Tuesday, August 30, 2011


First of all, I want to thank all of you for your prayers and well wishes for Smiley and the rest of us.  She goes back to her doctor on Thursday so he can check her eyes out.  She did fabulously the day of the surgery ~ quite tired, but after what her little body went through I expected that.  By Thursday afternoon, she was coming around to her old, feisty self (you'll probably notice in all of the pictures of Smiley, her eyes look red in the corners ~ side effect of surgery and I assure you they were much worse and have gotten better).

This past weekend, my in-laws came for a visit.  Between Friday night and Sunday evening we saw 1 MLB game, 1 NFL preseason game,  and 2 softball games that Sassy played in.  Not to mention a day of shopping for the girls and golfing for the boys, late birthday celebrating (I made myself this cake ~ so yummy!).  Needless to say, it was a jam packed, fun, memory making weekend.

Sassy and Action were moving in to blow out my candles =)

And now...

My kids don't go back to school until next Tuesday, so we have one more week of summer to savor.  And savoring we will be.  Lazy mornings, friends all afternoon, and nothing scheduled..... just enjoying the moments as they come. And trying to keep Smiley from obsessing about the swimming pool...... no water in her eyes until the end of the week.  Wish me luck, she actually put her swimming suit on over her pajamas the other morning, ready to go swimming!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Embrace the Camera ~ After Surgery

Yesterday Smiley had eye surgery.

We had to be at the hospital an hour early, to check in, go over paper work and to get her acclimated.  While we were taking care of business, she had a fabulous time playing with all the "new" toys.

Daddy held her when the Anesthesiologist gave her the medicine for her "nap".  She drifted off in his arms.  Then, Hubby and I went to the family waiting room and...... waited.  About 40 minutes later, her Doctor walked through the doors and reassured us that everything went perfectly.  We waited another half hour to be told we could finally go and be with her in her recovery room.  Sleepy head did not want to wake up.  Unfortunately, Hubby had to leave to catch a flight for work.  So I sat with her.  Watching her chest rise and fall with each breath.  Listening to her every movement.

She finally woke up.  And when she did, she sat up, looked around the room and said, "Where Daddy go?"  She was bummed that he wasn't there, thrilled she got a popsicle, happy to also get crackers and apple juice and very cranky that she couldn't go back and play with the toys.

Finally, she was discharged we went home.  When we arrived, we snuggled together and dozed off and on, while my sister played games with Sassy and Action.

So today I embrace the Camera with my little girl, just home from having eye surgery.  Both of us a little tired, and me very thankful for all of those who sent us their prayers and well wishes, as well as for God, who answers our prayers, and puts people in our lives to help us, guide us, protect us, teach us and love us.

Now go get out from behind the camera!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What if's.....

I'm not a person who usually worries, but yesterday, worry began to sneak in.

My day started like any other.  Well, maybe not exactly like every other.  Sassy and Action actually slept in a little bit.  But then it was breakfast and off to the health club as usual.  A run, a chat with friends, a little overall body work, some much needed stretching and we were off to the next thing.  A trip to Sam's Club.  But when I got into the car and checked my phone messages there was one there that planted a little seed of worry.

It was a pre-op call from the Children's hospital, regarding Smiley's upcoming eye surgery.  Upcoming as in tomorrow morning at 8am.

I hadn't been worried about this surgery at all.

But I guess I am.  I'm not worried about the decision we have made to have the surgery to straighten her eyes (the technical name of the procedure she is having is bilateral strabismus repair) .  We tried glasses.  They didn't work.  Her vision is equally good in both eyes, so there was no eye patching to be had (Sassy did LOTs of patching.  We've been there and I was willing to go there again). So to straighten her eyes, surgery is the next option.   (You can read Smiley's story here and Sassy's story here)

When I called the Day Surgery Nurse back, she asked me lots of questions, mostly regarding health history and pre-operation physical information.  When she was done asking questions, she went over the items we needed to bring..... my photo ID, her physical report, insurance card, comfort items......

Comfort Items.

That's what got me.  This is big.  She needs her blankie. She may need her baby and her "Minnie". She'll need me and she'll need her Daddy.  She may feel like crud (Sassy puked all the way home ~ 40 minute drive).  Her eyes may hurt and feel like they itch and have sand in them.

That little seed that was planted when I first heard the voice mail from the nurse, well it began to grow and fester ......

What if something bad happens during surgery?
What if there is a slip of the hand by the Doctor?
What if she reacts to the anesthetic?
What if it doesn't work?
What if she gets and infection?
What if.....
What if.....
What if.................?

