About Me

Name:
Sue

Location:
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
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
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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Mothers Day 2009

Sunday, July 29, 2007
A Mish Mosh
It's been a busy few days here. I had a short week at work, as I had off on Thursday. Wednesday night I had a night out to dinner with my girlfriend, which is always nice. Then on Thursday, I was off. It was a busy day, but we got a lot accomplished. Alysa had an appointment to get her eyes checked. I had noticed some yellow instead of red in some pictures, and knowing it can mean something really bad, I wanted to get her checked asap. Luckily, her eyes are perfect. It was apparently just the lighting or camera angle. Thankfully. It was cute though. She had me read her Elmer books while we were waiting for the doctor. So then after her eyes were dilated, she wanted me to read to her again. She got her Elmer books, got up in my lap and settled in. I opened the book in front of her, and then she grabbed it and pulled it real close to her face, then she proceeded to move it back and forth. I then took it and moved it far away from her face. Her response? Thank you. :) But then, she pulled it closer again (where it "should" be in her mind). When she realized it was blurry again, she put the book down and decided to climb on the chairs instead.

Thursday afternoon, we them to get their portraits done at Babies R Us for Kayla's 3rd birthday. Kayla was a dream. She posed so nicely and listened to the girls. Alysa on the other hand was a miserable crank. She was uncooperative and cried. She wanted nothing to do with anything there except a squeaky bear toy that she appropriately named "Squeaky". The girls thought it was adorable, but I know she named is Squeaky after Boot's toy "Squeaky" in one of the Dora episodes. ;) Luckily we were able to get a few cute pics of Alysa smiling.

Friday, I took Kayla with me to pay her preschool tuition. She was SO excited to go to school. I was very proud of how well she talked to the women there. She just kept telling me she was going to school to see her new friends. :) I hope this upbeat attitude about school continues. When we were leaving she asked to stay and play with the other kids (they were there for summer camp).

Friday night, I had a happy hour with some of my coworkers. It was a nice time and the new President came and treated. Even better. LOL

Saturday, we never made it to the balloon festival b/c they were calling for severe storms all weekend. It's not worth the money or time if there is not going to be a balloon launch. W/o the launch there is tons of food, (which we can't have), a few rides (but only like 4) and some music. So we left Alysa with my Dad and took Kayla to the Crayola Factory for some arts and crafts fun. She loved it. At the end she was too tired to walk and just had her head on my shoulder with her thumb in her mouth. But when I suggested going home, all I got from her was "Want to see something else". At least she didn't fight us when we did leave.

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Then the girls spent the night at my parents, so J and I went out for a cheese dinner followed by Rita's custard. Then Sunday morning b4 he went to work, we went out for a dairy-filled breakfast at Bob Evans. Yum!!! I had my best friend's shower Sunday afternoon which was really nice. I went a tad overboard with her gift. But she's my best friend, it's her first baby and she battled infertility too. So, she deserved it. :) I missed the girls, but it was nice to get a few errands done, eat out and enjoy some adult time. But with the shower, I never got any time to catch up around the house or do any digi scrapping. Bummer. Guess I'll have to arrange another sleep-over with my parents. ;)

I also hit some Children's Place sales with my coupon and started Kayla's fall shopping. Luckily Alysa doesn't need much but I got her a couple things. Then I had to go back and forth to trade for different sizes. They're so skinny it makes it hard to find the right size pants. The balance of the the waist and length is what I'm always fighting. But I love what I got.

But...Kayla is back to sleeping through the night. She was a nightmare, literally for almost 2 full weeks after my solo Ohio trip. It's nice to not be woken up and deal with temper tantrums at 2am anymore.

Saturday night at my Mom's, my parents were eating cheese and crackers after the girls were in bed. Well, Kayla likes to get up and go potty a few times sometimes if she's not ready for sleep. So she came out of her room and went to go in the kitchen. My Mom stopped her and told her that they were eating dairy so for her to wait until she washed her hands and mouth. Kayla listened and was fine. Then when she was in the bathroom, my Mom again explained to her that they were eating dairy. Kayla looked at her and asked "Can I have dairy?" Oh, it broke my heart to hear this. It's the first time it's really clicked with her. My Mom told her no b/c it will make her sick. She then asked if Mommy and Daddy can have dairy, so my Mom explained basically that everyone can, but her. How sad. The next day, my Mom had a pork roll sandwich on safe bread with just mayo. Kayla looked at it and my Mom offered her a bite and told her she'd like it and that it's kind of like bacon (she LOVES bacon). Kayla went to take a bite, then stopped and asked "Is it dairy?" Oh my gosh, I can't express how proud I am of this amazing breakthrough. But it also ripped my heart out. It's hard enough to live with a food allergy, but as a parent, it's heartbreaking to know that one day your child will know they're missing out of something and will eventually be hurt by it - whether it be feeling left out or being teased or just plain scared of food. It's something you want to hold off on for as long as possible while also teaching them to be safe. And honestly, since the odds are in her favor to outgrow and especially since she had started to outgrow it, I had hoped that she would outgrow her allergy b4 it hit her like this, to both safe her the upset and to avoid her becoming afraid of dairy, thereby making it harder to get her to eat it down the road. But...that has not happened. But I am proud to see that she is developing an understanding and mostly the understanding to question what food is offered to her. It's a huge step in her learning how to advocate for herself and keep herself safe.

