Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Happenings

So now that it's four days after Christmas I thought it was time to do a Christmas post.  Bout time huh?

We spent Christmas Eve at my Aunt's house like we do every year.  Belli's was so good!  We didn't leave until nine and she was still happy and playing even though it was more than an hour past her bed time.

         And here is a picture of her with my cousin Lori.  She loves Lori!

After that we left and went over to Isabelle's dad's house where we both spent the night so she could have Christmas with both of us.  Since she didn't get to bed until 9:30 or after I was hoping she would sleep later than normal.  But, no.  6:30 as usual.  So I got her out of bed and she went and woke her daddy up.  Then it was time for presents.

  Honestly, she wasn't really that excited.  She just wanted to watch her "hippo movie."  I had to convince her to open all of her presents.  I think she was just tired but she eventually got into it and especially had a fun time with her new doll house.

After that we left to go back home to Mimi and Granddad's house where we had Christmas AGAIN!  She was even less excited here than she was at her dad's house.  Here she is sucking on her tag on her blanky thoroughly unamused by the whole situation.

After opening a few presents I finally gave up and put her down for an early nap.  She was cranky!  She slept for about two hours and woke up much happier.  When she woke up she opened her new piano from Mimi and Granddad and got her new car.

 It was a pretty cold out on Christmas day so we didn't stay out long but she had a great time riding in her car and on her new tricycle.

Ok, I know she doesn't look real thrilled in that last picture but trust me, she had fun!

So, that was our Christmas.  Hope you guys had as good of a Christmas as we did!  Check back later today or within the next couple of days for a great video of Belli playing the ABC's on her piano.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Getting to Know You

It's Sunday Funday again!!  Time for Keely's Getting to Know You.  This week there is only one question and it is:

What was your favorite gift that you received this year for Christmas?

That's a tough one.  But I believe I am going to have to say my gift card to Buckle.  I love blue jeans and I am very picky.  The only ones I have found that fit well and I like are Silver brand and I get the at Buckle.  The only problem is that they are really expensive to I can't just up and buy a pair.  So, my mom gets me a gift card every year.

I guess that wasn't so tough after all!  Merry Christmas everyone!  I will try to post pictures from Christmas tomorrow or Tuesday!

Monday, December 21, 2009


After 5 and 1/2 months (and 4.5 hours waiting in the waiting room at Children's with kids running around wild and screaming) my baby is finally halo free.  I even have picture proof:

We got to the hospital today around 9am and finally got called back at about 1:30.  From the time they put her to sleep until we saw her after the procedure was only about 30 minutes.  The majority of that time was spent stitching her pin sites.  Apparently they were pretty bloody.

Things kind of went downhill for a little while after that.  Isabelle had not eaten since 7:30 the night before and it was way past nap time so needless to say she was pretty POed.  I haven't seen her flip out like that since she was a wee little baby and her ortho had to change her casts every week.  We took her back to her room in one day surgery and she was going crazy.  She started bucking and throwing her head back.  It was so bad we had to lay her down on the bed because neither me nor her dad could hold her.  The nurse didn't seem to find this to be a problem but her throwing her head back worried me a little bit.  Luckily when we went to leave we saw one of the other neurosurgeons who knows Isabelle and we asked him about it.  He said it was ok, the main thing was for us to not let her bend her neck the other way (like chin down).  The collar she is in will keep her from doing this for the most part but we still need to watch her.

She also has way more mobility in her neck than I expected.  From what I was told she was not supposed to have any movement in her neck at all.  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that she does of some range of motion.  She can tilt her head to both sides (like she is trying to touch her ears to her shoulders) and earlier I noticed her turning her head side to side (like a "no-no" motion)  It is very slight but she does it.  Honestly, I am not sure if she is supposed to be able to do this or not.  I have to call the nurse tomorrow with a couple of questions I have and that is one of them.  I am thrilled that she can but I just want to make sure. 

She took a nap for about an hour after we got home.  She woke up in a horrible mood again so I sat with her in the glider and rocked her back to sleep.  It was the best cuddling I have ever had.  She seems so small and cuddly now.  Once she woke up again she was in a pretty good mood.  She is still pretty wobbly and having trouble with her balance (totally normal) so we spent pretty much the rest of the night in my dad's chair watching movies.  It was great!  See:

She is now asleep, hopefully for the rest of the night.  I will post some more pictures as soon as I take more!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Funday-Getting to Know You

Now that I am finally home for the day I can to Keely's "Getting to Know You."  Here are this week's Q&A's.

