The Most Random Post Ever

I have MRSA. I have MRSA and a golf ball sized wad of gauze packed tightly in my back. Fun stuff for a Saturday afternoon, huh? I had back surgery on June 25th, 2004. Little did I know, 4 years later I would be delivering a baby on that exact day. Thus making that day my 3rd and final back surgery, my husbands birthday, and my daughters birthday. Anyways, shortly after that surgery, Tj noticed a green dot about an inch from my incision. It never bothered me so we never paid much attention to it. Until last week, that is. Monday, I noticed it was swollen and tender. The circle of redness was about the size of a dime. Tuesday it was the size of a penny. Wednesday a Nickel. Thursday a Quarter. Friday a Half Dollar. It H.U.R.T but I was avoiding the doctor. I have no idea why. I showed my sister last night when I got to Chanute and she immediately said, "That's MRSA." I suffered through the night and went to the ER this morning. Of course, he had to drain it. And pack it. I'll spare you my specific details but my discharge papers say, "If the abscess is large, packing may be placed into it. This is done so pus is not sealed inside by premature closure of the cavity. This also keeps tissues from collapsing and trapping pus inside the body. The incision must remain open so that pus and debris can drain from the wound." Yah, a golf ball sized wad of gauze inside my back. Nice.I am so sick of this weather. Anyone else with me here? I would be more excited if it snowed, then got up to 30+ degrees so we could play in it. Of course not. It snows and then is only 20 degrees with a 10 degree windchill. I know I probably played in the snow when it was only 10 degrees when I was little but I don't think Tylee is quite old enough for that. And did I mention I have a golf ball sized wad of gauze in my back? No playing in the snow for us. Remember that envelope that I said I had just for me? I spent every last penny of it on myself last week. And love every inch of it. I saw this Recipe Book at Hallmark a few months ago and fell in love. It was right around Christmas and I just couldn't justify spending money on myself at the time. I went back to get it and voila! It was gone. So I searched around online and found it. And! I got a 25% off discount from http://www.retailmenot.com/. Do you guys use that site? Oh my, you should! Who would've guessed that there was a coupon code out there for some cheesy DeseretBook website?
And while we are on the subject, I'll share the only two recipes I've managed to get written out. I've had plenty of time, especially today since I have a golf ball sized...nevermind, but every time Tylee sees a pen - you better be ready to listen to her scream "Peeeeen" non-stop until you either 1) give it to her or 2) hide it. I realized while taking these pictures that sometimes bokeh isn't good. I couldn't get the writing to not blur but I think its still readable. The Veggie Dip at the top of the page is the best stuff you'll ever eat. I've made it over 100 times and have passed out the recipe almost every time someone new eats it. So good. The second recipe is super easy and again, some of the best stuff I've ever eaten. It's very cheap and easy to make and I've gotten lots of compliments on it as well. I can't take credit for either dip - I got one from a guy at the bank and the other from my sisters friend Tave. They are both staples in my "dip to bring to a party" selection and come highly recommended by many. Enjoy!
My pain pills and I are going to bed. At 6:11pm on a Saturday night.


Money, Money, Money, Money!

