Monday, December 31, 2007

Missing Son

We once had a son we called Baby #3,

And then he got a Playstation under the tree.

We haven't seen him since... he's glued to the set,

Am I enjoying the silence... heck yeah, you bet!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Today is DECEMBER 30th

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to.........

NBA superstar LeBron James

Today show host Matt Lauer

and his co-host Meredith Viera (how ironic is that?)

Golf legend Tiger Woods

and ME! First thing I did today, on my birthday, was clean up PUKE that my son hurled off his top bunk at 3 a.m. No breaks on your birthday when you're a mama. Wonder if that's what Tiger did first thing today? How old do I look? I had a waitress at a local establishment the other night say I looked 23. I 'bout fell off my barstool. I ain't 23. I'm suspecting she was after a big tip???

(Oh... before I go... I want to give a special Happy Birthday shout-out to one of my B.F.F.'s daughters Mary Frances... have a great day girl! She's a smart, fancy nurse in ATL... hope your not working today or sleeping 'cause you worked all night. Love ya!)

Friday, December 28, 2007

My Baby's Growin' Up
Last night, my Baby, age 6, lost his first tooth.

Yep... there it is.

He's gotta check it out for himself! Seeing is believing.

Now, put it carefully in the Tooth Fairy Box.

Looks like a Big Boy Smile to me! What a handsome fella. Come give Mommy a kiss!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Notes on

Christmas '07

I am so exhausted today that I can hardly blog. You can see from the dates, after family started coming to town... the kids were out of school... crunch time approached for Santa's sleigh to be stocked... my life got crazy. So instead of penning some thoughtful & insightful prose I gotta stick to bullet points today:
  • Next year I will have to learn to "Just Say No" and not volunteer so much. I was so busy this month that I hardly decorated my house... didn't finish shopping until the last minute... ate fast food 4 nights a week... lived in a pig pen until this past weekend & bottom line= didn't really get to enjoy the season. One of my favorite sayings came to life... "if the Devil can't make you bad, he'll make you busy."
  • My sister made us go around the room this morning and say what we were thankful for. I said I was thankful that Christmas is over. My tree is down & the decorations are going in the attic tomorrow. I'm all Christmased out.
  • The Money Maker & I did pretty good pleasing all our kiddos with their presents. They're getting older so we didn't have to buy a bunch of plastic toys that make noise & take all night to put together... which was nice but short lived... Lilly will put us back at Square 1 next year.
  • NOTE TO SELF: Santa CANNOT wait until Christmas Eve to organize her sleigh. It was 11:31 p.m. when I finally had a quiet house and started pulling out bags, boxes & sacks hidden all over the house, garage & my car. I had a MAJOR PANIC ATTACK when I realized I was missing Baby #3's MAJOR present. I had bought the Playstation 2... but forgot to order the games. I became nauseated... had diarrhea... and it took me a while to calm myself down & convince myself everything would be alright. The poor kid had only been begging, crying... desperately waiting for Santa to bring him "Madden 07" for the past 6 weeks. But Santa also brought him a set of "real" football pads that he fell in love with and they were my savior. It dulled the sting of not getting the game.
  • The Money Maker did good & bought me a video camera for Christmas. Now I gotta master how to use it before heading to China.

How was your Christmas? Though this one was a blur... the memories of Christmases past keeps hope alive in my heart that Christmas can be magical again. I need to listen to my Mama and bring more order to my life... say NO to more... keep life & especially the holidays SIMPLE.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I had to hurry on the next installment of "Love It" (where I pass along things I love & maybe you will too) because this may be a seasonal offering. I am a coffee lover. Making it is the first thing I do each day. But Starbuck's has something I cannot resist now each time I stop in... The Caramel Apple Spice. Ohhh... it is so yummy. I know ya'll will be out doing some last minute Christmas shopping this weekend so when you stop in your local Starbuck's for a little pick-me-up, try the Caramel Apple Spice. Oh and the Caramel Praline Muffins are pretty good too.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Girls... Do Yourself a Favor
All week I've been watching "Clash of the Choirs" on NBC. A week-long reality show where 5 celebrities (Kelly Roland, Nick Lachey, Michael Bolton, Patti LaBelle & Blake Shelton) go back to their hometowns... put together a choir (American-Idol style) and compete for their favorite charity. And who can concentrate on any other choir when Nick Lachey is in the room. He is really something to drool over and drooling I have been. He is one of God's greatest creations... absolutely... perfectly... beautiful. And he's funny & down-to-earth... smart & hard working... I bet Jessica Simpson spends each night kicking her own butt for letting him go. My sister & I both agreed that if he came a knockin' on our door... we'd leave it all behind. So ladies, do yourself a favor... tune to NBC tonight for the 2 hour finale & get you a Nick Lachey fix... it's addictive!

Just posting this picture has made me giggle inside. Isn't he dreamy?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

And Now, a Happy Baby Story

My favorite woman in the news... I mean woman who does the news... or whatever... Campbell Brown (formerly of NBC and currently employed by CNN) gave birth to her first baby, a boy- Eli James. She was due Christmas Day but little Eli came a week early. I was really rooting for Campbell to get Katie Couric's job (even though I like Merideth Viera) hosting the Today show, but she didn't and I was bummed. Nevertheless, CONGRATS to Campbell (like she or anyone she knows would read this) and at 39... and married... she's good motherhood material!


