My Breastfeeding Badges of Honor

Six Word Saturday #8

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OME Sorority for all Twilight women!

If you are a woman (25 years +) and love Twilight stop by OME and check it out! The ladies are great. The boards are great. The moderators are great. (Of course, I could be biased because I'm both a lady on the board and one of the moderators. :) lol) We have a blast. But don't take my word for it, come and check it out for yourself. ;)


Saturday 9 ~ #3 Waiting

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Saturday 9: The Waiting

1. Have you ever stayed online for a very long time waiting for someone? Yes, I have and now I'm married to him. :)

2. How do you eat oreos? However I want because I can. Usually I take them apart and lick the icing until it's gone. Then I eat the naked halves. Sometimes I just eat the cookie.

3. Are you cocky? Not usually but I guess I can be. Depends on my mood?

4. Did you have an imaginary friend as a kid? I had two - Michael and Jennifer. They lived in a hole in the ceiling. I don't know why but they did.

5. What t.v. station do you watch the most? Whichever has my reality television show on at the moment, usually CBS, VH1, or History, Food Network, Nat Geo.

6. Have you ever seen the ocean? In pictures. In movies. On TV. Do those count?

7. Have you ever been hospitalized? More times than I care to remember. Just for fun let's see if I can...Time #1 ~ 2 weeks old for some crazy 106 degree fever illness thing. Time #2 ~ Childbirth of Gavin in January 2000. Time #3 ~ Preterm labor with Elliott Richard. Time #4 ~ DVT and preterm labor with Elliott Richard. Time #5 ~ Childbirth of Elliott Richard. Time #6 ~ Childbirth of Emmett John.

8. What's your favorite brand of rootbeer? Woody's - it's made locally at an ice cream stand.

9. Could you live without a computer? No! How else would I check my email, write my posts, keep up with my blogs, and keep up with my moderator duties at OME?!?!?! What kind of crazy question is this? Honestly.

If you think you would like to join in the fun of the Saturday 9 then swing on by Crazy Sam's blog and join the fun! :)


Friday Fill Ins #2

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Okay, so admitedly my Friday Fill In is a day late and a dollar short but it's better late than never, right? ;) Besides, I've been busy.

1. He was a vision of everything I'd ever wanted in man but there way no way he was the one for me.

2. September 3rd although the first day of school is a very close second is what I look forward to most this time of year.

3. My best friend in love and a forever kind of way is Rob; in a sisterly way is Trisha; in the "dog is man's best friend" way is Maggie Sue.

4. It's truly always best to be honest with (you) me because I'm one of those people where whatever my imagination comes up with really and truly will be much, much worse than the truth.

5. Appearances can be deceiving but I'm still one of those people who usually finds myself stuck to my first impressions.

6. The last person I gave a hug to was Rob and Emmett John (group hug).

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to wroking on the OME Twilight Sorority Message Boards, tomorrow my plans include hiding inside from the weather and trying to survive the flare it brings with it while blog surfing and working/surfing on the OME boards; hopefully taking Elliott Richard to the NICU Reunion and Sunday, I want to sleep in, take a nap, not have a flare, maybe wash some laundry, surf the web...SSDD!

If the Friday Fill In looks like something that you would like to participate in, just hop on over to Janet's Blog: Friday Fill Ins and get started! :)

Have a great weekend!


Thursday 13 ~ Things I Can't Live Without

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Thursday 13 ~ Things I Cannot Live Without (in no particular order ~ really)

1.) Blank Composition Notebooks ~ I need these to keep my thoughts organized. Computers are great and all but I need these to brain storm and whatnot. I can't do that properly with a computer.

2.) Pens ~ Pens, pens glorious pens. Pens of all colors, shapes and sizes. I collect them. I love them. They just so happen to go hand in hand with #1. Funny how that works, huh?

3.) My cell phone ~ But not for the reasons you may be thinking. Sure I love to talk, mainly to Rob and Trisha. However, it also has a camera in it and it's the easiest thing to grab to catch those fun, silly, adorable moments with my boys, my man, my sister, my dog.

4.) My Zune ~ I admit I didn't want it at first. When Rob bought it for me, I was not happy. Sure, it's blue, my favorite color. Now that I have it and I've learned to use it (and it's only taken me like forever) I can't live without it. I listen to it in the tub, when I write, when I just need some "me time".

