we have left over after each and every single effing bill is paid.

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Since we were already on a roll with figuring our money situation out we looked at investments as well. Our projected savings blew my mind. How the hell had we not done this until tonight!?!?! Personally I found looking at this part to be the most rewarding and it has me psyched and ready to save and stick to this budget. It’s moments like this that make the little kid who was thrilled with getting $5 in her birthday card feel like a total financial mogul. My childlike mind is like I’M RICH!

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What happened to me? Now I’m practically walking on air when I get to see my gas tank completely full. I get even more elated when I add on the deluxe car wash to my gasoline purchase. How did we get to the age where we need a budget and get all jazzed for gas?!?!?

Adulthood! Pssshhh please I still feel like I’m only 16. It floors me that I’m married, have a kid and am willingly making responsible decisions. My Dad would be so proud. I highly recommend sitting down and deeply analyzing your own finances and setting a budget. Now if only I could get into the stock market my Dad would be overjoyed!

*PS – Please forgive my over usage of GIF’s in this post. I am writing this at 1am while fighting a minor case of insomnia. These GIF’s are helping me cope.*

Surgery Recap

It’s been over a week since London’s surgery and I am happy to report he is back to his normal self. He is currently wrestling with the blinds while the hubs watches Psych which means this Momma has time to blog…FINALLY! In true Bartel Chronicles style here is the recap to our surgery experience.

The Sunday before London’s surgery we were pre-admitted to start an IV drip of D-10 glucose. The way it works at Texas Children’s Hospital is a bit different. When they have the room available the day of admittance they call to tell you and you are expected to come in ASAP. We got the call around 11am while we were en route from Corpus Christi to Houston. London was admitted at around 2pm but his drip wasn’t scheduled to be started until the evening time. This meant we had lots of time to get to know TX Children’s inside and out. The first thing I tend to do when we are staying over night at any hospital be it for an MCADD hospitalization or in this case a surgery is unpack our necessities.

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We always bring the important stuff like London’s beloved “Scout” the dog and lots of books to read. After we got unloaded in the room we decided to go grab something to eat. The only thing open at TX Children’s hospital on a Sunday is the McDonald’s located on the first floor. On the way we stumbled across the most impressive train display in the world. Since we haven’t seen all the train displays in the world our opinion is a bit intense but seriously this thing was amazing. We ended up spending almost an hour watching the trains and checking everything out.

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After getting our train fix and grabbing some burgers we went back to the room to hang out. The view from our room was gorgeous. London loved standing on the fold out couch and watching all the cars below.

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Putting a toddler in a room and expecting him to stay entertained is wishful thinking. After a few hours London was bored with his “Scout” and had read and re-read all his books. The nurses noticed this and brought in a goodie bag full of fun stuff for Wee Man. He got some stickers, crayons, coloring sheets, bubbles and a rubber ducky….the essentials obviously. We ended up spending quite a while coloring and trying to keep London from drawing all over the hospital walls.

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Before they started his IV his genetics team came to visit him and talk to all of us about how everything was going to go. The crazy thing is the genetics team are the only doctors London didn’t scream at.

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After hours of being confined and bored the time had come to begin the dreaded IV. As per usual London threw a Hollywood worthy fit and gave the nurses a run for their money. The kid gains superhuman strength when and IV is present. Once the IV was in and all that drama had gone away Little Man was exhausted and sleepy. HALLELUJAH! Not only did he need the sleep to strengthen up for the surgery but Daddy & Mommy were beyond tired. He ended up falling asleep for the first time on his own in a hospital crib.

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This didn’t last too long. An hour later or so he woke up and wanted snuggles so we all crammed ourselves into the fold out bed/couch. It took some precise placement to fit all three of us. With nurses coming in every two hours to check vitals and check his IV a good nights sleep was not possible. By the time we all drifted off into a good sleep it was time to head down for surgery.

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Once we got to the surgery floor London had a bit of a wait before the shindig went down so we filled his time wisely and practiced his engineering skills with Lego’s. On a totally unrelated note: London’s hospital gown ironically had giraffes on it. If you’ve read our blog for a while you know that London LOVES giraffes. Every hospital stay he’s ever had he is gifted a stuffed giraffe. They are like his spirit animal!

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Wee Man went into surgery at 7:30 and we were told it would take around two hours or so. Figuring we had time to spare the hubs and I went in search of some coffee. We found a cute cafe in the Women’s tower and sat down for breakfast. We hadn’t even fully settled into our booth before my phone rang. It was the surgery floor assistant. “You need to come back to the surgery floor ASAP. Your son’s surgeon needs to speak with you and your husband.” Those words made my heart drop to my stomach. All my “what if” worries seemed to be coming true. We ditched our meal, grabbed our coffees and practically ran back to the surgery floor. When we arrived London’s surgeon was standing there waiting for us. One of the scariest things in my life was seeing her standing there waiting for us. “London’s perfectly fine. He’s responding great to the anesthesia.” Her words instantly comforted. Then my husband and I were ushered back to a private room. I’ll skip all the doctor lingo we were told but we were informed the full surgery wasn’t necessary. We got some unexpected news that is too lengthy to post about. The only incision they actually had to make on London was a tiny one in the belly button where they went in with a camera. We went in expecting an orchiopexy and ended up finding out we would need to meet with an endocrine specialist to discuss testosterone replacement treatment. While we were over the moon that he was ok and didn’t need the full surgery we were a bit shaken up about the news of adding yet another specialist to our son’s medical team. “I’ve got my team getting London taken care of and they will come get you once he is in recovery.” Just like that the surgeon was gone and we were left to wait in the private room. After what seemed like an eternity we were called back to the recovery unit. Once we got through the doors we saw the cutest baby boy laying so peacefully in a crib. His crib was surrounded by tons and I mean TONS of other beds and cribs with children resting in them. Beside each bed were parents waiting anxiously for their kids to wake up. London woke up within 15 minutes of us getting to his bedside. When he woke up he was so loopy. My husband explained it best. “He’s like a drunk college kid trying to walk home after a night of bar hopping.”

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Here you can see London in his dazed state and me laughing like crazy because honestly it was really like holding a tiny drunk man. We had to stay in recovery until Wee Man ate something, geneticist orders. While we were waiting on that life was put into perspective real quick. Here I was holding my healthy son who will need a bit of medical help throughout his life and the room was filled with gut wrenching things. One kid wasn’t waking up, another was having decreased brain function, there was a sense of sadness. I overheard one family saying this was their last chance. To think some of these parents are going through a situation where they are watching their child slip away and I was freaking out over something much less severe made me feel awful and relieved all at once.

Once London had eaten we were taken back to our room to rest. His recovery nurse even let him keep his oxygen mask. They had scented his oxygen! The kid was breathing in root beer scented oxygen. How cool is that?!? London must have enjoyed the smell because while he resting he kept holding his mask up and sniffing, lol.

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By 4pm the day of his surgery Little Man was released. The only restrictions he had was to not get his incision wet for 48 hours and not to submerge it for 10-14 days. I was worried he would pick at the incision but he never did. Here we are now 8 days later and he is practically fully healed. Only two more days and then he can be his water baby self again. Thank you all for your prayers, emails and kind words. Your support helped this Mommy hold it together when she was stressed to her max. London is one tough cookie and made that surgery experience look way to easy!