Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Writing a Poem for Josh

I Promise You

i promise you
i had only your best in mind
when i gazed upon your tiny face.
i had so many doubts
so many fears
so many worries
for i was just 18 years of age
but i promise you
i had only your best in mind.

i promise you
i was careful to a fault
wasn't going to eat a thing
do a thing
be around anyone or anything
that would do you harm
while you were growing inside of me
or when you emerged into the world
i promise you
i was careful to a fault.

i promise you
i had more fear
than i had confidence
didn't know how to hold you
wasn't sure how to mold you
didn't want to mess things up
but i thought you were amazing
couldn't believe i helped make you
such personality from day one
i was in awe of you
but i promise you
i had more fear than confidence.

i promise you
i just wanted you to be happy
safe and warm and protected
i wanted to see you shine
so everyone could see what i
saw in your eyes.
spunk and intelligence
humor and brilliance
spirituality and wisdom
i promise you
i just wanted you to be happy

we're at a point where i wonder how
i ended up hurting you so deeply
that you'd want to hurt me so much.
i don't know who you are and that scares me
more than the first time i held you
more than the first time i let you go
and more than anything i still
want you to be happy
to live a life without so much fear
where you're careful and yet take chances when you should
and that you have what's best for you in mind...for your future.
because it won't be long until you walk away
and whatever i did or didn't do
it will be all about you,
and i want someone to promise me that you'll be okay.

I'm Doing A LOT Better

I am doing better, and I am starting to laugh and relax a bit more. Yesterday I went home and slept for a few hours after work. Then, I went and got Josh from practice and came back home and went back to sleep. That's my natural urge when I am under a lot of stress....sleep.

I know this sounds goofy, but another thing that helps me de-stress is to color pictures with my little one. What will I do when he's too old to color? I guess just color, anyway. :) There's something about it that is very relaxing. It requires little thought and it helps to see a picture develop into something colorful. On Monday night I colored for over an hour in the evening to calm my nerves. And I get to feel like I'm in first grade again! ;)

Okay, I'll post a bit later. I just want to thank you, my friends, again, for all your love and support during this past week. You are the secret to my survival....the love of friends and the grace of God. Blessings!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What I Wanted Them To Hear

I wanted them to hear all the things I never heard growing up.

"You're beautiful."

"You're special."

"You are so smart."

"You can do anything you put your mind to!"

"You are so funny! You make me laugh!"

"You are so creative! How did you come up with that idea? That's awesome!"

"Mommy is so proud of you!"

"God loves you and so do we!"

"I am so glad you're my baby!"

"You're going to do something great in life!"

What did they hear?

Pictures are healing to me....writing is healing. So, I'm sharing a few more pictures from days gone by, along with the thoughts that are whirling around in my mind.

This one is Josh at 9 months old. He had such cute chubby little cheeks, and such dark, expressive eyes. Those eyes are just as expressive today, but so often what they express is anger.

The next one is of Josh and Jess in 1996. Josh was five, Jess was 3 1/2. They were my little angels. They were easy kids to parent then....funny, rowdy, onery and full of energy, yes: but happy and bubbly always.

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Oh for just one hour to go back into the past and hold them on my lap one more time.....

Monday, January 29, 2007

It Seems So Long Ago....

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This picture was taken in early September 1992. It was my first visit to my Grandparents' house (now our house) to let them meet their new granddaugher, Jess. Jess was born late August 1992, so she was only a week or so old. Josh is 17 months old in this picture. He looks so happy. Sometimes I can't believe he is the same boy.

I'm doing okay today. I have to leave for a little while to take Josh to his first meeting with his probation officer. Who thinks they are going to have to say those words about their child one day? This is going to take some time and some healing. We'll get there, but it will take some time.

I'll try to update you more a bit later on today.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Hearing

The hearing went well. I got to talk to the prosecuting attorney prior to the hearing, which helped. I explained my concerns about him coming home right away. We talked until we were called in to court. My friend of 25 years, Sheila, went with me. She was my "sister." She has been more "family" to me than many of my relatives have been.

The room was small, enough room for the magistrate's bench, a table for the court recorder, two tables on the floor- one for me and one for the prosecuting attorney and the court liaison- and some chairs behind us where Sheila sat. Josh and a bailiff stood to the left of the judge.

The judge read Josh his rights and explained what would happen if he decided to waive his right to a trial. He was informed that if he did choose to go ahead with a trial, he could call witnesses and have an attorney at no cost to him. So she went on to explain all these rights in their entirety.

Josh chose to waive his right to a trial and plead guilty. He was extremely humble, saying "yes, ma'am," "no ma'am," etc. He confessed his guilt without hesitation and admitted to abusing the younger two siblings, mainly verbally, but sometimes physically in the past.

I had a chance to speak. I explained how important I felt getting Josh on medication was. I explained that we want him home but not if something like this was going to happen again. I told the judge that I was mainly concerned about my younger two children and their safety. I also mentioned that Robert requested that Josh not come home right away so that Robert could have a few days to cool down and regroup. I shared with her the story of Josh being on the phone all night arguing with C., and how I think it may have prompted the outburst.

I also explained to the court that Josh's coach wants him on the team, has seen nothing but a well mannered team player and that he feels, as do I, that basketball is a positive in Josh's life. I explained that a few weeks ago, Josh walked away from an opposing team player who was taunting him and several other boys after the game. Josh walked away and encouraged his teammates to do the same, which the coach "caught" him doing. The coach had taken ten minutes out of practice to praise Josh's actions, so needless to say he was stunned to hear of Josh's actions. However, the coach maintains that he think Josh is a good hearted young man who just needs some help.

After I talked, the judge explained that there is about a month and a half waiting list for mental health care through the courts in our county. That unfortunately, she is unable to hold Josh for that long, but she is able to set in motion a plan for him to avoid any trouble until he is able to be evaluated. She placed him on probation. She stressed to me that if Josh gives me any sort of trouble, I am to contact the probation officer right away, and Josh will be taken back in to custody. She stressed that I am not to wait, not to hesitate and not to second guess myself. I am to protect myself and my other two children first and foremost.

Additionally, she asked Josh if he had apologized to me. He said he had not. She asked him "Don't you think you owe your mother an apology?" Which he agreed that he did. Then she said, "What I don't understand is why it didn't occur to you to do that without my prompting? If I were in your shoes, I would have already done so." He then apologized. She then told him that he needed to go back to custody and draft a letter of apology to the entire family. That she would review the letter and not release him until the letter was written to her satisfaction.

