My Breastfeeding Badges of Honor

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Moving on...

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Well, the time has come my friends, I'm moving my blog over to Wordpress. I will leave this blog up for another month or so before I officially shut it down. There are a few things I want to say though.

I hope that you will follow me over to Daily Mommy Survival but I understand if you don't. I just needed to move on. The plan when I began this blog was very different from what it has become. Just as what my blog is now is very different from what it morphed into after it's creation. It's just become time for me to move on and rename things. The content is the same family oriented content it's always been. Everything is really similar with a revamp and a new name at a new home. I just needed a blog that felt as if it included a little more me in the title and address since my blog truly is from my point-of-view about my daily survival in this crazy thing called life. =)

I thank each and everyone of you for being a friend and follower of Cheerio Confessions.


Bold Faced Liar Creative Writer Award

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My beautiful friend LaTree has blessed me with the Bold Faced Liar "Creative Writer" Blogger Award.

1.Thank the person who gave this to you. (Check!)
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog. (Double check!)
3. Link to the person who nominated you. (Check!)
4. Tell us up to six outrageous lies about yourself, and at least one outrageous truth. (Outrageous truth? Okee doke...Check!)
5. Allow your readers to guess which one or more are true. (Please leave a comment! I'm curious to see who knows me the best.)
6. Nominate seven "Creative Writers" who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies. (Hhhhhhh....who should I pick?)
7. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate. (Check!)
8. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them. (Not a problem.)

Now let's see who can tell the difference between my Outrageous Lies and Outrageous Truths. =)

~*~ I didn't meet my sister until I was 25 years old.
~*~ I still haven't met my oldest sister.
~*~ I was once pulled over for driving 91mph in a 65mph zone.
~*~ I love the smell of "stinky baby feet", which belong to small children birth to 24 months.
~*~ Speaking of 65, I used to be able to type 65wpm.
~*~ My favorite candy treat is chocolate covered ants.
~*~ I search for freebies when I get really stressed out.
~*~ The act of writing is relaxing for me - even if it agrivates my arthritis in my hands.

Now that we've had some fun with Outrageous Lies and Truths, I am pleased to bestow this Creative award upon the following bloggers:

1. Merrilee at Liars and Frogs
2. Amanda at Morelli Chaos
3. Masto Mama at Masto Mama Chronicles
4. Ellyn at Profoundly Seth
5. Jennifer at BPD in OKC
6. Nikky at Pleasantly Chaotic
7. Susan at Adventures in Surrogacy

And now, having finished all of my duties that came with this award I am going to go and work on the massive post I have that will catch y'all up on what's been going on in the Cheerio household for the past month or so. =) 


Failure to Launch

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Okay, so I had grand dreams of participating in February's Nablopomo. I had every intention of posting every day. Truly I did. It just wasn't meant to be.

For starters, Dr. T doubled my dose of Lyrica in an attempt to stop the raging fibro flares I was suffering through in their tracks. He was also hoping to prevent any future flares. So far, it seems to be helping, which means it's also knocking me out shortly after 9am, 3pm and 9pm for about 3 hours or so every day. Eventually, this will taper off until then posting is rather difficult because I have real life "Mommy" things to try and get done in those few short hours before my next dose. Blogging, unfortunately, just seems to fall to the side with all of the sleeping and Mommy-scrambling.

Had I known ahead of time that I would be doubling my dose I wouldn't have tried to take on Nablopomo this month. Oh well, lesson learned I suppose. Besides, there's always March, right? (lol)


The Bathroom Meme ~ Stolen from Jennifer at BPD in OKC

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1. What do you read when you are sitting on the toilet?
Whichever book I'm on in whichever series I'm stuck on and re-reading repeatedly.

2. Do you pee in the shower?

3. Do you always wash your hands after you use the toilet?
Yes, I do.

4. Do you allow someone to come into the bathroom while you are using the toilet?
Cleo is usually in there with me. Sometimes Elliott Richard or Emmett John will be in there with me, although Elliott Richard won't be permitted with me for much longer. Then Rob is in there with me when we're getting ready for bed at night. Yeah, after 3 kids you kind of lose your sense of privacy. (lol)

5. Do you clean your shower in the nude?

6. When you use the toilet at someone else's house do you go through their medicine cabinet and/or their bathroom cabinets and drawers?
No, I think about it but I'm always terrified that they will hear me opening the cabinet or drawers. So I leave them alone.

