Friday, December 29, 2006

Cletus Tips the Scales

Guess what y'all?

Gabriel Micah Morris
Born December 28, 2006
11:00 am
21 inches long
9 pounds 13 ounces!!

What a bunch of smarty-pants readers I have :)

Birth day play by play still to come.......I think I need to "forget" a little bit of it before I rehash it again......

(You know, like the size of that HEAD!!!)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

One Big Long One

So, I says to myself, "Self? It's time you updated for the good people!"

And here I am.

But I will tell you the awful hardship it will cause me. My keyboard is not cooperating and the "Y" key is being rebellious. Do you know how annoying that is? You wouldn't believe how OFTEN we English speaking people use that one letter! It's akin to hurting your little toe and never realizing how much you appreciate that one little member! I'm starting to think that the letter "Y" is terribly unappreciated. We turn it into "I"s and substitute "E"s.......but You with no "Y" is only "ou", and THAT, my dear friends, is French, not English....


Michaela at the present is doing well. She wasn't last week, or the week before that. The weekEND before that, she was doing VERY well....but it only lasted 2 days. Sound erratic? It is. There's a song that says something along the lines of "And when you're up, you're up. And when you're down, you're down." That's kinda like what Boo does. Now, I wouldn't say she's been REALLY down--like wheelchair and feeding pump down--but medium down. Does that make sense? It's the drooling and staring kinda down. No biggy.

But it's kinda funny. When she's having good days, she's can be so NAUGHTY! I'm not joking! Like yesterday, I told her specifically to pick up her blocks. Now, don't bark at me here, I KNEW she could handle the task. She was doing well and comprehending plenty of other things, so I wasn't asking her to do something unreasonable for her current condition. And just to prove it to you, this is how she replied to me:

"I don't want to."

I don't WANT to? Ummmmm. Sorry, dear. That don't FLY in Mama's house!

So, yeah, she got her share of punishments yesterday. Just like a normal kid. If she didn't go to bed so early normally, I probably would've put her to bed early too! She was talking back all afternoon! HA! Ya gotta love it.....Keeps me on my toes....


And speaking of toes, I've got a few up we SPEAK. Sigh. Discomfort is at an all time high these days. But I've only got 2 and a half weeks until D-Day (which means, "due day", and not "delivery day" necessarily). The baby seems to be doing very well in all aspects. Anyone wanna take a stab at the gender? Y'all can vote for what you think it is. We don't know yet, so it'll be a surprise for all of us. And in case you think this has anything to do with it, the heartbeat has been consistently in the 130s. My midwife doesn't subscribe to that "tale", but it's a constant, just the same. And no, I'm not carrying any differently than with ANY of the others--male or female. So there you have it. Have fun guessing!

And if you REALLY wanna have a go of it, feel free to leave me some name suggestions! We have names, per se, but I'm not stuck on any of them. It gets a whole lot harder to do the name thing the more kids you have. And I've sorta put myself into a pickle with the fact that most of my names follow a pattern of some sort. Like, all 3 of the boys have Biblical names. Not common Biblical names, mind you, like John or Paul. But the more unused ones. So naming a potential 4th son is not very easy, you see. Because we can't just feel right about naming him "Trenton", or something trendy like that with all his brothers fitting into a different mold. Same with the girl name. Both of my girls have more classical sounding names. (I don't care what anyone says, "Michaela" is a very OLD name.) I don't think a girl with the moniker, "Jordyn" would fit very you? Not that I like that name, but, well, you get the point.


Housecoat=Robe. Robe=Housecoat. Yankee term=Southern term, and vice versa. Ok, now that we have that straight....

I was making my kids breakfast one morning recently. It was nice actually, because my kids mostly eat cereal these days (due to my HIGH lack of motivation to do anything AT ALL). But we were out of milk or cereal or something in that equation, and they had to eat. So I fixed them a hot breakfast. I was feeling very "Martha Stewart"-ish. We had eggs, sausage, toast, and oranges. Pretty rounded. Pretty.....pretty! It was like IHOP without the stainless steel napkin holders!

But unlike the sous chefs of the illustrious International House of Pancakes, I was wearing my robe (housecoat). And, no, I'm not talking a "moo-moo". Yes, I have one of those, and Yes, I think it's a great addition to my morning wardrobe even IF 80-year-old grannies wear them. But, no, I was wearing the BIG, FLUFFY, LONG-SLEEVED robe that I got as a Christmas gift a few years back. In case you can't picture it, it's a lot like those ones they put models for hot tubs in. You know.....those big white fluffy things? That's what I've got. Except MINE is Midnight Blue.....OH YEAH. WAS midnight blue. Now? Not so much....

See, because I was being a good Suzy Housewife and cooking eggs on my gas stove. On a little omelet pan. With the heat up kinda sorta HIGH. And my sleeves.....

Did you know that flapping your arms like wings when you're ON FIRE, kinda doesn't WORK?

I do.


But alls well, my dear readers. I got myself to the front door and threw that thing off on the concrete porch like a hot potato. And there it smoldered. And went out.

And once my heart stopped beating in the 200 range, I got out my moo-moo. And cooked those kids some eggs. And they ate them. And everything was as it should be.

Except for my big fluffy housecoat. It is now sporting a new hairdo---frosted brown OVER midnight blue.

Oh well. Just goes to show that you can't kill Midnight Blue that easily. It's just THE perfect color!


We recently got our fireplace up and going! It is sooooo nice! We had been putting it off for the longest time because we thought the chimney would be filthy. And we knew enough that you shouldn't start a fire when you have a dirty flue. So, we just couldn't figure out how we were going to get it cleaned to the point of using it. Some older, wiser gentlemen from our church agreed to help us sort it out, but we all got very busy, and it kept getting pushed into the background.

So one day, I was like, "Honey, we've GOT to get this thing up and running! Can't we do something??" And so he tried to tackle it on his own.

He opened up the flue and took a look at what we were getting ourselves into:

Nothing. No dirt whatsoever.

The chimney was the equivalent of "squeaky clean!" Hooray!

And just to be safe, we bought some powder stuff that you put into the fire to help remove any residue off the walls, if indeed there WAS some there. So all the bases were covered. We went out and picked up some firewood that day, and now my husband is an official "Pyromaniac."

But I love it. Total ambiance! There's nothing like that real wood smell, sound, and feel. We're all enjoying it immensely. It just makes the house feel "magical" and comfy. Just to turn off all the lights, have some Christmas music in the background, and a cup of hot chocolate in our hands on these insanely cold nights. Ahhhhh....

You need to come on over and "sit a spell"'ll love it.


Oh! THIS one gets my goat! I can't even go into it too much, because it just gets me all riled up. But let's just say that my insurance company gave me every indication that Michaela's CUSTOM (ie: unreturnable) wheelchair was PAID FOR----IN FULL, and yet they are NOW retracting that notion. They are saying that the cost of the wheelchair exceeded my benefit level. ARGGHHHH!

Oh, there's WAY more info here that I could be giving out, but I won't. It's just too much for my mind to wrap around right now. I've got a baby due in 2+ weeks, and I just don't need to be dealing and arguing with insurance companies right now. Oh, how about NEVER? I don't EVER want to have to be dealing with junk like this!

Haven't I had to fight enough this year? Sigh.

In case you were wondering, MY "portion" of the wheelchair bill is (cough) over 2K (cough, cough).....(HACK)....

...Yeah, the wheelchair that was SUPPOSED TO BE COVERED.

Ok, need a new topic....


On to happier things! Our vacation was flat out SMOOTH! Just tops. I can't say enough wonderful-ish type things about it. We just had FUN. Pure, "adult"-erated (as opposed to un-adult-erated!) fun!

But we didn't have a cabin....:( We couldn't seem to snatch one before they were all taken up. Thanksgiving weekend seems to be pretty popular in the Smokies, and not only were A TON of cabins booked, but the ones that weren't were WAAAAYYYYY overpriced (compared to the following weekend!). Or they wanted us to stay 4 nights instead of the 3 we could. Either way, it was a no-go. I was sooooo bummed, to say the least.

