Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sick Day

Someone is not feeling so hot...
Sick Boy
Nothing serious.  A runny nose, fever, and a cough.  If we assume he and I have the same thing, then it's safe to say he has a pretty terrible headache as well.  We are both home, trying to take it easy today.

His requests have been pretty straight forward:

1.) He wants to wear his Zips. 
2.) He wants to stay in Mama's bed. 
3.) He wants to watch Lion King. 
4.) He wants to eat Peanut Butter on a spoon.

Sick Boy
Done, done, done and done.

Those four things with the addition of a little Tylenol for the fever and we are doing pretty good.  Actually, as I am typing this is he sitting up in bed dancing and singing Hakuna Matata.  All in all, not too bad of a day, sick or not.

Today I have a new post up over at Bloggers for Hope about the initial feelings of finding out you have emdometriosis.  If you have a second, I would really appreciate if you would click over and read.  Thanks so much!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Resolution Check Number One

**Did you see at the end of the last post I mentioned that Missy's appointment went great and that her tumor is much smaller that it was six weeks ago? We are so thankful for this answered prayer. I know many of you were among those praying so I wanted to make sure you all knew the wonderful report. 

**Also, thank you for all your sweet anniversary comments. They made me happy :)

So I don't know if you remember, but one of my New Year's Resolutions was to take Henry interesting places. Thanks to Boo and Chris, the first interesting place of 2012 has been visited! On Saturday we packed up the three babies and headed to our cities Children's Museum. You all, it was so great. And Henry and Cici had a blast. Nora... well, she took an awesome nap in the Moby, so it was a win, win, win for the three babies.

Childrens Museum 2012
Henry was very excited to be going to the Children's Museum. I mean, he had no idea what it was, but this is the kid that was PUMPED when I asked if he wanted to go to the doctor last week. It has to be better than that, right?
Childrens Museum 2012
They are big on horses around here.
Childrens Museum 2012
Really big.
Childrens Museum 2012
Baby Nora, relaxing to the max.
Childrens Museum 2012
Mama feels certain that there was at least one if not several pieces missing to this child's puzzle. It is the ONLY OPTION... definitely not that I just couldn't do it. No sir.
Childrens Museum 2012
The newest family of four enjoying some water works
Childrens Museum 2012
It's like, artistic or something.
Childrens Museum 2012
I would think this would be terrifying to kids, but turns out being in a giant mouth is sorta awesome. "TEEEETH!"
Childrens Museum 2012
Something about this makes my hands sweat...
Childrens Museum 2012
Four!
Childrens Museum 2012
I guess Henry is now too tall to stand in a chair in front of me, although come to think of it, he does an excellent job of blocking double chins. Also, we need to work on the "CHEEEESE!!" thing. He just looks at you like you are a fool. "Seriously Aunt Boo...I am not falling for that cheese thing one more time."
Childrens Museum 2012
I claim this planet in the name of Henryville...
Childrens Museum 2012
"Cici, this is SO. AWESOME"
Childrens Museum 2012
"Henry, Bubble tubes are good, but this could hypothetically make you spin until you throw up. COOLEST TOY EVER!"
Childrens Museum 2012
"Sorry Cici... I can see nothing but the Bubble Room and all it's bubble glory."

Sometimes I feel like posts like this just stop abruptly when I run out of pictures. This is one of those times.

(Fin)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Does Calling it my Blogiversary Show my Age?

** Post now UPDATED to include original Blog Design. It's was so BEAUTIFUL!**

So today is my five year Blogiversary.  Which is a term I haven't actually heard in about three years... so that alone may prove that I have been pouring out every thought that comes into my head for way too long now.

So...

Five Years.

Over One Thousand Posts.

Over Five Thousand Comments.


It blows my mind.  Truly.  That I have continued to write, that you all have continued to read and comment.  That five years later I still feel that pull to sit down here and tell our story.