To end this super long post. I have a couple really cute things that Kayla has said to me recently.

The one day I was in the kitchen and I heard Alysa whining. I walk in and she's on the floor. I asked her what happened and she pointed to Kayla and said "Push Alysa" (Kayla can't get away with it anymore). So I looked at Kayla and said - did you push Alysa? She looks right at me and says "Yup, I sure did!". Needless to say, I had to leave the room for a minute. :)

On another day, Kayla comes up to me and says, "I'm broken Mommy. I need batteries."

And lastly, J hung my new pot rack. He was not happy I got it since he "doens't like them". But it's functional and I'm thrilled with it. Plus I got it on ebay and didn't spend a lot - even with shipping. Can't beat that. :)

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I hope everyone had a good weekend. My next step is catching up in bloggy land.


posted at 8:25 PM  
  3 comments



Friday, July 27, 2007
Saturday Scraps #7
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I used the Big Love template by Tracy's Scraps. With the template I used the Dreamin of Spring kit by Heavenly Designz and the polka dot paper came from Shandy Vogt at Elemental Scraps.

Hop on over to Christine's to see her page and others who have joined.


posted at 9:07 PM  
  2 comments



Saturday Photo Hunt
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This week's theme is Creative.

For this week, I chose a picture of the girls a few days after Alysa was born, My best friend had gotten them shirts and had them embroidered. Kayla's said, "Alysa's Big Sis" and Alysa's said "Kayla's lil Sis". Very creative and thoughtful gifts. I love them! Wish they'd always fit into them. :)

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To view other Saturday Photo Hunts go here.

*I've been super busy and will get on later today/early tomorrow to catch up a bit.*


posted at 9:05 PM  
  9 comments



Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I Won Something
So - today, on this Wordless Wednesday, as I'm cruising all the wonderful WW photos, I came across Heather at Desperately Seeking Sanity. She had a great photo up today and so I left her a comment. How happy was I to get an e-mail from her saying that I posted her 1,000th comment and therefore, won her contest. I am getting a $10 Amazon.com gift card. What a pleasant surprise that was! I can't get enough of Amazon!

Also, while there, I saw that for the Dog Days of Summer Bloggy Giveaway, she is giving away something every day. So far, she is giving away the latest Harry Pottery Book, some Scrapbooking stuff and a Cordless Phone. How cool is all of that?

So head on over to visit Heather and enter into her contests.

THANK YOU HEATHER!


posted at 10:53 AM  
  4 comments



Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Wordless Wednesday
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Alysa blowing on her hot french toast.

Hop on over to WW to see more great photos.


posted at 8:58 PM  
  10 comments



Monday, July 23, 2007
Saturday Scraps #6
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Yes, this is supposed to be from Saturday and it's Monday. But I still had to post. :) I did not get to use Christine's kit this week, so here is one I made last week.

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These are pictures of my girls with their cousins last Thanksgiving. I used the the Festival kit and some Family Traditions Wordart from Shabby Princess with the Cousins Wordart coming from Princess Pamela's Thank You kit.

Hop on over to Christine's to see her page and others who have joined.


posted at 10:51 AM  
  4 comments



Mommy Talk #15
This Week's Question is:
Grandparents: what is their relationship with your children and how do they fit into your child's life?

Fortunately both sets of grandparents are still alive and kicking and married. My parents have a very close relationship with my girls. My Mom is down every weekend and my Dad about every other. The kids are so excited to see them when they come and they have a lot of fun together. My parents join us in outings and take them w/o me and J to do lots of fun things. My Mom is the only person I trust to cook for Kayla and they are great with understanding her allergy and therefore they are a big help with babysitting when we need it.

My IL's love my girls and are also very good to them. They are not quite as close to Kayla and Alysa but the girls are also excited when they come to visit. My MIL's health is not all that great, so they are unable to babysit the girls. My FIL has a goofy streak like my Dad so the girls love to play with both their Gramps and Pop Pop - especially when they are both over.

J and I believe their Grandparents should be important in their lives and we do what we can to foster good relationships. We believe in inviting both sets to outings that we don't need to be just the 4 of us. I'm happy to say that both sets are a part of their lives on a regular basis and steady basis.

I had great relationships with my Grandparents growing up and I look forward to seeing that between my girls and their Grandparents.

Hop on over to Mommy Talk to see other responses.


posted at 9:11 AM  
  3 comments



Sunday, July 22, 2007
Eventful Weekend
Luckily, although a lot has gone on, we haven't been too busy. We had a birthday party yesterday for one of Kayla's friends. We met him through her music class 2 1/2 years ago. The weather was perfect - low 80's, lots of sunshine and lots of shade. The girls looked so cute in their dresses, but they didn't stay on long as soon as they saw the kiddie pool. My gf was great and of course, on her own decided not to do goldfish. So there was no food that was too much of threat. No dangerous snacks. The most dangerous was the cheese on the burgers, but all the kids were eating the hot dogs. So it was as low stress as a party can be for us. We were able to enjoy the day, the girls and the party a bit. And, since it was close to home and lower on the stress scale, we stayed a whole 3 hours. Kayla got to sing Happy Birthday to her friend and we left after the cake was served. Kayla thought all was right with the world since she got a cupcake and Alysa got to have a "real" chocolate chip cookies and "real" birthday cake. She loved both! And I was happy she was able to try them. On the way home, I asked the girls what their favorite part of the party was. Kayla's answer was "cupcake" and Alysa's was "Alysa".

