Friday, April 10, 2015

Snow, throw up, and shellac.

The first of March, we made our way to Pennsylvania.  We originally had some shows in the NYC area (which is why we scheduled PA on the way) but those fell through.  We decided to go ahead and keep the PA things booked.  And we are so glad we did.  

We stopped in the Columbus, OH area to split up the drive.  Oliver promptly found some golf to watch.  Ha!  Paads (my daddy) would be so proud.


Speaking of golf, one of my teammates from ASU (Arkasas, not Arizona, for those keeping up at home) lives there!  We tried our best to meet up, but with a late work night and a tired toddler, it did not happen.  We promised to try next time!

We went to grab a bite to eat and after a longish wait (where I *might've* gotten a little snippy with the hostess and *might've* apologized due to our long day because who wants spit in their food) we finally sat down.  Oliver "colored" on the menu and made eyes with a 20 month old named Vivian.  Slow down with that mess, Mister.  Mama ain't ready.

We got up the next morning to continue and woke up to even more snow.




Yay!  We made it with no issues on the roads, other than going a little more slowly.  The hotel had a new indoor pool and Oliver was loving watching the kids play.  When will I learn to never leave home without a swimsuit?  


Terrible picture, but our room had a name plate on it.  Bedford Falls High School.  And then I started singing "Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight…" because who wouldn't?  If you don't know that reference or what movie that is I'm not sure we can be friends.  

We got ready for the show at Grace Church in Knox and were a little concerned it would even happen.  The snow was crazy!!!  And I've never seen roads like that.  But guess what!  They can handle it up there.  No crazies driving like crazies.  

We were surprised at how many people showed up in that mess and we had a blast. 

Sweet McKenzie watched Oliver.  She also watched him the last time we were there and it was great to have a familiar face watch the boy!  The church had a gym and Oliver had SO MUCH FUN with the basketballs!

**********

We had 2 days off before the next show, so we planned a little trip to Pittsburgh, only about 2 hours down the road.

We got to the hotel, unloaded and had plans to go downtown, but the front desk lady informed us that by the time we came back, traffic would be terrible.  So, BWW was the next best option…it was right across the street =)

Clearly, O liked the mac 'n' cheese.

(Don't you wish it was acceptable for adults to do this after a yummy meal?)

We had done some searching online and I even asked my friend Tabitha about stuff to do, and The Children's Museum was a must.  Plus, they were having a ball exhibit and Oliver is still obsessed, so…no brainer.

And then this.  I'm currently trying to figure out how I can make this work above our bed.  

Prisms...



Balls everywhere…aka: Oliver's heaven.




He loved the Water Play area!  And those smocks though.  Too much cuteness. 




The museum was great, but it was a little too old for the boy.  Next year, he'll be perfect, I bet!

Before heading back to our hotel, we grabbed lunch at a super cool place Trent found online.  It's called The Church Brew Works.  Check out their website.  It's an old church turned into a small brewery/restaurant.  The food was outstanding and looking around at all the architecture, pews, and stained glass was so neat.  



We were going to do the Duquesne Incline but they were closed.  Bummer.
Pittsburgh was a really cool city and we'll definitely go back.

I mean...

The next morning, we drove back to Knox and met up with the pastor and youth pastor of the church where we would be playing that night.  We had lunch and got caught up, knowing there probably wouldn't be much time later.

Before we ate, Oliver had fun "driving" while we waited.  He thinks he's real big stuff. =)


This is Ryan and he's the one that bought us back to the area.  Super nice guy!  And the show on this night was marriage themed.  Which meant we got to do more love songs…yay!

Cornerstone was so great.  Such kind people and Oliver had a blast in the nursery and chasing kids around the sanctuary.  

We left the next morning to head to Georgia.  Our plan was to stop in NC then finish the next day.  But Mother Nature had other plans. 

We got all of 2 hours down the road.  Had to cancel our hotel, get another one in West Virginia, and sit in this.  

We made the best of it, though.

I'll give you one guess what's in this cup...

So we got checked in, got groceries for the night, then our little sweetheart started throwing up.  It's the worst.  Luckily, the hotel didn't have a problem bringing us extra towels and sheets.


He seemed a little better the next morning but we weren't out of the woods yet. 
He slept pretty much the whole day, as we drove to Charlotte, NC.  I thought he was good to go, so I got him a banana at a truck stop.  He took one bite.  Swallowed it and went for the second.  And that's when I saw the face and got my hand ready to catch the banana throw up.  I did, and then went to the bathroom to wash us up.  So sad but I felt good about earning the "Catching Throw Up in a Public Place" badge of motherhood.

We made it to our hotel, and celebrated our FIFTH year of marital bliss in style.  Soup and a sandwiches. Oliver did keep toast down so I was feeling a little relieved.


Also, this.  This happened in less than 2 hours.  

Oliver woke up around 5:00 throwing up again.  Ugggghhhhhh!!!  It really is the saddest thing (and scariest) ever.  He nursed, threw that up, then crashed.  Man, oh man.

After a good nap, he seemed a lot better.  We left and made it to Georgia.  We had plans to stay with the sweetest family ever, but I wasn't sure they'd be up for the sick kid.  They were totally fine with it (they're grandparents) and said, "come on!"

Thanks to our friends Brandon and Sara, we played that Sunday morning at Eastridge Community Church in Covington, GA.  We did one song (Walking on Water) as a way of promoting the concert that night.  Nanu and Popsie kept up with Mister Man that morning and rocked it.  

Then we got back to the house and Oliver's throwing up turned into some pretty remarkable diarrhea.  We simply could not get over this virus!  Gah. 