This is a developing story, but if your a fan of celebrity entertainment news like I am you will not believe the news making headlines this morning. Jamie Lynn Spears, the 16-year-old sister of trainwreck/washed up popstar/ horrific mother Britney Spears, has confirmed that SHE IS PREGNANT! Do these girls have parents? She is 12 weeks along & reportedly plans to keep the baby & raise it in her home state of Louisiana in order to have "a normal family life" (like she even knows what that is.) As the mom of two girls who are big fans of her hit show on Nickelodeon "Zoey 101," this is really sad news. (At this point they think God gives babies to MARRIED people who have prayed for a baby... they're still too young for "the bird & the bees talk.") And this is sad news. Like I tell my kids... who sometimes wish they "we're all grown up"... once you are grown up... once your married... once you have kids... once you start working... you can NEVER go back to being a kid. And being a kid is awesome! Enjoy it. Cherish it. Poor Jamie Lynn. At the ripe 'ol age of 16... still a baby herself... she's about to be all grown up. (Oh... and one last note... she states in this interview that she was "shocked" at the discovery. Listen people... if you have sex... you better be prepared that pregnancy is a REAL possibility. No birth control is 100% effective, except abstinence... (or my grown up friend w/ hysterectomies.) And that includes married people. I got pregnant with #2 AND #3 while using types of birth control... and I know now that nursing a 5-month-old is not "officially" birth control... and I was shocked when I discovered I was pregnant. So I'm talking to myself here. But especially for kids. If you have sex with your little boyfriend... you better be ready to get pregnant.. 'cause you're telling the world... I know how babies are made & I'm participating in that activity & if it happens I'm ready to handle it. Even though you're really not. Lecture over.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Column: LOVE IT!
I'm going to begin a new column on my blog where I inform you... not that you asked... about some of my favorite products. I like getting recommendations from people for everything from shampoo to recipes to movies. So, to pass along the wealth of knowledge I have collected and continue to collect... my first regular column has been born.
I love Neutrogena's MoistureShine Lip Gloss. It's winter & our lips are dry. Or, if you're like me you need to keep something on your lips 24-7... this gal cannot abide dry lips. So therefore I kinda consider myself a lip product connoisseur. Anyhoo... I have been using this lipgloss for a while now & it rocks. It isn't too thick or too thin... it doesn't have a nasty taste like some lipglosses & lipsticks... and it doesn't cost a fortune. My favorite shades are Chic and Dreamy. Check it out.

Monday, December 17, 2007

DJs with Alzheimer's
One thing I look for right after Thanksgiving is a local radio station that plays all Christmas Carols thru Christmas Day. When I was younger I was totally addicted to Christmas Carols & played my own Christmas CD collection in my house. But that was a time when I had a snazzy stereo system that went through my whole home & a time when I could find my Christmas CD collection... I still haven't discovered that box from our move home from Florida in 2005... yes, I still have unpacked boxes (one labeled "Amy's Skinny Clothes" glares at me from the corner of the garage each day as I bring bags of Queen Anne's chocolate covered cherries home from Wal-Mart...) but that's another post. ANYWAY... since I don't have a fancy stereo system anymore & since I've "misplaced" my Christmas CD collection, I have depended on the radio for my Yultide music merriment for the last 3 (including this one) Christmases. Which brings me to the point of this post. Do DJs have to have documents cases of Alzheimer's disease to be employed during the holidays. I'm about ready to take Baby #3's 12 gauge shotgun to my radio. The secular radio station is the worst... I guess it's not "PC" to play CHRISTmas songs... like "The First Noel" or "Mary Did You Know," so they have to stick with the million different versions of "Jingle Bells" recorded by everyone from Elvis to Nine Inch Nails. I can only get the Christian station on my home computer... it's out of Atlanta & my home & car radios won't pick it up down here. At least that one will play traditional CHRISTmas songs even if they too like to play the same ones over and over. So... to vent... I'm going to list the Top 5 Songs that if I hear one more time I'm going to choke myself with a Candy Cane:
  1. "Sleigh Ride." Oh. My. Gosh. The program director must be getting paid by some mafia boss a gazillion dollars to play that stinkin' song EVERY SINGLE segment. Over and over and over and over. I don't care what time of day it is... I would bet my first born on it... if I get in the car to drive any distance, I WILL hear Sleigh Ride on the radio. No doubt about it. The Ronettes version is definitely MOST popular... followed by The Carpenters & Amy Grant.
  2. "Jingle Bell Rock." The only reason that I haven't already ripped out my car radio with my bare hands is because the station was offering the 98th caller $10,000 when they played "Jingle Bell Rock" twice in a row. So every time the played it I grabbed the phone & listened close. I never heard it twice. They always played "Sleigh Ride" next. I'm just going to call & say I'll pay THEM $10,000 if they'll never play the song again!
  3. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Not really when ya'll keep playing the SAME frickin' songs over & over!
  4. "Winter Wonderland." This use to be one of my most favorite Christmas songs because it's the ONLY song (Christmas or not) that I can still play by heart on the piano. But now, I just want to make a big bonfire out of the piano & burn my radio in it. Hands down... The Eurythmics version is THE most popular.
  5. "Santa Baby." Uhhh. It's all I can say. "Santa Baby I forgot to mention one little thing... please bring... some new CDs to the station...."
  • HONORABLE MENTIONS: "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (Bruce Springsteen's version is the worst!), "Feliz Navidad," "Last Christmas," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "Same Old Lang Syne" (God rest Dan Fogelberg's soul... I loved him.)