Josh will have to do community service, he will have to do 12 weeks of a class about domestic violence, and the psychological counseling will be mandatory. He will be on house arrest accept for school and basketball. He will not be able to be left alone with Jo and Jess, nor home alone. He will have to be with us at all times.

So, he is to be released tonight after I get off work. Robert and I will go together and get him. We will see how things transpire from there. I'm nervous about getting him and relieved all at the same time. Last night I was lying on the couch, dozing, and all of a sudden I woke up and thought, "I've got to get Josh from practice!" then when reality hit, I wanted to cry. This has been the strangest mix of emotions I've ever had to contend with. I'm getting there.

The soreness in my body is greatly reduced. I can move and breathe without as much pain. I slept pretty good last night. I think physically I am much better, overall. I am calm as I write this, but that comes and goes. Yesterday , Sheila (she's an RN) told me I was broken out in hives after court. I was willing myself not to cry, and I think my body had to let the stress out somehow. As soon as we left the juvenile detention center, the hives went away.

I have to say that without your support, kind words, prayers, thoughts and energy, I would not have made it through this. Truly. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your strength made me stronger.

Hope you have a good weekend, and I'll update you further on Monday.

Holli: Happy Birthday to Tucker, and have a great party. I doubt if I will make it to see you Sunday, but if that changes, I'll let you know.

Love to you all!

Hard Time

I'm having a really hard time today. I'm super busy at work, Thank God, because it's keeping my mind off of things. The only thing is, I'm trying to focus, and my thoughts are random and scattered. Is this what post traumatic stress disorder is? Is it from the lack of oxygen while I was being choked? Is it from the multiple bruises on my head from having it banged up against the range hood and put through the oven? I can't think clearly, and when I do, I want to cry. But I can't cry. I have to keep busy. Right now I cycle from being angry to blaming myself. That's just me, though. I always think, "What if I did this or that differently?" no matter what the situation. I always have.

This is so hard. Just so hard.

I'll update later on how the hearing went.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


My suspicions were correct. Josh's girlfriend, I'll call her "C.", who Jess goes to school with, confirmed that Josh and she were indeed on the phone, arguing until 5 a.m. and that they broke up during that conversation. Josh and C. have been "going out" for about a year now, and they have pretty much argued and bickered the entire time. They so seldom get to see each other because her dad is against biracial relationships, so most of their relationship has been over the phone. She doesn't even go to Josh's school anymore.

Despite this, more information has been brought to our attention regarding Josh's recent behavior.

Robert and I decided to let Josh go with a friend, his friend's date, and C., a few weeks ago. We seldom allow him to go anywhere that we don't drop him off and pick him up. He'd been keeping his grades up and working so hard at basketball, that I told Robert I thought he'd earned the right to go. Plus, Josh's friend is C's cousin, so we figured her cousin would make sure everything was on the up and up. They said they were going to the mall, and would be back in a few hours. In fact, they were back in about an hour and a half. I even called once during that time to make sure they were okay. The first time I called, his voice mail picked up. The second time I called, he answered and said everything was fine and that they were on their way home.

Apparently what happened was Josh's friend and his date left Josh and C. alone in the car. Josh and C. had sex....unprotected. I guess it's happened once since then from what I can gather. I'm not sure when, unless it was right after school, because that's the only time we've allowed him to go anywhere without us. I've confirmed this information with three sources and it is all posted on Josh's "My Space" page as well.

Last night Josh called home and asked us why we didn't come to visit him in the detention center. I told him we needed some time to regroup after what happened. I calmly explained all the new information we had...about him staying up all night, about him breaking up with C., and about the sexual encounter in the car. He admitted to it all. He claims "he was going to tell us."

Right now I am just trying to gather myself for this hearing. I am getting my work done here, and attempting to keep my thoughts focused. The thing is, I just don't know what to focus ON right now. I mean, I feel like I took a beating and was nearly killed over a girl. Why?! Why?! Why?!

Robert is in total shock, and while he's a good man, he's not much help in the sympathetic, give me a hug, ask me how I am feeling department. He went home, cooked dinner, made me a smoothie because he thought it would help my throat. He does what he can to keep things running, and I guess having his practicality is something I take for granted. I am so blessed to have a husband who cooks, although it would be nice to have one who hugs, too. He's just been so angry about all of this that he's practically shut down emotionally.

I've had several calls from friends, and I talked at length with a counselor from the court system last night. She says she hasn't seen an attack on a parent by a juvenile this vicious...."with strangulation as the method" as she put it, in quite a long time. She says she is indeed frightened for the three of us, Jess, Jo and I, if he returns to the home. We went over some options and hope to incorporate some of them after we know what the court has to say.

My little one was saying last night, "Mommy, I think I saved your life. I hit Josh on his back and was yelling, 'Get off of mom! Get off of mom!' Did you hear me? Do you think I saved your life?" He kept hugging me and kissing me, and wouldn't leave my side. I told him I heard him yelling "Get off of Mom, Josh!" but I didn't know he was hitting him, because I couldn't see behind Josh. I told him that he did help save me and how brave he was for doing so. Jess ran out of the room during the situation, but was yelling, "Stop it! Stop it! Stop it, Josh!" from the living room.

One thing is for sure, what affection I lack with Robert, the hugs, the kisses, my little one makes up for. I truly don't know how I would feel today if it weren't for his loving kindness.

Well, I've got lots of work to do. Today, I am so stiff and sore that I can barely walk and it hurts to move my head, sneeze, eat, chew, swallow, whatever. But I think I'm strong, and I think I can make it. I'm getting those prayers and healing thoughts. I'm getting them. Thank you. It's helping me get through this.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Synopsis

My son, Josh, has a rage problem. Two years ago this spring I had him arrested for hitting me, pushing me, and pulling my hair in front of my mother-in-law. It started as an altercation that took place between he and Jess while I was at work. My mother-in-law told me about it when I got there to pick the kids up after work. At the time, Robert was in Dayton.

My mother-in-law told me Josh was choking Jess and wouldn't listen to her when she tried to intervene. When I told Josh to go outside and wait for his dad to get home, that he was upsetting his grandmother, he refused to go. I grabbed his arm to lead him to the door, and that's when he started pushing me and pulling my hair.

We went through family counseling, a "diversion" program where he went to anger management, community service, and a host of other programs designed as intervention. Things went well for awhile.

