Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ice Skating

Kathy's birthday was the 27th and she decided she wanted her 'party' at the outdoor ice skating rink in Market Square. The whole family, plus Kathy's friend Carmen and her 3 kids, met downtown all bundled up and ready to go. Phillip and Edy even donned skates to take a few laps around the rink. Mom made it; Daddy didn't. He didn't crash but he didn't move, either. He knew ice skating wasn't his cup of tea and made a swift exit off the ice. Mom was determined and managed to shuffle around the rink holding tight to the rail. One lap and lots of time later, Mom finally made it to the exit and she too turned in her skates. The kids took off like they knew what they were doing and after a lap I had the hang of it too. Well, until someone cut in front of me and I wiped out. The nice worker man helped me get back on my feet. I skated for awhile longer then turned in my skates. My nose was running, my ears were hurting, and my feet were killing me. Carol and I decided to check out the shops. I had never walked around Market Square and there are lots of super cute places to shop. I am definitely going to keep it in mind. We all went back to Mom and Dad's afterwards to eat. Ice skating isn't something I would do all the time, but it was a good time and a good experience.

The kids and I are headed to Winchester for the New Year. Steven has to work so we are going to ring in the New Year with Aunt Heather and her family. The kids go back to school Wednesday.

I am feeling much better. Still the normal aches, pains and fatigue but the ears and throat are much better. I ended up having an allergic reaction to the antibiotics so I've been having to take extra medicine to combat the effects of that. Today was my last dose so I won't have to worry with that any more. Hopefully, I won't end up with thrush.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year....


Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Digital Christmas

Santa and the grandparents brought Isaiah and Arissa digital cameras this year. Actually, all 5 grand kids ended up with one. I have seen more flashes and rushed to look at the screen of more cameras than I can recall. Memory cards have been bought, traded, etc and now everyone is set to capture every moment for posterity. Unfortunately, when you give a child a camera you get pics of subject matter only valuable to the child taking the photo.
Exhibit 1:

There are 4 other pictures of the same variety. Different Webkin and outfit, though.
If the subject matter isn't an object than it is of a person who really doesn't want their picture taken but has to give in to the pleas of the child.
Exhibit 2:
Yeah, I'm sick and totally faking the smile.

Here are a few pictures taken after church on Christmas Eve. If I look completely put out and grouchy and unhappy and in pain it is because I was all of the above. I have strep and didn't get medicine until yesterday so I was feeling pretty bad. The mono causes enough problems but adding a sore throat and ears to the mix and I am a force to be reckoned with.

The Peas

Three Stratman girls all in a row

All the girls (If looks could kill, Arissa and I would be guilty
of murder).
Christmas morning dawned with Steven coming home from work then us opening presents. Sometime after everything was opened and the kids started playing, I fell asleep. I woke up in time to get ready and go to Mom and Dads to eat. Steven had fallen asleep also but I couldn't wake him up so he ended up sleeping through Christmas. He finally woke up about 5:30 and we went out to his Aunt Linda's to see his family. We stayed about an hour then came on home. Steven had to work Christmas night also so we played awhile then he left for work. I slept until well after noon yesterday and then headed to the doctors. Isaiah and Arissa had a few errands the just had to run and by the time we got everything done I was almost in tears. I was so tired and miserable! I fell asleep about 11:30 last night and woke up about 11 this morning. I took a nap from 330-630. I am starting to feel alittle better. My goal for tomorrow is to buy groceries. Someone is going to the store tomorrow, even if its Steven.

Monday, December 24, 2007

T-Bone, the Jack Russell Reindeer

I have been wanting to dress T-Bone for a while now so when Arissa found antlers for $1 I thought what the heck. T-Bone was not impressed....

Trying to get the antlers off

Got him a chew toy
The carnage....good thing they were only $1.....

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I woke up with a killer headache, took some medicine and went back to bed. Sometime later I woke up and my head was worse. I took some different medicine and got my ice packs. I went back to sleep and dreamt that I called Kathy to take me to the ER and they admitted me. I had to stay over the holidays and we had Christmas in my hospital room. Thankfully, I woke up and my head wasn't hurting anymore. I think that was more of a nightmare than a dream....

Saturday, December 22, 2007


A whole day wasted....not one stitch of clothing washed, not one dish washed, not one item brought home from the grocery store, still wearing yesterday jammies that were put on Thursday night. Such is the life I lead. As if the jaw pain and mono drag weren't enough, I am now blessed with a sore throat, popping ears and a sore head. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas......

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wawawa Anne is Whining (what else is new?)

As some of you may know, I have been battling some issues involving constant fatigue, pain, and increased frequency and severity of my headaches. I saw my doc a week(ish) ago and he ran a bunch of blood work to try to determine the problem. His office called today with the results. The good news is that almost everything he ran came back normal so I'm not dealing with any new issues. The bad news is the mono has re surged. That makes 3 times since March. It explains why am still unable to work full time, become exhausted after just a few hours of activity, and ache most of the time. My thyroid was barely elevated but he wasn't too concerned and wants to re-check it in 3 months. My immune system isn't worth shit these days so all I can do is rest as much as possible and stay as far away from illness as possible. With that in mind, I will be avoiding anyone that is illin' and am going to start packing Purell. Yes, it is beginning to look like a wonderful holiday season at the Stratman/Freeman homes.

In other news, my TMJ pain has become worse and is constant. I am taking 800mg of Lodine 3 times a day without any relief (if I have a kidney left after all of this it will be a miracle). Heather so lovingly pointed out that my face is swollen...I was hoping it was my imagination. Now my cheeks match my belly..puffy! I am praying that someone cancels so I can get into the oral surgeon faster!

Lord give everyone strength to deal with me--

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Steven doesn't have a game for the next few weeks because of the holidays so I thought I would go ahead with a catch up post.
Friday the kids enjoyed free days at school and then they were out until Jan 2nd. Saturday we went to a Christmas party and had a really good time. My ex-boss invited us to come to his company Christmas party and Steven, never one to pass up free food and booze, took him up on his offer. I had woken up Saturday at 5am with a migraine and had to send Steven to Walgreens that morning to get my refill of my meds so I spent the whole day in bed and managed to get up and get ready in time to go to the party. I am glad I went, though.

Firas asks Arissa to help give out the employee bonuses.
As usual, Arissa gets the first dance. As usual, Steven has
to steal kisses.
"He's always trying to steal my kisses!"