5.) My laptop ~ Okay, so it's not "mine" per se but for now, it is. And for now, I can't live without it. I couldn't blog without it. I couldn't keep up with Twilight web sites without it (yes, I'm that obsessed). I've made some great new friends all over the world (Hi Latree!) with my baby and that just wouldn't have been possible without her.

6.) Rob ~ Yes, he's my husband. Yes, our marriage is seriously stressed 99.9% of the time. Lately though, things have taken a pleasant turn for the better. Stress or not stress, things are looking up. Stress or no stress, I couldn't do this without him. I need him by my side. He is truly my better half. My in-laws did a fabulous job raising him and I don't want to go through life without him.

7.) Trisha ~ My big sister. I love her. I looked for her for 10 years. It took MySpace to help me find her. (lol) We are alot alike. Then again, we are totally different. Logically, I know that I spent most of my life without Trisha in it; however, emotionally I feel like she's always been there. Kind of like when you have your children, I can't remember life before I had a sister.

8.) My boys ~ All of my life all I've ever wanted was to be a mother. I always thought I wouldn't be fulfilled until I had a daughter. Then I had Mr. Emmett John. Now I know that I wasn't meant to have a daughter and I'm more than okay with that. I am the mother of three wonderful, adorable boys and I wouldn't have it any other way.

9.) Books ~ I love to read. If couldn't do anything else for amusement for the rest of my life, I would want to read. Hands down. Well, read and know what, never mind...I do love books but I can't pick any one thing over another. I'm too selfish. ;)

10.) Reality television ~ Some people say that reality television is the downfall of mankind. It kills brain cells. Blah. Blah. Blah. Yahooie kablooie. Whatever. I say that reality television is the single greatest television invention in a really long time. It is perfect. It's fun and mindless and just...ah...perfect.

11.) Chocolate ~ Chocolate is the perfect food. Honestly, anyone who can find something wrong with chocolate needs to have their head examined because you clearly have deeper underlying issues. Unless of course you are allergic to chocolate, in which case, you have my deepest sympathies and you are, of course, exempt from my prior assessment.

12.) My Blog ~ I've made it very clear at numerous different points in my blog that I prefer the pen and paper journal to the internet blog. However, being the mother of three small boys does not allow the time for a pen and paper journal. Also my arthritis in my hands is preventing me from writing as often and as much as I would like, which makes the blogging much easier than the pen and paper journal. My blog keeps me sane. It makes me happy. I just love it.

13.) Sleep ~ I love to sleep. I miss sleep. With three small boys, sleep is something that is often difficult to come by. (Says the mother with a coughing 3 year old on her lap at 12:15am while she scrambles to try and finish this blog that was supposed to have posted 15 minutes ago. ;) lol)

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Thank You, Governor Strickland.

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So, one week ago today I posted a blog about my missing/expired driver's license. Well, as it turns out Rob didn't remember getting a card in the mail about my license because they hadn't sent one. How do I know this, you might ask? Because I just got it in the mail yesterday!

Yup, you read that right.

Wonderful, fantastic always on top of things Governor Strickland and his fantastic staff sent me my notice last week that my license had expired last month. However, his card did make sure to mention that I could drive with an expired license before they would make me take the exam again. (Gee, thanks.)

On the bright side, if he gets rid of charter schools as quickly as he sends out the expired license notices; Gavin's school isn't in any danger at all. ;)


Small Talk Six #1 ~ 6 Things You'll Miss (Or Not) About Summer

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Today's Small Talk Six is:
6 Things You'll Miss (or Won't Miss) About Summer!
1.) I will not miss the heat. I don't do well in extreme heat.
2.) I will not miss the neighborhood hoodrats. I can't wait for them to go back to school.
3.) I will miss having my afternoons free without having to make sure I'm at Gavin's school by 3:00pm.
4.) I will miss not having to worry about when we wake up in the morning and being ready right away.
5.) I will not miss the bugs and the tourists and my street filled with cars from neighbors having parties/BBQ's.
6.) I will miss having the ability to get up and go as a family whenever we want.
If you would like to join in the fun of the Small Talk Six just head on over to and grab the topic and the graphic. Enjoy! :)


Six Word Saturday #7

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Can't wait for my new daytimer!

