Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas indeed, and hopefully, somewhere amid all the hustle and bustle of the season, we can remember, at least for a minute, what this holiday is all about, which is our Savior. With every gift given or received, perhaps we can remember why we give gifts in the first place--to symbolize the greatest gift ever given to mankind, which is Christ the Lord, the only Begotten Son of our Father in Heaven, who gave Him to us so we can eventually return Home.
The Mostly Humble Liz

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And Now a Bit of a Rant

Just a bit though. We had Jonni tested for the gifted program in her school because she is, frankly, bored spitless with first grade. Something needed to be done. We got her test results today, and she didn't make the cut. Her I.Q. wasn't high enough. Seriously?! Have these people MET my daughter? Especially since her creativity level was in the 89th percentile, and her achievement level was in the 99th percentile. Even her tester was shocked that she didn't make it. But she said that it tested on a lot of things Jonni hasn't even encountered yet, so the test was skewed. As in, it's not that she couldn't learn it, she just hasn't had the opportunity yet. So why oh WHY can't they put her in the program if even the people testing her think she's more than capable?! Bureaucracy, faw!
On the up side, my dad came over and fixed the lights in my basement today, half of which weren't working at all. Hale the conquering father! And he said, "Let there be light!" And behold, there was light!
The Almighty Liz

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Just a Bit of Fun

So yesterday while John and I were getting dinner together, we put on some Christmas music. The kids really liked it, and started dancing together. It was totally cute, and I think I said something like, "You guys are so adorable dancing together!" Jonni replied, "We're not just dancing, we're practicing for getting married." Yes, that's my six-year-old going on twenty.
The Almighty Liz

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

I don't really have anything earth shattering to report. We had a good holiday. We did the usual duo-dinners: one at John's parents' house, one on my side, which was my sister this year. They were both attended by lots of family, which is always nice. Erik got to celebrate his birthday again at both houses, and everyone got him cars. From great-grandparents to aunts and uncles, and nobody talked to anybody else about what they were getting. It was all chance. This is just fine with Erik though. He hasn't played with anything but his cars since he got 'em. He's in heaven.
The next day was a big extended family get together with John's side. Lots of his cousins were there, and let me tell you, it was perhaps not so great a thing for me to go. Just standing in the room with all those gorgeous, tall, blond women, none of which had less then two children, but looked like she had none, was enough to sink my self-esteem right through the floor, lol!
Saturday was surprisingly industrious. We didn't even try, but somehow managed to fix one car, get rid of another one, (so now we have two working cars instead of one working and two broken cars), and even clean up a little around the house! And get a nap in!
Sunday dawned sunny, cold, and speaking of colds, I've got a doozy. Just enough to make me miserable without really being able to do anything about it. I had all kinds of things I wanted to do this week, plans now all in ruins. On the bright side, now I don't have to do all those things, lol!!
The Almighty Liz

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Erik's Fourth Birthday, and Other "Fun" Things

Hello all! It's been a mighty busy time in Liz World, so I thought I'd take a couple of minutes and get you all caught up.
I am doing much better. One little thing left to sew up as far as illness/injury, and then I can get back to life as usual. I hope. ;P
Before I get into the Birthday Boy stuff, I must tell you about the Hamburger Episode. Several weeks ago, John bought about five or so pounds of hamburger in one of those economic big rolls. He then put it in one of the shelves in the door of our freezer to...well, to freeze. Well freeze it did.....into the shelf! It molded to the shelf before it froze, so when it got all nice and solid, there was no removing it. It looked like this.

So what's a husband to do?

Break out the power tools, of course!

Ew, meat sawdust.

Very determinded man here. Watch out!

Making, er...progress?

More "progress".

He had to resort to several different tools. This is a knife sharpener.

Also, creativity was a must.

But eventually, (around an hour and half later), my man won the day! Huzzah!

He made quite a mess of meat shavings. Gross!

But being the awesome guy he is, he cleaned it up himself.

And now we have this; two large chunks of frozen hamburger. Um, yay? Yes, yay!

So on to Erik's birthday. The boy is now four. I cannot believe it!!! He had a good time for his birthday, with presents abounding, pizza for dinner, and chocolate cake, oh my!

Organization is very important to an orderly present opening occasion.

His favorite so far, though only by a nose, was a floor puzzle with two sides!

We all had a lot of fun putting it together. Good stuff.

Then it was on to the important stuff; CAKE!

He blew out his candles one at a time. Hilarious!

