Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas Advent Calendars

Matthew and Aidan's

Michael and Cody's

Random picture of Michael set for another blog entry but I can't seem to remove


steaming the iron on webbing along the sides.

Fold the top corners in and under.
Fold the sides under so the whole thing is about 4-5 inches wide, whichever you like best just make sure it's straight.

Fold the ends under and iron in place.

All the different ribbons and threads, glue sticks, iron on webbing and sticker letters to go on the wooden letters.

A few years ago my sister Amy had me come over and helped me make these cute advent calendars but sadly mine didn't hold up as well as I would have liked so this time around I took a bit more time and effort and am very pleased with them. On average the material cost $1.48-$2.00 for each calendar, then $0.47-$1.97 for each spool of ribbon ( it took about a spool and a tiny bit more for each calendar). $2.50 for each letter at the top, and $2.47 for the toll paint and polyurethane to give it a satin finish. Then between $0.47-$1.47 in buttons for each one. $2.00 box of 100 mini candy canes, and a $5.00 bag of mini tootsie rolls (which did enough candy for 15 advent calendars) I bought two larger pieces of candy to go at the top of each calendar for Christmas eve and Christmas day. My Mother in Law Lisa didn't do letters at the top of hers. She used a small ribbon looped and sewn on with a button and they looked adorable too!

Turn the material length wise and fold it in half. Iron it perfectly flat. Fold under the bottom edges about 1/4 inch and iron in place, fold sides under towards each other and iron in place. same with the top. Then on each side at the top fold the top two corners under at an angle and iron under. Using Iron on webbing cut stripes that are long enough for the top, bottom, sides and angles along the top. Using the iron on steam hold it in place on top of the material for 10 seconds until it fuses the sides together. Measure 25 spaces for each ribbon to be either hot glued or sewn in place. I sewed mine because frankly I'm on bed rest and have nothing better to do. Mean while each of the kids and I painted out own letters, and polyurethaned them. Using hot glue and ribbons we attached the wooden letters to the larger ribbons and then sewed the ribbons in place with buttons and all that's left is to tie on your candies and hang them. I love the look of them and each kid got to pick their own materials. Sadly all we have here to pick from is wally world. Had I been close to a hobby lobby or a Michael's or Hancock's fabric I'm sure we could have gone all out. But I'm rather pleased with how they tuned out. Email me at if you have any questions. Have fun!

Adventures in hospital land

Matt giving me my shot at home. FUN.

Food? It looks like dog food..can't believe they wanted me to eat that at the GAG
Cody THRILLED to be at the hospital hanging with me

Good ole Sgt. Townson hanging out in my room with the kids

The beginning of November brought on some fun new adventures for our family, fun more fun! Ok so I'm a bit sarcastic but hey, that's me. Back in October we had some test results come back showing my liver enzymes were far too high and the doctors at Fort Polk couldn't peg what it was, so we spent the entire month with tons of tests and no answers to only have the liver mysteriously go right back to normal with no explanation, so we went back to just thinking it was a weird fluke.

Early November I spent throwing up, exhausted and having an odd aversion to food. Sure I knew I was hungry...but I couldn't bring myself to eat anything, it all looked, smelled or tasted weird. I went into Labor and Delivery at fort Polk after 3 days of not being able to eat but a few bites and throwing up, thinking I'm being a big baby and just being dehydrated. Yup, polk say's hey you are dehydrated go get fluids in the ER. While there I asked the Er doctor to run some blood work to see if I was possibly anaemic because I had been so cold and shaky and just felt off. While we waited for the blood work Matt had to go get the kids from the school bus, that's when the Doctor came back all worried for me, saying they would be transferring me by ambulance to Rapides Women's and Children's hospital with what's called HELLP Syndrom which is basically preeclampsia and dangerous and the only way to make the Mother better and is the delievery of the baby. They spent the next few hours prepping me to take Aidan at only 24 weeks. FAR too early for him to have a real chance at survival. Fortunately the Dr's ( I had..oh 7? lol) came back thinking it was Fatty liver of pregnancy (still as bad as preeclampsia and requires early delievery to make Mom better). The Doctor's just didn't know what to do with me. I had extremely high liver enzymes, VERY low platelet levels, my white and red blood cell counts were very low as well, I was also severely B12 deficient (they said to get as low as I was I must have had an inability to absorb it for at least 5-6 years, possibly being why Matty was such a small baby because I had to be that deficient while pregnant with him), and it came back that I had recently had Parvo B19 virus (yes.....PARVO..hello??!! yessss like what your dog gets, only for humans and it can be as small as a cold or severe as a flu and can cause the fetus to spontaneously abort).