More than that, that five years later it now feels like a part of who I am.  I am a writer.  And it shocks me.  It shocks me that I have been asked to write other places, that people trust me to review books and products,  or bigger still, to be their voice on something as important as endometriosis.  That they ask my opinions, that I am quoted in articles.  That people enjoy what I write.

Thank you for coming here several times a week to read.  Thank you for your comments.  They are the fuel that keeps me writing.  Thank you for your support.  This five years has brought on very difficult times for me and my family.  But oh, they have brought amazing times too.  So thank you for sharing them with me.  For cheering me on, for holding me up, for crying along with me.  This blog has become a part of me.  And so have all of you. I know I sound sorta weepy and cheesy here, but really, thank you all.  It means more than I can say. 

I don't ask often, but I would love it if you took a second and left a comment on this post.  Just because your comments make me happy.  And because it seems like five years is sorta a big deal.  I mean, that's an entire hand, right? 


** I spent about thirty minutes looking for a screen shot of what this blog used to look like.  It was something special.  You couldn't look directly at it or it would burn our your retinas.  If I ever find it, I will be sure to share!

**Missy had her appointment with the NIH this morning and the tumor is much smaller!  We are so very thankful for answered prayers. I will post more details over on her blog later this afternoon or tomorrow once I get to talk to her and my parents.  

**UPDATE!**
biogirlpic
Thank GOD my cousin was able to track down the beauty that was my original blog design. Now don't be shocked or anything, but I DID THIS ALL BY MYSELF! I am so talented, right? That full open space on the right, the tiny header, the seizure inducing circles.... I totally missed my calling to become a graphic designer, right?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

When the Blog Replaces a Baby Book

So this is one of those posts that maybe nobody cares much about except for myself and Henry's grandparents.  But seeing as how I don't actually have a baby book for Henry, or I DO have one, but it is completely empty except for the random pieces of memorabilia I have stuck inside (such as his footprints and his hospital bracelet).  Besides that the adorable book is pointless. THIS is Henry's virtual baby book.  And so sometimes posts like this are necessary.  Don't worry. I will include pictures to help make it more interesting.

P1030600  
Henry says Helloooo there. Welcome to my boring stats post.

Henry had his two and a half year check up yesterday. Yes, I know this is a little late. In all honesty, I kept waiting for him to get sick in order to take him in and kill two copay birds with one stone. Turns out the kid stayed healthy so I finally caved to make the appointment. THEN it turns out that with the new Obama Care Plan our office is no longer charging for copays on well child checks because insurance companies are suppose to cover them. AMAZING!
P1030604  
Henry says: Mama, even I am bored with this post. Move along to the interesting stuff!

So on to the stats! That we got completely for free!

Height: 36 1/2 inches 50-75th percentile

Weight: 26 pounds 5-10 percentile

Head: 20 inches 75-90 percentile
P1030544
Henry says: That's right ladies. If you like tall and skinny with a slightly big head to hold all these brains, I am totally your man. 

For the record, I don't think the height measurement is accurate.  He was moving around like crazy I think he has at least another inch he can claim.  I will get a tape measure at some point and make him stand against the wall in the bathroom to begin the family tradition of writing on walls to show a childs growth.   
P1030565  
Henry says: Well that seems like a double standard. If I try to write on walls, I always get into a ton of trouble!

So that's about it.  Tall, skinny, extremely healthy.  You can't beat that! 

  P1030482
A special thanks to Cousin Matt for these pictures of Henry. He was able to take some shots that actually capture what he REALLY looks like in some random, around the house snap shots. Something I have been trying to do now for two and a half years. I would say it was his fancy camera, but really I think it was the guy behind it who has an eye for capturing things on film. I love them, even though the boy pretty much refused to smile in all of them.
P1030355
Or... almost all of them.  My sweet boy. Two and a half already. How is it possible?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Stepping Back

Thank you for all of your support yesterday.  I am really doing okay.  I find myself saying that a lot. But I am fine.  Really, I am.

