Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Pictures - Finally

Left - our side yard
Below - Mom & Dad's backyard

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Last Week Of November, Already!?

Grr. I was able to load ONE picture but it's stopping me from loading the others. I'll try in another post and see how that works.

I know I must be getting pretty large in size because I am hearing a lot more, "how much longer??" questions. In my mind, it seems like the answer "February" is forever away but...DID Y'ALL KNOW IT'S THE LAST WEEK OF NOVEMBER????

So the answer of "February" and even "the end of February" seems suitable for most people. So far (SO FAR) no one has said, "OH! I thought you were due any day now!"

But I am definitely getting MUCH bigger.

Baby doesn't punch me much any more. Now it's more of an awkward somersault that I feel. Kind of like a kid learning how to turn a flip underwater in a swimming pool. There's lots of flailing but eventually the move is made. Little boy was breech this morning during the first part of Sunday School but after a trip to the restroom and a few minutes of extra, non-bladder-filled space, he had accomplished to return himself to the correct head-down position. Of course, breech doesn't mean ANYTHING at this stage but I will say that I prefer being kicked near the ribs more than the reverse.

Thanksgiving was a good time. The turkey and dressing was YUM YUM YUM! Arthur was set to deep-fry the turkey but his eye situation prevented that from happening. Instead he gave excellent step-by-step directions on how to make the bird dee-lish right out of the conventional oven. Mom's dressing was, once again, my seasonal favorite and her sweet potatoe casserole was much too yummy to be a side was definitely my dessert!!

Even though we kinda had a crappy football season with the Tide, one good thing came from this fall: all 4 kids learned how and LOVED to play backyard football. It has been a fun recreation for them but has also given them a greater appreciation of seeing games in person and on TV. Hopefully they'll enjoy the Bama games more NEXT year (hopefully we ALL will!)

Mom wanted us to pose for her Christmas card pictures while at her house this weekend so we dressed in the appropriate color coordinations. Mom was pleased with the way her BIG group pic turned out but I wasn't at all satisfied with our half-hearted effort at a family pic. The t-shirts were fine for Mom & Dad's but we'll have to do better for ours. I won't ruin Mom's send-out by posting her picture here but you can see one of the non-approved shots of my small crew.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Please Don't Think I'm Tacky

I didn't set up a "Wishlist" for regular reader-types to feel like I'm trying to squeeze a gift out of them. I actually just set this up for those small handful of people who read the blog AND are asking what kind of things I'd like to have for the baby.

This is a pretty cool little device.

Stacy's Baby Wishlist can be found in the sidebar, too (with pictures & everything!)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Black Friday

I should have posted before now but in case any of y'all are online tonight and are contemplating early morning shopping, here's a great resource:
Be sure to look at ONLINE SPECIALS! It might save you from getting out in the mess tomorrow.

I personally don't see anything worth fighting the crowds for this year. How about you?

A Surprise

I have been preparing myself for this possibility but I must say that I have actually surprised myself.

Today was 4-D ultrasound day. I was VERY unsure about whether or not I even wanted to have it. You know me....I'm so weird about interventions and there's just a little bit of a privacy issue, too. My baby's privacy that is. Are we REALLY supposed to see our babies before they are born...just for fun, I mean? I'm not arguing the blessing of diagnostic baby-viewing but I've questioned whether or not we should look at our bundle before birth.

And today was the day. I agreed to it. And without my family knowing, I pre-agreed to myself that when they begged me to know the sex of the baby, I would concede.

Until today, I have been telling everyone that I did not want to find out if our baby was a boy or girl.

But today we found out. And I'm really all giggly about it! The baby is SO cute and I actually feel a really cool new bond. I will admit that I am not completely worry-free...I don't want those freaky ultrasound waves to have warped anything in the brain or wherever! we know. And I'm glad we know.

It's a...

Can you tell yet?

OK....look closely (but not TOO closely -- that would be creepy!)

And no, we don't have a name :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Prayers For The Popcorn Man

For those many praying folks out there, please lift my brother-in-law, Arthur (he's the Popcorn Man in this video.)

He (my sister's husband) had emergency surgery on his eye today. The holidays are not going to be fun and recovery will probably be slow.

But he and Uma are a faithful couple who trust in the LORD and I know they will be blessed. Prayers are appreciated!

Friday, November 17, 2006


I've been tivo-ing TPIR every day since we decided to make the trek to LA. The kids gather around the tube with me, watching and playing every afternoon after school. I take notes of EVERY prize and its price. I plan on making a master sheet to share with all of the people who will be going with me.

And would you believe that we have a confirmed 18 out of the 20 tickets and that the other two are VERY PROBABLY going to be confirmed tomorrow!? I'm stunned, actually. I mean I KNEW there were other people out there who would love this opportunity as much as me but I didn't know it would be so easy to find them! I must give Kudos to my Mom and her friends, though because it is MOSTLY her gang that is rallying together to make this trip possible. I will admit that it has been difficult to find folks my age to go. I know there are many more responsibilities and lack of moula in the 30-something generation but I had hoped there would be more young folks going.

