Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Danke.

Happy week after Thanksgiving! We have been basically trying to relax and  digest all our food since then. I think this is the first year I actually enjoyed the turkey and didn't just eat it because it was Thanksgiving. If you're anything like us than the turkey is most likely the only left over that lasts longer than a day. I hope that you can find delicious things to do with it. I've tried. Let me know if you have any good ideas. I'm not a turkey expert.



Anyway, for more pictures of Israel's intense stare and other such nonsense, if you care to see, you can check it out under the fam tab.

Thank you and goodnight.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra

Thanksgiving always makes me think of Christmas movies. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because the two holidays are so close. Maybe a few connections in my brain have been a bit.... frazzled. Either way, I have thought more about A Christmas Story and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation in the past week than I usually do during the entire month of December. (Or maybe *gasp* I'm morphing more and more into a Taylor every day - let's hope that's not the case). But considering it's the day after Thanksgiving I have finally been given permission by my husband to speak of all things Christmas.

*Speaking of the day after Thanksgiving, it's my hubs birthday. Happy birthday!! Love you!* Side note: I actually hate the phrase 'hubs' or 'hubby' but 'husband' feels so formal. So I find myself stuck in between a rock and a hard place where I'm going to either be over the top or trendy. Both of which I hate. This is my life.

Our Thanksgiving was very low key this year. Just my and Ben's parents. Not too much set up, not an overwhelming amount of food to cook, no traveling. It was nice. And I have a lot to be thankful for. I asked the kids to say something they were thankful for before they ate. The answers were family, my soul and heart, and food and water. I was fully expecting something like their favorite toy or movie, which would have been fine, but my heart did swell a little at their responses. Dare I say that my kids actually have a sense of putting things in perspective and being grateful? I think I do dare.

And I would now like to take the time to say thank you to all of you. Everyone who reads this blog (whether for updates, pity's sake, entertainment) it means a lot. Those who comment - thank you. Especially on the 100th post. I can truly say I was expecting one sentence responses from everyone. I never dreamed that you would put so much thought into what you said. This blog started as a place to keep everyone updated and a way for me to process things. It has become so much more to me, and I hope to you too. Reading each comment really refreshed me. And for that I say - thank you. 

Now onto CHRISTMAS!! I thought it would be fun to list the Christmas movies that we watch every year. No, seriously. EVERY year we watch them - in their entirety. Most of them I enjoy. Most of them have their slow parts. But each year I love them more.
  • National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
  • A Christmas Story
  • Christmas in Connecticut
  • Elf
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • You've Got Mail (this is a newer tradition)
  • Rudolph - the original of course

I feel like there is one or two that I'm missing but I can't think of them.

The first two I had to grow to love because my first few impressions of them were .... "whaaaat?" But given I'm now a Taylor I'm pretty sure Ben had grounds to divorce me if I didn't end up 'seeing the light' as he would say. Each movie has a story behind it or a tradition of it's own. Like Christmas Vacation we watch with the whole Taylor family - we're talking parents, brothers, sisters, etc. usually the same day we pick out our Christmas trees... as a family... (really, the Taylors are a little commune all their own. You can fight against it but you'll always lose. All of us who are married in know exactly what I mean while the Taylor men say "What are you talking about???") It's a Wonderful Life Ben and I watch every Christmas Eve. I generally end up falling asleep somewhere between their honeymoon and Clarence. Elf is a new classic. I could go on and on. I won't. But I will recommend each of these movies to you if you don't usually watch them.


I'm interested in hearing any of the movies you watch each Christmas season and why. Maybe it will give me a new one to add to the list.


 



 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Frankly, my dear....

I'm supposed to be looking up mac and cheese crock pot recipes considering it's one of the three things I'm responsible for for Thanksgiving dinner. That's what I'm supposed to be doing anyway. Obviously, I'm not. 