Over this past summer, things got worse. He started hitting the younger two, who are both much smaller than him. Jess started going to her boyfriend's family's house more and more to get away from him. Finally, Jess' boyfriend made her tell us what was going on. John had tried to defend Jess, but being much smaller than Josh, he wasn't much help. This stuff always happened when Robert was at work. Josh never tries this stuff around his dad.

But when it's just Jess, Jo and I, we spend our time tiptoeing around Josh to keep him from having a flare up.

Today it exploded. I think he must have been up all night on the cel phone with his girlfriend. In the past we've caught him (via our phone bill) talking until the wee hours of the morning with her on school nights. We've taken the phone and made him earn it back. He was always very angry from sleep deprivation on these occasions.

So today Jess tried to get him up for school, and he started yelling at her. Then I tried to get him up. He started yelling at me.

I went up to his room because he said if he had any clean clothes, maybe he could get ready. I had done laundry all weekend, including hanging up his clothes, so I was trying to figure out where his clothes were.

He told me to get out of his f*cking room. I informed him that the house and everything in it was ours. He got up in my face, and I warned him not to start this again. He said, "this is my room and my stuff, get out!" I was by his dresser, and I said, "Who do you think bought you this stuff? It's ours! Dad and I worked for it, if we take everything you have away from you, it's our choice." Angry, I knocked his cds off his dresser.

At that point, Josh lunged at me and shoved me, knocking my glasses off. He stepped on them and broke them. Then he grabbed my arm, twisting it behind me, shoving me against his dresser. He then turned around and started throwing tubs around the room. They are plastic see-through tubs with Jo's toys in them that we were putting in the attic.

I went downstairs and he followed me, calling me crazy and psycho (for knocking his cds off his dresser.) He got up in my face and was saying, "hit me, hit me, hit me." over and over. I went in to the kitchen, and he shoved me against the fridge. I shoved him away from me, and he lunged at me, knocking me in to the fridge again. I smacked him, saying, "Don't you ever hit me like that! I am your mom! Stop it!"

At that point, he went over the top, grabbing me by my throat. He took his thumbs and pushed them in to my throat, trying to crush my windpipe. I could barely get any air. Then he shoved my head in to our oven, which is built in to the wall, about at my height. Glass went everywhere, but I didn't get cut.

By this time, we were by the stove. I had bit him, kicked at him, and tried to knee him to try to get him off of me. He hit my head again and again against the hood above the stove. I was sure I wouldn't be able to last much longer with his hands cutting off my air like that. I reached for a pan that was sitting by the stove and smacked him in the face with it. He finally let go of me, and I collapsed.

I don't know which of the other kids called 9-1-1. I didn't even know anyone had called. Josh was still raging at me when he went out the door to board the bus. Although standing at the door was a police officer.

They arrested Josh and took him to juvenile detention. They took pictures of me and the oven. Right now my head hurts, I have very little voice and there are bruises on my arms, shoulder, back and neck.

His court hearing is tomorrow. I don't know where this goes from here. All I know is that I can't live in fear of my own son. I need prayers for wisdom here. Prayers for strength. Prayers for the right people to come to us to help us see the path to take.

I feel like a failure here. Where did I go wrong? Can things ever be okay between us again? Will he do this again? Can I live in the same home as him without this happening again? I just don't know. I just don't know.

Prayers, advice, support, encouragement... whatever you've got out there...I could use it all. Thank you. I have some really great friends.

A Cry for Help

Praying friends, lend me your prayers and energy. I have been attacked. I am in pain, physically and emotionally. I need your prayers and thoughts to make it through this day. I will explain when I can.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sigh, fidget, moan, whine.

I'm having a yuck day. Just a day when I don't want to be here at work, don't want to be home, just want to vegetate. My stomach hurts, my sinuses hurt, didn't get much sleep last night and I'm just a tad stressed.

This, too, shall pass. Tomorrow is a new day.

"The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrrrrrrooooowwwww......"......Okay, that's going a little too far. (Sorry, Ellie.) ;)

I can't wait until spring. Can you? This gray, wintery stuff just isn't my cup of tea. I could skip the extreme heat and cold all together. I'd happily live in 70 degree weather all the time. Alas, 'tis not meant to be. My roots are in Ohio and I'm not uprootin. However, if I ever win the lottery, I know a vacation home somewhere tropical would be a great place for me to escape these Ohio winters. I don't care if they aren't as harsh as when I was a little girl. They're still cold.

Whine, whine, whine. Moan, groan, whimper. There. I'm done.

Jess has decided to start working out to my Leslie Sansone dvds. So, I was excited about it, thinking I'll have a workout partner at home. Bipsy at work, Jess at home. So yesterday I came home from work (I did two miles here before I left) and I got home, feeling pretty good. Jo had a blanket down in the living room floor, doing a Leslie Sansone yoga video. (He looked so cute!) He said, "Mom, Jess and I did the 4 mile dvd!" I was thinking, "Huh?" because that is ALOT of a fast pace...for a beginner. Sure enough, Jess confirms they did indeed do the 4 mile dvd. Geez! I think she's already got her walking partner! I don't think I could keep up with them!

I am staying on track, even though I am fighting the blues today. It's hormonal, partly. I really need a quick trip to the tanning booth to get my boost. The endorphines from the exercise aren't helping too much right now. Or maybe they are. Maybe I'd be crying and curled up in a little ball on the floor if I weren't working out. Who knows? ;)

Okay, I'm outta here for now. Hope your Tuesday is neither blah or whine worthy. Hope it's happy, happy, joy.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Just Another Manic Monday

I just titled this post that way so you would get that song stuck in your head...especially you, Ellie. :)

It is Monday. Nothing to see here, move along! ;)

I had a pretty decent weekend. How about you?

Robert and I went out Friday and I shopped at Kohl's while he went to Circuit City to check out the latest movie selection. While I was at Kohl's I got a really cute winter corduroy with a white fake fur collar. I really like it! It was $21, regularly $70, which made me happy. I must've shopped around for 45 minutes there.

Then we went out to eat at Boston Market. We went to a bunch of "nicer" restaurants, but they were packed. So, we went there, and that was fine with me, because it was easy to make healthy choices regarding food. I had roasted turkey breast, green beans and mixed veggies with a whole grain roll. Yum!

Then we went to the mall, where I spent my Build-A-Bear reward certificates on myself. I got the limited edition Spring Bear and put her in a robe and slippers. I got the kids some valentines there as well. That was fun. I'll post a picture of my new bear later.

Saturday I didn't get out of my jammies, other than to shower and put fresh jammies on. I did house cleaning, pet care and cleaning, and scrapbooking all day. Took a late nap.