The thing is, my worry gets me nowhere.  Really, it just creates more anxiety.  And honestly, whatever happens tomorrow, good or bad, is out of my control.  Someone much bigger than me is in control.  And I pray and put my trust in him.

In You In You I find my peace
In You In You I find my strength
In You I live and move and breathe
Let everything I say and do
Be founded by my faith in You
I lift up holy hands and sing
Let the praises ring!
 © 2002 Sony

So I pray, I trust, and I try to let go of my worry.   I may or may not sleep well tonight.  I will try not to  fret as I sit in the waiting room tomorrow morning and I will rush into the recovery room to hold my little girl as soon as she wakes up  from her procedure.  I will hold her hair and bucket if need be.  And snuggle her as much as she wants.  And through it all, I will praise God for so much, and pray for peace and trust in my heart.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:27  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Oriental Chicken Salad ~ Copycat

I have to admit, I use to be a huge fan of Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad.  A huge fan until I found a "copycat" recipe somewhere online years ago.  Since then, I've been making this version of the salad at home. And actually, I ordered it one time when we had gone out and...... I decided I liked my copycat version better.

So, I am sharing it with you!

Dressing Ingredients (FYI, I usually double or triple this ~ like I said, I love this salad and have been known to eat it many meals in a row) :

Whisk together ~ 

3 Tablespoons ~ honey
1 1/2 Tablespoon ~ rice vinegar
1/4 Cup ~ Mayo
1 teaspoon ~ grey poupon dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon ~ sesame oil

Salad Ingredients (FYI, I never measure these ingredients out, but here's what the directions say) :

Chicken ~ you need chicken. And, if you want to make it like Applebee's then you should use breaded chicken.  Me, if you remember this chicken recipe post, I had hubby grill me some plain chicken so I could make this salad up and have everything already ready.  See, thinking ahead :)

and you need (like I said, I don't measure this out, and now that I actually look at the measurements, I make way more than it calls for!) :

3 Cups ~ romaine lettuce
1 Cup ~ red cabbage
1 Cup ~ Napa cabbage
1/2 carrot ~ shredded
1 green onion ~ chopped

Toss all of the salad ingredients together then, 

1.  Spread Chow Mein noodles onto your plate 

2.  Top with the salad mixture and as many slivered almonds as you want

3.  Drizzle with the yummy dressing

4.  ENJOY!

And a  tip, because I'm nice like that, another good way to eat this up is in Wrap form.

Sprinkle a few chow mein noodles onto a wrap

Add the salad mixture, almonds and dressing.

Wrap up and EAT up! YUMMY!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Embrace the Camera

Yesterday was my birthday. 

And we spent the entire day on the lake.  Except for the part where I fell asleep on the dock.  
It was a fabulous day and today, I am embracing every moment of my 35 years! 

A little ring around the rosy in the lake

complete with shadows (crazy water color, huh? I didn't even photoshop it!)

These 3 stinkers are about impossible to get a picture with!

And ALWAYS remember this:

And always remember to get in front of the camera and embrace it.  There are no guarantees in life so remember to make the most of the moments you have.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sweet and Sour Barbecued Chicken

So I have a couple of grilled chicken recipes I like to make each summer.  I already shared hubby's favorite: Peanut butter chicken and now, here is mine:

Sweet and Sour Barbecued Chicken

(Yes, I like to shop at Target!)

2 Cloves of garlic ~ crushed through a garlic press
2 Tablespoons ~ balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/3 Cup ~ brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ~ dijon mustard
1/3 Cup ~ honey
1 teaspoon ~ salt
1/2 teaspoon ~ pepper
4 Tablespoons ~ olive oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half (or you could look at it as 4 chicken breast halves ~ see how helpful I am!)  **** READ THE TIP AT THE END!

Here's what'cha do:

1. Make the sauce.  In a shallow bowl, whisk together: garlic, vinegar, lime, lemon, brown sugar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper.

2.  Whisk in olive oil.

3.  Reserve some sauce in a separate bowl for dipping.

4.  Coat chicken in sauce ~ grill.  Baste with more sauce while grilling if desired.

Cute whisker:

Lemon Sucker (who started loving lemons before she was 1),


Wine Pourer
(pay no attention to the dead plants on the table!  Long string one is suppose to be a sunflower that Action planted at school ~ oops and the other one.... a lovely dried up red begonia......)


End result....



**** TIP****

Oh, and don't forget to attend some parties!  I am :)

The Stories of A 2 Z