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Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to the best partner in crime I could ever ask for... dmmuzicfan! You're more than just a best friend to me, you're the sister I always wished I had. Love ya, hon! Congrats on surviving three decades of the world's crap!

glitter graphics
Free Glitter Graphics, Happy Birthday Glitter Graphics

life update

I'm still alive. I've just been super busy lately, especially since the new baby arrived in October. And now I'm sick. Again. Ugh. Went to the doctor today (regular appointment, just very convenient that I'm this sick today). He wants to do 5 million lab tests, and see me back on Tuesday morning. Well that might not be good. Or it might. Honestly, I really don't care...I just wanna go to sleep. 

I want to know more about you.

Snagged fro brinchen86

I know very little about some of the people on my friends list. Some people I know relatively well. But here’s a thought: why not take this opportunity to tell me a little something about yourself. Any old thing at all. Just so the next time I see your name I can say: “Ah, there’s Parker… she likes money and cereal.” I’d love it if everyone who’s friended me did this. (Yes, even you people who I know really well.) Then post this in your own journal. In return, ask me anything you’d like to know about me and I’ll give you an answer.


Oh lookie! I'm not dead!

Snagged from stuffy34

1. If money wasn't an issue, how would you redecorate/renovate your house
I have a 4-bedroom house with 9 people currently living here, so I'd renovate it to add three more bedrooms

2. What's one style of fashion that you can't stand?
The crotch of your pants DOES NOT belong between your knees! Seriously, that shit aggravates the life out of me. And socks with sandals. I can't stand that look either

3. If you drink coffee, how did you take your last cup? If you don't drink coffee, what was the last caffeinated drink you had?
I take my coffee with two spoons of sugar and a splash of cream

4. What are your plans for tomorrow?
Grocery shopping, laundry, teaching language arts lesson, meet with Audrey's social worker

5. If you have a dog, do you pay to get it groomed, or do you do it yourself? If you don't have a dog, would you rather pay to have it groomed or do it yourself?
My dog is a German Shepard, and she's not hard to groom, so I do it myself. We had a Lhasa Apso/Maltese mix that died a couple weeks ago, and I took her to get a puppy cut when the weather started to get warm. She had A LOT of fur

6. When it comes to surveys, do you prefer a long detailed survey that makes you think, or something that you can do in 5 minutes and be done?
It totally depends on my mood

7. What was the first really big/expensive thing you bought for yourself? (For example, a computer, iPod, car, etc.)
A car.

8. Have you ever re-listened to a band that you hadn't listened to for years? Did you get back into them or just enjoy reminiscing over the songs?
Occasionally I'll here a BSB song. I was a huge fan of them back in the day, but I haven't really gotten back into them

9. Ever been to NYC? What shops did you go to there?

10. What is a skill other people have that you are really impressed by?
People who play the piano really impress me.

11. Last time you went to the dentist, and what for?
I went in November to get a couple fillings repaired

12. Do you think that Facebook is slowly getting less and less popular? Do you think we will see that trend die off in the next 5 or so years, like MySpace, or do you think there'll always be activity on Facebook?
Facebook will always be around, I think. But I think it's getting less popular bit by bit with how they keep changing things and messing with the privacy settings

13. Has the weather where you live generally been the same all week? Is it a type of weather you enjoy, or are you ready for a change?
The weather has been sunny and cool all week and colder and clear at night. It's too sunny for my liking, but in Florida it's sunny 98% of the time

14. What's one thing that helps you get through a really cold day? How about a really hot day?
On cold days I curl up under my quilt (when I can) with a hot cup of tea, a good book, my dog, and my cat. And the kids if they'll snuggle with me. If they won't, I drink tea and wear my favorite hoodie to keep warm. On hot days, the sprinkler, lemonade,and tank tops

15. What's the worst drug that you think anyone can get into?
Hillbilly heroine. It's otherwise known as OxyContin. It's an opiod, so closely related to heroine, easier to get than heroine, cheaper, and extremely addictive

16. Do your parents make you teach them how to use new technology? Would you say this is a pain, or are you a pretty patient teacher?
Sometimes they ask me and I'll talk them through it on the phone or show them how to use it the next time I go over there

17. When something goes wrong with your computer, do you try to figure out on your own or find someone to fix the problem for you? Would you say that you're generally pretty technology-literate?
I'll troubleshoot it myself first and then if I can't fix the problem, I'll take it to computer tutors to repair.

