The House of Doo

The House of Doo

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Doolittle Christmas

Well, we survived another Christmas season.  Most of you who know me well know that I am a total Grinch.  I do not enjoy Christmas at all.  I hate decorating, I hate going from place to place, I hate spending so much money on gifts, I hate not knowing if the gift receiver will like the gift, I hate the music, and on and on.  HOWEVER, this year has been very enjoyable.  We drew names for Ryan's family, then bought gifts for only the "kids" with my stepfamily.  It cut down on the cost a lot and that takes away some of the stress.  Actually, Ryan's family was in Florida this year, so we missed all of them a lot.  It did give us one less place to go though.  Not that we don't enjoy going, because we always do and always have fun, but it is also stressful having to schedule all of the get-togethers and make sure we spend plenty of time with each family.  That is hard!  I have missed seeing Ryan's family though, they're always good for laughs. :)  The only commitments we had this year were going to my Dad and Judy's house on Christmas Eve, to open gifts and eat with my stepfamily, then lunch and gifts with my Dad's side of the family.  We had a great time as usual and ate way too much on Christmas Eve.  Go figure!  Colt got lots of new toys and books and even got his very first tablet!  It is called a Meep! and he loves it.  Ryan and I opened our gifts that night after Colt went to bed.  He got me a new Kavu purse, some beautiful scarves, the Phillip Phillips cd, and Season 1 of the Golden Girls. He also snuck a necklace and those beautiful wooden spoons from my WAR party!  He had my friend "buy" them, but they were really for me.  Sneaky. I got him some new shirts, the Hatfields and McCoys tv miniseries on DVD, and a Duck Dynasty shirt.  He outdid me for sure.  :/

Christmas morning, Colt got up and with very sleepy eyes saw his gifts.  He got a new Little Tikes table, lots of new Melissa & Doug puzzles, Play-doh, books, a football, and a new guitar.  He loves music and was recently VERY interested in a friend's guitar, so we bought him a little toddler version.  It even has Lightning McQueen on it, so it's especially great!  In his stocking were some little John Deere tractors (also an obsession) and John Deere socks. He seemed very happy with this gifts.

Christmas Day we went to my Pawpaw's house for lunch, just as we have done for my entire life.  It will never be the same without my grandmother there, but it is getting easier.  My aunt Diane has taken over and done a great job, especially for someone who "doesn't cook."  ;)  My Nana would be proud of her.  Ryan got a very nice LL Bean gift card, I got some Lancome makeup (my favorite to wear, but never buy!) and my first piece of Le Creuset cookwear.

The bad part of the holiday was that the entire time, Colt was sick.  Sunday, after church he was acting a bit weird, but we just figured he was tired.  We went to lunch with my dad and Judy and friend, Julie, to Cracker Barrel.  He let Ryan hold him while we waited for a table and kept acting like he was going to go to sleep.  Well, he finally did and slept fitfully the entire time we ate.  Ryan started to comment on how warm he felt.  We hurried home, knowing something was up (he never sleeps in public!) and took his temp.  It was 104.  I was obviously concerned with the number, but moreso about the way he was acting.  He was completely lethargic.  We called the doctor, they told us to alternate between Tylenol and Motrin just like usual and to go to Urgent Care at the children's hospital as soon as it opened at 6.  We got his fever down a good bit, so we waited to see what was going to happen.  The fever never really went away, but went down.  Finally around 9:45, we decided to take him because I was struggling with putting him to bed with a fever.  At that time, it was 101.4.  By the time we got seen at the Urgent Care less than an hour later it was up again to 103.3.  They thought he had strep because of the condition of his throat, but he didn't.  They said it was a virus and sent us home with a child whose fever at that point was well over 104.  This is a really long story, so we'll skip to the party where for 3 whole days, he had a fever we couldn't control.  I finally took him to our pediatrician yesterday, on day 4, even though we finally broke the fever, he was snotty and coughing.  Ugh.  They tested him for the flu and checked his blood for infections.  Both were okay, so it was a virus.  Dr. Smith said there was a bad virus going around that mimics the flu, so that seemed to be what he had.  So.  Colt really did well going through the festivities even though he felt bad.  The Tylenol and Motrin kept him in pretty good spirits.  :) 

Anyway, this Christmas was much simpler and very enjoyable.  Being excited about Colt and his reaction helped a lot.  I am going to try really hard to not turn him into a Grinch too!  I hope everyone had a great Christmas!  :)

I'll leave you with some pictures to try to sum up our last few days.  :)

Colt and his cousin Tanner.  Best buddies.

