Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm Back

Sorry about the extended absence. My one and only reason is that I've been trying to get the house "visitor ready" with organizing and cleaning and all that. And it wouldn't be that big of a deal, except for the small issue of how darn easily distracted I really am. If I'm working in the kitchen and walk past the dining room then I start doing something there and then if I go to the bedroom I get started there and so forth. So basically as it stands right now every room in the house is pretty much half done, or something like it. Anyhoo, I do have some updates and new developments I'd love to share with all of you, so here we go:

*** My parents arrived safely in Florida yesterday. His appointment at the Mayo clinic isn't until December 8th, but they wanted to get there with enough time to complete the Medicaid application process and take care of some of the other logistical stuff. The good news is that his hemoglobin has remained at a constant number ever since he was released from the hospital, which means the internal bleeding coming from his liver has most likely stopped. Praise God for He is good! If this isn't a miracle my friends, then I'm not sure what is. December 8th will be the day of my Dad's first consultation. Let's pray that after reviewing his files and everything else they consider him a candidate for the transplants. I will keep you all posted.

*** On the WW front, I had a night out with the girls on Friday and you know how I hate to weigh in after dinner out, so I went in on Friday at noon instead. Although I was so good throughout the week I was afraid that going in a day earlier would hurt my weigh-in. Luckily, that wasn't the case this week:

Pounds lost this week: 4.2 lbs
Total lost: 24.4 lbs

It was a REALLY good week and I am thrilled with the results. This week presents a whole different challenge: Thanksgiving! Yeah let me warn you, I might not be as peppy when I report back with my WW weigh-in results next Saturday.

*** Our sweet boy is fighting some kind of ear/sinus infection and is on his second round of antibiotics. The first around apparently didn't finish the job so he was prescribed a stronger antibiotic to take for a longer period of time. Unfortunately, after three and a half days of treatment on his new medicine, he developed an allergic reaction and now has a rash all over his face and scattered around his body. I think it's bothering me more than it does him, but since I took him off the medicine we're going to see the doctor again tomorrow to talk about an alternative.

*** Last Friday was this little fella's 7th year anniversary with us.

Copper came to live with us back in November of 2001 when he was only a year old. He made himself right at home in no time. And despite everything he's been through with us:
- a neutering (Yikes!),
- the unfortunate accident of my inadvertently kicking him where the neutering took place the day after such event (Double Yikes!),
- wearing antlers and a shirt that says "Feliz Navidog" during Christmas for our entertainment, although he is absolutely mortified,
- two relocations,
- the addition of Mick, another dog, a big dog, a dog who weighs three times as much as he does,
- the addition of a baby girl who has always been fascinated by him, and most recently
- the addition of a baby boy who has just recently started following him around and pulling on his ears
he loves us so very much and is as loyal of a pet as we've ever known. We love our stinky dog!

*** I am really into, no consumed, no obsessed with Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series.

OMG!!! As if I have nothing else to do. All I want to do is have my face in these books all day every day. I'll be the first to say that I had no idea what the big deal was about these books, I mean, they are about vampires. A Vampire love saga. Seriously,... so not my cup of tea. But my friend Hannah got into them and told me I had to read them. To make matters worse the movie just came out last Friday and she planned a girls' night out with a group of girls from work and bought me a ticket to join them. So what was I to do? I got busy and started reading Twilight, the first book. I started it twice and could not get into it at all. Then the third time I decided to stick with it and made it through to the point where there was absolutely no turning back. Yeah, I read it in two days. I finished it about two hours before my girls' night out, and boy was I glad I did.

The movie is definitely not as good as the book. A bit corny at times, funny when I don't really think they intended for it to be, and somewhat juvenile. But who cares? It provided us with two more hours of Edward and the Cullen clan who I deeply love right now.

Needless to say I am currently devouring New Moon, which is the second book in the series, that I bought yesterday morning. But I am definitely trying to pace myself until tomorrow when Scott comes home with books three and four that I am borrowing from Hannah. We wouldn't want to finish New Moon without being able to pick up Eclipse right away. After those two books are safely here, then watch out! This is CRACK!!! CRACK I tell ya!!!

