I know my opportunities to get pictures with Santa and my kids are almost over. The boys were so sweet and humored me this year, so we made a night of it!
First stop was the mall. A few days before our adventure, a friend reminded me that you can now get Santa Fast Passes. We went online and purchased our Fast Passes to avoid the long line. It was the greatest thing ever! It took us a total of 5 minutes to see the Man in Red versus waiting in line for well over an hour. Best $10 I've spent in a long time!
After pics with Santa, we headed to dinner and then drove around looking at Christmas lights.
One of the houses we drove by had Santa there for a visit. Seeing him twice in one night was pretty awesome!
Of course we made a stop at Starbucks for hot chocolate!
There were some pretty impressive displays.
It was such a fun way to spend time together during this super busy time of the year. This is definitely a new family tradition for us!
It all started on Wednesday with him coming home from school with a tummy ache. Nothing new, really. He gets them often. He seemed to feel well enough to play with his friends and shoot a few hoops with Dad that afternoon. He didn't eat much dinner. But again, nothing out of the ordinary. He's a picky eater. By bedtime, he was moaning and complaining that his stomach was still hurting, but he seemed to settle down enough to go to sleep - or so we thought. About 10:30 that night, Hayden came downstairs to tell us Kyle was sobbing in his bed. We went to check on him and as soon as we heard him and saw him, we knew it was time to go to the hospital. He was in pure agony.
Once he arrived at the hospital and saw the doctor, they were able to give him pain meds. He felt much better! This was taken right after the meds kicked in...
After an ultrasound showed nothing wrong, he had a CT scan that confirmed what the doctor had suspected all along - appendicitis. We had caught it in the early stages and thankfully, it had not ruptured. We had taken him to our local hospital, which had recently opened a new children's wing on it's premises. Unfortunately, though, there was not a pediatric surgeon on staff. Though I am confident that the regular surgeon could have taken excellent care of our baby boy, we opted to have him transferred to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville. So, at 2:30 am that same night/next morning, Kyle and I had our first ambulance ride, with Dad following behind us in the car.
After a very long night in the children's ER, surgery was scheduled for later in the morning. After waiting for several hours for his turn in the OR, he was finally wheeled back about 3:45 pm. For me, that was the worst part of the whole experience. Seeing your 10 year old baby taken away from you for surgery was heart wrenching. His well-being was completely out of our care. We placed our faith in God to guide the hands of his surgeon and medical team. Appendectomies are very routine surgeries that happen everyday at this hospital, but it's not so routine when it's your child! The next hour was filled with lots of prayer and lots of texts to/from family and friends. A little over an hour later, the surgeon came out to inform us he came through with flying colors! Thanks be to God!
It was a little slow going the remainder of the evening, but by the next morning he was up walking around and was able to go home before lunchtime.
Back at home, it was so good to see this sweet smile! It was an eventful 48 hours, no doubt. So thankful to God for his healing hand and for the wonderful doctors and nurses that took care of our little boy during his latest adventure. He always keeps us on our toes!
Yesterday was an Adventures with Allie kind of day. With this being her last year home with Mommy before beginning kindergarten next fall, I am soaking up all of her sweet goodness and enjoying our precious one-on-one time together. She really is my little buddy. She (usually) loves to run errands and get things done with me.
Our first adventure yesterday was a trip to the dentist for a checkup. She has been going to her dentist since she was one year old. It's been a roller coaster ride with these visits. The very first one was great, but it went downhill from there. We've had screaming, running, and even attempted biting over the past few years. But this visit was so different. She was wonderful and handled it all like a champ - including x-rays! She really is growing up so fast.
Waiting in the play area.
Ready to get started. She was all smiles and even laughed with the dental hygienist during the cleaning!
This girl had a great report! She loves getting her "goody bag" from the Dr.
The dentist's office is always decorated for the seasons and holidays. She wanted her picture made with the scarecrow outside.
After the dentist we headed to the mall for a celebratory Chick-Fil-A lunch. No trip to the mall is complete without a visit to the American Girl store. She has added Grace's Pastry Cart to her Christmas Wish List!
She also had to work on some homework for Pre-K. This turkey needed a disguise so he could hang out with the Pre-K class until Thanksgiving was over.
Since we had Chick-Fil-A on our brains today, she decided to give her turkey a Chick-Fil-A cow costume! He turned out great and will never be detected!
Throw in a trip to the grocery store and going to watch big brother Hayden at batting practice and she had a full day. I love spending time with this sweet girl!
Another Halloween is in the books. Right behind Christmas, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. It's all about kids, fun and candy - the good stuff in life!
We didn't change up our decor much this year. You can see Halloween 2014 here with more pics of the house.
We did add a cauldron with a magic potion to the table.
This year's collection of Halloween pictures through the years.
For the boys' class parties we made mini mummy dogs.
On Halloween morning, we headed out to Hayden's last fall baseball game. This little girl was pumped!
Just before trick or treating we hosted all our neighbors over for chili and mummy dogs. Of course I took no pictures of the party! These two girlies were beyond excited and couldn't wait for the real fun to begin!
Finally, trick or treat time! We had pouring rain all afternoon, so we were thrilled when the skies cleared just long enough for us to make our candy run.
This year we had the Little Mermaid and 2 morph men.