However, a dear friend happened to have a coupon to a really nice hotel that she wasn't going to use. I figured it was worth a shot to see if we could get a nice room, at least (hey, we had to stay SOMEWHERE!). And we did. A REALLY nice room! It was a "King" suite, which of course means that it had a king-sized bed, but it also had 2 other things that made it "Sweet": a jacuzzi tub IN THE ROOM, and a fireplace IN THE ROOM. Ooo-La-La! Va-ree Niiiiiice! It was clean, and spacious, and just down the hall from the Continental breakfast buffet, which was very good as well. An all around 5 star accommodation, in my opinion. I think I liked it better than staying in the cabin! Just because of the housekeeping and breakfast. Can you say "Fresh Towels?"

We did a lot of shopping while we were there. They had outlet shops EVERYWHERE. It worked out well for us to be able to get a good portion of our Christmas shopping done. Sure, I had to sit down a lot and take plenty of breaks, but it was so fun to not be on a time schedule. We didn't have to worry about getting back for the babysitter. Poor Chris ended up being a sort-of pack horse, but he didn't seem to mind that much. Needless to say, our feet were KILLING us by the time we were done. awful! We had to fill up the jacuzzi! Such hardships we endured!

We also took the time to see some of the shows and attractions, and that was cool as well. Very family oriented area, and there wasn't much we had to turn our heads at. Which is always a bonus.

I told Chris that we'd be fools to not do this again. Soon. Like as soon as #6 is weaned. It was a learning experience-----that we just HAD to do more "alone time." It really helped us click. And we weren't feeling so worn-down when we got home. Just mentally rejuvenated, and feeling like a couple....

....not a couple with a half-dozen kids. I think that's important. At least SOME of the time.


So there you have it. My past few weeks in a nutshell. Now, I'm just getting ready for the baby. Finishing putting together Christmas gifts. Trying to keep my mind off of labor. Of which, I thought I was NEVER doing again. Oh well.....such is life.

(and if you find any "ou"s instead of "you"s in this post....well, you were warned! I'm not responsible for it! LOL!)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Hope y'all think this is as cute as I did! Enjoy your time with your families and friends.....and if you can, DO go on a Sleigh Ride or two......;)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Shave And A Haircut

In my boys' case, it's the same thing!

Now that Asher is a full-fledged boy (as opposed to a curly headed baby), we found that going to the barber to get haircuts was getting a bit pricey. $8-$9 a head when you've got four heads to remodel every month is just more than I wanted to spend. I mean, that's almost $40! And you KNOW I could find something nicer to do with $40 bucks!

So, Chris took it upon himself to start giving every male-child (including himself) their monthly workout. He had done his own head a couple of times in the past to save us a few bucks, but he really hadn't done much with the boys. For some reason, their hair doesn't grow as fast as his does, and so we could get by with not cutting theirs for far longer.

Unfortunately, my dear hubby is quite picky about his coif, and will only have it a certain way---military flat-top style. He's had this haircut since his junior year in HIGH SCHOOL. I must say, it suits me far better than the alternative. He just doesn't look right with longer hair. And now that it's been, oh, 15 years or so of the same style, his head won't tolerate the change. Everytime we try to do something a little different, and grow it out a bit, he ends up looking like a Q-tip. Yeah, not appealling.

So, since he's had to do it in the past, cutting his hair wasn't a big deal. BUT, cutting the boys' seemed to present a whole different ball game. They like to have their hair like their Daddy's, and that's fine, but as we all know, it's different doing something with someone else's hair, even though you do it with your own. He couldn't seem to get it right. Either they would end up with a bald spot somewhere, or an uneven patch somewhere else. He became increasingly frustrated each time he would try. And the boys.......well, they looked a little haphazard.

So I felt is was my turn to take a shot at it. Not that I had any CLUE what I was doing, but I figured I couldn't do a WORSE job.......

Well, I'm happy to report that it didn't go so bad the first time I tried it. The boys looked decent and presentable. It wasn't a style they would've picked out, but it was clean and shorter and nice. I mainly used scissors to do it because I was too scared to use the buzz clippers. But as you can probably tell, NOT using clippers means that the hair is longer, and therefore gets shaggy a lot quicker. Like, two weeks quicker. That was annoying. I had to psych myself into cutting their hair the first time, and now I had to do it again?!? Arggghhhhh!

So I was determined to use those clippers this time. I chose the second shortest setting on the sides and back, and the fourth shortest for the top. Making sure the border from one to the other was something I was concerned about. I didn't want it to look like they had a bowl of hair on the top of their scalp. Nor did I want them to have "scalloping" on the sides of their head!

And for the second time EVER cutting hair, I think it came out pretty good! I may be able to refine my technique a little the more I do it, but this is the tyoe of haircut I like on my boys, and I was actually able to do a really good job!

Well, at least I wouldn't have asked for my money back if the barber did a job like this.....

Poor Ashey looks a little bald, but I honestly did the exact same thing with him as I did with the other two. He just has really light colored hair!

Not bad for savin' myself a few bucks, eh?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's An 8, Ladies And Gentlemen!

So, I know you all have been waiting for me to post about my trip.

As have I.

But I have this little annoying situation called a "sinus infection" that is really getting me down.

Let me rephrase that: A BIG ANNOYANCE.

This is one of the most painful illnesses that I have ever had. I will sometimes suffer from migraines, and those are horrific, but this is pretty close. The right side of my face is feeling as though it IS having a migraine---stabbing pain that just won't quit. It seems to scoff at Tylenol AND Advil, no matter what dosage I try. Oh, and forget bending over. My face just throbs and kills all the more. Same thing with sitting up from laying down: shooting pain.

I've never had a sinus infection before, and I'm very glad for it. My deepest condolences to those of you who have experienced this more than once! My particular version is affecting my cheek area and all the bones associated. Like my teeth. And around my eye. But I hear that it can also go across your nose and into your forehead. Uh uh. No thank you. I'll be grateful that I'm only dealing with the lower regions.

So, this is my newest addition to my pain scale:

On a scale of 1 to 10:

8-sinus infection
9-migraine headache

Oh, which reminds me: A couple more days and I'll be at 36 weeks. That's right folks, only 4-6 more weeks to go until this baby makes it's grand entrance (and throws me into another episode of #10 scale pain).

4-6??? You say?

Yeah, didn't I tell you? I haven't gone early once yet. I've gone as long as 11 days late. The only time I had a baby before my due date, was when I was induced. That was a mess, and I won't do it again willingly. If I'm left to myself, they all come late. Usually only 2-4 days late, but late just the same. No biggy. I'll put off that "10" for a little while longer.

Right now, I'm just trying to get through this "8"......

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Oh Ye Of Little Understanding

Noah: "So, Mom, when is it that we're going to the Smokies?"


Just hate to bust the poor thing's bubble like that....hehehehehe ;P

Friday, November 03, 2006

Tin and Aluminum

Traditional and modern.

These are supposedly the types of gifts you're supposed to get when you're celebrating your 10th anniversary. So, that would mean, if you're old-fashioned and you want to give a gift to someone who, say, will be celebrating said 10th anniversary, then you would want to pick out something like a tin decorative plate.

Or a tin can. That would work too.

And if you consider yourself to be the thoroughly modern millie type, then you might be more inclined to giving something like bakeware.

Or some Reynolds foil. Still qualifies.

Either way, you would be totally going against the grain if you gave something like, say, wood.

Because that's what you're supposed to give for someone's 5th anniversary. Something wooden.
No matter if you're traditional OR modern, it's the same.....wood. You would want to give them something like a bookshelf, or one of those cool and trendy wooden door mats.

But you wouldn't give them tin or aluminum.

See how this works? There's a method, here people. There's an acceptable way of doing things. A socially acceptable methodology. It's easy. It's predictable. Don't complicate it. Take out the guesswork and just let yourself be guided in these matters. That would be my advice.

At least if you asked me two days ago.


But, you know, it's always kinda nice when someone doesn't take your advice, or even "go with the flow," and it works in your favor. Like, for instance, if your husband thought it would be nice to get you that doormat on your first anniversary, instead of the newspaper he's supposed to. Or a bookshelf instead of a book. I mean, that's really nice! Who would complain about that?

Not I, says Kelly, not I.