:) It should be here by Friday, hopefully. :) I can't wait! I can't wait! :)

If you would like to partake in the fun of Six Word Saturday, then head on over to Cate's Blog. Grab the button. Put your info in Mr. Linky. And join along. :)


Saturday 9 ~ #2 I Ran

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Saturday 9: I Ran
1. When's the last time you ran? I haven't ran in years. Although I used to run all the time when I was stressed out.

2. Do your jeans have rips, tears, and holes in them? The really well loved pairs do.

3. What are you dreading right now? The new school year. I'm terrified that Gavin won't make it to the end.

4. Do you like Mexican food? I love Mexican food!

5. Favorite ice cream? Chocolate peanut butter

6. When was your last doctor's visit? Wednesday 8/19/2009 with Dr. T

7. Do you get the full 8 hours of sleep a night? Maybe in some alternate universe but not in this one.

8. How many pets do you have? 2 ~ 1 dog, Miss Maggie Sue & 1 cat, Miss Cleo (not the washed up psychic) unless you count the numerous fish and a turtle then I have more than 2

9. "First Loves Are Never Over;" is this true for you? Yes and no. I believe that first loves always hold a special place in our hearts but I don't believe that they "are never over". My first love is definitely over. A part of me will always love him but I'll never be in love with him again. I only have love for my Robby now.

If you would like to join in the fun of the Saturday 9, head on over to Samantha's Blog and jump right on in!


Friday Fill Ins #1

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1. I remember, I remember this one time at church camp.

2. Dear God, I want you to know that I could use a little help down here.

3. Is that my 1 yr old climbing over the back of the couch!!???

4. I'm trying to resist the temptation of cheesecake calling to me from the bakery.

5. I'm saving a hug just for you!

6. If I made a birthday list sanity would definitely be on it!!!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to Wal*Mart with my sister, tomorrow my plans include waking up pain-free (God-willing) and Sunday, I want to work on the laundry or take a nap...probably take a nap!

If you would like to play along with the Friday Fill In please head on over to Janet's Blog and check things out! Enjoy!


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Jenna’s Journey Blog

Come one! Come all!

It's that time again!

I Don't Wednesday!

It's not the things you do.

It's the things you Don't Do.

Now's the time to share. :)

I Don't... rely on technology as much as Rob wishes I would. (I'm not a technophob, obviously since I'm blogging but I prefer the tried-and-true pen and paper methods to technology.)

I Don't... have beautiful penmenship and that drives me crazy.

I Don't... have many friends who aren't my family.

I Don't... know what to expect from my pain management appointment this morning.

I Don't... know if I should watch the show on the Octomom on Channel 8 tonight.

Welp, those are my I Don't Wednesdays for the week. If you would like to join in the fun, hop on over to Jenna's Journey to grab the code for the button and play along. :)


Tuesday Toot #10 ~ License Oopsie

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Yeah, so my Tuesday Toot for this week looks a little something like this:

(Except, you know, I'm not a guy. And my hair is a little bit longer. And I wear glasses, only I didn't wear them in my picture. But you get the general idea.)

I thought I had lost my driver's license, which I had. Turns out, that not only had I lost it but it expired a month ago today! Can we say, "Oopsie!" I just didn't know that it had expired until I went on line and checked my driving record (because I'm nosey like that). Imagine my surprise when it pops up with this little tid bit:

Your Ohio driver abstract spans the previous three-year period.

License Status as of 08/18/2009: EXPIRED (Wha-wha-what?!?!?!)




So now my day has gone from needing to get my license reprinted before my 8:00am appointment with pain management tomorrow morning; to needing to get my license renewed before my appointment. Good thing I caught this too because after 6 months you have to retake the test. Have I ever mentioned how many times it took me to pass the test in the first place?! Let's just say the test and I...we don't get along so well. I'm a really good driver but I have test taking anxiety.

Yes, so that is my Tuesday Toot.

I went to the Social Security Office to get a statement that I am legal with a Social Security Number and everything. (Because yes, if you must know, I have lost my Social Security Card somewhere within my house too.) Then off to the BMV. Fun times.

