About Me


Southern New Jersey

I am a Mom to 2 amazing and fun daughters and wife to a great guy and a wonderful father!

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Kayla, my oldest. She is 4 1/2 and is a sweet, loving and silly little girl. She took us 2 ½ years and 3 IVF’s to conceive. Kayla is allergic to dairy. We manage her allergy and work to balance her safety with giving her a normal childhood. Kayla loves to read books and play games - she amazes me every day.

Alysa, my youngest. She is 3 years old and is a silly little spitfire. She’s our monkey and loves to climb on everything. She was a “natural” baby, but it was only b/c of my wonderful doctors that we were able to stop an impending miscarriage. Alysa suffers from Acid Reflux Disease and sleep apnea. She may be little, but she has a big personality. She adores her big sister and is so much fun to be around. She keeps me laughing every day.

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Monday, April 30, 2007
My Sister delivered "little" Zachary tonight. She was back in the hospital yesterday due to contractions. This time they told her she'd stay put until he was born. She was 34 weeks - so they did an amnio to test his lungs. All was ok, so she delivered via c-section.

Zachary Jason weighed in at 6lb, 2ox (yes at only 34 weeks) and 19 3/4". I'm told he has light hair and scored 9 and 9 on his Apgars. He needs no oxygen, but they are giving him IV fluids right now. He will be in the NICU for a few days.

I'm very excited. As soon as I get a picture I will post it.

posted at 8:19 PM  

Sunday, April 29, 2007
Marriage Monday

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This week's Marriage Monday topic is Families of Origin. Christine has posed these questions.

Jerome and I are both fortunate to come from families where our parents are still married. That being said - our families are so very different. He was raised in a religious household where I was not. His family had quiet meals, where mine were loud and boisterous - even during pleasant conversations.

I have definitely seen the differences in the family dynamics that we came from in our relationship. Any communication barriers we have come up against stems from our upbringings. My family fought - we were loud, we'd yell, we'd talk, we'd disagree, we'd have discussions. We were "allowed" to fight - it was not the end of the world. We'd make up, talk about it if need be and move on. J was brought up to avoid conflict. Conflict was not dealt with - it was ignored or swept under the rug. So needless to say, this has caused friction with us. But both of us have learned to adapt. I have learned to let certain things go. J has learned that you can disagree and even argue without it being the end of the world.

Both my parents and J's parents live near each other. We are about an hour from both sides. This means we can see both sides on holidays, but it can also mean more crazy splitting of time on holidays. We have a good relationship with my parents and J's. We are closer to my side, but I believe that stems from the type of relationships we have with my parents and his. As well as priorities within our respective families.

I would not say that either of us had difficulty separating from our families. I was already living on my own and although J was still living with his parents, he adjusted find to leaving the nest.

Our first year of marriage was pretty hectic. We immediately started looking to buy a house, so we had all that went along with that and we started trying to conceive. But although it was somewhat hectic, it was exciting and good. We were able to settle into our new home and enjoy each other.

I would say that our families influece our relationship more in the type of people that our upbringings have made us. Family is important to us, so we make a point to include our families in our lives and the lives of our children, as well as family activities and outings. My family tends to take us up on joining in on these things more than his do. But we also work to maintain our own family time. There are times that we wiill keep things just the 4 of us.

It can be tough to maintain a balance. Holidays can be the hardest. We want to make our own family traditions and make sure we get time with our girls, but also keep up with the notion that holidays are about being with family outside your little nucleus. We have had friction with siblings on J's side. And due to this friction and due to the importance J and I place on our family unit, we have had to make some tough choices in relation to them. These choices, as hard as they may be, were about protecting our children.

J and I both agree that our family comes first. We fully believe in the importance of family - the whole family, but when it comes down to it - our relationship and our children come first. We both have taken the good and bad from each of our upbringings and have used it to come up with the values we want our daughters raised with. We emphasize what is most important to us. We want our daughters to grow up knowing that our family was put first, but also knowing that their Grandparents, Aunt and Uncles and their Cousins are a big part of their life. I hope that they will be able to take the values that J and I instill in them and apply them to their own familes someday so that their family life works best for them and their spouse and children.

posted at 9:08 PM  

Mommy Talk

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This Week's Question is:
Describe your pregnancy...cravings, sicknesses, etc.

With Kayla I started out with very early symptoms - three days after I had my embryos transfer. The first signs I had were bloating and cramps (probably implantation cramps) and some dizziness. Five days after the transfer, I started waking at night to pee and then 7 days after the transfer is when my stomach started acting up and the hot flashes started. I kept all these a secret as to not jinx it. :)

After that, my main symptoms were my stomach. I never actually threw up, but I had this constant state of hunger. I could eat a huge meal and I'd feel like I never ate. But it was an awful empty feeling with queasiness mixed in. I basically was always feeling sick. I would come home from work, force myself to eat whatever J had put in front of me and go to bed. I was also EXHAUSTED! And the hot flashes - those are what really got me close to throwing up. Thankfully these were during the winter. I never would have lasted with those in the summer. The worst one in my first trimester was the bloody noses. Oh, how I don't miss those. Luckily the stomach issues, hot flashes and bloody noses left after the first trimester. The exhaustion stayed. But then I got major swelling. In April (She was born in August), I had to take off my wedding ring. By May I could only wear flip-flops. It was horrendous and I was eating everything I was supposed to. It was just uncontrollable. I was even told by friends that my feet and ankles were "disgusting". One friend's hubby even asked if my ankles were broken. LOL In my 3rd trimester the exhaustion was so bad, I had to literally go lay down and take a nap on my lunch break every day at work. Luckily they had a room with a couch - their "infirmary". That room saved me - it was my only way to get through the day. The only cravings I had really were spicy foods. I lived off buffalo wings for much of the pregnancy. I had an aversion to eggs - couldn't stand the smell of them, so poor J couldn't eat them either. And I had no desire for anything sweet. I also ended up with knee problems towards the end - which didn't get better until I was into my pregnancy with Alysa.

With Alysa - my symptoms came "much" later. Besides some bloating, I didn't feel anything until I was about 6-7 weeks along - much later than Kayla's 3 weeks. Otherwise, the stomach issues were the same, but worse and they lasted almost the entire pregnancy. Thankfully my hot flashes and bloody nose problems didn't plague me this time around. I didn't have nearly as much swelling either, so my weight gain was better. I really didn't have any food cravings or aversions this time around. I didn't eat quite as good as I did with Kayla, but I still gained less weight. Go figure.

With both pregnancies I had a lot of sciatica problems. This really goes along with my back issues from car accident many years ago. I knew it would come. But in spite of the negative symptoms, etc. I LOVED being pregnant with both girls. I loved to see my stomach grow, I loved wearing maternity clothes - I just loved the idea that I was pregnant. I find it fascinating and amazing. Most of all, I miss feeling them kick and squirm - even though they both enjoyed dancing on my bladder. Every move they made, brought a smile to my face.

You can hop on over to A Little Mommy Talk to see what other Mommy's had to say.

posted at 7:44 PM  

Well, I'm pretty sure now that Kayla's hives last week were from a virus. They were apparently the first symptom. She had diarrhea on Thursday and barely ate anything on Friday. She never got a fever, but she's still not 100%. Friday she was crying all day and miserably clingy. She's at least over that part. But starting last night she's been suffering from on and off gas pains. She had trouble going to bed then she was up from 12:30am to 3:30. So J and I are exhausted today as well as her. She napped for 1 hour today and then was up screaming in pain. She was finally able to go potty a few times since then, so the worst is hopefully past us. I was able to get out to Target yesterday, but other than that it's been a low-key weekend.

But some exciting new from me. My camera is due to arrive tomorrow - 1 day early! I am SO psyched. Tomorrow can't come soon enough!

I just got back from taking the girls on a walk. It's absolutely beautiful here. A bit windy, but it's warm, so that's the most important thing. Kayla has developed a fear of bumble bees and flies. So it makes our walks interesting. Every time she sees one I have to carry her and push Alysa. My arms are tired. :) She's never been stung by the way, but when we went to a local nursery to pick up some annuals, she walked into a bumble bee and he flew through her hair. She didn't like it much.

