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  • Chili Soup
  • French Toast Bake
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares
  • Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Stir 'n Drop Oatmeal Cookies

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  • Completed Blanket
  • Comfort Knitters...
  • Images of Received Squares

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    Location: Massachusetts

    I LOVE my family, my pets, the beach and knitting (not necessarily in that order ;)

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    Sunday, January 29, 2006

    ~a mind is a terrible thing to waste ~ has anyone seen mine?~

    Sunday already?!!!! HOW did THIS happen? Work was nuts this week, I ended up staying late Thursday and Friday to "wrap" things up - well my wrapping came unglued when the internet connection failed - so needless to say I have a TON of work to do from here today, just in case there is no connection tomorrow. I'm finding that the more I have to do, the more people expect me to do (and not just at work), there truly isn't enough hours in the day, days in the week - I'm on that hamster wheel that is spinning out of control - I'm hoping it spits me out one of these days!

    My kids are starting to find my scattered state somewhat amusing ~ Lyss called me at work on Thursday and asked if I would be picking Em up at school, she had stayed late for an activity ~ I bit my tongue (because I was at work, WORKING) and very calmly asked her if she would be able to do it for me considering the fact that I was still at work. My lovely daughter, in a very calm, I'm talking to a moron, tone of voice said, "I'd love to Mom, but YOU have my car"! Image Hosted by Oooooooookaaaaaaaaaaay! I did have her car because MINE DOESN'T WORK! Needless to say, I bolted out of work, to fight highway traffic ~ the highway they keep reconfiguring for repairs~ I'd love to see the engineer who came up with the reconfiguring plans - but that rant is for another day! I made it just in time to pick her up. and the beat goes on........ I find it ironic that Cher songs run through my head lately, especially since I wasn't really a HUGE fan, I liked some of her music, but not enough to sing it incessantly. The other song that has been my "theme song" for years is If I Could Turn Back Time. Image Hosted by ImageShack.usNot a bad thing considering I picture Jack from Will and Grace doing his Cher impression every time I sing it!

    The scarf is just about finished. I haven't had much time to work on it, but it is one of those mindless projects that can be picked up and worked on for a couple of minutes here and there - I really like that. I received an email from Berroco featuring this pattern yesterday. I think this just might be my next mindless project. I was thinking of maybe using some Cascade 220 that I have in the stash for this. Since I am no expert at all in felting, can any of you give me some idea of how important needle size/gauge is for a bag such as this? Normally I wouldn't give it a second thought, but with my luck the bag will come out looking like a pasta bowl - and I have no intention of irritating the "Black Cloud Gods" - if you know what I mean?!

    The information for Vibe (which is what the bag is made out of) is as follows:
    • Fiber Content 64% Wool, 36% Nylon
    • Gauge 2.75 sts=1" 11 sts & 12 rows =4" (10cm)
    • Needle Size 15 (US) 10 mm

    The Cascade 220 is :

    • 5 sts = 1" with size 7 needles
    • 41/2 sts=1" with size 7 needles

    I can play around with it, but if any of you have suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated considering it is STILL January and my cloud has not left me yet :)Image Hosted by

    The puppy is improving, thank God! and thank you all for your well wishes, they were greatly appreciated! It's amazing how "poop" can take over your life when you have children and pets! lol

    One more question for you - I have been playing around with the blog lately, can you let me know if it takes longer than usual to load? I don't want to tie people up waiting for my page to load - time is precious.