7. For the Men...Have you ever left the toilet seat up on purpose to irritate the woman in your life?
Last I checked, I was a woman so this doesn't apply to me.

8. For the Women...Have you ever fallen into the toilet because someone left the toilet seat up?
Yes, I have. The worst was when I was pregnant with Mr. Emmett John and I fell in at 3am. I was a seriously angry pregnant woman!

9. Do you courtesy flush?
Butt, of course. (lol) Ha ha ha, I made a funny.

10. Do you light a match or a candle or spray an air freshner when you are finished pooping?
Yes, I doo. (lol) That one was a total typo but still a funny one. =)

11. Have you ever fallen asleep on the toilet?
Again, I think I may have dozed off while pregnant with Mr. Emmett John.

12. What is the strangest thing you have ever flushed down the toilet?
I'd have to say tampons off the top of my head. There's just something about tampons that seems a little...odd to me. I don't know why. I know their purpose, obviously, since I use them monthly and all. They still strike me as odd and kind of freak me out. (lol)

I stole this from Jennifer over at BPD in OKC. I would say if you want to play along head over there and steal it from her but that's silly. Instead, I'll link you to the blog that she got it from Monday Mayhem. So head over there. Copy the questions. Answer them. And add yourself to Mr. Linky. =)

Enjoy! =)



Fibro Hell

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I've been on my Lyrica for quite a few months now with pretty good results. So I was hopeful. I was hopeful that we had a dose right off the bat that was going to work. I was hopeful that my days of sobbing and crying wishing for death because of a fibro flare were behind me. I was hopeful that maybe when I saw Dr. T later this month he would give me the OK to begin physical therapy, something he won't permit me to do until we have my pain under control for a while with medications. My hopes have been dashed.

For the past few weeks now I've been having a few minor flares here and there. Nothing major by any stretch of the imagination. Certainly nothing I needed extra medications to manage. I just needed to take things a little slower on those days. No big deal. Then there was this past week. I have felt as if I've been run over by a train of teamsters, beaten to a pulp by the best boxers known to mankind, set a flame and left a flame for no other reason than to watch me burn and finally my very badly abused and battered shell is taken and repeatedly crammed into a a very small space (like a coffee mug, or a play dough container, ice cream container etc).

I've been taking my medications but I don't think it's helping at this point. I think the ever colder temperatures and the added stress of Mr. Emmett John's hearing tests and possible hearing loss is just shoving me over the edge; past a point where the Lyrica at my current dose can help me.

Hopefully, Dr. T's office will call me back from the message I left yesterday and let me know what they think and want to try. Because I can't take many more days of collapsing onto the floor in tears and sobs while I ugly cry because I'm in so much pain.



February Nablopomo

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I have decided that for the month of February I will be partcipating in Nablopomo, National Blog Posting Month. It started out as only November was for Nablopomo but now, well, now any month can be a Nablopomo Month. =) Now I don't how long or insightful all of these posts will be but I'm definitely going to see if I can't post once a day for the whole month. (lol)

Here goes nothing... (1/28)



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Things are looking a little crazy at the moment. The blog is in a bit of upheaval. Please excuse it all. It occured to me the other day as I was organizing my files that my photos of Rob and the boys were outdated. Well Elliott Richard's and Emmett John's were from Christmas time but honestly they were just placeholders until I could find some that I truely liked. You're all probably wondering who the heck "Henry James" is...I need to post about him. It's coming. With a few other posts I'm working on. For now, just know that things that appear off kilter but I'm working it. =)


What *IS* the language of Emmett John?!

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I took Mr. Emmett John to his Audiologist appointment on the 20th, whatever day that was. I can't remember anymore. You'd think I would remember that day. I feel like I should. I feel as if it should be etched into my brain forever:

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 @ 3:00pm: Emmett John's world officially closed off forever.

Emmett doesn't like to have his ears messed with. Even to have them checked by Dr. H for a run of the mill ear infection I have to hold his hands down with one hand while I hold his head against my chest with the other hand. He hates it. So when she tried to put the little things in his ears to see if his eardrums even moved, forget it. The different and smaller little things to actually test whether or not he can hear sounds, not a snowballs chance. In stead she tried a rather crude method.

