Friday, January 23, 2009

25 Random Things

I've been tagged, albeit through Facebook, but I thought I'd share my 25 Random Things About Me on the blog as well.

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you.

Hey, what do you know? Random is my middle name. OK, so here we go:

1. I love reading books and magazines, but mostly books.
2. I can be pretty anal retentive about certain things, but the worst is my OCD way of loading the dishwasher.
3. I still cannot believe how incredibly obsessed I became with the whole Twilight thing. Hello! It's a teenage vampire series,... I mean SERIOUSLY!
BTW, the second movie comes out in November ~ YAY!
4. I have a love-hate relationship with Martha Stewart. I hate that I love her.
5. I played volleyball all through Jr. High and High School and Tennis in college and yet I wouldn't say I'm very good at either.
6. I love to scrapbook, but I never think my pages look "good enough". I guess you could say that I have a low scrapbooking self esteem.
7. Although I have lots of friends and acquaintances, when there's a crisis there are only about three people I always go to first.
8. I love being a stay-at-home mom, but there are many days I miss the social aspect of working outside the home.
9. I love going to the movies and I have to have popcorn and a soda every single time I go.
10. When Scott and I got married in PR I begged him to go somewhere else for our honeymoon. He thought we should stay there and enjoy all the island has to offer. We did and spent most of our honeymoon with my family. "I told you so!" It bothered him more than it bothered me, but seven years later I still tell him he owes me a honeymoon.
11. I don't adapt well to change, but I love to change things around. Go figure!
12. Creme Brulee, oh how I love thee! I think it should be it's own food group. YUMMY!
13. I don't much like shopping for clothes or shoes or purses, but if there's a sale on home decor stuff then Watch Out!
14. Growing up we ate rice and beans almost every day and I still love it, and so do my kids.
15. Some people think I'm somewhat un-American because I hate Peanut Butter, Biscuits and Gravy and every single type of Girl Scout Cookies.
16. I took Italian in college and totally fell in love with the language. I only remember a few of the bad words, but I'm sure I didn't learn those in my Italian class.
17. I grew up on an island with the freshest of seafood readily available, but I do not like or eat seafood, except for certain types of fish, and definitely not catfish. I guess I have something against bottom feeders.
18. If I could go back in time I would go straight back into High School. Those were some fun days, baby. F. U. N.
19. I have two beautiful children, but have actually been pregnant three times.
20. I love regular Coke, especially if it's from McDonald's. It's like crack,... once I start I can't stop.
21. I've never been to Europe.
22. I have two celebrity crushes: Brian Williams and Clive Owen. Neither one of them are pretty boys, but both of them make me weak at the knees.
23. My beverages of choice are a well prepared Cosmopolitan, an ice cold Miller Lite, or a glass of Riesling wine.
24. NyQuil is by far my drug of choice. If I'm not feeling well or if I want to sleep really good I take a shot of NyQuil.
25. Although most people think I am super extroverted, I can be very shy or reserved/introverted at times. No really, I can.

So there you have it. If you decide to post 25 Random Things about yourself either on your blog or Facebook, please let me know. I'd love to see your list.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Randomness Galore

WOW, I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post. Things around here have been SO busy this last week and I haven't made much time for sitting at the computer, but I promise to do the best I can to get you caught up. Let me warn you, this post will most likely be long and ALL over the place. OK, so here we go.


WW Update:
I was not able to attend my regularly scheduled WW meeting last week and most likely will also miss this coming week's due to scheduling conflicts. But I can tell you with most certainty that ever since my parents got here, it's been BAD. Really, really bad. Like lunch at Panera bad. And lunch at Pei Wei bad. Oh yeah, and late night drives to the donut shop bad. See? I told you it was bad. So, I will update you with my "progress" as soon as there is some to report.


The "MOLE":
As you all know I have a mole right next to my bottom lip. You know, I actually like my mole. It's been a part of me and who am I ever since I can remember. I seriously do not have a memory of myself that doesn't include my mole.

