Betsi and Liam's Grandma Gifts

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So this post is basically for my Momma. :) Here are pics of Betsi and Liam with their gifts. Betsi LOVES her new jacket. She immediately called her boyfriend and called me "mom" in the conversation. lol. Love you!!!! I would like to thank my Mom and Dad(Joe) and sister for treating all of my kiddos the same. I love that Betsi and Liam aren't "step" to them.

Davis is a Star

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Ok, it's just a YouTube video but he is convinced it's completely amazing!

Sleeping Cuties

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Here are a couple of pictures Billy snapped while Davis and Sadie napped this afternoon. They are too cute. Which reminds me, Billy just finished his newest website CUTEzzz. You have to check it out it is the cutest sleepy things, falling asleep weird but oddly entertaining.




Christmas Wrap Up

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What a week! We went to Toronto for Christmas with Diane, Katy, and Quintin on Christmas Eve and stayed until the next morning. Betsi and Liam got to go and the kids had a great time unwrapping presents and loved their gifts.

I got some really nice Pampered Chef things and a shirt that is perfect for layering, wonderful! :) Supper was great and Ezzie came by, making Davis really happy he "lubs" her.

We got back to Topeka and dropped Betsi and Liam off at Sarah's and went home for a day of relaxing and straightening up. Billy had to work until noon on Friday so Davis and I packed for a weekend in Larned and as soon as he got home we were off!

Friday night we arrived in Lewis at my Aunt and Uncle's house for the best Christmas dinner ever! Everything was delicious and all of us were there. I was certainly missing my Grandma and Grandpa but in more of a bittersweet way than a sad one.

My cousin Scott's little girl, Addison looked beautiful, she's almost two and such a doll. Of course, Amber's three girls were there and I couldn't beleive how much they had all grown! We spent the night at Amber and CJ's house in Larned where the kiddos played and we stayed up late watching movies and talking, I have missed my sister so freaking much! The next day Daddy and Joyce came over and brought presents for the kiddos. Davis got a cute car track that he adores and he shared very nicely with the girls. We then met Rebecca, Aunt Linda, and Pam for lunch at Pizza Hut. Davis spent the whole time playing with Daddy who was sitting across the table from him and making the funniest faces. He sure loves Grandpa!

That afternoon Billy, Davis, and I went to Mom and Dad's house to open gifts. Davis got a ride on Diego Rescue Plane and was completely enchanted by it. What a perfect gift! Billy and I got a super great new digital camera so we can finally share pictures of our family! Thanks for the great gifts! We brought Betsi and Liam's gifts home for them to open when they come back on Tuesday.

Saturday night I made spaghetti for Amber's family and us and Daddy came over too. Once he went home Rebecca and a couple that are friends with Amber and CJ came over for some drinks and playing pool in the basement. It was a really fun night. My lovely sister drank waaaaayyy too much and it was hilarious watching her. Once everyone left we watched a movie and went to sleep much later than we had planned on.

This morning we got up and drove back to Topeka. For the first time in over 6 years I counted more hawks along the road than Billy. Ok, technically we tied on hawks, each counting 60, but I won the tiebreaker of identifying the artist and song title of the first song we heard on the radio.

The most difficult part of this last week was having Christmas without Bill there. I haven't written on this blog since he died in November, mainly because I didn't have the words to express what was going on and how his death affected our family, and Billy and I. I have read Dusti's blog faithfully and thought that her words were amazing and a wonderful tribute to her father and her family and knew that mine would fall very short. So, I will just say that Christmas was hard and that I am so lucky to be a part of this family and to have had Bill in my life these last several years.

Ok, that's a quick wrap up of our Christmas week. We both go back to work tomorrow and I am exhausted! Here are a couple of pics I took with our new camera. I had to charge the battery though so I didn't get many.
~Summer















We "elfed" Ourselves!

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Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Get Out and Vote!

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I can't stress enough how important this election is and even though I am a liberal Democrat living in a very red state, my vote does count. In fact, Barack Obama raised more money in Kansas than did McCain and while this year our electoral votes will most certainly be going to the Republican ticket, I feel we are moving in the right direction.

I have to admit that I am baffled by the everyday, working class families who are supporting McCain/Palin. I understand that a great many people, especially on the Republican side, are one issue votes around things like abortion, denying equal rights to the LGBT population, and other moral dictates. This infuriates me although I try to remain calm. :)

I know why I voted the way that I did and I understand the issues, after much research and time spent analyzing both candidates offered plans for the nation. I have looked over voting records and the personal lives of each and I have come to the conclusion that not only is Obama an amazing politician but he is a good decent man with a strong connection to family, faith, and community.

