Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bad pig

I love working with kids. They never cease to amaze, enlighten and entertain you!

Today during our afternoon recess, my bud P came up to me (he used to be in my class last year, but not this year) and this is how the conversation went down.

P: ....Mrs. Emmy (he's always called me that), I'm not P, I'm a "Pig"
Me: "Oh good, I was getting hungry!"

P: "no, you can't eat me...I'm not a Bad can only eat the bad ones".

Me: "Oh, okay....good, because I like you"

P: Mrs. Emmy.....guess what....there is a Bad Pig over there and you know what he eats???

Me: "no...what?"

P: ....TEACHERS!! (said with such exclamation in his voice and face!)

Me: "oh no...."

P: Yeah, but I'll protect you!

Me: "thank you P, you're my hero!"

He then went off to catch that Bad Pig and I'm alive to tell the story, so I guess he handled it! :-)

Love me some 5 year old imaginations!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

fun weekend...


Thursday I started coughing and figured I was just getting a cold from the weather change. I woke up Friday morning still coughing, so I took some trusty Delsym thinking it would do it's thing. Well, it didn't even touch the cough. Great.

I went on into work armed with a bag full of Halls, but but wasn't doing so well. I decided to go to the "Little Clinic" during my planning period because I wanted to nip whatever this was in the bud. The Nurse Practitioner came to the conclusion that I had an "Upper Respiratory Infection" and "bronchitis". She prescribed me a "z pack" and some Tessulum perles for the cough. As soon as I got home, I took the meds and crashed.

Saturday was horrible. I spiked a fever, felt like death on a stick and had nobody here but two worried pups to help. I literally called my mom and cried.

Sunday and today have been better, but I still cannot break this 100.1 temperature or cough. Hopefully, it'll be out of my system by tomorrow because I can't take this much longer.

I must brag on Ben though. He has been a huge help and has been a pretty good nurse! He even let me have the bed to myself (well, it was so he didn't get sick) all weekend! I reckon I should get sick more often (just kidding!)! The girls did not leave my side all weekend, but weren't helpful at all in refilling my drink! ha!

Hope your weekend was more exciting than mine! :-)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm no fashionista...

but is one supposed to actually walk in these things?

some see cute, I see broken ankle!

I don't really follow the fashion trends, but do people really wear these things (like this)? I'd die before I ever wore one out in public, and I'm sure y'all would thank me for that favor...ha!

Feel free to school me in style, because the more I look, the more confused I am! :-)

You Go Girl!

Tuesday my friends Caroline and Leslie and I attended our first "Go Girl Art Party"! I have wanted to do one of these classes for a while now, so I was thrilled when I found a class that wasn't already booked (they book fast!). We had to book in February and all the April classes are full, so these parties are popular!

some of our group

Caroline and her sorority friend hard at work!

Leslie adding final touches!

The instructor was really helpful and saved my tree from the hot mess it was before! ha! She also helped me paint the dogs, because I wasnt even about to attempt them on my own (especially after seeing how good Leslie and Caroline did on theirs).

I ended up tweaking mine a bit

Our final products! I'm thrilled with mine, considering I'm not artistic at all. In HS I had to take an art class, and the teacher (who was amazing) was so patient with me. After trying hard to instruct me how to draw a correct circle, he finally said, kindly "I don't think Art is your gift!' Yes, I'm that bad!

Go girls..ha!
 I had a blast and can't wait for the next one!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lambert's Love!

On our way home from Minnesota, we decided to go to Lambert's Cafe in MO to eat. I've seen it featured on Travel Channel and have always wanted to try it, but never had the chance. Of course, when I saw all the ads along the highway, I got excited and made asked B to go there on the way home. Thankfully, I was driving that day so he had no choice. Ha!

Immediately after we were seated, we were given fried okra (they pass around a few sides as "extras") and were THROWN a roll! Their rolls are really good! I ordered the pot roast and B ordered Chicken Fried Steak. Of course, we were fed enough food for a small army, but it was sooo good!

They literally throw the rolls at you, so it was quite hilarious watching people trying hard to catch 'em. B got so tickled at one guy who got pegged in the face (not hurt) because he completely missed the thing (roll went thru his hands)! I wanted one to take in my doggie bag, so B flagged the "roll guy" down! B caught it like a champ! :-)
Roll Guy! (must be a fun job to have!)

plate above our appropriate!

We ultimately had to head home, but we came away full and with a few laughs (like their motto says)!

Hi Ho to the Mayo We Go: recap pt 3

Tuesday was the day to actually meet with the Doctor for my "congenital heart consultation". I checked in and shortly after was called back to a room. There a Nurse Assistant took my information and what not and informed me that the Doctor would be right in.

