Friday, December 29, 2006

Thank you, Merci, Xie xie

First, thank you for all of your support and kind words. It really means a lot to me and CSP. I pass on to CSP the things I learn from y'all and we've both come to rely on my bloggy friends as a support system, esp with the adoption. We're still mulling things over.

On a lighter note.... I thought I'd share some of the fabulous gifts I received for Christmas. M&L (honorary aunt and uncle) really spoil us. And they really know us well and are incredible gift givers. They gave me this cute retro cell phone receiver in pink. It really works! And it's awesome cause now I can cradle the phone between my head and shoulder.
They also gave me this gorgeous tea set. I'm a tea drinker and have been wanting to start a tea pot collection and now I can!

One of the wonderful gifts from my in-laws was a book I've been dying for:I Like You by Amy Sedaris. I just love her and this book is a riot while still being informative.

On my side of the family we don't exchange gifts amongst the adults, only the kids get presents, but CSP is an only child and we're still non parents (for now) so we still exchange with his parents and M&L. We keep it modest though since we're on the adoption budget. Our gifts went over really well. They included flameless candles which were a big hit since both couples have pets and are wary about lighting candles with the pets in the house. I absolutely LOVE it when I seem to pick out the perfect gift for someone, especially hard to buy fors like my in-laws & M&L. I can't wait til we can include our children in the Christmas mix!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Adoption Update: the new regulations

So, as many of you have already heard, the CCAA has issued new regulations for adopting from China. I'm touched by the amount of email I've received from you guys regarding the new regs and how or if they could effect us. When the rumors started I got in contact with our agency to discuss our options as there are a few of the requirements that we will not meet.
Here is where we stand: we could send our dossier to China, have it go through the process there and wait for who knows how long up to and including a year, to have China turn us down if they make their new regs retroactive. We would lose a LOT of money and time and would be emotionally devastated. Plus then we'd have to start the process over with another country.
Or we we could send our dossier to China, have it go through the process there and wait for approximately 2 years and be referred a child or twins. That would be ideal (minus the looooong wait).
Or we pull out of China and go with a different country within our agency. We're not crazy about this option as we would prefer not to adopt from the other countries that our agency works with for various reasons including cost, multiple trips, etc. CSP's job will not allow for multiple or long trips to Eastern Europe, and our bank account won't allow for the higher costs that come with adopting from there or Guatemala.
Or we could pull out of China and go with another country and another agency. This would mean forfeiting the approx. $5000 we've already paid to our agency, but we'd be able to go with our 2nd choice for country.
Or we could go domestic. We'd discussed this before we chose China, and for various reasons we are not crazy about that idea. We don't want the birth parents finding us or bumping into us at T@rget. And we especially couldn't handle it if the birth parents changed their minds on us and took our baby away. Fostering is another option but neither of us could handle them taking a child away from us after we'd bonded with him/her.
Our social worker is scheduled to come here for our new house inspection on the 16th. Before she comes we have some decisions to make. We've been talking everything over and doing a lot of praying and consulting with our nearest and dearest on our next course of action.

Whatever we decide we may keep it a private decision for a while. This whole thing has been emotionally draining. I've been very blue over the last few weeks because of it. The idea of abandoning China breaks my heart. We've been in love with China and Ling Ling for 2 years now. We've worked so hard to prepare for her. Leaving China feels like leaving Ling Ling and that hurts. But when we discussed adoption at the start we knew we didn't care where our children came from, we just wanted them to come home.


Some of you eagle eyed readers noticed the absence of Ike from the Christmas picture. Ike has found a new home. Well, we found one for him. You see, Ike was a barker and a marker. He peed on everything. You literally could not put a thing down on the floor without him peeing on it. He peed on every piece of furniture over and over- ruining furniture and carpet alike. We tried everything and worked with our vet to overcome these problems for the 3 years he lived with us. Finally we figured it out- he wanted to be an only pug. Our house was going on the market and I knew we could never sell it with him living there (it got really old having to constantly take down the drapes to wash and press them to get rid of the pee stains). But we loved him and didn't want him to go to just any home. He needed to live with someone who understood how to be a good pug owner. So I contacted Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue and turned him over to them knowing they would find a good home through their thorough screening process. And they did. He lives with a middle aged gentleman who used to show pugs. He's the only dog in the home and he's thriving. You can click here and see how he's listed as a success story. I didn't blog about it when it happened (in June) because with my ablation surgery and putting the house on the market it was just too much stress and I just couldn't handle it if someone blasted me for being a bad pug mom. We've received updates through MAPR that he's very happy and that's all I ever wanted for him. And you know what? Kea is happier too. She now goes outside to potty without a fight. We knew Ike bugged her but didn't realize to what extent. We ended up having to pay $3000 for a carpet allowance when selling our house because of the damage he did, not to mention all the furniture he ruined. He was a lot of fun and had he come with a manual at birth that said "hey, I gotta be the only dog, yo." then things would have been different. We just had no way of knowing when we added to our puggy brood. It was a really tough decision and I cried that whole day, but we had to do what was best for the family. And now he's made someone else very happy so that's a great bonus too.
So, that's what happened to Ike. No, you didn't miss anything. I was just hesitant to talk about it cause it made me sad. But it was for the best. And hey, we've still got 2 sweet little puggy girls over here who never tire of attention and internet lovin!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