Sunday...more of the same. Donned a robe and jammies all day, did laundry and housecleaning and scrapbooking. Had a big snow storm, so we were house bound until the salt trucks made it out our way. Ended up sleeping in late before I even started my day.

Watched football (I'm happy for the Colts, as well as Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning, who both seem like nice guys.) and could barely contain my excitement at Indianapolis' awesome comeback. Okay, I yelled and hooted and hollered. I'm not a Patriot's fan because of Cory Dillon and his yucky attitude when leaving the Bengals. So, to that game I say "BOO-YA!" ;)

Soooo, that's that. Nothing else to report here. I monitored my eating, but it was hard to track my exercise other than Friday. House cleaning is good exercise, but not the easiest to track because I'm up/down up/down up/down all day. I know I wasn't taking in enough calories early on, because both Saturday and Sunday I ended up really shaky and weak. So, I want to be aware of that in the future.

Okay, I'm closing this post. It's pretty busy around here with Bipsy gone. I must be productive or I will fall behind.

Have a good day, as Manic Mondays go.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I Feel Good...Like I Knew That I Would, Yeah!

I am amazed at just how good I feel in only five short days since I started THE NOTEBOOK!

I am neither physically nor emotionally tired. I don't feel like taking a nap at my desk. I have been much more productive, my thoughts are less befuddled....I can function!

Today for lunch I had a whole wheat tortilla, with six thin slices of deli chicken breast, 2 teaspoons of Ranch dressing and a handful of romaine lettuce on it. It was yummy! I had a light yogurt along with it and some light fruit juice. It's so nice to put actual fuel in my body instead of stuff that bogs it down.

I haven't felt better in a long time. After I work out, I feel even better. I am so glad I have made this change!

Today the sun is shining, and the sky is blue with some fluffy clouds floating by. Yahoo weather tells me it's only 30 degrees here, but it looks like a spring day from inside the office.

Bipsy is on vacation. She's going to be snoeshoeing where it's like minus 10 degrees! Whoa! She'll get a lot of exercise in, but I gotta say I'm not envying her right now. I'd go somewhere tropical in a heartbeat if I could. I do miss the conversation in the office, though. It seems so empty in here. Actually, it is empty. So I guess that's why it seems empty, huh? :)

Rob....who I am no longer gonna call Rob because people keep teasing me about it....ROBERT is his name. Most people call him Robert, except for a few of his siblings, who do call him Rob. The reason I started calling him ROB here is simply to save three keystrokes each time I typed his name. But I can no longer take the eye rolling and teasing from my local peeps, so ROBERT it is from now on. ;)

ANYWAY, Robert called me today and said that he wants to take me out to dinner tonight. He says he misses being just Kris and ROBERT and not "Mom and Dad" or hard working employees or whatever. Sometimes it's nice just to focus on us as a couple.

So, he's left it up to me to figure out where I want to go. Decisions, decisions. I have a terrible habit of going to the same places all the time, finding a favorite dish and eating it every time. Today I want to challenge myself to get past that and try something new. A rut is not where I want to dwell. So, we'll see where I end up.

Last night I didn't work out because I had a CM meeting, and a crop right after work. It was a good time, and I got to hang out with Sandy and Sheila and Sheila's friend, Wendy. Laughter and frivolity flowed with ease. I didn't get much done, because I did too much talking, but it was a good time. :)

Last night Sandy was telling me that people can order CM products from me directly off my website if I sign up for a $10 a month web manager program. I have a lady who buys CM products from me and sends them to Connecticut to her daughter-in-law for various occasions, so I was thinking she might benefit from such a site.

If I incorporated this web page, folks could look up new products on my site, place an order and have the items shipped directly to their homes. So, it wouldn't matter where they live, I could still be their CM consultant. They could pay by credit card, which is something they can't do with me in person. It would also save me the delivery time and scheduling difficulties. I've never been one for "home classes" and pushing products on folks, even though I love CM stuff myself, because I know how very little time people have. So, I'm mulling the idea around in my head, and you may see a link for my site appear here later this month or next. It's a thought.

I've been rambling on...but haven't asked yet: how are you today? What's exciting in your life? Any major plans for the next few days?

I look forward to hearing from you; in the meantime, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Saga Continued

Okay, the story has been told. The good, bad, the whole thing. I'm done with it. Yes, I've had adversity. Yes, I've had setbacks that were out of my control. Yes, I've had difficulty, grief and depression. But this is a new day and it's going to be a good one.

What Holli said in her comment is true. It was also something I wanted to touch bases on while I am on this subject. What did the physical therapist say about me when I was seeing her for the back pain? Because I was in such good shape, my progress was easier going. The more out of shape I become, the worse my disk deterioration and pain will become.

Similar things have been said to me by my allergist in the past. A fit person often has less trouble with their asthma than an unfit person. Facts are facts.

So, I'm taking inventory of my life, and here it is:

As far as my physical body goes, I am not dwelling on sizes, but I am taking in to consideration facts. I wear a size 16 petite jean right now. I wear an XL shirt in women's. I am about 40 pounds over the ideal for my height/age/bone structure. My weight is pretty evenly distributed. I am not heavier below my waist or above my waist. I gain weight all over. People have told me I carry my weight well, but that's not a statement I am happy about. Carrying extra weight is not wise for me, given the history of diabetes that is prevelant in my dad's side of the family.

According to recent measurements, I have lost an inch in height. I no longer measure in at 5'4" tall.

My blood pressure is good, as always. It has never been elevated, no matter how stressful my life has been. I thank God for that, because I have some hereditary factors that aren't in my favor. My insulin levels are normal, my heart rate is normal, and my cholesterol is slightly elevated, but not enough to be on medication. In fact, the doctor just checks it once a year. I am a non smoker, always have been, and I don't consume alcohol in excess.

I have a lot going for me, despite a family history of heart disease, diabetes and depression. I am on three daily medications: one low dose depression med, one otc prilosec, one otc non-drowsy allergy pill. I take a one a day vitamin and a skin, hair and nail vitamin.

My strengths include a great nearby support team, including friends Bipsy (at work) and Sandy (up the street), who are trying to get fit as well- and my not so nearby support, including blogger and non blogger pals. My friends talk to me, listen to me and inspire me, and I hope I do the same for them.

