Friday, January 30, 2009

I'm Still Here

It's been a very busy week, including but certainly not limited to a second round of strep. Baby Blue Eyes did indeed have a sinus infection but late Tuesday night the doctor's office called back to say that the second lab test came back positive for strep. Poor Baby - I can never tell just how sick that kid is because he's just not a complainer.

In addition to the snow day, which was a barrel of fun and came to an end all too quickly, I've been busy re-arranging my daily routines to accommodate my return to volunteer work at our local church. I wrote my first bulletin last night, in 5 months. It was fun, and I'm a little scared at just how much fun I had formatting, writing, editing and putting my touch on it again. I mean, isn't that just a tad weird?! Seriously though, I do thoroughly enjoy serving my church family in this way and I love that I can pick it up again.

I'm still working on the logistics of getting to the church offices to print and fold it all. Currently, our church offices are on the second floor of a lovely old house-turned office building (which by the way, I could totally gut and restore to its former glory as a colonial stone farmhouse. Oh, the deep window sills! Oh, the exposed beams and rough cut stones! Oh My!). Lugging Li'l Empress, who is no longer so little, up and down those stairs with my arms full of diaper bags, snacks, and bulletins is a bit more than I can envision for my current Mom-abilities right now. Where oh where is Classic Mama and her Super Powers when I need her?! I think, for the time being, I'm going to have to wait till Shaggy and Dr. D are home from school on a Friday or head out on a Saturday morning when The Boss is here.

Right now, I'm off to a consultation with Li'l Empress's pediatrician. We need to get her on a plan for catching up and re-doing her immunizations as soon as possible. Unfortunately, after her first round of blood work came back in October, we learned that most of her original immunizations were not up to U.S. standards. This means a lot of extra shots. Additionally, much of her blood work needs to be repeated, some for further clarification and some for standard re-checks that CHOP always does for international adoptions. It also means plenty of tears, for baby and momma.

I'll be sure to post soon about the recent developments in Li'l Empress's growth and progress since I shared last time. We've also got some good plans laid out for treatment and interventions - CHOP has a great program for families of children with unilateral hearing loss. It's an awesome support network and they don't let ANYTHING slip through the cracks. What a blessing to have such support and resource at our finger tips!

Have a super weekend. We're excited to host an over-nighter with my niece and nephew while the big kids go on a weekend retreat with the youth group. I call it an "over-nighter" because calling it a "sleep-over" seems so silly. I'm fairly certain there won't be a ton of real sleeping for any of the little cousins!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

We woke up to 3 " of this.

A little frosting.

Snow Day!!!

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 Minutes for Moms.
While you are there, check out
their give-away of
, the movie that is
changing marriages and inspiring hope!

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Challenge Continues

Well, it's been a crazy couple weeks since I posted about "Challenging Myself." I almost could have predicted it, but as soon as I posted my lofty hopes for regaining a sense of routine and re-structuring my days to improve my physical health things took a nose-dive around here! Today, I'm happy to report that all big and little gang members are on the mend. Baby BlueEyes has a check up in an hour or so because I'm finally getting around to admitting that his lingering cold and cough is likely a sinus infection. But he's in great spirits and I'm actually typing and posting this in live time while he plays with Li'l Empress. Miracle of miracles, I have free hands at 11:30 in the morning!!!!

So, here's the update on my challenge:
  • The first week of journaling just. Did. NOT. happen. The second week was much better. The biggest trouble I have is creating great meals and then trying to figure out how they stack up with nutritional values. I'm thinking of having The Boss give me a crash course in the counting and journaling he does to manage his diabetes. That would have the added benefit of both of us working the same "program." I have to think on this one, though. In the meantime, I'll be pulling out my stash of W*$ght W@tch*rs recipes and formulating a menu and shopping list from those.
  • I am being very successful to limiting myself to one mug of coffee with creamer each day. (Please don't remind me just how big those mugs are!) I'm finding on a daily basis that I rarely finish that one mug before lunch. I'm trying to train myself to choose my smaller mugs AND choose water when I'm feeling thirsty. I must admit, the water portion of the challenge has been going dismally. I hate drinking water in this cold weather, and I'm not a big fan of tea as of late. I must improve this area - my skin is feeling the pinch.
  • Heading to bed around 10 p.m. has been much easier to conquer than I'd imagined. No doubt it's because The Boss and I finally agreed to try a DVR package with our local cable provider. He called and wrangled a great introductory deal and we finally gave our fizzled, frazzled VCR the heave-ho. Now we can enjoy shows when we are ready, skip commercials, and save our faves for quiet nights when everyone is tucked in. The other night, I was actually in bed at 9:40!!!!!
So, this week, here's my goals:
  1. Continue to journal, measure, and mind all I eat and drink.
  2. Increase the water intake. Period. I just have to do it.
  3. Continue to head to bed by 10.
  4. Increase my fruits and vegetables daily. It's embarrassing how few of them I eat this time of year!
In order to accomplish these, I am brainstorming some other changes to our daily and weekly routines. That's a whole 'nother post, brewing as I type. Additionally, I'm beginning to look around for some exercise options that will allow me to enjoy working out AND not have to spend a ton of time or money. I'm like Natalie in my quest for variety. Except, if I can't have variety, I settle happily for community which is why I loved Curves. The budget constraints of that option are forcing me to be creative. Also another post entirely!

