Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Lots of new developments at the House of Chaos already this week! Pete is sleeping upstairs, laying horizontally again like normal people sleep, and he's spending most of the day out of his sling. Not really off the big drugs yet, but he's trying to wean himself off of them. Shelby is back to sleeping......no......I'm not even going to TYPE it. I'm superstitious when it comes to saying stuff like "we've made progress!!!", because usually all it takes is for me to say it to have it reverse itself, so I'm not going to mention the sleep thing. I'm just much better rested.

And....drumroll........the all-powerful King Ty has been DETHRONED! Little Tucker has taken big ole Tyroneous Maximus DOWN a notch! Awesome!!!! We still have some tussels, but nothing nearly as awful as before. It seems little Tuck just needed to grow into his attitude! Ty is oddly humble, not being the big man on campus anymore, and we feel SO much better now that we can leave the house with all kitties in the same room! Yippeee!!!!!

Not much else, but I'd like to petition my oh-so-loyal and wonderful readership to help me out with a little research study, if you'd be SOOOOO kind? We're doing a study at church on evangelism and one of our assignments for this week is to gauge interest on some rather simple questions...just curiosity's sake, really. I just need a tad bit of your wonderful help, if you please?

All I need is a comment answering a few simple questions. First, which of the following questions is most interesting to you (not asking for an answer TO the question, just which interests you):

Is there a God?
If so, who is God?
Is a day of judgment coming?

After you tell which question interests you, tell me why. And then, if you please, let me know what your thoughts on God are. No wrong answers, nobody's being graded. This is ONLY an interest study. All anonymous, K?

Thanks SO much if you help me out--have I ever mentioned how I love all of you who read my "stuff"? Are you knee-deep in the flattery yet?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Back to checking the calendar again

...just to see what day it is. Maybe it's that I'm just SOOOO tired from Shelby still getting up 3x a night and now taking care of a much BIGGER baby since Pete had his surgery, but WOW. I've not felt exhaustion like this in....well, I don't know that I've ever felt exhaustion like this. And I have absolutely not a clue at all what day it is when I wake up. I have to cross the day off of the calendar just so I'll know whether to get everybody dressed for church in the morning! Wait...it is Friday, right? I'm also getting nauseous for the FIRST time in all of these pregnancies....why? Okay, this one is officially...different.

News--Pete's surgery went very well. It took the ortho doctor an hour and a half to get his shoulder all fixed up. Turns out that the docs in Germany were either lazy or lying...there WAS another tear in his labrum, very obviously visible to anyone doing an MR-arthrogram, plus the "bursitis" wasn't bursitis, it was two bone spurs. All better now; with three holes in Pete's shoulder and three stitches, it's over. Oh, and we also found out that after the last surgery (in June of '04), the surgeon probably did more harm than good ordering immediate intense physical therapy. The nurse turned white as a sheet when I asked her what they wanted him doing this time around, since no therapy had been mentioned...she said "Nothing!", and then proceeded to tell me about how labral tears need babying, not therapy, after they've been repaired. Hmm....yet another reason for me to distrust military doctors...as if my Army-captain-anesthesiologist who nearly killed me and the OB who couldn't be bothered with a laboring patient wasn't enough? Thank God we're both back in civilian hands!

Pete is healing well; he's already managed to drop his arm a bit and let it dangle for a few seconds. Good signs. He's in a sling, on some big-time narcotics, so by the looks of how high he's flying....he'll have his pilot's license by the time they wean him off of the pain pills! He's been sleeping downstairs, which sure does leave the bedroom quiet! His first surgeon told him it really didn't matter how he slept, as long as he was comfortable; THIS surgeon....well, Pete was given strict orders to sleep upright with his arm supported, so every night I rearrange the living room with the love seat facing the sofa to give him one BIG surface for his legs. He's got more pillows than a Bed, Bath, and Beyond display, but he's comfy! Me? Well, ironically, my shoulder is REALLY hurting!

