Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm All Ears

I am planning a Disney World vacation for our family this coming spring. I'd love to hear from those of you who have gone there recently. I want any and all recommendations that you are willing to give me.

I know that Cinderella's Royal Table and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique are musts. I am going to reserve those as soon as I am permitted. I am working with a travel agent to book our room soon at Wilderness Lodge. Other than these things, I am still in the planning phase. We will stay for a week and have not decided if we will fly or not, but probably will.

Please post as much information as you want or email me if you prefer... I'm all ears!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Already?

Wow... I just did October in review on my blog and now it seems like Christmas is right around the corner. I know, I know... we haven't even celebrated Thanksgiving yet. The truth of the matter is that everywhere you look there is already Christmas stuff everywhere. You can't help but feel the pressure to start your Christmas shopping, figure out when you are going to get the tree up, and start thinking about Christmas cards... which brings me to my next topic of discussion.

Last year I toyed with the idea of not sending out Christmas cards. No, I'm not trying to be a Scrooge! My friends at work talked me out of it. But this year, I don't think I can be swayed. Before you shake your head in disapproval and disappointment, let me explain. I send out a TON of Christmas cards. I will not tell you how many because no one can believe I know that many people - and I promise you it is not everyone I know, but actually a very whittled down list. Anyway, it takes a really long time to stuff, address, and stamp all those cards. This is valuable time that I could spend enjoying the holiday season with my family and friends, or getting sleep so my family and friends might actually enjoy ME during the holidays instead of me being a crab because I'm tired. I know this sounds like bad excuse, but let me go on...

Money is tight for everyone this year. Gas has cost lots more than usual in the last few months, food costs more, and we've probably all lost money in the stock market. I feel like this will be a hard holiday season for the many worthy charities out there. So this year I will take the few hundred (yes, not a typo) dollars that I usually spend buying and mailing Christmas cards and donate it to some of our favorite charities. I apologize in advance for anyone that likes to put my kids Christmas card picture on their refrigerator (this is the argument that my friends at work used last year to get me to send out cards). I will post a Christmas picture on my blog, so if you really feel the need, print it out and tape it up!

Let me mention that this is also very "green" because I know some people just end up throwing Christmas cards away eventually.

It used to be the only time some people saw our kids, but now with the fabulousness of blogging, our kids are but a click away! Nothing is lost.

So there it is, the decision has been made, it is final! The Christmas card tradition that I have practiced since college has been broken. As they say, change is good.

Let me leave you with a challenge... find something you can do without this Christmas and then instead use the money for a charitable cause. That is what Christmas is about anyway - the Love of Christ.

Some of our favorite charities...

Compassion International

Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree program

The Salvation Army

Children's Hope International's Help an Orphan program

And of course, local food banks

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ay, Matey!

Last week was Disney week at Ellie's Daycare. They did fun Disney themed things all week, ending with Pirate & Princess Day on Friday. It should come as no surprise that Ellie wanted to be a pirate, not a princess. She was the cutest pirate I've ever seen!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

October in Review

OK, I know I did not write a single post the entire month of October. The McGhees were super busy! October was a fun month! I'll let my pictures tell you about it... they are from some of the most fun things we did... Burt's Pumpkin Farm, Monster Bash at the Creative Discovery Museum, Ellie's class field trip to Hilcrest Orchards, and Halloween - they were Tinkerbell and an Ohio State football player. Oh, there's also just a cute pic of Ephraim laughing stuck in the middle of everything! Enjoy! Maybe I'll do better this month!

Monday, September 29, 2008


I was just telling Scott earlier tonight how I had not blogged in so long and that I just didn't feel like I had anything to say. Ephraim has not had any reactions to any foods he's been eating and I am certainly enjoying being able to eat anything I want. However, in the last month Ephraim had a nasty stomach virus that Scott & I both got at the same time two days later (Ellie, always the medical marvel, never got it). And now Ephraim has had some major diarrhea for DAYS. And of concern to me, he eats like a bird. He won't try anything new. You have to trick him to get new foods into his mouth and then he just gags himself until he works the food out of his mouth. He will really only eat baby food consistently, and now he's starting to not really want that. People always say babies will eat when they get hungry, but quite frankly... I don't believe that! Ephraim must have his Daddy's... okay, his Mommy's stubbornness.

So, on a lighter note, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I had been tagged. Now I have something to say!