Now, I am an atheist so the candidate's religious beliefs interest me only in the area of whether or not they will attempt to inflict their beliefs on this nation. Certainly John McCain/Sarah Palin will strive to do so, and Obama while he is devoutly religious, understands that there is a separation of church and state for a reason.

McCain's plan to give tax cuts to the wealthy and large corporation in the hopes that this wealth will then "trickle down" to the rest of us is a simple repeat of the last 8 years, which we know doesn't work.

He will implement a spending freeze across the board which will impact the services that we need to exist. Not only is this crazy but it's dangerous and shows even more his lack of real knowledge about economics, budgeting, and investing in our nation. We need a president who will look at the big picture and who understands that getting ourselves out of the Bush mess will take more than one term and probably several difficult years.

I don't have time to go more in depth on every policy but if you wanna debate I'm up for it. :)

~Summer

Crazy Days

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This morning I woke up and the first thing I read was a blog written by someone I love detailing horrible things that are happening to her and her family and it could have been written by me about a year ago. Not only did I feel awful for her but it also brought up all the emotions I have been trying to keep away for the last year. While some of the details were obviously different the scenario was the same down to the way her significant other was acting and she was feeling.

I talked to Billy about it because I have found that if I don't I end up seething and taking things out on him later on. He shared more with me about what happened with us than he had before which didn't make me feel better but I was grateful for. I know that we are ok now and my heart hurts for this other couple. I care about both of them and I try and stay neutral but I've been in her position and it's hard to identify with his.

Anyway today will be busy for us we have Betsy and Liam and Billy has to work so we are all going to trek up to the library and hang out for awhile, Alan loves it there and there are lots of things for the kiddos to do. Then the kids and I will probably hit the zoo if it's not too cold later on. Then home for some deep house cleaning, fun fun fun.

I have a pretty nasty infection in my incisions for which I am taking strong antibiotics for which have their own awful side effects. I can't wait for the day when I just feel healthy! I missed work last week except for Thursday due to the infection and running a fever and generally feeling yucky.

I couldn't miss Thursday because that was our staffing day in Osage City where all of the employees from all 11 offices across KS come together. This Thursday was also our big Weigh In. Our company is going to weigh us every 6 months and pay us for losing weight or falling within our target weight range. So, I have to get to work. Over the last year I have gained weight which is obviously not what I wanted to do. Billy tries to make me feel better or tell me it's because of stress and maybe it is but I need to kick it in gear and lose some weight.

So I set a goal for myself of 35 pounds. I have 6 months to do it if I want an awesome pay out of $12 a pound lol. The only problem is that I still have a month before I can exercise except for walking. :P

I guess that's about all, it's fairly boring, stressful at times, but nothing much changes here.

~Summer

Humpday

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Today is Wednesday and it marks the middle of the longest week ever! Every day has seemed to drag on until I was ready to scream. I officially returned to work Monday, a week after I had originally planned which will definitely hurt the pocketbook. :(

Being up and around all day every day has really been good but has also really made my incisions hurt worse and I'm afraid that they are at least really irritated but probably infected. I see the Dr. in the morning to have the steri strips taken off of the incisions so we will let him decide. I am not looking forward to that as I am fairly certain he will hurt me.

I am still really swollen on the sides of my breasts and ribcage, probably because that's where I had lipo done and on my left side they did quite a bit of work as that breast was so much larger than the other. lol I guess that's a good thing, I am certainly more proportional between the two now.

This weekend promises to be super fun, we have been having to put off going to Haysville and hanging out with Brandon and Ashley for months but now we are going! Friday as soon as Billy's off work we head out for the weekend. We don't have Betsy and Liam which is kind of sad but it will still be fun. I cannot wait to get away. I am a little worried about how much a long car ride will hurt, and I still can't drive so I'm sure motion sickness will rear its ugly head as well. My thoughts are on pleasant things though and I'm so excited to spend the weekend with our best friends!

In other news, Alan is still a monster. Adorable, smart, amazing, talented; but still a monster. I can't believe how fast he is growing and learning. I know that I am completely biased but he talks so well I think and he is the cutest boy ever, his dimples and giant brown eyes melt my heart every time he smiles at me.

He is now enthralled with dinosaurs and will chase us with his little dino claw hands while roaring. He's still completely a Daddy's boy so sometimes they are both chasing me. I'm so lucky!

My work is going well, I have a lot to catch up on and I have tons of paperwork to get in order asap.