And you, you light up my life

CSP and I haven't exchanged Christmas presents the last couple of years since we've been doing things like buying houses and trying to adopt children. But he did let me pick up a pair of these cool light up knitting needles that we saw at Michaels. We had to run in to pick up a yarn needle (mine's still boxed up somewhere and I needed one to finish a scarf for Olivia). Yes, I decided to knit a scarf a week before losing right arm function. But I figured out how to wedge a needle into my bandage and knit using mainly my left hand. I'm crafty that way. And I actually finished the scarf in time! (must remember to photograph scarf) Anyway, how cool are those needles?? Great for knitting in the car during long drives at night or while we're watching movies. And my nephews think I have 2 magic wands.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Re-cap

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Mine was busy and good. Christmas Eve Eve I baked like a wild woman and made 3 mini loaves of beer bread:, about 723 pumpkin muffins (some mini, some regular, some with chocolate chips, some with peanut butter chips):, and a batch of almond cookies (some with chocolate chips):. All of the above were made with mixes from Tastefully Simple What? you thought I was a scratch baker? I've got one arm!
Christmas Eve I finished gift bagging some gifts (again with the one arm- no wrapping of presents) then I went to my sister's for a little while. My Dad and stepmom came into town to stay with them. I visited for a little while then went home to meet up with CSP to head to his parents' house. We stopped at Jack in the Box on the way since every Christmas Eve his mom serves oyster stew and I hate oysters, plus eating soup with my left hand before a photo op was a dicey proposition. M&L were there (fabulous couple who are basically the cool aunt and uncle the universe forgot to give us). We had a big time and stayed way too late.
Christmas morning we went to my sister's to see what Santa brought my nephews. Man are they so cute and they were so, so excited about everything. After a couple of hours we went home and I finished up cooking green bean casserole, crock pot mac & cheese, and corn casserole. Then we piled all the food up in the car and headed to my mom's. There was way too much food at her house.We ate then settled in to watch a couple of movies. We got home late again then made sure to sleep in nice and late the next morning!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Deck the pugs!!

Merry Christmas
Shanny, Jon, Kea & Molly

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Bloggy Parade of Homes!

If you'd like to participate in today's Christmas edition of Bloggy Parade of Homes please go take pics of your house then post in my comments that your pics are up. Now, on to my house. Click photos to enlarge.
No tree this year since we just moved in, but I did manage to put up a few decorations.

Not bad for a one handed lefty girl huh? Ooh and I found these clip tacks that made hanging lights so easy!
Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

My right hand man

I have never had so much to blog about, or so many cards and letters to send, until this past week when I couldn't use my right hand at all. Let me tell you, living one armed is hard. Don't believe me? Take your dominant hand and strap it to your body and not get it wet and live for a week. Jeesh.
Friday I went for my follow up dr's visit and he cut off the cast. Oh, the relief of finally being able to scratch my itchy arm! I'm in a wrap now, I still can't write without a good bit of pain, still can't grip anything, but it is getting better and better every day. Without my wrap on I can type for a few minutes so I wanted to update. My dr says I'm doing well and we'll look at operating on the other arm in a few weeks. I go back the 29th to get my stitches out.
I learned that if you take your percoset too close together you get really happy and things are freaking hilarious.
I'm having cabin fever. Jon won't let me drive so I've been trapped here until his days off. My meds make my vision all blurry so I can't read too much, nothing is on tv. But my mom's coming to take me to a movie later so I can get out of the house. Yay!
I've been enjoying all the Christmas cards that have been arriving- such cute ones!
Ok, time for me to go try this shower thing on my own. CSP had to bathe me last time (he's been taking really good care of me). I can't hold both my hair dryer and my brush, and make up application is tricky at best with my left hand, so I've been looking like a raving crack ho lately!

PS- BPOH participants: please have your photos ready to post on Wednesday!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Chronic-what-cles of Grandmommy

I think my title may be a little obscure. But any time I think of the word chronicles I think of that Adam Sandberg skit/song about the Chronicles of N@rnia from SNL.
Anyway...since my Gmommy moved in with my mama she's been keeping us up to date with Gmommy happenings via email. Here was the first big update:
Ok, this is bad..........but, I think we're ok now.
Mom got up in the middle of the night, she said to go to the bathroom. She decided for some reason to go downstairs. She doesn't put her slippers on right as they are meant to be pulled up over the whole foot. Instead she just slips her toes in. This may be what caused her to stumble. She fell down the stairs! I heard her fall and went running down there. Everyone came running. She's OK. However, she cut or tore the skin on her elbow and she is banged up quite a bit. She was very, very shaken; as were we! This all happened around 1:30 am. We were up for most of the night. Going forward, we are securing a gate at the top of the stairs and a large poster size sign saying "STOP!" and then directing her to the bathroom that is RIGHT BESIDE HER BEDROOM! I'm emailing this to you because I just can't talk about it without crying like a baby and I'm at work. Last night was one of the most horrible moments of my life. I can't express the shear terror that went through me, us. We held her and rocked her and talked to her until she became stable again. She finally went back to bed and stayed there the remainder of the night. I checked her out again this morning at 7:00 and she looked fine (other than the bruises) and said she felt fine. I think I'll soak her in a warm bath when I get home.
She said she wanted to go jogging later so I think she's ok!

Then this came the other day:
Well, perhaps we need to start a new blog about the tales of your Gmother. This afternoon
when Gmommy was complaining of serious pain in her abdomen, Hale ran through a series
of questions trying to determine the problem. When reporting back to me the situation, he said, "Well, I know she's never had appendicitis" How's that? "Because she dropped
her pants and showed me!" That's it folks...Hot as Hale has seen the Gpatch! OMG!

