Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Worn Out Wednesday

I've had way too much to do today. Actually, everyday is like that. I just usually choose not to worry too much about getting everything done. However, today, I was on a mission to get some stuff accomplished. And now, I am completely worn out because of it.

I was sorting and washing clothes that were given to me. They hadn't been stored very well and had a musty odor. I had to wash the clothes so that I could sort through them because I just couldn't stand the smell. It actually caused me to have a mild asthma attack.

Sarah is still sick and home from school. I don't think she'll be going tomorrow either. She's still not feeling very well, still vomiting every once in a while, and still running a high fever. Since there is no school on Friday, she'll have missed the entire week of school if she stays home again. I may have to take her back to the doctor on Friday.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Little Sneak

Can someone please explain to me Katie's fascination with putting the dog's or cat's food in their water? She does this every chance she gets. Whenever nobody is looking, she sneaks into the laundry room to put the animals' food into their water.

It mostly happens with the cat's food and water, because she can hide better where we keep them than she can with the dog's food and water. Yes, she knows what she is doing is wrong, and that's why she is so quiet and sneaky when she does it.

Has anyone else ever had this problem, or is it just my kid that does this?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Is it Too Much to Ask?

After Sarah's appointment this afternoon, I had to go to my mother's house to check her mail for her. Since there is a Walgreens around the corner from her house, I decided to get Sarah's prescription filled there instead of the one that I normally get it filled at. They're both about the same distance from my house, so I figured that even if they couldn't fill it quick enough for me to pick it up before returning to my house, it wouldn't really be anymore out of my way to go back there than it would to go to the other one.

Well, I was wrong. W-R-O-N-G, WRONG! When I went back to the Walgreens, an hour after they had told me the prescription would be ready, they informed me that it was out of stock at that store and they wouldn't have it until the next day. Hello? How hard would it have been to call me to let me know that? I could have saved myself the trip. With gas prices these days, it's just wrong to do that to someone.

I had them call the store that I normally go to, and they had it in stock and were going to fill it for me. Of course, that meant waiting another 15-20 minutes for it, but at least Sarah was going to be able to start taking it tonight instead of tomorrow some time.

I really think I need to write someone a letter about this. If they had just called me when they realised that they did not have the drug in question, I could have asked them to transfer it to the other Walgreens over the phone without having to waste my time or gas. This lack of common sense here is bordering on F*cktardedness.


Sarah called me from school early this afternoon to tell me that she's not feeling well and needs me to come pick her up. I asked her what was wrong and she said that her stomach, head, and throat all hurt. Since I know that those are the signs of Strep throat, and she was calling me from her favorite class (Orchestra), I knew she must really be sick.

When I got Sarah home, I checked her temperature, and it was 100.3, so I called the doctor to get her an appointment. They gave us one at 3:00, which was perfect since I would be picking Emily up from school around 2:30.

I guess there must be something going around, or maybe it was just a fluke, because the waiting room was extremely crowded when we arrived. For a while, we didn't even have anywhere to sit. Granted, there were some chairs missing, but there were still more people standing than chairs missing. I won't even go into the scary people that were there today.

Eventually, we got to see Dr. Bob. We really love Dr. Bob. He examined Sarah and said that her glands were swollen and her throat was very red. He took a swab to test for Strep. Emily actually got it out of the drawer for him, since we've done this enough times for her to know where they keep them. Dr. Bob also took a quick look at Emily's throat because she started claiming she was sick, too, while we were in there.

Well, Sarah's Strep test came back negative. It always does, though, so it wasn't a shock to me. I like to call what my girls get "Almost Strep" or "Not Strep" since they have all of the symptoms of Strep, but I get them in to the doctor before it has a chance to become full blown Strep.

So, Dr. Bob wrote Sarah a prescription for an antibiotic (liquid because she won't swallow pills), and told me that if Emily gets worse and starts running a fever to call him and he would just call something in for her so I don't have to go back. Have I mentioned that we LOVE Dr. Bob?

I don't know if Sarah is going to be feeling well enough to go to school tomorrow. If she wakes up feeling like she does now, I doubt she'll be going.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Moving Day

Now, don't go getting all excited. I'm not moving.

Today, we finally went back out to Lakeland to get most of the rest of my mother's stuff to take back to her house. I say most, because there are still a few things that we couldn't get to today. They're not things that she necessarily needs, just things that she wants. Yes, my mother is a pack-rat.

I have plans to go over to her house in the near future and start getting rid of some of the stuff that she has accumulated. I told her that I need to do it now, so it's not completely overwhelming when she's dead. By the way, I told her this before she had the heart attacks, so do go thinking that I'm being all morbid because of her illness.

When talking to mom about her being a pack-rat, she first tried to defend herself by saying that there are many people who are worse that she is. I told her that just because someone else is worse, it doesn't make her any less of a pack-rat. Then, she claimed that it was okay that she has so much "stuff" because whenever anyone asks her if she has something, she usually does. So, I said that the only reason people ask her if she has something is because they know she has so much "stuff."

I'll never be able to convince her to just cut it all loose, and since Clean House only cleans out houses in the Los Angeles area, I'm just going to have to slowly get rid of things myself one by one.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


We have this old laptop computer that the girls used to use for doing their homework and playing games online. I say "used to use" because one day while fighting over it, they broke something where the power source plugs into it. Without power, they couldn't use it anymore.

Well, this morning, Sarah decided that she was going to try to fix it. It's not like Phil didn't already try to fix it, but for some reason, she thought that she was going to be able to take it apart and figure it out herself. Amazingly, she did!

She got it working once, but then the dog accidentally pulled the cord out again and it quit working. So, she started all over again, and managed to get it running again. The second time, she decided to tape the power cord in place so that it wouldn't be so easy to pull it out again.

We're all still a bit astounded that she was able to get it going again. Phil was ready to trash it. Either way, I'm back to not having to share my desktop computer with the girls when they need to do their homework.


Phil has some work to take care of today, so I decided to tag along. Right now, I am blogging from his laptop in his truck as we are traveling south on I-75. We are headed to the Port Charlotte area.

Before we left for Port Charlotte, Phil had to pick some guy up from the airport and take him to pick up one of the company trucks that he will be driving to Hilton Head, SC. Since Phil didn't know this guy, and we were picking him up from the terminal loading area, he gave a description of himself to Phil. He described himself as looking "like John Lennon."