Let's not even ask about the picture, okay? ;) (lol)

If you enjoyed my Tuesday Toot and would care to join in the fun, head on over to The Mommy Community and jump right in. The water is fine and we are all having a blast! :)


Not Me Monday

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It's bright and early Monday morning. That can only mean one thing...Not Me Monday! :)
This week...
I did not catch Mr. Emmett John by his right arm and leg before he fell off the couch because he was crawling off the couch and I was trying to get over writer's block/coma. (Nope, not me.)
I also did not ignore the very same Mr. Emmett John when he threw his dry cereal on the floor before eating it. I also did not think "as long as he's eating it some how, some way that's truly all that matters at this point". (Nope, that would be germy and slightly irresponsible of me.)
I did not both cringe and cheer as Emmett John gets better at walking because that means that he's getting older and more grown up. (Nope, not me because as the mother of 3 I know full well that babies become toddlers and eventually big kids, teenagers and adults.)
I did not eat almost an entire bag of Pepperidge Farms Milano Cookies in a single sitting while rereading Twilight.
And finally,
I did not spend an entire day searching the internet for just the refillable daytimer for my needs. Then once I found the momAgenda All-in-One Folio; I definitely do not stop the webpage every few days just to gaze at until I'm able to order it. (That would be silly, right?)
If you would like to join in the fun of Not Me Monday head on over tosee MckMama at My Charming Kids to grab the details and join the fun! :)


The Story of Elliott Richard ~ The NICU

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Ah the joys of the NICU. I left off with the breastpump, the liquid gold lifeline to Elliott Richard and my complete and utter lack of control. I was devasted. Plain and simple.

I had worked so hard and for so long to ensure that this very thing did not happen and look where he ended up?! In the stupid, flippin' NICU. It was unbelievable and completely inexcusable in my book. I truly didn't know what to do.

Once Elliott was in the NICU it became more and more apparent just how bad things really were. He had a pneumothorax (collapsed lung) on the left side from trying to breathe but not being able to. No sooner did they get his left side diagnosed and his ride side collapsed. He had IV's going every which way. As soon as they had one placed - in his foot or a hand or his head (it took ages for the bald spots to grow back) it would blow and they would have to place another one. He had heart monitors. Feeding tubes because they weren't feeding him orally yet. Then he was on a CPAP. Then a nasal canula. Then when they figured out he had two collapsed lungs and pneumonia; they intubated and sedated him.

For the first 4 or 5 days we couldn't even touch him. I would pump religiously every 2-3 hours; to the point where they had too much milk for him. Then I would walk it down to the NICU no matter what time of day it was. I would hand it to his nurse at the time. Then I would sit.

I would watch him monitors and learn the beeps, which ones were okay. Which ones were cause for concern. Which ones brought everyone running. I would sit. I would listen. I would watch him sleep. I couldn't hold him. I couldn't touch him. I couldn't do a single thing my instincts were screaming at me to do. And there were moments when I thought it would kill me.

They kept me in the hospital as long as possible. They were even able to move me to a larger room and get a second bed so that Rob could stay at the hospital with me. We had a huge black lab, Hermione, at the time and Rob would let her out at night. Sleep at the hospital and go to the NICU in the middle of the night with me. The get up and go home to take care of her first thing in the morning before coming back to be with Elliott Richard and I at the hospital again.

Gavin was staying with my parents. My mom would take him to school in the morning. Rob would pick him up from school in the afternoon and hang out with him until my mom got off work. Then she would meet him for the exchange and he would head right back to my side at the hospital.

Once I was discharged from the hospital they gave me a room for free to stay in while Elliott Richard was still in the NICU. At first, it was in the Post Partum Ward so it was right down the hall from the NICU. Then they moved me to the Peds Unit, which was on another floor and through what felt like a maze of hallways to reach. I hated that room. It hurt to walk to. It took forever. And the Peds Unit is a petri-dish of illness! Why would you put the mother of a preemie there?!?!?!? I was infuriated!

Over time, I felt this horrible weight. This guilt because I would talk to the other mothers. I would watch them celebrate as their babies made it to 3lb or 4lb or 5lb. Here I sat with my 7lb monster baby. In the end though, we really weren't all that different. None of us wanted to be there. We all wanted the same ending; to leave with our happy, healthy babies safely sleeping in our arms.