    Well, I'm off to balance the checkbook, pay bills, do laundry, cook something for dinner and then work. Hopefully, I will have a bit of time to catch my breath before Monday hits. Have a great Sunday and thanks again for all of your kindness and support!Image Hosted by

    Monday, January 23, 2006

    ~and the Beat Goes On......~ updated 1.24.06

    update January 24, 2006
    Some "maybe decent news", it may not be the head gasket on my car, it may just be the intake which, if we can have it fixed would buy us some time finding another vehicle, and help on a trade - keeping my fingers crossed. Today I drove DH's truck to work and when I left work to come home, it wouldn't start - it has been towed Image Hosted by Does anyone know how to remove a BLACK CLOUD? Puppy is worrying me, he has started vomiting again, I'm hoping there is some improvement by tomorrow (please say a prayer if you are so inclined). I have started knitting a mindless 2x2 rib scarf out of Patons Divine, just to keep my sanity intact. I've used larger than the recommended needles~ just because I felt like it ~it is making a lose, funky looking rib and I'm going to keep going just to see what it looks like done. I didn't like working with it at first, but it is getting a bit better now that I took it off the bamboo needles. It certainly is soft worked up. We'll see.
    January 23, 2006
    Image Hosted by ImageShack.usJanuary continued....Image Hosted by

    For those of you who asked, "the van" is no more (I find that I was more attached to "the van" than I thought I was ~ I actually miss it ~ A LOT). The mechanic has it "glued" together enough to "maybe" get it somewhere to trade in (car dealers like it when the auto that is being traded in can get there on it's own 4 wheels, or so I'm told). We haven't decided what we are going to do yet, so I'm driving my son's car, or my DH's truck (I much prefer the truck). Getting around has been a challenge with the travel softball team practices for the three girls starting up, along with pitching and the clinics we are running, but I have hope :).

    We had a SNOW DAY today! YAY - no school :). NAY - couldn't get to the dentist :(. I had to bring my little "chocolate boy" Beau to the vet this afternoon, as he has had some "intestinal issues" the last few days - turns out he has Colitis, which I'm told will calm down in a few days, but until then he is eating rice and boiled ground beef and taking medication for 7 days :( Good Lord!

    I have NO FO's to report, I do have an unknit to report...... It seems that the ready to be bound off artist glove that was on the table beside my chair last night when I went to bed, became the cat's new toy during the night. You DON'T EVEN want to KNOW what it looked like when I got up. I grabbed the digital camera to take a picture to share with you all, but it seems that I forgot to CHARGE the %$^&# batteries.

    I have boiled up 6 lbs of ground beef and am making massive quantities of rice for the furry boy, I'm practicing my deep breathing and I am going to KNIT SOMETHING tonight! (and store it in a ziplock freezer bag on top of the refrigerator- that'll teach the kitty mwwaahahaha!

    Saturday, January 21, 2006

    ~A Little Bit of This.... and That~

    I would like to thank you all for your kind, sympathetic and thoughtful messages regarding my "cursed month", I can't tell you how much I appreciate it!!!! You "bloggers" are the best!

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    A quick update and then on to knitting news and other "fun" stuff:
    When I left you on Wednesday "the van" was here at home in my garage and I was heading for the hot shower - well, most of my muscles have returned to normal - mouth is still killing me (return trip to dentist on Monday) - -- on Thursday morning the girls and I got into the "fixed" van to head off to school and as I started it, Nic asked me why the van was "shaking". It was like one of those old exercise machines our Mom's had (dating myself I'm sure) that put a strap around you and shook the fat off! In any event, in addition to it shaking the "check engine" light was flashing wildly! Needless to say, I shut it off and the girls took the bus. On Friday morning, DH decided to drive my car back to the garage for them to look at again, since it was obviously NOT fixed. I offered to follow him there on Thursday night, but he declined. In any event, he left here a little after 6:00 a.m. ~~~ at 8:30 a.m. THIS ~Image Hosted by ~is what I saw, not 5 miles from my house on my way to work ~that would be my van being hooked up. He had a co-worker pick him up shortly after it passed away! My youngest came to work with me on Friday (she had the intestinal "bug", and I HAD to go in, so she kept me company in my new office). That wraps up the two weeks from H.E.L.L.

    On to other, more pleasant things...