At no point did we encounter anyone who looked like John Lennon, but this guy came and got in the truck and introduced himself to Phil as the guy he was supposed to be picking up. The first thing out of his mouth after the introductions was that there was only one thing that he did not have in common with John Lennon and that was that he couldn't stand to be around smokers.

Then this guy goes and starts spouting all of his conspiracy theories about how the CIA programmed Mark David Chapman to assassinate John Lennon. They also programmed whoever killed Bobby Kennedy. He also said that when John Lennon was in the ambulance on his way to the hospital to be treated for his non-life threatening gun shot wound from Chapman, the CIA shot him again to make sure it was fatal.

Then he started in on how there were all of these witnesses when JFK was assassinated that saw bullets flying from all different directions, but that the government had killed them to keep the "truth" from coming out that it wasn't just a lone gunman. Oh, and according to him, the government is also covering up that there really are UFOs and extraterrestrials.

This guy was a total fruitcake, and I can't say that I was sad to see him go. I told Phil that the probable reason that he is a solo long distance truck driver (delivering trucks from one place to another) is because he wouldn't be able to work very well with others. I only had to be near him for about 20 minutes, but that was really too much time. I couldn't imagine having to work an eight hour day with this guy.

Great Game

This morning, we attended Emily's soccer game. Once again, her team was down two players, but we had a boy from another team join our team for the game, which gave the girls a chance to take a break when they needed to.

It was a very good game. In the first half of the game, Emily's teammate, Kristen, scored a goal. It was great, too, because the ball just barely made it into the goal. The teams were very evenly matched, and nobody else scored another goal for the reast of the game. We came close a couple of times, but nothing else made it into the goal.

So, the game ended with Emily's team winning 1-0. Congratulations, girls!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Chocolate Bliss

Tonight, I joined some friends for a Hershey Bliss party. My friend, Julie, was chosen to have the party and she brought a bunch of Hershey's Bliss chocolates to our friend Andrea's house to share with everyone. She also brought some other Hershey's Bliss goodies to share with us, too, like a pen, grocery list pad, and what I believe to be a refrigerator magnet.

It was nice to get together with the girls, although most of us had already gotten together this morning for a "playdate" at Mimi's cafe. I always have a really good time when I am with them, and I am so glad that I joined this wonderful group of ladies. Oh, and the chocolate was just divine!

I have a VERY busy day on the schedule for tomorrow, so I must go to sleep now. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow night.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Farewell, Fuzzball

Well, I finally did it. After calling the Humane Society everyday hoping that they would get an opening for Fuzzball, I finally gave up waiting and took him down to Animal Services this afternoon.

When I got there, the first thing they did was take him to be weighed. They told me that if he didn't weigh at least 1.7 pounds, they would have to euthanize him. They told me that they were having to do that because people were bringing in litters of kittens that were too small to survive without their mothers and they would just die anyway. I told the lady that if Fuzzball didn't weigh enough I would just take him back home with me until he got bigger.

When the other girl came back in with Fuzzball, she announced that Fuzzball weighed in at 1.75 pounds. She also said that their head vet had been in there when she took him in to weigh him and had taken a look at him. Since he was healthy, hefty, and cute as can be, it was up to them if they wanted to keep him.

They then gave me a paper with statistics on it to read and sign. The paper said that they receive 33,000 animals per year and only 7% of cats and 22% of dogs get adopted. I had to sign something about me understanding that they cannot keep animals past their normal holding time. So, I asked them what their "normal holding time" was, so I could check to see if Fuzzball had been adopted before his time was up. They said that they make the decision right away if they are going to keep the animals or euthanize them, and that they were definitely going to be keeping Fuzzball until he gets adopted.

So, even though I was sad to have to give Fuzzball up, I felt better knowing that he will soon have a new home. He's so cute and sweet, I'm sure he won't have to wait long for his new family.

Chinese Anyone?

Green in Hell?

Lately, I've been seeing a lot of ads from Walmart (AKA Hell) about going green. I think the recycled plastic bottle t-shirts they sell are really cute and I plan to buy a few of them for Sarah and Emily.

Yesterday, I had to take my mother there to get a few things that she needed. For some reason, I only had one of my Green Bags in my car, so that was all I took in with me. However, when we got to the check out line, there was a display of Walmart's own version of the Green Bag (it was black). So, I grabbed three of them, and put them on the conveyor belt in front of our items.

First, the cashier rang them up. Then, she asked me if I wanted to use them right then. Um, hello? Why would I buy them if I planned on getting plastic bags? Next, she set them up on top of the rotating triangular plastic bag dispenser thing and waited for me to start bagging my own items.

Now, I don't have a problem with bagging my own stuff, although the cashier was handing me things faster than I could bag them and seemed annoyed that she had to wait for me. But, it seems to me that if you want to encourage people to "go green," you could make it a little easier for them to do so by teaching your cashiers how to bag stuff using the reusable bags that you sell.

Just a thought.

Edited to Add: The Walmart reusable bags aren't as nice as the Green Bags. While they are the same size, they do not have the nice little piece of card board in the bottom to stabilize them like the Green Bags do.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Secretaries Day

Happy Secretaries Day, or "Administrative Professionals Day" for those politically correct types, to all of the secretaries out there. And yes, this does include us Stay-at-Home-Moms who are in charge of scheduling all of the family's appointments. Whether it's doctors appointments, appliance deliveries, or, God forbid, the cable guy, our families could not run so efficiently without our secretarial skills.


I finally heard from Sarah's pediatrician's office today about her x-rays. They said that everything looked normal, so it's probably just really bruised and she should just follow the RICE (rest, ice, compress, elevate) protocol until the swelling subsides and it feels better.

Emily was apparently the most relieved to hear the news, since she for some reason thought that if Sarah's leg was broken, she would have to take care of her. Yeah... Like that would ever happen!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Yesterday, Sarah went on a field trip to Islands of Adventure with her school orchestra and band. They were performing in City Walk, and then they spent the rest of the day in the theme park.

At some point in the day, Sarah was being attacked by or playing with (I'm kind of fuzzy on the details) her friend's little brother and tripped and fell and hit her knee on a bench. When she was getting ready for bed last night, she showed us her knee and it was swollen really big. So, I had her put ice on it and rest with it up for a while before bed.

This morning when Sarah got out of bed, her knee was still really swollen. I called the doctor and got her an appointment and told her she was staying home from school. When we saw the doctor, he said that because it didn't hurt her when he twisted her knee from side to side, she probably hadn't torn or injured any ligaments. But since it was very swollen and hurt to bend past a certain point or straighten completely, Sarah was sent for x-rays.

