Monday, November 17, 2008

A Walk Down Memory Lane

This is where it all began. We were young, in love, and ready to conquer the world. Almost 12 years and 3 kids later, we're still in love. A little older and a little less likely to conquer the world...just our small corner of Picomania.

One of us was old enough to drink at our wedding...quess who?

My BEAUTIFUL family!

Cam holding his son in the NICU for the first time.

Charlie's rough start made him a fighter. Born almost 6 weeks early with RDS, "son" (as Belle quickly named him) spent the first 9 days of his life hooked up to machines. Good thing he wasn't our first or I might have had a complete breakdown, but he turned out to be a healthy, happy boy and all this seems like a distant memory.

This was my first look at my son and it was in this moment when I fell in love. It seems peaceful, but in the next moment, he was whisked away to the NICU and I was left alone to pray for someone I had just met, but loved more than anything in the world. I feel so blessed to be a mother!

This is Cam holding Isabelle Rose when she was only a few hours old. She was one of the most peaceful, happy babies I had ever seen. As you can tell daddy fell in love with his daughter right away. What's not to love?

I loved meeting Belle for that first time. Everything about her birth was amazing and when I looked at her, I knew instantly she would help complete our family. I also knew she would bring alot of fun and laughter to Picomania!

Annie holding her baby sister hours after her birth. She loved Belle from the start and Isabelle soon began to adore Annie and hasn't stopped since. Cam always says if BelleBelle could somehow attach herself to Annie by becoming a part of her, she would. She really looks up to her big sister. We're just trying to convince Annie this is a good thing:)

This is it for now, but you know there's more to come. We have grown up alot in the last 12 years, but this is where we began and it's a good thing to remember those moments and go back to where we started:)

Sunday, November 16, 2008


This has been our "trick or treat" crew for the last 4 years. Belle is a "camo diva" (very Belle), Annie is a "punk pirate", Charlie is a regular pirate, and Emily (Belle's BFF) is an angel.

This is what residency does to a person.

Annie and her friends at school enjoying rolling each other in toilet paper. The end result was a toilet paper wrapped mummy laughing her head off!

We take Freckles (the dog) trick or treating with us every year. She usually wears a witch costume, but has put on a few pounds this year and couldn't fit into it. Looks like Freckles and mommy need to take more walks:)

Picomania at its best!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I've got to do it...I've got to write a review of High School Musical 3. Also on my "to-do" list is to update my blog because SO many things have happened since the last time I wrote that I'm having a hard time even knowing where to start. Let's start here: last weekend we spent the weekend in Huntsville, AL for a soccer tournament (4 games in about 30 hours). Between our 2 Saturday games, we had alot of time to spare so some of the moms and Cam (husband of the year award) took the team to see HSM3.

One word: cheesy. However, I love cheesy. I love sappy. I cry in the Hallmark store. I cry during commercials. I cry in the car when certain songs come on the radio. And yes, I cried at the end of the movie. There were certain scenes where I think I may have felt vomit in the back of my throat, especially those scenes between Troy and Gabriella. First of all, what boy looks like that in high school? Second, who has a relationship like that in HS? I speak from experience, I married my HS sweetheart and he never sang and/or danced for me;) Both, Cam and I agreed the first HSM was the best one, but overall the 3rd was entertaining with good music and great dancing. The girls loved it, the moms liked it, and Cam survived it. Oh, we took Charlie, as well, and let's just say "Charlo" got his groove on and LOVED it (maybe more than all the 10/11 year old girls).

One more thing, Cam was very disturbed about the scene where Troy crawls in her window with the pizza and chocolate dipped strawberries. Where was her mother? And how can we get cameras in all the kid's rooms?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Because You Asked For It (and You know who "you" are)

Now, that we've been home from Dauphin Island for a couple of weeks, I'm ready to talk about it:)  And having been asked to regale a certain story, that in retrospect I'm not 100% proud of, I'm going to relive this story, but only this once!  

We literally stayed in army barracks with the girls/moms on one floor and the dads/boys on the 2nd floor.  There were 2 moms per room, 2 girls per room, the teachers each had their own room, most of the dads had their own room, and 2 boys per room.  On the 1st floor there were 21 girls, 9 moms, 2 teachers, and the principal.  On the 2nd floor, there were 13 boys and 20 dads.  You would have thought there would have been some sort of control and discipline going on up there.  I'll just leave it at that.  