Well, I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable weekend. I'm looking forward to my week of learning how to use my new toy.

posted at 3:52 PM  

Ready for a Scavenger Hunt?
Amy over at Amy's Random Thoughts is having a scavenger hunt that starts tomorrow, May 1st. With fun questions and things to find and of course - prizes :) it looks like it will be a lot of fun! So go check it out and let her know if you want to join in.

posted at 9:37 AM  

Saturday, April 28, 2007
Saturday Photo Hunt
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*Sorry I'm late - it took me a while to think of what I could use.*

This week's theme is Rare.

I think it's pretty rare when the first picture of your child is when they are only 8 cells. This is a picture of the 3 embryo's I had transferred on my 3rd and successful IVF back in November 2003. I can't tell you which one is Kayla, but she's there all the same.

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To view other Saturday Photo Hunts go here.

posted at 3:58 PM  

Friday, April 27, 2007
Say What?!?
In case anyone out there was wondering why the US Post Office is not doing well and has to keep increasing the cost of postage, I thought I'd show you just how inefficient they are.

On Monday, April 23rd, I ordered a couple things from The Children's Place. Now, I know where their warehouse is. It's around Edison, NJ, which is apx 60 miles from my house (give or take) and I also am in NJ. So, you figure it should take a day, maybe 2 TOPS to get to my house through regular mail. Right? WRONG! Here is a the tracking information that is on-line for this package...

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(I apologize for the bad picture - it doesn't want to post very nicely)

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't it say it was accepted this morning in New Berlin, WI - as in WISCONSIN?!?

I guess I won't be seeing that package anytime soon.

Not much else going on here. It's a miserable, stormy and rainy day. Had to drag them out in the rain for gymnastics this morning. That went amazingly well considering that both girls match the weather - miserable and cranky. :) At least they have their bath to look forward to later.

And no - I have not heard back from Verizon. Why would they fix something that's a danger, not to mention a liability for them. I still have to call them back, but I have not been in the mood. And since J secured the lid with 4 heavy duty deck screws, I know it's not a danger for them any longer.

I actually have to start their dinner. I'm just not in the mood - I wish it could be a lazy day for me today, but no such luck.

posted at 4:28 PM  

Thursday, April 26, 2007
Thursdsay Thirteen #22
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1. New Kitchen – cabinets, countertop, etc.
2. Pavers Patio
3. New/Bigger Shed (ok the bigger part is J’s dream)
4. Expanded 2 car garage so t here is room for my van
5. Add on a Master Bedroom suite with a bathroom
6. Dig out a basement under the house, we currently don’t have a basement (hey – I told you they were dreams)
7. A Jacuzzi tub
8. A gas /propane stove instead of electric
9. All new windows
10. Rubber surface for the playground in our backyard
11. New carpeting in our bedroom, the family room, playroom & stairs/hallway
12. Fireplace for Santa
13. All new flower beds in our front yard – NO MORE BRICK :)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

posted at 10:41 AM  

Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Busy Week
It's Wednesday today and I still have not folded the kid's laundry from Monday. We have just been so busy with the nice weather. Lots of time outside which leaves little for me inside to do what I need to do and even less for the computer. Of course I'm loving the weather and so are the girls. But, even when I just brought them in from outside, I hear from Kayla - "Mommy, I NEED to go outside." At least it's better than her "I need to watch TV". :)

So it's been a lot of outside play, and errands. Not sure why the nice weather gets me wanting to do my errand. Probably b/c I don't have to fight with coats and heavy bulky shoes and clothes. Of course, Alysa is my miserable errand child. She despises the stroller and moans and groans and cries and twists the whole time. Kayla though is a dream. She's always been so portable, while Alysa...is not.

We've been to the park and in our yard. I took them to the library and yesterday we took a trip to Kohl's and to my delight they were having buy 1 get 1 free sales. Yay! I sent J that night to get a few things for himself. What did I do before Kohl's?

Of course, my week would not be complete without some aggravation. A couple months ago, Verizon bulldozing through our neighborhood putting in their fiber optics cables. When they did this, they cut our cable line. Of course that was fixed, but our cable has not been right since. And no, we never had cable problems b4 this. I just haven't had the energy to call them. So we then got a lid that sits on our lawn. Now, of course, being 2 1/2 Kayla loves all these boxes. Saturday she's walking on it and I notice it's loose. I go over and I can lift the entire lid OFF and it's 3 feet deep, full of water and big enough for BOTH my kids to fit in. I freaked. I called Verizon Sunday morning, early, and told them they had to come out that day. Oh, they did. They sent 2 guys out to look at it and tell me, "yes, it's broken". Gee, thanks. He said the lock is completely broken off and someone will be back tomorrow (Monday) to fix it. I said, you're sure? Yup. NOPE! Oh, someone was at my house. I saw the van pull away as I was leaving for Kohl's with the girls. No note, not contact whatsoever. I went over and it's "better", but I can still lift the lid almost all the way up. So I called AGAIN. this time I'm told that the notes said they need a whole new lid. How long with this take? They can't tell me. Ok - so let's just not care that it's a major safety risk to 2 Toddlers, not to mention any other kids that come through the neighborhood. I said I needed to know that it will be fixed by tomorrow (Tuesday). She can't tell me. She can only put in a request for a Foreman to call me, but that won't be until Tuesday. Now mind you, it's b4 4:00 - of course, I know these people don't work past noon, but come on! It's not like I was calling at 9pm. So I told her that if I didn't get a phone call back that night, my husband would latch it down himself. So that's what he had to do. He put 4 deck screws into. It's not permanent - the thing is only flimsy plastic anyway. But at least it's sealed. Of course, it's now Wednesday, end of day and I've heard nothing from them. Figures. You'd think they'd see "liability" and fix it asap. I have mentioned over and over that I have 2 small children - and everyone knows how fast they are, no matter how closely monitored they are. And please, my property is safe for them - I shouldn't have to have them on a leash in their own yard. So I'll be putting another call into them. And as much as I think they need to learn a lesson - I'm certainly not willing to sacrifice my children to teach it to them!

So that's been my week so far. And the IL's are home from Florida, so we will now be having them over for dinner tomorrow night which means I have to stop at the food store tonight to make sure we have enough for company. Food shopping in the rain - yay!

Did I mention the nice weather is taking away Kayla's naps? You saw my WW picture - today she stood at the window in her room saying how she "had to go outside". She has Daddy wrapped b/c I called at 2:00 and she was outside with him instead of still up in her room resting as she would be had I been home. ;) She's got it made with her Daddy.

posted at 3:28 PM  

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Wordless Wednesday

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*she was supposed to be napping*

Hop on over to WW to see more great photos.

posted at 8:25 PM  

Monday, April 23, 2007
Mommy Talk

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This Week's Question is:
How did you tell your spouse you were pregnant? Was he happy, surprised, upset, worried, etc? How did you feel?

**Sorry - I almost forgot about this today**

I, like most Moms-to-Be had such grand ideas of how I would tell hubby I was pg. When we first started trying, I would think up my way of telling him each month. And as it took longer and longer, I could not stop myself from fantasizing each and every month. This just made each let-down harder and harder.

When it actually happened with Kayla on our 3rd IVF - I took an hpt 2 days before I was due for my blood test (Dec 1st 2003). I saw the line even with how faint it was. I honestly don't remember if I told him I took that test. I was keeping quiet about it at first - didn't tell anyone. I knew I'd get grief from my infertility buddies - hpt's are big 'no-no's in the infertility world. They are not as reliable as they want you to think, especially when you're pumped full of hormones. I probably did tell him and show him, but it was uneventful as we wouldn't celebrate until the blood results came in. When I did get the confirmation call the next day, I was with a close friend (she had also been through infertility), so she was actually the first to know. I simply called J up and told him it was positive. We were both excited, but again, not the romantic image I had originally planned.

