Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Part 2 and New Years at the Cabin

Over Thanksgiving, we did a great job capturing beautiful family photos. This time we decided to give each other a huge break and just stay in expandable pants and Woot t-shirts for the entire week (I am sooo not kidding). It was heaven! After the go-go-go of the holidays it was wonderful to get away from all the "noise" at home and escape to one of our favorite places on Earth....the Darby Cabin!

Everything was going well on our drive to the cabin until we stopped at McDonald's for dinner. We were about six hours in and Carson started fussing in the car. We thought it was from being trapped in a car seat for hours. He is such a trooper and rarely cries. When I picked him up from his car seat, I immediately noticed his left ear was "oozing." Carson has tubes from his recurring ear infections as an infant, so we have dealt with our share of ear infections...and still, we had never seen this before. I got worried and called our pediatrician. Of course it was a holiday weekend at 5:20pm so I had to leave a message on the nurse's line. They called me back and said we needed to take him to a pediatric urgent care facility to verify if he indeed had an ear infection. Ear infections require an antibiotic so we quickly starting researching to find a facility in the area. The "area" was Boondocks, Arkansas, by the! We realized nothing was open except the Children's hospital in Little Rock, but they couldn't see Carson for two more hours. After calling Deb and discussing our options, we decided to drive to Stuttgart (about 20 minutes from the cabin) to take Carson to the Emergency Room. Pops was amazing and met us there and took Alex home so she didn't have to stay with us. That was a blessing in more ways than one. Without getting too graphic, let's just say that we saw waaaay too much blood and some very scary people there. Fortunately, the doc was great and Carson was in an amazing mood. He was running around saying, "Hiieee! Howauuu?" to each and every person he could find. The doc said that he had a severe ear infection and would need antibiotics, as we expected. He was amazed at Carson's we said, the kiddo is used to pain. This didn't seem to phase him. We got our prescription and we were on our way! No more drama, s'il vous plait!

I (Mommy) had a nasty cold too, so we weren't in tip-top shape, but we didn't let sickness get in the way from an awesome week of presents, family, food and fun! As always the kids were in heaven together. Alex had the best time with her cousins. Carson kept getting sicker and sicker so you will see many pictures of him sitting in laps (he pretty much sat on laps for 5 days straight). I was thankful for many willing hands! The girls had a great time cooking, knitting and catching up. The Dad's went out hunting each and every morning...the agenda was to rest, play and enjoy the family. We did just that!

We have 60 pictures that tell the story much better than I do, so here they are:

Lots of lovin' to go around... a sweet DeDe and Pops moment

Brandon and Andrea didn't shy away from the love either

There was more good food than anyone could handle...

The sisters bonded in the kitchen more than anywhere else - especially sharing Gluten Free cooking tips

The Gluten Free pizzas were a hit
(the regular pizzas caught on fire...oh how I wish I had a photo!)

Aunt Missy and Caden bonded over toffee, once again
(Caden was allowed to stay up extra late to assist)

We all got a bit nutty from time to time... presents would certainly do the trick!

Caden's new iPod shuffle was a huge hit

Dru was amazed with his Lego projects and Transformers

Alex had no idea her life was about to change...

A KARAOKE machine...NO WAY?!

Alex was given a special gift from her cousins - silk pajamas from China. She thought she was Mulan!

Alex couldn't contain her excitement...she was hysterical!

Alex's favorite of the evening - A "Barbie Be-Bridal" set. The boys couldn't understand how she was so excited over a Barbie doll and she didn't get what was so great about a Transformer. Mars vs. Venus, I suppose.

Andrea was given a very special gift - a magazine featuring our DADDY on the cover - and she was the recognized photographer. Pretty amazing!

The kids loved doing crafts

Uncle N8 wins the best uncle award - he played with the bridal set with the kids (maybe the boys see why Barbie is cool now?! Umm...probably not!)

Master fort builders

The kids spent every moment outside they could

Such a precious Daddy-Daughter moment

Uncle N8 and Dru had a blast with the should see what all they build together

Aunt Onnie spoiled my kids with a puppy tent - a HUGE hit!

Eston & Alex, our "twins" - they love each other so much

Sassy as always

Aunt Missy (me) enjoyed a personal highlight of the week - taking Alex, Eston and Dru on a big walk! Great pics being kids

Eston attempted to keep Alex on track (ha - good luck with that)

Alex points to a new discovery just around the way

The kids enjoyed a rock skipping contest

This may be my favorite picture of the bunch - I love Skeeter (Darby's lab) in the background fetching a stick. Sweet innocence and love here.

So much for sweet and innocent...ha!

Dru tried to carry the crew

But in the end, ladies win :)

Tublin' down the hill...having so much fun

I know they never wanted this day to be done

Of course I had to capture a Kodak moment - how sweet are these kiddos?

Once again, Dru leads the crew uphill

These tired kiddos were sooo happy to find Mrs. Scruffy along the path. They finally had a reason to stop and relax.

Aunt Onnie stayed behind with a very weak Carson :(

You can see the progression - he is getting worse

Thank goodness for technology - um yes, he has an old iPhone (it's OLD, no judging - it keeps him happy!)

Even sissy tried to cheer him up, to no avail

Uncle B held the key - a fancy iPad saved the day

Mommy tried to cheer him up - she wasn't feeling so great herself

Daddy sure hit the spot!

I love watching my sweet boys snuggle

A sweet overhead shot of my favorite boys - massive amounts of cuddle time

Our little sickie started vomiting and sleeping around the clock - we finally realized he was given way too much antibiotic - OH NO!

DeDe's always have the magic touch. Carson is feeling rotten but still has a smile!

One day Carson literally stayed in her lap for 5 hours straight! She didn't like that one bit ;)

Even on New Year's Eve, Carson tried to party with the gang...pretty pitiful

The last hunt was the best one of all...check out all of those ducks

Brothers had awesome bonding time together

Pops couldn't have been happier anywhere on Earth

Finally, it's New Year's Eve - a super fun night ahead

Our NYE dinner tradition - fondue! It was divine!

We wrapped up the week with a Texas Hold 'Em Tournament. It was a blast. Brandon wanted to lose so badly because they had one morning left to hunt. He just wanted to go to bed. The harder he tried to lose, the more he won. He was declared the Hold 'Em Champ!

A final wrap on 2010 - a wonderful year that I wish we could do all over again!