All ready for the party:
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Having fun!
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Yum!
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Today we haven't done anything except a couple errands. I had the girls outside this morning and Kayla had a blast playing in the new storage shed we got.

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It's one of those rubbermaid ones. One that we really wanted to store their toys in but did not want to break down and spend the $200+ on. A friend of a friend bought a townhouse and viola - the old owners left the exact one J wanted. He was going to throw it away, so he gave it to us. Yay! It's huge and Kayla thinks it's her new playhouse. I guess she'll be fighting J for it. ;)

Of course, what's a weekend w/o any drama? With all the up and down temps and rain, and humidity, we had some mold/fungus stuff on our mulch. Guess who decided to take a taste this morning? Alysa of course. So Kayla was very ticked when I quickly dragged them inside so I could call poison control to ask about it. Luckily she said it is fine and just to wash out her mouth. Ha! Easier said than done. Then late, she tripped in the house and fell on heaven knows what and cut her gums above her top front teeth. Man did it bleed and she has a scab. Poor thing!

I've also come to realize that even when you have the money put aside, it hurts to write out big checks. I'm paying Kayla's preschool tuition in full this week as well as our property taxes. OUCH! I just can't even think about it too much. But that means that I'll be setting up a meeting with her teacher and director soon to go over her special needs surrounding food. Again, something else I can't think about. But...we're only 3 weeks away to getting her tested again. Yikes!

I hope everyone else has had a good weekend. It was nice to actually stay home this weekend!


posted at 3:41 PM  
  3 comments



Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Memes/Award
I've been busy this week trying to get things unpacked (finally!) and catch up on the things I've ignored, like the house, etc. Then last night Kayla woke up at 2:30 am and decided not to go back to sleep. She's not sick or upset, just up. At 5:30'ish she threw a half hour temper tantrum and at 6, which is normal wake-up time for her, I let her come in bed with us. She fell asleep and slept until 9. Of course, I had to get up with Alysa. So I'm utterly exhausted.

Alysa's doing something really cute right now. She has decided it's easiest to climb into her booster seat by pushing another kitchen chair next to her chair. So for meals, she'll climb in herself (I like this as it's a safer way for her to climb in) and she'll buckle herself in. How easy is that for me? Now I have to teach her to unbuckle them. :)

I've been tagged twice this week and given an award. So I'll do my best to get these done now. I planned on getting to this earlier today. I apologize in advance if it's not all as wonderful as they should be.

First, the Moaning Meme

I have not seen this Meme before but hey - it's right up my alley. I am very good at complaining - just ask J. :) It was originated by Freelance Cynic.

4 things that should go into room 101 and be removed from the face of the earth.

-Food allergies
-Cigarettes - or at least the smoke that accompanies them
-Mosquitoes (I get eaten alive every time I take the girls outside)
-Property Taxes (especially those, like ours, that won't stop rising at an obscene rate)

3 things people do that make you want to shake them violently.

-People who stop in the middle of an intersection during traffic so when your light turns green, you can't go anywhere
-When people can't put things back where they found it
-People who don't know how to park

2 things you find yourself moaning about.

-Being tired all the time
-I'm with Janeen - the fact that my kitchen floor can never STAY clean.

1 thing the above answers tell you about yourself.

-I'm good at moaning and complaining! :) (Especially since I agree with the other Moaning Memes I've read.

RULES:

Link to the original meme at freelancecynic.com so people know what it's all about!
Be as honest as possible, This is about letting people get to know the real you!
Try not to insult anyone - unless they really deserve it or are very, very ugly!
Post these rules at the end of every meme!

I'm doing a double tag, so see below!




My Award:

I came home from Ohio to find out that Janeen tagged me with the Blogger Reflection Award. This was a very nice and unexpected surprise.

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This is what Janeen had to say about me:
"Sue's love for her family really comes through on her blog. She adores her daughters and her writing reflects that. Between the infertility and Kayla's food allergies, she's been through a lot, but remains a strong woman who knows what she wants in life and she knows herself. Sue and her husband work together as a team in their family. There is a lot of love and respect there and that's what makes Sue's blog and writing so special."

The rules for giving the award to others:
The purpose of the award is to, in the words of the originator of the award: "make you reflect on five bloggers who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and have been a Godly example to you . Five bloggers who, when you reflect on them, you get a sense of pride and joy..of knowing them and being blessed by them. This award is for the best-of-the-best so consider who you pick carefully. This award should not be given to just anyone. If you're going to do the award don't just write a few words and slap it on your blog. Write real thoughts about these bloggers and what they've meant to you. If the bloggers you pick have already been given the award, don't be afraid to give it to them again. They deserve it as many times as it's given."

Now here’s the rules for awarding something with this award…

1. Copy this post.
2. Reflect on five bloggers and write a least a paragraph about each one.
3. Make sure you link this post so others can read it and the rules.
4. Leave your chosen bloggers a comment and let them know they’ve been given the award.
5. Place the award icon on your site.

Michelle - Her blog is a tribute to her daughter, Kayla (she also has great taste in names) who happens to have Down Syndrome. The joy she receives from raising Kayla really shines through. I can only imagine the difficulties she has and does face from Kayla's DS, but what I do see is what a strong woman and mother she is. She is raising a confident and happy little girl. I love to read about Kayla and look forward to reading about her newest addition on the way.