With Alysa, it was such a shock. I was waiting for my period to start meds for our first medicated cycle for #2. I had been spotting on and off for 4 days which is unlike me. I litterally took the hpt just so my mind wouldn't start to daydream something that I knew was IMPOSSIBLE. It was the day before Easter (March 26, 05). The faint line popped up immediately. I was trying not to pass out from hyperventilating and take care of Kayla who was 8 months old. I had to call him at work at 6am and tell him that he had to come home at 7am (he got to work at 5am) so I could go get my blood drawn for the official test (they won't let children in the lab). He didn't believe me at first, even though he knew pregnancy was not something I'd joke about.

Both of us were, obviously thrilled. He was very confident in the pregnancy where I thought it was doomed.

With Kayla, I had "known", so I was very calm - with Alysa, I was a wreck. I made phone calls that morning hyperventilating as I thought the test was wrong and if it was right, I was sure we would not be able to save the pregnancy.

Both pregnancies were blessings and neither one of us could have been more happy and excited!

**And yes, I still have all the hpt's I took with both girls**

You can hop on over to A Little Mommy Talk to see what other Mommy's had to say.

posted at 7:59 PM  

An Exhausting 10 Minutes
Yes, we’ve lived in our township for over 5 years and Kayla is over 2 ½ years old and I just joined the library. Sad I know. But in my defense when I was getting my Master’s Degree, I always used the university library. So took the kids over today and just as I let go of Kayla’s hand (I had Alysa in the Baby Bjorn), she took off running – too much temptation I guess. So I had to abandon my wallet (for me this is huge) and chase after her. I told her if she didn’t listen to me we wouldn’t be able to see the books or the fish. I held her for the rest of the signing up process. I figured I wanted to at least get that done b4 having to leave. :) After that, we went to the children’s section. As soon as I put Alysa down, she took off running. Somehow I managed to get 2 books and a DVD, but who would have through going to the library would be that exhausting? Next time I’ll bring the stroller or at least their “leashes”.


In other news:
I took Kayla to see the new Allergist on Saturday. I REALLY like him. He spent a full hour with us and he was great with the kids. He seems to be on the same page as me as far as her food allergies go. He will retest her at 3 with a RAST, then skin test, then in-office food challenge – which is exactly what I wanted. Definitely better than her other allergist wanting to do a skin test, with no repeat RAST. At one point, he even asked me if I wanted to work for him and help him with other parents. LOL I guess he was impressed with my knowledge and how thorough I am. That always makes me feel good – I want their doctors to know I know what I’m talking about with regards to their health – those docs then listen better.

His feeling at this point for the hives is that it may not be a true allergy, but a histamine reaction to a virus. He said it’s most likely not from her last stomach virus in March, but could be from something she got and fought off w/o getting sick. He said if it’s that – it can last for 3-10 days and rarely can go up to 6 weeks. But he of course, did not rule out a reaction to an allergen. But we agreed, it’s a needle in a haystack kind of thing. He said to keep doing what we’re doing – keep an eye on foods, environment, etc to see if anything clicks. He wants her on the Zyrtec for 1 week, then to take her off. If she breaks out again, put her back on for another week, etc. He will see her back on May 19th. If she’s still reacting – he’ll move forward with some blood testing to rule out other issues, etc. He also said he’ll work with us on a plan for preschool in September. Yay!

The BEST part is that in a few weeks, he will be rid of all paper. He will be 100% computerized – he has a computer in EVERY exam room. He doesn’t even have file cabinets for charts. And he’ll have access to the records from home for non-office-hour calls. I have a good feeling about him. I felt comfortable with him and my kids did too (as much as 2 Toddlers feel comfortable with a strange doctor that is). Now I just have to get both their charts from the allergist and cancel both of their f/u’s.

And she has been reaction-free since Thursday night.

posted at 11:20 AM  

Saturday, April 21, 2007
Saturday Photo Hunt
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This week's theme is Steps.

Here are 2 pictures of Alysa taking her first steps at 9 months of age.

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To view other Saturday Photo Hunts go here.

posted at 9:45 AM  

Friday, April 20, 2007
Exhausting Day
Today was really not all that hectic - besides the normal chaos of gymnastics, but I'm completely exhausted. I think it's partly from the adrenaline rush of the last couple days.

Kayla has had no reactions today, so I'm greatful for that. This morning, I asked her - "Do you have any itchies?" Her response was, "No. No itchies. Daddy took them." Very cute.

I actually have an appointment tomorrow with a new allergist. Yes, that's right - tomorrow. I got his name/number from my Ped's office. He has been practicing for 5 years and it's a brand new practice. There's a part of me that's thinking - I want more experience. But then again, the practice we were seeing has all the years of experience and credentials you could dream of and look how we were treated. So I'm willing to give him a shot. I spoke directly to him and he seemed very nice. He wants to see her and get to know us and her history. Then he'll decide if he wants to change anything or not. The doctors in their Ped practice have met him and say he's good. So I'll go with that for now. And hey - he'll be all about impressing me since he's just starting out, right? :)

In other news - I got my printer dock yesterday and tried it out today. WOW is all I can say. The pictures I printed are such great quality. You would not be able to tell the difference between them and ones purchased. And now I can print perfectly sized 4x6 (no cutting) and wallets. No more copying into Word and trying to size and then cutting out a bunch of irregular sized pictures for my frames. I'll still order the bulk of mine for the albums - but I won't have to wait to update my frames. Yay! Now I just have to wait for my camera. ;)

Oh and because the lobby at Kayla's gymnastics class isn't enough of a mindfield with formula bottles and food from all the kids isn't scary enough...Today at gymnastics, I couldn't let her walk in the lobby in bare feet b/c of cheez-it crumbs. And then later during classe, she comes running out of the gymnastics room (no food allowed in there) at one point to hand me something. What was it? A half of a peanut. I almost died. As far as we know she's not allergic, but she's never had them either - we are avoiding until she's at least 3. I am SO thankful she didn't eat it. Not to mention it's amazing that she didn't - she still puts everything in her mouth. But I kept having images of her reacting or another peanut-allergic kid getting his/her hands on it. So much to watch out for.

I will let you all know how it goes tomorrow - her appointment is at noon.

posted at 5:11 PM  

Thursday, April 19, 2007
Mystery Reaction Update
Kayla had another flare-up at noon today and J gave her more Benadryl. Then I took her to the Allergist at 3:20, and she started to flare up there – perfect timing, right? Well the nurse looked at it and said the doc could see it. But by the time the doc came in, it was no longer raised and almost all gone. Grrrrrrrr…AND…she never even attempted to look at it. I didn’t even say anything b/c I know I am seeking out another office after today. She did give us a prescription for Zyrtec for her to take daily – just what she needs – more medication. She wants her on it daily for a month and Benadryl for flare-ups. Then if no reactions in a month, to take her off. And I was told to “bring her back” in 3 months. I asked if they would have her chart. ;) I made the appointment but I plan on canceling it after I get in somewhere else. She broke out again b4 bed tonight and J (I was out to dinner with my girlfriend) gave her Zyrtec & Benadryl and we had an anti-itch cream – J called and it has no dairy. He put it on her chest (most of it was covered along with her tush) and she immediately said “Thank you Daddy”. The poor thing. It itches her so much.

So far we don’t know a cause. But my Ped talked me down off the ledge a bit (I love her). She said it most likely is still from what she was exposed to last night, as the hives can come and go for days and sometimes weeks. She agreed she should be seen, but also agreed that it’s ridiculous that they got rid of her chart for an active patient. The Allergist said if it persists then they will do some testing on foods (we’ll keep a food diary if need be) and environmentals. She thinks it’s most likely environmental. And she gave us a prescription for Prednisone (a steroid) in case the Zyrtec & Benadryl can’t stop a reaction. And she said then to only give Epi if her tongue swells or her throat reacts or has trouble breathing.

I really hope this stops. Every time I get more stressed and am on pins and needles waiting for it to escalate. I am sure I won't be sleeping very well tonight.