And this:
And the beat goes on......the part I left out was: As you know we have had a time with Gmommy wanting to feed Sam (Mom's dog) everything in site and sneaking him food (people food)
Like a young child, she can't seem to understand that he has no interest in salad, bannanas, pickles etc. She also can't understand that some things are bad for
pets...anyway.............When Hale was away yesterday running errands she apparently
took this opportunity to give Sam a little snack. Hale returned to find about 25 Oreo
cookies scattered about the entire upstairs. She fed them to him one at a time. All
this went down before the trip to the emergency medical hospital.

and then today she says, "You know that friend of yours, well,....I don't know sometimes
he's kind of crazy. But I didn't pick him. He's yours. Not my problem". and then she
said, "I'm takin my dog with me when I go"


I love how Gmommy keeps referring to Hot as Hale (my stepdad) as Mom's friend. And the Gpatch! So funny!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Survey

Because my right arm doesn't work I thought I'd take this quiz and post it post op. If you'd like to play, please leave your answers in my comments. I can't type but I can read!

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?? Hot chocolate, I can only drink a few sips of egg nog- too rich!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wraps them and puts them under the tree.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? white lights on house, white and blue on tree

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No

5. When do you put your decorations up? The first weekend in December

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Ham and mac and cheese

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Coming down the steps every christmas morning

8. When and how did you learn there was no Santa? I have no idea, can't remember that far back.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Not as a kid. Now we do cause we alternate between my parents' & Jon's parents' houses.

10. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love it & wish we had more of it! I'd love a white Christmas!

11. Can you ice skate? Used to be able to, it's been a while so not sure now.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Nope, to many years for that

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? FAMILY

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Pie!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? vegging out with the fam watching movies (A Christmas Story) and just hanging out.

17. What tops your tree? A stained glass star

18. Which do you prefer: Giving or Receiving? Both, I love to receive but I also enjoy watching people get excited especially the little ones

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Santa Claus is coming to town by Bruce Springsteen & Silent Night by Stevie Nicks.

20. Candy Canes- love em or leave em? Love them

21. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story- "It's a major award!"

Happy Holidays!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My public

Thank you for all your sweey commenys and emails. You guys wovk! I 'm on pervcoset anf typing wiyth my left hand. CSp loooved that yall commented on his post. I think it has gone to fis head. He keeps bringing jars to me and fays can you open tghis for me to which I reply hah very funny. He said aftwer this same exchange this morningn ":well, at least my public gets my humor!". You're his public. Hr has a public!

Happy, Happy Birthday Baby!

pre-written before surgery

Today is my cutie pie husband's 35th birthday. We are so old. I thought I would take this opportunity to list a couple of reasons why I think he's so great.

-He helps around the house.
-He worries about me.
-He can't wait to be a dad.
-He's a really funny guy. Although you might not find that out til you've known him a few years- he's really shy.
-He loves IKEA as much as I do.
-When I bend over he comes up behind me and makes that "unh unh" sound while bumping into my bottom. A little high school of him, but it lets me know he still thinks I'm hot.
-His idea of pasta is noodles with cream of mushroom so just about anything I cook gets rave reviews.
-He likes to watch Family Feud with me and yell at the tv.

Many, many more reasons, but my arm's aching so I've gotta cut it short. Happy Birthday Hot Stuff Husband!

p.s. Yesterday was our sweet Kea's 3rd birthday!

Monday, December 11, 2006

She lives!

Hey this is the husband. She is O.K. Nothing exciting to report which is the way we want it. She is in a lot of pain but that is expected. She thanks you for your comments. She enjoyed reading them when she got home from the hospital. We will update later if her arm falls off or with any other exciting developements.

Under the knife

It's a little after midnight and I have to be at the hospital at 6 am. My surgery is at 8. I've been so busy the last couple of days getting ready. Going grocery shopping & doing laundry. Today I had lunch with Shannon then came home and cooked like a mad woman.Above you see 2 containers of spaghetti sauce (1 for lasagne and 1 for spaghetti), 1 container of sauce for beef stroganoff, and the big orange bowl is full of CSP's favorite dip- sausage/velveet@/salsa. Then I made dinner, which was really breakfast. Scrambled eggs and this: A ring of crescent roll dough with a sausage/cream cheese filling.
I think we'll be all set now for the next few days food wise. I can go to bed right after I answer a couple of emails, order Christmas pug photos, and send my library book request list to my MIL.
I'm a little nervous about tomorrow. Lots on my mind. I found out today that one of my favorite aunts is in the hospital. She had a nose bleed the other day that wouldn't stop. The doctor sent her to the hospital and they've discovered she has leukemia! This is so awful. She's under going a bunch of tests to see how advanced it is.
I was able to secure an appointment with our social worker to come check out the house but she can't come til mid January! I wish it were sooner. I want to get this dossier done!
Ok, I'm gonna wrap stuff up and get upstairs. Oh, I've pre-written a couple of posts (things I wanted to tell you anyway) for the next couple of days. But I will get CSP to at least update to post on the surgery.

Friday, December 08, 2006

If I had a million dollars...

I'd so ditch most of our Christmas ornaments and go with all the cool new colors out there. Like these lime green, aqua, hot pink ones. I also saw a black and white tree and it was just stunning. Sigh. Looks like we'll be stuck with what we've got for a long time. We went to Km@rt our first Christmas together and decided on a blue and silver theme, and while I like it, I'm a little bored with it and frankly, I have the shopping disease.
Anyway, I'm gonna do the Christmas edition of BPOH! So take your photos and be ready to post them on the 20th. That gives me a week to recover and everyone still has plenty of time to decorate. And be sure to leave a comment here with your email address if you're not already on my email list for reminders.