18. What's one problem in today's world which you think is ridiculous that we haven't found a way to solve it yet?
Partisan politics bullshit. Politicians need to learn how to work for the people that elect them  instead of working to push their own agenda

19. What's one animal that you can't stand or find cute at all? What's an animal that absolutely terrifies you
I find most animals cute. Except Nutria. Those things are butt ugly and destructive as hell!  Scorpions terrify me though

20. If you go to the library, what was the last book you checked out? If you don't, what was the last book you purchased?
I only know this because the book is sitting right next to me. The last one I got at the library is 'C is for Corpse' by Sue Grafton


Hey y'all! I hope I still have some friends on here even though I've not posted in forever! lol I'm so sorry about that, and I'll be trying to post more consistently now. It's just that a lot of shit happened in/to my family and every time I'd sit down to blog about it, I'd get a headache and stop. If you're friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you probably know what I'm talking about already. But I'm just going to act like you don't for the sake of making this easier on me to write within the time constraint I've got right now and my need to go to bed before I have to be a madwoman tomorrow. But more on that later.

 First off, there is someone that I would like y'all to meet.

This little angel is Audrey Elizabeth. She was born on October 17, 2012 at 1:26am. She weighed 10lbs 6oz and was 22 inches long. No, that birth weight is not a typo. lol   She is our 6th child and Matt and I are elated to have her in  our lives. The top picture was taken just minutes after she was born and the bottom picture was taken when she was 2 weeks old. She will be 4 weeks old on Wednesday. At her 2 week appointment, she weighed in at a whooping 11lbs! The doctor laughed and just said she's a big, healthy girl, with an appetite to match.  I agree with him totally about her appetite! lol  Right now she eats 4oz every 3hrs. 

We found out via CPS around the middle or February that Kasey was pregnant again and that the baby would  be apprehended at birth. They wanted to know if we would be willing to take this baby since we already had JT. We talked about it and had concerns about if I would be able to provide all the kids with the individual attention that they need and any specialized care that she may  need, as well as the specialized care that Darren and JT need.  We talked it over with the social worker, a child psychologist, the adoption agent, and my therapist and came up with a plan. We agreed to take her at birth and keep her for one month to see if we could handle her needs as well as the needs of our children. We didn't really know what problems we'd be faced with this time because when Kasey had JT, he was born cocaine addicted and 13wks early. He had a Grade 4 IVH and we were fairly certain that he would no survive that, but he did. He has had his problems, including: severe hypotonia that even affects his ability to swallow, numerous chest infections, reflux, apnea, failture to thrive, and has had a mickey button implanted for feedings. On top of JT's health problems, we also have Darren who has Autism. So we have to make sure that we're able to balance the needs of all our children. 

Kasey was about 7-8wks along when they found her and she voluntarily entered a halfway house rehab setting. Ironically, it was one of her druggie friends that informed CPS that she was suspectedly pregnant anyway. So, she was picked up by the cops and through a general pee in a cup screening, it was discovered that yes she was pregnant, but tested negative for drugs. However, she did test positive for benzoylecgonine- which is a cocaine byproduct that the body produces when you intake cocaine. and it stays in your system for up to 8wks.

So things looked fine with the baby at her first doctors appointment and they said she was 7wks along and gave her a estimated due date of October 11, 2012. She stayed at the halfway house, followed the rules, attended the 12 step meetings daily, and had weekly meetings with a therapist to work on some long standing issues she's got. She was drug tested every week and had bi-weekly sonograms until she was 16wks along to closely monitor the baby's growth. the cocaine byproduct was out of her system when she was 12wks along. The baby continued to grow well and do well. Kasey made her own personal progress too and week 36 told us that if we decided we could keep Audrey, she wouldn't contest the placement and adoption. She wants to get her life together and is still staying at the halfway house. They will let her stay for up to a year after the baby is born, as long as she is working or going to school and abiding by the house rules and any restrictions the court has set upon her. She's registered at the local community college to start taking classes in January. She's going to get her degree in Civil Engineering Technology. It's what she was originally doing at Virginia Tech before the shooting. I'm so proud of her for picking up her life and I truly hope that she'll be able to put her demons to rest and move on with the life that she deserves to have. 