After the x-rays, the tech said that they would sent the report to the doctor today, and the doctor's nurse had told us that they would call me with the results as soon as they had them, but we still haven't heard anything. Most likely, nothing is broken, but it would still be nice to know for sure.

Vera Day

Now that my mother is out of the hospital, there are a lot of things that she needs to keep track of, like her daily weight, her blood pressure, her diet, and her appointments. So, I bought her a new planner to write everything down in. She also has a lot of PRN medications that she needs to keep with her, too.

Since mom's purse wasn't big enough to hold everything she needs to keep with her, and her larger purses weren't designed for organization, we took a trip to the Hallmark store to get her a lovely Vera Bradley bag. She got the same one that I have, only in a different pattern. Here is what she got.

They didn't have the bag in the pattern she wanted out in the display, so the sales lady had to go into the back to get it from the shipment they had just received. While she was looking for it, we continued to look around. Katie found a little purse that she wanted to carry around. I wasn't planning on getting it for her because it was way too big and expensive for her. But then another sales lady thought she might like the "Katie" style and pointed it out to us.

Well, Katie just loved the "Katie" bag, and they had one in the colors that she wears most often - pink and green. And since that style is not very expensive, we decided to go ahead and get it for her. So, at the tender age of 20 months, Katie has her very first VB bag. Here it is.

Now every one of us girls had a VB bag, except for Emily. Since it really wouldn't be very fair for Katie to have a VB before Emily, I looked for something inexpensive for Emily. I decided on a lunch bag for her, since she likes to pack her lunch for school sometimes. It was less expensive than most of the handbags, and when the girls go back to school in the fall, I can get her the back sack to match it. Here's what Emily got.

Of course, at this point in our shopping, we realized that we were getting something for both Emily and Katie, and nothing for Sarah. Again, not very fair, so I picked out a nice little accessory to go with Sarah's VB that my aunt bought for her. This is what I picked out for Sarah.

So, you may be wondering what I picked out for myself. Well, believe it or not, I didn't get anything for myself. Shocking, I know, but I just didn't want to spend too much money, and I didn't really see anything that I felt I needed at that very moment. I'll just have to go back when I'm in a more selfish mood, I guess.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Today was my first full day of playing nurse to my mother. Last night, I organized what I could of her drugs. Let me just tell you, there are a LOT of them. Since I am currently only taking my own meds in the morning and at night (and different drugs at the different times), I decided to use my awesome pill box to organize my mother's drugs.

Mom has a hard time remembering which drug is for what and what time she is supposed to take her drugs, so I have been having to explain everything thing to her every time I give her pills. One of her pills that she takes twice a day can lower her blood pressure significantly, and since she was having some trouble with her blood pressure being too low in the hospital, I have to check her blood pressure before she takes the drug. If her pressure is too low (below 90 systolic), she can't take it.

We went to the doctor this morning to have her Coumadin level checked and it was back in the range that they want it. So she took her first pill tonight. I have to take her back on Friday to have it checked again and see if her dose needs adjusting.

I also went over all of her medications with her doctor, including some medications that she had been taking prior to her hospital stay, so we could be clear on what she can and cannot take. She has a couple of prescription pain meds, but if she wants to take an OTC pain reliever, she can only have Tylenol. No aspirin (because she takes it daily already), no ibuprofen, no naproxen - no anti-inflammatories of any sort.

So, now that we got all of that taken care of, tomorrow will be a day of making phone calls and scheduling appointments. Oh, and I did go ahead and schedule my own appointment to see one of my own doctors while I was scheduling my moms Coumadin check for Friday. Just in case you were wondering if I was doing anything for myself.

Tune in tomorrow for an all new Vera Bradley post!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Free At Last

Mom was released from the hospital this evening!!!

After spending eleven days in the hospital, her doctors finally released her. There was some discussion about whether or not they'd keep her for another day, though. They worked so hard at getting her Coumadin levels up high enough to release her that they got it too high, and the doctors were considering keeping her another day to make sure it got lowered to an acceptable amount. But, I asked the doctors if it would be possible for her to just go to her primary doctor to have the levels checked, and they said that would be fine and released her.

So, tonight we had to take all of her prescriptions to the pharmacy to get them filled, and tomorrow morning I'll be calling her primary doctor to get her appointment there.

Also, now that mom is out of the hospital, I can schedule some much needed appointments for myself. I've been putting it off because I didn't know when mom would be out of the hospital and when her appointments for her doctors were going to be. But, now that she's out and we know when she needs to see her doctors, there are no more obstacles for me.

Oh, and she is definitely feeling like her normal self again. Right now, she's cleaning my kitchen instead of relaxing like I want her to. When I told her that she shouldn't be doing that, she argued that she was told that she could resume normal activities so long as she doesn't get winded doing them. So, if I keep her here long enough, my entire house should be sparkling!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Day at Home

I didn't go to the hospital today. I was planning on it, though I had told my mother that it would be later in the day. But my mother called me and told me to take the day off. She said that she was having plenty of visitors and I should just stay home and rest.

So, I stayed home, but I did not rest. Instead, I went to work out in my yard with my trusty-dusty chainsaw. Phil, Colin, and I worked on clearing out some overgrown areas of the yard. It looks so much better now*, although there are HUGE piles of branches, leaves, vines, etc., laying around the yard. Tomorrow, Phil and Colin will work on getting it all prepared for the yard waste pick-up on Thursday.

*I wish I had taken some before pictures to share, but I wasn't thinking about that when I went to work. Sorry.

Unusual Compliment

A couple of days ago, I went to Walgreens to get some stuff for my mother. When I went to check out, I decided to write a check. Since I wrote the check, the cashier asked to see my driver license. When I handed it to him, he said, "Nice picture."

I couldn't tell if he meant it or if he was being sarcastic. So I said, "My husband likes to say I look Goth in it because my hair looks so dark and my skin so light."

The cashier replied, "Oh, no! That picture could be on the cover of a magazine."

So, I said, "Uh, thanks."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Girl Scout Camping

Phil and I dropped Sarah and Emily off with their respective Girl Scout troops tonight for the Paleo Girl Scout Service Unit's Fourth Annual Junior Jubilee. The Junior Jubilee is a special camping weekend for Junior Girl Scouts.

While Sarah is not a Junior Girl Scout, her Cadette Girl Scout troop is putting on the event for the Juniors Girl Scouts. Sarah's troop has been planning this event for quite a while now, and they will earn their Girl Scout Silver Awards by doing this.