Our only spin around the dance floor.
Sunday we went to Kathy's house to celebrate Josh (14) and Kamry (10) birthdays. There were a few small kitchen fires and lots of smoke but the food and company was good. We came home and cleaned this nasty house. The last several cleanings were done by the kids and although they do a really good for being 8 an 11, its just not the same as when I do it. It took me about 2
1/2 solid hours but now the whole house is fresh and clean and ready for Santa.
Speaking of Santa, I had some shopping to do to prepare for his visit so yesterday after PT I headed to Knoxville. I was able to finish everything without too much difficulty. My kids have gone to the Bakers for a few days so last night I even managed to get everything wrapped. The hard part is done, just need to pick up a few gift cards that can be done here in Oak Ridge.
Not sure if the activities of the past 2 days played a part or what but man was I in pain last night. I was certain I was going to die my head hurt so bad. The kids weren't here and Steven was gone to work. I seriously considering either calling 911 or Kathy to take me to the ER where they have the really good drugs. I did neither and finally fell asleep. I woke up at 5am and my head wasn't hurting anymore, just the rest of me still was and especially my jaw. I'm still in my jammies and just taking it easy today. I am having real pain issues with this TMJ thing. My PT called my oral surgeon to plead my case and hopefully get me in faster but the doctor is out of town and that is why I have to wait so long to see him. I just pray that once I do get in to see him he is able to help me.
Thanks for checking in--

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Another Game

Some shots from Steven's game tonight. They won again and he scored 16 points (I think that's right...I don't have my stat sheet handy).
Steven and Johnnie action shot

More action

Arissa's picture of Jayden

Isaiah's pic of Jayden
We all went to dinner after the game and were quite entertained with Jayden. He is so cute and he really likes Isaiah. He picked Isaiah to sit next to him.
I was home again today. I did manage to work from home which is more than I accomplished the past two days. I have PT in the morning then I plan on going to the office for the day. Steven is on vacation until Sunday and the kids start Christmas break tomorrow when school lets out. Arissa is having a pajama day and Isaiah is watching movies.
Until next time--

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Another Day

time spent at work.......1.25 hrs
time spent on the couch.......7.5 hrs

I feel worse since starting PT. I am pretty miserable. My neck and my jaw are killing me. I came home from work and took 4 Advil but that didn't help the pain. I took a Percocet and a quick nap. I had to pick Arissa up from school today so I managed to drag myself off the couch to get her. My pain was low enough that I felt like I could manage the grocery store so Arissa and I headed there. We got our shopping done and made it home for Isaiah to unload the car. By the time we got home my jaw was tightening back up. I started dinner and laid down for a bit then finished dinner. I made myself a plate and sat down to eat. It takes me forever to eat now and it is kinda messy. I told Steven not to plan on us eating in public anytime soon. He didn't argue so I guess I look as awkward as I feel. I thought eating would help me feel better but it didn't. After eating my jaw was killing me so I took another pill. Then the migraine started. After 2 Maxalts, another Percocet and 2 Phenegran I just about have it taken care of. Isaiah got my blue oil and rubbed my temples so I am laying here now just trying to take deep breathes and letting the oil relax me. I did pick up a 'doctors night guard' at Kroger today. I figure something is better than nothing as far as the grinding goes. I did get an appointment with an oral surgeon but they can't get me seen until Jan 7th. I asked them to call me if they have any cancellations so there is a chance that I can be seen sooner. I made some phone calls today about pain management but the people I talked to don't deal with TMJ. I have added that to my list of things to talk to my doc about. I know there are pain management therapies out there that don't involve narcotics.

Well, Isaiah just dropped his DVD player down the stairs so I need to go.....


Monday, December 10, 2007


I had my appointment with my dentist about my TMJ. He wasn't able to offer much help except a night guard to help with the grinding and continued PT. The 'custom' night guard isn't an option (not covered by insurance and way more than this budget can afford).

I had PT this afternoon. My PT wasn't happy with what the dentist had to say and said that my TMJ is way too bad to be ignored. He fears that either the joint with rupture or dislocate; neither of which we want to happen. I have an oral surgeon to call in the morning for a second opinion. My PT on my neck went well. I was rotated out again (which I knew and could feel) but it was a little higher this time. He got it rotated back in and then did traction/heat/stim for the rest of my visit. He showed me some stretches and exercises for my neck and my jaw. I am on soft foods only until we get something figured out about my jaw. I am laying on ice now since my neck is pretty sore from the PT earlier today. We seem to be in the middle of a December heat wave so the hot tub isn't an option. I plan on working tomorrow......


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Pankey Explained

Apparently it is some specially trained dentist. My issues with the Pankey people is the name. Pankey sounds lewd. Like you get your teeth cleaned and a 'panking. I suppose I am the only one who has seen these commercials. I can't recall what channel I've seen it on but I've seen it a million times. Maybe this is just further proof that I am watching way too much television.....


Thursday, December 6, 2007

I called my Pankey Dentist....Did you?

Okay, so he's not a Pankey dentist but he is a dentist. I had my first meeting with PT to get some relief from my pain. First off, my C3 and C4 vertebrae were rotated out which explained my neck pain. I was also informed that I have the worst case of TMJ he's seen (hence the call to the dentist). I go Monday to the dentist to address the TMJ issues and will be going to PT 3 times a week.

Steven had his second basketball game tonight. They won and he scored 15 points. He also got his first technical of the season.

Steven and Johnnie watching the action at the other end of the
Arissa, Jayden and Isaiah coming back from seeing their
Daddy's at half-time.

Isaiah and Jayden watching the game from the front row.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pankey Dentist

The Pankey Dentist commercial......what is that all about and did they not have some kind of focus group to tell them that the name was stoopid? It sounds like an x-rated dentist office to me.

Steven and I enjoyed a couples massage today. It was a Christmas gift from last year that we never got around to using until 9 days before it expired. We were supposed to have pedicures also but I traded mine in for an eye revitalizing treatment since I just had a pedi last week. Steven really like his massage and pedi. We had a fun time together. It's safe to say that Aveda will never be the same.

I had a visit with my doc yesterday. He agreed that my issues aren't normal, that I'm not crazy, and committed to figuring out what is wrong with me. To start they took several vials of blood, we increased one of my meds, gave me pain meds for rescue to keep me out of the ER and I start physical therapy tomorrow for my TMJ and neck pain.

Thankfully, due to the wonders of technology, most of my Christmas shopping is finished. I got it all done last Saturday and never left the bed. Getting it all done by going from store to store would have been pretty much impossible this year since I can't stay up and out for very long.
The UPS man and I are getting to be quite familiar with each other!

Prayers for my cousin and my great aunt who are both close to the end of their Earthly life...and my Grandma who will have a very difficult time with their passing.

Now go call your Pankey Dentist......

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Even better......

Parking lot Wi-Fi! Heck yeah--pull up in front of Panera and you can sit in your warm car and internet for free. Man, I love technology more and more with each passing day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I can't think of a title.....

It has just occurred to me as I am sitting on my couch, in my jammies that I haven't gotten out of all day and researching plastic surgery that it would be way more beneficial to get off my butt and go to the gym. That would mean that I was at the gym now and therefore not writing this enlightening blog entry. See, I am far from happy with my current state yet apparently not enough to do anything about it outside of purchasing Spanx to wear 24/7. I'll get a mani and pedi tomorrow. Maybe that will help.

I have strep. Yeah, I know, shock and surprise that Anne is sick. I have been illin' since Thursday and went to the doc yesterday. I had developed quite the relationship with the Chloraseptic spray and decided that I should probably see a physician about it. I have antibiotics (or steroids as Steven calls them). He has become so versed in medications he asked if I got something for yeast. What a man. For the proverbial icing on the cake, I woke up at 645 with a migraine and an Isaiah that was still in the bed. I got the pleasure of taking not 1 but 2 kids to school this morning and having to put gas in the truck to ensure that kid #2 actually made it. Nothing says aggravation like fueling in the freezing cold, in your jammies and flip flops. Thankfully, Arissa was too into the Christmas music to notice that she should have been embarrassed at the site of her mother.

Heather was here this past weekend. We ate at Big Ed's and pimped out my Christmas tree and did a table scape:


Yup, I am in love with my decor. I am thinking the tree might have to stay up all year!

Don't forget the service for World AIDS Day.
Please take a few moments on Dec 1 to pray for those living with HIV/AIDS, even if you don't think it affects you or anyone you know.