Down on the 1st floor, there was also a fire alarm system that was malfunctioning, which meant that that "beep, beep" went off about every 30 seconds until someone manually reset it.  This went on all day and ALL night and could be heard all over the 1st floor, but not by the dads on the 2nd floor.  Can anyone see where this story is going?  Not yet?  Allow me to continue...

After arriving on the island at about 8:00 pm, settling in, getting our roommates and the rules it's lights out around 10:00.  Until about 12:00 the boys run up and down the halls, which sounds like a herd of elephants from the 1st floor.  Finally, our principal goes up and brings down the hammer.  Where is the supervision?  I still don't know.  By now, it's too late to take my Ambien because we are taking a sunrise walk at 6:00 on the beach.  For all of you that know me, I am not a morning person.  Not even close.  My own children barely talk to me until 8:00 and they know not to wake me until 7:00.  But for Annie I will try to be pleasant or at least not ugly in the morning on our walk.  I also have alot of trouble sleeping at night.  Don't judge me, it's just where this story is going.  I don't sleep well, hence the Ambien.

I digress.  I can't fall asleep and as I do around 1:00 am, my roommate begins to snore.  It's not heavy breathing, it's snoring.  Not to be ugly or nasty, but it's freight train snoring.  I put in my earplugs from my ipod with the pillow over my head, but I can still hear it.  Finally, I turn my ipod on, which drowns out the noise enough that I can fall asleep.  And being that my roommate was not a member of my family or a very close friend, I couldn't exactly throw a shoe at her.  Don't think I didn't think about it:)  Only for a second!  I felt like I was asleep for about a minute when the herd of elephants begin to run again upstairs.  Thinking it's time to get up because why else would the boys be awake, I sit up to find my roomie (let's call her Jane) also sitting up in her bed, trying to figure out what time it is.  I find the's 4:00 am.  What the @!#!@#?  I'll take care of it, I tell her.  Now, keep in mind we've also been up and down all night turning off the damn alarm, as well.

On my way upstairs, I turn the alarm off again.  Now, I'm real cute in my scrubs and t-shirt with my hair sticking up (lots of humidity on the island).  I don't even announce myself on the boy's floor as stated in the "rules" to find about 8 boys playing football in the hall.  No dads, just boys.  With the element of surprise, I pounce and catch them all, explaining to them that it's 4 in the morning and if they don't go back to bed, I'm going to rip their heads off.  Apparently, none of their mothers had ever said this to them because they went running scared.  Later, Cam tells me maybe I should have used my filter.  I thought I did.  I didn't kill anyone or use any really bad language!!!!  I'm feeling pretty good about myself as I crawl back in bed and tell Jane "I took care of it".

45 minutes later the fire alarm is going off and the boys are playing football again in the halls.  I think this time I did swear as I got out of bed to "take care of it", again.  I get up there, but this time they see me and scatter, except one.  When I got to him, I told him to take me to the others.  "Yes, m'am", he says.  They are waiting for me in one room where I turn off the lights and tell them to get back in their beds.  Now, I am begging.  A grown 32 year old woman begging 10 year old boys to go to sleep!  Finally, a dad takes them out to play football at 5:00, but now I'm up and can't go back to sleep.

A dad approaches me at breakfast about threatening his son, Annie is mortified that I've shown myself to her boy "friends" in my jammies and threatened to rip their heads off, and the last night we are there, one of the dads does a skit pretending to be me at 4:00 in the morning.  Not pretty!  By the way, the boys were punished by the principal.  She took their candy and wouldn't let them have caffeine at dinner.  My question was why weren't the dads punished and how did they sleep through it?  Come to find out, they weren't asleep, they just didn't want to deal with it.  Apparently, they were on vacation...go figure!  All in good fun.  

I did apologize to one of the boys for really scaring him.  Turns out, he's still scared of me However, I didn't scare all of them because rumor has it, they can do some really great impressions of me.  Wouldn't have missed it for the world, but I would have liked more sleep.  I did remedy the snoring situation by sleeping with Annie in her twin bed with her roomie for the rest of our stay at camp.  And the fire alarm, well let's just say, a couple of dads "fixed" the problem, but no one knows who it was and I'll never tell:)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Priceless Joys of Dauphin Island

Annie and I have just returned from Sea Lab at Dauphin Island with her 5th grade class.  Without going into too much detail because I believe I've diagnosed myself with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since getting back and it's hard to concentrate for long periods of time.  