    I have knit some more on my artist gloves, although most of my "spare" time the last couple of days has been spent doing paperwork for the Softball League. My youngest warmed my heart when she came home from shopping with her sisters the other day and had purchased yarn to make a scarf for her friend's Mom. I LOVE it that she is into knitting for others as well as herself - right after Christmas, she took some yarn that she had been saving for herself and made a scarf out of it for one of her friends! Speaking of scarves, there is a great project going on for orphaned college students called The Red Scarf Project. The Orphan Foundation of America is collecting Red Scarves for Valentine's Day Care Packages, you can check it out
    I think maybe Nic and I will each whip one up before we finish our other projects, as the deadline is the 31st of January.

    I also came across these
    Knitted Boots on the Blue Blog that were evidently featured on Knitty Gritty. I haven't watched at all, so I missed them. I can just picture the girls loving them! They look like fun, especially since there are power tools involved, and my using them makes DH VERY nervous! lol

    I also came across another gem that you bloggers might be interested in....There is a
    great freeware program by Jim Tucek that will encrypt your e-mail address to prevent spam. You can visit his site at the above link and check it out.

    I'm also going to move the recipes that I have posted, to one of the sidebars under their own heading, for those of you that are interested. I figure it will be easier to locate them for future reference.

    I'm sorry there are no knitting pictures to share today, but I haven't made enough progress on anything that would be worth posting, and the digital camera has no charged batteries at the moment - my bad! I will leave you with the last picture taken before the batteries died.....Image Hosted by (there were two dogs walking up the street) When you all tire of what I consider "cute animal" pictures, just let me know and I'll try to stop ;)

    I wish you all a very pleasant Sunday! Image Hosted by

    Wednesday, January 18, 2006


    Ok, January is either not my month or I'm cursed!!!!!!! Putting aside the mouth pain for now (because that has NOT gone away and I'm quite sure it will only get worse before it gets better), and we'll also put aside the chronic bad back........... I had a relatively good day at work yesterday, came home, had a nice little chat with the girls about school and how everyone just LOVED their hair and how much they LOVE their hair - it was all good!

    So................ I decided to take my "little" Beau (8 month old, 70 lb chocolate lab "puppy") outside to play for a bit. We played, we had fun, I took him across the street to get the mail, he proved to me that he definately COULD sit, stay and walk beside me - - GOOD BOY! Here is where the curse comes in, in conjunction with my own stupidity/inattention, I turned around and came back into the yard (he most likely thought we were coming in the house, and being a puppy wanted to play more) - retractable leash in one hand, mail in the other, looking at the mail, NOT the puppy - he BOLTED jerking the leash out of my hand, my shoulder out of its socket - I hit the snow covered ICE with both knees, followed by ribs, chest, elbows and head! I laid there like an inverted snow angel, with a puppy licking snow off of my head, wondering IF I could get up off the ice, and if not how long it would take one of the kids to need something and notice I wasn't there and...... MAYBE come looking for me????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you hear it in your head? "Hey Mom" (pause) "MOM!" (pause) "hey guys, do you know where Mom is"? (no response), "oh, oh well" (child goes back to tv/homework/reading/whatever) and Mom turns into a Momcicle! In any event, after what seemed like an eternity, but was probably closer to 5 minutes, I managed to get myself completely upright and into the house. Pain doesn't cover it. Poor me? This is bad enough? OH BUT I'M NOT FINISHED YET..........

    DH calls and tells me that my car is ready at the garage, we need to go and pick it up (little history here, '97 minivan, 127,000 miles, new transmission, burning oil, no heat) - ok, so I limp to his truck, manage to get myself in, we go pick up van - it now has heat, but halfway home the low coolant light comes on (I KNOW it is not low on coolant - how do I know? - because we put coolant in it) - I don't care - I come home, take a HOT shower, some advil, try to knit, shoulders and arms hurt so bad that I end up having to frog 3 rows because of horribly uneven stitches - I went to bed!

