Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas, everyone!!! I hope everyone has a wonderful day spent with their loved ones. The photos above were taken at our family Christmas party and Conor was having a hard time keeping still for it. That is why his face is a little blurry in both of the pictures! :)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

How my "schedule" is working:

OK, remember all that stuff I had to do? Well, it didn't all work out the way it was supposed to. Thursday night, December 7th, Conor has a very sore throat. His voice was almost non-existent, but he said he felt fine. Friday morning, he had a fever. So, I worked from home and took him to the doctor. Of course his regular doctor was not available, so we had to see another one in the same office. Conor spent the majority of the morning in bed, watching cartoons and sleeping on and off. He didn't want much to eat, just liquids.

We went to the doctor and he irritated me (the doctor). We arrived on time, sat in the waiting room with all the other sick kids, and colored in a coloring book. Conor couldn't talk, so he whispered some stuff to me, but mostly just shook his head yes or no when I asked him a question. At one point he crawled into my lap, laid his head on my shoulder and cried because his throat hurt so bad. I really hate that helpless feeling of not being able to do anything to comfort someone in pain, especially when it is my kids.

We were finally called back to see the doctor after about 30 minutes. Once in the "second waiting room" we sat and read books. We read 5 of the books that were in the office before the doctor came in. These were kids books, but we looked at each picture, read the pages, and went through and selected the next books (through 5) before the doctor finally came in.

Sometimes people in a profession get so burnt out that they should really consider changing something, especially if they work with kids. This doctor was not the slightest bit sympathetic to my baby... yeah, I know, he sees them all day, but he chose his profession. He was not reassuring to Conor that he wasn't going to hurt him or anything, and just all around not a kid person. The most irritating part of the whole exam, though, was when he had Conor lay on the table. He was on his back, and he wanted to check his ears. Instead of telling Conor what he was doing, or asking him to turn his head, he just took Conor's head and turned it for him. And then when he was done with the first side, he turned his head the other way. I know, it doesn't sound that bad, but it was not done in a kind, gentle, way.. and it irritated me. I will not every take him back to see that particular doctor. If no other one is available, I will find an alternate or switch him to my family doctor.

Conor actually remembered going to those offices before, when he saw his regular, NICE doctor. He remembered getting stickers. So, he asked the doctor for a sticker - whispered it because he couldn't talk. And the doctor had to go and find some! They were not in his drawer like in the other rooms. What kind of kids doctor doesn't keep stickers for the small kids? Humph!

So, the diagnosis? A virus. Not treatable. Just have to wait it out. So, we went back home. Conor slept most of the day and we did not get to put up decorations as we had planned to do.

Saturday, he was still sick. So, we did not get to go to the movies with Santa as we had planned. He stayed in bed most of the day, again. I did still go to my sister's spa party, which was a nice relaxing break, but that is the only place I went. I won't go into detail about the effects of his virus.. but they weren't pretty.

I did put the tree up... I did not decorate it because I wanted Conor to be able to help with that. We set it up on Conor's train table for a couple of reasons... 1. space. I didn't know what to move to put the tree up and most of the space in our living room is taken up by something. 2. the dogs. Teddy isn't so much a worry, but Zeus still likes to chew up anything he can, so I figured the higher off the ground it was, the less ornaments I would lose this year.

He was not better by Sunday, so we decided to cancel his birthday party. Or, not so much cancel, but we called all the people invited and told them to come at their own risk. He was feeling better as far as moving around, but he was still not eating right and had to go to the bathroom a lot. I went out and bought him a cake - I had intended to make one, but with canceling it I just figured I would buy one.

So, while I was out shopping on Sunday for the cake and some other various things we needed, Nana stopped by to see Conor. Since she had to work on Sunday and was not planning to come to the party, I had not called to let her know that Conor was sick and we had cancelled. So, she stopped by before work to give Conor his gifts - a jean material book bag that she had embroidered with his name and a picture, and it was filled with books, coloring books, and crayons; also a quilt with a John Deere tractor on it that has become one of his favorites to have with him when he sleeps.

I did not make it back before she left, but Conor was so excited to show them to me when I returned. Naomi and Jerry stopped by for the party because they had not gotten my message that it was cancelled, and my mom and Jack also came. So, Conor had a small little party and ate a little bit of cake (the icing mostly). Mimi and Poppy got him a huge white tiger (which is what he wanted) and a smaller stuffed orange tiger. Add these two tigers to the one he had gotten at the library with Grand-dad, and one that I'm not sure where it came from, and we have a small family of 4 tigers that he wants me to carry around everywhere.