Playing piano at Pawpaw's house.

Entertaining himself at the doctor's office.

Colt and his cousins, Tucker and Tanner.

Playing with an old rotary phone.

My new gift!

Dad, Pawpaw, me, and Colt.  Four generations.

Christmas morning! :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A recipe!

Today, Ryan is home with Colt again and I am at work.  That is a strange feeling, as it is usually the opposite.  Tuesday, Ryan said Colt was really good and only unwrapped part of one present.  Ha.  That's the first one, so I consider this Christmas season a success so far. ;)  This morning, Ryan wanted to take Colt to the mall to do a bit of shopping.  It is a nasty, rainy, cold day and Colt was terribly grumpy this morning and refused to eat breakfast for him.  I tried to tell him that it was going to be a disaster, but he was undeterred.  Figures.  Ryan remembered the stroller was in my car, so they came by to get it.  As soon as they walked into the office, I knew he was going to regret taking the trip to the mall.  Colt didn't even acknowledge me, just wanted to play with the calculator and run the tapes on it.  I barely got a kiss.  Anyway, they went to the mall where Colt cried every time Ryan turned the stroller to go into a store.  Ha.  He was THAT kid.  Needless to say, they didn't get anything done and went home.  Colt is cutting his two year molars and has been great, until yesterday.  He's on his third one though, so I think he's done well to make it through two molars and we didn't even know anything was up.  I hate teething, I hope it's over soon.  Poor kid just isn't himself.
Even when grumpy, he's cute. ;) I've got to say something about this toboggan, it is a YOUTH MEDIUM.  Not a child or even toddler size.  YOUTH.  He's 2. With a huge head.  Huge brain, perhaps?  ;)

Yesterday was speech therapy day.  Have I mentioned how much we love our speech therapist?  She is great and very patient with Colt.  Yesterday was a rough session.  He wasn't very cooperative at the beginning, but he warmed up.  First of all, he woke up crying around 5:30 yesterday morning, so I went to console him and he went willingly back to bed.  I watched him on the monitor and he slept about 10 minutes, when he jerked up and started screaming.  It was like something was scaring him.  Anyway, I went in a few times but he just wasn't sleeping well.  I finally got him up and we laid on the couch.  He then slept about 45 more minutes on my chest.  He woke up grumpy so, like I said, speech therapy was hard.  After about 10 minutes of trying to warm him up, he finally gave in. We worked on mimicking Jaime again and Colt did great.  He made the P, M, N, D, and G sounds.  Always ending in the "ah" sound.  "Pa," "Ma," "Ga," etc.  He isn't really making any other vowel sounds, so that is our homework this week.  We're going to try for Es and Os, like "Me" and "Go" and the like.  Still no real words, but new sounds.  Any type of progress is exciting to me.  He got tired of the sounds very quickly yesterday and just wanted to play in his room with Jaime.  He showed her all of his books, so they read a bit.  It wasn't a total waste of an hour. 

My snuggle buddy early yesterday morning

Doesn't he just look grumpy??  Yikes!!
I made my famous (at our house anyway ;)) meatloaf for dinner last night.  This is Ryan's all time favorite meal that I make.  I am telling you, this meatloaf is awesome.  I like meatloaf pretty well, but all others seem dry and dense to me after eating this one.  I'm pretty sure it will rock your world.  The secret is Rotel.  Also, Ritz crackers instead of bread or breadcrumbs or whatever.  The Rotel gives it a kick, but doesn't make it spicy.  You could use the mild kind if you were afraid.  Okay, here you go:

My favorite meatloaf

1 1/2 lb of ground beef
1 egg
1 can of Rotel, undrained
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Mix all the ingredients together until evenly mixed.  Pack into a meatloaf pan.
3. Bake in the oven for around 1 hour, until no longer pink inside.  Top with ketchup, if you wish.

The end.  That's it.  Simple, right?  Delicious too!  We served it with homemade mashed potatoes (duh!) and roasted zucchini.  Colt will fight you for that roasted zucchini, so dinner was a hit last night. Try it.  Let me know what you think. :) 

Well, I suppose the next blog post will be after Christmas.  Until then, I hope everyone has a great weekend and a lovely Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No title for this blog.

It's Update Day again.  What a busy weekend it has been. 