So, how are you doing? What challenges are you offering yourself this week?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Yesterday was a two piggie day.

For more Wordless Wednesday fun,
head over to 5 minutes for Moms.

And no, she's not grumpy or mad at me here. In fact, considering that yesterday was the first day in a long string of days with no siblings, no Daddy and JUST Mommy to play with, she was remarkably happy and even-keeled. She just doesn't like sitting still and is contemplating her escape!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Something Yummy for Your Tummy

Over the Christmas holiday, my sister-in-law made this yummy soup for our family gathering. It's incredibly easy, fairly economically frugal and super versatile. Give it a try and let me know what you think. And while you are at it, head over to her blog and thank her for sharing the wealth!

Mexican Chicken Soup

1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp. olive oil
½ c. water
1 envelope taco seasoning (or see bottom for taco seas. recipe)
1 can (32 oz) v8 juice
1 jar (16 oz) salsa
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pkg. (10 oz) frozen corn, thawed
1 large can of seasoned diced tomatoes

Suggestions for toppings:
Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream
Cilantro, chopped
Corn chips or nachos in pieces
  • Lightly brown chicken in oil. When outside is browned, add water and taco seasoning.
  • Simmer until chicken is well coated and cooked through. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
  • Transfer chicken and seasoned water to a slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients (except toppings).
  • Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until heated through. Serve with toppings.

Monday, January 19, 2009

From the Mouths Of Babes

We interrupt The Gang's period of grieving and mourning (over the terrible loss of the NFC Championship game to the little red birds) to give you this message.

Straight from Baby BlueEyes' mouth to you:

"Happy Mahthin Lutin King, Juunyah Day!"

We now resume our regularly scheduled morning of sobbing and wailing and "if only-ing. . . . "

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Someone Thinks I'm Fabulous

(Hang in there, this is a bit long-ish. You'll forgive me, tho, when you see the gifts I've given you in the following post . . . )

Other than Baby BlueEyes, who regularly grosses out his brothers by telling me how beautiful and wonderful I am, I don't hear a lot of "Wow, you're fabulous!" The big brothers call what BBE does "sucking up." I call it brutal honesty and unabashed adoration. And I like it that way. I mean, come on. Someone around here has to say it like it is! (said cheekily)

I was happily surprised this morning when I sat down to catch up on my blog-reading. I've been occupied with all manner of germs, viruses, and bacteria, and the de-contaminating and disinfecting of such things for the past week. Blog reading, while a beloved past time, took a distant second or third to restoring order and obsessive-compulsive cleanliness and routine to my home. Yeah, I have issues. We've covered that already, I believe.

So, back to the surprise. My bloggy friend over at Salzwedel Family Adventures granted me this nifty award. It was a pleasant little boost to my morning. Which, coincidentally is already almost perfect: we're all still in our jammies, in one room, and peace and contentment reigns. There's not a tissue in sight, dirty or otherwise. Sigh.

I'm passing on this award to several that I read frequently. I have one more particularly in mind, but since it's a private blog, I shall respect that. Just know that it is my top pick for this lovely recognition.