In walks in Dr. M, who wasn't the one I was planning on meeting with, but apparently The Mayo does things differently. Dr. M took all my history, reviewed my info from my hometown cardiologist and then examined me. She then gave me her findings and said she was going to consult with Dr. C (the Dr I planned on seeing) and they'll be back in to talk to me.
Drs office!

After a short time, both Drs. M and C walked in to talk to me. Dr. C of course examined me and then graciously let me get out of that gown. They talked to me (and my entorage of B and mom) and gave me her thoughts:

1. My condition does not preclude pregnancy. (It's not 100% genetic, but they're not sure if our child(ren) will be more prone to having my condition or not)

2. When/if I do conceive, I will definitely need an Echo in my 2nd trimester because that is when your blood doubles. They'll check to make sure my heart can properly handle that much blood, since my valve doesn't work. (Obviously, if my Dr here wants more, I'll go by her orders)

3. At this point, I don't meet all the criteria for surgery. Basically, it's a catch 22. I'm too healthy, don't meet criteria etc to have surgery, but could tolerate the surgery better and they could repair it (instead of replace). However, insurance wouldn't cover it now and it's not worth the risk of open heart surgery now.
the heart!

On the other hand, if they wait 5-10 years, I could be in poorer health and they might have to do a full blown valve replacement.

Uh...I hate catch 22's! But, who knows what technology will be in place when I have to have surgery. Heck, they probably wont even need a human to do it then! ha!

4.  I need to continue to see my Cardiologist yearly, or more according to my Dr's orders.

5. I am to wear an "event monitor" for a month, to record my "episodes" (i.e. palpitations etc). It's really neat how it can record 2.5 minutes and then I just send it via the phone to the Mayo. Crazy and neat!

Dr. M called yesterday to let me know about the recordings I submitted. I'm experiencing PVC or Premature Ventricular Contractions, which explains why my heart "flip flops"!
my recorder...wears like a beeper!

So, good news! I'm glad I went and I'm 99% sure that when the time comes for surgery, in the words of the Terminator I'll be back!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hi Ho to the Mayo We Go: recap pt 2

After taking a lengthy tour of the Mayo, I was starving and had only a short time for lunch. Thankfully, there was a quite a bit of options in the "mall" connected to the main campus. We grabbed a slice from Zpizza and it was actually pretty good (and organic which is nice)!

My next appointment was for my echo-cardiogram. This is basically a ultrasound of the heart and usually takes 30 minutes. Well, the Mayo's version takes over an hour and is really detailed. I had to have two technicians do mine because my Doctor needed more "pictures". I get echos every year and they never cease to amaze me. The human heart is a beautiful and interesting thing to see!

my room!

The Doctor then informed me that my stress test (aka exercise test) appointment needed to be then, instead of the next day. Thankfully, the stress test people were able to work me in, even if I wasn't completely prepared! Three techs (don't know their proper titles) assisted me and they were the sweetest people!

I had to get several leads (they used sandpaper to rough up my skin so it would adhere) put on and then they forced instructed me to do a lung/air test thing. The guy gave me the instructions and then asked if I had done one before. I said "um, no...I've never had a DUI so I don't usually do these blow tests!" We all laughed, but the test was harder than I expected.

not me, but similar!
They then hooked me up to a Top Gun-esqe breathing mask to monitor my oxygen levels and what not. Then, the torture test began. At first, the treadmill goes at a slow, steady pace and at a low incline. They increase the incline first and it wasn't too bad. Then, they increased both the incline and pace and man it was hard! I'd rather do two Zumba classes than that test! I lasted pretty long, but my levels all steadied, which is a sign that I'm pretty much spent so I was stopped. Every minute or so, they checked my blood pressure and I've never seen it so high (for me)! Thankfully, it quickly recovered!

After resting and getting all those pesky leads off of me, I was done! B and my Mom both were surprised at how flushed I looked, and I was spent! You know I was tired when I didn't even want to drive to the Mall of America! It was a LONG day and there was no way I was going to drive 1.5 hrs to go!

We ended up just going to the local mall and driving around the town. We at Victoria's Italian place by our hotel and the portions were huge, but the food was only mediocre. I guess they have a built in clientele, so they don't worry.

After dinner, B and I went back to the pool and hot tub to relax. After, B wanted to grab a drink at the Martini lounge in our hotel. We had one drink then hit the hay! It was probably the longest day ever! ha!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hi Ho to the Mayo We Go: recap pt 1

My first appointment on my clipboard of fun was bright and early Monday morning. I couldn't eat or drink after 7 the night before, and it doesn't sound too bad but it's amazing how much one can crave when one can't eat. I let B sleep and my mom and I went down to the Hilton Building (the Mayo has several buildings in their system) to get my bloodwork drawn. It was packed. They line you up and it's really like a cruise check in, sans the actual cruise (or humidity)!