And here are just a couple of gratuitous pics of my darling children....

...or maybe NOT so darling, lol!
The Almighty Liz

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Two Posts in One Day!!?

I know! I'm giddy myself. The reason I'm posting again is I went to my mom's today so she could do my hair. ('Cause she's just that awesome!!) I was just wondering if you could tell the difference. Let me know, lol!!
The Almighty Liz

Great Erik Quote for Today

Okay, I have some appointments today, so I got up early, and am actually almost out the door. But I just had to tell you guys about my funny boy first.
I was getting on his shoes when he noticed I had my cute, stylish black boots on. He said, "Wow, mom! You've got cowboy boots on!" Now, I don't really care if he thinks they're cowboy boots, but they aren't, so I joked around with him, and said, "Oh, no, they're not!" And then he said, "Oh. I forgot. They're cowgirl boots!"
Oh, I do love that kid.
The Almighty Liz

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Erik was Raphael, and Jonni was Donatello. Their choice, of course. I think they looked awesome! (and hilarious)
Um, this is supposed to be a pic of our pumpkins. They're eyes, on the right of the pic.

Okay, so our Halloween this year was super laid back what with the illness/injuries/ect that have been going on, especially considering last year's Haunted Treasure Hunt. We still had fun though, just trick-or-treating around the neighborhood! Our neighborhood is awesome. Everyone sitting out on their porches giving away candy, and we have about a bazillion kids, too. So while it may not have been as action packed as last year, it (for me anyway) was nice to set a less hectic pace. Here's a few pictures from the "hallowed" event. Get it? Hallowed? Yeah, okay.
The Almighty Liz
PS So blogger is being stupid, so the pics are above my little paragraph there. Whatever.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

And Finally Closing the Book...Hopefully...

So, it has been rather a roller coaster for me the past couple of months. Broken legs, illnesses, heart trouble...but I think that we (meaning me, John and my team of doctors) have finally gotten to the bottom of this mess, and we can put it more or less permanently behind us. (John would say I'm being too optimistic, and I would retort that he's turned into the world's biggest wet blanket) So here's the facts for those of you who don't know them (or only a few of them), in what I hope to be a shortened version of actual events. I say I hope, because we all know how much I babble. :P
Okay, the last time I posted anything was when I had what we thought was swine flu, and my general practitioner MD had discovered what was thought at the time to be mitral valve prolapse. Very shortly after that post, I landed in the hospital. My doctor was being cautious because he wasn't sure how easily I could get heart infections at that point, and I was having heart symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness, ect. I spent four or five days there, and we learned some good things. (during this time, however, my poor husband got sick as well as both children with ear infections and such. He totally ditched all responsibility and went to stay with my mom. I don't blame him a bit. I wouldn't have lasted nearly as long as he did) I didn't have swine flu, I had a rare bacterial pneumonia. Of all ridiculousness. I don't have mitral valve prolapse, I have rheumatic fever (or rheumatoid, I can't remember the exact terminology) valvular disease. This is similar to MVP in a lot of ways, but it also has some added bonuses. More blood flow problems, not due to a valve weakening, as in MVP, but due to valve thickening. There are a couple of different ways that you can get valve thickening with this; growths or scar tissue. Growths are very very very dangerous, and scar tissue is only as dangerous as it's rate of thickening. If it builds up very quickly, very dangerous, and vica versa. The other bonus is that my heart is very susceptible to infection, so it was super good that I was hospitalized, even though it totally sucked at the time. There was a complication at the hospital, as well. The gave me a spinal tap to rule out bacterial meningitis, and the hole they made didn't close properly, so it leaked for a good long time. They gave me caffeine therapy at the hospital, which means that they put a liter of caffeine in me through and IV. That was an interesting experience indeed. I have never been so hyper and wired in my life! I know I drove my roommate bonkers for the one to two hours I was like that. Then, when they released me, I had to keep drinking copious amounts of caffeine, and stay laying flat for a full week, and in bed for a week after that, (although I could sit up), and then cautiously start moving around after that. They didn't want to rip the hole back open after we managed to close it. So I stayed at my mom's for almost a month, and was finally going to come home when Erik got croup. Like, 103 degrees fevers and having much difficulty breathing croup. So I ended up staying with mom for a few more days until Erik was well enough to come home and also well enough for me to take care of by myself. My poor mom! Anyway, during that time, I had a Dr.'s appointment with my general practitioner, and we discussed my heart stuff. Now, at this juncture, we don't have a whole heaping amount of data to go on. I had another appointment with my cardiologist in a couple of weeks at that point, where he was going to run some more tests, and then we would know a whole lot more. So, we went with worst case scenarios for the time being, and they were bleak. I won't go into details, but I spent the next couple of weeks trying to come to terms with those scenarios, in the case that they came true, I would be prepared. Happily, though, my appointment came, and all my Doc had for me after the tests was good news!! I pretty much don't have to change my lifestyle much at all. There are things we have to keep an eye on, like my heart valves (which don't have growths, but scar tissue, that is building very slowly, huzzah!), so I have to get tests done every six months for the next year, and then every year after that, and I have to be on daily antibiotics for the foreseeable future, and working out is now more important even than it was before (once I regain a bit more strength), and if I ever get strep again, I'm toast, but that's it. And my cardiologist says there's even a fifty-fifty chance I won't EVER have to do anything or worry about this again! The flip side of that coin is I will have to get valvular surgery of some kind at some point in the distant future. Which I can totally live with. Absolutely.