*** My good friend Celimar arrives from Arizona on Wednesday afternoon and I am DYING to see her. It has been years since we've spent any time together and this will be the first time she meets the kids. Oh, how exciting! I will post more about Celimar and how I know her and love her so in the next couple of days.

Geez, sorry about the long post. See what happens when I don't blog for a while? OK, gotta go now. New Moon is waiting for me,...ha, ha, just kidding,... well,... maybe,... no, it really is!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Favorite Season

I'm absolutely loving Fall. I'm loving the cooler weather and the beautiful colors. I'm loving wearing long sleeve shirts, sweaters and jeans. I'm loving the thought of cooking and baking and spending lots of time in the kitchen in the next couple of months. I'm loving that we're hosting Thanksgiving for friends and family again this year. I'm loving the thought of all the conversations and laughter that will fill our home on Thanksgiving Day. I'm loving the thought of everyone around the table saying what they're grateful for this year. I'm loving the thought of having an amazing meal with an outstanding glass of wine, or two. I'm loving the thought of putting up all of our Christmas decorations a little bit earlier this year. And I'm loving the blog's new look in honor of my favorite season.

Happy Fall, Everyone!

Oh by the way, we'll be back with our regular programming shortly.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

She's gone and done it again!

After our family photo session with the very talented Marci Lambert last year (you can see some of those pictures here), we pretty much decided to make this an annual family tradition. I mean, what a great way of documenting our family's changes throughout the years, don't you think? And for those of you who have been to our home, well,... you know that pictures from our different sessions with Marci are displayed all over the place.

Well, we had the pleasure of spending a Saturday morning with Marci a couple of weekends ago and to say that I am absolutely ecstatic with the results is definitely an understatement. I totally LOVE how the pictures turned out! She has outdone herself once again and I couldn't be happier. Thanks, Marci! You're the best and we love ya!

I've uploaded a slide show this time around in order to be able to include more pictures:

Oops, U-Turn Required

Well, I guess it was bound to happen sometime. My WW weigh-in was how shall I put it, less than stellar today. But I can honestly tell you I am not surprised. I'm pretty sure I can account for every ounce.

Pounds lost this week: + 0.2 lbs
Total lost: 20.2 lbs

You see, this week was one of those "Why Bother?" type weeks for me. I followed the program most of the time, but definitely had my oops moments. Take last night for example,... I NEVER eat dinner out the night before a weigh-in. I know better than that. What did we do last night? We went out to Rafferty's for dinner. I thought I'd try and be good, so I ordered myself a salad. Well let me tell ya, as soon as they brought me the salad I immediately thought that I should have ordered the steak and baked potato instead. That thing was huge and I ate every last bit of it. Why? Cause I was starving, which is yet another NO NO in my weight loss book.

So anyway, it is what it is and I can't let it get me down. I'm starting a new week today and I'll make some changes to hopefully see the results on the scale next Saturday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hard to believe,...

that our sweet boy is 8 months old today; 8 months old,... Seriously! Where has the time gone?

It seems like it was just yesterday the four of us were all in the hospital room filled with a whole lot of excitement and anticipation and uncertainty.

Our baby boy is growing up way too quickly and truth be told, his Mama is having a hard time dealing with it. He currently weighs over 25 pounds, already has 6 teeth and he's crawling and eating solids and lifting himself up onto his knees and I just don't know how to make all of this slow down,... WAY, WAY down.

We love this boy SO much and not a day goes by I don't thank God for entrusting our family with him and giving me the amazing privilege of being his Mommy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Awesome free gift

OK, so today I was watching the Oprah show and desperately wishing that Peter Walsh and Candice Olson knocked on my door, walked into my house, tackled my clutter and redecorated my entire house as part of the Oprah's Clean Up Your Messy House Tour.

But since I'm a realistic person and I know that there's a 100% chance that it won't happen, I'm doing the next best thing ~ watching the show, taking copious notes and formulating a plan on how I too can tackle the clutter in my home.

Anyway, one of the topics they talked about was what to do with all of the artwork/crafts that your kids bring home from school. Interestingly enough, I have been pondering how to go about organizing all of Isabella's stuff lately. She brings home so much and it just keeps accumulating, and I know I don't want to keep all of it.