    Which brings us to this morning....... we won't even go into how MUCH everything hurts this morning - the chiropractor will be having a field day with me when I can get there, because as I got into the aforementioned minivan this morning to take the girls to school, the engine started to vibrate, followed quickly by the whole van, followed by the flashing check engine light ......... the girls took the bus and I limped back up here to feel sorry for myself and take some Alleve!

    Mondays, Friday the 13ths (I'm not naturally superstitious) - I give up - what do I have to do? hmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

    Anyway, thanks for "listening", you guys are the greatest! I posted the Chili Soup Recipe (below), I hope you enjoy it. Also, Chris tagged me with a meme instructing me to "list 5 quirky habits about myself" ~ thinking about these "quirky" habits makes one feel as though they are quite strange and does "cursed" count as quirky? ;) Here goes.....

    1. I can only sleep on the right side of the bed (left if standing at the foot facing headboard). If made to sleep on the other side I will toss and turn all night, I also have to have it cool enough in the room to be able to use my blanket and preferrably my comforter - I love to burrow under the covers.
    2. I have to part my hair on the left side of my head (right if facing me?! lol) I guess that balances things out with #1 huh?
    3. Everything HAS TO BE EVEN, I don't do well with "offset" anything (except the part in my hair, I'm too old for the middle part now). I like even numbers, and have to have everything balanced well, whether it is pictures hanging, chairs at a table, even my kids! lol.
    4. I have never been able to eat "mushy" food - soggy cereal, oatmeal (unless it's in cookies ;)), shredded wheat in milk, rice pudding, tapioca, etc. etc. etc. you get the idea - it must be the texture - it just GAGS me! eeeeeeeeeeeew
    5. I have to do things in the same order every morning - it doesn't have to be at the same time, just in the same order.... get up brush teeth, shower, pour coffee, make bed, apply makeup, dry hair, get dressed.

    I suppose it could be worse, maybe it is and I just am not coming up with some GOOD quirks that I'm not aware of! I'm going to tag Bethe, Kimberly, Lisa and Amy, no one likes to feel "quirky" alone ;)

    I'm off to lick my wounds..... I'll leave you with these pic's of the puppy imitating the cat! How bizarre can things really get around here?!

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    ~Chili Soup Recipe~

    • 1 and 1/2 lbs ground beef, cooked and drained
    • 8 1/2 cups water
    • 4-5 potatoes cubed
    • 1 medium onion chopped
    • 1 can Kidney Beans (I use 1/2 can Kidney and 1/2 can Black Beans and freeze the remainder for next time)
    • 1, 28 oz can Ground Peeled Tomatoes
    • 1 cup Chili Mac or Elbow Macaroni (uncooked)
    • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder (add more or less to taste - I have also added Cayenne pepper to spice it up more)
    • 1 Tbsp sugar
    • Salt and Pepper
    1. In 4 cups of the water (lightly salted), cook potatoes and onion until just beginning to get tender.
    2. Add 4 1/2 cups cold water, tomatoes, chili powder, cooked ground beef, pepper and sugar.
    3. Cover and bring to boil, then uncover add beans and simmer for about 30 minutes.
    4. Add pasta and simmer for 15 minutes more.

    You also have the option of cooking the pasta by itself and adding when the soup is done. I prefer to leave the potatoes a bit undercooked and adding the uncooked pasta to the soup to simmer. Less pans to wash! Enjoy!

    Monday, January 16, 2006

    ~Fun, Foils and Stash Enhancement~

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    Well, I'm back and the weekend wasn't much better than my "week of Mondays", not to mention the fact that it is WICKED COLD!!!!!!! ;) Despite that, the girls and I had a really fun day today.
    My two younger girls had their hair foiled for the first time ~here they are in all of their foiled beauty! lol