Instead, I decided to share a few photos of the little man showing that maybe he's not that different from other babies after all. This is one of the things I am thankful for today:





No one can resist the cell phone. You can almost see it in the last picture, but each time he got ahold of it he would have this sly smile on his face because he was so proud of himself. It made my day :)

Here are few more things that I'm thankful for:



  
So proud of themselves for taking a self portrait.
I'm also thankful for my husband but he's like a sasquatch or the loch ness monster when a camera is around. I'll see what I can do. 
Happy birthday to him and my mother-in-law! (A day early but that's okay.)
Alright, and I guess I have to include Joe too.... some say he's Ben's twin, but I don't know... no one has seen him for quite some time.

Enough of this stalling... time is ticking and a crock pot dish will quickly be out of the picture if I don't start soon. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not my finest hour.

This week has been quiet on the blogging front. Not the blogging world as a whole (well, I don't know, maybe it has been but I doubt it.) but for this blogger in particular. And for one reason alone.

I AM LOSING MY FREAKING MIND.

This has been one of those having-four-children-was-not-my-proudest-moment weeks. If you know what I mean. I love my children. I really do. I just need to remind myself of that sometimes.

So this leads me to Things I Don't Understand: Episode 4

1) How children literally have endless amounts of energy.
2) Why they fight to the death one minute and then are instantly sad the second they are apart.
3) Why I have to tell them a million and a half times to do something and then, in the midst of doing it, remind them what it is they are doing.
4) How they can wipe their noses on their sleeves.
5) How they sit mesmerized by the most mind-numbing show just because the 'big box' is glowing. 
6) Why they want to do the exact opposite of what they are doing even though they are doing exactly what they asked to do.
7) Why it is so hard to put away clothes.
8) Why going to bed is the worst thing in the world. You couldn't pay me to stay up any longer than I have to.
9) Why after repeated lessons to not open the door when they think someone knocks they still open up the door all the live long day.
10) Why they hate me so.

 
 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Edmund Fitzgerald

Why not add more weight to this already sinking ship?


Yeah, I couldn't think of a reason either. I think that's why this happened.


ignore the nail polish that needs terribly to be redone.






To those of you who don't know the history of my middle toe: it's long and boring. The gist of it is I have basically dislocated it three times and chipped the bone and now there is some kind of a cyst on the bone. Each time you dislocate it, it gets weaker. Hence this most recent picture. It got snagged somewhere between Rambo's oxygen cord and his diaper bag. Stinking baby.  And it is excruciating. That's the best part. 








So now I am stuck limping in serious pain just to make it around the house. 
But it's all okay. No. Seriously. It's okay. Did anyone just believe that???


I really am making an effort to take this all in stride and make the best of it. Complaining isn't going to make it any easier. In fact, it will probably only make it seem twice as awful for twice the amount of time. I am, however, considering amputating it. Take the sucker off and cut my losses... get it? "Cut" my losses...... it's a pun....Take the Bible verse literally that says if it causes you to stumble cut it off. Yeah, that's what I'm thinking.  


Anyway, happy Friday everyone. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It would figure.

I have decided to look at this week as an extended weekend. Not because I'm enjoying all the relaxing, fun, refreshing times one would look forward to on a weekend. No no no. But because I would rather tell myself I had a crappy weekend than an entire crappy week. In my head, this makes me feel just a teensy bit better about it. 


So what has made up this extended crappy weekend? Nothing in particular and EVERYTHING. 


After having a rather traumatic doctors appointment last Thursday Rambo has been non stop coughing, gagging and restless since then. We're talking day and night. 


Mother pussbucket.


And we were doing so well!!! Since Rambo got out of the hospital he was the best he's EVER been. Way less suctioning. Staying level on his oxygen needs, even throughout the night. Happy. Progressing developmentally. And then the doctor decided not only would she put the scope down his nose into his throat and literally bang around to see if she could get a reaction out of him (Uh.... hello???? I guess the 'screaming' and turning blue isn't reaction enough) but it was apparently a good idea to then take out his trach and put the scope directly in his stoma. Let's remember that the trach is the only reason he can breathe. And he's a baby. So leaving that out for any period of time is not a good idea. Especially if you are replacing the hole with a SOLID OBJECT. Welcome back, dark dark blue dusky Rambo. I'd hope to never see you again. And it's not like the doctor did it quickly either. He probably couldn't breathe for a solid 30 seconds. I know these people are 'professionals' and I am not, but are you kidding me?? That was a poor idea and I can guarantee you it will NEVER happen again. I honestly think they forget they are dealing with humans. And there is a time and place for that - that mind set saved his life on several occasions. However - this was not the time or the place.