Exhibit A: Liz with mole

Well, I've noticed my mole has gone through some changes in the last couple of years and thought it would be wise to have a dermatologist check it out, you know just to make sure that everything is OK.

So I'm taken into an exam room and placed under a bright light and the dermatologist looks at it and says that in order to ensure it's not malignant it has to come out. Come again? Apparently, unless the mole is removed and sent out to a lab to be checked out they can't tell whether it's OK or not.

So I naively asked her when she wanted me to schedule this "procedure", to which she enthusiastically responds : "Oh, we can do it right now! It won't take but ten to fifteen minutes." WHAT?!?! ***Insert panic state here*** I tried to explain that this mole is a part of me, I have had this on my face since forever! I wasn't expecting that it would be removed today. It's something I need to think about. She sympathetically says she understands and tells me she'll be back in a few minutes. Phew! That was a bit too close for comfort.

A few minutes later she strides right back into the room and asks: "Well, what did you decide?" WHAT?!?! Are you kidding me, lady? Think, Liz! Think fast!!! Suddenly it hits me and I say: "Well, you see I have a baby in the waiting room with my parents and I don't know how well he'll hold up if he has to sit there much longer. I'd hate for him to upset your staff or your other patients." She looked up at her nurse and without missing a beat the nurse walked out of the room and was back seconds later to report that the baby is fine and my parents have given the OK for them to proceed.

Anyway, ten minutes later I walked out into the waiting room looking like this:

Exhibit B: Liz with huge, swollen and disfigured lip

My lip was swollen and bruised and hurt like crazy. Oh yeah, just in case I forgot, thanks Mom,... thanks Dad! You guys are the BEST!!! When I went to pick Isabella up at school I had to cover my lip and explain to her that Mommy had a Boo Boo, but that it really did not hurt and I felt fine. She looked petrified.

So anyway, I went back to the dermatologist today and they removed the stitches. It's kind of hard to assess what it will really look like until the swelling has gone down a bit and the scar starts healing. Bring on the Mederma, Baby!

Exhibit C: Liz without mole
Good Heavens I'm in desperate need of a facial! Geez!

The reason it looks all bumpy is because last week the dermatologist's nurse told me to put some Vaseline on it but my Mom thought some Neosporin would be so much better for it, being that it had the Vaseline in it and all. As it turns out they don't tell you to use Neosporin because it actually irritates it. Who knew? Thanks Mom, again!


My Dad:
We are diligently working every avenue we can think of to get my Dad the treatment he needs here in Memphis. We've hit some seriously discouraging walls along the way, but I have promised him I will research and exhaust every possibility available. We're so very grateful to so many people for offering their help and guidance along the way.


Our Girl:

Please say a prayer for our sweet girl who is having some procedures done tomorrow at the hospital to determine the reason(s) for her recurring UTIs.


Simple Things:
These are in my house right now:

Gerbera daisies are my absolute favorite flowers and they make me oh so happy.


Current Read:
I am currently reading this book:

And it is seriously laugh-out-loud funny. It's a woman's story about her real-life weight loss journey and if you've ever been on a diet or thought about losing weight you might want to check it out. Hilarious!


My Bronchitis:
Although somewhat better, I'm still struggling with this illness. And since I like to keep things PG on this blog, I'll just move on to the next topic.


My Cell Phone:
Is broken. Maybe this should not have been the topic of choice after my vow to keep things PG on this blog.


Bad Hair Day:
Have you ever had a bad hair day? You know, the kind where absolutely nothing you do can help you tame your mane? Yeah, kinda like this:

This boy just cracks me up and I wanted to share some of his craziness with you.

Alrighty then, now that I have totally sucked up such a ridiculous amount of your time, I better get going. Until next time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

At the end of the day,...

... this is what it's all about.

My Daddy and my little girl
enjoying each other's company.

This makes my heart happy!