I sat down, and less than 10 minutes later I was done! I immediately went and ate breakfast just because I could! :-)

After breakfast, I had to go to the Gonda building to get my chest x-ray! This time, I received a nifty pager and instead of them calling my name, they beeped me to let me know I was ready! I went to the dressing room (that lock and you get a key) and put on the coolest wrap around gown I've worn yet! I hate those gowns that give you next to no coverage! The x-ray took no time and then I had a little bit of down time til my next appt.

After the x-ray, I went back to the room to actually fix myself up and wake B. Of course, he was hungry, so we headed to the in-house grill for his breakfast. $15 dollars later, he had one smallish omelette and a half of french toast. Talk about rip off. Needless to say, we didn't go back there!

My next appointment was for my ECG. As soon as I checked in (early), they called me back. I changed and then the nicest guy Joe, my technician, hooked me up with the leads. He is in nursing school, so we talked about that for a bit. Of course, I didn't hold still enough and knocked a lead off of my arm. He fixed me back up and was able to get my test done!

After my ECG,I had some down time so we took a tour of the Mayo! It was quite neat and we learned a lot (post coming next)!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Road Trip part 1

Saturday was day one of our road trip to Rochester, Mn. After we dropped the girls off at the vet, we quickly hopped on I-40 and headed towards Marion, IL! Let me just say, that part of AR, MO and IL is quite pretty but boooring! We met my parents in Marion and drove another 3 hours to my Uncle's house in Normal IL (yes, that really is the name of the town)!

When we arrived, my Uncle Kelly had the best Italian beef sandwiches from a place in Chicago and fixin's waiting for us! Talk about hospitality! After dinner, we all decided to walk down to a neat Irish pub and celebrate an early St. Pat's day! It was a lot of fun!
Dad, Uncle Kel, Ben

me, Aunt Sue and Mom

Sunday we woke up early to head to our final destination: Rochester, MN. Ben and I love Potbelly's Sandwiches (they don't have one here) and started craving one, so we made a pit stop in Madison, Wisconsin! Apparently, there was a big protest going on from several unions (at the Capitol) and of course, the Potbelly's we went too was right in the thick of it! We filled our bellies and then decided to take a stroll. For some crazy reason, my parents and Ben decided to go down to the frozen Lake Mendota! Once we saw several other people out on the lake, we decided to try it ourselves! It was probably the neatest experience I have had in a while! Another item off my bucket list!

uh, guys why are y'all heading to the frozen lake??

we sent Ben out first! I made sure his insurance was paid up! :)

After our walking on water experience, we had to get back on the road. After another 3+ hours, we finally arrived in Rochester! The weather was cold, but the sun was out and it wasn't too bad! We checked into our hotel and then headed to get something to eat! The nice part about downtown Rochester is that the majority of buildings/shops etc are connected via skywalk and/or a pedestrian subway! You don't ever have to walk outside if you don't want to!! Nice for us Southern folk who aren't used to freezing weather.

downtown Rochester

After dinner, we went to the nice pool/hot tub to unwind. We met some nice people from Texas and NY! I had to be in bed early to get up for my 6:50 AM appointment, so we called it a night shortly thereafter!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Taste of Home

Friday B's Mom and Grandma came down and spent some quality (albeit short) time with us! Since it was Friday and Lent, we decided to go to Flying Fish. Their fish tacos are ah-mazing!

After lunch, we made a quick pit stop to Muddys for a treat and then dropped B off at home. The girls went to the Southern Women's show and then to the Taste of Home Cooking School! I was pumped to finally go to this because B's mom has told me about it for years!

(Even though B is {somewhat} in touch with his femine side, I just could not picture him with a ton of women learning about cooking and what not! Honestly, that would've been cruel and unusual punishment and I believe there's a rule against that! ha!)

The Chef cooked 10 recipes and explained it to the crowd. She gave us a ton of tips and tricks and was even funny! It was great, but I was starving before I left! :-) We received a goody bag that had a magazine with all the recipes (and more) in it to take home, so I'm excited!

The two dishes I can't wait to try are:
Potato and Leek soup: I have to admit, I didn't really know what a leek was, but now can't wait to use it!

Chicken Enchiladas: using Philidelphia's new cooking creme that I scored a coupon for a free one! :)
photo via kraft's site!

