Sunday, November 29, 2009

What day is it?

Oh my goodness! This weekend has been insane....and I didn't even cook a full Thanksgiving dinner. We went to my parents' house for dinner. I brought along pineapple salad, mashed and sweetened sweet potatoes (or were they yams...I always forget which is which), extra white potatoes (my mom thought 5lbs would be enough LOL!) and a few extra things. We ate a bit on the late side (5:00) which worked out well for Drew, Michelle and Val. They went to their boy/girlfriends' houses first. It also allowed my brother to come and get "real" food as he put it. Seems he's not too fond of Melissa's mom's culinary skills with a turkey and stuffing. My sister cooked for Ed's family. Her and the girls showed up later in the evening for pie. My dad had their picture christmas tree set up on the porch. It's a small fake tree which features pictures of individuals in our extended family. Amazingly Sean didn't touch one ornament. Go Sean! No one wanted to get a family picture done like we normally do. Seems they thought it wouldn't be right without Liz there. Unfortunately I'm thinking that having them all together at the same time is getting less and less likely each year. We stayed way too late and pulled into our driveway around 12:45am.

Once inside I hit the ads and wrote out a list of things I'd try to price match at Walmart. I jumped online quick to see if it was possible to order anything I wanted online. Most things I wanted were out of stock so no luck. I'll have to remember to do it during the early evening hours on Thanksgiving like I did last year. It was a little after 3 and I couldn't figure out whether I wanted to head to the store and try to get home as soon after 5am (when the sales started) as I could. Or go to bed and just meander into the store whenever I got there since there wasn't anything I REALLY wanted and was willing to fight anyone for. I decided to jump into bed and see what happened. I had a hard time falling asleep and almost got up. I had started to doze off just before Michelle walked into my room at 3:30 to ask if I was going shopping and what time did I want to leave. I said now and got up.

Walmart didn't seem nearly as busy as it had other years. I noticed they had instituted quite a few new tactics to control the crowd for the big ticket items so maybe that was it. Usually there's a deafening roar as it rings 5am and people rush to get the deals when the plastic wrap comes off the displays. This year they weren't keeping tabs on the 5am only displays so people were digging into them beforehand and the roar didn't happen. I'm wondering if that was on purpose or just lack of manpower to see that things stayed wrapped up. Anyways we got a few deals then headed to Big Lots for a couple things. Michelle wanted to stop into work and pick up her check so I naturally ran through there and got some deals too. Then we grabbed some breakfast and headed home. I was exhausted so immediately jumped into bed for a light 2.5 hour nap.

One of the reasons for the light nap was that I checked my email after getting home from my parents'. There was news that Gwen, our friend from church, had passed away that morning. It hit me hard even though I knew it was inevitable (she had cancer and wasn't seeking treatment). Then Val woke me to let me know that Janna had called looking for her to tell her that Janna's future FIL had died that morning. Also that John had gotten a call shortly after Janna's that his aunt was in a car accident. Val woke me later to let me know that John's aunt didn't survive. :o(

Needless to say I was still exhausted after my nap. I knew it was a bad idea to go shopping but I couldn't miss it. The really bad thing was that I still had to go to the Carrier Dome and do concessions for the Syracuse basketball game. It's funny though that as tired as I was, once I there and going...I felt fine. Now the ride home....that was a different story (and luckily I wasn't driving). Of course the exhaustion didn't stop my mouth from going a mile a minute all the way home....poor Mike.

Yesterday was a bit of the same...concessions at the dome but this time for the state high school championships. I was shown some mercy and given 2nd shift so didn't have to be in until 2pm. Even though I was awake early, I was moving VERY slowly and was a bit glad that I didn't have to be back out the door just yet. Although I admit...I like the setup part of concessions better then I like cleanup. By the time it's time to crunch figures at the end, my brain is a bit mushy.