Jennisa - I love to read her blog and all the things she writes about her girls. She battled infertility for her second and her oldest is also allergic to dairy. She loves her girls and always puts them first. She always has some picture or video of her girls up to make me smile.

I'm going to stop there even though I'm supposed to award 5 people. Everyone else has this award, so I'll spare them from feeling the pressure of doing it again. :)




Me & My Hubby Meme

I was tagged for this meme by Christine. This one also looks like fun. Write 8 things about me and my hubby.

1. We met in high school (we went to the same highschool but were 3 years apart) - I was dating a friend of his at the time - but we didn't start dating until I was in college - my junior year.

2. We had a falling out and didn't talk for a few years before we met up again and started dating.

3. One of the few shows we actually both like watching is Law and Order (regular and SVU).

4. We enjoy taking drives giving us time to explore different areas of where we live and talk. Of course it's been a loooong time since we've done this between the girls AND gas prices. Yikes. :)

5. Our travels: We've been to Kennebunkport Maine together (he surprised me for my birthday), Vermont and Rehoboth Beach Delaware. We went to Sanibel Island Florida for our honeymoon.

6. With the girls, a typical relaxing night together includes vegging on the couch with either the tv, a movie or him with his car shows and me with a book (he is not a reader).

7. We both love cats but agree that neither of us want to clean up after one right now, especially with the kids.

8. We were married in May 6th on a perfect spring day - mid 70's, no humidity, only sunshine! He actually found the reception hall and it was a perfect day all around!

I'll do a double tag tag for the 2 memes:
Michelle
Carrie - hopefully you'll have the internet back up soon - no rush!
Janeen (you are obviously only tagged for the one.)
Jennisa
Thea


posted at 3:21 PM  
  6 comments



Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Wordless Wednesday
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Kayla is reading to Alysa before her nap.

Hop on over to WW to see more great photos.


posted at 9:28 PM  
  10 comments



Finally Home
Yes, it's true, I am home and have no travel plans for a looooong while. And it's nice. Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed my travels, but it's been weeks since I've had a good night's sleep or any time to relax as I've been packing and unpacking and repacking.

My latest trip was to Ohio to visit my Sister and her family. It was the first time I got to see my newest nephew, Zachary who was born on April 30th. How soon we forget how tiny they are at 2 months old. It's been 3 years since I have visited her w/o my own kids in towe, so it was nice to be able to focus on my niece and nephews. Zachary also has reflux disease like Kayla did. He cries most of the time. So I was able to help my Sis out by playing with the older kids or doing some cleaning or just holding a screaming baby so she could do some of those things. Saturday we took Maddy (who's 4 1/2) and Zachary and went shopping at some outlets. Since Christine was in dire need for clothes I carried Zachary in the snuggli. I was able to get a chance to try some things on for myself (yay). I made out with some excellent deals for myself and the girls. And don't worry - I got J a $4.00 shirt - so I didn't forget him. :) I will say, Zachary had a couple screaming fits at the stores. The poor guy - I'm sure I had many shoppers pittying me or angry at me. LOL Luckily he'd tire himself out and conk out after a while. My Sister and I thought Maddy would get a kick out of the shopping - um...nope. She even told us once that "Buying is boring". Um....what? That does not compute.

It was a short trip, only 2 1/2 days, but I got some great time with all 4 kiddlies. And Elliot, who is Alysa's age really got to know me this trip. He's only seen me with my kids, so I never had a chance to really get him to warm up to me. I love to see the differences between him and Alysa as they are only 3 weeks apart in age.

Zachary's reflux disease did send me spiraling back in time to when Kayla was his age. It's never easy to have a crying baby, but it's even worse when they scream at the top of their little lungs, this pathetic hurting cry and there's nothing you can do to stop it. And then when you do hear them coo and their voice is all horse. I was glad I could give my sister somewhat of a break.

The girls stayed with my parents and had a blast. They went to the Zoo on Saturday. Did they have a good time, you ask? I'll tell you exactly what my Mother told me - "Well, one is portable, one is not." Any guesses as to which is which? LOL Alysa liked parts of it, but was miserable most of the time. She does not like being confined even if it's only by a "leash" in a wide open zoo. Kayla loves every part of it. And this is how they've been since the day they were born. On Sunday my Mom took Kayla on a local train ride that was 1 1/2 hours. She asked if my Dad should stay home with Alysa. My thoughts? Yes! And they did. She would have hated it. Kayla - told me about it last night and she couldn't sit still - she was SO excited. I was told she giggled for the entire first half of it. I wish I could have seen it.

It was so good to be home last night. My girls, my hubby, my BED! We're still busy in the next few weeks, but no travel. Hopefully I can find the time to catch up on the house. But hey, I can't take comfort in the fact that Kayla's party is in 3 weeks, so I HAVE to catch the house up by then.

And did I mention that I came home with yet another list of possible toys for the girls? My Sis and I have the same ideas of what kinds of toys we want the girls to have. Since her kids are older, I feed off of her finds. Which is good with Kayla's birthday coming up and of course I've started my Christmas shopping. :)

I also was given an award, so I'll be back with that a bit later or tomorrow!
I hope everyone had a great weekend.


posted at 9:14 AM  
  5 comments



Monday, July 16, 2007
Mommy Talk #14

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This Week's Question is:
What sacrifices have you made as a SAHM or a Working Mom?