These were the moments of our memories:

1.  Cost of Sea Lab: $280
     Cost of Gas to get there and back:  $50 (split w/another mom)
     21 5th grade girls, 9 moms, 13 boys, 20 dads, 2 teachers, and 1 principal: priceless

2.  Dinner on the way down to Mobile:  $20
      Snacks and entertainment for 5 hours (one way trip):  $20
      An insanely, sleep deprived mom trying not to rip some heads off of some very obnoxious 
      10 year old boys:  priceless

...watching a family of 5 dolphins play off the shore as the sun rose:  priceless
...watching your 10 year old little girl be one of the first kids across the salt marsh:  priceless
...watching Annie dissect a squid and plankton, well that's just gross, no:  priceless

One more thing, having been exposed to and given an opportunity to observe this aged children in motion:  I'll take a stinky 10 year old boy who hasn't showered for 3 days or brushed his teeth than to the emotional roller coaster of hormones that almost every 5th grade girl was experiencing on this trip.  Love them all and had a great time.  Pictures to follow when I actually unpack the right bag that has the camera in it:)

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Dangers of Drugging a Cat

Last night I received several calls in a row from my parent's home phone number.  I love caller ID because if you can't talk, you can continue things like putting kids to bed, doing the dishes, or eating dinner.  After the 5th time I looked at my parent's number on our phone, I thought maybe something horrible has happened because why else would someone call so frantically?  I answer the phone with soap on my face and toothpaste in my mouth, to my mom's frantic voice..."I took the cat's pills" she says.  Well, my parents have to sedate one of their cats because it tortures the much older, much grumpier female cat in the family.  Yes, they give it a tranquilizer everyday.  The cat is always stoned!

The cat's pill?  Why would you take the cat' pill, I ask after I get done laughing hysterically.  My mom takes medication at night, which most nights include an ambien (love me some ambien:)).  Earlier in the evening she had taken her pills and ambien, gets Dorsey (the cat's) medicine out, but the cat has figured out that if Nana starts chasing him around purring like one of them, she's about to shove a pill down his throat.  He hides everytime, so she hunts for him with the pill.  Not finding him, she returns to the kitchen, forgets she's taken her medication, forgets the cat hasn't taken his, so she pops the cat's sedative in her mouth and swallows down.  Only then realizing what had happened.

HYSTERICS according to my dad who is watching TV and doesn't pretend to be the least bit interested.  It wasn't ketamine, she'll be fine.  Basically, she has taken Elavil, a human tranquilizer, but my dad claims my mom had a 20 minute panic attack, calling the pharmacy and poison control.  Meanwhile my dad is still watching TV and obviously doesn't care she'll be dead in a few minutes.  DRAMA.  Turns out it was very safe to take.  That it might make her a little sleepy, but no stomach pumping is in her future.  All is well, except my mom is furious with my dad for not being more sensitive and taking her serious.  My advice to them was to quit drugging the cat!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Our pastor's message

Sunday morning our pastor asked us to take some time this week and thank someone who has come into our lives and affected us in a positive way.  As I sat listening to his sermon about making something of our failures and realizing people are placed in our lives for a reason, it came to me.  We fail.  I have failed.  My children have failed.  My spouse has failed.  But the lesson is not in the failing, the lesson is in the learning.  I have learned more from my failures in life than I have my successes.   In the book of Job, Job talks about taking the good AND the bad.  And that as people of God, we will be tested, we will fail, and we will fall short, but like Job we will continue to praise God and prove Satan wrong.

Not only have I failed, but I have succeeded, as a mother, as a wife, as a friend, as a daughter; but I haven't succeeded on my own.  I succeed through prayer, through study and through a relationship with my Lord and Savior.  Right now, Annie is learning this lesson very well.  She is playing club soccer with a  new coach and some new teammates.  Last year, her team had an awesome season and everyone seemed to have hit their stride.  This season it's a different story.  The girl's have some excellent individual skills, but they are having a hard time working as a team and they are losing.  Annie herself, is having a great season, probably a personal best, but losing games is overriding the joy she would typically have knowing she was doing so well.  It's not about her, but it's about the team and she wants to win.  However, she is learning a valuable lesson right now and maybe this season is about how she will handle the failures in life.  Who will she turn to?  Will she go to Heavenly Father in prayer and ask for strength for the team?  Will she pray to win?  Or will she pray for the ability to deal with the losses and learn from this experience?  