Prayer is a strength for me, writing is a strength, and music is a strength. I tend to be an optimist, and I am extremely tenacious when I put my mind to something. Every day when I wake up, I think, "Things could get better today. Things could work out." Even when I'm down and depressed, that thought pops in my mind first thing. I also laugh a lot. I find life ironic and funny... I enjoy comedies, I love to read cartoons and witty stuff. I think laughing is extremely theraputic. I love my animals because they crack me up. I love to cheer people up by being goofy. I think those are strengths.

The conference room at work is a strength. It is roomy enough to work out in, with a t.v., dvd/vcr combo and room to tuck away small hand weights and our stash of walking dvds.

Another strength is that my grandmother always pushed me to eat slowly, and as a result, I've never been able to eat quickly. That training stuck with me. Also, while I've seen people that can eat a whole box of oreos all at once, I've never been able to do that, as about the fifth cookie I feel sicker than a dog. I am a grazer. I snack little bits of this and that all day. That can be a strength, as long as I am aware of what all I'm taking in when I do that.

Rob is a strength to me, though his great cooking has been a weakness of mine in the past. I'm factoring that in to my life. Another weakness of mine is a love of sweets, particularly cake and donuts. I actually refuse, even when I'm not thinking healthy, to eat more than one donut at a sitting, because I get physically ill from the sugar. Especially if I eat it on an empty stomach.

Another weakness is my schedule, which I've covered. 8-5 M-F...9 hour days....45 hours a week, sitting. I must combat this by purposely getting up and moving more. I do have to get up and move for my back's sake, but doing so more frequently is a must. We've covered my health issues, which I consider a weakness, but ones I refuse to succumb to.

So, that's my life inventory. The past behind me, the current facts as they are, and now for the plan.

I have started what I am calling: THE NOTEBOOK.

It is a cute three subject notebook with some pockets in the front, tab dividers and an elastic band to keep it closed when not in use. I bought it for about $4 here at my local Walmart. Here's what it looks like:

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I've divided the notebook in to three sections. The first one is: emotions/inspirations. In this section I take a page to record what's going on in my day. How's work? Any home stress? What good stuff is going on? What is praiseworthy? In this section there is a pocket. In it I put little notes of inspirations....something someone said or did to inspire me. Something someone neicy's blog post yesterday. There's that and something I wrote down that Sandy shared with me...which I will share later. Whatever is going on, I write down a brief summary.

The second section is the one I hate and because I hate it I KNOW I need to do it. It is called food/nutrition. In this section I record everything I eat or drink. I've been real good in the past about "accidently on purpose" forgetting what I've eaten. Recording what I drink helps me see if I am staying hydrated. I never drink enough otherwise. This can impact my energy levels immensely. I keep around me plenty of healthy snacks so if I get hungry, I will have a good option to reach for. The vending machine's call won't be nearly as loud this way.

I am keeping an eye on my caloric intake. but I am not being unfair to myself. If I chose to eat an unhealthy item, I am also choosing to write it down. There is no way I want to write down, "Big Mac, 600 calories, large fry 600 calories." No way. So, this section is making me answer to myself.

Finally, I have the workout/moving section of the book. How many minutes did I walk or strength train? I have a web based pedometer that helps me calculate my calorie burn and mph walked, etc. For strength training I go to to figure out what I should record.

By utilizing all three sections, I hope I am going to learn a great deal about myself. If I am having a bad day, how is this impacting my urge to eat? If I work out, how does that impact my mood? Do I feel a renewed sense of energy? How am I letting the moods of others effect my day? Does a certain food I'm eating seem to provide me with additional energy or take away from it?

I feel good about THE NOTEBOOK plan. :) Again, it makes me answer to ME, and makes me think. Everything we see around us started with a thought. Where I am today has a great deal to do with how I think. Would I live in the country house right now if I hadn't first THOUGHT about wanting to live there? Nope. Would I have this job if I hadn't first THOUGHT about taking a chance at a new career? Nope. Same with my life, my health. My body will not change, my life will not change until I focus my thoughts on becoming the best I can be. I can do this!

I am only weighing myself once a month. Why? Because I am not looking at this NOTEBOOK as a short term goal. It is a life change. Once a month won't discourage me...nor will it encourage me to rely on the scale as motivation. I am not thinking about buying new clothes as a reward. Sure, I will enjoy buying jeans in a smaller size at some point. However, my reward is to truly be in control of my health, living stronger, and living smarter.

Thanks for letting me share this new thinking pattern with you! I'll be relying on you for inspiring thoughts that I find on your blogs on a regular basis! I know YOUR words are going to find their way to my inspiration envelope soon! Thank you in advance for that! ;)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Talk to the Hand because Kris Isn't Listening

I am going to tell this woeful tale here on my blog. I have told it time and myself, to my friends, coworkers, my kids, my people close enough to me to listen. Sometimes it was the synopsis of the story, sometimes it was the full length novella version. But I'm going to tell the whole thing here today. And then, I'm leaving it alone. I'm leaving it in the past. It's over. Done with. The excuses, the reasons, the explanations.

When I was in high school, I was physically fit. I was on the varsity tennis team, I lifted weights, I ended up playing #1 singles on our team. I could play tennis for 3 hours and not get winded. I could eat a Big Mac and it not even phase me. I was 5'4" tall, always weighed between 110 to 115 pounds, lean muscle.

I had my first child at 18...almost 19. During the pregnancy, my doctors threatened me with bed rest if I didn't gain weight. I worked as a waitress, but I stopped working at 6 1/2 months and I finally did gain the weight the doctors wanted. I had no car at the time I was pregnant, so I walked all over town. I gained 25 pounds and lost all but about five pounds right after Josh was born.

One reason I lost most of my weight is that finances required me to go right back to work as a waitress. Rob and I were saving for an apartment. I was living with my dad, and that wasn't working out at all. So, I think Josh was three weeks old when I went back to work. Within a few weeks we had our own place.

I became pregnant with Jess when Josh was eight months old. I was so happy when I found out I was having a girl! I gained 30 pounds, but I lost all but about 10 pounds of it after Jess. I suffered some post par tum depression, but kept on going. I went back to work when Jess was 6 weeks old, but this time at a local pharmacy.

It wasn't long before I had to stop working. Jess' health was in jeopardy. They thought she had cystic fibrosis. Her lungs collapsed often. She had bout after bout with pneumonia. She had a pulmonary specialist, an ear nose and throat specialist, and we practically lived at our primary care physician's office.

I had to give her treatments that involved pounding on her back with a rubber device three times a day, 45 minutes each time. Also, she had three breathing treatments a day with albuterol administered through a machine.