So, other things going on in my life? Jonni is doing so well at school that she's bored out of her mind. Erik is still not potty trained, and I'm starting to think I'll still be changing his diapers when he's thirty. John is okay, although the last couple of years have been rough enough to give him a bit of psychosis, for which he might need therapy in the immediate future (or he will be causing a reactionary psychosis in me, of the homicidal nature). I've read enough books to furnish a store, and I now have a legitimate caffeine addiction. I'm working on it though, and am down to half a liter a day. (I started at three to four liters a day. *shudder*) I'm starting to get seriously restless, which means I'm getting my strength back. Time to get back on the horse--or exercise bike, as the case may be. (although, wouldn't it be so super cool if I had a real horse to get back on?!) So, in short, life is normalizing, for which I am worshipfully grateful. I'll take monotonous over crisis any day. And since I now know that I'm going to get a very much more time than I thought to enjoy that, I'll be savoring every minute I can. At least until my kids spill yet another full glass of liquid everywhere, the cat pees on the couch again, and John keeps taking his shoes off in the middle of the floor to trip over. Ah, such bliss I cannot express.
The Almighty Liz

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

And Enter Swine Flu and Heart Problems...

Okay people, I know this is getting a little ridiculous, but here's the latest;
I have swine flu, but I'm actually feeling better today, so I think it's on the way out. Thank goodness.
Also, got back some test results from my latest near death experience, and it looks like I have mitral valve prolapse and regurgitation. MVP is not uncommon, and it's when the mitral valve, or the valve in the middle of your heart that separates the upper and lower chambers and keeps blood going one way--from upper to lower--gets damaged. MV regurgitation is when that valve is so damaged that the blood starts backing up from lower to upper. At this point all I know is that is what I've got, and my doc wants me to see a cardiologist. The absolute worst case scenario that I can determine from me research is heart surgery, and I won't know about that until I see said cardiologist, but hopefully it won't go that far.
Anyhoo, prayers would be much appreciated at this point. Especially for John, who's had one too many sucker punches in too short a period of time. He's not dealing as well as I am. Thanks!!
The Almighty Liz

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Illnesses...

Okay, so I've been MIA for a few weeks now. Here's the explanations;
The ankle? Very sprained, but healing well. I also managed to break my leg in that fall, but that's healing nicely, too.
A couple of days after I found that out, I got my first ambulance ride. My doctor and I agree it was a combination of dehydration (being out all day in the heat for John's triathlon on Saturday is what did that, especially given my predisposition to dehydration) and some pain meds I took Sunday night. The two combined basically dropped my blood pressure to almost nothing, which, as you might imagine, is a Very Bad Thing. So I spent all day in the hospital with the staff (not so much the doctor, more the nurses) trying to get my BP stabilized. It was not a whole lot of fun, but I'm out of the woods, so to speak. We are still waiting on one test, an echo cardiogram, to make sure my already-weak-but-getting-there heart was not damaged. As long as that comes back normal, and except for the broken leg, after this week, I should be back to 'normal'. Or, at least back to being able to work at getting back to normal. Or something.
In other news, Jonni started 1st Grade a week ago yesterday! I have no pictures, again, because this time I was on bed rest, and was sleeping as daddy got her on the bus. But so far so good, she's doing well, and likes her teacher and class, and has already made a bunch of new friends.
Erik is Erik, which is to say, he's totally fine. We've had to farm him out a lot to friends as I'm not quite up to watching him full time yet on my lonesome, but he is actually loving that quite a bit. That's my boy; unflappable.
John is a little ragged. Anyone want to take him out for a night off of babysitting his crippled wife? Please do! I will arrange for help for myself and the kids. He really needs thera--I mean a break. ;)
Also, my dad is not doing so well. He has the swine flu, pneumonia and a broken rib. Prayers would be appreciated!!!
That's all the updates for now. Hopefully my next post will have more sunshine, and less storm clouds. Although, I do love a good thunderstorm....enough is enough, lol!!
The Almighty Liz

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ah, $#@^&!!!