On a lighter note - I got my Mother's Day present from J and the kids today. He got me the Kodak Easy Share Printer Dock to go with the camera that I'll get on May 1st. :) I know it's early and I know what it is. But he wanted me to order it b/c he knew I could get a better price. I got a refurbished one through Kodak with the same warranty coverage. It was $80 cheaper and free shipping. And I now have time to test out the printer part to make sure I like it. I have 30 days to return it if I don't. I hope to get some time tomorrow. I'm so excited! Maybe I'll print out the pics I took of her hives. ;)

Have a great night. I'm off to bed.

posted at 9:33 PM  

Taking Deep Breaths
I apologize in advance if I end up on a tirade! But I need an outlet for my frustrations and the Bloggy world is perfect for it – especially with the Bloggy Food Allergy friends I have made.

Last night, I got home from work while the girls were finishing up dessert. Kayla was happily (and only in her undies) eating a soy ice cream pop. It’s vanilla soy ice cream covered in a dark chocolate coating. This is a perfectly safe food for her and she’s had it numerous times and has had them from the box this one came out of. So when J cleaned her up after the ice cream (she’s mostly naked b/c otherwise her clothes would be covered in chocolate), he tells me her tummy has broken out in hives. Right away this makes my stomach clench from anxiety and fear. With every reaction having the potential to be the one that affects her breathing, it’s very scary – and even when her breathing is unaffected, we know it possibly brings us one step closer to that time.

Anyway, so I then lay her down and poke and prod her all over to check her reaction and to see where else it’s effecting. This was only on her stomach. And they were not your typical hives. Her stomach had a very large red blotch with huge white raised welts. It’s more like, if it was actual hives, they are all so close together, it looks like one big raised welt. It was a pretty big area and she was scratching it quite a bit. I could tell it was a reaction to SOMETHING, but to what we don’t know.

So then began the quizzing of us. J – what did you eat all day or come in contact with – did you feed her anything new today? For me – I had dairy today a few times, but I know I washed my hands after each time, plus I always wash my hands b4 I leave work. Not to mention I did not touch her until after this reaction was seen. I also brought home some Bath & Body Works stuff that my boss had given me for my b-day – but she did not touch it – she only smelled the candle. I got my frame in the mail – she touched that – could it have had dairy on it from when it was made? I don’t know. It was not from eating, b/c there were no hives on her hands or face. This whole thing brought me to tears last night. How could she come in contact with dairy after a year with NO reaction? Even 1 year ago (this month), she had a mystery reaction – but classic hives on her face – that we could not pinpoint the how or where. And yes, it was at our house. Besides that reaction which again, was classic hives, she had only had 1 other accidental exposure and that was right after we found out about the allergy. We are VERY careful!!!

Anyway – we gave her Benadryl and it cleared up within 30 minutes. She was fine the rest of the night, went to bed and slept great. She got up at 6:45 this morning and I took her in to the bathroom to go potty. As she’s going, I see her scratching her thigh. Sure enough – the same yucky red, blotchy, big raised white welts covering her thigh and a little on her other. Oh no!!! Now I KNOW it’s not food. She then starts scratching her tummy. Yup – there too. And on her face, near her mouth and ear, on her arms. I stripped her down to her undies. The only thing that I can think of is our detergent. Monday I washed her clothes with a new bottle of detergent. Now it’s a new bottle, not a new brand for us. Monday morning with the sheets I finished up the bottle of Arm & Hammer Free & Clear. So with their clothes, I used Oxydel Free & Clear. I have used both brands multiple times. We have never stuck with just one brand, but we ONLY use the free and clear detergents. Could it be the detergent, even though we’ve used it on her clothes before? It’s the only recent “change”. So I made sure I got her underpants that were washed last week, not Monday. I let her go in those so I could monitor her. We gave her more Benadryl at 6:50am. For the next hour, her rash/hives/whatever continued to spread. Her chest, her back, her arms, her legs. She was very itchy. Finally at 7:50 I get a call from J – no more bumps!!! He washed all her clothes that I got from her drawers in a different detergent – again one we’ve used previously, but not what I used on Monday.

It’s been a scary morning – With an already food allergic child that has the potential to threaten the very life you treasure more than your own, it’s terrifying. I almost didn’t even come into work today. But I did and she’s ok now.

But…I decided to call her Allergist and talk to a nurse. I know it’s hard to pinpoint these things and with no reaction I saw no reason to bring her in. But when I asked to talk to a nurse the receptionist informs me that since she hasn’t been seen in 2 years, they sent her chart to some off-site storage office, so the nurse can’t help me. WHAT?!? Let me inform you that they saw her at 9 months of age – and THEY told me not to come back until she was 3 to be retested. Unless of course, she had any other issues. I’ve spoken to nurses b4 about her and the doctor. So now, when she’s having a reaction, I can’t talk to a nurse?!? I was very upset – trying not to cry from shear frustration and just being overall upset at the situation. I told her it was ridiculous that when my daughter is still a patient and due back in 4 months to be retested, that they got rid of her chart. She told me to bring her in. Um…what good will that do besides costing me $20 in copay plus the fees they get from my insurance company. I kept repeating – give me a nurse, give me a nurse… All I wanted was a bit of insight. I wanted them to tell me what they thought I should look for and to make sure I was doing everything I could to try and figure this mystery out and stop it. I still don’t feel it warrants an office visit. They will tell me they have no clue what’s causing it and send me on my way with my money in their pocket!

Not to mention the appointment is at 3:20 and how can I not go? So that means more time away from my job which I hate to do especially when I’m here as little as it is.

So I put a call in to her Ped, who unfortunately won’t get in until 1pm today. But, she is one of the doctors whose opinion I value. She may not have the answer, but she listens to me and never brushes me off. Until today I have been happy with Kayla’s allergist. Not anymore. Is it time to find a new one? Am I overreacting that it’s ridiculous that I can’t talk to a nurse about a reaction my daughter had this morning?!? What if we had to head to the ER over it? Would they have said too bad – her chart is off-site? I’m so angry and frustrated! I have to call back and beg to talk to a nurse – I just don’t trust myself to be “nice” right now. And please – it’s not like she has this thick chart there. She has a Level 3 Dairy Allergy – when exposed, she has a contact reaction and a GI reaction. Done! Period! There – I’ve updated the nurse on her allergy history! That wasn’t hard.

So I truly apologize for this long rant! Thanks for “listening”!

*Edited to add that I called back and was finally put through to a nurse. She still wants her seen b/c they can give her another stronger medication and maybe have some insight. Whatever! But...they wouldn't let me talk to a nurse w/o her chart, but the doctor will see her without a chart - AND prescribe her new medications w/o her chart! Yup, they won't have her chart this afternoon b/c the office where it is is closed today! That makes NO sense whatsoever. Time for a new allergist in my current opinion!!!*

posted at 9:05 AM  

Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I Won a Prize!
I'm excited because I won a custom frame from Jill over at Who Could Ask for Anything More from the UBP. Now, as I'm sure you can tell, I'm a picture fanatic. I take a TON of pictures and have so many displayed at home. So I could always use a new frame.

When Jill contacted me I told her I wanted a frame for my girls and left the rest of the creativity up to her. I received my frame today and I love it. It's very simple and "girly" and it's so pretty. Now I have to go order a new picture to put in it! However will I choose out of the bazillion that I take?

Here is the frame that she made for me...
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Thanks Jill!

posted at 7:45 PM  

Spring Anyone...?
So I’m hoping that with no rain in the forecast today that the girls will be able to get out with J for a walk. I know the backyard is out b/c with the heavy clay soil we have, it will be a huge mud pit for at least a week. I am so ready to wear spring clothes. I’m sick of this jacket stuff.

And the kids are going bonkers from being stuck in the house the past few days. It was a rough few days for all of us. And I know Kayla is losing her mind b/c I went to check on her at 8:45pm last night b/c it looked like she had taken her pants off on the video monitor. So I go in her room and she is sitting in her bed completely naked and as soon as she saw me, so went into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. It was so cute that I couldn’t help myself and got hysterical myself. They are so contagious.