Getting Jess well consumed me. I stayed home, prayed and studied, worked out on my stepper 1/2 hour a day, devoted myself to the little ones. Meanwhile, Rob was a manager at a restaurant, so he worked long hours.

Jess ended up having a sleep study, lots of tests, and then two surgeries. Her days of living in a doctor's office were over! She had no more treatments! She was a healthy little toddler!

I was able to go back to work. Rob and I figured our family was complete. I tried to get away from waitressing. The hours were long, and the job was demanding. I worked at a laundromat, then the local YMCA. Eventually, I came to terms with the fact that I made better money waitressing than any of the minimum wage jobs I was working.

So, I decided if waitressing was my calling in life, I'd be the best waitress I could be. I committed to being the best me I could be. I ended up being offered commission on my sales, benefits on top of tips. That was a nearly unheard of deal in the restaurant I worked for. I did a lot of training of the other servers.

Around this time, I decided I wanted to have my tubes tied. I was tired of birth control pills, I had done the Norplant thing which did not work out for me at all. I talked it over with Rob, he said, "Whatever you want to do," and I went to the doctor.

I talked the surgery option over with the doctor. I was 24 years old. One of the first things I asked him was, "Is this procedure reversible if I change my mind later?"

He looked at me and made a statement that changed my life. :) He said, "If you are asking me if a procedure is reversible, then you are not sure this is the course of action you want to take. I don't believe that you have thought this through. I don't think you can say to me, 'I don't want any more children.' If you aren't sure what you want, you'd better go home and think about this a bit more."

So, I went home and talked to Rob about it. He loves kids, but he wasn't pushing me either way. He said, "I would love to have another baby, but it's your body. If you do decide you're willing to have another baby, let's do it before I'm thirty. Josh is going to be six soon, Jess will be five. I don't want a huge gap between them. Also, I want to be able to be young enough to enjoy a baby."

So, I sat there and did the math in my head. I was 24 at the time, but Rob is four years older than me. If I waited too much longer to get pregnant, he'd be 30. This discussion took place in February of 1996. Josiah was born November 11, 1997. Obviously, you know what my decision was. ;)

I gained seventeen pounds when pregnant with Josiah. Since my starting weight was about 15-20 pounds higher than when I was a teenage mom, doctor's weren't concerned. My job as a waitress kept me fit.

I had my tubes tied while I was still in the hospital after Jo was born. I nursed Jo, and that helped me get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. When Jo was three months old, I went back to work at the same restaurant I left, only this time, part time. I only worked 10-1, the lunch rush.

When Jo was about six months old, I met Bipsy. I worked the counter/carryout section of the store, and she was a counter regular. I really liked her. She was the only woman among a bunch of coffee drinking men. She was funny, pretty, self confident, and no-nonsense. She came in, got her diet coke, cottage cheese and fruit, and read the paper. I looked forward to her coming in, and like all my customers, I made sure she got good service.

About three months after we met, she offered me an office job. I wasn't sure what to think! I had no computer skills to speak of. I had taken Typing I & II in school, but that was high school! I told her this. She said something like, "I'd rather hire a quality worker and train them than hire a bad worker who is already college educated."

So, nervous as I was, I took the job. She sent me to classes in Excel, Word, accounting courses, Power Point, etc. I started out part time. Eventually, sooner than later, I went full time. I didn't wean Jo until he was two, so I took my lunch break to go home and nurse him.

So, I had an office job, and I was doing well. I gained about ten pounds almost immediately after I stopped waitressing. I wasn't too alarmed, I still felt like I looked decent for a mother of three.

About three months on the job, I was diagnosed with asthma/allergies, and was put on several prescription meds. Then, about six months on those meds, my doctor switched my allergy medications. Turns out, the medication had my heart racing. Within a few months of the switch, I gained between five and ten pounds.

I stopped nursing Jo in that time frame, and almost immediately gained more weight.

Frustrated, and realizing I was thirty pounds above where I wanted to be, I decided enough was enough. I didn't want to be 110 anymore, and knew that was unrealistic. I just figured that if I gained five pounds a year, at that rate, I'd be totally miserable by the time I was forty.

So, I joined a diet class that met at a local church. We met once a week, and we weighed in, stayed accountable, had a message and a prayer, and kept it short. I lost an average of 1.5 pounds a week. In about four month's time I had lost the weight I wanted. I simply cut back on food, kept track of what I ate, and worked out on my stepper for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes a day, several times a week. I felt great.

I never gained a lot of weight back, and stayed within ten pounds of my goal weight all the time. I had hernia surgery, still didn't gain any weight through the recovery. The diet class administrator stopped having the class due to a job situation, but I still kept on track.

Then, in Spring of 2000, Bipsy and I were coming back from having lunch at a country restaurant, and a car pulled out in front of us. We were going 55 mph at the time. Her truck was knocked off the road, hit a ditch, bounced back up, went through a fence, and narrowly missed hitting a tree on my side. My glasses were knocked off, my leftovers thrown all over the truck, but thank the Lord, no one was killed. I felt fine. We all refused treatment at the scene.

I went home, and the next day I could barely move. I had whiplash, so did Bipsy, obviously, but I had pain from my neck down to my lower back. I assumed it would go away, but it didn't. I couldn't lift things I used to be able to lift, I couldn't work out on the stepper...even walking outside killed my back.

I ended up having a cat scan of my back, which showed bulging disks in my upper and lower spine. I had to go through physical therapy. The physical therapist said a few interesting things. She said that if I weren't in the great physical condition that I was in at the time of the accident, I might have ended up in traction. She also said that given the poor alignment of my ankles, she was sure that they were partially to blame for my disk condition. I explained that I was supposed to have special shoes that my birth parents didn't buy for me, and that my grandparents didn't want to have my legs broken and set once the damage was done to my ankles. The therapist indicated that I would need to find alternative exercises that were not high impact and back-friendly.

For awhile I went to water aerobics at the YMCA. Things started getting busy in my life, and I found it harder and harder to get away to work out. Weight started creeping back on.

Then, my grandmother's health started to decline. I found myself practically living in my car. I had kids to run around, or her to take to appointments on my time off. All I got done was sitting. I sat at work, I sat in the car while playing taxi driver, and I collapsed into bed when I got home. My only meals became double cheeseburgers at 10 p.m. at a drive through.

I had no time to call my own. My health declined, but I didn't have time to go see a doctor myself. I stopped going to the allergist, who eventually refused to treat me due to my not conforming to their asthma management plan. I had kidney infection and utis one right after another, but I didn't have time to wonder what was causing that. During this time, I simply stopped weighing myself at all.