Angela tagged me and so here you go:

The Five Tag

10 years ago I:
1. got engaged to Scott
2. bought my first home
3. became an Aunt
4. had been out of college for one year
5. had my first real full-time job

5 things on today's "to do" list:
1. laundry (remember... DAYS of diarrhea)
2. read my Bible
3. pray
4. go to bed
5. sleep

5 snacks I enjoy:
1. hummus & pita chips
2. vanilla yogurt with mini dark chocolate chips
3. Thin Mints (Girl Scout cookies)
4. pumpkin anything
5. banana chips

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. pay off our house and van
2. hire all kinds of people to do all kinds of things for me... cook, maid, gardener, etc.
3. have a real artist paint a picture of my kids to hang over my piano
4. spend almost every minute of my life with my family
5. give generously!

5 places I have lived:
1. Dalton, GA
2. Athens, GA
3. Chapel Hill, NC
4. Chattanooga, TN
5. Ringgold, GA

5 jobs I have had:
1. Pharmacist
2. Pharmacy intern
3. research assistant
4. server in a restaurant
5. receptionist

I am tagging: Shana F, Tammy H, Tamara C, Terri R, and Chelle R! I'm not leaving you a comment on your blog... you'll just have to read mine to find out you've been tagged!

Rules: Each player answers the question themselves. At the end of the post the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment letting them know that they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person that tagged you know when you've answered the questions on your blog.

Monday, September 8, 2008

2 Birthday Parties, Eating, and More!

First of all, I am stinking at blogging lately. I have not updated you, dear friends, on the fact that I can eat a few things now! Ephraim is doing okay on milk. He will drink it though he doesn't seem especially fond of it. Most nights this last week he only woke up to nurse once. That is so fab! I mailed his stool sample to his GI specialist today - his day 12 was Saturday. But, my friend who is a nurse tested a stool sample for me Friday, only a day early, and it was just fine! Soy was the first thing I decided to add back. SO, I had Salsaritas Friday, Mellow Mushroom pizza Saturday, and Tres Amigos Sunday. I have also had a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks (a surprise from my sweet husband on Saturday), ice cream, and a chocolate bar. We will do another stool sample at the pediatricians office on Thursday. If it is okay we will add eggs next.

We have been trying some solid foods with Ephraim. He is not interested. He spits it out, makes faces, and even gags sometimes. I don't really remember it, but Scott said it was a painful process with Ellie, also, to go from baby food to solids. I've also been trying to get him to learn to use a sippy cup. He just can't get the turning it up. I know it will come, it's just a learning process for him. Bless his little heart!

Ellie turned 4 years old last week. She also started preschool. She really likes it. She has homework, which she was not excited about until she started doing it, then all she could do was giggle and say how "neat" it was.

Scott has also been busy painting our dining room and kitchen. He is such a good husband!

So the McGhee's have been busy. I will post some pictures from the past few weeks.

Ephraim couldn't stop staring at his (dairy free) cupcake. It was so funny!

They were actually playing together. This was a first!

The first day of school.

Ellie working on her homework.

Ellie's party at Creative Discovery Museum - she giggled the whole time we sang "happy birthday"!

Oh yeah, baby! Cheese and more cheese... bring it on!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


It is the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday. I was sooo tired and went to bed just after we got the kids in bed. Ephraim woke up around 1:30 am for a feeding so now I am doing all my nightly duties before I go back to bed.

Monday after work we had a message from Ephraim's GI specialist that all his blood tests were negative and we could proceed with the reintroduction of milk. So this, well technically yesterday, morning Ephraim had one ounce of milk. Today he will get two ounces.

He did fine, but it usually takes about two days to see an effect. Thursday he has his one year check-up with our pediatrician, so I will get her to check his stool for blood. Keep him in your prayers and I will update when there is something to update. Thanks everyone!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ephraim is ONE!

Happy Birthday my sweet little boy!

Look how little he was when he was born!

My water broke just after midnight one year ago today. Ephraim Thomas was born at 5:33 p.m. and weighed 7 lb 12 oz and was 21 inches long.

He now is trying to walk, has five teeth, and has a vocabulary of Dada, Mama, uh oh, baby, cat, and bye-bye. He jabbers all the time. He is such a sweet and happy boy - a blessing!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ephraim's Doctor's Appt.

Thursday Ephraim had his appointment with his pediatric GI specialist about his many food allergies. If you remember, he had some bleeding when we got back from the beach. The doctor said since he'd had a problem so recently that he would do some blood tests that he usually only does if a child fails the challenge test. So, after our appointment we went over to the lab at the hospital and had blood drawn. They will check it for antibodies to the 5 most common allergens - eggs, milk, soy, nuts, and wheat. It should take about a week to get the results.