Luckily she ended up falling asleep fully clothed, but she still woke up at 12:15 crying and her room was very cold. We have electric heat, so we have a thermostat in every room. I turned it up then, put socks on her and told her to stay under her blanket – she always throws it out of her bed. Of course, come morning, it was on the floor, but she slept fine the rest of the night. But I think that at some point, she had climbed on her toy box and turned her heat down b/c this morning it was right where it should have been and that is after I turned it up in the middle of the night. And spring and fall are always tougher with the heat b/c it’s not as cold outside and the heat doesn’t kick on as much, Yet it feels cooler. Does that make sense? Well anyway, it’s how it always works out. :)

Then of course, Kayla is on this kick of what she “needs”.
“Mommy, I NEED to watch Dora!”
“I HAVE to watch Alysa’s video!” (Baby Einstein)
I NEED this, I HAVE to have this…
Oh, and she’s still going on with “My tummy hurts” so she can get more TV. Of course it doesn’t work, but she won’t give it up. She even goes so far sometimes to ask us for the bucket b/c she’s going to “spit up”. She’s a trip, that’s for sure.

posted at 9:31 AM  

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Wordless Wednesday - Daddy's Helper

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Hop on over to WW to see more great photos.

posted at 8:56 PM  

Marriage Monday
This week's Marriage Monday topic is Time.

Family time is very important to both J and me. But unfortunately that time does not come easy for us. At this point in our lives, we need to be a dual income household. But we have made many sacrifices to enable me to work part time. I work 2 full days a week and one morning (3 hours). The 2 full days I work, J is home with the girls – he being in retail allows his days off to both be week days. Tuesday morning when I am at work, he drops the girls off at a babysitter (in her home) at 9am and I pick them up at 11:30 – so they are with her for 2.5 hours a week. J works the remaining 5 days a week.

This obviously does not leave us much time for family days - the 4 of us. But for us, it was most important to put the kids first, as in keep the out of day care. We wanted them home full time with me, but with that not possible, they are home with me just about full time and get 2 full days with their Daddy. This has afforded J to develop and maintain a bond with them that I feel would not be there if he was only home with them on days when I too was home. So it has really worked out in that sense.

Obviously, we both get some great quality time with the girls, although separately. There is no shortage of Mommy-Girls time or Daddy-Girls time. And since J is home every evening, we also see each other each night. Of course, with all that has to be done around the house and since we have not days where we are both home, many things have to be done at night once the girls are in bed. So we still find ourselves having to “Schedule” quality time together. Typically, we make Sunday nights our night. It is the one night a week that we get to have dinner as a family. Eating as a family is very important to both of us, but with J’s schedule in retail management, he gets home after dinner (7pm most nights – 8pm in April & May). So Sunday is set aside for us. Also on nights when we are both home earlier, such as Wed/Thurs when I am home by 5:30, we try and take advantage as much as we can. We run errands with the girls if there is time or we take walks. The girls love their walks – and they are so cute to watch on the walks. Or any other outside activity. J also has a bike trailer which they love to ride in.

When J and I set aside time for us as a couple, we will either watch TV (if there is anything on that we both like) or chat about our day, etc. He does not like to read (other than car magazines), so sometimes, he’ll watch his car shows and I’ll read a book. We don’t get out to eat much, even though we love to go out to eat – but we do enjoy those rare nights out. I’m not too picky on what we do, as long as we get a night a week to ignore the looming list of chores.

We both also enjoy our time with friends. I have been getting out once a month with my one gf and that has been great. J will try to get out with a friend here and there or with his brother. Other than that, my gf time is more around play dates. Then the kids and Mommy’s are entertained.

Alone time has never been a huge thing for me. Yes, we all get those times when we crave some time to decompress. But I can do that sitting on the couch with J with a book or the TV or just chatting. J definitely is the one that craves this type of time more. The lucky thing for that is he usually goes to bed later than me, so he will take that time to “wind down” as he calls it b4 going to bed – whether it is in front of the TV watching car shows or out in the garage tinkering on his “baby”.

The only thing that we lack in is time with the 4 of us. We do our best to make the most of the hours a week we do get where all of us are home. Other than that, the family time we get is when one of us takes time off from work. It gets hard b/c there are obviously other obligations where these days are used – birthday parties, visiting family, etc. That is why our time as a family is prime time and we truly make the most of it. Every year, J takes off on Mother’s Day (and now Father’s Day) and we have a Mother’s Day brunch here. And we are looking forward to our week long vacation in June. Among all the other days off J has schedule for Spring and Summer – I am really hoping we can get some days for just us to go to amusement parks, the Zoo and maybe the boardwalk.

We can hope that one day our situation will be such that we can have one day a week together – the 4 of us. But until then, we are doing the best we can to give the girls what they need the most – and that is to be with Mommy/Daddy full time and to get that time with the 2 of us, even if it’s separately.

posted at 10:45 AM  

Monday, April 16, 2007
Mommy Talk Debut

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Jennisa over at The Princess Diaries has started a new Monday Meme that looks like fun. Weekly, there will be posted a question about Mommy-hood. This is the first week. So hope on over to check it out if you want and comment or join in.

This Week's Question is:
Was your child planned or a surprise?

Well, for me this a very loaded question. :) I have a lot of history behind my girls. Both of them were very much planned AND very much the surprise! Kayla took 2 1/2 years to conceive and we went through countless medical treatments. She was ultimately conceived on our 3rd IVF attempt. So she was a surprise since when I started that last cycle I went into it thinking I would never conceive and knowing we were running out of options and money. I was in a very depressive state. Once I was pregnant - medication helped me hold onto the pregnancy (early pregnancy is also a problem for me), but once I was past the part where my hormone-making ability was responsible for the pregnancy (I was on a LOT of medication to maintain it), my pregnancy was perfect. No complications and a perfectly uncomplicated "easy" 30 hours of labor. I loved being pregnant and I loved labor and delivery (the epidural is the wonder drug).

Alsya was also planned, yet she was even more of a surprise. We knew we had no time to spare, so we sought my Doctor's help when Kayla was 3 months old. But we tried "on our own" for a few months - and we were most definitely actively trying. When Kayla was 7 months old, I ended up conceiving on my own. I was luck that I figured it out so soon (as I never expected it to happen - our chances on our own were less .5%) b/c I had started to miscarry when I found out. Also on my side were my doctors and nurses who were very responsive and we were able to save Alysa. Again, aside from all the meds I was on to maintain it early on - it was a picture-perfect pregnancy and another wonderful birth experience - this time only 9 hours of labor.

It saddens me that we are unable to have anymore children, but I love my family and I still look at them some days and wonder - "Where did they come from?" I especially think this with Alysa - she beat ALL odds.

In a separate note - my Sister Christine is currently in the hospital. She is 32 weeks pregnant with my nephew Zachary and has had contractions that will not stop. The biggest risk at this point is uterine rupture as her c-section is a classical from my niece Maddy's emergency c-section at 25 1/2 weeks, 4 1/2 years ago. She is getting a series of steroid shots to boost the little guy's lung development. We are unsure at this point if she will be going home to bed rest of staying put. My BIL wants her to stay put, she wants to go home. Please keep her and Zachary in your thoughts and prayers. I will keep you posted on them.

Other than keeping tabs on them - I will be staying put on this snowy 31st birthday of mine. I can already tell the girls will be testing me today as they have cabin fever from being stuck inside yesterday during the first part of this nor'easter. Happy Birthday to me!!! LOL

You can hop on over to A Little Mommy Talk to see what other Mommy's had to say.

posted at 7:53 AM  

Saturday, April 14, 2007
Ignorance Is Terrifying...
This article has been circulating around the food allergy community. It is about the fight of a mother to ban peanut butter sandwiches from her 6 year old son's school to help keep him alive. Now, I don't believe banning all peanuts or any food is necessarily the answer. But the article, doesn't say she's trying to ban ALL peanut products from the school either. Regardless, the scariest part of this article are some of the comments. Here are two that I find particularly horrific:

"As a teacher, is there any point that we say "Enough is enough." I'm not trying to say that we shouldn't educate this child. Teachers are expected to be caregivers, teachers, parents, doctors, and now "policers of food." It is extremely difficult for me to teach your children when I have all of the extra things that go beyond just teaching. Everyone complains about test scores. How about letting teachers be teachers and not all the extra things that you don't do at home."