Other news....our big Butterball of a baby has surpassed all of her other siblings in weight. It took Jon and Kelsey both ten months to pass sixteen pounds; it took them each another year to hit 20 pounds. Shelby....well, at five months, she now weighs 18 pounds. Of pure baby blubber. Oh my.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More kitty craziness

I guess I should have expected that life with three cats would be a little....nuts. We've had two cats for so long, that plurality isn't an issue, but with three BOYS??? Whew. The "kittens" (who are now five months old and looking more like cats than babies) never cease to amaze us at how much they sound like a herd of wild buffalo stomping around upstairs, and oh, how they LOVE to fling kitty litter...they also love to "help" with the laundry.
But Ty...well, Ty is a horse of a different color. He's a challenge, for sure, and any of you out there in blogdom who have experience with this, PLEASE offer us some suggestions, because we're just one frustration away from finding him a new home, and we really don't WANT to...but we may have no choice. Ty is a very agressive tomcat. He's neutered, so we at least got that done, and as soon as he hit six months. Thing is, he's SO BIG. He's ten pounds already, and every bit of that is pure muscle. Half of it probably in his jaw, if the bite marks on our arms and ankles can be admitted as evidence. He's also very dominant. He does NOT tolerate Tucker at all--maybe because Tuck is the dominant of the two kittens, I don't know. But we have to keep Ty and the kittens separated, because Ty will immediately corner and attack one of them (whichever he can get to, but usually Tucker, because Charlie is just too big a wimp to stick around long). Ty can be a sweet cat, when he wants to be and when there aren't other cats (or kids) around, but....well, we don't live in his dream world. Funny thing is, he's great with dogs! He loved playing with Pete's dad's min-pins and their Sheltie when they visited for Thanksgiving, which kind of surprised us. Ty would probably do wonderfully with a hyper mini-dog...but the rest of us, not so much. We're BIG dog people. And Jake...well, Jake is a 110-pound weenie; he runs off yelping when any of the cats wants to even bat at his tail. So what do we do? We've googled cat whisperers, but Cesar Milan doesn't do felines. It's too bad. We really don't want to have to find Ty a new home, because we really have grown to love the brute. And I *think* he kinda likes it here, too.It's going to be interesting to find a way to lessen the tensions between kitties, but we do want to find a workable solution. It was wonderful to bring Tucker and Charlie into our lives after Cleo died; I have wondered out loud if God re-uses cat personalities, because those two boys are just like Cleo and Murphy were. Tucker is the sweetest, most lovable little cuddly thing you've ever seen, just like Cleo was. One difference, though--Tucker doesn't have Cleo's drooling problem, thankfully! Charlie...oh, he's so much like Murphy, and that did wonders for me. I missed Murph SO much, and Charlie is just Murphy all over again--same little "bark", the same quirks, and those stripes....I've got a soft spot in my heart for tabbies! Charlie also really amuses Pete, especially since he loves to sit on Pete's lap in front of the computer, chasing the cursor all over the screen. When it comes to weirdness, though, I still think Tucker takes the cake.

Woah, who opened the door to the Arctic?

It's COLD here in North Alabama!!! We're supposed to have wind chills in the negative single-digits today! Wha????? We didn't even have temps this cold in Germany!

I just wanna know why we can't have SNOW to go along with all this frozen air?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Christmas recap in pictures

Okay, here 'tis...the onslaught of Christmas pictures. It took me a while to weed through them all! Mom, there's probably a dozen more, but these are the best.

Charlie and Tucker spooned together (notice Tuck's little black arm tossed over Charlie's side?)in the kitty carrier on the van's front seat on the way to Grandma and Grandpa's house (say it with me......"AWWWWWWWWW"):
The girls (and a tuckered-out Tucker) hard at "work" coloring pictures for Grandma's fridge:
Charlie playing peek-a-boo from the inside of the tree...notice the little orange kitty nose just below the Santa ornament?

