Monday, December 28, 2009

a game plan?

I visited a surgeon this morning, who reviewed my scans, and other tests. After 3 months (my first post about this problem is HERE)of visiting different doctors, for various reasons, but all for the same basic complaint - I may have a game plan. He explained to me that it's 80% likely that removing my gall bladder will solve my pain. There's that chance of me being in the 20%ile of people who do not get pain relief after gall bladder removal. I COULD have an ulcer, I COULD have IBS, or some type of gastro-intestinal issue. He does not feel like what I have is presenting itself in a very obvious manner, but it does fit most of the criteria for a diseased gall bladder. He was very understanding, and realizes that I'm losing my mind with this! My frustration level is pegged, and I'm tired of popping pills EVERY DAY!

He suggested I go back on the 2 meds that were previously given to me for a potential Peptic Ulcer, and said if my problems are resolved simply by taking those meds that he does NOT want to do surgery. However, if the pain still persists then I likely need my diseased gall bladder removed. That it functions at 62% makes it one of those decisions that I get to make on my own. Anything below 50% they suggest removal. It's close, and it's very likely causing me some of the discomfort I have on a regular basis.

I'm just ready to feel better. I'm ready to toss out the pill bottles. So for now, surgery is scheduled for late January.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 09

Big E was so tickled, he received a Nintendo DS Lite with two games!!

Little J was just as excited to find out that he received STAR WARS LEGO'S!!!!!

"I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month."
~Harlan Miller
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009 - Scrapblog'd

Friday, December 25, 2009

what a surprise it was...

Please do click to enlarge each photo... it's worth it
My husband is an artist. Do you see this???? This is what he does for a living. He took OUR best creations (well, ours along with the man upstairs, of course) and turned them into works of art.
And I may be biased.... but I believe that these are by far HIS best art creations yet.

My children. How gorgeous are our children. These portraits are absolutely the likeness of each boy.

Their simple expressions, and beautiful eyes. That says it all.

I had the best Christmas gifts EVER!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

the night before Christmas....

....and all through my mind, was flashes of past holidays and memories of that kind.
I thought of our Christmas nights from when I was a just a kid, and appreciate now more then ever - all that our parents did.
It wasn't about the gifts, I won't lie, that was great. But the best memories are of baking cookies, writing letters to Santa, and staying up late.
Christmas specials on TV with my mom, and game (or three) of parcheesi with my dad.. and then off to bed we'd go with nothing but the next day's excitement to be had.
Waking up early, crawling down the hall. We snuck together as siblings, and we had a ball!
Our parents were wide awake, even though we thought they were otherwise. They were laying in their beds, probably so happy that we snuck to the tree to see our surprises.
Those days are forever going to live in my mind, as moments with family - unlike any other kind.
It's our turn now, to start this 'night before Christmas' fun, we baked and had cookies, and we watched a family show and had fun.
Our kids have no clue, what's under the tree. They didn't really make a "list", they'd seem content to wait and see...
The holidays are so precious, and moments are such bliss. I wish I could stop time, for weekends like this.
So... twas the night before Christmas, and all through this house, not a kid was complaining, not even a spouse.
The stockings were laid, under the tree with care (that's just what we do), and gifts were scattered around for the kids, the hubs, and me too!
The kids are all snuggled, warm and safe in their beds. And we'll peek in later, and plant sneaky kisses on their heads.
The morning will come, and coffee will brew. The kids will wake up and sneak a peek at a gift or two.
Christmas (for us) will be spent making memories, and sharing love. All because of our blessings from above.

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

a Christmas gathering

A little bokeh effect (WackyMummy, that's for you) with the Cypress tree we gave our in-laws as part of their gift tonight. The lights in the background with the bokeh effect are from our big tree.

This cute little Cypress will be transplanted into my in-laws back yard and will grow up to 15 feet! It was such an adorable centerpiece for our Christmas dinner tonight

goodies for the celebration

Gifts for and from the family. We enjoyed our time with Mimi and Papaw tonight. To say the least, we had a BLAST!

Monday, December 21, 2009

enjoying the view

Click each photo to enlarge
On our way to my Aunts house (previous post here) we stopped a few times along the road to take some photos. The above photo was taken at a cemetery near Burlington, NC. The way the tree looked was just so peaceful to me.

I was loving how this pond had the trees reflection.
This statue was centerpiece of the cemetery, along side was a weathered bridge that was over a little creek. There was a man there visiting a grave, so I didn't want to drive over there to take a picture of that... but either way - the snow covered cemetery had such a feeling of calmness and beauty.