Five Fabulous Blogs You Should Read:
  1. Created and Called - this blog is a collaborative effort of several gals who keep it real, and keep their sense of humor while they do it. Always interesting, almost always informative (even if it's completely useless and trivial information that just tickles my fancy), it also helps me stay connected to a great group of gals with whom I have "grown up" into the fabulous Mommy and blogger I am today. (again, said cheekily!)
  2. Mississippi Zen - I "met" this Southern adoptive-mom friend through a special needs forum I joined last year during our journey to Li'l Empress. She is creative, buoyant of spirit, and a faithful prayer warrior who advocated VIGOROUSLY for adoption. I linked to this particular post because it's one of the biggest things I love about her blog. And even if you are not even remotely interested in international adoption, you must go by and see her photography. OH MY GOODNESS. Her skills, her subjects, and her perspective amaze me.
  3. The Harrells - the first adoption blog that I ever read was the one captured me immediately. Elissa alternates with ease between hilarious self-deprecating humor and lovely, heartfelt adoration for the little miracle known as Lily. I particularly love her political blurts that get regularly injected into her conversations about her every day life. Yes, she just blurts them out. And while I laugh all the way through them, I also agree most of the time with her summaries! An added bonus? Her brother works on the road crew for Blake Shelton. Yes, I've mentioned it before. Yes, I'm obsessed with the idea of it. And yes, he's worthy of one of my celebrity crushes. Which, incidentally might be making a return to my musings soon. I'm just sayin' . . . .
  4. Callapidder Days - I can't remember how or where I found this little nugget, but I really must insist that you head over there now. Chock full of great book reviews, thoughtful insights on parenting toddlers and pre-schoolers, and honest evaluation of her journey of faith, Katrina has the added plus of being a really gifted writer. Her style is stream-lined, yet conversational. Intelligent but accessible. Honest but hopeful. I haven't been there in while, what with all the changing and adjusting and cleaning and disinfecting I've been caught up in for the last, oh 4 months!, but I love settling in with a mug of coffee and reading a bunch of her posts at once. It's a little treat to me, those piles of posts that I hoard in my reader and save for a cozy morning.
  5. Little Cabin In The Woods - the link for this blog was sent to me by my sister-in-law, primarily because she found it interesting that they homeschool AND they have adopted three gorgeous girls from China. I go back, again and again, (even when she hasn't updated recently) if for no other reason than her amazing photography. Yes, her daughters are gorgeous. Yes, her simple, pared-down lifestyle is immensely appealing. Yes, her steadfast and pure faith is challenging and inspiring. But her photography? I swear, I could cover the walls of my home with the amazing landscapes and breathtaking portraits. I have the added benefit of getting to "know" her via email and have so appreciated the support and resource she has been in our journey to Li'l Empress. You really want help with packing lists from a woman who has been to China and back three times!
So, before you head over to peruse these little gifts I've bestowed today, the second half of this fabulousness award is to share with you some of my addictions. Truth be told, I'm sure in my obsessive-compulsive bent I have more than five, but I'll limit myself for your sake. I'm sure your bum is getting numb by now. (Hee hee, I made a funny. And it rhymed!)

Five Things To Which I Am Addicted:
  1. I am completely committed to averting dangling participles whenever I possibly can. I have been known to labor over a sentence, here and in other writing venues, for ridiculously long periods of time, while crafting the perfect way to avoid "which's" and "of's" dangling precariously in space.
  2. I love coffee. Strong, rich dark coffee, perfectly flavored with Nestle's Sugar Free Hazelnut Creamer. 'Nuff said. You have all suffered enough with my rantings and ravings on this topic.
  3. I must hear my children's laughter at least once a day. Or the day seems dreary, dark and dull. Multiple times a day, and the world is sunny and bright once more.
  4. Good, meaningful, conversation. I recognize that those adjectives are in the eyes of the beholder, so to speak. But I don't enjoy small talk for long. I prefer diving in, rooting out emotion and thought, and wallowing in it. It exhausts The Boss, I'm sure, this little addiction of mine.
  5. Country Music. Please, no judgment. This is my blog, my addiction. I love me some Keith Urban or Little Big Town at full volume, cruisin' down the road in my big ole mini-van. Give me some Tim McGraw or Dierks Bentley in the background and watch me go. I'll stop now. I will spare you. That is another of my gifts to you. ** Edited - I don't know what came over me. I originally typed Dierks Benedict. "What Was I THINKIN'?!" Thanks, sis! :) :) :)
Okay, you are free. Go now. Explore the blogs I've listed here. You're welcome. It was my pleasure.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Here's the Run Down

It hasn't been pretty here. I can almost see the germs and bacteria ducking and hiding behind every piece of furniture and peeking out to taunt me from between the cushions on the couches. It's only mid-January. Here's what The Gang has been tackling since New Year's holiday, by the numbers:
  • two cases of strep
  • two old-fashioned flu bugs
  • one run to the ER
  • one case of constipation
  • one case of lower back strain
  • one lingering nasty cold
  • one sinus infection
  • one stomach "something"
That doesn't include Baby BlueEyes' case of strep before Christmas OR the return of some of Li'l Empress's sleep-thru-the-night issues since the kids started school again.