I'm sure the girls will have a great time at camp. It'll be nice for them to get away from all of the stress at home.

Maybe Next Week

The doctors told mom today that they aren't going to release her from the hospital until at least Monday. They are worried about her mental state and think she may be depressed. They want to have her evaluated by a psychiatrist and possibly put on an anti-depressant and/or anti-anxiety drug. I'm sure that she could use it.

She seems to be doing okay, but she gets really emotional and starts crying sometimes. And she keeps worrying about things that she shouldn't be worried about right now.

So Cool

Check this out!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Today, all of the stress of everything finally hit me. Well, maybe it didn't hit me so much as it nudged me. I was sitting in my mother's hospital room this afternoon and a few tears escaped from my eyes. I didn't even realise it until my mother asked me what was wrong with me.

You may not know this about me, but I am a perfectionist. Whenever I do something, I put my all into it and try to be perfect. It is very difficult for me to fail at anything. If I can't do something perfectly, I'd rather not even try.

So, not being able to be the best mother AND the best daughter at the same time (not to mention being a great wife) is putting me under a lot of stress. I think that I was feeling guilty for making Katie spend her days cooped up in my mother's hospital room all day every day when the tears escaped from my eyes. I know this situation isn't going to last forever, but it's so hard for me to feel like I am letting my girls down in even the slightest way.

I still don't know if Sarah will be able to go with her class on the field trip to Busch Gardens. I never got a response from Sarah's teacher to the email I sent her. I had to take Sarah to the dentist this morning for her monthly orthodontic check, and she was late getting to this teacher's class, so she didn't turn in the forms or speak to her teacher about it, either.

Sarah did tell me, however, that she was fine with not going. She said that one of her good friends isn't going because she doesn't like to ride roller coasters. I hope she's not just covering to try to make me not feel bad. Of course, I also hope that she'll be allowed to attend.

As for my mother, she's still in the hospital, but she's doing much better. She's ready to come home, but her doctor's can't release her yet because she still needs Coumadin injections for her blood clot, and her insurance doesn't want to pay for her to get them at home. (Apparently, it's very expensive.)

They told mom that she has to get her Coumadin levels in her blood up to a 2.2 before she can go home and take the pill form, and she was at a 1.0 today. Her nurse said that she's hoping they can get her up to a 1.6 or 1.7 tomorrow. Which means that mom will definitely not be coming home again tomorrow. It'll be Saturday at the earliest.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Oh, No!

CRAP! I feel like a horrible mother! In my neglect of nearly everything but my mother and the basic necessities of life, I forgot to send Sarah's permission slip and money in to school with her on Monday for her 7th grade field trip to Busch Gardens. I just now realized this when I started going through my pile of papers on my desk. I have no idea if Sarah is aware of this or not yet.

I emailed her team leader (the teacher in charge of all of her non-elective teachers) and explained the situation and asked if there was any way possible for Sarah to still be included in the trip. Considering the extenuating circumstances and the fact that Sarah has done a lot this year to help out her team leader, I'm sure that if it is at all possible, she'll be able to go. But if not, I don't know how I'll make this up to Sarah.

Another Day at the Hospital

I had another long day at the hospital. It feels like life is just passing me by while I am stuck there with my mother. I know exactly how she feels about wanting to get out of there ASAP.

Poor Katie is getting bored with being at the hospital all of the time, too. She's okay in the morning when PBS has all of its kids' shows on, but once she's had her lunch and nap, she's just a bundle of energy with nothing to do. And of course, by that point, any energy I may have had has been totally zapped, and I have a hard time wrangling her.

As I'm sure you suspect, my mother is spending another night in the hospital. Her blood pressure has been really low, so her doctors are adjusting her medications to try to get it up before releasing her. She's now been in the hospital for an entire week.

The pain in her leg went away, which is good, and the pain in her arm from the blood clot is getting better, too. Her appetite has increased, and she's finally enjoying most of her meals.

I told mom that we want her to come live with us when she gets out of the hospital. Phil seems all gung ho about her moving in permanently. How many husbands actually like and want their mothers-in-law living with them? I guess I'm lucky in that respect. Phil also told the girls that we are all going to be changing our diets to accommodate mom's new "heart healthy" diet plan. He's been thinking a lot about what meals he'll be cooking for her. He's a wonderful husband.

The doctors have again said that "maybe tomorrow" will be the day mom gets to go home. Let's all pray that tomorrow is actually the day. (Oh, but please also pray that she's not released too early because I have to take Sarah to the dentist in the morning before I go to the hospital.) Thanks!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Guilt and Craziness

I'm feeling a bit guilty right now because of how my mother's situation is affecting my girls. You may recall my post a few weeks ago about all of the field trips Sarah and Emily have coming up, and how I was trying to figure out how to pay for them and get a babysitter for Katie so I could chaperon a couple of them. Well, my mother agreed to babysit Katie for me, so that took care of that problem, and the rest was just financial.

Then, of course, my mother's mother died and her world began spiraling out of control with everything that fell into her lap to take care of. You may even recall me stating in this blog post that, "I just hope my mother doesn't work herself too hard taking care of [her father]." And if you've been reading, you know what happened there.

Anyhow, because of my mother's condition, I have had to cancel chaperoning for two events already. I know the girls understand, but I still feel bad about having to do it. I just hope that I don't end up having to cancel chaperoning Emily's Junior Achievement field trip. That was a lot of fun when I chaperoned for Sarah, and they really need all of the chaperons they can get for it.

On to the craziness... My mother started complaining about a pain in her upper arm (from her elbow up to her shoulder) a couple of days ago, so her internist sent her for an ultrasound to make sure that she hadn't developed a blood clot. The internist said that she doubted that was the case since mom had been on blood thinners ever since she was admitted to the hospital, but she wanted to do the ultrasound to rule it out. Today, they finally gave us the results of the ultrasound and she does indeed have a blood clot in her arm just above her elbow. The internist said she just doesn't understand how that could have happened while on the blood thinners, but it did, so now they have to treat that, too.

Needless to say, mom did not make it out of the hospital today. We'll try again tomorrow, I guess.

Edited to Add: My mother also started having a pain in the groin area of her left leg (opposite side from the angiogram plug) this afternoon while taking a walk around the cardiology ward. Hopefully she just pulled something and it's not another blood clot. A blood clot in the leg would be much more dangerous than one in the arm!

Monday, April 14, 2008


My lack of sleep is killing me. I've been spending so much time at the hospital that I have had very little time at home. So I've been staying up late to try to accomplish the minimal things I can. After a week of this stuff, I have developed a constant headache. It just does not go away. I even wake up with it.