1.  Middle Name?

2.  What do you think is your best physical asset? 
My hair.  I've got pretty darn good hair when I have it cut.  It's way too long and not good looking right now.

3.  If you could only eat one time of cuisine a year what would it be?
ITALIAN!!!  I love it.

4.  Walmart or Target?
Depends on what I am looking for and the mood I am in.  For food, Walmart.  For clothes, Target.  If I'm in a good mood I can handle either.  If I am in a bad mood, Target.  Their clientele tends to be more polite and all around nicer people!

5.  Favorite state besides the one you live in.
That's a tough one.  Of the states I have been to (13 I think) they all have great qualities.  You've got the casinos in Mississippi, Gatlinburg in Tennessee, River Walk in San Antonio, and all the historical sites in Virginia.  However, none of those could possibly beat the warmth and beaches of Florida.

6.  What side of the bed do you sleep on?

7.  King or Queen size bed?
Hmm...I think the one I am sleeping on now is a full size bed.  Well scratch that.  The one I normally sleep on is a full size bed.  But, now that my sister is home for the holidays I am bunking with Isabelle and sleeping on a twin bed.

8.  Beer or wine?

9. Water-ice cold or room temp?
Ice cold.

10.  Christmas-love it or hate it?
Love it! 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Five Question Friday

Like Mama M, I am always surprised when it is already Friday again!  Time for Five Question Friday.  Here are Belli's answers.

1.  Which boy group did you like most in your teens?
My mommy hopes that there won't be any boy groups by the time I grow up and is now feeling really sorry for my Mimi since my mommy made her listen to Hanson ALL THE TIME!

2.  Do you do Christmas cards, letters, or nothing.
Nothing this year.  My mommy is laaaaazy.

3.  If you could meet one celebrity who would it be and why?
Well Elmo of course!

4.  Favorite thing to cook with?
See this post.  A good ole plastic bowl and spoon will do.  I also love to put my fake chili powder in everything.

5.  What is the one thing you wear the most?
My blue jeans.  Since my clothes get so dirty from scooting around on my bottom my mommy puts my jeans on a lot because you can't see the dirt on them!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bye Bye Halo, Hello Collar (Again!)

Everything went pretty well at the appointment today.  Her doctor came in the room and I asked Isabelle if she had something to ask him and she said, "Take my halo off please!"

He of course laughed and said that he was just looking at her CT-scan and although he would like there to be more bone than there is (meaning he would like to see the fusion harden a little more) he felt like the halo could come off.  YAY!!!!  So we are scheduled for Monday at 12pm to get that sucker off.

The bad part is that because there is not as much bone as he would like to see she will have to be put back in a collar.  I'm sure most of you are thinking, "So what?  She's been in a collar almost her whole life.  Big deal."  I know, I know.  Except the collar that she will be put in Monday is not the same one she has been in her whole life.  The one she will be in we used for about a week when she was around nine months old.  It's HUGE.  And it covers a lot more than the old collar.  And she has been out of a collar since July.  And...she is going to be ticked!  See how huge this thing is: 

And before you ask, yes I do realize that she is bigger now than she was then so it might not be so bad.  I hope that is the case!  Because although this picture does not show it, she REALLY hated that collar.

Ok, OK.  Maybe it was me that hated the collar and spent a week researching cervical collars online to find a smaller one that didn't cover her whole face, chest, and back, and allowed her to rest her head on my shoulder.  MAYBE it was me that called her doctor and told him she was not wearing that collar anymore and begged him to let her where this one:

See?  Isn't that one so much better?  But, it's just not as stable as the first one so we can't use it.

Ok, I am finished with my rant now.  Even though it may not sound like it I really am happy she will be getting the halo off.  Especially since I bought Christmas outfits for her to wear =-)  Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers today!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Telephone Talk

In my personal opinion this video is way funnier than the "No Eat" video.  My mom and I were giving Belli a bath just a little while ago and she started using her thermometer as a phone.  She was being hilarious so I ran and got my camera real quick.  This is what I was able to capture.

Let me preface this with saying that Ms. Heather is Isabelle's PT at The Bell Center.  Saying that Isabelle loves Ms. Heather is a bit of an understatement.  It's more like an obsession.  She talks about Ms. Heather all the time both at The Bell Center and when we are home.  Isabelle is always calling her on her pretend phones.  It's really funny and sweet.  So Isabelle was calling Ms. Heather on her thermometer and that was funny enough, but then she started talking about all of this random stuff and started naming just about everyone in our family.  I have no idea what she was talking about.