I'll start by saying that my dream and ultimate wish is to be a SAHM! Unfortunately that was not an option for us, as much as both of us wanted it. Before I even got pregnant, I told J that I refused to work full time. I did not want to be away from my kids full time. I wanted to be there for all their firsts. Needless to say he freaked a bit as I what you would call the "bread winner". After Kayla, I searched high and low for a part time job at my level - Senior Financial Analyst with a Master's Degree. Part time in corporate is hard to come by. I initially took a job at my old company that was a step down in both position and pay (and I mean more than relatively speaking). I really didn't care about the position - my kids come before my career. But they also stripped me of my vacation, sick and holiday pay. Basically, they ignored my 5 years of service. I was lucky enough to find a job working for my next door neighbor at my level making my old salary (relatively speaking with regards to my shorter hours). I currently work 20 hours per week which is broken into 2 full days and 1 day of 3 hours. The one saving grace with J being in retail management is he can have off during the week. So he is with the girls my two full days. The are with a wonderful babysitter in her home for 2.5 hours a week. We so lucked out with her.

The girls being home with us and not in daycare was very important to both of us. We have made the obvious financial sacrifices, as we rarely go out to eat and rarely get take-out, etc. We cut on expenses when we can and watch what we spend. The biggest sacrifice we made was family time. Family time is extremely important to us, but the girls being with us did come first. They get plenty of time with me and even more time with J than the average child (I mean alone time). This has been great as it's given him great perspective on what it is to take care of kids full time. But our time with the 4 of us is few and far between. J usually makes it home in time to put them to bed and we get a few nights a week where we get about 2 hours together - the 4 of us. But we only get 1 night a week when we can really have a good meal together and any days together have to be managed with vacation days. But...we work it out. I have seen almost all their firsts and J has even seen some. It's how we wanted it. I'm hopeful one day in the not-too-distant future we can have regular family days, but until then we are making it work.

Although, I'd much rather not work at all, I am extremely lucky with my employer/boss and know that if you "have" to work, I have the best of both worlds. And all the sacrifices we have made have been so worth it as we both have amazing bonds with our girls.

Hop on over to Mommy Talk to see other responses.


posted at 8:44 AM  
  6 comments



Friday, July 13, 2007
Saturday Scraps #5
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I'm away again this weekend, so I'm putting up a kit that I did over the July 4th holiday. I used a kit by Pamela called Petals. I loved all the colors and the rose I have on the top right is perfect since Alysa's middle name is Rose.

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Hop on over to Christine's to see her page and others who have joined.


posted at 8:44 PM  
  3 comments



Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Unpacking to Pack Again
Ok - the last few weeks have been ridiculous for me. We got back Monday evening, which means that yesterday I was able to take some time to unpack the girls stuff. Only to start packing my clothes again for my trip to Ohio. My flight is tomorrow night at 8:35. That also means I have to pack up the girls to go to my Parents' house for the weekend. Thankfully, I only need to pack normal things like clothes, tooth brushes, etc. No food or toys are required. But still - that means I have to finish all of that tonight. I work tomorrow and will get home at around 5:30 and will be leaving for the airport immediately.

Although, I'm very excited to visit my Sister, I'll be glad when my traveling is done with for a while. It will be so strange to travel without the girls. It will be my first time away from them for this amount of time (Thursday night through Sunday). The closest so far was my hospital stay, but that was only 48 hours and I saw Kayla each day. But, I think the strangest thing about it all will be not having to watch what I eat. No reading labels, no watching what others are touching, no washing my hands or mouth. I'm looking forward to that, but I also know it's so much a part of me and my life that I'll probably be washing my hands anyway. Touching dairy now makes me "feel dirty". All I'll have to do is make sure my clothes are 100% dairy-free for the trip home.

I used to be able to get out there about 4 times a year, but that, of course was b4 I had kids. So it's nice to be able to go there unencumbered and just focus on my niece and nephews. Colin told me yesterday that he has a birthday party and although he's looking forward to it that it stinks it's when I'm there. Very sweet. My sister and I plan on taking some time to take Maddy to do some girly shopping. Of course, little Zachary (he's 2 1/2 months old) will join us, but I don't think it counts on barging in on a girl's day yet.

We had a nice trip to North Carolina. It was great to be able to visit with my gm and she was thrilled to have us there. The girls love her and had so much fun in her house. We spent a lot of time moving all her beautifully tempting knick knacks out of reach. We almost made it through but Sunday night Alysa managed to break something. Ho hum...it was bound to happen. At least it wasn't anything expensive. ;) Saturday, we went to a nearby playground and then just hung out as it stormed and rained all Saturday afternoon. Sunday we went to an Aquarium and then took them to the beach. It was their first time there. Alysa was so exhausted by that time that she hated it. But Kayla couldn't get enough. We had not planned it, so we were unprepared, but she didn't care. She ended up drenched and covered in sand and couldn't have been happier.

Last Thursday, Alysa shut down and has refused to eat anything since. Ok, she'll eat some yogurt and fruit. But she won't eat anything of substance. If I'm lucky, she'll eat a bit or 2 - 3 tops! I don't want to jump the gun on the Prevacid too quickly, but she can't go on not eating indefinitely. So I had her looked at by her Ped yesterday to rule out major teething. Her teeth have been slow to come in, so I was hoping maybe she had all 4 molars ready to come through. No such luck. Her gums are a bit swollen, but nothing close to the surface yet. So...it could be teething, reflux or a bit of both. I am waiting on a call back from her GI doctor. Figures, she's on vacation this week, but she's calling to check her messages. Hopefully I'll get a call today - I'm heading quickly into panic mode.