If we get positive blood test results, then the doctor will refer us to an allergy specialist. If the results are negative, Ephraim may still have allergies (the test has a high percentage of false negatives), but we are to proceed with the challenge test. For the challenge test, I will start giving Ephraim some milk, increasing the amount each day and watching for symptoms and also checking his stool for blood. The process takes almost 2 weeks.

There is something he can drink if he fails the milk challenge test. Either way I am weaning the boy. I think feeding him a year is fair. It is time for me to eat! So, maybe in a month or so I will be able to eat... ANYTHING I WANT!

Many have asked what my first meal will be... Mexican food... and I am going to pour a whole bowl of cheese dip across my plate! Yum!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Back in May I posted about Christian singer songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman and the death of his youngest daughter. ABC News did a wonderful story on them today. You can read and watch the story here... (have Kleenex close by).

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Miracle is Occuring ...

Yes, it's true. Both of my children are napping at the same time. It is truly a miracle! Ellie doesn't really take naps anymore unless she just happens to fall asleep somewhere - like watching TV today. I came home from work to a quiet house and thought, "what in the world should I do..." I'll update the blog!

The week before this past week we were at the beach all week with my family - my parents, my three sisters, & their families - a total of 17 of us. It is an annual event. (We didn't go last year because I was SOOO pregnant). Anyway, we had a great time this year. The only bad thing was that because of the tropical storm the ocean was closed for four days while we were there. Ellie didn't like that a bit but we kept her plenty busy! We drove down to Seaside one day and went to Gulf World Marine Park one day - both nice alternatives to the ocean. Here are some pictures for your enjoyment...

When we got back from the beach, the next night Ephraim was up all night, obviously miserable. You guessed it, he was bleeding again. Despite my best efforts to safely eat out a few (and only a few) times while we were on vacation, my baby boy has yet to outgrow his "protein intolerance". How frustrating! Less than 2 weeks until our appointment with his GE physician. No problems since then, though. I am back on my normal diet.

This past Thursday, we went to see Coach Mark Richt. He was in Ringgold. We told Ellie he'd sign her football, but his plane was late & then he had to leave on time so he didn't do autographs. She did, however, get her picture made with the cheerleaders. She was happy with that. And she loves Hairy Dawg. So she was especially excited that she got to see him. I didn't get a pic of her with him - maybe next time. Ephraim wore his Georgia shirt, too!

That's probably all of the major events we've experienced these past few weeks. I must mention one last thing... while at the beach I did read a really good book. It's called The Shack by William P. Young. It was highly recommended by several of my friends. I, too, would highly recommend it. For more info check out .

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lazy Days of Winter, Maybe?

So, who in the world coined the phrase, "the lazy days of summer"? They are so wrong. Is anyone out there being lazy this summer? I think not because I just got caught up on my blog reading. I was feeling bad because I haven't posted in so long. Everyone else's blog seems to be suffering as well. I'm thinking winter, now that's a time to be lazy. Being cold makes me want to do nothing. Anyway, what have the McGhee's been up to, you may ask...

Scott's brother, his wife & their three children came for a visit from Ohio over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. We don't get to see them much, so it was a really nice visit. Ellie had so much fun playing with her cousins. Maggie slept on the trundle in Ellie's room. This was Ellie's first sleep-over experience - which she totally loved!

Ephraim has been crawling everywhere and pulling up on everything he can get his hands on. I am still giving him baby food - he seems to not like solids. I'm not pushing it until we get past his "challenge test" on August 14th. Please pray, pray, pray that he will "pass" so that the little fella can have milk and related proteins. I don't want him to have to eat like I've been eating these past 8 months.

Last week we went to the Free Family Fun night at Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga. They do it once a month. We are members, so it's not the freeness we care about so much as the extended hours - open until 8pm (instead of the usual 5:30). Ellie had a blast. The book mobile was also there giving away free books. Then we walked up to the 7:15pm Lookouts game and stayed there about an hour. Such a bargain - $8.00. Ellie is such a baseball fan. She actually sat there and watched the game and asked questions. We were also on Channel 3 news - you really couldn't see me, but I'm hiding behind Scott. Check out the link below.

So far a busy month!

Ellie and her cousin, Maggie.

Ephraim - he's pulling up on everything these days!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gotcha Day!

Well, today was Gotcha Day. Although we really liked the idea of the Knox Zoo, we decided next year (when Ephraim is a little older) might be a better time to go. The day ended up surprising "girly". Those of you who know Ellie well will understand this. For example, the first thing she said this morning was that she wanted to go to school (what we call daycare) so she could hold her worm. (Yesterday when we picked her up she was digging for worms - she does this a lot).