And while I'm on a roll... I'll pick on the Christian station too. And don't be fooled... they play the songs above over & over too... they "cross over" during the Christmas season!

  1. "The Little Drummer Boy." It's not my favorite Christmas song to begin with... then play it a gazillion times a day and I want to knock myself unconscious with his drum stick.
  2. "Do You Hear What I Hear?" I don't know... do I? I keep hearing ya'll playing the same blasted songs over & over... do you REALIZE you're doing that? Is it a calculated move to drive me out of my mind?
  3. "O Holy Night." I'm gonna fall on my knees and beg ya'll not to play this song every 10 minutes. But the Josh Groban version is pretty good.
  4. "The Christmas Shoes." I think this song is so morbid. I don't like hearing it once much less a million times. I mean the idea is sweet, but I don't think that Jesus is really gonna care what you have on when you meet him. The song reminds me of when The Money Maker's uncles were telling his dying Grandmother to tell Jesus when she saw Him that they wanted Him to get their Harleys ready for when they got there. Like Jesus is some Santa Claus ready to grant wishes or Joan Rivers, ready to hand out compliments to a lady on her fabulous department store shoes.
  5. "Joseph's Lullaby." Now I love this song... I think it's beautiful. And I like hearing it every day... but not 50 times a day. It's like my Queen Anne Cherries. I like them for one month a year... not all 12.
  • HONORABLE MENTIONS: "What Child is This?", "The First Noel", "Mary Did you Know?" "Mary's Lullaby" and "I'll be Home for Christmas" (and I know it's not a Christian song, but the Christian station is playing the mess out of the Josh Groban version that has the soldiers saying hello & Merry Christmas to their families back home... it's sad.)

So I've got a week left to endure the repeats & repeats & repeats and I've got a 11 months left to find my own personal Christmas CD collection!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Two Years Ago Today...
Our precious packet of adoption papers (called a dossier & pronounced doss-e-ay) left our agency's office in Boston to travel half way around the world to the CCAA in Beijing.

Monday, December 10, 2007

He's All They Can Think About!

Today I went to work at Baby #3's old preschool... I love that place! When Lilly goes to school there, I'm going back to work... it's fun. But then again I don't have to go everyday. Anyway, at circle time the kids (I was in the 3-year-old class by the way) gather around the teacher and she does the weather, the calendar, and reads a story. I'm getting snack ready so I'm listening to what's going on in "circle." So today, the teacher is reading a story about this little girl who goes to Bethlehem to look for the Baby Jesus. Is He in the inn? No. Is Baby Jesus behind the star in the sky? No. Is He in the fields with the shepherds? No. So on & on it goes with this little girl looking for Jesus. Well, finally the story ends up in the stable with Mary & Joseph and we are going to look behind the hay... in the manger. So the teacher says... "Who do you think is behind the hay?" A kid yells out "SANTA CLAUS!"

Sunday, December 9, 2007


The Rumor Queen

Once again, The Rumor Queen has outdone herself, and earned the title of Her Highness. Let's look (you may need to squint or go get your glasses... go ahead... I'll wait) at this most excellent chart and discuss some very interesting points:
  • 1.) This chart starts in March of 2005 (see Referral Date)... while we were still paperchasing. At that time our file was actually "on hold" for 6 months while we moved back home to Georgia from Florida. At that time you can see that "The Wait" was slightly less than 6 months. Incredible!
  • 2.) You can also see that in April of 2005, 33 days of LIDS were sent in referrals. All those families logged in between September 16 and October 19, 2004 received a referral. Compare that to last month where we only got 6 days.

3.) Look at October 2005... just a month before all our paperwork was submitted to our agency for authentification & certification... the slow down begins. The CCAA goes from referring around (more or less) a month of referrals to only 19 days... less than 3 weeks. Things continue to go downhill from there... 18 days, 16 days, 11 days... bottoming out in April of this year when we only got 2 days!

4.) By the time we sent our dossier to China in December of 2005 the wait had gone up to about 8 months. Just over a year later... in March of this year that wait had doubled to 16 months!

5.) So here we are in December of 2007 and you can see the wait is now up to almost 24 months... and that's exactly correct. January 5, 2008 will be our 2 year LID Anniversay and we will NOT have a referral by then & so the wait time will be pushed OVER two years.