Since she got pregnant with Audrey, she's developed more of a relationship with JT and has really gotten to see and understand how her drug use really impacted him and, by extension, us. She would come over 2 or 3 days a week and spend time with the family, helping me out around the house, helping to care for JT, and just bonding with him. She'd tell him about his baby sister in her belly and what a great big brother he was going to be to her. We told her with JT that as long as she was clean and sober, she would have visitations but if she ever slipped up, she would have no contact with him until she was clean again. So that basically ended up in her seeing JT a grand total of 3 times in the 13mths of his life before she got pregnant again. Since Audrey has been born,, she saw her during the 2 days they were in the hospital, but it wasn't allowed to be unsupervised. And then she came over and saw the kids on Halloween, Her next planned visit is on Thanksgiving. I don't hold that against her or anything since I can only imagine how hard it is to see the baby you've given birth to, but not be able to mother that baby. And to see the child you birthed, call another woman mama and go to her for comfort, cuddles, boo boos  etc.  As much as she doesn't want to and is in no position to parent right now, that part of her that is a birth mother aches sometimes. I'm sure that, one day, she'll make an excellent mother, but not right now. And we're not taking any more of her kids if she does get pregnant again. We told her that from the outset and when we met with CPS, the adoption agent, and Kasey, we told them that we intended to adopt Audrey and make her a legal member of our family. Now it's just a matter of them observing every so often to make sure we can take sufficient care of her and the other 5 kids, before a judge will sign off on the adoption. 

So, that is what's been going on here! *whew* Oh! And Sal (Matt's dad) is living with us now. We converted the garage into an apartment for him and he moved in in September. He was in an assisted living facility before that, ever since he fell and broke his hip, but we weren't comfortable with the care he was getting there when we got a call in the middle of the night, that he had been taken to the hospital because he had been "acting weird" for a couple of days. Matt got to the hospital and found that "acting weird" meant that he'd been very confused; couldn't tell you the date, if he'd just had a meal, what he had, where he was at, or who was with him. His speech was very slow and slurred, and he couldn't make sense of what others were saying. Turns out he had a stroke due to previously undiagnosed coratdid artery disease. So now he's living here and has a home health aide that tends to him from 7am-7pm, 7 days a week. And a private duty nurse comes by to assess him twice a week.  In addition to that, he's got physiotherapy twice a week. It's at the same place where JT has his therapy & they've been really great at working with me to schedule both their therapy sessions at the same time.

Matt is still working for the same firm, but his job has changed a bit to be more flexible for him to be available to me and the kids. Before Audrey was born, he was working from home 2x a week. Since April, his boss has been working with him and they've worked out things so that he works, primarily, at home. It's a huge benefit that he can do that because he can come out of the office periodically and help with whatever the kids and I are doing, or check on his Dad. It's really working out well and Audrey has slipped int our lives so seamlessly it's like God meant for her to be a part of our family. Maybe he did. ;) 

This is really long, so I'll try to keep the update on JT short. He's 22mths now and developing by leaps and bounds! According to his doctor, he's in the 75th percentile for height at 30- inches. He now weighs 34lbs which puts him in the 30th percentile for weight, but his doctor is happy with that, and he's even able to take some thick liquids/foods by mouth as the last test showed that he was aspirating less and could safely practice eating/drinking with thick liquids and foods. His favorite is vanilla pudding and mashed potatoes. lol He can drink through a straw, so he's got a Buzz Lightyear  straw cup. Right now he only gets thick milkshakes and smoothies, but we're hoping that with continued therapy, one day his feeding tube will only be for supplementing instead of providing the primary nutrition as it does right now. He may be small, but he's got quite the personality! Talking is hard for him because of the low muscle tone, but he can say: mama, dada, hi, bye, ok, I good, and good night (it sounds more like 'goo nigh'). It's major progress from where we started and what we were told to expect with him! He's not walking yet, but he's been sitting up on his own for awhile now and has even learned to army crawl! And, man, that little bugger can army crawl fast! lol  I'm thrilled to have to chase him down sometimes when I turn my back for a minute. 

I will sign off on this epic post with a picture of the army crawler. He and Audrey look a like I think. 