My brother has to fly back to California tomorrow afternoon, so I am going to take this last opportunity to be away from the hospital to take Katie to a playdate in the morning** so she can play with her friends and expel some of her energy.

My mother may be released from the hospital tomorrow, and if she is, I'll be bringing her home to my house (whether she likes it or not). The doctor said that it's okay for her to be alone, but that it would be best if she wasn't, at least for a while.

Her doctor feels that she needs to have people around her to keep her spirits up. Since he believes that the stress she has been under is what has caused her heart failure, keeping her stress-free is very important. And since my mother does nothing but worry when she's left to her own devises, I'll be providing as much distraction for her as possible.

**Oy! My days are so screwed up right now that I thought the playdate was tomorrow, but it's not until Wednesday. I guess I'll just spend so time loving on Katie instead and we'll try to make the playdate on Wednesday, if we can.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Return of the Prodigal Son

My brother is home from California to visit my mother while she is in the hospital. He's staying here with us tonight (or this morning depending on how you look at it), but I'm not sure if he'll be staying here the entire time or if he'll be staying at my mother's house.

We still don't know when my mother will be getting out of the hospital. Her cardiologist told her that if she did well over the weekend she could go home as soon as Sunday or Monday, but she's not eating very much and her lab tests keep showing that she has low levels of calcium and potassium, so she may be there a while longer than that.

Maybe now that my brother is here, I can spend a little less time at the hospital and get some stuff done that I have been putting off.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Something Other than the Hospital

Emily had a soccer game this morning, so I got to put off going to the hospital for a while today.

Emily's team played well, especially considering that four of the six players on the other team were male competitive players and our team is an all-girl recreational team. When our coach realized that we were playing against so many competitive players, he went and grabbed us a couple of ringers to even out the playing field a little bit.

We lost the game, but only by one point, and two of our goals were even scored by our girls and not by our ringers. So the coach and parents were very proud of our girls for holding their own against those big, bad boys.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Good News!

It looks as though all of our prayers have been answered. My mother had her angiogram this afternoon, and the results were much better than we could have ever guessed.

Her angiogram showed that she had absolutely NO blockage in her heart arteries. There wasn't even any blockage were she had the heart attacks. Her doctor said that what apparently happened was that her arteries basically had spasms that blocked the flow of blood to parts of her heart.

Because there was no real blockage and there is still blood flowing to the damaged parts of her heart, there is a possibility that some of the damage can be reversed. We were so happy to hear that! My mother was definitely in a much better mood once she heard the doctor say that.

So, the doctor said that he's going to keep her in the hospital and see how she does over the weekend and then he may release her on Sunday or Monday. Once she is released, he'll follow up with her in his office and keep her on medication (and probably therapy, too). He said that after two months, he'll check to see how much of her heart damage has repaired itself and how much is permanently damaged.

So for now, her prognosis is good. Please keep praying for her. It's obviously working!

More on Mom

When I got back up to the hospital this morning, the cardiologist was in mom's room. He said that her ECG had shown that her heart was 50% damaged. They decided to forego the stress test and do an angiogram instead. The doctor wants to see if there are anymore potential blockages or narrowing of her arteries so he'll know what her chances of having more heart attacks are, as well as see if she'll need an angioplasty or a stent to widen any narrowings.

They are doing the angiogram as I type this blog post, so I should know more in a couple of hours. I'll be sure to update as soon as I can.

Thank you to everyone for your support. I have the best friends in the world!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Mother

You may recall that in my post on Monday I mentioned that my mother had spent the day in the ER in Lakeland and that they diagnosed her with a severe stomach virus. When I saw her on Tuesday afternoon, she seemed like she was feeling much better, though still a bit run down (as anyone would be after constantly vomiting the entire previous day).

On Wednesday, I assumed that she was still on the mend. I called her a couple of times and left her some messages to call me back, but I knew she had a busy day planned, so I wasn't too concerned when she didn't call me back right away. Late yesterday afternoon, though, my aunt called me to tell me that my mother was sick again and that she wanted me to get my brother and go pick my mother up from Lakeland and bring her home.

My brother had another obligation and couldn't come with me, so Phil and I went out to Lakeland to pick my mother up and bring her home. When we loaded her up, she said that she wanted us to take her to her doctor's office where they are open for after hours urgent care visits until 10 pm. However, while on the way back to our town, she decided that she should really go to the ER instead, so we took her there.

Since we were under the assumption that she still had the virus, or that her illness might be stress related (from everything she's been going through with her father since her mother died), we didn't quite understand why the nurses and doctors kept asking her if she had any history of heart disease or if she had been experiencing any tightness in her chest or shortness of breath.

We soon found out that the blood tests they ran showed she had very elevated cardiac enzyme levels. They kept her in the ER running more tests overnight, and then admitted her to the cardiac unit this morning. After the cardiologist came in to see her, he ordered an echo cardiogram (heart ultrasound), talked to me about his concerns, and then left for the day.

After spending the entire day in the cardiac unit and not knowing how her ECG had turned out, mom's night nurse told us that from what she knew of her test results, mom had had several heart attacks. And from the symptoms that she had when she got sick on Monday, chances are she was having at least one heart attack then. She also said that because mom takes so many pain medications for her fibromyalgia and arthritis, it could have caused her to not feel any pain from other heart symptoms or heart attacks.

Tomorrow, they'll probably be giving her a stress test. The cardiologist will be there for that, so I will definitely be asking him lots of questions.

Please keep my mother in your prayers. Thanks.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I sure do wish I'd had a video camera in my hands a minute ago! Then I could have shared with you what I just witnessed. The F*cktard kid next door just totally wiped out going over his ramp on his bike with no safety gear whatsoever on. Unfortunately, it looks like his injuries were probably only scrapes and bruises. Better luck next time, F*cktard!

Oh, and by the way, the little one is out on his bike again without his helmet!

F*cktard of the Week

Now, ordinarily I wouldn't name a child F*cktard of the Week, but this punk deserves it. He obviously inherited his F*cktard genes from his F*cktard mother, too.

So, it's no secret that I dislike (to use a much too mild word) my next door neighbors. The wife/mother has never been particularly friendly, but she became an even bigger bitch after her precious son broke into and robbed my house while I was pregnant with Katie. She's a nasty, chain-smoking alcohlic, so I'm not too upset that we're not friends.