It was a fun night and I learned a ton! I can't wait to put my new knowledge and these recipes into action!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

40 days

Happy Fat Tuesday y'all! I still cannnot believe it's already time for Lent (and almost Easter). I've been thinking about what I wanted to give up this year (last year I gave up cokes...very hard) and after much deliberation finally decided to give up: cussing, cursing, "potty" words.

I hate to admit, but sometimes I have a mouth of a Sailor. I was watching Designing Women the other day and on one episode Mary Jo's young son started cursing. Anthony (character) talked to him and basically said that using cuss words makes one sound like a "regular" person....they created the word "fooey" to use instead!

I read this Bible verse here and it hit home:
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

I'm going to strive to go 40 days with out using any curse words. If I use one, I'm going to make a donation to our coin jar. Hopefully, at the end of Lent, we won't have any money in there. We shall see!

Every year in addition to giving up something, I always try to do one extra thing (a day/week) to help someone else and go to mass every week during the Lenten season. to go cuss up a storm for the next 1.5 hours! ha!

Monday, March 7, 2011

renovation realities

Operation Tile is complete and boy are we glad to be done. Ben has done several tile jobs before, but this was my first one. I have to say, I can now appreciate what the pros charge for this work.

We watch the DIY show "Renovation Realities" and after the adventures we had, think we should have been on the show!

Here is our reality:

-took out all the appliances (except dishwasher)
-ripped out all of the old, gross, stained linoleum
-took off all the quarter round and base boards

confused as to why they needed 7 nails for such a small piece

We then had to run to Lowes to pick up more supplies. When we left, the weather was decent. However, after about 10 minutes into our shopping trip, we were demanded to go to the break room because there was a Tornado in the area. Just our luck. So, after a minor delay, we were back to the house and back to the fun task of scraping up the floors.
stuck at Lowes, thank God for smart phones.

pulling up linoleum

prying up old threshold

-cut trim with a jamb saw so the tile could fit underneath
-purchased tile (since we were unable to Thursday due to the tornado)
-"squared" the room and marked the floors using a nifty chalk line
using jamb saw to trim

-mixed the thin set
-layed the starting line of tile, so that the others would follow
-cut countless amounts to fit around the cabinets

mixing thin set

During my lunch run, I received a frantic call from Ben. He informed me that the drill used to mix the thin set "burned up" and that I had to go to Lowes and get a new one. Of course, I looked lovely because I wasn't planning on going in anywhere. I know next to nothing about drills and naturally there wasn't one employee in that section. I saw a man with a drill walking by and stopped him and kindly said "excuse me sir, I know you don't work here, but could you help me?" He took pity on me and helped me find the right drill. THANK YOU nice (and cute...I know how to pick 'em!!) man!

I get home and find out that B's drill was not in fact "burned up", but rather it had just came unplugged. Grrr. I went into Lowes lookin' a hot mess for nothing.

-tiled the rest of the kitchen

Ben is really smart but was struggling with how to measure the large tile for the intricate cuts. He said "ya know...I was never good in geometry." Great B...that's something I should have known before we tackled this!  BUT...he brilliantly figured out that we could use the old linoleum (cut to our tile size) to make a template. After this, the cuts were a breeze. Go Ben! I told him we were being eco-friendly by reusing the flooring!  I think we could actually market this method and make a profit! :)

using the linoleum to make a template to cut

During one of the really intricate cuts, the tile broke. At this point, we were both worn out and were really close to just putting the broken tile down (it was for the pantry). Thankfully, we decided to give it another shot and the second cut worked great and looks beautiful!

-finished laying all of the tile

I had to pick up an extra box of tiles from our second home (aka Lowes), because we had to rip up a couple that frankly didn't look good. When I went to the tile section, the tile guy asked how it was going and knew exactly which ones to get for me. That's the first clue that you've been to Lowes to many times. I told him that I hoped I didn't see him for a looong time...ha!

-clean the tile (get rid of all the extra thin set that was on the tile etc)


This was fun...not. After mixing the grout, you apply it and then have to wipe the excess off of the tile. It wasn't hard, but it was tedious and really quite messy. My nails still have a touch of grout on them (note: wear gloves when grouting). We picked up a dark brown grout, but it apparently dries like 2 shades lighter. It still looks nice though.

-recuperate (and work of course)

-sand baseboards
-paint baseboards
 -finally put the washer/dryer back in and do 14 loads of laundry (or 4, but still a lot for us)

-We had to go out of town

-paint baseboards

We still aren't technically done since we don't have all the baseboards and moulding in, but we're 99% finished! I'm thrilled and cannot wait to have my kitchen and house back! I've gain like 5llbs from eating out so much this past week.

Here's the (almost) complete product:

laundry room, with baseboards

kitchen/dining area without boards

(I'll post a 100% done picture soon)