While in the hospital I saw 5 specialists (Not one could figure out what was wrong with me because i didn't fit all the symptoms for either fatty liver or HELLP. I had ultrasounds which showed Aidan to be strong and healthy but both my liver and spleen were enlarged, the spleen very much larger than it should be, and again...they had no explanation. Near the end of the week the Hematologist/oncologist had decided that the B12 shots were making a tiny improvement and while all my levels were still either high (liver) or low( blood) I was stabilized and no longer dropping lower and lower. I was released on bed rest for the time being until who knows when, probably once Aidan is born. We still don't know what's going on with my body but the B12 seems to be helping my blood levels get better. I have a severe chance of bleeding from the liver and spleen and being anemic, and I can get sick pretty easily because of my immune system right now, so things are still....not great but I'm home!! I actually got released on our 1st wedding anniversary and spent the day with my love not hooked up to machines.

I have to say thank you to some AMAZING people without whom that week and the weeks that have followed would not have gone nearly as smoothly as they did. 1st. Douglas Townson, Matt's Sgt. The poor man has no kids, and no younger siblings and didn't have a clue what to do with kids let alone three! But he spent the whole week, sleeping on our couch, feeding the kids and getting them to and from school, and running them back and forth to the hospital so they could see me, and so Matt could stay with me. We were very worried that at any moment they would whisk me off and take Aidan and we just didn't want to chance him being an hour away from the hospital.

Melita George who had to help pick Matty up from school when he threw up and was sick to his tummy.

And Mom and Dad Morris who drove out here to take care of me. Being on bed rest is far harder than I thought it would be and if Mom weren't as clean a freak as I am I wouldn't be able to sit here like I should.

Lastly my amazing husband who held my hand and kept me calm, washed my hair for me while I was hooked up to all sorts of fun hoses, and kept sneaking me non hospital food when no one was looking!! Baby you are my sunshine and kept me sane.

Thanks to all those who called and emailed and sent flowers, they really brightened the room! We love you all and will keep everyone up as much as we can, for now it's all wait and guess, so as soon as we'll know!

Monday, November 2, 2009


I LOVE HALLOWEEN!!!!! Anyone who knows our family, knows we LOVE this season! The fall colors, the change in weather, and all the Autumn parties and festivals and such. Picerne housing here at Fort Polk put on a cute little festival a few blocks behind our house, so we got to walk down and experience some of the fun with the kids and neighbors. We had a fun little hay ride, a fake candy filled pumpkin "pumpkin patch", haunted house, spook juice, a headless horseman, balloons and photo ops. It was a nice evening over all, and who doesn't like free family fun?! I do, I do! The lines were redonkulously long, and there so many people there it was a tad crowded, we only stayed about 2 hours, but got to do everything we wanted too, and got to come home and have a nice start to our weekend. The Army really does try and put emphasis on community now and I love it!

Just some random cell phone pictures

I know all the photo's we have are a tad over kill, but this is our version of a family photo album/journal, and frankly I think my spouse and children are the most beautiful people there are so you all get privileged to see some of the random pictures from Matt's cell phone of his training and the kids and so on. Ya can't tell me that man isn't gorgeous, and those blue eyes...........sigh.. I love you Matt!!!

Swine Flu is AWESOME

In September the kids and I were ever so lucky as to get the H1N1 flu. Man oh man will that KNOCK ya down! Seasonal flu and Swine flu are so prevalent here that the Army has implemented measures to keep the spread of the creepy crawlies to a minimum by having a "Drive through flu clinic" No, I'm not kidding. I suppose I see the reasoning, and yet, you are asking people to roll down their windows and leave car doors open in the morning chill while you or the children in question have fever and what not, and are examined in the breeze for all to see, hacking up their lungs and vomitting. lol Goodness I wish I had taken a picture of the awesomeness that was some one's brainchild. haha. Little Soldier flagging you down and waving you through the tent poles and smiling at you all friendly, when all you want to do is mow the poor sucker down because you have 3 sick kids, are sick yourself, and haven't slept in Or maybe that's just my violent tendencies after no sleep and no break. Matt was lucky enough to escape our bout with the crud by being in the Field for training nearly the entire time, so I had to do it all on a hope and a prayer. Hey man, great diet even for pregnant ladies....ya just do't want to/ can not eat.....thus I lost 8lbs. wohoo! I need it to come back AFTER we have Aidan to assist in my rear end shrinkage! JK!
Thank heavens for take out, Tylenol, Disney channel, and online kids games or we might not have our sanity left after that!