These pictures were taken today right after dinner.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yeah,... if only

So after an unbearably miserable night last night I finally decided I had to go see a doctor regarding this horrid cough I've had since around Christmas and appears to be worsening by the day.

If only I took as good care of myself as I do of the kids. If only I were as proactive in having something "checked" with myself as I am with the kids. If only I didn't always think I can "get through it" with some over the counter stuff. If only,... then I would be sleeping most nights and getting some much needed rest and not feeling totally drained and sick and tired and worthless. Yeah, if only,...

But since I don't handle myself with the same proactive determination that I handle the kids, after three weeks of feeling pretty crappy, I finally caved in bright and early this morning and went to local minor medical clinic.

Survey Says:
And a bad case of it!

I was given a sinus cocktail shot and put on two antibiotics as well as Sudafed and Mucinex. I am however thrilled to report that already I am feeling so much better. The thought of having to cough or swallow doesn't make me want to crawl into the fetal position in the corner of the room anymore. And that's HUGE! I think they should make a "cocktail" shot for all illnesses so that you can feel better and actually get on with your life much sooner than you can when you take a 5 to 10 day antibiotic.

On the parent front, I am so excited to announce that they are merely a couple hours away. Just a couple of hours and I get to see my Mom and Dad. Oh sweet heavens!!! Did I mention I'm SO excited?

My Mom sent me a text message earlier (yeah, did I mention I don't text? No, really, I don't. I don't quite see the point. I can call you and tell you whatever it is I want you to know in less time than it's gonna take me to type a message with my gigantic fingers on those tiny little phone keys. Anyway, apparently my Mom recently discovered texting and loves it ~ go figure). Where was I? Oh yes, so she sent me a text message telling me that while they were eating breakfast in Alabama this morning the young girl who was their server paid her a compliment. I know, right,... who doesn't like a compliment every now and then? Yeah, she told my Mom that she looked really good for an old lady. WHAT?!?! Are you kidding me? My Mom is not an old lady,... she's only 57 years old! Someone needs to speak to this young girl about appropriate small talk. My Mom, being the lady that she is, smiled and thanked her. Me, being the lady that I am, well let's just say the exchange would have been quite different.

Well, I better go and wrap up a few things before their arrival. YAY!
OK, I'll keep you posted,...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Girls' Night Out

Last night a group of girlfriends and I met up for an awesome laughter-filled dinner and then we all went to see this:
If you're looking for a deep, thought provoking movie that will challenge your intellect in ways you can't even imagine, then this is definitely not the one to see.

However, although the movie got some pretty negative reviews, it totally turned out to be exactly what we all needed after the busy/demanding/emotional week we all had. The bottom line is it's a pretty cute chick flick which was better than any one of us had expected. And finally, is it just me or do you also think Kate Hudson is almost an exact replica of her mother (well, before she had all those cosmetic procedures done)? Seriously, right down to her mannerisms.

OK, so being that dinner and drinks would be involved in last night's agenda, the kids and I visited my local WW office yesterday afternoon for my weekly weigh-in.

Pounds lost this week: 3.2 lbs
Total lost: 28.4 lbs

I have one word, and only one word to say:


Oh. My. Gosh.
I was thrilled beyond belief. I seriously could not even believe it when the lady told me my results. I'm sure the other shoe will drop during next week's weigh-in, I mean,... it has to, right? But until then I will bask in the glory of the fact that I am less than 2 pounds away from a total of 30 pounds lost. And I feel GOOD!

In other news, my Mom and Dad are scheduled to arrive this coming Tuesday instead of tomorrow. We had to push the trip out a couple of days due to a scheduling conflict with the local dialysis center. But we're in business now and ready to roll. Have I told you how excited I am that they are coming? I have this unbearable need to hug my Daddy as tight as I can for as long as I can.

Alrighty then, I'm off to bed now. It's been somewhat of a hectic day, I'm still fighting off some nasty illness that has me coughing quite unladylike (I'm pretty sure it's along the lines of kennel cough) and I'd like to do a little reading before I doze off to la la land.