I'm leaving in a few to go to the hospital for my pre op blood work. I have so much I need to do before I lose my right arm! So many posts I want to write (of course NOW is when I remember all the things I want to blog about).

Have a great weekend and get to decorating and picture taking!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Conked out

CSP and Molly fell asleep in front of the tv the other night. It's like the Unabomber is sleeping in my easy chair with his watch pug.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sharing is caring

Because I love free things more than CSP hates that our names are on random mailing lists (I even get offshore betting guides for some reason), I thought I'd share a coupld of fabulous opportunities with you.
1. Jibbitz is running a cool deal through 12/31/2006. Buy 3 get 1 free. Enter this code: HFACUVBHAK4Q They have been adding new styles all the time. Like Chinese symbols and a Pirate flag. Note to Jibbitz: you may want to consider easier coupon codes cause dude, I had to check that like 3 times to make sure I typed it right.
2. Sephora has an awesome gift bag with 10 big samples if you spend over $50. Good samples too.

Also, to answer some questions- I am having both arms operated on. The right one first on Monday then when that heals the left one, probably in February. Recovery time is about a week with the bandages on, then soreness is expected for about 3-4 weeks.

And as for a holiday Bloggy Parade of Homes...I really want to do it, but we'll see how my arm is. I'm right handed and typing and mousing will be wierd I'm sure. But I hope to do it!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Handy dandy

I've been getting some emails about my surgery and the recurring theme is "what a crappy time for surgery". Last year I had to have a d&c just a couple of days before Christmas and this year I'm having the carpal tunnel surgery so I guess I'm getting used to it. I just can't wait for my arms & hands not to hurt anymore. Thanksgiving was tough as it was served buffet style and after adding just 1 item to my plate I couldn't hold my plate any longer with just one hand. I can't hold a magazine in one hand and flip through with the other. I'm losing strength and grip and I'm having trouble opening bottles and jars now. Talking on the phone is a painful activity unless I can go hands free or cradle the phone between my head and shoulder. I had wanted to knit a scarf and hat for a Christmas present but it hurts too much so I may have to put that off.
I have a week until my right hand surgery and I can't wait. I have so much to do in the next week- preparing my house for Christmas, wrapping presents (good thing I'm finished with my shopping), finishing my Christmas cards (I have a few left if you want to get on the list, just email me your address if I don't have it), taking the pugs' picture for the cards, unpacking some more boxes from the move. So much. I want to cook and freeze some meals since cooking with my left hand will be a challenge.
Now would be a good time to hire that personal assistant. I wonder if I could get one that would work for leftover Halloween candy?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Where I talk about a bunch of random stuff then can't come up with a witty title

My Grandmommy (the one with Alzheimers) has been in town all week. She's declining pretty rapidly. They (my mom and aunt) took her car away so she tried to drive the riding lawnmower to the store (5 miles away). So they took that away and she walked to the store. All of this for a pack of smokes. My Aunt Nina is adding on to her house (yep, apparently you can add on to a trailer) a little apartment for Gmommy, but until that's done Gmommy will be living with my mom. I took G out for the day on Wednesday. It's so weird/sad cause sometimes she's still right there with it. She's cognizant enough to know what's going on (she told me today "I'm not all there up here anymore") but she has major memory slips, lots of confusion, and focuses on strange things. I think living with my mom will be good for her. Hot as Hale works from home ("your mom's friend" as G calls him), so he can keep an eye on her while Mom's at work.

As for me, I had a follow up appointment with my neurologist who did some more tests and referred me to a surgeon. I saw the surgeon today and will be having my right arm operated on on the 11th. Boy, it's sure easy to take your arms for granted. I didn't realize how much I do with my right one. Just visiting the loo will be a whole change in operation. I tried it tonight with Lefty and it was kind of awkward and uncoordinated. My Dr. says I'll be bandaged up for about 5 days then it will take around a month before it feels better again. The cool part though? I don't have to go under general anesthesia, just local. So I can watch! I wonder if they'll let me take pictures?

To end on a less depressing, medical note, I stopped by my sister's the other day and found my youngest nephew hanging out in his mama's lingerie.
Oh! And, I found one of my very favorite Americ@'s Funniest Videos clips online. It features a pug and I have it saved on our DVR. It cracks me up every single time. It is only about 30 seconds so be sure to watch til the end. Check it out!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Redneck Hell Fire

While it is still November I thought I'd tell y'all about the Legendary Canned Thanksgiving When Uncle Larry Set Himself On Fire. Ok, first you need to know that Uncle Larry (UL from here on out) is a quiet, quiet man. He's been married to my Aunt Nina for just about as long as I remember. I'll never forget that wedding. I was a pre-teen and excited to wear my strapless gown in that crowded single wide trailer. They upgraded to a double wide a few years later and have lived there ever since. In all the time I've known UL I think he's spoken about 5 words to me. And that didn't happen until my wedding. He told me "Congratulations. This was all real nice." I even got a hug. It was a big deal. I should also state that I love my family, but I am not blind to the fact that some members of our family lean toward the redneck side of Southern. Just a bit. Heh.