I will say this though, this video shows what my day is like.  Everyday.  All day.  She talks like this NONSTOP.  I love that she can talk and I love to hear her voice but it does get exhausting after a while as you are about to see.

Tomorrow's the Big Day

Isabelle has an appointment with her neurosurgeon tomorrow.  She will have a CT-scan tomorrow and if all looks well we will set a date for the halo to come off.  She will have to be put to sleep so if he is already booked it might not be until after Christmas before it comes off. 

To be honest I'm pretty nervous.  I know the doctor won't take it off if she isn't ready but I still worry about her safety.  As much as I am ready to see the halo go and as much as it totally SUCKS it is keeping her safe.  He will most likely put her back in the c-collar once it comes off and that will help my nerves.  Please pray that the right decision is made in regards to whether the halo should come off.

I am also nervous because although I know she will never be able to move her head again I am afraid it might not actually hit me until the halo comes off.  Right now when you look at her with the halo on it is obvious that she shouldn't be able to move her head.  But once it's off I feel like she should be able to move it (I mean duh!).  So please also pray that I handle it well when I see for certain that she can't.  I mean like I said, I KNOW she can't...but I still just haven't seen it yet.


I will post sometime tomorrow and let you guys know!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Getting to Know You

This week's getting to know you by Keely we are supposed post a Christmas picture or video.  I chose this one: 

This picture is from Belli's first Christmas.  And let's face it, she is the cutest reindeer I have ever seen.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ingram Wins Heisman Trophy

Mark Ingram wins The University of Alabama's first Heisman trophy.  Congrats!

You can watch his acceptance speech here.  Get the tissues ready!

All we need now is another National Championship title and this will truly be the PERFECT season.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Five Question Friday

I received an email a little while ago from one of the directors at The Bell Center.  Betty Bell, who is the program director and the wonderful woman who started The Bell Center years ago, fell last night and broke her hip and pelvis.  I don't have any other details as of now but I ask that you all please pray for this amazing person.  She has helped provide services to thousands of children over the years and is truly an inspiration.  She visits all of the children during hospitalizations and is such a great support.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she and her medical team decide what the next step is.
**Original Post**
I can't believe it is Friday already!  It's once again time for Mama M's Five Question Friday.  Don't forget these are Belli's answers!  Here we go...

1.  Does Santa wrap the presents he leaves at your house?
Nope!  Santa leave all of my toys out and the presents from everyone else are wrapped.

2.  What is your big Christmas celebration?  On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
We go to my mommy's aunts house on Christmas Eve and the have Christmas with immediate family on Christmas morning.  So I guess both!

3.  Are you big on keeping tradition every year.
I'm not really big on anything.

4.  Do colored lights or white lights tickle your fancy?
I don't know about the lights but the pine needles on the tree tickle my face when I get too close to the tree.

5.  Do you decorate outside of your house for Christmas?
Other than a wreath on the door, no.  As I like to tell my mommy, "It's too cooooold to go outside."

MckLinky Blog Hop

Pet Peeves-Driving Habits

It's been a while since I have done a Pet Peeves post so I thought I would do one now.  I thought driving habits would be a good topic after my encounter with the lady parking in the handicap spot.  You can read all about that here.  If you want to read my other Pet Peeves posts you can click here, here, and here.

So those of you who know me or have ever been in the car or on the phone with me while I drive may know that I've got a mild severe case road rage.  People just flat out tick me off.  They are STUPID.  The following are some of my biggest pet peeves.

1.  People who are merging onto the interstate and drive all the way down the merging lane before getting over.  Unless it's rush hour traffic and you don't have a choice get over as soon as you can! 

2.  People who drive 25mph on the entrance ramp.  If you are going 25mph on the entrance ramp then by the time you get to the interstate you are still going to be going 25mph and you will get run over or cause me to get run over because you were going so slow.

3.  People who drive under the speed limit and then don't bother to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.  If you are going to be cautious enough do drive under the speed limit why run a stop sign?

4.  People who ride my bumper when I am already going 5-10 miles over the speed limit.  I'm sorry but I'm not going any faster. 

5.  People who park in handicap spots illegally.

6.  People who don't turn right on red because they think they can only go on a green light.

I could probably go on and on and on so I will just stop with six.  What about you guys?  Any other driving habit pet peeves that I didn't mention?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So You CAN Walk?

