Hello dear readers....I want to start out this blog post with a request. These are our friends Rachel & Ryan:
Rachel and Ryan and looking to adopt a baby...and they need your help. The way this adoption thing works is that they post their profile here and they wait. They wait for a birth mom to read through all the profiles and hopefully choose them. But the waiting game can be long and tiresome. And if any of my readers know anyone who may be considering placing a baby for adoption, please direct them to this link. Rachel and Ryan are fantastic. Some of our very best friends here in Buffalo. Henry loves them and Milly does too. We entrust them with our children on a regular basis. They are the ones we called to watch our kids and spend the night when Taylor and I spent the night in the ER for my pancreatitis. Rachel is funny and opinionated and outgoing and compassionate. Ryan is funnier, a little more reserved, incredibly patient, and wonderful with children. Of all the people in the world that deserve a little rugrat, these two are at the top of the list. I wouldn't blog about it if I didn't feel strongly about it. So please, if you know or know of ANYONE who may be considering placing a child up for adoption, send them to Rachel & Ryan's profile! You can also access their profile from the button on the top of our page. Thank you!

This little boy is growing up, and it's hysterical. He says the funniest things. And he loves to play pretend. He is also still obsessed with Mr. Teddy and sippy cups. I found him asleep like this the other day. That's Mac truck with him too.
He carries ALL of his cars and toy story people around with him in a "silver" bag. That's what he calls it, he doesn't understand the concept of something being clear. This picture was taken at 6:45 AM. He sleeps with the bag and won't leave his room with out it. They even bathe with him and he dries them all off individually with his towel. It's really getting annoying but it's too cute to stop.
And here is Milly Goat. Wow she is cute-most of the time. Every once in awhile she looks so much like Henry that I forget she is a girl. I have to keep her in pink just to remind myself.

And lastly, I need your help in convincing Taylor that this bag isn't ugly:

And then I need some help convincing him that I need the bag. He says it's too flashy. I told him that in real life that bag looks even better. It's a little more pink than purple. I love it. I want it. And metallics are really "in" this season- at least that's what the Gap style guide says. Working at the Gap is really hard sometimes. It makes me want so many things.


I'm home!

Hello Dear Friends! I am home from the hospital and happy as can be. They let me out Thursday night. My gallbladder is off in biohazard wasteland and I will hopefully be health problem free for a long time!!! It has been a rough few weeks and a Christmas/New Years to remember and hopefully to forget. All in all, I am mostly happy to be home to these wonderful people:

I am obsessed with this little girl.
And this little boy is obsessed with this sweatshirt. Its a hand me down from his cousins Logan & Spencer. We can't get him to take it off. It's really not all that cute either. He looks like a ragamuffin. But if it makes him happy, I'll let him wear it.
I also missed Taylor like crazy but I don't have a picture of him to post, and luckily unlike my kiddos, and thanks to some absolutely fantastic friends, he was able to come visit me in the hospital every day. Before I give you the abridged version of my story we must thank the Butenmillers, the Hausers, the Voelkers, the Van Rys, the Majeronis, andthe Nielsons for taking care of our children. We really are blessed to be surrounded by such fantastic people. And we had lots more offer as well. Thank you! It was so nice to have Taylor with me at the hospital during my tests, surgeries, and when I was in so much pain. It was a very long five days that could have been much longer had I been alone. You never realize how great friends are until you are far away from family and desperate for help.

