Monday, June 30, 2008

An Unexpected Trip

I'm writing about his a week late (story of my life) but on June 17th I strapped the girls in the car and we made the 12 hour drive to Virginia to visit my family up there. Unfortunately Brett wasn't able to come with us because of work.

My mom was at girls camp and while walking through the tent she started seeing things as a prisim through one eye. She thought it was some weird kind of migrane and took some tylonal. After a couple of hours and no improvement, the nurse on site and a friend convinced her to go to the emergency room. It turns out that her retina had started tearing away from her eye. Now I don't know all the details but apparently her doctor said that as people get older, 99% of everyone will not have any problems with this but 1% (with high risk people being those with poor eyesight--like my mom, and people with diabetes) have problems with this. It is also apparently hereditary and with my eyesight being worse then my moms. . .I am going to try and be prepared for the future. Anyway, she had emergency lazer surgery on her eye and was told not to get off her back for at least three days. Since it is summer and the girls and I didn't have any major plans for the next week we thought we'd drive on up and try and help out if we could.

Despite my moms injury, we had a really fun visit. Emmeline loved being able to follow after Leland (I think he was ready for us to leave after the first two days. lol) Leland is Emmelines youngest uncle--he is 12, and she loves playing with him about as much as she loves anything else in this world. She also enjoyed playing with Adam, Lucy and Grandma and going outside with grandpa to see the fish in his pond. Mabel loved having a new place to explore and of course, she got into everything including the kitty food. oops.

One day we were there we went to WaterWorks, a little water park that is perfect for young children to play in. Unfortunately it began storming and raining after we had only been there for a half hour or so.
Emmeline was so sad to leave but it was okay once we got home and Adam, Lucy and Leland taught her how to play tag in the rain. I also helped Lucy start preparations for her 16th birthday party. I told her she could use my pirate stuff if she wanted a murder mystery party. She loved the idea and I helped her as much as I could before I left back to Birmingham. (Her birthday is July 2nd)

I drove back home the following tuesday. My big, little brother came with me. (He is about a head taller then me, but he'll always be my "little" brother :) ). My mom got him a one way ticket from Birmingham back to Virginia for the following friday. It was nice to have some help in the car as I drove back. It was funny because he told me he thought the "take care of the babies" job was much harder then the driving job. lol. Just wait till you have to do them both at the same time Adam.

It was a really fun trip and a breath of fresh air for the girls and me. I think we were long past ready to go on a vacation. We did miss Brett/Daddy though and we were very happy to get back home to him!! Now we're all pumped and ready to go to Utah in July. (and this time we are taking Brett with us!!!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pirate Pics

I promised I would post a few more pictures of the pirate party--well, here they are. These pics were all taken by Alicia Cutts. Ahoy Matey!!

Galley Wench-Gurglin Uma Scarr & First Mate-Merciless Morgan

The Governors Daughter-Breathless Betty & Sea Merchant (Ex Pirate)- Sealegs Sam

Captain of the Jaded Jewel-Captain Redbeard & Pirate-Thumbless Jacky

Tavern Mistress-Mad Rose & The Commodore-Commodore Clearing

The Governor-Gov. Napier & Pirate Gunner- One-Eyed Wanda

A Child's Prayer

Last week Emmeline started saying prayers all by herself. Brett was getting her breakfast ready and apparently he was not going fast enough and she was hungry so she started the prayer by herself. Brett walked in to hear "thank you for the day, the food, blessings, Amen" He reminded her of the appropriate way to finish her prayer and she finished it right the second time. Ever since then (which actually was on fathers day--what a sweet gift for Brett to receive on his special day) she has been wanting to pray all by herself, all the time. We are very proud of our little Emmeline!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Fathers Day (I know its a week late. . .)

I know that Fathers Day was last week. . .but in this case. . .I think it's better late then never to tell the fathers in my life how much I love them. First I want to send a shout out to my dad, Ron Jorgensen, for being such a great dad who always has such great advice and knowledge. The next shout out goes to my father-in-law, Victor Pickett, who always reminds Brett and me to have fun and enjoy the ride. The last (but most certainly not least)shout out goes to the father of my children, Brett Pickett. Brett is such a wonderful daddy. He plays with Emmeline and Mabel and even has tea parties with them. (Now thats a sign of a truly great dad!) He works so hard to make sure he takes time out for us girls and we do feel like we come first in his life. I really couldnt ask for a better, more devoted husband and father for my girls. Brett, We love you so much. . .not just on fathers day, but every day of the year.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Yo Ho A Pirates Life for Me!!