On New Year's Eve 2005, Grandma died. I spent that year trying to work through my anger and pain and grief as well as settle the estate and figure out how I was going to buy her house. I suffered a bout with pneumonia in March. Then, that November, my birth mother died. By this time, I was fighting depression tooth and nail. I didn't want to get out of bed. I was sure each day was going to bring another evil surprise. I would lose someone else. There would be another unexpected bill. Life would keep throwing me for a loop. It was only the love of my husband, kids and pets that kept me from giving in to my feelings of anxiety. I kept getting out of bed. I kept going to work. I kept on going, but I didn't want to.

In January of 2006, I decided to make a comeback. I started reading my Bible more. I started to try to shed my skin, literally, spiritually, and emotionally. I was doing great! I was working out almost every day to the Leslie Sansone low impact walking videos. I'd found an exercise I could do, that didn't hurt my back. I was on the road to feeling good again.

This is where I think I really got knocked off course. While working out, I realized something was very wrong with me...inside of me. I felt like my insides were falling out...for a lack of a more delicate way to say it. I thought at first my bulging disks were pressing against my spine causing something weird to happen to my body. Then, after I continued to work out, I realized it wasn't my back. Something was wrong.

I went to the doctor. My "feeling" was right on target. Being a smallish woman with a short torso, the pressure of having three eight pound babies had given me what's known as pelvic organ prolapse. My insides were falling...down. That's what was causing all of my utis and kidney infections. Working out was making gravity work faster.

Within two weeks I was scheduled for surgery. Major repair work. Mesh and slings and stitching...the works. Because of our two house payments and mounting bills, I could only take two weeks off. I was supposed to take six weeks off.

I came back to work, more exhausted and more depressed. I didn't really come out of it. I spent the rest of 2006 continuing to ignore my unhealthy attitudes and continuing weight gain. Until now.

I don't really know where this motivation came from, (although I think I sort of jumped on the bandwagon everyone around me was on) but I've made some decisions.

#1. I am done with the past. My surgeries, insecurities, losses, pain, accidents, bad decisions, good decisions, could haves, should haves, wish I hadn'ts....they are done. What I do today is the only thing I'm judging myself on. I can't blame my current weight on what I did five years ago. I also can't expect to modify my situation unless I change my behavior.

#2. I am no longer obsessing about a number on the scale or a pant size. I want to look good, feel good, reduce my health risk factors and have energy.

#3. I want to change my life...not for a short term fix, but a healthy lifelong goal.

#4. I want to be accountable to MYSELF for my own behavior.

There's more on my mind than what I've said here, but it's time to work out. I'll finish these thoughts later today or tomorrow. That should give your eyes a chance to rest, anyway. ;)

Have a good night!

Friday, January 12, 2007



I'm dying a slow, painful death of boredom. I'm usually not bored at work, but Bipsy had to leave work early, no one is at work that I actually talk to....(a flu is going around and some people are out; hopefully it skips me, though) and I'm basically caught up on my work. I can't leave, I'm in charge of answering phones, and they aren't ringing. Snore....

I am going to have to find some project to do around here since all my weekly work is done. Maybe I'll go do Bipsy's filing. I must be REALLY bored right now! :)

I really don't want to be here today. It feels like I've worked two Fridays in a row. It feels like the clock isn't moving. I feel like going back in to the conference room, lying down on the couch and watching t.v. for the rest of the day. However, what I feel like doing and what I can do are two conflicting ideas.

It must be 5 o'clock somewhere! :)

Have a good weekend, friends! I hope you're not bored out of your mind right now. It's just not a good place to be.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Week that Does Not End.........

I am quite sure I've entered some parallel universe where the week does not end. It reminds me of a song from the kid's show, "Lambchop" that came on when my oldest two were little.

"This is the song (week) that does not end. Yes, it goes on and on, my friend." Wheh!

It's been busy here. To top it off, I've had my days mixed up all week long. For some reason, on Tuesday I thought it was Wednesday...on Wednesday I thought it was Thursday. Etc. Today it feels like Friday, but no such luck.

Okay. Enough of that whining for now. How are you? What's going on in your life?

I've got no major excitement right now. Although yesterday we officially became city homeowners. The paperwork was signed, money exchanged hands, and one deed began the transfer process in to our names. Boy, that felt good! We may actually be able to breathe again! Paying off that payment and the car payment last week saves us over $900 a month. What a huge relief!

I also had some major repair work done to my Taurus, which I had been holding off on. We had left it parked for a while, and were heavily relying on our van and a spare car (we recently sold) for transportation. Actually, the dealer we bought the Taurus from refused to do the work while it was still under warranty. They knew it was unsafe, and they claimed it was "within safe limits." I fought and fought with them, even trying to get help from the BBB, until I finally gave up. They wanted me to take it to several shops and get different opinions. My 8-5 M-F schedule didn't permit that, so I gave up. The repairs ended up costing me $1400. However, now the car rides like new again and I am just glad to have the whole thing behind me.

I've got some pictures to post. I have several of the baby guinea pigs- all of the guinea pigs, actually- and one of the Build a Bear I got Josh for Christmas/early birthday gift.

When I got Jess and Jo the new Build a Bears for Christmas, I said, "Josh, I'd get you one, but you probably think you're too old for stuff like that." He suprised me by saying, "No, I think I'd like a Browns or Cavaliers bear." So, later in the week, I went back and got his.

I got a Creative Memories order in this week, and I am so excited to get some albums done. I have several gift albums I need to work on. Rob's cousin is getting married on Valentine's day. I plan on doing a small heart album for her. I want to do two baby boy albums for my friend, Tracy, who is pregnant with twins.

Besides that, I am working on my third portrait album, which is a very basic project. All I do is put down 12 x 12 "perfect fit" paper on a page, and put down an 8 x 10 portrait, a sticker or two---and move on. I like putting those larger portraits in an album asap, because I've had many wrinkled, bent or damaged portraits in the past. Experience tells me that leaving them in the package they come in is not a safe practice for storage. The products that I got this time-called "power pallettes" really help get an album done...any I like getting pages done fast, because I don't have time to be ultra fancy with my books.

What else? Josh is still in basketball, and I am secretly counting away the hours until that season is over! (Oops! Now my secret is out!) They practice Monday-Saturday, or have a game. They only get Sundays off. Some Saturdays they practice in the morning and have a game at night. It's a heckofalot of running. It's wearing me out.