Happy Decorating,

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks for Giving

thanks for giving me a new day
thanks for giving me shoulders to lean on
thanks for giving me healthy children
thanks for giving me a man that is a rock
thanks for giving me tears to cry
thanks for giving me courage
thanks for giving me strength
thanks for giving me weakness
thanks for giving me grace
thanks for giving me another year

thanks for giving me____________________(your turn to fill in the blank)

Be thankful for all you have and all you don't have. There is a reason and a purpose for both. It is not yours to understand but His to reveal.


Monday, November 19, 2007

The one where I loose it....

Warning: Don't read if you are looking for an upbeat, humor filled post. It ain't happening.

I feel like crap and I am so tired of it. I have been in a pretty good funk for several days. Nothing makes me happy. Everyone and everything annoys me. I hurt. I am tired. I am exhausted. I have been snippy. It's amazing that my family is still around and not seeking refuge at Granny's or a local hotel. Can't say that I would blame them. Although it would just make me mad and give me something else to be annoyed about. I was more than a little short with Steven tonight and he disappeared into the bedroom. I stayed downstairs then decided I should try to be nice. I came up and he was asleep. He heard me come in and woke up. He threw back his covers and told me to come on. He read my mind; he knew I needed a hug. I crawled into his arms and I lost it. I laid there and cried and cried. He held me and let me. He didn't say anything; there isn't anything to say anymore. I know what he is thinking and how he feels. And I realized something. I am SO DAMN MAD and I have a right to be. I try to be strong and take it all in stride but lately it would seem that I can't catch a break. All I want is one freakin break every now and then. This whole thing wears me down so far that when I look up I can't see the top. I know all the good stuff--that I have a kick-ass husband, equally awesome parents, sisters, friends. I know that in the grand scheme of things how lucky I really am. But tonight, I don't feel so lucky. I feel cheated. And it's not fair.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's a TRAVESTY I say!

Can you believe that Starbucks, home of the $5 latte, charges you for Internet access? That while you are at Starbucks you can get a signal from Arby's that would appear to be free but doesn't stay connected for more that 5 seconds? That you get a strong signal from McDonald's but they want to charge you too? They sell gallizions of $1 icky burgers a day and they want to charge you for Internet access?? Did none of the aforementioned establishments read the part of my blog last week that clearly stated "and free Wi-Fi to all"? I think it goes without saying where I will be spending my Wednesday nights..

On a serious note, our house has had a rough week. Steven can't seem to get enough sleep. I woke up with a migraine yesterday and stayed in bed the whole day. Isaiah is dealing with grief issues as a child he attends school with was killed in a tragic bus accident. Isaiah seemed to be dealing with everything fairly well until he went to school Monday. Apparently, seeing his teachers and classmates in tears was more than he could take. The situation is made worse by the fact that his best friend was the child's boyfriend and his best 'girl' friend was very close to her also. So, not only is he having to deal with the death of a child only a year older than him but he is also having to deal with his 2 best buds being so sad. Tomorrow is the funeral and I will be taking Isaiah. He has never gone to a funeral before but felt like he should to support his friends. Arissa has had a really bad hair week. It has been raining and her hair is like chia hair in this weather. She did wrap up her speech therapy on Monday. She picked out some nice gifts for Ms Linda and wrote her a nice card thanking her for her help and that she is glad people can understand what she is saying.

Thank God tomorrow is Thursday, then comes Friday then its SATURDAY! Besides the cheer banquet I am so in the bed or hot tub all weekend.

J&K+8 was great fun....roll over to Carol's blog for a summary.

Peace, Love and FREE Wi-Fi to all-

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wi-Fi What?

Um, yeah I have no idea what Wi-Fi is, how it works or what those letters even mean. I do know that I love me some free Wi-Fi at Panera. Where else can you enjoy a tasty bowl of warm soup on a cold night and surf the 'net with total strangers milling around? What a concept! This sure beats my old routine of killing-time-on-Wednesday-night-while-the-kids-are-at-church which always involved spending money. By spending money I mean spending way more than the $5.31 I just paid for my soup and soda. I feel way important sitting with all the cool laptop peeps. I just hope no one is reading over my shoulder and I have to seek exile from Panera jokes.

I still feel like death on a cracker, for those of you that were wondering. I worked Monday for a whopping 3 1/2 hours. I slept ALLDAY yesterday and I mean ALL day. I worked from 9-12 in the office today then from 1-6 at home. Tomorrow is a refresh day. Heather is on her way as I speak for a visit. I am hoping her visit will help my disposition. I managed a shower yesterday. First one since Friday. Gross, I know. Guess what? I really didn't care. Steven told me I should get in the shower. I asked why? I just showered Friday. He laughed hysterically at me. He is used to it by now...he married a babe that showered, shampooed, shaved, applied make up, all that make you pretty stuff. He has ended up with a flannel jammy wearing greasy gross hairy person. That makes me think...could that be the reason he went to midnights?? FYI-the midnight shift is kicking Steven's butt and taking names. He is one sleepy dude. He hates the hours. He told me after his first shift that he was ready to go back to days.....that doesn't sound too promising does it?

I am SO EXCITED to be going to see Jon&Kate Plus 8! I loves me some JK+8 and to think they are going to be here in little old Knoxville! Kathy has already got us seats to see them Saturday night at a local church. Mom and Carol are coming too....wonder if Phillip will be a joiner? I think it is the lure of seeing real life TV stars that has me over the moon. In case you are living under a rock these days and haven't been enlightened to JK+8 you can click here: Now, if we could get the Duggar 19 to come to town I would be satisfied.

I suppose I should go get Isaiah. He probably wouldn't appreciate standing out in the cold while his Mom is still at Panera using a feature that she doesn't even understand....

Peace, Love and free Wi-Fi to all-

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Halloween and Stuff

We had a great Halloween. Arissa was Queen Elizabeth and Isaiah was a motor cross racer. We had our usual crew (us and Kathy's kids) plus some new friends. We had 10 kids total. Kathy and the other moms took the kids from door to door while Momma, Daddy, Steven and I stayed behind to mind the bonfire and pass out candy. I think the group was gone about 45 minutes to an hour and then the fun really began--weenie roast and Smores! The kids had a great time and everyone had a full belly and a marshmallow face.

Queen Arissa

Motor Man Isaiah

I worked only Monday, Tuesday and Friday this week. Most of the time just getting ready to go somewhere is absolutely exhausting. The more I let myself get worn down the worse I feel. That is when I actually hurt and nothing makes me feel better but sleep. I am trying to maintain some amount of normalcy and still take care of myself; a difficult balance!
Steven begins his midnight shifts tomorrow night. He has been trying to get his clock headed in that direction all week. The true test will come this week. I think it will all catch up with him mid-week. I pray that he easily adjusts to this new schedule.
As you can tell, we had a pretty boring week. Around here, we like boring!

Monday, October 29, 2007

not Odd, it's God

I've been in denial. I refused to think it was so. No longer can I deny it. My mono is back.

I've had the notion about a week now. It was confirmed at a doctors appointment today. It would seem that it is not meant for me to work full-time. I was told to go home for at least a week but that isn't really feasible (mentally or financially). So I am making up my own schedule day by day. As I said before, working for friends affords me that luxury and it is clear now why I decided to work there.

Steven was approached by his senior supervisor today about a job change. When we talked about it this morning we decided not to take the position as the hours wouldn't be beneficial to our family for the financial difference it would make. Then I went to the doctor and more details about the job were made clear and we've decided to take the position. He begins his new position and hours this Sunday at midnight.