Is there anything as gorgeous as a Christmas tree glowing in the darkness of Christmas morning?
Are you serious? You woke US up?
I believe Dani's exact words were "NO pippers!" Sorry, kiddo....you made the mistake of being too cute NOT to take "pippers" of!
The only one of our kids that we'd WILLINGLY give an oversized bag of ginormous Twizzlers to...after all, if his ADHD gets out of control because of all that red 40, it's his squad leader's problem!
The carnage:
Wow, we all actually fit in one camera frame....one giant bad hair day (except Grandpa)!This has to be my all-time favorite Christmas picture EVER....Shelby's face says it all. I think I'm going to have this one blown up poster-size, it's that hilarious (not just the huge drool-pool):
I hope everyone had a picture-imperfect Christmas...we sure did!

The strange things you find on your digital camera...

This almost qualifies for Wordless Wednesday....how about Headscratch Tuesday? I guess this is what happens when you set two GUYS loose in a museum full of chrome with a camera...
Plaid overload, anyone?

Monday, January 12, 2009

A slow start to the new year

Wow, this has certainly been a SLOW couple of weeks for us! Probably best, all things considered. I'm going to try my best to be a bit better about blogging regularly, but my New Year's Resolution to myself (and my family) was to reduce computer time drastically. That got kick-started by Shelby's illness; I just wasn't able to do much! There's other reasons too....

Well, I guess since it's been blabbed at church already (why can't anyone in my family keep a secret?), I might as well spill the beans to everybody, and this is probably the easiest way to do that. I wanted to at least have my first doctor's appointment (to rule out Pete's premonition of twins), but....we're going to have another set of Irish twins come August (or July, depending on just *how* early this one is)! We're all thrilled, and I'm doing fine as usual, just TIRED. In all honesty, the close spacing actually works better for us than having more than 18 months between kiddos. I'm just hoping and praying that Shelby will let me get some sleep now that she's not up all hours of the night gasping for breath.

By the end of the year, we'll be a family of nine. Hey, cool....eight in '08, nine in '09! Heh...ok, dorky sense of humor, I know. I'm working on three hours' sleep, cut me some slack! Anyhoo, the whole seven-kids thing really isn't all that scary on this end of it. Funny, two years ago seven children seemed just as daunting as a dozen, but now, not so much! We will all still be able to fit in our two vehicles...um, unless God REALLY intends to surprise us with multiples!?

For some reason, another pregnancy to begin the new year just seemed a little, oh, I don't know, flat? No biggie. It's the shoulder surgery Pete will have next week and the very good possibility that he's going to be putting in his retirement packet in April or May that kind of gets the adrenaline flowing. I'm working with the kids at church on the scrapbook for the Lads to Leaders convention on Easter weekend; Jon will move on to Fort Campbell in April; Kelsey will start her senior year in the Fall and at least by the time the baby's born we'll be looking for a house. THAT scares me. A baby, no. A house? YES. There's just something about house hunting that makes me shudder.

Oky doky then...there it is. The news from the top of the Mount. All good changes ahead, but even good stress is still stress! We'll all be praying for strength this year, it seems! For now, I'm praying for an end to the sleepless streak.

I'll try to get all of our new pictures uploaded and have something a little more visually stimulating posted later this week!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Wait, what?

Did we end a year and begin a new one?  I missed it.  Wait, no, I know I was awake when that ball dropped in Times Square (even if it was an hour ahead of OUR new year's countdown), but, umm....I don't remember it.

Quick update, for those of you wondering if I've fallen off of the planet.  Our internet has been giving Pete fits, we went to Florida for Christmas, came back to an internet that was STILL down, then ended up in the ER with Shelby....and a diagnosis of RSV.  Internet is back up, our computer is now upstairs in our bedroom, Shelby is finally able to sleep a little bit without gasping for air, and I have to get a new calendar.

Here's hoping the last few days isn't a foreshadow of the year to come.

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