Peter's suggestion? Just take digital pictures of it and make a book. Genius! But the Oprah show is taking it one step further: For the next 48 hours the Oprah show will give their viewers a free 20 page 8x11 custom cover photo book from (I think they said it's a $29.99 value). How cool is that?

All you have to do is go here for more details. But remember, you only have until 11:59pm on Friday to claim your free book. So as you can imagine tomorrow I will be a snapping fool so that I can get all of my pictures uploaded and make a pretty little book filled with Isabella's art.

So hurry to Snapfish and make yourself an awesome book,... for free!

ETA: OK guys, it's almost 1:00 am and I just got done creating and ordering Isabella's MDO Artwork photo book. I had to pay a total of about $7.00 for shipping and handling. Not bad, hey?!?! It was easy and fun and I can't wait to get it and show it to her. I think she will be thrilled!!! Or at least I hope so. Anyway, I'm exhausted and going to bed right now cause I'm positive I'm going to hate myself in the morning,... like I always do when I stay up WAY too late doing crazy stuff like this.

Monday, November 10, 2008

i REALLY want this

I received the new Pottery Barn Kids catalog, yeah the Holiday edition, and I'm DYING over here. Why? Well, I'm glad you asked!

First off it's important that you know that I really want to incorporate some sort of advent calendar for Christmas this year. I think Isabella would have so much fun with it. I've been thinking about how I can make one for some time now. Although I've got a few ideas I've been milling around, along came PBK and BAM! It literally knocked the breath right out of me. Check this baby out:

Say hello to my little friend, the Telluride Advent Calendar.

Pottery Barn describes this little gem as follows: "The days before Christmas are exciting for kids, which is why we made sure our countdown calendar was extra-special. Take a close look and you’ll see 25 meticulously designed pockets, each sized for a treat, message, or tiny gift. Sewn of felt with appliqu├ęs and decorative embroidery. Personalization is available."

What? It's embroidered and it can be personalized?!?! OMG! Somebody please get me a brown paper bag!!!

So, I get to thinking,... can I make this? Probably not! But if I tried, would it be as nice? Definitely not! And if I try would I really save money since I don't own an embroidery machine? Absolutely not!

So what's a girl to do when she's found the Advent Calendar of her dreams? Well buy it, of course!

But here's my dilemma: Our current series at church is about how to get yourself out of debt and how to better manage your money,... not let your money manage you. Scott and I are thrilled about getting serious about a budget, and saying no to certain things now so that we can say yes to many things later.

Do you think this qualifies as a "Say No Now" type purchase with a $69 ticket price plus $6.50 to have it personalized? Really? Even though there is no tax and free shipping? And do you realize the years of use we can get out this baby? It would practically pay for itself after oh I don't know, three Christmases,...

Anyone out there with me?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Dino*Mite Party

Today we celebrated with the Jackson five (and what seemed like a million other people) the third birthday of their boy, Braden.

Meet Braden.

Braden's dad, Brandon, used to work for Scott until just a few weeks ago. Due to Scott's recent job change, and the fact that they no longer have a reporting relationship, we are now able to do a lot more with the Jackson five, whom we adore.

The birthday party was at the Botanical Gardens and it was a Dinosaur Adventure. The kids were involved in quite a few crafts including painting their own paper dinosaur, making fossils, decorating a bowl to create a prehistoric habitat and going on a dinosaur hunt.

Here's Isabella making the prehistoric habitat that
will house the dinosaurs we're about to go find.

Isabella finding her first dinosaur. She later found
another one for her little brother.

Here are the Jackson five. Unfortunately due to all of the commotion going on, I wasn't able to get a picture of all of them together, so this will have to suffice:

Felisa, Baby Brooke and Brandon.
Does Baby Brooke look familiar? This is where you know her from.

Braden and big sister Morgan.

Here are Sam and Brooke engaged in some serious baby talk.

This was certainly right up Isabella's alley and she absolutely loved every bit of it.

That is, until we were about to leave. She wondered why Braden wasn't opening his birthday presents, and I explained that they were saving them for when they got home. And she then informed me that she wanted to play with the present we had given Braden and that it was important for him to share and not very nice of him if he didn't.I then had to remind Isabella that it was a present for Braden and that there are things that we do not have to share,... like our unopened birthday presents, chewing gum, lollipops and germs. Either she understood and agreed with me wholeheartedly or she just wanted me to shut up, but regardless that was the end of that.