The days wore on. I know there was a point when Rob and I were cleared to enter the NICU and we walked back to find they performing a medical procedure on Elliott Richard. I was mortified.

At one point the doctors and nurses were explaining to us how serious things were. They couldn't get him breathing on his own. They couldn't seem to wean him off the vent. They didn't know what was wrong, exactly. They were trying everything but were running out of ideas and if they didn't come up with something soon they were going to ask our permission to send him to top notch Children's Hospital 2 hours away.

During this time we were also offered the "support of clergy", which in hindsight I understand. At the time though, it felt to me that they were giving up. It felt like everyone was saying, "Well, you better call a priest and have him baptized because he isn't going to make it out of here." That felt like giving up to me. I refused, rather rudely if I remember correctly. How dare they give up on my baby!

I remember Rob and I asking why they hadn't given him surfactant if it would help him to breathe on his own without the ventilator. They said it was too late, he was too old, it wouldn't help. Finally, after days of on again, off again with the ventilator they decided to give the surfactant a try. He was still intubated but they were working towards weaning him off it.

After the move to the Peds Unit room, Rob "made" me go home. I say "made" because I didn't want to go. I would have slept in a chair next to Elliott Richard's isolet if they would have let me. I was terrified to leave. Terrified they would call and tell us to hurry back and we would be too late. Terrified they would call and say we were already too late. Simply terrified to be here while he was there. I hated it. I hated Rob for a while too. Not a rational response, true. But allow me to remind you that I was 1-10 days post-partum during this time. Rational responses don't usually happen a whole lot during that time anyway.

That's when Elliott took matters into his own hands.

I was visiting him and stroking his hand because he was sedated while he was intubated so this was permitted. His nurse stopped by his isolet and said that she was on her way to grab his next dose of sedation because he was due for it. I just nodded and kept on watching him. Well, he woke up - wide awake - and extubated himself. Even though he was restrained, he just reached up and *pop* it was out and he was breathing on his own. I was dumbfounded and just sort of stood there with my mouth open attracting flies. ;) When the nurse came back I told her what he had done and she mirrored my expression and said, "Oh my." After she spoke with the Neonatologist, he said that they could leave him extubated and see how he did. He was never intubated again after that.

From that point on, things went that way for Elliott. He decided he was done with his IV and *pop*. This was not long after he extubated himself so went with the same idea of "Let's see how he does. Maybe he knows more about how he's doing than we do." Then went the feeding tube.

It was towards the end of his stay. All he really had left to do was gain weight and learn to nurse or take so many oz per feeding. Well since I wanted to nurse exclusively that made it kind of hard to do the whole "take so many oz per feeding". Rob wanted me to give him bottles of pumped milk just so we could get him out of the hospital sooner, which I understand now. But then it just pissed me off. If I was going to nurse exclusively once we got home didn't it make more sense to make sure he was going to get the hang of it now while we are at the hospital and are going to be aware if his weight drops or something?! I didn't want him to stay in the hospital but at the same time I didn't want to give him bottles to get him home to start nurse exclusively and have everything come undone. It was the topic of a great many debates and battles between Rob and I during those last few days. In the end, he was nursing well. He didn't want the bottle once he figured out the nursing. And he was gaining small amounts of weight so they let us go home anyway. :)

All told Elliott Richard spent 10 days in the NICU. Those were some of the longest 10 days of my life.


Life...Ever Changing

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Everyday in the Cheerio household brings about a new sort of "normal". I use that term loosely of course. Our lives are in a constant state of flux. Mostly because of Gavin, not that I'm saying everything is his fault because it isn't. It's just that a majority of the time our lives revolve around Gavin and his needs. Some days the flux is caused because of me and my needs. However, mostly, our lives revolve around Gavin. His moods. His needs. His whims. His fits of anger. His fits, period. His appointments. Him, in general.

I feel like as soon as we get one thing under control here. One thing stablized. Everything else hits a huge wave and smashes into a million pieces. Then we are left clinging to that one thing we managed to stablize while we scramble to gather the other million pieces and try to put them back together. Only it feels as if we are trying to put them back together, in the dark, without glue, without directions and honestly, without any real idea of what they were in the first place. All the while that one stablized thing, whatever it was, is slipping away so slowly that we don't notice until it's gone.