The purple ribbon is the symbol that is used to raise awareness. 

Some facts about Pancreatic Cancer: 

·      An estimated 44,030 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the U.S., and over 37,660 will die from the disease. 

·      Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially over nearly 40 years. 

·      Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.

·      Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. 94% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis – only 6% will survive more than five years. 74% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis.

·      The average life expectancy after diagnosis with metastatic disease is just three to six months.

·      Few risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer are defined. Family history of the disease, smoking, age, and diabetes are risk factors.

·      Pancreatic cancer may cause only vague symptoms that could indicate many different conditions within the abdomen or gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include pain (usually abdominal or back pain), weight loss, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), loss of appetite, nausea, changes in stool, and diabetes.

·      Symptoms include pain (usually abdominal or back pain), weight loss, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), loss of appetite, nausea, changes in stool, and diabetes.

·      Treatment options for pancreatic cancer are limited. Surgical removal of the tumor is possible in less than 20% of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Chemotherapy or chemotherapy together with radiation is typically offered to patients whose tumors cannot be removed surgically. Only three drugs are FDAapproved for the treatment of pancreatic cancer: fluorouracil (5FU), gemcitabine (Gemzar®), and erlotinib (Tarceva®).

·      Pancreatic cancer is a leading cause of cancer death largely because there are no detection tools to diagnose the disease in its early stages when surgical removal of the tumor is still possible.

·      The National Cancer Institute (NCI) spent an estimated $97.1 million on pancreatic cancer research in 2010. This represented a mere 2% of the NCI's approximate $5 billion cancer research budget for that year.

Jul. 6th, 2012

Snagged from stuffy34

1. How do you deal with oppressive heat?
Drinking lots of ice water, freeze a hand towel and drape it around my neck, take a cold shower, and turn the fan on high.

2. Would you rather print pictures out from your computer, or go to a store and get them printed?
I would almost always rather print it off my computer. However, if it's something that I want framed, then I'll take it in to be printed.
3. What's the most you'd be willing to spend on a pair of shoes?
No more than $30.

4. Have you ever been so irritated with a stranger to the point of wanting to punch them?
That's an almost daily thing for me. Some people are just so fucking stupid & I find that to be highly irritating. 

5. When's the last time you found something you thought you lost forever?
I found the USB for my camera the other day.

6. Do you mind paying full price, or would you rather find a way of getting a deal/discount first?
My motto is: 'if it's not on sale, I probably don't actually need it.' I'm not brand loyal or anything like that. I go where the discounts take me. 

7. What's something you should be sorry about, but aren't?
I should probably be sorry (or at least feel the least bit bad) about a couple weeks ago when I freaked out all over my S.I.L. Eh, she had it coming and I only have so much patience for other peoples' shit right now. 

8. Are you able to watch movies mindlessly, or do you get distracted by flaws/plot holes?
Flaws and plot holes don't distract me. I'm more likely to get distracted by my cat jumping in my lap, one of the dogs doing something or other, an errant thought, etc. 
9. Is there any particular food or drink that takes you longer to eat/drink than other things?
I can make a cup of tea or a can of Ginger Ale last for over an hour at times. But food? I don't think there is anything.

10. Are you doing anything important tomorrow?
We're having my daughter's 7th birthday party tomorrow, so one of us has to run out and pick up her present, then hide it until it's time for her to see it. 

11. What's one thing that people definitely CAN'T count on you for?
I am definitely not that person you come to and whine about things you can control/do something about, and expect me to say, "oh you poor thing". So you definitely can't count on me to throw you a pity party.

12. What about something they definitely can count on you for?
If you're not just looking for a pity party and genuinely need someone to listen to what you have to say or offer honest advice, then come to me. 

13. How do you feel about your handwriting?
I can read it. 

14. Has there ever been a teacher that has had a great impact on your life in some way?
Yes, my elementary school music teacher, Mrs. King and mt 6th grade Language Arts teacher, Miss Becky.  Mrs King taught me to love and appreciate music. Miss Becky taught me to really love reading. And to this day, books and music are two things that I just couldn't live without.

15. Is there a store that bothers you immensely for some reason (people who shop there irritate you or the employees who work there are rude, etc)?
Victoria's Secret only because it insults my sensibilities to even consider paying that much for a bra and panties.
16. Would you rather read a physical magazine or read the articles online?
Either one works for me. 