Yesterday after posting, I was emotional and wanted to get myself under control.  I called Missy, who was spending the day with Henry.  She answers the phone and was out of breath.  She says sorry, they are just in the middle of a Michael Jackson dance party.  At that point I hear Henry says "Dance Mimi! Dance!"

And I took a small step back from the emotional ledge.

After working my ten hour day I headed across campus to my class.  It was our first time meeting and the professor is amazing.  Each week we are to do some reading on a women's health topic, then email her a "Casual, in our own voice, opinion on what we found interesting about the reading".  The rest of the class seemed to think it sounded difficult.  I thought it sounded a lot like a blog post.  Toward the end of the class she said that this class used to be called "Maternal Health" but she felt that did women in general a disservice.  That many women do not have children, both because they choose not to and because they are not able to.  This class would cover all of that.  Both Infertility and Endometriosis were mentioned as topics we would cover.  I smiled and thought that I am going to love this course.

And I took a small step back from the emotional ledge.

I went home and had a late dinner with Nick and Henry.  We played matchbox cars and then read stories before bed.  He picked out 'I Love You Forever'.

And I took a small step back from the emotional ledge.

After tucking him in I went into the kitchen and started cooking a casserole to bring to my friend at work.  She lost her mom last week and today is her first day back.  I thought of my mom.  Of my family.  And I thought how much worse things could be.  How lucky I am.  

And I took a small step back from the emotional ledge.

I climbed into bed around midnight.  Exhausted.  But feeling much better than I did when I woke up.  Someties it all comes crashing down, and you are pushed to your emotional limits.  That was me yesterday.  Not for any one reason, but for lots of little ones that just added up.  But still, you can't live your life on the ledge.  There are too many good things going on around me that I don't want to miss.
Crafts
Thank you all for listening. Thank you for helping me take a step back. Because your words of support did just that. They helped me take one more step back from the ledge.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Ledge

I feel like I am on an emotional ledge.  I don't exactly know how I got here, but here I sit.

Missy goes back up to the NIH this week for a new MRI and a reevaluation of the tumor growth.  And I am terrified. 

Nick's job is running out of funding in the next few weeks.  We don't have an exact end date, but it is coming soon.  He is trying to line up something else here at the University, but so far the best we have is that hopefully someone can get him on in June.  Hopefully.  We don't want to move, but we cannot afford to live on my salary alone.  That is actually almost a joke.  We can't even come CLOSE to living on my salary.  Having the primary bread winner (who carries Henry on his insurance) out of work is terrifying.  And we are staring that reality down the barrel. 

My endo is moving back to the land of Out Of Control.  My periods are lasting around 14 days and are extremely painful.  I know it's time to go in and talk to the doctor.  To talk about another surgery, but that will cost us money we don't really have.  To talk about going back on birth control, but in all honesty birth control makes me feel worse that I have these last few months off of it.  Rather than a two week painful period and then two weeks basically symptom free, on birth control I am just crampy and uncomfortable all the time with constant spotting and then the added bonus of extremely painful periods to boot.  And of course, I don't want to go on birth control.  Because that will officially be THE END.  And although I should be ready for that, I am just not.

If the Last Chance FET had worked I would be due next month.  And that breaks my heart.

So that is where I am at.  On an emotional ledge trying really hard not to let my lower lip quiver.  I sat down to write something funny and up beat, and for the life of me I couldn't thing of a thing to say.  Maybe this is why.  Because right now I am not in a funny and upbeat place.  I am in a hard place.  And they happen, and I will get through it.  But today, I am on the ledge, and it's a hard place to hang out.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Freaky Friday

You know that movie Freaky Friday *?  The one where the mom and daughter switch places?
Bedtime
Yeah, something sorta like that is what I found at bedtime the other night in Henry's room.
Bedtime

Henry says: "Mama, I have really thought this through.  I will tuck him in, read him Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, rub his back and THEN, Henry will sleep in MAMA'S BED!  It's fool proof!"