Until next time,...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Good News/Bad News

Well, I've been struggling the last few days and trying to figure out how to best communicate the latest update on my Dad and his treatment. Anyway, here I go:

Some Good News:

*** The bleeding that was the original cause of his hospitalization back home was not from the liver. After conducting numerous procedures the Mayo Clinic specialists were able to identify the root of the problem (which I think may have been bleeding esophageal varices, but I'm not 100% on this), and successfully treat it to completely stop the bleeding.

*** As it turns out, my Dad was misdiagnosed in Puerto Rico and he does not have Liver Cancer. He does however have Cirrhosis of the liver, which means a liver transplant would still be the best course of action treatment-wise.

The Bad News:

*** Unfortunately, the Mayo Clinic did not accept my Daddy as a transplant candidate at this time. Their biggest concern is that his heart is not strong enough to get him through the surgery(ies) and that they would most likely lose him on the operating table.

*** Although they are more than capable of dealing with my Dad's heart issues first, they apparently do not accept Medicaid which means my parents would have to pay the 20% that Medicare does not cover. They didn't exactly give us a figure, but it was understood we're talking about a whole lot of money.

*** Both my Mom and Dad are physically and emotionally exhausted and could definitely use a break from this strenuous roller coaster ride they've been on for the last month or so.

Some More Good News:

*** My Mom and my Dad are embarking on a twelve hour road trip this weekend and coming to stay here with us for some time. They will be here. This weekend. With us. Now that's some seriously good news, my friends. We're currently in the process of getting his dialysis scheduled locally for some time. Yeah, I cannot wait to see them!

*** My brother Chris has an acquaintance who is an MD, lives and works in Memphis, specializes in Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine, Transplant and Hepatology, and has expressed interest in reviewing my Dad's case. When we began this journey he had mentioned to Chris that the practice he works for often times treats those "risky" patients who have been denied by the Mayo Clinic. He already requested my Dad's charts from Mayo and is currently in the process of reviewing them. Of course, there are still no guarantees that this doctor will accept my Dad as a patient or deem him as a candidate for heart surgery or the transplants, but right now we're functioning on cruise control and exploring every possible option available.

As you probably already know I don't really believe in coincidences. Actually, I'm more the we're not in control and everything happens for a reason type person. But I sure do take comfort in knowing that our journey is not yet over and we're ready and willing to do whatever is in our power to see this through. And the fact that we already have other options in motion, in Memphis nonetheless, is amazing. But at the end of the day whichever outcome God has in store for us, whether it's treatment or not, well,.... He'll get us through, because He is faithful and He always does.

Please keep those prayers coming. We are in desperate need of them right now and appreciate every single one of you so much!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Masochism defined

The following are a few definitions for the word "masochist" that I found online tonight.


mas·och·ist\-kist\ noun
1: Someone who obtains pleasure from receiving punishment
2: Pleasure in being abused or dominated : a taste for suffering
A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences

and I'd like to add this last one for your reference as it pertains to this specific post:

4: Someone who was apprehensive when they initially purchased MoonSand for their child, but yet goes out and buys more,... a whole new set with new molds and three different bright colors of sand

For some reason I'm feeling the need to follow this with an in depth definition of insanity.

Seriously, what was I thinking? Already half of the sand from her first set has been swept or vacuumed off the floor. And here I go today and buy her a new set with not one color of sand, but three. Well, as you can imagine by the time she was done playing all four different color sands were mixed together into a crazy technicolor mess and she's loved every little bit of it. Oh yeah, that's what I was thinking.

This child LOVES her MoonSand and seeing this expression on her face every single time she plays with it brings me such joy, who cares about the temporary mess? Besides, she has gotten quite competent at handling the handheld vacuum and cleaning up her sandy mess herself.

And speaking of things that bring me such joy to my heart, here's Sammy!