The scary thing is that the wait time is supposed to get to 4 YEARS or over... doubling again what it is now. Who the heck is still sending in dossiers to China for Non-Special Needs Children??? Are they nuts? Thanks again to THE RUMOR QUEEN for the information... she rocks!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Amen Brother

The following was sent to me by my cousin Chad. I've seen it before but after hearing a lady on the radio yesterday it made me read closer. This lady, on the radio, was Jewish and was given a Christmas ornament as a "Thank You" by a member of her child's school's staff for some volunteer work she'd done. Oh boy was she offended. I can see the irony... she's Jewish... she doesn't celebrate Christmas... but instead of making a big stink... just be gracious & go on. Perhaps this gift giver didn't know the exact religious belief of every family in the school. If someone at my kiddos school gave me a dradle... I wouldn't raise up arms & contact my congressman... I would just tell my kids what it was & what Hanukah is and how it's different from what we believe and celebrate. I'm not going to preach to you... plus, I'm so dumb what I say would be all wrong, but I thought Ben's commentary was pretty good. (p.s... you can tell by the Nick & Jessica comment this was written a couple years ago:)

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?" (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing?

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us..

Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

Friday, December 7, 2007

Simply Beautiful
Click the link below to see how we will explain to Lilly how she came to be our daughter. Thanks to my friend Tiffany... Ruby's mama... we send you our constant prayers & best wishes as you prepare to bring your baby home.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Final Group Arrives
Click HERE to see the last group of babies for 2007.

Bah Humbug!
Well, as suspected, this month's referrals only go through DECEMBER 14th. I am not happy about this. They did 8 days last month... why couldn't they do another 8 this month? 6 lousey days... I'm gonna be a Scrooge and stomp my feet... shake my fist... roll around my bed and cry... and then pout all day.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007



This has been an usually quiet pre-referral period. We only have very sketchy rumors about DECEMBER 14th being the cut-off... even the Rumor Queen herself has yet to stake her reputation on it. Today there's a rumor that something is in route to US Agencies from China. We're not certain that the packages contain referrals, but sure are hoping. And of course, I'm hoping that the CCAA matches PAST the 14th... 'cause if they don't that blows our slim chances of a January referral... probably even February... looking more like March or April. Hopefully we'll have confirmation on referrals by the weekend.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's Funny Every Year!
Each Christmas I take my girls to go see our local Ballet Company's production of "The Nutcracker." It's awesome. This dance company blows me away year after year with the high quality of dance these girls are capable of... they are SO GOOD. It's also so much fun to watch the same students progress up through the different parts... from little soldiers to rosebuds to snowflakes and then the main characters like Clara, Marzipan and The Sugar Plum Fairy. I should've been a dancer. I think I could've been really good. My mother didn't give me lessons. She should have been able to look into her crystal ball & known I would've been good. Thank goodness she's a good mom otherwise & I can forgive her for carelessly overlooking the hidden ballet talent of my youth. Anyway, I was willing to put the money & carpool time & volunteer hours into helping my girls be the dancers I never was. They led me on for a couple years and finally smashed my hopes of living vicariously through them when they both declared after Spring Recitals they didn't have plans on returning to classes in the fall. Shucks! (Poor Lilly... she's not even here yet and she's already my last resort to be the mother of a beautiful ballerina... the girl's got pressure already!) Well, back to The Nutcracker. Our local company is comprised of 99% girls... they recruited somebody's brother to be the Nutcracker years ago and he's stuck around... he's a cool kid... and does a great job... he's developed real dancing ability over the years. Well every year they hire a "Guest Dancer" to be the lead male role, The Snow King... a semi-professional, who's a man & can pick the girls up & twirl them around. So this funny tradition started 3 ballets ago when my mom & I took the girls for the first time to see "The Nutcracker." They loved Act I... they thought the girls were lovely... they picked out their student teachers in the cast... etc. Well, Act II starts up after an Intermission and out comes the Guest Dancer in all his tight pantyhosed glory. Nuts poking out... butt cheeks tight & perky... a definite "package" on display for all of our small town INCLUDING my two girls to behold. And behold they did. I knew when he came out they'd die. Out of the corner of my eye I saw their eyes widen. My peripheral vision caught them glancing at each other in shock & awe. They then looked at my mom & I like they were going blind and needed help... thinking surely the City Police were rushing over to arrest this man for indecent exposure. I 'bout starting laughing out loud. I heard my mom quietly snicker. I leaned over to them and said seriously, "Do ya'll like his outfit?" "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" they gasped in a loud whisper with a look on their faces like they'd just seen a baby deer slaughtered before their eyes. They held back vomit as The Snow King escorted The Snow Queen around the stage... lifting & twirling & presenting her perfectly to the audience. He left for a good 30 minutes but came back for the finale as The Sugar Plum Fairy steals the show, with The Snow King as her partner. The poor little things made it through and left the theater simply not believing what they had just seen.
So for the past two years since that shocking introduction to "ballerinos," The Money Maker & I have a fun time amusing ourselves at our girls' expense. Before we head to the show we tease them that they're excited to see The Snow King. "Ewwwwww groooooooossss!" they'll squeal. This year I asked Baby #2 if she was "nuts" about The Snow King? She knew what I was referring to... she's a shrewed one... and about barfed at the lunch table. Now when he takes the stage they hide their blushing faces behind their programs. Today I found the program while cleaning out my car and one of them had written "LOSER" across his bio & picture. Poor Snow King... I'm sure his Mama's very proud of him. So The Money Maker and I have another 11 1/2 months to think of some new jokes to tease the girls. We're awful... they'll not look back on our traditional Nutcracker attendance queasy & nauseous instead of warm & fuzzy. The Money Maker and I need to grow up... I know... but it is funny... and gross... the girls are right. Grown men have NO business wearing panty hose in public... I don't care if you're a King or not.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmastime Addiction
They're baaack! Oh goodie! goodie! Each Christmas I have a habit of EATING MY WEIGHT in Queen Anne's Cordial Cherries. Gotta be Queen Anne's. I pick a box up everywhere... Wal-Mart, Walgreen's, Kroger. But I only pick up the 12 pack so I don't "appear" to be a total pig to the general public. But like a true junkie, the next day I need another fix and go back for more. I've loved this tasty holiday treat since I was a little girl. My brother even gave me a box once for my birthday. I use to like to take a little bite out of the bottom & suck all the yummy juice & creme out first. Now I'm a popper. I just shove the whole thing in and wait for all the delicious goodness to melt and chew it up all at once. Jiminy Christmas I love those things. I gobbled up a box this weekend driving Baby #1 to a swim meet 3 hours away. Nothing helps pass the miles more than Christmas tunes on the radio & a box of Queen Anne's riding shotgun in the front seat. Me and Queen Anne... we make a good pair. I keep her rich and she keeps me happy... and unfortunately fat.