UGH! Now it is Monday TUESDAY morning and my context (yesterday, today, etc) is all off...oh well not fixing it. Monday just flew by. I tried to get things done for the bazaar which is THIS Saturday but didn't manage to get anything accomplished.

I never got around to talking about Sunday. I went to the wake and a small service for Gwen. Although I know that she's in a much better place and finally out of a lifetime of physical pain. It's still hard to think that she won't be around anymore. I loved talking to her. She had amazing stories to tell of the places she's gone and lived, the things she's seen and experienced. She was an awesome lady and shining example.

Little side story here. As I was about to go out the door to Gwen's wake, Olivia yells out...Oh mom! Grandma called. Tom was in the kitchen and asked her...Which one? Olivia paused for a second, gave him a weird look and said...the one that's alive!?! He laughed and said, "DARN! I was hoping you'd say the other one. I could just see her calling and saying...GWEN IS HERE!" Gwen's DIL got a big kick out of that story and said it brought up a chuckle all day.

After the wake it was back home to pick up the kids and head to Michelle's work (had to pick her up anyways) for her Christmas party. It's in the backroom of their store with a nice buffet, a bouncy house set up and gifts for the kids 12 and under. We got there a little late and some of the food had already run out. While in line one of Michelle's bosses mentioned to missed the chicken fingers. I was so tempted to say...It wasn't my family! We just got here and this is my first plate! But I didn't. I hate that feeling. Like everyone thinks you're taking more then you are or deserve because there's so many of you. The eyes, the's a good thing it doesn't bother me....too much. lol

Monday, November 23, 2009

I can't help but think....

And now it starts.

I'm not one to get political on here but something has REALLY REALLY been bugging me and I have to get it off my chest. It has to do with healthcare bill. And before someone goes and thinks...well she has health insurance, she has the luxury of having this opinion. While I have insurance, my 4 oldest kids at the present time have NO insurance at all. I'm dealing with some decent size bills from tests we felt were necessary for Val. I live in fear that one of my kids is going to be sick and not get treatment because they can't afford it. I'm looking at Carrie's future knowing that with the way things are right now there's a very good possibility that she could be denied insurance coverage as an adult due to existing medical conditions. Meaning if her coverage ever lapses then no one has to insure her again, almost forcing her to attend college. Or possibly forcing her to take a job or not based solely on whether she can have medical coverage. It sucks!

My problem is that one of my fears has already started to surface. The government gets it's claws into the system and things start becoming unnecessary or elective or whatnot. With the healthcare bill being the closest it's ever been to being passed there suddenly is all these revisions on medical procedures coming out. Namely the US Preventative Services Task Force's new Mammogram recommendations. Funny how for 20yrs we were pushed and pushed to get our mammograms. Now that the government might be paying for most of them...oh it's not really necessary right now. It'll just freak you out and cause you stress because it might give false positive results. Sorry Charlie but I'd rather be freaked out for a little bit for good news then to stick my head in the sand because a government panel thinks it's unnecessary. Thus allowing cancer to grow longer then is necessary. Like until I can actually feel it myself. And that brings us to the other thing....

What really got me was that they were also suggesting that doctor's stop teaching women how to do breast self-examinations because it serves little benefit. HUH!?!?! Do they not realize how many women received EARLY treatment for breast cancer because they felt a lump. Do they realize it's the least invasive screening procedure out there for breast cancer. Do they realize that it doesn't cost a stinking penny to utilize!? Quite a few women I know who've been treated for breast cancer already suspected or knew they had it due to feeling lumps. Most of them under the age of 40 BTW. Yes, many women get scared because they feel a lump that most likely is a blocked milk duct or a benign cyst but can they say that it serves little benefit!?!?

For all I know, the task force could have tons of scientific data to back up it's stance for reduced use of mammograms. Looking up articles just now while writing this I see that many people are doubting the validity of the studies. Accusations of poor exacution and financing of the study. That technology involved with mammograms and followup procedures is greatly increased since the study started (the 70's). I'm sure I can find info out there to back up both parties, it's usually the case.