I just LOVE that face and that smile and those cute little teeth and those adorable eyes and that snotty nose and them rolls on his neck and well,... I think you get the point. I just wanna spread him on a cracker and eat him right up.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Special Visit

Although they almost didn't stop by our house due to a certain little girl's unwillingness to listen yesterday which drove a certain little girl's Mom almost to the point of insanity, the Three Kings/Wise Men did indeed come by and leave a little something for the kids.

Of course Sam was oblivious to it all, but Isabella was totally thrilled with the two board games she got: Candy Land and Chutes & Ladders. It appears that this year the Wise Men were focusing on activities that we could do together. So after dance class this morning we came home, put Sam down for his morning nap and got busy with Candy Land.

She listened intently to the directions and played like a pro. She won our first game and beat me bad. So needless to say she was more than willing to go for round two. The second time around had a bit of a different outcome ~ although she was way ahead of me for most of the game, and quite vocal about it I may add, she picked a card that sent her way back to the beginning. She was mad and told me she did not want that card and that the game was OVER!

Well, I tried to explain that we can't always win and that it's really about playing together and enjoying the game and all that other sportsmanship BS talk, but it was useless. She was hysterical and that was the end of that. Yeah, good times!

I'm not exactly sure where this came from because we usually never make a big deal over winning or losing with her. If she "wins" we celebrate it and if Mommy or Daddy "win" we celebrate it. No big deal is ever made over "losing". We usually just keep trying.

I'm pretty sure Scott's laughing at this whole little scenario right now cause there have been a few times, I'm a bit ashamed to admit, that I have had a similar reaction to a "heated" game of Rummy or Scrabble. Well, sans the hysterical crying. But in my defense, I have never done it in front of her. Yeah, maybe the apple doesn't fall far from the tree after all,...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to the Everyday Grind

Well, effective today we're officially back to "normal", or some semblance of it, in the Butler household.

Isabella's first day back at preschool is today and tomorrow she returns to dance classes after the Holiday break. My Spring Bible Study does not start back until next Wednesday, and I can't wait, but we do have a play date with the Yoders scheduled for this Wednesday. So we're back to our busy, but fun weeks.


Although I've already stated my opinion on New Year's resolutions, and have chosen instead to focus on SIMPLIFYING our lives in 2009, there are certain things that I'd like to do this year.

One of them is to get back to scrapbooking. I honestly cannot remember the last time I sat down to scrapbook. Well, that's not entirely true since Sam's first year album is up to date, but that's more "mechanical" than it is creative since I'm following the same formula month after month. It's just that it seems like making the time these days is almost impossible. So, it appears I'm going to have to get creative with my time in order to squeeze it in somehow.

Also, there are some house projects that I've been wanting to tackle for some time now and I'm thinking this will definitely be the year. Some things will HAVE to get done before Sam's birthday party in March so that might just be the motivation I need to get myself in gear. Hmm,... I smell an OPAM coming on. Stay tuned!


OK, let me just start this section by saying that it's been three whole weeks since my last weigh-in and I've been bad,... really, really bad. WOW! I totally feel like I'm back in private school during one of our mandatory confessions. Oooh, how I hated those. Remind me to to tell you about them one of these days. Anyway I digress, I'm happy to report that as "bad" as I was during the Holidays with regards to WW, I'm still committed to the program and I did go in this last Saturday for a MUCH dreaded weigh-in. Without further ado:

Pounds lost since last weigh-in: .8 lbs
Total lost: 25.2 lbs

Now my dear friends, if this here isn't a Christmas miracle then I just don't know what is. Somehow I managed to lose .8 pounds in the last three weeks and reach a pretty exciting goal of 25 pounds lost. YAY!!! Let's just hope the other shoe doesn't drop next week with an astronomical gain.

So now what, you ask? Well, let's just say that not only am I getting back on the wagon, but I'm super gluing my behind to the wagon and steering the heck out of it.