I don't know...I'll keep you posted.  I can tell you as a parent, it's hard to watch your child's team get scored on time and again, but I'm pretty proud of her when the score is 6-1 and she's still out there running her fastest and beating people to the ball.  She's still in the game and maybe that's what's supposed to come out of the failure.  A lesson to us all that no matter how far down we are, we play like we're winning.  But not only that but realize we are not alone in our losses.  So, this week I am thankful for Annie and her attitude about soccer, but more importantly life in general.  She sees the positive even during the hard times and as grown-ups, we realize what a wonderful character trait that is.  Annie just being Annie has made me grateful to be her mother and as her mom, I will always try and be here for her, but there will be times when I'm not and I take great comfort in knowing that she is not alone.  None of us are because our Father in Heaven is always holding our hand, even in losses and during our failures!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Donut Downfall

Friday started out as a disaster. Not only did it start out badly, but it started early. And for those of you who know me know I am not a morning person. I'm really not on my game until aobut 10:00 and my addiction to diet Pepsi doesn't help the mornings that I don't get my fix when I open my eyes. I certainly don't wake up whistling and swinging the windows open ready to greet the day:) There are no singing birds as part of my morning routine, but I digress.

Back to this morning...the kids and I have to be at school by 7:15 with 100 boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. I am co-chair of the donut fundraiser at school for our 5th graders as they make money for their trip to Washington DC. As of right now, I'm thinking selling a kidney on ebay would be easier than what we had to go through this morning. We are up, ready, and out the door by 6:45 so we can be at Krispy Kreme at 7:00, which is the scheduled time I have set up with them when I ordered the donuts on Tuesday, yes Tuesday.

We get there at 7:00 to be greeted by a very confused cashier, as if no one has ever come into pick up an order before. She goes into the back and gets someone else who proceeds to tell me they are running behind and could I just hang out for an hour. WHAT THE ?*$#@! No, I can not hang out an hour. Car pool will be over and I'll be stuck with 100 boxes of donuts. By the way, we were selling the donuts during drop -off which is from about 8:00-8-30. For the love of all that is good in the world, why did I even bother going and placing the order on Tuesday? I ask this question to the little man behind the counter and he says, "I don't know"  .He doesn't know. How can he not know? He makes the donuts...who else would know?  My children who are watching this exchange all take a very small step away from me because they know I'm about to explode.  I had to walk away for fear I would rip his head off and hand it to him.

After calming down a little I go back in to find a manager.  Certainly, a manager can help me.  I was wrong.  We just don't have the order ready, but  we'll give you a dozen donuts and some coffee while you wait.  I don't want a dozen, I want my 100 boxes.  Can you do that?  I call Kim, my co-chair whom apparently is less than a morning person than I am because she is still in bed.  It'll work out she tells me.  Don't have a come apart she says.  I'm planning on having a giant come apart and jumping in it, but I have to eat my 6 donuts first. I call this emotional eating and if I had access to alcohol, I would have been doing shots instead.

 Another mom comes by to pick up the 20 boxes they do have ready, so at least we'll have something to sell in carpool.  An hour and 20 minutes later, they are loading 80 boxes into the back of my car.  It's 8:20 and we only have 10 minutes left to sell in morning carpool.  Lori calls to tell me to hurry because they've sold the first 20 boxes in less than 5 minutes and people are waiting.  As if I've stopped for for a pedi or something equally ridiculous.

Before I leave Krispy Kreme the manager tells me next time you do this (as if they'll be a next time), we'll give you 20 boxes free.  If people just did their jobs in the first place, they wouldn't have to placate customers with empty promises.  I do have to admit the fundraiser went well and we sold most of our boxes at school, but this may have been the donut downfall of the school year and thanks to Isabelle we may sell pizzas next time!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Don't Take Me Too Seriously

Apparently, my last blog caused some concern among a couple of people, so I'll  add another disclaimer to the Pico Family blog.  No, Cam and I are not having marital problems and if we were I certainly wouldn't be blogging about them.  In addition, I tend to use sarcasm as a form of communication and understandable at times, tone gets lost in translation, but rest assure I am happy with my home, my children, and my husband.  I'm still on all my medication so that helps (sarcasm)...see how that works:)  I hope I have put those concerns to rest because I would like to rant on school projects next.