On Monday, Conor still wasn't back to his usual self and I didn't want to risk infecting any of the children at his baby sitter's house, so I kept him home again. Allie also was sick and had lost her voice entirely, so I made an appointment for her at the doctor that day and kept her home from school too. Conor was supposed to have his birthday party at his sitter's house on that Monday, but we postponed it until the following day. I was already scheduled to be off on Monday for some shopping, but that wasn't happening.

We all went to take Allie to the doctor, but she didn't have the same thing that Conor had - she had a bronchial infection and sinus infection. So she required 3 prescriptions. We went to fill them and went home. I was starting to not feel so great myself, so I took some of the medicine that I had bought the day before - hoping to ward it off a bit.

Tuesday, Conor was back to the sitter's for his birthday party; Allie was back at school, and I was home sick. I had gotten a touch of the sickness...

So on Wednesday, I did not go to Columbus for work - I didn't need to get further behind and I didn't want to have to drive that far when I still wasn't 100%.

I was better by Friday, but by then Jeff was getting sick. So, we did not do any shopping on the 15th and 16th.

So, all of my plans... nothing is happening the way it was supposed to. Shows you what happens when I try to actually be organized and not "wing it" as I usually do. I had even gotten a white board calendar and written all of the events on it so that everyone would know what was supposed to be going on.

We did get to go to Grandma's party on the 17th, and I have pictures, but that is another post. :) I do not yet have the picture of all of us - we have to order them from proofs that the photographer is going to be printing. I will post that one as soon as I can. :)

Pictures of the above happenings will be posted below this post... As soon as I get to them :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Getting up to date... with pictures!

These pictures that I took at the wedding do not do any of it justice. I had a seat way in the back and my camera wasn't focusing very well when I tried to zoom in. They are dark, too, but these are the only ones I have! This is the wedding of my cousin Charlie to Karisa. They are a great couple, they had a beautiful wedding and reception, and I believe they will be very happy together.
See.. blurry. I need a new camera. Or something.

This is Conor at the reception. He had a blast running around and playing with the other little boys there.
Here are all three of the kids - Allie and Ceara are going through a stage where they want to dress alike. So, when we went shopping, they got the same outfit for the wedding. Conor, of course, had to un-tuck his shirt, and has a very mischievous grin on his face in this picture!
Here are Jeff and Conor - they were going to the movies to see Happy Feet (I think!). Jeff is going for a new look - the "Earl look" is what we call it. Have you ever seen the TV show My Name is Earl? Well, that is Jeff's new favorite show. So he is trying to look like Earl. :) The show is very funny. But I don't like the mustache. I think Jeff looks better with a goatee, but... he wants something different, so.....
Conor dressed as a monkey for Halloween. Of course all the kids got a ton of candy (which I in turn took some to work) and they had fun.

Molly and Gage went with Conor and me just on our road, then we returned to hand out the candy. Above is Gage making a "funny face" and below they are hanging out on the couch.

Molly (my sister for those of you who don't know us) dressed as a Cry Baby for work and left the outfit on for taking the kids around the neighborhood.

And one last look at the monkey face. :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


On Thanksgiving Day, I invited whoever wanted to come to my house for dinner. I usually cook enough to feed a small army anyway, so I had to get a small army to my house to eat the food! Dinner was at 3PM and I spent the majority of the morning and afternoon cooking and cleaning. Here was the menu:

I fixed the 2 Turkeys and then enlisted the girls to help with the rest. Allie and I made the sweet potato casserole with her doing the sweet potato part and me doing the topping; Ceara made the stuffing; we all worked together making 2 apple pies from scratch (I made the first round of dough for the crust, they did the second after watching me on the first), then right before everyone arrived, I made some gravy. It was actually pretty easy this year because other people brought the other stuff I usually make, too! Naomi made the mashed potatoes; Grand-Dad made the green beans (from his garden), some made-from-scratch yeast rolls (YUMMMIEST!), AND some chocolate dessert called Curious Cake - chocolate type brownies with caramel, nuts and chocolate chips; Nana made green bean casserole and some no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies; Mimi made corn casserole and killer brownies; and Molly made some apple-cranberry stuffing and a chocolate cherry cake. We also had some pecan and pumpkin pie tarts, but those I bought. :)

And possibly some stuff that I am forgetting! But there was a TON of food. The people in attendance were:

Mom (Mimi)
Jack (Poppy)
Barb (Nana)
Jim (Grand-Dad)
Billy (Jerry's brother)
Matt (Jerry's brother)
Logan (Billy's son)
Lacy (Jerry's sister)
Tonya (Lacy's room mate)
Artie (Tonya's son)
and of course...
and Me!