The timing just makes me go hmmmm. And to me it seems wrong to have those that will probably be paying for things to be making the recommendations and rules about the services it's paying for. And onto the slippery slope we go.

Oh and a question to the task force. What percentage level does make it worth recommending? Because a 14 percent reduction in breast cancer related deaths due to screening in the 40yo group seems pretty significant to me. Just wondering.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

WHY am I still up!

I have a busy day starting in about 5 hours or less and I need to sleep. So why am I sitting here wide awake doing laundry? I hate when I get on a kick like this. That I'm getting so much done I don't want to sleep. We've had a marathon of cleaning for the last few days. Eileen, Olivia and I went through all their drawers and totes of clothes and weeded things out. We unearthed their bedroom floor from the piles of clothes and I was up to my eyeballs in laundry. It didn't help that I was already behind in everyday stuff due to the flu, crocheting and just not getting my butt down into the basement on a regular basis. These last few days though, I have and I've done at least 16 loads of laundry with a ton more to go. Especially since I went into Carrie's room and helped her sort her clothes which almost doubled the laundry from the day before. The girl is what I call a clothes hound. She can't get rid of any clothing. It all stops in her room. She's agreed to aggressively weed things out and pass on some things to her younger sisters. But it has to be washed first. I'm hoping I don't burn out on this in the next few days because I'd love to get into my room next which we won't even describe. Let's just say it's the worse room in the house and I'll be doing a lot of laundry and sorting with a lot of decision to be made. I'll need to find some boxes or totes since there's handme downs of all different sizes in there, mostly for Sean, but some for Danielle.

Can someone tell me what I am suppose to do with my baby stuff? Theoretically I could start needing in the next year or so if someone were to get married, have a baby and make me a grandma. But what about reality? I don't know what to hang on to and for how long! Sometimes it hurts to see it sitting there at the foot of my bed getting dusty. Oh to have a new baby to snuggle, to kiss and sniff on. I feel blessed though that the twinges aren't too bad, nor do they stick around very long. Still it can be hard for me to visit the pregnancy board I used to be on. Even if I do want to go and check up on my friends. Even though I'm at peace and know our decisions were the right thing and the best for us. There's times when start doubting and wonder....was it really though?

Here I'm admitting to yearning another baby and yet I'm being driven crazy by Sean. Don't get me wrong, I love him to death and he's the cutest thing on the earth. And one smart smart cookie. BUT (and there's always a but huh) he's still nursing and nursing a lot. I know, I'm weak but it breaks my heart when all he wants is to snuggle up to mom and nurse and he starts crying when I try to deny him that. I'm such a pushover. He takes my rear end in the chair as a cue that it's snuggle time. If I'm busy he'll tell me....NO clean mama! Sit! Nurse! I've always looked at mother's nursing older kids who self serve (pulling up the shirt and getting out the goods) and thought....that kid is way beyond being ready to wean! Yet, here Sean is....insisting....ME DO IT! His newest favorite thing to do is to cocoon under my shirt. He climbs totally under my shirt, tucking it under his back. His legs are usually somewhere in my armpit or sleeves. And if I'm trying to type or crochet or drink my coffee and he doesn't want me to....he kicks my arm away from me. Grrrrrrrr! I keep reminding myself that it's only for a little bit longer. Olivia was 30mos when she weaned but it was brought on by me having gall bladder surgery. I refuse to have surgery to wean him. I keep joking that I need to go away for a week and see if that does the trick.

I haven't really crocheted anything in the last few days. I've woven some ends in thus finishing up some projects. i've started and frogged quite a bit of things I've started. And it's bugging me. I don't want to get them done for the Christmas bazaar so much it's Christmas presents. (although I have a few non crochet projects for the bazaar I want/need to get cracking on!) Things are tight this year so I need to make a fair amount of gifts. It doesn't help that some projects require additional supply purchases and that can't happen for almost a week or more.

