Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blog Challenge - 2008 In Review

As 2008 comes to a close, take some time to reflect on the past year. Tell us about acomplishments and triumphs, good times and bad times. What will be most memorable for you about 2008?

We have had a good 2008. Lots of things have changed in our lives.

First, we added to our family in the form of a pet. We got our dog, Rascal, in April. He is a cute little guy and he loves to go camping with us. He is part beagle but we don't know who the daddy is. Everyone swears he looks like a rotweiler. He's almost a year old and bigger than we expected him to be so who knows what he is mixed with.

We also did some room rearranging and it's been the best thing we could have ever done. I got into a bad habit years ago because of Sean's reflux and sleeping habits. I started sleeping with him to make sure that he didn't get choked from throwing up and to keep him in bed at night instead of roaming (and tearing up) the house. Well, 20 years passed by very quickly and I was still sleeping in his room. He got to the point where he didn't want me in there and started some behaviors (like slapping) which were his way of letting me know, I guess. So, we moved Clayton upstairs to a room I would have killed for when I was growing up. That gave Sean his own room and me and Carl our own room. We put very little in Sean's room - a bed and dresser - and soft toys and lots of pillows. He can be in there and we don't have to worry about him hurting himself. I'm sure at some point he'll figure out how to do some damage to himself or something else but he hasn't so far. He goes in there himself and I think he really enjoys his alone time. Clayton really enjoys his alone time. We barely see him. Our house is a 1-1/2 story and the upstairs is one big room. His bed is on one side and his TV and computer are on the other side. He can have friends over and they have their own area and it is really nice. He's had a sleepover and is about to have another one. He also became a teenager this year. No signs of raging hormones yet but I'm sure they'll be here soon. God, please give me strength!

Another big change is that Carl retired this spring. He is older than I am so I am still working (for about 20 more years. Yuck.) Anyway, he had worked at the same place for 40 years so he felt he had paid his dues. He thought he was retiring to relax but, oh, was he wrong. With him being home and me still working, he is now Mr. Mom. He does the housework and, for the first time in 20 years, takes care of Sean. He sees now what I had to do for the past 20 years, except I still had to work, too. He is doing a great job and I am so totally grateful. It has given me some much needed rest and I feel like such a weight has been taken off of me.

Carl's help has given me time to stretch my creative wings. Well, they're not really wings, and I'm not really that creative, but I've been trying. Several months ago I told you about key ring clips I was making. I still make them and I have started making spoon bracelets, too. I had never heard of a spoon bracelet (I had heard of rings). I had made some key ring clips out of old forks and someone saw them and asked if I could make a spoon bracelet. I said I had never heard of them but I would see what I could come up with. Well, after some internet research, we created our first one. It is a collaborative effort between Carl and I. He does the physical work and I do the decorating. He cuts them and bends them and then I put beads on them. I will have to post pictures of some because you probably can't picture what I'm talking about. I had one friend say "Aren't those dangerous since you use forks?" She thought we were using the tines of the forks - we are not. We cut them off. She is such a goofball! Love you, Bonita!!

Another exciting thing was that a new Wal-Mart Supercenter opened about three minutes from my house. I am in heaven. I used to have to travel about 20 minutes and while that may not seem like much of a trip, when you consider I only went once a week and had to do all my shopping, it made for about a two or three hour trip weekly. Now, with it so close, I can make small runs and don't have to load down the cart and my car. I LOVE IT!!! Thank you, Wal-Mart, for making my life easier. Now, could I please have a Target?

One thing that was not so good this year was that Sean was diagnosed with Barrett's Esophagus. The pediatric GI doc. that we went to in St. Louis diagnosed him and was not very encouraging with the news. He admitted that he didn't have any knowledge really because it normally isn't a pediatric condition. We have since seen an adult GI doc. and he was more encouraging. He said that there are stages that it progresses through and he normally doesn't see it progess to cancer. He said that Sean being young doesn't give him any greater of a chance of developing cancer than anyone else. We have to meet with him again when he has seen all of Sean's records and he will do a scope in July of next year and we will go from there. I hope he is right in his thoughts. Sean's reflux is finally under control and he has had a good year healthwise. (Great, now I've probably jinxed us.) I am trusting in God and trying not to worry too much about the diagnosis. Keep Sean in your prayers, though.