Steven and I both thought the way everything was lining up for us wasn't odd, but God and so while we are bummed, we are at peace. I guess that is all we can ask for.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I owe, I owe.........

So off to work I went. Sucks but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. I am very lucky to be working for my bestest friends, Todd and Sara. I have major flexibility so if I'm sick then the Earth doesn't quit spinning and life will go on. Case in point...Monday. I was supposed to be there at 9am. At 8am Steven called Todd from the ER to let him know that I wouldn't be making an appearance. I was hooked up to IV's and sick as a dog. Tuesday I was a bit better; Wednesday more of the same. I finally made it to work Thursday and Friday. To be honest, it feels pretty good to be a productive member of society again. I am sleepy beyond words. It is going to take some time to get used to getting up before Ellen comes on!

The kids were on Fall Break this week. They did nothing but pimp their profiles on MySpace and bug the crap out of me about their pages. Thankfully, they go back to school on Monday.
Isaiah got his report card and it was GREAT! Mostly A's and B's with a C sprinkled in for good measure. I am proud of him....I didn't even have to beat him to get those grades (kidding). School continues to go really well for him. Arissa is plugging right along, crying all over her papers. She is a bit dramatic and anal about her work and when things don't turn out the way she thinks they should she throws a fit. I have no idea who she gets that from.....

Well I need to scoot. Halloween is Wednesday and my kids are going to have to go as Isaiah and Arissa if I don't take them shopping for costumes.

Big Papi's Fan,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The week in review

In case you were wondering, my voiding systems are a-okay. Without going into too much detail, I'll just say that while things aren't normal they are headed in that direction. I would now like to end all talk of me and my bowels as I attempt to regain some amount of modesty.

The week started off with my post op visit to Dr. Vick. Gee, it seems like I just saw him last week! I will probably go down in GYN history for number of times to see your doc in a 6 week period. He was thrilled to see me looking and feeling much better. His office staff was also excited for me. Apparently I was the talk of the office b/c everyone knew of my issues. Everything checked out a-ok surgically. I am still far from 100% and it will take time but I am finally headed in that direction.

While I was happy to see Dr Vick and crew, I was NOT HAPPY with what his evil scale told me. I thought it was surely a mistake and weighed at home. Damn thing must be broken so I weighed at the gym tonight. Theirs had a troll standing on it with me b/c it told me the same number the other 2 scales told me. It was time to face the facts.....laying/sitting around the house with the only activities being hospital visits and coloring have packed on the pounds. Even my fat jeans don't fit. So I am back at the gym and watching what goes in my mouth. I joined the gym to gain I am going to lose weight. Classic case of one being impossible to please, I suppose.

Aunt Heather came for her bi-monthly visit. We managed to kick Steven to the sofa for 3 nights and had girl time. In typical Anne/Heather fashion we stayed up late, slept in late, took forever getting motivated and shopped. What a life we lead! We found us a super cool store that will be getting lots of our husbands money. I bought nothing....see above paragraph.....but was great at telling Heather what she should and shouldn't buy.

This week doesn't appear to be exciting but I am sure that will change..

Thanks for checking in--
Anna Fo Fanna

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Can you hear the angels singing??

I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Finally, some relief!

Ok, Mom, I where is my pink bow?!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Oops, I DIDN'T do it again...

So I was readmitted to St Marys last Wed (26th) for the very same problem I spoke of in the prior post. This time I got to stay for a whole week! Whoopee! I was discharged yesterday afternoon. Nothing much to say except things aren't any better but we are certain there isn't any obstruction or adhesion's. The thought process seems to be that I have a lazy colon and a slow to empty belly as a result of the surgery sleepy meds. The hope is that as I recover from my surgery my parts will wake up. Don't ask what happens if things don't self-correct b/c I don't have an answer. I prefer to think positive. For those of you eagerly awaiting entertaining photos of my misery--you are out of luck. Heather, my personal photog in all of this, was busy taking care of her own family. Trust me, you aren't missing anything. If you want to know what I looked like please scroll to previous entry and add an IV then you'll get the picture.

I did learn just a few things this visit that I will now share with you--

10) LifeStar is loud and stinks. LifeStar is the UT helicopter but I think it was lost b/c I watched it land at least 3 times.
9) When a medicine 'burns' going in your is actually burning your veins. Phengran burned up the inside of my arm. I had them take my IV out and put it in the other arm. The damaged arm is still sore to touch but the swelling has decreased. Stick to the pill, much easier!
8) The process of labor to delivery to discharge is significantly faster than having a BM.
7) Hospital food sucks no matter how much salt and pepper you use.
6) The transport fellows that come to take you for tests do not obey any speed limits nor do they give a hoot about how your bottom is feeling as they fly over bumps. They do however, always wish you good luck and to be better soon. (and one guy remembered me from my last visit; I must have made quite the impression).
5) Child birth does not erase all modesty. The tiny bit you have left will leave upon being admitted for bowel issues (use your imagination).
4) People do in fact still have natural childbirth (that I was fortunate enough to hear from the room next to me).
3) Mother-in-laws are gifts from God
2) Mommy's are still your rock, even when you become a mommy yourself
1) Daddy's are heroes that take time off work to wait for a doctor, walk the halls with you, don't wake you up when you doze off mid-visit, and most importantly-stick up for their kid when they don't think she is being treated right.

I'm off to drink more Miralax--

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Check out the belly!

The Face of Misery

Cuisine in its highest form

Only special people get to have slumber parties
in the hospital!

Arissa and Aunt Heather at Open House

Arissa and Isaiah at Open House

Well I am home from the hospital. I got to come home Friday about noon. Heather brought me home then headed out to be with her own family. I am sure they were excited to have her back. We are so grateful that they 'loaned' her to us! Heather filled in for Steven and I at Arissa's Open House Thursday. Glenwood won't be the same now that Aunt Heather and her camera have visited. She indulged the kids at the Book Fair then treated them to dinner at Outback Steakhouse. She even prepped them for their spelling tests and bathed them.

Isaiah has broken 2 pairs of glasses in one week so he is flying blind these days. His new ones are ordered. He is also in serious need of a haircut. Poor kid looks like a rag-muffin! We'll get him straightened out eventually.

COOKIE DOUGH UPDATE: Arissa sold 22 tubs of cookie dough! The dough is in. If I haven't contacted you yet I will be soon to arrange delivery. Again, thank you all so much for helping!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Because I Can't Do Anything The Easy Way

I am updating our blog from my hospital room at St. Marys. I was admitted yesterday and am hoping to go home tonight. I am reading your mind and you are wondering what has happened now that has landed my beautiful face another stay at the wonderful facility. Well, my bowels were inpacted. I have a photo of me taken yesterday when I first got here and to say my stomach was distended is the understatement of the century. Talk about MISERABLE. I will spare the details. Heather arrived Tuesday night for what was supposed to be nail/shopping/girl-time Wednesday. That plan got slightly derailed when Steven saw my stomach Wednesday morning. I called Dr Vicks office and Alicia called me back. She told me to head to the Women's Pavilion. Heather and I (who ALWAYS have their priorities in order) decided that our 'appointment' at 130 would require a delay in our arrival at SMHS. I called Alicia back, told her I would be there closer to 330 or 400 and Heather and I left. We took care of the important things first. We went to Starbucks, then our 130 mani/pedi appointment, Chick Fil A and THEN we went to SMHS. I was scared because I didn't know what to expect. Like every woman, I needed my Mommy. Mom was able to leave work a bit early and was at the hospital before any procedures took place. Mom stayed until about 1030. Heather made her bed and we snuggled in for the night. Which if you realize what bowel inpaction is then you will realize that sleeping isn't an option. The morning dawned with a GI consult and tests. Thankfully, Heather is able to stay with me and Steven didn't have to miss any work. As a matter of fact, Daddy and Steven were on the course while Mom and Heather took care of me. Steven took care of the kids last night and this morning then came by here before he went into work. He also came and walked with me on his lunch hour. Mom and Heather are working on the details of tonight. I am not worried about the kids b/c I know that they will be well looked after. I am truly blessed to have such an awesome friend in Heather and an incredible support system! Heather has felt the need to photograph these events and I'll be sure to post them later (no worries, they are just the miserable faces of Anne and her belly).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'll take your co-pay now...