    and here they are in their finished glory (I've smudged their stylist's face as I didn't tell her she'd be "blogged")(click), we went shopping at a local discount store that had YARN ON SALE - here is a picture of a sampling of the un-needed stash enhancement ;) (although the AMOUNT of yarn purchased will remain undisclosed ~ seeing it in print might just scare me half to death!) it was gorgeous yarn - Kroy sock yarn (can NEVER have enough sock yarn) - Bernat, Lily, Patons and lots of large cones which would be great for the knitting machine (different mixes such as cotton/rayon, boucle/acrylic, and mohair/acrylic) - although I haven't had the time to even attempt to figure out my machine. I was given a circa 1950's/1960's Knit King Machine - it's gorgeous - made of steel, no plastic ~ one of these days I'll find the time to play with it)

    and last but not least, the much loved Stephanie... aka Harlot is having an Olympic Knit-a-long ! Check it out, it sounds like a blast. I've decided to join along for the fun of it (because I have NOTHING else going on and I need to see how much I can push that ONE LAST NERVE I have left ;) shhhhhhh leave me to my delusions).

    Now, just so you don't start to think that all I do is buy yarn and not knit it, here is a picture of my cast on "Artists Gloves", that are being knit in the Llama Seta that was meant to be part of "the evil socks". . This pattern just flies, and barring any unforseen "Mondays", I just might have a FO before too long! YAY!!!

    I hope you all had a great weekend, and for those of you that expressed an interest, I'll post the recipe for the Chili Soup as soon as I can.

    Remember~~~ it's never too late to de-lurk ;)

    Friday, January 13, 2006

    ~A Week of Mondays~

    This is the "Monday culmination post" I promise the next post will contain knitting content! ;)

    This is a week to be wiped off the books, I won't go into everything that happened, it would take too long to read. I did learn a few things, however.

    1. When the spring lets go on an electric garage door opener, it sounds like an explosion!
    2. The spring doesn't let go after you've come home and have no place you MUST be..... it breaks when you need to leave again for work AND pick up two people on your way.
    3. I am prone to fits of maniacal laughter when I am stressed.
    4. It is INCREDIBLY difficult to lift a garage door that HAS NO HANDLE!!!!!!!!!
    5. I am very grateful that I have a 19 year old son who was strong enough to lift the door after wedging his fingers underneath it.
    6. Being efficient is virtually impossible when your computer is not hooked up to a printer, an internet connection and/or the network it should be.
    7. There are people in this world who aren't happy unless they are MISERABLE.
    8. The aforementioned people will go out of their way to make everyone around them just as miserable, or more so if that is possible.
    9. Stomach viruses last FOREVER.
    10. My son is much calmer than I am- i.e., if someone broke into my car, stole my stereo face plate and cd's I would be MORE THAN PISSED OFF!
    11. I enjoy his company and sense of humor more and more.
    12. Slipping on ice with a bad back is NOT a good thing!
    13. Sometimes the toothache you had is less painful than the toothache you have AFTER you go to the dentist.
    14. Talking is causing me pain, which is either a good or bad thing - depending upon who you are talking to.
    15. Breathing cold outside air with my mouth open is the cause of some serious pain.
    16. I love my dentist, but I HATE going to the dentist.
    17. Advil is my very BEST friend right now.
    18. Being afraid to eat might just jump start the diet I need to go on.
    19. If something can go wrong during a week such as this....... it will.
    20. It's almost over.

    Oh, and if you have a minute...... would you take pity on me and "de-lurk" for de-lurking week? I'd love to know who comes to visit me here.

    Monday, January 09, 2006

    ~Monday, Monday..... Can't Trust that Day!~

    ~~~~anyone want to sing along with me???????

    Today, Monday, has surely lived up to its reputation! I STILL have no internet or network connection in my new office, which leaves my hands literally tied and is causing me to become very close friends with my CDRW disk! Everything I do has to be saved to the disk and brought to a computer that IS connected to be printed! Web Page updating is out of the question - I have no choice but to live with it, for the time being, until it gets straightened out.