I know our pirate party was a couple of weeks ago but I'm finally going to blog about it--yeah. (the following will be a fairly detailed, lengthy narrative. if you would prefer the short version just know that the party was super super fun and then skip down to the section entitled The Three worst things that can happen when hosting a pirate party.)

This party was not only fun for me the night of, but I loved every minute of the preparations. Once Brett and I decided to have a murder mystery dinner for our birthdays I started checking out various options online. I initially saw a medieval castle party that looked awesome and intense (which I am hoping to do sometime in the future) but thought a pirate theme would be easier for me to do for my first time. We bought the game from I found lots of decorations online. Things like a treasure chest and little pirate cups and tikki table lamps, you know, stuff like that.
I also found a lot of stuff at the dollar store including little pirate toys (which were great on the mantle and on the pirate ship cake) and pirate treasure (ring pops, candy necklaces, rolo's and other various candy). Finally I hit the flag store because no pirate party is complete without the ol' Jolly Roger flag. I bought Bretts costume online but I made my own. I was a galley wench and had a great time making my costume myself. (Now I want to make my own renaissance dress when we have a medieval party!!) It was probably the most intensive or at least large sewing item I have ever made on my own before. (I'll post a pic when I get one). Oh and I also got some great pirate tunes from itunes. No pirate party is complete without a little yo ho music!!

The game was fun to prepare. Since I got it online, they sent me a pdf of all the game materials which I could just print from my computer. There were invitations, a pirate code, pirate lingo, and paper money to use for bribery, blackmail, stealing (hey we were pirates) or whatever means you could think of. The game also had certificates you could print out and give to the winners: best costume, best actor, most money, and who solved the mystery.

For dinner we had what I thought sounded like a nice caribbean meal; bbq chicken legs, a cuban dish for beef that I could cook in the crock pot which I found online (I am hesitant to serve guests something that I have never tried before. . .but this turned out great. I found it on rice, black beans, and of course a tropical fruit tray which included fresh pineapple, kiwi, mango, grapes and apples. Alicia made a yummy mango salsa which really tied all the flavors together and Rachel brought a fabulous spinach salad. I also made a birthday cake which was a pirate ship set asail on the ocean. It gave me some trouble but turned out pretty cute. We also had homemade rootbeer. YUMMY!!

On the night of the party, everyone showed up and looked awesome! I was so impressed with everyones costumes. (Again, I'll post more pics soon). Seeing everyone in their party attire was worth all the effort right there. It was great to visit with friends and pretend to be someone else for the night. Even if. . .actually, especially since I was Uma Scarr the galley wench. We had the governor, his daughter, the commodore and a handful of pirates in attendance. (yes, the story is loosely based on Pirates of the Caribbean.) I wont say anything else about the story. . . .just incase anyone who reads this is lucky enough to play the game sometime. (I would love to do this for a family reunion or something like that). Anyway, we all had a swashbuckling good time and I cant wait to have another murder mystery dinner.

***The Three Worst Things that can Happen When Hosting a Pirate Party*** (all of which happened to me!!)

#3. The baby gets sick two days before the party therefore causing the host to have at least 8 hours (probably more) less time to get ready then was originally anticipated. The result was a costume that wasnt completely done and a galley wench who wasnt as prepared as she would have liked with her pirate lingo.