I'm back on my feet today, treading lightly and gingerly (I had the stomach "something") and feeling the need to disinfect everything in sight. It'll take herculean effort not to start today, but given that my arms and legs feel like wet noodles, I'll settle for washing my hands and my counters obssessively instead. The two older boys are home one more day, as the flu followed by strep really wiped out their energy levels. By the weekend, my hope is that we all are back on our feet and well on our way to a cleaner, more germ-free house. If the temps break 35 anytime soon, I might even open a bunch of windows for a few minutes. It feels like a sick bay around here.

So, pray for The Gang, will ya? I have a mountain of mail and email and phone calls to return. I have appointments to reschedule and school catch up to oversee. And now? Well, I'm heading back to the couch. I just exhausted myself again.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Challenging Myself

Last week, my very brave and very honest friend, Natalie, announced a weight loss challenge on her blog. You can read the details of the path she's setting out for herself and the challenge she's inviting us to join in, here. Each Monday, there's a new installment of the challenge to join.

This challenge comes at a great time for me. I've been itchy to get back into a regular routine of life again, even if our new normal looks really different than previous "normal" looked. I have also been sensing how closely my physical health is tied to my emotional and spiritual health. Now that I've hit the big 4-oh, I have had to be brutally honest with myself in many areas.

I've not shared this before, at least not in this forum, but for the last several years I have struggled with depression. At first, I put it off to the "winter blues" but in my desire to be brutally honest coming into 2008, I finally admitted to myself that it was worse than that. Sticking to routine, maintaining my weight (or even trying to lose some sensibly), setting an up-lifting tone in our home through prayer and worship, and regular exercise have all been invaluable tools to help me manage the symptoms fairly well. Also helpful have been the relationships of a couple real friends who have been consistent, concerned and honest with me. I am not so haughty or deceived to believe that now that our adoption is complete and my life is ever-so-much busier and full of toddler activity, I won't still struggle this year. In fact, with all the sickness and stuff that's been floating around here, I have found myself sinking and floundering these past ten days. So, this challenge is a great opportunity for me to take up the things that I know I can do to improve my own health and maybe lose some weight in the process.

I have been vacillating all week about my commitment and my participation in Natalie's blog challenge. On the one hand, I know I've let a lot of my healthy habits fly right out the window in 2008. Not JUST during this transition with Li'l Empress, but certainly all this change in the recent 4+ months has been taking its toll. My weight since leaving Curves in August reflects that. On the other hand I have also been trying to set some reasonable goals and not commit myself to something I could not stick with for a long term. Exercising consistently is not a huge interest of mine right now, but getting some handles on what I'm eating and when I'm eating it feels manageable to me.

So, I'm joining the challenge today. I am committing to the following three things:
  1. I will diligently track all my food choices, journaling everything I eat, W*ight W*tchers-style. I am even going as far as to follow my recommended points for my age, height and weight. None of which I will be sharing publicly. (Sorry, Nat, I'm not nearly as brave as you yet!)
  2. I will limit my coffee intake (still with my delicious Nestle's Sugar Free Hazelnut Creamer) to one Tigger mug each morning. Additionally, I will limit my Diet Pepsi intake, though I don't currently indulge every day. I will increase my water intake. Not willing to attach a number to that yet.
  3. I am making an effort to head to bed by 10 p.m. 4 out of 7 nights of the week. Fridays don't count and I need the freedom to flex a couple nights, based on our family calendar. An added bonus: those middle-of-the-night soothing sessions with Li'l Empress won't take such a toll on my body if I'm resting more before AND after rocking my brains out in the nursery down the hall!
I think these are reasonable places to start. For me, anyway. I have to admit, I really miss my work-outs at my local C*rves. They agreed to give me a "maternity leave" from Sept. 1- Jan. 1 but in the meantime, the gym had to close its doors. Coming up with the money to join elsewhere and committing to finding child care for Li'l Empress has been a huge deterrent to exercising outside of the house. I think, for the next phase of the challenge, I may be willing to look at a commitment to regularly utilize the two or three work-out dvd's I have from my W*ight W*tcher days. Believe me, if I could afford to go back to WW, I would commit to that too.