So anyway, my mom, Morgan, and I headed down to their place for Thanksgiving one year. We brought a few dishes- some casseroles I'm sure, and I think the turkey. We walked in and noticed the complete and utter absence of any Thanksgiving dinner aroma. There was nothing in the oven. Nothing in the crock pot. Nothing. Eerie. We put away our offerings and retired to the big living room. Morgan went off to play with our cousin and my Mom and I resigned ourselves to watching the race or whatever was on the big screen tv with UL. We took a seat at the far end of the mile long sectional sofa. You know the ones- the velour number where each seat turns into a recliner and there are cup holders and shelves built right in. UL was on the other end smoking away. At this point he was smoking regular cigarettes but he had enjoyed his share of the wacky weed before we arrived and he still smelled like a dorm room after a Dead show. He got up at one point to adjust the antenna at the back of the tv. He was wearing a t-shirt with an unbuttoned flannel shirt over it. He reached across the tv (now this was moons ago, about 10 years, and the tv was one of those gargantuan jobbies with the big wood wrap around it) and was fiddling with the antenna, smacking the side of the tv, cursing under his breath. At one point he dropped his arms to his sides while checking out the screen and that's when we noticed his sleeve was on fire. He must have caught it on the Christmas candles on top of the tv. And by on fire I mean flames literally shooting up his arm. It is a miracle his mullet didn't go up in flames as well. Mom and I looked at each other in shock. I mumbled under my breath (so UL couldn't hear me)
-Mama, he's on fire. Do you see that?
-Yeah, what should we do?
-Well go tell him.
-You tell him.
-I'm not telling him. We've never talked. This is not going to be our first conversation.
-Well somebody's gotta tell him.
Meanwhile, UL decided he was pleased with the reception on the tv, walked back to his recliner portion of the sofa, sat down, and snuffed himself out.
-Oh my gosh, do you think he knows?
-Who cares? It's over.

A few minutes later AN appeared in the doorway and told us to let her know when we were ready to eat. We said we were ready and then all the sudden the mehhhnnnn of the can opener could be heard. The woman opened a can of corn, beans, cranberry sauce, and ham. Even the meat was canned. We ate on styrofoam plates with plastic utensils. For Thanksgiving.

After we ate my little sister and my girl cousin occupied the 2 bathrooms in the house, much to the dismay of my boy cousin who we'll call Cletus. There was much screaming of Mom! and They won't get out the bathroom! and I gotta pee! with AN screaming back in her Marge's sister's voice- What do you want me to do about it?? and finally, Then just go outside and pee!
With that, Cletus went outside, stood on the deck (which was right off the dining area through unfortunately sliding glass doors) and commenced relieving himself as directed.

That was our cue to pack up the car and high tail it down the dirt road and back to the highway. That was the last time we were there until 3 weeks ago when Lisa was in town. I know you're wondering why we didn't rush back for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Baby Crocs

Even if you're not a Crocs fan, you've gotta admit these are way cute. My niecelet Olivia's grandma bought her the Disney Crocs and they are just the cutest.So tiny!

Monday, November 27, 2006


Ladybugs have landed on our house. A bajillion of them. They started coming here about a month ago and quite a few have moved in. I read that they are attracted to light colored houses and they're just here for the winter so just leave them alone. That's fine with me! I can use all the ladybug luck I can get! Here are some having a meeting in a corner of the kitchen:click to enlarge. I never knew their little spots were so symmetrical and each one has a different pattern. They were dive bombing my husband and BIL while they were building the fence and my BIL told me they were biting him! Big baby! They don't even have teeth! ;)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sign here Cap'n

Speaking of online shopping....I bought Morgan's (little sister) Christmas present online a week or so ago. Now, before I get to the meat of the story I have to remind you of something. Back in September it was National Talk Like a Pirate Day. So I looked up my pirate name online and found it to be Cap'n Misty Buttscar. Cute right? Well I typed it into my address book on my computer along with the other Tiara Girls' (Susan, Deb, & Shannon H.) pirate names. My Crackberry links up with the computer so when they call and Jelly Legs Velma comes up on the screen it makes me laugh. Anyway, I got to the check out part of the order process for Morgan's gift and just hit S when it came to name, address & so forth to let the computer fill everything in. A couple of days ago I was checking my gmail and found the following email:

From: B&H Photo
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 20:33:55 UT
Subject: Order Status

420 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10001
800 - 221 - 5743
212 - 239 - 7765

Order Status


We are pleased to inform you that the following order has been shipped.
Order Number: 1021734
Billing Address:5*** H********* DR *********G NC 2****
Shipping Address:Same As Billing Address
Shipping Method: UPS 3 DAY
Boxes: 1
Tracking #1:1Z1310352319686


If the Ship Date is a non-business day (i.e. Sunday or Legal Holiday)
then the shipping carriers are closed and your order was NOT shipped
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Lord help me! My auto fill must have put my pirate name in as my regular name! And they are sending it UPS! Which means I might have to sign for it! Can you imagine what the UPS guy would think? Uh, Cap'n, can you just sign right here? And, um, how big is your butt scar?

Friday, November 24, 2006

O Tannenbaum

Thanksgiving: This year was our year to be at Jon's parents' house. It was nice to see everyone and we all had fun catching up. Jon's aunt, uncle, cousins, and a couple that's good friends with his parents (kind of like our honorary aunt and uncle) were there.

Today: I was able to do all of my Christmas shopping online this year (save one hard to find item that Susan found for me in her town- THANK YOU!) so I did not brave the Black Friday crowds. I did that 2 years ago and it was enough for me.

Tonight Sara and I took the boys to a Christmas tree lighting. We ran into Melissa, Logan & Andrew while we were there. Some photos:

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


For Jon (CSP), my family, friends, health, you guys, the opportunity to adopt, so much more.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm a danger to myself even while I sleep!