Anyway - Hopefully I'll be able to post a few things from Ohio or at least check in on some of you. In the mean time, I'll leave you with some pics of our trip...

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Alysa with my GM:
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Me with the girls:
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Fun at the Aquarium:
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Kayla's at the Ocean:
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Drenched and loving it:
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Kayla found a dead butterfly:
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Alysa after water fun:
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Have a great weekend!


posted at 12:13 PM  
  6 comments



Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Wordless Wednesday
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Hop on over to WW to see more great photos.


posted at 7:35 PM  
  8 comments



Monday, July 09, 2007
Mommy Talk #13

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*I'm in NC this weekend, so I'm posting this now. I'll visit when I get back Monday night! Have a great weekend.*

This Week's Question is:
Your biggest challenge of motherhood: how things were when baby was first born, how things changed as time went on and what type of challenges are you facing right now?

As a first time Mom with Kayla, I had the normal challenges - basically figuring out how to be a Mom and take care of a baby and be completely responsible for another human being. I actually adjusted to motherhood pretty well. Contrary to what I thought, I had no problems getting up in the middle of the night to feed her (much easier than waking to an alarm clock). Learning decipher her cries and getting her to sleep in her crib was a challenge for a short amount of time. The biggest challend though with Kayla was feeding her. With the nightmare I had trying to b/f and coming to terms with the facts that I just didn't produce, oh, anything. I had a really rough time emotionally dealing with that. Then, during all of this, her reflux disease started at 1 week of age. And it's still kicking to this day. :) Kayla would scream for hours after EVERY feeding! And of course it was worse at night. J was working mostly 12pm-11pm shifts then, so as the evening got closer, I would feel the panic building up. I can't tell you how many times I sat in Kayla's glider and cried with her. Aside from dealing with the crying, it was such a struggle to get her to eat through her pain. Even at 2 weeks old, she figured out that she'd rather feel hungry than suffer the pain of eating. It was hard on all 3 of us. J was great and would help me in the middle of the night - walking the floors with her, driving her in the car, etc. But I handled the crying better than he did - he even told me once we weren't having anymore kids. Ha! With treatment and time, her symptoms improved. But her tummy/eating issues still plague us with her allergy to dairy and her continued reflux disease. She now eats great between the medication she takes and her feeding therapy from a year ago. She has come out of the diagnosis of Failure to Thrive and she looks great. We hope that someday she will outgrow her dairy allergy.

With Alysa - her biggest challenge was also eating. She had reflux disease as well, although not to the same extent of Kayla's. Alysa fought every bottl, but it started later, like after 2-3 weeks of age. I knew the signs and had her put on medication immediately. She never had the severe pain that Kayla did, so no excessive crying. But it was a major struggle getting her to drink her bottles. Luckily though after it was done, she was perfectly content. And she spit up major amounts. And she only stopped spitting up altogether about 2-3 months ago.

I can't say I am having any major challenges with the girls right now. Alysa is 19 months, so we are heading into a more formal form of discipline - time outs, etc. She can be quite defiant when she wants to be. With Kayla, my biggest struggle is coming to terms with sending her to preschool. Although I can't believe my baby is old enough for preschool, the real struggle is coping with someone else managing her food allergy. That is going to be really hard for me. But I will give the preschool all the information they will need, keep on top of them and hope for the best!

But among all the challenges that come with motherhood, I am enjoying my girls and I love to see the world through their eyes.

Hop on over to Mommy Talk to see other responses.


posted at 9:43 AM  
  1 comments



Thursday, July 05, 2007
We're Off...Again!
Tonight I will be packing up the car again for our 2nd trip. The Girls and I will be heading out bright and early tomorrow morning with my parents. It will be nice to see my gm for the weekend. I just have to get through the food packing and the 12 hour car trip. Not to mention, since J is not coming, my Dad will actually make me share the driving. Yuck. Now I'm one who can sleep almost the entire 12 hours in the car...before kids. It's kind of hard to sleep through whining, kicking, fussing, crying, laughin, and hearing..."Mommmmy...", "Dora cd Mommy?", "Look at me Mommy", "Watch Dora...Backyardigans...Wonder Pets...Cars...insert any other show or movie here" the entire drive. Not to mention any other distraction they will throw my way. :) Can't I just click my heals 3 times and be there?

So I have my Mommy Talk post done and will be posting it tonight b4 I go. I will try to find time tonight to look for a Saturday Photo Hunt picture. If not, I'll have to skip it. I'll be doing my visiting next week when I return.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!


posted at 4:01 PM  
  3 comments



Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Randome Post & 2 Memes
Well, I'm sorting getting back into the swing of life. Just in time to start packing again for our roadtrip to North Carolina to visit my Grandmother. I actually never fully unpacked. We will be leaving bright and early Friday morning.