Anyhow, back to her F*cktard son. Even though he has a previous history of criminal activity while babysitting his younger brother, the F*cktard mom has apparently decided that he is a suitable babysitter once more. More likely than not, she just doesn't want to cut into her beer & cigs fund to pay for a proper sitter.

Since it is Spring Break around these parts, the two boys are left at home alone all day long while the parents are at work. Today, I am working on cleaning out and organizing my garage in preparation for a garage sale at some point soon. While out in my driveway, I saw the boys and a friend (the accomplice in the break-in) heading out for a bike ride. None of them had on helmets, and the two older boys were sharing a bike.

I yelled to the boys that the little 6/7 year old boy needed to put his helmet on. Then after thinking about it, I realized that the babysitter boy was also still under the age of 16 (yes, I have his birthdate on the police report), so I told him that he needed to put on his helmet, too. He said that he doesn't have a helmet, so I told him that it is also illegal for him to ride his bike in the street without a helmet.

Do you know what the little punk said to me? "I guess I'll just pay the fine if I get caught." If he gets caught! He obviously still has no respect for the law. And apparently, neither does his mother or he would at least own a helmet.

You know, I hate to wish bad things on people, but it would certainly serve these people right if the kid was seriously injured because he didn't have a helmet on. And considering that they have a little bike ramp that he's been using while riding without a helmet (or wearing elbow or knee pads), the chances of him at least breaking a bone or two are pretty good.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Final Piece

One more item I purchased today, online between my morning eye appointment and my afternoon errands and shopping, was this.

Isn't she a beauty?! Once we get this thing installed, we will have replaced all of the major appliances in our house since we bought it four years ago. We have already replaced our water heater, air conditioner (inside and outside units), washer and dryer, refrigerator, and stove/oven. This dishwasher is the final piece for our collection of newer, more energy efficient, appliances.

We weren't planning on making this purchase right away, but for some reason our dishwasher has suddenly decided to not clean our dishes very well. And when I went online to see if Sears had any Bosch dishwashers, I found that they were having a 20% off sale on all of their high-efficiency or Energy Star appliances, plus no interest until April 2009 when you use a Sears card. I just couldn't pass up that deal!

The dishwasher was a special order item, so now I am just waiting for the email to let me know when we can go pick it up. Hopefully, it will be soon.


Sarah needed a new pair of shoes because her old ones were worn out and, dare I say it? Stinky. So, we went to the mall after we ran all of our errands this afternoon. I figured the least I could do to thank Sarah for her babysitting services yesterday was buy her a new pair of shoes.

She wanted a new pair of Converse. She's actually been playing around on their website designing her own shoes. So, we went to Journeys at the mall to get her a new pair. Her old pair were just plain black, but she wanted a pair with a little bit of "pizazz" this time.

Little did I know just how much extra that "pizazz" costs! But Sarah is happy with her new shoes, and since I ended up paying more than I wanted to, Sarah now owes me some more babysitting and/or chores to work off the difference.

While we were in Journeys, I noticed these shoes behind the counter.

Boy, did that zap me right back to 1985 when I got my first pairs of jelly shoes! I remember it like it was yesterday. My parents decided to pull my brothers and me out of Nativity Catholic School and send us to public school. For the first time in my life, I was not going to have to wear a uniform to school, and my mom took me to Zayre to get a few new outfits. I got three pair of pastel colored jelly shoes just like these to go with my new outfits. I thought I was SO cool!

Anyway, back to 2008. Since we were already in the mall, I decided to take Katie to Stride Rite to get her feet sized. They measured her at a size 7.5/8 in length! I was shocked because the shoes that she walked in wearing are only a size 6, and they seemed to fit her just fine.

Since they actually had a pair of sandals in her size that came in narrow, we decided to try them on. The size 8's were the correct length for her (with a little room to grow). Of course, when I held them up to the shoes she was wearing, they were practically the same length, so that explained why her size 6 shoes fit her just fine. And even though the narrow sandals fit Katie in the length, they were still too wide for her thin little feet.

We tried on another pair of sandals that did not come in narrow, but had Velcro straps, and they fit her wonderfully. I wasn't planning on getting them right away, but Katie insisted on keeping them, and when I found out that Stride Rite was having a Buy One, Get One 1/2 Off sale, I decided to go ahead and get them along with Katie's very first REAL pair of Crocs.

In my mind, I was able to justify getting the more expensive Crocs because, at half price, they only cost me $15, and I've seen used Crocs sell on eBay for about that much. So, if I sell the shoes on eBay after Katie outgrows them, then they'll have pretty much cost me nothing, right?

And they look SO cute on her, too.

Eye Doctor

Sarah and I had appointments with our optometrist friend this morning. We each had thorough eye exams, dilations and all, and our eyes are perfectly healthy. My vision has pretty much stayed about the same for the past three or four years, but I needed a new contact lens prescription since my old one was expired.

Sarah, on the other hand, is very near-sighted, and her prescription just keeps getting worse. We learned something new today, something that in all of my years of working in optometry offices I had never heard. Dr. Harrell told Sarah that as she gets more near-sighted, her eyes will actually start to stretch and elongate. This stretching may leave her retinas more vulnerable to damage. Dr. Harrell discussed with her some of the warning signs to watch out for and told her to let him know if she experiences any of them.

Boy, I sure do love having something else to worry about for my kids!


Today was much better than yesterday. It wasn't exactly relaxing, but it was much better. I accomplished a lot that needed to be accomplished. I'll be posting about it all in my upcoming posts.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Not as Planned

Today did not go as planned. Not. Even. Close.

This is how my day was supposed to go:
Meet my mom at the dermatologist's office for Sarah's appointment.
Try to go have lunch with my dad.
Do a little shopping for household necessities.
Go home and start cleaning out and organizing my garage and garage sale items.

This is how my day actually went:
Get phone call from mom saying she's too sick to meet us at the dermatologist's office, and could I please bring her stuff to her at her new place in Lakeland after the appointment.
Go to Sarah's appointment.
Get another phone call from mom while in office.
Tell her I'll call her back when we're done.
Call mom back from parking lot after appointment. She tells me she's too sick for the girls to be around and asks me to please call her doctor and leave a message for him to call her back.
Call her doctor and get put on hold for the entire drive home from the doctor's office.
Finally get through to a person at mom's doctor's office only to be told that he's on vacation until the 16th.
Call mom back to tell her and get asked to go get her some medicine from the pharmacy and bring it to her in Lakeland. (Stacy - she lives just a couple of miles north of you off of County Line Rd.)
Go to Walgreens to try to find the medicine that she wants only to be told by pharmacist that they don't make an OTC version.
Call mom back and get asked to come drive her to the ER or a walk-in clinic since she needs medicine.
Get three more phone calls from mom on my drive out to Lakeland.
Get to her house and get told that her boyfriend is taking her to the ER and I have to wait at the house for the cable guy to show up sometime between 2:00 and 5:00.
Wait for cable guy who amazingly shows up a half-hour early (WOW!) but has all sorts of trouble with the 100+ year old house and was still working on it when I finally left after 6:00.
Finally drive home after my LONG day of doing nothing but waiting.