This is what I wanted to say to the girl I saw park in a handicap parking spot today that clearly was not handicapped.  Does that burn anyone else up as much as it burns me up?  It has always bothered me but it seems like it does even more so now.  I don't know if it's because I have a child who may need to park in that spot one day or if it's just because I have gotten older and know more people who have a legitimate need for a handicapped spot or both but it REALLY bothers me.  I just don't understand why some people feel like they are special enough to break the rules and make it harder for other people.

I had professor (who had no obvious disability) once who's car I saw parked in a handicap spot.  I couldn't see the front of her car so I wasn't sure if she had a tag or not so I asked her about it when I got to class.  I had this professor a few times and we spoke and emailed outside of class once in a while so I was comfortable with mentioning it.  She told me that she had a breathing disorder (not asthma) that kept her from being able to walk long distances or over exerting herself.  And she also had a tag hanging.  That was totally understandable and I was so glad when she told me that because I was afraid my idea of the type of person she was would be ruined.  Although I am not glad that she has the problem of course!

But this girl today, she was in her late teens or early twenties, had no tag.  And she definitely did not have a breathing problem.  She got out of her car in her high heels and practically ran into the mall because it was so cold out.  So if she did have a breathing problem she would have passed out I'm quite sure.

But the kicker to the whole story is that I am pretty sure she KNEW she had done something wrong (not just legally but morally).  When she got out of the car she walked around and looked down like she was looking at the color of the lines.  And then she looked around to see if anyone was watching and she kinda just stood there like she was deciding what she should do.  Obviously she didn't find it to be that big of a deal because she then started on her sprint inside. 

I thought about all of the people who may have needed that spot that instead may have had to park hundreds of spaces away because there were no handicap spots free.  It was so cold and windy today.  I thought of a mother with a small child that was wheel chair bound having to push their child that far in the cold.  Ugh!

I so badly wanted to say something.  I was sooooooo close.  But for some reason I didn't.  I guess I didn't want to cause a scene or look like an idiot if there was in fact a legitimate reason she was parked there.  Although I can think of none. 

So what would you have done?  Nothing?  Said something?  Called the cops?  I would love to hear from some other people on the subject.

And PLEASE don't park in a handicap spot if you don't need to.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Alphabitty Moments-H

Since I am trying to catch up on my Alphabitty Moments I thought I would go ahead and post the letter "H" and that will give me some time before Thursday to think of something for letter "I."

At first I couldn't think of anything for "H." Hungry? Ha! Yeah right. Happy? Yea, but what kid isn't happy. The whole point of Alphabitty Moments is to pick specific things in your child's childhoods so they will remember. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks a big ring of metal. HALO.  "Duh, Amanda" I thought.  What kids has a halo when they are two.  Not many!  So for Belli, "H" is for Halo.

This first picture is shortly after Belli got the halo put on.

This one is a couple hours after the fusion when th vest was put on.

This one is my amazing, smiling, little girl just a day or two after surgery.  If it was me I would NOT be smiling.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Getting to Know You

My blogger friend Keely started this Getting to Know You blog hop and I thought I would join in. Since I always answer Mama M's Five Question Friday with Belli's answers I thought I would answer these question with MY answers so my readers could get to know me better this time. Thanks Keely for the Sunday fun!

1. How old are you?

2. Where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born in Birmingham, AL and I still live there. In the same house to boot!

3. What music have you been digging lately?
I've been loving me some Darius Rucker lately!

4. Favorite food?
My absolute favorite food is pizza. Italian is my favorite type of food though.

5. Single, married, divorced?

6. Kids? If so how many and how old.
My sweet Belli is almost 2.5.

7. What are three blogs you read daily?
I don't have specific blogs I read daily. I just check on blogger for who has new posts and I read them.

8. What is your favorite Christmas/Holiday tradtion?
Going to my aunt's house on Christmas Eve. That is ALWAYS fun!

9. If you are a blogger how long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging since June of 2009 shortly after I found out my daughter needed a spinal fusion. You can read my first post here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We Are The (SEC) Champions

*Update* Rammer Jammer has now been posted.

Today's the Day

That we have all been waiting for. Yep, that's right THE GAME is here. Alabama vs. Florida for the SEC Championship game and a spot in the National Championship game in January. I know I've been talking about it all week and I'm sure most of you are finally glad it will all be over with so I will just shut the heck up already.

And I promise...after tonight I won't mention Alabama football again...at least for a while. Because you see if they win don't forget we will be going to the National Championship game in January and THAT will be something to talk about. All though they lead the nation with the most Championship wins (12) they have not been to the championship game since 1992. They played Miami and won. I was just a mere 6 years old and can't even remember the game. So for me this will be my first chance to see them in the championship game.