Emmett John sat on my lap with a little round tub of rubber beads to play with. The Audiologist Assistant (?) sat across from us to watch Emmett's face for startle reflexes and various reactions. The Audiologist left the sound-proof room and went on the other side of the little window. Then she began calling out to Emmett John through the speakers. She started at a whisper and increased her volume until she finished up screaming. He didn't flinch. He didn't move, startle. Nothing.

It took literally everything I had in me - everything good and bad and indifferent - to not react and accidentally tip him off.

Then when he wasn't responding at all. It took all those things not to tip him off and not to fall apart.

I was beyond devstated. My baby couldn't hear her. She moved on to the beeps because A) she has to and B) sometimes it seems as if he can hear loud, high-pitched cell phone ringtones. She began at a whisper and slowly increased the volume with the lower tones. Nothing doing. Then she switched to the high pitched tones. Again with the whisper slowly increasing the volume. Nothing doing. At one point she turned these monkey noise making toys on that sat in boxes above the speakers. He reacted to those and we all went wild. Then she said she wasn't comfortable marking that he reacted to the noise because he could have seen the lights out of the corners of his eyes.

My heart broke again.

In the end, she said that if Dr. H had not already been recommending the ABR she would insist upon it. His OAE had not shown any clear results expect that she felt comfortable saying that he is at least suffering from moderate hearing loss. She said that he cannot hear at 45 decibles, which is human voice. She then went on to explain that there is a very slim chance that he can hear at 65 decibles and above, which is a screaming human voice. However, she is absolutely comfortable saying that "he cannot hear at 45 decibles and suffers from at least moderate hearing loss".

I've been working on teaching myself basic American Sign Language with a website so that I can try and communicate with him in some way. He has to have something. I can't imagine what it must be like to not be able to hear anyone. Not be able to convey your needs to anyone. It's no wonder he's been walking about pinching and hitting and all out screaming for ages now. Rob and I spoke to Dr. H on Wednesday at Gavin's 10 year check-up and we also feel certain that nearly all the appointments where I drug Emmett John in to the office saying "He's fussy, won't sleep, just screams and pulls at his ears." he was pulling at his ears because he was likely losing his hearing and we didn't know it. If only I had followed my mother's instincts all those months ago! I wonder what may have turned out differently.

Anyhow I can't do anything about it now. What I can do, what I am doing is learning ASL so that I can communicate with Emmett John, at least until he picks it up as well. I'm not very good and I don't know very many signs. Emmett John seems tickled pink that he can understand though. He signed his first word the other night, Daddy, which was HUGE! I'm teaching Rob what I learn as I go along. I try and teach Gavin and Elliott Richard, too. Gavin wants to learn as much as I have to teach him. Elliott Richard flat out refuses to learn. He just keeps yelling at Emmett John in stead.

It seems that every time we start to find some semblance of normal around here...I don't know why we try.

We can't get in for his ABR test until March. Dr. H tried to convey to the lady that he would like Emmett John's case expedited. She got snippy and told him that the 25 children ahead of Emmett John would like their cases expedited as well but it doesn't work that way. Emmett John will just have to wait. Dr. H then asked that Emmett John be put on a cancelation list and she tried to make it sound all horrible - like I would decline because of short notice or something. Clearly she doesn't know me - well, obviously but you get my point. So now I have to wait for her to get off her high horse and call me with an appointment because she wouldn't make it with Dr. H's office because "that's not how I do things!" ARGH! Like things aren't complicated enough? I need a chick on a power trip?!

This whole situation is just making me sick. My fibro meds aren't nearly as effective any more. I'm having migraines all the time. It's just crazy. And because I'm the ASL one in the house right now, Emmett John is my shaddow. Never mind Henry, my new dog, whom you know nothing about, thinks that being supportive translates to being under foot where ever I go. Elliott Richard wakes up at 3am lately. Heck, even Emmett John has been waking up at 3am for some God awful reason! I don't know why he does it because unlike Elliott Richard, he's clearly not bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to go. He's just a great big fuss pot looking to make my life a living Hell - totally uncool.

