Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Nickle Pickle

Today my baby turned 14 years old. 14, can you believe that? This is his last year in Junior High; next year he will be a Freshman in High School. Before you know it he will be graduating and going away to college. Time flies so fast.

I can't tell you how proud I am of Nicholas. He is intelligent and talented, but his tangible strengths are not what make him so spectacular. What is so special about Nicholas is that he is the most genuine and loving person I have ever met. He would give you the shirt off of his back or walk through fire to help even a perfect stranger. He is compasionate, selfless, generous, and caring. He gives me and the rest of his family unconditional love, and is an amazing son, brother, uncle, and friend.

It hasn't always been easy for Nicholas to live in Alyssa and Christian's shadows. Many times, as they recieved honors or attention (good and bad) he quietly sat by and lovingly supported them. Nicholas is extremely proud of his siblings and his nephew, but today is all about him. Nicholas Richard Cardona, Nicky Ricky Dicky, my baby, my friend, my Nickle Pickle. I love you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Logan Loves...

His Grandpa.
Sometimes Al is the only one (besides Alyssa)
who can get him to stop crying.

His froggy blanket

Christmas lights (especially when Grandma is holding him)

His straight jacket (oh and his Uncle Nicholas)

His Uncle Christian, A.K.A. The Corruptor

His Daddy

His Mommy

His froggy blanket

Logan also loves lots of other stuff (like the rest of his family) but that's all of the pictures I am uploading tonight because I'm tired, and Logan loves his Grandma enough to want her to go to bed. I just got off of a 12 hour shift, and I got the pleasure of driving home in a slushy thunderstorm.

Now some of you in the south may be asking "What is a slushy thunderstorm?" Well, there is a thunderstorm outside, but instead of rain we are getting slush and ice. To make matters worse I had to stop and get gas AND pump up a tire while getting pelted in the head with ice. Nice huh??? Anyway, I just hopped on to upload some new pictures of my favorite grandson and a few other family members. Goodnight.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

It's 6 am and I'm the only one up. The house is quiet, and many that I hold dear are under my roof. Al, Christian and Nicholas are sleeping safely upstairs, and Alyssa, Andy, and Logan are cozy in the basement. My dad and Geneva are down the street, and Andy's family is on the way. The smell of my daddy's ham is wafting through the air, fresh sweet bread is rising on the stove, and in the next few hours we will gather together. Not all of my loved ones are here in my house, but they are always in my heart. There is no way to express all that I am thankful for this year, but I will try.

First and foremost I am thankful that we can all gather here today. How much do we all take for granted our health and relative prosperity. The news has carried grim pictures of families that have lost everything, and I see human lives end on a daily basis. I know just how lucky we are that we all have been allowed one more year together.

Next, I would be remiss if I did not joyously proclaim my thankfulness for a new life. I know it may sound sappy, but becoming a grandmother has really changed my perspective on a lot of things this year. Without getting into too much detail, Alyssa's pregnancy and Logan's arrival are what my focus has been on in 2008, and it has forced me to make some very important (and some uncomfortable) changes that have put me on a path that I feel I was more destined to travel. Becoming a mother was life altering, but becoming a grandmother has been life settling. I am deeply in love with my beautiful grandson, and I am so thankful to God for him, and also for his very successful medical treatment.

Last, I am thankful for good friends and a great family. We all may go through a bit of dysfunction at times, but when times are really tough, you always know exactly who has your back. This year I have been blessed not only with my family and old friends, but also with the strengthening of new relationships. We have gone through a tough trial of faith and belief, but we came through it with a much deeper understanding of what God really wants for us. I love my little "group" and I feel honored to know all of you.

To everyone, thank you for being a part of my life. I love and cherish each and every one of you in a unique and personal way. No matter how cliche' it may sound, stop and thank God for all that he has given you. Remember that even in the dark there is light and goodness if you only look.

Logan meeting his GREAT Grandpa for the very first time.

Logan and Mawmaw Neevie.

Logan's new feet.

Ponseti bar.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pictures I Stole From Alyssa's Facebook

He's playing with his Daddy, but he's looking for his Grandma.

Alyssa says he's being a goofball here. It must be genetic.

He looks so much like Alyssa here. She has the same big smile.

It looks to me like he's saying "Uhm...where is my Grandma?"

More genetic traits, taking his own picture like his mommy.

The photo session must have worn him out.

I know I never wanted to.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I am being very bad. I am supposed to be cleaning for the upcoming holiday, but instead I am putting it off to blog. I have done some stuff this morning, but I sat down because my ankle hurt. Now I have to get back up, but the computer is much more compelling than the dust. If you hate to clean as much as I do, you know how I feel.

Anyway, I am very excited because my dad and Geneva are coming for Thanksgiving, and they will meet Logan for the very first time. Also, Alyssa, Andy, Logan, Shirley, and Andy's brothers (Wes and Chris) are coming. It will be busy, but I can't wait.

For the past 3 years we have had "real" family Thanksgivings, and either my mom or dad came up as well as my aunts, cousins and various friends and family members. This may seem normal to most of you, but to an Army family who has eaten many Thanksgiving dinners at the mess hall or Cracker Barrel it is a novelty, and we love every crazy minute of it.

I hope mine looks this good!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Men in Black

Trent, Nate, Hayden, Christian, and Sawyer.