*I know, right? What a freak for linking to the Lindsay Lohan version.  But the thing is, when I looked at the page for the 1976 version I had NO MEMORY of those characters. Like I feel like I saw that movie...but just... a total blank when I look at the poster.  I guess I am of the Lindsay Lohan Freaky Friday generation.  Crazy.  Also, did you know JODIE FOSTER is the kid in the original movie?  A little Disney movie trivia for you, right there!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

BlogHer Book Club: The Underside of Joy

Did you stop by yesterday?  Were you confused?  A good blogger would have mentioned the day before if they planned to take part in an internet wide Blackout in order to fight censorship of the web.  Sorry about that.  If you are curious about the details of the SOPA and PIPA Bill and the reasons for the blackout, watch this video

Now on to the book review!

I recently finished reading The Underside of Joy, the debut novel by SerĂ© Prince Halverson for the BlogHer Book Club (paid review... my opinions are my own.  Just like always) and I was left with nothing but mixed feelings on the book.  The main character Ella is an infertile woman who suffers five miscarriages before walking away from her husband and her life in Southern California.  While driving to... well, nowhere in particular, she stops off at a grocery store and stumbles upon the store owner who has two very small children and a wife who has left and said she will never be coming back.  She moves in and becomes wife and Mommy.  Like right away.  Like that very same day.

That story line alone somehow breaks my heart.  This woman was so desperate to be a family after her struggle with infertility that she just picked one up at the local grocery store.  No questions asked.  But the story actually begins three years after this chance encounter that led to the family of four, when her new husband and father of the two children is killed by a sleeper wave one morning.  His death leads to the revelation that Ella had been living in a bubble in regards to the details of their lives.  She knew nothing of their finances or the future of their small town store, and more importantly, she knew nothing of the details of her husbands first marriage or the biological mother of her two children, who returns to the picture to challenge Ella for custody.

The Underside of Joy takes you through the story of this grieving wife and mother who finds herself trying to save her family, save their store, and save herself.  The writing is excellent and the story was interesting, but I had a hard time in general with Ella.  Many of her decisions both before and after the death of her husband were just hard to understand and many times hard to accept.  Maybe her infertility and her desire to be a mother above all else just hit a little too close to home.

We will be discussing The Underside of Joy for the next month over at BlogHer!  Please come join in the conversation.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Home Again

Well, we are back home.  What? Did I forget to mention that we went to South Carolina for the weekend?  Well, we did.  And at this rate I will visit all 50 states by the end of the year! 

(The math for this crazy statement is that I have been to six states in the first thirteen days of the year.   I mean... really I just drove through most of them, but STILL.  I am counting it for the sake of my crazy 50 state projection.  So if I do the math... six states every 13 days.  That is basically a state every two days, right?  And THAT means I should see no less than 132 states this year.  Since I will tap out at 50 states (since that is all there are) I should be done with this US tour by spring. I have some travel planning to do....)

(one of these days visiting all 50 states should be on my New Years Resolution list.  On a year I have much more money than this current year I am living in)

ANYWAY.

That was a long and boring tangent.  But I am leaving it because...well...this post doesn't really have a lot of meat to it.  A few random pictures and that's it.  So might as well tack on a tangent to make it feel more substantial.

ANYWAY AGAIN.

PICTURES!
South Carolina
Here is the reason we drove to South Carolina for a quick weekend trip. It had been WAY too long since we made the drive over the mountains to visit our Mawmaw.
  South Carolina
And it ended up working out perfectly because Cousin Matt (who in my head has taken on the title "Cousin Matt" in the way the other family is "Aunt Candice" or "Uncle Chris") flew in from Portland for a visit. We haven't seen him in a couple years so it was awesome! We got to watch his short film (which he wrote, filmed, directed...you name it, he did it) Jack and Jill, which made the trip that much more enjoyable.

South Carolina
Add in some warming our feet by the fire... South Carolina
Some old school cabin building...
South Carolina
and some crazy angry birds driving a Barbie Camper and you have a perfect all around South Carolina weekend!