Friday, November 30, 2007

November Ends, Awareness Doesn't

Today is the last day of Pancreatic Awareness Month. But, I hope that awareness about this lethal disease doesn't continue to sit on the back burner.

  • By this time next year approximately 33,000 Americans will be diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Depending on the extent of the tumor at the time of diagnosis, the prognosis is generally regarded as poor, with few victims still alive five years after diagnosis, and complete remission still extremely rare.
  • Early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is difficult because the symptoms are so non-specific and varied. Common symptoms include: pain in the upper abdomen that typically radiates to the back and is relieved by leaning forward, loss of appetite, significant weight loss and painless jaundice. All of these symptoms can have multiple other causes. Therefore, pancreatic cancer is often not diagnosed until it is advanced.
  • Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include: age, male gender, African ethnicity, smoking, diets high in meat, obesity, history of diabetes or chronic pancreatitis, family history, gingivitis & periodontal disease.
  • Treatment of pancreatic cancer depends on the stage of the cancer.
  • Prognosis. Patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer typically have a poor prognosis partly because the cancer usually causes no symptoms early on, leading to metastatic disease at time of diagnosis. Median survival from diagnosis is around 3 to 6 months; 5-year survival is much less than 5%. With 32,180 new diagnoses in the United States every year, and 31,800 deaths, mortality approaches 99%, giving pancreatic cancer the highest fatality rate of all cancers and the fourth highest cancer killer in the United States among both men and women. (Souce:

How YOU can help raise awareness:

Click HERE . Folks this is a scary & dangerous disease. NO ONE is safe... the youngest diagnosed victim was AGE 7. My mom, diagnosed at age 57, had NONE of the risk factors mentioned above. I ENCOURAGE everyone reading this blog to encourage your congressmen & women to support cancer funding ESPECIALLY pancreatic research funding to help diagnosis early. It's so easy... here's how.

Even CELEBRITIES aren't immune. Here are some famous people who have suffered from pancreatic cancer.

  • Jack Benny (1894-1974) - famous comedian & radio, television and film actor
  • Lillian Gordon Carer (1898-1983)- mother of President Jimmy Carter
  • Joan Crawford (1905-1977)- Academy Award winning actress and named one of the Greatest Female Actresses of All Time by the American Film Institute
  • Fred Gwynne (1926-1993)- actor who played Herman Munster from The Munsters
  • Fiorello LaGuardia (1882-1947)- three term Mayor of New York City and namsake of LaGuardia Airport
  • Michael Landon (1936-1991)- actor best know as Charles Ingalls from Little House on the Prarie & Little Joe Cartwright on Bonanza
  • Henry Mancini (1924-1994)- Academy Award winning composer, conductor & arranger. Most famous for The Pink Panther
  • Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007)- famous Italian tenor opera singer... more recently known in modern music as one of The Three Tenors
  • Donna Reed (1921-1986)- famous actress & star of The Donna Reed Show. This time of year we'll see her as Mary Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pizza Face