It was like my dream of having Rambo happy and well was placed right before me. I was living it. And then I get curbed in the back of the head and my dreams are dashed before me just like my teeth on the sidewalk.


I know that sounds dramatic. *In a whiny voice* but that's how it felt... :(


And, of course, our nurse would pick this same week to show up an hour late 2 nights in a row and then not at all the next night.


Also, I ruined hard boiled eggs. Who ruins hard boiled eggs????  I wasted an entire half dozen eggs because of this. I was defeated.


Each day holds a dozen little things that make me want to give up. This has not been my week extended weekend.


And that, my friends, is why I can't yet express my thanks to you for reading and commenting.   I will get there. I promise. Maybe after my 10th cup of coffee. Maybe tomorrow. 


Usually this is where I would say that I will persevere. I'll suck it up and make it through another day. But for today, I'm going to get another cup of coffee, delay homeschool, and let my kids fend for themselves for a while. With the exception of Rambo. Something tells me that wouldn't go too well.






Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giveaway winner

I was just informed by my son that I MIGHT be the best mom in the world. There's apparently some steep competition. So to all you moms out there just know that I'm not going down without a fight.


I also uploaded a new video of Rambo which you can watch here. I know I'm biased, but really, he.is.cute. I love how he rubs his head to soothe himself :)


But now it's time to get down to business. It was close but at the eleventh hour you all pulled through and got to at least 25 comments. Good job! I can't say all of you followed the rule about the phrases, but I'll let that one slide. Majority wins on this one. :) 


And the random winner of the delicious Amish treats is: Dorothy! (Ben, no one cheated.) So message me on facebook or email me: tooguccicute@gmail.com so I can get your info :)


I want to give a big thank you to everyone who commented but right this second my life is chaotic and making me feel extremely flustered. So I'm going to wait until I can get my thoughts straight. 


Dorothy, you will soon be able to reap the bounty of your win. 


Everyone, enjoy your day. Or try to. I hope it's going better than mine. 



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Last chance for romance.

Well, maybe not romance... but the last call for comments! I'm extending it by a few days so we can hopefully meet the minimum! If you haven't commented yet, now's your chance. Click here to comment and a chance to win. Keep them coming! I'll do the drawing on Wednesday. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembering/100th post


Looking back is hard. To remember is almost too much.


Too much pain.
Too many times death came too close.







Too much recognition in his eyes.

Too much time away from family.

Too much lonliness.
Too many memories



Too much pain.

Too small.

Too many things that didn't have to be.

Too many scars.


It hurts to even look at pictures. You won't see all of them. Ever.


 It's too hard.

BUT

There were also special moments.







Never too many smiles.
Never too much love.

And a very special Christmas.


I know.

I know he is fearfully and wonderfully made.

I know he is loved.
I know he is created to do great things.

I know I am not the same.

What His(God's) methods will be with you I cannot fortell. But you may be sure that He never works in an arbitrary way. He has a reason for everything He does. You may not understand why He leads you now in this way and now in that, but you may, nay, you must believe that perfection is stamped on His every act. *

I KNOW he is perfect.


I still believe.
I still love 
BECAUSE Jesus first loved me.

Thank you all for sharing in these last 100 posts, in the last 11 months of our lives. 
I look forward to many more.

*from Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth E. Prentiss
========================================================================

Now onto the not so hard, sad, happy, hard to process stuff. It's my 100th post!! Holler! So get your fingers on your keyboard and start typing! Here are the rules again.