This was a large farm that we drove past, there were cattle, sheep and emu on past where I took this photo. The red capped silo really stood out to me.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

a very decorative family gathering

Yesterday we went to my Aunt and Uncle's house in Snow Camp, NC. My Aunt is ABSOLUTELY the Martha Stewart of NC. Her house had 7 full size trees, 4 of them represented seasons. The tree in her master bedroom was GORGEOUS and represented fall, it was also on a spinning stand which made it magical! There were gorgeous draped garlands filled with floral inserts, ornaments and lights. Enough to make Martha Stewarts head SPIN, and my Aunt - made it ALL!!. Every ounce of her home screamed holidays, and it was such a cozy gathering. The snow outdoors just topped it off.
I was bummed that I took the wrong lens, I took our zoom lens and not the 18-55mm that takes wide angle pics. So, I made a little collage of the photos instead. I have the full size ones saved and they're gorgeous to look at, but the only tree I was able to get from top to bottom in the lens I took was the living room tree (green tree)...oh well! The day was wonderfully spent!

hanging out together

The boys were REALLY into the game of Little Big Planet this morning. We decided to spend the day vegging out at home and doing nothing at all productive. Little J needs a haircut something fierce!!

our kids are growing up too fast...

above, I love the look on their faces, and even caught a Bokeh effect with the lights on the little fireplace tree... un-intentional really, but WackyMummy YOU have inspired me to try this effect out with our Christmas lights!
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

no snow... so sad.

The first winter storm of 2009, and all we get is ice???

So I headed outside to take pictures of our ICE

More ice...

That's all we received... some drippy ice. Twenty minutes up the road, my dad's house received 2-3 inches of SNOW! My mom, 2 hours away received over a foot!

Below - my dad's house, LITERALLY 20 MIN AWAY!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

winter is officially here

This weekend, our first "winter" storm in the Carolina's. Looks to be a big deal, weather men are going nuts with the updates! Me, I'm sitting here in my PJ's (at 3pm, yes), sipping on something yummy and thinking of making that Potato Soup that's a big family hit.

Oh dangit!!! I have to run to Walgreens to get my frappin ink cartridge refilled. All you peeps who read this and get Christmas cards from me, they'll be late - most likely. But I did go ahead and pick a "Happy Holiday's" theme (Jennifer C, oddly we printed the EXACT same ones you did about 3 weeks ago!!) and they've been on my table to label for weeks now. I've been so scatter brained that I haven't even printed the labels, and went to do that yesterday and the ink was empty.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts - remembering, H1N1 and happy hour

Today would have been my brothers 42nd birthday. I laughed a little this morning, thinking of how I'd have called him and gave him hell about being old. I think today should be nationally recognized as I'm sure most anyone who's lost someone would feel. Why doesn't the entire world stop for a moment and become aware that today's the day we'd have celebrated? Anyway, I plan to make today all about pushing forward. I have the swine flu, but it isn't gonna stop me today. So - TAKE THAT PIGGY flu!!

Speaking of the flu.... I've sat around and thought about all of the ways to try to make light of this H1N1 situation at home. Even though it is, and can become, a very serious flu - I still have to smile, right?

So here's a few thoughts I've had:

Someone, quick, call a hambulance, we have a snoutbreak.
Bird flu, Swine flu, Mad Cow Disease - OMG it's Farmegeddon!
Should I go for my follow up visit wearing a pig mask?
I think I need some oinkment.
Feel like I'm gonna sneeze again, aaaachooooink!
Someone should make a movie: Pig Trouble in Little Mexico - maybe it could star Kevin Bacon

BassAckwards sidenote: My sense of humor is not intended to offend at all. I am REALLY aware of how serious the flu can be for anyone, and may have to go in for chest xrays tonight. Even the flu vaccine can be serious - some people have very strange, and life altering side effects. I just try to lighten the mood for myself, and though maybe you'd get a giggle or two as well. I hope none of you who read this blog ever get the swine flu, or any adverse reactions to the vaccine(s). I have a friend who was really blogbashed recently because of her 'sit back and laugh at it' approach to some things in her life, her sense of humor is amazing after all that she's been through!! I just want to say up front - humor is a must in my house these days, and that is why I try to see the lighter side of things as often as possible. We, in our house, know all too well how quick things can change. I'm making fun of ME, not anyone else ;-)

Lastly, I went by Steak & Shake earlier today to grab a coke. I may very well have strep throat developing along with this flu. It is a very familiar feeling right now. Rambling. So, as I'm waiting to pay for my NON diet coke (yeah, that's right, I'm a rebel) and I saw a picture of a Turtle Caramel Nut Milk Shake. YES. IT IS TRUE!!! And all of a zillion calories I'm sure. Oh man, I was drooling. So as I'm typing this I glance over at my coke cup and notice "Hand dipped happy hour, 1/2 shakes 2-4pm M-F" you bet your butt I'm going back. And YES, I'm gonna use my brother's birthday as my excuse. *selfish snort laughter*

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Little J and I began feeling gross last night around 5pm. His started with watery eyes, cough, chills, and fever. Around 6pm, same thing with me. We share like that.