And such is the way with my anniversary this year. It would be my 10th. 10 years. That's huge. I mean that's a loooooong time. That's the same as the difference between a 10-year-old and a 20-year-old! 2nd grade and 12th grade!

Saints alive! That's a crazy amount of timeage there!

Not to mention the 5, almost 6 little humans that have come to be somewhat acceptable members of society since then. That's nothing to sneeze at. Apple computers started with 2 guys......I've got 6 people here to invent stuff!

(Oh, and believe-you-me, they are practicing.....big time......ahem)

Back to the point:

So we'll be celebrating 10 years of marriage on the 23rd (yes, I know, it's Thanksgiving Day. Thanks for reminding me that I'm sharing such a wonderful occasion with a dead turkey and acorn squash--ick.). It was a really pretty day back then. Slightly chilly, but nothing my grandmother's fur couldn't handle. We got married around 4:30 pm in a candlelight ceremony, and it was spectacular. Short, sweet and to the point. I have oodles of pictures of practically every moment until we left the reception. People still tell us how much of a memorable wedding it was.

And thank God, we're still together to cherish such commentary.

So, I told Chris that we really needed to do something for such a momentous occasion. There had been plenty of anniversaries where we simply went out to eat, or even just exchanged cards. Which is fine, really, when it's your 3rd anniversary. Or your 7th. But the, you really don't skimp on a number like that!

And in my mind, there needed to be a good helping of aloneness involved in whatever we decided to do. I mean, a SERIOUS amount of aloneness.

More than just the typical, "you're snoring over there and I'm reading over here while the kids sleep" kinda aloneness.

I was talking more like, "different time zone from the kids" kinda aloneness. Yeah, THAT kind.

However, when you've been married 10 years, and you have 5 almost 6 kids, and you just bought a house, the funds for previously mentioned aloneness adventures isn't always there. That's just a fact of life.

So you get creative. And I felt as though I had come up with the perfect little get-a-way for the Slug-Killer and me. It involves camping, food, fun, and plenty of aloneness. All for the incredible price of.....

Not much! HoooAhhhh!

Not that there was going to be any frills, mind you. I mean, "camping" and "extravagance" just don't meet in the middle. But that was ok. You don't try to dwell on what you can't have, ya know? Not that we didn't look into it. See if it wasn't plausible. Possible. Pinch here, finagle there. Yet, it didn't look good. No big deal.

But frills would be niiiiiiiice.....

Especially when it's your 10tthhththththth


So when my Mom called yesterday, and we were catching up, I was mentioning our plans. Because I'm really excited about this "getting away" expedition. Because we'll be ALONE. Yeah!

And I commented on the frills aspect, and how just out of reach it would be for us, because she's my MOM, and girls tell their MOM stuff like that. And I promise you, it was INNOCENT!

But her, being the Mom she is, thought, "Well, how 'bout your Dad and I help you splurge on some frills? For an anniversary gift?"

Well, I'll tell you people, first off, you don't have a Mom and Dad half as wonderful as I do. It's not possible. Secondly, if you live near my Mom and Dad, and you're reading this, PLEASE give them a big hug from me and Chris!

Because THIS is the little frill we're now able to enjoy:

It's called "Alone in the Woods"......(ALONE! In the WOODS! And we're not even camping! Hehehehehehe!)

Do you even THINK that I'm gonna complain about our 10th anniversary gift being made of WOOD?!?!?

Not I, says Kelly, not I!

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Horse is A Horse

Of Course, Of Course

Unless that horse is a Charlie Horse.

Of which, I had one just last night, and YEOW! Do those things HURT!


For all you young women, unmarried women, or unwomen types, let me just help you with this little anecdote regarding pregnancy: leg cramps are a pain in the neck!

Errr....LEG, that is.

It is a common occurance in the gestational months. For some reason, if your calcium levels get a little low, the muscles in your legs---specifically the calf muscles---pitch a fit. And this seems to happen a lot at night. You'll be sleeping, finally, and not getting up to go to the bathroom for the 5th time, and not tossing and turning, and the baby-to-be has finally ended their gymnastics routine, and all of a sudden......


That leg just starts screaming. And YOU start screaming. And your husband runs for his gun.

OK, well, SOME husbands might...


I had been suffering with leg cramps yesterday evening. They were "pre-charlie horse" leg cramps. Like, you could tell it was coming, but it wasn't that bad. Just real tight, and I felt as though "Restless Leg Syndrome" must feel just like this. I couldn't keep still. My calves just ached.

The night wore on, and the aching eased a bit as I continued to change positions. I pretty much forgot about it. The legs felt fine.

Until 5 am.

Can't tell you what I was dreaming about. I was pretty much slammed out of sleep to the awful reality that my calf muscles had set off a bomb in the subway system of my lower leg.

But my husband, my sweet sweet husband, awoke at the first "AAAAAAA!!" and proceeded to rescue me from my painful predicament. Actually, he didn't exactly wake up, because he's done this so many times in our 9+ years of marriage. He more or less determined the leg of offense and quickly and precisely slammed his fist into a pressure point on the bottom of my foot. This stopped the pain immediately. To which I fell back down on the pillow, panting, grateful for a husband who uses his fist for something other than anger.

I'm not quite sure how he did it, but he figured out this little maneuver back when I was pregnant the first time, with Michaela. Back then, I got these "bombs" every night. And Chris is now a pro, 6 kids later. He can perform this in his sleep. To which, I'm thankful, because MAN! those suckers HURT!

So ladies, if you find your pregnant self plagued by visits from a horse named Charlie, be sure to have YOUR husband ask MY husband about that little trick.

Oh, and don't forget to drink your milk.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Felbamate Drinks Straight From the Jug

So, I told Chief today at our routine appointment, that Chris and I feel as though the Honeymoon is over.

The Felbamate honeymoon, that is.

That period of time after starting a new drug where everything just works, and life is going great again.

Where we, as parents, tend to think, "Maybe we finally found it...." The Super Drug. The trump card. The Holy Grail of pharmacology.

The one.

And then.....real life hits, and Felbamate is starting to leave the seat up on the commode.


You see, with that new beginning, that special time, that wonderful bliss called a honeymoon, no one sees the problem areas. No one minds the little nuances and irritations that accompany a new relationship. You're too much in love. Enjoying a whole new concept in life. Focusing in on all the really awesome things that is your "better half."

And really, sometimes those problem areas really aren't there to begin with.

But time moves on, and both parties relax.

And true colors come out.

Such is life with Felbamate.


We have since discovered, in the 8 months that Michaela has been "married" to this drug, that Felbamate has it's annoying habits like "everyone" else:

The smelly socks in the middle of the living room floor.
Squeezing the tube from the middle.
Leaving lights on in every room.
Drinking straight from the milk jug.

Granted, it was the longest honeymoon we think she's ever enjoyed. Probably about 6 months or so. 6 months of pure bliss. It was just awesome. Felbamate was what you would call a perfect gentleman.

But, as time went on, those little irritations became more prevalent. More noticeable. And they wouldn't go away as quickly as they once had. I guess you could say it was a matter of predictability. Where we once could understand what was going on with her, and even almost "time it", we're now in the dark most every day. Wondering how she's going to respond that day. Function that day. Need that day.

Her condition will even tend to change from hour to hour. At one point in the day, she'll be playing with some blocks, chatting with her sister. Come back an hour later, and she's a zombie; drooling profusely, non-vocal, mindless.

Felbamate is just not the partner we thought it was.


Don't worry, though. We're not getting all bent out of shape over the Slob that is Michaela's latest beau. As you may have already guessed--we're used to it. I guess the problem in the past revolved around how to handle it in a practical way. She would slump, and we didn't know how to adapt to this newly minted handicapped child. One day she's fine, and the next she's an invalid? It really rocked our world. But now, it's not like that. We have most anything we would need at our fingertips: all the medical equipment and prescriptions (like special formula) and home help one could ask for. And if we find that something else is needed (like the shower chair I needed the other day), help is only a phone call away (or email, right Chief?).

Yet, we suspect, that in the near future, Michaela will end up dropping Felbamate like a celebrity marriage. Here today, gone tomorrow. And take on another suitor. Not that I'm pro-divorce. Let's make that clear. But it's not my life, and it's not my brain. It's Michaela's. And her brain can't handle super drugs with bad habits. Or so it seems.