So, there it is. I'm also committing to show up Monday with a report of my progress. My hope is that the progress shows itself in numbers falling off the scale, but I am also choosing NOW to be grateful for improved eating, drinking, and sleeping habits. Think you're up for a challenge? Head over to Natalie's post from today, and join up. Working on positive changes together will be fun!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Day for the Gang!

In the midst of a weekend full of fevers, ER runs (Don't worry, it's not appendicitis. Apparently, it's constipation. Don't ask!), fizzled snow storms, and de-Christmas-ing the house, the Gang had a happy afternoon. Our Eagles are going to the NFC Championships. No dumb luck about it. Not a ton of long passing and outstanding runs, but a good game fought down to the nitty gritty.

And in the middle of it all, our newest Eagles fan joined in the fun. After a long, cozy nap, of course!

And so now it's on to Arizona. Where no doubt, warmer hands will be able to handle the ball with more finesse. And maybe Westbrook can break free for a long-awaited, glorious, in-your-face touchdown run. If we're really lucky, maybe my beloved "Dawk" will get an interception too!

Fly - Eagles - Fly!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Yine Near Old Nonsense

It occurred to me the other day that I don't really blog much about LadyBug. I mean, enough for you to really get to know the treasure that she is to The Gang. I think it's because she's a fairly quiet kid and is full-blown into the "DON'T embarrass me, Mo-om" stage.

Which, coincidentally, just makes me want to plot all manner of bizarre and humiliating behaviors for walking through our local K*hl's together. I know, I have issues.

Aaaaaanyway, my issues aside, LadyBug may be quiet and may prefer to blend into the crowd when she's out of the house. But seriously? When this girl is here in the comfort and safety of her own home? She's a riot. She's spunky, sassy, and snappy. She breaks into crazy singing and dancing fits when someone says something that reminds her of a song she loves. She drives her brothers crazy by singing karaoke-style in this really, high-pitched nasal voice with great dramatic flair. She sings lyrics to songs that don't even exist. I mean, the song exists, but the lyrics she's singing? I have NO idea. But she has one particularly endearing trait that keeps us in stitches.

She mixes up her words.

Some of her funny little verbal twists aren't fit for print on this G-rated blog (and of course, those are her brothers' favorites that they repeat over and over with junior high boy glee and giggles). But I've been taking notes the past few weeks, jotting down some of the funny little things that come out of my LadyBug's mouth. They all have a context, but here are the punch lines. I think they are cute enough to stand on their own . . .

"He can't do that. His nail fingers are too long . . . "

". . . there's a bittle lit of laundry left . . ."

When reading a new word for the first time, sounding it out slowly: "stupp - i - did- i - tee"
And please, don't ask why she was reading a primary level book with the word "stupidity" in it. I think it might have been a J*nie B. J&nes book. 'Nuff said, eh?!

When describing a gentleman she saw at the mall the other day: " . . . and this one gall was really tigh."

But last night. Oh, last night.

Last night's verbal twist was perhaps the most shocking yet. Admittedly, it was also the funniest. Not necessarily because of what she said. But certainly because of the shock on her little face when she realized what just came out of her mouth. And definitely because of the huge reaction it scored with her brothers. Who laughed until they cried. Seriously. Shaggy was gasping for breath and Dr. D was rolling on the floor.

She was asking for a R**se's Peanut Butter Cup from her Christmas stocking. Only she seriously mixed up the "s's" and the "n's" in R**se's Peanut. Try it. And then drop the "t."

Yeah. Mommy's least favorite body-part word in the whole world just dropped out of sweet little LadyBug's mouth. Like a bomb in a suddenly quiet room. Followed by the explosion of laughter and tears. And hurried explanations of what she was really trying to say. Which just resulted in more tears and laughter and howls.

Yeah. That's my girl.

And yes, I did seek her permission to share this with you all. Seems it's not so embarrassing when you get your very own post. She does like her spotlight occasionally!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This Says It The Best!

In the years that we have been involved in the adoption of our sweet Li'l Empress, we've gotten lots of questions. Of course, there were a couple in the rude and inappropriate category from time to time. ("How on EARTH can you afford a 5th child," and other such impertinences!) In fact, my sister and I were just laughing the other day about the snappy comebacks we wished we had thought of to diffuse the situation. I was lamenting that I normally can think pretty quick on my feet but that I'm stopped dead in my mental tracks by such gall.

However, most of the worthwhile questions have been asked by truly interested and truly concerned people, both stranger and friend or family alike. Those questions, we have always been happy to answer by sharing our heart for orphans and specifically orphans from China.

Most questions have boiled down to one word: "why?"