I feel pretty comfortable with what I am about to say considering my chosen profession was teaching.  What are teachers thinking when they send home projects?  My 5th grader can not drive, so I end up at Hobby Lobby for hours trying to figure out how to create a 3-D model of an animal cell.  It's not about the kids at this point, it's about how creative the parents are.  It's about the competition and quite frankly, it turns out better if you take the kids out of the equation.  Well, that might be going too far because if you're Annie you've already made a drawing of the model and a list of things to buy at Hobby Lobby, down to the size styrofoam balls she needs.  I distinctly recall letting my dad do my dinosaur project in 5th grade;)  Now, I feel like I'm back in the 5th grade and frankly can't remember what an animal cell looks like.  Cam assures me I studied that in high school biology, but I think the only thing I studied in that class was Cam.  Thank goodness Annie doesn't ask for  help with her math because I've looked at her math book and I'm pretty sure she's passed me up.  Maybe that's why my checkbook is never balanced.  

With all that being said,  I'm enjoying watching all the kids grow academically this year.  Isabelle is reading on her own.  Charlie is learning to write his name and he can make a mean letter "C".  And Annie, well let's just say she's taught me a thing or two about science and math this year!  When she starts driving, she won't even need me to drive to Hobby Lobby to get her materials anymore, so I'll enjoy all the craziness while I can because it'll be over before I know it.  Coming attractions:  Cam's fellowship quest, "silent soccer", pictures of the cell project,  an entire conversation about a 1st grade boy who picks his nose, and Cam's Barbie jeep project to make sure Charlie will never be gay!  How's that for a cliff hanger?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The A(Annie), B(Belle), C's(Charlie) of Sunday Morning

Disclaimer:  I am not in any way being sacrilegious about church or the sabbath.  These are my observations and rants about getting a family of 5 ready for church on Sunday mornings.  I love the Lord, our God!  With that being said...

As you can only imagine,  getting ready for church by 9:00 on Sunday mornings is like herding cats.  Some mornings we don't even make it to Sunday school and are late to 10:30 services, like the time we were about halfway to church and I turned around to find that Charlie did not have his shoes on and they didn't make it to the car, either.  Now, I'm not pointing any fingers, but Cam was in charge of dressing Charlie that particular morning.  Apparently, shoes were not part of the "dressing process"  He was also in charge of feeding the children that morning, let's just say everyone was hungry when we got to church.  Consequently, Cam has one job on Sunday mornings, to get himself ready and this morning we were all IN the car waiting for him.  Like I said, he used to be in charge of breakfast, but that's Annie's job now and guess what?  Everyone gets fed!

Sometimes (well, most of the time) Cam and I are upset or have exchanged words with each other by the time we get to church, so I sit in church for the first half, swinging my leg wondering how much I'd get for child support and alimony if I divorced him before residency was over.  J/K...By the time I go to Jesus in prayer to ask for forgiveness for the multitude of sins I have committed all week, I have to add thoughts of homicide to the list.  As I sit through the sermon and Charlie has gone downstairs AFTER he manages to get in trouble about a thousand times, for children's church my leg stops swinging and I reach over to take Cam's hand.  After all, he does put up with a lot from me!  

I know when we go to the altar for communion, my heart must be at peace and as I kneel in front of the cross and receive the body and blood of our Lord and savior that it's one more week, I have "herded" my children to church  and all of us have become renewed and spiritually closer to our Father.  All the yelling and fighting of the morning usually disappears and we are left all the more closer to Christ, with or without our shoes on:)  And these are the ABC's of Sunday morning as Picomania begins another crazy week.  From one family to the next, may the peace of the Lord be with you all until we start over next Sunday morning!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

New to Blogging

I'm not sure how much I'll enjoy this, but if I don't start blogging and posting pictures my sister-in-law, as well as mother-in-law will hunt me down and hurt me.  I have a feeling these posts will just be ramblings of a half-crazed stay-at-home mom, but maybe our family's adventures and occasional mishaps will give someone a good laugh.  I'll probably be more successful at the writing part of this than the picture part of it, but what the !*#@ I'll give it a try.  

Is what I have to say that important, probably not, but I'll consider this a journal of sorts and have it for a memory keeper because like alot of us, I forget things as quickly as they happen.  As I sit here in my very cozy, charming (code word for small and cramped) living room, I look over to my husband and our dog asleep on the couch.  Yes, the dog is allowed on the sofa.  Much to Cam's protests she's also allowed on the bed and when Cam's on call (at least a couple times a week) she uses his pillow.  I guess you have to know Cam to appreciate that one.  Sorry, babe:)