(But if you ask me, and I believe Chief would concur, I think Michaela's brain is the unfaithful party in this relationship...)

Ahhh, well, Felbamate. It was a great honeymoon just the same. You'll make a perfect match for someone someday.

Sure wish it were Michaela.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's All in The Torso

Things are coming along these days in the gestating department. To see me, you'd think that there was a baby due any day now. But that's just the way things are with me. What I lack in stature, I make up for in area:

As in "Woman of Som-aria"

That would be me.

I've got the whole basketball thing going. The heartburn's here to stay. The back is permanently out of whack. My favorite sleeping position has moved to China and won't be back until after the holidays. My "friend" Dub L. Chin is an annoying and unwanted guest, but how can you kick him out when he supplies the chocolate for my every craving??

Cletus the Fetus, meanwhile, is having a swimmingly good time. She/he is perfecting their backstroke. Literally. My sciatic nerve tells me so.

And I am convinced that these new (yet unquestionably familiar) symptoms are mainly a byproduct of the fact that I'm short. Under 5'4", to be exact. There's simply no place for the baby to go but out, and up on occasion. The same goes for the excess chunk I seem to pack on whenever there's a new Morris cooking. It's all par for the course.

But sometimes I just wish I were taller.

Something makes me think that if I were only a tad bit more endowed in the height department, then perhaps the whole "pregnancy thing" would be a bit easier on me.

For starters, I wouldn't get asked if I'm overdue when I'm only 6 months along.

And I'm thinking no one would think me pregnant when my baby is 6 months old.

That would be a nice perk.

Yet, I'm a short, chunky kinda gal, and we short chunky gals just kinda carry babies like this. (which totally avoids the point that many of us are only "like this" because we've carried babies!) When your torso is only 12 inches long, where else are you going to stuff a 20 inch baby??

Do the math. It ain't pretty.


So, I'm am hanging in there though. Thanks for asking. I AM ready for this to all be over with. I still have about 3 months to go, unfortunately. On one hand, I'm thinking that the holiday season falling during my third tri-mester is going to be a good thing. A mind distracting event. Always good for getting through pregnancy. But, on the other hand, it's not terribly easy to engage in such festivities when the "barge-factor" is in effect.


I just gotta get through this ONE more time. Just one. more. time.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I Scream, You Scream

In case you can't read it, this is the promotional poster for an Ice Cream Social on Thursday night at Cold Stone Creamery.

You can get free ice cream.

You can donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

You can hang out with us and our family.

You can scream.........if you're outside.

Thursday, September 28th, from 5-8 pm, at your closest Cold Stone Ice Cream Parlor (ours is in Jones Valley). Come on out if you can, and support a great cause!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Heartburn Humiliation

Fortunately, I don't have to deal with nausea too much when I'm pregnant. At least, not like some women do. I generally have "all day sickness", as opposed to "morning sickness", and I've hardly ever actual lost my breakfast (or the most recent meal). It just kinda comes for a little bit, and then leaves. On and off throughout the day, for the first 3 months or so. No harm, no foul.

I suppose if I had to deal with very troublesome nausea, I probably wouldn't have allowed myself to get pregnant as often as I have. Partially because, I'm the type of person who would rather feel sick all day and NOT throw up, then throw up and feel better. I hate puking. With a passion. Not that other people do, per se, but I just can't handle it at all. Period. Hate, hate, hate.

Yet, I have this other problem that just makes life miserable for me when I'm pregnant:


It's just flat out bad. I get it starting in the second trimester (after the all-day-nausea has passed; what great timing) until the day I've given birth. Sometimes I think that it's because the baby is high, but it still comes after the baby drops. So forget that theory. It's just plain ol' misery. Mainly because it hurts like a dickens AND makes you feel like vomiting. How pleasant is that?

So, I live off of Tums. Extra Strength. Berry flavored, specifically. Yum. I tell ya, those things work like a charm. I have used this brand and this flavor for every. single. pregnancy. I used to eat them like candy when I was pregnant with Michaela. I wasn't used to heartburn--don't know that I'd ever had it before, and it was horrid that first time. I'm more used to it now, but I still go through the Tums. Besides, they have calcium. And they taste good. Don't knock it till ya've tried it!

Unfortunately, I don't carry "Candy of Comfort" with me. You'd think I'd understand this by now--this fact that heartburn hits at all times of the day. But since it hits hardest at night, I keep the bottle on my bedside table, where I can reach it in a hurry. After 6 pregnancies, I just haven't figured out that I need to pack some in my purse for those other times when it's just as annoying, and downright painful.

This lack of preparedness became a problem Wednesday night.

I was at church. I had been dealing with the problem since before dinner. However, I got into my "getting ready for church" groove, and I wasn't thinking about it too much. It was generally mild in comparison to some times, so I all but forgot about it.

Yet, when you're sitting in church, and your world slows down a bit, that raging fire starts roaring loud. Ouch.

So I'm thinking, "Gotta do something about this." I decide that if I eat something, perhaps it will neutralize the acid issue. The nursery workers always bring snacks for the toddlers, so I went there to grab a couple of crackers, thinking that would help.

If only.

Nope. Not the solution. And yet, I DO realize that if I go back to my seat and sit down, I'm gonna be even more uncomfortable. Simply because I'm short, and this already high-as-a-kite baby is not helping my throat feel any better. The idea is to remain standing and hope it goes away. So I stand in the back of the auditorium, trying to pay attention despite my predicament.

Advice: If you DON'T have heartburn, and you're standing in the back of the church, make sure to make a mental note of where the light switches are, so you don't hit them by accident.

Advice: If you DO have heartburn, and you're standing in the back of the church, make sure to completely forget where the light switches are, and turn off the lights in the middle of your Pastor's sermon.

The embarrassment is an instant cure. It's proven. Recently.

It sure didn't help my humiliation that at the exact moment I hit the switch, he was saying, "It's good for us to just stand back and take our hands off....."

Fade to dark.

To which he just kept going, "OR maybe I should say, DON'T stand back......" while he's turning the lights back on from where he is.

You gotta know that every wonderful and decent human being in that place promptly turned around to find the culprit.

Which would be ME.

And I can honestly say that the fire in my throat proceeded to invade my entire head, and the all-but-unembarrassable Kelly was horribly humiliated. I was all shades of red. Or vermillion. Or crimson. Take your pick.

But MAN, it sure did help the heartburn.

Too bad you can't put THAT in a Tums bottle!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


(Heather did this, and it sounded like fun.......)

Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About ME:

1. I am French and Irish.
2. I am third generation American.
3. My birthday is on January 27th, and I've always hated that it was so close to Christmas!
4. My earliest memory is from a huge blizzard when I was only 2.
5. I am the first grandchild on my mother's side.
6. I am the oldest of 3 children.
7. I was the only child for almost 7 years.
8. I have 2 brothers and no sisters.
9. Both of my brothers are over 6 feet.
10. I am 5'3".
11. Before I was married, I lived in 5 different houses; all but one in the same city.
12. Since I've been married, I've lived in 6 homes in 2 cities and 2 states. Three in each.
13. I played 3 sports: soccer, softball, and basketball.
14. My favorite positions were: goalkeeper, first base, and point guard.
15. My softball nickname was "Scoop." Scoop Shaughnessy--catchy, eh?
16. My hair was VERY short for much of my growing up years.
17. I've been wearing glasses/contacts since I was in the 3rd grade.
18. I've had bifocals.
19. I was a tomboy growing up.
20. My Dad once bought me a slingshot, and it was my prized possession for many years.
21. I think I still have it.
22. My Mom bought me 8 pairs of jeans for school one year, and I got holes in the knees of all of them.
23. I love the water.
24. I almost drowned when I was 7. My Dad saved my life.
25. I've always loved animals.
26. I had a stuffed bear and a blanket as a child, and I still have them in my bedside table.
27. I LOVE Legos, even to this day.
28. I played the violin, the string bass, and the guitar when I was in school.
29. I've played on a Stradivarius violin, arguably the best made violin in the world. The person who loaned it to me is a felon!
30. One of my closest, dearest, and bestest friends has been so since we were 8.
31. I USED to have an IQ of 142. I think I'm in the 130s now.
32. I love math. I'm only average at it.
33. I hate English. I'm pretty good at it though.
34. Science is probably my favorite subject, and thankfully, I'm good at it.
35. I also like law.
36. I love art. I almost went to art school.
37. I was a crayola crayon for Halloween one year.
38. I have never broken a bone (unless you count the toe).
39. I've never had surgery.
40. I've been badly bit by a dog.
41. My grandfather hardly ever called me by my real name. He always called me "Murphy".
42. I've always considered nicknames terms of endearment.
43. I wouldn't eat broccoli, cheese, or green peas growing up. But I eat all of them now.
44. My favorite food growing up was Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. It's still my favorite.
45. I love Chinese food.
46. I love growing flowers and such. But I usually kill them.
47. My first car was a Ford Tempo Piece O' Junk (it's only redeeming factor was that it was blue)
48. Oh, yeah, my favorite color is midnight blue. Hunter green is a close second.
49. I am analytical to a fault.
50. I am extremely opinionated, but I try to keep that to myself (I said I TRY!)
51. I am not competitive, but I love a good game.
52. I am a Scrabble fanatic.
53. I love acting and the theatre.
54. I wish I could be paid to do it.
55. The only decent role I've ever had, I played the devil as a teenage boy (the short hair came in handy).
56. I've been out of the country once--to Canada.
57. I love to travel.
58. I've always loved kids.
59. Before I got married, I wanted 6 kids---2 girls and four boys.
60. Michaela was conceived on my honeymoon. I was 19.
61. I named her after my dearest cousin growing up--Michael.
62. My name was supposed to be "Sarah". My Mom changed it on my Dad at the last minute, after I was born.
63. I've never had a miscarriage, thankfully.
64. I've never bottle-fed a baby.
65. I had a friend with epilepsy growing up. Chris almost dated her.
66. Chris is the only man I've ever kissed (ok, my Dad and brothers don't count!)
67. I never smoked.
68. I've been offered drugs, but have never even seen any, nevermind used them (now, I HAVE smelled it)
69. I love frugal and homemade things. I think I should've been a homesteader.
70. I'm a sucker for a big rope hammock!
71. I'm not the best at cooking, but I like to do it at my leisure. Especially baking.
72. I make my own butter for fun.
73. I'm a Sesame Street connoisseur.
74. I LOVE a good practical joke!
75. I wanted to fly an F-14 Tomcat with the US Navy when I was a kid. I had posters of planes all over my walls (you would've thought it was a boy's room!)
76. My favorite flower is the Purple Lilac (the NH state flower, actually)
77. I'm a conservative republican, but I'm not a follower. If it interests me, I'll research all the options.
78. I love laughter, even if it's at my own expense.
79. I like camping, rafting, canoeing and fishing.
80. I went to college before I graduated from high school (for nursing).
81. I hate roller coasters.
82. I love fried dough.
83. I once "ran away" from home. For 2 hours.
84. I am very hard to offend.
85. I am very often misunderstood.
86. I "put my foot in my mouth" on a regular basis, much to my chagrin.
87. I use words like "chagrin" a lot.
88. I love the sound and smell of freshly fallen snow.
89. I hate to spend a lot of money, unless I can consider it an investment.
90. I've gotten stuck in quicksand (actually, it was quickmud)
91. 4 of my kids (including this baby-to-come) were born in a tub of water; 3 of them at home.
92. I have a low tolerance for pain.
93. I cannot ice skate to save my life. But I can ski.
94. I like things neat and tidy, but I don't necessarily care if they're clean.
95. I like true stories. Can't get into most fiction.
96. I make up words and use them regularly.
97. I am hopelessly gullible.
98. I talk too much, but I'm working on it.
99. The weirdest thing I ever wanted to eat was applesauce and spanish olives. And yes, I was pregnant.
100. My friend from #30 is always accusing me of giving Too Much Information.

Do you think I do?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Not Sick, and Obviously Not Blogging

So, I'm not sick anymore, and actually haven't been for quite some time now. In fact, I'm probably so far removed from that last sickness, that I'm due for another one (see previous post for reason why).

But I'm not blogging either, and this disturbes me. Mainly because I WANT to, but I can't.


My brain is fried. Flat out fried. I cannot write.

I feel like a zombie so much of the time, that I don't know how to put 2 words together it seems. My kids are even picking on me for messing up my words. I can't really tell you why it's like this. Because I'm pregnant? Because we started homeschooling? Am I not getting enough sleep? Beats me. But my brain is mush, and as much as I've tried, I cannot de-mush it.

I'm surprised I'm functioning as much as I am.

You know, perhaps it's my own fault here. Well, no, it MUST be my own fault. I am too much of a perfectionist and simply cannot just post for no good reason. Or without a readable story. Or just to say "hi." It's not my style, I guess, but that's only because I've molded my little blog here into that. Perhaps, if I felt as though I could just write a paragraph, a little something, then you would've heard from me a lot more.

But I can't seem to make myself do it.

This post in itself is a case-in-point. Wasn't this supposed to be quick? Yup.

Didn't come out that way, huh?

Also, I hadn't started this blog until November of last year, and so I'm thinking that this could just be a seasonal thing. Like, this time of year just isn't good for me. I'm not in a school routine yet. I have no doubt I will be by November, and more than likely even earlier than that. But I didn't realize that Aug/Sept would be bad blogging months. I've never blogged in Aug/Sept. before. Good to know for the future.

And I've never blogged while pregnant either. Now, now, you men don't be brushing me off on this. Ask any pregnant woman what it's like to keep your mind while you're gestating and they'll all tell you the same thing: Mind O' Mush. Not possible. It's a strange phenomenon, I'll grant you, but don't dismiss it. Don't knock it less you've tried it, in other words. And since you men can't wear these shoes, well, then, you'll just have to take my word for it. My blogging capacity speaks for itself.

But no matter WHAT it is, I'm not blogging much. And like I said, I WANT to. In fact, I had two posts within this past week that I wanted to write. Couldn't just sit and do it. Oh, I've been READING plenty, commenting a bunch, just not writing.

Yet, don't count me out so soon. I'm not shutting down or anything. I'm just not.......something. Guess it doesn't really matter "why" or "what". And with the length of this post, you'd think I was flat out lying about the whole "mush for brains" schpeal, but I'm telling ya, it's my problem right now.

The fact that I wrote something this long is surely gonna take me out for another couple of weeks or more......

You just can't expect much out of a fried mush brain, it seems.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Kelly The Sickly Preggo

Yup. That would be me. I considered doing an audio post so I didn't have to type stuff out, but none of you would've recognized me. And I would've squeaked half the time. Or grunted. Or coughed. Or hacked. One of the four.

But sympathy would've abounded.

Hmmmmm.......maybe that audio thing isn't such a bad idea....


I can't tell you why this happens to me, but it always does. I am rarely sick as a general rule. Until I'm pregnant. Then I'm ALWAYS sick.

Don't ask me why.

Congestion, running--NO POURING--nose, hacking cough (which makes me feel like vomiting), sneezing, and jaw bones that feel as though I've been punched from letting my mouth hang open constantly. You know, so I can BREATHE.

Any of you doctor types that read this should let me know what the deal is. Well, not that it matters anyways....

I'm not doing this again.

In about 4 months, Kelly The Sickly Preggo will have officially "left the building."

It's days like these that make me excited for the next phase of my life.

You know, the phase where I stop looking bloated and I can take NyQuil whenever I want.

Ahhhh...let it be, let it be.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to Me

It's been an interesting past month (or so) with Michaela. The Felbamate is really helping, and we are amazed that she's done this well for this long. Chief seems to be too. Like, every time we have to discuss something, he mentions how well she's doing. Everybody is just relieved.

No less me, of course.

Yet, for some odd reason, she still has her "down times". We won't change a THING, and she will fall into a slump, a stupor. Drooling comes back, slurred speech, irratic gait, problems eating. It's very strange since this only used to happen when something was tweaked or a dose was forgotten or the drug was wearing off.

But, give her about a week, and the slump passes, and she comes back to life. The drooling subsides, she'll talk up a storm, and walking or eating isn't a problem anymore. Michaela NEVER recovered without the meds being changed in the past.