Well Sean just woke up and is looking for nursies. Guess that's my cue that it's time to stop rambling and try to get some sleep.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Catchup #2

Darien Lake

We saw the Survivor Live show. The audience was divided into 4 tribes. Jake was picked to represent our tribe. And he won, thanks to his obnoxious big family who make a ruckus when it was time to vote. Here he is in the winner's headdress and with the leader of our tribe.

DL Jake Survivor

After swimming Tom and I decided to run to the van to drop off all the wet things and grab everyone's jackets. The kids stayed by a fountain and had some fun.

DL scary kids

One section of little kids rides only had one operator working it. So to be fair he'd run a ride 3 or 4 times and then move onto another ride. He was like the pied piper with a group of little ones following him. Sean was too small to go on anything but the motorcycles which he REALLY wanted to go on. Poor guy had to wait forever for it to happen. Do you think he thought the wait was worth it?

DL motorcycles

Michelle's Birthday

Michelle turned 22 on October 2nd. She decided she wanted to have a scavenger hunt for her birthday. Michelle made up a list of a LOT of things to try to find. The four oldest kids were the teams. They divided up the rest of the kids, grabbed a digital camera and jumped into their cars (or their boyfriend's cars). The pictures were hilarious. Unfortunately I only have access to Michelle's group pictures (Michelle, Cory, Eileen and Olivia)

Cory ready to GO!

SH toilet paper on shoe
Someone with toilet paper stuck to their foot

SH shopping cart
Team in a shopping cart

Team standing according to height

Team on the trampoline

The rest of the pictures

Oreo the cute fluff ball has turned into Oreo the big doofus

The big doofus

Danielle and Sean enjoying the disco party

disco party

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Catchup #1

There are so many cool pictures from our visit to Robert H Treman park in August that it'll take a whole post to share them. So photo catchup will be done in 2 posts.

The day wasn't very warm which would make our hike more enjoyable. Unfortunately it meant that the swimming hole would be a bit hard to tolerate as the water is pretty chilly.

Jake, Val, Carrie and Luke

The swimming hole

After lunch and swimming we decided to take a hike along the upper trail. Unfortunately that meant hiking up a ton of stairs which I was sure was about to kill me. I literally thought I could have a heart attack at any second. And then Sean wanted to be carried!! Once we leveled off I was fine though.

RHT On the verge of dying
Me bringing up the rear and wondering what I got myself into

The scenery was BEAUTIFUL!

We took a break at the quarter mile mark (it's a 2+ mile hike) since Danielle's legs were about to fall off and Sean wanted to be carried more and more.

RHT resting

I decided it would be in everyone's best interest for me to take the little ones back. Olivia, Eileen and Val decided to go back with me which was nice since both Danielle and Sean wanted to be carried most of the way. We hung out at our picnic table and the swimming hole while the rest of the group hiked.

RHT resting
Carrie's new house

RHT Look up there!



After their hike we went back to the swimming hole before it closed. All the kids except Danielle and Sean conquered the high dive. While we waited for them to finish on the diving board, Sean decided we needed one less towel to bring home. He picked it up and threw it over the railing into the creek below us. At first it was like he threw it in at Niagara Falls and I thought it would go rushing down the creek. Then I really looked at the creek and realized it was a pretty lazy current, even with all the waterfalls. Luke, Carrie and Jake decided to run down the trail and climb into the water to retrieve it.


We had a snack, packed up, and hit the bathroom. The road to the campground area is really neat. The creek runs over it. Of course the kids wouldn't let us leave without checking it out. Danielle and Sean decided it'd be a good place to get all huggy.


On the way out of the park we came to the funnest playground in the world.


Who's enjoying the firetruck more? Cory or Sean?



We finally managed to pry everyone away, climbed back in the van and headed home. But not before stopping at Arby's for a late dinner.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The flu got me fired!