Another biggy for me this year is joining the blogging world. I didn't even know what a blog was a year ago. I started reading one family's blog and from there "met" other people and then started my own blog and have "met" many more. It is so amazing to be able to connect with people like this. It is so nice to know that I am not alone. Even though Sean is one of the older CdLS kids, I can so relate to what everyone else is going through. It is such a great tool for everyone. I only wish I would have had access to something like this when Sean was born. Besides being able to connect with CdLS moms, it is so amazing to see other people and read their stories and see the support and love that comes from complete strangers. So many times we only hear the horror stories of the world but when you see some of the acts of kindness, you know there is still good in the world. Thank you, blogging world, for sharing your humor, sarcasm, good times, bad times, and all the other stuff. I look forward to another year of connecting.

We, of course, camped this year but I won't bore you with those stories again. I hope the gas prices stay down so we can go a little more next year. Maybe we'll even venture out of Illinois. Okay, we probably won't, but if we did, where would we go? I would like to go see the ocean again. I have only seen it once. We went to Florida when Clayton was about 5. I would like to go to Virginia Beach. That sounds like a fun place.

2008 was a good year. I am looking forward to 2009 and all the fun that comes with it. See ya next year!! (I love saying that.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. We did. The kids opened presents in the morning. I even got one this year. Carl and I normally don't exchange presents because we never know what to get each other. I had gotten him a laptop when Wal-Mart had them real cheap a couple of months ago. It was supposed to be for Christmas but he saw it before I could hide it. He wanted to start learning how to use a computer and I didn't want him messing mine up so that's why I got him one. It's just a basic one but he can surf the net and that's all he wanted to do. Our anniversary is today - 22 years. So, for Christmas and our anniversary, he got me a ring. It is one I had looked at and wished for but never thought I would get it. He totally surprised me. It was great.

After opening presents, I started cooking. Our friends came over for Christmas dinner. We had turkey and all the trimmings. It was quite tasty. After we stuffed ourselves we sat down to play Buzz. It's a Playstation game and it's like a game show. It's pretty fun. While we were playing we noticed that Russ's top lip had started to swell. He said it felt like he was getting a fever blister. Not wanting to miss any fun, we kept playing. About 30 minutes later we noticed his bottom lip was swelling. That's when we got worried. Dianne called the nurse hotline and they said to take him to the ER. We were worried that his throat would swell shut. After two hours in the ER on Christmas night, two shots (which he was not too happy about), and prescriptions to take home, he's fine. They said it was an allergic reaction to something. I thought I might have poisoned him but since no one else got sick, I don't think it was me! It was pretty weird. He probably won't be coming to our house to eat anymore!

Here's a couple of pictures of the boys on Christmas morning. I didn't take too many pictures and, sadly, I didn't get one of Russ's plumped up lips!

Clayton got Guitar Hero World Tour which includes drums and a guitar and Sean got electronic drum sticks and a harmonica so it's been very musical (loud) around here the last couple of days. But, I wouldn't change it for anything.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Where have I been?

Well, in case anyone has been wondering where I've been, I can now tell you.

I have been working on a special project that's near and dear to my heart. I worry about all the small animals in the wintertime and how they keep warm. Well, I have created a safe, warm haven for them this winter. Here's where several of them will be spending the next few months!!!!

Don't ask me how, but this is how I woke up looking yesterday. The weird thing is that when I sleep, I don't move. I sleep on my back and wake up in the same position I fall asleep in. My mom has always said I didn't move as a child and Carl says I don't move now. So, can someone please explain the above picture? I'm afraid I might be living a second life at night!