I certainly hope person never teaches Kayla. You can't go into teaching and NOT expect to be caring for these children in other ways than "just teaching". Especially the young ones.

"The parents should be thanking their lucky stars that the kid wasn't born with Downs Syndrome, or no immune system and has to live in a bubble.

Perhaps Darwin is gently suggesting to these parents that their genetics don't make for the best combinations, and to lay off making any more children.

But that doesn't give them the right to emburden the other parents just because their children possess superior vigor and vitality."

Talk about ignorant. First, genetics do not necessarily create food allergies. We may have a lot of allergies in my family - but no one, on either my side or J's has food allergies. Where are the genetics there?!? Not to mention, using his "Darwin theory", that means neither of my kids should even be alive. Kayla was conceived through major medical intervention and Alysa has started to miscarry when medical intervention saved her. Does that mean they don't matter?

I love how so many people are very quick to say homeschool or send them to private school. First of all, I would love to know how they think private school would solve the issue? Plus, let's keep in mind that with all the tax dollars we pay for public school, private school is not an option for the majority. ESPECIALLY when you take into account all the extra money spent on doctor visits, medical care and the majorly expensive food bills that come with life as a food allergic parent. And homeschool? That's not an option for a dual working household and not even necessarily for SAHM's. It's a lifestyle and one that takes knowledge, forthought, diligence and yes, more money. Some don't have the money for it and some don't have the discipline for it - there are many reasons why homeschooling may or may not work for any given family. It's not up to some ignorant person to dictate where someone's child is educated.

Now, I won't be asking Kayla's schools to ban all dairy products [although it would give added piece of mind ;)], but there will need to be concessions made to keep her safe. And I will expect concessions to be made. And until the government will give me vouchers for my children's education, so I CAN choose the school that they go to, no one will be telling me how and where I should educate my child and how to deal with her medical condition.

Yes, yes - I got on a bit of a tirade. But, it aggravates me that we have no school choice unless you make a bazillion dollars, then you get other parents that are so EVIL about keeping a child safe from harm and possibly death. I also don't get the anger and hatred behind it all. How can you really be so callous about the health and wellbeing of a child??? The point is we, as food allergy parents DO NOT want to raise our children in a bubble, but that means we need help - help from the school and yes, help from other parents. But it's no more or less than we would offer up if the shoe was on the other foot.

Hearing about these cases and more importantly reading the comments of some of these parents (there were some really good responses in defense of this family too) truly scare me. These are the parents of the kids my children will go to school with. It's times like these where I almost wish Kayla wouldn't have potty trained so easily. If she refused it, I'd have a reason to delay her preschool in the fall. But...my little girl doesn't want to live in that bubble and I don't want her there either. So I'll just have to keep toughening myself up for the fights that lie ahead.

posted at 7:28 PM  

Staying Home This Weekend...
Well, as we were packing up all the food (and there is a lot of it) for our trip, I found out that the rain due on Sunday was actually a very bad noreaster that was really going to mess up our trip. It's a 5-6 hour drive to their house, so we were going to get there mid-day Sat to early afternoon depending on when we got the girls out of the house. My plan was to leave mid afternoon on Sunday and just get home later on Sunday. But...with torrential downpours, possible snow and tropical storm force winds - we would have to leave early on Sunday to make it home at a reasonable hour. Plus, the driving in that. Our entire trip home is in the flood warning areas. Plus, it's not worth all that driving to spend 4 hours at a playground. So...we are postponing our trip to a time when we can get the most out of it and not have to deal with taking the kids on such a long drive in such awful weather.

Of course, last night, when I was mulling all this over in my head I asked J for his opinion. His first response? I can drive in anything. Ah, the wonders of the male ego. :) Yes, hon you can, but should we is more the question. So we decided to stay home. I'm really bummed and feel bad b/c my gf really went out of her way to clean extra good for us. Isn't it always like Mother Nature? I'm sorry - but I thought it was April? I guess I was mistaken...

So, J decided to stay home today anyway (he'll go to work tomorrow). I did not want him to go to work even though it puts more strain on his vacation time. But we never get time just us - most of his time off revolves around plans with others. So we are heading out this morning to a local little nature preserve with animals, etc. We've never been there, so I hope it's nice. Not that it matters, we'll all be together. J's excited to get to mow the lawn later today. Yes, this excites him. I'm actually lucky he likes to do it. B/c we both share the dream of someday having 2+ acres. :)

While I'm here - here is a couple pics of Kayla's new Big Girl Chair to go with her new Big Girl Bed. We took Alysa's glider out and chucked it - it's been broken for a while. Kayla's is now in Alysa's room, but I wanted to giver her a place to read.

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And one last thing b4 I go back to packing up for our day of fun. Last night Kayla came up to me and this was our conversation:
Kayla - Mommy, I'm sick.
Me - Oh honey, what's wrong?
Kayla - My tummy hurts.
Me - It does?
Kayla - I need to spit up. I need to go watch TV.

Sometimes, she's too smart for her own good. She's been saying her tummy Hurts on and off for a few days, yet she is not acting sick. So now I know she's been hinting at wanting extra TV and trying to "play me". It obviously hasn't worked, as she's now being direct. She did it again this morning. She's too much - it really cracked me up!

Have a great day!

posted at 9:19 AM  

Saturday Photo Hunt
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This week's theme is Hobby.

Here is a picture of J's hobby. He is rebuilding a 1974 Plymouth Barracuda. It's his passion. It's a very long project due to the amount of money it will take, but it's moving along, even if slowly. Currently, we only have a frame in our garage - the next step is to do some welding of body parts. Here is a pic of the car when he first bought it - we were dating at the time...

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To view other Saturday Photo Hunts go here.

posted at 9:16 AM  

Friday, April 13, 2007
A Mish Mosh...
So I have been spending the day making lists and organizing and packing for our trip to MA. We are visiting a very good friend of mine and her family. Now we don't do much visiting right b/c of the difficulties and complications from Kayla's allergy. But, we are staying in a hotel with 2 bedrooms, a living room and full kitchen. We are planning on visiting them at their home and going to the zoo and the park and anywhere else we have time. So it should not be too stressful. Plus she's really going above and beyond and has taken steps to clean the cabinets in her kitchen, etc. Plus, she's nervous about us going there. Which may seem weird, but it makes me feel more comfortable. It just shows she knows how serious all this is - for people who think it's easy to go dairy-free, especially with young children, they make me nervous. So although I'm nervous about it, I'm also really looking forward to seeing them. She has a 7 year old and a 3 1/2 year old. We met during our infertility journeys - her with #2, me with Kayla. So we have a great bond and really clicked from the beginning.

The girls also had their GI check-up yesterday. They are both doing well. Kayla is about 26 1/2 pounds now and is gaining weight phenomenally. Alysa is still tiny at just under 20 pounds, but she is not too concerned about her. The plan now is to leave them on Prevacid through the spring and take them off in June - check their weight in August and as long as they are doing ok, they will be seen again in September. I'm really nervous about taking them off the meds - especially Kayla who has a very healthy appetite now - but I will give it a try. But...the first sign of a decrease in appetite and back on Prevacid one or both go.

I have an update on that little boy I mentioned earlier. He does not have a tumor, but has Coat's Disease. Apparently it is some disease that causes leakage of fluid in the eye. If it's caught early, some vision can be restored, but if not, typically all vision is lost and can not be restored. "Luckily" it only effects one eye. I'd never heard of this disease b4, but it also causes that yellow eye look in photographs. Hopefully since he is young, they caught it early and he will have some vision in his eye. I'm very thankful it is not life threatening, although I know it's still devastating to the family.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. I will let you know if I get anymore news on him.

So, Monday is my birthday. What will I be doing for my birthday you ask? Spending a 13 hour day taking care of 2 demanding, but wildly adorable and loving Toddlers. It will be an exhausting day, as J will be at work from 7am to 8pm, but...at least I'll be with my Biggest Fans. Kayla is all into birthday and cupcakes, so I'm sure I'll be making myself cupcakes, putting a candle on it and singing to myself all for Kayla. B/c knowing Kayla she won't sing to me since she typically doesn't sing on comand.