Billy's new job is great. In fact, they were so impressed with his web design skills and command of coding languages that they let him have free reign (pretty much) to redesign the entire site! I am so proud of him.

I guess that's about all with us, everything is pretty much the same day to day nothing super exciting. I hope this week starts going by quicker I can't wait for the weekend.

~Summer

Back to Work

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Tomorrow I have my one week check up and I return to work. I was hoping to return on Monday but apparently I woefully underestimated the recovery time. I am really nervous about going back to work because I still took 2 naps today after the pain medication. Of course, tomorrow is my last day of the good meds unless the Dr. writes me another prescription. Honestly I could use them probably for at least another week. I am still in lots of pain.

My big struggle at work will be to get things done without using my upper body too much and without hurting myself enough that I need medication. It's amazing how many times a day I do something and then regret it seconds later, especially when Alan is around. I am not allowed to pick him up for 6-8 weeks and he just started sitting on my lap a couple of days ago. I've really missed that closeness with him.

I should get to bed, my thoughts are a bit hazy and I'm tired. I'll let you all know how tomorrow goes.

~Summer

The Grand Reveal

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This morning I woke up, took my pain meds, and asked Billy if he could give me a shower. We were both pretty nervous about this as we were sure it was going to hurt like hell and we had no idea what things looked like. First he helped me get undressed and take off the surgical vest. Then he had to peel the dressings away from my incisions. OMG OUCH! He was gentle and wonderful but I am not looking forward to tomorrow.

Once the gauze was all removed and the support of the vest was gone I was in agony and still scared to go look in a mirror, but I did. To me my breasts looked so small. They are still very swollen so I was trying to imagine what they will look like when that has gone away. I am covered with nasty looking bruises and the tape over my sutures made me look a bit like Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction, only not nearly as pretty.

Billy had to wash my hair and body very gently and just standing there while he did that was excruciating. Once I was dried off and ready to dress I looked in the mirror again and was just shocked. It doesn't look like me and I don't know if I was ready for that or not. I was definitely ready to get that vest back on though. Billy redressed my incisions and got me all buckled in, and it freaking hurt like hell.

Overall I think I feel better today than I did yesterday but I still acutely aware of each incision and bruise. We haven't seem Alan since Thursday morning so I'm missing him like crazy but know that if he were home I wouldn't be able to properly recover.

So today I'm going to rest and try not to hurt too much, ha ha.

OMG Ouch!

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I am typing this blog through a haze of incredible pain and I have to wait 3 hours for more pain medicine. :( Yesterday was the big day, Mom, Aunt Pam, Billy and I arrived at the hospital right at 11:00am to check in. I was immediately taken to a pre-op room and given a gown, a funny cap, and surgical slipper things to change into. Then there was a parade of people coming in to see me, explain their role in my surgery, and have me sign consent forms.

I was starving and nervous and when the Dr. came in to do the markings I thought I was going to puke! Billy stayed with me while he marked exactly where he was going to slice and dice. He used a Sharpie and now I know why it's called that, ouch!

I was then ready to go to surgery. They came in and gave me wonderful meds through my IV and I was out. I don't remember going to the operating room although I am told I said goodbye to everyone. :)

The surgery took a little longer than expected, about 4 hours total. I woke up in the recovery room and barely remember talking to the nurse there scared over how things had turned out. Once I was strong enough and alert enough I was wheeled to my room where Billy, Aunt Pam, and Mom waited. I don't remember much about the first several hours there. I am told I couldn't get "Howard the Duck" out of my head and that he was an annoying F'n duck! I have no idea where that came from. Billy told me I was asking him and the nurse to get me "a different sort of waterfowl, a swan maybe." So that was crazy. :P

I had amazing drugs to help with the pain which was still horrible. Billy stayed the night with me in the hospital and we got almost no sleep because of the pain and the vital sign interruptions. The nurses and staff were amazing and when I would start freaking out about how things were going to look or the pain, they were so patient, knowing that the drugs were having odd effects.

This morning all I wanted to do was go home! Around 10am the nurse came in and removed the drains that were put in each bottom incision. OMFG that hurt! The pain pills they gave me were causing me to itch badly so I had to try another pill and stay long enough to make sure it worked. I got to leave around noon.

I had to wear a surgical vest home, which is like a super tight bra that holds all of my dressings in place. I have no idea what my breasts look like as I can't take it off until tomorrow when I get to be given a shower. lol I am SOOOOO nervous for that too. In order to help with shaping the Dr. gave me some liposuction on each of my sides and that is one of the most painful things. I have giant dark purple/black bruises there.