Our Christmas decorations are still up and will probably not come down until the weekend (of course if it were up to me they'd be year round). Tonight is a very special evening for us. You see, we're expecting a visit from the Three Kings (or the Three Wise Men ) who visited Jesus shortly after he was born.

This is one of my favorite Latin traditions, specially when I was a kid, and I'm so excited to celebrate it with my children. We get to go out and collect some "grass" to put in a box for the camels to eat while the Three Kings come in and leave us a little something. Growing up we would place the box under our beds and the camels would eat some of the grass (they were very messy eaters, let me tall ya), but since we live in a two story home and it would be quite the daunting task for the camels to go upstairs quietly we leave our box under our Christmas tree. This isn't big presents like the ones usually exchanged during Christmas, these are smaller gifts, much like the ones they took to Jesus. So tonight we'll collect our grass, read the story about the Three Kings who found Jesus and brought him gifts and go to bed filled with excitement and anticipation. I mean seriously, can you stand it?


Finally, I should have an official update on my Daddy later this week. Some things have transpired in the last few weeks, but the moment of truth and decision time will likely take place this week so I'll make sure and keep you all posted. Please keep them prayers coming.

Until next time!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My "One Little Word"

Happy New Year, everyone! Have you set your New Year's Resolutions yet? Are you that person who does year after year? I did! Oh, did I ever! I couldn't wait for New Year's Day to start living the new and improved life I'd always wanted to live. But it had to be on New Year's Day, not one day earlier.

The truth is that I should have just recorded my resolutions one year and played them back year after year: eat healthier, lose weight, exercise more, be more patient, spend less money, be a better person,... Well, a few years back I decided to stop that practice in order to stop setting myself up for failure and disappointment over and over again.

So, here's what I suggest: Kick your "New Year Resolutions" out the front door and open yourself up to something new that you can really accomplish.

A few years ago the talented Ali Edwards started something called "One Little Word". The following is the way she describes it in her own blog: "The idea behind the one little word concept is to give yourself something to focus on throughout the year." Simple, isn't it?

I've actually been doing this for the last couple of years. In 2007 my chosen word was "RELAX", and boy did I need it then. I made sure to place my word where I could see it and remind myself to stop, breathe and relax when things seemed to be getting a bit out of control, as they sometimes do. And it really helped. Well, I mean not always, but often and isn't that what it's about?

Last year (2008) my word was "GO" as in "GO with the flow" and "let GO" and "GO for it". A bit more general I know, but this allowed me to be more flexible and open myself up to a lot more. And honestly, it was a good word for me last year. The only other word that I can think of that could have really helped in 2008 was maybe "SURVIVE", but I didn't really think of that one until after we added an infant to our mix, Isabella hit the atrocious threes and we started that whole potty training thing.

Anyhoo, without further ado I have chosen my word for this year and I am thrilled with it: "SIMPLIFY".

Pronunciation: \ˈsim-plə-ˌ\
Function: transitive verb
: to make simple or simpler: as a: to reduce to basic essentials b: to diminish in scope or complexity : streamline c: to make more intelligible : clarify

As I stay home with our two wonderful children on many occasions I have found myself wanting to "SIMPLIFY" things in our lives. Things such as reduce some of the clutter in our home, rotate their toys, free up some time to allow for some margin in our lives, plan ahead to keep things a lot more manageable.

So there you have it. SIMPLIFY is my word for 2009 and I'm hoping to embrace it in all aspects of our lives, starting immediately actually. You see, I've already started the planning process for Sam's First Birthday party in March. If you know me well, then you know I LOVE birthdays and can get a bit ahem!, carried away at times. I've just looked at my planning sheet (oh yes, I have to write everything down otherwise I won't have anything to cross off (a tad OCD, I know) or I'll surely forget something) and suddenly felt an urge to SIMPLIFY things a bit.

I am SO looking forward to this new simpler year! Do you have a word you want to focus on in 2009? If so, won't you play along? Leave me a comment and let me know what it is,...

I wish you a 2009 filled with health, love and prosperity!