#2. On the morning of the party, when assembling the pirate ship cake, the "ship" looks like it has just been beaten in a fierce, bloody pirate battle. When I say beaten, I mean pulverized! It ended up with three fairly recognizable pieces and the rest in hundreds of unrecognizable pieces. Luckily I started in the morning and had just enough time to bake one more cake, freeze it, and try again. It worked much better the second time, but it certainly had me worried and frenzied throughout the day.

and the #1 worst thing that could happen when hosting a pirate party is. . .
having 4 bubbly gallons of homemade rootbeer crash to the floor and spread across the kitchen and dinning room 20 minutes before the guests are scheduled to arrive. When that happened, my first thought was "oh no, the party is ruined. RUINED!!" Luckily for me, I have a very calm husband who grabbed every towel in the house plus three or four rolls of paper towels and got busy soaking it all up. After about three minutes of hyperventilating, I was able to calm down enough to help him work. We were just finishing up when the first two couples arrived. They helped get everything else going (beans cooking, more rootbeer brewing (luckily we had enough extra dry ice) the table setting finalized and other stuff like that, while Brett and I ran upstairs and put our costumes on. It was crazy, but it all worked out!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We just arrived home after spending the last 4 days in the hospital. Mabel is doing much better. She had a urinary tract infection and since the fever was so high for so long, the Doctor thinks that she had a little infection in her kidneys as well. She'll be on antibiotics for the next 10 days, but other then that, things should get back to normal. We are so happy that she is better and that we can be home again. The hospital was alright but really, there is no place like home!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

When you have a fun vacation planned. . .inevitably--someone will get sick!!!

Granted, the sick person is not usually admitted into the hospital the day before the trip as is the case with our little Mabel right now. We have been planning our trip to Utah for several months. We bought the tickets and made plans with as much family and friends as possible. We were planning on flying out of Birmingham on Tuesday at 4:30 in the afternoon. Well, today, Monday, Mabel decided, no thats not accurate, the doctors decided that Mabel needed to be admitted to the hospital. (Mabel certainly would have vetoed the decision had she been given a choice.) When the doc first took her temp this morning it was 104.7 degrees. Mabel has had this fever since Wednesday. They also found a really high white blood cell count, enough that they said. . .off to the hospital for little Mabe.
Here is the most annoying thing about a hospital--we answered the same questions at least 5 times to at least 5 different people. Both nurses and doctors. And each person wrote down the answers to the questions on a seperate piece of paper. We were in the admitting room for four hours. Four hours is a long time for a 2 year old little girl (Emmeline). For crying out loud, it is a long time for a 27 year old man and a 25 year old woman. (Mabel was too lethargic and tired to really care where she was.) Why not have one person ask us the questions and then let that information be available to everyone else who needs it instead of the marathon-lets have everyone in the hospital ask the Picketts the same questions over and over again senario. Okay. I'm sorry for the vent fest. I'm done. We finally got up to our room and everyone was really nice. They are even giving me free meals since I am still nursing. Thats good and the chicken fingers they gave me for dinner were four stars, even though they were hospital food. (Perhaps I was just really really hungry.) Anyway, despite the long day in the hospital, Emmeline did really good and was a really patient girl. She was very sad to leave Mabel and me at bedtime. But she promised to come back in the morning and have breakfast with us.

A quick update on Mabel: she is doing very well. Her fever has gone down considerably. The last time they checked it, it was just over 100 degrees. Hopefully it will continue in this positive direction and we wont have to be here at the hospital for long. Hopefully we'll be able to be on our way to Utah in a couple of days. Who knows, maybe with a little luck and some quick recovery, we can be out of the hospital tomorrow morning and on the plane by 4:30. However, if we have to talk to the same 5 nurses and doctors we talked to this morning. . . I sure wont be counting on it. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Happy Birthdays

On Friday June 6th we celebrated Bretts 27th birthday. We had a pirate themed murder mystery dinner party. It was so much fun and I will give a very detailed account in another post. Then the next day, we celebrated my 25th birthday. After we cleaned up our house from the party the night before, we just relaxed all day. That was very awesome. I got a chance to finish up a book I've been reading. We also took Emmeline and Mabel to Horton Hears a Who which is currently playing at the dollar theater. Emmeline loved watching "the elephant movie on the really really big t.v." For our birthdays Brett got some more ram for his computer (must be a guy thing. . . ) and I got an airstepper. (its my excuse to watch some daytime television during the girls naptime. . . if I'm exercising then I'm not totally wasting time--right. I'll keep you posted on if it works or not :) ) Hopefully it will help me get rid of my baby pounds which have yet to melt off. why oh why do I love food so much?  But thats another question for another time. It was great for Brett and me to celebrate our birthdays together and I look forward to the exciting things that await me as a 25 year old!!!
 Happy Birthday Brett and Laura!!!