Friday, January 13, 2012

King of the Castle

For some reason Henry thinks all homes belong to the woman in the family.  Our house is "Mama's House!".  And he tells us about it often.  I usually say "Yes baby, this is Mama's house and Papa's house and Henry's house!".  He agrees... just to placate me, then goes back to yelling "Mama's House!" and pointing to the ceiling. And this isn't just with our house.  We have "Boo's House!", "Nanny's House!", "Nana's House!".  Every house seems to belong to the Mama (or grandmama) in residence.  but there is one exception.

Nick's dad recently sold his house that was about a half hour away and is moving back to the city.  We are SO excited to have him here.  We now can drop in regularly, stopping by for waffles for dinner or to watch a playoff football game. Or... you know... to drop off a two year old and let Mama and Papa have a grown up dinner somewhere in town.  But since Granddaddy was wanting to build a new house here, but didn't want to start construction until the old house sold, he is currently living in an apartment building.  It is a nice place,  all brick with three stories and open stairwells you can see from the parking lot.  It looks like a normal apartment complex.

Well, this weekend we pulled in to the parking lot and Henry looks up at the building and whispers "Granddaddy's  Castle?"   We laughed and told him it was Granddaddy's apartment and went inside.

A little side note: "How does Henry even know about castles?" you ask?  Well that might have something to do with his love of Tangled. WHAT?  Boys can like princess movies!  We are not categorizing between girl and boys things around here... We are all for equality!  (Translation.  Mama loves that movie) Or it could be because we pass our local castle on the way to Nana's house.  No really.  We have a local castle.  And we are proud of it.  Not many cities US cities have an actual castle.

So anyway, we head into the apartment to visit with Grandaddy and Val. Henry has a great time.  They laugh and play, they watch movies and they hid under the kitchen table like it's a fort. After about an hour Henry climbs onto the couch, looks at us and says "Grandaddy's CASTLE!" and points to the ceiling.  It's official.  Grandaddy lives in a castle.

Christmas 2011
And I think we all know who is King.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bloggers for Hope

I am so excited to tell you all about a very special project I am working on with Chance to Hope, a non-profit organization for infertility awareness and financial support.  The founders of CTH contacted me in the end of 2011 and asked if I would be interested in joining a team of infertility bloggers for their new project, Bloggers for Hope.  The basic premise of the project is to provide a location where women and families can come to read first hand accounts of other couples who have experienced the infertility struggles they now find themselves going through.  The site will focus on all forms of infertility and it's causes, having writers from each main catagory of infertility blogging on a regular basis.

I am very proud say that I will be the blogger discussing endometriosis on Bloggers for Hope, and I could not be more honored to be a part of such an amazing group of people.  They are passionate about getting information out about infertility as well as providing financial grants to families who are wanting to build their family but need medical assistance.  Today my first post is up, which tells our entire back story of my diagnosis with endometriosis and how that led to my infertility.  Please take the time to click over and read it if you are interested. 

As I wrote it I realized that I had never put the entire story down in one place before.  As much as I blog, I had never just done my history.  That is what Bloggers for Hope is about.  If someone newly diagnosed with endometriosis were to google bloggers with endo, they would find me.  But what they would see would be what you see every day.  My life.  This blog will allow people to find exactly what they are looking for.  A personal story, support, and a community.  It is an amazing project and I am lucky to be involved.  Please take the time to click over and support them (us) by reading.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Meeting Nora

I tried hard (well...sorta hard. I thought about it for a second) to come up with a better title for this post.  But really, you don't care what I call it or even what words I type. You just want to see Nora pictures, right?  That's what I figured.

Cousins
Henry was so excited to meet his new cousin! He calls her "baby Nora" and it is the sweetest thing I have ever heard in my life.
Cousins
He loves her so.
Sisters
And so does her big sister!
Cousins
These three. I see a lot of love. And maybe a little trouble.