I have a problem. This is not a problem I faced as a child/teenager. It wasn't until I hit college that my face started to resemble the delicious pizza pie to the left. Adult acne. Uhhhh... simply typing the words sends shivers up my spine. The college years were frustrating enough to drive me use Accutane... which worked. Then I got prego with Baby #1. Wha-Bam!!! My face broke out like crazy... it was awful... it was painful... it was disgusting. Pregnancy with Baby #2 brought along another onslaught of cystic zits... ouch! Pregnancy #3 was kinder to my skin... even though I was so morning sick & sleepy I wanted to blow my brains out.... even gave The Money Maker permission to do the dirty deed for me. No... he let me lay there & suffer. In the more recent years, I've began to suffer again. I tried creams, washes, masques, prescriptions, over-the-counter meds., pricey department store cremes & scrubs, antibiotics, organic tablets under the tongue, "the pill." Actually the pill worked once for about 8 months. I thought I would marry the pharmaceutical company that manufactured that pill... but broke of the engagement when my acne returned. Since then nothing has worked. I resigned myself to trying Accutane again. I've seen the doctors... taken the pregnancy tests (it's highly dangerous to a fetus) and gotten the prescription. But I just don't know if I want to put that in my body again. I really don't need aching joints... plus, I had a dermatologist tell me once that Accutane is like a cure... either it works or it doesn't... if it "works" you should never have to do it again. So, I'm trying ANOTHER new "regimen." I researched the Internet & "adult acne" and came up with this. It's a kinder, gentler approach to face care. I've been scrubbing the fire out of my face and this "regimen" really stresses being "gentle" on your skin. I've also been researching dermatologists in my area that specialize in adult acne. I would use cow dooky on my face if they said it would work. Thank goodness I'm not single & trying to date with this face. At least all I have to put up with is my six-year-old saying "Mama... why don't you just cut those zits off?" Oh baby... if it were only that easy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Looking for Activity
It's the last week of November. Saturday is December. Where is the new batch of babies? Where are the rumors about the new batch of babies? It's all quiet on the adoption front. No news. How far will they get? I'm hoping they'll at least do another 10 days. We'll see.....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving's Over

Well, the kiddos are back in school... my mom's house is quiet... the guest bed sheets are in the wash... turkey soup is on the stove... the holiday is officially over. How was yours? Did you survive? As a kid holidays are awesome. No school... fun at grandma's house... lots of desserts... holiday survival meant escaping unspanked. Adulthood holidays are a bit more complicated.

  1. They're work. Cleaning, cooking, hosting, driving, organizing... it's an endless cycle day & night until the holiday is officially over.
  2. You have to be nice. I'm not a very "sweet" person. My sister is. My mom is. I get annoyed easily and especially during the holidays when we're forced to spend time with people that normally we would avoid. I know you have that person in your family too. Uncle Festus... Cousin Cathy... Grandpa George... each family has that person ( perhaps persons) that drive us crazy and make us want to jab our eyes out with the turkey wishbone.
  3. The kids are tired. Getting up for school this morning was no easy feat for my kiddos... they've gone balls to the wall for the past 9 days... and did NOT want to hear the buzz of the alarm this a.m... especially #3 who declared drowsily "I WISH SCHOOL WAS NEVER INVENTED!" This was after begging me last night to change school plans mid-year and asked to be home schooled. Sorry buddy... get your butt on the bus!

But holidays are a fact-of-life and one that, despite the effort, I enjoy and look forward to. Baby #2 asked this morning how many days until Christmas Eve... "4 weeks exactly, so that's 28 days," I replied. It felt like an ETERNITY to her, where I braced myself on the inside for the whirlwind that the next 4 weeks will be... it'll fly by and leave us only to survive another holiday, hopefully with grace.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Did you get up before dawn yesterday to fight crowds & lines & angry customers? I have never been one of "those people" and I love to shop more than anybody. My sister-in-law/good friend Jenni use to be one of "those people," but then she wised up and now stays tucked warm in bed on Friday morning like me. Heck, I didn't get up until 10:00 yesterday morning. Thanksgiving is exhausting. All that cooking & salivating & eating & digesting at my mom's for lunch. Then we drive to Todd's sister's house and do it all again for supper. A double dose! So I sacrifice the zillions of bargains advertised... the ones I could start shopping for at 4:00 a.m. They'd have to give me some toys for FREE for me to get up at 3:00 to be somewhere in line by 4:00... in the dark... in the cold... tired, fat & full.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Everyday Should be Thanksgiving
I could go on & on about how much we as Americans have to be thankful for... but I gotta get in the shower & get ready to go to my mom's & help prepare for dinner at 1:00. My speech about how blessed we are would be directed mainly at myself... for I tend to take for granted what really matters. I hope you'll enjoy your day today... no matter where you are and what you're doing. I also hope that tomorrow & the next day & next month... you'll celebrate all the good things in your life. Today I'm going to be MOST thankful for my Mother. Diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer on March 6th, she has defied the statistics and continues to fight and survive this devastating disease. God continues to sustain her life... blessing us with her presence. The majority of us walk around each day cancer-free not thinking for a moment what a gift it is to go about our daily business without the complications, pain, fear, hassle, confusion and weight of a terminal illness. Those with cancer aren't spared the other hurdles life throws at us... family issues, financial problems, political unrest, natural disasters, uncertainty, business & over-scheduling... they do all we do but with a compromised immune system and weakened body.
O.K... enough... I have GOT to get in the shower. Ya'll have a great day. I'm off to eat myself into a gluttonous stooper... it's gonna be great! May we ALL (especially myself) give thanks today & every day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'm Gonna be Sick
I know it's coming. I'm prepared. I'll admit it willingly. Tomorrow is going to be The Best food day of the entire year. Christmas Eve comes in a close second, but it's Thanksgiving that wins the prize in my book. Each year, I indulge myself so much that I'm sick. I'm in pain. I'm bloated & sore. I'm a gluttonous wreck. But ohhh it's so fun going down! Here's what I'm looking forward to the most:
  1. Forget the turkey... there's too many delicious sides to waste precious stomach space on turkey.
  2. Dressing. Those in the south don't eat "stuffing"... we eat dressing. It comes in many shapes & varieties, but my Mama Ree's is the best. Here's a tip... if you can cut your stuffing with a knife and put it on the plate like a block of cornbread... it's all wrong!
  3. Sweet Potato Souffle. Mama Ree wins the prize again. Tip #2... yams are NOT sweet potatoes. You gotta buy, bake & prepare REAL sweet potatoes. Mama Ree doesn't use marshmallows either... it's a heavenly combination of pecans, brown sugar, flour & butter... it's perfection on a plate.
  4. Squash Casserole. Three for three... it's Mama Ree! It's so good... so very, very good.
  5. Pumpkin Pie. You gotta eat pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving... you just gotta. I like pecan pie & chocolate pie just as much as the next big girl... but on this day nothing else will do. Oh, and throw a big dollop of my Mother's homemade whipped cream on mine!