So, you may be asking some questions. Why did Sarah have to go to the dermatologist? Why was my mother so sick? Where were the girls during all of this time?

Sarah went to the dermatologist this morning to have a mole on her head removed. She's had it most of her life and as she has grown, so has it. Whenever she brushed her hair, she would sometimes catch it with her hair brush. Sometimes when that happened, the mole would bleed. She wanted to have it removed, so I took her to the dermatologist to get it done.

My mother, who is finally out of the ER, has some sort of really severe stomach virus. They finally got her feeling a bit better, rehydrated her, and stopped the vomiting. Hopefully, she'll be feeling better soon.

Since I wasn't supposed to be spending the entire day in Lakeland (I was just supposed to be driving my mom's stuff out to her and then back home), I left Sarah at home with Katie, who was due for a nap, and took Emily with me because she and Sarah had been fighting all morning.

Sarah ended up babysitting Katie all afternoon until Phil got home from work. I'm really glad that I can trust Sarah to take care of Katie like that. I'm also glad that I paid for that babysitter's certification class through the ARC last summer. Sarah definitely earned something for her service today. I'm going to have to discuss with Phil how we will reward her.

On the schedule for tomorrow? Another drive out to Lakeland for my and Sarah's optometrist appointments. Oh, and I may not be answering my phone tomorrow. You know, just in case. So, if you call me and I don't answer, please don't take it personally.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Rainy Day Driving

I spent most of today driving around town, either taking a child somewhere or picking a child up from somewhere. Sarah had a birthday party to attend at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival (BARF for short) at noon. Since we hadn't had a chance to shop for a card or gift before today, we had to do that this morning before the party.

It was nice and sunny when we woke up this morning. Phil even suggested that maybe the cold front had already passed and that we wouldn't get any rain today. But by the time Sarah and I left to go shop and drive to the BARF for the party, the clouds had already started rolling in and the sun had gone into hiding for the day.

When Sarah and I arrived at the BARF, it hadn't started raining yet, but I could tell it was about to start. Unfortunately, I didn't have any sort of rain gear in the car for when it started raining. I was just hoping that I'd get lucky and not get rained on.

I wasn't so lucky, though. We had to walk quite a way from where we parked to the entrance of the BARF, and not long after we left the car, it started sprinkling. Not so bad, though. I could handle that. But the further we walked, the harder it rained, and by the time we finally made it to the entrance, we were completely soaked.

Sarah's friend's mother had brought a bunch of umbrellas with her (that's a woman who thinks ahead!) and we quickly got under them when we located their group. She even lent me one of the umbrellas to use to get back to my car. Thanks so much, Stephanie!

Once I made it home, I quickly stripped and threw my clothes into the dryer. I also had to empty my Vera bag and throw it in the dryer, too, because it was soaked as well. Once everything was dry, I redressed and headed back out to pick Emily up from her friend's house where she had spent the night.

The rain still hadn't started in my area of town, so it wasn't a bad drive to get Emily. After I picked her up, we went to Target to return a few things and look around a bit. When we were walking back out to the car, the rain finally found its way to our area, and it started sprinkling on us. By the time we got our purchases into the trunk and got in the car, it had started pouring.

When I got home and went into the house, I told Phil that I shouldn't have put the same clothes back on because they obviously attract rain. Since Colin was here, we had to head back out into the rain to drive him home shortly after Emily and I got home so that we could make it back to town to pick Sarah up from the BARF by 6:00.

So we drove for what seemed like forever to get Colin home (he lives an hour away without the rain) through pouring rain. It seemed like everyone else on the road was either driving too slow or way to fast. It was still pouring when we made it back to town to pick Sarah up.

It was dinner time when we got Sarah, so we stopped at TGIFriday's for dinner. (I finally got to use that GC you gave me, Ann!) It continued to rain all through dinner and was still raining on the way home. While driving on the interstate, we saw a couple of cars who had lost control and run off of the road. One of them had even slammed into the guardrail. Thankfully, we didn't have such problems and we made it home in one piece, even if we were a bit wet.

The forecast for tomorrow is for a dry day, with possible showers in the evening. I hope it's correct because I have to get up early to take Sarah to a doctor appointment, and then we have some errands to run and shopping to do. I don't think I could take another day of driving around in the rain.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

You Want Fries With That?

I got a phone call Thursday night informing me that Emily's soccer coach had just received an email indicating that our team was scheduled for concession stand duty this morning. Pretty short notice, huh? Of course, I said that I'd volunteer my services. On top of that, I volunteered Sarah's services, too.

We were supposed to work from 10:30 to 12:30. Since Emily's game* was over by 10:00, Sarah and I went ahead and got an early start on our two-hour shift, in hopes of possibly leaving at noon instead of 12:30. There were two volunteers working the first shift when we got there, so it wasn't too crowded with the two of us added into the mix.

At 10:30, two more volunteers arrived, and the first shift left. Then at 10:50, two more volunteers showed up. It got quite crowded with so many people behind the one counter. Sarah went into the back to see if there was anything else she could do, and she got the job of restocking the Gatorade fridge. She did a wonderful job, too.

At 12:30, when the third shift was supposed to show up, no one did. The volunteers who had shown up late at 10:50, were the first to have the "Oh, well; Not my problem" attitude and take off. The other two volunteers stuck around until about 12:45, but then they, too, exited the scene.

So, from 12:30 until 2:30, it was just Sarah and me, along with the two man concession stand crew (the guy who runs the stand and the guy who cooks the food). The guy who runs the concession stand told us that if we didn't want to stay we didn't have to, but I told him that we really didn't have anything else to do except go home and clean or do yard work, so we stayed until they closed.

The concession stand guys said that we were such good volunteers, they'd love to have us back every Saturday. I told them that I didn't know about that, but I was definitely planning on coming back and working another day. Sarah said she'd like to come back again, too.