They say that like they are doing you a favor. Like it gives me great pleasure to give them money! This morning found me and Arissa at our friends office, the great Dr James. Dr James loves us because we are there so much last year that I am confident we paid his mortgage a few times. To our surprise, Dr James was on vacation and we saw Dr Tan instead. This worked out just fine though b/c we saw Dr Tan when Arissa was inpatient in the spring. We were told that Dr Tan will be joining Dr James full time in January. I think it is great b/c Dr James is the only one in his practice and until a few months ago actually took his own calls every single night! Talk about committed. Anyways, Arissa went through the usual (61lbs) and Dr Tan decided she should pee in a cup. Dude, I need some serious practice on little girl urine samples. Arissa and I both needed lots of soap when we were done. All that to find out she has a terrible cold. I am glad it is something simple but I hate it when there isn't a pill to fix what ails. And Isaiah and Mom--no amount of ice or Nasonex or gauze or Vicks will fix it. We are stuck treating the symptoms to get her some relief. Much to Arissa's dismay, she is out of school until Monday. This is b/c she is very dizzy with double vision at times and Dr Tan doesn't feel like school is a safe environment. She doesn't have to miss any activities as long as an adult is with her to keep an eye on her. So we are snuggled in my bed watching childrens television. I am out of the loop on childrens television so when Arissa turned on Hip Hop Harry I was shocked. Has anyone seen this show?
Harry raps and dances and even sports a sag. This show is super annoying. Thankfully it was only 30 minutes long. Harry has his own website and his own MySpace page. He is apparently the new Barney. I say give me Blues Clues any day of the week over Harry.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sick Already? And Other Stuff.....

So Arissa is ill (keep in mind school hasn't been in session one full month yet). She has been a royal crab since Sunday when the neighbors tried to do a pray-by and throw little green Bibles at us and it has manifested into a stomach ache, headache and the most annoying cough around. I have yelled at her several times to STOP COUGHING but she just keeps on. Isaiah even told her that stop means stop NOW. All I could find was Dimetapp Cold & Allergy and I figured at least it would make her go to sleep. Nope, she is laying in bed coughing and whining. We decided a few shots of Chloraseptic might quell the cough so she can sleep. (Notice how I self medicate my family? Isaiah has learned the fine art of self-medicating; he firmly believes that Nasonex or gauze is the fix for any and all that ails you). The child cried and threw a fit like we were giving her a shot. She actually SPIT THE MEDICINE OUT LIKE A TWO YEAR OLD. Now, those of you that know me know that I was absent the day that God gave out patience. So, as the sane, loving, caring, patient parent that I am I fussed at her for acting so silly. I mean, when I was a kid, any illness that called for either Sucrets (remember the little tin box?) or Chloraseptic made for a joyous day. Considering that my mother firmly believed that all illnesses could be cured either with an ice cube or Vic's Vapor Rub (freeze it or fry it), a cherry treat was always welcomed. Kids these days are so spoiled! They don't know how good they have it with the $2 Add-a-Flavor at the Walgreens. Knowing Arissa the way I do, I am sure this will turn into a CO-PAY. I know this because she let Steven touch her!! He tried to tell her that her tonsils grew back. She replied with a very mature 'Nu-Uh'.

Moving on to other matters: I am still recovering from the great surgery from hell on the 29th. I had a visit with my pal, Dr Vick, today to figure out the deal with my 'pee-er'. Lo and behold I have me another bladder infection. I am now on my 3rd round of antibiotics and yet another bladder spasm medicine. This time I scored a 'famous' bladder medicine. It even has its own commercial. I am trying to ignore the fact that the fine actors in the commercials are OLD MEN. I could insert a lovely comment here about old men that can't pee or......I'll leave it alone.
Moral of the story, this gives me something else to take a pill for. I am still on restrictions until I see the doc in 4 weeks.

Isaiah had Open House tonight. I managed an hour and 10 minutes. That is really good considering I had two doctors appointments today AND I went to Walgreens and Staples. He was very understanding and even told me that if I didn't think I could go that it would be okay with him but I could tell he really wanted me there. So we went with the understanding that when I say GO we are leaving. I was able to meet 2 of his teachers. We are doing so much better this year than we were this time last year. I am thrilled to know that his Math teacher is also his homeroom and Core Study teacher. If the kid gets below a C in Math, I'll kill him. He held my hand to steady me in the halls and helped me navigate the crowds away from my belly. I love that my 11 year old son will still hold my hand in public. He gave me a hug when we got home and thanked me for going.

COOKIE DOUGH UPDATE: I would love to give you a grand total on the amount of cookie dough sold. There is a tiny problem with that. See, I was basically comatose from Aug 29-Sept 4 and I apparently hid my delirium really really well. So well that my family thought I was completely coherent. I am told that I gathered the order forms together and sent them back to the school. I have zero recollection of these events. Add that to the other events I do not recall: Gary and Wayne visiting me in the hospital, cleaning out the fridge with my Daddy, Aunt Carol being here, going to the emergency room, receiving and activating a new debit card, you get the idea. I do know that ARISSA SOLD ENOUGH TO ATTEND THE MEGA PARTY!!! I know that because she sold enough before 8/29. As soon as I find out the grand total I will be sure to let you know. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone for their help!!

I need a life, all these rambling updates in a row!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

There's a Turtle on my Bed!

There's a turtle in my room!

Turtle house on my bed

So the kiddo's have taken to walking T-Bone. Today while they were out on their walk, T-Bone found a reptile friend. My kids brought home said reptile, put him in our laundry basket then proceeded to bring the basket to show me. Arissa asked me if she could take the turtle out and put it on my bed to walk around. Ummmmmm.........NO. The turtle is in the basket, on the deck, eating lettuce with the sound of T-Bone barking in the background. T-Bone loves turtles; they are the only thing he can throw around and chew on but not tear apart. We have saved many a turtle from the jaws of T-Bone. Turtles are slow/T-Bone is not so the turtle doesn't stand a chance of getting away.

T-Bone also likes frogs. We had a frog I named Prince that would come out every night and sit outside the sliding glass doors downstairs. I named him Prince b/c he was fat like Prince Fielder and b/c if you kiss a frog you are supposed to get a prince. One night T-Bone was going nuts so I went out to see what the problem was. I got down there with the flashlight only to see Prince. Bone was catching Prince then letting him out of his mouth. It was like once he caught him he didn't know what to do with it! I rescued Prince from the torture by distracting Bone and letting Prince hop away. I was certain that would be the last I would see of Prince, but lo and behold the next night, he was back catching bugs by the door. We haven't seen Prince in a long time. I think the drought ran him off....I can't bear to think of anything else happening to him. I miss that frog....