There will be other delicious sides... green beans, grape salad, Irish potato casserole, deviled eggs... and it will taste so good I'll never want it to end. It warms up good too, but there's so many gosh darned people in our family now that leftovers are a thing of the past. So I'll have to push past grandmas & small children, barge to the front of the line & pile high the first time. And remind myself to savor each delectable bite... tuning out my children yelling from the other room "what are these green things?," "I don't like onions!," "what's THIS?," "does Grammy have chicken nuggets?" Silly children... they really don't know what's good. I hope wherever you will be tomorrow you will enjoy your meal as much as I will enjoy mine. And think of me, will you, when the day is done... I'll be lying on the couch... nauseated... scolding myself for not having more self-control and swearing to do better next year... which I won't!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What I Share with TomKat

Is is money? No.
Is it fame? No.
Is it belief in a kooky, false "religion?" Heck, no.
Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, The Money Maker & I all share the same anniversary: November 18th. We picked it first & they tagged along 11 years later. This past weekend TMM & I spent Saturday doing some early Christmas (Ho Ho Ho) shopping in Atlanta & ate dinner out at the swanky restaurant Bones in Buckhead. But you know what... I'm a loser. I am such a domesticated old timey mom that by 8:30 p.m. I'm craving comfy PJs, the TV remote & an early bedtime. Our reservations weren't until 9:00 and TMM was about to divorce me ON our anniversary 'cause I kept yawning. But gosh the food was divine. The bar made a good Mojito (my new fave drink) and we had good wine with our steak. But I will say, and it's NOT just because TMM owns it... 'Lil River Grill's creme brulee beats the socks off Bones's... any day of the week!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Did you know....

that you can get strep throat AFTER you've had your tonsils out? Baby #2 had her tonsils out YEARS ago. She got off the bus yesterday complaining of a sore throat... had low grade fever and took a nap (first alarming sign that something is terribly wrong with one of my children is when they voluntarily take a nap.) Sure enough, a trip to the Doctor this morning revealed that non-tonsil throat is stricken with the painful bug. She's also the child I got pregnant with while nursing a 5 month old. She continues to do, not the impossible but, the unprobable!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ahead of the Game
I cannot believe I am actually ahead of schedule for the holidays. I ordered my Christmas cards today from Shutterfly. This is a boring post. I'm having a blah week. I need something funny to get my juices pumping... ah ha... The Office comes on tonight... that may do the trick. Anyway, Christmas is coming and one of my MOST favorite things about Christmastime is getting cards in the mail. I stalk the mailman... waiting like a jungle panther to pounce on the box once he's driven away... and devour the cards inside. I just love seeing kids growing up, new babies, wedding photos and to read news from old friends. So if you're my friend get those Christmas cards ordered, those newsletters typed up, envelopes stuffed, addressed, licked, stamped and ready to hit the post office after Thanksgiving. It's a Christmas high I'm jonesing for!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's still


Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

What is the Pancreas?
The pancreas
is a glandular organ that secretes digestive enzymes (internal secretions) and hormones (external secretions). In humans, the pancreas is a yellowish organ about 7 inches (17.8 cm) long and 1.5 inches. (3.8 cm) wide. The pancreas lies beneath the stomach and is connected to the small intestine at the duodenum. The pancreas contains enzyme producing cells that secrete two hormones. The two hormones are insulin and glucagon. Insulin and glucagon are secreted directly into the bloodstream, and together, they regulate the level of glucose in the blood. Insulin lowers the blood sugar level and increases the amount of glycogen (stored carbohydrate) in the liver. Glucagon slowly increases the blood sugar level if it falls too low. If the insulin secreting cells do not work properly, diabetes occurs.
What else does the Pancreas Do?
The pancreas produces the body's most important enzymes. The enzymes are designed to digest foods and break down starches. The pancreas also helps neutralize chyme and helps break down proteins
, fats and starch. Chyme is a thick semifluid mass of partly digested food that is passed from the stomach to the duodenum. If the pancreas is not working properly to neutralize chyme and break down proteins, fats and starch, starvation may occur.
(From The University of Iowa Department of Pediatrics... breaking it down on a kid level for non-biologists like me!)
My pancreas does two seperate jobs. The first job is to make insulin. Insulin keeps my blood sugar from going too high. The second job done by my pancreas is to make chemicals that help me digest my food. These chemicals are called enzymes and are very important! Without enzymes from the pancreas, I would probably have terrible diarrhea and maybe even starve to death.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Movie Review Monday:

Fred Claus

My girls and I found ourselves alone AGAIN this weekend and so we treated ourselves to a movie: Fred Claus. I generally like Christmas movies... Home Alone (1 & 2,) The Christmas Story (my FAVORITE,) The Santa Claus... these movies are usually light & funny & enjoyable for all. What first attracted me to Fred Claus was Vince Vaughn... tall, funny & oh so very attractive... he's a triple threat! He plays Nicholas's (a.k.a Santa) older and rebellious brother Fred. This is no contender for an Academy Award but it was as predicted... light, funny & enjoyable for all. The music was good... the set was well done... and it has some big movie players: Kevin Spacey, Kathy Bates, Rachel Weisz, Paul Giamatti who present a great holiday season option when taking the family to the movies.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Big Squeeze
I got my first mammogram today. I'll be 35 next month and I needed a "baseline" since there is an extensive history of cancer, and particularly breast cancer, that runs in my family. I made an appointment with my friend and personal mammographer, Katy, and with little time to flip through the office's Guidepost magazine she called me right back.

Here's cute Katy. She is so nice I decided to write a poem about her & how good she is to me.

Katy, oh Katy, you're as good as gold,
I hope we are friends until we're very old.
You are kind and sweet, faithful and true,
EVERYBODY needs a friend like you!

Here is an osteoporosis poster that was hanging in the room. Look what I noticed at the bottom right hand corner of the poster. I zoomed in to give you a closer look.

Ha! Lilly's name.

And finally, here I am next to the squeeze machine. For those of you who have heard bad things about mammograms... it was NO BIG DEAL... didn't hurt at all. I promise. Katy kept saying "Are you O.K.?" And I told her the squeeze was nothing compared to a 75 pound 6-year-old wrestling with you and nailing you square in the boob with his elbow. Take a couple of those shots and a 5 second sqeeze is cake! Katy then generously was brave enough to push my file to the top of the radiologist's stack and was able to tell be before I left, I was A-OK. Come back in 3 years. Hope to see you MUCH before then Katy!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Doctor is In
No, I didn't go to medical school so I'm not a real doctor... I'm a Camera Doctor. After doing some initial surgical procedures to my Canon Powershot A410 last night and getting no where, I came up to my handy-dandy computer and Googled "Canon PowerShot Troubleshooting." It is totally amazing the information you can find via Google... amazing... I'm addicted. Anyway, sure enough (good ol' Google never lets me down) the exact problem I was having popped up in the first link. I had al ready tried all the first things they suggested so it was time to dig deeper. It called for Open Camera Surgery. Out came the tiny screws. Off came the front. Off came the back. There my poor little, sand infested camera lay naked and cold on my office desk. I had all the tools necessary for the procedure... a bar-b-que basting brush (clean & dry, of course,) a blush brush (quickly cleaning on a towel) and my big mouth ready to huff & puff & bloooooooowwww and the sand away. And about the sand. One of my kiddos got that camera... I just know it. It wasn't accidently dropped in the sand. It didn't just take a tumble in a sandy beach bag. There was enough sand in that camera to build a castle with. O.K... not really, but it was NOT my fault... I smelled kiddo all over the scene! So carefully following my Internet directions I operated on my camera. That does it! Camera goes back together. Nope. Try again. I operate some more. Camera goes back together. Nope. I read my instructions again, I blow harder and brush quicker... even use a fingernail or two. Finally, third time I put it back together. Batteries in. Push on. It didn't sound pretty but the old baby worked. Wa-lah! And I'm camera ready again. I gave myself a Camera Doctor degree right on the spot... thanked Google University and put poor little Canon Powershot to bed to recover for the night.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hot off the

RQ Press:

New Analysis

The Rumor Queen has posted her new analysis chart this morning based upon November's referral numbers. Here's what we're looking at. We're not going to know anything this year... that's a definite. But the good news is that even with a "Horrid Case" senario, we should get a referral by March and travel before summer. That means before the Olympics and that gives me great relief! As always, we have learned that the CCAA is totally unpredictable and anything could happen blowing this chart and RQ's neat, well-calculated numbers to smitherines!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Love the babies!

Click HERE to check out the new crop of adorable babies!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Officially December 8th

The CCAA updated it's site last night, confirming that the cut-off for November is December 8, 2005. I was hoping for more... but I'll certainly take over a week worth of referrals... that's more progress than we've seen in a while. Let's hope they do the same or more in December. I'm hoping... are you hoping??? Good.