1) At least 25 people have to comment. Come on! You can do it!
2) You have to use one of the following phrases in a sentence: short stack, genetically questionable, or tubage tubage everywhere.
3) Leave your name, email, and website (if you have one)

You can comment more than once for multiple entries but each one has to have one of the phrases in it. And remember you have 2 days to comment. Sunday at 2pm is when this ends. Then the winner will be chosen using www.random.org. The prize will be a few goodies from our local Amish market. Who wouldn't like a few homeade jams or fudge or trailmix?? So show Rambo some support and good grief, just comment so that SOMEONE can win! Thanks everyone! I look forward to your comments!!

Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day!!

picture courtesy of www.deviantart.com

Thank you to all who serve and have served for our country, for my freedom!  



picture courtesy of www.insiderpassport.com
To every soldier in every war and battle - Thank you.

pictures courtesy of youthedesigner.com, onlinecnnnews.com, and vfw.org respectively
To the willing, the brave, our heroes...
pictures courtesy of photos.mlive.com and photos 8.com

To those who sacrificed... to the fallen.

Today we honor you.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
99th post!! Be looking for the 100th later today!!
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jewel of the Nile

....er....something like that. 


Theodore had his 9 month visit today. Only about 2 months too late. He came in at 26" long and 18 pounds 3 ounces. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, he is short. Like way short. Like short enough that we now have another specialist added to our already semi-long list of specialists. Endocrinology is now something we will be becoming familiar with. We'll see how that goes. Although, honestly, I'm not expecting much other than what we normally get: "Well, I just don't know what's going on." but I'm hoping for more. 


The next specialist involves adult content. Parental discretion is advised. 


So.... hmmmm.... how do I say this? Theodore is hiding his jewels. Well, one of them anyway. In fact, he's hiding it so well his doctor actually said "I really can't find it." So it appears a treasure hunt is in the near future for Rambo. Urology: check. That leaves us with podiatry and..... well, that's all I can think of off hand (although I'm sure there are more.... right??), as specialists we haven't seen. 




Post 98! We're getting close. Are you excited? You are - I can feel it.
*If you don't know what the excitement is about you can read about it here. *


Ah! An allergist... Rambo hasn't seen an allergist yet either.... 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I never do this.

Indulge myself, that is. **Looking from side to side questioningly to see if anyone actually paid attention to that or if I got away with it.**


But tonight I am going to. I am going to *gasp* post a recipe. Because I want to. There will sadly be no pictures involved because my family and I scarfed it all down (with the exception of Emma who we basically had to force feed) before I even thought to get one.


My inspiration for this meal came from my dear friend Ashley who wrote a post titled Embrace the Fishsticks (funny and witty she is says I). So tonight as I was looking for another dinner to be made by 4:30pm because Ben is on night shift, I  remembered her post. "Ah ha!" I thought. Of course, then I realized that I had neither mac and cheese nor fish sticks. BUT I did have applesauce (glory be!) and some salmon fillets. And really, who can have fish sticks without applesauce?? 


I know that you have all been on the edge of your seats so without further ado: My Salmon Sticks Recipe. 
Salmon. Duh.
Corn meal.
Shredded mozzarella cheese (small amount).
Garlic powder.
Salt.
Season All. (It's a seasoning in case you didn't get that by the name.)
Zesty Ranch Dressing.

Cut your salmon into sticks or cubes or whatever you prefer - I prefer sticks because I think Salmon Cubes sounds a little sketchy. 
Coat them in the Zesty Ranch Dressing. 
Mix the rest of the ingredients together - I don't have any specific amounts, just to taste - and then coat the sticks in the cornmeal mix. 
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

You. Are. Welcome.   

***********************************************************************************************************************************************
Post #97. Almost to 100. And I almost know what the prize will be. Once I post #100 you will have 2 days (that's 48 whole hours!) to comment. The winner will be randomly picked at that time. So be ready! And don't forget the rules. It will all be reposted on that very magical 100th post.
***********************************************************************************************************************************************

Monday, November 7, 2011

Neither here nor there.