Weekly Weigh-In


It seems like it has taken me FOREVER to get to the 20 pound mark, but it has finally happened. YAY!

Pounds lost this week: 2.4 lbs
Total lost: 20.4 lbs

I cannot even tell you how thrilled I am. I was so surprised with my results this week, but hey I'll take it.

Alrighty then , I gotta go now. We've got a birthday party to get ready for.

Until next time,...

PS I think I'm filing a charge of harassment and cruel and unusual torture against my scale at home. Going into today's meeting I didn't think there would be any change from last week.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Our Gourmet Dinner

In order to prepare the following gourmet dish you will need the following:

(1) An overwhelming desire to NOT make dinner.
(2) An eager 3 year old who REALLY wants to make dinner,
(3) And the following 4 ingredients:
English Muffins
Pizza Sauce

Of course this is just a suggestion, you could totally go CRAZY and use other toppings. Oh my, just imagine the possibilities!

Anyhoo, life happened again last night in the Butler home (in the form of a water leak no less), so the plumbers were here bright and early this morning, making LOTS of noise . Those of you who know us well and know our story, know that water is our NEMESIS!

Because we had to wait for "Joe the Plumber" to finish the job, collect our hard earned money and leave our house, Isabella was 4o minutes late to school and Sam and I literally qualified for Indy 500 on the way to his doctor's appointment. He needed his Flu Shot booster and I had already rescheduled his appointment this morning so re-rescheduling it was not an option. We got there with a minute to spare ~ yeah, talk about cutting it close. Did I mention all of this happened before 10:30 am?

Luckily my day got much better. I got to go on a very nice lunch date with a good friend and her baby, who's exactly one month older than Sam. Afterward, I picked Isabella up from school, went to Walmart to pick up a few things (have I told you lately how much I dislike Walmart?!) and came home right before the downpour.

Needless to say, when it came time to make dinner I was in no mood for it, so I quickly hired my eager 3 year old. Of course she thought it was great that she got to make dinner and I couldn't have agreed with her more,...

I tell ya, it was delicious!

While at Walmart I picked up some Teething Tablets, but I'm not sure if they really work or not. Hey, what can I say? I'm desperate and I'll try anything! I will tell you that apparently nothing says relief like a teething biscuit. He made a humongous mess while gnawing on it and loved every bit of it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sam's Personals Ad

Looking for Instant Teething Relief

Inconsolable BHBB (Big Handsome Baby Boy) ISO (In Search Of) someone DTE (Down to Earth) with a GSOH (Good Sense of Humor) who will provide some serious TLC (Tender Loving Care).

Hi, My name is Sam, I'm 7 1/2 months old and I'm the apple of my very tired Mommy's eye. I love music, dancing, sunsets and long walks in the park. My best feature is my massive leg rolls. I'm a big time drooler, not the best listener and not at all patient.

I know what I'm looking for and what I need, and I need it ASAP (As Soon As Possible). I'm not looking for a LTR (Long Term Relationship), but rather instant teething relief.

I'm ISO (In Search Of) someone, M (Male) or F (Female), who will provide me with some instant gum relief (be it through endless gum massaging or medication). Patience is imperative. This person must hold me and rock me incessantly; putting me down is not EVER an option. Someone who can rub and scratch my head and back is strongly preferred. This person must also not be in the least affected by constant noise ~ non-stop whining and crying (with or without tears) is definitely a guarantee. In addition, this person must not have any semblance of a life; access to books, magazines, cell phones and computers is strictly forbidden. It MUST be all about me; rocking me, soothing me, scratching me, rubbing me, playing with me, holding me, feeding me, talking to me.

Finally, this person must also meet all of the following requirements:
ND, N/D - Non-Drinker / No Drugs (Hey, if I'm not happy then why should you be?)
N/K - No Kids (ALL attention on me ALL the time!)
NS - Non-Smoker (Right! Like you'll have a free hand to hold your ciggy with. lol)
NSA - No Strings Attached (Because as soon as I'm feeling better my Mommy will step right back in.)