Anyway, so it started off with me painting her nails and toenails - a mani and a pedi! I let her choose the color - Mango Spice was her choice. Then I painted my toes to match. She still likes for us to match sometimes. We had pictures at CLC in Dalton - they were fabulous - Curtis does such a good job and Ellie is very comfortable around him. We came home for lunch and let Ephraim catch a quick nap.

Then it was off to our primary destination... Club Libby Lu! Ellie loved it. She told them she wanted to be a princess. They did her make-up and hair (would have painted her nails had I not already done it). They used glitter hair spray and even put a tiera on her. It was really fun! The teenage girl that worked on her really took her job seriously - we were there for about an hour. It really made it special. She got to choose some lip glosses and other little things to bring home as part of the package. A big hit - and I came up with it myself! Thank you all for your wonderful ideas - we will probably use them in the future!

From Club Libby Lu we met Daddy for dinner in downtown Chattanooga. Ellie took her bag in and showed him all of her Libby Lu stuff. Then we went to her swimming lessons. This was another reason we didn't choose the Knox Zoo - she did not want to miss her swimming lessons. Overall, I think she had a really fun day. I know I did!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bucket List

So apparently there is a movie with this title. It is supposed to be a list of things you want to do before you expire (that's what we say at the hospital - its PC). Anyway, my sister is going to drive a race car next week (she is turning 35 years old). I am still so appalled by this. I can't get my brain around it - I can think of nothing that would make me want to drive a race car. Sorry Ash. And be careful!

I brought it up at work today at the lunch table and mentioned that I didn't have one - a bucket list. Then everyone started talking about what was on their list. I told them nothing sounded like anything I needed to do, that I was okay to go now if it was my time. My newest co-worker, who is so sweet, says "Bless your heart, you're so tired, aren't you?" It cracked me up - she really hit the nail on the head with that one!

So then I told Scott about the lunch conversation. He said he didn't have a list either but then managed to create one in about 2 seconds. His all revolved around sports of the swim, bike, run genre - so surprising, huh.

So what about you all? What are some of your top bucket list items? Maybe one will interest me...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I guess you all noticed my lack of posts in the month of May. Let me just borrow a term from Ellie and say that May was "yucky". I can't point to one thing in particular, just overall it seemed kind of "yucky". And before you say "what about Mother's Day"... I had to work.

I did get through something I have been dreading for a long time - I had to work third shift one night. When I left the house at 9pm that night, both kids were still awake and crying. Ellie wanted to know when she would see me again. After that night, Ephraim didn't sleep good for two nights, he wouldn't settle down unless I was holding him. I was so tired. I told Scott to let me lay down and lay Ephraim on my back - it worked (see above picture). To use another of Ellie's phrases, we were both "fast asleep".

So, tonight I have been catching up on my blog reading. Two things really jumped out at me.

1) Ephraim must be huge. I read blogs of several friends with babies born around the same time as Ephraim. We did the weigh ourselves with Ephraim and then without method - he weighs 22 pounds. Enough said.

2) We have a lot of friends that like to camp. I feel like I work a lot. I don't want to work when I am trying to relax. Putting up a tent, building a fire, keeping bugs swatted away, cooking - this all sounds like work to me. Vacations are good that involve a lot of sleeping. I don't think I can sleep a lot on the ground - wait, no, I probably could sleep a lot anywhere, anyhow (again, see picture above).

So, on to June. I am hoping for a fabulous June. We will celebrate Ellie's Gotcha Day on June 19th. Haven't decided what we will do yet. In the past we have done Creative Discovery Museum and the TN Aquarium. Got any ideas anyone? We try and make it a special day for her. Ellie will also start swimming lessons next week.

Ephraim is doing well. He is eating well and had no blood on his last two stool samples. Yipee!
He is starting to scoot around - not crawling yet.

So, there's our update. I'll try and do better with posts this month as well!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

9 Things I Love About Ephraim

Ephraim is 9 months old today. My friend from college, Carrie, had a little boy the same day I had Ephraim. His name is Nate. When he turns how many ever months old, she does that number of things that she loves about him on her blog. Such a cute idea, I thought I'd try it this time!

1. His big blue eyes surrounded by long lashes.
2. His laugh.
3. The way he adores his big sissy.
4. His chunky thighs.
5. How he crinkles his nose and breaths in and out really fast sometimes when he is done eating.
6. That he is not crawling, yet!
7. He yells "Da-da" followed by babbling - it's cute even if he's not saying Ma-ma anymore. (He said it on my birthday back in March).
8. How he jumps like a crazy man in the Jumperoo. He loves it!
9. That when he's tired he cuddles up with me and sucks my shirt.