Oh and I ordered my birthday present - my brandy new camera. I'm so excited! It's not due to ship out until April 30th from Kodak. But since I preordered it, I get free next business day shipping. That's good b/c I'm already dreading the loooong wait until April 30th. LOL Patience is not one of my strong suits. I ordered my new memory card from Circuit City the other day and got free shipping from them too - so my fancy shmancy 2GB memory card should arrive any day now. Hey - I need to make sure I have enough room for the gazillion pictures I take. LOL

Ok - back to packing for me. I hope everyone has a great weekend!


posted at 5:45 PM  

Yay! A Contest!
I just found out that Haley at Love, life, family...and then some is having a contest. The prize? A Coach purse! I just love Coach bags. So I'm all over this one! Hop on over to check out this adorable bag and to enter yourself! She's picking the winner on April 30th - which is her birthday. I'm figuring I'm destined to win since we share the same birthday month, right? My birthday is Monday the 16th! So I'll consider this a chance at an additional late present!


posted at 4:22 PM  

Thursday, April 12, 2007
Count Your Red-Eye Blessings
If you’re anything like me, red eye has always been one of those aggravating side-effects of taking pictures. I know I’ve always looked like the devil in pictures and so do my girls. I have even gone as far as to spend $100 on software so I can take away the red eye. This always annoyed me. I never liked red-eye and would get frustrated with the time I spent fixing it in my digital pics of the girls (and I know you’re shocked, but I take a lot of pictures of them).

Well, this all started to change about a year and a half ago. A gf of mine has a son who is 2 weeks older than Kayla. When he was a little over 1 year old, his Pediatrician noticed no reflection in one of his eyes. He had a cataract (sp?). He needed surgery to replace the lens in his eye and he still wears an eye patch for a few hours every day. He will eventually need glasses for either near or far-sightedness. My gf also told me that a few months b4 that, she noticed he only had red eye in one of his eyes, not both. He no longer had red eye in the bad eye. This changed my perspective on red eye. It made me not annoyed to go through the pictures and correct. I saw red eye as an indication of my girls having 2 healthy eyes.

This was re-affirmed for me yesterday. Another gf of mine sent me some pictures of a little boy – a young toddler – her brother’s nephew on his wife’s side (got that?). She asked me what I saw, if anything. I noticed that in one eye, he did not have red eye, but his pupil was a bright yellow – almost like a cat’s eye. His parents noticed this in pictures and had him checked. He has a raised tumor on his eye, which in most cases is malignant. Talk about a blow for his family. He is probably over a year, but under 2. They live in Connecticut, but will be traveling down here to see a specialist in Philadelphia. He also is a twin, so his sister will have to be checked b/c apparently this tumor is very often hereditary and is most often diagnosed by the age of 3. If you’re interested, here is a site with some information on this tumor - Retinoblastoma.

These things have always upset me, but it hit homes much more once you are a parent. It makes me even more thankful for the health of my girls and that the only medical issues they have had, although serious, are such that we can work with them so they will lead healthy lives. My hope is that they continue to maintain their health and that they never have to face Cancer or any other of the horrific diseases and conditions lurking around every corner.

Please keep this little boy in your thoughts and prayers.

posted at 12:10 PM  

Thursday Thirteen #21
Thirteen Toddlerisms from Our House

1. When Kayla was 22.5 months old, she needed help putting a puzzle piece in. I heard her yelling “Help you! Help you!” from their playroom. I went in and helped her with the puzzle. Then, since she did not remember to say ‘thank you’ right away, I said to her “What do you say?” Her response was “There you go.” That’s what I say to her quite often when she asks me to give her something or do something for her.
2. Starting at 25 months of age, she has called her jackets/coats her “life jacket” and she still does this. It’s one thing our family has adopted.
3. In January, my Aunt and her family were visiting from Rhode Island. They left to go home when Kayla (2 ½) was napping. When she got up from her nap, she came out and said “Where did your friends go?”
4. That night, when we were leaving my parents’ house to go home, we put her ‘life jacket’ on and she looked out the window and said “It’s dark around here.”
5. Also in January, my BIL was over playing with the girls. Kayla was being uncooperative during lunch for J. So my BIL looks at J and said “She is so t-e-s-t-i-n-g you.” Kayla turns to J and said “Uncle John knows A-B-C-D.”
6. In February, Alysa (then 14 months) was very much into the word “No”. Here is a conversation she had with J: J – Alysa, do you want a million $?; A – No!; J – Do you want a Ferrari?; A – NOPE!; J – Do you want a boyfriend?; A – Ooooooooh!
7. One morning in February, Kayla (2 ½) woke up and ran to the window and said “Cockadoodledoo! Wake up sun!”
8. On our recent trip to Ohio, the kids were watching Charlotte’s Web. Now the only full length movies Kayla (2 ½) has seen so far are Cars and Cinderella. So when she saw the scene with the little girl playing with Wilbur – Kayla said to me, “Mommy, I’m watching Cinderella’s Little Piggy.”
9. In March, on our trip home from Ohio, the sun was shining right in Kayla’s (2 ½) eyes through the front windshield. She put her hands up in front of her face to block it and said “Turn off the light Mommy.”
10. If Kayla is playing with something and she doesn’t want to be disturbed and she sees Alysa coming over, she’ll put up her hands and say “Alysa No Swiping” – and yes, she says this 3 times…
11. Kayla calls the polk-a-dots on her underpants “coconuts”.
12. A week or so ago, we took the girls to pick out Kayla’s bike. At the store, there was a train ride that the girls went on. While they were on it I told them that they were so cute. Kayla then said, “Mommy, take a picture!” (Nope, I don’t take too many pictures of them…)
13. Today, we were outside and it was very windy. The girls were in the stroller and Kayla was apparently cold. She kept saying over and over, “Wind stop. Please stop wind.”

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

posted at 8:08 AM  

Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Wordless Wednesday
*see comments for an explanation*

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Hop on over to WW to see more great photos.

posted at 5:36 PM  

Monday, April 09, 2007
Easter Weekend
Well, I hope everyone had a nice weekend and a good Easter. Our weekend was super busy. My Mom took the girls to her house on Friday and Friday night I had a fun night out with some of my coworkers. Saturday morning, J and I had a delicious breakfast at Bob Evans. We never get to go out to breakfast. :)

Then we went to the Elmo show (Elmo's Coloring Book) Saturday afternoon. It was a great show - very well done. Alysa lasted through most of it, but was very tired and she doesn't sit very well for too long. So J took her out to the lobby the last 15 minutes. She also got scared of all the lights and sounds when it first started. Kayla was very into it and her only "complaint" was that Grover wasn't in it. :) I even had some great conversations with 2 of the ushers. We made sure we got there early, so I could have time to clean off the seats. Now, J does think I go a bit overboard at times (I don't, but that's not the point). ;) But...with this he realized Saturday that cleaning off every seat we get, plus the 2 bordering our seats is imperative, as one of the seats had an evil little goldfish left for us by the previous people. Anyway, during the course of my cleaning, I saw 2 of the ushers watching me. So I ended up in pretty lengthy conversations with them separately about her allergy. They asked a lot of questions. I actually like when this happens b/c the only way for people to understand food allergies more is to be informed about them. So hopefully my educating them a bit helps another child or parent. And they were very nice about it and really wanted to know. And this theater is much more low-key with food than the other where we saw Diego. They have snacks for sale, but only bagged snacks - like chips, etc. They did have cheese popcorn, but the food is not nearly as bad there. Most people brought their own. But it's a much less stressful venue than the Tweeter Center in Camden.

Here are some pics of the show...

Watching the Show:
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Waiting for Intermission to end:
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Kayla & her balloon:
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The girls both had a blast painting their Easter eggs. Kayla wouldn't have stopped if she had a choice. I also had a nice dinner Sat night with my gf. I did get a bit spoiled this weekend with all the eating out w/o the kids. LOL

Easter was a great day. The girls loved what the Easter Bunny brought them. They also got to see their uncle (J's brother), so it was a really nice day. And Kayla actually ate the turkey, of course tonight she decided she didn't like it. Figures!