As we all know, Friday was a tragic, horrifying day in American history.  26 precious lives were stolen away from their loved ones, by a crazy, angry, coward.  I watched the news in horror with tears streaming down my face, as most of the country did too.  I literally hurt for them.  I left work early to finish up some Christmas shopping that day.  As I drove through the traffic and walked the aisles of the big stores, I felt guilty, guilty, for going on about my life while others' lives would never be the same again.  They would never feel the joy of shopping for their precious children again.  I cannot even begin to imagine the depth of their anguish.  I shopped quickly, rushing to pick up Colt from his Mimi.  I can't imagine never being able to see that precious face again.  Ryan was doing some work that evening and I put him to bed alone.  He woke up crying a little after he went to sleep and I rushed in there quickly, when another night, I may have let him cry a bit first.  He cried twice that night, almost inconsolable and I felt like he could feel the hurt in the world too.  I held him, whispering "'s okay, Mommy's here..." over and over, the whole time crying with him for the mommies and daddies who couldn't console their babies that night.  A situation like this would have hurt me before becoming a parent, but since then, knowing the depth of the love of a mother, this rocked me to the core.  I don't know what else to say about this, aside from I am broken.  Those pictures and faces of those that didn't make it are forever etched on my heart.  Rest in the arms of your Maker, sweet babies. 

*Wipe tears...* 

Okay, Saturday was spent preparing for the Women At Risk, International handmade goods sale we had after church on Sunday.  My dear friend, Lindsey, came over to "shop" because she didn't think she could make it to the party (though she did and was a huge help!) and to help me make food to serve.  We made huge batches of pasta salad and she made a big batch of spinach dip.  The rest of the day was spent trying to keep Colt out of all the stuff I had around the house for the party. 

Sunday was the WAR party!  Everybody came all at once, in a huge rush.  I was so busy doing the "checkout" that I didn't really even get to look around much.  My friends, Kristin, Julie, and Lauren also worked their tails off helping people.  We manged to raise $1580.21 for the victims of sex trafficking.  That is enough to support 1 woman in a safehouse for 6 months or 6 women for 1 month!  That's huge!!!  So a great big THANK YOU to all who came to shop.  Another big THANK YOU to my friends, for it couldn't have been done without them and their hard work.  Today, I taped up all the boxes, fixed up the checks and sent it back to Michigan. 
Bye bye, boxes!
Last night, we were invited to a Cookie Exchange.  Most of you know, I am not a Christmas-y person and I wouldn't have gone if it weren't for the people throwing it.  I adore them, so I wanted to go.  Honestly though, I completely forgot about that because I was working on the WAR stuff.  I remembered yesterday morning about 10 that I was supposed to have 3 dozen cookies baked for this party.  Yikes!  Colt and I made a run to the grocery store for supplies and walked out with over $100 worth of stuff.  HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN????  Anyway, we set out to make Candy Cane Cake Batter cookies.  They were kind of like sugar cookies with those Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses melted in the center.  They sounded amazing!  They were not amazing, but they were good.  I hoped they would be fluffier and gooey-er (?) but they were kind of flat and a little crunchy.  They were probably gooey when they came out of the oven, but they only made 3 dozen, so I was afraid to try one.  I'd add the recipe, but it really wasn't worth sharing.  Sigh.  Oh well.  I'm not that much of a baker anyway. 
I had a helper.  He loved the flour, hated the dough. 
I caught Colt and Roxie snuggling yesterday. ;)
I have been meaning to post a picture of the playground in our backyard for a while now.  It has been almost finished for about 2 months.  There are just a couple of finishing touches that need to be made, but I am not sure they'll ever get finished.  Here is the latest picture and Colt about to go down the slide.  The box at the bottom of the slide needs some adjustments made to it.  My dad suggested filling it with sand, but for some reason Ryan and Jody put wood on it.  It isn't really working out.  Ha. 
To the left of this is the swing part.  It is HUGE. The dogs look excited, right?
Today, Ryan took a vacation day to stay home with Colt while I work.  This is the first time really that Ryan has been with him alone ALL DAY.  He's doing it again on Thursday.  I hope after this he understands why I am so very exhausted at the end of the day.  My son is a joy to be around, most all of the time, BUT he has way more energy than I do and he never stops.  You cannot take your eyes off of him, like most toddlers I am sure.  We'll see how this goes. ;) 
So.  That is pretty much what is going on with the Doolittle family this week.  If anything changes, you know I will update.  ;)  Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, December 14, 2012