I haven't had the flu in 7 years. In my entire life I've taken the flu vaccine 1 time, and that was when I was pregnant. When I had that vaccine I felt AWFUL for about 4 days after. My kids have had the flu mist 2 x's in the past 3 years. This year, nothing yet for either of them.
We both have had a fever all day, little J's reaching 101's even with fever reducers. His flu test was positive for type A. SO, this means it's likely H1N1. Tamiflu was prescribed, although it's proven that H1N1 is highly resistant to Tamiflu. Both of our symptoms are less then 24 hours old, and so it is worth a shot to try to shorten the duration of the flu, according to both of our doctors.

Since I have a compromised immune system, my doctors have told me to watch it with my fever. Little J can stand a fever of up to 103, according to his doctor - but for me, I can't go above 100.5. SO, we're both shoving down fever reducers, benadryl, tamiflu and running cool mist humidifiers.

Lets hope the hubs and big E don't get it.
**sidenote, the toddler is absolutely a trooper, and is playing as long as his fever is down.

Friday, December 11, 2009

a memorial ornament

this was sent to our family, in honor of the donation of the gift of sight made by my brother.... Losing him has been one of the hardest things I've ever faced or dealt with. Yet, him being a donor means that even in his passing he has given to others something they may have NEVER received. So this ornament is proudly on the very front of our tree for everyone to SEE.

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and we decorated the tree...

click to enlarge photos
started out just as a regular tree with lights...
added in a few floral sticks, and some basic ornaments

some ribbons and flowers, and we have ourselves a tree!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

counting my chickens...

Just found out that I should get MY car back tomorrow!!! Not the car that was WRECKED, but MY car. The one that was towed in to because of a dead battery, and turned out that it was not towed properly and the 4WD was ruined. So after everything, and 1 wrecked loaner car plus 4 separate rental cars later - I get to drive MY car again!!! MAN I've missed it!!!
*sidenote - Nationwide has been my insurance company for over 15 years, and they really WERE on my side. They went to bat for me to help me handle this with the tow service. I'm just glad it's finally getting repaired!
**second sidenote & life lesson # 2,311,379 IF you own a Honda Element - get it towed on a rollback style tow truck IF you happen to break down.....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

getting with the program

Earlier this week I started decorating. Normally I'd have done that the week of Thanksgiving, but if I'm being honest - I just haven't had it in me! When we went to big E's orchestra concert we were able to see alot of houses that had outdoor decorations up and the kids really started getting in the spirit. So that was my cue to get with the program. Our tree is the last thing to get out, we're going to drag that beast out tonight and try to decorate it tomorrow night.

winter arrived overnight

It's really begun to feel like winter around here over the past few days. Yesterday was just cold rain, and then in the afternoon it cleared. This morning at 730am it was 30 degrees outside, and that's cold compared to last weeks mild mornings of 50's and low 60's!
The yard was covered in a blanket of frost. I didn't even grab my camera to take a picture until the back yard was half thawed from the sun. So I grabbed a quick pic of the fuzzy icy frost before it melted away. It's the 2nd frost we've seen so far this fall/winter. I want SNOW!

I think today will be a comfort food kind of day around this house. I have pulled out the ingredients to make some chili!! Yum!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Winter Concert - 2009

Big E has been playing the violin this school year, and this past week we attended the winter concert for the orchestra. They played 4 different music pieces, and I was able to record audio on two of them. I didn't take my 'big nasty' camera in, we took our point and shoot only. So... here's a picture of big E getting ready to perform, and here's "Dreidel" performed by the 6th grade orchestra! is where I uploaded the mp3, it made it sound like it had some static... but it was the only audio hosting site I knew of!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


What a wonderful way to start the day....

blew it....

I didn't make it on NaPoBloMo.... I blew it! With only two days to go!! I'm ok with it. I'm sure no-one was keeping track but me :D So much going on this time of year!! Happy December!