But now that's changed, and it's all very strange.

But hey, we're not complaining.


However, this past month, the slump lasted longer. The "week" went by, and still no sign of recovery. Two weeks even. I had gotten used to it, but when I thought about how long this was lasting, I was a bit perplexed. Again, we weren't doing anything different, really. Nothing to keep her from bouncing back.

Then three weeks went by. No change.

When things like this happen, you can't help but be a little sad, a bit mournful. Is the honeymoon over? We almost made 6 good months! Is this the end of Felbamate? Why isn't it helping her?

Questions. There's always questions.

Well, at least if you're me.

But I don't expect a whole lot of them to get answered anymore. I'm just rolling with the punches, taking things as they come. Not getting all riled up or upset.

Just accepting the par for the course, I guess.


Today, I awoke to get Michaela up for school. I had passed by the cracked door of her room before I woke her, on my way to do something else. I noticed she was slumped over from the sitting position, her head buried in the blankets.

I know what you're thinking. And no, I wasn't alarmed. She does that all the time.

But she was obviously "out", and I dreaded having to wake her up. She will look and act extrememly lethargic, almost drugged, and getting her dressed is like a wrestling match.

So I went in there a few minutes later, a lo and behold, she was sitting up. Bright eyed, smiling, and talking.

Talking? This early? That clearly?

That hadn't happened for almost a month....

It didn't stop. She talked about a puzzle that was on the toy box, got herself out of bed, raised her arms for a clean shirt.

There wasn't any drooling.

She held her head up so I could brush her hair. She held a conversation. She crossed her legs and looked at a book while she waited for the bus.

It seems as though the slump is over.

Today is her 9th birthday.

Happy Birthday to you, Boo.

A happy birthday for all of us.


6 Months

This Morning...


Happy Birthday Michaela, you are my Sunshine

Monday, August 21, 2006

Don't Sell Yourself Short

I go through THIS scenario a lot:

So if you've ever felt like Eve's friend.....

Don't sell yourself short! YOU would do what you had to do for your child too!

Just like me.

But I WILL say this: if I didn't have God to turn to, I wouldn't have the composure, the joy, and the peace that I have ALL THE TIME. People say that I handle my situation in life well, but I dare say that if I didn't have my Faith, I would be a miserable, cantakerous person during those "hard times". And perhaps, no one would blame me. Yet, because I'm NOT like that, don't think that I'm extraordinary.

I have God. Period.

What do YOU have? How would YOU handle MY situation?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

What They Don't Know COULD Help Them

Today, is Saturday (just in case you hadn't figured it out yet).

Which, to my children, means: DAY OFF.

From school, that is.

But little did they know....


The boys have been singing the praises of Day Off ever since yesterday afternoon. "Hey Caleb! We don't have to do school tomorrow!" Hey, I'm right there with them. I don't mind when the weekend comes either. Not that I don't have anything to do, but not doing school just leaves me open to do something else.

So anyway. This has been the boys' first full week of school, and they were anxious for their break. They lolled around, looked at books in bed, didn't get dressed first thing. And as they were leisurely eating their breakfast, they decided to talk about something:

The octopus.

Don't ask me how they got on that subject. I wasn't really paying attention. Yet, my ears perked up when someone made a particular comment:

"Well, an octopus can't eat a shark, though (as if that child was an expert or something)."

And believe it or not, I knew that that little caveat was NOT correct. An octopus CAN eat a shark. I had actually seen something online recently to that affect. So I piped up:

"Uh guys? I've seen an octopus eat a shark before."

To which they tried to justify such a notion in their mind. A big shark Mama? Not a big shark! It must've been a really big octopus then, Mom!

So I showed them.

It was only a quick Google search. I mean, how many articles/sites talk about "Octopus eats Shark?" And there it was, the video I had seen one day recently.

Instant science class.


Watching that clip ended up sparking a furor of aquatic learning. TONS of questions were asked. And as much as I could answer a good amount of them, I didn't have ALL the answers.

So the trusty "Children's Encyclopedias" came out. There's a whole book dedicated to underwater life. With a chapter on sharks. And a chapter on the octopus.

We learned that sharks vary in size from 6 inches to 60 feet.

That octopi squirt ink and have big heads.

We also went on to learn about flying fish, that only some frogs live in the water, that crawfish will sometimes lose a claw in a fight.

I think Noah ended up reading through the entire book, with Caleb sitting right next to him for most all of it.


I don't think I could've recreated that scenario if I tried.

I mean, my kids LEARNED a ton about underwater life. Completely because they wanted to!

On their DAY OFF!!

(Shhhhhh! Don't remind them!)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Monday, Monday, So Good to Me

Slacker. That would be ME.

Anyways, things have been pretty eventful around here, to say the least. I've been busy doing something everyday this week, and I would've been doing something today, if I weren't sick. Of which, I am.

Hacking cough with a slice of nausea, and a side order of gastrointestinal difficulties. Tums for desert, garnished with Halls Vapo-Action Plus.

Home-made recipe, no doubt.


Let's see, let's see. News.....


OH! Ok, I went to get Michaela on disability on Monday. As opposed to last month, we were well within their income limit. Alright!

Turned out to be a 3 hour project. Thankfully, I was almost completely prepared, and I guess they're not used to that. The woman said the the appointments are generally a lot shorter than 3 hours. But since I had my ducks in a row (in typical ME fashion), she didn't have to send me home witha list of a ton of info to come back with. I only needed 2 things, both of which I could fax to her. Piece o'cake.

Looks like Michaela will get her disability check this time. Which will pay for the van that we needed to get for her. Don't be fooled, just because I like Toyotas and it's a gorgeous midnight blue, doesn't mean we wanted to buy that van. We honestly didn't have a lot of other options.

See, we were originally looking at 12 passenger vans. We had intended on having 6 kids when our old van gave up the ghost (but eventually changed our minds-que sa ra, sa ra!), so we knew we needed a van that could hold 8 people. Suburbans can do this, but they have compromised trunk space because of it, and we had a wheelchair to stick back there. So, ixnay on the uburbanstay.

Which led us to the 12-mahonsious passenger vans. We could take out the back seat and have plenty of room for the wheelchair. Not to mention a stroller, groceries and luggage for various family trips. So, in that way, the van was a "go". We even found one we were seriously considering.

Until we went to test drive it.

There was no way. Those large, heavy-duty vans are waaaaaaaayyyy off the ground. Not only was it going to be back-breaking work trying to get the wheelchair in and out of the back (3 feet off the ground), but there was NO WAY Michaela could get into that van. Even on a good day. Nevermind on the days when we have to all but carry her in.

Which left us with little to no options in the 8-passenger vehicle department.

Remember, we figured we would have 6 kids then.

Good thing we didn't plan on stopping back then, eh?


So, the Toyota van was one of our last options. Besides a mini bus. And yes, I DID look into that.

But, uh, NO.

And overall, the van is AWESOME. Not just because Toyota makes a great van, but because it's really been a great vehicle for Michaela. We had running boards put on the thing, and it's incredibly low to the ground now. So, whether she steps in herself, or we have to place her in, it's not a lot of work.

Not to mention the amazingly large rear storage compartment. They built it into the floor of the van (where a spare tire could've gone), and it's so deep, that the wheelchair can go back there, and I can't even tell it's there from my rearveiw mirror. And I STILL have room for my groceries! WooHoo!

There are other perks too, but I won't continue to bore you with them.

Needless to say, we got a great van.

With a not-so-great sticker price.

At least, for our budget.


But it's been do-able, and overall worth it. Yet, I would be lying if I said I'm not enthusiastic about not having to pay for the thing anymore.

That's what a disability check is for: to provide for the person in ways that are not medical in nature. Like, say, if they need a ramp put in (and you don't have a nice community service program to do it for you). Or you need to expand your bathroom to make it handicapped accessible. That's what the check is for. It's a nice program, really. There are plenty of non-medical type expenses that come up for a disabled person.

Like the time I flew Michaela to NH to see Dr. Holmes. Blue Cross sure wasn't going to pay for that. Yet, it was a big expense.

And we're not generally made of money. Not even because my kids think so.

Imagine that!


Well, that was Monday. And if I wanted to make this post incredibly long, I would go into what we did on Tuesday and Wednesday too, but I don't want to type anymore.