Here are some pics of Easter Fun!

Painting their eggs:
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Kayla eating her bunny:
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Racing their new trucks from Nanny & Gramps:
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The girls all dressed up:
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I spent a busy day today doing laundry and unpacking their new toys and all their junk from the weekend. Not sure why I bothered, as we're going to visit friends in MA this weekend. I also drove down to pay my taxes, but of course, they were closed. And I'm sure they were off Friday too - I should have known, why would they be working on a work day? It's such a pain dragging the kids out for errands that don't happen.

And my latest mission is shopping for a new camera. Mine has some quirky features that drive me crazy and make taking pics a pain sometimes. Plus, it's been acting up a lot lately. It's 3 years old - not sure if that is "old" for a digital camera. But...Kodak has a new one coming out - ready to ship on April 30th. So I'm looking at that one. I've got my birthday money coming to me this month. So I'm getting excited!!! Like I'm not insane enough with the camera I have now. ;)

So that sums up our weekend. Hopefully I'll get to recuperate a bit this week since I didn't sleep well Saturday night. I think I'll do a little of that tonight.

posted at 8:07 PM  

Saturday, April 07, 2007
Saturday Photo Hunt
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This week's theme is Clean.

Clean Kisses in the Bath...
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To view other Saturday Photo Hunts go here.

posted at 8:00 AM  

Friday, April 06, 2007
Busy Weekend
Well, I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. Ok - that's not totally true, but the house is strangely quiet tonight. My Mom came earlier this afternoon and took the girls back to her house. This allowed me to meet some friends from my job out, as one of them recently got married. I'm home now, and although they'd be in bed, I don't have the hum of monitors in the background. And of course, as fate always has it, J is out replacing the breaks on his car b/c they went out on his way home from work. So much for us getting a relaxing night together. Ho hum...

Tomorrow morning, he and I will sleep in a bit and then head out to breakfast on our way to my Mom's. We have the Elmo show tomorrow with the girls. I'm looking forward to that and of course, the Easter Bunny comes on Sunday. I know the girls will be thrilled to death with their chocolates. Good thing the Easter Bunny understand the ins and outs of food allergies. ;)

Also, tomorrow night, I'm going out with my gf to dinner. Another girl's night - can I stand it? This weekend is definitely going to spoil me. How ever will I get back to reality???

Not sure if I'll make it back on here this weekend. I have to get my Saturday Photo Hunt post up tomorrow, but other than that - we'll see.

Right now, I'm heading up to start packing and get some sleep.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and for those that celebrate it, a great Easter!!!

posted at 8:53 PM  

Thursday, April 05, 2007
Napping in her Big Girl Bed?
Well, we had a very peaceful night last night. Kayla slept great and woke up happy as a clam in her new bed. And...she never left her bed, not even when she woke up. I was surprised, but not expecting it to stay that way.

Good think I didn't. B4 her nap, I again told her to stay in bed and go to sleep. Well, when I got downstairs and turned on the monitor, her bed was empty. Shocking, I know. :) I'm so glad I have the video monitor. It was so cute to watch her in and out of the bed and to hear her playing even though I can't see her all around her room. J was sure she would not nap at all today. But after an hour and 45 minutes of playing (and 2 visits from me), she got in her bed and fell asleep. She has been sleeping for 2 hours now.

So there is still hope for her naps after all.

At one point, I even heard her up there telling herself "It's Saturday. It's Saturday". That is because I've been telling her that on Saturday, we are going to see Elmo. :)

posted at 3:47 PM  

Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Yikes! She's Getting So Big
So, first she gets potty trained really fast. Then she has a couple freak-outs when she woke up from her nap having to pee really bad and being trapped in her crib.

So...months sooner than planned, we decided to change her crib to the toddler bed. Now, this child loves her bed. Although, I refused to underestimate her again, I was aware that she may not like the change, as she's such a creature of habit.

Well, when she saw her crib with the side off, she screeched from excitement. She thought is was the best thing in the world that she could get in and out of bed on her own. She told us "I love my new bed". She's too sweet.

Here is her new bed and her in it...

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And it's now 9:15'ish and she is fast asleep. We have a video monitor so we can see her. She NEVER left her bed. Amazing! I'll let you all know tomorrow how she does the rest of the night and how she likes waking up with freedom. Naps may be a whole different story too...

Have a great night!

posted at 9:15 PM  

Thinking Blogger Award
I have been tagged with this new Thinking Blogger Award by my Sister, Christine. She says that I make her think with dealing with Kayla’s dairy allergy. Living with it daily, I don’t see it as a thought-provoking topic as much anymore, but I guess it is for those who don’t deal with it. And I’m sure that when we leave her house from a visit, she thinks how great it is to have control of her house and kitchen back. ;) Thanks for the award Chris.

So now I am supposed to list 5 blogs that make me think. If only I had time to think? Anyway, here goes…

Thanks girls for all the great info, the laughs and sometimes even the quick escape from reality!

Here's what the blog award rules are:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs thatmake you think,

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of thememe,

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote. Here are the two versions of the award:

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posted at 11:59 AM  

Wordless Wednesday
*see comments for an explanation*

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Hop on over to WW to see more great photos.

posted at 8:25 AM  

Monday, April 02, 2007
Our Weekend
We had a pretty low-key weekend. The girls had gymnastics on Friday which is always fun, hectic and exhausting for me. And I will say, there is something to be said for diapers. I had to take Kayla out twice (once in her class and once in Alysa’s) to go potty. But…she came to me and she had no accident. So I’m very proud of her.

Saturday was a low-key day of cleaning and normal household stuff. It was fairly chilly, but nice enough that I was able to get the girls outside for a while. Kayla got to ride her new bike (yes, I still have to post those pics) – and I can tell it will take some time to teach her how to peddle.

Sunday, my parents came down and my Mom watched the girls while my Dad took me out to have a sinfully dairy-rich breakfast. Mmmmm…oh so good. Then I got to go shopping at The Children’s Place and Target to finish up Kayla’s summer wardrobe. She is officially done. Yay! Now if it would just STAY warm. ;)

My Mother also took Kayla yesterday, just the two of them to the store so Kayla could pick out some underpants. My Mom got her 2 packages and of course, both packages had to be Dora. No variety there for my little one. Why am I not surprised? The outing made Kayla’s day as she loves to go to the store – any store and this one had her train ride outside, so that made it even more fun.

It’s Monday now and nothing extraordinary is happening this week, but I am fully looking forward to this coming weekend. Friday, my Mom is taking the girls for a sleep-over. Friday night I am going out with some girls for my job b/c one of them just got married. Then I get to “sleep-in” Saturday morning. J is actually off from work b/c in the afternoon, we are all going (us, the girls and my parents) to see Sesame Street Live. So J and I plan on sleeping in to maybe 8am? Woohoo!!! Then we’re going out to breakfast before heading up to my parents to get them ready for Elmo! Then of course, Sunday is Easter. We are staying over at my Mom and Dad’s so we don’t have to drive up 2 days in a row. And sometime in the afternoon, my BIL will stop by to see the girls for Easter. The IL’s are still in Florida, so we won’t be seeing them. I hear the Easter Bunny has some fun stuff for their baskets this year. And I really can’t wait to see the look on Kayla’s face when she sees her chocolate bunny. I know that will make her day. Then of course, my littlest one is really into “choca” these days too. Though I don’t think the chocolate bunny will impress her as much.

We have not taken the girls to see the Easter Bunny and we don’t think we will. I know Kayla won’t have anything to do with it, and from how Alysa’s been reacting to strangers recently, I don’t see her doing it either. Neither did Santa and I’m not sure I want to bother if no picture will come of it. But who knows, I have a few days to change my mind – I do keep going back and forth… If I change my mind I'll let you know how it goes...

How was everyone’s weekend?

posted at 12:31 PM  


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