PS. Her Aunt and Uncle are in love with her too

Nora
PPS. So is her Papaw
Nora and Papaw
PPPS. Also, Big Sister is awfully adorable.
Darcy

Monday, January 9, 2012

4.0

This week classes start again, and I am once again enrolled.  Four semesters down, one Masters class at a time.  Only another ten to go.  I don't talk about the fact that I am working on my Masters very often here on the blog (or anywhere else for that matter).  I tell myself it isn't really worth talking about or getting excited about.  I am proud of my 4.0 Masters GPA, but it is only one class, nothing to brag about.

But then I think about it.  And you know, I think it's okay to be proud of myself.  It isn't like the ONLY thing I am doing is taking one class a semester.  I work full time, I am a mother and a wife, a sister and a daughter.  I write this blog, and write several other places as well.  I read books and do reviews, I spend time with my girl friends and family.  And in the middle of that, I have managed to continue taking classes and to do extremely well at them.  To maintain a 4.0 in a very challenging masters program.

So, I think it's okay to say it.  You guys, I am really REALLY proud of myself.  I am bettering myself and the future of my family.  I am working hard and am learning so much.  This is worth my time and energy, and I am  proud of the fact that I am doing it and doing it well.

So here is to another semester.  This time I am taking Women's Health Behavior.  It will be extremely interesting and will get me three credit hours closer to my final goal of a Masters in Public Health.  Here's to a 4.0, one class at a time.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Are You Ready for Some Football?

**This is my 1000th post.  I know, right? You would think I would have gotten all sappy and emotional about how much this blog means to me.  Don't worry, that is coming in a few weeks when I hit 5 years.  For now I thought it was worth mentioning.  One Thousand posts.  Not too shabby.

Bengals
Mama Says: "Henry, did you know something exciting is happening today??"
Henry says: " I didn't until you put me in the get up.  But now I have a feeling that it has to do with football..."
Bengals
Mama Says: That's right baby! The Bengals made the playoffs! Can you believe it?

Henry says: Clearly YOU can't believe it since you never even got around to buying me Bengals clothes in my own size. And you have me in a Houshmandzadeh jersey?? Come on Mama... give me Green, or Dalton at least! Housh hasn't been a Bengal in YEARS!
Bengals

Mama says: I know baby, I MEANT to get you something... but this was suppose to be a rebuilding year! And...well...I kept forgetting. Besides, Houshmandzadeh is awesome.

Henry says: He's okay. I mean, he is no Ocho Cinco. That man knew how to do a Touchdown dance.
  Sorta like me.
Bengals

Henry says: But seriously Mama, are you ready for some football?

Mama says: Oh yes baby. I am ready for some football! GO BENGALS!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Someone...

Someone got Lego Duplos for Christmas.
Robot
And Someone is really enjoying them
Robot
And someone might even be allowed to play with the new Lego creations.
Robot
Under someone's parental supervision of course. Someone has got to protect his robot creation.  I mean, a robot who can pic up a VW van with one hand is totally worth protecting.  No matter how old the someone who built it might be.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Resolutions: Reviewing and Renewing

So resolutions.  I made them last year.  I blogged about them to keep myself accountable.  And you know what?  It was awesome!  I thought about them all year.  I was so aware of them!  I TRIED!  And really it was all one big success as far as sticking to resolutions goes.  And I am proud of it.  And more importantly, I want to do it again!  Because it was nice to have goals written down for the year.  So we are going to review my success and then sent up new goals to tackle in 2012.  Sound fun? 

No?? 

Well, I will reward you with Nora pictures at the end of this, so just stick with me...