This was going to be a boring ol update post, but now you lucky devils get a near death story to boot! But you'll have to wait til the end- muhahaha!
-Our bed situation: the king size mattress is still in the family room, however, we've been upgraded! My mom gave us 2 twin mattress sets that my little sister used to have in her room. They were covered in a plastic anti-allergen cover the whole time and Morgan only used them from ages 6-12 or something so she didn't weigh but a thing so it's like they are brand new. We pushed them together and it's like we're sleeping on a king sized bed again! Woohoo! I can sleep with my arms at my sides! Now CSP just has to get the bed frame upstairs (won't fit- shocker!) and we'll be all set. (foreshadowing!)
-Health: my arms are doing well. The braces really help. We're putting off my surgery for a while because we just can't afford to do that and finish our dossier right now. My arms can wait. My knee is also getting much better. My Ortho recommended physical therapy but I just didn't see the need to pay $80 a week so someone could tell me what exercises to do to get it stronger when we have Google. My only weak points right now are after I sit or sleep for a while and try to get up, and going up and down stairs, or after a long day of walking it will tighten up and buckle. So I'm really pleased with all my progress!
-House: I'll be devoting an entire post to all the reasons why no one should ever build with CP Morgan, but that will have to wait for another day. We're slowly getting unpacked. It seems like we moved in then all kinds of things happened to slow me down, but I'm picking up speed. We have to wait on painting and putting up lighting and ceiling fans until CP Morgan comes in and fixed our ceilings so we're still living in a white box with horrible lighting and no one is allowed to visit yet. But we'll get there!
-Nephews & Neicelet: LOVE and adore them. Jacob has become really affectionate and loving and gives the best hugs. Joey has become a lint eater. This kid will sit on the sofa and pick fuzz off the afghan and eat it. He will choose sock fuzz over real food snacks. Bizarre. Oh, and did I mention that Olivia regularly says Shanny now? Melts my heart.

Ok, you've been patient long enough... I was sleeping peacefully on my twin/king bed last night when I awoke while drowning. See, you're not supposed to have your machine higher than your head, but the bed frame has to be taken apart and put back together up in our room (CSP built it himself) so we're just on the mattress/box springs right now and my bedside table is higher. And somehow, some time during the night I managed to pull my machine off the table and tipped it so it was standing on the humidifier part on the bed. And all the water in the chamber raced down my tube and into my nose. I woke up in a panic (mainly because I was drowning! in my own bed!) and ripped my mask off. In the process I broke the little plastic piece that holds the strap on. I coughed and sputtered and cleaned up my mess and tried to rig my mask back to my face to no avail. I managed to get some sleep last night, but not much. My throat is killing me today. But the good news is that the way my machine fell meant that the water went away from the motor. Yay!! But no one is calling me back from the supplies place- probably because of the holiday. Boo!! Oh, and what was CSP doing throughout my ordeal last night? Sleeping peacefully on his twin mattress side of our ghetto king bed, blissfully unaware that I was facing one of my least preferred methods of dying. Thanks for all that marital support there, honey!
So there you have it. Proof that even while sleeping I'm a major klutz and a hazard to myself!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Picking up where we left off

We're all moved in, the checks have cleared. We've taken care of all the business necessary when you move across state lines- new driver's licenses, car tags, etc. Now, we're ready to begin again with our paper chase and get this adoption finished! There are lots of things we have to do differently now that we're in NC vs SC, and some things we have to revise- like parts of our autobiography that describe our home and its proximity to hospitals and schools and whatnot. I've already got my call in to the social worker to come check out the new house- unpacked boxes and all! I plan on doing everything within my power to make this the fastest dossier put together the world has seen. We're tired of waiting. We've sold our house and made our move for our girls, and now, we want our babies home.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A new artist in the family

My little sister Morgan (16) took a drawing class last year and loved it. This year she's taking painting and is really blossoming into quite an artist. One assignment was to use mixed media (she used watercolors, crayon, pen, pencil & chalk) and recreate a photo. They had to take the subject of the photo and change the background. She used one of my very favorite photos of Miss Kiki: And as a surprise for CSP & I she painted this: I'm so proud of her and am touched that she chose our Kea to be her subject. We'll be framing this asap to display proudly in our home.

*click pics to enlarge

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Uncle Creepy

If you need a good laugh today, click here and check out Weird Al's short video parody of Taylor Hicks' "Do I Make You Proud". Heh.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

On the cutting edge of pop culture

The other day while on the phone with my mom:
Mom: Did you watch tv last night?
Shanny: Yep.
M: Did you watch any cartoons?
S: No, why?
M: I saw the most bizarre cartoon last night. I think it was supposed to be a cartoon for adults though. Maybe you've seen it. There's this dog that talks and a baby with a football shaped head.
S: Uh, yeah Mama, that would be Family Guy. Jon and I have been watching that for years.
M: The dog drinks martinis. Bizarre.

A while back I got a similar phone call where she told me she'd found a show I might like where "they take 7 strangers, put them in a house to live with each other, and show you what happens." 3 guesses what show she's talking about.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Where the Swedes kick my Southern ass all the way home