My Mom is actually worried that I'm going to snap under all of the stress I'm under right now. I'm not sure if I should feel flattered that she cares so much. Shocked because she's managed to see through my facade so quickly when I've known other far longer and they're still in the dark. Or offened because she seems to think me so fragile. (lol)

Oh well, that's all we know on the Emmett John front. I didn't intend for it to be so long. Sorry about that. Oh, and by the way, if I ever refer to him as MJ it's just a carry over from signing. We've found that MJ is easier for everyone to sign (especially quickly for some of us) than EJ. So just make a mental note: MJ = Emmett John. =)


Speaking the Language of Mr. Emmett John ~ Round 2

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I don't know where to begin.

Yesterday I took Mr. Emmett John for his 18 month well-baby check-up with Dr. H. Tomorrow I will take him to the Audiologist to have his hearing tested. Physically, he's doing well. He isn't sick. Motor skills are right on track. He's still channeling Jack-Jack, which is absolutely exhausting. I honestly don't know how he does it. One minute he's right next to you then he's gone and there are 6 of him everywhere! On the bright side, his constant movement doesn't seem to be having any effect on his growth...

The Stats

Head Circ: 48.8cm (75%)

Length: 35.25in (98%)
Weight: 26lb 1oz (41%)

I spoke with Dr. H about my growing concerns about Emmett John's lack of language. He doesn't talk, period. He babbles, which basically means he makes the noises that don't pertain to anything. For Emmett John, MaMa doesn't hold any signifigance for him towards me. Neither does DaDa, BaBa or any of the rest of them. He just says them.

He doesn't seem to hear us either. Our house is set up in a circle - front room (living room), hallway, kitchen, dinning room - all in a circle. The other night Emmett John was sitting on the couch in the front room and I snuck around so I was about 2 feet behind him then I clapped. I clapped so hard my hands instantly turned red and I moved Emmett John's hair. He didn't even move. He didn't startle, flinch or anything else. We call out to him from across the room and he doesn't respond. Loud noises, quiet doesn't matter because he doesn't seem to hear any of them. The only ones that he sometimes seems to hear are high pitched cell phones.

I mentioned his complete lack of a startle reflex to Dr. H when Emmett John was about 5 months old. At the time though, he had so many other things going on that we needed to figure out that it was lost in the shuffle. Plus his hearing test at the hospital when he was born so Dr. H felt that the "wait and see" approach was probably best. I allowed myself to be poo-pooed into silence and ignored my mother's instinct. Here we are 13 months later.

Tomorrow we are going to the Audiologist for his first hearing test, the OAE. It's the regular hearing test to see if he can hear at all. After that Dr. H has referred him to the local children's hospital for the sedation hearing test, the ABR. He is also referring us to Help Me Grow for early intervention. Help Me Grow will help us to get started with Speech Therapy, Sign Language classes so that we can communicate until we find out what is going on and even there after. He's also referring us to Gavin's Developmental Neurologist so that he can be evaluated for Autism.

Dr. H said that Autism is on the bottom of his possibilities list; however, with the family history via Gavin and the significant speech delay he wants to be sure that all of the bases are covered. That way if he does happen to be Autistic we have early intervention in place, whereas Gavin was unable to benefit from those services. I agree with Dr. H, I don't think that he's Autistic. I think he's deaf. However, I will feel better knowing. Especially if the hearing tests come out a-okay.

I'm not going to lie here guys, I'm terrified for my baby.


What's 1 more?

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Gavin has been a complete and total champ today. I wish I knew more about hearts. How they work. What a heart echo is *supposed* to look like. What a 12 lead EKG is *supposed* to look like. I wish I knew more about Marfan Syndrome. Does he really need another "Syndrome" on top of everything else?!?! How is that even fair?!?! I did some reading about Marfan Syndrome the other night. I stopped after reading that until recently the average life expectancy for a patient with Marfan's Syndrome was 32 years old. I wanted to run away when we told the nurse about the *Deme's genetic aortic dissections and the first thing she said was, "Ah, undiagnosed Marfan's Syndrome." *And she wrote it in his chart!!!* I don't want it in his chart! I don't want him to have another syndrome! So far today he's had an EKG and an Echocardiogram. I couldn't tell anything about about either test while they happened so everything looked bad and very horrible to me. So I stopped watching.
Elizabeth Gorski

"My heart's having a meltdown." (Also titled PLEASE PRAY!)