I actually have more pictures of the day, though not many, but blogger bugged out on my when I was trying to upload them. So maybe I will add them at a later time, but I wanted to get this post out since Thanksgiving is over.

I am always thankful for my family and friends and always glad to welcome more! :)

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


December is a very busy month for us! :) Here is how the month is looking for me:

Friday, Dec. 8th, hopefully we will be able to get all of our Christmas decorations put up... yeah, I'm bad, haven't done that yet.
Saturday, Dec. 9th, we have a date with Santa at the movies - 9AM.
Saturday night - Spa party at my sister's house.
Sunday, Dec. 10th, we will be celebrating Conor's 4th Birthday (which is actually on the 11th, but...that's a Monday!).
Wednesday, December 13th, I will be traveling to Columbus to meet with some of our Corporate people.
Friday and/or Saturday, the 15th and 16th, I will be doing some shopping and hopefully finish everyone! :)
Sunday the 17th is our Christmas celebration with Grandma and the family. This year instead of 50 + people trying to squeeze into my Grandma's house as in years past, the 8 kids (OK, mostly the 5 sisters, I believe - the 3 brothers probably just got volunteered for stuff) got together and decided to rent a place to have it. There is going to be a photographer to take a group picture of us all, so that will be a first. I wonder if we can all even fit in one picture? We will soon find out!
Thursday, December 21st, is my sister's birthday.
Baking will happen at some point between now and the 24th - whenever I can fit it in!
Then the weekend of Christmas!!

My actual Christmas plans have not been finalized, but I do know that as in normal tradition we will be going to my mom's house on Christmas Eve for dinner. Then Christmas morning is breakfast at my house - which last year only my sister and her family showed up for... the grandparents didn't get out of bed early enough. Guess that is because they do not have small kids awaiting Santa's arrival!

Oh, and I am going to try to get some "Christmas-y" pictures of the kids together at some point. Probably after the shopping for them to have some Christmas-y colored outfits. :)

I also need to update this site with some Thanksgiving information - I did actually take a few pictures on Thanksgiving Day, but I haven't taken the time to put them up here yet.

The above photo is courtesy of Nana - aka Barb - who loves to make me cool photo-shop pictures that I love! :) Thanks, Barb!!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ceara's Birthday

After we returned from Vermont we celebrated Ceara's 12th birthday. We had a small family celebration with cake and ice cream, then she had her friends spend the night on a different night. Jeff decided to just take her shopping to let her pick out her own clothes instead of us buying stuff she didn't like (we tend to do that a lot with both girls because they are so picky about what they want!).

Conor was eyeing the cake, anxious for a piece for himself.
So what does a pre-teen get for her birthday? Lots of cards with money in them, of course! Apparently we are not the only ones who can't pick out what to get young girls!

Conor got these glasses in a treat bag at his baby-sitter's house - just a gag gift sort of thing.
Ceara had to try them on, too, and she just looked so cute that Conor had to give her a great big hug! Or, maybe he wanted his glasses back...
Here they both are with Nana. I took a lot of pictures like this one, but didn't seem to get anyone else that was at the party! I do have a couple that I didn't take but blogger won't let me upload them right now! So... these will have to do for now. :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

How Smart Is Your Right Foot?

I received this email... Yeah, I tried it.. I thought I would post it so that the rest of you could too!! :)

This is so funny that it will boggle your mind. And, you will keep trying it at least 50 more times to see if you can outsmart your foot. But you can't!!!

1. While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor!
And make clockwise circles with it.
2. Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your
Right hand.. Your foot will change direction!!!

I told you so.. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Picture Change

OK, so my "work bud" is dabbling in the area of photography and took the below pictures of his daughter in his home. He said he had to prove to his wife that the cost of the camera he bought was justified because they could now take pictures themselves instead of going to a local professional to get them taken. This way, clothing changes are not extra, different poses are not extra, and you don't have to pick just one or two poses! If he didn't live so far away I would hire him to come to my house to take pictures of my kids!