Driving to Atlanta, shopping at IKEA, eating at Lisa's, fighting over smokers, more shopping, driving home, and unloading is a crippling experience. But I can't resist the call of the affordable Swedish homewares. As soon as you walk through the doors something happens to you. Me, my brain slides out of my ears and lies in a quivering mass on the floor. I can never go to IKEA and get my order right. EVER. What did I screw up this time? I bought 2 sconces that must be hardwired instead of the ones that plug in, 3 shades for the screened porch that are 9 inches too short (and I was armed with measurements from home), 3 toliet brush holders instead of toilet tissue holders, and 1 giant cracked mirror. I am a shopping dumbass.
Our drive down was fun and liesurely AND we witnessed an up close and personal Fast and Furious Atlanta style as 5 or 6 souped up Hondas stopped- stopped!!- on the highway then took off like rockets with tires smoking. They crossed 5 lanes of traffic before hitting the exit ramp. We stayed in a fabulous hotel with a modern flare and enjoyed the giant plasma tv, ginger smelling shampoo and soap, and the free breakfast. We did not, however, enjoy the person who insisted on smoking in the room adjacent to ours. Since they were adjoining rooms the smoke came right under the door and flew right down my CPAP machine tube into my lungs. The entire hotel is non-smoking so this was an issue. Susan called down to the desk and told them about it so we wouldn't get charged the $200 smoking fee and so they'd make the smoker stop. We went back to sleep, but the drama didn't end there.
Saturday we shopped at IKEA about all day- 366,000 square feet is a lot of ground to cover, especially when every Atlanta resident is there with you. Man was it crowded! We loaded up our purchases and quickly got lost on the many highways that crisscross the metro Atlanta area. We pulled into a McDon@lds and asked the drive through girl what town we were in while Lisa looked up directions. We finally made it to their house and enjoyed a fabulous dinner and even better company. We laughed and talked til late and headed back to the hotel. Our room smelled clean again so we were hopeful. We were so tired and sore and went right to sleep. Only to be woken up at 2am with a room full of smoke again. This time Susan brought the front desk guy up to our room and do you know what he said? That we just smelled carpet cleaner or incense!!! My ass! We were so tired it just wasn't worth it to switch rooms so we endured another fitful night's sleep. By this time our clothes smelled even! We made sure to talk to the manager when we checked out and secured coupons for a free future visit. We went back to IKEA to return the 7 foot long curtain rods I bought the day before for our 3 foot wide windows. Duh. We couldn't help ourselves and went back through the store one more time before hitting the road.
We stopped for lunch on the way home and had the strangest waitress. Each time she'd refill our drinks or bring us something and we'd say thank you she'd say "thank YOU". It was so weird.
We finally got home with all our goodies and deemed it a fantastic weekend. I was so glad Susan liked IKEA too. And of course, I can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The votes are in...

...and my FIL didn't get re-elected. This sucks on many levels. But, he when you're a democrat in a republican county in a republican state up against a rich republican- you've got a tough row to hoe. So they're putting their house up for sale and he's looking for a new job. Hopefully they won't have to move too far. He just can't practice law in his county since he was a judge there for so long. Boo. He's employed til January and has a ton of vacation to take so at least he'll get to chill out for the holidays. Once he's completely out of office I'll be able to tell you the story of the mom who left her kid with a babysitter who happened to be a 200 pound bear cub! Well, that's pretty much the story. The kid was fine- a miracle since he was only 2 years old. My FIL sentenced the mom to jail time, the bear was released back to the wild, and all was well. Until some crazy people started up flack saying my FIL didn't respect families since he jailed the mom. And those people got to vote. Boo!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

L-L-Lisa's in the hizzouse!

Highlights from Lisa's visit:
Saturday I picked her up at the airport and we had lunch, got our nails done, then headed over to my mom's house to hang out. My nephews were spending the weekend there so we were able to see them as well. And Lisa got to be a part of an exciting event- my little sister Morgan receiving her 1st car! We went on a test drive to the grocery store and had a great dinner.
Sunday we met up with Susan, Will, & little Miss O for dinner.We had a great time visiting with them and cooing over O. I don't wanna brag, but my little niecelet can say my name. The kid is a genius.
Monday we met up with my mom and went down to my Grandmommy's house (the one with Alzheimer's). My mom gave Gmommy a haircut and we took her to lunch. We had fun with Gmommy and on the way home we decided to stop and see my aunt and uncle. We'll call them Nina and Larry. We haven't been to their house for about 10 years, since the Thanksgiving when Uncle Larry set himself on fire- a story for another time. They weren't home and a quick call on the cell later and we were meeting them at the local watering hole. At 4pm on a Monday. OK. We walked into the bar, which was less of a bar and more of a cinder block outhouse that served alcohol, and Aunt Nina greeted us in her Marge's sister voice and asked if we'd like something to drink "...but all they got is beer." I ordered a Sprite and after some quick catching up with my aunt and uncle, Lisa and I went to the less smokey part of the bar to play bar video games while my Mom and Aunt Nina discussed my Gmommy's current state of health and living arrangements. It was all so bizarre. We stayed for a while and then laughed all the way home over the strangeness of my family.
Lisa had to go home Tuesday. I was sad to see her go and can't wait for her to come visit again!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Rock it and Cross em

Just a quick post to let y'all know that:
a) we're having a fabulous time and laughing so much.
b) be sure to get out and vote tomorrow.
c) please cross your fingers for us. My FIL is up for re-election tomorrow. He's a cheif justice and if he doesn't win they may have to move as it would be difficult for him to practice law in the county he presided over for so many years. We're all on edge!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Our first house guest

At the new house will be Lisa! She's on the plane right now on her way down for a few days. We're going to have a ball!

Friday, November 03, 2006

News from the back 40 *updated

You know what really chaps my ass? First, there's no Christmas anymore. It's just Holiday. "So what are you doing for Holiday?" "Oh, for Holiday I'm having Holiday ham and opening Holiday presents." It's so generic. Like it could be Groundhog or Flag Day but we'll never know cause we're just calling it Holiday. And now? Now? Just the other day I was flipping through the sales flyers that come in the mail and noticed that "Harvest Decor" was on sale at a local giant crafts store. Then at a large discounty departmenty store I came upon the display for "Harvest Dining Supplies". WTF??? Can we not call it freakin Thanksgiving anymore? Who does that offend? Ungrateful people? And they picked Harvest instead? Is the public at large made up of field workers counting down the days til we can bring in this year's crop? I have the utmost respect for farmers, have them in the family. Just didn't realize they were the new target demographic. Jeesh.