Today, July 4th, we are both off. We took them to a local farm to go blueberry picking, but...there were none left from this past weekend. Poor Kayla - SO wanted to pick blueberries. We'll head back there in a couple weeks and hopefully there will be some then. At least they got to play on the tractor in their store.
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But the girls were happy with going to the Super Duper Playground, as they call it. Oh and at the farm, I was looking at a jar of something called "Better than Peanut Butter". The name intrigued me, but of course it is made with peanuts. A woman was there and she asked if we had a peanut allergy. So we got to talking. Her gs is highly allergic and has been hospitalized for his reactions. Very scary. She told us that she has heard a study where a doctor even recommended holding peanuts from kids until they are 6. Sounds good to me. At one point she commented how she must sound "crazy". I told her no way - not to us. If you ask me her daughter or son is very lucky to have their child's gm be such an advocate for them. That is not easy to come by.

So, I have been tagged twice since my vacation ended. The first was from Michelle. She tagged me for the 8 Things About Me Meme. So here are 8 random facts about me.

1. I don't like coffee - hot or cold (I'll stick with Michelle's 1st one as it fits me so well). :)
2. My left thumb is double jointed - it can bend back pretty far.
3. I have some kind of adhesion in my left eye - so far it's no big deal but I get it checked once a year by a specialist b/c if it were to change or move, it could cause me to lose my sight in that eye.
4. I have some pretty cool photographs of my ovaries from when I had surgery for Endometriosis.
5. When I was a child, I somehow got into a bush with thorns and onegot lodged under my skin. That thorn is still in my arm.
6. I used to get my nails done - I miss it.
7. I still have one close friend from High School.
8. I have 2 close friends who live outside the USA - Canada & UK.

I'll post anyone who wants to join in. Let me know if you do so I can come check it out!





Second, Janeen tagged with this cool little Bloggie Award.



Janeen said some nice things about me...
"Sue is a fellow food allergy mom but not only does she help "talk me down from the ledge" on days I get frustrated with food allergies, but I've learned so much from her about infertility and about raising girls (which is totally foreign to me)." I will say she too has talked me down from the ledge. Nothing helps more than having someone to talk to who's BTDT!

I will bestowe this awesome award on the following fellow bloggers...

Christine over at Are We There Yet. I love to read about her family. In a society where it's "acceptable" to be excited for your kids to go back to school in September - I love to see her excited for hers to be home with her for the summer. She also digi scraps so I love to have someone to share my newfound hobby with.

Jill at Who Could Ask for Anything More. I met her when I won a custom made from from the Ultimate Blog Party (which I love). Her blog is a lot of fun and very inspiring.

Jennisa over at The Princess Diaries shows such love for her girls and it shines through how much she loves being a Mom. She has battled infertility and her oldes is also allergic to dairy. So we have some things in common and I just love reading her blog.

And although I know she's already received this award, I'm still tagging my Sister, Christine. We are 3 years apart and are night and day in so many ways. But we are also so in sync with a lot of our core values - especially with what's important with regards to our children. Unfortunately there is 500 miles in between us, but we get to keep up via e-mail, phone and our blogs. I'm also flying out to see her next week, so I can't wait!




That should about catch you all up with what's going on around here. My day will be filled with list making, organizing and packing as well as with fun family time. Do you think I'll have time for an errand or two?


posted at 12:35 PM  
  3 comments



Semi-Wordless Wednesday






*Last week, this baby bird fell out of the next in our back yard. Mommy bird was feeding it on the ground, but it was super hot with a super strong sun. J put gloves on, smothered his gloves in mulch and ever so carefully put the bird back home. So Baby Bird is now thriving back in it's nest.*

Hop on over to WW to see more great photos.


posted at 12:30 PM  
  6 comments



Monday, July 02, 2007
Mommy Talk #12

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*You can read about our vacation here.*

This Week's Question is:
How hard was it for you to lose your pregnancy weight and keep it off?

Aside from having pregnancy weight to lose (50+ pounds from Kayla and 40'ish from Alysa), I had also gained about 15 pounds from all the fertility drugs. I lost almost 20 in the first week after Kayla b/c it was all water weight from the obscene amount of swelling I had. After Kayla, I had just gotten down to my pre-pregnancy weight when I got pregnant with Alysa - Kayla was 7 months old. After Alysa, I had a much harder time losing weight. I lost some and then a plateaued for quite a while. It was very frustrating. Eventually I did start losing weight again and at that point, it came off pretty easily - luckily. So I have pretty much lost my pregnancy and infertility weight. I can't really say what I actually weigh as my scale broke about 6 months ago, but...I am back into my pre-infertility clothes and have even had to buy some size 6's which made me VERY happy. Of course my tummy is no longer flat, and I know that will just never be again (without major working out-NOT or surgery - double NOT!). So I'll just live with my "pregnancy tummy" - it goes along with all my stretch marks. :)

I never did anything "special" to lose the weight. I pretty much cut out sweets and snacking. Now I make sure whatever snacking I do is in moderation. I really think the biggest contributor to me losing the weight was the fact that I cut out virtually all dairy form my diet. Dairy is major treat for me now. So we'll see what happens if Kayla is lucky enough to outgrow her allergy. It may become more of a struggle for me then. :)

Hop on over to Mommy Talk to see other responses.


posted at 10:27 AM  
  2 comments



Sunday, July 01, 2007
Back to Life
Now I know how fast time goes by, but this week was ridiculous.