So my 2011 Resolutions:
  1. Find peace with the size of our family.  Well... I sorta started out with a hard one, didn't I?  This is rather hard to accomplish within a year, especially when the year contains 2 FET's that were SUPPOSE to allow me to have peace because my family was my perfect size.  BUT, since things in 2011 didn't go that way, I feel like I am still doing well with this one.  I mean, I struggle, as you all know, but most of the time I am doing well with it.  I am not letting our lack of baby #2 hold me back.  I am embracing the life we are given, and I think that is the best I could have done with this one.  SO, CHECK!
  2. To Read at least 24 books. CHECK!  In 2011 I read 27 books, and several of those were beasts in the way of page numbers (OUTLANDER SERIES).  So I feel REALLY good about this one. 
  3. Nick and I to take a weekend away. Okay, we didn't exactly do this one.  But we DID take a full week long family vacation, and I have decided that it counts.  SO CHECK.  Although I would still like to do something just us. So maybe it gets a half check.
  4. Make more time for church.  Hummm... I sorta forgot this one was on there, which means I really didn't do too well with it.  We did go a fair bit, but I would say not nearly enough.  I cannot in good conscience give this one a check.  So.... RESOLUTION FAIL.
  5. Wear more skirts or dresses.  CHECK!  I did really well with this one!  And you know what?  I felt very pretty every time I wore them.  There is just something nice about wearing a skirt or dress that makes me feel pretty.  And without this goal I wouldn't have pushed myself to wear them.  So success!

So if we are keeping track here, that puts me at a score of 3.5/5 checks.  Not exactly perfect, but I would be at 0/5 without my list! 

Now on to 2012:

  1. Read six classic books (and continue same goal of 24 books a year).  I like having a reading goal.  So, this goes on the list again, but this time I want to force myself to read some classics.  I have no idea why I steer clear of them, but I want to stop.  There are some books everyone should read and I want to read them!  Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, The Great Gatsby, put them on the list for 2012! Have a favorite classic I should read?  Leave it in the comments and I will add it to my list.
  2.  Lose 15 pounds in the first quarter on the  year, still have it off in the last quarter.  I know, I know.  Weight loss, how cliche.  But seriously, maybe putting it down in my resolution list (and telling you all) AND setting rules (like keeping it off) will help.  Because this 15 pounds is killing me.  I just hate it.
  3.  Paint.  Years ago I got a Bob Ross painting set and easel.  I never used them.  There was just never a good place to set it up, never the right time to get started.  And I hate that.  I REALLY want to do it.  I am just a little artistic and think I might be good at it.  And even if I am not, I want to TRY.  So this summer while Henry is playing in the back yard I am going to try my hand at painting.  
  4. Take Henry to fun, interesting and educational places throughout the year.  I don't want to fall into a routine of doing nothing.  I don't want to let lack of money stand in our way of taking him places.  I want to plan, and then follow through with being active, being outside, having him go places and see things that are new and different.  The Zoo, the Children's Museum, The Nature Preserve, Hiking, Swimming, a Movie, the Aquarium.  Just Stuff.  He is getting big enough to enjoy these things.  He is growing up so fast, I don't want to let this time pass without filling it with memories beyond our house and our yard. 
  5. Do not allow social media to influence me.  I don't want to live life behind a screen.  Sometimes reading things like Facebook  gives me the feeling of keeping up with the Jones and I just don't want to feel the need to post every detail of our life online in real time.  And I don't mean this blog (which  might be hypocritical, but it is what it is). I love that you are here, and I LOVE your comments and interactions, but this space is different than Facebook. It is written on my own time, in my own way. It is personal to me.  Facebook and Twitter are running conversations and I sometimes struggle with stepping away because I feel like I am missing something.  I don't want to feel that way.  I don't want to be pulling one of these sites on my phone to read what other people are doing rather than enjoying what I AM DOING.  This is my life, and I love it. There is a time and a place for social media.  I want to make sure to keep it in it's place this year, which is on the back burner.
So there it is!  My list for 2012.  Do stuff with Henry, be online less, read, paint, lose weight.  It feel doable!  It feels like five things that are a great focus for 2012. 

What?  Oh right.  NORA.  What you all are really still here for! 

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Part like it's 2012!
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The Little Sisters
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Happy...
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NEW YEAR!

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