Last night, the Show Choir Organization Of Parents (SCOOP) held a fundraiser "Viva Papillion LaVista". We had a fabulous time, eating, drinking, and watching the Papillion LaVista Show Choirs perform. Christian is a member of Free Spirit, which is the varsity show choir. They were the main act and performed last.

First to perform was the junior varsity show choir In Motion. All of the Freshmen start out in this group and Christian was a part of it last year. They sang 2 songs, "Opposites Attract" and "Pressure". They did very well. Their show is not as flashy as the older groups, because they are transitioning from junior high to high school. However, they have this whole year to really perfect their style before auditioning for the more advanced show choirs.

Next to perform was Ardente Voce, which is a jazz ensemble of 11th and 12th graders. They sang "Africa" and "You Can Call Me Al". They all have very good voices, and Christian's good friend L.T. sang several solos.

Heart and Soul, which is an all girl show choir made up of 10th-12th graders, came next. I can't remember the names of their two songs. One was about a canary, and the other about a bird in a cage. I think they must have a bird theme this year. Anyway they were as always, beautiful in their pink dresses, and they even did a tap number.

The Papillion LaVista Superintendent Rick Black was the emcee, and sang "The Daddy Song". He was quite good, and it made me realize how much the arts are valued throughout the district.

Last, but not least, was Free Spirit. I must say that they were awesome. The boys were dressed in black suits with white ties, and the girls in powder blue dresses. They performed "America" by Neil Diamond, "Chicago", and "American Anthem". The singing was superb and the dance moves sublime. I can't say enough about how proud I am that Christian is a part of this wonderful act, and how amazed I am that the school systems in this city still value performing arts when so many other states have cut them out completely. I have seen such a difference in the kids' desire to participate in all areas of their school because of their involvement in performing.

One last thing. In my pity party, I forgot to mention that Nicholas and his 8th grade chorus gave a great performance Tuesday night. They were so good, and Nicholas is a real leader in the male section. He is a very strong singer, and while he didn't stick out, I could clearly hear him leading the boys. Good job Nickle Pickle.

Christian and Max hamming it up.

Christian and Hayden, BFFs.

Kevin, Christian and Max.

On stage with the girls

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bad Week

How do you follow a really exhausting week? With a really crappy week.

True it wasn't horrible, or even life shattering, it was just one of those really bad weeks that you just can't wait to end. To make matters worse, my birthday was this week and it was totally ruined by something that I really shouldn't have been upset about. Last night though I heard some news that put my situation into perspective. A co-worker of mine just found out that her baby boy has a devastating disease. I am heartbroken for her, and I ask that you all say a special healing prayer for Isaiah Bradley and his parents Katie and Jordan.

So now what? Well, I leave the pity party, buck it up, and make next week better. Tonight I am going enjoy Christian's show choir show. Wednesday, I am looking forward to having a fabulous belated dinner celebration with my friends from work, and today I snatched the cutest picture off of Alyssa's Facebook.

I feel better already!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

'Nuff Said

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Exhausting Week!

What a week this has been. I worked 12 hour shifts at the hospital Sunday and Tuesday, then I got very little sleep due to the historical election, yeah! Wednesday morning I drove down to Kansas City for Logan's surgery, and this morning I feel whipped.

Logan checked in to Children's Mercy yesterday at 11:30 am for his surgery which was scheduled for 1:30 pm. He was admitted to the Same Day Surgery unit, and was really very good for a baby who couldn't eat after 9:00 am. He seemed to know that crying would be futile, so he slept in the arms of his mother and two grandmothers until they came and took him back at 2:3o pm. (Contrary to popular belief, airports do not have the worst delays.)

Alyssa, Shirley and I pulled Logan's wagon down to the surgery waiting area, and got some lunch while we waited for Dr. Sinclair to complete the surgery.

Dr. Sinclair came down at about 3:20 pm and told Alyssa the surgery had gone well. He made tiny incisions over the Achilles area and clipped those tendons to lengthen them. Logan is to come back on the 24th for his cast removal. Dr. Sinclair also told Alyssa that while Logan was in surgery, they measured him for his orthopedic shoes, and that he'll start wearing them on the 24th after he gets his casts off. So, Logan will be completely out of casts by Thanksgiving. We are so excited, and Alyssa can't wait to give him a real bath.

Alyssa, Shirley and I went to the PACU (post anesthesia care unit) to be with Logan. He was very groggy, and hoarse from the intubation. Alyssa tried to give him his bottle that she had pumped, but he really just wanted her and his pacifier.

We left the hospital at 5:00 pm, just in time for KC rush hour traffic. YUK! It took 40 minutes to get back to Shirley's which should have taken about 20 minutes. Chris (Andy's brother) came over for dinner, and we all had a nice visit.

Last night was pretty rough. Logan was very fussy when we first got back to Shirley's house. I gave him some Tylenol, Alyssa nursed him, and we all took turns holding him. He felt better after that, but he woke up almost every hour last night to nurse. I finally got up at 4:30 am with him so Alyssa could get a little sleep. I gave him a bottle of Pedialyte and some more Tylenol, and then I just held him for a couple of hours (rough I know). Alyssa nursed him again at 6:30 am and they've both been sleeping since.

Today, I'll be driving back to Omaha just in time for a 12 hour shift tomorrow. Saturday, I'm sleeping in.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Nicholas' Pumpkins

Nicholas carved these pumpkins all by himself.
Well mom and Meemaw choped the bottoms off,
but I think he did a fabulous job for a first timer.

Alyssa and Andy did this one. Cool pirate.

Logan was just his cute little self, and a frog.