We made it to Friday!  Hooray!  It is a big weekend for us.  We are having our Women At Risk, International party on Sunday.  This is the same type of get-together I went to about 6 weeks ago and learned the devastating statistics about sex trafficking, you might remember me mentioning.  I have talked about it quite a bit since.  If you are free on Sunday from 12-ish to 2-ish, even if only for a drop-in and shop, please come by Chattanooga Valley Baptist Church THIS SUNDAY! You don't have to come to church to come to the party, but if you want to do so, we would love to have you.  You can come as you are, I will most likely be in jeans, so don't feel like you have to dress up to come.  I got six huge boxes full of beautiful things in the mail.  There is jewelry and tons of it.  There are scarves, handblown glass ornaments, purses, home decor, and more.  Everything is handmade by the women and children/teens rescued from sex trafficking.  This organization rescues them and houses them in a safehouse.  While in the safehouse, they are fed, educated, taught about the Bible (I think this is optional, though I need to check that out for sure), and taught a trade to help them find a way to support themselves without getting back into their previous situation.  For every $250 raised, a woman is housed for an entire month in a safehouse.  All of the things I mentioned are included.  Some of the women are Americans who were sold into slavery as children.  They have been gone so long, they don't know where to return to.  That breaks my heart into a million pieces. I cannot imagine.  So, please, stop by if you can.  The gifts are beautiful, just in time for Christmas, very reasonably priced, and support an amazing cause. 

Okay, I think I made my point. ;) 

We had our speech therapy session on Wednesday.  It went very well.  Jaime (our speech therapist) and I sat down in the floor with Colt and she started to try to get him to mimic her.  She started with the "m" sound, which he does well and paired the "m" sound with the sign for "more."  Everytime he would sign "more" (we were working a puzzle, he wanted more pieces), he had to add the "m" sound to go along with the sign.  It took him about 2 minutes to get down, and then he began doing it on his own without her prompting him.  She was amazed (or acted like it anyway;)) and said that was all she had planned to do that day because it usually takes much longer.  I had a proud mommy moment right then.  Eventually, the plan is to add little by little to the "m" sound to eventually get him to say "more" while also signing.  Genius, right?  It seemed so simple at the time.  This week our homework is to keep practicing that sound, and also add the "b" sound, and "p" sound.  I hear the "b" occasionally, but haven't heard "p" yet.  Jaime told me repeatedly how proud of us she was and that she was impressed with how quickly Colt picks things up.  Yay!  I am so proud of my smart little boy!

We had our ice company Christmas party at Chop House last night.  The food was incredible as always and the company was entertaining as always.  We are lucky to have such incredible people working here.  Sure. we all argue like a family, but honestly, these people are very much my family.  A few of them have worked here since I was born.  I grew up here, with these people.  They have been around during my childhood, been to my graduations, wedding, and my adult life up to this point.  They were right by our sides when my Nana passed away.  I'll never forget seeing the tears stream down their faces at her funeral, just like they were on our faces.  They are family.  Now, Colt is here to experience them and love them like we do.  I am proud to work for my family, I am proud of our business, I am proud that it is run with such dignity and honesty, and I am excited to see how far it will go.  Thank you, Lord, for blessing us and our company so.

That is what was on my mind today.  I hope everyone has a good and safe weekend. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Special Needs or Just Special?

I have hesitated to post about this because I am sure someone will say that I am wrong, but I am going to post anyway. 

A while back, it was suggested that we take Colt to a pediatric neurologist and also a pediatric development specialist to see if there is a reason he is so far behind.  I spoke to our pediatrician and he agreed that it was a good idea.  We made the appointments, which are in February and March, because the neurologist is so busy and there is only one pediatric development specialist in Chattanooga at this time (we're going to call her a PDS because I am already tired of typing all that!)  I mentioned this to a health professional working with Colt and she told me that I should get a second opinion on whatever this particular PDS said.  I just kind of laughed and said "okay."  Fast forward about 2 months later, which was about 2 weeks ago, and it got brought up to someone else working closely with Colt.  A professional that I trust.  She suggested that we cancel the PDS appointment with our doctor here.  Basically, this is what she said off the record.  "This doctor WILL diagnose Colt as autistic.  She diagnoses every single child I have ever sent over there with autism.  Colt is not autistic (also what our pediatrician said) and she will say that he is.  You don't want him to have that label attached to him when he enters school, because they will put him in classes or with children who are and he won't fit in.  If they label him as autistic, he will NEVER lose that label.  Labels are good when they fit, but he will not fit but he'll never get out from under it." 