    I came home, picked up, cleaned the bathroom YET AGAIN and made dinner, (Chili Soup which is actually more like a stew - yummy and hearty - the recipe came from my paternal Grandmother in Ohio. If any of you are interested, I'd be happy to post it, along with a picture, if I can get one before it's all gone!) cleaned the kitchen and took a nice looooooong, hot shower. Then on to the BEST part of the day..... I excitedly grabbed my dpn's and my Queensland yarn, settled into a comfy chair with a nice warm afghan and cast on THE socks! As soft and wonderful as the Llama Seta is, the Kathmandu is not. It is somewhat coarse and irregular..... not initially great to work with, but I was optimistic. I knit a 2x2 rib for a few inches and FROGGED - I repeated this process THREE TIMES! I am now sitting here at the computer and the evil, Evil, EVIL wool is on the other side of the room with some pointy sticks skewering it!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am MORE than disappointed as I have been absolutely dying to make these socks. I will sleep on it and decide if the contrasting aforementioned EVIL yarn is worth another shot or if the lovely Llama Seta should become some fingerless mitts for me, and the evilness can become a part of something else at a later date - I am positive I can lose it in my stash ;)

    On a brighter note I have joined a new KAL!
    Multidirectional Knitting - I can't wait to give it a try. "Learn to knit in continuous modules without having to cut yarn or pick up stitches. The moderator, Iris Schreier, author of MODULAR KNITS (Lark, 2005) and co-founder of Artyarns, will offer free patterns as well as assistance and lots of photos for inspiration." I'm excited about this - I love to try new things!

    I have a question for those of you out there in blogland.... I use bamboo dpn's the majority of the time as the metal ones (especially the smaller sizes) seem to bother my hands/shoulder when I knit with them. I mostly have Clover's but the size I needed for the CURSED SOCKS this evening were Plymouth. I found them to be so MUCH smoother than the Clover, the yarn, as nasty as it was, just slid right along. Is this a fluke? are the Plymouth all like this? Just curious - I liked them a lot.

    I'm off to bed to dream of more compliant, less evil yarn!

    Saturday, January 07, 2006

    ~Let's Hear it for Weekends!~

    Image Hosted by Hi all! I hope you have all had a good week. Feels like an incredibly LONG week, but nevertheless it is over. I have moved into my new office and am adjusting. We've had some very tense moments and some hysterically funny moments. -- People have a hard time realizing that I haven't changed, I have just changed locations. I will never understand the people in this world that thrive on conflict and intrigue and when there isn't any, they create it themselves. Ah well, I am hoping things will calm down. We had a snow day on Tuesday, it was beautiful to look at .... from the inside out! The kids and I baked and watched some Disney Movies and had a really nice relaxing day, and since I have Wednesday's off, I only had a two day work week this week! woooooooo hoooooooooo!
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    I have been knitting, quick things. The diagonal scarf is made up of Red Heart Light and Lofty with some fun fur mixed in every 8 rows or so. It is a huge hit with everyone that gets it as a gift and it takes no time at all. (is this what is referred to as ghetto?????) lol
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    My laundry room has a winter clothesline now (I did not make the two sweaters on the right). I love it, I do have summer "clothes" to hang also.

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    I've started a new Knitted Babe and I'm trying to decide if I am going to make some socks now or work on another pair of Fingerless Mitts - maybe I'll do both! It's 2006 now, so I can have a bunch of projects going now, right? right? ABSOLUTELY! When Patti and I were in Connecticut before Christmas, we visited one of our favorite Craft stores and while there, I came across a knitted sample and the pattern for socks made out of Queensland Llama Seta and Kathmandu. I didn't purchase the pattern, but I have no doubt I can figure it out. The foot is the Llama Seta and the ankle portion is the Kathmandu - they were sooooooooooo soft to touch that I am itching to make them. I have the yarn a gorgeous denim blue for the foot and a beautiful tweed for the top (yes folks, I am truly a sock-slut!)
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    (the picture doesn't do it justice, but I can't find good light in here and I really don't want to go out in the cold)

    and finally, here we have Beau who has figured out a way to make the couch even MORE comfortable! lol After I shot this picture, he curled up in a little ball in there and slept for two hours! What a life :)
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    Today I am on catch-up duty - tons of laundry, picking up, some cleaning and softball practice begins for the girls this weekend (for their travel teams). This is our cue that we are on our way to Spring (we won't think about how much snow and cold lies between now and then! ugh!).