Due to my Mommy's current catatonic state, I will be conducting all interviews. So, if you think you're the the right match for me, then I WLTM (Would Love to Meet).

TYVM (Thank You Very Much)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We have a date!

OK, so I'm sitting here glued to the TV watching my boyfriend, Brian Williams, and the election results and playing around in Facebook when it suddenly occurred to me I had not yet shared the good news with you guys.

First, my Dad was discharged from the hospital last Saturday. In all honesty my initial reaction was not a very positive one, but upon further conversations with my Mom I understood the rationale. You see the reason my Dad was hospitalized in the first place was because of his low hemoglobin level. During the three weeks he was in the hospital his hemoglobin levels kept dropping, due to his blood loss, even after blood transfusions. Once he had his last blood transfusion, his hemoglobin level did not drop,... it actually increased within a couple of days. So as far as the hospital was concerned, my dad was good (right ~ forget the fact that his hospital chart weighs like 25 pounds). He is however ecstatic to be back home, sleeping in his own bed, and eating my Mom's cooking, so that's nice.

Anyway, we have decided to be proactive this time around and have my Dad's hemoglobin checked at least twice a week, regardless of what his dialysis center does.

Second, the Mayo Clinic called my parents with a date. YAY! We have a date! December 1st will be my Dad's first appointment with the Mayo Clinic. We are so excited! This gives my parents some time to get their things in order back in Puerto Rico and arrive in Jacksonville with enough time to get my Dad Medicaid coverage so that we don't have to pay any out of pocket expenses for his treatment. This is really good news considering at one point the numbers given to us were in the ballpark of $300,000 for the transplants less 80% Medicare coverage which would result in $60,000 out of pocket. YIKES!!!

It has been absolutely amazing to see God's hand in the way this is all developing. Things seem to be falling in place in unbelievable ways, ways that no one had anticipated, really, really good ways.

So, as of right now the Butler travel plans are on hold pending my Dad's initial consultation. My parents will most likely be spending Thanksgiving in Jacksonville, FL with my brother and his family, but we'll be spending it here at home with Daddy and my sweet friend Celimar, who will be visiting from Arizona to join us.

Monday, November 3, 2008

She's Grateful

When I picked our girl up from school this afternoon she showed me some of the work they had done in class. Being November, gratitude is one of the topics they will be working with throughout the month.

Today was one of those days: they worked on gratitude and the number 4. She had to tell her teacher 4 things she's grateful for and her list was as follows:

1. Mommy
2. Stickers
3. Stamps
4. Daddy

Are you wondering what I'm wondering? Right,... where's Sam? Well, it appears Stickers and Stamps trump Mr. Sam in her totem pole.

So, of course I asked why she hadn't listed Sam as one of the 4 things she was grateful for. Her response? "Well, Stickers and Stamps are much more fun!"

And there you have it!

Deep inside I'm just hoping that he'll eventually make it on one of her grateful projects this month, especially the placemat they make for Thanksgiving that includes a turkey for each person they are grateful for. Oh, please let there be a turkey with Sam's name on it,...

BTW, are any of you as shocked as I am that I not only made it on the list, but I'm actually her #1? Take that Daddy!

Weekly Weigh-In

Due to a pretty hectic Saturday, I went in to my weekly WW weigh-in and meeting yesterday afternoon, which as I have mentioned before I really don't like because usually by meeting time I am STARVING. Well, yesterday was no exception.

Anyhoo, here are the results:

Pounds lost this week: 0.8 lbs
Total lost: 18 lbs

No sooner the girl told me the results for this last week I started to get really irritated. What?!? 0.8 lbs? I mean, seriously?!?

But suddenly my week flashed before my very eyes: my very emotional week, and as I've mentioned a million times before I tend to be an emotional eater; a week filled with unbelievably delicious homemade fudge given to me by one of my wonderful Bible Study teachers: a week filled with mini Snickers, Kit Kats, Almond Joys, Hersheys, M&M's; a week which ended with a VERY non-WW friendly lunch at Chili's on Saturday.

So needless to say, my next thought was: LUCKY! Considering my crazy week, I am lucky to have lost anything at all. So, YAY,... I guess.

Anyway, I am hoping for a much less emotional week and a much better weight loss week. I'll make sure to keep ya posted,....