I will wear the surgical vest every day for a month at least to make sure that my incisions heal properly. I have to avoid anything strenuous, driving, and lifting my arms higher than my chest, and most of all I have to deal with this ungodly pain! All in all I am pretty happy so far with how everything turned out but I'm still a little goofy from the drugs which I will be taking for a while and the pain which isn't going away soon. :(

Thank you all for your thoughts and well wishes I can't wait to see my new boobies!!!

~Summer

Monday Monday

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Last week was a very productive one. Brent and I held the training Wed-Fri for Transitional Living Services Specialists which I think went really well. If nothing else we have some great ideas for the next one and met some great potential workers.

Friday Billy and I went to the hospital for my pre anesthesia consultation. It was basically a lot of questions and a brief physical at the end of which I signed a paper indicating I understood I could die while on the operating table. While there they also pre admitted me for the surgery so that Thursday morning I can just go on back. I also got the list of "do nots" for the day of the surgery. Exciting.

This weekend both Billy and I were sick with sinus crap and it sucked. Two sick cranky people and one hyper baby do not make for a relaxing time. Alan was really excited this weekend about football and whenever he saw it, on tv or on Billy's XBox he was crazy! He would jump on the couch yelling "Come on!", "Hit em", "Get it" and a couple of not quite so nice things. He's definitely his parents' kiddo! I remember during the 2003 NBA playoffs Billy and I ran the rest of his family out onto the porch with our team spirit! lol

So now it's Monday and I am starting to stress over the surgery, what happens if I am not ready to return to work next Monday, I don't have enough paid time off and unpaid time really hurts, and what if something goes wrong? I suppose I'll do what I normally do and not think about it, or obsess over it quietly in my head. My mom and aunt are coming down for the surgery; I guess it's a spectator sport. :P It will be great to see them but that means heavy duty cleaning will have to be worked into my schedule at some point in the next couple of days. Something I wanted to do this weekend and somehow never got around to. I am a horrible procrastinator.

Anyway I should quit writing on here and do some actual work. Have a great week!

~Summer

So Nervous!

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This afternoon Billy is going with me to my pre-op appointment. The time when we decide with the Dr. exactly how much things are going to change and we take even more completely crazy pictures. Fun. I am really nervous. I know that things will be better for me physically once I have this done and it will be great to be able to buy tops that fit me. I'll b able to do more things with Billy like play basketball and maybe start running again (something I haven't done since middle school!).

I can't even imagine what it would feel like to go a whole day without back, shoulder, neck, or head pain. Most days it's a combo of all of them, no wonder I get so damn cranky! My fears are mainly regarding the scarring that will be permanent and the horror stories I've heard of the procedure going wrong.

The surgery is scheduled for the 25th and it seems impossibly close! Wish me luck and send me lots of positive thoughts so I don't chicken out.

Summer

What's For Dinner?

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Last night I had no idea, it was Billy's bday and I wanted it to be special. I got home and flung open the fridge, freezer, and cupboards searching for something, anything to fix. My cupboards were nearly bare and the fridge had an odd assortment of veggies from the farmer's market. So I did what any crazy lady would do and I made up a recipe and hoped for the best. lol

I layered some boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets, cabbage, tomatoes, and green peppers in a baking dish and topped it with a weird marinade of soy sauce, worcestshire sauce, water, cajun seasoning, sea salt, brown sugar, and lemon pepper and threw it in the oven. An hour later we had, well something. Actually it was really really good but the cajun seasoning made it too hot for Betsy and Liam to enjoy although Alan proclaimed it "Dishes bass"(translation: delicious bass, you know from Napolean Dynomite). Billy really liked it so I guess that's what matters. :)

I am waaaaayy overdue for a long grocery shopping trip to stock up on the essentials. So last night was fun we just all hung out watching silly YouTube clips and Alan dance. We talked about our plans for the weekend and how Betsy was going to miss great family time to go to a concert with her friends. :P Betsy played the violin beautifully with Alan sadly saying "Bye song" on her breaks. After the kids went home we cleaned up a bit and called it an early night. So it wasn't a huge party or anything special but it was really nice.

This morning Alan was completely naked but luckily he had not made a huge mess as his diaper was only wet and laying in the floor. :) We rushed around to leave early as I had an early meeting and managed to leave just on time and without taking the trash to the curb. :( Oh well the weekend is almost here and I am ready.

Happy Birthday Billy!