"Gimme a kiss. Gimme a kiss."
Those words proceeded out of my mouth this morning directed towards Rambo. No big deal, right? Well, that would be true if I wasn't actually expecting him to understand and respond by giving me a kiss. It's like I had a momentary lapse of sense. I'm sitting there face to face asking him to give me kisses and waiting for him to pucker up, lean forward and plant one on me. I might as well have asked him to go feed the cats. It actually makes me laugh. Not in a pitiful or sad way but in a truly funny what-was-I-thinking way. Do I expect him to understand one day? Absolutely. And at the moment he is making amazing strides. But for one brief moment I really saw him as a 'normal' baby. And then was smacked in the face by the reality of his goofy sublime wonderful grin and the look of mommy-i-have-no-idea-what-you're-saying-but-you-make-me-laugh on his face. I love that little boy.


I realized again today how literally kids take things. 
We are sitting at the table doing homeschool and I was working with Emma on spelling 'Mom'. She said the letters, traced them and then wrote it on her own. I then turned the paper over and told her to see if she could write the word without looking at it. To which she closed her eyes and tried to write it. Of course she's going to do that, Amanda. What else could I expect? This really made me laugh. 


You  know you have a lot of kids when....
The Jehova's Witness' that come to your door say "We know you have a daycare but..."


I never cease to amaze myself.
I have more than half of my Christmas shopping done. In fact I probably have three quarters of it done. That's right, people. Read it and weep. Of course, there are about 6 birthdays between now and then we have get to celebrate. So I'm really not THAT ahead in the gift buying department.


Count down.
This is post #96. Four more to get yourself in order for a chance to win a prize... of some sort... that I haven't thought of yet.... You can read about that and the rules here


Have a nice day now, ya hear?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Last one today.

I know I've done several posts today but this is the last one. I promise.


I was just noticing that this is post #95 for me. Yay!! So I have an idea.


On the 100th post I am going to have a giveaway. Holler!! So you all need to give Rambo your support and tell him how much you love him (and me by proxy, of course). And one of you will get something special. I'm still trying to decide between a Shoney's gift card or a piece of American cheese I will send you in the mail. 


It will be better than that, of course!! And I'll be sure to let you know on my 100th post what it is. 


Here are the rules:


1) At least 25 people have to comment. Come on! You can do it!
2) You have to use one of the following phrases in a sentence: short stack, genetically questionable, or tubage tubage everywhere.
3) Leave your name, email, and website (if you have one)


So get those minds thinking and be looking for my 100th post!



Product of my environment.

Milk and butter and eggs and cheese
Straight from the farm to you.
If you don't own a cow call Cloverland now.
North-nine-two-two-two-two.

I hope that sounds familiar to someone else. I couldn't have had the only dad in the entire universe who would sing that song anytime any of the above foods were mentioned. This is what I am referring to when I say that I am a product of my environment. Usually these little diddies were made up and could be about anything: pancakes, shoes, going to bed, having a headache.... The point is there was always a song being sung about something in my house. And it was usually coming from my dad.

Not so anymore. Now they're coming from me. And Ben too if we're being honest. I don't know if Ben's parents went around making up songs when he was young. (I do, however, know that they listened to some bad interesting music. 'Acapella', anyone??? :)) The point is that this habit of singing little diddies is strong and contagious. Therefore it's possible that in the short 8 years we've been married (seems like just yesterday, honey) Ben could have gotten this solely from me. Aaaack. Because now our house is filled with the merriment of songs about pancakes and shoes and headaches and such. Always made up. Always different. Always loud. Always embarrassing if your neighbor walks in. Which did happen, by the way. Only once to my knowledge. 

So when I'm making up a tune to the words "Out with the old and in with the new" every time I change Rambo's trach ties, or when we are all running around the house singing "I love you! I love you! I looovvvveee yoooouu!" from Elf, or when we become a chorus of different tunes while getting our coats on I can thank my dad. You can thank him too, if you're my neighbor. And maybe one day my kids will have their own kids and do the same thing.

One can always hope. 


   
Things I Don't Understand: Episode 3


1) "Poking" on Facebook
2)  What the point of mosquitos is....
3) Cats
4) Chain emails
5) HTML stuff- although, I'm trying.....