Six Word Saturday #6

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Writer's Block? Writer's Coma? Going CRAZY!


Heard my inspiration! Then lost it!



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I'm still trying to write about 5 other posts at the moment about various topics ranging from myself to Gavin to other things I can't remember at the moment. However, I've been side-tracked and it's frustrating me! There is a blog I frequent that I simply adore. Sarah at To define is to limit (a title which I also adore) has a graphic on her blog, which she gave me permission to borrow a while ago I just haven't gotten around to swiping it yet. This is what it looks like:

In case you are unable to read it, it says:

"I write for the same reason I breathe...because if I didn't, I would die."

Now I know this may not make complete sense to some of you. To others you are likely shaking your heads, saying, "Yeah, that about sums her up." Trust me what I tell you, this is me. I love to write. I live to write. Writing is who I am. Or at least it was, before I had three children.

Now writing is a dormant part of my soul. Every so often, it twitches. Like a heart that is attempting to regain it's rhythm. Sometimes I get this nagging, in the farthest recesses of my mind and imagination. Begging me to let it out, to write it and set it free.

This isn't a spontaneous occurance. It doesn't just happen. At least, not to me, anyway. It takes a spark. Something to awaken it from it's long dormant state. To nudge it and jolt it out of the coma I forced it into 9+ years ago. For whatever reason, Twilight appears to have been that.

I felt the twitch. Although I can't quite remember when. I think it was somewhere between Books 3 and 4 but I can't be sure. The twitch came. The nagging followed. Now I'm scrambling.

I'm dying to write. I literally feel as if my soul is shriveling up from within. But theywon'thelpme! The twitch. The nagging. Aren'thelpingme! I don't know where to start. I don't know what to write. I don't know if you've noticed or not, but my grammar SUCKS! Which is funny and ironic because grammar is a huge pet peeve of mine, but again I digress.

So here I sit. Frustrated to the point of wanting to scream and pull my hair out by the roots. None of my friends or family are really writers, so no help there. I'm trying music. Nothing.




So if I'm not around for a while. If I'm not here. I'm not blogging. I'm not commenting. This is why. I've been trying to ease my frustration with blogging and it's not working. So now, I'm off to find something else.

Plus, I just needed to vent. ARGH!

(***Update*** And now I've swiped the image and it's posted to the blog. Both in this post and above my picture to the right. You were worried. I know. Rest peacefully now. ;) lol)


I Don't Wednesday!

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Since I finished the Twilight Series I have been blog surfing something fierce, which is not a good thing. Except for the fact that my fibromyalgia is so bad at the moment that I'm basically on bed rest again so I have plenty of time to read blogs. But I digress. (You're shocked, I know. lol) As I've been blog surfing today I found what is apparently a rather popular blog entitled, Jenna's Journey Blog. Every Wednesday, as her infant son Brayden allows, she does a meme that she calls "I Don't Wednesday". It's kind of like MckMama's "Not Me Monday" only you list the things that you don't do rather than the things you did but wish you hadn't. Since I'm in such a blogging mood lately but I'm struggling with the blogs I really want to write, I figured, "Hey, it's Wednesday. It's my blog. So, why not." :)

And away we go! :)

Jenna’s Journey Blog

I don't... fold, sort and put my laundry away as soon as I take it out of the dryer. (Rob wishes I would though. lol)

I don't... wear dresses or skirts. (Again, Rob wishes I would though.)

I don't... drink milk. (Ick.)

I don't... tolerate ignorance well. (Or much at all, if we're being completely honest about it.)

I don't... want to hear anymore about Obama, his "health plan", the people it will "help" (never mind those it's screwing), his popularity rating, his Presidency thus far or any combination thereof. (I'm Obama'ed OUT! Seriously. No more! UNCLE!)


Tuesday Toot #9

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Granted, it's only 6:48am but I've managed to stay awake with Elliott Richard since 3:30 this morning.

Hey, it's my Tuesday Toot! and in my book that counts! (lol)


Ah...true love...

Daisypath Anniversary tickers Daisypath Wedding tickers

***My Baby Boys***

Lilypie Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

You are *here* too!