BUT IT'S OK! The people who ARE confirmed at this point are really cool, fun-loving, spontaneous kind of folks. We are definitely going to have a blast! I'm confident SOMEBODY from our group will be called to "Come On Down!" And if I can get the study sheets out to the group, HOPEFULLY we can come together to make sure that that SOMEBODY will win.....and win BIG!

We'll soon be getting our t-shirts printed. Right now we're going with the very simple (but I think effective) "Bama (heart) Bob" but if anyone has another idea, I'm definitely open to hearing it. I will also be putting "Happy Birthday Bob!" on the back.

I wish I could think of something clever from the (excuse the "b" word) Happy Gilmore scene -- like "I don't want to win a PIECE of TPIR, I want the WHOLE THING!"

(if anyone else is wanting to go on this trip with us, please email me because I am able to get up to 25 tickets but unless I hear from others, I'm only pursuing 20.)

New Report Sheds Sobering Light on Hospital Infections

Attention America - PLEASE put more focus on boosting your immune system than on treating every symptom with doctors' visits and medications! Running to the medical model every time you have a problem is only contributing to the problem. FIND THE ALTERNATIVES! They are out there but you will NOT find them at your doctor's office (99.9% of the time anyway.) People were healthier in the generations that did NOT have a drug for every symptom. RESERVE THE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS TO ACCIDENTS, INJURIES AND TRUE HEALTH CRISES and implement what your Great-Great-Grandmother did for most everything else. Take advantage of what science and integrative medicine is teaching and use nutritional technology to fill in the areas where our diets fail us.

Infections Acquired During Hospital Stays Kill More People Than Breast Cancer, Auto Accidents and Aids Combined

ABC News Medical Unit Nov. 14, 2006— A hospital visit may be more dangerous to your health than you realize. Just ask Ingrid Kwiatek, who came home from the hospital with a serious staph infection.

Kwiatek's husband said what started as a routine hospital visit turned into an 110-day nightmare of pain and suffering in three different Pennsylvania hospitals.

"I would never wish this experience on anyone," he said. "Especially distressing was the closed-ranks attitude at all three hospitals in discussing the infection."

Following the incident, Kwiatek's family doctor had this to say: "Hospitals are dirty places."

The High Cost of Infections A new report released by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council pointed to the high cost of these infections in both dollars and lives.

The report — the first of its kind in the nation — identified the actual number of infections reported by Pennsylvania's 168 hospitals, as well as other related quality-of-care measures, in 2005.

The hospitals studied reported 19,154 cases in which patients contracted hospital-acquired infections. The hospitalizations resulting from these infections amounted to 394,129 hospital days and $3.5 billion in hospital charges.

The average hospital charge for patients with a hospital-acquired infection was $185,260, while the average charge for patients without hospital-acquired infections was $31,389. The average length of stay for patients with hospital-acquired infections was also longer at 20.6 days, compared with 4.5 days, for those who didn't contract hospital infections.

Most telling, though, were the figures on patient deaths. The report said that while 2.3 percent of patients who didn't acquire infections died, the mortality rate for those who did contract infections was 12.9 percent — more than 5½ times as high.

"This report is a first. We are no longer looking at statistics based on estimates or extrapolated data," said Lisa McGiffert, director of Consumers Union's Stop Hospital Infections campaign. "These are real people who suffered from real infections. The personal and financial costs of hospital infections are staggering."

The Pennsylvania study did offer a few solutions. It said that doctors and other hospital workers should wash their hands more regularly, use gloves and properly sterilized equipment, and routinely follow established "best practices." The report also suggested that patients should follow the same guidelines and insist that not only health care providers but visitors wash their hands too.

Shedding Light on Hospital Safety What adds to the problem, though, according to health officials, is that most states are not required to report infections or provide such information to the public.

"It's time to shine the light on this important and costly issue," said Marc Volavka, executive director of Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. "This will save thousands of Americans from the devastating effects of hospital-acquired infections."

Volavka said the report is a first step toward greater transparency.

"It's time that hospitals, patients and those who pay the bill know how many patients develop hospital-acquired infections, the type of infections they develop and the quality and cost implications," Volavka said. "The more information that becomes available, the better the focus will be on preventing these infections."

"Until now, consumers have been completely in the dark about their hospital's record on infecting patients," said Beth McConnell, director of the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. "This report sheds light on a very serious problem and will help the public hold hospitals accountable for patient safety."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

This Morning

The expected occurred.

We found that our little brown gerbil, Carmen, had died sometime during the night. It was one week ago last night that I first noticed her decline. Sweet ol' girl.

Her 'sister' Junie keeps lying in the spot where Carmen was. She never seemed to look for Carmen during the past week when we'd take her out of the cage to check on her. I guess it was kinda like normal that we'd usually take them out to play. But today when we took Carmen out, she sniffed the cage looking for her. It was really sad. She then went to the wheel and took a nap. Sad, huh?