So grab a button and tell me the things that you don't understand! 

Photobucket


*Here's hoping this works because I've never actually done the whole button thing before. And, referencing #5 above, this is really way over my head.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Still here.





Today marks one week home. At 4:30pm it will be exactly one week since discharge. And we're still home..... for the moment. That is breaking the record already since our last trip. If we can make it through the day that will really be something. 
Rambo seems to be enjoying his life at home. In fact, he has really taken off. The desire to move and develop has suddenly hit him full force and he can not keep himself still.  


Just a normal day in the life of Rambo:


video


video


video





When he is up on my leg he constantly rocks himself like that. Is crawling in our near future?? I hope so.... kind of. The tangling of the tubes is not going to be my favorite but whatever. 


Isn't he the most adorable little thing? Of course, his big head does make him resemble Giada De Laurentiis a little. I'm not hating, I'm just saying they both have heads that could, by some, be considered a little large for the rest of their body. In any case... he's a cutie. And at least he still has the chance of growing into his head. 


I added another video to the "Watching Little Man Grow" tab so you can check that out... you know... if you want to....



Dreaming Big

Today is an exciting day :) 


I got the chance to share a little about my life, my faith, my dreams and how I make it through the day over at Heather's blog


She is an amazing lady who loves God and inspires many. Check it out! And be sure to check back in with her for her Real Life Dreamers Series. 


Thanks, Heather!



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thank you

A quick thank you to everyone who voted on the new look of this blog. Considering all except one (that 'one' being a provoking Ben) like it this way I will keep it :) In all honesty, I was going to keep it anyway, but I'm glad that most of you approve.







Balked at every turn.

It has been one of those mornings. You know, the kind where you wake up in a delightful mood and then everything in the world does it's best to bring you down. Nothing big, but subtle little 'screw you' moments. 


Like wanting to download pictures on the computer but realizing the camera is out in the van. No big deal, right? Except you run out to the van in slipper socks only to find it locked. Back inside for the keys than outside again to grab the camera - now your socks are soaked through from the dew.


Like getting Rambo's bottle full and then spilling it - ALL of it out on the counter. Now I have to refill the bottle and clean up the mess.


Like getting his food out to the food pump and finding that I don't have a bag there so I have to go get one.


Like those darn fruit flies everywhere!!!! Still!!!!


Like my children needing me to repeat myself a dozen times before, according to them, they hear me. 


Like going to sweep the kitchen floor because I found stuffing from last nights dinner swept into a corner that I didn't know about it, only to find the broom handle sticky all the way down. Don't know why. Don't want to know why. 


Yeah.... you know what I mean.


Nevertheless, like Miley Cyrus I am determined to keep my head held high. I have had a wonderful few days for my birthday. Including getting to sleep in, Ben making his pancake heaven pancakes for breakfast and a Valentine's Day card from him. I like to think he's just really really ahead for February. On Valentine's Day I'll probably get a Mother's Day card. He's special like that :) I also had a few drop ins from friends who helped make my day special. But I think my favorite present was a handful of unsharpened pencils wrapped in a paper towel - Thanks, Rob. 


There were a few other highlights like taking the kids trick or treating (which you can read about and see pictures of here.) and the sky was beautiful all day as well. But the best (well, one of the best - sleeping in really was pretty nice) was Rambo rolling over. He's done it once before all by himself - the video of that is here. But he suddenly started rolling over and rolling back and rolling over again. He hasn't stopped since. Makes my heart happy :) The only trouble is now his tubes and cords REALLY get tangled. Comes with the territory. Also, not on my birthday, but Rambo belly laughed! I wasn't sure what was going on at first because he doesn't make any noise. I was concerned he was having breathing troubles but once I assessed the situation I realized he was laughing. It was one of the most adorable things I've ever seen. Truly a bittersweet moment. I can't wait until I can hear him laughing, not just see him.


Anyway, back to the grind today where coffee and pajamas are my best friend. 


Have a wonderful day. And if you want some espresso or coffee come this way :)