And you don't wanna read anymore.

So, I'll save that for another time.



ps: I should've put some links in this post, but I didn't feel like it. Cuz I'm SICK. And a SLACKER. And the tip jar is empty! ;)

Friday, August 11, 2006


At 9 o'clock this morning I got the phone call from the State:

Michaela's hearing was dismissed in our favor!

The State considers her disabled and she qualifies for services!



No more phone calls, no more late nights over mounds of paperwork, no more testing. I couldn't be more relieved. It has been a very long and tiresome 10 months!

It would've helped if more people would've done their jobs or had been willing to go the extra mile. But, except for a few "good Samaritans" along the way, it was like pulling teeth to get her on this benefit.

It's because of this that I have saved every ounce of beneficial State documentation I got. Every phone number, every contact, every URL that I found that helped. In case someone else has to go through this. Someone who DESERVES to not go through that rigamarole.

I'M gonna be the Good Samaritan next time.

Because parents of sick children just. don't. need. the. hassle.


Thank the Lord!

It's OVER!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Man's Best Friend

And you KNOW there's just nothing like a best friend that won't argue with you (or say you're fat).....

Who can resist those "puppy dog eyes?"

Or that cute little whine?

You won't be "sick as a dog" with this little guy!

And I dare say you'd be in "dog heaven!"


So they're up for grabs now. We ended up with 8 all told. We'll keep one, so that leaves 7.

7 puppies I have to get rid of! Ack!

Not to mention Cassie. We're gonna be moving her on. She needs something we just can't give her. Don't ask me what that is. We just can't seem to get her used to us. Not like Cooper. Not at all.

So, we're going to keep one puppy, and surprisingly, it's NOT the pup I had originally picked out. The one I thought I wanted is still the biggest pup we have (affectionately named "Big Ben"), and he's very cute. However, his tail curls up like an Eskimo dog, and I really don't like that trait.

I know what you're thinking, "You're passing up a dog because of it's tail??"

Actually, I kinda am.

He also has a temperment that I don't want. Now don't get me wrong, it's not a bad temperment, but compared to the pup we ARE going to get, it's different, and we prefer the other dog. See, Big Ben like to be "his own man", and the other pup likes to cuddle.

We like cuddlers.
The one we're going to get doesn't have a name yet, if you ask me. Now, Noah gave him a name, but that one's for the dogs. No, I'm serious. It's bad. For starters, it's not the kind of name you give to a male dog. I won't even tell you what it is, but let's just say, there was a popular girl's toy back in the 80's with the same name.

Yeah. It's THAT bad.

Chris just calls him "spot head" because of the mark on his forehead. I'm sorry, we're not calling our family pet Spot Head---or any other variation. This isn't the World of Dick and Jane.

I really don't think anyone else in this house is qualified enough to name anything. Chris doesn't even really name the kids. I'm serious. If he likes a name, it's usually because I've mentioned it. The one name he DID think of, Libbigail, he made up as a joke! Perfectly good name, and he was joking!

I am the only qualified namer in this family, for sure.

But I don't have one yet. It'll come when it comes. After all the other pups are gone, and I get to see his true colors (instead of brief glimpses in the puppy pile), then we'll find a good name for our new family member.

I'm so glad this little adventure is almost over.

Did you know that 50 pounds of dog food feeds 10 dogs for only like, a week??


Dontcha wanna pick out a puppy? ;)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Reality Bites (Into My Time)

School is upon us.

Michaela goes back in 9 days.

Caleb will be starting school this year for the first time.

I'm frantically trying to get together all my homeschool curriculum without breaking the bank.


Worked long hours to get the Medicaid evidence together.

The paperwork's been at the Capitol for almost a week now.

I DO NOT want to have the hearing in September.

That's less than 2 months away.

And 2 months worth of paychecks.


Chris wants to consider a career change.

It means he'll have to go to school part time if he does it.

I've been deemed the official "look into everything person."


We also want to get a better feel for our house situation.

We will soon have too many kids to live in it comfortably.

Should we expand? Should we sell? Should we just squish?

Again, I've been deemed the official "look into everything person."


I'm 18 weeks pregnant.

I'm tired, nauseated, and having a hard time getting motivated.


Hence the Blogging/Life conflict.

Any questions?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Quick Funny

Michaela's sitting on the couch next to the chair I'm sitting on. She's playing with a deck of flash cards that have letters on them. Asher is determined to get into them, but all he does is bend and mangle the cards.

So she starts thinking it would be fun to drop the cards on the floor, one by one. This, of course, would only make it easier for Ash to get into them. I catch her on the second or third card, and firmly reprimand her as her hand is hovering over the floor....


"Michaela, put the card BACK."

Slowly, but dutifully, she retracts her hand back to the safety of the couch.

Not 20 seconds after she does this, she picks up one of the letter cards and shows it to me....


(You may not know this about Michaela, but she's ALWAYS asking us "Why?")

IQ, Schmy-Q, this girl's SMART!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Return to Eden

Y'all THIS is what Grandpa Adam and Grandma Eve gave up for apples:

These, my friends, are FIGS.

For those of you who have never seen the tree OR the fruit (like yours truly, before I moved here), then you don't know what you're missing. They are AWESOME. Melt in your mouth sweet nectar of Paradise.

We're not talking Fig Newtons here, people.

And honestly? If this property didn't have my huge fig tree on it, I doubt I would've agreed to buy it.

I'm not kidding. I love these things.


So we were out today in the much-less-than-blistering heat to admire our puppies. The tree is located right next to the back porch (where the pups have made their home), and I noticed a good amount of ripe figs dangling from the branches.

All right!

So I recruited the boys to help me get what we could. And we ended up getting a pail full.

The cool thing about fig trees is that they're totally climb-able. The boys had a blast!

I think we'll have a huge crop this year. Perhaps a pail full every week.

.....I'm in Paradise.....

Friday, July 21, 2006

Love Ya Mom!


Right back......atcha........Ash.......

ohhhh, ewwwww

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Southpaw Walking

Ahhhh Asher.

The most rapidly advancing offspring of the bunch (unless you include "Cletus the Fetus", who's astronomical rate of growth is not easily photographed).

His life has taken some growth spurts lately, and thankfully for blogging, you too can enjoy a little part of the little man's life.


Spurt #1: The Haircut

It was to my great pleasure initially that we not only had ONE curly-headed prodigy, but seemingly TWO. Asher's curls appeared to be coming into their own, and although not to the extent of his sister's, they were curls just the same. His head lacked the straight downy fuzz that the other 3 had. It flipped up around the edges and framed his face. And every once in a while, he'd get this "Superman" curl thing going.

Too cute.

Unfortunately, curls turned into nap, and nap turned into tangled mess. Sigh. I was really hoping the hair would cooperate, but my dreams for a curly headed boy were quickly disappearing. Something had to be done. When you have to brush your little boy's hair just to keep it out of his face, you know the time has come.

So my adopted Mom offered to cut it for me, for which I was grateful. First off, I can't cut hair. Secondly, I was not interested in paying upwards of $8 to chop off the equivalent of hair on a half-grown chia pet. No thank you.
So that was Ashey's first haircut. Nothing a little cookie couldn't fix.

Curls, R.I.P.


Spurt #2: Walking

Ever since we went to West Virginia, he's been experimenting with this whole "walking thing". A couple of steps here, a 3-stepper there. We really had big hopes for him to start this whole process sooner, seeing as how he sat up at 4 months and crawled at 6. Waiting another 9 months to hit the next milestone, was not something we anticipated.

He finally put aside his stubborness (and let me assure you, his delay was nothing BUT), and bit the bullet.

So here he is at 15 months. (But he generally hates to be seen walking, so motion pics are sparse)

Finally. Now he won't be wearing out the knees in his church outfits.

(Do you realize how annoying that is??)


Spurt #3: Hand Dominance

It has become very obvious that we have our first left-handed batter residing here. Oddly enough, there isn't but one lefty in either of our families, that I can think of. Unless, of course, you go back a few generations. And then I have no clue how many right-brained relatives we have.

Speaking of right-brained, Asher is also showing his propensity for music. He sings.


He sounds just like an opera singer.