On to the abridged but still somewhat long story. It started 3 1/2 weeks ago with some severe abdominal pain. When I say severe I mean 10 scale want-to-die pain. It happened after dinner one night and I almost passed out. I made an appointment with the doctor the next day. The doctor ordered me a number of tests (GI scope, echo-cardio gram, blood tests, etc) gave me some antacids, added on a tetanus shot for good measure, and sent me on my way. The next day I started itching like crazy all over my body (like 1000 mosquito bites itching) with no rash or redness, and it wouldn't go away. I made another appointment for the doctor after reading online that I probably had liver cancer or pancreatic cancer. She quelled my fears and gave me some steroids and we decided that it must be a reaction to the tetanus shot or new medicine. She promised she'd call if my blood work showed anything strange. The steroids stopped the itching (thank heavens! I thought I would die from the itching alone) and life was getting back to normal. Then I got a phone call on Christmas Eve. It was my doctor. My blood work came back with some concerning results. Something was wrong with my liver. It could be gallstones with one blocking off a bile duct and causing the itching, but she wasn't sure. I was scared to death. But nothing could be done until after Christmas, so she told me to call first thing monday morning for more blood work and to schedule an ultrasound of my abdomen. I got the ultrasound right after Christmas and it showed that my gallbladder was-much to my delight, full of stones-I was just so happy it wasn't something more serious. My doctor (who is not actually a doctor but a nurse practitioner whom I LOVE) made an appointment for me to see a surgeon after New Years. I went to work at the Gap on New Years Day feeling wonderful but within a few hours got very sick. I started vomiting profusely and was in so much pain I couldn't get off the bathroom floor. Might I say, there is very little in this world worse than being that sick in a public place. Especially when you can't get home (I was the only manager there) and I was in no condition to drive. After realizing that I was only getting sicker I managed to get my cell phone and call Taylor to come get me and I called another manager to come close the store. We made it home where I continued to vomit and the pain worsened. We called some friends over to watch the kids and headed off to the ER. A few hours later, my blood test and a cat scan showed Pancreatitis. There was a stone stuck at my pancreas. I gladly accepted some wonderful painkillers, was told by a medical resident that Pancreatitis could potentially kill me, and finally fell asleep around 4am. On Monday I had an MRI to verify the location of the stone and later that day they put me under, sent a scope down my throat, through my stomach and to my pancreas to pull out the stone. They gave my guts a day to recover and my pancreas some time to heal, and then opened me up and took my gall bladder on Wednesday. And here I am today, alive and well. Might I add, that through it all, they made me go days and days without eating. It was awful. I was starving. Turns out that the only way to help an ailing pancreas is to not put anything in your stomach for days. I went from Saturday morning to Tuesday afternoon without food! Every TV commercial about food made me want to cry. But I made it. I lost 8 pounds this week and started my weight loss New Year's resolution off with a bang! Hooray. Life is slowly getting back to normal. I feel pretty good, and my wounds seem to be healing well. I have included pictures below to let you all see what was giving me so much grief. If you get queasy easily, be forewarned!

Here is my plain old gall bladder:
Here it is cut open with the stones oozing out: ( I asked if I could keep some, the surgeon said no)
Pretty nasty I know. No wonder I was in so much pain. My gallbladder was literally bursting with stones. I'm glad its gone.


Merry belated Christmas. We had a whirlwind of a Christmas. It was absolutely fantastic except for my gall bladder giving out on me. I am sitting in the hospital with acute pancreatitis caused by a gall stone being lodged in my pancreas as I type this. They wont let me eat a thing, not even ice. I think my stomach is trying to eat itself. It's angry from all the vomiting and extra bile. Anyway, so I am a little cranky, super tired, and somewhat uncomfortable. Luckily they think the stone passed by itself sometime early this morning. I get an MRI tomorrow to find out. I also got a CT Scan yesterday which was kind of exciting. However I must admit, I just want to go home. Unfortunately I will have to come back sometime soon to get rid of my gall bladder. Uggh. Anyway on to what my family really wants on this blog, pictures!
These three boys LOVED christmas. Henry is still talking all about it and he keeps trying to convince us that it is still Christmas.
My little sister Daysa and little Milly Goat hit it off. Poor little Milly was sick with croup but she still managed to enjoy herself.
And Henry loved his presents.
We also took a little trip to see the Falls. It was SOOO cold. As can be seen by the frozen over binocular thingy.
Henry loves his grandpa. Just the other day we were in a parking lot and Henry was convinced that it was my dad walking across the street and he just started yelling, "Mom it's grandpa! it's grandpa! Let's go get him!" He was devastated when I told him it wasn't grandpa.
And lastly, you may have noticed the new family picture at the top of our blog. A wonderfully talented friend of mine made them for me. I LOVE them! You can read about her endeavor to make the Hawes family dolls here. It is an enjoyable read. She is one of the most talented people I know when it comes to creating things.