I should go make the kids set turtle free. I'll have them take him to Turtle Man (don't ask) down the street.

Mom in the enchanted forest-

Sunday, September 9, 2007

General Update

Heather and Anne; I don't recall this photo being taken.
I will avenge Heather if it is the last thing I do on this Earth.

Arissa; 9/8/07-counting down to half-time where they
performed the dance/cheer/dance routines. They did
so awesome and Arissa hit all her stunts perfect!

Okay--here we go. The hot flashes have GREATLY improved. I suppose God reads my blog! I have spent the days since my last update taking it easy. I did manage a few 'chores' on Friday. I cleaned the kitchen, ran the dishwasher, etc. I did screw up by changing the sheets on our bed. It would have been fine except our awesome Tempurpedic mattress weighs a ton. I lifted it to tuck the sheet and felt the pain.

I went to the East/West game yesterday. It is the biggest game of the season for us and I couldn't miss the halftime performance of my squad. I got there about 20 minutes before the game started and left as soon as halftime was over. Carol drove me and helped me get where I needed to be. Sara had a chair on the sidelines reserved for me so I didn't have to fuss with the crowds and more importantly, sitting on those metal bleachers. The squad did an awesome job and once again, our halftime routine was far superior to the East squad (I am a bit biased). I got home and crashed. I never did take a nap, though. It took me about an hour or so to get the energy to shower. I did that then relaxed the rest of the night. I woke up this morning to extreme cramping. Not sure what that is all about.

Steven needed to go to the store this morning and I decided to go with him. I really wanted to get out of the house. I just walked, no cart driving or picking up items. I was hoping the walk would help the cramps but it didn't. It didn't make them worse, though, and now I feel like I have done something productive. In typical Wal-Mart style, we went for bread and cereal and spent $140.

I have made my way downstairs (the first time in almost 2 weeks--not supposed to do stairs) and am now reclined next to Steven, watching football. I still have Kathy's laptop. It has really saved my sanity these past few weeks.

Well the laptop is burning my lap and mom is on the phone so I am off.

Later Taters-

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Hot Flash Hell

Dear God,
Please forgive me for the ugly remarks of my past regarding menopause. I fully realize the magnitude of ones words coming back to bit one in the ass. Hot flashes and random acts of crying are no laughing matter. I have learned my lesson, please absolve me of my punishment as soon as you feel that my penance has been served.
Your Pal,

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Post Op Update

Well I survived my surgery. To say it was awful is the understatement of the century. Below you will find a recap of events. CAUTION: statements made from this point further may or may not be true. The events are according to me and therefore are probably incorrect.

My terrific friend Heather arrived Tuesday afternoon. We did some shopping, got our nails/toes done, met Steven and the kids at Big Ed's for pizza, then hit the grocery store in a major way. My first mistake in the whole process was waiting until 2:30 am to begin my "Fleet" procedure. I got 2 whole hours of sleep that night. Momma met us at the hospital. You would have thought they were giving away free cars for the amount of people that were in the surgery waiting room. When I say standing room only, I am not exaggerating. My dear friend, Wayne appeared and passed the time with us. Steven and I were finally taken back to a pre-op room where they began my "stuff". Low and behold, I passed the pregnancy test so the surgery proceeded as scheduled. Wayne prayed with Steven and I then left to allow mom and Heather to come in. They stayed with me until I was whisked away to the "holding room". I clearly recall all the events in the holding room, none of which are worth repeating.

I vaguely recall telling the OR nurse that I wanted a hat like hers. Then I woke up and was in major pain, was aggravated that I couldn't see, and had to pee. They told me to pee b/c I had a cath. Once I finally got up to my room I demanded my glasses. Why in the world did my husband feel the need to put my glasses in the car I have no idea. I specifically remember telling him to keep them with him. I was very agitated at this point. To hear my family tell it, I put on quite the show. It would seem that the morphine pump and I had too close of a relationship and I was high as a kite. I do recall the pump quit working and I went without pain meds for about an hour. I didn't sleep much that night but Steven snoozed and snored. They took my cath out at 5am and I was so thrilled to be rid of that thing. I 'went' once and then my bladder wouldn't release. It was terrible pain, having a full bladder that I couldn't empty. They ended up re-cathing me and I got some relief. At some point in the day I had a major meltdown and Steven asked something to make me sleep. My doc didn't want me to go home b/c I wasn't able to void and my pain wasn't under control but my insurance had other plans. We left the hospital in the dark of night, me still sporting the catheter. Friday morning found me in terrible pain from bladder spasms so we had to go to the office b/c I felt like my bladder wasn't emptying. They reinserted the cath and gave me some meds. Sometime Friday night the pain was too much and Steven took me to the ER. I think Carol was here at that time, though I could be wrong. I vaguely remember having an ultrasound and I think I made Steven go to Krystal's. Steven had to work Saturday so Mom sat with me. I thought I remembered Saturday until Sunday when my Daddy asked me about something that had happened on Saturday. He said I cleaned out my fridge when he was here but I don't recall him even being here. I managed to find a reason to call Dr Vick for the 3rd day in a row when I woke up Saturday with thrush. My mouth is raw and all I can eat is scrambled eggs and ice cream. Sara spent Monday with me and Kathy came over and did Arissa's hair and got the wireless router hooked up so I can lay in bed and use her laptop--Thanks for the loan, Aunt Kathy! Heather came back Monday afternoon and we went to the office this morning and had my cath removed. It took a few hours but I was finally able to pee. It was super painful but still better than having that stupid tube. I am not going anywhere tomorrow; today wore me out. Heather is staying again tonight although she has made is clear that she isn't sleeping with me tonight; apparently I wasn't the best bed partner last night! Who would have thought when we were little 5 year old girls, that we would be sharing a bed at 31! Talk about a life-long friendship. Having her here has been terrific. We have laughed and napped and just hung out. Isaiah and Arissa love having here and it has taken some of the load off of Steven. I am blessed to have such wonderful family and friends!
I think this post might be one long run-on sentence---blame it on the Demerol.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Shameless Groveling

Arissa is selling cookie dough! Her goal is to sell 12 tubs of cookie dough so that she can attend the MEGA PARTY. The MEGA PARTY is a really big deal for her. She had to miss it last year because she was sick. Please support Arissa, her school, and most importantly her parents. I really don't want to buy 12 tubs of cookie dough.

Below are the flavors of cookies available. You can email me if you would like a description of a flavor.

Chocolate Chunk $13.00
Peanut Butter $13.00
Sugar $13.00
Snickerdoodle $13.00
Oatmeal Raisin $13.00
German Chocolate $14.00
M&M's Candies $14.00
White Choc. Macadamia Nut $14.00
Walnut Choc. Chunk $14.00
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup $14.00
Heath $14.00
Hawaiian Decadance (two flavors in one tub) $15.00

**Each 3lb tub makes (96) 1/2 ounce cookies!

"Please don't make me go door to door pimping cookie dough. It is hot outside.
My mother is ill and can't help me. Don't make me suffer for my mothers short-
comings. I don't want to be the only kid that can't go to the MEGA PARTY."

Order now, pay later.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I can't think of a title

"Can it get any hotter? Can my hair get any bigger?"

The answer to both--YES! It was another horrible day at the football field on Saturday. There is zero shade out there. The question on every body's minds--Who decided it was such a smart idea to play football (a fall sport) in August (dead of summer)? The logic of the football conference escapes me.