To thank us for such a job well done, they gave us all of the leftover hot dogs, burgers, and fries to take home for dinner. So, when we got home around 3:00, we had a nice early dinner. It was great not having to worry about what we were going to have for dinner or cook it either.

*Emily's team lost 2-1, but it was a hard fought battle and the girls did a great job considering that they only had four players and they all had to play the entire game.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Just Wondering

I just read this post on Ashley's blog and it reminded me of what I was wondering about yesterday after watching Oprah. In case you didn't watch Oprah yesterday, the episode was about a pregnant "man."

At one point in the show, Oprah mentioned that the "man" and his wife are legally married because s/he had legally become a man. That got me wondering about how one does legally change their sex from female to male. What exactly is the process involved?

Is it just a matter of filling out some paperwork? Or do you have to go before a judge and whip out your new "penis" for inspection? And where is the law that states that a person even can legally change their sex? How did the idea of writing that law even come up?


What's up, people? Have I suddenly become very boring to you?

I usually get at least one or two comments on my posts, but the last three in a row have gotten nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

Is it me? Or are you all just being lazy?

I'm feeling very unloved here.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

He Loves Them

New Additions

There have been some changes in my family recently. We have a couple of new additions to our household. Maggie and Fuzzball have come to live with us full time.

My mother decided to move all the way to Lakeland, and I told her that it wouldn't be right to separate Katie and Maggie that way, so we agreed that Maggie would move in here instead. And since Fuzzball is still so young, and Maggie has become like a mother to him, he had to come stay here, too.

We're still not sure what we're going to do with Fuzzball, though. We have to keep him at least until he is weened from the bottle and eating dry food. Phil does not want a male cat, but maybe by the time Fuzzball is ready to go, he'll have changed his mind.

There has also been a recent addition to my extended family. My mother's parents have never been involved in my life, and that was just fine with me. Thanks to my Uncle Jack's parents being so wonderful, I still grew up with two sets of grandparents, so there was never anything missing from my life by not having my mother's parents around.

Even though my mother's parents divorced when she was young, after her father's wife died, her mother moved back in with him. Last week, my mother's mother unexpectedly died, leaving her father all alone. He's not in very good health and needs someone to take care of him.

Even though my mother's father did not raise her or the other children he fathered with her mother, and he had several children with his late wife that he did raise, none of his numerous children were willing to step up to the plate and take him in. Some of them even suggested just dropping him off at a hospital and washing their hands of him.

My mother decided that since no one else would do it, she would have to be the one to take him in and take care of him. So, all of a sudden, after having no grandparents for a number of years, I have a grandfather around.

It's really rather weird for me. Because he was never involved in my life (I believe I met him once when I was a child), I have no feelings at all for him. I don't know if I ever will. But it is what it is.

I just hope my mother doesn't work herself too hard taking care of him.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


I bet most of you haven't thought about this in a while, but guess what is just a mere 60 days away?

Hurricane Season! And as usual, the team out in Colorado is predicting a more active than usual season again this year.

All of us here in Florida remember the 2004 season of Charley, Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan. The rest of the country undoubtedly remembers the 2005 season of Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. But ever since then, we've pretty much been spared, even with the annual "more active than usual" predictions. A lot of us have gone back to our complacent ways.

Hopefully, we'll be spared again this year. But just in case we're not, I suggest that we all start preparing our hurricane kits now. (Well, maybe not those of you who don't live in hurricane prone areas.) Better safe than sorry.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Resolution Rewind

Today is April 1st. 2008 is officially one quarter over. Only nine months left in the year.

So, how am I doing on my New Year's Resolutions? Let's see, shall we?

2008 New Year's Resolutions:

1. Get more organized. I'm still working on this one. It's really more of a process. Many of the of items on my list will help me out with this one.

2. Clean out closets. I cleaned out Katie's and Emily's closets, but they need to be done again.

3. Get rid of unneeded stuff. I've done well on this one, but there is still room for improvement. I plan to have a yard sale this weekend to help accomplish this task.

4. Win BAMs Blog contest. Oh, yeah! I'm doing GREAT on this one! I only have one competitor left. Of course, she managed to have a baby and still post every day, so she's putting up a good fight. This thing could take more than all year to accomplish. But I won't give up. Do you hear that, Karlise?

5. Lose weight. Aim for 135. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha! That's all I have to say about that.

6. Break Katie’s pacifier habit. We're still working on this, but she is down to only getting her pacifier for naps and bedtime.

7. Drink more water. I'm trying. I really am. I'm just not doing very well on this one.

8. Try to clean more. I'm doing great on this one. I never said I'd actually clean more; I only said I'd try. And I do try everyday. Sometimes, I even get some cleaning done. Unfortunately, when what I do goes unnoticed and unappreciated, it's hard to even want to try.

9. Don’t do crack. So far, so good! Not one bit of crack.

10. Remember to take iron pills more often. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. When I'm sick and taking extra pills, I end up skipping my iron pills because I just can't stand to take one more pill.

11. Organize recipes and get rid of bulky cookbooks. I still haven't gotten around to taking care of this one. Once I get more organized and clean out my kitchen cabinets, I think I'll be ready to start on this.

12. Cook dinner more often. I'm definitely cooking more often than going out (especially since we really can't afford to spend the extra money), but since Phil is at home in time to cook dinner most nights of the week, he's been cooking most of the meals.

13. Get a family portrait taken. Nope. Not yet.

14. Take charge of recycling. Set up a recycling center. Well, I've definitely been taking charge of the recycling. I'm known as the recycling Nazi around here. I just haven't gotten around to setting up that recycling center yet.

15. Organize refrigerator magnets. I did this. Unfortunately, there are still tons of magnets on my fridge.

16. Make “To Do” lists and try to stick to them. I tried this. I didn't like it. I quit.

17. Stop buying stuff we don’t need just because it is “cute” or “neat.” Well, with the lack of funds we've had lately, this one has been a piece of cake.

18. Have children pick oranges and give them away to the needy. It seems that every time the kids pick oranges, Phil uses them all to make orange juice. So, the oranges are getting picked, they're just not getting to the needy. Of course, the point of this resolution was really to just keep the oranges from falling to the ground and going to waste, so if they're getting used, by us or the needy, my goal is still being accomplished.

19. Get trees trimmed. Since we can't afford to get this taken care of any time soon, I've been working on it myself. Now that I know how to use a chainsaw, I've been working on this task every weekend.

20. Take time for myself. Get out of the house by myself at least once a week. Again, I say, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha! Enough said.

I think Ashley's got the right idea about how to proceed with the rest of the year. Check out her post about it here.