Ephraim now has one tooth. Ellie has a new nickname for him, "Brud". This is short for Brudder (or Brother if you are not 3 years old).

On a completely different note... some of you have probably heard of Steven Curtis Chapman. He is an awesome Christian singer and songwriter. In addition to his three biological children, he has 3 little girls adopted from China. He was very inspirational to Scott & me as we were going through the process of adopting Ellie. His youngest daughter was struck in the driveway of their home in Franklin, TN yesterday and died. Please pray for this family as they go through an unimaginably difficult time. For more information visit his website at
And you can read the article published in the local paper at

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Friends, thank you for your prayers this week. And thank you for being so kind to let me whine a little. I know Ephraim is relatively healthy. The things we are dealing with are so minor and fairly treatable. We are so blessed to have two healthy children. I know many people, and some of you at times, have had children with very serious health issues. I just wanted you all to know I do have some perspective. Sometimes it is hard to convey in a few paragraphs written while half asleep.

I also wanted to add, that in all the sickness I forgot a very important thing...Ellie scored her first goal at her soccer game Monday night. It was the only goal her team got that night. (She also scored one for the other team!) We were so proud of her. She is really enjoying soccer. The above picture is from her first game (see, her hair is still long). I can't get any good shots during the game - I need a bigger lens for my camera (Scott, are you reading, dear?) Anyway, way to go Elle!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

8 Months Old and Sick... AGAIN!

Ephraim was 8 months old today (April 22). It is so hard to believe!

Yesterday I had to take little E to the pediatrician's office. His cough was back and he was wheezing. You guessed it... we are back on breathing treatments. This time we have two different breathing treatments we have to give him, one of them every 4-6 hours until his cough is gone, and the other twice a day... FOR 3 MONTHS! He has a virus, and in a baby, with the second episode of wheezing, it is considered that your baby has asthma. So we go back in 3 months. If there is no further wheezing in the next 3 months, he can go to once a day on that breathing treatment for another 3 months for a total of 6 months. Yikes.

To top it off, Ephraim had a suspicious poo-poo diaper that morning. I took it with us to the pediatrician's office and confirmed that he is bleeding again. This, my friends, brought me to tears, and has several times since. My poor little boy! Our pediatrician recommended that I put a call in to our GI doctor. He called me back yesterday afternoon. He said not to get too excited, it wasn't even necessarily something that I ate, that it could be a virus. He had me to cut out the only new thing I've been eating, bread from a local bakery, and I have to mail in a stool sample in a week. He said he did not think I needed to switch him to formula (much to my relief).

Last night Ephraim had a fever, so I had to call out of work today. So he and I spend most of his 8 month "birthday" in bed. Oh, did I mention I am sick, too, with an awful cold. So, if you happened to think about it, pray for us. If Ephraim is not better by Thursday or Friday, we will have to add another breathing treatment. And PLEASE pray for a his little intestines to heal and that he would outgrow his food allergies soon (85% of babies do by their 1st birthday). Thank you so much!

Friday, April 18, 2008


We finally found something Ephraim will eat... green beans! It is one of the few things Ellie would never eat when she was little. She loves them now. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Ephraim loves them, but at least he'll eat them. So a small victory for us.

We are enjoying eating dinner on our back porch. These pictures were obviously taken before Ephraim ate - he is still clean.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ellie's First Haircut

Ellie got her first haircut today. I got mine cut first so she could see what was going to happen. Before I was even done she was asking for hers to be cut! Her long hair was pretty, but by the end of the day it was always a tangly mess. This will be easier on everyone. AND it is super cute!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Prepare for Battle!

We have finally entered the world of baby food. After a recent setback with some mislabeled cinnamon rolls, his little tummy was all cleared up and ready to eat! We can only eat plain foods (no blends) and have to stick with only one for a week to make sure he doesn't have an allergic reation. Last week was sweet potatoes - didn't go so well. He didn't really seem to like them, but at least he wasn't allergic. Last night, as you can see above, we tried butternut squash. He didn't really seem all that crazy about it either.
So ladies (and gentlemen too, I guess). I am looking for any suggestions to get this boy to eat and like it! I feel like I'm going into battle everytime I feed him. It is very exhausting. And I have to completely undress him because it is so messy. I usually end up dirty, too, but don't worry, I'm keeping my clothes on! Would love some comments from you wise parents...