Kathy informed me last night that my blog is boring. It is not boring! It is clean, uncluttered, easy to read fun! My blog is a reflection of ME--and I happen to be those same adjectives.
(raspberry) to you Aunt Kathy!

Friday, August 17, 2007

This and That

So far, Isaiah is not fairing well on his bet with Steven. Steven said over 4 keys lost and Isaiah said under 4 keys lost. On the second day of school the kid had already lost the first key. If we don't get robbed it will be a miracle.

Steven celebrated his 37th birthday yesterday (although according to his mother he is only 34. It took 2 minutes of arguing with her to convince her that he is really 37). He got a new driver, lunch at Applebee's and spend a wonderful day with yours truely. He also got to play golf with my Daddy. From what I hear, the golf gods weren't smiling upon Daddy yesterday. I think the extreme heat somehow warped his clubs and that is why the balls didn't go his way; it was in no way related to operator error.

Tonight Arissa is going to a High School Musical 2 premier party at a friends house. Better there than here is all I can say.

Tomorrow we have another middle of the day game scheduled. 1pm start time which translates into 1:30 start time. Last Saturday we quit after half-time. Our girls were dropping like flies and the boys had the victory wrapped up. Not sure how many of our squad will be able to make it the whole game. Being a coach makes taking pictures difficult but I'll try.

The Melting Pea,
Anna Fo-Fanna

Monday, August 13, 2007

First Day

No, I didn't have to bribe them to touch each other.

Don't they look so bright-eyed and bushy tailed? Just can't wait to get the day started? There is a reason for that...this picture was taken AFTER they got home from school. Slacker Mom here forgot all about a picture until we were walking into Arissa's school. Oh well..they still look the same! And yes, for those of you that have been around awhile--Arissa is wearing the same outfit she did last year on the first day. She claims its a tradition. She also wears the same outfit every time she goes to the dentist. The kid is weird, what can I say?

Proof that your boy is growing up...first day of school and I had to drop him at the curb. No walking him in, meeting his teacher, NOTHING. A "let me out here mom" and off he went. At least Arissa still wants us both to take her in on the first day. It would appear that Steven is there only to carry her supplies in and I am there only b/c I am the mom. She had zero interest in us once we were allowed to go to her classroom. I don't even recall her telling me good-bye.

Her and Steven will begin their normal routine tomorrow morning. They have certain houses that they look at every morning to see if the dogs are out and he lets her listen to music that I don't let them listen to. She will be a "car-rider" in the afternoons until my surgery then will take the bus to Granny's. Isaiah rides the bus both ways. Any bets on how many keys he'll lose this year? From last year there are 3 keys to our house floating around Oak Ridge that he lost.

Off to do my homework...both kids need a million papers completed in triplicate with a DNA sample and a retina scan (just a little sarcasm).

Parent Pea,

Friday, August 10, 2007

Say It Isn't So!!

Summer is over already?? The kids start school Monday morning. Arissa was thrilled to find out she got the teacher she wanted and Steven and I were thrilled she didn't get the teacher we don't like. Their book bags are packed, pencils sharpened and they are ready to go. Arissa can't wait but I think Isaiah would rather summer lasted 365 days a year. He isn't as keen about school as Arissa is. I am curious to see how much I like staying at home all day without my kids. I have a feeling I am not going to like it very much. Of course there were days I wanted them to be at school already but for the most part we really enjoyed our time together.

They both had dental check-ups on Wednesday. Thankfully, they are both cavity free! It is time for Isaiah to go to an orthodontist so I need to call and get him an appointment. They both have about 3 loose teeth so it looks like the tooth fairy will be flying by our house often.

On Wednesday I was called up for jury duty. Thankfully they chose 12 people before they got to me. I don't have to report until August 28th. I am on the hook for jury duty until October 31st.

Actually, I don't have to report on August 28th because I am having surgery on August 29th. I am going in for a hysterectomy. He is going to leave my right ovary so I won't have to worry about hormone replacement. This surgery has been a long time coming and I am anxious to get it done. I am in constant pain and am really tired of it. My doc is keeping me stocked on Percocet until the surgery to give me some relief. The past 2 weeks things have gotten really bad. Thankfully my insurance agreed to the operation. I will be in the hospital 2-3 days depending on how everything goes.

Football season has started. We had our jamboree last weekend. The squad did really good. We have our first real game this weekend, in the middle of the day, during a heat wave. This should be interesting!

Thanks for checking in,
The Pained Pea

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Stay Tuned..

We are back safe and sound from the beach. I have TONS of pics to share but don't have the energy right now to post them. I will provide you with a summary of our trip:

Sunday: Arrived at hotel approx. 6pm; checked in, changed clothes and headed to the beach. It was so beautiful! We LOVED it! Went to dinner (in our bathing suits) and danced to a tone-deaf reggae singer. It felt so good to not care what anyone thought of us.
Later that night, Steven went out for a walk. After 30-45 minutes passed I decided to try to find him, hoping that the gators that lived at our hotel hadn't eaten him (honest---there were gators at our hotel). I got off the elevator and there he stood covered in sweat. Apparently, my husband had "borrowed" two bikes that were apparently returned late and weren't chained up. So off we went to the beach (me in my jammies with no bra--see what I mean about not caring what people think??). We rode around the "circle" where all the shops are and checked out the area. We headed back to the hotel and returned the bikes to where they were supposed to be and walked back to our room. Once the kids found out what we had done, they wanted to go too. So, Steven took them out and they again "borrowed" the 2 bikes. Arissa was put in the baby seat on the back of Stevens bike and Isaiah rode his alone. Arissa got scared in the seat and asked to be brought back to the room (who can blame her...those seats are made for toddlers, not 8 year olds!). Steven and Isaiah headed down to the beach, both crashing once their tires hit the sand, and walked the shore in the dark. Isaiah told me it was an awesome time and he was happy he made memories with Steven.
Monday: We headed to the beach in full force. A HUGE SPF 50 umbrella, 4 beach chairs, 2 beach bags and a cooler. We read and played and had a great day. Steven left us to play golf and we hung out awhile longer. We headed back to the hotel pool for a more restful swim. We showered and went to eat at Captain Woody's Bar and Grill. Food was pretty good, atmosphere was okay (didn't really see what all the hype was about) but the t-shirts rocked so me, Carol and Arissa got one. We also picked up one for the neighbor girl next door that was feeding and watering T-Bone and Maddi for us.
Tuesday: We were beyond fried from the previous day (especially me) so we hung out at the hotel pool all day until it was time to get ready for our DOLPHIN CRUISE. Steven golfed again. It was really cool. We saw lots of dolphins and then a fireworks show. We cruised for 2 1/2 hours and the kids LOVED it! We picked up New York style pizza on our way back to the hotel and ate in our room which the kids thought was pretty cool since they aren't allowed to eat in their rooms.
Wednesday: We headed back to the beach. We stayed about 3-4 hours then another 2 hours at the hotel pool. By this day Steven had given up on South Carolina golf. The wind wasn't working for him and the courses were eating his lunch. We got cleaned up and headed to the beach for a 'photo session'. We went to eat at a seafood place in the circle...can't remember the name...where the food was much better than before. After dinner we cruised through the open air market and the shops. We picked up our souvenirs, got ice cream, then walked the beach one last time. Carol was a fraidy-cat and wouldn't let her feet get wet because it was dark but the rest of us let the waves crash over our feet.
Thursday: Finished loading the cars; got our fill of free breakfast; hit Starbucks; then hit the road. We got home about 5:30ish to find a very wet and muddy Maddi and the house just the way we left it. Tomorrow I will be getting my nails done (the saltwater ruined them), getting the car washed to get the salt off of it, vacuuming tons of sand out, and finishing the mountain of laundry. Unfortunately, Steven has to work tomorrow and Saturday. I am okay with that, though, because I wouldn't have wanted him to miss this trip!