(Title to be sung to the tune of the Intro song of that "Shark Tank" show. If you don't watch it, you are missing out!)
I've been thinking about this post in my head for a few days now. I've been trying to 1) figure out how to share about my budget without sharing too much information and 2) not make myself look like a total idiot that didn't have a clue before I started doing this. I've come to the realization of, who cares.
I made it to payday with $$ for the first time in a LONG time. Up until now, my mindset has always been, "Oooh! I have over $100 left and I get paid Wednesday. Let's go to Joplin this weekend and find something to buy." I gotta admit, that is still my mindset but at least I'm limiting myself and trying to change it. I think the key to this Dave Ramsey thing is to pay your bills first, pay any extra on debt, and leave yourself with just enough money to live on. Whether that is right or not, that is what I'm trying to do. If I've learned one thing so far, it's that you have to do what is right for you and your family.
My envelopes consist of Food/Household, Fuel, Entertainment, Myself, Tylee, Medical, Car, and Christmas/Gifts. The thing about this that works for me so well is that I can still technically buy anything I want. I have enough $$ in my envelopes that allows me to buy something for myself, buy Tylee some new colors, paints, or a new baby. The difference is that I have set limits for myself, have structure, a plan, and have to priortize my needs vs. wants. If I want something that is $200, I may have to save for a couple weeks before I can buy it. No more impulse buying!
I may be speaking too soon but so far so good. I blurred the lines of my envelopes a little last paycheck because I had some unexpected expenses. I had to drive to Independence, Chanute, and Cherryvale (all unexpected trips) so my gas fund was a little short. I stole the $20 out of my Car Repair/Oil Change envelope to make up the difference. I'll need to make a few little tweeks and changes for a few months until I get everything figured out but I think that is to be expected.
I am so proud of myself for trying this and I really hope my excitement continues so I stick with it. I had an extra $60 show up this paycheck somehow or another and rather than splurging on a lense or a new camera bag, I paid it on a Credit Card. That may seem minimal to some but for me, whew! Thats a big deal!


Picture Decor

I'll be the 1st one to admit, I've gone picture crazy. I know a lot of people that do the typical newborn - 18 month plan. Otherwise, photographers wouldn't offer it, right? I probably know more people who don't do that than do but pictures are important to me. Obviously. And they truly are priceless. (Newborn by Roxie Howard Photography)(9 months by Portrait Designs by Lasha)I think I can blame my sister for introducing me to all of this. I think she will take the blame without argument. I didn't know a thing about baby pictures until she had Brecca. As a matter of fact, I didn't know a thing about babies either. But that's another post.
(6 months by Portrait Designs by Lasha, Wedding Photo by Gretchen Murrow)(6 months by Portrait Designs by Lasha, Dutch by Jill Hafner)(Another Wedding Photo by Gretchen Murrow)And since we are blaming Lindsey, she is actually the one that sparked my interest in taking my own pictures. I drooled over her camera from Day 1 but have to admit, I wasn't that into it because I didn't have subject. (1 year by Portrait Designs by Lasha)But even now that I have my own fancy camera, it just isn't the same.(Newborn snapshot, 9 month by Portrait Designs by Lasha)(Engagement picture, snapshots of Tylee, Rehearsal Dinner snapshot)

I think I'm doing a good job of spacing them around the house and making good use of my investment. They are taking the place of cheesy Home Interior decorations (no offense) and making our house "homey". I would much rather look at a picture of Tylee than some scenic picture of a Duck or Pheasant. Well wait, we have those too.(1 year by Portrait Designs by Lasha, Snapshots of family)

(3 month Baby Bits by Roxie Howard Photography, 1 year by Portrait Designs by Lasha, Snapshot)

There is even a little room left for Tylee as she grows older. The pictures will slow down from this point on and to be honest, my hallway is still somewhat bare. The spare room is also bare, as well as the laundry room, and both bathrooms. And now that I'm looking, the living room only has two pictures in this huge room. See! Still plenty of room!


Almost Unbelievable!


Sunday News

I peeked outside this morning and it appeared to be nice. I got Tylee dressed and we headed out so that Mommy could play with her camera. Although it wasn't subzero like the past few weeks, it was a little cooler than both Tylee and I liked. So, we headed inside to get a hat. While I was looking for her hat with ears, Tylee dug this one out from her secret stash. She loves hats. Many of you have commented on how I keep her hats on her? I don't normally have to do anything except hand it to her and straighten it up a little. She needs a little more practice getting it on but loves to walk around wearing them. I couldn't find her hat with ears and both of these are a little too small. That didn't keep her from wearing them but the rest of our day was spent inside- playing baby with Dutch, covering him up with wipes. Poor Guy.
Tylee had a little accident that I think is going to lead us to a black eye. Thank goodness I was right there to catch her or it would've been waaay worse. Remember my black and blue post? The next one may just be true!