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Today is Billy's 33rd birthday. It started out wonderful, I snuck out of bed and woke up Alan trying to get him to say "Happy Birthday Daddy!" He climbed into bed with Billy, crawled on top of him and took his face in his hands exclaiming "Appy ithday!" too cute! He then gave Billy real kisses on his cheek, something he has NEVER done, mommy got a couple too. It was amazing.

We don't have plans really but we do have Betsy and Liam tonight and will probably go to the park for some "funning". I have no idea why Alan calls it that but it's cute.

The long weekend will be nice but we have absolutely no plans other than my Mom and Dad maybe coming on Sunday. I hope they do, our families really don't get the chance to come see us. It's been since last December since my Mom and Dad have made it up and over a year since Daddy has. Billy's parents were in Topeka when his Grandma moved here last November I think but we didn't really get a chance to visit.

I think that's my biggest regret. Our kiddos don't have their family around them, Alan doesn't even really know either of our parents. He knows my sister and CJ and their girls and sees lots of pictures of Quintin, Kaden, Gabe, and Ashton but he's mostly on his own. :(

Thankfully Billy's Grandma is in Topeka and he adores her. We haven't seen her as much as we should though with Billy working odd hours at the library and her own very busy schedule. :) I hope that soon we will be able to get out more and see everyone. We owe Brandon and Ashley like 3 cancelled visits and I would love to make it home somewhere for the holidays.

Anyway I am supposed to be hard at work so I should probably start doing that. :P

Have a great Wednesday!

Summer

"You're Nonnie!"

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That is the exclamation Alan is using more and more frequently. At first it was just directed at the dog and used mostly appropriately when she was naughty, now anyone is fair game. Just now I was "very nonnie" and had to "go go go go to bed" because I refused to produce grapes out of thin air. Two year olds really are a handful, it's so hard not to laugh when he does things like that, I don't want to reinforce it but it's so darn cute.

Potty training has pretty much come to a complete halt. For several weeks he was super excited and wanted to use his potty chair all the time, mostly just to sit on. Now he won't even get close to it except the rare occasion when he sits until he has to go and then demands a diaper. Crazy.

He has started sort of changing his own diapers which is mostly not a pretty thing. As soon as he's wet or poopy our very independent child takes the diaper off, flings it down, and marches off naked to find a new one. He puts the new one between his legs and comes to me to fasten it. When it's just a wet diaper it's not a big deal but sometimes......

In other news Billy really is loving his new job. He has his first big assignment to finish by Monday which is a redesign of the www.tscpl.org home page. Alan also loves Daddy's new job since I get off at 4 we are usually at the library a good half hour before Billy gets off. They have a really nice kids place and he loves it. He's always the center of attention with the older kids. Last week a little girl said to me, "Your little boy is so cute. I'm only seven but I've seen lots of little boys and I know when they're cute." I love talking to kids. :) Plus I completely agree with her.

I can't post pics because we don't have a digital camera at the moment. :( I wish I could, Alan is changing and growing so fast and so are Betsy and Liam.

Betsy is in 8th grade this year and will get her learner's permit in November, she is already starting the job hunt. She got her hair cut short and dyed red it's really cute. She wore it in a faux hawk yesterday and Billy and I thought it was cute, I'm sure to her chagrin. She is becoming more and more challenging. When she tells us things it's almost always presented as a challenge for us to disagree with her. :) Guess she has the teenage thing down and from what I've heard may be taking after her Daddy.

Liam is in 4th grade and is growing so much! He is really excited to be back in school and is already planning on being on the honor roll all year, something I'm sure he'll achieve.

I've been super busy with my job, my friend Brent and I are starting trainings for Transitional Living Skills Specialists to work with our consumers who have Traumatic Brain Injuries. I'm really excited about that because I love to train and to talk to people in that sort of forum.

I've been reading the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and while it is slow going because it requires my full attention, I'm really enjoying it. It's refreshing to hear someone be able to eloquently explain the beliefs that I hold. He is a great writer and though it waxes a little too philosophical at times for my taste, it's probably my favorite book this year.

I guess that's about it I hope everyone is doing great.

~Summer

Starting Over

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So this blog was titled "Rampant Emotion" and was a private place for me to write about everything that I didn't want to share with anyone. Then my sister in law made her really great blog subscription only which meant that to see it I had to use my google id. I couldn't comment on her blog without other people being able to see that I had this blog so I changed it, made it public, and deleted all of the hundreds of unhappy posts. :)

I guess that's probably a good thing, one less place to ruminate on things I hate can't be bad right? So for the very few people that had a link to this blog, Amber and Ashley probably, surprise, I'm starting over.