So.  We will not be going to see her in March.  We can always reschedule it in a year or two if there is still a problem, but for now, we're not going.  We are, however, still going to the neurologist.  Children with severe speech delay and multiple eye surgeries sometimes do have a neurological problem that links the two problems.  Dr. Peterson, Colt's eye surgeon, has told us from the start that his eye problem is really a brain problem, which is why the surgeries weren't working.  The last one "worked" because it made it hard or almost impossible for his brain to move them the wrong ways. 

Being around Colt alone, I honestly didn't realize quite how far behind he is.  Last week, we went to the playground to play and swing and get away from the house.  There was also a little boy there with his mom, but he was much smaller than Colt, though that isn't odd. ;)  Anyway, the boys were swinging side-by-side so I asked the mom how old he was.  He was a year old, about 4 months shy of 2.  So about 6 months younger than Colt.  When the boys got out to play and run around, it was super evident how far ahead of Colt he was.  He chattered and talked and climbed the steps and slid down the slides and jumped and ran.  Colt is VERY cautious in an environment like that.  That day, it just hit me really hard.  I know a lot of it is his eyes and the fact that he lived his first two years with almost no depth perception, but it's still hard to watch him in comparison.  I want to fix it.  I want to catch him up and make him be able to do what the other boys do.  I know he will get there, I know this.  When I got our paperwork in the mail the other day from our speech therapy group, it had Colt listed as "special needs."  That bothered me for some reason because I don't think of him that way.  Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. 

Honestly, to me, he is just special. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

No paci, snot, and kindness.

A rare two days in a row blog post!  Whoa!

Just thought I would update on Day 2 of no pacifier for Colt.  Kim said he yelled for about 10 minutes at nap time yesterday, so I was kind of wondering what was going on.  Surely he wasn't giving in that easily!  I was anxious to put him to bed last night to see what would happen.  The first night, he started crying the second he saw that his pacis were not in the bed.  He has slept with 3 for as long as I can remember.  He has one for his mouth and one for each hand.  Anyway, when we put him to bed last night, he started looking for them, but didn't cry.  We got completely out of the room and sat for about 2 minutes, then he started yelling.  No tears this time, just angry.  I can handle angry, but tears are harder.  He yelled for about 8 minutes!  He gave up yelling and I watched him on the video monitor, rolling around trying to get comfortable but the fact that he was awake and not yelling felt like a huge victory.  He went to sleep soon after and slept all night.  No lie, that first day was almost unbearable, but the second was a breeze in comparison.  I want to celebrate, but have this horrible fear it's not over yet.  There is no way we are that lucky, right?  We shall see!  I was proud of him last night.  :) 

Like I said yesterday, I have been paranoid about all this flu business.  This is about to get a little gross, so feel free to stop reading this paragraph now.  ;)  Anyway, the past two mornings and evenings, Colt has had some really thick gross boogies.  I just knew he was getting sick.  The thing is, he has no fever and his nose isn't running.  When he "talks" he sounds kind of congested, but like it is way up in his sinuses, you know?  So the point of this is, can 2 year olds get sinus infections?  Does anyone know?  Our pediatrician told us a while back, that babies don't develop sinuses until they are older, but my allergist disagreed.  What can you do about thick yuckiness up in their sinuses?  He can't blow it out, and we're doing the saline/snot sucker combo with only a little luck.  Suggestions welcome. :)  Again, sorry for the grossness.

Moving on.  My high school football team is playing tonight in the final round of the state playoffs.  If they win tonight, they play for the state championship at the Georgia Dome.  They do have the home field advantage and huge community support.  I really hope they can pull it off.  This is the same team that was attacked by the Freedom From Religion Foundation for praying before games and feeding the team in churches in the community.  That whole mess lit a fire in this community and within that team.  Maybe God's behind it, or maybe they're just a really awesome team.  Either way, I am proud to be a Ridgeland Panther.  Beat some Marist tail, boys! 