*Just so you know, I'm all for different cultures, races, and creeds. That's what makes this country great. My family is made up of many different cultures, races, and creeds. I've been a part of many a Passover dinner, weddings of faiths different than mine. I served for many years as the head of the diversity council at my old job. Heck, I'm adopting from a country where the ethnicity, religion, and culture are completely different from my own. And I respect that to no end. I even make sure my Christmas cards include a set that say Happy Holidays for the people I'm not sure which holiday they celebrate. I also have no problems with "Happy Holidays" as that implies you're wishing happiness for multiple holidays. I think calling Christmas "Holiday" is strange though. I feel that we as a country can, and should, include other religions and cultures without having to tone down others. I see no reason why there shouldn't be a Ramadan display next to a Christmas display. Or Hannukah. It is all so hypocritical when the stores tone down the Christmas language in ads and displays yet blast Christmas carols from Halloween til December 25. I didn't intend for this post to spark a debate about Christmas vs. Holiday. I get that. I just thought Harvest was taking it all too far.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Apparently, I do not exist. Our last name is too unique for the above system. 15 people are walking around with my maiden name though. Turns out I come from a unique family too. While there are 12 other Morgans out there, Sara's the only one of her kind (with her married name) but there are 16 of her single name. No Hot as Hales in this country either. My Mom's the only one out there with her name.
Go check yerself out and see how many of you populate this planet!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


We had a ton of trick or treaters last night but I still have about 94 lbs of candy left. I over prepare to say the least. Lots of cute costumes, some lame ones like the teenagers who refused to dress up. I stationed myself on the front porch on my bench so the doorbell wouldn't freak out the pugs. I'd stand there in silence until the teenagers with no costumes would say trick or treat. Then I'd ask what were they dressed up as (besides punks asking me for free food. shoulda given them canned corn). One girl said a typical teenager, another said a basketball player (obviously it was off season for him). One kid said a bum, then he had the nerve to come back to my house a half hour later! I told him he could take that bum talk home to his mama. One group of people coming down the sidewalk to my house appeared to have a jester. Then 2 kids came to the porch, and one boy was a jester, but his dad was wearing the hat.
Me: Hey Dad, nice hat!
Dad: Well this little punk wouldn't wear it and I want my money's worth!

I thought I'd share some of the face painting requests I received on Saturday. Lots of pumpkins, spiders, kitties, etc. One kid wanted "a hockey player, a hockey stick, and a puck". I'm not painting the side of a van, kid. Another one wanted me to paint her whole face to look like an eagle. I talked her into a bat. My favorite request of the day went down like this:

Me: Hey! I love your costume! What would you like for me to paint for you?
Kid: I want a lawnmower.
Me: Ok, but what do you want painted on your face?
K: A lawnmower. On my hand.
Me: A lawnmower??
This is when my friend A jumps in with "You can do it Shannon! You can draw anything!" I introduced A to the family finger (pinkie finger flashed instead of the middle one)
Kid's sister spots my nephews' play lawnmower and brings it over. She excitedly tells me I can just use that one as a model. Gee thanks.
So I paint a lawnmower on his hand. Looks alright, but not my best work.
K: I can't see the blades.
Me: That's cause they're underneath.
K: But I wanna see the blades.
I paint the blades on top. The lawnmower is now an air mower.
K: There's no grass.
So I paint grass while I'm thinking that I'm not a muralist, kid.
Me: OK, there you go! There's your lawnmower! Do you like it?
Kid looks at me with wide eyes and runs away to show his parents who probably wonder why the nutjob face painter painted an upside down lawnmower on their kid's hand.

It's a sad day for America

My beloved Price is Right will never be the same. Bob Barker is retiring. I mean, I can't blame him, he is 83. But this means I'll never meet him. For those just tuning in, I have a life long dream to go to LA and be on the Price is Right and Family Feud. I got so excited when John O'Hurley started hosted FF, but now, with this news of Bob's retirement,well....this is a sad, sad day.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!!!

For my very favorite holiday I thought I'd show you two of my very favorite Halloween candle holders. I hope everyone has a fabulous Halloween & gets lots of trick or treaters!!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

She's come undone

Last week at the attorney's office (for the house closing) I noticed my shirt sticking out all weird. I snuck a peek and realized that my underwire was sneaking out of its housing under my left boob and trying to work its way out the neckline of my shirt. There was nothing I could do during the closing except try and sit like an Olsen twin all hunched and concave so noone would notice my protrusion. That closing dragged on for about 3 days, or so it seemed. On the way out we were walking single file down the hall so I reached in a pulled the wire out and dropped it in the trash can at the receptionist's desk. I had to spend the rest of the day walking around all cock-boobed. Heh. Then I had to throw out a perfectly good bra. I hate that. My wires either pop in half or snake out through their little escape hole. Someone needs to invent a bra repair kit so I can pump my boob back up after a blow out.

Fashionably late

Ok- finally- my Halloween pictures. The inside of my house is box city so I didn't do much decorating in the house. But I did put forth a bit of effort outside. I love these gummy skulls.
Fun Jack o lantern jingle wreath.This creepy bug's hanging out on my candle holder!The ghosts on the curtain glow at night when the dining room light is on.Molly checking things out.Little luminaries on little shephards hooks marking the path. Buster the skeleton is standing guard. Skeeery!