We were invited to have some coffee with Bo Bice (who attends ECC) and Nanu and Popsie offered to keep Oliver and bring him to the show later.  They were not scared of said diarrhea.  God bless 'em.  And they already have a carseat so basically, they win everything.

While we were praying before the show, we got a pic of Nanu and O.  So sweet.  He's our precious little man and she's yet another adopted family member!


It was such a fun night!  


Bo came out and rocked the Monk shirt.  Good times meeting him.  If you don't remember Bo from American Idol…he was the runner-up to Carrie Underwood. And if you don't know who Carrie Underwood is, you should come out from under that rock sometime ;-)

Then Sara offered to shellac my nails and that answer is and will always be YES.  

So there ya have it.  We were only gone a week and a half but MY WORD it felt like a month.  We sure enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones.  Doing this for a living is some of the hardest, most rewarding work I've ever been blessed to do.  Second only to being that boy's mama. 

Thank you, Jesus.  Amen.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Wean there's a will...

Since I've been so vocal about my mixed emotions revolving around the whole weaning process, I thought I'd blog about it.  That way, when he is 18, I can go back and read All Things Oliver and really torture myself reminisce.

Long story short: when we got home in January, he was still feeding 4 times a day. Taking my time, I removed feedings until we were down to one.  Gradually.  Like every 2-3 weeks.  Afternoon, then mid-morning, then evening...goodbye special time with my baby. Not to sound melodramatic, of course.

The morning feeding has been the one I've been hanging onto. (Or is it on to? Gah, weird grammar rules.) He'd seem to be ready to go without, but then he'd get sick and I wanted him to have The Good Stuff. Or we'd be on the road and he'd wake up in a hotel and the only thing that would get him back to sleep was The Good Stuff.

The struggle is real, as they say.

Alas, we've been home this week and will be next, so I thought, "now's the time, mama."  Or as McKauley Culkin said in Home Alone, "This is it.  Don't get scared now." (Disregard the gun.)

We decided Trent would get up with the boy, so he and I wouldn't be tempted. Also, I'D GET TO SLEEP IN. For two days, he did great! (I did have to pump once due to the engorgement...ahhh, biology.)

Then Trent got sick and needed to rest and so we backtracked.  I got up and tried to pretend nursing is not what we do first thing in the morning, but Oliver pointed to the chair and pulled on my shirt and screamed and so WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO?!? 

But this morning, he did not. (Insert crying emoji.) We looked out the window, pointed at birds, talked about the sky, and then he pointed downstairs. Have we rounded third? Maybe.

For the record, had he fussed today, I would've caved. 

If you need me, I'll be here...rejoicing in being able to nurse so long. 

And also cleaning up Cheerios 14 times a day. Seriously...there are so many. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I've always wanted to title a Florida blog post, "Flo Rida"

Well, here in the land of "I'd rather look at curtains and storage solutions than blog about our life," I'm finally blogging about our run to Florida and back.  It was only a month ago.  And a month really isn't that long, but in blog life, it is.  

In February, we made our way to Largo, FL (near Clearwater) for a show/special music.  We split up the drive (going and coming) with some friends in the Atlanta area and we are so thankful!  Thanks, Janet and David!  He really wanted to get that kitty =)

video



We always stay with the same family when we go down to that part of Florida and they are simply the best.  They put us on the bottom level and Mister Man felt right at home =)

The weather was a little chilly but we still managed to get out and about before we needed to be at sound check.   For lunch, we went to Keegan's.  It's been on Triple D and we've been there before  but we wanted to go again and introduce the boy.  He was a fan.  (Excuse the weird pic…I had to crop my giant profile outta that mess.)

We got back to the house, rested, then got ready to head out for sound check.  Except not with Oliver.  Mama Madeline kept him (with 3 other kids) the whole night.  It. Was. Awesome.  We missed him, of course, but I'd forgotten what it was like to have TWO FREE HANDS.  And she sent me these pics to keep my mind at ease. 


We played at Smileys on the campus of Indian Rocks Church and had a blast.  It was a dinner/concert kind of thing which was great!

*Pre-show, backstage fun*

Then after, we all were supposed to go play bubble ball, but some or all (not sure) of the balls had popped which was terrible because obviously:

The group decided to play another game and so we grabbed some pictures.  It was cold!

Our friends Rob and Elissa.  (He's the Young Adult pastor and their kids played like champs with Oliver all night!)

The next day was Valentine's Day.  We went down to Clearwater beach for an early lunch and beach time!  It was still chilly but a little more bearable.  









Later that day, we went and sound checked for where we'd play on Sunday morning.  It was about a 30 minute drive there, then sound check, then 30 minutes back…it just made sense to leave O behind and Mama M offered anyway, so we did!  It felt weird to not have our sidekick, but he was in good hands. =)

We got back, put the boy down, and then went out to eat by ourselves and had  some amazing crab! 

 




We got up early on Sunday AM to head to New Port Richey to play music in all 3 of the services at Calvary Chapel Worship Center.  It was our first time there and we will definitely go back.





(And thanks to Madeline for watching online and grabbing theses pics!)

Oliver stayed in the nursery all morning long and did great but was getting tired and hungry toward the end and we were told, "I think Oliver is done."  Ha!  Yes he was.  I've said before and I'll say it again…Sundays are really hard for him (especially if we're there for 3 services) but he ROCKS it.  Such a trooper.

He slept the whole way back to Largo and then we headed back to the beach for a nice walk!


Then, our sweet host family put together a dinner for us.  So sweet!!!
 

We had an awesome time.  Sure, it would've been nice to have warmer weather but it sure beat what we came home to…

Ice.  Lots of ice.  Couldn't get up the driveway ice.  Trent had to shovel a path to the house ice.

We have since thawed and are loving the warmer weather.

Thanks for traveling with us!