So, I have red bell pepper plants in pots on my front porch. They are very fruitful with several peppers to each plant. Unfortunately, this makes them top heavy. I have already staked them both so they don't fall over, but one of them is persisting. So I decided to stake it again, from a different side. This required a stick. I have many in my backyard. I went in search, but didn't get very far because somewhere in stepping off the four inches or so from my back porch to the turf there was a disconnect in my body, and I stepped completely wrong, resulting in an ankle that twisted in at least two different directions and made all kinds of fun popping and cracking noises. Fortunately, I was on the phone with my best friend, Mary, so all I had to do was drag my bones to the phone and call John to come rescue me, instead of yelling myself bloody hoping the kids inside the house hear me sometime in the next 100 years or so. After a trip a Urgent care clinic (our third in three weeks, once for Erik's staples, once to get them removed, and now this--they are going to totally know us by site before we're done, I'm sure), it has been determined that it is more than likely not broken, although it is being sent to a special X-ray person to make 100% sure, but it is very nastily sprained at the very least. It might also have some tearing of tendons and ligaments going on, but we will determine that with a foot doctor in a week if I'm not much better by then.
The Almighty Liz

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weekly Report

It's been an up and down week Erik Land. A week ago today, Erik's big sister pushed him down resulting in a big gash on his poor little head requiring four staples. The next day saw Erik baffing yet again, this time escaping with only a split lip. The following day was much the same, Erik bonked and earned himself a scraped and bruised nose. He got his staples out today, so that was good, except it hurt almost as much as getting them in, he tells me. On the up side, he has finally...*drumroll*...
GONE PEEPEE IN THE POTTY!! First time ever last night! Twice today, and counting! By Jove, I think he's got it! (I hope I hope I hope...)
This report given by,
The Almighty Liz

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beach Vacation!!