The kids are sad but OK. Rocky is really sensitive and I know this is affecting him. He's a dude of little words but Ray found something he had written on our kitchen whiteboard when he went to bed. Here's a picture.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

In My Pregnant, Hormone-Ravaged, Too-Busy Brain

"Get those bags from Target out of your trunk."

"Think of something deeply spiritual to blog about so people don't think you're thinking about The Price Is Right too much."

"How long is that gerbil going to live?"

"Maybe this baby is a girl after all. He/She is kicking my ribs now so maybe he/she isn't as low as I had originally thought."

"Don't forget to shower earlier than usual tomorrow (i.e. in the moring) because you have a busy day."

"What year did my parents get married????"

"Do we have enough chicken for Friday's supper or will I have to get some more?"

"Why doesn't everyone do email?"

"I am blessed beyond imagination and certainly more than my selfish-self deserves."

Monday, November 06, 2006

10 To Go!

I'm still looking for 10 more people to use the Price Is Right tickets I have reserved for December 12. I hope to send out some emails about it tonight.

I'm so excited that I was able to find the first 10 in just a couple of days' time! And everyone is SOOOOOOO excited! YAY!


off-topic note:
Watching a gerbil in her last few days of life is very sad. We've been expecting Carmen's death since Friday night but she's still (barely) hanging on. Every night I say that I will be stunned if she survives the night. I've been stunned 3 mornings in a row now.

The breaths are getting much smaller now. She hasn't eaten anything or had anything to drink in days.

The kids are sad but doing so good about it all. They're so sympathetic and realistic about it. Everyone is glad she doesn't appear to be suffering...just dying of old age.

The normal life expectancy of a gerbil is usually 3-4 years and we think Carmen is at least 4 years old.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Unmoderated Comments

When Jen posted that she found a ton of unmoderated comments waiting for publishing, I thought I'd check to see if I had any. I had a TON!

So if you were wondering where your comments were, they are FINALLY showing up.


I Will Be So Embarrassed But...

December 12 (Bob Barker's 83rd birthday, by the way!) is the day I have a booking with The Price Is Right for 20-25 people!

I'm looking at hotels & flights and hope to fly into LAX on the 11th and out on the 13th. The rates are surprisingly do-able.

Now I'm also looking for people to fill those 20-25 seats with me! If I show up with less than 20 people, I am not guaranteed a spot in the studio.

If I can't pull this off, I will be so embarrassed... but I'm trying!

OK, who's going with me, besides Henry & my Mom?

Again, I'm accepting any donations for the "Fulfill Stacy's Dream" campaign! :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Fun With Flashcards

I didn't necessarily buy these flashcards for He-Man but he has loved them more than any of the other children.

When Do I Quit? ** update at end of post

To update you all on my TPIR pursuits:

I've called TPIR ticket offices two days in a row and have yet to have "Karen" of group sales return my call. "Irie" the girl I have spoken with each time, seems very sympathetic to my situation and says she will have Karen call me.

She also says that since the announcement of Bob's retirement that the phone has been ringing off the hook.

But I was the first one to call their office regarding the hurry to get to the show before he retired/my baby was born. How do I know? Because the ticket office itself had only just heard about the retirement announcement, too and she was bewildered about the fact that I already knew (the internet is a crazy thing!)

I have a few leads/interests on filling my group of 20 and REALLY think I could do it. But I don't have a date or ticket confirmation so I can't move forward with that.

My good buddy Ryan mentioned this might be a good news segment. I had already thought this might be a good enough story for the CBS affiliate to follow and POSSIBLY pull strings for a good human interest story. So I've emailed the correct people about THAT and have heard nothing back.

And I've prayed about this. I've prayed for God to just tell me "no" if I'm not supposed to pursue it. I mean I've got lots of more practical and more needy issues that could be dealt with if I gave up on this silly dream. For example, we're really needing Henry to get a new vehicle, we need a new mattress, and I'd like a new kitchen table/chairs set.

But couldn't I WIN these on The Price Is Right? :)

So I really don't know what to do. I don't think God has answered me with a clear yes or no yet. I've experienced God's "yes" and "no" in other situations and I haven't had a similar response so far.

And I keep having the movie "My Date With Drew" pop into my head. It's all about pursuing that dream...even if it's silly and unrealistic. Sigh.

So I really don't know what is going to happen right now. Henry is wanting the dream for me but knows the hurdles are big. My friends are cheering me on because it's such a cool pursuit. But the wheels aren't moving.

I'll keep you updated.


12:12 PM
My third day of calling the ticket office finally got me through to Karen in group bookings. While I was telling her that I had left messages she said, "I'm sorry to interrupt but if you left a message, I will be returning your call next week. I can't book any groups right now while we confirm tape dates with Bob."

Soooooo, maybe there's still a chance??

How crazy am I?