Check back for pics soon...promise I'll get them posted and hopefully I won't over-do it!

The sandy peas,


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Less than 12 Hours Until.....


The bags are packed, car filled with gas, oil changed, cash in the wallet and car loaded. Oh, and most importantly, mine and Arissa nails and toes are stinkin' cute!

We found out yesterday at 3pm that Steven would be able to join us!! The people he works with decided that he works too hard and too long to miss a vacation with his family so they all pitched in to cover his hours so he can come. We are super excited that he gets to join us!

I promise to update at soon as we get back with pictures (by Friday evening, Daddy!). Arissa has pink hair for the beach trip so I will be sure to get some pics of the 'do.

Sand and Sunscreen--
The Peas

Friday, July 6, 2007

Splish Splash

Carol and Arissa taking a break

Arissa posing

Me and Isaiah

Carol and Me

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Arissa will be competing at the Tennessee Valley Fair for cheerleading on Saturday, September 8th at 10am!!!

4th of July

In an effort to save our mother-in-laws the work of putting on the annual cook-out, Melissa and I took the reigns. Let me just say--it is alot of work! We kind of cheated by asking everyone to bring a meat and a side dish but we did the rest. There were 4 grills going all day that the men handled while Melissa and I took care of all the set up and clean up. We had about 50-75 people come over and everyone seemed to have a good time and get full bellies. Linda and Mary Ellen were able to sit and enjoy their families for a change. The City of Oak Ridge dropped the ball on getting the needed permits to shoot off the fireworks so the night ended with very little fan-fare. I didn't get any pictures (I was too busy being a host)! Melissa and I were quite proud of ourselves and everyone thanked us for our efforts. We have officially earned our keep in the family!!


Monday, July 2, 2007

Making Memories

Playing tennis with your kids and husband in the rain then going out for ice cream at 10pm.

Summer Fun

Well, we finished up Isaiah's summer school classes on Friday. He is glad he went but is happy that it is over so he can sleep in!

We are very excited about a beach trip we have planned. We are scheduled to go to Hilton Head July 15-19. Steven can't go with us b/c he can't get the time off work but Aunt Carol is going. Unfortunatly, I received a summons for jury duty for July 12th. I really hope that doesn't mess up our plans. Looks like we won't know for sure if we can go until the 12th.

We went to a birthday party for Steven's 3 year old cousin yesterday. "Bubba-palooza" was quite the gathering. They had an inflatable 20 foot slide, a water slide, dunking booth, bounce house, popcorn, sno-cones, and cotton candy. The kids wore themselves out. I tried to take pics but my camera has too long of a delay on it so it makes it hard. Here is what I did get--

You'll have to take my word for it but this is Steven shooting
down the waterslide. What you don't see (mostly b/c I was
laughing too hard to take a pic) is him flying off the end of the
slide and landing on the ground.

Arissa heading back for another go
Isaiah running for another turn.
You would think there would only be so many times that you can do this before getting tired or bored. Apparently not; when we came back 4 hours later to get the kids Isaiah was still going strong and Arissa hadn't been done for long. Isaiah is paying the price today-he can hardly move he is so sore! Guess that is the price you pay for fun!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Another Week

Well another week of summer has passed......Arissa has almost completely healed from her bike wreck. The elbow looks great and the knee has finally scabbed. She has started cheerleading practice and gone to cheer camp. The injury hasn't slowed her down one bit. She is on a squad this year that will compete so that takes up 3 nights of our week. She will also be on the squad that cheers for the football team. I am the assistant coach for the football squad so things are pretty busy for us and are going to get much more so once the football squad starts practicing.

Isaiah has 1 week of summer school left. He said he really likes it and he feels like it is helping so it seems like we made the right choice in enrolling him in the enrichment classes. The only part that both of us hate is having to get up so early! He gets up at 7:15 and we leave at 7:45. For most I am sure that time isn't early at all but considering it is summer and I am not working it makes it very hard to get up and get going.

Arissa got her hair done at a salon. I found that the TN School of Beauty only charges $26 to do her corn-rows. We decided to give it a shot and we were both very pleased. We took her portable DVD player so she sat in the chair and watched a movie while they braided her up. The stylists were all very impressed with her behavior. We have an appt to get them re-done in a few weeks. The stylist mentioned that her braids will hold better if we add some weave to her natural hair. So we got pink hair. He is going to braid it in next time we go and then the next time she can't have pink. School and cheerleading will be starting and I don't think the school or the cheer judges would find the humor in pink hair!

Last Friday I had an out of body experience. I had energy that I hadn't had in months. I took the 2 sets of mattress/box springs out of Isaiah's room; took apart his bunk beds; hauled all the parts down to the garage; cleaned every inch of his hardwood. Then we went to Arissa's room--hauled her mattress/box spring to the garage; her frame and headboard; and cleaned her hardwood. Went to the mattress store and got her a new mattress/boxspring and 3 frames. Came back, hauled the new bedding upstairs; assembled the frames; but all 3 beds on their frames and left again. We got Arissa new bedding (her previous bed was a twin and her new one is a full size), lamp, side table, pillows. Then to K-Mart to find Isaiah a new stand for his TV and to Radio Shack to get Daddy his Fathers Day gift. Came back, made the beds, assembled the stand and cleaned up. It was hard work! Isaiah was a great help to me! We did all of this while Steven was at work and Arissa wasn't much help with her injuries but Isaiah did a great job. He used muscles he didn't know he had and we were both sore the next morning. But, we bonded and made memories so that makes it all worth it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

She Fought The Bike........

And the bike won.......

What a great way to start off our summer. A mere 20 days after learning how to ride a bike, Arissa had a disagreement with what direction the bike wanted to go and ended up eating pavement, or as the photos below will show, the pavement ate her. Although she was wearing a helmet, she wasn't wearing knee pads or elbow pads (not her fault, she can't wear what she doesn't own). I came home from a funeral to the bar being covered in cotton balls, several different varieties of band-aids, ointments and peroxide. Steven told me that Arissa had a bike wreck and thought she might need a stitch. I called the doc and because of the depth of the knee wound they thought she needed to go to the ER. A phone call to Aunt Carol (at Arissa's request) and a drop off of Isaiah and we were on our way to Childrens. They got us in pretty quick and the doc took a look at everything and said that there wasn't anything to stitch. The part of her knee that needed to be stitched was gone (Arissa has tried finding it in the street!) so the only thing we could do was numb it, scrub it, put some medicine on it and dress it. She got really lucky. Her elbow is pretty bad. If she had hit it just a bit farther down she probably would have cracked the bone. She held up like a trooper and had her Aunt Carol and Daddy jumping at her every request. She didn't sleep well last night and ended up in our bed and I got wedged out. I went to her bed and tried to sleep. Let me just say, the child needs a new bed BAD! I should have just slept on the deck, it would probably have been softer. Oh well, at least her and Steven slept well.

The elbow injury

The knee wound (covered with a numbing gel
and clear covering).

Always dramatic, Arissa is playing dead.
You all know what is coming next.....