Well, I got back l-a-t-e on Sunday night/Monday morning, exhausted, a little sick of my (new!) car, but totally happy. This girls' road trip totally lived up to all my expectations. I had so much fun, that this will unequivocally be an annual thing from now on, and absolutely essential to my happiness. ;)
We started off a little late (I overslept--I know, big surprise, right?), but well. We made it all the way to the foothills of the Appalachians without mishap, where I had a panic attack. Why? I have no idea except that maybe I hate the mountains more than even I thought, lol! And I do, truly, loathe the mountains. It only lasted a couple of minutes and then it was smooth sailing all the way to Mary's house! We got in at a decent time, had a little dinner, and went to bed. The next morning we were all up bright but not so early, but on the road in fairly good time to check into our hotel and be on the beach that evening. Two minutes down the road, my (new!) car died on us. We all looked at each other with 'what the crap?!' expressions on our faces, and nursed it into the parking lot of a dental office, which I found ironic, being as I'm a former dental assistant. We jumped out of the car, and opened the hood, and as I am in no way familiar with the Envoy's inner workings, could come to no conclusion. As we came back around the car, however, the problem became blarringly apparent. We were sitting in a humongous puddle of gasoline!!! More 'what the CRAP?!' expressions, and then we settled into calling in reinforcements. Thank goodness I brought a cell phone!! Mary's husband booked it out to us with his two kids in tow, and with a few maneuverings, I was settled at Mary's looking for a mechanic and a tow truck, while Mary, Timpani, Mary's husband and father and mother in law all tried to make what they could of what the FLIP was wrong with my (new!) car, which I hadn't even owned for two weeks at that point. Mary's father in law has some knowledge of cars, and determined that the fuel line had become detached, but could not locate the detachment, or why it became so, or how to fix it. He spied a mechanic across the street, strolled over and asked if they could just come look at it and tell us if it was going to be a major (ie expensive and time consuming) thing or not. They complied, and actually fixed it in five minutes for the grand total of $10!!! Hurray! It turns out that a connection had simply come loose, and they simply snapped it back on. We were back in business!! No more mishaps presented themselves, and in four or so short hours we arrived at our destination; Savannah, Georgia!! We checked ourselves in to our GORGEOUS room, which was on the third floor where we could over look the courtyard with the pool and jacuzzi house from our very own balcony!! It was a ginormous room with two queen beds, a mini fridge and microwave! We were totally in love with it! After we dropped our stuff off, we went to eat as we were completely starving by then. It was too late to hit the beach, but we did do a little shopping at the mall conveniently located a mere three blocks from our hotel. Then we did a little exploring, and crashed. The rest of this is better told through pics, of which I took a couple hundred, so I'll let them do most of the explaining. There were just a couple of stories that are not photographed; Timpani getting save by super-hot life guards, Diego the waiter, Miley Cyrus, Kelly Preston with her husband John Travolta actually on Tybee Island while we were there shooting Miley's new movie, and we actually passed them taping on the highway!!, the totally ostentatious yellow Lamborghini that cut us off....but one thing I want to tell about that I didn't get pics of was the last disaster to befall us on our vacation. Timpani and I had successfully dropped Mary off at home, and were headed there ourselves. We were somewhere in Kentucky, (and here's a shout out to Dana--you live in a fantastically beautiful state woman!), I think a few miles west of Paducah, when an ambulance came screaming up behind us. Timpani was driving, and dutifully started to ease over onto the shoulder when BAM!! One of our (brand-new!!) tires blew!!!! We found the culprit; a sharp metal hubcap cover which tore a huge chuck out of the tire. We cursed the thing roundly, and started trying to figure out where the heck my jack was, and how on earth we were supposed to get at the spare tire under the car. I had just called John for advice/support when a supremely kind soul stopped to offer assistance. He not only knew how to get my spare, and where my jack was located (under the back seat of all weirdness, and getting at the spare is no picnic, it's totally tricksy), he changed the tire for us!! Bless his sweet heart, and his wife and kids for allowing him to stop!! We had no further adventures all the rest of the way home, and I'll tell you something: I will be able to handle anything dished at me for any other road trip I go on. For sure. (not to tempt fate or anything, lol!!)

Here we are at the start of our trip, blissfully unaware that in less than five minutes, we are going to be totally derailed.

Here's where we encountered our first major dilemma. I am NOT happy.

Here we are after the crisis has been dealt with, in our 'We will NOT be STOPPED!!' pose.

Mary asleep in the back seat.
Our Hotel!! Long live Marriott!
Timpani drove the vast lion's share of the trip. I had to get at least one picture of her, lol!
I just got us checked in. I look really excited mainly because I AM!

Our pool!

Our Jacuzzi house!

Me and Mary at dinner after we checked in. We were totally focused, lol!!

We did a little shopping and trying on of things, and we couldn't get this dress, but doesn't Mary look HAWT?!

We found this button on our explorations around the hotel. We have no idea what it's for, it had no explanation, and it wasn't around anything. I found it totally hilarious! None of us had the guts to push it and find out what happens when you do. Where the heck is Brad Carter when you need him?!

The trees with all their Spanish moss gorgeousness!!

The streets were sooooo pretty!!

Here's a park we saw on the way to Tybee Island. Beautiful!!

This is Crepe Myrtle. I have no idea if I spelled that right, but it was everywhere in the south, and very pretty.

We crossed over lots of rivers and tributaries on our drive to Tybee. They were so different than the Mississippi River, all wandering and curvy...

This was the first thing I saw my first time on the beach. Great pic, eh?
Finally here! The ocean!!
My first step into the Atlantic! It was so warm! I loved it!
We shared the water with lots and lots of ships.
More beautiful!
A little crab came up to say hello while we rested on our towels.
I poked him to get a better picture, and he totally went into this, 'If you touch me again I will slay you!!' pose. I was laughing so hard I almost couldn't take the picture! He was only about an inch and a half long!

Burying Mary in the sand. Thats the sand castle we made using only our little hands on the right there.
Mermaid Mary.
We got all dolled up and went out for a night on the town!
We did some shopping on our last day, and saw this maniquinn with the ginormous bazoongas. I, of course, HAD to get a pic with it, lol!
They have sea turtles on Tybee Island, and these sculptures were all over.
This is Timpani and I leaving Mary and heading home. A little redder, a little tireder, but happier by an inconceivable amount.

So who's coming next year??! ;)

The Almighty Liz