The weather around here is starting to finally act winter-ish. We've had temperatures in the 30s, instead of the 50s this week. I can handle it either way. However, around this time of year I usually go to the tanning booth (GASP!) moderately to help with my suspected seasonal depressive tendencies. In other words, when the sun goes away, I tend to get blue. So if I go to the tanning booth once or twice a week for a few minutes at a time, it does something chemically to my brain and helps my moods. It really works, even though I don't stay in long enough to tan. Being tan is not my goal. Being a happy camper is. :)

Okay, enough of my rambling for now.

Here's some pictures:

This is a picture of Lilly's husband, :) Sabu. He is the father of her babies. In July, we will have had Sabu for two years. He was one of my birthday presents in 2005. ;)

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Here are two of the Christmas babies. I'm amazed at how much the one looks just like his daddy! ;)

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Here's a better look at Lilly with the little girl we're keeping. We've never had a guinea pig with this coloring.

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This is a picture of Sabu with his roommate, Bentley. Bentley belongs to Jess. She bought him last summer. Bentley seems to enjoy having his picture taken, and never runs from me when I try to pet him.

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This is Lilly nursing her babies. I think it's so amazing how big they are! At times she sits up off the ground, and they are completely underneath her.

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Finally, here is a picture of Josh's Build a Bear dog, Brownie. He's all decked out in his Cleveland Browns gear. :)

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That's all for now, folks! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

One of THE Funniest Videos I Have EVER Seen in my Natural Life!

My friend, Wyn, who has just as sick of a sense of humor as me sent me this. I watched it twice and laughed as hard the second time. Oh my gosh! There is some off color language in it, but it was a hoot! Hope you get a laugh, too!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Cathy Cartoon that was so Me!

This Cathy cartoon described me on Christmas day. Jess was thrilled about her new digital camera, and was on the lookout for willing subjects. In my pjs and without makeup, I was a subject, but not a willing one! ;)

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Lilly's Christmas Angels

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Happy 2007!

Welcome, 2007! Hope all of my blogger friends are having a good start to the new year. I know many of you have suffered a great deal of pain and indecision in the previous year. I know we've all experienced change and growth. I pray that the year ahead is one of peace, prosperity and joy for all of you. I pray that the worst of the hurting is over. As I heard on a radio station last night, "Let's nix 2006." Let's expect heaven in 2007."

In 2006, I got to know Neicy, Ellie, Pam, Pat, J.F. through this, my blog. What a blessing! My friendship with Holli grew closer, which was awesome. I stayed in touch with my friend, Deb, and a few other friends who kept up on my life just by reading my posts. I celebrated 2 years of blogging in July, and 200 posts in 2006 as well. I started a fitness blog, which, along with my poetry blog, have been neglected since...but hopefully I can change that in the upcoming year.

How was your Christmas? Good, I hope. I had one of the best Christmases ever this year. God is good and we were able to redirect some money from an investment account to pay off some bills, including the land contract on our city house. We had a nice Christmas, which included Rob and I buying some gifts for each other. For the last several years we have opted out of getting one another gifts. Without getting too extravagent, we spoiled each other this year.

Shutting down our toy shop meant we were able to bless a family with some toys for Christmas as well as give Jo some of the toys he had been salivating over. He got some clothes and a kids' guitar as well. The older two got MP3 players and clothes. Josh got video games and Jess got a digital camera. I had some reward certificates from Build a Bear, and I used them to get Jess a pink kitten and Jo a dog as well as some new outfits for them. Those gifts came as a total shock to them. I really had to plan it out to hide them. They were with me at the mall when I picked out the stuff, and Rob and I were sneaking around like CIA agents. Turns out, they had no clue they were getting them. I was amazed that we pulled that off.

I got lots of bath and shower stuff from Jess and her boyfriend, John, and his family. Jo got me some, also. I shouldn't run out of good smelling bath stuff for several months. Josh got me an OSU shirt. I got two Weird Al cds from Rob, a foot warmer for under my desk, a massaging back pad for my chair, two robes and two sets of p.j.s with slippers, and the "Shark" cordless vacuum, which I specifically asked for. It works great on our wood floors. I got him a Remington all purpose trimmer, some sweatshirts, socks, cheese and sausage gift sets and cologne. The kids got him Hickory Farms snacks and cologne as well.

All in all, it was an amazing Christmas.

What made it perfect was the ending. The day after Christmas I went to get the mail for a neighbor who was out of town. I was just walking back home when Rob pulled up in the van. He said, "C'mon Grandma." I was puzzled. I said something about taking too long, and walking slowly. I thought he was referring to me taking a long time to get home, as we were about 1/2 an hour away from picking up Josh from basketball practice. He smiled, and said something about me hurrying up so I wouldn't miss the excitement. I finally asked him what he was talking about. Then it dawned on me: Lilly, our pregnant guinea pig, must have had her babies. I yelled, "The babies!" He confirmed that it was indeed the babies.

I had been sensing that Lilly was close to delivering. I fixed up her tub with extra hay and shavings about two days before Christmas. I had been feeding her more fresh veggies and keeping a closer eye on her. My intuition was right on target. Three healthy little babies were running around the tub upon closer inspection. I'm guessing she had them sometime after we went to bed Christmas night. The umbilical cords were still in place, though neatly clipped by an attentive mommy, Lilly, when I checked them out. Their fur was clean and sleek and smooth. I think there are two girls and a boy if my powers of observation are still as sharp as before. They are so adorable! One of them, a girl, is two shades of brown. She looks like she has reddish eyes like Lilly. She is the calmest of the three so far. Lilly is a great mom, and sits on them to keep them warm and let them nurse as needed.

So, that was a big highlight in my week off.

How did you celebrate New Year's Eve?

Rob and I got the kids some party trays and snacks, got three for each of the kids to come over. Then Rob and I went out to eat and went to see the movie, "Night at the Museum." It was VERY good. We were on our way home at midnight. I think we stayed up until oneish, then called it a night.

Today I've lazed around and have done nothing noteworthy other than finally posting here.

I'm going to post some pictures of our new babies. Also, I forgot to mention that my friend, Sheila, gave us an aquarium when she was moving. We got some fish for it this week, so I took some pictures of them, as well. We're more a Noah's Ark every day. :)

I'm going to close and try to get some scrapbooking in on this, my last day off. They say what you do on New Year's Day is what you'll be doing all year long. If that is true, I want to make sure that scrapbooking is in there somewhere! ;)

Thanks for listening to my rant, and Happy New Year! Blessings to you all!