Bowling 101

I really try to only engage Tylee in age-appropriate things. I learned from my nieces that it doesn't do me any good to get overly excited to give her something or to go do an exciting activity, if she isn't even old enough to know that she should be excited. We went bowling a few weeks ago, sans Tylee, and had a blast. The thought that we should have brought her never strayed far from my mind that night. I knew she would love all the balls and action, but knew she wasn't quite old enough to appreciate it. We were invited to go again last night and the other couple was taking their kids. We didn't have a sitter so we took Tylee, under the agreement that neither Tj or I would bowl and we would leave as soon as Tylee started giving us fits. Boy was I wrong! I totally underestimated the age appropriate-ness of bowling. She loved it. I can't say that I've seen her as excited as she was last night.
"Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball. Ball."
Mommy worked up a sweat chasing her around, making sure she didn't run down the alley after the ball. I caught her just in the knick of time (several times) carrying a 6-pound ball - about to drop it on her toes. Ouch! I can't even imagine!

She definitely didn't notice the weight of the balls, nor did she understand that she had to wait her turn. She was confused when the ball came back up beside us rather than us having to chase the ball down and roll it back. She wasn't sure why we couldn't just get a new ball off the shelf every time or why people were so excited when all the pins fell over. "Uhoh Mama," she would say. Maybe there is a small learning curve and a little age-unappropriatness, but she had a blast and it was well worth the lesson.


Blog Love

Lasha challenged me to share a little blog love. If I get ten comments on this post, I get some $$ towards free prints. Wil you please, please, please go leave a comment? I'll love you forever. Time to see who's reading!
Click here to comment:


Untitled - on purpose

I have nothing to name this post and not much to say. It's 8:52pm, I'm tired, and am going to bed. I had big plans for some pictures tonight. I thought I'd set up Tylee and Dutch's name like this, then have them strategically pose behind their name, thus creating some awesome bokeh. But do you think either of them cooperated? Nope. I tried with Dutch's ball too. He is trained so you can hold your hand a certain way and he won't move, however I needed both hands to focus the camera and push the button. As soon as I'd drop my "whoa signal" he would grab his ball and jet. So much for my perfect model. Then I took these in the bathtub. This one cracks me up. She looks like an airline stewardess. She was actually showing me the bubbles (which appear to be MIA) on her hand.
I hate flash with a passion but cannot believe how blue it makes her eyes. I mess with a lot of things in Lightroom but her eye color isn't one of them. The photographer my sister takes her kids to said once that she will edit every aspect of a picture except for changing the eye color. Eye color makes up too big of part of what they look like. I've kinda held onto that theory myself. Okay, so I had more to say than I thought. But I'm off to bed now. Sweet Dreams!


18-month pictures

Boy, oh boy! I went and saw Tylee's 18-month pictures that we had taken in late December and they were W.O.N.D.E.R.F.U.L! I wanted to get them taken before her haircut and as close to her actually turning 18-months as I could (Christmas Day) but knew Lasha was off for the holiday and that I needed a little time to recover from Christmas. We scheduled the viewing for Monday and the wait was well worth it!
Go to:
(Yes! That is Tylee on the FRONT PAGE of the website!!)

Click on: Enter Site
Click on: Clients
Password: Tylee

As much as I loved the inside ones, I passed on all of them except #11. I got that in a wallet. I got 5x7's of #32 and #50 from my desk. I'm not overly impressed with how I look but I read on a photography blog once to cherish the pictures you have of you and your children. I may think I look fat now, my hair isn't quite right, and it doesn't look like I even have make-up on...but 5-10 years from now, I will think I looked perfect and only wish I looked that good. (Kinda like highschool. I thought I was fat the entire time. If I only weighed now what I weighed then!) Plus, it isn't often that I get a picture of Tylee and I because I am usually the one taking the pictures. And the outside ones, oh the outside ones! I cannot really tell you any that I did not order.