On Sunday we headed up to the Timeshare we have with my Mom and Sister. It is located outside of the Catskills in a tiny little town in New York State. My Sister and I grew up going there with our GP's. We stopped going for a while when our GF died there when I was 9. I started going again when I was a teenager. Now that our GM handed it over to us, we're going as often as we can. It's a wonderful family resort with lots of swimming, games, tennis, bowling, golf, bumper boats, etc. They have a camp for kids as well. You can basically go there and hybernate in your room with a full kitchen or never see the inside of your room. It's even more perfect for us b/c of Kayla's allergy. When it was just J and me we would go out to eat a few times and eat in at times. But with Kayla's special needs, it's so much easier to be able to eat in every meal and be out and about to play.

I will say though how your place in life changes your perspective. I remember when it would be just the 2 of us, besides the fact that we could do adult things and not worry about naps and watching out for 2 little ones, but we would wake up at 10 or later and be like - the housekeeper wants to come in already to clean the room? This time, it hit us that things open there SO late. The outdoor pool opens at 9, but everything else doesn't open until 10. When your kids get up at 6am, you feel like half your day is over by the time you can actually go and do something. There is only so much you can walk around the grouds - ESPECIALLY when the resort is in the mountains so you're constantly walking up and down hill, either carrying or pushing a Toddler and a Preschooler. :)

The girls loved it there. They were thrilled with the huge playground and of course they couldn't care less that it was technically for ages 5 and up. They'll go down any slide and run around w/o a second thought about how high up they are. I left that part to J b/c he's more "daring" with them than me and I'm afraid of heights. I don't need to project that phobia onto them. But they both did really well on the huge slides as well, so I'm glad I let J take over the reigns on that.

We stayed at the resort through Wed and this was actually just the right amount of time. The girls did better than I thought sleeping in the same room (or Kayla did) but it was still not great. The first night they were both so zonked that it was perfect. Alysa never napped in the car, so she went to bed at 6pm. We put Kayla down at 7 and she was very quiet and went to sleep quickly. But Kayla woke up at 6am (but luckily in a good mood) and woke Alysa up. That night, we put Alysa down at 7 but she was still awake at 8 when we put Kayla in bed, so all we heard were giggles and screeching until 10pm. Kayla woke up crying at 6am Tuesday morning. Needless to say they were exhausted Tuesday. That night Alysa was asleep when Kayla went to bed but Kayla woke her up with chatter so again it was giggles until around 10. Kayla woke up Wed crying at 4:45am. I quickly got her and Alysa went back to sleep until 6:45 and Kayla thankfully slept with me for 1.5 more hours. Oh and luckily it didn't seem to scar Kayla that J and I slept in separate beds. When you're used to a king bed, it just doesn't work squeezing both of us into a full size bed. :) But we were in the same room. LOL

The girls loved the kiddie pool and J and I found that more relaxing than the big pool since the kiddie pool was virtually empty the entire time and we could sit back, relax and watch the girls have a blast. The indoor pool was a huge hit as well b/c it had a small slide that went into the shallow end so the girls could actually use the slide. Kayla, although it was with her floaties on, of course, actually swam on her own. She learned to kick and paddle to get from the steps to J or me. We're very proud that she made that hug step.

Then there's the game room. With a big ball pit and tunnel climbing extravaganza. Kayla was so into it. Alysa loved the ball pit and tried a couple times to head into the tunnels. She liked it but when she got to the slide, our little dare-devil wouldn't go down it. We think it's b/c you couldn't see the bottom from up top. So that meant J and I took turns climbing into the tunnels to show her the way to the slide. The 3rd time she went up, she went down by herself. Kayla even made a friend one day. Little Landon - who is her age. They had so much fun playing in the tunnels together. Poor Alysa - we could tell she felt left out when they ventured up in to the tunnels.

Kayla was also intrigued by the game "Shubble". What is shubble you ask - it's shuffle board - how could you not know that? ;)

On the way home we stopped at my gf's. She is right on the way and I was able to see her newborn and her two older boys (both Kayla and Alysa's ages). We had a nice visit. J was very nice to stop with me as her hubby was at work, so he was surrounded by girl talk and kids. :)

Thursday we went to an Insectarium in Philadelphia. Very creepy - I don't like bugs. The girls had fun and I have to admit it was interesting. The girls touched some bugs as well. The only one Kayla would not touch was the hissing cockroach - can't say that I blame her. But Alysa liked it. They each got a plastic bug to bring home. I picked out a lady bug and grasshopper - both harmless bugs that I can deal with. J then had to get them each a toy plastic cockroach. Um...so now I get freaked out every time I see these things on the floor. The worst was when I see Alysa walk in the room with it in her mouth. YUCK!!!

Friday we took them to Storybook Land. It's an awesome amusement park for young kids. And all the rides can accomodate adults too. The girls had a BLAST!!! The went on almost every ride over and over again. Kayla with her fear of characters, actually went on the carousel (a horse) and the elephants and dragons. But only once on each. She wouldn't go near them again. Alysa couldn't care less what any of them were. It was actually perfect weather. A bit rainy and cooler, but it was not too much to dampen the day, but enough to keep the crowds away. So no lines. Yay! As we were leaving, Kayla said - "We can come back some day". Of course she asks multiple times a day if we are going back. :)

That should cover the gist of it. This has taken me ALL day. Here are some pics from our vacation!

Fun in the pools:
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Playing "Shubble"
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Kayla swimming
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At the Insectarium
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At Storybook Land
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I hope everyone had a great week. I'll be continuing my journey of catch-up over the next few days.


posted at 8:47 AM  
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