Is Pavarotti left handed too?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Kelly's World: Rule #247

Bathing your two neediest children while you bathe yourself is NOT a lesson in efficiency. It is just plain stupid.


Saturdays are the days when I prepare for Sundays. In our house, that means choosing church outfits and getting them ironed, sometimes preparing a meal, and getting all the children bathed. And of course, normal every day activities on top of it.

My 3 middle kids: Noah, Caleb and Libby, can all shower by themselves with no problem. Whenever I feel like it, I simply tell them to "go take a shower" and it's done. No work there for me to do.

However, Asher still needs baths.

And, of course, there's Michaela.

Michaela is not the easiest child to get clean. This has always been the case. For example, when she was little, she hated getting her head wet. It was almost always a huge scream-fest to get her hair and face washed.

Time has passed and she's still not too keen on the idea, but she doesn't scream anymore. However, the older she's gotten, the bigger she's gotten, and the more inable she's become. And as time has passed, it's become obvious that the only way to really get her clean without putting my back out was to be IN the shower with her. Forget baths. Anyone with as much hair as her cannot get in the water--hair takes up all the room.

So we've been doing it this way for a couple of years now. When I take my shower on Saturday, she comes in with me. It works for us.

When you've got a 60-something pound child with the mentality of a 3-year-old and the physical capabilities of a 1-year-old, you do what you gotta do.

You adapt.


Well, this past Saturday, I was feeling pretty lousy, kinda sluggish. Not too uncommon in pregnancy, but overall, not condusive to life with 5 kids. I ended up puttering around until after lunchtime, when I finally found the wherewithal to get into gear and get my stuff done.

On top of that, the kids had just finished PB&Js and Asher was a MESS.

A grubby, tangle-haired, dirty-diapered ball of Toddler. There was no way he was getting out of his high chair without a complete overhaul.

And in the meantime, Michaela was still walking around in her PJs, wreaking of urine, soaked with drool.

Chris calls me to say he's on his way home.

I HATE letting my husband see me and the kids and the house like that.

Something had to be done, quick.

So I had a "bright" idea.


"Noah, I'm gonna need you to get Asher after I'm done washing him. You'll have to dry him off and put a diaper on him, OK?"

"K, Mom."

So I get us all in there.

Mind you, we don't have a big bathroom.

So me, Michaela, and Ash are trying to get undressed, and I manage to get Asher disrobed first.

He decides to pee on the floor.

O-k then. Clean up the floor.

Then I get Michaela all ready, me all set, and the shower running.

Problem #1: Michaela has a hard time climbing into the tub. This usually isn't that big of a deal because I brace her and help her in. But now I have an Asher in my arms, so I'm half the woman I usually am. I'm starting to think this was a mistake.

But I can't turn back now.


So I'm trying to get Asher all sudsed up quickly. Meanwhile, Michaela's standing in the back of the tub, starting to freeze from the little droplets that happen to hit her every now and then. So I one-handedly try to guide her down to where the warm water is.

Problem #2: This is no easy feat for a two-handed person, nevermind someone with only one available appendage. Poor Boo has a hard time moving her feet in cramped spaces, and oftentimes gets "stone feet syndrome" where the top part of her will move, but her feet are like stone and stay put. I finally get her to the other end of the shower (mind you--3 feet away) after much cajoling and maneuvering.

But it's slippery down there, and stone feet turn into rubber legs.

Down she goes, falling half way out of the tub.

Ohhhhh, this was a BAD idea.


After much ado, Boo gets uprighted, Asher gets clean, and miraculously, there still seems to be enough hot water for me to take care of myself.

But Michaela prefers to get out of the tub instead of waiting for me to finish, so I help her out and into a towel (Noah's gotten Asher out of the bathroom by now). I firmly instruct her to remain standing on a towel on the floor while she waits for me. Our bathroom is tiled, and I know that her lack of stability on a slippery wet floor would be treacherous at best.

But, like most days, she doesn't listen. And I'm stuck in the shower, all but helpless to go grab her. Noah, who knows she's not supposed to be wandering around with just a towel on, tries to herd her back into the bathroom and onto the "safe" towel.

But on the way she slips and falls.


Not only can Noah NOT get her off the ground, but I'm still in the shower with soap in my hair. Thankfully, she landed on her rear end, and there we left her, until I could get out and hoist her up.

No harm, no foul.

Unless you consider my nerves.

They were officially shot.


Some say rules are meant to be broken.

In MY world, rules are meant to help me keep my sanity.

I've lost so much already, I need to hold on to what I can.

Hence, Rule #247 is on the books and shall remain there until we start seeing gray hairs.....

...on my kids.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Catching Up

Welcome Home to Me--courtesy of Denna and Dyrus and Kevin (look closely--do they know something I don't??). There's just nothing like coming home to a good practical joke. And since I can take it AND dish it out, you all must know that I'm just looking for the perfect opportunity to TP their yard....

Just Kidding!!

But honestly, it's very nice to know you're loved and missed when you're gone. Especially when you pull a "me" and surprise everyone with unexpected news (join the club) and turn off your cell phone (hehehe!).

Not to mention, the comments were incredible!

30-something comments?!?! That's amazing!


How come some of you didn't comment on my 100th?!?!?!

Oh, IIIIIIIII Seeeeeeeeee, babies are more "fun"........

Well, OK, you're forgiven!


So our romp to West Virginia was nice. This is where Chris's family's reunion is held over the 4th every year. Always good to visit the Fam, and since Chris' grandparents are still with us (in their early and mid eighties!), we want to be able to spend as much time with them as we can work out. They have a beautiful home overlooking a private lake. It's spacious and comfortable, and everyone feels at ease there. The kids know where they can and can't go. It's really just a nice "hang-out session" if you will, but we love it. Chris just NEEDS it after working so hard for so long.

Unfortunately, y'all will just have to forgive me, because I didn't take anywhere NEAR the pictures I wanted to or should have. I just can't hold a camera and wipe noses and hold hands at the same time. And that really stinks because there were a few things that were really neat about this trip:

Chris' grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. How cool is that?

Chris' sister's boyfriend came along on the trip, and ended up proposing to her on July 3rd. Congrats Olivia and Jared!

We also got to see family that we haven't seen in a very long time. They were able to come this year, and it was so nice to catch up with them. In fact, we had a photographer come out and get some family portraits done, since most everybody was there. Unfortunately, I can't post those on here due to copyright laws.

So we're just sunk in the picture department. Sorry.



We DID get some pics from Caleb's birthday party. His 5th birthday was on the 9th, but while we were in WV, we celebrated with everyone there, including my little nephew Eli who's birthday is later on this month.

It was the craziest birthday party I think I've ever been to. First off, we started it after dinner, which didn't end until like 9:30. So the kids were tired, the parents were tired, and no one was really interested in a long drawn out birthday party. Unfortunately, it was really the only time we could do it, so we just had to suck it up and DO it.
Yeah, we DID it all right.

You should've seen my sister-in-law. She would give each of the boys a present, they would tear into it, hold it up for a picture, and then she would wisk it away. The whole process took less than 30 seconds. Ok, maybe a bit of exaggeration, but I'm not far off.

You should've seen Eli (who turned 3). He was so excited about his gifts, but he barely got to relish them before his Mommy took them away and presented him with another brightly colored package. You could see him looking longingly at the gift as it moved down the table, just to be snapped back to attention to demolish the paper on the next one.

And then there was Caleb. The pictures speak for themselves. For some reason, he always has his tongue in some odd position in his mouth. I cannot for the life of me tell if he's embarrassed, excited, or hiding something. Reason being, it's exactly what he does when he's lying to me! I can always tell when he's trying to pull one on me by his tongue. So why was it acting up now? I had no clue.
But all in all, I think he liked the gifts and the cake and all the hoopla. Even a whirlwind party is great fun for the kids!

Especially when you're 5.

Happy Birthday, Pudgers!


Puppy Update:

It's not getting any better, Gang. They're just not getting any uglier. Especially when they sit there and growl at you and try to bark. It's adorable.

They're 3 weeks old now.

And they're still available.

Buy one, get one free!

Limited time offer!

A year of free dog food with every purchase!

(OK, maybe not a year.......just 6 months.....)