I took this picture Sunday night, so exactly a week from the last picture of my fridge. If you were to come over this evening, your drink selection would be very limited compared to last week. (Not to mention that is a new gallon of milk, that was not pictured last week.) Oh, you want some food? Most of that is still in there. I think possibly a Lunchable is gone, as well as the yogurt but it looks like that is about all that is missing. Other than the drinks of course. Most of them have seen their last day. That is, until next time I go to the store and fufill my husbands "grocery" list.

And another update...

The quintuplets still don't have a place to sleep.


Babysitter Blues

I think I've mentioned before that Tj's Mom watches Tylee during the day. As I'm sure anyone that puts their child in another persons' care does, I've had some concerns about this from the start. My worries have not been for her safety or her physical well-being. Rather, I've worried about her socially and developmentally. I spoke with her doctor about this at length, although sometimes I wonder how much influence a doctors personal opinion outweighs knowledge and facts on a subject. Has he actually researched and studied the benefits of having a child stay with a relative one-on-one vs. being in childcare with mulitple children? Or is he just thinking of his own grandchildren? Either/or, I trust him and based on his experience (whether personal or medical), children with one-on-one attention usually talk earlier and develop more quickly than children in a daycare setting. So Tylee has remained mostly in Grandma's (and Daddy's) care and and I don't think either of them could be happier. That is until we introduced daycare. And let me tell ya, Tylee loves it there. We have never had a problem since we started going last January but I think at that point, I was more focused on myself being happy with the situation rather than if Tylee enjoyed it or not. My most important cares at that time were making sure Tylee was safe, fed, and changed. Check, check, and check! Now that Tylee can communicate, I'm convinced that she LOVES it there too. How do I know? Oh, I know all right. Talk about breaking Mommy's heart into 1,000 pieces!!Mornings are usually just a routine drop-off with a quick overview of anything new going on. Jamie takes Tylee from my arms with either little or no fussing. I head out the door and complete my day at work. Tylee is normally the last day-care kid there when I arrive to pick her up. I am thankful for that because god forbid other parents see the fiasco that takes place when I, her loving mother, walk in the door. It always involves Tylee running full speed away from me, sometimes collapsing into Jamies arms and other times holding onto one of the boys for dear life. It always ends the same way as well, with me peeling Tylee off of one of them while kicking, crying, and reaching out her arms for someone, other than me, to take her. I told Jamie that if I were a daycare provider and a child reacted this way when their mother walked in the door, I would probably call SRS. I was somewhat joking but mostly just looking for a way to mention the awkwardness surrounding the whole situation.
Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that she loves it there but it breaks my heart she doesn't run to me with open arms. I know whole-heartedly that she just loves the action, the other kids, the stimulation of other things going on around her. At home? She rules the roost, there is no doubt about that. She has plenty of toys, gets plenty of attention, has a full belly, a clean bed, and goes home every evening to two very loving parents that worship the ground she walks on. Not to mention Dutch! What more could a girl want?

Ooooh...Tylee just told me she wants someone to chase, someone to giggle at, another little boy to share her drink with, a little girl to play babies with, and someone to talk jibberish with. Thanks for filling me in Tylee. I understand but do I like it? Nope! Do I have a choice? Nope! Not when I'm raising a social little butterfly. I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.


Motherly Instinct

Tylee loves her babies. I mean, 100% true love. She loves to carry them (all 5 of them) around, feed them with her "poon", rock them, sing to them, give them bottles, binky's, change their clothes, put on diapers - anything a real mother would do for a real baby. So today, when Tylee was aimlessly walking around carrying all 5 babies, I started feeling a tad bit sorry for her as she was desperately looking for a place to put her babies "night-night." So what's a mother to do? Except create a make-shift crib out of a box and our spare changing table cover for our Quintuplets.Except the Quintuplets didn't get much rest in their new crib...once King-Tut spotted it. Sorry Tylee. Maybe we'll find another box for your babies tomorrow.

Nap Time