    I wanted to thank those of you that left comments and sent emails for Melyssa's birthday - you are all so sweet - she was thrilled that people that really didn't know her would take the time to send her Birthday wishes - Thank you! Also, an update on my friend, that I told you about previously, who had been diagnosed with cancer - she has been told that they "believe they got it all"! YAY! She will go in for checks every 6 months - but finally some good news for someone that has had very little of it in her young life! Thank you for all of your prayers and wishes for her recovery (she also made the snowman banner for the top of my blog - cute huh?!)

    I hope you all have a great day/weekend! Happy Knitting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Sunday, January 01, 2006

    ~New Years Day ~ 17 Years Ago~

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    17 years ago today I made my 5th or 6th trip to the hospital because of this lovey! Her due date was January 22nd - on December 20th, after 4 different trips to the hospital, my doctor sent me to the hospital to have my C-Section - the baby was over 7lbs and had been trying to join us for weeks. If all went well, the new baby and I would join Matt and DH on the 24th! just in time for Christmas! It was a bittersweet day as my beloved grandmother had passed away on December 20th (many years before, but dearly remembered always). Upon arriving at the hospital, and over the course of MANY, MANY hours, I was visited by various doctors and nurses and eventually the head of the OB department. He finally came in after 7 hours of waiting for the OR to tell me that "the baby wasn't ready to be delivered, he was putting me on medication to stop my labor and sending me home". The nightmare begins here...... (I found out weeks later from staff at the hospital that I was sent home because the doctor did not want to do the surgery that night, the floors were short staffed and a C-section would have put too much of a strain on them so close to Christmas - fury doesn't cover it).

    The "medication" caused my heart to race, caused me to pass out and made me extremely ill. It was quite possibly the worst Christmas I have ever had. I can't remember ever feeling so "wrong". After 11 days of this, my doctor told me to stop taking it. Melyssa wasted no time at all in making her entrance. She was a beautiful baby and also the most difficult out of the 4! She had colic, her time clock was backwards, she slept all day, screamed all night and when all of this passed she terrorized her brother - SHE WAS A HORROR SHOW! I am happy to say that at the age of approximately 2 1/2 or 3 she did a complete turn around and was the most enjoyable child ever. She was quick-witted, happy, strong-willed, overbearing at times, opinionated and charming! She has always been "old" for her years, very mature and SO MUCH fun!

    She has turned into quite the young woman. Her smile lights up a room! She is her "own" person! She received permission to wear pants to her semi-formal and all of her decked out friends made a huge deal out of her because her hair was out of it's bun and she didn't have on sweats or jeans! She is an honors student, an athlete - varsity softball as a freshman, varsity fieldhockey as a sophmore, jv basketball, she is a softball coach, a mentor to the little girls, a volunteer. Her school has nominated her to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine. She visits her grandmothers all the time, drives her sisters around, helps them with their homework, helps me with the housework, laundry and cooking and maintains her place on the honor roll. She is still very strong willed, her own person - but she is one of the most compassionate people I have ever met in my life. She is a great role model for her younger sisters. She and I have "movie nights" sometimes with her friends, sometimes just us - she is fun to be with. She is not perfect, but she is loved and respected by most everyone that gets to know her, and I am proud to call her my daughter. I won't take credit for who she is, she just IS and I love her more than I could possibly find the words to express that love with!

    I have been blessed and I am SO VERY GRATEFUL!
    Happy Birthday Melyssa what a wonderful New Years Gift you were and are! - I love you!

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