Yes, I'm still alive and yes, I'm ok. Thanks for everyone's notes of concern. I am not considering shutting down this blog, it would take a lot for me to do that. This is MY place. I don't care whether anyone reads it (although I admit there were times when the visit numbers affected me greatly). I just want a place where I can go and lay down my thoughts and keep tabs on what's going on. In my absence I've been thinking of what I want to do here. So don't be surprised if I change things up a little. One of the things I considered was opening a craft blog since it's what I do in my free time nowadays (stolen time is more like it). But I couldn't rationalize putting one more thing on my plate when so many others were suffering. So I may just combine all my blogs into this one...make it a kind of day book. If I didn't know myself so well it would be exactly that but I know I won't keep it up like I should. So maybe a semi day book with reports from different areas of my life and day along with updates on the comings and goings of everyone.

I'd taken a recent hiatus from the social aspects of the net, using my little online time mostly for research and getting ideas for crocheting. I stopped visiting my message boards, missed a ton of chat nights, stopped reading most personal blogs...concentrating mostly on crochet/craft ones. I think I'm ready for the hiatus to be over. Now if time will just allow me to dive in instead of wading, I'd be happy.

So how did the flu get me fired? I'd been participating in a "study" of the post office. I was given a scanner and was to scan certain mail along with specific mail that was sent solely for the study purpose. You had to do it every day and I was doing great at it. Then we all came down with the H1N1 flu and things fell apart. We didn't get the mail from the box for days. I didn't get on the computer so didn't log into the study. Even after recuperating I couldn't seem to get my act together with this stuff. On Friday I got a notice that I was no longer needed in the study and that I was to send my scanner back in. :o( It's not a huge deal financially, it was only a couple dollars a month but still....I messed up and it stinks! Oh well at least I banked enough money to buy my mom something for Christmas.

Lots of new and interesting things have been happening around here. Our church is on a major fundraising campaign. We started beer pouring at the Carrie Dome during Syracuse football games. It seems silly for a church to raise funds that way but it's easy money. Besides it's not like none of us drink beer. I'd love to try a Shocktop if I could, (or had the's $5 for a glass!) But by the time I'm done pouring, beer isn't served anymore.

We're also starting to run a concession stand at the dome although we don't have our own stand yet. I shadowed a group who's been running a stand for a long time, learning the ins and outs of setting up and keeping track of inventory. The official title is... production manager. Sounds impressive huh? lol We've worked a stand 3 times now. I LOVE IT! It's right up my alley. I didn't think I'd be able to do it physically but I've surprised myself. It's shown me a lot about myself both good and bad. I realized that I'm not as unorganized as I think I am. That with a little more effort and forethought things would run a LOT better and easier around here. It all comes down to me. Am I going to make up excuses and be lazy or am I going to do what needs to be done...whether I want to or not.

Then there's the Etsy shop or right now the idea of an Etsy shop. We're in the middle of trying to get all our ducks in a row and open it up. We should've started this months ago but we don't operate like that around here. lol So now we're scrambling to try and get things up and going with the hope of getting some sales from Christmas shoppers. This helps us get things in order for the annual school Christmas Bazaar we do too which is the first Saturday of December. I'm working every chance I get on things, mostly crocheting. I swore I'd only make things I could use for Christmas presents myself. Then if something didn't sell I wouldn't be out so much. With the Etsy store idea going that's not so important now which is good considering my flighty brain won't let me settle on only a few things. Like last night when I should've been finishing a set of wrist warmers (completed one yesterday) I started making up granny squares for a yellow and purple carseat blanket. I finished all the squares and started putting it together today...first with white which was too stark then with Aran which now that I'm almost done seems too dull. So I'll be ripping it out (otherwise known as frogging it in the crocheting world...ripit!) and I'll try the lightest lavender to finish it with. Hopefully that'll be what it needs.

Well this has gotten long. I'm hoping to put up a bunch of pictures from the last few months and update more in the next day or so.