Yesterday afternoon, I read an excellent post from a fellow adoptive mom who has become a new bloggy-friend. Head over there now and read it for yourself. It says it all.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

YOU Can Make a Difference

Cookie Magazine is running its annual Smart Cookie Readers' Choice Award. One of the featured nominees is Amy Eldredge, the founder of Love Without Boundaries. Now, I know that's a lot of links to throw into one paragraph, but please, hang with me a moment!

Love Without Boundaries is not-for profit charitable organization whose sole mission is to improve the quality of life for orphans in China. There are many such organizations, but LWB has a stellar reputation for using their money wisely and for caring for each child with love, compassion, and excellence of resources. The Gang is especially fond of LWB because of their work in the orphanage and related homes where Li'l Empress was living before we brought her to her Forever Family this past fall. They specifically provided nutritional support and resources during the months that Li'l Empress was living there.

The contest features some really great women and the organizations that they represent. Each story is compelling and their causes are worthy. But we'd like you to please consider casting your vote for Amy Eldredge. If you are part of the adoption community, if you know and love The Gang, or if you've spent time praying and supporting us in our journey to Li'l Empress, then this particular woman and her mission likely resonates with you. Please, go there now and fill out the ballot. That $35,000 donation to the winner will go a long, long way toward the medical and nutritional care of little ones just like our Li'l Empress.

Below is an excerpt of the email I got alerting us to the contest. Please, consider joining in the vote. It's so easy to make a difference.

LWB has a chance to win $35,000 to help even more orphaned children in China, and we need your help! Casting your vote for LWB is an easy way to change the lives of children in need.

Simply visit

Click on the circle next to the video about LWB. It is the first one, next to Amy Eldridge’s photo.

Fill out the rest of the information needed and click submit. You do not need to fill out the “about you” section if you do not wish, and you can opt out of receiving any information in the future from Cookie Magazine by checking “no” on the boxes asking which information you desire.

Each person over the age of 18 is allowed one vote. This contest is open to people in the US only, unfortunately. If you live in another country, you are not able to vote. Voting takes place from January 6th to February 10th.

Please forward the contest information to all of your family and friends and other yahoogroups. Together, we can win the contest and change many more orphaned children’s lives.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Slow Out the Starting Gate

The return to routine and "normal" life here at the Gang's house has been slow going. Delayed and derailed by sheer exhaustion and sickness. We did a lot of traveling over the holidays, with some movie and jammy days squeezed in here at home between trips. And now, I've got one with a cold that is just barely hovering and lingering on and on; one is home sick with the old-fashioned flu bug (fever, chills, achies and swollen glands), and one is toddling around with a congested cough and stuffy boogie nose. And in case you wondered, cleaning boogies out of her cute little (I mean teeeeeny tiny!) Asian nose is way harder to do than cleaning boogies out of her Caucasian siblings' noses (when they were babies, mind you!). Makes their noses seem like schnozzes!

As for me, I've had a smattering of all those symptoms on and off since Christmas Eve. Nothing bad enough to send me to bed with Nyq*#l and a mug of tea, mind you. Just nagging little symptoms that are making me feel off my game. Making me feel mentally as if I'm trying to swim through muddy waters. Nothing brilliant or original is coming to mind, and simple decisions are tiresome.

Today, I'm reverting to routine by sheer force of will. I'm running laundry, sorting junk drawers, and making soup. I might even make some bread, as long as my yeast is still good. But it irritates the snot out of me (hey, wouldn't it be great if the snot really shot out of me just because I was irritated?! Wouldn't that solve all the problems I just listed here?!) that I'm not yet into my feverish sorting and organizing bliss and frenzy of my normal January mode. Ugh.

I think this is the longest we've ever had our Christmas decor still up. The plan is to take it all down in one day of concentrated effort. The goal is tomorrow, after our trip to the audiologist for Li'l Empress's follow-up evaluations. This is actually a re-set (twice now) of an original goal of Sunday night. The big game was just too riveting and important to be clouded by de-decorating while we watched. Some things just require total concentration.

I guess I'd better not put off the de-decorating any more - after all, Sunday's game is bound to be even more captivating and focus-worthy. And by then, I'm hoping that the foggies here in the Gang's house will have cleared, so we can cheer and scream and yell without triggering multiple coughing fits across the couch.

Here's hoping . . . .

Sunday, January 4, 2009


It's a good night to be an Eagles fan.

26-14 over the Minnesota Vikings.

Mmmmm, Mmmmmmm.

Giants, here we come!