I'm sure it only helps his case that his subject is so beautiful! :) He took several shots, but I only am posting 3 of my favorites.

The one below is one of my favorites because it is so natural, and because I know the story behind why she is laughing! Seems the picture was, um, not a planned one.. her daddy tripped over the tri-pod and accidentally snapped the picture. An excellent picture at that! If that shot doesn't convince his wife, I don't know what would! That a camera would take such a good shot with an "accidental" push of the button... well, I think it speaks for itself! heehee, sorry w-b, I had to tell it! :)
Anyway, to get to the point of this post... w-b liked one of my pictures on my blog so well, that he made a change to it and sent it to me as a black and white picture. I agree - it does look good in black and white, too! I think I like it better in black and white... What do you think?
I am going to have to start posting some really controversial subjects to get people fired up enough to want to comment. Hmmmm... that might be fun. Since I know you all, lets see if I know how to push your buttons...

Thank You, Misty, for commenting on Day 5! :)

By the way...

I already have my next post written.. but I'm not posting it until I know that the Day 5 post has been read by someone... :)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Niagara Falls - Day 5

Our final day of our trip and it was still raining - as it had for most of the trip. Conor and I went down to get some coffee, juice, and a muffin while we were waiting on the others to get ready. We packed the van up and were on our way to Niagara Falls to spend a few hours before starting the drive home. When we got close to the boarder, we started looking for someplace to park. There was construction going on and detours, and it was all pretty confusing, but we finally found a place, paid the $10 parking fee, and got out of the van. There was a huge building that we went through and it was all rather strange feeling - it had a visitor's center, various restaurants and stores, but they were all closed and the building was pretty empty. There was one man in the visitor's center part and when we asked him how far away the falls were he told us it was a 20 minute walk in another direction. Turns out he was wrong - we walked out the door and crossed the road and they were about 5 minutes away.

While walking down a grassy hill, my foot slid forward and I fell on my knees - what fun! :) So the knees of my jeans were caked with mud. Through the mud, rain, and coldness, I still managed to take some pictures. I tried very hard to keep my camera as dry as I could.

There is no one in the above picture that we know, I just took it because of the colorful trees. :)

Conor had a ball - he loved splashing through the water puddles - he was just a blur back and forth in the puddle above. Mom and I were huddled under a small bit of shelter, just wanting a small amount of time without water falling on our heads. I do not mind getting wet (I never use an umbrella), but it just got tiring wiping water out of my eyes. :)

After so long of walking and getting soaked, we got on the trolley to take us back to where our van was parked. Everyone was starving, so we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch.

Conor loved all of the guitars on the walls, he tried to go around and count them all. The girls and I had a hot chocolate to warm us up.

This was the painting on the ceiling of the cafe - an Eagle to represent the USA, and a Beaver to represent Canada since they were on the boarder of the US and Canada.

Conor with his newly achieved wink. ;) We all piled in the van after we ate, the kids changed into their pjs because they were all soaked and it was easy for them to change. The kids cuddled up in the back - took naps and watched movies on the DVD player. We had thought that we would get home around 9ish that evening, but it ended up being more like 10:30. I dropped Jeff and the kids off at home and took my mom home because the girls wanted to get everything ready for school the next day. We had wanted them to only have to miss 3 days, but since we got home so late on Wednesday night, we told them they could sleep in and go 1/2 day or just take the day off. They both wanted to go to school, though, and they got all their things ready and went to bed. Can you imagine? Permission to stay home and they both chose to go... wow, that is dedication. Two really good students, craving knowledge. Awwww... I'm proud of them!

Or, wait a minute.... maybe they were just trying to get away from us - they had their fill of being in our company for 5 1/2 days straight with no break (they didn't have their own rooms to go and hide in). Or, they didn't want to help clean up the van and do laundry from the trip. Hmmmm... I'm still proud of them. :)

OK, that's it! That is all the pictures and stories from our trip! :) I probably forgot to tell some of the stories - but - my memory isn't THAT good. I should have written it down sooner so I wouldn't have to stretch my memory to remember what I did. Because I distinctly remember laughing at something Jeff did or said that he didn't want me to tell anyone... I remember telling him that I was going to put it in my blog and he didn't want me to... but I don't remember what it was. :(

Oh, well. Maybe I will remember at another time, or... and I'm sure this will happen ... Jeff will do something else funny to give me material for my blog. :)