17. What's one food that you want to try but haven't yet?
I can't think of one.

18. Do you wear majority of the clothes you own, or do you tend to wear the same few things over and over?
I do have my favorites, but for the most part, everything I own gets worn at some point.

19. Do you ever wonder what has happened to people you've lost contact with?
.There's a couple I wonder about sometimes.

20. Are you more likely to watch TV on your computer, or on the actual television?
The television. There's just some things (mainly sports) that are better enjoyed on a 42" flat screen than a 15" monitor.

21. Do you go out of your way to be polite to people?
I don't think of it as going out of my way when I'm being polite to someone. That's just how I was raised, and how I'm raising my children. You can't reasonably expect people to be polite to you, if you're not polite also.

22. What's something you complain about frequently?
I'm tired. I have a headache. I'm getting too old for this shit. That's been my mantra for the past couple weeks.

23. How do you feel when it's your birthday?
I survived another year, cool. 

24. If you're home alone and someone knocks on the door, what do you do?
If I'm expecting someone I answer the door. If I'm not expecting someone, I may or may not answer, depending on if I feel like it or not. 

25. Let's say you received a gift from someone and open it in front of them -- and it's something you absolutely hate. How do you react?
I smile and thank them for the gift. In the case of the hideous red and orange checkered sundress, that ugly thing got sent to a thrift store a few days later. 

26. Would you say you have good control of your emotions?
Pretty much. 

27. If you hurt someone's feelings, would you feel bad or tell them to suck it up?
I don't like hurting someone's feelings, so I would feel bad about it. If someone asks for my thoughts or an opinion and what I have to say hurt their feelings, that's a different story. 

28. If a friend suggested that you two were to do something/go somewhere, and you really didn't want to, would you be more likely to just go along with it anyway or speak up?
I'd speak up and suggest something different to do or another place we could go that we both might enjoy.
29. Have you, at any point in your life, been obsessed with watching Food Network shows?
Not obsessed, but I do like watching Paula Deen. .

30. What's one book that you have read that will stick with you forever?
'I Know This Much is True' by Wally Lamb. I've not read it in about 10yrs and it's still made an impression on me. 


Writer's Block: For Here or To Go

What's your favorite fast food restaurant, and what's your favorite thing to eat there?

I'd say that Subway is my favorite fast food place. I have a lunch/dinner date almost every week with a friend, and that is usually where we go. My favorite thing to get is a turkey sub on whole grain bread with: red onions, tomatoes, green peppers, black olives, lettuce and sweet onion dressing.

What genre of books are you most drawn to? Do you stick mostly to one type of book with your reading, or do you like to mix it up?

I love all kinds of books and don't really stick to one genre. I'm, admittedly, not very big on the romance genre. When I was a bit younger (late teens to early twenties), I used to read romance novels quite a bit, but they just don't appeal to me any longer & haven't for a long time. When I was in grade school, I really loved the Little House on the Prairie books. Reading those was like being transported to a completely different world automatically since they're set in a time that happened so long ago. I still like books that are based in a different time than we're living in now, or are a universe that I will never live in. The latter is one of the reasons that I like The Twilight Saga and Lord of the Rings Trilogy. They're both in a completely different universe. I also like: crime, true crime, thriller, and non-fiction genres. I also like books that are "based on actual events", be it loosely based or following known facts pretty closely. James Patterson is one of my favorite thriller genre authors. Right now, I'm reading a book by him that's called 'The Postcard Killers'. It's definitely one of those books that keeps you on the edge of your seat! I love books like that; they keep me engaged, have an actual plot, but don't change so rapidly that I can't remember what was happening if I set it down for a day or two.

Writer's Block: Eeeeeeeek!

What animal (or insect, etc) are you most afraid of? Was there a specific incident that led to your fear, or is it just a general thing?

Spiders. I absolutely hate spiders. I'm not fond of the daddy long legs spiders or tree spiders, but those don't bother me as much as the brown recluse or a wolf spiders. I had a brown recluse in my house just last week actually, climbing along the wall like he owned the place while the cat just stared at it. If the thing had been a lizard, the furry little bastard would have been climbing up the wall to get at it! lol

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