Tomorrow, I am having lunch with one of my best and oldest friends, Julie.  She came up with a wonderful idea of having a day of Random Acts of Kindness.  We hoped to do it before Christmas, but that may not work out.  My/our other best friend/s, Lindsey and Lauren are going to participate too, but I think they both have plans tomorrow.  Anyway, we're going to have lunch and plan out our Random Acts of Kindness day.  We're compiling a list of things to do and I would love to hear any ideas you may have.  The day before Thanksgiving, someone bought our family's dinner at O'Charley's. When we found out, we, in turn, bought another family's dinner.  That's what you are supposed to do, right?  Pass it on!  I am so excited about Julie's idea and can't wait to share it with you all.  Not to brag, but to hope it gives you all a bit of inspiration too!  Anyone else want to help?  Or do your own day?  Could be fun!  :)

I do realize I asked for suggestions on two completely different things...Getting rid of snot and Random Acts of Kindness. HA.  Today I'll leave you with a picture of last night's sunset.  I took it while driving (don't judge!) but definitely waited until I got home to Instagram it.  ;)  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

New one.

It has been over a week since my last blog post.  I have slacked a bit and I feel like there is so much to update.  Now that I am sitting down to write about it, I am sure my mind will blank.  ;)

First off...BIG NEWS!!!  We went to Colt's eye surgeon on Friday and he said that Colt's eyes are perfect!  They were expecting to either do another surgery this year or to wait until he is 4 years old, but with the way they are now, he'll never have another surgery again!  As long as they do not change again.  There is always a chance that they can start to drift but it isn't likely.  We are thrilled with how gorgeous his eyes look! 

Charlie Chaplin?

I'll skip the boring parts and go right to the part where we took Colt's paci away.  Yesterday, the speech therapist found out he still had it (of course he still has it, he's only just turned two!!) and said he needed to stop.  Blah, blah, blah, something about how sucking a paci causes a kid's mouth muscles to not form/work correctly.  That sounds like a load of malarky to me, but whatever.  I guess it'll be easier to take it away now than it will be when he's older and bigger.  Our two options were to take it away cold turkey or to cut a hole in the end so it doesn't work and he won't want it anymore.  The latter is out because he chews holes in his pacis all the time and it doesn't phase him.  I went through the house, angry the entire time, snatching up pacis and collecting them.  Colt has them hidden in the house EVERYWHERE, but I tried my hardest to find all of them.  I found 15.  Ha.  Anyway, yesterday he screamed bloody murder for an hour and ten minutes at nap time because he didn't have his paci.  He threw everything out of his bed into the floor and just flat out cried.  It was the longest hour of my life, I think.  I was seriously hating people.  Then last night at bedtime, Ryan was gone to the farm so I got to put him to bed without it again with no one there.  I put him in the bed, screaming, and went to my room and cried.  He cried and screamed for 40 minutes and eventually laid down and went to sleep.  It can be done, but my gosh, it was hard.  I was kind of anticipating a long night of him waking up and crying because he didn't have it, but he slept until I had to go wake him up at 7:40.  He slept well, but when I woke him up, he had a really yucky nose and a cough.  Boo.  I've been a bit paranoid about this flu going around, so hopefully it isn't anything like that.  I hated leaving him to come to work today, but I am not going to lie, I am happy I don't have to put him down for a nap today. 

So.  Sorry that was so long.

I finished my Advocare 24 Day Challenge last Wednesday.  My official weight loss during those 24 days was 8 lbs.  I was hoping for more, but it did motivate me a bit to keep it up.  It feels good to see the numbers on the scale go down.The day after I stopped taking the Advocare, the numbers started going back up and I got pretty discouraged.  I gained back 4 lbs of it within 2 days of stopping.  I have since lost them and am back at the 8 lbs.  Not really sure what that was all about, but I am hoping to move on past 8 to about 40.  HAHA.  I am definitely eating better and feeling better.  I can tell that I have lost weight when I look in the mirror, but I don't think it's enough for anyone else to tell yet.  That will take a bit more.  I've got to throw some exercise in or I'll never make it.  My biggest accomplishment so far is that I have not had so much as a sip of sweet tea in a month.  A MONTH.   That is amazing for me, trust me.  ;) 

I also have a date and location for my Women At Risk, International awareness/jewelry party.  It will be a week from Sunday, on December 16 at my church, Chattanooga Valley Baptist in Flintstone.  The party will begin immediately after church at 12:15, as I am hoping to get more people since they'll already be at church.  If you are interested in looking through the stuff but can't make it to the party, please let me know.  I got an email saying they sent me 6 boxes today!  I can't wait to see what will be in these!  If you can make it, please do!  I want to make a difference and this is the only way I know how right now! 

I feel like there is so much more to post, but I should probably shut up.  I'll leave you with a picture of my cute boy enjoying his favorite activity...swinging!  Thanks for reading! :)