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We are on our way to the pediatric cardiologist with Gavin. We've recently learned that his biological paternal grandfather and his biological paternal aunt both passed away of dissecting aortic anueisms (sorry about the spelling and lack of links I'm on the road), which is genetic. Gavin's heart is already special because its flipped and I forget what's that called at the moment. So now we're on our way to pediatric cardiologist - who got us in today during a phone call Monday morning if that gives you any indication how serious this potentially could be.

Please pray.

PS The title is how Gavin describes his heart pain. I thought it was given the seriousness of the situation. I wanted to remember it.
Elizabeth Gorski

Tuesday Toot

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Two of Gavin's major doctor appointments down.

Of course, that's not saying anything about the rest of the month. Let's just not go there right now, shall we?


I'm done.

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I'm done being sick.
I'm done being the downfall of our household.
I'm done being the reason nothing gets done.
I'm done being the reason everything falls apart.
I'm done being treated disrespectfully.
I'm done listening to how my illness(s) are the reason nothing gets done.
I'm done getting yelled at for over-doing it.
I'm done getting yelled at for not helping.
I'm done being treated like a second class citizen in my own home.
I'm done.


How much is "too much"?

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I have always been a journal-er. I've had a diary since I was 8 years old. I'm not one to necessarily write every single day. There have been times when I have gone for weeks and even months without writing. The more my children seem to mulitply and the older they get, the more this holds true. I've said it before and I'll likely say it again, I prefer my pen and paper journals to the blog. I love the fact that the blog reaches people. Whereas my journals simply sit unread. At the same time I love that my journals sit unread. I love that they are written in my handwriting, which will help serve as a window into my thoughts should my boys ever decide to read them. I also love that no one reads my pen and paper journals. I can write whatever is going on and not have to worry about grammar or spelling or hurting feelings or being misunderstood. It's my space. Plain and simple. So my question is this: How much is too much?

There are some things going on at the moment. Some of you are aware of them. Most of you are not. (Thank you to those of you who have been a huge help during all of it.) If I am being honest with myself, part of me wants to blog about these things. Part of me does not.

Have you seen THIS boy?

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Well, what about THIS one?

Can you tell the difference between these two boys? =)

Here...allow me to help you.

The gorgeous little boy (Good observation there Jessica!) in the top two pictures is a happy diaper-wearing 3 year old.

The gorgeous little boy in the bottom two pictures (Despite the horrible quality of the pics.)  is a happy potty trained, underpants wearing "Little Boy" 3 year old.
(The "Little Boy" is very important because it was apparently our tripping point on potty training.)

Six Word Saturday #12

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Remember when "things" were much easier?

Well, Christmas has officially come and gone. There are now...what, 364 days to Christmas 2010. Or something like that. Thank God! No offense to Jesus or Mary or anything but I'm telling you what...every year the Holidays get more difficult to survive.

I had everything planned out this year. I was going to start preparing just after Halloween so that I wasn't running around like a chicken with my head cut off come Christmas Eve. It didn't work. I didn't get any of the gifts made that I wanted to. I didn't get the kids all figured out etc so I could help them create their gifts for everyone. My Mom was the only one who's gift was completely finished in time to give to her. And I was running around up until 30 seconds before she came in the door to get that wrapped etc.

But it's not just the prep work. Or the decorating, which I can't even manage to find a way to get done anymore. It's all of it. It all seems so complicated. Now don't get me wrong here, I'm not a Scrooge by any means. I just noticed this is all.

Take toys for example. You have the gifts that Gavin and Elliott Richard received, which were taped in and twist-tied in. Am I the only one who thinks this is complete and total overkill? But I digress...their gifts are protected with the strength that I thought only Fort Knox could offer. Then you have Mr. Emmett John's gifts. Most of his gifts were what I affectionately call "Old School" toys. He received the pull behind telephone, the shape block sorter and the little "bed bug bopper". None of those were taped or twist-tied. You opened the box and pulled them out. End of story.