I know a lot of you guys probably think I'm nutso for caring so much, especially those out of the south. But a common phrase you hear in the south is, "Football isn't a game, it's a religion." It's true. My high school football team went to the state championship game all four years I was there and won three. They played again, and won, in Bryant-Denny Stadium (Alabama's field) last night. As it turns out every team (out of six divisions) that got to use Alabama's locker room as opposed to the visiting team's locker room won. A sign? I hope so.

So, I will continue on with my day praying and hoping that Alabama will come out victorious tonight. The game is a 3pm central time. If you don't hear from me by the end of the night with a huge blog post about how Alabama are the SEC Champions...I wouldn't talk to me for a few days.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Five Question Friday

Finally, I can do Five Question Friday. I have been gone ALL day long and am just now getting around to it. I started a one day a week nanny job so I will be gone all day on Fridays for the time being but I will still be doing Mama M's Five Question Friday when I get home. Here are Belli's answers:

1. Favorite gift you are giving this year.
I can't tell you. My Mimi reads my mommy's blog and I have been sworn to secrecy.

2. How many parties are you attending between now and Christmas.
Just one. The Bell Center has a Christmas party every year.

3. What is your favorite Christmas song.
I love listening to Baby Einstein's Baby Santa in the car. It has all kinds of instrumental holiday songs.

4. Who was your favorite elementary school teacher and why?
I haven't been to elementary school so I asked my mom who she liked and she said her kindergarten teacher Mrs. Ferguson. She was so much fun and had lots of really cool stuff in her room to do. That was back when kindergarten was fun though.

5. If you had a choice to live in any other period of time when would it be?
Back when they had saber tooth tigers. Those things are pretty cool.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Alphabitty Moments-G

Yes. I know. I am WAY behind on my Alphabitty Moments. I haven't done a new in what? Two months? Who knows? I can't even remember anymore. What I do know is that the next letter up is "G". For Isabelle "G" stands for Granddad. You see Granddad and Belli are big buddies. She pretty much owns him. He does what she wants when she wants (when I'm not around at least). Most of the time she prefers him over anybody else except for me. And even sometimes she does prefer him over me. If she asks me for something and I say no guess who she asks next. Yup, Granddad. So Granddad is it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So What's Belli Been Up To?

In all of my Alabama obsessed posts I have not being paying as much blogging attention to my sweet Belli as I should be. So I wanted to give everyone and update on what Isabelle has been up to.

She is still hilariously funny.

Believe it or not she has actually been eating very well! Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised at her weight when she gets the halo off.

Speaking of getting the halo off we go for a CT scan on the 15th to find out if and when so send up some prayers!

We asked her earlier who was going to take her halo off (thinking she would say Dr. Rozzelle). Her response, "Santa Clause!" I hope so sweet girl! What a great Christmas present that would be.

When we go to The Bell Center tomorrow there might be people from CNN shooting video of Isabelle with the dogs from Hand in Paw. That is literally all of the information I know and I will post more details when I know more.

We've raised $1,756.70 for The Bell Center so far. You can click on the FirstGiving widget on my side bar to donate or click here for more information.

One of Belli's old PT's came by the house today to visit and she brought her adorable little boy, Ben, with her to play with Belli too. She adopted Ben a little over a year ago and we hadn't had a chance to meet him yet. He is just as adorable in real life as he is in all of the pictures I have seen on her blog. It was great to see both of them. They are also Auburn fans and she has taught him to stick his thumb down and say, "Boooo!" whenever he hears, "Roll Tide." It was too cute and funny for me to even care.

Ok, I think that's it. Please go donate to The Bell Center if you can! And I will let you guys know if I get anymore information about the CNN thing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Alabama vs Florida- A History Lesson

Alabama has played in the SEC Championship game 6 times since it started in 1992. It will be 7 on Saturday. Each time they have played Florida. The records are as follows:

1992: Alabama 28-Florida 21. Alabama went on to beat Miami for the National Championship that season.

1993: Florida 28-Alabama 13.

1994: Florida 24-Alabama 23.

1996: Florida 45-Alabama 30. Florida beat the Florida State Seminoles later that year in the National Championship game.

1999: Alabama 34-Florida 7

2008: Florida 31-Alabama 20. The winner of this game was all but guaranteed a spot in the National Championship game. As you may know Florida won and again went on to win the National Championship game that year.

So I know life isn't all about taking turns and fairness. But it is totally our turn. Just saying.