Heck even if you compare video games! When I was a kid, the Nintendo was the "in thing". Everyone either had one, knew someone who did and/or wanted one so badly they could almost taste it. True, by today's standards the graphics are horrid. However, the controls were easy and straight forward. Up was up. Down was down. You get the idea. Nothing was overly complicated. Now there are 3 different major systems with beautiful graphics in their own right. Each specializes in a different type of game genre. And each seems to have their own unique way of making the controls complicated.

Sorry to be all doom and gloom, I'm just over-whelmed from all the running and buying and wrapping and the going and visiting and whatnot. I still think it holds true though - things have gotten far to complicated over the years. At times, I really do feel that it's almost complicated simply for the sake of being complicated. But that's just me. =)

Aside from taped and twist-tied to death new toys (more pictures to come tomorrow), the Cheerios are doing well. We are exhausted and well-fed. We had a blast with family. And now we are all attempting to recover. Except the boys seem perfectly content to stay hyper and completely bouncing-off-the-walls. (lol) Our Christmas was beautiful and everything a Christmas should be. And we hope that you and yours had a very Merry Christmas!


Cheerio Family Christmas 2009

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Christmas Morning 9:00 am

After Gavin and Elliott Richard work us up for presents, we got ready and went to Grandma and PaPa's for Christmas Breakfast. Here's some of the family hanging out, drinking coffee and chilling while breakfast is finished up. (FYI we ate 45 eggs!!!!! OMG)

And of course, what is any picture montage without group picture of my Baby Boys - Daddy (not a Baby Boy), Elliott Richard and Emmett John. Emmett John had lost his patience for waiting for the 45 eggs by this point. (lol)



After we after a huge breakfast prepared by PaPa and Aunt Kate, which was absolutely delicious! Then the guys did the dishes so Grandma wouldn't because she had to be at work at Noon. Once we were fed and cleaned up, it was time for presents!!!! =) lol

I took this picture of the bow on Jenna's gift because it was just the most adorable bow I have ever seen! Grandma made it herself too. And she says I'm creative. Pfth.

Family...ah who am I kidding...MORE PRESENTS! =)

Here's Mr. Gavin opening one of his gifts. He's always so serious. =) But even with very little sleep and so much going, he did really well.


Family Time

Elliott Richard loves this Pokemon game that Grandma and PaPa got him. There are little marbles and Pokemon cards. You shoot the marbles and they hit these triggers which causes the cards to *pop* up. Anyway, he adores it and Grandma was brave enough to play a few rounds the "Elliott way". Gavin was just kind of chilling and watching.



Here's Aunt Jenn kicking back and reading her gift, The Postcard Secret book. (Or whatever it's called...I'm too tired to go looking for it.)

Passing Out

After breakfast we all went our own ways for a bit, then we met back up at Aunt Carol & Uncle Rick's house for lunch/dinner (so what is that called? Linner?). It was huge and delicious - turkey, cheesey potatoes, brocolli cheddar rice casserole, salad, stuffing, ham and a whole bunch more. It was so, so, SO good! Some of us wished we could pass out afterwards with full bellies surrounded by family. Then there were a few of us, *cough* Kate *cough*, who did. (lol)


Christmas 2009 at Home in photos

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Just a quick Christmas 2009 at Home recap in photos...okay, sadly these are the only photos I took with my cell phone. The rest are on my camera and I haven't had the chance to pull them over yet. Thoes will come tomorrow. =)

Elliott Richard and Emmett John just after we decorated the tree.
(If you look carefully you can see that we only used candy canes to decorate this year. That way if they fell off and broke there wasn't any harm done; we could just eat the carnage. =) Also if you look again, you'll notice that the candy canes only cover the top half because I was trying (in vain) to keep Emmett John from stealing candy canes.)

Our sad little yellow "golden star" on top of our tree.
Elliott Richard kept asking so sweetly for a "golden star" to put on the top of our tree. Unfortunately, the ecomony being in the lovely state that it is we just couldn't get one this year. So I made one...sort of. I made this one, which isn't gold and it fell apart the day after I took this picture because the glue gave way. No matter. For a day or so, I was able to give Elliott Richard the star he wanted. =)


Ah...true love...

Daisypath Anniversary tickers Daisypath Wedding tickers

***My Baby Boys***

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You are *here* too!